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Winter Under the Stars


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55 minutes ago, cinemaman said:

Karen  Black  is one most  versatile  actress  in  Hollywood,  she  could  act  in  different  genres .

Agree. She was a chameleon. Perfect in FAMILY PLOT (1976).

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Our fifth child star is 

CLAUDE JARMAN, known for his role in THE YEARLING (1946).

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Later he was known for westerns like THE OUTRIDERS (1950).

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And RIO GRANDE (1950), in which he played the son of John Wayne & Maureen O'Hara.

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On 1/16/2021 at 8:07 PM, TopBilled said:

Our fourth child star is

VIRGINIA WEIDLER

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I just saw her and Dickie Moore in PETER IBBOTSON (1935). I was wishing for a screwball comedy in which their characters, as young adults, keep teasing and fighting with each other even as they're falling in love.

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12 minutes ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

I just saw her and Dickie Moore in PETER IBBOTSON (1935). I was wishing for a screwball comedy in which their characters, as young adults, keep teasing and fighting with each other even as they're falling in love.

Yes, I forgot she was in that one. She started under contract at Paramount, where she remained from 1934 to 1937. But then she moved over to MGM. However, both studios loaned her out to RKO, so she has just as many RKO films to her credit as she does for Paramount and MGM.

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8 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our fifth child star is  CLAUDE JARMAN

I thought he was good in INTRUDER IN THE DUST, too.

He had a good post-film career, as well. Among other behind the scenes positions, he ran the San Francisco International Film Festival and was a producer. He wrote a book in 2018.

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9 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

I thought he was good in INTRUDER IN THE DUST, too.

He had a good post-film career, as well. Among other behind the scenes positions, he ran the San Francisco International Film Festival and was a producer. He wrote a book in 2018.

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He still looks boyish as an older man. Doesn't he?

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I've only seen Ruth Chatterton in two films: MADAME X (directed by Lionel Barrymore) in which she was very good, and DODSWORTH, in which she was fantastic as a restless wife trying to recapture the wistfulness of youth.

*I know how much you love DODSWORTH, too, TopBilled! 😄

I wish she had made more films. She had a long stage career, though.

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4 hours ago, sagebrush said:

I've only seen Ruth Chatterton in two films: MADAME X (directed by Lionel Barrymore) in which she was very good, and DODSWORTH, in which she was fantastic as a restless wife trying to recapture the wistfulness of youth.

*I know how much you love DODSWORTH, too, TopBilled! 😄

I wish she had made more films. She had a long stage career, though.

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Ruth Chatterton did make 20 talking pictures (and many silent films).    She was born in 1892 and therefore was already 37 when the silent era ended,  and that was considered "old" for an actress.   So in some ways one could say she was lucky to even have a talking-picture career as a lead actress.

At the age of 46 she left Hollywood for England.   

 

 

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18 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our fifth precode star is 

RUTH CHATTERTON

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She gave memorable performances in films like JOURNAL OF A CRIME (1934).

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And DODSWORTH (1936).

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Chatterton specialized in the sort of woman's picture that is dismissed as "suffering in mink." I'm assuming her stage career was more of the same. But in FEMALE (1933) she's a lot more electric because she so actively pursues men, using them and sending them on their way when she's had enough. (Until she meets George Brent, of all people. But I subscribe to the theory that her 180-degree turn, and the detail of winning a pig at the fair, represents the filmmakers poking fun at the Hollywood convention of bad girls repenting in the last reel.)

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11 minutes ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

Chatterton specialized in the sort of woman's picture that is dismissed as "suffering in mink." I'm assuming her stage career was more of the same. But in FEMALE (1933) she's a lot more electric because she so actively pursues men, using them and sending them on their way when she's had enough. (Until she meets George Brent, of all people. But I subscribe to the theory that her 180-degree turn, and the detail of winning a pig at the fair, represents the filmmakers poking fun at the Hollywood convention of bad girls repenting in the last reel.)

I just love how you worded that.

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I love Ruth in Warner precodes like Frisco Jenny and Lilly Turner.  She had great chemistry with George Brent, to whom she was married for a while.  Of course, he was married to a lot of people, as you know!

 

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Our sixth musical star is 

DONALD O'CONNOR 

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He is of course remembered for his role as Cosmo Brown in SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952).

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He was under contract at Universal since 1942, appearing in a slew of musicals during the war and postwar years. One of these was with Deanna Durbin-- SOMETHING IN THE WIND (1947).

