Showing posts with label jack lemmon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label jack lemmon. Show all posts

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bell, Book and Candle(1958).

Bell, Book and Candle(1958). Romantic/comedy directed by Richard Quine, based on the successful Broadway play by John Van Druten. Cast: James Stewart and Kim Novak in their second on-screen pairing (after Vertigo, released earlier the same year). The film, adapted by Daniel Taradash, was Stewart's last film as a romantic lead. The supporting cast includes: Jack Lemmon and Ernie Kovacs.

On Christmas Eve, Gillian Holroyd, the owner of a New York gallery of native primitive art, is bored with her life and wants to think up a way to meet her new upstairs neighbor, publisher Sheperd Henderson. When Shep returns home from work that evening, he finds Queenie snooping through his desk, she then introduces herself as Queenie, his neighbor.

After Shep kicks Queenie out of his apartment, her feelings are hurt and to get even with him, casts a spell on his phone. After, discovering his phone is out of order, Shep goes downstairs and asks to use Gil's phone. Before Shep leaves to meet his fiancee, Queenie mentions that she and Gil are going to the Zodiac Club later that night.

At the club, while Gil's bongo-playing, warlock brother Nicky is playing his drums, Gil tells Queenie that she is bored with her life.

Soon after, Shep enters with his snobbish fiancee Merle Kittridge, who Gil remembers she went to college with and that she reported her to the dean for not wearing shoes. She also remembers, Merle is terrified of thunder and Gil simulates a thunderstorm by directing Nicky and the other musicians to blare their instruments into Merle's ear....

Video below:


At Gil's apartment/gallery later that night, the  family of witches exchange Christmas gifts and Nicky gives Gil a "magic potion" to summon whomever she wants too. Remembering that Shep was interested in best-selling author Sidney Redlitch and Gil uses the potion to bring Redlitch to New York.

When Shep returns home from his date with Merle, he sees flames in Gil's apartment/gallery. Alarmed by the fire, Shep walks in and Nicky and Queenie call it an evening. Gil offers him a glass of Christmas cheer. Then picks up her magic cat Pyewacket and casts a magic spell on Shep.

After a magical night together, Shep feels "spellbound" and later that morning, Shep breaks off his engagement with Merle, who does not know what to think.

Later, that morning when Shep goes to his office, he finds the authority on witches, Redlitch sitting in the waiting room, confused and wondering why he is in New York to discuss his new book. Not believing in witches Shep is skeptical. When Redlitch mentions that witches hang out at the Zodiac Club, Shep invites Redlitch to have a drink with him and Gil at the Zodiac that night to see if Redlitch really can spot a witch.

After, Redlitch shares his new book idea with Gil, Gil tells Nicky to do whatever he can to stop the project. When Nicky, walks home with Redlitch, he offers to help him with his book for fifty percent of the profits. When Nicky informs him that he is a warlock and wants to help Redlitch. The author is skeptical until Nicky, casts a spell that makes the street light flash on and off.

When Shep proposes to Gil one night, at first she worried about losing her magical powers, but quickly reconsiders and accepts Shep's proposal. After Gil informs Nicky that she plans to renounce witchcraft and marry Shep, he does not believe her. Not wanting Shep to find out that she was a witch, Gil then asks Nicky to stop helping Redlitch, and when he refuses, warns him that she is going to put out a spell to stop the book from being published. Gil puts a hex on Redlitch's manuscript, causing Shep to throw it in the garbage.

Feeling guilty about using her powers on Shep, Gil confesses to him that she is a witch and Nicky a warlock, but he thinks she is joking. As Shep is thinking that it might be true, he runs into Queenie, who confirms that Gil put a spell on him to spite Merle. Shep then confronts Gil, demanding to know if she ever loved him. After storming out of the gallery, Shep goes to the Zodiac to talk to Nicky and Redlitch.

They drive him to the home of Mrs. Bianca De Pass, a sorceress, who mixes a potion to break Gil's spell. After drinking the potion, Shep returns to his apartment to pack a suitcase. Stopping at the gallery, Shep hands Gil a broom and says goodbye. When Gil threatens to put a spell on Merle, Shep runs to Merle apartment to warn her, but she thinks he has lost his mind.

As Gil prepares to cast her spell, she can not find Pyewacket anywhere. When Queenie returns Pyewacket to Gil, the cat runs away from her and as Gil begins to cry, she realizes that she has lost her powers. Concerned about her niece, Queenie decides to come up with a plan to reconcile Gil and Shep.

