The George Cukor Thread

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I can't believe there's no thread devoted solely to Katherine Hepburn's favorite director. Queerdom meant exile as a "woman's director." Lots of neglible-or-worse on the list, but that's Old Hollywood.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
The Philadelphia Story (1940) 5
Holiday (1938) 2
Camille (1936) 1
Dinner at Eight (1933) 1
Susan and God (1940) 1
Adam's Rib (1949) 1
A Woman's Face (1941) 0
Two-Faced Woman (1941) 0
Born Yesterday (1950) 0
Gone with the Wind (1939) (uncredited) 0
Her Cardboard Lover (1942) 0
The Women (1939) 0
Zaza (1939) 0
Keeper of the Flame (1942) 0
Grumpy (1930)0
Romeo and Juliet (1936) 0
The Virtuous Sin (1930) 0
The Royal Family of Broadway (1930) 0
Tarnished Lady (1931) 0
Girls About Town (1931) 0
One Hour with You (1932) 0
What Price Hollywood? (1932) 0
A Bill of Divorcement (1932) 0
Rockabye (1932) 0
Our Betters (1933) 0
Little Women (1933) 0
David Copperfield (1935) 0
Sylvia Scarlett (1935) 0
Resistance and Ohm's Law (1943) 0
Gaslight (1944) 0
Hot Spell (1958) (uncredited) 0
Heller in Pink Tights (1960) 0
Let's Make Love (1960) 0
Something's Got to Give (1962) 0
The Chapman Report (1962) 0
My Fair Lady (1964) 0
Justine (1969) 0
Travels with My Aunt (1972) 0
Love Among the Ruins (1975) (TV) 0
The Blue Bird (1976) 0
The Corn Is Green (1979) (TV) 0
Wild Is the Wind (1957) 0
Les Girls (1957) 0
Bhowani Junction (1956) 0
Winged Victory (1944) 0
Desire Me (1947) (uncredited) 0
A Double Life (1947) 0
Edward, My Son (1949) 0
A Life of Her Own (1950) 0
The Model and the Marriage Broker (1951) 0
The Marrying Kind (1952) 0
Pat and Mike (1952) 0
The Actress (1953) 0
It Should Happen to You (1954) 0
A Star Is Born (1954) 0
Rich and Famous (1981) 0


Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 26 July 2007 00:28 (thirteen years ago) link

I voted, rather obviously, for The Philadelphia Story, though there are good things to say about the likes of It Should Happen to You and The Model and the Marriage Broker. (A Bill of Divorcement is kind of awful, though.) I also have Dinner at Eight on my TiVo, but haven't gotten around to watching it yet.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 26 July 2007 00:54 (thirteen years ago) link

Constance Bennett rules in Our Betters.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 26 July 2007 00:56 (thirteen years ago) link

holiday rules all.

philadelphia story is good but a bit overrated. it's not as great as it should be considering it has the three best hollywood stars ever in the lead.

J.D., Thursday, 26 July 2007 01:20 (thirteen years ago) link

My vote's for Holiday, which has an intimacy that Cukor never repeated. All those scenes in the playroom with Edward Everett Horton, Hepburn, Grant, and a heartbreaking Lew Ayres (my all-time favorite screen alkie) are magic. Grant was at his ambiguous best.

The Philadelphia Story drags whenever its more implausible characters (we're supposed to accept Tracy's deadbeat showgirl-luvin' dad's running her down for being cold?!?) are trotted on stage to denounce Hepburn.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 26 July 2007 01:32 (thirteen years ago) link

'Dinner at Eight' by a mile for me, though 'PS', Holiday', and 'My Fair Lady' all worthy.

Michael White, Thursday, 26 July 2007 02:24 (thirteen years ago) link

I will admit that the last time I watched part of PS, I found Stewart's speech to Tracy about how goldarn special she is a little much.

If Timi Yuro would be still alive, most other singers could shut up, Thursday, 26 July 2007 02:53 (thirteen years ago) link

adam's rib
copperfield
star is born
philadelphia story
gaslight

also, alfred, i don't think philadelphia story ever drags

remy bean, Thursday, 26 July 2007 03:16 (thirteen years ago) link

oh! i forgot about dinner at eight

remy bean, Thursday, 26 July 2007 03:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Jimmy Stewart drunk ain't as funny or poignant as Lew Ayres.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Thursday, 26 July 2007 03:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Of the three or four I've seen, Camille. Among those I haven't seen are both Holiday and A Star is Born.

