Penny Marshall (1943-2018)

Discuss films and filmmakers of the 20th century (and even a little of the 19th century). Threads may contain spoilers.
Post Reply
Message
Author
User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Penny Marshall (1943-2018)

#1 Post by hearthesilence » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:00 pm


User avatar
mfunk9786
Under Chris' Protection
Joined: Fri May 16, 2008 4:43 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA

Re: Passages

#2 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:15 pm

A pop cultural giant - if you mentioned her by name to a person younger than 30 today, they likely wouldn't even know who she is. But Laverne & Shirley was an entertaining Nick at Nite mainstay and of course, her directing work made a huge splash at the time. RIP.

User avatar
soundchaser
No longer chasing skirts
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2016 12:32 am

Re: Passages

#3 Post by soundchaser » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:19 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:15 pm
A pop cultural giant - if you mentioned her by name to a person younger than 30 today, they likely wouldn't even know who she is. But Laverne & Shirley was an entertaining Nick at Nite mainstay and of course, her directing work made a huge splash at the time. RIP.
I watched those reruns a lot as a kid - I think they had migrated to TV Land at some point during my youth. Her sense of comic timing was incredible.

User avatar
Feego
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Passages

#4 Post by Feego » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:36 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:15 pm
A pop cultural giant - if you mentioned her by name to a person younger than 30 today, they likely wouldn't even know who she is. But Laverne & Shirley was an entertaining Nick at Nite mainstay and of course, her directing work made a huge splash at the time. RIP.
Yep, it's one of those things I never considered until now, but between L&S, Big and A League of Their Own (and her weird cameo with her brother in Hocus Pocus), Penny Marshall was a major part of my childhood.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Passages

#5 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:46 pm

Also the first guest voice on The Simpsons

User avatar
bearcuborg
Joined: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:30 am
Location: Philadelphia via Chicago

Re: Passages

#6 Post by bearcuborg » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:15 pm

flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:46 pm
Also the first guest voice on The Simpsons
Wow, good recall on that one!

I never liked Laverne and Shirley, but I would always watch the intro before changing the channel. It’s difficult to imagine better 80s mainstream movies than Big or A League of Their Own. Feego, you actually make me want to see Hocus Pocus now, even though a dozen girlfriends have tried to get me to watch it...

User avatar
Feego
Joined: Thu Aug 16, 2007 7:30 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Passages

#7 Post by Feego » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:53 pm

bearcuborg wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:15 pm
Feego, you actually make me want to see Hocus Pocus now, even though a dozen girlfriends have tried to get me to watch it...
Yeah, I wouldn't recommend sitting through the whole thing just to see the Marshalls' cameo if you're not interested in the movie. Childhood nostalgia is a prerequisite for this film being remotely tolerable. This link should satisfy your curiosity.

User avatar
FrauBlucher
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:28 pm
Location: Greenwich Village

Re: Passages

#8 Post by FrauBlucher » Tue Dec 18, 2018 6:02 pm

As someone who watched these shows before Nick at Nite was even a concept, I can tell you they were cultural events. I was in Jr High School (now called middle school) at the time that Tuesday nights were huge. Happy Days at 8, followed by Laverne and Shirley. Not having as many choices for entertainment created these huge Neilson ratings for the networks. They became big stars because of that.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Passages

#9 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:30 pm

Someone pointed out on Twitter that A League Of Their Own is still the highest-grossing baseball movie ever.

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#10 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:29 am

I wonder if that is as much to do with the Madonna song as the film. I seem to remember that being everywhere at the time, as if people were relieved that they could actually show a Madonna thing without it being the Sex book, or the naughty fly on the wall documentary. Then she followed her role here with Body of Evidence!

(I do love the moving final scene in A League of Their Own, in which we see all the characters as elderly ladies getting reunited, at least those who survived the ravages of time, and then play baseball over the end credits. You don't need a particular knowledge of baseball for that film to work, since its more about the struggles of the women instead)

It is sad to hear about Penny Marshall. Of course Big is great, but I also quite liked Renaissance Man as the funniest of the 'teacher training' films in the wake of Dead Poets Society (whilst Mr Holland's Opus was the most moving and Dangerous Minds arguably the most zeitgeist capturing one with the best music video), and of course Jumpin' Jack Flash has that brilliant moment of an undercover Whoopi Goldberg wrestling with a shredder! (though that scene also perpetuated that stereotype of all English comedy being Benny Hill! :wink: )
Last edited by colinr0380 on Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:31 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Passages

#11 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 3:42 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 2:29 am
I wonder if that is as much to do with the Madonna song as the film. I seem to remember that being everywhere at the time, as if people were relieved that they could actually show a Madonna thing without it being the Sex book, or the naughty fly on the wall documentary. Then she followed her role here up with Body of Evidence!

