Tag Archives: Television

Show Boat

Dear Friends,

The other night we saw one of our favorite musicals on television: Showboat.

show boat 1951

This film was produced in 1951, starring Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, and Howard Keel and directed by George Sidney. It was based on the original Broadway musical written by Oscar Hammerstein II with music by Jerome Kern. It tells the story of late 19th century hijinks aboard a Mississippi River show boat. It features some of Broadway’s greatest show tunes including Ol’ Man River, Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man, and Make Believe.

This musical is so superb that it makes us want to discuss the importance of theatre in our lives. We seldom think about it, but what if, at 5:30pm every night after a day of work, we simply had dinner and went to bed? Our workdays are usually not very spiritual or uplifting, so it is at nighttime and weekends that we get to observe and participate in the “finer things in life,” as in “what are we living for?” So this film says it all!

It’s wonderful and we’re so glad to have seen it on television! If you want to see it, it is available to watch via streaming or to purchase on Amazon (click here )

Best wishes,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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The Gish Sisters

Dear Friends,

Last week we told you about all the wonderful movies we’ve been watching this summer and we wanted to add one more to the list: Orphans of the Storm, starring Lillian Gish and Dorothy Gish.

This nearly 100-year-old silent movie is the story of two orphaned sisters during the French revolution. Despite the 3-hour length, we stayed glued to the screen—a testament to writer/producer/director DW Griffith, the Gish sisters, and their supporting cast. We knew the Gish sisters so well–they were friends of our parents and performed in many plays for The Theatre Guild!

orphans of the storm

It is unbelievable how far cinema has advanced, but equally as amazing how much we can still enjoy the classics by tuning into Turner Classic Movies!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

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Summer Nights

Dear Friends,

Today we are sending you information to while away your summer.
Every night we turn the television channel to Turner Classic Movies, and each night there is always a wonderful old movie to watch.

So far this summer we have watched over 60 movies, including the wonderful classics such as:

It Happened One Night
Three Coins in the Fountain
Jezebel
Holiday Inn
A Room With a View
Some Like It Hot
Laura
Two For The Road
The Blue Angel
Funny Face
The Dirty Dozen
Follow The Fleet
Cabaret
Chorus Line
The Scarlet Pimpernel
All The King’s Men
For Me and My Gal
Gaslight

And such great stars as:
Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Marlene Dietrich, Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn, John Cassavetes, Marilyn Monroe, Fred Astaire, Eva Gabor, Tyrone Power, and Ian McKellen—to name a few!

In this day and age where nothing good seems to be on (and almost never any good news), it’s always nice to know that you can find a great classic movie right on your television set to pass the evening!

Best,
Philip & Marilyn

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Tuning In

Dear Friends,

We are writing today about a wonderful TV news program, which “tells it like it is,” The Rachel Maddow Show.

What we love about her is the fact that she really researches her topics fully and isn’t afraid to speak her mind.  In this day and age where the news is hard to get, Rachel is a refreshing source of information.

In an article on PoliticusUSA, Jason Easley writes:

As the American people get more engaged and look for factual news and information, they are increasingly turning to MSNBC as the Rachel Maddow led network is growing three times faster in total viewers than Fox News in primetime.”

Click here for the full article:
Rachel Maddow
Of course, we think it would be great if she’d throw her hat in the political arena!  In the meantime, we’ll just continue tuning in to her show weeknights at 9pm ET/6pm PT on MSNBC.

Best regards,
Philip & Marilyn Langner

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Classic Movies on the Small Screen

Dear Friends,

Today we want to write to you about a lovely happening brought to us by our daughter.

I am speaking about the films that are available every day on Turner Classic Movies (here in New York, it’s Channel 82).

We have been going about our business for years, only really watching PBS and a handful of news stations, but we never seem to branch out and explore other channels.  Finally, our daughter “made us” turn to Channel 82 and we have been extremely enthusiastic ever since!

TCM actors

The best thing about TCM is that they play movies you’d never get to see normally and when you watch them, you realize that you are getting to watch the best movies that were made between 1930-1950!

Many of these films are absolutely wonderful!  In analyzing them, we find that they are very much like Broadway plays.  Back then, movies had not gone into space or battled aliens or imaginary characters—they simply had the feel of the stage, however, you were just viewing them on the big (and now small) screen!

It is so interesting to watch great stars like Bette Davis or Joan Crawford just by changing the channel.  We love this era of movies, where everyone spoke so passionately about life!

The next time you find yourself in front of the television, do turn it on to Turner Classic Movies—you never know what you’re going to find! For example, last night’s line-up was The Good Earth (1933), a wonderful film adaptation of the novel by Pearl S. Buck.  That was followed by the entertaining musical Gold Diggers (1933) starring Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell.  After that was a favorite of ours, Holiday, starring Carey Grant and Katharine Hepburn.  All around, it was an entertaining evening!

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn

PS—speaking of Bette and Joan, the FX series Feuds: Bette and Joan, starring Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon, only has only weeks left—don’t miss out!  Sundays at 10pm (Eastern Standard Time) on the FX channel.

feud poster

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Live “Theatre”

Dear Friends,

We are writing you today about a most interesting television event that took place last night—the musical Hairspray Live on NBC at 8pm (New York time).

It was so interesting to watch this musical, which instead of being rehearsed and running on Broadway for years, one could tune in for one night only on your television screen.

So here are our thoughts about the evening:

It was certainly interesting to see a full-scale musical, with all the actors/singers/dancers/choreography that one could possibly want.

hairspray

It was not like seeing a Broadway musical.  One of its disadvantages was the fact that there must have been at least 30 commercial interruptions throughout the evening.   These interruptions made it very disruptive and this was more tedious than seeing it all at one time.  In this regard, it was very much like a television show, where the commercials were inserted into any—and all—parts of the show.

So we said to ourselves “this is certainly not like seeing Hairspray on Broadway, but on the other hand we do not have to pay for it and do not have to leave our house.  However, the interrupts caused choppiness AND we have to see it on a 3’x4’ television screen, which is nothing like having 40 actors on a Broadway stage.”

Our final summary: “it’s a very good television show, but nothing like the play.”

If you’d like to read the USA Today Review, click here.

Best regards,

Philip & Marilyn Langner

 

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