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Frances Dee Fans


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I'm a bit of a Johnny-Come-Lately with this thread, I'm afraid.Yeah, I've heard of Frances Dee. Yeah, she was married to Joel McCrea...yeah, she was in "Little Women" (which I didn't like)...yeah, she was in "I Walked with a Zombie" (which I'm not crazy about, but watch so I can give props to Val Lewton). Yeah, Frances Dee

 

And then I saw "Meet the Stewarts" by accident. And I saw Frances Dee.

 

I WAS THUNDERSTRUCK!!!

 

Where had she been all my movie-loving life?(Oh yeah, "I Walked with a Zombie" "Little Women.") Where the hell had I been?

 

I don't know what it was about her, but I absolutely fell in love with her as I watched that film. I couldn't take my eyes off her. (William Holden was such a cutie patootie in that film too). Days after that viewing, I was thinking about Frances Dee and wanting to read up about her. Then I go on this Message Board and peruse the posts, respond to some and then I see your thread about Dee revived. 24 pages I'm going to have to go back through to read on her. I went to classicimage.com (as suggested) and printed up the July article on her. I have discovered Frances Dee who's been there all along... loved by many of you. And I, Johnny-Come-Lately, want to join the throng.

 

I gotta run. I've got twenty-four pages dating back to Feb. 2005 to read.

 

Frankly, I STILL don't know what hit me! :-) Sheesh!

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Hi Deborah,

 

So long!

 

I wish I had the chance of watching "Blood Money", but FOX Movie Channel is not available in my country.

 

Still, I've had the opportunity of watching Frances in lesser known films: in "So Ends Our Night" in which she has little screen tiem, but both times she appears she literally "lights up" the screen. She's wondrous as March's wife. Simply superb!; in "The Gay Deception" she's also fantastic as a sweepstakes winner, playing a modern cinderella. And William Wyler directs, which is always a plus!

 

I still have to watch her in "One Man's Journey"

 

Take Care,

 

Fernando

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  • 6 months later...

Hi, Fernando:

 

Long time no talk to. I've been busy with school?

 

I just wanted to tell you that I finall got see "Playboy of Paris" and was totally enchanted. Even though it was popular when released, not as popular as other Chevalier fare like "Big Pond." LaBelle Frances was just so funny and charming, as were Chevalier and Stu Erwin, everyone's favorite sidekick.

 

The critics were so-so, but liked Frances' performance. However, Frances was kind of hard on herself in one interview, thinking she should have been more demure in the part. For my part, I think the way she played the part was great, kind of like a spoiled rich girl no one can please.

 

Other Frances films I viewed recently were "Blood Money" and "Coast Guard," which I purchased. Also recently purchased "Crime of Century" and "Coming Out Party." I had actually purchased the former film earlier, but turned out to be the wrong "Crime of the Century," not the 1930's one advertised. I'm sure this one will be correct. Take care.

 

Especially try to get a copy of "Blood Money." It's great.

 

Take care.

 

Deborah

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Hi Debbie!!!

 

I'm glad you saw *Playboy of Paris*, it's quite amusing and Frances does a very fine job.

 

I'm glad to hear that you got to see other films of hers.

 

I'll try to get a copy of "Blood Money"!

 

Take care

 

Fernando

 

P.S. I bought the Lubitsch set so I'll try to catch a better glimpse of Frances in *Monte Carlo*

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Hi CineMaven,

 

As far as I know "*Playboy of Paris*" hasn't been aired by TCM or Fox. I got it on DVD-R from a Private Collector some years ago.

 

I have heard that "*Blood Money*" has been aired by Fox Movie Channel though.

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Welcome!

 

And she was indeed lovely Cinemaven; a classy dark-haired beauty and extremely talented.

 

For instance, she had a couple of scenes in "*So Ends Our Night*" (1941), but she was unforgettable in it, giving the most moving performance of the whole film and that's saying a lot when you also have an actress of the caliber of Margaret Sullavan in the movie.

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  • 1 year later...

Dear Cine Maven and Featio:

 

"So Ends Our Night" is a wonderful film. My only complaint is that Frances is not in the film enough. There is a picture in one of my movie magazines of Fredric March and Frances eating ice cream together on the set of the film. Freddie is hysterical, wearing top hat and tails, but with long girls' pigtails hanging from the back of his head. It was a very serious movie, so I guess it lightened the mood on the set.

 

Based on stills and pictures I've seen, I'm guessing Frances had a much larger role than was seen in the final film. I've seen pictures of her and March during their wedding, and also a still of Frances with the villian, Erich Von Stroheim, who menaced her husband and his pals in "Lost Squadron."

 

Featio, it's been a long time. I've had computer troubles and did not really have time to post. The Frances Dee website has reemerged as remembering Frances Dee. Also, there are two lovely compilations on You Tube of Frances, including a screen legends one.

 

Incidentally, Frances' centenniel was this past November 26. Happy birthday Frances.

 

Take care.

 

Deborah

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For those fans of Frances Dee out there...

 

THURSDAY - JANUARY 7th, 2010

 

FINISHING SCHOOL (1934)

A boarding-school girl has to cope with family problems and puppy love. Cast: FRANCES DEE, Ginger Rogers, Billie Burke. Dir: george Nichols, Jr., Wanda Tuchock. BW - 73 mins, TV-PG.

 

I'm looking forward to it.

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In one of the many documentries on Gone With the Wind there are clips of screen tests for Scarlett O'Hara hopefuls. Many then current and future stars are shown testing, including Frances Dee. While I cannot really fault Vivien Leigh's performance, I do think that form her test and role in Wells Fargo that Frances could have done just as great a job and she was an American. It is a shame that she was so underappreciated.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Yep, you know what was going to happen...it's predictable to us now, sevety-six years later. And everyone plays their "type." Uncaring flighty mother (Billie Burke) ; absent father ; school marm who delights in torturing young female (Beulah Bondi); old maid school teacher (Sara Haden); wise-cracking best friend (Ginger Rogers) ; young freshman who wants to hang with the big girls (Dawn O'Day*). But it's Frances Dee's show all the way. She's lovely, lonely, tortured and suicidal. She's not over-the-top or mannered. She gives a good performance in "FINISHING SCHOOL." But her big hero saves the day (Bruce Bennett) and not a minute too soon as she stands on the balcony.

 

I want more Frances on TCM.

 

* Dawn O'Day is, of course, Anne Shirley. And there's one other wonderful added surprise for me. She's not even given billing (typical) but when I spot her...I'm always overjoyed. Playing Billie Burke's maid...the great THERESA HARRIS.

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  • 1 year later...

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