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sapphiere

Tyrone Power for SOTM May 2014

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May 2014 will be the 100th anniversary of Tyrone Power`s birth. What a perfect time to honor this versatile actor a Star Of The Month.Ty is my favorite actor, I delight in seeing all the different roles that he played. Dramas, comedies, historical sagas, westerns, swashbucklers, musicals, and hucksters, Ty could do it all. TCM is now showing Rawhide his first western in twelve years. I admire his service in the Marine Corp during World War II. He started as a private and became a first lieutenant. Fox has been more generous recently sharing their movies. What a treat to see "The Mark Of Zorro" and "Nightmare Alley",Here is hoping that Ty will be chosen.Sapphiere

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Of course, Ty's service in the Marines transcends anything he did in films, even for us movie buffs. But as to the silver screen, he felt that NIGHTMARE ALLEY was his best, and I agree (with the bonus being that it was Helen Walker's best, too). The story goes that it flopped at the box office because his fans didn't like to see him playing a heel.

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I think this would be great. Even though I'm not particularly a fan of Power as a great actor or anything, from what I've read about him, it appears he was truly a huge star at one time, Fox's #1 leading male for many years.

 

In a post I made a number of years ago, I suggested one gets a bit of a skewed view of the studio era by watching TCM, or at least one used to, because you'll see 50 films starring Clark Gable or Spencer Tracy or Van Johnson or any MGM star for every one starring Power or Don Ameche, the two big leading men at Fox. In my first 10 years of watching TCM, I think the only Power films I ever saw were The Eddy Duchin Story, Marie Antoinette and Witness for the Prosecution, basically the only three films Power didn't make at Fox over a 20-year period.

 

That has changed in recent years. Though TCM doesn't show them with any regularity, I have since seen The Razor's Edge, In Old Chicago, Alexander's Ragtime Band, Lloyd's of London, A Yank in the RAF, Suez and The Rains Came on TCM. Something has changed where TCM can show way more Fox films than they used to. But they're still pretty spaced out. While I'm still not a huge admirer of hsi acting ability (though he's pretty darn good in Razor's Edge and Witness for the Prosecution, I would say), I understand more now the charisma that made him a star. It would be awesome to concentrate these and other films in one month, if such a thing is possible. Or at least for the actual day of his birthday, like they just did for Vivien Leigh's 100th.

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Thanks so much for the two replies to my Tyrone Power post. In my opinion, Ty was an underrated actor, and "Nightmare Alley" proved it.I like an actor who does many different types of roles. I wish that TCM would show a little known film "The Luck Of The Irish" on St. Patrick`s Day. This movie was Ty`s first return to comedy in nine years, and the wait was worth it. TCM will be showing "the Black Swan" on December 28 at 7:00 am. February will be a good month because five of Ty`s films are scheduled. "The Razor`s Edge" at 11:00 pm on February 5, "Marie Antoinette" February 13 at 8:00 am,"and "This Above All" on February 17 at 10:00 am. TCM loves "The Black Swan" which will be shown on February 25 at 7:00 am. The big surprise was "Alexander`s Ragtime Band" will be seen on February 23 at 2:00 am. ARB is great for the music and the cast.

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>Even though I'm not particularly a fan of Power as a great actor or anything, from what I've read about him, it appears he was truly a huge star at one time, Fox's #1 leading male for many years.

 

My sentiments exactly. For whatever reason, Power leaves me cold but as I understand he was groomed to be Flynn's successor in filmdom's handsome man department.

 

I'm more interested in Power for his involvement with Judy Garland, first brought to my attention in Gerald Clark's book GET HAPPY. Apparently they had a torrid love affair, but Power refused to divorce his wife (Judy was married at the time too)

 

Picturing those two together is intriguing to me because he had every beauty in Hollywood, but when it came to love & emotion, he fell hard for Judy's talent & strong personality. It's too bad they never married because his adoration of her may have helped her insecurities (that is if had been satisfied with her only)

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Interesting info about Judy and Ty. Though I was always under the impression that Judy played for the other team, and her marriages were necessary" to play the game" in Hollywood.

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The story goes that it flopped at the box office because his fans didn't like to see him playing a heel.

 

I think it may be even more shallow than that. Power frequently played a heel earlier in his career. It was a conscious choice on Zanuck's part to offset his extreme beauty. But he played a very pretty heel. (The dreadful Dion O'Leary, Tim Baker who states flat out "I know I'm a worm," Jamie Waring, Juan in Blood and Sand who is just AWFUL, etc.) This was the first time he was allowed to play a heel and look like hell at the same time. I think that was the really hard part for his fans to take. They weren't interested in him as an actor because that's not how he had been packaged and presented. They weren't prepared to exchange his good looks for better acting.

 

In fact, when Power plays a good guy is when he gets all stiff and stuffy. All of those costume dramas and even his earlier shots at "serious acting," in This Above All and The Razor's Edge. He's at his best in light comedies, like the one the OP mentions, Luck of the Irish. I think he had a real flair for comedy but was doomed by his looks to be stuffed into roles that ill suited him. How could you make a comedian out of your most handsome star?

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What always strikes me about NIGHTMARE ALLEY, in addition to Ty, is Helen Walker's performance as psychotherapist Lilith Ritter. She's just as amoral as Stanton, but smarter and more ruthless. It's the only picture I've seen that really makes use of Walker's talent and beauty.

