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MerryPickford

Fans thoughts on Debbie Reynolds?

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So I'm going to be honest, I only got to know Debbie Reynolds filmography after she passed away. I am from a generation that remembered her best from Halloweentown on the Disney Channel back in the late 90s and early 2000s. TCM did some tribute to her in Jan of 2017 so I got to see for the first time, the very best of her work, although I think they couldn't do The Rat Race or Goodbye Charlie since I believe Fox or FXM shows them. 

I guess, what I want to ask, is what do you think of her? Is she an acting legend, a great singer, or a great dancer? Or all three? and then some?

Correct me if I'm wrong, she never won any award unfortunately and that can go against her I suppose, but I believe luck and a good campaign wins awards sometimes so maybe not all the legends win awards?

 

So if you must ask since I'm a big fan of hers, my three top films of hers is 1. Singin' in the Rain, 2. The Catered Affair 3. The Unsinkable Molly Brown.............. so yes, I go against the usual statistics and went with her very good dramatic role with Bette Davis for which I thought she should have at least received a supporting actress nod. Let me know what you think in the comments. 

 

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I'm of a generation that grew up basically unaware of her existence, as her acting work was confined almost entirely to some scattered TV shows for a good 20  years, none of which I think I ever saw (or if I did, I didn't know who she was). I may have been vaguely aware as a first generation Star Wars fanatic that she was Carrie Fisher's mother, and I suppose there was some buzz in the press that the Shirley MacLaine character in Postcards from the Edge (which I saw in the theater) was essentially supposed to be Reynolds. Though at that time I still may not have been able to pick the real Reynolds out of a lineup. So I may not be the best candidate to respond to this.

I've certainly had time to get acquainted with her during my years of TCM viewing, with a good chunk of her work having been done at MGM. I think I've probably reacted somewhat negatively to her due to TCM overexposure, which certainly isn't her fault. I do find her adorable (and dare I say sexy?) in a lot of her roles, and clearly she was an immensely talented "triple threat". The Catered Affair is a nice example of what she could do with a straight dramatic role, and I wish there had been a few more of those. 

You are correct that she never won an in-competition award from any of the major organizations, though she has a Hersholt humanitarian award and a number of lifetime achievement awards.

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I've never seen Debbie in anything I didn't like. I think what she was was a hard worker with a lot of drive and effort.  She had the good foundation of being involved in gymnastics as a girl, which would naturally make learning dance a bit easier. She was also involved in the beauty contest scene, which taught her how to behave in front of people and use her naturally cheerful personality to her advantage. She had much help from some really great performers with her dancing, and she learned well and quickly from them. Her singing I would say was her natural gift (how many times can I use the word "natural" 😄?)

Just really a nice, hardworking lady, if you ask me.

 

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She seemed to be a fun and talented person. She had terrible taste in men (I wonder if that had to do with her becoming a star at such a young age.) She loved her kids & grandchild. She was a great entertainer who got pigeon holed into a specific role although she got a chance to shine occasionally. 

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1 hour ago, sewhite2000 said:

Carrie Fisher's mother, and I suppose there was some buzz in the press that the Shirley MacLaine character in Postcards from the Edge was essentially supposed to be Reynolds.

I certainly got that vibe. I thought it an honest portrayal of the burdens of aging & fame. I found the whole wig thing very brave of MacLaine to do.

I like both Sage & Helen's insights & comments about Debbie's hard work & talent. She certainly persevered through some of the most personal & rude publicity, never succumbing to failure. A true survivor, who engaged her personality and hard work over plastic surgery & favors.

All her performances on film are noteworthy, she certainly could do it all-don't forget HOW THE WEST WAS WON to her dramatic, serious roles. 

I was lucky enough to have seen her perform on stage, she was wonderful. You could absolutely hear a pin drop, she had the audience in the palm of her hands-THAT'S a talent in itself that you don't experience from a film role. She graciously greeted a long line of fans afterward, & autographed a photo for me. My 2 seconds with her I thanked her profusely for "saving the costumes" and we talked about how important they are as part of the art of film. 

This is one of my all time favorite photos, I have it framed in my home:

lawrence-schiller-carrie-fisher-backstag

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AND, could do the best Zsa Zsa Gabor impression this side of Eva.

