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Jean Simmons 1.31


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While I love this line-up of Jean's films today, I could easily have gone for a few more hours that included ANGEL FACE, ELMER GANTRY and my favorite of hers, YOUNG BESS. I never get tired of that film.

 

*HUNGRY HILL*...she has a featured role in this British film from '47

*TRIO*...she appears in one of the segments based on a Maugham story.

*ADAM AND EVELYNE*...from the Rank Organisation, with her first husband Stewart Granger.

*FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG*...another one with Granger, made in the U.S. for Columbia.

*SO LONG AT THE FAIR*...Rank film costarring Dirk Bogarge (they're both so young!)

*SHE COULDN'T SAY NO*...typical RKO comedy from the 50s with Bob Mitchum & Arthur Hunnicutt

*A BULLET IS WAITING*...an adventure in color with Rory Calhoun & Brian Aherne

*LIFE AT THE TOP*...sequel to ROOM AT THE TOP, with Laurence Harvey, mid-60s

 

Jean_Simmons_in_Young_Bess_trailer.jpg

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Yesterday was the first time I had seen FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG...very well done. I suppose it's a noir, but it has a Val Lewton feel to it and is a period piece with haunting overtones.

 

I also liked ADAM & EVELYNE, an earlier one with her and Granger, from British cinema. What a charming romantic comedy, and while I can't quite put my finger on which ones, it did remind me of some of the lighter gangster comedies being made in Hollywood in the 40s.

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I think they originate with Damon Runyon stories that were transferred to film. And yes, EGR and Bob Hope tended to do the comedy versions.

 

What's great about ADAM AND EVELYNE is that the men are gamblers, killers, and so forth...but they have this dapper British manner about them...and it lends perfectly to spoofing the life of a hardened criminal.

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> Good point, mentioning old ski-nose. I guess he did do a few of them, e.g., THE LEMON-DROP KID.

 

As well as SORROWFUL JONES, which was a big hit for him.

 

But back to Simmons, she's certainly charming in her early British films. When we get to her early American titles, you can see her style as actress has definitely evolved and she's doing much sharper characterizations.

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Hibi wrote:

*Has TCM ever showed Hilda Crane? I've never seen that one.*

 

This 1956 small town melodrama from 20th Century Fox is shown occasionally on FMC. Originally to have starred Susan Hayward (who turned it down), Jean Simmons returns from a supposedly hedonistic life in New York City to her hometown, disapproving mother, college professor (and lover) Jean Pierre Aumont, high school sweetheart (and mama's boy) Guy Madison, and his doting fiercely protective mother Evelyn Varden. Mostly talk, no action, this was one of Fox' last drama of this sort to be filmed in (Techni-?) (Deluxe-?) Color, a seeming prerequisite for all their product since the advent of Cinemascope a couple of years or so before (later that year the studio's TEENAGE REBEL was filmed in black and white). Incidentally, in Britain the film was titled THE MANY LOVES OF HILDA CRANE.

 

MFF wrote:

*FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG...another one with Granger, made in the U.S. for Columbia.*

 

Actually, although by this time (1955) they were both big stars successfully filming in the US, they made this film in England.

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*I could easily have gone for a few more hours that included ANGEL FACE, ELMER GANTRY and my favorite of hers, YOUNG BESS. I never get tired of that film.*

 

Actually while I like these tried and true movies, I'm glad the focus on some lesser known (and less seldom seen) gems of Jean's.

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*Most "gangster comedies", I believe, starred Edward G. The only one I can think of from the '40s was LARCENY, INC. I'm sure there must be others.*

 

One of my favorite gangster comedies from the 40s is 20th's TALL DARK AND HANDSOME (1941), a delightful Runyonesque gem, starring among others, C?sar Romero, Virginia Gilmore, Charlotte Greenwood, Milton Berle and Sheldon Leonard, It also features several musical routines (it had originally been planned for Alice Faye and Tyrone Power).

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No need to split hairs about where a set was actually located. The point is that FOOTSTEPS is more a Hollywood product than the earlier ADAM AND EVELYNE.

 

> MFF wrote:

> *FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG...another one with Granger, made in the U.S. for Columbia.*

>

> Actually, although by this time (1955) they were both big stars successfully filming in the US, they made this film in England.

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