Eric H., Thursday, 26 July 2007 03:57 (thirteen years ago) link

camille's a weird flic, innit?

remy bean, Thursday, 26 July 2007 05:37 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

ILX System, Thursday, 26 July 2007 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

bump

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Friday, 27 July 2007 13:40 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

ILX System, Friday, 27 July 2007 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

Oh god. WHY DIDN'T YOU FUCKIN PEOPLE VOTE?

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn, Saturday, 28 July 2007 00:04 (thirteen years ago) link

This poll might've been more interesting for me had I not been completely booked up the month that the NFT did the Cukor retrospective the other year.

Girolamo Savonarola, Saturday, 28 July 2007 02:21 (thirteen years ago) link

I didn't vote cuz I was on vacation. Always allow 2 weeks.

1. Adam's Rib
2. A 3tar Is Born
3. Phila Story
4. Holiday

Just read a raving Rosenbaum blurb for Sylvia Scarlett, which I've never seen.

Spencer Tracy is pretty amazing in The Actress.

Dr Morbius, Thursday, 2 August 2007 16:50 (thirteen years ago) link

two years pass...

After spending 7 hours+ with the new (non-Blu) DVD of A Star Is Born, I would downgrade it from that #2 ranking. Great stuff in there, but too long and uneven.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 July 2010 04:17 (ten years ago) link

(Cukor didn't even shoot "Born in a Trunk")

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 July 2010 04:17 (ten years ago) link

Much as I love that movie at its best you will never not get me to roll my eyes at the studio extra goofs who are supposed to be downmarket late night jazz dudes during "The Man Who Got Away."

Ned Raggett, Monday, 12 July 2010 04:25 (ten years ago) link

meh, standard movie stuff

The DVD has SEVEN other takes of that mumber, shot over 6 months.

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Monday, 12 July 2010 11:09 (ten years ago) link

one month passes...

The Marrying Kind tonight.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 31 August 2010 15:35 (nine years ago) link

It's good - kind of dizzy having two character actors as leads. My roommate loves weepies, I guess, and she decided it is in her top 3 or 4. Holliday and Aldo act in a 50s/60s stage theater manner sometimes, but the performances are good. You don't want to strangle the kids. They're not overused or too cute, and you don't find yourself saying, "Where are the kids all this time?"

bamcquern, Tuesday, 31 August 2010 17:54 (nine years ago) link

Inane question, but: is his name pronounced, "tsoo-kohr"?

Freedom, Wednesday, 1 September 2010 12:53 (nine years ago) link

I don't know. I say koo core.

xxpost - How'd you like that post office conveyor belt scene?

bamcquern, Tuesday, 7 September 2010 20:57 (nine years ago) link

How the FUCK did "The Women" get 0 votes??

I JUST NEED TO SING "CRAZY FOR YOU" TO KNOW HOW MY HEART FEELS (Stevie D), Wednesday, 8 September 2010 13:42 (nine years ago) link

I say cue core

peacocks, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 14:34 (nine years ago) link

Weather Diary #5 was the best thing i saw last summer.

Sébastien, Wednesday, 8 September 2010 15:38 (nine years ago) link

How the FUCK did "The Women" get 0 votes??

Not enough clawing hens voted? :)

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 8 September 2010 15:54 (nine years ago) link

This is not the gay thread.

Gucci Mane hermeneuticist (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 8 September 2010 15:57 (nine years ago) link

eleven months pass...

just saw Girls About Town at the Film Forum... frequently delightful escorts-on-the-make comedy. Here's an opening taste with the great Kay Francis and the formidable Lilyan Tashman. (unseen here, the volcano-hot young Joel McCrea)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=liF1Mi6dXA4

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 August 2011 03:15 (nine years ago) link

wow, nobody rates Gaslight?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YKbsdMRqhcI (Princess TamTam), Wednesday, 10 August 2011 05:47 (nine years ago) link

My vote's for Holiday, which has an intimacy that Cukor never repeated. All those scenes in the playroom with Edward Everett Horton, Hepburn, Grant, and a heartbreaking Lew Ayres (my all-time favorite screen alkie) are magic. Grant was at his ambiguous best.

SO OTM

The Not Liking Radiohead Awards (Turangalila), Wednesday, 10 August 2011 06:18 (nine years ago) link

original UK Gaslight is better than Hollywood's

satan club sandwich (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 10 August 2011 11:13 (nine years ago) link

but POLA...POLA....

a 'catch-all', almost humorous, 'Jeez' quality (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 10 August 2011 11:15 (nine years ago) link

ten months pass...

The Women and Our Betters are so funny, witty, and lighthearted and a lot of his other films are so NOT. What else shows Cukor at his wittiest?

