miliosr

Classic Hollywood/Hollywood's Golden Age

274 posts in this topic

My speculation based on what is in the article is that she signed off on the limited partnerships with her son as the general partner or manager, and then he moved them into the trust but that is onlyl speculation. I will say that trusts are not uncommon at all in families where there are significant assets at stake, especially when someone's mental and/or physical faculties are starting to fail, and in fairness to the sons and the attorneys, the $300,000 a year annual allowance hardly sounds like destitution to Ms. Holm.

That was how I read the article as well. It's hard to know what she intended when she handed over those powers to her son and the son in question seems to harbor a great deal of resentment towards his mother. Since Holm now seems pretty well out of it the issue is moot - she and her husband had no shot in court.

Hardly destitution but on the other hand, it seems to be all money made largely by the sweat of her brow and the sons have no automatic entitlement to it. In addition her health care costs are probably quite high, even assuming she has private insurance and Medicare. In such circumstances $300,000 isn't as much as one would think.

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I find the husband's behavior in that article to be very creepy.

Such marriages can be as satisfactory as any other kind. Usually the younger person is a woman because traditionally it's men with the money, fame, and/or power. But then when I first saw "The Heiress" I thought Olivia de Havilland should let Montgomery Clift back in the house. He would have been chastened and she would have shown him where the power was. Sure he's a hustler, but money spent on the upkeep of the youthful Monty would be money well spent in my view, and the two of them could have been perfectly happy. Just don't sign anything over to him and make sure he doesn't get the dough should you die a suspicious death. Beats a lonely middle age with Miriam Hopkins.

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Sure he's a hustler, but money spent on the upkeep of the youthful Monty would be money well spent in my view

Lol, indeed.

Having always liked Celeste Holm a great deal in the few movies I've seen her in, I now have to investigate Gentleman's Agreement. Thoughts from those of you who know it?

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The one I remember is her role as Karen in All About Eve -- Margot Channing's sane friend, good and good-humored, sensible, slightly ironic, and probably too trusting. Based on a few encounters with Ms. Holm concerning a local charity she was involved with, it strikes me that she and Karen had a lot in common.

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Hardly destitution but on the other hand, it seems to be all money made largely by the sweat of her brow and the sons have no automatic entitlement to it. In addition her health care costs are probably quite high, even assuming she has private insurance and Medicare. In such circumstances $300,000 isn't as much as one would think.

No, I'm well aware that medical bills could easily blow through the $300,000 allowance, and I absolutely do not believe that the sons have any entitlement to the money at all. I do believe that when you have an older relative whose mind is fading, trusts can be extremely useful tools to protect them from being financially taken advantage of. From the article, it sounds like Ms. Holm and her new husband were living substantially beyond the $300,000, and that was one of the first issues with the trust. Now what those expenses were, we have no idea whether those were medical bills or frivolous expenses, but one of the ideas of these trusts is to monitor the assets so the older person can live comfortably over time.

However, the danger is when the new spouse drains the older person financially, and then leaves the family holding the financial bag. One of my friends had to deal with a case recently that was not dissimilar (older widow, younger man) but without a trust, and this is what happened:

When she married him she was debt-free and lived in a paid-off house. When she died after six years of marriage she was almost $100,000 in debt, including an equity line against her house that was about to be foreclosed on, and all of her savings were completely gone. Plus she'd made this ghastly will that left her house to her son, but allowed Creepazoid to live in the house rent free for fifteen years, while making the son responsible for the equity line, property taxes, repairs, and maintenance on the house. Can you believe that?!

And Creepazoid moved his girlfriend into the little old lady's house three days after the lady died, and then sold her personal belongings to buy the girlfriend a new car.

While the older woman may have been happy in the meantime, I'm not so sure she would have been happy being foreclosed on and potentially having to live on the street if she had not died.

then when I first saw "The Heiress" I thought Olivia de Havilland should let Montgomery Clift back in the house. He would have been chastened and she would have shown him where the power was. Sure he's a hustler, but money spent on the upkeep of the youthful Monty would be money well spent in my view, and the two of them could have been perfectly happy. Just don't sign anything over to him and make sure he doesn't get the dough should you die a suspicious death. Beats a lonely middle age with Miriam Hopkins.

I suppose that would work if Olivia de Havilland was comfortable with having a relationship with Montgomery Clift. Personally, I always thought that she would have been better off with a string of younger and handsomer lovers, without the the baggage of Montgomery Clift at that point. By discarding lovers at regular intervals, she would be able to prevent any one from entrenching themselves into the financial side.

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Sure he's a hustler, but money spent on the upkeep of the youthful Monty would be money well spent in my view

Lol, indeed.

