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Actress Jane Powell (1929-2021)


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3 minutes ago, Roy Cronin said:

I guess what would clarify it for me would be the time frame of the picture taking and the big luncheon.  I can't find details anywhere but they appear to have taken place the same week.

Greer was at the lunch, I believe in costume and Lena Horne was also present,  seated next to Kate.

I just looked at Lena's filmography. I guess she was still on contract because she would make a cameo in DUCHESS OF IDAHO, released the following year. But that was pretty much it for her at the Lion, except for another brief cameo in MEET ME IN LAS VEGAS six years later.

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Judy Garland was in 1949's IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME and 1950's SUMMER STOCK. So she should have been in this photo, but of course she was having a lot of problems with the front office and her days were numbered.

I agree that would be nice to know the exact day the 25th anniversary photo was taken.

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Just now, Roy Cronin said:

Thanks!  Lana and Liz couldn't make either one?

Lana was at war with the front office because she refused to make MADAME BOVARY which necessitated hiring Jennifer Jones from Selznick Productions. 

She was off without pay for quite awhile. There is a 23 month gap between her last film in 1948 and her next film in late 1950.

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A page from a brochure for the event. 

"The Stratton Story" and "The Secret Garden" were screened for guests.

"That Forsyte Woman" is still called "The Forsyte Saga" and Judy is listed to star in "Annie Get Your Gun."-83090862641183402.thumb.jpg.295633945bd8fe98b2231271cddb8d02.jpg

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DEATH IN THE DOLL'S HOUSE would become SHADOW ON THE WALL, which was Ann Sothern's last pic at the studio. Though she would remain on contract until 1953 playing Maisie on a hit radio program.

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4 hours ago, Roy Cronin said:

A page from a brochure for the event. 

"The Stratton Story" and "The Secret Garden" were screened for guests.

"That Forsyte Woman" is still called "The Forsyte Saga" and Judy is listed to star in "Annie Get Your Gun."-83090862641183402.thumb.jpg.295633945bd8fe98b2231271cddb8d02.jpg

As Cosmo said, "You have to show a movie at a party.  It's a Hollywood law."

And that Hollywood Reporter quote about as M-G-M goes, so goes the picture business would prove to be prophetic.  Do you think they knew the studio system's days were numbered when they threw this party?  Probably not.

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We've lost 4 cast members from 7 Brides for 7 Brothers in a span of 16 months. We lost Tommy Rall, last October, he played Frankencense and Jacques d'Amboise on May 2, 2021, he played Ephraim and Norma Doggett who play Martha passed away on May  4, 2020. 

RIP.. 

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On 9/19/2021 at 5:40 PM, TopBilled said:

Judy Garland was in 1949's IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME and 1950's SUMMER STOCK. So she should have been in this photo, but of course she was having a lot of problems with the front office and her days were numbered.

I agree that would be nice to know the exact day the 25th anniversary photo was taken.

I realize this is a diversion since we're rightfully back to talking about Jane Powell, but going on the fact that Judy was so obviously sabotaging her "moment" as the movie camera panned to her at the luncheon, I'd say she probably found some excuse to blow off the photo shoot a couple of months later. Most everyone else at the luncheon seemed to be hyper-aware as the camera featured them, so the fact that Judy turned her back even though she was sitting next to a friend like Fred Astaire (who seemed amused at her antic) seems to indicate that she was over the whole idea of being used to promote MGM, which was taking an increasingly hard line with her.

aaanni13.jpg.25627da875716831a32402cc13d00f66.jpg

Jane was so consistently pleasant onscreen and in interviews that I have no doubt she was like that in life. As has been mentioned, her career suffered when the fate of musicals began to suffer, so she tried to look beyond the genre. A while back TCM showed her last film, Enchanted Island (1958), based on Herman Melville's first book, Typee. She was in the unfortunate position of having to play the adopted daughter (the offspring of a sailor and a native woman) of the island chief. Even though she managed the role respectably, I think it may have been a kind of final straw. The same year she had played against type as Hedy Lamarr's wild-child daughter in The Female Animal, a messy potboiler melodrama which TCM showed last year. Again, she was good but I doubt her heart was in it. The  year before she was in a fun RKO musical, The Girl Most Likely, with great Catalina locations and super-energetic Gower Champion choreography, a kind of sweet final coda for her outstanding musical career. I loved reading that she performed with Pink Martini; what a fun outlet for her. And didn't she fill in on-air for Robert about a decade ago during a first bout of health problems? I remember her popping up unexpectedly.

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13 hours ago, mr6666 said:

 

No A Date With Judy!!! It's a favorite of fans. TCM should be showing more of Jane's movies in this tribute. The tribute is not complete without A Date With Judy. This one is Jane's movie and she shines in it. I'm very disappointed.

