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Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

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Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 2nd, 2017, 1:27 pm

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Author and historian Jeremy Arnold will visit The Silver Screen Oasis this weekend from March 3-March 5!

THE ESSENTIALS: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter


From the TCM website:

"Since its inception on Turner Classic Movies in 2001, The Essentials has become the ultimate for movie lovers to expand their knowledge of must-see cinema and discover or revisit landmark films that have had a lasting impact on audiences everywhere. With a foreward by TCM Host Robert Osborne, Arnold's compilation of films has been deemed a classic by Amazon reviewers.

Based on the hit series, THE ESSENTIALS by Jeremy Arnold showcases 52 must-see movies from the silent era to modern times. Readers can enjoy one film per week, like on the show, for a year of great viewing, or indulge in a movie-watching binge-fest. Each film is profiled with entertaining discourse on why it's an Essential, and running commentary is provided by TCM's Robert Osborne and Essentials guest hosts past and present: Sally Field, Drew Barrymore, Alec Baldwin, Rose McGowan, Carrie Fisher, Molly Haskell, Peter Bogdanovich, Sydney Pollack, and Rob Reiner.

Featuring full-color and black-and-white photography of the greatest stars in movie history throughout, THE ESSENTIALS is the ultimate curated guide to 52 films that define the meaning of the word "classic."

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Kelly Pantaleoni has her copy of The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter signed by author Jeremy Arnold in the lobby of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel....

Jeremy Arnold is an author, film historian, and classic-movie commentator. His book, The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter (Running Press, 2016), is the companion to TCM’s Essentials series. With a foreword by Robert Osborne and running commentary from all past and present Essentials hosts, it explores the background and significance of 52 of the films that have been shown to date on TCM as “essential” movie watching.

Since 2003, Jeremy has written over 500 programming articles and classic film reviews for the TCM website. His 2012 coffee-table book, Lawrence of Arabia: The 50th Anniversary, was published by Sony Pictures Entertainment as the official companion to the Blu-ray release of David Lean’s epic. His essays on the making of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, You Can’t Take It With You and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town were published by Sony in recent Blu-ray digibooks; a new piece on Lost Horizon is upcoming.

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Ben Mankiewicz discusses aspects of The Essentials during Jeremy Arnold's Guest Programming appearance on TCM.....

Jeremy also contributed to the 2003 edition of Jeanine Basinger’s book The World War II Combat Film: Anatomy of a Genre. Further essays and interviews with filmmakers and industry professionals have appeared over the years in Variety, Moviemaker, Premiere, and the Directors Guild of America magazine.

To date, Jeremy has recorded six audio commentaries for DVD or Blu-ray releases: Ride Lonesome (1959), Ladies of Leisure (1930), Jamaica Inn (1939), Lured (1947), Sudden Fear (1952), and No Highway in the Sky (1951). Twice he has been engaged as a guest programmer, host, and lecturer aboard Crystal Cruises with classic film themes—including a complete career tribute to Marilyn Monroe.

A native of Washington, D.C., Jeremy resides in Los Angeles but is a lifelong fan of the New York Mets.

Welcome, Jeremy Arnold! We are delighted to have you visit us this weekend.
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 3rd, 2017, 12:03 am

Jeremy, we are so thrilled you have taken time out of your busy schedule to visit with us this weekend.
Thank you again!

Can you tell us how the idea for The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter evolved? It is such an all-encompassing companion to the series and touches on so many genres.
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Jeremy Arnold » March 3rd, 2017, 12:22 pm

Sue Sue,

I'm very happy to be here this weekend! Thanks for having me. I love talking movies as much as anyone, especially with such a community of fellow film lovers.

When the ESSENTIALS book fell on my plate, I had already been writing for the TCM website for about 13 years, in addition to other projects both for and outside of TCM. However, my involvement came about as a matter of serendipity. I was riding the elevator to the opening night party of the 2015 TCM Film Festival, and got to chatting with a woman standing next to me who turned out to be Cindy de la Hoz, an editor at Running Press. She mentioned that TCM and Running Press had just entered into a partnership to produce a line of film books -- and that she was looking for a writer for a book companion to The Essentials. I think we both right away realized that I would be a good fit for this, and not long after the festival, I wrote two sample entries (for CASABLANCA and another film that wasn't used in the book), and the folks at TCM were happy and the deal was a go. I can't remember if the actual idea for the book originated with Cindy or with TCM, as that happened before I came along.

