TopBilled

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TopBilled, I was being a little sarcastic when I said Prince Rainier would have loved another movie with Grace and Cary.  Grace had romances with several of her co-stars including Cary, I believe, so the Prince may have nixed any pairing there but it's fun to speculate.

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TopBilled, I was being a little sarcastic when I said Prince Rainier would have loved another movie with Grace and Cary.  Grace had romances with several of her co-stars including Cary, I believe, so the Prince may have nixed any pairing there but it's fun to speculate.

 

I was going to reply but decided you were being sarcastic.    But I would assume Rainier would be against Grace doing films,  not because of jealously,  but because a Princess has her duties.     It is common knowledge Rainier was a big fan of Roman Holiday.   :lol:  

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TopBilled, I was being a little sarcastic when I said Prince Rainier would have loved another movie with Grace and Cary.  Grace had romances with several of her co-stars including Cary, I believe, so the Prince may have nixed any pairing there but it's fun to speculate.

 

I didn't know you were being sarcastic. LOL But her biggest movie was with Cary, so if the prince did support her return to the cinema, it would have had to be something that could be successful for her with audiences.

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I was going to reply but decided you were being sarcastic.    But I would assume Rainier would be against Grace doing films,  not because of jealously,  but because a Princess has her duties.     It is common knowledge Rainier was a big fan of Roman Holiday.   

 

Yeah, I don't think he was jealous either. He fell for her knowing she was an actress and that was her line of work. They did appear in a short film together in the late 70s.

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Audrey Hepburn was going to do a film with Hitchcock.

 

The script had been written.

 

And the production was underway.

 

But, at the last minute, she walked away.

 

I don't know how she managed it.

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Marion Crane is driving out of Phoenix

It’s Friday afternoon in Phoenix. Marion Crane is meeting her lover Sam Loomis at a hotel. Sam has a lot of debt, and until he is more financially secure, he won’t be able to marry Marion.

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After their romantic rendezvous, she goes back to the real estate office where she works. Marion’s boss is a man named George Lowery. Mr. Lowery is off meeting with an oil tycoon. When they arrive at the office, the tycoon tells Marion he’s purchasing a house for his daughter and paying for it with cash. Mr. Lowery is concerned about leaving $40,000 in the office over the weekend, so he asks Marion to take it to the bank. Marion can go home afterward.

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Instead of going to the bank, Marion just goes straight home. She is going to keep the money for herself. She has stuffed it into her purse and packs a suitcase. Then she gets on the highway and drives out of Phoenix. She drives until she’s so tired, she is forced to pull over. Marion soon falls asleep on a lonely stretch of road.

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She is awoken the next morning by a highway patrolman. The officer is suspicious of her behavior, but then lets her go.

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Marion is afraid he will remember her, so she goes to a used car lot and trades in her vehicle for a different one. As she continues to drive along the California highway, she gets caught in a fierce storm. Marion misses the turnoff to Sam’s place and ends up stopping at a quaint little motel. The charming proprietor welcomes her and offers to fix her dinner.

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Coming up in November

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Three more Pauline Kael reviews…so what else does she have to say?

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How-to-do things…the movies help us learn how to marry millionaires.

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Another conversation piece…dialogue I had with another classic film fan.

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Characters that are thankful…acts of gratitude, cinematically speaking.

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Honest writing and honest performances…when gimmicks and special effects aren't needed to tell a story.

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Join me in November!

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Three more Pauline Kael reviews

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Foxes and a hound

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THE LITTLE FOXES (1941)

She doesn't like Bette Davis' performance in this movie. According to Kael, it's not as good as Tallulah Bankhead's interpretation on the stage. She thinks Davis gives a dry reading of Regina and makes her too villainous.

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THE FOX (1967)

She believes the filmmakers changed the 1923 novella so that it might resemble 'The Children's Hour.' She talks about the symbolism of the fox running wild on the Canadian farm where the two repressed lesbians live. She doesn't like the explicit sexual overtones and feels the original source material was more potent when the sex was kept on the down-low and remained forbidden in a frightening sort of way.

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THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES (1939)

Kael likes this early Holmes flick. She calls it handsome and gripping, lauding Rathbone's first appearance as the famed detective. She appreciates the moors and the mists, and other atmospheric touches. She mentions the fact that Holmes asks Watson for his needle. If that doesn't give one a sense about what Holmes is really like, nothing else will. Of course Kael doesn't need to keep hounding us about how good this film is.