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21 minutes ago, DougieB said:

I realize this is a diversion since we're rightfully back to talking about Jane Powell, but going on the fact that Judy was so obviously sabotaging her "moment" as the movie camera panned to her at the luncheon, I'd say she probably found some excuse to blow off the photo shoot a couple of months later. Most everyone else at the luncheon seemed to be hyper-aware as the camera featured them, so the fact that Judy turned her back even though she was sitting next to a friend like Fred Astaire (who seemed amused at her antic) seems to indicate that she was over the whole idea of being used to promote MGM, which was taking an increasingly hard line with her.

aaanni13.jpg.25627da875716831a32402cc13d00f66.jpg

Jane was so consistently pleasant onscreen and in interviews that I have no doubt she was like that in life. As has been mentioned, her career suffered when the fate of musicals began to suffer, so she tried to look beyond the genre. A while back TCM showed her last film, Enchanted Island (1958), based on Herman Melville's first book, Typee. She was in the unfortunate position of having to play the adopted daughter (the offspring of a sailor and a native woman) of the island chief. Even though she managed the role respectably, I think it may have been a kind of final straw. The same year she had played against type as Hedy Lamarr's wild-child daughter in The Female Animal, a messy potboiler melodrama which TCM showed last year. Again, she was good but I doubt her heart was in it. The  year before she was in a fun RKO musical, The Girl Most Likely, with great Catalina locations and super-energetic Gower Champion choreography, a kind of sweet final coda for her outstanding musical career. I loved reading that she performed with Pink Martini; what a fun outlet for her. And didn't she fill in on-air for Robert about a decade ago during a first bout of health problems? I remember her popping up unexpectedly.

Agree about Judy's back being turned towards the camera. Her relationship with MGM was very dysfunctional.

***

Re: ENCHANTED ISLAND. I would say Melville's book was obviously inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest. So in a way Jane is playing a character similar to Miranda, Prospero's daughter in The Tempest. That's a good type of role to have. 

I read somewhere that Hedy didn't like playing the mother of a grown daughter on THE FEMALE ANIMAL, which made it hard for Jane to do scenes with her.

The real issue is that Jane Powell was an MGM "creation" and after she left the studio, she did not have other studios looking out for her best interests the way the folks at MGM had done for her.

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Jane Powell was vivacious, authentic, and… talented. The late 1940s into the 1950s were the glory years for MGM musicals, and Jane was a big part of that great period of film making.  A favorite performance of mine was in 1953’s Three Sailors and a Girl, which she did at Warner Bros.  Jane’s character was a bit worldlier, while still exhibiting the traits that made her so endearing.

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3 hours ago, cinemaspeak59 said:

Jane Powell was vivacious, authentic, and… talented. The late 1940s into the 1950s were the glory years for MGM musicals, and Jane was a big part of that great period of film making.  A favorite performance of mine was in 1953’s Three Sailors and a Girl, which she did at Warner Bros.  Jane’s character was a bit worldlier, while still exhibiting the traits that made her so endearing.

After leaving MGM, my favorite Jane Powell movie was 1957's The Girl Most Likely produced at RKO.   Also starred Cliff Robertson, Keith Andes, Tommy Noonan, Kay Ballard and Una Merkel.  Apparently it was the only film being produced at RKO before the original studio closed.  Kay Ballard used to joke: "Our picture shut RKO down!"

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On 9/21/2021 at 12:46 PM, Hibi said:

You'd think they could've come up with a longer (and better) tribute than that! 

You'd think. I would guess the distributors have a hand in limiting last minute changes. That, and I imagine the howls on this message board if the movie you had been waiting for was bumped for it. It might be nice if TCM scheduled a January theme/spotlight of movies in tribute of those who died the previous year.

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Considering they have access to MGM films and she worked there and was a friend of TCM, it's sadly lacking. They did a whole day for Esther Williams.

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I’m a little disappointed at the  limited choices for her tribute day. It should be a 24 hour dedication. She has stated on numerous occasions to Robert that her favorite movie was Two Weeks With Love(1950) and where the heck is A Date With Judy(1948)? Also I’m curious about her later film where she plays the daughter of Hedy Lamar? Come on TCM! You have all these movies at your disposal, why not give Janie a real tribute? 

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13 minutes ago, MerryPickford said:

I’m a little disappointed at the  limited choices for her tribute day. It should be a 24 hour dedication. She has stated on numerous occasions to Robert that her favorite movie was Two Weeks With Love(1950) and where the heck is A Date With Judy(1948)? Also I’m curious about her later film where she plays the daughter of Hedy Lamar? Come on TCM! You have all these movies at your disposal, why not give Janie a real tribute? 

The Female Animal.

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