Feud: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

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Mister Tee
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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Mister Tee » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:25 pm

Uri wrote:can someone here explain to me what all this Joan Blondel/Olivia De Havilland 1978 footage is all about? Is it based on some real stuff? It feels so arbitrary.

I read elsewhere that the original version of the script -- entitled "Best Actress" -- was structured around two actresses who were friends of Davis (Blondell & deHavilland) and two who were friends of Crawford's (Barbara Stanwyck and Greer Garson). The conversations/interviews were set backstage at the 1977 Oscars (held of course in 1978), which, due to being the 50th anniversary show, drew a great number of old-timers (and was presumably the last time many of them were in the same place).

Obviously the script was altered, and they cut Stanwyck/Garson, but left Blondell/deHavilland in, possibly because they knew they needed deHavilland for her crucial role in taking over in Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte.

The effect is odd/unbalanced, but it's not an unheard-of move in TV. A friend of mine years ago told me of having punchlines removed from scripts while the set-up lines were left in. Not everything in the industry makes sense.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Greg » Wed Apr 19, 2017 1:21 pm

Emmys: Olivia de Havilland on Bette Davis, Joan Crawford and 'Feud':

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/race/e ... eud-994699
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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Uri » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:50 pm

Big Magilla wrote:b) to expand Catherine Zeta-Jones' otherwise minimalist participation as de Havilland.


Why on Earth would someone want to expand it? In a show full of misguided stuff, her take on OdH is probably most off target.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Tue Apr 18, 2017 11:10 am

Uri wrote:I've binge watched it these last two days- of course, as a denizen of this board, I had to watch it all - and since I'm a dignified person, I'll say it in the most dignified way I can - It's an infantile, rather clueless pile of shit.

Still - can someone here explain to me what all this Joan Blondel/Olivia De Havilland 1978 footage is all about? Is it based on some real stuff? It feels so arbitrary.

I think they invented the Blondell/de Havilland nonsense to a) give Kathy Bates something to do and b) to expand Catherine Zeta-Jones' otherwise minimalist participation as de Havilland.

By 1978, de Havilland was reduced to playing a featured role in The Swarm and Blondell was close to death.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Uri » Tue Apr 18, 2017 9:11 am

I've binge watched it these last two days- of course, as a denizen of this board, I had to watch it all - and since I'm a dignified person, I'll say it in the most dignified way I can - It's an infantile, rather clueless pile of shit.

Still - can someone here explain to me what all this Joan Blondel/Olivia De Havilland 1978 footage is all about? Is it based on some real stuff? It feels so arbitrary.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:08 pm

The Original BJ wrote:The only very loose argument I could make for Bette saying that she had 11 nominations -- which had me, too, thinking, WTF? -- is that perhaps Bette herself would have decided that her write-in campaign counted as a bonus nom.


Bette wasn't stupid. She was, in fact, the first female President of the Academy. She knew the difference between a nomination and a write-in vote for the win. She would never say such a stupid thing any more than she would consider "going supporting", a concept and a phrase totally alien to the time.

Last night's episode was for those idiot bloggers who write things like "more people know Joan today than Bette because of the wire hangers, so there's more interest in following the feud from her standpoint than that of boring Bette."

http://www.buddytv.com/articles/feud/is ... 64215.aspx

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Apr 17, 2017 5:34 pm

I think this last episode was pretty good evidence that this material either needed to be a feature, or Ryan Murphy and Co. just needed to find something deeper in the subject than they have. Because it's basically gotten to the point where it's hitting the same beat over and over -- I didn't think this most recent episode found anything new to explore in the Bette/Joan dynamic, and has basically relied on making it all BIGGER. Mister Tee is totally right that things are just getting really over the top, most terribly in that moment when Joan threw ANOTHER vase of flowers at her maid, and let out ANOTHER guttural scream just like she did when she missed the Oscar nom.

