Jump to content

 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
GGGGerald

Bette and Joan

Recommended Posts

It was Mother Courage, a production which was not fondly remembered, partly because Jerome Robbins, not the most beloved person on Broadway, was the director. (I had a conversation with Eric Bentley about this several years ago. Bentley translated the play.) Great cast, in addition to Ms. Bancroft: Gene Wilder, Zohra Lampert, Barbara Harris. Produced by Robbins in conjunction with the great Cheryl Crawford.

 

WOW!

Thank you!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WOW!

Thank you!

 

Of course it wasn't easy for Robbins. Evidently Mel Brooks sat in on many rehearsals. Brooks was living with Bancroft at the time (not yet married).

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Untold Oscar History:

 

Anne to Sidney: Grip it tightly, right here...if Joan shows up she'll snatch it, so hang on....

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Of course it wasn't easy for Robbins. Evidently Mel Brooks sat in on many rehearsals. Brooks was living with Bancroft at the time (not yet married).

 

what the Hell was Robbins doing directing MOTHER COURAGE in the first place?

there was- i imagine- no dancing, yes?

was he trying to go for a "legitimacy" thing?

i admit i do not know a whole whole lot abotu the theater, but this seems to me rather akin to Busby Berkley directing THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes me wonder.....

 

What if ALFRED HITCHCOCK directed WEST SIDE STORY?  Where do you suppose he'd turn up?

 

Or, DAMN YANKEES?

 

How about if BOB FOSSE directed THE GODFATHER?  I suppose Sonny would have had TAPS on his shoes in the "tollway" scene.  ;)

 

 

Sepiatone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so, I finally got to see the first episode last night.

 

watching it, i could not help but feel like the dialogue was often too expository; too much of the script seemed focused on establishing the writer's research credentials and serving as wikipedia-entry history lesson; we got plenty of information; but the delivery was so dry, so unsubtle; and at times, questionable (I do not think Joan would have referred to 1935 Franchot as "my boyfriend.", I just don't.)

 

the music choices, while lovely, didn't feel like the right fit.

 

i enjoyed the production design a lot.

 

I'm not sure if conscious choices were made to make it SARANDON AND LANGE AS SARANDON AND LANGE AS DAVIS AND CRAWFORD and not SARANDON AND LANGE AS DAVIS AND CRAWFORD; but I couldn't help but feel that both, while wonderful, only visited the their characters in moments-  Lange with a lingering look, Sarandon when she dropped her "G's" (and wore the wig cap) and more often than not did not come across as the genuine original.

 

AND THAT IS NOT TO SAY THAT BOTH WERE NOT VERY VERY GOOD. THEY WERE. both had some brilliant moments, Sarandon especially in the screening room scene both in the BABY JANE footage running and her reactions; Lange without a line of dialogue in the contract signing scene (when she sees Bette is getting a larger per diem.)

 

KATHY BATES was great; apparently Joan Blondell had an eye for the ladies?

 

...and i'm always happy to see RICK ROSSOVICH. was just thinking fondly of him the other day....

 

**Joan WOULD NEVER eat or even ask about dessert.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

what the Hell was Robbins doing directing MOTHER COURAGE in the first place?

there was- i imagine- no dancing, yes?

was he trying to go for a "legitimacy" thing?

i admit i do not know a whole whole lot abotu the theater, but this seems to me rather akin to Busby Berkley directing THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

 

I guess Robbins thought he could do anything. He was first and foremost a dancer/choreographer, but he did direct the original B'way productions of West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof, including the non-music/non-dance scenes.

 

On the other hand, he directed what may be one of the worst plays I ever saw. I was young and impoverished but beginning to love to go to the theater (it was 1966). I bought a $3 preview/balcony ticket for a play called The Office, by Maria Irene Fornes. I didn't know much about Robbins then, but Elaine May was the star -- that's what interested me. The cast also included Doris Roberts, Ruth White, Jack Weston, Tony Lo Bianco, and William Daniels. It was nearly four hours, and it was awful. I felt bad at the curtain call, because the audience booed. I had never seen booing at the theater before. Elaine May and the cast looked sheepishly at each other. The play never officially opened.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

By the way, Jerome Robbins directed Bette Davis in her one Broadway musical: Two's Company. That must have been amusing, two of the most difficult people in theater/film working together!

 

(Actually Jules Dassin directed the sketches; Robbins directed the musical numbers. Good score, with music by Vernon Duke and lyrics by Ogden Nash and others.)

