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The Old and the New


Kid Dabb
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I can never get used to watching a classic Hollywood actor paired with a post-40s actor. To me, it's like oil and water. That's what I see with June Allyson and Jack Lemmon in You Can't Run Away from It (1956).

 

Like Clark Gable and Doris Day in Teacher's Pet (1958). Gig Young just seemed to scream 1950s & 60s, as did Ms. Day. It took some willpower to stay tuned to an aging Clark Gable paired with those two. It's a good story; I think so, anyway, so I stuck with it. I like this film.

 

Had it been in color I think I would have passed on it altogether as that would, in my mind, have pulled Mr. Gable even further into the post-40s era.

 

Here's a couple of trivias from IMDB:

 



The script by Fay Kanin and Michael Kanin was first written as a drama. When they were turned down by every studio they submitted it to, they rewrote it as a comedy. Paramount Studios immediately purchased the property.

 

Although most critics felt that Clark Gable was badly miscast due to his age, his performance was judged good enough for Burt Lancaster to cast him as a dying submarine captain in Run Silent Run Deep (1958).


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  • 1 year later...

wiki:  TCM:

 

You Can't Run Away from It is a 1956 Technicolor and CinemaScope musical comedy starring June Allyson and Jack Lemmon. Directed and produced by Dick Powell, the film is a remake of the 1934 Academy Award-winning film It Happened One Night.

 

The supporting cast features Charles Bickford, Jim Backus, Stubby Kaye, Jack Albertson and Howard McNear.

 

It Happened One Night had also been remade as a musical comedy in 1945 as Eve Knew Her Apples.

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  • 3 weeks later...

 

I can never get used to watching a classic Hollywood actor paired with a post-40s actor. To me, it's like oil and water. That's what I see with June Allyson and Jack Lemmon in You Can't Run Away from It (1956).
 
Like Clark Gable and Doris Day in Teacher's Pet (1958). Gig Young just seemed to scream 1950s & 60s, as did Ms. Day. It took some willpower to stay tuned to an aging Clark Gable paired with those two. It's a good story; I think so, anyway, so I stuck with it. I like this film.
 
Had it been in color I think I would have passed on it altogether as that would, in my mind, have pulled Mr. Gable even further into the post-40s era.
 
Here's a couple of trivias from IMDB:
 
The script by Fay Kanin and Michael Kanin was first written as a drama. When they were turned down by every studio they submitted it to, they rewrote it as a comedy. Paramount Studios immediately purchased the property.
 
Although most critics felt that Clark Gable was badly miscast due to his age, his performance was judged good enough for Burt Lancaster to cast him as a dying submarine captain in Run Silent Run Deep (1958).

 

Gig Young was no "Spring Chicken" either...he was born in 1913. Gable in 1901 and Doris in 1922.  ;) 

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Hmmmm...somethin's tellin' me that even though it was filmed in B&W, the Kid here has never ever made it all the way through LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON in his life!

 

(...is that right, Kid?!)

 

;)

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Hmmmm...somethin's tellin' me that even though it was filmed in B&W, the Kid here has never ever made it all the way through LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON in his life!

 

(...is that right, Kid?!)

 

;)

 

It's not like I haven't tried... and it's not because of the May-December pairing... I just am not attracted to Coop's appearance in his old age. There is also something I find a bit off about the film - can't put my finger on it. Could be the Art Direction, or the fact that using Gary Cooper in this role was way over cast. That whole thing could have been done with another actor more suited to the genre. I liked all the scenes I was able to watch which did not have Coop in them.

 

And... sticking to topic; Gary Cooper's time was 30s-40s and here we are pairing him with a 50s-60s post-Golden Age actress. 

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It's not like I haven't tried... and it's not because of the May-December pairing... I just am not attracted to Coop's appearance in his old age. There is also something I find a bit off about the film - can't put my finger on it. Could be the Art Direction, or the fact that using Gary Cooper in this role was way over cast. That whole thing could have been done with another actor more suited to the genre. I liked all the scenes I was able to watch which did not have Coop in them.