The only very loose argument I could make for Bette saying that she had 11 nominations -- which had me, too, thinking, WTF? -- is that perhaps Bette herself would have decided that her write-in campaign counted as a bonus nom.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Apr 17, 2017 1:50 pm

You know, I heard that line go by and thought, WTF? -- and until you mentioned the ex post facto inclusion of Of Human Bondage, I didn't have a clue where the 11 came from. I distinctly recall when Hepburn got her 10th for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?, it was reported as "Hepburn Ties Bette Davis' Record"; as you say, the decision to include 1934's runners-up as nominees is revisionism from years later.

Honestly, by the end of last night's episode, I was almost sorry I'm watching the show. Everything felt way over the top, and the trash quotient seems to have risen substantially. I'll watch the last episode -- after investing all this time -- but I won't feel proud of myself for it.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:13 am

I fell asleep watching the latest episode, but not until after the latest factual error made me livid.

Early in the episode, Sarandon as Davis makes reference to her "11 Oscar nominations". Um, no. Davis had the distinction of becoming the first actor nominated for ten Academy Awards with her nomination for Baby Jane, which was highly touted at the time. The Academy's website does list her 1934 write-in vote for Of Human Bondage, but that didn't happen for decades after the events chronicled in the mini-series.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:49 pm

What would have been more realistic, if they had to note My Fair Lady at all, would have been to note that Warner's concerns at the time were centered on the film which at a cost of $17 million was the most expensive film made in the U.S. up to that time. It would likely have been either still filming or in post-production in January, 1964.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Mister Tee » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:54 pm

The Original BJ wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:I don't like playing extreme pedant about factual errors in real-life stories like this, but...how can a show, that went to such great lengths last week to get every detail right about the Oscar night events, be so cavalier about calling My Fair Lady the biggest hit of the year (and saying George Cukor is winning all sorts of awards for it) when the damn film was still 6-8 months from being released?


Watching this show has made me realize how doctors must feel watching medical shows, and lawyers law shows -- I'm sitting there engaged in a story and then all of a sudden there's a detail or fact that, without even having to look it up, has me thinking "well, that's wrong."

And yet, at the same time, I can understand simply from experience how these things happen. On the shows I've worked on, people (and frankly, a lot of times yours truly) will chime in with notes like "My Fair Lady wasn't released yet," and collectively enough folks just decide that not enough people will notice for it to matter, and it's just better for the story to fudge it. I feel like factual errors the creatives just don't care about are far more common than mistakes that occurred because no one even bothered to check.


The problem here, as Magilla notes, is that the people watching this show most avidly are those most likely to notice and be bothered by errors like this. And, honestly, this isn't a small error: it's the equivalent of a movie centered on politics being set in early 1960 and having people refer to JFK as president -- a glaringly obvious gaffe to anyone even marginally aware of the history.

Wouldn't it have been just as easy to refer to My Fair Lady, in terms of both Cukor and the gross, as being a sure-fire upcoming hit? I remember the advance press on that film at the time as roughly equivalent to that for Return of the King: the play was such a legendary success, and musicals were so sure-fire at the time (even South Pacific had been a big money-maker), that the film version was seen as a pre-smash; its Oscar victory, like Return of the King's, was nearly anti-climactic.

As far as the other things Magilla cites -- My Fair Lady not being that huge a box-office phenomenon -- that did cross my mind (during the time Fair Lady was playing out its roadshow engagements, Mary Poppins was easily out-earning it, and ended up with substantially higher rentals). But that's the kind of thing I can let go, because I know that's specialized knowledge. Not knowing the year My Fair Lady was released/awarded is far more egregious. (And, worth noting: it was Joan Crawford who for Christ's sake PRESENTED the directing prize to Cukor.)

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Mon Apr 10, 2017 3:50 am

I'm glad I'm not the only one.

There were two separate idiotic references to My Fair Lady - the other one was talking about how much money the film was making. Although the film eventually brought in $72 million in its domestic release, it was originally a roadshow release in New York and L.A. in late October, 1964, branching out to other cities on Christmas Day, the day after Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte opened in L.A.

