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CaveGirl

About Mrs. Leslie

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If you like the amazing actor Robert Ryan, don’t miss tonight’s showing of the film “About Mrs. Leslie” from 1954 with the also incredible Shirley Booth.

As a wonderful dramatic actress, whose talents go way beyond those comedic ones exhibited in the tv show “Hazel”, this movie is so much more than the IMDB synopsis which reads:
 

“A rooming house landlady recalls her past in flashbacks.

 

Seeing Robert Ryan in a part like this, makes one wish he had more opportunities in similar modes.
 

Besides the very insightful and moving story as directed by Daniel Mann the film also has a supporting cast which includes great character stars like James Bell, Harry Morgan, Philip Ober, Virginia Brissac, Ray Teal, Ellen Corby, Kasey Rogers, Maidie Norman, Ian Wolfe, Joan Shawlee, Percy Helton, Amanda Blake, Mabel Albertson, Nana Bryant, Jerry Paris and even Superman’s Jimmy Olson, aka Jack Larson! Even if you don't know all their names, you will recognize them when you see them I bet.

I was only lucky enough to see this movie once, with commercial interruptions but it still sticks in my brain, so I’m really looking forward to tonite’s TCM presentation.

 

Don't thank me now, thank me after you see the film!
 

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I have this set to record in case I can't watch it as it airs.

Yes, you will be very sorry if you don't get to see this film, CF since Ryan is so fetching in it and Booth her usual heartwarming and delightful self.

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It's worth noting that for anyone who misses tonight's airing of ABOUT MRS. LESLIE, the film will be repeating on TCM at 8:00 on July 11.

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I agree with CaveGirl - this is a memorable film and should not be missed. Unusual pairing of actors, but both are great. FYI this film can also be viewed on Amazon Prime.

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It's worth noting that for anyone who misses tonight's airing of ABOUT MRS. LESLIE, the film will be repeating on TCM at 8:00 on July 11.

Thanks for the reminder. I missed the first 30 minutes of the film and forgot to record it.

It's a very sentimental, touching and poignant film. Although Robert Ryan and Shirley Booth make

a very unlikely pair their amazing acting abilities make it work.

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I watched this film from the beginning of the introduction and through to the end of the film and the concluding comments.

 

The movie made me cry.

 

It made me realize something that I think I always knew.

 

The great love of my life I met as a teenager. I was about to enter grade 7.  He was about to enter grade 9.  Our relationship began and ended before he married his girlfriend outside of friendship on his part . The reason why I have never found anyone else is that this man is a faithful husband and father who saw his wife through illness and is what you say - a good catch

 

For Mrs.Leslie, there was only Mr. Leslie or no one.

 

For me, it is one man or no one.

He is spoken for - for it is no one.

 

 

I would never have loved him  if he were any other man. 

 

I need to stop  trying to find the right man.

  I found him.  He is in my past.  We live in the same city.

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I really liked this movie and I enjoyed reading everyone's commments. Booth and Ryan may have seemed an unlikely pair but they "clicked" and had chemistry. They played off each other really well. Nice to see a softer side to Robert Ryan. I loved how Shirley called him "Mr. Leslie Honey." Thanks, TCM.

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If you like the amazing actor Robert Ryan, don’t miss tonight’s showing of the film “About Mrs. Leslie” from 1954 with the also incredible Shirley Booth.

 

As a wonderful dramatic actress, whose talents go way beyond those comedic ones exhibited in the tv show “Hazel”, this movie is so much more than the IMDB synopsis which reads:

 

“A rooming house landlady recalls her past in flashbacks.

 

Seeing Robert Ryan in a part like this, makes one wish he had more opportunities in similar modes.

 

Besides the very insightful and moving story as directed by Daniel Mann the film also has a supporting cast which includes great character stars like James Bell, Harry Morgan, Philip Ober, Virginia Brissac, Ray Teal, Ellen Corby, Kasey Rogers, Maidie Norman, Ian Wolfe, Joan Shawlee, Percy Helton, Amanda Blake, Mabel Albertson, Nana Bryant, Jerry Paris and even Superman’s Jimmy Olson, aka Jack Larson! Even if you don't know all their names, you will recognize them when you see them I bet.

