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Stella Stevens on TCM!


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A while back I started a thread about Ruth Roman, and it was a success. Ruth's films have been continuously shown on TCM, and I'd like to think a greater appreciation for her skill as an actress has developed. 

 

I feel it's time to make a thread in a similar vein for Stella Stevens. The timing is perfect, since a lot of her films are scheduled on TCM in the near future.

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I loved her performance in John Cassavetes' TOO LATE BLUES, which aired last night. And looking at her filmography, she certainly seemed to work with a lot of her generation's top directors and stars. 

 

The first time I saw Stella on screen was as a teenager home from school one summer. I was watching an episode of the daytime serial Santa Barbara. She played the owner of a bar, a working class gal, and she was primarily used for comic relief. But she looked absolutely gorgeous, in her early 50s-- giving women twenty years younger a run for their money.

 

The next time I saw Stella on screen was a rerun of Highway to Heaven-- and I was pleased to learn that she had also worked with Michael Landon in an early episode of Bonanza. But more pleasing was learning that she had a long and extensive background in motion pictures. I am glad TCM is airing some of them in the weeks ahead:

 

SYNANON (1965)...today

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE (1972)...January 24, March 2

SOL MADRID (1968)...January 30

THE MANITOU (1978)...March 26

THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER (1963)...March 31

 

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...and I was pleased to learn that she had also worked with Michael Landon in an early episode of Bonanza.

 

 

Hmmmmm...so how did Little Joe's BFF die in THAT one, TB???

 

Get run over some runway stagecoach or maybe by some cholera epidemic that swept through Virginia City??? ;)

 

(...btw, always thought Stella...STELLLLLLAAAAA...sorry...was pretty hot lookin' but never all that great an actress...I could always be wrong though...maybe I never gave her a chance to impress me)

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Hmmmmm...so how did Little Joe's BFF die in THAT one, TB???

 

Get run over some runway stagecoach or maybe by some cholera epidemic that swept through Virginia City??? ;)

 

(...btw, always thought Stella...STELLLLLLAAAAA...sorry...was pretty hot lookin' but never all that great an actress...I could always be wrong though...maybe I never gave her a chance to impress me)

If I remember correctly, she played a deaf girl that Joe taught to use sign language. She developed a crush on him, but some other guy loved her. Of course, she didn't wind up with Joe!  It's from 1960, very early in Stella's career.

 

In the 1984 Highway to Heaven episode she plays a girlfriend of Mark's (Victor French) who of course has a terminal disease.

 

As for Stella's acting, she wound up with 140 credits between 1959 and 2010. I think her fans consider her performance in THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE to be her best.

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As for Stella's acting, she wound up with 140 credits between 1959 and 2010. I think her fans consider her performance in THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE to be her best.

 

Always wanted to see that movie. Never have. BUT, one of my old airlines coworkers who was quite the cinemaphile himself, told me he once met Peckinpah somewhere and he asked him what his favorite film was, and he said Peckinpah replied it was this film...AND added that it lost a huge amount of money and as did his other far less violent movie, "Junior Bonner", and so that's why he then concentrated his efforts on more violent fare, because as he said he put it, "Nobody ever went to any of my movies where somebody didn't get shot!"

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Top is correct. Stella in "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" is a marvel. She projects effortless sex appeal, vulnerability, humor and class as, of all things, an old west hooker. She is completely captivating and easily the best reason to watch this movie (although Jerry Goldsmith's score, Slim Pickens, L. Q. Jones, Strother Martin and David Warner don't hurt).

 

I once met Donnie Fritts - a member of Kris Kristofferson's band - who was in a couple of other Peckinpah films and he said that Peckinpah did proclaim that Cable was his personal favorite. That being said, from what I've read Sam also said "Major Dundee" and "The Wild Bunch" were also his favorites at various times.

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I once met Donnie Fritts - a member of Kris Kristofferson's band - who was in a couple of other Peckinpah films and he said that Peckinpah did proclaim that Cable was his personal favorite. That being said, from what I've read Sam also said "Major Dundee" and "The Wild Bunch" were also his favorites at various times.

 

All of course dependent upon how much booze Sam had consumed on any given day, right Gorch?! ;)

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Top is correct. Stella in "The Ballad of Cable Hogue" is a marvel. She projects effortless sex appeal, vulnerability, humor and class as, of all things, an old west hooker. She is completely captivating and easily the best reason to watch this movie (although Jerry Goldsmith's score, Slim Pickens, L. Q. Jones, Strother Martin and David Warner don't hurt).

 

THE BALLAD OF CABLE HOGUE comes up every now and then on the Encore westerns channel, in a pan and scan version. I'd like to see TCM air it in wide screen. 

 

I watched SYNANON again yesterday, and I love watching Stella in that film. I think what works for me is that she may look like a Playboy model (which she was a few times in the 60s), but she has an earthy don't-mess-with-me quality. So I find her acting to be very realistic.

 

She did a few films later on with her son. She was a teenage mother from a place called Hot Coffee, Mississippi (what a great name for a town), and by 20 she was discovered and made her film debut the following year at 20th Century Fox. The rest is history.

