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Gene Lockhart

 
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epaddon



Joined: 12 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 6:30 am    Post subject: Gene Lockhart Reply with quote

Most of us who are fans of Anne I think are well familiar with her mother's work, but we probably don't know enough about the rich legacy of her grandfather, Gene Lockhart.

I've seen a number of his films and probably my all-time favorite performance of his is in "Miracle On 34th Street" (1947) where he plays the judge who finds himself in the unenviable position of having to rule whether kind Kris Kringle should be committed because he believes he is Santa Claus. Before this though, he is forced into ruling on the general question of whether or not there actually is a Santa Claus, and there is an absolutely priceless scene where his campaign manager (William Frawley of "I Love Lucy") warns him of the political consequences he'll incur if he rules there is no Santa Claus. As Frawley notes how if he rules there is no Santa Claus, no one will buy toys at Christmas, so the toy companies have to fire their employees. UNION employees, as he points out, and then that means the powerful labor movement in America will REALLY be angry at Gene for this ruling.......as well as the Salvation Army who won't be able to raise money at Christmas with their bell-ringing Santas anymore.......

And as Frawley delivers this harrangue, poor Gene just sits there staring blankly in disbelief as he listens to how his poltiical future as an elected judge will be destroyed if he rules there is no Santa Claus. It is a very funny moment in the film and a priceless piece of character acting on his part.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2006 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

He was good as the Nazi sleeper agent in Northern Pursuit.
A baddie who is also a lawyer. Shocked
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MAD
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 30, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course since we were doing this website, I watched "A Christmas Carol" again but now with the notion that half of Anne's family is in it. Gene plays a good Bob Cratchit in it. As Mike and I discussed once: you feel sorry the guy even more now, knowing it's Anne's grandfather! Smile

Of course as Errol Flynn fan I love his part in "Northern Pursuit" as well. And he also starred in another Flynn movie as I remember correctly, namely "They Died With Their Boots On".

But my favorite is his part as Mayor in "The Inspector General", starring Danny Kaye. I used to love this movie as a kid. Too be honest: I didn't know the mayor was played by Gene, but the movie was on TV last night and his name caught my attention in the credits.
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mikedx
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I became aware of who he was by watching A Christmas Carol that had Anne's Grandfather, Grandmother, and Mother.

But then I happened to be watching the end of Miracle on 34th Street. My favorite part was when everybody heard about the trial so they sent the kids Christmas letters to Santa and delivered them to the court. The defense brought in palates of letters and claimed that since a federal agency (the United States Post Office) recognized him as Santa, that it was all the proof they needed.

Yeah, I felt sorry for him even more in A Chirstmas Carol after I knew who he was, and I even felt sorry for the judge in Miracle on 34th Street because he had to make such a difficult decision.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2006 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikedx wrote:
I became aware of who he was by watching A Christmas Carol that had Anne's Grandfather, Grandmother, and Mother.

But then I happened to be watching the end of Miracle on 34th Street. My favorite part was when everybody heard about the trial so they sent the kids Christmas letters to Santa and delivered them to the court. The defense brought in palates of letters and claimed that since a federal agency (the United States Post Office) recognized him as Santa, that it was all the proof they needed.

Yeah, I felt sorry for him even more in A Chirstmas Carol after I knew who he was, and I even felt sorry for the judge in Miracle on 34th Street because he had to make such a difficult decision.



I think we can all empathise with someone who has labored under a nasty boss.
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Peggy Morrison



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 7:18 pm    Post subject: Gene in The Inspector General Reply with quote

Well, you've got my brain going now!! I need to unearth my tape of 'The Inspector General' and watch. I've seen Gene in several of these films and didn't realize who he was. Silly me!!
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Breea



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2006 10:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did you also know that he was a composer as well?..He composed the song "Midsummer's Day" for the movie " Mrs. Miniver".
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

No wonder Anne is so talented. Her genes must be saturated in art!
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 26, 2006 3:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's a new DVD edition of "Miracle On 34th Street" that's now out with a lot of interesting supplements.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And they are?
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christmas would have been the appropriate time to ask! Smile

There's a commentary (not full-length) by Maureen O'Hara, a making-of documentary (from the old "Backstage" series made when AMC was a great channel) and a one hour 1950 TV adaptation starring Thomas Mitchell.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, AMC used to be a good channel, when Bob Dorian was the host. Now, it's commercial-laden and often tacky.
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epaddon



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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 2:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That decline in a cable channel is typical of so many. AMC, TV Land, GSN, Disney Channel, Sci-Fi Channel, ESPN Classic.....the list goes on of those that started out as havens for vintage material and then succumbed to the desire to be hip and trendy for a narrow young male demographic.
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Senmut
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 18, 2008 5:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not just that demo. But they end up with people who only see potential advertising dollars, and wouldn't know good drama if it snuck up and bit them. In either case, another one bites the dust.
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