In developing the specific content and format for the book, TCM, Cindy and I all collaborated. The idea was always for the movies to be a sampling of the 300 titles shown to date on The Essentials -- not "best of" or anything like that, but a good, representative sampling of the Essentials show and of movie history. At first it was going to be 100 titles, then 75, and finally 52. That way we would have more room for photos, lots of them, and I'm glad we did! I came up with my desired list of movies to include, and then TCM weighed in and we made changes and did some horse-trading till we reached the final 52. I was exacting in my process of trying to represent the franchise well. I broke down the 300 titles by release years, genres, stars, directors, etc., because I wanted the book to represent each decade in the same proportion as the show, or close to it. If certain directors had been shown a lot more, it made sense to include a few more of their films, too. And so on. And genre was very important. My original wish list was very heavy on film noir, but I had to cut several because the book would have been out of whack otherwise. And I felt very strongly about representing lower-budget, more obscure films in the mix with the really famous well-known ones. I thought it a good way to show that what makes a film essential usually has little to do with budgets or gloss. And it also would maybe drive more casual movie fans who picked up the book to seek out some films they didn't know.

I remember at the end of the process there was one slot left to fill and TCM said I could fill it with whatever title I wanted (from the remaining choices of the 300 of course), and I chose WHITE HEAT. We didn’t have any other Cagney for some reason, and I thought how can this book possibly not have James Cagney in it?!

I think the biggest challenge of the entire project was in keeping the write-ups for each film to the length that they are while still giving them substance. It's easier writing MORE, believe me!

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 3rd, 2017, 1:32 pm

It sounds like such a lengthy, but productive process, Jeremy, and I would agree that it is much easier to write more. Deciding what lines to cut, how much information to spare, or which photograph to eliminate makes such a project a difficult wrangle.

I am happy to see that this year's opening night film at the TCM Film Festival 2017, In The Heat of the Night is featured in your book, one of three Essentials released in 1967.

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I really enjoy this photo!

Do you have any especially favorite photos in the book? Any ones that were difficult to find or any never-before-seen candids that stole your heart? Any that didn't make it into the book that had you wished had been added?
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Jeremy Arnold » March 3rd, 2017, 9:10 pm

Yes, I thought of that immediately, when I saw In the Heat of the Night was the opening film this year. Of course, 1967 was such a watershed year for movies that there has been an entire BOOK written about that subject: Mark Harris's Pictures at a Revolution. And here's some interesting trivia -- there are indeed three Essentials in the book from 1967, but there have also been three additional films shown ON The Essentials (Cool Hand Luke, The Producers, and The Dirty Dozen).

But that's not even the most represented year in the history of The Essentials. There have been seven films from 1950 (four are in the book) and nine from 1939 (two are in the book), considered by so many people to be Hollywood's best year. I have to say, I like 1950 a bit better, and I know Eddie Muller happens to feel the same way!

I also love that picture from In the Heat of the Night that you posted. It's really something to see the warmth among all three of them, especially considering that on screen the feeling is quite different. The contrast just underscores how great the acting is all around.

Picking the photos for this book was the most fun and the most frustrating. Turner has an extensive photo database, and I felt like a kid in a candy store. But I was limited to 5 or 6 images for most films, and in some cases there were hundreds to choose from. In others there were just a handful, and in some cases there weren't any, and we had to license them from other sources. I remember that Rocky, The Red Shoes, and Once Upon a Time in the West took particular effort to find good images. My favorite photos are Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer staring at each other in Out of the Past, Wallace Beery and Joan Crawford in Grand Hotel, Virginia Mayo showing her legs on page 9 (it's no accident that's right below my name there - I admit I have a thing for Virginia Mayo!), and really all the behind the scenes shots showing cameras and crewmembers. Those always fascinate me the most when I look at movie photos, and I wanted to share as many of those as I could find because they are generally rare and I think others find them interesting too. The ones from Grand Hotel and Rear Window are especially fun, don't you think?

