Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Happy Birthday: Lee Ann Remick !

Lee Ann Remick (December 14, 1935 – July 2, 1991), made her first film, A Face in the Crowd. Cast: Andy Griffith, Patricia Neal and Walter Matthau, directed by Elia Kazan. The screenplay was written by Budd Schulberg, based on his short story "Your Arkansas Traveler".The story centers on a drifter named Larry "Lonesome" Rhodes, who is discovered by the producer of a radio program in rural northeast Arkansas. While filming the movie in Arkansas, Remick lived with a local family and practiced baton twirling so that she would be more believable in her role as a teenager.

After appearing in, The Long, Hot Summer(1958), directed by Martin Ritt. Cast: Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Anthony Franciosa, Lee Remick, Angela Lansbury and Orson Welles. The film is based on story by William Faulkner's, "The Hamlet." She appeared in, These Thousand Hills, as a dance hall girl, in a Western film starring Patricia Owens, Alfred Hayes and Richard Egan. The story takes many surprising turns. Don Murray as Lat Evans, a sheltered rancher brought up under the stern hand of his father.  Heads off into the world looking to make his fortune and becomes friends with Tom on the cattle-herding trail. Eventually, his friendship with Tom is tested as well as the love of Callie, from who he borrows money to buy a ranch, in favor of a society woman, Joyce. Lat, has to make a choice between his ambitions and his loyalty to his old friends.

Remick came to prominence as a rape victim whose husband is tried for killing her attacker in, Anatomy of a Murder. The film is famous as one of the first Hollywood films to talk frankly about rape. It includes one of Saul Bass's most celebrated title sequences, and has been described by a law professor as "probably the best trial movie ever made".

She also made the film, Wild River (1960), co-starring with Montgomery Clift and Jo Van Fleet. A young Tennessee Valley administrator, Chuck Glover comes to a small town in Tennessee to enforce the clearing of the land to be flooded by a new dam on the Tennessee River in the early 1930s. A 80-year-old matriarch, Ella Garth, refuses to sell her land to the federal government, and the film anticipates much of the environmental debates concerning the control of rivers. Glover falls in love with the matriarch's granddaughter, Carol Garth Baldwin. The film also portrays some of the racial issues in the South after the Great Depression.

In 1962, she was nominated for an Academy Award as Best Actress for her performance as the alcoholic wife of Jack Lemmon in, Days of Wine and Roses. The film depicts the downward spiral of two average Americans who succumb to alcoholism and attempt to deal with their problems. An Academy Award went to the film's theme music, composed by Henry Mancini with lyrics by Johnny Mercer. The film received four other Oscar nominations, including ones for Best Actor and Best Actress.

She co-starred with Gregory Peck in the 1976 horror film, The Omen. When Katharine has a stillborn child, Robert is approached by a priest at the hospital who suggest that he take a healthy newborn whose mother has just died in childbirth. He agrees, strange events and the warnings of a priest, lead him to believe that the child he took from that Italian hospital is evil .

Remick later appeared in several made-for-TV movies or miniseries (for which she earned seven Emmy nominations). Most were of a historical nature, including two noted miniseries: Ike, in which she portrayed Kay Summersby, alongside Robert Duvall as General Dwight Eisenhower, and Jennie: Lady Randolph Churchill where she portrayed Winston Churchill's mother.

To celebrate Lee Ann Remick's Birthday today, TCM is featuring the movies listed below:

Running Man, The (1963). A man fakes his death to get back at the insurance company that denied an earlier claim. Cast: Laurence Harvey, Lee Remick, Alan Bates. Dir: Carol Reed.

Experiment in Terror (1962). A master criminal tries to force a bank teller to help him pull off a big heist. Cast: Glenn Ford, Lee Remick, Ross Martin. Dir: Blake Edwards.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962). A husband and wife fight to conquer alcoholism. Cast: Jack Lemmon, Lee Remick, Jack Klugman. Dir: Blake Edwards.

Baby, the Rain Must Fall (1965). A parolee tries to launch a musical career and keep out of trouble. Cast: Steve McQueen, Lee Remick, Don Murray. Dir: Robert Mulligan.

Sweet Bird Of Youth (1962).A young gigolo returns to his southern hometown in search of the lost love of his youth. Cast: Paul Newman, Geraldine Page, Shirley Knight. Dir: Richard Brooks.


  1. Man, she was a really good actress. Excellent work in Days of Wine and Roses and Anatomy of a Murder.

  2. Movienut, I agree. I was able to catch the film, Days of Wine and Roses, yesterday on TCM.


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