One day, Pyewacket unexpectedly jumps through Shep's office window. When Shep brings the cat back to Gil at her gallery, he finds that the primitive masks have been replaced by beautiful shells. Will he have a change of heart?

As always Jack Lemmon is very funny, in a supporting role as Gillian's brother. Janice Rule, is perfect as the snobby ex-college rival of Gillian. Ernie Kovacs, was perfect as the eccentric author. Lanchester and Gingold, are always wonderful in whatever film they are in. Kim Novak's cool personality was perfect to play the part as Gil . Also.. loved her wardrobe.

Hermione Ferdinanda Gingold ( 9 December 1897 – 24 May 1987) was an English actress known for her sharp-tongued, eccentric persona, along with her deep voice, caused by vocal nodes which her mother encouraged her not to remove. Gingold was also known for her unruly hair. It was said she styled it by sticking her head out the window and letting the wind style it.

In the 1930's, her quirky personality became well known through musicals. She married British publisher Michael Joseph in 1918, with whom she had two sons, Stephen and Leslie (1925).

Leslie became an actor and photographer using the stage-name Roy Dean.

After the couple's divorce in 1926, she married writer and lyricist Eric Maschwitz, whom she divorced in 1945.

After she moved to the United States in 1951, her first engagement was in, It's About Time.

In December 1953, she opened in John Murray Anderson's Almanac which made her an instant Broadway success and for which she won the Donaldson Award in 1954.

She won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the film Gigi(1958) in which she played Madame Alvarez, Gigi's grandmother. She sang "I Remember it Well" with Maurice Chevalier.

Gingold soon followed this with the film Bell, Book and Candle (1958).

In October 1963, she opened in Arthur Kopit's Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mamma's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, playing a possessive mother who is driving her son crazy. She also played this role in London.

Gingold played Mayor Shinn's snooty wife Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn in, The Music Man (1962) (in which her son Roy Dean (Leslie Joseph) also had a small role).

Also, was part of the original 1973 Broadway cast of A Little Night Music in the role of the elderly Madame Armfeldt, a former courtesan, this time Swedish, which she reprised in London (1975) and in the unsuccessful film version of the musical (1977).

In 1977, with conductor Karl Bohm, she won a Grammy Award for Best Album for Children for Prokofiev: Peter and the Wolf and Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals.

She was a regular guest on television talk shows: Jack Paar's and Merv Griffin's Show.

New York area TV audiences saw her in a ad for Coco Goya, a coconut drink made by Goya Foods. In the commercial, she's dressed to the nines and reclining on a chaise lounge and shaking two cans of the drink like maracas!

She died from heart problems and pneumonia on 24 May 1987 at the age of 89.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

How to Break up With Your Fiancee from, Some Like It Hot(1950).

Some Like It Hot(1950). When two Chicago musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness the the St. Valentine's Day massacre, they want to quickly get out of town and go into hiding.

The only job they can find is with an all-girl band heading to Florida.

They show up at the train station as two girls named.. Josephine and Daphne, the new saxophone and bass players. They become "best friends" with Sugar Kane Kowalczyk, who sings and plays the ukulele.

Joe, begins dating Sugar, while Jerry/Daphne is wooed by a millionaire, Osgood Fielding III.  One of the funnest scenes in the film, is when Jerry, comes up with a list of reasons why he and Osgood cannot get married..

Jerry: Oh no you don't! Osgood, I'm gonna level with you. We can't get married at all.

Osgood: Why not?

Jerry: Well, in the first place, I'm not a natural blonde.

Osgood: Doesn't matter.

Jerry: I smoke! I smoke all the time!

Osgood: I don't care.

Jerry: Well, I have a terrible past. For three years now, I've been living with a saxophone player.

Osgood: I forgive you.

Jerry: (tragically) I can never have children!

Osgood: We can adopt some.

Jerry: But you don't understand, Osgood! Ohh... (Jerry finally gives up and pulls off his wig) Jerry: (normal voice) I'm a man!

Osgood: (shrugs) Well, nobody's perfect!

Jerry looks on with disbelief as Osgood continues smiling with indifference.

Please click here for past movie review.


Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Apartment (1960).

The Apartment is a 1960 film produced and directed by Billy Wilder, starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, and Fred MacMurray. It was Wilder's follow-up to Some Like It Hot. The film was nominated for ten Academy Awards, and won five, including Best Picture.