 

Here's a picture of Stella drinking some hot coffee in CABLE HOGUE:

1stella.png

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The other night was the first time I'd ever seen TOO LATE BLUES.  Actually, I thought Stella's performance was good.  But I thought Darin's performance in the following year's PRESSURE POINT was far better.

 

But, this thread, at least for NOW is about Stella, so I'll just leave it at saying My infatuation with her stemmed from THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER and was stoked back to life while watching her work her way "up" to the bottom of the boat in Earnest Borgnine's shirt in the first POSEIDON Adventure! 

 

 

Sepiatone

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The other night was the first time I'd ever seen TOO LATE BLUES.  Actually, I thought Stella's performance was good.  But I thought Darin's performance in the following year's PRESSURE POINT was far better.

 

But, this thread, at least for NOW is about Stella, so I'll just leave it at saying My infatuation with her stemmed from THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, THE COURTSHIP OF EDDIE'S FATHER and was stoked back to life while watching her work her way "up" to the bottom of the boat in Earnest Borgnine's shirt in the first POSEIDON Adventure! 

 

 

Sepiatone

I like THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, too (the Lewis version). I read that Stella clashed with the honchos at Paramount and soon moved on to other studios. But in the beginning, she had great roles in box office hits that are still well-remembered today.

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I like THE NUTTY PROFESSOR, too (the Lewis version). I read that Stella clashed with the honchos at Paramount and soon moved on to other studios. But in the beginning, she had great roles in box office hits that are still well-remembered today.

 

Yea,  as an actor sometimes one's assets can hinder their career.     I admit that I was NOT looking forward to Stella in Too Late Blues expecting the 'bimbo' I had been exposed to in other movies  (I wanted to see the movie because of the jazz theme).   I clearly was mistaken and impressed by her.     

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Yea,  as an actor sometimes one's assets can hinder their career.     I admit that I was NOT looking forward to Stella in Too Late Blues expecting the 'bimbo' I had been exposed to in other movies  (I wanted to see the movie because of the jazz theme).   I clearly was mistaken and impressed by her.     

Right.  I see her as a Monroe type with an edge. My guess is that her early days in Mississippi-- having a child at a young age out of wedlock, she had experienced a few hard knocks in life, so that by the time she arrived in Hollywood, she has a sense of fortitude, an underlying strength the other Monroe imitators do not have. Plus she lucked out by getting to work with Cassavetes who would exploit that grittiness in TOO LATE BLUES.

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Her son Andrew Stevens was quite the h-o-t-t-i-e back in the day.

***** h o t t t i e apparently is bleeped on this board ******

 

AndrewStevens2.jpg

SWM12d.JPG

 

Who was Andrew Stevens's father?

Did he use his mother's last name as a stage name or did Stella Stevens use her married name professionally?

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lMGgjZd.png

 

 

 

Interesting news report.   e.g.  the Governor is called 'handsome'.   Stevens 'cooed' to the Governor.  The use of 'the blond actress'  (ok that is very common irrelevant thing to say).

 

How do any of these relate to the story?      Is the writer trying to imply that if Stevens gave the Governor favors he might do her one?

 

Stevens looks very serious in the picture (but from that side angle she reminds me of Monroe). 

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Interesting news report.   e.g.  the Governor is called 'handsome'.   Stevens 'cooed' to the Governor.  The use of 'the blond actress'  (ok that is very common irrelevant thing to say).

 

How do any of these relate to the story?      Is the writer trying to imply that if Stevens gave the Governor favors he might do her one?

 

Stevens looks very serious in the picture (but from that side angle she reminds me of Monroe). 

 

 

I, too, thought of Monroe from that picture...........

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Interesting news report. e.g. the Governor is called 'handsome'. Stevens 'cooed' to the Governor. The use of 'the blond actress' (ok that is very common irrelevant thing to say).

 

How do any of these relate to the story? Is the writer trying to imply that if Stevens gave the Governor favors he might do her one?

 

Stevens looks very serious in the picture (but from that side angle she reminds me of Monroe).

I vaguely remember Stella.Stevens playing a Monroe style blonde bombshell movie queen in an early 70s tv movie. I don't.remember the name of the movie, or too much else about it, other than at Graumans Chinese Theater she left an imprint of whatever she had to fill out her bustier.

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I vaguely remember Stella.Stevens playing a Monroe style blonde bombshell movie queen in an early 70s tv movie. I don't.remember the name of the movie, or too much else about it, other than at Graumans Chinese Theater she left an imprint of whatever she had to fill out her bustier.

 

 

Maybe you are thinking of Connie Stevens? She played a Monroe type bombshell in a tv movie called The Symbol (based on some book) I didnt see it though........

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Maybe you are thinking of Connie Stevens? She played a Monroe type bombshell in a tv movie called The Symbol (based on some book) I didnt see it though........

Yes, you're right. I sometimes confuse the two in my mind especially as time goes by.

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Yes, you're right. I sometimes confuse the two in my mind especially as time goes by.

 

It's possible Stella also did something similar, but I remember Connie in that one.........

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