And look at Clark Gable on page 71 -- it always looks to me like he's checking his cellphone!

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 3rd, 2017, 11:12 pm

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He does look like he's checking his cell phone for text messages! Oh, Clark...

I was happy to see Once Upon A Time In The West(1968) included in the book. Sergio Leone's homage to the end of an era for the gunslinger also transformed the legacy of Henry Fonda as far as I'm concerned as it added another dimension to his playbook.

Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven includes an onscreen nod in the credits "For Sergio and Don" (Don Siegel), and I feel that both these films shutter the wildness that was the Old West. Was Once Upon A Time In The West one of those inclusions in the book that you had to make a case for to the publishers? If not, which film or films did you need to advocate for inclusion?
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Jeremy Arnold » March 4th, 2017, 3:43 pm

Yes, isn't Once Upon a Time in the West spectacular? I hadn't seen it in a few years when I re-watched it for the book, and it was such a pleasure to experience again. Leone was brilliant in insisting on Fonda for that role and using the audience's preconceptions and expectations to turn Fonda's persona on its head and shock us all the more. Fonda didn't quite get this at first when he arrived for the shoot but then understood. Look at the moment of revelation that this killer IS Henry Fonda. Leone really milks that close-up, and Morricone's music does so, too. It's all telling us, "Yes, this character really is Henry Fonda. Believe it!"

Once Upon a Time in the West was on my own list of desired titles when the book was going to be 75 films, but when we decided to make it 52, it was one of the ones I proposed deleting. In the end, it was kept. One shouldn't read too much into this, however. I love the film, and I think my reasons had everything to do with balancing other factors like genre and release decade. There are only three westerns in the book. I wanted one or two more, but the ones we ended up with were Winchester '73, The Searchers, and Once Upon a Time in the West -- a fairly good balance, I think, if there are to be only three from the ones available. And we also have Seven Samurai, which was so influenced by American westerns and influenced more to come.

Of course, all the films ever under consideration are extremely worthy. Some of the others that I wanted, but didn't make the final cut, were Gaslight, Dodsworth, Laura and The Maltese Falcon, all of which are among my own favorites, but the book was always about representing the Essentials franchise properly. All that being said, there were a few titles that fit well into the "balance" issues and which I did really insist on including. One was The Red Shoes. There have been a number of foreign films (including British) shown on The Essentials over the years, so we all agreed they should be represented, and this was one that I personally wanted because the team of Powell-Pressburger are my all-time favorite filmmakers and I was very eager to write about them!

I also remember "fighting" a bit for Winchester '73 and Gun Crazy, which are sort of "routine" films of their time. They're seen as important now, but basically weren't then. Another interesting note is that of the nearly 300 films shown on The Essentials, 64 have been shown twice, and another 20 have been shown 3 times. If a film has been shown 3 times over the years, doesn’t that mean that TCM thinks it's REALLY essential? So in some cases, that factored in as well. Seven films in the book are "three-time" essentials... I wonder if you can guess which ones?

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 4th, 2017, 6:08 pm

Hmm. Excellent question. :D

I would say All About Eve, Sunset Boulevard, and The Searchers without doing any checking.
I am completely intrigued!

If I had a fourth choice, I'd probably go with Some Like it Hot..

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A few posters from The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter....
I was really surprised to see This is Spinal Tap on the contents page the minute I opened the book. But isn't that one of Robert Osborne's personal faves?

Also, I noticed that not all of the films have a promotional poster included with each entry. Was that a space issue, a rights issue, or a little bit of both?
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby moira finnie » March 4th, 2017, 7:01 pm

Hi Jeremy,
Thank you for visiting our site this weekend. It was heartening to see that All Quiet on the Western Front (1930) was among the early sound film's you chose to include. I was particularly touched to read your comments on the near wordless performance by Raymond Griffith, an actor who was a noted comic actor in silent movies. Could you please explain how you used such small details to highlight each film's power?