(I do love the moving final scene in A League of Their Own, in which we see all the characters as elderly ladies getting reunited, at least those who survived the ravages of time, and then play baseball over the end credits. You don't need a particular knowledge of baseball for that film to work, since its more about the struggles of the women instead)
Probably more to do with Geena Davis, who was just coming off Thelma & Louise. And perhaps to a slightly lesser degree Tom Hanks, who said this was the first role he took as a knowing step away from the kinds of characters he was known for at the time, and towards men who as he put it, understood bitter compromise. Plus this was the age where a single line could sell something properly to the masses, and I would bet that "there's no crying in baseball!" was in every bit of publicity for it (and subsequently in every commercial for it on TV).

User avatar
colinr0380
Joined: Mon Nov 08, 2004 4:30 pm
Location: Chapel-en-le-Frith, Derbyshire, UK

Re: Passages

#12 Post by colinr0380 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:42 am

It is also interesting to try and situate A League of Their Own as coming in the middle of an explosion of baseball films that arguably began in 1988 with the double whammy of Bull Durham and John Sayle's historical scandal film Eight Men Out. Baseball as more than just 'baseball' but as a metaphor for the human (American) condition or political rights and representation felt quite big at the time, with A League of Their Own offering an early feminist twist on that (and the Schindler's List prefiguring ending!) before the trend turned more toward historical biographical films on important players such as John Goodman in Babe or Tommy Lee Jones in Cobb.

Though there was also that 'magical realism' strand that probably began with 1984's The Natural and probably reached its peak with Field of Dreams' Shyamalan prefiguring ghost-holding cornfield and "if you build it, they will come", which turned out a few more films in the same vein such as Cooperstown, the the Angels In the Outfield remake, the Rookie of the Year remake, and so on. It is quite strange that aside from Bull Durham (which is probably better seen as part of a Ron Shelton run of films dissecting different sports) contemporary set baseball films were often the more outright fantasies, and often play as more purely nostalgic, or at least detached from real world concerns, than the often surprisingly tougher toned historical ones.

It looks as if the trend was over by 1995 or so, but it was quite a run on the subject!

User avatar
flyonthewall2983
Joined: Mon Jun 27, 2005 3:31 pm
Location: Indiana
Contact:

Re: Passages

#13 Post by flyonthewall2983 » Wed Dec 19, 2018 11:44 am

colinr0380 wrote:
Wed Dec 19, 2018 4:42 am
It looks as if the trend was over by 1995 or so, but it was quite a run on the subject!
The strike in 1994-5 killed off Hollywood's appetite for baseball. Also by the end of that run it was whittled down to kids movies like The Sandlot, Rookie Of The Year and Little Big League. Even the sequel to the 1989 raunchy comedy Major League was given a PG.

User avatar
Brian C
Joined: Wed Sep 16, 2009 11:58 am
Location: Chicago, IL

Re: Passages

#14 Post by Brian C » Wed Dec 19, 2018 12:00 pm

I’m not sure the strike had much to do with it. Matt LeBlanc’s first film starring role in the wake of Friends was the chimpanzee baseball movie ED in 1996, there was another attempt at a MAJOR LEAGUE sequel in 1998, and the Costner-starring FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME was a legit big studio production in 1999.

I think the strike pretty much coincided with a fad that was petering out anyway - even before the strike, the genre was seeing diminishing returns.

But there was a little mini-resurgence at the beginning of this decade, with MONEYBALL, TROUBLE WITH THE CURVE, and 42 all appearing within a short stretch.

User avatar
hearthesilence
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2005 4:22 am
Location: NYC

Re: Penny Marshall (1943-2018)

#15 Post by hearthesilence » Wed Dec 19, 2018 1:29 pm

A long time ago, Penny Marshall actually had a background role on an SNL Christmas sketch as a piano playing nun who hid a flask in her habit. Rosie O'Donnell was the host, and she had a charming story where Marshall asked O'Donnell to keep an eye on her during the sketch. O'Donnell asked why and Marshall said she had a recurring problem where her mouth doesn't move along when she's talking.

If you watch the sketch, you'll see O'Donnell lose it and Marshall speaks up to get O'Donnell back on track, basically directing live on air from her piano.
flyonthewall2983 wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:30 pm
Someone pointed out on Twitter that A League Of Their Own is still the highest-grossing baseball movie ever.
Not exactly a distinguished genre (and I say this as someone who used to love baseball), but that film is one of the better examples of it and possibly Marshall's best work as a director.

Post Reply