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George Brent's Derry Air


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Yes, I'd imagine it took some digging to get all the details from that long ago. Wiki mentions that the

British put a bounty on George's head, wonder if that is true. Most sources give his birth year as

1899, so he would have been in his early twenties in 1921. Did he change his date for some purpose?

That wouldn't be unusual for a movie star, though they usually subtracted instead of adding. And he

sure did get adventure, maybe more than he bargained for.

 

I suppose George's reputation as someone who played second fiddle to his leading ladies is

exaggerated and once these things start, they're hard to contain. I usually don't read many

movie star biographies, but this one sounds interesting. Good luck with the book.

Thanks for the good wishes.  I have a copy of Brent's birth certificate dated March 15, 1904.  It details his father's occupation and his mother Mary's maiden name.  In 1905 Mary left George with her father and took her two oldest children to New York.  George did not see his mother again until he was 11.  And yes, this took an emotional toll on a small boy. 

 

I came across over 50 plays that George did in the 1920's ... he was no novice by the time he got to Hollywood.  He was disgruntled by the factory atmosphere at Warners.  If he liked the script, something special came through on screen.  If he didn't - he simply walked through the part.  At one point he said that all he needed was a good haircut to play a leading man, because the back of his head was on screen most of the time.  I saw all his films except some early stuff at Fox (1931) -- for the most part, I was impressed with his work.  Whenever he fell short the critics gave him a swift kick in the you-know-what.

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Does the book go into why Brent's marriage to Ann Sheridan only lasted one year? 

 

I heard it was because she didn't buy large enough chairs for him to sit in.   But maybe that isn't true!  :D

 

 

LMREO!!!!

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The Brent-Sheridan relationship is explored in detail in a chapter titled "A Littel More Oomph."  They began dating in late fall of 1939 -- I get the impression they knew what they were in for before they tied the knot.  Following their Florida marriage, they separated after eight months.  As Bennett Cerf said of his marriage to Sylvia Sidney, "You should never legalize a 'hot' romance." 

 

You could be spot on about Annie not having a big enough chair ... perhaps that's why she taught George how to rumba ... in hopes that his tush could fit on her cush-ion. :P

 

Sound like a must for my movie book collection.   Warners is my favorite studio and Brent was a major work horse for the studio.   So I'm glad this book is available.

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The Brent-Sheridan relationship is explored in detail in a chapter titled "A Littel More Oomph."  They began dating in late fall of 1939 -- I get the impression they knew what they were in for before they tied the knot.  Following their Florida marriage, they separated after eight months.  As Bennett Cerf said of his marriage to Sylvia Sidney, "You should never legalize a 'hot' romance." 

 

You could be spot on about Annie not having a big enough chair ... perhaps that's why she taught George how to rumba ... in hopes that his tush could fit on her cush-ion. :P

Thanks for your contributions here on your book, oscott.

 

I recall years ago that Charles Higham wrote in his trash book assassination on Errol Flynn that George Brent caught Flynn in bed with his wife, Ann Sheridan. Whereupon Flynn got out of the bed and beat up Brent. I have always assumed that this was probably more of Higham's fiction which he sold as fact.

 

There have long been rumours about Flynn and Sheridan. That I know. But the business of Brent catching her with him and getting beaten up I find very hard to swallow. By any chance, has your research ever encountered anything to support Higham's allegation?

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Thanks for your contributions here on your book, oscott.

 

I recall years ago that Charles Higham wrote in his trash book assassination on Errol Flynn that George Brent caught Flynn in bed with his wife, Ann Sheridan. Whereupon Flynn got out of the bed and beat up Brent. I have always assumed that this was probably more of Higham's fiction which he sold as fact.

 

There have long been rumours about Flynn and Sheridan. That I know. But the business of Brent catching her with him and getting beaten up I find very hard to swallow. By any chance, has your research ever encountered anything to support Higham's allegation?