Also, did you find anything surprising in your detailed research of each film?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

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Above: Lew Ayres with Raymond Griffith in an agonizing sequence in All Quiet on the Western Front (1930).
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 5th, 2017, 12:19 pm

Jeremy Arnold wrote:Yes, isn't Once Upon a Time in the West spectacular? I hadn't seen it in a few years when I re-watched it for the book, and it was such a pleasure to experience again. Leone was brilliant in insisting on Fonda for that role and using the audience's preconceptions and expectations to turn Fonda's persona on its head and shock us all the more. Fonda didn't quite get this at first when he arrived for the shoot but then understood. Look at the moment of revelation that this killer IS Henry Fonda. Leone really milks that close-up, and Morricone's music does so, too. It's all telling us, "Yes, this character really is Henry Fonda. Believe it!"

Once Upon a Time in the West was on my own list of desired titles when the book was going to be 75 films, but when we decided to make it 52, it was one of the ones I proposed deleting. In the end, it was kept. One shouldn't read too much into this, however. I love the film, and I think my reasons had everything to do with balancing other factors like genre and release decade. There are only three westerns in the book. I wanted one or two more, but the ones we ended up with were Winchester '73, The Searchers, and Once Upon a Time in the West -- a fairly good balance, I think, if there are to be only three from the ones available. And we also have Seven Samurai, which was so influenced by American westerns and influenced more to come.

Of course, all the films ever under consideration are extremely worthy. Some of the others that I wanted, but didn't make the final cut, were Gaslight, Dodsworth, Laura and The Maltese Falcon, all of which are among my own favorites, but the book was always about representing the Essentials franchise properly. All that being said, there were a few titles that fit well into the "balance" issues and which I did really insist on including. One was The Red Shoes. There have been a number of foreign films (including British) shown on The Essentials over the years, so we all agreed they should be represented, and this was one that I personally wanted because the team of Powell-Pressburger are my all-time favorite filmmakers and I was very eager to write about them!

I also remember "fighting" a bit for Winchester '73 and Gun Crazy, which are sort of "routine" films of their time. They're seen as important now, but basically weren't then. Another interesting note is that of the nearly 300 films shown on The Essentials, 64 have been shown twice, and another 20 have been shown 3 times. If a film has been shown 3 times over the years, doesn’t that mean that TCM thinks it's REALLY essential? So in some cases, that factored in as well. Seven films in the book are "three-time" essentials... I wonder if you can guess which ones?


Once Upon a Time in The West is also a film I enjoy. Jeremy, I'm frankly glad it made the cut. Dodsworth, Laura, and The Maltese Falcon are also some of my favorites. but they'll have to wait for the next book in your series. :wink:

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(Photo Courtesy of Sue Sue)
Here's a lovely photo of TCM Researcher Alexa Foreman, Peggy Cummins (at the festival to introduce Gun Crazy) and Talent Coordinator, Darcy Hettrich. Ms. Hettrich was responsible for the Doris Day voiceover on her retrospective that ran during her Star of the Month Week.

I am pleased that Gun Crazy is included. It's a personal favorite, and I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking to Peggy Cummins at one of the TCM Film Festivals after she traveled in from London. What a wonerful lady, and she's still astonished at Gun Crazy's popularity all these years later. I am so grateful to TCM for bringing in so many wonderful historians, celebrities, and fans for the annual spring convergence in LA.
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Lzcutter » March 5th, 2017, 1:07 pm

Good morning, Jeremy!

Thanks for joining us at the Oasis this weekend!

I have a quick question for you-

How did you get interested in classic film?
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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Jeremy Arnold » March 5th, 2017, 3:15 pm

Sue Sue, you're 2-for-4 on the 3-time-Essentials guesses! Sunset Blvd. and Some Like it Hot have been shown three times over the years. The others that are in the book are Swing Time, White Heat, On the Waterfront, To Kill a Mockingbird and Rocky.

Regarding This is Spinal Tap, I can tell you that Robert Osborne is THE reason that film made it into the book! Again, nothing against the film at all, I love it and most people do, but early on when Robert chimed in with his take on the book concept, that was one of two titles he said he really wanted to be in there. The other was All About Eve. I was happy to oblige. And of course, Spinal Tap is incredibly influential so it really deserves its spot.

