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Unusual Film Couples with Great Chemistry


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1 hour ago, Dargo said:

And a solid point yourself here, James...about the "contrast" element, anyway.

 EXCEPT, I have to admit that I always thought Kate Hepburn was ALSO exceptionally attractive back in 1940 and when the movie was made, and what with those terrific cheekbones of hers and that slinky bod she had.

Okay sure, maybe not ever as beautiful as Grace Kelly was, but then again, there's probably only ever been but a handful of leading ladies who ever WERE! 

BUT, still good point about Shirley Booth having that contrast with Kate on the Broadway stage, and because Shirley Booth holds even LESS sex appeal for me than Celeste Holm ever did.

(...although it seems the Nipster might not think so, and seein' as how the guy has been pining for YEARS now to watch Shirley on TCM in that Hot Spell flick!!!)  ;)

LOL

 

 

 

Ok.  To wacko purists about The Philadelphia Story (that would be me, I wrote my master's thesis on Philip Barry) High Society is is a lightweight, execrable version of The Philadelphia Story. Grace, beautiful.  Bing and Frank, at the top of their game.  Celeste, who cares.  But, still.  NOT The Philadelphia Story.  But, I digress.  Still say Ruth Hussey rocks as Liz Imbrie.

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12 minutes ago, lydecker said:

Ok.  To wacko purists about The Philadelphia Story (that would be me, I wrote my master's thesis on Philip Barry) High Society is is a lightweight, execrable version of The Philadelphia Story. Grace, beautiful.  Bing and Frank, at the top of their game.  Celeste, who cares.  But, still.  NOT The Philadelphia Story.  But, I digress.  Still say Ruth Hussey rocks as Liz Imbrie.

Well as I said up there lydecker, in MY view Ruth Hussey ALWAYS rocks.  ;)

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An unusual pairing that i don't think anyone has mentioned was that of Deanna Durbin and Charles Laughton.  They had great chemistry with one another in the two films they did together.

It Started with Eve (1941)

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Because of Him (1946)

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1 hour ago, starliteyes said:

An unusual pairing that i don't think anyone has mentioned was that of Deanna Durbin and Charles Laughton.  They had great chemistry with one another in the two films they did together.

It Started with Eve (1941)

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Because of Him (1946)

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You're right. They are fantastic together. It would be nice to have these on TCM one evening as part of a special double feature.

Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 8.30.54 PM

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1 hour ago, lydecker said:

Ok.  To wacko purists about The Philadelphia Story (that would be me, I wrote my master's thesis on Philip Barry) High Society is is a lightweight, execrable version of The Philadelphia Story. Grace, beautiful.  Bing and Frank, at the top of their game.  Celeste, who cares.  But, still.  NOT The Philadelphia Story.  But, I digress.  Still say Ruth Hussey rocks as Liz Imbrie.

Kate was extremely attractive in those days, though she never thought so

 

extremely attractive back then, she never thought so though

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Just now, spence said:

Kate was extremely attractive in those days, though she never thought so

 

extremely attractive back then, she never thought so though

& she basically stalked THE GREAT SPENCER TRACY looking for him everywhere around the then over 200 acre MGM lot, but in '41 he was down here in FL-(WHYIT'S AWFUL DOWN HERE!) filming THE YEARLING, which was eventually called off for 5yrs  As SINATRA said TRACY loathed locations, as did THE CHAIRMAN

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Since Ruth Hussey has come up a number of times in relation to The Philadelphia Story, and since the original post did not refer specifically to romantic couples, I always felt that she and Ray Milland in The Uninvited make a compelling platonic pair as brother and sister. Honestly, not to get "flowers in the attic" about it, but they seem better matched to each other than to either of their love interests, who are rather too old for her and two young for him respectively, and have little of the humor and chemistry with them that Hussey/Milland have together. Their brother/sister dynamic is the relationship that drives much of the story, and some of the more spine-tingling moments happen around them alone in the house together without their third and fourth wheels present. Plus, they make a physically appealing pair...just saying. Definitely better their familial spark stops short of full Greek tragedy territory in this case, but a shame they didn't play romantic partners in another film.

And since Shirley Booth came up a few times as well, and on the topic of Romantic pairings, How about her and Robert Ryan in About Mrs. Leslie? Consciously oddly matched as the story calls for, but quite affectingly so, I thought; one of the more touching, fresh, and grown-up melodramas of the period. And on that note, who would have ever conceived of Shirley Booth and Burt Lancaster as a married couple...but, damn, is their dramatic chemistry ever dynamite in Come Back Little Sheba! Really watches like a slow-building explosion!

