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Scary Margaret O'Brien


otterhere
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This is one weird kid -- never more so than in the ballet movie shown yesterday evening -- but what a treat to see her dance, en pointe, nonetheless!!! Although she didn't get the publicity or adulation, I think this child was as much a "prodigy" as Shirley Temple. Kind'a creepy, though!!!

 

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I had trouble watching The Unfinished Dance for the first time a couple of years ago, it was so out of character for O'Brien. Assault, bribery, stalking, not the usual sweet little imp in this one (I thought the Code mandated punishment for criminal acts before the movie ended?). I love the movie now, though. She danced pretty well considering she only trained for the film. Would like to see the original Ballerina for a comparison. Supposed to be even darker.

 

As for her other movies, I've never found anything weird about her. Just talented and wise beyond her years, and though Temple could probably sing and dance circles around her, to me O'Brien was by far the better actress, and believable.

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I didn't understand what Danny Thomas's relationship to Margaret was, Her uncle?

 

Danny Thomas was Meg's aunt's long-time boyfriend. Aunt was always out of town on dancing gigs. As in ten of her first eighteen movies, O'Brien played an orphan.

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the only reason i ever have trouble watching this movie is b/c cyd charise is in it a lot. i dont like her. she always struck me as having a snooty personality all the time and i was just never real fatuated with her acting style. i dont mind some of her movies, but this one i dont like too much. i do love margaret o'brien though and i love all her movies, so she was the only reason i ever watched this movies. i thought she was just the bees knees....so cute!

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I'll agree that Margaret O'Brien was scary looking in the Halloween scenes in "Meet Me in St. Louis", although she was a hoot.

She was also wonderful in "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" with Edward G. Robinson.

Just like the adult stars at the time, their films weren't always hits.

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Joe, as I was browsing this thread, I was thinking about "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes", too. That is one of the sweetest movies about childhood I have ever seen. It isn't saccharine at all. Margaret O'Brien is not perfect, she is selfish, willful, generous, kind and thoughtful....like ALL children are. She was allowed to BE a child in this movie. The relationship between her and Edward Robinson was a joy to behold.

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Darn, it totally escaped me that "Josie" in "Dance" was Eleanor Donohue, or "Pharmacist Ellie" in the Andy Griffith show; I'm a huge Andy fan, and can't believe this one got pas me??? Now I have to watch it all over again... : ( "Our Vines" sounds great... Hope TCM shows it soon, if they can find room after all the 1980s and 90s movies they've got lined up for February are out of the way...

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Personally, I love Margaret O'Brien. "Our Vines Have Tender Grapes" and "Tenth Avenue Angel" are adorable, and "Meet Me in St. Louis" is my personal favorite movie.

 

Adult Margaret also appeared in an episode of "Murder, She Wrote" (starring fellow MGM star Angela Lansbury) called "Who Shot J.B. Fletcher?" She was a member of a mystery-readers fan club --- alongside Betty Garrett, Jane Withers, Terry Moore, Janet Blair, and Marie Windsor! "Murder, She Wrote" reruns on Hallmark again; Angela Lansbury often used her old Hollywood pals as guest stars, so it's worth checking the episodes if you want to see stars from the 30's, 40's, and 50's --- in the 80's.

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