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papyrusbeetle

Alan Ladd---tragic "noir" superstar

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What DIDN'T happen to ruin Alan Ladd's life?

His Mother committed suicide in front of him. He drank himself to death.

But---what a movie star---what movies!

I just watched APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER (1950) and it's a "Laddathon" -- nothing could be closer to his tragic persona, and no star could be more doomed or beautiful at the same time.

If you love "noir" and want to see the thrilling underbelly world it created, with the best of the best (actually a total dream cast), don't miss this film.

Even Jack Webb is there---a vicious, ape-like thug Jack Webb that you won't see anywhere else.

MV5BMWFhMDhiYTctYjgxZi00YmNmLTg1YmQtZDdhMGU0NjU1Y2VlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUxODE0MDY@._V1_.jpg

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1 hour ago, papyrusbeetle said:

What DIDN'T happen to ruin Alan Ladd's life?

His Mother committed suicide in front of him. He drank himself to death.

But---what a movie star---what movies!

I just watched APPOINTMENT WITH DANGER (1950) and it's a "Laddathon" -- nothing could be closer to his tragic persona, and no star could be more doomed or beautiful at the same time.

If you love "noir" and want to see the thrilling underbelly world it created, with the best of the best (actually a total dream cast), don't miss this film.

Even Jack Webb is there---a vicious, ape-like thug Jack Webb that you won't see anywhere else.

MV5BMWFhMDhiYTctYjgxZi00YmNmLTg1YmQtZDdhMGU0NjU1Y2VlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUxODE0MDY@._V1_.jpg

I've never seen this one, but I look forward to adding it to my list. I enjoyed him in The Proud Rebel (1958) with Olivia de Havilland; I'd like to see more of him. 

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Is that the Ladd flick where he saves a Catholic nun? The movie where he goes undercover in a gang planning an armored car robbery? I've seen it. Although I like Ladd, he does have the most maddeningly slow delivery of his lines. Its perfect for westerns but...anyway there is one memorable scene in this movie (which otherwise I found somewhat tepid). Jack Webb is a fellow conspirator in the gang and he doesn't like Ladd at all; he's suspicious of him. For some contrived reason they're playing a game of handball together at the YMCA and Webb is giving Ladd a rough time (pushing, shoving). Ladd sucker-punches him to the ground. Ka-BAM.

But its still somewhat of a tempest in a teacup; neither man (to my knowledge) was more than a flyweight.

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Yes, this does involve the (very brave) Catholic NUN, played by Phyllis Calvert.

Didn't Bela Lugosi say that the trick for getting more screen time is to say your lines slowly?

And---the point of Alan Ladd on-screen is to watch him as along as possible, because he is so beautiful.

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He's a handsome guy for sure; but that's as far as I can go. It doesn't alter my viewing decisions. But yes if you've ever heard him on radio its as slow as a tree-sloth you'd agree.

Not sure about the Lugosi quip. I know that in today's film-making directors have to practically fire off pistols to get actors to say their lines quicker. Actors today are inclined to over-act and go slower than they should. Its also maybe something to do with film speeds being slightly quicker (?) Ref, David Mamet.

Oh well. I salute your fandom. I love that Ladd scene in 'The Carpet-Baggers' where he wallops George Peppard. Wow what a fight.

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We just screened 1946's TWO YEARTS BEFORE THE MAST starring Ladd. While I generally find him pretty milquetoast, he was perfectly cast as a rich man's spoiled son. He was excellent in this film which was mostly adventure & drama keeping the romance aspect minimal. They could have done without the romance completely, as it was wholly unbelievable....what Princess would be attracted to a working guy who hadn't bathed in a month? 

This movie certainly didn't hold back on featuring his pretty boy golden hair waving in the breeze or his smooth, slight chest shirtless. Personally, I don't find him appealing, but he carried this movie quite well. His transition from fop to strong & able seaman was the crux of the story. 

I like how he's holding his gun in the poster-

Two_Years_Before_the_Mast_Poster.jpg

Is Brian Donlevy reaching for it? Ow!

...Ladd ain't no Crimson Pirate

crimson_pirate-dvdcover.jpg

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I just read an account of Ladd in Robert Wagner's memoir book about the ladies of Hollywood "I Loved Her In The Movies". He tells of Ladd's pre-star days, trying to break into Hollywood, but very insecure about his height among other things. Ladd was already married but was pulled away by Sue Carol, who became infatuated with him and apparently stalked him.

"I don't know that Ladd had the same deep feeling for Sue that she had for him, but he went along with her infatuation probably because he thought she might be able to get him into the movie business in a big way. He divorced his wife and in 1942 married Sue becoming her fourth husband. That same year she got him the lead in THIS GUN FOR HIRE." which started Ladd's career."

Apparently, Ladd had a torrid love affair with June Allyson, whom he met at Warner Bros. Again, his wife stalked and threatened him. Allyson didn't want to divorce Dick Powell, so Ladd stayed with Sue rather unhappily. Wagner surmises Ladd never got over Allyson and harbored tremendous guilt over how he had treated his first wife.

All this while he star waned. 

It has been said his death from overdose was a suicide. Very, very sad life.

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