As for the poster reproductions, it actually was not a matter of space OR rights! Those images were also from the Turner image database, and with some titles, there were no poster images available. So I decided I'd rather mix it up anyway, and sometimes have a poster and sometimes not, just to make the book look a little more interesting and alive, and not be the same for every entry. Sometimes the poster images available weren't that interesting anyway; sometimes there were so many great stills to choose from that I didn’t want to sacrifice a slot to a poster instead of a still; and sometimes I may have used a poster image for a few films in a row and wanted to break things up by not having one for the next film. So all these things just sort of came together to what felt right. In fact, I don't think I ever even had a discussion with my editor or TCM about where to use or not use poster images. I just made my choices and never heard anything about it. I think that TCM suggested having that montage of posters on an extra page in front though. What do you think - would you have preferred a poster for each title? If we ever do a sequel book, I will be glad to take reader input and suggestions.

Moira, thanks for highlighting the Raymond Griffith tidbit in All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s a beautiful aspect of that film, and I personally love its backstory as well. It is so poignant. My strategy with small details like that was to use the ones that I personally found especially interesting as a movie fan because I figured other fans would, too; to use the ones that had real substance and were not merely fluff or random trivia; and to use the "What To Look For" section as a home for most of these things. "What To Look For" was not my idea to include -- it was suggested by my editor and TCM was eager to have it. I resisted it at first because I thought it WOULD make the book more one of trivia, and also because I generally don't like telling people "what to look for" because it risks giving too much away and preventing people from discovering the joys of a movie themselves. But I quickly realized I was all wrong and I could use this section in a more interesting way. I enjoyed the challenge of highlighting things "to look for" without ruining anything, and I endeavored to liven up the book by highlighting a wide range of things. For instance, with The Thin Man, I put in some backstory from the set pertaining to the actual shooting of two comic scenes: the stories are funny themselves and so they make sense to use, and I think they would add to our reactions to those scenes without detracting from the purity of the scenes themselves. With On the Waterfront, the famous story about the glove is good to know because it helps us appreciate the brilliant Method acting in that scene all the more, and the bit about Kazan's use of editing and sound for a confession scene was a chance for me to educate readers a little bit about some subtle visual storytelling techniques that might get them to think about film in new ways. With Rear Window, I liked the info about the costumes because it's an aspect most people would never notice, and that slow-motion kiss is so powerful I just knew it would be interesting to explain how it was achieved. And back to All Quiet on the Western Front: I didn’t have room to include that Griffith actually went on to a significant career as a producer for Fox for another decade. Some other factoids about that film: Fred Zinneman plays a soldier and ambulance driver, and a silent version was made for release in some foreign territories.

As for surprises, I hadn't really researched Duck Soup before and did not know that the political stress of the film was all from Leo McCarey and not from the Marx Brothers. That surprised me. One thinks of the Marx Brothers themselves as "auteurs," and to realize that an outside force, even as brilliant as McCarey, shaped so much of that film's effect, was fascinating. I was also REALLY surprised that the father character in The Bicycle Thief was dubbed by a professional actor.

Sue Sue, I also met Peggy Cummins that year and have a photo with her. It was such a thrill! I also really love her film Night of the Demon. In fact, it's my favorite horror movie.

And Lzcutter, my interest in classic movies came from my dad. He grew up in the 1930s and '40s and was always a huge movie fan, and from a very early age, starting in the 1970s, he brought me up on "old" movies. Casablanca and other Warner Bros. movies of that era were his favorites, and as I fell hard for these movies myself, which I saw on TV and 16mm and eventually VHS, I started to notice certain names -- Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Siodmak, Vincente Minnelli, etc. -- would keep appearing on the ones I liked the most. And I started learning. Later on I attended Wesleyan University where the film department is headed by the most brilliant person I know on the subject of classic cinema: Jeanine Basinger. She was the best teacher I ever had and remains a close friend, and I have helped her with research on several of her books, all of which I highly recommend.

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 5th, 2017, 8:47 pm

Jeremy Arnold wrote:Sue Sue, you're 2-for-4 on the 3-time-Essentials guesses! Sunset Blvd. and Some Like it Hot have been shown three times over the years. The others that are in the book are Swing Time, White Heat, On the Waterfront, To Kill a Mockingbird and Rocky.

Yay! Thanks, Jeremy. I resisted the urge to "google."

