Jump to content
 
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

LINDA DARNELL for Star of the Month October 2013


Recommended Posts

Arturo, in case you hadn't read it, I thought you might be interersted in this passage from Tis Herself, Maureen O'Hara's eminently readable autobiography.

 

O'Hara, under contract to Fox at the time, described being summoned to Zanuck's office. She talked of having to walk a long distance from the door of his office to his desk, which was elevated higher than the chair in which she sat, forcing her to look up to him. (Sounds like the kind of stuff Chaplin satirized in a famous scene in The Great Dictator).

 

Zanuck then said to her, "I like your chemistry with Ty Power. I like what you did in The Black Swan. I'm casting you in The Razor's Edge with him." I was thrilled and could hardly contain myself. I knew Ty and I had a strong chemistry on-screen, and I was eager to sink my teeth into a great dramatic role. After I thanked him repeatedly, Zanuck cautioned me. "Listen to me. Im planning a big publicity campaign for this picture. You are not to discuss this with anyone until the formal announcement is made. Is that clear?"

 

I stood and extended my hand up to him. "Oh, yes, Mr. Zanuck. Perfectly clear." I promised, "I won't say a word. Not a single word." I had every intention of obeying his order, but I was bursting with excitement when I got back to the set. It kept building and building as the day went on, and I had to tell someone or I was going to burst. So I stupidly met Linda Darnell at the Fox commissary for a bite of lunch and told her everything. Linda was a close friend and I figured she would keep her mouth shut after I told her how important secrecy was. It was a monstrous mistake.

 

By the time I got back to the set, there was a phone call already waiting for me. It was Mr. Zanuck. He said, "Maureen, I told you not to discuss our conversation with anyone, and you did. You're out of the picture." He slammed the phone down. I was so disappointed that I ran to my dressing room crying. I was absolutely devastated and couldn't return to the set. Director Gregory Ratoff finally came to me and asked me what had happened. After I told him, he started to chuckle and said, "Oh you silly, stupid girl. Don't you know what you did? You told Zanuck's mistress."

I have the book, and.remember.that passage. Besides the fact.that it seems.uncharacteristically cutthroat.of.Linda to do that, I think she may have desired.to be in it,.and doubled-down in her push for it by going straight to the Boss's office. Of course, all.of Hollywood already thought Darnell.was.Zanuck's.mistress,.so it would be natural to conclude this.
Link to post
Share on other sites

. Of course, all.of Hollywood already thought Darnell.was.Zanuck's.mistress,.so it would be natural to conclude this.

I guess Maureen O'Hara still assumed that this was the case when she wrote her book. O'Hara made no further references to Linda in her book, so I guess her friendship days with Darnell probably came to a close with this incident.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the book, and.remember.that passage. Besides the fact.that it seems.uncharacteristically cutthroat.of.Linda to do that, I think she may have desired.to be in it,.and doubled-down in her push for it by going straight to the Boss's office. Of course, all.of Hollywood already thought Darnell.was.Zanuck's.mistress,.so it would be natural to conclude this.

 

 

I guess Maureen O'Hara still assumed that this was the case when she wrote her book. O'Hara made no further references to Linda in her book, so I guess her friendship days with Darnell probably came to a close with this incident.

 

I find it interesting that Darnell ultimately did not end up in The Razor's Edge, but curiously enough... Gene Tierney is.  After reading what Arturo had to say about Tierney versus Darnell, did Tierney end up with the part that was promised to Maureen and later revoked after she blabbed to Linda?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Darnell was a good actress, but I don't think shed've been right for THE RAZOR'S EDGE. Isabelle needs to be refined and cultured and delicate (at least outwardly)- gorgeous as Linda Darnell was, there's something kind of Proletariat about her- and she brings a world weariness with her that I don't think would've worked for the first part of the story.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Darnell was a good actress, but I don't think shed've been right for THE RAZOR'S EDGE. Isabelle needs to be refined and cultured and delicate (at least outwardly)- gorgeous as Linda Darnell was, there's something kind of Proletariat about her- and she brings a world weariness with her that I don't think would've worked for the first part of the story.

I agree. Actually, I think she would been perfect as the tragic Sophie, for the very reasons you state.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I find it interesting that Darnell ultimately did not end up in The Razor's Edge, but curiously enough... Gene Tierney is.  After reading what Arturo had to say about Tierney versus Darnell, did Tierney end up with the part that was promised to Maureen and later revoked after she blabbed to Linda?

I believe so. I read somewhere that early on, Maureen O'Hara and either Alice Faye or Betty Grable were considered. Both singing blondes turned it down; they were each offered the Sophie part. So O'Hara was probably considered for Isobel, the part Tierney played. Of course, Anne Baxter got Sophie.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe so. I read somewhere that early on, Maureen O'Hara and either Alice Faye or Betty Grable were considered. Both singing blondes turned it down; they were each offered the Sophie part. So O'Hara was probably considered for Isobel, the part Tierney played. Of course, Anne Baxter got Sophie.

