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Winter Under the Stars


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4 minutes ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Interesting that Manners decided to retire from film acting at the age of 36 and from all acting at 53.     This from Wiki:

Following his retirement from acting, Manners spent the remaining decades of his life pursuing his personal interests, including painting, writing, and studying philosophy. His reflections on philosophy were presented in Look Through: An Evidence of Self Discovery, published in 1971 by El Cariso Publications.

He lived to a rather advanced age. He was a gay actor that I think shunned the spotlight because he didn't care to cultivate a heterosexual facade for the studios. He was friends with Cary Grant & Randolph Scott and traveled with them in the 30s. 

He had a partner for 30 years whose name is mentioned on Manners' wiki page. But that relationship didn't start until the late 40s, after the war.

I remember when I first started watching TCM in the late 2000s. I think the first film where I noticed him was CROONER (1932) which he did for Warner Brothers. He did a nice job but the part really called for someone like Rudy Vallee or Bing Crosby.

Anyway I went online to learn about him and I remember 'stumbling' across a webpage that was a tribute to him. I emailed the guy who ran the page and we corresponded several times by email. At the time the guy was selling VHS and DVD copies of David Manners' movies and he said when David died, he had put the guy in charge of his image/estate. This guy was married and had a child. His family had been sort of "adopted" by David Manners after Manners' partner died. I guess it was a way for him to feel like he had children or grandchildren.

I remember asking the guy who ran the website, how did you meet David Manners. And he said that growing up he was a fan of Universal horror flicks, had found Manners' address and written to him for an autograph, said he loved DRACULA etc., and they developed a lifelong friendship from there.

I also asked which movie David Manners most enjoyed making or was most proud of in terms of his legacy. I expected him to say one of the Universal horror flicks, but that wasn't the answer. Apparently the film David Manners was most proud of making was THE MIRACLE WOMAN (1931). I was happy with that answer because it's my favorite title in his filmography. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Manners

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23 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our eighth child star is 

JANE WITHERS

It's funny, but when I think of Jane Withers, I think of two grown-up roles. She was very good as the neighbor of Rock Hudson and Elizabeth Taylor in GIANT, and I saw her on an episode of "The Alfred Hitchcock Hour" in which she was memorable. By all accounts, she was and is a caring, giving person who has done a lot of charity work in her life.

Oh, I also remember her as "Josephine The Plummer" in the Comet commercials! 😀

comet-plumber-ad-e1349727018951.jpg

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15 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our eighth precode star is 

DAVID MANNERS

I liked him also in THE MUMMY as Frank Whemple.

boris-karloff-david-manners-the-mummy-1932-BP9XK8.jpg

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9 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

I liked him also in THE MUMMY as Frank Whemple.

boris-karloff-david-manners-the-mummy-1932-BP9XK8.jpg

Yes, that's another one. Typically he was cast in the romantic role, never as the villain in those monster flicks.

Another film I like is JALNA (1936) which came later. 

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http://pre-code.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/BlackCat193412.png

My favorite of his performances was in The Black Cat (1934), his character was more emotional and humorous then his other standard horror film hero types.

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Our ninth musical star is 

BETTY HUTTON

She played Texas Guinan, a larger than life entertainer in INCENDIARY BLONDE (1945):

Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 1.04.50 PM

She was good with a gun as Annie Oakley in ANNIE GET YOUR GUN (1950):

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And she said to a guy named Fred, "Hey you-- LET'S DANCE (1950)!"

Screen Shot 2021-02-21 at 1.06.45 PM

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Betty Hutton was perfectly cast in THE PERILS OF PAULINE. In fact, I think Ms Hutton could have herself been a good Silent Film comedian.

I also thought she was good in THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH.

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My Favorite Betty Hutton film is The Fleet's In (1942) with Dorothy Lamour,  and William Holden.

This was Hutton firm major film and I tend to enjoy films she is in where isn't is the lead.   

PS:  Saw Hutton in a 50s Gunsmoke.    At first I believed it was Alice Faye.   Anyhow,  Hutton was good as a getting-older entertainer out to get Matt for the death of her brother. 

Here is one of the best moments of the film:

 

 

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Just now, Det Jim McLeod said:

She was so energetic that Bob Hope called her a vitamin pill with legs.

Yeah, I think that's an accurate description!

I was reading up on ANNIE GET YOUR GUN. Apparently Ginger Rogers had her heart set on replacing Judy Garland. Ginger had her agent put a lot of pressure on Louis Mayer. But Mayer wouldn't cast Ginger because he said Annie Oakley had to be played by someone who was rambunctious. Betty Hutton fit the bill!

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15 hours ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

My Favorite Betty Hutton film is The Fleet's In (1942) with Dorothy Lamour,  and William Holden.

This was Hutton first major film and I tend to enjoy films she is in where isn't is the lead.   

 

From 1945 forward, Paramount boss Buddy DeSylva only put Betty in lead roles. She was his discovery and if you look back at some of her films prior to '45, you can see how she would be given the role with the most screen time, even she wasn't technically the lead...such as STAR SPANGLED RHYTHM (1942) which is supposed to be an all-star revue. Or else they beefed up her scenes as a supporting character in a way that she could make a lasting impression and steal the picture like we see in AND THE ANGELS SING...where she is billed under Dorothy Lamour but pretty much outshines Lamour.

She already had a huge fan base on radio. It makes sense that they would start pushing her more into the spotlight, developing vehicles specifically for her talents.