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I wish I could have seen Bankhead in THE LITTLE FOXES on stage so I could compare but I love THE LITTLE FOXES and watch it whenever it comes on TCM.  All the performances are excellent including Bette.  The truly heartbreaking performance for me, though, is Patricia Collinge.  Stuck in a loveless marriage and her son, husband, Regina (Bette) treat her like she's nothing.  I don't blame her for drinking.  The storyline is timeless, too, as to the cheaper, nonunion labor in the South and groups pitted against each other when they should be allies as so ably articulated by the great Herbert Marshall.  

As for Kael's take on THE FOX, it's a 1967 perspective.  I wonder what she thought about THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE which came out about the same time.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES - what's not to like?  Time to show it again, TCM!

 

Edited by ChristineHoard
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1 hour ago, ChristineHoard said:

I wish I could have seen Bankhead in THE LITTLE FOXES on stage so I could compare but I love THE LITTLE FOXES and watch it whenever it comes on TCM.  All the performances are excellent including Bette.  The truly heartbreaking performance for me, though, is Patricia Collinge.  Stuck in a loveless marriage and her son, husband, Regina (Bette) treat her like she's nothing.  I don't blame her for drinking.  The storyline is timeless, too, as to the cheaper, nonunion labor in the South and groups pitted against each other when they should be allies as so ably articulated by the great Herbert Marshall.  

As for Kael's take on THE FOX, it's a 1967 perspective.  I wonder what she thought about THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE which came out about the same time.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES - what's not to like?  Time to show it again, TCM!

 

And reportedly that's exactly what Bette Davis did when she found out that she was going to play the lead in The Little Foxes at Warners.

It was said that she actually attended more than one performance and took copious notes and did it verbatim,  as Tallulah Bankhead had performed it on stage.

I have read so many books about movies over the years it's a miracle I can remember who wrote this, but I only read this book maybe 5 years ago. It's by Barbara Leaming and it's called Bette Davis: A Biography.

Last summer I read her latest book on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which was a revelation and an exceeding pleasure.

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9 hours ago, ChristineHoard said:

I wish I could have seen Bankhead in THE LITTLE FOXES on stage so I could compare but I love THE LITTLE FOXES and watch it whenever it comes on TCM.  All the performances are excellent including Bette.  The truly heartbreaking performance for me, though, is Patricia Collinge.  Stuck in a loveless marriage and her son, husband, Regina (Bette) treat her like she's nothing.  I don't blame her for drinking.  The storyline is timeless, too, as to the cheaper, nonunion labor in the South and groups pitted against each other when they should be allies as so ably articulated by the great Herbert Marshall.  

As for Kael's take on THE FOX, it's a 1967 perspective.  I wonder what she thought about THE KILLING OF SISTER GEORGE which came out about the same time.

THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES - what's not to like?  Time to show it again, TCM!

 

Thanks for the comment. I do think the grotesque makeup Bette uses is too much and makes Regina too much of a cartoon villain in her close-ups. But the overall performance works for me, though as you say, it would have been fun to see Tallulah do it. 

I agree with her comparison of THE FOX to THE CHILDREN'S HOUR. They were trying to be a bit more 'out' with the lesbian aspects of the plot. Kael was saying 1967's perspective ruins the 1920s perspective on the subject by the author of the original story.

When was the last time TCM ran THE HOUND OF THE BASKERVILLES..?

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12 hours ago, Princess of Tap said:

And reportedly that's exactly what Bette Davis did when she found out that she was going to play the lead in The Little Foxes at Warners.

It was said that she actually attended more than one performance and took copious notes and did it verbatim,  as Tallulah Bankhead had performed it on stage.

I have read so many books about movies over the years it's a miracle I can remember who wrote this, but I only read this book maybe 5 years ago. It's by Barbara Leaming and it's called Bette Davis: A Biography.

Last summer I read her latest book on Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, which was a revelation and an exceeding pleasure.

THE LITTLE FOXES was not made by Warners. It was a Sam Goldwyn indy production released thru RKO.

I tend to find biographies a bit suspect in that the writers want to glorify the star and sell copies to fans who want them to glorify the star. I sincerely doubt Bette duplicated all of Tallulah's mannerisms. 