 

In the Off-Topic section, I've just posted a video of Bette singing "Just Like a Man," which she sang in Two's Company.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the first episode last night. It is so striking to see the difference between Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.  Jessica's facelifts have completely eliminated her ability to register any natural emotion in her visage, while Sarandon's unaltered features are fully reflective without any conscious facial gestures. This is a lesson to anyone who wants to continue acting beyond their youth - leave your face the hell alone!

 

Molina was great as Aldrich; Tucci was a cartoon as Warner; lousy casting for Gary Merrill.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Molina was great as Aldrich; Tucci was a cartoon as Warner; lousy casting for Gary Merrill.

 

YEAH, i did not like Tucci or the Jack Warner scenes at all.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the first episode last night. It is so striking to see the difference between Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon.  Jessica's facelifts have completely eliminated her ability to register any natural emotion in her visage, while Sarandon's unaltered features are fully reflective without any conscious facial gestures.

 

i think Sarandon's just had better quality work, but yeah.

 

I think with Jessica, the problem is a reliance on botox and fillers, which make the face look frozen and immobile.

 

there is also the fact that Lange is 67 and Crawford was (allegedly) 57 when she made BABY JANE, so there is that too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree that there is a very strong resemblance betwixt the two.

Have you ever seen HONDO (1953)? I think it is her finest performance and one of John Wayne's as well.

 

I saw HONDO when it aired on one of the Encore channels. I personally wouldn't say Geraldine Page gave her finest performance in that movie, but she was very good. I also liked the actor who played the Apache chief who befriends Geraldine Page's son in the movie and makes him a "blood brother."

One thing that stood out to me was that during the fight between John Wayne (Hondo) and the Apache whose brother Hondo had killed there were shots of both Hondo and the Apache stabbing directly into the camera. 

I later learned that HONDO was originally released in 3-D.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

lousy casting for Gary Merrill.

 

Well, it seems they wanted to exemplify Merrill's woodenness. If that's the case then the casting was perfect ! :lol:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Name TWO movies that had five (5) unsuccessful acting nominations......

 

Peyton Place (1958) - Lana Turner, Arthur Kennedy, Russ Tamblyn, Diane Varsi and Hope Lange

 

Tom Jones (1963) - Albert Finney, Hugh Griffith, Diane Cilento, Edith Evans and Joyce Redman

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think Sarandon's just had better quality work, but yeah.

 

I think with Jessica, the problem is a reliance on botox and fillers, which make the face look frozen and immobile.

 

there is also the fact that Lange is 67 and Crawford was (allegedly) 57 when she made BABY JANE, so there is that too.

 

I just saw several episodes for the first time today. Susan is quite good in her role and credible. Indeed, not easy task considering how well known Bette Davis was in cinema.

 

Jessica is really, I think, completely miscast for this role. Physically and otherwise - - she just may not be good enough to handle it. Also, and in all fairness to Jessica, I couldn't get Faye Dunaway's characterization of Joan Crawford out of my mind, while I was watching her.

 

It goes without saying, that Jessica is not in the same acting ballpark with either Faye Dunaway or Susan Sarandon.

 

Also, I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? in the movie theater first run. And as a child, I was used to seeing Joan Crawford and Bette Davis on television talk shows. I never met them in person, but to me they were real people who really existed and not just actresses on one-dimensional Celluloid playing parts.

 

Jessica just cannot reach Joan on any level. I've seeing Jessica do some credible acting in the past, but she's simply out of her depth with this one.

 

Otherwise it's a beautiful representation of that Twilight time in Hollywood.

 

 

BTW: The actor playing Jack Warner seemed very credible to me. Sometime if you get a chance, you must watch Bette Davis's AFI awards ceremony program. Yes, Jack Warner showed up and and the studio head and the star showed a great deal of respect for each other.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, it seems they wanted to exemplify Merrill's woodenness. If that's the case then the casting was perfect ! :lol:

I never heard anything good about Merrill on any level-- calling his acting wooden is probably the best compliment I've ever seen anybody give him.

 

If I would have a chance to choose the part of Bette's life to dramatize, it would be her time at Warner Brothers with George Brent and William Wyler.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i think Sarandon's just had better quality work, but yeah.

 

I think with Jessica, the problem is a reliance on botox and fillers, which make the face look frozen and immobile.

 

there is also the fact that Lange is 67 and Crawford was (allegedly) 57 when she made BABY JANE, so there is that too.