Jeremy Arnold wrote:Regarding This is Spinal Tap, I can tell you that Robert Osborne is THE reason that film made it into the book! Again, nothing against the film at all, I love it and most people do, but early on when Robert chimed in with his take on the book concept, that was one of two titles he said he really wanted to be in there. The other was All About Eve. I was happy to oblige. And of course, Spinal Tap is incredibly influential so it really deserves its spot.

I'm glad the film was included, and I'm also happy that All About Eve is getting the Fathom Events' treatment. Thelma Ritter's character in the film more firmly set her archetype as the middle class woman wielding words of wisdom, and she was always grateful to Joseph Mankiewicz for that "walk across the screen."

Jeremy Arnold wrote:As for the poster reproductions, it actually was not a matter of space OR rights! Those images were also from the Turner image database, and with some titles, there were no poster images available. So I decided I'd rather mix it up anyway, and sometimes have a poster and sometimes not, just to make the book look a little more interesting and alive, and not be the same for every entry. Sometimes the poster images available weren't that interesting anyway; sometimes there were so many great stills to choose from that I didn’t want to sacrifice a slot to a poster instead of a still; and sometimes I may have used a poster image for a few films in a row and wanted to break things up by not having one for the next film. So all these things just sort of came together to what felt right. In fact, I don't think I ever even had a discussion with my editor or TCM about where to use or not use poster images. I just made my choices and never heard anything about it. I think that TCM suggested having that montage of posters on an extra page in front though. What do you think - would you have preferred a poster for each title? If we ever do a sequel book, I will be glad to take reader input and suggestions.


Image

I relish all of the rarely seen candids from the movie sets, so I'd always love more of those to be included. As for the posters, I enjoyed the flyleaf with a variety of the classic promotional images. Personally, some of the foreign movie posters of classic films often seem more artistic than the American ones. Maybe if rights issues aren't such a problem, you might consider including a few of the more exotic examples from Germany, France, or a few I've enjoyed from South America. So my choice would be more unusual or rarely seen candids from the film sets, and maybe a a smaller inset of the more popular, traditional poster, and larger insets of rarer, but more unusual images that classic film aficionados haven't been exposed to. I thoroughly enjoy the style and the graphics of your book. It's a pleasure to read and a pleasure to savor all the image.

Jeremy Arnold wrote:Moira, thanks for highlighting the Raymond Griffith tidbit in All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s a beautiful aspect of that film, and I personally love its backstory as well. It is so poignant. My strategy with small details like that was to use the ones that I personally found especially interesting as a movie fan because I figured other fans would, too; to use the ones that had real substance and were not merely fluff or random trivia; and to use the "What To Look For" section as a home for most of these things. "What To Look For" was not my idea to include -- it was suggested by my editor and TCM was eager to have it. I resisted it at first because I thought it WOULD make the book more one of trivia, and also because I generally don't like telling people "what to look for" because it risks giving too much away and preventing people from discovering the joys of a movie themselves. But I quickly realized I was all wrong and I could use this section in a more interesting way. I enjoyed the challenge of highlighting things "to look for" without ruining anything, and I endeavored to liven up the book by highlighting a wide range of things. For instance, with The Thin Man, I put in some backstory from the set pertaining to the actual shooting of two comic scenes: the stories are funny themselves and so they make sense to use, and I think they would add to our reactions to those scenes without detracting from the purity of the scenes themselves. With On the Waterfront, the famous story about the glove is good to know because it helps us appreciate the brilliant Method acting in that scene all the more, and the bit about Kazan's use of editing and sound for a confession scene was a chance for me to educate readers a little bit about some subtle visual storytelling techniques that might get them to think about film in new ways. With Rear Window, I liked the info about the costumes because it's an aspect most people would never notice, and that slow-motion kiss is so powerful I just knew it would be interesting to explain how it was achieved. And back to All Quiet on the Western Front: I didn’t have room to include that Griffith actually went on to a significant career as a producer for Fox for another decade. Some other factoids about that film: Fred Zinneman plays a soldier and ambulance driver, and a silent version was made for release in some foreign territories.


Ooh. Thanks for sharing that with us!

