Six Degrees of TCM – February 23, 2015

Welcome to Six Degrees of TCM, where I attempt to connect a new movie released this weekend with a classic one appearing on Turner Classic Movies.

This week’s new release is Hot Tub Time Machine 2 with Chevy Chase

  1. …who was in Orange County (2002) with Harold Ramis*…
  2. …who was in Baby Boom (1987) with Diane Keaton
  3. …who stars in Annie Hall (1977), playing tonight on TCM at 8PM EST.

*Ramis of course also directed Chase in several films including Caddyshack (1980) and National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), but for this exercise I like to just connect via on-screen feature film appearances.

Another quick one. Hope you enjoyed, and see you next time!

Friday Glam Spam: Sidney Poitier (1927- )

(Click thumbnails to view.)

Sidney Poitier (February 20, 1927) is a Bahamian-American actor, director, civil rights activist, and diplomat. Born in Miami two months premature while his parents were visiting the United States, Poitier grew up in the Bahamas and returned to Miami at the age of 15. At 17 he moved to New York City, learned to read, and joined the United States Army. After his discharge he landed a spot with the American Negro Theater, but was rejected by audiences due to his inability to sing (a talent that was expected of African-American performers at that time). He worked hard honing his craft and eventually landed on Broadway, where he was noticed by 20th Century Fox executive Darryl F. Zanuck. Poitier’s first role was as an embattled doctor in the noir film No Way Out (1950), for which he received excellent reviews. His breakout role was in the 1955 film Blackboard Jungle with Glenn Ford. In 1958 he starred opposite Tony Curtis in The Defiant Ones, for which he received a nomination for an Academy Award — the first black male actor to receive such an honor. He then became the first black Best Actor Academy Award winner with 1963’s Lilies of the Field. In 1967 he was the most successful draw at the box office with three popular films, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, To Sir, with Love and In the Heat of the Night. He was known for being offered roles that were more substantial than the vast majority of black actors of that time; however, this also led to concerns of typecasting as the sexless, morally upstanding “magical Negro,” an image with which Poitier struggled. He made his directorial debut with 1972’s Buck and the Preacher, in which he also starred alongside Harry Belafonte. His most successful film as a director was the comedy Stir Crazy (1980) with Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder. In 1997 he was appointed ambassador of the Bahamas to Japan, a position he still holds. He received an Honorary Academy Award “in recognition of his remarkable accomplishments as an artist and as a human being” in 2002. In 2007 President Barack Obama awarded Poitier the Presidential Medal of Freedom. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7051 Hollywood Blvd.

Image credits: 1-4 Fine Art America; 5-6 Doctor Macro; 7-8 Toutleciné; 9 Music2MyEars; 10 Cinemactor; 11 Manasseh & Ephraim Studios; 12 Listal

Six Degrees of TCM – February 9, 2015

Welcome to Six Degrees of TCM, where I attempt to connect a new movie released this weekend with a classic one appearing on Turner Classic Movies.

This week’s new release is Jupiter Ascending starring Sean Bean

  1. …who was in Ronin (1991) with Robert De Niro
  2. …who was in The Score (2001) with Marlon Brando
  3. …who stars in The Young Lions (1958), playing this afternoon on TCM at 5PM EST.

That was a quick one! Hope you enjoyed, and see you next time!

Friday Glam Spam: Ramón Novarro (1899-1968)

(Click thumbnails to view.)

Ramón Novarro (February 6, 1899 – October 30, 1968) was a Mexican film, stage and television actor. He began acting in silent film in 1917 under his birth name Ramón Samaniego; in 1922 he changed his name to Novarro. In 1923 he had his first success opposite Alice Terry in the Rex Ingram costume adventure Scaramouche. He began being promoted as a “Latin lover” and as a rival to Rudolph Valentino. He achieved his greatest success in 1925’s Ben-Hur, and, following Valentino’s death in 1926, became Hollywood’s leading Latin actor. He appeared opposite Norma Shearer in 1927’s The Student Prince of Old Heidelberg and with Joan Crawford in 1928’s Across to Singapore. He got to show off his singing voice in his first sound film, 1929’s Devil-May-Care. In 1931 he starred opposite Greta Garbo in Mata Hari; at this point he was earning upwards of $100,000 per film. However, after MGM neglected to renew his contract in 1935, his career dropped off significantly, and he acted only sporadically in films up until the advent of television, which kept him busy throughout the 1950s and ’60s. In 1968 Novarro was tortured and murdered by two brothers who he’d hired to come to his home for sex; believing a large sum of money was hidden somewhere inside the house, they left with a measly $20 taken from Novarro’s bathrobe pocket. He has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6350 Hollywood Blvd.

Image credits: 1-4 Doctor Macro; 5-7 The Red List; 8-9 icollector.com; 10-11 Truus, Bob & Jan too!; 12 La bohème

Six Degrees of TCM – January 26, 2015

Welcome to Six Degrees of TCM, where I attempt to connect a new movie released this weekend with a classic one appearing on Turner Classic Movies.

This week’s new release is Mortdecai starring Johnny Depp

  1. …who was in Ed Wood (1994) with Martin Landau
  2. …who was in North by Northwest (1959) with Cary Grant
  3. …who was in Charade (1963) with Audrey Hepburn
  4. …who stars in Love in the Afternoon (1957), playing this afternoon on TCM at 5:45PM EST.

Hope you enjoyed, and see you next time!