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JEANNE CRAIN


Arturo
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This evening, TCM's Primetime consists of two films featuring Jeanne Crain, PEOPLE WILL TALK (1951) and HOME IN INDIANA (1944). Both are 20th Century Fox films, the studio that discovered Crain and for which she filmed for the better part of her time as a star, in the second half of the 40s and first half of the 50s.

Crain was actually an important star at Fox, and got some choice film.assignments. Her early image was that of the girl next door, and was quite popular in that guise, perhaps the studio's most successful since Janet Gaynor. In fact, her breakout hit was in a remake of a Gaynor role, STATE FAIR (1945). As a favorite of studio head Darryl Zanuck, she got some good film assignments, culminating in her Oscar nomination for PINKY (1949).

However, she missed out on many roles meant for her, usually due to her frequent pregnancies. These included CHICKEN EVERY SUNDAY, YOU'RE MY EVERYTHING, MOTHER DIDN'T TELL ME, ALL ABOUT EVE and I'D CLIMB THE HIGHEST MOUNTAIN. Even more frustrating for her, she continued to be typecast as a gushing co-ed, even after PINKY. She yearned for a change of image for something sexier, and was desperate for more singing and dancing roles (she fought for, and lost out on WITH A SONG IN MY HEART and GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES). By this point, she could see the writing on the wall, as the more prestigious and challenging assignments were going to Susan Hayward, and the sexy bombshell roles to Marilyn Monroe, and Jeanne asked to be released.from her contract. She did ok for awhile, managed to change her image, and even got some musical roles. But by the 60s, she was consigned to programmers, and did films less and less frequently, despite looking better than ever.

The films shown today were both pivotal. PEOPLE WILL TALK was a talky Joseph Mankiewicz drama, with Jeanne costarring with Cary Grant, as a pregnant co-ed. And in a reveral of the usual, she got the role due to Anne Baxter becoming pregnant (Baxter got to play Eve, as well as other roles meant for Crain).  The film was an allegory on the McCarthy witchhunt then taking place, and was perhaps the last really important film Jeanne would make at Fox, but got mixed reviews and wasn't a big hit.

HOME IN INDIANA was her first real role. She and fellow newcomer June Haver were featured in one of the studio's periodic films extolling the virtues of rural and small-town America. Both Crain and Haver had only one credit each, as bit players in the previous year's Alice Faye musical THE GANG'S ALL HERE. They were interviewed by Darryl Zanuck, upon his return from war service, along with all the other new contractees. He saw potential in both, and gave them featured roles in this film; they would soon become stars at the studio. Lightweight and colorful, the film also had Charlotte Greenwood and Walter Brennan, plus newcomer Lon McCallister.

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As a young woman at 20th Century Fox, she had such a lovely, ingratiating quality.

 

The one film that has always stayed with me is her starring role in "Margie".

 

But even in a later film like "Vicki", she was still an attractive screen presence.

 

She has the distinction of co-starring with Farley Granger in his last film, "O. Henry's Full House".

 

 

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Arturo, thanks for all the information on Ms. Crain, one of my favorites.  You really have done your homework!  After her years at 20th Century Fox, she signed a contract with Universal and made a number of movies there.  During this period, she was able to star in more adult stories and she finally was able to get away from her good-girl image.  I miss her.

 

Terrence.

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Arturo, thanks for all the information on Ms. Crain, one of my favorites.  You really have done your homework!  After her years at 20th Century Fox, she signed a contract with Universal and made a number of movies there.  During this period, she was able to star in more adult stories and she finally was able to get away from her good-girl image.  I miss her.

 

Terrence.

Thanks Terrence.  No homework done, just from what I have read and retained over the years. I remember reading that after leaving Fox and changing her image, Crain got more attention from  fans and the press than Jane Russell, when they both went to Paris during the filming of GENTLEMEN PREFER BRUNETTES.  She was a knockout in that film, if not quite up to the iconic level of Russell's earlier partner in this prequel of sorts, Marilyn Monroe, in GENTLEMEN PREFER BLONDES.

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I watched the original "Cheaper by the Dozen" (1950) last year for the first time; I just ADORE Myrna Loy. And I was surprised to see Jeanne in this movie as Loy and Clifton Webb's oldest daughter. She was supposed to be a high school student in the film, but in reality, was actually 25 years old :) I'm glad to hear she was eventually able to escape her "girl next door/young adult" persona. 

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I may be in the minority in preferring Jeanne'segment of Letter to Three Wives. The others are quite enjoyable, but I find hers the most relatable in the desire, as an outsider, to fit in with a new crowd. I really feel for her situation each time I view the film and she does an admirable job, acting-wise.

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Man...PEOPLE WILL TALK is one MESS of a movie.

