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slaytonf

Did Rock Hudson ever make a good movie?

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.... two that he

had a brief fling with Mamie Van Doren (understandable)

i read mamie's autobio years ago and her account of the fling with rock was that it was brief and unsatisfying for her. she said that they were dining while seated in a booth and behind rock in the adjacent booth sat one of his boyfriends with whom he would whisper and flirt right in front of her.

 

later when he did the deed with her it was sudden, quick and rather umm sloppy i'll say. and then he left. she got the impression it was more the studios idea to pair them publicly and that the sex was an attempt to dispell rumors of his being gay.

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O to the M to the G:

Mamie Van Doren wrote an autobiography?!?!

 

I bet that is one hell of a read.

o helz ya. the henry kissinger story alone was worth it.

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o helz ya. the henry kissinger story alone was worth it.

 

Okay, the train is off the rails and I don't care: Please spill the details.

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Okay, the train is off the rails and I don't care: Please spill the details.

well to hear mamie tell it he found her irresistable as did every other man she ever met. he groped her under the table at a state dinner, invited her back to his georgetown pad to see his chinese art collection, made a move which involved pinning her to the wall when she tried to say goodnight, but eventually he took no for an answer.

 

not steamy at all but picturing henry putting the moves on 1972 mamie is amusing.

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not steamy at all but picturing henry putting the moves on 1972 mamie is amusing.

 

Yes it is (amusing) and I thank you for sharing.

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Yes it is (amusing) and I thank you for sharing.

my pleasure. to get us back on rock, i did some googling to refresh my memory of her account with rock and found there is a website where mamie recounts her love life in sometimes lurid detail.

 

i should add after reading it that she did like rock and found him lets say enthusiastic about their time together.

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my pleasure. to get us back on rock, i did some googling to refresh my memory of her account with rock and found there is a website where mamie recounts her love life in sometimes lurid detail.

 

i should add after reading it that she did like rock and found him lets say enthusiastic about their time together.

 

That was one thing that really struck me about the documentary to which I earlier referred- after all the bad stuff about Rock was revealed, the general concensus of the participants was that he was a great guy and a loyal friend with a tremendous sense of humor and a booming laugh that filled the room.

 

A complicated man to say the least.

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That was one thing that really struck me about the documentary to which I earlier referred- after all the bad stuff about Rock was revealed, the general concensus of the participants was that he was a great guy and a loyal friend with a tremendous sense of humor and a booming laugh that filled the room.

 

A complicated man to say the least.

i cant imagine there being much bad stuff outside of the aids matter but even there he was no different than many in the gay community at that time. (those who were there will recall what i refer to and i will not say more knowing where that discussion will lead at tcm.)

 

but by all accounts he certainly was a very charming man much like his screen persona.

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So in my personal opinion, Rock did make some "good movies". While his career may have never included that great, defining picture that some stars have made - often in more than one instance - he did make much more than a handful that are worthy of note and that, in some instances, continue to entertain or intrigue ("Seconds" for instance). 

 

While I greatly appreciate your comments, I have to disagree strongly with your comment that Mr. Hudson had no defining picture.  He starred in Giant, which is a great motion picture, directed by George Stevens.   I will have to take you to task for that.  Teaching a film class as you do, you ought to know that.

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 knock it off with the venom.

 

Sepiatone

 

Although there has been a range of opinion expressed about Mr. Hudson and his movies, I have to say I have not detected any venom in the comments.  

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I had to laugh at your typo "foist", 

Whaddaya mean foist bein a typo?  You gotta problem wit how she types?

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Did you happen to see the title of this thread? Doesn't exactly immediately lend itself to gushing about Mr. Hudson's movies.

 

I have to admit, I was being deliberately mildly provocative in the title to elicit discussion-one way or the other.

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Jake, The Undefeated comes around regularly on Encore Retro. Probably in pan and scan... :(

 

Not a Hudson fan myself, But Seconds is a great film, and he is good in it.

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Welcome to the Boards Lorna. I had to laugh at your typo "foist", it's the same typo I seem to make often, since the i is next to the o, I laugh because when reading it, it reminds me of my NY accent I'm always trying to lose.

 

Yes, I watched the Doris Day promo for Rock and I taped it. So great to hear her speak and I believe it was done very recently when she spoke to RO by phone :)

 

 

Whaddaya mean foist bein a typo?  You gotta problem wit how she types?