Good quesiton.  Highham's remark didn't exactly jive with my own research.  In order to cover bases I do mention that "a rumor surfaced years later that Brent and Errol Flynn had an altercation over Sheridan ..."  While Sheridan was filming Edge of Darkness with Flynn in Monterey, George was putting in a solid 50 hours flying government planes in Oxnard (Civilian Air Corps).  George and Ann kept their separate residences during their marriage.  A few years later (1947) Brent mentioned his "friend" Errol Flynn  had told him all about Tahiti.  Brent was making plans to live in Tahiti indefinitely.  (His stay there only lasted about 6 weeks).  So, the answer to your question is "no"

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Good quesiton.  Highham's remark didn't exactly jive with my own research.  In order to cover bases I do mention that "a rumor surfaced years later that Brent and Errol Flynn had an altercation over Sheridan ..."  While Sheridan was filming Edge of Darkness with Flynn in Monterey, George was putting in a solid 50 hours flying government planes in Oxnard (Civilian Air Corps).  George and Ann kept their separate residences during their marriage.  A few years later (1947) Brent mentioned his "friend" Errol Flynn  had told him all about Tahiti.  Brent was making plans to live in Tahiti indefinitely.  (His stay there only lasted about 6 weeks).  So, the answer to your question is "no"

Thanks very much, oscott. It comes as news to me that Flynn was (presumably) in Tahiti, unless he had anecdotes from others to pass onto Brent.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey - the law of gravity naturally applies to George's posterior, but it shouldn't for this thread.  UGGGGHHHNG - I'm pushing it back to the top again.

 

Scott, I'm sorry to have missed the chance to chat with you earlier but good luck with your book on George Brent and hope to take a look at it in the future. :)

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Hey - the law of gravity naturally applies to George's posterior, but it shouldn't for this thread.  UGGGGHHHNG - I'm pushing it back to the top again.

 

Scott, I'm sorry to have missed the chance to chat with you earlier but good luck with your book on George Brent and hope to take a look at it in the future. :)

EugeniaH - Thanks for the good thoughts.  Do join in the online Q&A for the Brent biography on Silver Screen Oasis.  It will take place on Saturday-Sunday (October 25-26)  I'll be prepped to answer any questions about "Brentie"

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Hey - the law of gravity naturally applies to George's posterior, but it shouldn't for this thread.  UGGGGHHHNG - I'm pushing it back to the top again.

 

Scott, I'm sorry to have missed the chance to chat with you earlier but good luck with your book on George Brent and hope to take a look at it in the future. :)

 

Thanks, Eugenia! I havent bought the book yet, but plan to by Christmas. I'll keep you posted! :D

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EugeniaH - Thanks for the good thoughts.  Do join in the online Q&A for the Brent biography on Silver Screen Oasis.  It will take place on Saturday-Sunday (October 25-26)  I'll be prepped to answer any questions about "Brentie"

 

 

 

Oh, great! Thanks for that info.

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EugeniaH - Thanks for the good thoughts.  Do join in the online Q&A for the Brent biography on Silver Screen Oasis.  It will take place on Saturday-Sunday (October 25-26)  I'll be prepped to answer any questions about "Brentie"

 

 

Thanks for the info, Scott.  I hope I will be able to check in.  I'm mostly a big Stanwyck fan and my interest would mainly be any thoughts on Brent's experiences working with her...  I'm not as much of a fan of George (I'm here on this thread for the humor and the fun company), but I have to say I was impressed by his turn in "The Rains Came".  He shone more fully here, out of the spotlight of strong actresses like Bette Davis.

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Thanks for the info, Scott.  I hope I will be able to check in.  I'm mostly a big Stanwyck fan and my interest would mainly be any thoughts on Brent's experiences working with her...  I'm not as much of a fan of George (I'm here on this thread for the humor and the fun company), but I have to say I was impressed by his turn in "The Rains Came".  He shone more fully here, out of the spotlight of strong actresses like Bette Davis.

You'll be pleased to know that in a 1978 interview Brent singled out Stanwyck as his favorite co-star.  He felt she was the "most human, the most unassuming person in the world."  I would agree that Stanwyck was a real standout among his leading ladies.  My personal favorites are Baby Face and My Reputation.  I do offer some backstory to each of the five films they made together.  The Rains Came is my personal favorite Brent film.  It helped that he got out of the "factory" atmosphere at Warners and dived into a coveted role.

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You'll be pleased to know that in a 1978 interview Brent singled out Stanwyck as his favorite co-star.  He felt she was the "most human, the most unassuming person in the world."  I would agree that Stanwyck was a real standout among his leading ladies.  My personal favorites are Baby Face and My Reputation.  I do offer some backstory to each of the five films they made together.  The Rains Came is my personal favorite Brent film.  It helped that he got out of the "factory" atmosphere at Warners and dived into a coveted role.

