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All About AVA


MissGoddess

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> {quote:title=CineMaven wrote:}{quote}

> Today of all days to miss Ava. My friends here in Massachusetts, do not have TCM.

>

> Ack!!!

 

 

Oh...and I just woke up to THE BRIBE. I cannot get over how gorgeous Ava looks in it. I know, superficial, superficial....but goodness...there ought to be a law against a waist that tiny (especially in a two piece knock-off of her Killers gown). And she's not really wearing much make up, you can tell, yet she has that defined look that doesn't require it. Her eyes just leap out. Such a lovely looking lady.

 

I was thinking how this movie feels like *Macao* in its its atmosphere, but without Mitchum the entire tone is different. It sort of plays into our discussion elsewhere about the vibe different people give off, the "tone" that FrankGrimes wrote of that different performers bring to the play. With Mitchum, this movie would be lighter, more humorous. His delivery is generally sarcastic and "what a chump I am" is behind his every move toward the woman. With Taylor, it's played straight. And you know what? I think it works better that way, with Taylor, because of the love story. First, I didn't think Ava and Mitch had much chemistry in *My Forbidden Past*, but I put that down largely to the ill suited roles and milieu. For them to be believable as a couple in *The Bribe*, Ava would have to stop being earnest and sweet (this is as sweet as I've seen her) and bring out her tougher, sarcastic side. This would cut down on the romance. Because Mitchum isn't the kind of guy a woman feels a desperate, destroying passion for. Taylor is serious so you can imagine it and feel it. that's why I love Mitch with someone like Jane Russell, who doesn't take him too seriously. But as I am trying to say, I think that undercuts the seriousness of any passion between the two, and the story.

 

However, it might be more fun, because *The Bribe* if it suffers from anything, suffers from being a little too straightforward and dry. But with such a great cast (besides the leads, there's Charles Laughton and Vincent Price and a suffering, un-mustachioed John Hodiak) and beautiful cinematography, I am definitely nitpicking.

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Oooh, I'm so sorry CinMava!

 

I watched *My Forbidden Past*. Despite a pretty predictable script the stars made it really worthwhile. I wish I had recorded it for you, I hate to even mention that it had Janis Carter in it....

 

MissG - you are right about Mitch and Ava's chamistry. I don't know why, they should ignite the screen - two such passionate performers... I think they were scripted into a corner, and over directed.

 

I have a question for you, Goddess. Based on what FrankGrimes said, I've been watching Ava closely and find that anger seems to fuel a lot of her performances. I find her anger scenes to be the best she does. They strike me as the most real emotion she portrays, just a bit ahead of fear and devastating sadness. Do you think she was angry inside? If she was, do you think it's because she was forced into a box by her great beauty? Or is it something else?

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 26, 2010 11:13 AM

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 26, 2010 11:14 AM

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hi jackie!

 

Re: *My Forbidden Past*

 

I forgot Janis was in it...I should watch it again some time, it's been a while.

 

> MissG - you are right about Mitch and Ava's chamistry. I don't know why, they should ignite the screen - two such passionate performers... I think they were scripted into a corner, and over directed.

>

 

they felt stifled, for lack of a better word, was the impression i got when i last watched. i didn't think the setting and style was a right fit for them. and mitch needs more "room" for that big personality of his. he seemed hamstrung by a stodgy character.

 

> I have a question for you, Goddess. Based on what FrankGrimes said, I've been watching Ava closely and find that anger seems to fuel a lot of her performances. I find her anger scenes to be the best she does. They strike me as the most real emotion she portrays, just a bit ahead of fear and devastating sadness. Do you think she was angry inside? If she was, do you think it's because she was forced into a box by her great beauty? Or is it something else?

>

 

oooh, i quite agree that Ava really plays anger tremendously well. Her eyes literally seem to crackle when she's ticked off. :D She spits out her words and you can feel the fur is really about to fly, ha haaaa. I think in real life she had a pretty quick temper, so you have it right that it's a genuine source of her screen energy. i don't get the feeling it's anything deeper than temper, though. I could be wrong, but I think had she been a housewife in the Carolinas or anything else in life, she'd have been just as tempermental. She was part Irish in her family background, you know. :D (Her look, in fact, is very "Black Irish", similar to how Gregory Peck looks and he came from black Irish stock).

