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GOOD SAM


DownGoesFrazier
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The problem with this movie is NOT Sam doing nice things for people. The problem is with him making idiotic mistakes over and over again, such as blocking the bus for the lady who was running to get into the store. He incorrectly assumed she was running to catch the bus.

 

After more than an hour of these stupid mistakes, I turned the film off. I couldn't take it anymore. It's certainly no Capra film.

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Couldn't agree more, Fred. I finished the film but couldn't wait for it to be over.RO said that Ann Sheridan said the fault with the film was that there was no screen chemistry between her and Cooper.It was more than that. The last 1/2 hour of the film was a poor imitation of *It's A Wonderful Life* .

 

Edited by: lavenderblue19 on Dec 21, 2011 4:43 PM

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I have to disagree with your neagtive comments. Its not better than It's a Wonderful Life, but Good Sam is a very good comedy for Christmas. Gary Cooper and Ann Sheridan are great performers and I thought they had decent chemistry. She said they didn't but they still seemed to work together well enough. Her laugh alone is worth the price of admission. She should have been given more films wothery of her talent and of course beauty. Ann Sheridan is an legend.

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RO said that Ann Sheridan said the fault with the film was that there was no screen chemistry between her and Cooper.It was more than that.

 

Funny, when I heard that I could not believe my ears. While watching it, I thought that it's amazing that Ann Sheridan always managed to have chemistry with any co-star.

 

I think that she was being quite the diplomat when she said that. Surely the reason for the movie's failure had to be that the audience could not bear to see Cooper playing such a sap. It was one thing in MR. DEEDS where he had the millions to give away, where he didn't have a wife and family to suffer from his poor decisions. The film itself was a poor decision on the part of McCarey who should have learned from the weak reception tor IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE and Wellman's MAGIC TOWN of the previous year that the post-war audience no longer responded to CapraCorn and that imitation Capra stood even less chance.

 

I only watched last night as it had been about 35 years since I last saw the film. I remembered it as being celluloid torture. No wonder Cooper made THE FOUNTAINHEAD next, he had to go to the opposite extreme in the hope of attracting an audience again. At least that film is a watchable train wreck, GOOD SAM should be so good.

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>Funny, when I heard that I could not believe my ears. While watching it, I thought that it's amazing that Ann Sheridan always managed to have chemistry with any co-star.

>

>I think that she was being quite the diplomat when she said that. Surely the reason for the movie's failure had to be that the audience could not bear to see Cooper playing such a sap.

 

That's where the chemistry issue comes into play. He was a dumb sap (which audiences didn't like to see Cooper play), and she was a bright intelligent wife. In fact, I kept thinking that she would be better off if she just left him and went off on her own.

 

The two characters in the film just didn't match up. He was a dope, and she was bright and wise. If the director wanted a dope of a wife to match Cooper's Sam, he should have gotten Zazu Pitts.

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But she did work well with him in the realm of being a fellow performer. The scene where she was laughing while he was flirting and the neighbors were sitting there unknown to him... there was chemistry there.

 

As characters, no there was little there for us to believe they would be married long enough to have kids, but she worked well with him. It wasn't as if they were trying to upstage each other.

 

As Osborne referenced it, she was citing other actors, including Cagney. Their characters were at odds with each other in ANGELS WITH DIRTY FACES and through most of TORRID ZONE. But there was star chemistry.

 

With what Sam was putting his wife through, even ZaSu Pitts would have been saying "Oh, dear me, dear me." She would have putting the money away where only she could get it. Here's a case where one partner had to show some GREED.

]

But Sheridan's character would have never gone off on her own, she would have taken the kids with her. She wouldn't have mortgaged their future with a dunderhead like Sam.

 

 

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The chemistry issue has a lot to do with the script and the director. For example, she was much more subdued and even subservient to Ronald Regan in King's Row, because that's what the script and the director called for.

 

Cagney's character in Torrid Zone wasn't stupid, while Cooper's character in Good Sam was stupid.

 

This film is the director's fault. He also developed the story too. Leo McCarey made some very good films, but this one and My Son John were not among his best.

 

I think she was being polite by mentioning "chemistry", while she actually knew this dud of a film was the director's fault.