Back in the early sixties, 57 would be what we would call a good 65 or more today. Men died in their early sixties and women were considered to be old and looked it in their early forties.

 

Take a look at how how Bogart, Gary Cooper, and Clark Gable looked in their last few pictures.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw several episodes for the first time today. Susan is quite good in her role and credible. Indeed, not easy task considering how well known Bette Davis was in cinema.

 

Jessica is really, I think, completely miscast for this role. Physically and otherwise - - she just may not be good enough to handle it. Also, and in all fairness to Jessica, I couldn't get Faye Dunaway's characterization of Joan Crawford out of my mind, while I was watching her.

 

It goes without saying, that Jessica is not in the same acting ballpark with either Faye Dunaway or Susan Sarandon.

 

Also, I saw Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? in the movie theater first run. And as a child, I was used to seeing Joan Crawford and Bette Davis on television talk shows. I never met them in person, but to me they were real people who really existed and not just actresses on one-dimensional Celluloid playing parts.

 

Jessica just cannot reach Joan on any level. I've seeing Jessica do some credible acting in the past, but she's simply out of her depth with this one.

 

 

There is a program I watch sometimes where they show tribute bands, (people who pretend to be the real rock band). One night the act was pretending to be Jimi Hendrix Experience. Now, should I expect this man to play guitar as well as Jimi did ? Or even close ? Of course not. I watch for the entertainment of it.

 

That's how I see this program. As entertainment that salutes old Hollywood and puts a spotlight on a golden era of film. An era I obviously have interest in. It its just too easy to nit pick some details here and there. But, I see it from the other side. I'm happy a show like this even made it to air. No superheroes, reality stars or pawn shops in this one. Veteran actors doing what they do so well.

 

I don't think the portrayals are about "becoming Joan nor Bette". Who could do that ?? My hope is that they encourage new fans to go see the real actresses play in the real movies that made them famous in the first place.

 

As far as the casting, they could have done a lot worse. Do we really want to do to Ms. Lange what was done to Kim Novak in recent years ? 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I watched the new (second) episode of FEUD and I like it a lot.  I thought it was very entertaining.  The guy who played Victor Buono was a perfect acting choice.  The girl (Keiren something that starts with "S"?) has the same character traits as the girl she played in MAD MEN  only now a couple years older.  Kathy Bates is spot-on as Joan Blondell.  Judy Davis and Al Molina are excellent.  Susan Sarandon is doing a fine job capturing Bette's mannerisms and vocal style.  I like Jessica Lange's portrayal of Joan overall but, yeah, sometimes her frozen face detracts from her performance.  My favorite part of tonight's show was Bette and Robert Aldrich rehearsing "I'm Sending a Letter to Daddy" and how he guided her.  It was a great scene.

 

I wonder how much truth is in this story so far and how much is fiction.  I really don't know. I've seen WHATEVER HAPPENED...a bunch of times and I am a big fan of both actresses, particularly Bette (always #1 on my list of best actresses but bumped to #2 a few years ago by Barbara Stanwyck).  I had read they really didn't like each other and it went back to the old days when Bette was fooling around with Franchot Tone, Joan's boyfriend.  Still, they acted like pros on the set for the most part.    

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SPOILER ALERT:  I meant to add another great scene - when Joan tells her much-younger lover he's being recast.  Apparently he hadn't been attentive to her enough.

 

I think my DVR stopped before the end of the show because it cut off during the last (I think) scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I missed most of last night's episode.  Too busy watching the Red Wings get spanked by The Rangers.

 

But got to it just in time to see the scene where Davis allegedly  sleeps with Aldrich.  Even my WIFE, in her situation, couldn't help but quip, "I certainly hope he's not allergic to dust."   :D

 

SEpiatone

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just saw several episodes for the first time today.

 

Jessica is really, I think, completely miscast for this role. Physically and otherwise - - . Also, and in all fairness to Jessica, I couldn't get Faye Dunaway's characterization of Joan Crawford out of my mind, while I was watching her.

 

 

after watching the second episode last night, i'm leaning towards agreement with this...although I'd say Lange is very good at the mechanics of it- she's giving me anger, rage, jealousy, etc. just fine- she's just not giving me Joan Crawford feeling anger, rage, jealousy, etc...

 

besides that, everyone is sleeping with everyone else now on AND IT IS GROSS.

 

May not be back for episode three.

 

ps- really, really, really getting to haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate the Jack Warner scenes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


© 2019 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy
×
×
  • Create New...