Jeremy Arnold wrote:As for surprises, I hadn't really researched Duck Soup before and did not know that the political stress of the film was all from Leo McCarey and not from the Marx Brothers. That surprised me. One thinks of the Marx Brothers themselves as "auteurs," and to realize that an outside force, even as brilliant as McCarey, shaped so much of that film's effect, was fascinating. I was also REALLY surprised that the father character in The Bicycle Thief was dubbed by a professional actor.

I hadn't realized the father's character had been dubbed until I read it in your book. So many fascinating facts you have uncovered with this volume, Jeremy. I hope another is in the works soon.

Jeremy Arnold wrote:Sue Sue, I also met Peggy Cummins that year and have a photo with her. It was such a thrill! I also really love her film Night of the Demon. In fact, it's my favorite horror movie.


I haven't ever seen Night of the Demon, so I need to add that to my 'things to do' list.
Any chance you will be introducing more films at the festival this year? Hope to see you soon! :lol:

Jeremy Arnold wrote:And Lzcutter, my interest in classic movies came from my dad. He grew up in the 1930s and '40s and was always a huge movie fan, and from a very early age, starting in the 1970s, he brought me up on "old" movies. Casablanca and other Warner Bros. movies of that era were his favorites, and as I fell hard for these movies myself, which I saw on TV and 16mm and eventually VHS, I started to notice certain names -- Fritz Lang, Alfred Hitchcock, Robert Siodmak, Vincente Minnelli, etc. -- would keep appearing on the ones I liked the most. And I started learning. Later on I attended Wesleyan University where the film department is headed by the most brilliant person I know on the subject of classic cinema: Jeanine Basinger. She was the best teacher I ever had and remains a close friend, and I have helped her with research on several of her books, all of which I highly recommend.


How lucky to have been taught by Jeanine Basinger!

We are so privileged to have had time to visit with such an esteemed writer and historian, Jeremy. Thank you so much for stopping by to share your stories, comments, and discoveries, and especially the topics you that you weren't able to include in The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies and Why They Matter. Do you have any final recommendations for aspiring film writers or biographers?

Jeremy Arnold's book can be purchased here: https://www.amazon.com/Turner-Classic-M ... op?ie=UTF8

Or on the TCM website here: http://shop.tcm.com/jeremy-arnold-tcm-5 ... 0762459469
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
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Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Jeremy Arnold » March 6th, 2017, 12:50 pm

Thanks Sue Sue! Agree regarding the poster imagery and I'm glad you put up that Red Shoes poster. It's a great one. To aspiring writers, my main advice is to write! For anyone, anywhere, that will publish writing on movies. You'd be amazed how quickly that experience adds up and leads to other outlets and contacts and opportunities. I will indeed be at the TCM Classic Film Festival next month, introducing some films and maybe conducting an interview, though the specifics are yet to be determined.

If anyone is in L.A. a few days early for the festival, I can also tell you that I will be introducing a Bette Davis double feature at the Laemmle Ahrya Fine Arts Theater in Beverly Hills on Tuesday, April 4, and doing a book signing. The films are Now, Voyager and Marked Woman. It hasn’t actually been officially announced yet, (so, shhh!), but it will be soon on this website:

https://www.laemmle.com/theaters/25

And because Feud premiered on FX last night, I also want to mention that I recently recorded an audio commentary for Joan Crawford's superb film noir thriller Sudden Fear (1952). That's out on a great-looking Blu-ray from Cohen Film Group, so I hope some of you can check that out, too!

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Re: Jeremy Arnold, Author of The Essentials, Visits March 3-5...

Postby Sue Sue Applegate » March 6th, 2017, 2:53 pm

Thank you so much for your wonderful visit, Jeremy! I know you have a hectic schedule, but we are grateful for your time here at the SSO.
I'm looking forward to seeing you in LA for the festival, and I will be in town a little early. I hope to catch you at the Laemmle in Beverly Hills if my schedule permits.

Congratulations on the Sudden Fear commentary! I think everyone was watching Feud last night. :D
Blog: http://suesueapplegate.wordpress.com/
Twitter:@suesueapplegate
TCM Message Boards: http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/ ... ue-sue-ii/
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Thelma Ritter: Hollywood's Favorite New Yorker, University Press of Mississippi-2018
Avatar: Ginger Rogers, The Major and The Minor


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