Saturday, June 21, 2008

Favorites ... actors ...

Well, this post is just going to be all over the place, I have a feeling. But, it's my birthday and I guess I'm allowed. Maybe it'll begin to organize itself as I go along? We'll see.

Deborah Kerr ...

In 1994 the Motion Picture Academy cited her for a film career that always represented "Perfection, Discipline and Elegance". Among my favorites are:

King Solomon's Mines (1950) with Stewart Granger ... I'll never forget that scene where he swipes this huge tarantula off of her skirt with his hat.

From Here to Eternity (1953) with Burt Lancaster ... torrid (for the time) love scene on the beach. Frank Sinatra distinguishes himself as an actor in this film.

The King and I (1956) with Yul Brynner ... I prefer this version over all others.

**An Affair to Remember (1957) with Cary Grant ... I cry every time.

The Sundowners (1960) with Robert Mitchum

Cary Grant ...

One of my all-time favorites, for sure. So MANY movie credits (And so many marriages [5], and I thought I was bad! I'm not going to repeat any gossip about other aspects of his personal life.), it's really hard to pick out just a few.

He made a bunch for Alfred Hitchcock, who really liked him. I like all of them!

Arsenic and Old Lace (1944) ... Did you know that the part of Mortimer was originally intended for Bob Hope, then offered to Jack Benny and Ronald Reagan before Cary got it? I can't imagine any of them playing the part as well as he did!

I Was a Male War Bride (1949) with Ann Sheridan ... VERY funny!

Father Goose (1964) with Leslie Caron ... a really good story. Read the write-up in Wikipedia. That should provide enough incentive to rent it, I think.

Judy Garland ...

She had the most beautiful voice! So strong and natural. I never liked to watch her sing, tho. She had this (I found quite irritating) habit of jerking her hand through her hair while she was singing, but boy could she sing!

The Wizard of Oz is delightful, but my favorite of hers is **A Star is Born (1954) with James Mason. I spent about an hour the other day listening to what's available on YouTube from that film, and have chosen this one with the triple-screen. The bottom take, in case you have never seen the movie, is what made the final cut. I tried to find one where she's sitting on a stage singing about her early life, but it doesn't seem to be there.

Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn ...

Appeared in many films together, beginning in 1944.

**Cocoon (1985) is one. A real classic. Another is To Dance with the White Dog (1993 telefilm). Poignant.

**Driving Miss Daisy (1989) with Morgan Freeman and Dan Aykroyd. 'Miss Daisy' is played by Jessica (Hume isn't in this one). There's a very special relationship that develops between Miss Daisy and her driver, played by Morgan Freeman. If you have never seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

Audrey Hepburn ...

A gamine, what a delight she was! To look at her, you would never know how much she suffered during World War II. There's an extensive write-up about her in Wikipedia. I would like to have known her.

I guess my most favorite of all her films are Sabrina (1954), with Humphrey Bogart and William Holden and **My Fair Lady (1964), with Rex Harrison.

Richard Chamberlain ...

A very fine actor, I like The Man in the Iron Mask (1977) best, followed closely by The Thorn Birds (1983), a TV miniseries. I was never a Dr. Kildare fan.

Walter Matthau ...

What a funny man! I loved to watch him walk. He made a bunch of films with Jack Lemmon, my favorite which, of course, is **The Odd Couple (1968). I went to see that movie with a nine months pregnant friend of mine, and I thought she was going to have the baby right there, she was laughing so hard!

The Bad News Bears (1976) is a dandy, but I think my first preference of all his films is **Hopscotch (1980) with Glenda Jackson. This picture has so many twists and turns it makes my head spin, and Glenda Jackson is the perfect complement. If you decide to rent this movie, I recommend that you allow for at least two showings. There's a lot to absorb.

Katharine Hepburn ...

I was never much of a Katharine Hepburn fan personally, but there is no denying her acting ability. I read her autobiography, "Me", some years ago. She might as well have been speaking out loud. Very interesting. There's a neat shot in there of her skate-boarding. She must have been in her 80's at the time! A few of her films that I particularly liked include:

Stage Door (1937) ... might have been one of her best performances.

The African Queen (1951) with Humphrey Bogart

Rooster Cogburn (1975) with John Wayne

**On Golden Pond (1981) with Henry Fonda

Meryl Streep ...

An enormously talented actress, I have placed her immediately following Katharine Hepburn because of her many awards, altho there is only one of her movies that I would choose to watch again, Out of Africa (1985) with Robert Redford.

Charlton Heston ...

A man of strong personal convictions, he was actively involved in the Civil Rights Movement. In later years, the NRA. It was a real tragedy that Alzheimer's took him. Wikipedia has a 'ton' of information on him, if you'd like to look it up.