Having always liked Celeste Holm a great deal in the few movies I've seen her in, I now have to investigate Gentleman's Agreement. Thoughts from those of you who know it?

It doesn’t hold up very well, like many Message Movies of the period, but it’s watchable enough. Holm is a plus, of course, but John Garfield is really the only other performer with a pulse. The director was Elia Kazan but it was still early days and the movie doesn’t have the zippy performances and high emotions you might associate with him and he had little control over the finished product.

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The one I remember is her role as Karen in All About Eve -- Margot Channing's sane friend, good and good-humored, sensible, slightly ironic, and probably too trusting. Based on a few encounters with Ms. Holm concerning a local charity she was involved with, it strikes me that she and Karen had a lot in common.

True for the most part, but Karen doesn’t always show up so well. Having totally misjudged her best friend as well as her new friend, she engineers a rather sneaky plot by which Margo winds up missing a performance and giving Eve her big break at Margo’s expense. Not a very nice thing to do no matter how good your intentions allegedly are, and Karen does it not just to help Eve but to get back at Margo.

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But then when I first saw "The Heiress" I thought Olivia de Havilland should let Montgomery Clift back in the house. He would have been chastened and she would have shown him where the power was. Sure he's a hustler, but money spent on the upkeep of the youthful Monty would be money well spent in my view, and the two of them could have been perfectly happy. Just don't sign anything over to him and make sure he doesn't get the dough should you die a suspicious death.

Agreed. Not letting Clift back in the house is up there with Dorothy going back to Kansas at the end of The Wizard of Oz in the all-time movie stupidity stakes.

Beats a lonely middle age with Miriam Hopkins.

Hey -- I like Miriam Hopkins! She (along with Joan Crawford) was one of the few people who could go toe-to-toe with Bette Davis.

Personally, I always thought that she would have been better off with a string of younger and handsomer lovers, without the the baggage of Montgomery Clift at that point.

Is it humanly possible to get handsomer than Montgomery Clift as he was in The Heiress? (Actually, yes -- that would be Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun.)

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I’ve got nothing against Hopkins, miliosr. I was really thinking more of Catherine being cooped up permanently with Aunt Lavinia.

I always thought Clift threw “The Heiress” off balance a bit, because he is way too appealing. Henry James makes it clear that Morris is bad trouble and Catherine is better off alone than with him, but in the film, not so much.

Clift is also very attractive in one of his lesser known early films, “The Big Lift.” Really, he’s drop dead gorgeous in everything up to and including “From Here to Eternity.” (The shocking thing for me when I first saw “Raintree County” was not so much how bad he looked after his accident, which I expected, but what had happened to him in the years between Eternity and Raintree.)

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Is it humanly possible to get handsomer than Montgomery Clift as he was in The Heiress? (Actually, yes -- that would be Montgomery Clift in A Place in the Sun.)

Well, yes, Stevens does make sure that both Taylor and Clift are at their absolute most gorgeous movie godness in A Place in the Sun, but dirac is right in that Clift is somewhat problematic in The Heiress. James makes clear that Morris' weakness and greed is supposed to be apparent and physically manifesting by the time he returns to Catherine, but it doesn't quite work on Clift. It does raise interesting questions such as the one that dirac brings up about whether Catherine really would be happier if she let Morris in (both literally and metaphorically), but it's unclear whether that's really the intention of Clift and Wyler or not.

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I’ve got nothing against Hopkins, miliosr. I was really thinking more of Catherine being cooped up permanently with Aunt Lavinia.

Oh, I know. I was just being a wiseguy!

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Aunt Lavinia and Morris have a very strange relationship in the original story – something of a draft version of Madame Merle and Osmond later in Portrait of a Lady.

[Lavinia Penniman] would have been very happy to have had a handsome and tyrannical son, and would have taken an extreme interest in his love affairs...the young man’s very brutality came to have a sort of filial value [to her].

All along Catherine senses Aunt Lavinia's "innocent falsity," and when she finally realizes what was going on: "it was like the solid conjuction of a dozen disembodied doubts and her imagination, at a single bound, had traversed an enormous distance."

When Morris comes back into the story at the end, he is beared and bald, but still handsome, and while "it was the old voice; it had not the old charm." He had lived well and he had not been caught, that was all that defined him.

The film version - from the clips I've seen - is very good, and seems to have come on the heels of series of late forties movies in which the husband or love interest or trusted one is potentially one's enemy: Suspicion, Rebecca, Notorious, Shadow of a Doubt (Uncle Charlie). Why was there so much of this? Was it that the War and the campaign's not to trust one's neighbor - "Loose Lips Sink Ships" – had permeated all private interactions. (Javier Marias develops this theme in Your Face Tomorrow.)