 

And... sticking to topic; Gary Cooper's time was 30s-40s and here we are pairing him with a 50s-60s post-Golden Age actress. 

 

Maybe it's more for the same reason I don't buy Coop in the role for one second either? And once again, not so much because of his age.

 

Could it be because the man probably best remembered for playing the stoic and forthright American west cowboy isn't for a second believable as some kind'a "sophisticated international playboy"???

 

(...betcha THAT'S it, ain't it!) ;) 

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Maybe it's more for the same reason I don't buy Coop in the role for one second either? And once again, not so much because of his age.

 

Could it be because the man probably best remembered for playing the stoic and forthright American west cowboy isn't for a second believable as some kind'a "sophisticated international playboy"???

 

(...betcha THAT'S it, ain't it!) ;)

 

I can roll with that.

:)

 

It's not so much I feel he belongs in the west as a cowboy - I mean, there is The Fountainhead... which many here have a great dislike for, but I enjoyed that film and Coop's role very much.

 

I mainly feel he was miscast in Love in the Afternoon. He'd played that type of character before (not rich, though) in Design for Living, when he was much younger and wore it well.

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I can roll with that.

:)

 

It's not so much I feel he belongs in the west as a cowboy - I mean, there is The Fountainhead... which many here have a great dislike for, but I enjoyed that film and Coop's role very much.

 

I mainly feel he was miscast in Love in the Afternoon. He'd played that type of character before (not rich, though) in Design for Living, when he was much younger and wore it well.

 

No Kid, I didn't mean to suggest Coop was solely good in westerns, but even when he was younger and more studly, he never really played a role where he was "the sophisticate"...at least as I recall.

 

(...nope, and even though with the Howard Roark role perhaps coming as close to a "sophisticate" as he ever played) 

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Thanks Kid and Dargo, I am glad I am not the only one who dislikes Love in the Afternoon.  I was very disappointed in it.  It should have been good.  Billy Wilder. Audrey Hepburn. Paris. All signs point to it being a good picture.  Though, I thought the film should have been in color (and I don't usually have this impression when I watch a black and white film).  The only problem is Gary Cooper.  He just doesn't work with Hepburn and I agree with Kid, it's not because of the May-December romance.  To me, he just lacks that certain something that would make it believable that this young woman would fall for him.  Even though Cooper was only a couple years older than Cary Grant, I can buy the May-December pairing of Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.  Grant has that pizzazz and personality that makes him appealing.  I even bought Bogart and Hepburn as a pairing more than I bought Cooper and Hepburn.  Even though, I have said that Bogart was too old for Hepburn (and looked every bit of it), you could tell that deep down, he had a soft spot for her and Bogart, to me, is oddly charming.  

 

People who I think would have been better in Love in the Afternoon:

 

Cary Grant

William Holden

Fred Astaire 

Errol Flynn (in spite of his condition by 1957, he still demonstrated some panache in The Sun Also Rises)

Dick Powell

Dean Martin

 

I would say Frank Sinatra since he is so good at playing a playboy, but I think he's too much of a thug (and too short) for the elegant Hepburn.

 

---

 

Some Golden Age with post-Golden Age pairings that did and didn't work for me:

 

William Holden to me is kind of on the cusp of Golden Age and post-Golden Age.  He did appear in films in the 30s and 40s, but he didn't find his niche until the 50s and 60s.  Regardless, he is technically a Golden Era actor.  I think because he has this hunkiness combined with a worldly, but weary quality, it makes him sort of an everyman in post-WWII America.

 

William Holden & Kim Novak in Picnic.  They work so well together in this film.  Their Moonglow dance in Picnic is one of the sexiest scenes ever put on film.

 

William Holden & Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina.  Even though they didn't end up together in the end, I liked the idea of them as a couple.  Hepburn seems a bit naive and innocent and Holden's "been there done that" type attitude would make him a good companion.

 

William Holden & Faye Dunaway in Network.  I can see Dunaway choosing the much older Holden to be her lover.  It works for me.  