 

Edited by: MissGoddess on Nov 26, 2010 11:27 AM

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I didn't think it was a deep seated anger, I just wondered since I haven't read much about her. I thought maybe it had more to do with being a little irritated at everyone wanting something of her beauty for themselves, or maybe that she felt stifled creatively because of it. It must have been boring always being referred to as the great beauty in all of her pictures, and never having anyone take her seriously. She obviously has a great wit and lots of smarts, she never plays dumb that I can think of, and yet, they never gave her a role which showed that off. I'd be irritated too if I were as smart as Ava and yet, no one seems to have thought much about giving her a smart woman to play, unless they were totally bad.

 

Her eyes really spark and she seems to be more alive when she's angry. And I can relate very well to her at those times. :D

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I think Ava's characters show anger as a way to conceal her emotional pain and hurt. She's usually playing a woman who is completely frustrated with a guy. She wants the guy to love her like she loves him. She lashes out at those she loves the most.

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> {quote:title=FrankGrimes wrote:}{quote}

> I think Ava's characters show anger as a way to conceal her emotional pain and hurt. She's usually playing a woman who is completely frustrated with a guy. She wants the guy to love her like she loves him.

 

That makes a lot of sense. Men are so frustrating!

 

>She lashes out at those she loves the most.

 

Don't we all?

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Nov 26, 2010 11:49 AM

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Men are so frustrating!

 

I wouldn't know! I'm a boy!

 

My favorite "Ava anger" is in The Night of the Iguana because she throws a major tantrum but ends up crying. She's really hurting in that film.

 

In Mogambo, she tries to get past her anger with Vic by becoming chums. It's not what she wants, though. It's killing her to do it.

 

She lashes out at those she loves the most.

 

Don't we all?

 

In our own ways, yes. But not everyone chooses anger. Others turn inward. They lash with silence.

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I didn't get to watch Night of the Iguana last night. I'd like to revisit it and just watch for Ava. I admit the first time I saw it, it was all about Burton - he was too large not to pay attention to. I only remember him.

 

I did see one scene last night - the part where they have tied him up to the hammock, and Ava sits on him. I imagine it was shocking at the time.

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> I didn't think it was a deep seated anger, I just wondered since I haven't read much about her. I thought maybe it had more to do with being a little irritated at everyone wanting something of her beauty for themselves, or maybe that she felt stifled creatively because of it. It must have been boring always being referred to as the great beauty in all of her pictures, and never having anyone take her seriously. She obviously has a great wit and lots of smarts, she never plays dumb that I can think of, and yet, they never gave her a role which showed that off. I'd be irritated too if I were as smart as Ava and yet, no one seems to have thought much about giving her a smart woman to play, unless they were totally bad.

>

> Her eyes really spark and she seems to be more alive when she's angry. And I can relate very well to her at those times. :D

 

from what i read and from my own impressions (all of which may be WAY off, because I never met the lady), Ava was pretty humble about her intelligence and talent. She knew she was perceptive and quick, but felt inadequate around intellectual types (who are often good at making sure you DO feel inadequate), and I think Artie Shaw probably reinforced that feeling even though he tried to "educate" her and open her up to a world of books, music and art. I just don't get the feeling she cared so much abuot all that. She wanted love, fun and family and friends but Hollywood has a way of taking young people and screwing them up. She ended up with none of those things she wanted most, and so the booze and partying came to dominate her life. A little like the Contessa. I don't think she cared about seeming smart or even about being a serious actress, though she did want very much to please the directors she respected. She wanted to be loved and have a good time with people, I'd say. She was a people person, not a loner, a lot like Sinatra in temperment only he had a loner streak coupled with extreme need for being around people. I base a lot of what I'm saying because in these aspects I see myself in both of these people. So you have to take my impressions with a pound of salt, I apologize about that. :D

 

One of the fun things about these discussions is how our own perceptions and experiences come into play when we analyze movies and the people in them. How much of what I just wrote is really about ME and nothing to do with Ava?