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It doesn’t hold up very well, like many Message Movies of the period, but it’s watchable enough. Holm is a plus, of course, but John Garfield is really the only other performer with a pulse. The director was Elia Kazan but it was still early days and the movie doesn’t have the zippy performances and high emotions you might associate with him and he had little control over the finished product.

Yes, I know what you mean about message movies. Still, with Kazan, Garfield, and Holm all involved, it has to be worth a watch, I'd think, if only to see how it fits into those artists' careers.

Clift is also very attractive in one of his lesser known early films, “The Big Lift.” Really, he’s drop dead gorgeous in everything up to and including “From Here to Eternity.” (The shocking thing for me when I first saw “Raintree County” was not so much how bad he looked after his accident, which I expected, but what had happened to him in the years between Eternity and Raintree.)

His handsomeness always had an element of fragility to it, and those big blue expressive eyes are great for the camera. A while back I watched Judgment at Nuremburg (a movie that, despite it's obvious faults--including no small amount of preaching to the choir--I continue to find pretty absorbing), and his now broken face adds a very immediate credibility and plangency (did I just use that word mentioned as a cliché in another threat? Yes I did!) to his performance. Another astonishing performance.

Last summer I was in Brooklyn's Prospect Park and learned to my surprise that Clift is buried in a gated cemetery on Quaker Hill.

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The film version - from the clips I've seen - is very good, and seems to have come on the heels of series of late forties movies in which the husband or love interest or trusted one is potentially one's enemy: Suspicion, Rebecca, Notorious, Shadow of a Doubt (Uncle Charlie). Why was there so much of this? Was it that the War and the campaign's not to trust one's neighbor - "Loose Lips Sink Ships" – had permeated all private interactions. (Javier Marias develops this theme in Your Face Tomorrow.)

Yes, the movie, and the play on which it's based, are exactly that: very good. Not great, I'd say. I've always had a problem separating them from the James novella, which to me is sharper and more uncompromising. Sloper, James makes it clear, is right in thinking his daughter dull. In the play and movie she is much more self-knowing, and it completely changes the dynamic of the relationships and even, I would say, the meaning of the story.

This reminds of every dramatic or film version of A Christmas Carol I've ever seen. They all leave out Dickens's cruellest, most piercing moment ("All alone in the world, I do believe"), thereby making the story more sentimental and the ending less rewarding.

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Anthony_NYC:

... more uncompromising. Sloper, James makes it clear, is right in thinking his daughter dull.

Yes more uncompromising, and unsentimental. Sloper's limitation is that he can only be ironic and in the right, and at points seems a bit frustrated with the limits James has given him. Catherine, though dull, develops more and has great moments of insight.

Clift in "Place in the Sun" is amazing just not for his beauty but that he is always doing something new with the part. I think Stevens really lets the camera go on filming him a bit longer than he would with any other actor. According to Wikipedia, Cooper was supposed to be in "Red River" but was afraid that Clift would upstage him. I tried to watch it again but couldn't deal with all the killing of faceless and nameless figures. The general "settling" of the west, and the rationale, doesn't play quite the way it used to.

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Yes, the movie, and the play on which it's based, are exactly that: very good. Not great, I'd say. I've always had a problem separating them from the James novella, which to me is sharper and more uncompromising. Sloper, James makes it clear, is right in thinking his daughter dull. In the play and movie she is much more self-knowing, and it completely changes the dynamic of the relationships and even, I would say, the meaning of the story.

Thanks for reminding us that the movie is an adaptation of an adaptation, AnthonyNYC. I’m not sure if I would call the novella great, either, but it’s one of my favorite James. You are right that Catherine is stronger in the dramatized version, much as the title “The Heiress,” is more theater-minded than the original, but I’m not sure that James’ vision of the character, and the subtlety of his ending, would be right for stage or screen. That said, I think de Havilland’s Catherine is pretty darned dull and unattractive, especially for a movie heroine, and it’s hard not to feel that Clift is going to be working for the money. De Havilland even does a good job of making herself plain – okay, almost.

Dr. Sloper is right about a lot of things. He’s right that his daughter is unattractive and slow and he’s also right to forbid her to marry Townsend. But there’s no love for Catherine behind his opposition to the marriage.

The film version - from the clips I've seen - is very good,

IMO Quiggin, The Heiress is excellent, and still one of the best film adaptations of James. Richardson, de Havilland, Clift, and Hopkins are all at their best or close to it and Wyler’s direction is skilled and unstagey. The Osmond-Madame Merle connection hadn't occurred to me but I think you're right.