 

God, you are not kidding.  I really wanted to like this movie but the convoluted ending was beyond bizarre!  Even before we got to that absurdity, there was way too much proselytizing.

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God, you are not kidding.  I really wanted to like this movie but the convoluted ending was beyond bizarre!  Even before we got to that absurdity, there was way too much proselytizing.

 

AH, VALIDATION.

 

I took my opinions of PEOPLE WILL TALK over to the I JUST WATCHED thread as as not to derail Arturo's Jean Crain discussion.

 

one thing i will say about Crain though: she always seems to have an inner "meaness" to her, like she's angry about something. I find that true in A LETTER TO..., PINKY, PEOPLE WILL TALK (definitely that one!), and even LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN.

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God, you are not kidding.  I really wanted to like this movie but the convoluted ending was beyond bizarre!  Even before we got to that absurdity, there was way too much proselytizing.

 

Yes,  People Will Talk is a poorly done 'message' movie that doesn't know where it is going or what it wishes to say.

 

While I enjoy Crain as an actress I reviewed the films she was in and I can only find a handful of well made productions.

 

Yea,  I know she kind of gave up acting to have a family,,,,,   

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I may be in the minority in preferring Jeanne'segment of Letter to Three Wives. The others are quite enjoyable, but I find hers the most relatable in the desire, as an outsider, to fit in with a new crowd. I really feel for her situation each time I view the film and she does an admirable job, acting-wise.

Well, A LETTER TO THREE WIVES is starting right now, on FMC.  Sorry for the late reminder.  It will also air tomorrow, September 6 @ 11;15 am. 

 

It will also be on again on Thursday, 9/15 @ 9:15 am, and Friday, 9/16 @ 8 am. 

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Jeanne Crain's youth, beauty and sweetness was kind of overpowering in "Home In Indiana" - and so was Lon McAllister's, too.

 

I watched a pretty fair amount of that before i went to bed.

 

it was surprisingly watchable, although the names were WEEEEEiRD. I still recall the one girl's name was "Cree Cree" and the characters kept saying it OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again to where it kind of sounded like they were spontaneously deciding to work on their bird-calling skills whilst having conversations.

 

screenwriters: if you want to give a RIDICULOUS name to one of your principal characters, realize that every time that ridiculous name is uttered throughout the film is the chance for people like me to snort at you.

 

-see also "Dr. Praetorious" in PEOPLE WILL TALK.

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I watched a pretty fair amount of that before i went to bed.

 

it was surprisingly watchable, although the names were WEEEEEiRD. I still recall the one girl's name was "Cree Cree" and the characters kept saying it OVER AND OVER AND OVER AND OVER again to where it kind of sounded like they were spontaneously deciding to work on their bird-calling skills whilst having conversations.

 

screenwriters: if you want to give a RIDICULOUS name to one of your principal characters, realize that every time that ridiculous name is uttered throughout the film is the chance for people like me to snort at you.

 

-see also "Dr. Praetorious" in PEOPLE WILL TALK.

I'd like to fix Cree Cree up with Beri Beri from ALL FALL DOWN.

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OMG, I SO TOTALLY THOUGHT OF BERI BERI WHILE WATCHING THIS TOO!!!!

 

when great minds think alike along very, very esoteric lines....it is a beautiful thing.

The thing about Beri Beri---all the other characters used the name as if there was nothing unusual about it at all---just as if his name was "Jim"

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"Home In Indiana" should get a mention for its' names -

 

Walter Brennan, technically the star of the film, was "Thunder" Bolt

 

Lon McCallister was "Sparke" Thornton - pronounced S p a r k i e.

 

Jeanne Crain was Charlotte, but was called "Char".

 

June Haver was Christopher (?!), but was called "Cri-Cri".

 

Willie Best was - incredibly - "Moe Rum".

 

The film, so much better than you might think, had a very disturbing scene in which Walter Brennan beat Lon McCallister over the head.

 

Charlotte Greenwood, his wife, was at the door, ready to shoot "Thunder" with a gun.

 

Has anyone ever seen the remake, "April Love"?   

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"Home In Indiana" should get a mention for its' names -

 

Walter Brennan, technically the star of the film, was "Thunder" Bolt

 

Lon McCallister was "Sparke" Thornton - pronounced S p a r k i e.

 

Jeanne Crain was Charlotte, but was called "Char".

 

June Haver was Christopher (?!), but was called "Cri-Cri".

 

Willie Best was - incredibly - "Moe Rum".

 

The film, so much better than you might think, had a very disturbing scene in which Walter Brennan beat Lon McCallister over the head.

 

Charlotte Greenwood, his wife, was at the door, ready to shoot "Thunder" with a gun.

 

Has anyone ever seen the remake, "April Love"?   

 

you're right.

i had forgotten how goofy (novel? Dickensian? Damon Runyanesque?) ALL the names were in this...

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