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 01:34 (eight years ago) link

Dinner At Eight perhaps? And Travels With My Aunt is a late triumph that's a throwback to that spirit.

Electro-Shock Rory (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:28 (eight years ago) link

I actually bumped this thread because I just watched Dinner at Eight thinking it was one of those wacky upper-class farces (or, for that matter, a comedy at all) but aside from the character Carlotta Vance it isn't at all

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:38 (eight years ago) link

Like I just want to see a bunch of Auntie Mame-ish OTT rich people gushing about how impossibly lovely everyone and everything is and also being extremely passive aggressive and catty.

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:40 (eight years ago) link

so many better movies about rich people gushing though. I watched AM a few months ago for the first time and was appalled, really.

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:40 (eight years ago) link

Auntie Mame the character >>>> Auntie Mame the film

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:54 (eight years ago) link

Also I was referring to the character and not the film

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 02:54 (eight years ago) link

My bad. D@8 is surprisingly dark. Travels...though, still fits.

Electro-Shock Rory (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 2 July 2012 03:01 (eight years ago) link

ick on both counts...

a regina spektor is haunting europe (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 2 July 2012 03:01 (eight years ago) link

Well have YOU got any suggestions, Soto?

Natalie Portmanteau (Stevie D(eux)), Monday, 2 July 2012 04:20 (eight years ago) link

one year passes...

mega-retro in NYC Dec-Jan

http://www.filmlinc.com/daily/entry/george-cukor-katharine-hepburn-joan-crawford-judy-holliday-cary-grant

gayz, I dare you to fly in for The Women.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 24 October 2013 20:11 (six years ago) link

gayz, I dare you to fly in for The Women Our Betters.

This I would actually totally do except it is on a weeknight

Stevie D(eux), Thursday, 24 October 2013 22:47 (six years ago) link

IMO that is the real one to see here; it is crazy hard to track down iirc

Stevie D(eux), Thursday, 24 October 2013 22:47 (six years ago) link

Pretty sure I missed this poll and didn't vote, but I would have def voted for Adams rib. One of my favorite movies ever.

ACA: not bad, needs more death panels (jjjusten), Thursday, 24 October 2013 23:03 (six years ago) link

I'd fly in for Holiday, not the film classic version of "Born This Way."

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 24 October 2013 23:06 (six years ago) link

Stevie, I've seen this one! Joel McCrea at the peak of his youthful smashability too, Alfred. (New Years Day):

GIRLS ABOUT TOWN (1931) 79 min, 35mm
Two girls, out to make their fortune in New York, loving and leaving wealthy businessmen, take a trip on a yacht, where they meet a Michigan millionaire and his young associate. Cukor said: “This was the period of the gold-diggers or playgirls, in reality, whores who charged 50 dollars an evening. Zoë Akins wrote these parts to perfection.”

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 31 October 2013 11:26 (six years ago) link

rowr

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 7 November 2013 17:51 (six years ago) link

Bogdo opens up his card file

http://blogs.indiewire.com/peterbogdanovich/the-george-cukor-file-part-1

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Monday, 18 November 2013 16:31 (six years ago) link

four weeks pass...

critics (also Jeffrey Wells for some reason) pick their favorite:

http://www.filmlinc.com/daily/entry/george-cukor-films-favorites-film-society-2013

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 December 2013 07:40 (six years ago) link

cukor was very up-to-date on world cinema, and had much more catholic tastes than most in hollywood (and probably way more eclectic than you might expect a studio director to have)

he struck up a correspondence w/ bresson, was known to like warhol's films (and later paul morissey's), praised fassbinder, admired dreyer

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Saturday, 28 December 2013 07:47 (six years ago) link

not many (any?) hollywood filmmakers of his generation who were anything like that

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Saturday, 28 December 2013 07:59 (six years ago) link

Added 2013: While I still enjoy all the performances in this picture, I don't really like the intentions of the script, which were to dethrone and demystify the goddess Hepburn had become in the 30s. She is blamed for her own divorce, even though her husband was an alcoholic, as well as blamed for her father's philandering! Holiday, with the same two leads, the same writer and the same director, is an infinitely better movie. But this one is much more famous, unfortunately.

otm

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 December 2013 12:53 (six years ago) link

yeah, well at least she doesn't burn breakfast like in Woman of the Year.

I'm seeing the one with Lana Turner today, which I'd never even heard of before, abd probably The Actress, in which Spencer Tracy is amazing as the father.

