Jump to content


Classic Hollywood/Hollywood's Golden Age(Was: The Best Of Everything)


  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
273 replies to this topic

#211 miliosr

miliosr

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,549 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:50 AM

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!

#212 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 825 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:39 PM

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.)

#213 Anthony_NYC

Anthony_NYC

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 01:47 PM

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.

#214 Anthony_NYC

Anthony_NYC

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:02 PM

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.

#215 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 825 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 02:38 PM

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.

#216 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,840 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:20 PM

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.

#217 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,840 posts

Posted 08 July 2011 - 03:34 PM

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.

#218 Anthony_NYC

Anthony_NYC

    Bronze Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 290 posts

Posted 09 July 2011 - 08:48 AM

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.

#219 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,840 posts

Posted 09 July 2011 - 10:51 AM

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.

#220 miliosr

miliosr

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,549 posts

Posted 31 July 2011 - 04:23 AM

Hollywood portraits on exhibit:

http://www.npg.org.u...amour/exhib.htm

#221 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,840 posts

Posted 31 July 2011 - 11:17 AM

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

#222 miliosr

miliosr

    Platinum Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,549 posts

Posted 09 September 2011 - 04:32 PM

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

http://www.doylenewy...more.asp?id=161

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

In any event, check out Lot 278:

http://www.doylenewy...&refno= 824601

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

#223 dirac

dirac

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 24,840 posts

Posted 09 September 2011 - 09:57 PM

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!

#224 Quiggin

Quiggin

    Gold Circle

  • Senior Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 825 posts

Posted 10 September 2011 - 01:17 AM

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.

#225 bart

bart

    Diamonds Circle

  • Board Moderator
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 7,320 posts

Posted 10 September 2011 - 05:33 AM

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.doylenewy...&refno= 822784


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users


Help support Ballet Alert! and Ballet Talk for Dancers year round by using this search box for your amazon.com purchases (adblockers may block display):