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Clift in "Place in the Sun" is amazing just not for his beauty but that he is always doing something new with the part. I think Stevens really lets the camera go on filming him a bit longer than he would with any other actor. According to Wikipedia, Cooper was supposed to be in "Red River" but was afraid that Clift would upstage him. I tried to watch it again but couldn't deal with all the killing of faceless and nameless figures. The general "settling" of the west, and the rationale, doesn't play quite the way it used to.

I like Red River. It's a tad overrated, like a lot of classic Westerns in my experience, but it's very good until the notorious washout ending. A Place in the Sun is badly dated for this viewer, and I found myself getting annoyed with Stevens' obvious, if understandable, infatuation with his beautiful stars. (It screws up Dreiser's point, too.) Clift may well be better in the later movie, but I like his cowboy because the role shows his wiry, sexy, edgy side, although I read that Wayne kept breaking up during their big fight scene.

Anthony_ NYC writes:

those big blue expressive eyes are great for the camera.

His eyes, and those incredible cheekbones.

He is superb in Judgment at Nuremburg, but I disliked the way he and Judy Garland were in effect being exploited for their offscreen sufferings, and their stardom took you right out of the movie. Special Guest Victims, as Gavin Lambert said.

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He is superb in Judgment at Nuremburg, but I disliked the way he and Judy Garland were in effect being exploited for their offscreen sufferings, and their stardom took you right out of the movie. Special Guest Victims, as Gavin Lambert said.

Interesting, I never thought of it that way, but then I confess I don't know much about the sufferings of either. None at all, in fact, about Clift aside from his accident. Garland does seem like unlikely casting at first, but she has that huge lovability and vulnerability that make her quite affecting despite the unconvincing German accent. It is an all-star movie, so I don't find that she or Clift stick out inappropriately. That would be hard anyway with Spencer Tracy in practically every scene (and as always a pleasure to watch, though as the judge I wish he didn't look at times so, well, judgmental, which to me is one of the flaws of the movie, perhaps more the director's fault than Tracy's). And then there's Burt Lancaster and his haunted blue eyes that are for me the most vivid memory I take away from the movie.

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Interesting, I never thought of it that way, but then I confess I don't know much about the sufferings of either.

Their personal histories were certainly in mind at the time. Both of them are excellent, especially Clift.

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Thanks, miliosr. Quite the sea change with the arrival of Brando. I love that shot of Rita Hayworth. What can you say but... wow.

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Doyle New York is having an auction related to the estate of the late Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.:

http://www.doylenewyork.com/content/more.asp?id=161

(Has his estate been in probate since his death?)

In any event, check out Lot 278:

http://www.doylenewyork.com/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=11DF01+++278+&refno=++824601

"To Doug with love from Billie" -- sigh -- before Joan had exterminated every last trace of Billie. Wish me luck -- I may bid!!!

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I think Crawford always remembered who she was. The quotes from her on Clark Gable that you linked to earlier, for example, aren't the words of a woman intent on erasing her origins. Transcending them, yes, but pretending they never were, no.

If there were issues with the estate I hadn't heard, although there is often some friction with the kids when a rich widower marries again, as Fairbanks did.

Good luck bidding. I'm sure it will be an interesting auction. Fairbanks was a spiffy dresser. Cufflinks! Cufflinks! Cufflinks!

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Thanks for the link - I ended up going through the whole catalogue.

There's another Hurrell photo of Crawford in Lot 276 and a book in 277 which she inscribes to "Dodo" "in memory of our first year together," from "your boy." Also a George Bernard Shaw photo autographed "To Douglas Fairbanks the Second from One Who Remembers the First" (196) and a picture of Rex Harrison in a beard looking like Shaw. Lots of other great stuff - an eight day clock, a personalized note from Anthony Eden; suits, jackets, day clothes (from Stovel and Mason and H Huntsman & Sons), all with red carnations in the buttonholes; shoes, shoes, shoes, and very nice scarves, including a black and white that belonged to John Barrymore (273) - "the loosely tied scarf was often identified with Barrymore's idiosyncratic style of dress." A fine opera cape at 412: for the upcoming season.

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This is OFF TOPIC, but ... Check out the Reginald Marsh drawing of a "Dancer on Stage." (# 54) It ain't ballet, and it is only 4 3/4" x 3 1/4." But that's the piece that would have tempted me when I was still in an acquisition mode. It's quite delicate for Marsh. I love the man observing her from the side box.

http://www.doylenewyork.com/asp/fullCatalogue.asp?salelot=11DF01++++54+&refno=++822784

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