The Apartment is not your typical fuzzy feel good Christmas story. Although.. I still feel that it is a wonderful classic, in which you will see Fred MacMurray in a very different role. Please click here to view past review: The Apartment(1960).

Ray Walston (November 2, 1914 – January 1, 2001) was a stage, television and film actor best known as the title character on the 1960s situation comedy My Favorite Martian.

He is also remembered for his roles as Luther Billis in South Pacific (1949/1958), Mr. Applegate in Damn Yankees (1955/1958), J.J. Singleton in The Sting (1973), high school teacher Mr. Hand in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), and Judge Henry Bone on the drama series Picket Fences (1992-1996).

He started acting at an early age, as a "spear carrier" at many New Orleans theaters.

He played small roles with stock companies, where he not only starred in traveling shows but also worked at a movie theater, selling tickets and cleaning the stage floors. His family moved to Dallas, Texas, where he joined Margo Jones, theater company. He later traveled to Cleveland, Ohio, where he spent three years with the Cleveland Play House.

He then traveled to New York City, where he made his Broadway debut in a 1945 production of Hamlet. Three years later, Walston became one of the first members admitted to the newly formed Actors Studio.

In 1949, he appeared in the short-lived play Mrs. Gibbons' Boys directed by George Abbott, who later cast him as Satan in the musical, Damn Yankees(1955), with Gwen Verdon. They both won awards for their performances. After a decade in New York theater, he won a Tony Award, and he and Verdon were invited to reprise their roles in the 1958 film version.

He starred as Luther Billis in the London production of South Pacific(1949). He reprised that role in the 1958 film adaptation. He and Juanita Hall (as Bloody Mary) were the only cast members to appear in both the stage and movie versions.

Additional Broadway performances: The Front Page, Summer and Smoke, King Richard III, Wish You Were Here and House of Flowers, Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Me and Juliet.

Walston had a successful movie career beginning with: Kiss Them for Me (1957), South Pacific (1958), Say One for Me (1959); Tall Story, with Anthony Perkins and Jane Fonda, Portrait in Black, and The Apartment (all in 1960), Convicts 4 (1962), Wives and Lovers, and Who's Minding the Store? (both in 1963), Kiss Me, Stupid (1964), Caprice (1967), and Paint Your Wagon (1969).

Walston is also featured in the 1973 Best-Picture-Winner The Sting, in which he is crucial to the successful swindling of an unsuspecting griftee (played by Robert Shaw) and in Silver Streak. He also played Mr. Timmer, a prominent character in the 1986 BMX movie "Rad".

He was also among many of the actors who played themselves in cameos for, The Player (1992), although Walston along with several other stars, are actually in character for a movie within a movie sequence.

Walston narrated many U.S. Department of Defense and Atomic Energy Commission (now Department of Energy) films about nuclear experiment, including, the Operation Hardtack I nuclear test film series of 1958.

He made many guest performances in the television shows beginning with, The Outlaws 1960-1961. Walston, was best known playing the title character ("Uncle Martin") on My Favorite Martian from 1963 to 1966, with Bill Bixby.  My Favorite Martian, had typecast Walston and he had difficulty finding more serious roles after the show's cancellation.

He later, became a popular character actor in television of the 1970s and 1980s, appearing as a guest star in the shows: Custer, The Wild Wild West, Love, American Style, The Rookies, Mission: Impossible, Ellery Queen, The Six Million Dollar Man, Little House on the Prairie, and The Incredible Hulk with Bill Bixby (in which he played Jasper the Magician in an episode called "My Favorite Magician").

In 1976 he played the part of sleazy Edgar Whiney in the film, Silver Streak. Walston was also known for playing Starfleet Academy groundskeeper "Boothby" in Star Trek: The Next Generation and later on Star Trek: Voyager.

From 1980 to 1992, Walston starred in fourteen movies: 1981's Galaxy of Terror, and 1982's Fast Times at Ridgemont High (as well as its 1986 television adaptation) as Mr. Hand.

In 1984, Walston played a judge on an episode of, Night Court. Six years later, he would work with David E. Kelley while guest-starring on L.A. Law. These roles led to his work as Judge Henry Bone on Picket Fences. Judge Bone was originally a recurring role on the show, but Walston proved to be so popular that he was given a starring role the following year.