 

I wonder if any of those actresses would have provided the same level of emotional depth Baxter was able to portray.   O'Hara maybe.  I'm not saying they are not fine actresses but Baxter nailed that role.   

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if any of those actresses would have provided the same level of emotional depth Baxter was able to portray. O'Hara maybe. I'm not saying they are not fine actresses but Baxter nailed that role.

 

Well, I believe O'Hara was up for Isobel, not Sophie. Alice Faye, despite having wanted to get away from.musicals, was so upset after the FALLEN ANGEL.debacle that she flat out refused anything Zanuck offered. Betty Grable was afraid to do drama. She told Zanuck that her fans would expect her to rise fron her watery grave, seaweed and spangles in her hair, to sing. Darnell would probably have done the role.justice, but Anne Baxter is perfect, and won the oscar deservedly imho.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder if any of those actresses would have provided the same level of emotional depth Baxter was able to portray.   O'Hara maybe.  I'm not saying they are not fine actresses but Baxter nailed that role.

I'm pretty sure that O'Hara must have been under consideration for the part of imperious, selfish Isobel (a part perfect for Tierney, as it turns out). I can't envision her as poor desperate Sophie. Darnell, on the other hand, as Arturo says, would have been interesting casting in this part, though it's difficult to think that she could have matched Baxter's performance.
  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Arturo, in case you hadn't read it, I thought you might be interersted in this passage from Tis Herself, Maureen O'Hara's eminently readable autobiography.

 

O'Hara, under contract to Fox at the time, described being summoned to Zanuck's office. She talked of having to walk a long distance from the door of his office to his desk, which was elevated higher than the chair in which she sat, forcing her to look up to him. (Sounds like the kind of stuff Chaplin satirized in a famous scene in The Great Dictator).

 

Zanuck then said to her, "I like your chemistry with Ty Power. I like what you did in The Black Swan. I'm casting you in The Razor's Edge with him." I was thrilled and could hardly contain myself. I knew Ty and I had a strong chemistry on-screen, and I was eager to sink my teeth into a great dramatic role. After I thanked him repeatedly, Zanuck cautioned me. "Listen to me. Im planning a big publicity campaign for this picture. You are not to discuss this with anyone until the formal announcement is made. Is that clear?"

 

I stood and extended my hand up to him. "Oh, yes, Mr. Zanuck. Perfectly clear." I promised, "I won't say a word. Not a single word." I had every intention of obeying his order, but I was bursting with excitement when I got back to the set. It kept building and building as the day went on, and I had to tell someone or I was going to burst. So I stupidly met Linda Darnell at the Fox commissary for a bite of lunch and told her everything. Linda was a close friend and I figured she would keep her mouth shut after I told her how important secrecy was. It was a monstrous mistake.

 

By the time I got back to the set, there was a phone call already waiting for me. It was Mr. Zanuck. He said, "Maureen, I told you not to discuss our conversation with anyone, and you did. You're out of the picture." He slammed the phone down. I was so disappointed that I ran to my dressing room crying. I was absolutely devastated and couldn't return to the set. Director Gregory Ratoff finally came to me and asked me what had happened. After I told him, he started to chuckle and said, "Oh you silly, stupid girl. Don't you know what you did? You told Zanuck's mistress."

 

 

LOL. Now that's funny. Poor Maureen. She rarely got a good dramatic part........

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

I have the book, and.remember.that passage. Besides the fact.that it seems.uncharacteristically cutthroat.of.Linda to do that, I think she may have desired.to be in it,.and doubled-down in her push for it by going straight to the Boss's office. Of course, all.of Hollywood already thought Darnell.was.Zanuck's.mistress,.so it would be natural to conclude this.

 

 

Sadly, neither actress got the part...........

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you for mentioning Forever Amber. I think Linda is terrific in it, I am reading the best-selling novel and the movie was tamed -down (or subtexted if you prefer) but Linda gave plenty of suggestion with her tease and incredible beauty. I like her in My Darling Clementine and the by all means, A Letter to Three Wives, and Unfaithfully Yours needs to be included.

Linda is good in MY DARLING CLEMENTINE, despite having rather garish makeup and unbecoming hairdos. She holds her own with the male slant of the storyline. As mentioned, she was excellent in the comedy-drama A LETTER TO THREE WIVES. She was quite different, but effective, in the Preston Sturges black comedy, UNFAITHFULLY YOURS, subtly suggesting different moods to accompany the varying murder plots contemplated by husband Rex Harrison.