Bette Davis and Claude Rains also come to mind; sometimes romantically paired, sometimes not, sometimes both...but always brilliant together!

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Lou Costello and Marjorie Reynolds in THE TIME OF THEIR LIVES.

In perhaps the most unusual film they made Abbott and Costello do not work as a team. Beginning in American Revolutionary War times Lou plays a tinker who, along with Marjorie Reynolds, is shot down by American troops, their bodies dumped into a well as they are unjustly branded traitors. The story then changes to modern times (1946) with Costello and Reynolds as ghosts still desiring, after all those years, to prove their innocence. There's an unexpected sweetness to this film and, although sentimental, that sentiment is, thankfully, never excessive. But a large part of the success of this fantasy comedy is because of the unexpected chemistry that exists between Costello and Reynolds, bringing a delightful warmth to their scenes together in this gentle little film.

Time-of-Their-Lives-2.jpg

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37 minutes ago, yanceycravat said:

My favorite of all the Abbott and Costello movies.

With the exception of A & C Meet Frankenstein, it's my favourite too.

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33 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

An idea for an alternate thread might be "Couples you expect to have great chemistry, but don't!"

In that case, I'd start with WARREN BEATTY  and any of the women in the cast of SHAMPOO!   But then maybe it's because I could never understand the public draw to that stinkbomb.

Sepiatone

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17 minutes ago, Sepiatone said:

In that case, I'd start with WARREN BEATTY  and any of the women in the cast of SHAMPOO!   But then maybe it's because I could never understand the public draw to that stinkbomb.

Sepiatone

Funny.

I was actually thinking of real life husband-wife teams who surprisingly do not have any on-screen chemistry.

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1 hour ago, Sepiatone said:

In that case, I'd start with WARREN BEATTY  and any of the women in the cast of SHAMPOO!   But then maybe it's because I could never understand the public draw to that stinkbomb.

Sepiatone

Oh, I'm completely with you there.  I never understood why this guy was supposed to be such a big deal.  No sex appeal and not much of an actor.

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15 hours ago, lydecker said:

Ok.  To wacko purists about The Philadelphia Story (that would be me, I wrote my master's thesis on Philip Barry) High Society is is a lightweight, execrable version of The Philadelphia Story. Grace, beautiful.  Bing and Frank, at the top of their game.  Celeste, who cares.  But, still.  NOT The Philadelphia Story.  But, I digress.  Still say Ruth Hussey rocks as Liz Imbrie.

Like Dargo I'm also a big fan of Ruth Hussey and I find her very sexy and attractive;   more so than Kate Hepburn which is why I pointed out there wasn't enough contrast between the two in TPS.      As for her acting in the film;  it was spot on and with just the right balance;   E.g. it was clear Liz loved Mike but and that she was hurt with how a women like Tracy could put-a-spell-on-him in such a very short time,  but she handled this with grace.  Too often women on screen in this type of situation go too far one way or the other - bitterness and anger (at both their man and the so called other women),  or all I-can't-live-without you.     Of course,  as I'm sure you can tell me,  a lot of that has to do with how Barry defined the character.    Either way Hussey nailed the role.   

I still remember the first time I saw Another Thin Man;   I didn't even know it was her until I checked out the cast.   They put funky glasses on her to down play her looks.   So sad (ha ha).

Another Hussey film that one might say is similar to TPS is H.M. Pulham, Esq.      Here the lead actress is Hedy Lamarr,  and while Hussey is the wife of the lead actor (Robert Young as Pulham),   she still is the second-fiddle in the film.     But again she plays the part with such grace.     This casting does work for me since Lamarr was one of the top 5 beauties of classic Hollywood (but as an actress only so-so).      The way Hussey plays the character,  I find myself rooting for her over Lamarr.

 

 

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They only share a couple of scenes but Errol Flynn and Flora Robson demonstrate a surprising chemistry in The Sea Hawk. Flynn was tardy in remembering his lines on the film set but, after hearing that Robson was concerned about time spent on her scenes in the film  holding her up on a stage play appearance she wanted to make, the actor had all his lines memorized letter perfect for their big scene together in Queen Elizabeth's private chambers. Years later Robson spoke well of her working experience with Flynn. I think that the mutual respect these two actors had for one another shows in their scenes together.

the-sea-hawk-1940-flora-robson-errol-fly

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4 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

In that case, I'd start with WARREN BEATTY  and any of the women in the cast of SHAMPOO!   But then maybe it's because I could never understand the public draw to that stinkbomb.

Sepiatone

I would have to agree. Great cast, flashy production, and wonderful soundtrack wasted on that vaporous, self-indulgent, midlife crisis fantasy.