I saw Candice Bergen introduce Rich and Famous a couple weeks ago, and she said the first A.D. essentially directed the last 3 weeks cuz the work just wore GC down. "81 then was not like 81 today" was her explanation; Cukor became confused about where he was at some times. Bergen says quick pacing was his primary concern: "At a good clip, ladies!" R&F manages not to be awful despite a pretty bad script.

Also, Sylvia Scarlett, wow.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 December 2013 14:54 (six years ago) link

I was going to rent it until my records told me I did already in December '11.

the objections to Drake from non-REAL HIPHOP people (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 28 December 2013 15:05 (six years ago) link

i wasn't as impressed w/ sylvia scarlett as i wanted to be, but it's probably time to revisit it after a decade.

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Saturday, 28 December 2013 17:36 (six years ago) link

Grant and Edmund Gwenn do a lot of rough-hewn hoofing/movement -- it's like they're fresh from the music hall.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 December 2013 18:02 (six years ago) link

I remember seeing Richard Burton rave about Tracy in this scene -- he watched them shoot it

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kltwQK3Mhs

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 28 December 2013 19:28 (six years ago) link

the actress is a paddy chayevsky script or adaptation, right?

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Saturday, 28 December 2013 19:57 (six years ago) link

just checked: it's not. what movie am i thinking of?

...

it's the goddess: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0051667/?ref_=nm_flmg_wr_22

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Saturday, 28 December 2013 19:58 (six years ago) link

yes, The Actress was scripted from her own autobiographical play by Ruth Gordon. It's really solid; Tracy is near his best, supported by JS and Teresa Wright, looking plausibly older than 34 as Ruth's mother.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 December 2013 03:39 (six years ago) link

teresa wright moved frighteningly quickly from ingenue to playing matronly roles

teresa wright is the bomb btw

★feminist parties i have attended (amateurist), Sunday, 29 December 2013 05:05 (six years ago) link

Brody on Cukor's themes of secrets and disclosure

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/movies/2013/12/the-celebrity-masks-of-george-cukor.html

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 December 2013 13:26 (six years ago) link

David Phelps compares him to McCarey and LaCava as a "piano" director:

http://mubi.com/notebook/posts/the-second-hand-illusion-notes-on-cukor

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Sunday, 29 December 2013 14:16 (six years ago) link

Hepburn and Olivier really got a star vehicle worthy of them in Love Among the Ruins, which won a bunch of Emmys. It's maybe her flat-out funniest performance aside from Bringing Up Baby, and he does some really great Oliver Hardy takes reacting to her. (The tender stuff mostly works too.)

It's "unavailable" but seems to be on YouTube in its entirety -- shame about the quality, very nicely shot by Douglas Slocombe.

eclectic husbandry (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 2 January 2014 05:02 (six years ago) link

It Should Happen to You and Born Yesterday are two faves but I can't get anyone to watch them more than the first few minutes with me.

*tera, Thursday, 2 January 2014 05:33 (six years ago) link

two weeks pass...
six months pass...

holy shit alfred otm abt lew ayers in holiday. completely robbed the movie for me. his monologue to k-hep abt what it's like to get drunk just stopped it. the realest saddest thing. runners-up: "mother tried to be a seton a while, till she gave up and died" and his exit line: "and... to grandfather!"

difficult listening hour, Saturday, 9 August 2014 08:36 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

Here's a list..

the Rain Man of nationalism. (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 6 August 2017 02:32 (three years ago) link

eight months pass...

A Woman's Face is addled in the best way.

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 11 April 2018 21:04 (two years ago) link

four months pass...

Rich and Famous comes to the Warner Archive: https://www.wbshop.com/products/rich-and-famous-1981-mod

Ubering With The King (C. Grisso/McCain), Wednesday, 5 September 2018 22:56 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

A marvelous read, and I've enjoyed his series.

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 8 July 2019 14:20 (one year ago) link

three months pass...
nine months pass...

The 20% of Dinner at Eight that is pure soap opera I'm happy to ignore, given how dazzlingly crafted the rest of it is. Harlow, Dressler, Billie Burke, Lee Tracy (who has two great long scenes with John Barrymore) all near career heights. Wallace Beery and Harlow are doing an early (better) version of Born Yesterday.

And Lionel Barrymore is almost... restrained? How the hell did Cukor pull that off? (Maybe just by whispering "Dressler will eat you alive.")

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 30 July 2020 18:16 (one week ago) link

also... Marie Dressler's Carlotta has a dog named Mussolini, but they redubbed it as "Tarzan" by release date.

brooklyn suicide cult (Dr Morbius), Friday, 31 July 2020 01:33 (one week ago) link


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