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> {quote:title=MissGoddess wrote:}{quote}

> from what i read and from my own impressions (all of which may be WAY off, because I never met the lady), Ava was pretty humble about her intelligence and talent. She knew she was perceptive and quick, but felt inadequate around intellectual types (who are often good at making sure you DO feel inadequate), and I think Artie Shaw probably reinforced that feeling even though he tried to "educate" her and open her up to a world of books, music and art. I just don't get the feeling she cared so much abuot all that. She wanted love, fun and family and friends but Hollywood has a way of taking young people and screwing them up. She ended up with none of those things she wanted most, and so the booze and partying came to dominate her life. A little like the Contessa. I don't think she cared about seeming smart or even about being a serious actress, though she did want very much to please the directors she respected. She wanted to be loved and have a good time with people, I'd say. She was a people person, not a loner, a lot like Sinatra in temperment only he had a loner streak coupled with extreme need for being around people. I base a lot of what I'm saying because in these aspects I see myself in both of these people. So you have to take my impressions with a pound of salt, I apologize about that. :D

>

> One of the fun things about these discussions is how our own perceptions and experiences come into play when we analyze movies and the people in them. How much of what I just wrote is really about ME and nothing to do with Ava?

 

Thanks for the info, about you and Ava. :D

 

I felt the same way just now! writing about her was really just filtered through my perception of her - I can relate to her anger.... that is more about me than her. :D

 

I wonder if she had stayed in the south, would she have been different? Or would she have been a woman even more unfulfilled? Lately I am all about questions that can't be answered. I really wish I could have met some of these stars and talked to them with a lot of depth.

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>

> I felt the same way just now! writing about her was really just filtered through my perception of her - I can relate to her anger.... that is more about me than her. :D

>

 

and that's what i love about talking with you and the others here, when we really get to dig our toes in the sandbox. :) after all, we're alive and the folks we write about are mostly dead...and the living interests me far more than the dead. but their works prompt us to get to know each other and exchange ideas and that is probably more worth while than we realize. we may not be rich and famous, but we're just as significant as those we discuss.

 

> I wonder if she had stayed in the south, would she have been different? Or would she have been a woman even more unfulfilled? Lately I am all about questions that can't be answered. I really wish I could have met some of these stars and talked to them with a lot of depth.

 

i wonder sometimes, too. being rich and famous is no guarantee of happiness, nor is being poor and obscure, that's for darn sure. but ava did see a pretty solid example of a reasonably happy home and marriage in her parents, so I think she knew what it should be like. perhaps knowing what it should be made her unable to compromise later, after her three failed marriages. she was perhaps a realist in that aspect. make the best with what you have, and at least her career made travel and life in Europe possible. it also made it possible to help her family, somethings she did all her life.

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i really enjoyed ava being 'star of the month', and i _really_ enjoyed being able to come to this thread and read all of the feedback, comments, and insights to ava & her films.

 

during our family gathering yesterday, some of us peeled off to the den to watch tv. i put on tcm & 'the night of the iguana' and really enjoyed watching my family members get into it!

 

the two most talked about subjects were tennessee williams and ava. i was able to pipe in and answer all questions. funny everyone was suprised by the ending-- expecting a romantic link-up between burton and kerr. i had to explain williams did not do traditional romantic plays, he almost always has his characters opening a 'pandora's box' of afflictions..... with just the slightest sliver of hope at the end. he deals with the mystery of being human. williams is my favorite american playright.

 

afterwards i watched 'mayerling'. ava was stunning-looking. like in 'night...', ava is the warmest thing in the film.

 

and it really shows her 'star power' that ava blew catherine deneuve (!) off the screen in their scenes together. young catherine, later renowned in her own right for her great beauty, seemed to disappear in ava's radiance......just amazing!!

 

i realize that hollywood would not have made 'mayerling' because of it's rule against 'suicide as plot resolution'. but i missed the tragic sweep that i think an american director would have given that film. interesting subject matter though.

 

and this was driving me crazy.....where did i hear that romantic theme music before? after racking my brain it occurs to me-- that's the music that caligula (malcolm mcdowell) and his sister make out to in that 1980 film 'caligula'!! i remember thinking at the time that the music was too grand for that movie.

 

i hit the hay watching 'ride, vaquero' waiting for ava's screen time (and waiting for howard keel, anthony qiunn, and robert taylor to get out of the way!).

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I'm having a great time in Massachusetts and "Meg Ramsey" is about to have its New England premiere. We have lots of...of...

 

Wait! Uhmmmm...Janis Carter was in "My Forbidden Past" and my friends here don't have TCM...

 

< ( Gulp! ) >

 

 

:-( :-( :-(

 

< ( Sigh! ) >

 

It was great reading many of the thoughts on this Ava thread. I'd say she's kind of gotten short shrift over the years, but again thanxxx to TCM for bringing her to the forefront.