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4 hours ago, TopBilled said:

I was actually thinking of real life husband-wife teams who surprisingly do not have any on-screen chemistry.

I got you. The first obvious choice that comes to mind is Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond. He appeared as her "poor man's Nelson Eddy" if you will in Smiling Through, and had about as much chemistry with her as a "skid row" Nelson Eddy for that matter; this despite the fact that they were in fact married in real life and, and remained so for nearly 30 years.

None of this is perhaps surprising if one accepts the soap-operatic (yet to appearances mostly credible) allegations regarding their complicated marriage.

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1 hour ago, TomJH said:

They only share a couple of scenes but Errol Flynn and Flora Robson demonstrate a surprising chemistry in The Sea Hawk. Flynn was tardy in remembering his lines on the film set but, after hearing that Robson was concerned about time spent on her scenes in the film  holding her up on a stage play appearance she wanted to make, the actor had all his lines memorized letter perfect for their big scene together in Queen Elizabeth's private chambers. Years later Robson spoke well of her working experience with Flynn. I think that the mutual respect these two actors had for one another shows in their scenes together.

Agreed! And, while even the great Bette Davis could not compare with Flora Robson as Q. E. 1, I also thought Flynn and Davis had an electric chemistry in The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex. I've seen/read interviews wherein Davis also speaks quite warmly of Flynn, and praises his charisma and game attitude, even as she denigrates his acting ability with characteristic shade.

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13 minutes ago, ClassicMovieholic said:

I got you. The first obvious choice that comes to mind is Jeanette MacDonald and Gene Raymond. He appeared as her "poor man's Nelson Eddy" if you will in Smiling Through, and had about as much chemistry with her as a "skid row" Nelson Eddy for that matter; this despite the fact that they were in fact married in real life and, and remained so for nearly 30 years.

None of this is perhaps surprising if one accepts the soap-operatic (yet to appearances mostly credible) allegations regarding their complicated marriage.

I'm a Gene Raymond fan...and yes, I've read about their up-and-down marriage. But they did stay together until her death in the mid-60s. And after her death, Raymond always spoke fondly of her.

Now I need to re-watch SMILIN' THROUGH (1941).

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17 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I'm a Gene Raymond fan...and yes, I've read about their up-and-down marriage. But they did stay together until her death in the mid-60s. And after her death, Raymond always spoke fondly of her.

Now I need to re-watch SMILIN' THROUGH (1941).

I won't pretend to be familiar with his overall body of work. And there's nothing really wrong with Smilin' Through. It's a colorful and entertaining film with some lovely songs on a touchingly sentimental theme. Perhaps it doesn't help that Raymond and Eddy were thought to somewhat resemble each other, which lends to the feeling that they were wanting him to be someone he wasn't in that film.  I haven't seen it myself in years, and may not be doing them justice as a screen pairing.

And I'm not above a bit of juicy gossip mongering about the dead, but I meant no disrespect to their marriage. I don't think that having a complicated private life or non-traditional marriage means that genuine love and respect may not exist between people. You are right to point out that they devoted much of their lives to each other, and defended each other publicly, and whatever reasons people have for being and staying together are their own. More power two 'em and may they rest in peace.

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4 minutes ago, ClassicMovieholic said:

I won't pretend to be familiar with his overall body of work. And there's nothing really wrong with Smilin' Through. It's a colorful and entertaining film with some lovely songs on a touchingly sentimental theme. Perhaps it doesn't help that Raymond and Eddy were thought to somewhat resemble each other, which lends to the feeling that they were wanting him to be someone he wasn't in that film.  I haven't seen it myself in years, and may not be doing them justice as a screen pairing.

And I'm not above a bit of juicy gossip mongering about the dead, but I meant no disrespect to their marriage. I don't think that having a complicated private life or non-traditional marriage means that genuine love and respect may not exist between people. You are right to point out that they devoted much of their lives together, and defended each other publicly, and whatever reasons people have for being and staying together are their own. More power two 'em and may they rest in peace.

I recall SMILIN' THROUGH (1941) having outstanding production values. Plus it has Brian Aherne whom I love watching. Such a roguish leading man.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smilin'_Through_(1941_film)

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Harrison Ford and John Spencer in Presumed Innocent are a joy to watch together! Incredible chemistry.  Spencer's Det. Lipranzer is even willing to hide crucial evidence to help his best bud.   Of course, the whole movie is chock-a-bloc with amazing actors  --  Raul Julia, Paul Winfield, Brian Dennehy, Bonnie Bedelia, Greta Scaacchi (I'd put her up there with any of the classic noir femme fatales), even a young Bradley Whitford. 

presumed-innocent-lg.jpg

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