Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Star of the Month Burt Lancaster, Part 2

Tonight see's TCM's second week fo Burt Lancaster films in his turn as Star of the Month. I finally ran across the new promo that was made about Lancaster, as they do every month. This time, it's Shirley Jones, who won the Oscar alongside Lancaster in Elmer Gantry (which is on tonight's schedule at midnight). Jones, who was born in 1935, talks about being a big fan of Lancaster when she was growing up, which made it a big deal for her to be able to work with Lancaster on Elmer Gantry, even though the director (or was it producer?) didn't really want her for the part. It's a pretty good piece. I'd link to it, but it doesn't seem to be avaiable in the TCM Media Room.

The only bad thing is that the Shirley Jones piece is probably going to replace the piece from the previous time Lancaster was Star of the Month, one done by director John Frankenheimer. If you watch enough TCM, you'll have seen that piece a dozen times, with Frankenheimer talking about Lnacaster's raw physicality enabling him to do that baseball slide in the sermon scene in Elmer Gantry; or Frankenheimer's talking about doing The Train (which will be airing next week)and how he supposedly learned more in making that one movie than he could have learned in an entire career elsewhere. This one also doesn't seem to be anywhere in the TCM Media Room.

I am very surprised to see that I haven't blogged about Elmer Gantry before, although on quite a few occasions I've referenced it and given enough of a plot synopsis so that you'd recognize it as the movie in which Lancaster's Elmer Gantry meets traveling evangelist Jean Simmons, and decides to fall in with her and more or less dupe the people by preaching the Gospel; Shirley Jones plays the loose woman who was part of Gantry's past in a way that would make the people not believe in Gantry. I was even more surprised to see the TCM Shop not have this available for purchase on DVD -- and I actually checked the TCM Shop instead of just going by the schedule. Amazon does have a two movie set of Elmer Gantry and Birdman of Alcatraz available, but it's apparently a barebones release with the movies and nothing else.

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