 

---

 

Sue Lyon & James Mason in Lolita.  Okay, I know that the theme of the movie is a man who has a crush on a teenage girl.  However, Mason brought just enough class to the role, that he didn't make Humbert Humbert a total creep.  I actually cheered for Shelley Winters to get killed somehow (she always does) so that she'd leave Humbert and Lolita alone.

 

---

 

Frank Sinatra & Debbie Reynolds in The Tender Trap.  While I know that Reynolds' character is supposed to be a young woman and it's easy to see why Sinatra would be infatuated with her, I find it harder to believe that she would be infatuated with him.  He would have been better suited for Celeste Holm's character.  Regardless, I do like the movie.  Reynolds is charming.

 

Debbie Reynolds & Dick Powell in Susan Slept Here.  In this film, I can see why Reynolds likes Powell, but I can't see the reverse.  I can't explain it either.  This was a very strange film, but I also liked it.  I'm just a weirdo I think. 

 

---

 

I'm trying to think of some more examples, that's what I got so far.

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wiki:  TCM:

 

You Can't Run Away from It is a 1956 Technicolor and CinemaScope musical comedy starring June Allyson and Jack Lemmon. Directed and produced by Dick Powell, the film is a remake of the 1934 Academy Award-winning film It Happened One Night.

 

The supporting cast features Charles Bickford, Jim Backus, Stubby Kaye, Jack Albertson and Howard McNear.

 

It Happened One Night had also been remade as a musical comedy in 1945 as Eve Knew Her Apples.

 

You Can't Run Away from It has to be one of the worst remakes made during the Studio era.    Allyson is way, way to old for the part.   Allyson looked 'old' for her age to begin with and casting her when she was near 40 in a role of a women that was under 30,  was a really poor choice.    Bickford and her don't look like father and daughter but more like husband and wife.

 

Lemmon and Allyson have zero chemistry.    

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...William Holden & Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina.  Even though they didn't end up together in the end, I liked the idea of them as a couple.  Hepburn seems a bit naive and innocent and Holden's "been there done that" type attitude would make him a good companion.

 

 

Yep, and you just gave a good reason for Holden being cast in the Cooper part in LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, speedy. He had earlier and believably played the "sophisticated international playboy" in SABRINA.

 

(...btw, re SABRINA...I won't bore you and everyone else here again with my oft-mentioned suggestion that Wilder should have cast Robert Taylor for the older brother Linus role instead of Bogie) ;)

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(...btw, re SABRINA...I won't bore you and everyone else here again with my oft-mentioned suggestion that Wilder should have cast Robert Taylor for the older brother Linus role instead of Bogie) 

 

Thankfully Wilder didn't follow your suggestion, or he'd be the one boring us.

 

Robert Taylor  =

 

099586240894lg.jpg

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Thankfully Wilder didn't follow your suggestion, or he'd be the one boring us.

 

Robert Taylor  =

 

099586240894lg.jpg

 

Now now, Lawrence. Don't dismiss this thought so readily here, my friend.

 

Suuuuuure, I'll admit Robert Taylor could be "wooden" or "stiff" in some of his roles, BUT let's remember here that in the year 1954 he was still considered a "romantic lead", and at least a heck of a lot more than Bogie was by that time and who had made the segue to more character type roles.

 

AND, then think about the Linus character in SABRINA, if you will. Wasn't he until the very ending of the film pretty much a rigid or "stiff" or unemotional type almost solely concerned with matters of finance?

 

Ya see, while Mr. Taylor may never make YOUR list of "Great Film Actors", sometimes the right casting can place an actor into the correct role and make it so one CAN believe that a young and beautiful daughter of a chauffeur could fall in love with a man almost twice her age, and not just because of his money or position or stability.

 

AND pretty much because the man nearly twice her age STILL had "sex appeal"!

 

(...I knew I shouldn't have brought this up again)

 

;)

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...

