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What actor can you just not "get into" even though you want to?


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Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which has been referred to here, is an aimiable little romantic comedy, even if it is no classic. Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery have a pleasant chemistry I think.

 

Of note, however, when Hitchcock made his gag appearance in the film, that brief moment on screen was directed by Lombard, a friend of Hitch's. Apparently when they shot the sequence, Lombard, joker that she was, insisted that she was not happy with Hitchcock's "performance" in it, forcing him to do a number of re-takes before finally settling upon one of them.

 

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Hitchcock's Mr. and Mrs. Smith, which has been referred to here, is an aimiable little romantic comedy, even if it is no classic. Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery have a pleasant chemistry I think.

 

Of note, however, when Hitchcock made his gag appearance in the film, that brief moment on screen was directed by Lombard, a friend of Hitch's. Apparently when they shot the sequence, Lombard, joker that she was, insisted that she was not happy with Hitchcock's "performance" in it, forcing him to do a number of re-takes before finally settling upon one of them.

 

I read somewhere once that Lombard was Hitchcock's favorite actress. He was known for not thinking too highly of actors in general (not sure if that is legend or actual fact)-- but he had good things to say about Lombard.

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Just thought I might as well round out my comments here re. the trio of actors I formerly "could not get into" but eventually changed my mind about with JUNE ALLYSON.

That's right, people - you heard me.  That annoying cheery girl-next-door with the throaty voice.

 

I used to think - and can definitely understand those who still do - that June Allyson was not only unbelievably irritating, but that it was a  mystery how and why she ever became such a big star. (well, from what I've heard, not "how"...)

 

She struck me as  overly wholesome, like a toxic glass of homogenized milk, and almost aggressively ordinary in every way.

 

BUT ! !

I changed my mind about her. Maybe it was that ridiculous, unintentionally campy, yet oddly likeable comedy Good News that did it. Or perhaps it was her sympathetic turn in the questionable remake of The Women, The Opposite Sex.

In any case, one day I was watching her in something and boom! I suddenly decided I liked her. All my anti-Allyson sentiments melted away, and I remember thinking the profound thought,

"Dang, she's not so bad. In fact, she's kind of likable."

 

I'm hoping TCM will soon air The Bride Goes Wild, which I've heard is quite enjoyable.

 

As for her supposedly "grating" voice, I like her voice. I also like Jean Arthur's voice. And Joan Greenwood's.

 

So there ya go.

DownGoesFrazier, I expect to hear from you about this.

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Just thought I might as well round out my comments here re. the trio of actors I formerly "could not get into" but eventually changed my mind about with JUNE ALLYSON.

That's right, people - you heard me.  That annoying cheery girl-next-door with the throaty voice.

 

I used to think - and can definitely understand those who still do - that June Allyson was not only unbelievably irritating, but that it was a  mystery how and why she ever became such a big star. (well, from what I've heard, not "how"...)

 

She struck me as  overly wholesome, like a toxic glass of homogenized milk, and almost aggressively ordinary in every way.

 

BUT ! !

I changed my mind about her. Maybe it was that ridiculous, unintentionally campy, yet oddly likeable comedy Good News that did it. Or perhaps it was her sympathetic turn in the questionable remake of The Women, The Opposite Sex.

In any case, one day I was watching her in something and boom! I suddenly decided I liked her. All my anti-Allyson sentiments melted away, and I remember thinking the profound thought,

"Dang, she's not so bad. In fact, she's kind of likable."

 

I'm hoping TCM will soon air The Bride Goes Wild, which I've heard is quite enjoyable.

 

As for her supposedly "grating" voice, I like her voice. I also like Jean Arthur's voice. And Joan Greenwood's.

 

So there ya go.

DownGoesFrazier, I expect to hear from you about this.