(...on the other side of Eva it didn't matter)

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Never a big "fan", but neither too, ever disliked her. Thought she was very pretty and talented too.  My wife however, didn't like her for some reason.  Never did find out why.

Sepiatone

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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

AND, could do the best Zsa Zsa Gabor impression this side of Eva.

(...on the other side of Eva it didn't matter)

OMG! I'm old enough (and that's old) to remember her on a TV variety show (It may have been Perry Como.) doing a laundry detergent commercial parody as Zsa Zsa, washing her diamonds in a washing machine. Hilarious. Now you've made want to scour YouTube to see if it's there.

She was an entertainment pro and I can't remember ever feeling like she wasn't giving her all. Other that Singin' In The Rain, my favorite film was The Rat Race with Tony Curtis. The way she handled the small moments of defeat she had to endure in it was a revelation, given how perky most of her roles were. I personally feel that The Unsinkable Molly Brown was too over the top, but in everything she showed the spirit of a true survivor. At one time she was at the center of the biggest (literally) scandal in the world, the notorious Liz-Eddie-Debbie business, yet she managed to right herself and her career and walk away with her dignity and her family (minus Eddie) intact. In a way she was like Doris Day; you kind of knew what to expect, but it was a nice experience watching her movies anyway.

 

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7 hours ago, MerryPickford said:

I'm a big fan of hers, my three top films of hers is 1. Singin' in the Rain, 2. The Catered Affair 3. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

Those are the ones I'd pick for her.  I agree with remarks above to the effect that she was a hard worker and a triple threat talent.  I cannot claim to be a big fan of any of her movies, but it is hard to think of a more likeable personality (except maybe Shirley Temple). 

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Ha ha ha that photo is amazing. Imagine a child being able to sit that patiently on a stool now for more than one second without either a phone or some sort of gaming device to stare at.

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32 minutes ago, sewhite2000 said:

Ha ha ha that photo is amazing.

What I like about the photo is how it tells you everything visually: the contrast of performance vs real life. The perspective of the "real life" figure is so much larger than teeny "performance" figure. Extra points that we know how the little girl turned out.

There's a lot to be learned from those two lives.

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I completely forgot about How the West Was Won. Someone decided she was talented enough to carry that picture in a newish format with a lot of hype attached to it. It was a HUGE deal when that film was. 

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I understand you are speaking of Debbie Reynolds as an actress.  I want to spotlight her other talent.  One, I think she is, was, a wonderful human being.  Second, Debbie and I share a birth date, April 1.  Third, Debbie was the perfect choice and had the perfect voice to sing one of Rock and Roll's most popular songs of the 1950s, "Tammy", from the film "Tammy and the Bachelor".  "Tammy" spent almost 6 months in the "Top 40" charts and spent 5 or 6 weeks as the number one song in the United States.  "Tammy" was also nominated in 1957 for an Academy Award for "Best Song".  She didn't win but it is nice to have your talent noticed by the Academy.

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I love Debbie Reynolds. She is adorable, charming, pretty, talented, everything. She’s one of my favorites and I DVR pretty much everything that she’s in that I haven’t seen. Her name in the credits is enough to pique my interest. 
 

I love Singin’ in the Rain, The Tender Trap, I Love Melvin, Tammy and the Bachelor, Susan Slept Here, and The Mating Game. 
 

 

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16 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

I love Debbie Reynolds. She is adorable, charming, pretty, talented, everything. She’s one of my favorites and I DVR pretty much everything that she’s in that I haven’t seen. Her name in the credits is enough to pique my interest. 
 

I love Singin’ in the Rain, The Tender Trap, I Love Melvin, Tammy and the Bachelor, Susan Slept Here, and The Mating Game. 
 

 

I'm also a fan of Debbie's.Speedy, one that I'm sure you'd also like very much is My Six Loves. It hasn't been shown on tv that I know of in years. It's a sweet, pleasant film and Debbie's great in it If you ever see that it's on I think you'd enjoy it.

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1 hour ago, thomasterryjr said:

Debbie was the perfect choice and had the perfect voice to sing one of Rock and Roll's most popular songs of the 1950s, "Tammy", from the film "Tammy and the Bachelor".

Great record, and as you point out a huge success, but it was not Rock n' Roll. 

 

1 hour ago, thomasterryjr said:

"Tammy" was also nominated in 1957 for an Academy Award for "Best Song".  She didn't win but it is nice to have your talent noticed by the Academy.