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As you hinted, a marriage to a man as good looking as Power, who of course would of continued to make films with young beauties, might of increased Judy's insecurities.

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I have read Fred Lawrence Guiles biography of Tyrone Power entitled "The Last Idol". Ty became smitten with Judy when he saw how she had matured in "For Me and My Gal". The feeling was mutual between them, and Ty wanted to marry Judy. His wife Annabella refused to give him a divorce. Ty`s affair with Judy lasted almost a year. Judy never again found the love that she had with Ty.Tyrone was still thinking of Judy when he saw "Meet Me In St. Louis" while in the Marines. He wrote to a friend that Judy never looked more beautiful.

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In 2001, while I was working as the producer of 'Saturday Night at the Movies', a now-defunct movie series on TVOntario in Canada, I had the opportunity to interview Coleen Gray in conjunction with our broadcasting of 'Nightmare Alley'. Ms. Gray portrayed Tyrone Power's wife in that film. She was a very charming woman and spoke highly of her experience with Ty Power.

 

Mel Ferrer also gave a favourable impression of working with Tyrone Power in 'The Sun Also Rises'. In my decades as a journalist and film critic I've not come across one person who had anything substantively negative to say about him.

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Thank you Thom Ernst for your kind words. You had first hand knowledge speaking directly to Colleen Grey. Everything I have read about Ty has said how nice and thoughtful he was. Colleen was very good as Molly, and Ty personally chose Joan Blondell for the role of Zenna. He had seen the movie "A Tree Grows In Brooklyn" while in the Marines. Ty was impressed with Joan`s performance as the children`s aunt.

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If I remembers correctly what i've read over the years, Ty ended his relationship to Judy after he found her possessiveness to be stifling. The same behavior caused him to walk away from his affair with Lana Turner a few years later. Interestingly, or sadly, both women got pregnant by him, and terminated these pregnancies at his urging, knowing that their careers would be on the line over any resultant scandal.

 

Tyrone Power would be a great SOTM, as one of the biggest male stars of Hollywood for over two decades. And as mentioned, TCM seems to be able to obtain more and more of his Fox movies, giving a better rounded overview of his career.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Nov 10, 2013 5:07 PM

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Tyrone played a heel in "Love Is News". He throws Loretta Young into a mud puddle, and calls an overweight woman tubby. I prefer the original to the remake "That Wonderful Urge" My only complaint with "This Above All" is that Ty did not use an English accent. He did a fine Irish brogue in " The Long Gray Line". "Caf? Metropole" is also a nice comedy with Loretta Young.

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Of the three comedies Power did with Loretta Young in 1937, my favorite is SECOND HONEYMOON, in which he doesn't have that callow look he had in some of his earliest films. Loretta is more relaxed than in her rather frenetic channeling of Carole Lombard in LIN, and SH is a more pure screwball than CM, an enjoyable romantic comedy.

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Very seldom on these boards, or anywhere, does there seem to be discussion of the film he made at Universal in the 1950s. THE MISSISSIPPI GAMBLER costarred Piper Laurie and Julie Adams and was a big hit. It would be nice to see that one air on TCM.

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Hi TB, Mississippi is a hard film to see, and I live in the state. I did some checking, and the film is available for viewing on you tube. MG is the first film Ty made away from Fox since "Marie Antoinette". Please tell me how you liked the movie. "Pony Soldier" is another hard find. I do not own a blue ray player, but I think that it is available on that format.

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Thanks for the imfo on "Second Honeymoon". I own the Tyrone Power Romantic Idol box set. Unfortunately I misplaced that disc. Recently I ordered a replacement disc which I haven`t seen yet.Loretta is my favorite actress, and I enjoyed their teaming.

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I believe I have seen The Mississippi Gambler on TCM (if that is the movie were many feel Julie Adams wasn't utilized as much as she should of been since there was no real romance between her character and Ty's).

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You remembered "Mississippi Gambler" correctly. Tonight I watched the movie on You Tube. The movie is a pre Civil War of a high stakes riverboat gambler. Ty gets mixed up in fencing duels, riverboat brawls, and John McIntire is his trusty sidekick. Piper Laurie and Julia Adams are the love interests. Dennis Weaver has a cameo in a early role. MG is a thoroughly entertaining romantic melodrama.

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But Julie Adams is a one way street love interest and therefore isn't more central to the plot. I guess that bugged me because I have a one way street love interest for Julie!

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You are right James. Julie was a lovely actress, and Piper was a spoiled southern belle thru out much of the film. I liked Julie in "Bright Victory" and "Bend Of The River".

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Judy had a well known problem with pills, but Ty did not like Lana taking sedatives to sleep. Judy brought out the need to protect, and I can`t help but believe that it was amore meaningful love affair. Ty wanted the baby, but Annabella wouldn`t divorce him. I appreciate your support of Tyrone for SOTM. He made four movies with Linda Darnell. My favorite is "The Mark Of Zorro". I was pleasantly surprised to see "Daytime Wife". A funny comedy with many twists and turns. Ty had a flair for light comedy. I support your efforts for Linda Darnell as SOTM. Please tell me if you have seen "Brigham Young" a movie which I haven`t yet viewed.

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