Ha! I know you know and I hope Lorna knows my post was poking fun at my making that same typo and my leftover NY accent :D

 

( ps - Being technically challenged, I also wanted to try the multi quote option, and it worked!) :)

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( ps - Being technically challenged, I also wanted to try the multi quote option, and it worked!) :)

Ta da!

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There are some major releases which almost never get shown. One of my favorites is "This Earth Is Mine" (1959), with Rock, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire and Claude Rains. It's about a wine-growing dynasty during Prohibition, one of those family saga things, and Rock gives what I consider a very grounded performance. "Twilight For the Gods" (1958) with Cyd Charisse is a kind of dumbed-down "Ship of Fools" on a leaky boat in the Pacific, but Rock 's good as the scruffy captain, sort of like Cary Grant in "Father Goose". "The Spiral Road" (1962) with Gena Rowlands and Burl Ives has some iffy religiosity going for it, sort of like in "The Magnificent Obsession", but it's pretty good overall.  Rock wasn't the greatest actor and when he failed to connect he could fail big time, but for the most part I still enjoy watching many of his films. He was one of those chameleon types who often took on the shadings of his costar, so he was sometimes only as good as who he was paired with but, also chameleon-like, he was able to reinvent himself  several times over, moving from cornball action hero to King of the Weepers to sex comedy staple and beyond. His charm may have been lost on many, but when he was right for a role he could really deliver. I'm also glad they're showing "Come September"; he seems to me to be even more relaxed with Gina Lollobrigida than he was with Doris and the location filming (Italy) keeps it from having the set-bound feeling of, say, "Pillow Talk".

 

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To borrow a quote from Peter O'Toole (Alan Swann in MY FAVORITE YEAR)   "I'm not an actor, I'm a movie star".  Rock Hudson, like many others, may not have been a great actor but he was a great movie star who entertained a lot of people.  He did his job well.

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There are some major releases which almost never get shown. One of my favorites is "This Earth Is Mine" (1959), with Rock, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire and Claude Rains. It's about a wine-growing dynasty during Prohibition, one of those family saga things, and Rock gives what I consider a very grounded performance.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, I saw The Earth Is Mine and Spiral Road years ago on tv.....(probably the network showings).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Twilight For the Gods" (1958) with Cyd Charisse is a kind of dumbed-down "Ship of Fools" on a leaky boat in the Pacific, but Rock 's good as the scruffy captain, sort of like Cary Grant in "Father Goose". "The Spiral Road" (1962) with Gena Rowlands and Burl Ives has some iffy religiosity going for it, sort of like in "The Magnificent Obsession", but it's pretty good overall.  Rock wasn't the greatest actor and when he failed to connect he could fail big time, but for the most part I still enjoy watching many of his films. He was one of those chameleon types who often took on the shadings of his costar, so he was sometimes only as good as who he was paired with but, also chameleon-like, he was able to reinvent himself  several times over, moving from cornball action hero to King of the Weepers to sex comedy staple and beyond. His charm may have been lost on many, but when he was right for a role he could really deliver. I'm also glad they're showing "Come September"; he seems to me to be even more relaxed with Gina Lollobrigida than he was with Doris and the location filming (Italy) keeps it from having the set-bound feeling of, say, "Pillow Talk".

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Did Rock Hudson ever make a bad movie? Maybe one.  But even that film is still watchable.  It was 1978's AVALANCHE, with Mia Farrow.

 

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The first movie I ever liked of Hudson's was the one he did just before 'Seconds'. It was called 'Blindfold' and I think it's under-rated as a film. It was quite fun. Then came 'Seconds' and I could tell he was really trying to be something better than the by-the-numbers matinee idol that'd been manufactured by Hollywood. From 'Blindfold' on, he had acting credibility that I'd been unable to acknowledge when he was doing the mid 50's through 1964 numbers.

 

For my sensibilities, 'Pretty Maids All in a Row' was the culmination of his late transformation towards coolness. Loved that naughty movie.

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I agree with whoever it was on this thread who said that Rock Hudson was just a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love.

Ok, they didn't exactly say that, and Rock, while just as handsome as Elvis, had little else in common with him.

 

But he was a "hunK", as they used to say. Yup, Rock was one tall dark and handsome gentleman.