Interesting thoughts.  I have not yet had this epiphany regarding June Allyson.  I didn't have her lumped into my "don't get but want to" category, I had her lumped into my "do not like" category alongside Kathryn Grayson and Esther Williams and wasn't really interested in seeing more.  Have I been unfair?  I cannot even begin to describe how much I loathed her in Little Women.  She wasn't that bad in Executive Suite although her role isn't that big.  She was also in Best Foot Forward with my favorite, Lucille Ball.  She was "whatever" in that film too.  I agree with you when you state how overly squeaky clean she is and how it's offputing.  I think that's my problem with many of the starlets from this era: June Allyson, Jane Powell, etc. they're so overly wholesome that they're just bland.  I tried to watch Good News but since it starred two people I'm lackluster about: Allyson and Peter Lawford, it was hard to watch.  The most interesting thing I had heard about Allyson was that she had an affair with Alan Ladd during the filming of a movie they made together.  

 

Allyson and Jean Arthur are similar in the froggy voice category, except that Arthur has that certain pizzazz that makes her interesting.  Allyson doesn't have that (at least with me).  

 

I think my issue with her is that no matter what role I see her in, whether she's supposed to be a lovestruck teenager, devoted wife, loving mother, whatever, I feel like I'm always watching the neighborhood soccer mom making a movie.  I don't know if that even makes sense, but she just seems so ordinary and blah.   

 

Is there a film of hers I should watch and see if it'll make me reconsider?

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I read somewhere once that Lombard was Hitchcock's favorite actress. He was known for not thinking too highly of actors in general (not sure if that is legend or actual truth)-- but he had good things to say about Lombard.

I have heard this as well.  I believe that Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman were also favorites of his.

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According to my Film Diary it had been almost 30 years since I last viewed Peck's The Yearling so I gave it a go last night.  Peck is just wonderful in it.   I would think any kid would love to have him as a father.  Sort of a dry run for To Kill a Mockingbird.

The Oscar winning cinematography is a real treat too.  I would search out The Yearling if you have not already seen it.

Thank you.  I have seen The Yearling on many of the TCM schedules over the past couple of years and haven't seen it yet.  Sometimes I'm leery to watch animal movies--not because I think animal films are bad, only just that the animals always seem to die! I will look out for it the next time around though.  Thank you for the recommendation!

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Just thought I might as well round out my comments here re. the trio of actors I formerly "could not get into" but eventually changed my mind about with JUNE ALLYSON...

 

 

 

...I changed my mind about her. Maybe it was that ridiculous, unintentionally campy, yet oddly likeable comedy Good News that did it. Or perhaps it was her sympathetic turn in the questionable remake of The Women, The Opposite Sex.

In any case, one day I was watching her in something and boom! I suddenly decided I liked her. All my anti-Allyson sentiments melted away, and I remember thinking the profound thought,

"Dang, she's not so bad. In fact, she's kind of likable."

 

I'm hoping TCM will soon air The Bride Goes Wild, which I've heard is quite enjoyable.

Great post. Probably the scene in GOOD NEWS that caused me to appreciate her was the one where she teaches Peter Lawford to speak French in the library. What a classic screen moment, and those two are perfect together. I began to seek out their other films. TWO SISTERS FROM BOSTON is my favorite June Allyson-Peter Lawford picture. LITTLE WOMEN is good, too.

 

I like how she is able to generate sparks with such dramatically different actors-- the aforementioned Lawford; Bogart in BATTLE CIRCUS; Alan Ladd in THE MCCONNELL STORY; Jack Lemmon in YOU CAN'T RUN AWAY FROM IT; Jeff Chandler in STRANGE INTERLUDE; and William Holden in EXECUTIVE SUITE. She has chemistry in spades with all of them. (Not sure if I can fully evaluate her screen pairings with her husband, Dick Powell-- their performance styles seem quite dissimilar.)

 

And then there are the three truly excellent films she made with James Stewart. She's a megastar in my book.

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There are two for me- Glynis Johns and Melanie Griffith. The only reason I can give is their voices must irritate me. I saw Johns in The Ref, All Mine To Give and an early role, Personal Affair-the movie itself was pretty good. Gene Tierney (hope I spelled that right) was in it.
As for Griffith, I saw her in Joyride and then after the commercial for a product I can't remember now. The "don't lie about your age" one, I can't bring myself to watch anything of hers. I try to give everyone fair chance but how do I get past a voice? Maybe if there was an outstanding movie, I could ignore it.