 

I was only lucky enough to see this movie once, with commercial interruptions but it still sticks in my brain, so I’m really looking forward to tonite’s TCM presentation.

 

Don't thank me now, thank me after you see the film!

 

 

I absolutely agree with you. Thank you.

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(hope i don't o-fend anyone with this.)

 

i have access to a TV with DVR and- as I have mentioned before- I do not know how to use it. I am, at heart, an artistic, passionate "left brain" individual, and technology is my "trigger." i don't handle the needlessly baroque and esoteric "conveniences" of the modern age very well at all.

 

it was my full intent to stay up last night to catch MRS. LESLIE, but I conked out halfway thru BILLY BUDD and woke up about an hour or so into it. Still, I watched a good bit and just thought I'd offer up my (worthless) opinion on what I saw.

 

I am always getting into trouble with folks here because I cannot stand LITTLE SHEBA and consider Booth's Best Actress win one of the biggest wastes in Academy History....and that's not anything against Shirley- although I do not like her in the film- I think she would have had great potential as a second lead, character or supporting actress (along the lines of Ethel Barrymoore) had she NOT won AS A LEAD for her VERY FIRST FILM, that put her in a very difficult spot because she was not a conventional HOLLYWOOD "type" and had roots in the theatuh (and back then, if you won as a lead actor or actress, it was pretty much expected you would not do supporting roles- oh how different things were back then)

 

. I've also seen THE MATCHMAKER and was unimpressed- but still, I am surprised by how devoted her fans are after all this time when she only made something like four feature films (has any other Lead acting winner EVER appeared in fewer movies?)

 

the Booth I saw in the little bit of MRS. LESLIE last nite was a different Booth- restrained, honest, genuine- all the things that her bombastic Lola in LITTLE SHEBA is not. I only saw a little of her and Robert Ryan together, but they seemed to click to some degree. combined with TENDER COMRADE (which has a very similar role for Ryan)- I really enjoyed seeing his softer side.

 

most interesting about what little I saw of MRS. LESLIE though was the direction of DANIEL MANN- who directed Shirley in LITTLE SHEBA and HOT SPELL.) it was almost modernistic in its minimalism- not lot of incidental music, not a lot of "sweep" to the visuals, a lot of restraint all the way around: an interesting (and effective) contrast to the HIGH MELODRAMA any number of directors like mITCHELL leison or Douglas Sirk would've given it.

 

will mos def check it out again when it airs at 8:00 pm in June (July?)...and sorry for offering my 2 cents on a film that i only saw 20 minutes or so of, but you know me and my opinions, i'm never shy about them.

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I watched this film from the beginning of the introduction and through to the end of the film and the concluding comments.

 

The movie made me cry.

 

It made me realize something that I think I always knew.

 

The great love of my life I met as a teenager. I was about to enter grade 7.  He was about to enter grade 9.  Our relationship began and ended before he married his girlfriend outside of friendship on his part . The reason why I have never found anyone else is that this mam is a faithful husband and father who saw his wife through illness and is what you say - a good catch

 

For Mrs.Leslie, there was only Mrs. Leslie or no one.

 

For me, it is one man or no one.

He is spoken for - for it is no one.

 

 

I would never have loved him  if he were any other man. 

 

I need to stop  trying to find the right man.

  I found him.  He is in my past.  We live in the same city.

It's a heartjerker for sure, CF!

 

Being the blase person I am, I shall not be as revealing and honest as you about my emotions watching this film. 

 

I do think they could have put on Robert Ryan's tombstone though, Mrs. Leslie's comment about him when they meet at the lounge where she sings "I've met many guys, but few men!"

 

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(hope i don't o-fend anyone with this.)

 

i have access to a TV with DVR and- as I have mentioned before- I do not know how to use it. I am, at heart, an artistic, passionate "left brain" individual, and technology is my "trigger." i don't handle the needlessly baroque and esoteric "conveniences" of the modern age very well at all.