In his late 70s, he was nominated for an Emmy Award for the first time.

Walston made an appearance in Star Trek: The Next Generation as Boothby, head groundskeeper at Starfleet Academy in San Francisco, and then reprised the character twice on Star Trek: Voyager, despite the series being set in a distant part of the galaxy.

During his appearance on Star Trek: Voyager in "In the Flesh", he often had trouble with remembering his lines during long one-shot dialogue scenes, but while the cameraman was changing the film for the scene in the briefing room, he quoted a line from Hamlet. Robert Beltran then quoted the next line, and Walston the next. The two went on for several minutes, amazing the entire cast and crew.

In 1985, Walston made a brief appearance in the opening credits of Steven Spielberg's series Amazing Stories, as a caveman acting out a story for his tribe. Only a few seconds long, this performance began every episode of the subsequent series.

In 1992, Walston played the role of Candy in the big-screen remake of, Of Mice and Men. He would work alongside Sinise again two years later in the miniseries adaptation of Stephen King's The Stand.

Walston was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for, Picket Fences, winning twice, in 1995 and 1996. Though Walston enjoyed his work in the series, its ratings were beginning to slip, and CBS cancelled the show after four seasons in 1996.

However, Walston made a guest appearance in an episode of Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman entitled "Remember Me", in which he portrayed the father of Jake Slicker, who was stricken with Alzheimer's disease.

As his career was coming to an end he played Grandfather Walter Adams, in the Addams Family Reunion (1998), the second sequel to the1991 film, The Addams Family, this time starring Tim Curry as Gomez Addams and Daryl Hannah as Morticia Addams.

One year later, he appeared in the movie remake of his hit series, My Favorite Martian (1999). His final movie role was in the independent film, Early Bird Special.

He also appeared in an AT and T, TV commercial in which his dialogue implied he was Uncle Martin from Mars, looking for good rates to talk to fellow Martians living in the United States. Just before his death, his final TV guest appearance was on, 7th Heaven.

Walston, died at the age of 86 on New Year's Day 2001 in Beverly Hills, California after a 6-year battle with lupus. He was survived by his widow, Ruth, his daughter, Katherine Ann, and two grandchildren.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Like It Hot(1959).

Some Like It Hot(1959). Directed by Billy Wilder. Cast: Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and George Raft.

The film was awarded an Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Black-and-White (Orry-Kelly) and was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Jack Lemmon), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Black-and-White (Ted Haworth, Edward G. Boyle), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Academy Award for Best Director and Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium.

It won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Comedy. Marilyn Monroe won the Golden Globe for Best Actress in Musical or Comedy, and Jack Lemmon for Best Actor in Musical or Comedy.

Two struggling musicians, Joe and Jerry, witness a gang murder. When the Chicago gangster, "Spats", sees them, the two friends run for their lives and decide it is time to leave town. Finding a job, in a all woman band, they have to disguise themselves as women.

Calling themselves Josephine and Geraldine, they board a train headed for Florida. Joe and Jerry both become charmed by "Sugar Kane", the band's vocalist and ukulele player. Joe woos Sugar while wearing second disguise as a millionaire heir to Shell Oil, mimicking Cary Grant's voice perfectly.

Millionaire, Osgood Fielding III, woes Jerry in his Daphne disguise. One night, Osgood asks Daphne out to his yacht. Joe talks Daphne, into going on a date with Osgood while he goes on the yacht with Sugar. That night Osgooing proposes to Daphne who, is flattered, accepts, hoping he can receive a large settlement from Osgood after their wedding ceremony.

When the gangsters arrive at the same hotel, Spats and his gang see Joe and Jerry. After several humorous chases and witnessing Spats and his gang murdered, Jerry, Joe, Sugar, and Osgood escape to the millionaire's yacht.

Joe, thinks it is time to reveal his true identity to Sugar, telling her that she would be getting the "fuzzy end of the lollipop". Jerry, tries to break it off with Osgood, telling him that, he can "never have children." Osgood, still is determined to go through with the marriage. Finally, Jerry removes his wig and shouts, "I'm a man!", where Osgood says... "Well, no body's perfect."

Video: Train scene.

Fun Facts:

Billy Wilder referring to Marilyn Monroe while making the movie: "We were in mid-flight, and there was a nut on the plane." Indeed, Wilder publicly blasted Monroe for her behavior, and she was not invited to the wrap party.