Personally I think Ann Blyth was the best Regina in ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST, the perfect follow-up role to Veda Pierce.

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4 minutes ago, rayban said:

I do like the film version of "The Fox".

But I do prefer the novella by D.H.Lawrence.

It aired recently on TCM and I missed it. So I'm hoping they rebroadcast it. I'm a huge-huge-huge Keir Dullea fan.

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2 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

It aired recently on TCM and I missed it. So I'm hoping they rebroadcast it. I'm a huge-huge-huge Keir Dullea fan.

If you want a big, big surprise, read the novella first.

It is very different from the film.

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3 minutes ago, rayban said:

If you want a big, big surprise, read the novella first.

It is very different from the film.

Yes, I should definitely read it. Sounds like a trip to the library is in my near future.

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5 hours ago, TopBilled said:

THE LITTLE FOXES was not made by Warners. It was a Sam Goldwyn indy production released thru RKO.

I tend to find biographies a bit suspect in that the writers want to glorify the star and sell copies to fans who want them to glorify the star. I sincerely doubt Bette duplicated all of Tallulah's mannerisms. 

Personally I think Ann Blyth was the best Regina in ANOTHER PART OF THE FOREST, the perfect follow-up role to Veda Pierce.

I think I haven't seen it since I was 12, but since William Wyler made it I probably thought at the time it was a WB movie.

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7 minutes ago, Princess of Tap said:

I think I haven't seen it since I was 12, but since William Wyler made it I probably thought at the time it was a WB movie.

TCM tends to air it in February during Oscar month. The supporting cast is phenomenal. 

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How-to-do things

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The movies help us learn how to marry millionaires.

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The movies help us appreciate art…or at least steal a million dollars worth of art.

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The movies help us make sure one less person will be coming to the next family reunion.

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The movies help us train dragons.

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The movies help us make the Fortune 500 list without any real effort at all.

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Or how to murder your hateful aunt and get away with it -

"The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers" -

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20 hours ago, rayban said:

Or how to murder your hateful aunt and get away with it -

"The Strange Love Of Martha Ivers" -

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I thought they did a great job casting the juvenile actors. The kid on the left in this photo does look like a young Kirk Douglas.

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Another conversation piece part 1

Several months I ago I had the pleasure of chatting with a classic film fan who also admired Maureen O'Hara. Then I found out, she once worked with Maureen.

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Joan: I usually don’t talk about this ancient history but I was Judy Miniver in the TV version of 'Mrs. Miniver.' Maureen played the lead, and I played her daughter.

TopBilled: Oh that's very interesting, Joan. According to Maureen's filmography on the IMDb, it was produced in 1960. I clicked on the page for this production. A very young Keir Dullea was a German pilot in it, and I see your name listed as well.

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Joan: I saw Keir at the tribute to Kubrick at the Director’s Guild. It hadn’t started yet and he was standing in the audience by the stairs leading up to the stage. I walked over to him and said, “Hi. I’m Judy Miniver.” I’ll never forget his expression! He nearly feel over backwards. I told him what my mother used to say about him. “You Just play around with Peter (who played my brother and I had a huge crush on) and look at Keir, he just works all day long, rehearsing with his friend.” He laughed and told me that he only did that because he had to learn how to speak German so it sounded real.

TopBilled: I love Keir Dullea. He seems like an intense actor/performer. I notice Maureen did another TV project with the same director (Marc Daniels) that year.

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Joan: Really?  I know he really liked working with her. I was very impressed when he needed her to cry in one scene with us and he just said, "okay. turn on the onions." And boy did she ever...what bloody control she had. We were sitting "outside" and she was reading to us and our brother flew overhead and cut his engines three times to say hello...she continues reading through her tears...and there were many.

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TopBilled: Your anecdotes are so interesting. I love the phrase 'turn on the onions.' Wonder if a lot of other directors say that too. I agree she must have had amazing control as an actress, you can really see it in THE QUIET MAN and most of her other performances.

Coming up in part two: Joan talks about working with James Stewart on another production.

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Another conversation piece part 2

Continuing my discussion with Joan, a former child actress and classic film fan:

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TopBilled: Okay, so you said you also worked with James Stewart, is that right? Can you tell me more about that experience?