 

it was my full intent to stay up last night to catch MRS. LESLIE, but I conked out halfway thru BILLY BUDD and woke up about an hour or so into it. Still, I watched a good bit and just thought I'd offer up my (worthless) opinion on what I saw.

 

I am always getting into trouble with folks here because I cannot stand LITTLE SHEBA and consider Booth's Best Actress win one of the biggest wastes in Academy History....and that's not anything against Shirley- although I do not like her in the film- I think she would have had great potential as a second lead, character or supporting actress (along the lines of Ethel Barrymoore) had she NOT won AS A LEAD for her VERY FIRST FILM, that put her in a very difficult spot because she was not a conventional HOLLYWOOD "type" and had roots in the theatuh (and back then, if you won as a lead actor or actress, it was pretty much expected you would not do supporting roles- oh how different things were back then)

 

. I've also seen THE MATCHMAKER and was unimpressed- but still, I am surprised by how devoted her fans are after all this time when she only made something like four feature films (has any other Lead acting winner EVER appeared in fewer movies?)

 

the Booth I saw in the little bit of MRS. LESLIE last nite was a different Booth- restrained, honest, genuine- all the things that her bombastic Lola in LITTLE SHEBA is not. I only saw a little of her and Robert Ryan together, but they seemed to click to some degree. combined with TENDER COMRADE (which has a very similar role for Ryan)- I really enjoyed seeing his softer side.

 

most interesting about what little I saw of MRS. LESLIE though was the direction of DANIEL MANN- who directed Shirley in LITTLE SHEBA and HOT SPELL.) it was almost modernistic in its minimalism- not lot of incidental music, not a lot of "sweep" to the visuals, a lot of restraint all the way around: an interesting (and effective) contrast to the HIGH MELODRAMA any number of directors like mITCHELL leison or Douglas Sirk would've given it.

 

will mos def check it out again when it airs at 8:00 pm in June (July?)...and sorry for offering my 2 cents on a film that i only saw 20 minutes or so of, but you know me and my opinions, i'm never shy about them.

Lorna, I think it is great that you feel free enough to give your true opinion about something without hedging your bets.

 

I think everyone has such perceptions about certain actors or actresses that go beyond what is perhaps on the screen.

 

For me, Shirley Booth is an acquired taste. When the movie started, I was thinking that again, just like Mary Astor in TMF, why oh why did they always give poor old Shirley such horrendous hairdos. Again it is an old lady hairdo and if Marlene Dietrich had been onset giving Shirley advice, she would have been wearing a much more appealing do for sure but I digress. In conventional terms, she is not a beauty but as time progresses in a film like AML, I think one begins to see what Robert Ryan is perceiving in her and she becomes much more appealing than on first glance. In fact, if one recalls when she first approaches him in the lounge, while singing her little ditty he is a bit taken aback and not attracted at all, and recoils.

 

In CBLS, she plays a bit of a blowsy, slatternly appearing woman, though the underneath character is not quite so rough. The one in that film who seemed miscast to me was always Lancaster. Shirley is very naive in that film, so in AML you see a much more adult and savvy woman, which to her credit Booth could convey.

 

She and Ryan make a totally odd couple at first glance, but their camaraderie and simpatico begins to show as the film progresses.

 

Again though as a stage actress, I think there is more illusion that can be given a character which is belied on film, due to giant close-ups and the such. So one's allure on stage might not be as easily transferable on film.

 

Even if you hate it when you watch next time, be sure to give us your thoughts which I always enjoy reading.

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Don't feel bad Lorna.  I too, "conked out" halfway through BILLY BUDD, although not last night, but just about ANY time I try to watch it, as it never really did hold my interest.  I only tried because I thought it interesting to learn that Peter Ustinov, an actor I liked a long time, ever did any directing.  But knowing I'd likely zonk out again, passed it up last night.  After not wishing to see the Detroit Tigers embarrass themselves again, I opted another viewing of MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON on PBS, and my wife admitted she never saw it all the way through before, so........