The resort scenes were filmed entirely at the Hotel Del Coronado in San Diego, California. One reason why Billy Wilder chose this location was Marilyn Monroe's ongoing personal problems. He wanted a location where she could live on site and not have to be transported.

Tony Curtis has said that he asked Billy Wilder if he could imitate Cary Grant for his stint as the millionaire in the movie. Wilder liked it and they shot it that way. Apparently, Grant saw the parody of himself and stated, "I don't talk like that."

Marilyn Monroe was pregnant during the filming, as a result she looked considerably heavier. She had no known children and several miscarriages in her life. Due to her pregnancy, most of the publicity still photos were posed for by both Sandra Warner (who had an uncredited role as one of the band members) and Monroe's frequent stand-in Evelyn Moriarty with Monroe's head superimposed later.

The railroad passenger car that was used in this movie (Clover Colony) is now at the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee where it can be used in excursion/local service.

When Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon first put on the female make-up and costumes, they walked around the Goldwyn Studios lot to see if they could "pass" as women. Then they tried using mirrors in public ladies rooms to fix their makeup, and when none of the women using it complained, they knew they could be convincing as women. There is a scene on the train recreating this moment.

Jerry Lewis was offered the role of Jerry/Daphne but declined because he didn't want to dress in drag. When Jack Lemmon received an Oscar nomination for the role that Lewis gave up, Lewis claims he sent him chocolates every year to thank him and now regrets not taking the part.

Monroe's Sugar, is very lovable, especially when she sings: Running Wild, I'm Through With Love and "boop-boop-a-doop" her signature song, "I Wanna Be Loved by You."

Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, were tastefully, hilarious playing a couple of drag queens.

Now on Blu-Ray. Includes: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes How To
Marry A Millionaire River Of No Return There's No Business Like Show Business The Seven Year Itch Some Like It Hot The Misfits.

Joan Shawlee (1929 - March 22, 1987). Her best known roles were small roles in Jack Lemmon and Billy Wilder films. Her most famous role was as, Sweet Sue in the 1959 comedy classic, Some Like It Hot, starring Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon.

She also performed as Sylvia in the 1960 classic, The Apartment, which also starred Lemmon. She performed as Amazon Annie in the 1963 sex comedy, Irma La Douce, which starred Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine.

She had a recurring role on TV in The Dick Van Dyke Show as Buddy's wife Pickles.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Dawn's favorite Movie actors and their films of the "60's".

Clint Eastwood:
1964 A Fistful of Dollars
1965 For a Few Dollars More
1966 The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
1967 Le streghe
1968 Hang 'Em High
Coogan's Bluff
Where Eagles Dare

In 1963 Eastwood's co-star on Rawhide, Eric Fleming, rejected an offer to star in an Italian-made western, A Fistful of Dollars. Knowing that he could play a cowboy Harrison suggested Eastwood, who saw the film as a wonderful opportunity.

Eastwood later spoke about the transition from a television western to A Fistful of Dollars: "In Rawhide I did get awfully tired of playing the conventional white hat. The hero who kisses old ladies and dogs and was kind to everybody. I decided it was time to be an anti-hero." Eastwood, created the Man with No Name character, who smoked cigars.

The film was the beginning of spaghetti westerns and Eastwood became a major star in Italy and he also performed in, For a Few Dollars More (1965). Two months later Eastwood began work on the third Dollars film, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, in which he again played the, Man with No Name.

The Dollars trilogy was not shown in the United States until 1967 when A Fistful of Dollars opened in January, For a Few Dollars More in May, and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly in December. All the films were successful and turned Eastwood into a major film star. Stardom brought more "tough guy" roles for Eastwood. Next, he signed up to perform in the western, Hang 'Em High (1968). Across between Rawhide and Leone's westerns. Using money earned from the Dollars trilogy Leonard helped establish Eastwood's production company, Malpaso Productions, named after the Malpaso Creek on Eastwood's property in Monterey County, California.

While Eastwood was working on his next film, Coogan's Bluff, Jennings Lang arranged for Eastwood to meet Don Siegel, a Universal contract director who later became one of Eastwood's close friends, that would last for more than ten years. Coogan's Bluff also became the first of many collaborations with Argentine composer Lalo Schifrin, who would later score the jazzy themes to Eastwood's films. Eastwood created the prototype for his role as a cop of the Dirty Harry films.

Next he went on to perform in, Where Eagles Dare(1968), about a World War II squad parachuting into the mountains.