Joan: Sure. I worked with him in 1958-ish. I was on a weekly CBS series on Sundays that aired at 12:00 noon eastern — live of course! It featured Sonny Fox, Jimmy Walsh and myself. We did one show in Los Angeles at a Boy Scout Jamboree in Chavez Ravine before Dodger Stadium was built. And Jimmy was helping us build a campfire, for some unknown reason! I mean since it was broadcast at noon in NY, we all had to be there at 6 am to prepare for a 9am broadcast.

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TopBilled: Jimmy Stewart helped you build a campfire?

Joan: Yes...I knew he was some kind of big star and had beautiful blue eyes. I hated my brown ones. He was very tall, very gentle, soft and kind. Kids can tell that. Unlike Sonny Fox who was also very tall but more rough around the edges. Well, during the show, the wind kicked up, making it difficult for us to start a fire and when we finally did the smoke blew right in our faces. It was stinging our eyes and we were all crying and had nothing to wipe away our tears or runny noses.

TopBilled: I can see it happening just as you described with the wind and the smoke in your eyes. Live TV, so of course you had to stay put and couldn't run off.

Joan: And there were no commercial breaks. So we had to turn around and wipe our noses on something.

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TopBilled: Okay, you also did an episode of TV's Naked City. Describe that.

Joan: I had only worked with three cameras never with a film camera.  I didn't know the difference. I had to do a scene in which I witnessed a good friend getting hit by a car or a truck. We were shooting on location on some street in lower Manhattan. The camera was across the street. I cried my eyes out while we did the scene a few times. I thought we were finished when I heard the director say, "Real tears. We have real tears. Bring it in for a closeup." I thought we had already done that - that they were using a closeup lens!  By this time my eyes were bone dry.

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Joan: So I went into a tenement building and tried to get some more tears.  In my mind, I killed off everyone in my family. I killed my friends. I saw my dog fall out of our window. I poked myself in the eye. Nothing.

TopBilled: I don't think the casual viewer realizes what child performers have to go through.

Joan: So I picked up dirt from the floor. It stung, but at least my eyes watered a bit and I went out to the set and had to do the scene with watery eyes. Nothing ran down my cheeks. I shamefully had to tell the director I had already used up my tears.

TopBilled: Maybe your mom should've gone to the store to buy an onion!

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Joan: I hated watching that show. The episode was called 'Let Me Die Before I Wake.' Don't ask me how I remember. One funny thing. My mother walked over and asked a "cop" if she would get a ticket where her car was parked. He said, "I don't know. I'm an actor."

TopBilled: That's great. You have the best stories. Thanks Joan.

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Characters that are thankful

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Kate Mackay always gives thanks when the family dog doesn't eat her prized daisies.

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Veda Pierce is grateful her mother gave her a solid upbringing.

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Rocky Balboa appreciates having an excellent trainer.

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Tacy Collini is thankful her long, long trip in a mobile home with Nicky is over.

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Elizabeth Bennet's sisters are happy she found love with Mr. Darcy so they can also get married.

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Knute Rockne is glad his team won one for the Gipper.

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Thelma and Louise are grateful there's a way to escape the police.

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Honest writing and honest performances

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Recently I subscribed to Britbox, so I could catch up on some British serials. I soon discovered that one of the added perks of getting shows on Britbox was I could watch new British series that haven't yet aired on American PBS stations.

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One series I binge-watched had an interesting title and an even more interesting premise. Broken stars Sean Bean as a troubled priest at a Catholic church in Liverpool. He and his parishioners deal with all sort of inner city problems, and I found myself drawn in by the writing and the performances.

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Very shocking things occur in the program. But it's not the sensationalism that propels it forward. It's how people try to put the pieces of their lives back together. We don't need guns going off every five minutes, bombs exploding or gratuitous sex scenes before each commercial break. What we need are true-to-life characters struggling, failing and overcoming. And that's what we get.

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One thing I love about Broken is that even though I'm not a priest and I'm not a British man in my 60s, I could still relate to Father Michael Kerrigan. His life encompasses a dimension of the human experience that I see myself a part of in some significant way. He isn't presented as the modern-day Messiah, in fact there is very little about him that seems messianic or holy. But there is a sacredness in the experience and what it means for him to be alive in the way he is alive. If the producers and writers had littered the screen with special effects the simplicity of what he goes through would entirely be lost.

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It's best when a story brings about a little introspection and healing.

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