A Glynis Johns movie I always find intriguing is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,  no relation (that I know of) to the silent film of the same name.  It may have been mentioned, but No HIghway in the Sky is another good one.  Funny, I find her appealing because of her voice!

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A Glynis Johns movie I always find intriguing is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, no relation (that I know of) to the silent film of the same name. It may have been mentioned, but No HIghway in the Sky is another good one. Funny, I find her appealing because of her voice!

Thanks so much, GayDivorcee. The last time Tcm aired The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, I had my dvr scheduled to record it and I believe it was on late at night and sometimes when movies are scheduled late my dvr doesn't fully record. So I didn't watch it because I wouldn't see the ending/or beginning.

I have The Chapman Report but haven't seen it yet. I usually can get over a dislike for an actor if I give myself enough chances to see them in different lights. So thanks to you and Bogie for your suggestions, I can hopefully say I am a fan of hers as well.

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Retroplex showed PAPA'S DELICATE CONDITION yesterday. It is airing other times this month. It's really a Jackie Gleason vehicle, but Glynis Johns plays his wife (a southern U.S. woman) so her voice is intentionally accented to reflect that. I thought she was wonderful and more than held her own with Gleason who usually dominates the action. She is also in THE COURT JESTER with Danny Kaye. I consider her a very capable actress, and she was in many excellent films (on both sides of the pond).

 

Check out an early Hollywood film, made in England, NO HIGHWAY IN THE SKY which puts her with James Stewart. Fourteen years later, they paired up again in DEAR BRIGITTE.

Thank you very much for the suggestions. I do want to see Papa's Delicate Condition.

I became a huge Ralph Richardson fan after seeing The Fallen Idol on TCM, and my son just got me A Long Days Journey into Night. I loved it and everyone in it. I am hoping to see more of Richardson's movies.

Thanks, again.

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Just thought I might as well round out my comments here re. the trio of actors I formerly "could not get into" but eventually changed my mind about with JUNE ALLYSON.

That's right, people - you heard me.  That annoying cheery girl-next-door with the throaty voice.

 

I used to think - and can definitely understand those who still do - that June Allyson was not only unbelievably irritating, but that it was a  mystery how and why she ever became such a big star. (well, from what I've heard, not "how"...)

 

She struck me as  overly wholesome, like a toxic glass of homogenized milk, and almost aggressively ordinary in every way.

 

BUT ! !

I changed my mind about her. Maybe it was that ridiculous, unintentionally campy, yet oddly likeable comedy Good News that did it. Or perhaps it was her sympathetic turn in the questionable remake of The Women, The Opposite Sex.

In any case, one day I was watching her in something and boom! I suddenly decided I liked her. All my anti-Allyson sentiments melted away, and I remember thinking the profound thought,

"Dang, she's not so bad. In fact, she's kind of likable."

 

I'm hoping TCM will soon air The Bride Goes Wild, which I've heard is quite enjoyable.

 

As for her supposedly "grating" voice, I like her voice. I also like Jean Arthur's voice. And Joan Greenwood's.

 

So there ya go.

DownGoesFrazier, I expect to hear from you about this.

Excellent post MissW. I remember suggesting that you see The Bride Goes Wild a couple of years ago to you, missW. Funny film. Van Johnson and June do a very good job with this one. Hume Cronyn is very funny. a very enjoyable light comedy and to the naysayers of June- EHHHH.... their loss

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I have heard this as well.  I believe that Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman were also favorites of his.

Hitchcock probably liked actors more than is attributed to him. I think he must also have been a fan of Edmund Gwenn, because he featured him in three movies, during three separate decades-- and the roles were always substantial ones. Plus Gwenn did an episode of Hitchcock's television program.