 

As an old HAZEL freak( THANKS ANTENNA TV , for the reruns!), I was fascinated by the MRS. LESLIE movie when I first saw it because it's when I FIRST learned that "Hazel used to make MOVIES!"  Never knew that before, as the first time I SAW the movie was when I was about 12 or so, and it was on TV one night.  HAZEL was still on TV at that time, and I would be 15 when it finally ended it's run.  And I'm still a fan of SHIRLEY BOOTH.  Maybe not the FINEST actress, but it's a sort of sentimental thing with me.  B)

 

Sepiatone

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I agree ;

 

Lorna, please let us know what you think of the movie if you ever get to see about Mrs. Leslie.

 

 

Shirley Booth is indeed an acquitted taste.

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In my case, it took a major dose of that whole "suspension of belief" stuff to think that Shirley's character who seemed pretty darn "street smart" would almost immediately agree to such an arrangement of flying all the way across the country to be with him and regardless the type of "arrangement" made, and after just her first meeting with Ryan's character.

 

(...and especially because Ryan's character seemed pretty darn creepy to me at first...nope, not "mysterious" but just kind'a "creepy")

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Dargo - maybe that is because of the roles Ryan usually played?

 

Remember the nastiness she got from her employer who never bothered to ask her if, for some reason, she had to go visit a dying relative.

 

That is when she changed her mind.

 

And remember the introduction Stowe made where she said that because of the code the "affair" was chaste. But the ending of the film  - I'll try not to spoil it - would not have been shot the way it was  and take part in that office if it was not an actual affair.

 

 

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Dargo - maybe that is because of the roles Ryan usually played?

 

Remember the nastiness she got from her employer who never bothered to ask her if, for some reason, she had to go visit a dying relative.

 

That is when she changed her mind.

 

And remember the introduction Stowe made where she said that because of the code the "affair" was chaste. But the ending of the film  - I'll try not to spoil it - would not have been shot the way it was  and take part in that office if it was not an actual affair.

 

Yeah CF, good point.  It DID cross my mind that the reason I got those "creepy vibes" from Ryan in this thing WAS because of his many other roles in which he DOES play one creepy kind'a dude.

 

And yeah, OF COURSE I remember Madeleine Stowe saying that, and because I hang onto EVERY word that articulate and GORGEOUS woman with that mellifluous voice of hers says in these intros!!! ;)

 

(...BOY, do I hope she becomes Osborne's permanent replacement when he decides to hang it up for good)

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Concerning BILLY BUDD, which was mentioned below in the thread: great story, very well cast with Robert Ryan, Terence Stamp, and Peter Ustinov, but alas, Peter Ustinov is not a good director. As in clueless. If you ever see LADY L, you may wonder, "How bad can any movie with Paul Newman and Sophia Loren be?" Answer: really, really bad. Ustinov doesn't understand film pacing, among other things. Actors just saying their lines is not enough.

 

We had a power outage that wiped out the first half of ABOUT MRS. LESLIE, but the movie will be shown again in July, and I did get to watch the rest of the movie, which I had seen on TV long ago. It was as good as remembered, with Shirley Booth getting to the heart of her character. I believe that when, on the plane to California, Booth and Ryan take hands, that marks the transition to a fully consummated affair, though the movie can never be explicit about this.

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I feel sorry for BILLY BUDD, because- I mean, it's basically MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY- I mean, we could quibble on specifics, but y'know: c'mon, tangerines and oranges here, people.

 

And it came out in 1962, the same year that the BIG (and awful) MGM Remake of MUTINY came out, and I have to imagine that film DOMINATED the press, box office, public interest and managed to at least eke a pity vote for Best Picture at the (galling) expense of THE MIRACLE WORKER...and for all its faults, BILLY BUDD is a HELL OF A LOT BETTER than the Brando-Howard remake.

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I feel sorry for BILLY BUDD, because- I mean, it's basically MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY- I mean, we could quibble on specifics, but y'know: c'mon, tangerines and oranges here, people.

