bette, orson, charles and company
May 21, 2006 7:38 PM   Subscribe

This evening, I entertained myself with these clips from YouTube and Google Video. Come inside if you like Bette Davis, Charles Laughton, Kubrick, Frankenstein, Shakespeare, and company...
posted by grumblebee (46 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
In 1943, Warner Brothers cast almost all their actors in "Thank Your Lucky Stars," a WWII propaganda musical. The best part is Bette Davis's cameo. Watch it and see how a real star -- not a singer -- can sell a song. I'm in love!

It's hard to top that, but I wanted more. And I found this clip from "Some Like it Hot": Marilyn Monroe singing "I Wanna Be Loved by You."

Okay, this is completely different, but an equally good find. Stanley Kubrick's trailer for "A Clockwork Orange." I wish great movie director's would always direct their own trailers. Kubrick's were always wonderful.

The Kubrick link make me think of "Sparticus," which made me think of one of my favorite actors, Charles Laughton. Here's a brief clip of Laughton being really scary with a bible verse.

And here are a couple of Orson Welles clips. Orson narrating a film about London clubs and Orson, very drunk, trying to film a commercial.

Now: how about a couple of movies from 1910? First, Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," without Shakespeare's dialogue, of course, because this is a silent movie. And the old Edison version of "Frankenstein."

Finally, because it's good to end with a song, here's Richard Rogers conducting a little bit of "Oklahoma!"
posted by grumblebee at 7:38 PM on May 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

I don't think I've ever seen a front page post with absolutely no links in it.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:46 PM on May 21, 2006

posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:46 PM on May 21, 2006

grumblebee, you seem like you would make an excellent addition to videosift, please sign up ;-)
posted by sourbrew at 7:54 PM on May 21, 2006

posted by shmegegge at 7:55 PM on May 21, 2006

no, but seriously. as wonderful as these clips are, is this a post for mefi? really?
posted by shmegegge at 7:57 PM on May 21, 2006

Oh, sad sad Orson.
posted by soiled cowboy at 7:58 PM on May 21, 2006

I was thinking the same thing. Great blog post, but kinda off the mark for metafilter.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:58 PM on May 21, 2006

Is this a post for mefi?

To each his own, of course, and flag away if you don't like it, but if someone else had posted this, I would definitely cry, "Best of the Web!"
posted by grumblebee at 8:00 PM on May 21, 2006

This is really weird, but it's Sunday night and not the end of the world. I'll add a link into the inside so at least people reading the RSS feed have something to see as the destination.
posted by mathowie at 8:03 PM on May 21, 2006

charles laughton rocks!
posted by brandz at 8:15 PM on May 21, 2006

Al Jolson and Cab Calloway - "I love to Singa"

I prefer the Owl Jolson version myself.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:21 PM on May 21, 2006

Format be damned, this has a lot of cool content.
posted by aburd at 8:21 PM on May 21, 2006

I get it! This is a blogspace! Matt never told me the site could be used in this manner!
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:31 PM on May 21, 2006

I prefer yep yep yep.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:37 PM on May 21, 2006

Any movies about pancakes?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:41 PM on May 21, 2006

Smart Dalek, sorry if you don't like this post. I'm confused about how it's markedly different from this one (sesame street clips).

True, I didn't put any links on the front page. Sorry, I didn't know that was a rule. (Why is it possible to post something without filling in the URL and Link Title fields?)

Also, the poster of that other thread apologized for "YouTubeFilter." Okay, I apologize for YouTubeFilter and GoogleVideoFilter. Sorry.

If these were links to text or image-based documents about Hollywood legends, would that be okay? Is it something about video that makes it a problem?
posted by grumblebee at 8:51 PM on May 21, 2006

I am amazed to discover, through youtube, that it is possible to get pornography on the internet.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:54 PM on May 21, 2006

I like the post, grumblebee. Keep your chin up!
posted by soiled cowboy at 8:58 PM on May 21, 2006

this evening, I entertained myself with these clips from YouTube and Google Video too. thank you.
posted by carsonb at 9:37 PM on May 21, 2006

F the flaggers! Jackasses! :p

I've been looking for an mp3 of dear Bette singing "They're Either Too Young Or Too Old" for years!

posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 10:31 PM on May 21, 2006

Although a youtube link by itself is nothing novel, a generous selection compiled lovingly under a universally appealing theme and affectionately presented make for pleasant distraction in a sea of bitter political bile.