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

In the next couple of days, Fox Movie Channel will show BRIGHAM YOUNG (1940), the second of four movies pairing Linda Darnell with Tyrone Power. Although top cast, they were a peripheral love story fo the main telling of the westward Mormon trek, done obviously as boxoffice duty, to help this expensive epic with paying customers. The studio needed.all the help here it could get, as the fim was its costliest feature until then, and 1940 was a rocky year for movies. In an effort to stress the action of the westward trek over the religious aspect, they added —FRONTIERSMAN to the title. It did well enough, actually a big grosser, but it barely broke even due to its high cost. It has come down in history as a flop.

Dean Jagger played the title role, and BY—F also featured such stalwarts as Mary Astor, Vincent Price, Jane Darwell, John Carradine, and Brian Donlevy. It has some breathtaking scenery, filmed on location. It is better than its semi forgotten status would lead you to think. As for the principals, they do well enough with what they are given to do, with Linda having a second role in a row where she played close to her real age of 16 when it was filmed. With long hair in her first period film, she looks more beautiful than ever. All in all, a worthwhile two hours spent watching this, imho.

Fox Movie Channel will be showing BRIGHAM YOUNG tomorrow morning, Saturday, 11/28 @ 9:55 am est. Also, on Friday, 12/4 @ 8:35 am est, and Tuesday, 12/8 @ 9:55 am est.
Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you get a chance to re-record and/or watch FOREVER.AMBER?

 

 

YES!!! Finally got a recording of it! Havent watched it yet though. Hope it was worth sitting through What a Way to Go! to make space for it (LOL).

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

YES!!! Finally got a recording of it! Havent watched it yet though. Hope it was worth sitting through What a Way to Go! to make space for it (LOL).

I hope you enjoy it when you get around to watching it. After you had stated you had deleted it to make room for WAWTG, and hope you'd record the next showing of it, IF you had watched and deleted WAWTG, I wasn't sure you'd get to FA. Enjoy!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope you enjoy it when you get around to watching it. After you had stated you had deleted it to make room for WAWTG, and hope you'd record the next showing of it, IF you had watched and deleted WAWTG, I wasn't sure you'd get to FA. Enjoy!

 

 

Thanks. I actually recorded WAWTG first, then didnt have room for the first showing of Amber. Forced myself to watch WAWTG the next day before the next showing of Amber to make room to record it.  So it worked out ok. (except for sitting through WAWTG!) Will post again once I watch it.

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks. I actually recorded WAWTG first, then didnt have room for the first showing of Amber. Forced myself to watch WAWTG the next day before the next showing of Amber to make room to record it.  So it worked out ok. (except for sitting through WAWTG!) Will post again once I watch it.

FOREVER AMBER will be shown again on FMC, around the 19th or 20 th of this month. There are at least two showings. I will post the times later.

Link to post
Share on other sites

walls%20of%20jericho-set_zps4prnsmqn.jpg

 

I found this shot of Linda on the set of The Walls of Jericho that I thought might interest you, Arturo, in case you hadn't seen it before. Looks like Kirk's helping out her hair stylist.

 

Then, again, maybe he's just saying, "Is that a grey hair?" ;)

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

walls%20of%20jericho-set_zps4prnsmqn.jpg

 

I found this shot of Linda on the set of The Walls of Jericho that I thought might interest you, Arturo, in case you hadn't seen it before. Looks like Kirk's helping out her hair stylist.

 

Then, again, maybe he's just saying, "Is that a grey hair?" ;)

 

Like Gable,  I'm breaking down that wall!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

As a fan of the Warners biopic Gentleman Jim, I had long been curious to see THE GREAT JOHN L., a 1945 Bing Crosby Productions film portrait of John L. Sullivan. I finally had a chance to see a print of the film, Arturo, albeit a dark, inferior image which failed to do the film much justice.

 

It seems to me that Linda Darnell, while unquestionably attractive, no surprise, is also largely wasted in the role of a musical stage performer who marries Sullivan when he is on the rebound after failing to get the "love of his life" (played by Barbara Britton) to marry him. Greg McClure is, physically, closer to the real John L. than was Ward Bond in the Warners film. However, while Bond was enthusiastically boisterous and brought real heart to the role of the heavyweight champion, the stoic McClure is clearly emotive-challenged.

 

Bond brought down the house when he bellowed, "I can lick any man in the world" while the deadpan delivery of the same line by McClure threatens to put those closest to him asleep.

 

However, The Great John L. does have nice Gay '90s atmosphere with its costumes and sets, as well as at least one enthusiastic scene set in a bar while Sullivan is visiting Paris. In this scene he is unexpectedly challenged to a fight by a mincing flamboyant individual who looks more like a ballet dancer than a fighter. Sullivan initially laughs at the challenger only to find out that the man is a kick boxer, inflicting significant damage upon the Boston Strongboy before the latter finally puts him away with the first two punches that finally land on him.