Altho most of you will remember **The Ten Commandments (1956) and **Ben-Hur (1959), where he portrays larger-than-life characters in epic films, I wonder if you know about

**The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) with James Stewart and many other well-known stars, and directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

**Planet of the Apes (1968) was somewhat of a departure for him. It's the ONLY Planet of the Apes film that I liked, by the way.

Burt Lancaster ...

I would watch again:

Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) with Barbara Stanwyck ... I'd forgotten about this one!

Jim Thorpe -- All-American (1951) ... I'd forgotten about this one, as well! It's based on a true story, for those of you who don't know, that of the Native American who won medals in the 1912 Olympics and went on to further distinguish himself in various sports.

Run Silent Run Deep (1958) with Clark Gable ... set in WWII.

Elmer Gantry (1960) with Jean Simmons ... do you like flim-flam?

**Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) ... probably my favorite of all of his films (and, as you can see, I like a bunch!), this is a fictionalized account of Robert Stroud, who was actually an inmate in a federal prison.

Sidney Poitier ...

I don't think I have seen all of his films, but of the ones I've seen, these stand out most in my memory:

**The Defiant Ones (1958) with Tony Curtis

Porgy and Bess (1959) ... Dorothy Dandridge's voice was dubbed. Why?!?

Lilies of the Field (1963)

A Patch of Blue (1965) with Elizabeth Hartman

To Sir, with Love (1967)

**In the Heat of the Night (1967) with Rod Steiger

John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara ...

There's an interesting little tidbit in Wikipedia about how John Wayne got the nickname "Duke". It seems that, when he was a kid, he never went anywhere without his huge Airedale Terrier dog, Duke, and a local fireman at the firehouse on his route to school started calling him "Little Duke". It stuck.

Largely remembered for his roles in Western films, True Grit (1969), and as an aviator, The High and the Mighty (1954), he also made

The Quiet Man (1952) with the two of them co-starring.

Maureen O'Hara made a truly memorable telefilm in 1995, **The Christmas Box, which is a 'must see'.

Bette Davis and Joan Crawford ...

Never a fan of either, altho I greatly admired their acting talents, together they filmed **What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962) ... engrossing.

The only other film I'm going to list here is one that Bette Davis made with George Brent in 1939, Dark Victory. This story has been remade twice, in 1963 as 'Stolen Hours' with Susan Hayward and again in 1976 under the original title (NBC telefilm). I liked both remakes, altho the original still has my vote for the top spot.

(You know, I think 'An Affair to Remember' has been remade a couple of times under different titles. I seem to remember that I enjoyed those, as well.)

I'm going to go ahead and re-publish this now. I may decide to come back to it later and add a few more names. First, tho, I'd like some time to think about who all will be included in the next post, which will focus on movies instead of actors.

I hope you have enjoyed this trip down memory lane. Please feel free to comment as you please. Any and all are welcome.

**Will be a part of the next post.


Tammy said...

Well I HAVE to make a few comments on this post!

Arsenic and Old Lace ~ I cannot even BEGIN to think of anyone doing a better job as Mortimer than Cary Grant. LOVE that movie! And so do my kids, by the way.

Driving Miss Daisy ~ another great!

Sabrina ~ Are there even words for how great this one is? LOL. In fact I even have this on my favorites on my blog profile. :)

Oh, and My Fair Lady ~ I believe it's probably on EACH of my girls' top 10 favorite movie lists.

Walter and Matthau and Jack Lemmon ~ one of the greatest all time pairings as far as chemistry between actors. Have you ever seen Grumpy Old Men with the 2 of them? Ann-Margret and Daryl Hannah are in it as well. And the sequel Grumpier Old Men with the 2 of them and Ann-Margret and Daryl Hannah (again) and Sophia Loren. If you haven't seen those, be sure to rent them, ok?

Happy, happy birthday! It's the most perfect day of the year for a celebration! :)

Goldenrod said...

Hey there, Tammy!

It's now going on 1:30pm. Somehow or another, my computer 'dished' my changes to the original post, so I lost a good hour re-typing. Ye Gods! It's a good thing that I had already printed out a copy of the "Preview", or I think I just might have given it up entirely and said, "Sorry, folks, but Goldenrod is getting too old to try and do this sort of thing. I know I promised you that I would, but I can't."

ANYhoo, I'm now going to go and fix myself some lunch and watch another M*A*S*H rerun. Will try and clear my head a little bit, and then tackle the 'movies' post later.

When I first got the idea for what to post for my 71st birthday, I had NO concept whatsoever of whatall I was getting myself into! I mean, I've said in a post or two previously that I like movies, but STILL!! (It's a good thing I don't have cable, huh?

I'm not sorry. It's been kind of fun, actually.

Oh, by the way, I HAVE seen Grumpy Old Men ... wonderful!! (Just forgot to list them. Along with a bunch of others, I'll bet.)