Was this comment about Stanwyck an indirect slap at Bette Davis, whom he worked with more frequently?

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You'll be pleased to know that in a 1978 interview Brent singled out Stanwyck as his favorite co-star.  He felt she was the "most human, the most unassuming person in the world."  I would agree that Stanwyck was a real standout among his leading ladies.  My personal favorites are Baby Face and My Reputation.  I do offer some backstory to each of the five films they made together.  The Rains Came is my personal favorite Brent film.  It helped that he got out of the "factory" atmosphere at Warners and dived into a coveted role.

Interesting... thanks!  Yes, I also love those other films you mention. In the recent Stanwyck bio by Victoria Wilson she refers to Brent but very superficially (incredibly, she makes a reference to his rear end.  I think she must be a fan of this thread.) 

 

I'm curious to read your take of his relationship with Davis.  She herself talks a little about it in the book "I'd Love to Kiss You", which you probably have run across in your research (It's my favorite book on Bette Davis, because it's transcribed conversations and you really get to hear her "voice").

 

(Sorry if any of this has already been covered in this thread - I've been 'away' a while and haven't read too much too closely. :))

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Was this comment about Stanwyck an indirect slap at Bette Davis, whom he worked with more frequently?

 

I never thought about that - but considering that the two of them (George and Bette) also had a "close" off-screen relationship, I wonder. 

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I never thought about that - but considering that the two of them (George and Bette) also had a "close" off-screen relationship, I wonder. 

 

Eugenia, there is more discussion in the General Discussions area under GEORGE BRENT NEWS! (started by yours, truly!)

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Was this comment about Stanwyck an indirect slap at Bette Davis, whom he worked with more frequently?

Absolutely not.  Brent always had high praises for Davis and was angry when some referred to All About Eve as a "comeback."  Their last meeting was in May 1978 - Brent sent Davis some orchids backstage during her one-woman show, before paying her a surprise visit.

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Absolutely not.  Brent always had high praises for Davis and was angry when some referred to All About Eve as a "comeback."  Their last meeting was in May 1978 - Brent sent Davis some orchids backstage during her one-woman show, before paying her a surprise visit.

 

Thanks for that clarity.   I assumed Brent's comment was NOT some type of indirect slap at Davis or anyone else he worked with.   It is very well known that Stanwyck was great to work with and 'special' in this regard (i.e. one of the best if not THE best as it relates to a major star) and there are quotes from directors and fellow actors that support that.

 

So the comment about Stanwyck was just about Stanwyck and one shouldn't try to read something else into it.

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Thanks for that clarity.   I assumed Brent's comment was NOT some type of indirect slap at Davis or anyone else he worked with.   It is very well known that Stanwyck was great to work with and 'special' in this regard (i.e. one of the best if not THE best as it relates to a major star) and there are quotes from directors and fellow actors that support that.

 

So the comment about Stanwyck was just about Stanwyck and one shouldn't try to read something else into it.

Jamesjazz - You are spot on about Stanwyck.  She was a team player.  The only actresses Brent made negative remarks about working with were: Hedy Lamarr, Brenda Joyce and Martha Scott.  He didn't remain friends with any of his four actress-wives.

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Interesting... thanks!  Yes, I also love those other films you mention. In the recent Stanwyck bio by Victoria Wilson she refers to Brent but very superficially (incredibly, she makes a reference to his rear end.  I think she must be a fan of this thread.) 

 

I'm curious to read your take of his relationship with Davis.  She herself talks a little about it in the book "I'd Love to Kiss You", which you probably have run across in your research (It's my favorite book on Bette Davis, because it's transcribed conversations and you really get to hear her "voice").

 

(Sorry if any of this has already been covered in this thread - I've been 'away' a while and haven't read too much too closely. :))

It can now be revealed that hibi's real name is Victoria Wilson.

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Hey Hibi - Did you enjoy the George Brent Q&A with Scott O'Brien over on Silver Screen Oasis this past weekend?  I checked in yesterday but I'm trying to catch up this morning quickly before I have to get ready for work...

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Hey Hibi - Did you enjoy the George Brent Q&A with Scott O'Brien over on Silver Screen Oasis this past weekend?  I checked in yesterday but I'm trying to catch up this morning quickly before I have to get ready for work...

I don't think they would tolerate much rear end discussion over at the Oasis.

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