 

Debbie Reynolds & Dick Powell in Susan Slept Here.  In this film, I can see why Reynolds likes Powell, but I can't see the reverse.  I can't explain it either.  This was a very strange film, but I also liked it.  I'm just a weirdo I think. 

 

---

 

I'm trying to think of some more examples, that's what I got so far.

 

We're both weirdos, then.

:P

 

I really like Susan Slept Here. Powell still had "it", whatever that was. I liked him better in this film than in many of his more famous roles. This was a rom-com and played well. 

 

I do not care much for Bogie with Sabrina. He's too long in the tooth and lacks the charm of his earlier years. Much like Coop in the previous example.

 

Another example of old and new which I do like - a great deal - is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Sidney Poitier going toe to toe with Kate and Spence. 

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We're both weirdos, then.

:P

 

I really like Susan Slept Here. Powell still had "it", whatever that was. I liked him better in this film than in many of his more famous roles. This was a rom-com and played well. 

 

I do not care much for Bogie with Sabrina. He's too long in the tooth and lacks the charm of his earlier years. Much like Coop in the previous example.

 

Another example of old and new which I do like - a great deal - is Guess Who's Coming to Dinner with Sidney Poitier going toe to toe with Kate and Spence. 

Yes.  I prefer Powell in his later roles.  I am not into him much when he was a crooner.  Though I did enjoy his film with Olivia de Havilland--Hard to Get, I thought he was charming in his romantic comedy roles.  However, I am not a fan of his singing.  Not that I think he's a bad singer, it's just that the 1930s male singing, with the exception of Fred Astaire, has this quality about it that makes it sound corny.  I am not sure how to explain it.  

 

I like Powell in his more hardened roles like in Murder, My Sweet and The Bad and the Beautiful.  I also thought he had charm in more romantic roles like in Susan Slept Here and Meet the People (even if that film wasn't all that great).  

 

It's a shame he had to go on to direct The Conqueror... 

 

As for Bogie in Sabrina, I agree that he's long in the tooth but it doesn't bother me like Gary Cooper does in Love in the Afternoon.  I almost wonder if the film would have been better had Holden been cast in the Bogart part and they had found a younger actor for Holden's part.  What is kind of odd about Bogart's casting is that it makes him the only member of the family who has a thick New York accent.  Granted, it sounds like they grew up in New York, but only Bogart has the accent.  At the very least, Holden's character should have had the accent too. 

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Yes.  I prefer Powell in his later roles.  I am not into him much when he was a crooner.  Though I did enjoy his film with Olivia de Havilland--Hard to Get, I thought he was charming in his romantic comedy roles.  However, I am not a fan of his singing.  Not that I think he's a bad singer, it's just that the 1930s male singing, with the exception of Fred Astaire, has this quality about it that makes it sound corny. I am not sure how to explain it.

 

Perhaps thus, speedy?...

 

You find the tenor of a tenor's voice a tenuous proposition to embrace tenaciously ?

 

;)

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Perhaps thus, speedy?...

 

You find the tenor of a tenor's voice a tenuous proposition to embrace tenaciously ?

 

;)

 

Lol.  Exactly.  

 

I find that 1930s singing (especially male singing) has a tinny quality to it.  I'm not sure if that's because of the recording equipment available at the time, or if their voices really sounded that way.

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Lol.  Exactly.  

 

I find that 1930s singing (especially male singing) has a tinny quality to it.  I'm not sure if that's because of the recording equipment available at the time, or if their voices really sounded that way.

 

I think it might be more the thought that a tenor's singing voice of which Dick Powell possessed in his early years...and back in those days it was quite often either Irish or Italian tenors that were so popular...has generally gone out of favor with the public.

 

(...just a guess here, but perhaps Sinatra's baritone and the great popularity he would enjoy in that vocal range might have been the beginning of the end to the popularity of tenors in popular music by the 1940s...and Crosby's great popularity before that might have had something to do with this also)

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I think it might be more the thought that a tenor's singing voice of which Dick Powell possessed in his early years...and back in those days it was quite often either Irish or Italian tenors that were so popular...has generally gone out of favor with the public.