Unlike Lamour (who had Bob Hope & Bing Crosby) or other Paramount star actresses like Veronica Lake (who had Alan Ladd) or Madeleine Carroll (who had Fred MacMurray), Betty Hutton did not have a persona that fit with a regular leading man. The closest she came to this was with Eddie Bracken. But even then she would be overpowering Bracken in their scenes together to where it ultimately became a Betty Hutton picture featuring Eddie Bracken, as we see in THE MIRACLE OF MORGAN'S CREEK (1944).

She had her first lead in 1943, opposite Bob Hope in LET'S FACE IT, an adaptation of a Broadway farce. Seven years later the studio intended to reunite her with Hope in FANCY PANTS (1950) but I don't think Hope wanted to work with her again, because her clout on the Paramount lot was probably equal to his by that point. She would certainly not have gone along with it being a Bob Hope picture. And Hope would not have gone along with it being a Betty Hutton picture. So Betty did LET'S DANCE with Fred Astaire instead, and Lucille Ball stepped in to do FANCY PANTS.

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5 hours ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

She was so energetic that Bob Hope called her a vitamin pill with legs.

 

I...don't think that's a reference to her being energetic.

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Our ninth villain is

LAIRD CREGAR

He was the devil incarnate (literally) in HEAVEN CAN WAIT (1943).

Screen Shot 2021-02-22 at 3.34.39 PM

He was a Jack-the-Ripper type renting a room from Merle Oberon's family in THE LODGER (1944).

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And he was obsessed with pretty Linda Darnell in HANGOVER SQUARE (1945).

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Yes, no matter how you slice it, he was one dangerous man!

Screen Shot 2020-10-01 at 2.59.09 PM 2

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It's so unfortunate That Laird Cregar died at only 31 years old. He had a wonderful laugh and wicked smile that reminds me of Sydney Greenstreet's.

I loved him in HEAVEN CAN WAIT, BLOOD AND SAND, I WAKE UP SCREAMING, and THIS GUN FOR HIRE.

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Our ninth western star is

JULIE ADAMS

She rode west with James Stewart in BEND OF THE RIVER (1952):

Screen Shot 2021-01-17 at 6.30.01 PM

She shot it out in THE MAN FROM THE ALAMO (1953):

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She ran a saloon in THE LAWLESS BREED (1953):

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And she had Tyrone Power by her side in THE MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER (1953):

screen-shot-2021-02-23-at-7.47.15-pm-1

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Our ninth character actor is 

W.C. FIELDS

Nobody could upstage him. 

Not even Baby LeRoy in TILLIE AND GUS (1933):

Screen Shot 2021-02-24 at 1.36.26 PM

Or Mae West in MY LITTLE CHICKADEE (1940):

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But Gloria Jean did put him in his place, in NEVER GIVE A SUCKER AN EVEN BREAK (1941):

Screen Shot 2020-07-01 at 4.30.45 PM

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On 2/23/2021 at 6:50 PM, TopBilled said:

Our ninth western star is

JULIE ADAMS

She was charmingly feisty in BEND OF THE RIVER. Despite their obvious age difference, she and Stewart had good chemistry. I'll always remember her as the girl in THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, though. :D

1-julie-adams-in-creature-from-the-black-lagoon-1954--album.jpg?&targetx=-26&targety=0&imagewidth=552&imageheight=700&modelwidth=500&modelheight=700&backgroundcolor=757575&orientation=1

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1 hour ago, sagebrush said:

She was charmingly feisty in BEND OF THE RIVER. Despite their obvious age difference, she and Stewart had good chemistry.

Julie Adams was one of Universal-International's most popular leading ladies of the 1950s. 

In BEND OF THE RIVER I think she's billed as Julia Adams. But she soon became known as Julie Adams. Her given name was Betty Adams.

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On 2/24/2021 at 12:38 PM, TopBilled said:

Our ninth character actor is 

W.C. FIELDS

I thought Fields was perfectly cast as Wilkins Micawber in the 1935 version of DAVID COPPERFIELD.

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5 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

I thought Fields was perfectly cast as Wilkins Micawber in the 1935 version of DAVID COPPERFIELD.

Yes, he's wonderful in it. He worked well with children, whether or not he cared to admit it.

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Our ninth post-code star is 

MARSHA MASON

She held on for dear life in CINDERELLA LIBERTY (1973):

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She had a reincarnated daughter in AUDREY ROSE (1977):

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And she became involved with Richard Dreyfuss in THE GOODBYE GIRL (1977):

Screen Shot 2020-02-02 at 6.45.39 AM.jpeg

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On 2/18/2021 at 12:48 AM, TopBilled said:

Glad you mentioned those two films, especially THE CHILDREN'S HOUR.

Screen Shot 2020-07-08 at 10.18.02 AM

There are so many excellent Fay Bainter performances-- such as her lead role in WHITE BANNERS (1938) where she is paired with Claude Rains. She was nominated as Best Actress, the same year she was nominated and won as Supporting Actress for JEZEBEL.

I also enjoy watching her in MAKE WAY FOR TOMORROW (1937) where she is cast as the ungrateful, ignorant daughter-in-law of Beulah Bondi and Victor Moore. She practically steals it from Bondi and Moore, no easy feat.

Plus we've got another carefully etched performance in THE PRESIDENT'S LADY (1953). I thought she worked very well with Susan Hayward in that one.

TCM never shows White Banners anymore. I think they did a long time ago. Is this because of legal issue?

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11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our ninth post-code star is 

MARSHA MASON

I love Marsha Mason, especially in the Neil Simon comedies in which she appeared. She was neurotically adorable in THE GOODBYE GIRL and I loved her in ONLY WHEN I LAUGH. I liked her as part of the ensemble cast of THE CHEAP DETECTIVE, too. On TV, she was very funny as Martin Crane's girlfriend on "Frazier" and as Patricia Heaton's hip mother on "The Middle."

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