Thanks GB.
posted by CynicalKnight at 10:36 PM on May 21, 2006

Thanks so much, grumblebee, those were really great clips. And thanks to PeterMcDermott because I had forgotten all about Owl Jolson (and it's reference in the first South Park episode always drove me nuts trying to remember where it was from).
posted by sleepy pete at 10:41 PM on May 21, 2006

Very entertaining, grumblebee. Thanks.
posted by shoepal at 10:51 PM on May 21, 2006

Kudos to grumblebee for posting these clips. I was delighted to see the videos (very entertaining / interesting indeed). Thanks!
posted by spacelux at 11:24 PM on May 21, 2006

This is just a random bunch of YouTube clips. Why not post the one or two best (related) ones, as well as some interesting background information about them? A MeFi post should be more coherent than this. I can find assorted media clips all over the web.
posted by washburn at 11:46 PM on May 21, 2006 [1 favorite]

(Why is it possible to post something without filling in the URL and Link Title fields?)

You've got to be kidding. It's so folks can make posts that don't always *start* with links.

A MeFi post should be more coherent than this.

posted by mediareport at 1:10 AM on May 22, 2006

It was worth it just for the singing heads 1:18 into the "Happy Feet" clip with young Der Bingle. Followed by the happy feet, of course.
posted by pracowity at 3:21 AM on May 22, 2006

look, as the first person to have questioned this post, let me just say that I wasn't crying for deletion, but rather to find out what the hell everyone thought of something like this. that fact is, i don't think we should make a habit of these kinds of posts, but I also happened to enjoy everything grumblebee posted. if we're all okay with the post, then rock out. I'm happy we're all happy with this.

but i desperately don't want anyone else to start making these "i was sitting on the toilet thinking, and i found this collection of [Stuff I Like] that I wanted to share with you." style posts. mefi would be terrible if we made a habit of this.
posted by shmegegge at 6:03 AM on May 22, 2006

Maybe this should go to MeTa, but I'm still a little confused. I don't see this as random stuff. If it was, it would be a lot more varied (a short story by Chekhov, an Onion article, someone's painting, a Flash game...). It's a collection of links, from two (related) sites, of rare Hollywood clips. I had no idea this sort of stuff available online and I bet many other people didn't, either.

I can see how I could have made this post better. I could have started it with some version of my first paragraph (Rare Hollywood clips on YouTube and Google...), which would have made the theme clear. Maybe I could have focused it a bit more, but JUST linking to clips from musicals (would have been a same to lose the Charles Laughton, though).

Would THAT have made the post acceptable (assuming a link on the front page)? Or would it still somehow have been "random"? I feel like I see people posting links to lots of related things all the time.

Or is there some other problem with the post that I'm not getting.

For the record, I would MUCH rather Metafilter turned into 100% posts like this -- links to fascinating junk on the web -- rather than the constant posts about Bush and Iraq. But that's just a matter of taste.
posted by grumblebee at 6:25 AM on May 22, 2006

for my part, it's not the links that are the problem, it's more the format, or tone. (I'd also much rather see great rare video on the site than bush/iraq/politics/news) It's one thing to see this post from the perspective of having understood and digested it as a whole, and entirely another to have read it from an outside view and to have had no idea what the hell the deal was.

so yeah, the format would have helped that. All I saw was an entirely contentless fpp with an inside comment that was full of links to video content whose theme appeared to be "random hollywood stuff that tickles me."

again, I like what you posted. I just hope people don't take this chatty blog style as being okay for all their posts.
posted by shmegegge at 6:41 AM on May 22, 2006

Maybe it comes down to the idea of "I". In general use I support the use of "I", but metafilter was specifically designed to highlight the content of your character post rather than name of the poster, so posts work best if it's not coming from a place of "So I was tooling around the internets and found this stuff, and here's what I think about it".