 

The other thing that I found interesting about The Great John L., as well, is the film's greater historical accuracy than I expected to find in a Hollywood production. McClure is muscular but not as tall as was Bond as Sullivan. Historically accurate, as the real John L. was only 5'10", an incredibly strong fighter with fast hands and a deadly right hand.

 

Sullivan's parents in the film are a, seemingly, physical comedy mismatch, with a giant stocky mother and an undersized father with a fiery temper, the latter opposed to his son being a boxer. All true, though.

 

Darnell's character is a show biz performer named Annie who has a loveless marriage with the boxer. The real John L. married a chorus girl named Anne for a troubled marriage that was over within about a year.

 

Following John L.'s defeat in the ring to Jim Corbett (played by a young Rory Calhoun) he gives a brief speech to the crowd in which he expresses gratitude that he at least lost the heavyweight crown to a fellow American. Well, the real John L. did do exactly that in the ring at the time of his loss of the crown.

 

The final reel of the film depicts John L.'s alcoholic downward spiral after losing the crown. Again, McClure's lifeless performance fails to bring pathos to a portrait of a proud man bent on self destruction, but it made me think that, with the right director, cast and script, the real story of John L. Sullivan could be a highly effective one for the screen.

 

The film ends with John L. a temperance man (historically accurate) and hooked up, finally, with the girl that he had always loved (Britton) for a happy ending - pure Hollywood bunkum.

 

Bottom line, The Great John L. is a curiosity piece more than it is a really effective screen portrait, with lovely Linda in another window dressing role. She does, however, have the opportunity to at least look physically fetching in costume in one or two scenes in which she sings before a crowd (well, at least, I expect she does if I can ever find a decent looking print of the film).

 

400px-GreatJohnL1_zpsnqcsdq78.jpg

  • Like 2
Link to post
Share on other sites

As a fan of the Warners biopic Gentleman Jim, I had long been curious to see THE GREAT JOHN L., a 1945 Bing Crosby Productions film portrait of John L. Sullivan. I finally had a chance to see a print of the film, Arturo, albeit a dark, inferior image which failed to do the film much justice.

 

 

 

I was watching My Gal Sal with Victor Mature and Rita Hayworth and John L. was a character in this film.   In this film he came off as a loud very heavy drinking type and more over the top in this regard then how he was portrayed in Gentleman Jim.

Link to post
Share on other sites

walls%20of%20jericho-set_zps4prnsmqn.jpg

 

I found this shot of Linda on the set of The Walls of Jericho that I thought might interest you, Arturo, in case you hadn't seen it before. Looks like Kirk's helping out her hair stylist.

 

Then, again, maybe he's just saying, "Is that a grey hair?" ;)

Thanks Tom, that's a great shot; I don't think I've ever seen it.

 

THE WALLS OF JERICHO was the film Linda made after FOREVER AMBER, and she kept her hair dyed the same reddish blonde she did for that film (although this film.was shot in black and white). Linda is reteamed with her costar from FA, Cornel Wilde in another costume drama in order to capitalize on the earlier film. She again is thwarted in her designs on him. It is an interesting melodrama with a very good cast, set in early 20th century Kansas, but it is rather slow moving. Linda plays newspaperman Kirk Douglas' wife, spurned by Wildeso she sets out to destroy him.

 

This is one of two films with relative newcomer Kirk, in his prestardom.days (the other was A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, but he played Ann Sothern's wife in that one). In his autobiography "The Ragman's Son", he mentions Darnell as playing his wife onscreen, and his "special friend" offscreen. I take this to mean they had an affair during the filming of this movie. Thanks again for sharing Tom.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Tom, that's a great shot; I don't think I've ever seen it.

 

THE WALLS OF JERICHO was the film Linda made after FOREVER AMBER, and she kept her hair dyed the same reddish blonde she did for that film (although this film.was shot in black and white). Linda is reteamed with her costar from FA, Cornel Wilde in another costume drama in order to capitalize on the earlier film. She again is thwarted in her designs on him. It is an interesting melodrama with a very good cast, set in early 20th century Kansas, but it is rather slow moving. Linda plays newspaperman Kirk Douglas' wife, spurned by Wildeso she sets out to destroy him.

 

This is one of two films with relative newcomer Kirk, in his prestardom.days (the other was A LETTER TO THREE WIVES, but he played Ann Sothern's wife in that one). In his autobiography "The Ragman's Son", he mentions Darnell as playing his wife onscreen, and his "special friend" offscreen. I take this to mean they had an affair during the filming of this movie. Thanks again for sharing Tom.

If Kirk played Ann Sothern's wife, maybe we should be discussing him in terms that Esther Williams reserved for Jeff Chandler.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
© 2020 Turner Classic Movies Inc. A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Settings
×
×
  • Create New...