I think the songwriters would have been the recipients for "Best Original Song", not REYNOLDS.

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17 hours ago, lavenderblue19 said:

one that I'm sure you'd also like very much is My Six Loves. It's a sweet, pleasant film and Debbie's great in it If you ever see that it's on I think you'd enjoy it.

Wow thanks for mentioning that- what a cast!

Cliff Robertson plays the romantic lead (I'd watch him in ANYthing) and Alice Ghostly, Alice Pearce, Hans Conried, John McGiver, Jim Backus, Sterling Holloway!

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16 minutes ago, TikiSoo said:

Wow thanks for mentioning that- what a cast!

Cliff Robertson plays the romantic lead (I'd watch him in ANYthing) and Alice Ghostly, Alice Pearce, Hans Conried, John McGiver, Jim Backus, Sterling Holloway!

Wow is right!  What a cast!

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I just looked for My Six Loves in my library's list of available Debbie Reynolds movies, no luck.

But I was reminded of one of my favorite Debbie movies 1959's THE GAZEBO which has shown on TCM before- a black comedy

319px-Poster_of_the_movie_The_Gazebo.jpg

(nice Reynold Brown illustration)

Spotted this oddity of smiling dismembered heads ATHENA '54 also starring fave Jane Powell:

th?id=OIP.gAQhC_SnziYZMVsWSJrIigHaLX&pid

Description sounds like a stinker, I'll skip this one. But I did request HBO's BRIGHT LIGHTS the documentary of Debbie & Carrie's personal life at home. I watched it on TV & it's worth a revisit.

Debbie was a very good singer (like already stated a triple threat) and it's unbelievable her singing in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN was dubbed. Particularly ironic since voice dubbing is central theme of the movie!

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Debbie was likable in just about every role she did, how could one not like her?

Of course she'll always be remembered for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, but she also turned in a really great performance in her later years as Albert Brooks' ma in 1997's MOTHER.

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3 hours ago, Bethluvsfilms said:

Debbie was likable in just about every role she did, how could one not like her?

Of course she'll always be remembered for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN or THE UNSINKABLE MOLLY BROWN, but she also turned in a really great performance in her later years as Albert Brooks' ma in 1997's MOTHER.

I hated her guts in How the West Was Won.

:D

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Do It Debbie’s Way 1983 (7.2)

Start each and everyday with Debbie, Teri Garr, Florence Henderson, Rose Marie, Virginia Mayo, Dionne Warwick, Shelley Winters, etc…stretching to classic tunes

 MV5BZDQ4NjdiMTktYzFhZC00ZDRhLTg1NjctMWZi
Love my daily Debbie !!! 💘

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4 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

I just looked for My Six Loves in my library's list of available Debbie Reynolds movies, no luck.

But I was reminded of one of my favorite Debbie movies 1959's THE GAZEBO which has shown on TCM before- a black comedy

319px-Poster_of_the_movie_The_Gazebo.jpg

(nice Reynold Brown illustration)

Spotted this oddity of smiling dismembered heads ATHENA '54 also starring fave Jane Powell:

th?id=OIP.gAQhC_SnziYZMVsWSJrIigHaLX&pid

Description sounds like a stinker, I'll skip this one. But I did request HBO's BRIGHT LIGHTS the documentary of Debbie & Carrie's personal life at home. I watched it on TV & it's worth a revisit.

Debbie was a very good singer (like already stated a triple threat) and it's unbelievable her singing in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN was dubbed. Particularly ironic since voice dubbing is central theme of the movie!

Athena is shown on TCM every so often.   Athena was on about 2 weeks ago. It's not a stinker but it is an odd film. You should see it once and that's about it. I love The Gazebo. It's a funny film with that funny Hitchcock reference. Definitely recommend that one although it's more Glenn Ford's film than Debbie's. Too bad about My Six Loves, I think it's a Paramount film. It used to be on TV then disappeared years ago. It's a really enjoyable film.

I was a very little girl  ( maybe 5 or 6) when the song Tammy was popular. I remember loving that song and singing it.

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Here's a comedy starring Debbie that I always thought was one of her better ones...

OIP.PIv5YycfyfIPV6k-pDuTMAHaF0?pid=Api&r

 

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