Monday, April 30, 2012

Jean Negulesco night

TCM is spending an evening with the films of director Jean Negulesco. Negulesco started his career at Warner Bros. in the early 1940s, but probably spent the most productive portion, from 1948 to 1958, at Fox. In fact, I've recommended quite a few of Negulesco's movies here: Negulescu's first Fox film, Road House, in September 2009; Phone Call From a Stranger in May 2009; Three Came Home in July 2009; Boy on a Dolphin back in April 2010; and Woman's World a month later.

TCM, unsurprisingly, is focusing more on Negulesco's days at Warner Bros., probably because it's easier to get the broadcast rights to those films. The only Fox film is Daddy Long Legs, at midnight Surprisingly, they're not showing Johnny Belinda, which is the movie that earned Negulesco his one and only Oscar nomination. The other thing that's a slight disappointment is no nod to the real start of Negulesco's career. TCM is showing his first successful feature, The Mask of Dimitrios, early tomorrow morning at 4:30 AM. But Negulesco (like recently-mentioned birthday boy Fred Zinnemann) cut his teeth directing shorts, and made quite a lot of them in the three or four years before THe Mask of Dimitrios. Granted, most of them are musical shorts, so they're largely of a piece. But I'd think TCM could fairly easily have come up with one or two of the one-reelers Negulesco directed to fit in the slots taken by tonight's two shorts. Negulesco did a few other shorts that look interesting, except that these seem to be two-reelers, such as The Flag of Humanity, a biographical short about Clara Barton. As such, they would cause tonight's schedule not to time out properly.

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