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Donald O'Conner was such a natural performer. He never attended school or formal dance classes. In his own words, he just learned enough to get him to the next job and eventually became a complete performer.

I like him in everything I've seen him in, and think he was a really good partner for Debbie Reynolds in I LOVE MELVIN and Vera-Ellen in CALL ME MADAM.

In the 1980's, Donald O'Conner and Debbie Reynolds did a charity show together at the Civic Light Opera theater in San Jose, CA. They took turns performing and then performed a few numbers together. The highlight was when O'Conner took the stage to perform "Ya Got Trouble " from THE MUSIC MAN. He said he was having a little trouble remembering all the lyrics and asked the audience if they would mind if he took out cheat sheets. Of course no one objected, and he proceeded to pull out a scroll. He opened it, and the bottom of the scroll unraveled to the foot of the stage and into the orchestra pit. 😄 When the song started, he pretended to need it for remembering the rapping, but about a third of the way through the song, he tossed it away. When it was over, he got a standing ovation. 

I would love to see WALKING MY BABY BACK HOME with Janet Leigh and ANYTHING GOES with Mitzi Gaynor and Bing Crosby.

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On 1/25/2021 at 2:55 PM, Polly of the Precodes said:

But in FEMALE (1933) she's a lot more electric because she so actively pursues men, using them and sending them on their way when she's had enough. (Until she meets George Brent, of all people. But I subscribe to the theory that her 180-degree turn, and the detail of winning a pig at the fair, represents the filmmakers poking fun at the Hollywood convention of bad girls repenting in the last reel.)

 

Occam's Razor says that no, the ending of "Female" is a sincere depiction of Ruth Chatterton forsaking both being a badass businesswoman and being an unapologetic s!ut, for the pleasure of having George Brent's babies.  It *was* made in 1933, after all, and as you note even in the pre-Code era the bad girl either repented or was punished in the end; the difference was how bad they could show her being.

 

EDIT: Amusing, the words this forum blocks.

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3 hours ago, Vidor said:

 

Occam's Razor says that no, the ending of "Female" is a sincere depiction of Ruth Chatterton forsaking both being a badass businesswoman and being an unapologetic s!ut, for the pleasure of having George Brent's babies.  It *was* made in 1933, after all, and as you note even in the pre-Code era the bad girl either repented or was punished in the end; the difference was how bad they could show her being.

 

Correct:  generally the woman has to "reform" (come around to established social norms of the time).   There are a few exceptions like Red Headed  Woman,  but even in Baby Face (another with Brent as the male savior and Warner's answer to Red Headed Women),   it is implied the woman will give up her independence and ways of living to be with a man in a more conventional manner.

   

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Ah yes, "Red-Headed Woman", where Jean Harlow is briefly topless, gets off on being slapped, and ends the movie still gold-digging.  That's a good one.

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1 hour ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

She was one of the murderers invited to an island on And Then There Were None (1945)

Another Old Movie Blog: And Then There Were None - 1945

Also she played the title character in LADY SCARFACE. 

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11 hours ago, TopBilled said:

Our sixth villain or villainess is 

JUDITH ANDERSON

I liked her semi-comic villainess,  Madame, in ALL THROUGH THE NIGHT and the socialite companian to Vincent Price's Shelby character in LAURA. She was also good as Big Mama in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF.

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Our sixth character actor is

CHARLEY GRAPEWIN.

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Remembered for his role in THE WIZARD OF OZ:

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And his roles in TOBACCO ROAD...

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...and THE GRAPES OF WRATH.

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Charley Grapewin shows up in so many films in various sizes of roles ( I think over 100 films.) My favorite is as Grandpa Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH. He was also good in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, CAPTAIN'S COURAGEOUS and as an elder in THE GOOD EARTH, and of course, who could forget Uncle Henry.

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1 hour ago, sagebrush said:

Charley Grapewin shows up in so many films in various sizes of roles ( I think over 100 films.) My favorite is as Grandpa Joad in THE GRAPES OF WRATH. He was also good in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES, CAPTAIN'S COURAGEOUS and as an elder in THE GOOD EARTH, and of course, who could forget Uncle Henry.

Oh yeah, I forgot he was in ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. One film that stands out is ALICE ADAMS since he plays an upper class business owner, and it was so different from the downtrodden folksy parts he did in other films.

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