Saturday, March 20, 2010
Macao (1952). Film noir/ adventure film. Director : Josef von Sternberg and Nicholas Ray. Producer Howard Hughes fired director von Sternberg during filming and hired Nicholas Ray to finish it. Cast: Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, Gloria Grahame and William Bendix.
After a New York undercover detective is killed during his investigation, the police in Hong Kong notifies the New York police about the murder. Later, on a boat headed for Macao passenger Nick Cochran rescues Julie Benton from a guy trying to pick her up, instead of being thankful she picks his pocket. When they arrive in Macao, Nick informs the Macao police that his passport and money were stolen and that his only identification is his Signal Corps discharge papers. Sebastian shows Vincent Halloran, the owner of the Quick Reward casino, a photo of Nick because he thinks he is undercover cop..
Nick, knows that Julie picked his pocket and goes to her hotel room to confront her. At first Julie denies the accusation but when Sebastian arrives, looking for Nick. She gives him back his money. Soon, Julie finds a job singing with Halloran, Nick also asks Halloran for work. But Halloran refuses to hire him and tries to bribe him to leave Macao. The next day, Trumble shows Nick a large diamond and asks him to sell the necklace. Halloran agrees to cross the three-mile limit that legally protects him and goes on to Hong Kong. Where he takes Nick prisoner. Now, Nick's life is in danger and needs to find away to escape.
This is the first time I have seen the Movie Macao. Being a a huge Robert Mitchum fan, I loved this movie and would watch it again.. Jane Russell and Gloria Grahame were also wonderful in their performances. One of my favorite characters in the film was the old blind man.
McDougall taught her younger daughter acting during her childhood and adolescence. The couple had another daughter, Joy Hallward (1911–2003), an actress who married John Mitchum (the younger brother of actor Robert Mitchum).
Grahame was signed to a contract with MGM Studios under her professional name after Louis B. Mayer saw her performing on Broadway for several years. She made her film debut in Blonde Fever (1944) and then scored one of her most widely praised roles as the promiscuous Violet, saved from disgrace by George Bailey in It's a Wonderful Life (1946).
MGM was not able to develop her potential as a star and her contract was sold to RKO Studios in 1947. Grahame was often featured in film noir pictures as a tarnished beauty with an irresistible sexual allure.
During this time, she made films for several Hollywood studios. She received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire (1947).
Grahame starred with Humphrey Bogart in the 1950 film In a Lonely Place, a performance which garnered her considerable praise.
When she asked to be loaned out for roles in Born Yesterday and A Place in the Sun, Hughes refused and instead made her do a supporting role in Macao. However, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in MGM's The Bad and the Beautiful (1952).
Other memorable roles was Irene Nieves in Sudden Fear (1952), the femme fatale Vicki Buckley in Human Desire (1953), and mob moll Debby Marsh in Fritz Lang's The Big Heat (1953) in which, in a horrifying off-screen scene, she is scarred by hot coffee thrown in her face by Lee Marvin's character.
Grahame's career began to wane after her performance in the musical film Oklahoma! (1955). Grahame, whom audiences were used to seeing as a film noir siren, was viewed by some critics to be miscast as an ignorant country lass in a wholesome musical, and the paralysis of her upper lip from plastic surgery altered her speech and appearance. Additionally, Grahame was rumored to have been difficult on the set of Oklahoma!, upstaging some of the cast and alienating her co-stars, which furthered her fall from grace in Hollywood.
She began a slow return to the theater, and returned to films occasionally to play supporting roles, mostly in minor releases. She also guest starred on television series including an episode of the sci-fi series The Outer Limits. In the episode entitled "The Guests", Grahame spoofed her own career by playing a forgotten film star living in the past.
She also appeared in "The Homecoming", a 1964 television episode of The Fugitive. In 1965 she appeared in "Who Killed The Rabbit's Husband" an episode of Burke's Law.
Grahame's concern over the appearance of her upper lip led her to pursue plastic surgery and dental operations that caused visible scarring and ultimately rendered the lip largely immobile because of nerve damage, which affected her speech.
Grahame had a string of stormy romances and failed marriages which begins with:: director Nicholas Ray and later to Ray's son, Anthony, with whom she had an affair while still married to Ray. All of this took a toll on her career, as did a two-year hiatus after the birth of her daughter in 1956.Marital and child custody problems hampered her performance on the set of Oklahoma! She married: Stanley Clements (1926–1981), actor, married August 1945, divorced June 1, 1948. Nicholas Ray, director, married June 1, 1948, separated 1951, divorced 1952. The couple had one child, Timothy (born November 1948, aka David Cyrus Howard during his mother's third marriage). Their marriage ended when Ray found Grahame in bed with his 13-year-old son by his first marriage, Anthony, whom she later married. Cy Howard, writer, married 1954, divorced 1957. They had one daughter, Marianna Paulette (born 1956). Anthony Ray, her former stepson, married May 1960, divorced 1974. The Rays had two sons, Anthony Jr (born 1963) and James (born 1965).
In the late 1970's, Grahame traveled to England to perform in plays. While there, she met Liverpool actor Peter Turner with whom she had a romantic relationship. They moved to the United States and lived in New York and California, where their affair ended.
In March 1974, Grahame was diagnosed with breast cancer. She underwent radiation treatment, changed her diet, stopped smoking and drinking alcohol and also sought homeopathic remedies. In less than a year, the cancer went into remission. The cancer returned in 1980, but Grahame refused to acknowledge her diagnosis or seek radiation treatment. Despite her failing health, Grahame continued working in stage productions in the United States and Great Britain. While working in London in September 1981, she underwent treatment to remove excess fluid from her abdomen. During the procedure, the doctor accidentally punctured her bowel. She soon developed peritonitis and was hospitalized. After being notified of Grahame's illness, two of her children, Timothy and Paulette, traveled to London and decided to take her back to the United States. On October 5, 1981, Grahame returned to United States where she was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital in New York City. She died there a few hours later at the age of 57.