Warner Brothers' biggest moneymaker in January, 1964 was The Wheeler Dealers, originally released the preceding November. Their only major Oscar contender for 1963 in release at the time was America America. I don't know how extensive the Crawford-Castle tour with Strait-Jacket in mid-January was, but in New York Crawford was introduced by Dorothy Kilgallen, not William Castle. Davis' Dead Ringer from Warner Brothers, opened a few weeks later in early February.

I don't know whether it was just sloppy referencing My Fair Lady, or tactical in that they didn't think anyone in the audience would be familiar with America America or The Wheeler Dealers, which is more insulting given that the primary audience for this thing is film geeks who if they have not seen those other two films, would at least have heard of them or be able to look them up if they hadn't.

Also, I doubt that it was Jack Warner who coined the term "hagsploitation" in reference to the subgenre of horror films starring older actresses which began with Baby Jane. The more popular term is "psycho-biddy".

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby The Original BJ » Mon Apr 10, 2017 12:28 am

Mister Tee wrote:I don't like playing extreme pedant about factual errors in real-life stories like this, but...how can a show, that went to such great lengths last week to get every detail right about the Oscar night events, be so cavalier about calling My Fair Lady the biggest hit of the year (and saying George Cukor is winning all sorts of awards for it) when the damn film was still 6-8 months from being released?


Watching this show has made me realize how doctors must feel watching medical shows, and lawyers law shows -- I'm sitting there engaged in a story and then all of a sudden there's a detail or fact that, without even having to look it up, has me thinking "well, that's wrong."

And yet, at the same time, I can understand simply from experience how these things happen. On the shows I've worked on, people (and frankly, a lot of times yours truly) will chime in with notes like "My Fair Lady wasn't released yet," and collectively enough folks just decide that not enough people will notice for it to matter, and it's just better for the story to fudge it. I feel like factual errors the creatives just don't care about are far more common than mistakes that occurred because no one even bothered to check.

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Mister Tee » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:38 pm

I don't like playing extreme pedant about factual errors in real-life stories like this, but...how can a show, that went to such great lengths last week to get every detail right about the Oscar night events, be so cavalier about calling My Fair Lady the biggest hit of the year (and saying George Cukor is winning all sorts of awards for it) when the damn film was still 6-8 months from being released?

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Re: Ryan Murphy mentions Damien

Postby Big Magilla » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:22 pm

Greg wrote:
Mister Tee wrote:Travel between NY and LA was considerably more taxing at that point -- jet travel, unbelievable as it may sound, was only a few years old then -- and many non-Angelenos opted to pass on the Oscars over the next decade or so (there were absent winners almost every year into the 70s).


Does this mean, for example, that people who lived in Los Angeles and read the New York Times would have to wait until it was a day or two old?

In New York you could get out of town newspapers the next day. It was probably true in reverse.

Interestingly, during the prolonged newspaper strike, The New York Times printed a truncated version in Lo0s Angeles with reviews of Broadway shows but movie ads for Los Angeles theatres, no New York advertising.

Sunday April 7, 1963,, the day before the 1962 Oscars, the New York Times, now back to business in New York, published mini-reviews of all the films that opened in New York during the strike. On the day of the Oscars, the only article in the Times was a listing of the nominees. The day after the Oscars, April 9, 1963, there were pictures of winners Lean, Peck, Begley and Duke at the Oscars and Bancroft in her apartment. No mention was made of Crawford. And to confirm what Tee said, the article acknowledges that Lawrence of Arabia was in a close race with To Kill a Mockingbird, not The Music Man. I don't know what the official analysis of the day was, but I remember being surprised that The Music Man and Mutiny on the Bounty were even nominated for Best Picture over David and Lisa, The Miracle Worker and Long Day's Journey Into Night, but maybe that was just me.

The article mentions Duke's win as the most emotional of the night. They acknowledged Ethel Merman, Robert Goulet and Eddie Fisher for their musical performances, but there was no mention of Crawford whatsoever.

http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-fr ... 8388679EDE


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