 

Hollywood has provided a lifestyle many of them would never have. But I'm hoping that when they come to Hollywood they bring their life experience...value...morals. Ava didn't seem to have a "big head" or let Hollywood turn her head. How much of the stars do we see in us...and how much of us are in these stars. I do not know.

 

I love my movie stars. I fantasize...speculate...admire and adore them. And its much of the writing I read here, that helps me put my thoughts into perspective.

 

Edited by: CineMaven on Nov 26, 2010 7:08 PM

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I can't wait for the "reviews" to come in on the Yankee Debut of Meg!!! :D

 

And as big a fan as you are of both Ava and Mitch, I'm sure you will enjoy MFP. I really need to watch it again, maybe I would like it more now. After all, Ava playing a southern woman is ALalways a treat.

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Couldn't watch her either. Thanksgiving ya know and all family and friends together on this day. Bad timing because some movies I haven't seen before. What is Mayerling?, with Gardner and Deneauve (sp). Not sure I've seen it. And then last Thursday, where I was staying, no TCM either. Missed a lot of Ava in her special month.

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hi socalgal!

 

 

you know, i don't believe that ginger would mind a bit. both astaire and rogers resisted the idea of becoming a permanent team. they wanted individual careers and did not want to be typecast together by the studios or the public.

 

 

i think this is a vital point regarding the classic hollywood stars.... they were all typecast in a narrowly defined role that registered with the public--- whether it be hero (john wayne, gable, james stewart), villains (george sanders, basil rathbone), leading ladies (greer garson, norma shearer), or sex symbols like ava. it is interesting to watch these actors trying to expand their roles into 'playing against type', although not every attempt was successful with the public.

 

 

 

i really think for these lady sex symbols, their roles must have felt very confining to them. the biographies of so many of them read the same when it comes to frustration with hollywood stereotyping them. even their male counterparts-- tyrone power, errol flynn, and robert taylor-- felt confined by the roles their studios assigned them to.

 

 

but women like harlow, hayworth, monroe and ava were able to transcend this limitation in a way that really touches an audience... that is what makes them great.

 

 

a 'sex symbol' who could not touch an audience in their heart, who could only provide a superficial surface sex appeal (like jayne mansfield & raquel welch -my opinion only-) were treated as a joke.

 

 

i just wound up my month long meditation on ava with ' the snows of kilimanjaro' -my dvd arrived in the mail today. a good film to end on. three powerhouse performances from ava, peck, and susan hayward.

 

 

ava, as always, beautiful and heartbreaking... a wonderful performance. her long scene with peck at the dinner table--- spectacular!!! how could she possibly doubt her acting abilities after filming that long scene in one take!!

 

 

and HOW STRANGE that in the following year she's working in africa on 'mogambo' and faced with having a baby! the same dilemma as her character 'cynthia'.

 

 

ava , rita , and marilyn draw me in with their wondrous beauty and charisma. but the poignancy they bring to their roles that really gets to me, really touches me.

 

 

 

then there's harlow. she makes me laugh!

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Caught NIGHT OF THE IGUANA after many, many years. Ava's cackle as Maxine, oh my gosh! I'd like to believe that, along with finally being able to hear Gardner's authentic North Carolina drawl (I love the way it sounds) this laugh is Gardner's own. It's hard to "get away" from the artfully incisive performances of Burton and Kerr, so I want to see the movie again on YouTube to catch all the subtleties Ava brings to this part. There is so much vulnerability and hurt beneath Maxine's "Earth Mother" exterior.

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> Caught NIGHT OF THE IGUANA after many, many years. Ava's cackle as Maxine, oh my gosh! I'd like to believe that, along with finally being able to hear Gardner's authentic North Carolina drawl (I love the way it sounds) this laugh is Gardner's own. It's hard to "get away" from the artfully incisive performances of Burton and Kerr, so I want to see the movie again on YouTube to catch all the subtleties Ava brings to this part. There is so much vulnerability and hurt beneath Maxine's "Earth Mother" exterior.

 

:D You said it, Lady B. Maxine is filled with pain...I think her husband's death, even though their marriage was clearly not altogether happy, left her more lonely than ever and she truly was looking to fill old Fred's shoes. The way her eyes lit up when she laid eyes on Shannon, the hungry way she looks at him when they are listening to the old man recite his poem. Well, it's just so open that you almost feel ashamed to look upon such a moment. it's too private, too personal. it's wonderful.

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