 

And it came out in 1962, the same year that the BIG (and awful) MGM Remake of MUTINY came out, and I have to imagine that film DOMINATED the press, box office, public interest and managed to at least eke a pity vote for Best Picture at the (galling) expense of THE MIRACLE WORKER...and for all its faults, BILLY BUDD is a HELL OF A LOT BETTER than the Brando-Howard remake.

In the danger of sounding like a broken record here, I love Billy Budd and how Stowe talked about Robert Ryan on purpose put a wedge between himself and  Stamp to help their performances.  Stamp did not realize this until after the shooting.  Stamp had only made one film and Ryan was a pro and knew that if they were friendly off camera it might hurt their performances.

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In my case, it took a major dose of that whole "suspension of belief" stuff to think that Shirley's character who seemed pretty darn "street smart" would almost immediately agree to such an arrangement of flying all the way across the country to be with him and regardless the type of "arrangement" made, and after just her first meeting with Ryan's character.

 

(...and especially because Ryan's character seemed pretty darn creepy to me at first...nope, not "mysterious" but just kind'a "creepy")

Dargo, you are such a naive and innocent darling and this is what I like about you!

 

Why I had almost exactly the same offer from a guy I met at a party, who was a government contractor, to accompany him on a trip to LA for a couple weeks, after talking to him for like ten minutes. Men do things like this all the time and many women accept. My problem was that instead of being Robert Ryan-like, he was more Jeff Chandler-like and all I could think of was how they said Jeff Chandler had to have his whole body shaved for his movie roles and I'm not into back hair.

 

Yes, that prevented me from taking the bait, and besides I thought the guy was really quite boring and he did not even know Civil War facts to boot and did not get my joke when I was asked if I had children, when I said "None that I knew of...".

 

Did I mention he had also been an engineer for like NASA or something. Oh, he did say of course we would have separate accommodations too, just like good old Robert gave Shirley.

 

I would have told Lonnie Anderson also not to meet up with Burt Reynolds when he sent a plane to take her to Florida for the first time.

 

 

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Dargo, you are such a naive and innocent darling and this is what I like about you!

 

 

WAIT now, CG! I mention the thing about Shirley's character almost IMMEDIATELY fallin' for Ryan's character's line...and I'M "naive and innocent"???!!!

 

 

 

Yes, that prevented me from taking the bait, and besides I thought the guy was really quite boring and he did not even know Civil War facts to boot and did not get my joke when I was asked if I had children, when I said "None that I knew of...".

 

You DO realize you now owe comedienne and comedy writer Carol Leifer a royalty check after THAT one, now doncha?!!!

 

;)

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WAIT now, CG! I mention the thing about Shirley's character almost IMMEDIATELY fallin' for Ryan's character's line...and I'M "naive and innocent"???!!!

 

 

You DO realize you now owe comedienne and comedy writer Carol Leifer a royalty check after THAT one, now doncha?!!!

 

;)

Don't hid your naivete, dear boy!

 

It is very charming, making you just like Gary Cooper in that Stanwyck film.

 

I envision you as Ryan O'Neal with glasses in "What's Up, Doc?"

 

Am I close?

 

Okay, okay...I will pay Leifer a few bucks if it makes you happy.

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Don't hid your naivete, dear boy!

 

It is very charming, making you just like Gary Cooper in that Stanwyck film.

 

I envision you as Ryan O'Neal with glasses in "What's Up, Doc?"

 

Am I close?

 

Okay, okay...I will pay Leifer a few bucks if it makes you happy.

 

Not unless you can recall James Coburn in some kind of nerdy role, CG.

 

(...I thought I've mentioned to you that more than few people over the years have commented upon my resemblance to him...voice and all)

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Not unless you can recall James Coburn in some kind of nerdy role, CG.

 

(...I thought I've mentioned to you that more than few people over the years have commented upon my resemblance to him...voice and all)

Oh, this must have been before I joined Dargo.

 

I would have remembered you saying that you resembled one of my favourite actors.

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