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Claudette Colbert - Famous or Forgotten???

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Who here still relishes in watching a Claudette Colbert film? I recently saw her in "Imitation of Life" and I thought she was fantastic! It seems, at least in today's world, she's often put on the back burner but in her day she was a huge star. Like Joan Crawford she survived silents, made it to sound (very successfully!), did television and of course, Broadway too!

 

Claudette Colbert was a natural and she rarely turned out a bad performance. She was diverse in her ability too. Comedy, drama, romance; she did it all and she managed to conquer each genre well. I personally think she's one of those classic stars who is all but forgotten, or maybe "overlooked" is a better term, in today's classic film world. If you take a look at her filmography, you'll see many classic Hollywood films that deserve to be remembered. "It Happened One Night" is a given, but there are so many more...

 

What do you think???

 

Michelle

 

www.michellevogel.com

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I really like Claudette Colbert as well. Now-a-days, I think she is vastly underappreciated, as so many of our classic film stars are.

 

She will always be remembered though, because of It Happened One Night. Clark Gable is so identifiable to people because of GWTW that when people seek out his other movies, they often find IHON, and therefore find Colbert.

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Claudette Colbert is one of my favorites. The golden generation surely remembers and relishes the memory of her work. Even Middle-agers who aren't into classic film, might know her through The Two Mrs. Grenvilles. In fact, a fellow at work was just talking about this yesterday, since he saw a program regarding the trial that this TV movie was based on. Younger viewers who enjoy old movies might know It Happened One Night, Since You Went Away, Palm Beach Story and Cleopatra. But I don't see revivals of her movies very often.

 

Sign of the Cross and Cleopatra were recently released on DVD. Boom Town will be released June 20, 2006.

 

I made a point of seeing her when she came to San Francisco in a play with Rex Harrison. It was wonderful to hear that liquid voice live in the late 1980's.

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I saw her in the same play when it was in Baltimore. It was called "The Fisher King." I couldn't tell you much about it as I was too busy watching her.

 

One of my favorite films of hers was "Three Came Home," She is an author being kept in a Japanese prison camp. "Thunder On The Hill." "Arise My Love." "It's A Wonderful World." "Midnight." "Tovarich." There are plenty of good ones to enjoy,

 

At my house she's famous.

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Put me the Colbert fan club. I don't know a lot of her work, but I really enjoy what I've seen, starting with Since You Went Away.

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Claudette isn't forgotten by us but she isn't a household name today like Crawford, Bette Davis and Marilyn Monroe. Claudette always had a perfect face to me and was so natural. You couldn't dislike her. She had a warm presence. I loved her in Torch Singer, one of her earlier rarely shown films. I haven't seen much of her work but what I've seen I've liked it. Claudette always had this persona of class, sophistication but down to earth and hip/cool.

 

I always say many aren't known by the general public (just the classic movie fans) because the ones who had more tragic, scandal-filled lives are more rememebred. Someone like Claudette didn't have a tragic, scadal life. I don't think she wrote a book either but would love to know about her.

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Ms Colbert was a wonderful actor. Not one with a lot of range, but who cares when one sees her? And within her own range she was very expert.

 

 

 

I'd say she's both famous yet forgotten

 

 

 

claudettecolbert.jpg

 

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Hi Michelle,

 

I certainly have not forgotten Miss Colbert and she certainly was famous for many more years than a lot of them.

 

She could do anything: comedy, drama, farce, weepies and epics.

 

The play with Rex Harrison spawned this line from Harrison during rehearsals in NYC -- "Miss Colbert, if you had a neck, I'd strangle it!!"......

They did remain friends however.

 

Larry

 

PS - Sam, great photograph. Thanks.

 

Message was edited by:

vecchiolarry

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What I love best about Colbert's screen persona is her complete sang-froid. You had the impression her character was always in control of the situation, even when she was being demure . This is not to say, however, that she was in any way cold or calcuating. Quite to the contrary, she had a very warm screen presence, and I absolutely believed in any character she played.

 

She had that quality of being able to charm her way in or out of any situation. This is put to good use especially in films like "Midnight," where she plays an elegant woman, down on her luck, who charms her way into the upper classes of Paris. The same for "The Palm Beach Story." She makes it entirely believable.

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That's right, Claudette really was challenged in the neck department, wasn't she? I've often found myself staring at her for that very reason. Ol' Rex Harrison didn't hold back in noticing the fault. I wonder what her reaction was to his insulting statement??? If they remained friends then she couldn't have been too offended...

 

Michelle

 

www.michellevogel.com

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I fell in love with Claudette when I was little and watched her unforgettable portrayal of Anne Hilton in Selznick's super production, "Since You Went Away." claudette was perfect as the long suffering mother and wife. This gal could do anything--heavy drama and light comedy, i.e., "The Palm Beach Story," and "MIdnight." MGM wanted to borrow her for "Mrs. Minever," but Claudette turned it down, saying she couldn't play the mother of a grown boy. Ironically, after the movie became a world-wide champion, claudette consented to play the mother of two grown daughters, Shirley Temple and Jennifer Jones, in "Since You Went Away." And her performance as the captured American wife by Japanese in "Three Came Home:" is amazing. Bravo to Claudette!

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Probably forgotten! BUT not by fans, or anyone who knows names of famous actors of the 40's & 50's. Certainly not by any of the 20 something's with ridiculous positions at what is now laughingly called 'the studios''s.

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She's not forgotten but she does lack the notoriety of some of the more well-remembered classic actresses. Her films are generally more entertaining and watchable than those of the drama queens, I think, and she generates almost no measure of dislike. It Happened One Night and Midnight will be entertaining film fans a hundred years from now.

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Decidedly and justly famous. See her in The Sign of the Cross, Cleopatra, It Happened One Night, Midnight, Since You Went Away, The Palm Beach Story or the original Imitation of Life. Outstanding actress, incredible talent, joy personified for decades to come.

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I think she is becoming more and more remembered then forgotten. I think with the help of the dvds coming out, its going to really help! I havent seen Midnight yet, but I think my all time favorite Claudette movie is Since You Went Away.

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I've always adored Ms. Colbert. I really hope some good writer does a bio on her.

Ms. Cobert could do it all. She had incredible comic timing but she was wonderful in dramatic films, also. Like great wine, she got better with age and so do her films. My personal favorite among many wonderful films, is Preston Sturges' " The Palm Beach Story." If you haven't seen it, rent or buy a copy. I think it's a perfect film.

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