Elvis Mitchell on TCM

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Elvis Mitchell on TCM

Post by moira finnie »

Has anyone enjoyed any of the Elvis Mitchell One on One interviews that have been sprinkled throughout the TCM schedule of late? Did you know that if you go to the TCM Video Media Room, found here and put in Elvis Mitchell's name on the right side of the listed clips, many portions of the interviews, including some intriguing out-takes will appear? If you have Time-Warner Digital Cable you can also see many of the Mitchell interviews on TCM On Demand for free. Elvis Mitchell himself is okay, though I think I prefer to read his reviews rather than listen to him. I find him a bit ready to compare older films to the present day and I'm not sure that does either period justice. Perhaps he'll become more relaxed as the interviews go on.

So far my favorite has to be Laurence Fishburne, especially for his remarks about the too often unsung, nonverbal skills of Clark Gable as an actor, (not just a star), which included a nod to the actor's capacity for stillness and gravitas. It seems to echo that story I stumbled on told by Morgan Freeman, which we discussed here. Fishburne also seemed to have a deeper appreciation of the cinematic influences of such disparate topics as swing music, Sidney Poitier and Roscoe Lee Browne during his discussion, which could probably have gone on much longer.

The pleasantest surprise that I had in the Bill Murray interview was his enjoyment of the unique Margaret Sullavan, despite the fact that he looked down his nose a bit at the stylized acting of her time in general. Murray also has some interesting things to say in some of the out-takes about working with Robert Mitchum, and his observations of Indian theater, and Cary Grant's seamless technique and the effect of Grant's energy on his co-workers.

I haven't watched all the segments that have been broadcast, but of those I've seen, the only one that was disappointing for me was John Leguizamo, who likened himself to John Garfield, saying with a cocky grin, "People say I'm the Puerto Rican Garfield". Unfortunately, he didn't seem to know the man's work in any depth, since Mitchell had to feed him the name of the film They Made Me a Criminal (1939), which featured Garfield with another Leguizamo fave, Leo Gorcey. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but I had the impression that Leguizamo only looked at classic cinema for reflections of himself. Maybe we all do that sometimes, but gee, couldn't he have taken a minute and looked up a few Garfield titles before coming to the interview?

Hope you'll toss in your opinion here.
Last edited by moira finnie on November 23rd, 2008, 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by MissGoddess »

I have only seen two, the Fishburne one and yesterday a repeat of the Leguziamo interview. I agree totally with you about BOTH. Leguziamo annoyed me. When Mitchell asked him if he talked to Jose Ferrer's grandson (or son?) about the elder actor he completely BS'd his way out of an answer. Which means he knew little of Jose Ferrer beyond his choice of Moulin Rouge. I can't stand that kind of stuff. Happily, I missed his comparison of himself to Garfield. I really would have flipped.
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Post by jdb1 »

Well, I feel vindicated, at least in part. Even Leguizamo himself thinks he looks like John Garfield.

I don't know that Leguizamo has any of the acting chops of Garfield, but I do think they are alike in appearance and demeanor, something I pointed out on the Turner website a few years ago. For that terrible error in good taste, I was treated to a barrage of the usual rudeness and derision from our frenemy CineSage Jr.

Ah, those were the days.
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Post by srowley75 »

Saw his discussion with Tarantino and thought it was okay. QT wasn't as articulate as I'd have liked but I guess that shows that Mitchell's interviews are indeed impromptu. Personally, I think Tarantino is such a media buff that a conversation like this one must be difficult for him because his brain is moving in a dozen different directions whenever someone brings up virtually any type of film or any star. I think I'd probably be much the same way. If anyone just brought up "Bette Davis" or "Charles Laughton" and I was appearing as a guest, my head would be whirling just trying to decide which of their films to discuss.

As I expected, he mentioned and commented on Sirk, Preston Sturges, and Ford/Wayne. I'd never before read or heard him mention Ralph Meeker and Aldo Ray as favorite actors but that news came as no surprise (I was waiting for him to also mention Stuart Whitman and Carroll Baker - somehow I'm sure he likes both). The only surprise for me was that he mentioned Jean Arthur as a favorite actress.

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Post by Lzcutter »

I really enjoyed the interview with Laurence Fishburn and wish it had been longer.

Ole Laurence was a hoot and I had no idea that he was such a classic movie fan.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming one with Richard Gere. I'm hoping Gere is a classic movie fan as well.
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Post by Vecchiolarry »

Ah!! Dear Judith,

You are not truly vetted and one of us if you have not come under the wrath of the Spellchecking Cinesage, Jr.!!!

This poor pathetic creature & excuse for a human being is really a lonely, friendless turd; and more the pathetic because he thinks he's superior.
I'm sure we would all rather spend an afternoon in Hell than a simple lunch with him.

I also enjoy John Leguizamo and think he is talented. I believe he's been in several Broadway and NYC area stage plays over the years and they don't just take anybody there.

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Post by Bogie »


Guess who's back :)

I've seen bits and pieces of the Elvis Mitchell interviews and I think they're pretty good. Definitely different then what Osborne would do.

Here's my query though, is this some kind of dry run for Mitchell to be the new face of TCM? What's your opinions/thoughts on that?
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Post by movieman1957 »

Where have you been?

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana."
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Post by Bogie »

movieman1957 wrote:Where have you been?
My other hobby has taken me away from this community :(

BTW I watched the Richard Gere edition from beginning to end. Gere talks a lot of crap but I at least liked the format of the interview and how informal it seems at times.

I'll have to catch more of these if more are aired.
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Post by mrsl »

Elvis Mitchell is okay, but I wouldn't care to see him as RO's replacement. I can see he has his favorites, and knows quite a bit about classics but I don't think he's as up on it as he puts forth. While he and Gere were talking about actors being comfortable in their own skins, I kept expecting one of them to bring up my guy's name - Robert Mitchum. Nobody was more at ease and relaxed as he, yet neither of them thought of him.

This much I can say, I could easily do without looking at Elvis' hair, I cannot stand that style on anyone, including Whoopi whom I adore, but I'm sorry, he's trying to come across as a serious interviewer and classic movie historian, I should think he would try to look like a grown up instead of a teenager.


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Post by coopsgirl »

I also can’t stand his hair. It’s hard to pay attention to what he’s saying while all I can think is how much I want to cut and wash his hair.

I caught about the last fifteen minutes of the Richard Gere one before Sgt. York and I agree with Bogie, he was kinda full of crap. He seemed so pretentious and way to serious. I take movies and the art of making them seriously and I enjoy intelligent discussions about them but come on, after all they are just movies that are meant to be entertaining, lighten up a little Richard.
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Post by inglis »

Lzcutter wrote:I really enjoyed the interview with Laurence Fishburn and wish it had been longer.

Ole Laurence was a hoot and I had no idea that he was such a classic movie fan.

I'm looking forward to the upcoming one with Richard Gere. I'm hoping Gere is a classic movie fan as well.
Hi Lynn I saw the one with Richard Gere its was good I enjoyed it very much ,Gere had high praise for the Duke which really made me happy I had no idea he was a big Wayne Fan
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