 

Now here's something to ponder: as a heterosexual woman,  (nttawwt) I like to look at good-looking or at least attractive (to me) men in movies. I won't watch a film just because of that, but if it's something I'd enjoy anyway, and there's a male actor whom I find attractive in it, it just makes that movie-watching experience all the sweeter.

But is my delight in the beauty of the male actor predicated on the assumption that their sexual orientation is "straight" ? For instance, I'm all agog when I watch a Robert Mitchum film, 75 % because he was usually in good films, but maybe 25% because he is pleasing to behold.

 

But if Mitch had been gay (which he was not - nobody would ever think otherwise with Mitch) would I get that 25% enjoyment level, related to finding him attractive, quite the same way? I do not know.

 

Of course, when I'm watching a Rock Hudson movie, I see that he is handsome, and I'm also aware that he was gay. But even if he hadn't been, it would make little difference with me, because, gorgeous though he is, he's "not my type". And not because he's gay, he's just not my type. (Hey, I think Richard Widmark is sexy, so you can't look to me for typical hetero female responses.)

 

Montgomery Clift: Good actor, if you like the method thing. Good-looking. Doesn't do anything for me, doesn't add that extra frisson when I'm watching a Monty film. But even if Clift had been "straight", again, his looks don't do much for me, so I might remain unmoved anyway.

 

Aargh, I don't know where this is going. Never mind.

 

One thing I can say without getting tangled up in vague and possibly embarrassing speculations is, Rock Hudson was a fine comic actor, I think he was very funny, and had great comic timing. He's hilarious in those Doris Day films, often because he's sort of making gentle fun of his own handsomeness. Kind of like a 50s/60s George Clooney.

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He wasn't Laurence Olivier but he wasn't terrible either. I think these have all been mentioned, but I think it's a respectble list: Giant, All That Heaven Allows, Written on the Wind, Tarnished Angls, Bend of the River, Winchester 73, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, Come September, Seconds, Pretty Maids All in a Row. I've never seen Ice Station Zebra, but it was one of Howard hughes's favorite movies!

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I agree with whoever it was on this thread who said that Rock Hudson was just a hunk-a hunk-a burnin' love.

Ok, they didn't exactly say that, and Rock, while just as handsome as Elvis, had little else in common with him.

 

But he was a "hunK", as they used to say. Yup, Rock was one tall dark and handsome gentleman.

 

Now here's something to ponder: as a heterosexual woman,  (nttawwt) I like to look at good-looking or at least attractive (to me) men in movies. I won't watch a film just because of that, but if it's something I'd enjoy anyway, and there's a male actor whom I find attractive in it, it just makes that movie-watching experience all the sweeter.

But is my delight in the beauty of the male actor predicated on the assumption that their sexual orientation is "straight" ? For instance, I'm all agog when I watch a Robert Mitchum film, 75 % because he was usually in good films, but maybe 25% because he is pleasing to behold.

 

But if Mitch had been gay (which he was not - nobody would ever think otherwise with Mitch) would I get that 25% enjoyment level, related to finding him attractive, quite the same way? I do not know.

 

Of course, when I'm watching a Rock Hudson movie, I see that he is handsome, and I'm also aware that he was gay. But even if he hadn't been, it would make little difference with me, because, gorgeous though he is, he's "not my type". And not because he's gay, he's just not my type. (Hey, I think Richard Widmark is sexy, so you can't look to me for typical hetero female responses.)

 

Montgomery Clift: Good actor, if you like the method thing. Good-looking. Doesn't do anything for me, doesn't add that extra frisson when I'm watching a Monty film. But even if Clift had been "straight", again, his looks don't do much for me, so I might remain unmoved anyway.

 

Aargh, I don't know where this is going. Never mind.

 

One thing I can say without getting tangled up in vague and possibly embarrassing speculations is, Rock Hudson was a fine comic actor, I think he was very funny, and had great comic timing. He's hilarious in those Doris Day films, often because he's sort of making gentle fun of his own handsomeness. Kind of like a 50s/60s George Clooney.

I think I get what you mean.  I find both Clift and Hudson hot, on their own-- and when paired with women in their movies.  I don't find Widmark hot, but I think the perversity he injects into some of his roles can be a turn-on, in part because the energy is so raw. But physically, he is not gorgeous.  Now, Richard Basehart and Keir Dullea both have that creepy vibe and the pin-up boy look going for them.  That's another story!

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