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I refrained from entering the June Allyson fray the first time around, but I have to say that I've also been able to overcome an initial distaste. What did it for me was seeing her in her brief melodrama phase in the late 1950's, when she became like Jane Wyman's understudy. In that kind of role, she clicked for me. She actually did a Douglas Sirk movie, "Interlude" (1957) with Rosanno Brazzi, right in the middle of his hot streak ('Written on the Wind", "The Tarnished Angels", etc.), though it seems to have been an international co-production and maybe didn't connect with American audiences because of that. TB mentioned "Stranger in My Arms" with Jeff Chandler. My husband and I fondly refer to "The Mrs. Glenn Miller Story", because she somehow managed to turn that into a "woman's picture" as well. Anyway, once she made sense to me in that context, I've had less trouble with her in others as well.

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Excellent post MissW. I remember suggesting that you see The Bride Goes Wild a couple of years ago to you, missW. Funny film. Van Johnson and June do a very good job with this one. Hume Cronyn is very funny. a very enjoyable light comedy and to the naysayers of June- EHHHH.... their loss

 

I've never understood the animosity towards June Allyson. She's clearly not one of the great actresses of the silver screen, but generally she's just so bland that she blends into the scenery, almost as if she's wearing camouflage clothing.  I can see her putting people to sleep with many of her performances, but that's about it.

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A Glynis Johns movie I always find intriguing is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,  no relation (that I know of) to the silent film of the same name.  It may have been mentioned, but No HIghway in the Sky is another good one.  Funny, I find her appealing because of her voice!

 

 

Yes, I love her voice too.

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I've tried watching Kay Francis (okay, I actually only saw her in one film, maybe I haven't tried hard enough) and she did absolutely nothing for me.  She didn't give me any reason to try and see more Kay Francis films.  I saw Another Dawn only because my boy Errol co-starred in it.  Even he couldn't save it.  I did not like the film and Errol wasn't even as pretty in this film as he usually is.  He was a little "too pretty" to the point where it made him less pretty (if that even makes sense), but I digress.  Perhaps my introduction to Francis had been in a better film, I would have a different opinion of her.  In this film, she was just dull, just meh. 

 

 

Poor Kay only made a handful of good films (post-Paramount, I cant speak to most of those) and Another Dawn wasnt one of them. Check out Trouble In Paradise, One Way Passage, Jewel Robbery, Confession and as a real harpy, In Name Only, you might change your mind.

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A Glynis Johns movie I always find intriguing is The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari,  no relation (that I know of) to the silent film of the same name.  It may have been mentioned, but No HIghway in the Sky is another good one.  Funny, I find her appealing because of her voice!

 

 

She is also quite memorable in Shake Hands With the Devil (I think that's the title) with James Cagney and Don Murray from the 50s......

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I refrained from entering the June Allyson fray the first time around, but I have to say that I've also been able to overcome an initial distaste. What did it for me was seeing her in her brief melodrama phase in the late 1950's, when she became like Jane Wyman's understudy. In that kind of role, she clicked for me. She actually did a Douglas Sirk movie, "Interlude" (1957) with Rosanno Brazzi, right in the middle of his hot streak ('Written on the Wind", "The Tarnished Angels", etc.), though it seems to have been an international co-production and maybe didn't connect with American audiences because of that. TB mentioned "Stranger in My Arms" with Jeff Chandler. My husband and I fondly refer to "The Mrs. Glenn Miller Story", because she somehow managed to turn that into a "woman's picture" as well. Anyway, once she made sense to me in that context, I've had less trouble with her in others as well.

Good point about the Miller biopic. 

 

A film of hers I like in the melodramatic context is one TCM did not air last year when she was Star of the Month-- WOMAN'S WORLD, made at Fox in the 50s. It is somewhat like EXECUTIVE SUITE in that she is the lead female, it takes place in the corporate world, but it's more of an ensemble with a cast of impressive costars, like Van Heflin, Fred MacMurray and Lauren Bacall. June is billed above all of them (except Fox's Clifton Webb). 

 

The picture with Jeff Chandler was made at Universal International shortly before June began her hit anthology show on television. I think she's very comfortable with him on screen and it's a shame they didn't get the chance to work together again.