 

Hmm.  I'm not too familiar with "tenors" except when it comes to which vocal range they typically perform in. Are the Irish and Italian tenors typically more operatic?  That's the type of singing that I dislike and why I cannot get into people like Jeanette MacDonald and Kathryn Grayson.  Howard Keel's bass voice also irritates me as well.  I am not a fan of the operatic style of singing that seemed to have been popular during that era.

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(...just a guess here, but perhaps Sinatra's baritone and the great popularity he would enjoy in that vocal range might have been the beginning of the end to the popularity of tenors in popular music by the 1940s...and Crosby's great popularity before that might have had something to do with this also)

 

I like Sinatra's voice because it has a "jazzy" quality to it.  I actually don't mind Bing in his 40s and 50s songs.  His 30s stuff also has that same "Dick Powell" quality that I was referring to earlier.  Even Sinatra's very early stuff (I believe his first recording was in 1938-1939) had this quality.

 

I love the Big Band era music and people like Sinatra and Dean Martin. 

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Hmm.  I'm not too familiar with "tenors" except when it comes to which vocal range they typically perform in. Are the Irish and Italian tenors typically more operatic?  That's the type of singing that I dislike and why I cannot get into people like Jeanette MacDonald and Kathryn Grayson.  Howard Keel's bass voice also irritates me as well.  I am not a fan of the operatic style of singing that seemed to have been popular during that era.

 

Yes, tenors, and especially now days, would be most associated with the musical field of Opera, I would think.

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Yes, tenors, and especially now days, would be most associated with the musical field of Opera, I would think.

 

Thanks Dargo! That must be it! Powell and many of the other crooners of that era had voices that too much resemble Opera.  Sorry Opera lovers, I just can't handle it, unless it's in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

 

What's interesting is that I really like Fred Astaire's singing during this era, even though he doesn't have a particularly strong voice. I think I like it because he just sings the songs and they seem simple and from the heart.

 

I've noticed in a lot of films, that often times, the male star (e.g. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Marlon Brando) will sing in his own voice, no matter how weak.  It seems to always be the female actors who have their voices dubbed, unless they're someone like Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe who have such unique voices that it would be a travesty to dub them.  I wonder why the studios didn't feel compelled to dub their male actors? Perhaps they didn't have many male singers on the payroll? 

 

Kid, I'm sorry this is getting off topic...

 

One successful Golden Era star with "New" star pairing was the aforementioned Fred Astaire with Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.  Even though, Astaire looks like he could be Hepburn's father, he's so elegant and charming, it works for me. 

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...

 

Kid, I'm sorry this is getting off topic...

 

One successful Golden Era star with "New" star pairing was the aforementioned Fred Astaire with Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.  Even though, Astaire looks like he could be Hepburn's father, he's so elegant and charming, it works for me. 

 

Well after all, he's Astaire.

B)

 

Fred was great right up to his final film. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Dargo! That must be it! Powell and many of the other crooners of that era had voices that too much resemble Opera.  Sorry Opera lovers, I just can't handle it, unless it's in a Bugs Bunny cartoon.

 

What's interesting is that I really like Fred Astaire's singing during this era, even though he doesn't have a particularly strong voice. I think I like it because he just sings the songs and they seem simple and from the heart.

 

I've noticed in a lot of films, that often times, the male star (e.g. Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Marlon Brando) will sing in his own voice, no matter how weak.  It seems to always be the female actors who have their voices dubbed, unless they're someone like Judy Garland or Marilyn Monroe who have such unique voices that it would be a travesty to dub them.  I wonder why the studios didn't feel compelled to dub their male actors? Perhaps they didn't have many male singers on the payroll? 

 

Kid, I'm sorry this is getting off topic...

 

One successful Golden Era star with "New" star pairing was the aforementioned Fred Astaire with Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face.  Even though, Astaire looks like he could be Hepburn's father, he's so elegant and charming, it works for me. 

Nothing like having stars who can't sing lip synch to another's record just pick a catchy tune and go with it.

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