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Ascotrudgeracer

Stars Who Hated Their Careers, Studios, Hollywood

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Deanna Durbin walked away from her film career; she was still in her 20's and major box office, but apparently was glad to get away and never come back.

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An obvious point is that the stars who disliked Hollywood tended to maintain their primary residences elsewhere. They only showed up in LA to shoot a picture. If the picture was shot on location, they didn't even have to do that. ....Ava Gardner was one of those. She lived in Spain, then London, from the mid-'50s on.

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Tom Weaver must be right. The first time I remember seeing her was a few years ago in a *Cheyenne* episode from 1959 titled The Gamble. The review made a big deal out of her being in it but I had no idea who she was. She must have been around 40 or so. After I saw how popular she was with other folks on the Board I started looking for more of her work but outside of her movies of the 40's and early 50's did not find any.

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Sorry folks, but I've always had a "little problem" with "stars" having that attitude toward the "Hollywood Machine".

 

Ya see, I've always looked at this thing the following way: If the "stars", past AND present, had or have such a hard time performing their "craft" there, and/or found it sooooooo demeaning to involve themselves in all the "extracurricular" activities they often find themselves in such as promoting their latest little movie, and/or find it such a bore to just act as if they're at least a little "happy" that they're pullin' in all that dough, THEN, why the heck don't they just practice their "craft" on "The Boards" in New Haven or some other little burg, and remain in relative anonymity, where, btw, it's MUCH harder to "perform their craft"

 

(...it sounds to me as if many of 'em might've been, and/or might be happier, huh?!)

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Well dark, if by my saying that I'll never understand why SOME actors complain about their "selling out to Hollywood" while at the same time gladly accepting the big paychecks that Hollywood hands them, and then often in the same breathe talk about their "craft", a "craft" where acting is most challenging on the stage and less so on movie sets...then yeah, I suppose that might've sounded "snotty", huh!

 

(...but then again, often times the "unvarnished truth" DOES kind of sound "snotty" sometimes, ya know)

 

 

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Today is her birthday and Mongo has posted a beautiful photo of her on the CANDIDS thread in the Films and Firlmakers Forum. If you are a fan of hers, give a look.

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Did anybody but finance have trouble understanding my response to EddieC1957? The subject-Ms. Ankers-was posted under the date as well as who I was responding to. If I can make myself clearer, please let me know.

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I agree with finance here. Why use 'her' or 'him' or 'they' when one can just say the name especially when it isn't a direct reply (e.g. when the orinigal post that contains the name is below many other posts).

 

Also, what do you mean by 'posted under the date'? Thanks

 

Edited by: jamesjazzguitar on Aug 18, 2011 7:24 PM

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Several posts earlier, I was incorrect in saying that Eleanor Powell shunned the spotlight in her later years. I just saw a YouTube video of her speaking at the 1981 AFI tribute to Fred Astaire. Great clip, but it took the audience long enough to rise to their feet and give her the standing ovation she deserved. It was one of those, "Well, everybody else is standing up, so I guess I have to stand up too..." kind of ovations. Her speech was great. She was one classy broad.

 

 

 

 

 

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While I think Bela Lugosi enjoyed being a movie star, I don't think he appreciated being typecast as a bogeyman at Monogram and PRC...although he was a very good one!

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That bio has been updated and there are a few extra anecdotes in there now that weren't in there previously. I bought that book back in 1970 and a couple of years ago my sister found the revised copy in a Dollar Store and bought it for me.

 

One new tidbit was that Cohn's mother never let him forget that he was born in an outhouse. Only she used a rougher term for it but the last six letters are the same. This was when the facilities were literally outside the house and more happened in there than Mother Cohn expected when she went in to do her business.

 

Either he WAS cruder than most, or else we just haven't heard enough about the others.

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I can never think of Harry Cohn and his legacy of being THE most hated man in Hollywood without also thinking of the now classic line attributed to Red Skelton about the big turnout at Harry's funeral:

 

"It proves what Harry always said: Give the public what they want and they'll come out for it."

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Charles Vidor took Cohn to court and was claiming abuse. He cited the many instances that Cohn had used profanity toward him. Cohn's lawyers responded, offering dozens of ways in which Cohn used profanity to express good tidings and the judge called out "enough" after hearing a number of them.

 

I've worked for people like that - and they weren't all males. :)

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I read that actress Vivien Leigh loathed Hollywood! In fact after filming "Gone with the Wind",

"Waterloo Bridge" and "That Hamilton Woman" Vivien left with husband Lawrence Olivier back to England and WW2.

David Selznick sent constant telegrams asking Vivien to fulfill her contract with him and she

politely ignorned his letters.

The you know what hit the fan when Vivien was to go on stage with "The Skin of our Teeth".

David Selznick took her to court but Vivien Leigh won the legal battle. She stayed in England

until I believe the early 50's when she made "A Streetcar named Desire".

 

Vivien Leigh loathed Hollywood but always returned for the big money until her death in 1967.

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When I see that Columbia logo bathed in glorious black&white and the film was from the '50's, I know it's gonna be good.

 

Columbia had a great decade in the 50s, ladened with Oscar glory and numerous hits. They even finally managed to create their own stars in Lemmon, Holliday and Novak and still squeezed a few more films from Holden and Ford before they walked away. It was full speed ahead for Columbia who didn't have the problems of the other majors in shedding a theater chain or getting rid of aging contract players.

 

I too have a fondness for the "run of the mill" B&W Columbia films of the period, THE KILLER THAT STALKED NEW YORK (a candidate for the best "B" film ever made), THE MOB, THE GLASS WALL, THE SNIPER and 711 OCEAN DRIVE are glorious and still to come were Budd Boetticher and Ray Harryhausen.

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About what year could Columbia be said to have departed "poverty row" and joined the majors?

 

You ask a good question. Personally, I believe that the studio is a victim of being given almost no credit at all. Even the other night in his intro to SAHARA, they had Ben describing the studio as just about being slightly ahead of PRC and Monogram. It was a bit inaccurate.

 

 

While many think of it as being a case of Capra alone bringing them recognition in the 30s, Hawks, Ford, Milestone, von Sternberg, Leo McCarey, Boleslawski and Stevens had all made at least one film each at the studio before the start of the war. Granted, the ratio of B films to A films was probably higher here than at MGM or Paramount, but I think that Columbia rose rather quickly to a position of respect. Their biggest handicap was the need to borrow stars from other studios, but that also indicates that they must have had something to trade.

 

 

I would venture to say that historians would give the breakthrough point as being circa 1950, when films such as ALL THE KING'S MEN, BORN YESTERDAY, FROM HERE TO ETERNITY, THE CAINE MUTINY, ON THE WATERFRONT and PICNIC all showed up in successive years (or almost consecutive) to win Oscar nominations and some wins. A few years later came THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI to validate the newfound status of the little engine that could.

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It is my understanding that Gail Russell hated Hollywood and her agent said after her death that pushing her into the movies was the worst thing he ever did. She was an artist and spent her last days doing what she really wanted to do- paint.

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Only film you will ever see Adolphe Menjou without his moustache.

But Marie Windsor steals much of this minor classic.

Edward Dmytryk direction...Richard Kiley, Wally Cox(!) as a diswasher.

A film ahead of its time and an eerie prediction of things to come.

Dmytryk (back from blacklisting) forced to work with Menjou, a notorious red-baiter.

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