 

And missw already mentioned THE OPPOSITE SEX, which quite frankly I like better than the original (THE WOMEN). June has a great dance number midway through the picture. Plus the scene where she decks Joan Collins is not to be missed.

 

The remake of MY MAN GODFREY, which TCM did show last year, is probably one of her weakest films from the 50s. But she does radiate appeal with David Niven and it's mostly a harmless, but still entertaining romantic trifle.

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A correction to a post made by another poster, as far as all available info goes, Yes Jeff Chandler was Jewish, June Allyson however, was not. She was german Catholic. (again according to available info, and I also do remember when TCM did little promo spot with her, she was wearing one of the largest crucifx's around her neck I've ever seen)

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Poor Kay only made a handful of good films (post-Paramount, I cant speak to most of those) and Another Dawn wasnt one of them. Check o uble In Paradise, One Way Passage, Jewel Robbery, Confession and as a real harpy, In Name Only, you might change your mind.

I agree with your picks Hibi, they are also my favorites and I think wonderful films.. Although quite a few of her other films weren't exactly great, she always did a great job with the material. Mandalay, Party Girl, King of the Underworld, Stella Parrish, Always In My Heart, etc, although not the greatest of films she always was a stand-out in these films. I Love Kay Francis

 

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I wish that I liked Glenn Ford.  A) because he was in some films that I really like such as Gilda, Human Desire, The Big Heat and Follow the Sun; and because he is Canadian!

But I can't help feeling that even Gilda would have been much better with just about any other lead actor in the part from the day.

To me, Glen Ford epitomizes wooden acting.  As pointed out to me by JamesJazz, Glen Ford was enormously popular in his heyday.  And I suppose the minimalistic style goes with that post war G.I. era.  But I think that style was handled much better by actors such as Mitchum and even Alan Ladd.

The closest I've ever come to appreciating Ford's acting is when he was cast against type in 3:10 to Yuma.  And he was an interesting choice for Superman.

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I agree with your picks Hibi, they are also my favorites and I think wonderful films.. Although quite a few of her other films weren't exactly great, she always did a great job with the material. Mandalay, Party Girl, King of the Underworld, Stella Parrish, Always In My Heart, etc, although not the greatest of films she always was a stand-out in these films. I Love Kay Francis

 

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Yes, she made many less than great films better just by being in them.......

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Yes, she made many less than great films better just by being in them.......

Not only did she make them better by being in them, they are all films I'd watch over and over again. In fact, I always look for her films to watch, whether the film is one of the better ones or not. She's a favorite :)

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I wish that I liked Glenn Ford.  A) because he was in some films that I really like such as Gilda, Human Desire, The Big Heat and Follow the Sun; and because he is Canadian!

But I can't help feeling that even Gilda would have been much better with just about any other lead actor in the part from the day.

To me, Glen Ford epitomizes wooden acting.  As pointed out to me by JamesJazz, Glen Ford was enormously popular in his heyday.  And I suppose the minimalistic style goes with that post war G.I. era.  But I think that style was handled much better by actors such as Mitchum and even Alan Ladd.

The closest I've ever come to appreciating Ford's acting is when he was cast against type in 3:10 to Yuma.  And he was an interesting choice for Superman.

 

Yes Bogie, I've also felt this way about Glenn Ford for years myself. I just could never figure out how this guy with average looks and that "minimalistic style of acting" as you said and really a rather bland voice to top it all off ever made it big in movies, and especially as a leading man in dramas and/or as the romantic lead, and MOST especially as any sort of "tough guy".

 

However and after saying all this, I have to say a few months back I discovered a film shown on TCM in which I thought he actually did well and I thought perfectly cast..."The Teahouse of the August Moon", and in which he plays a somewhat "bumbling and confused" but likable army officer. He's actually light-on-his-feet entertaining in THIS one.

 

(...yep, I had finally found a Glenn Ford movie that I didn't feel I had to fight the urge to nod off while the guy was on screen!)

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