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I think she was being polite by mentioning "chemistry", while she actually knew this dud of a film was the director's fault.

 

Exactly! That's why I said in my first post in the thread that she was being a diplomat. I wouldn't have wanted to offend someone like McCarey either. A next job might have been dependent on his word.

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Well, I'm glad we agree. :)

 

I've often wondered about the "chemistry" issue. Is it the way the actors behave with each other, or is it the way the characters were written to act and told to act by the director?

 

I especially wonder that with Marilyn Monroe and Laurence Olivier in "The Prince and the Showgirl".

 

Marilyn seemed to out-act him, and he seemed rather like a dunce in the film. But, maybe that's the way the director told them to act. So was their personal "chemistry" good or bad, while their character's "chemistry" was dominated by her manipulation of him? I don't know.

 

In "Wuthering Heights", the "chemistry" was perfect between the main actors (actually, between everyone in the film), but was that because the director, script, and actors were all very good?

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There's an interesting situation. For years I had heard that THE PRINCE AND THE SHOWGIRL had one of Marilyn's best performances. I didn't see the film until TCM aired it about a year ago. It's the only MM film as a star that I had never seen.

 

But while it may be a good performance relative to her others, I really had the impression that she and Olivier were practically in two different movies. To me, that's not chemistry as they're not working together. For me, chemistry is if you play well off each other, and it doesn't necessarily require that the characters are on the same side. Look at Flynn and Rathbone, an attraction of opposites in two adventure films and fellow military men in another. But they work well together despite Rathbone's far greater experience as an actor as well as in swordsmanship.

 

 

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>But while it may be a good performance relative to her others, I really had the impression that she and Olivier were practically in two different movies. To me, that's not chemistry as they're not working together.

 

That's what I don't know about.

 

He was a jerk. She was a smart girl who basically kept telling him "no" but without being thrown out of the palace. He kept trying to seduce her, but he kept failing.

 

What I don't know is, was Marilyn out-acting Olivier, or was Olivier acting the way he was supposed to act, since his character was a jerk?

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I think that it came down more to a clash of techniques. Olivier being one of THE stage-trained masters of the old school and Monroe then immersed in the Actors Studio and with her personal drama coach Natasha Lytess at her side. For want of a better term, it's theatrical ****, like watching two people pleasuring themselves but not being aware of the other.

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>like watching two people pleasuring themselves but not being aware of the other.

 

The screenwriter planned the film that way. That's why the director had them spaced far apart several times, talking to themselves, or she talked to herself while he talked to someone else on the telephone. In fact, that's why the film is titled "The Prince and the Showgirl", because they are vastly different types of people and are from very different cultures.

 

They have two different goals all during the film. He wants to seduce her, while she wants to better herself in society, but honorably. The scenes of her in the church sequence near the end are wonderful.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f3lnRTw31uk&feature=related

 

Olivier and Oberon might seem to have better chemistry in The Divorce of Madame X, but that's a very different type of film, in which both are in the same social class and culture, and they both have a similar educational level, and they are male-female competitors all throughout the film.

 

I think maybe the word chemistry is simply irrelevant in The Prince and the Showgirl.

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There is chemistry between Wyatt Earp and Old Man Clanton in My Darling Clementine, but there is no chemistry between Frank Miller and Sheriff Will Kane in High Noon. But both films are just fine that way.

 

Clementine involves a mutual cat and mouse game, while High Noon involves a clash of brute forces.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}That was one of the most ridiculous scenes I have ever seen. The woman was frantically waving her arms as she was running. At whom could she have been waving her arms if she just ran right by the bus into the store? There was nobody else there other than Cooper.

I recall that when I first saw the film many years ago, that was the part where I thought that Sam was an idiot only because the script contrives to make him one. The gag falls flat as there was no reason for Sam to have thought anything other than that she wanted to get on the bus. To have her run right into the store was not the proper payoff. If would have worked if she was motioning to someone who is revealed to be standing behind Sam, but no, McCarey makes both Sam and the audience the butt of the joke.

 

Even in the end, we see him drinking and swearing off his ways, but what does he do... he trades clothes with the drunk who comes in begging for a drink. Despite getting off the hook for the mere contrivance of a banker who had a change in heart, we all know that come the next morning, Sam is going to go on being just as dumb.

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