The problem isn't randomness, not at all. It's the me-ness. It's just not the direction MeFi has gone to date. The links are interesting, but we didn't really need the personal blow by blow. shmegegge's description of "chatty blog style" resonates with me.

It's interesting that as the definition of "blog" changes with its mainstreaming, metafilter becomes less and less of a blog.

I am also not clamouring for deletion. It's an interesting commentary on where metafilter has come from and how it diverges from the world of blogs.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:00 AM on May 22, 2006

Thanks, Hildegarde and shmegegge, for the clarification.
posted by grumblebee at 7:07 AM on May 22, 2006

Orson Welles less drunk, but no easier to record (Shockwave audio).
posted by staggernation at 8:23 AM on May 22, 2006

I'm not opposed to the post. but it makes it reallt hard to enjoy it if you view MeFi through a RSS reader. I'm a firm believer in putting the links in the actual post, unless for size reasons it needs to be continued in [More Inside] in which case ALL the links should be in the first comment, not spread randomly over the next 20 comments. But that's just me...
posted by blue_beetle at 9:04 AM on May 22, 2006

Thanks, blue_beetle. I've never used an RSS reader, so I didn't know anything about formatting posts for them. I'll take them into account in the future.
posted by grumblebee at 9:30 AM on May 22, 2006

I enjoyed some of the links, too, grumblebee, particularly that Bette Davis period piece. Can you imagine being a 4F - or hell, a WWI vet - sitting in the theater when *that* little piece of propaganda came on? Ouch. And that Welles bit was hilarious; I'd only heard the audio before. The randomness, though, just made it feel kind of formless - much more so than the Sesame Street clips post.

It's also really surprising to find someone with a user number of 923 who didn't know that there's supposed to be an actual link to something offsite in every front-page post. Did you inherit the account or something?
posted by mediareport at 11:01 AM on May 22, 2006

Can you imagine being a 4F - or hell, a WWI vet - sitting in the theater when *that* little piece of propaganda came on?

Sure, but they didn't matter at the time. Obviously the much more important target market was "the boys" overseas, guys who were worried about what their women might be up to after being separated from them a couple of years. If nothing else, it gave women an easy reassuring line to write to their men -- "You don't have to worry about me, honey. Their ain't nothing left here but skinny little boys and bald old codgers and flat-footed 4Fs." (I'm sure it was a real complaint from single women.)

By the way, the IMDB says:
In the scene where a young man takes Bette Davis and does a "Jitterbug" dance, she felt he was holding back in rehearsals, and told him to treat her like an experienced dance partner. When the cameras rolled, he pulled out all the stops and swung her around and she fell on her knee. As she finishes her song, you see her limping out of the night club set and she leans against a post rubbing her knee. This was a real injury, but she finished the song despite the pain. There were no retakes possible.
posted by pracowity at 12:47 PM on May 22, 2006

It's also really surprising to find someone with a user number of 923 who didn't know that there's supposed to be an actual link to something offsite in every front-page post.

I quit reading Metafilter regularly when AskMe came along. Before that, I did read Metafilter, but maybe only once a week. AskMe is much more interesting to me. Still, I thought I knew Metafilter's rules. I was almost positive I'd seen posts before where all the links were inside, but maybe I'm misremembering. I DID know that the whole point of MeFi is to link to external stuff, but I thought it was okay to do that inside. I was actually trying to be helpful by keeping my FPP short.

What I HADN'T thought of, as several people pointed out, is RSS. Back in the old days, when I started at MeFi, there were no RSS readers. Since MeFi is almost the only blog I read, I've never developed an interest in them. So it never occurred to me to format my post in a particular way for them.
posted by grumblebee at 4:13 PM on May 22, 2006

maybe I'm misremembering

Yeah, you're misremembering. I started reading a year after you joined, and can't remember a time when a link visible on the front page hasn't been the sine qua non of posting.
posted by mediareport at 10:24 PM on May 23, 2006

[this is good]
posted by Rumple at 8:36 PM on May 24, 2006

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