Eastwood then performed in his only musical of his career, Paint Your Wagon (1969). Eastwood and fellow non-singer Lee Marvin play gold miners who share the same wife. It was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.

Rock Hudson:
Seconds (1966)
Lover Come Back (1961)
Ice Station Zebra (1968)
Send Me No Flowers (1964)

In the 60s Hudson, performed in many romantic comedies such as: Pillow Talk, the first of several co-starring with Doris Day. This was followed by Lover Come Back, Come September, Send Me No Flowers, Man's Favorite Sport?, The Spiral Road, and Strange Bedfellows. Along with Cary Grant was regarded as one of the best-dressed male stars in Hollywood. He also performed in the science-fiction thriller, Seconds (1966). The film flopped but it later gained cult status, and Hudson's performance is often regarded as one of his best. He also tried his hand in the action genre with Tobruk (1967), the lead in 1968's spy thriller Ice Station Zebra, a role which he said was his personal favorite, and the western, The Undefeated (1969).

Kirk Douglas:
Spartacus (1960)
Seven Days in May (1964)
War Wagon, The (1967)
Lonely Are the Brave (1962)

Douglas, was a major box office star in the 60s, performing in many westerns such as, In Lonely Are the Brave (1962), his own favorite of his performances, Douglas plays a cowboy trying to live by his own code, much as he did in real life.

Douglas played many military men like in the films: Town Without Pity (1961), The Hook (1963), Seven Days in May (1964), Heroes of Telemark (1965), In Harm's Way (1965), Cast a Giant Shadow (1966), Is Paris Burning (1966). Douglas played the lead with an all-star cast in, Spartacus (1960). He was also the executive producer. Douglas also performed in comedies, such as in the film, For Love or Money (1963).

Douglas made a couple of films in the 60s with Burt Lancaster: The List of Adrian Messenger(1963)and Seven Days in May (1964).

Douglas stated that the keys to acting success are determination and application, "You must know how to function and how to maintain yourself, and you must have a love of what you do. But an actor also needs great good luck. I have had that luck."Douglas had great vitality, "It takes a lot out of you to work in this business. Many people fall by the wayside because they don’t have the energy to sustain their talent.".

Cary Grant:
Charade (1963)
Father Goose (1964)
Walk Don't Run (1966)
That Touch of Mink (1962)

In the mid-1950s, Grant formed his own production company, Granart Productions, and produced a number of movies in the 60s such as: That Touch of Mink and Father Goose (1964).

In 1963, he also performed opposite Audrey Hepburn in the film, Charade (1963). His last feature film was Walk, Don't Run.

Grant was the first actor to "go independent" by not renewing his studio contract.  Because of this he decided which movies he was going to perform in, he also had the choice of the directors and his co-stars and at times even negotiated a share of the gross, something uncommon at the time.

Fred MacMurray :
Apartment, The (1960)
Absent Minded Professor, The (1961)
Son of Flubber (1963)
Follow Me, Boys! (1966)

In the 1960s, he starred in My Three Sons, which ran for 12 seasons, making it one of America's longest-running TV show. MacMurray, stared in 1961 as Professor Ned Brainerd in Disney's, The Absent-Minded Professor and in its sequel, Son of Flubber, in 1964.

MacMurray, had a provision in his "Sons" contract that all his scenes be shot first. This freed him to pursue his film work and golf . It's also interesting to note that two character names on "My Three Sons" were named after his real life children, Rob (as in Rob Douglas) and Katherine (Kate); he often referred to his TV son Robbie as 'Rob' and later TV daughter-in-law Katie Douglas as 'Kate.'

He was a staunch supporter of the Republican Party. He joined Bob Hope and James Stewart to campaign for Richard Nixon in 1968.

He was one of the wealthiest actors of the 60s and MacMurray usually brought a brown bag lunch to work. Friends and business associates referred to him as "the thrifty multimillionaire."

Jack Lemmon :
Apartment, The (1960)
Odd Couple, The (1968)
Great Race, The (1965)
Days of Wine and Roses (1962)

Lemmon, was a favorite actor of director Billy Wilder, who felt Lemmon had a natural tendency toward overacting. In the Wilder biography Nobody's Perfect quotes the director as saying, "Lemmon, I would describe him as a ham, a fine ham, and with ham you have to trim a little fat". The biography also quotes Jack Lemmon as saying, "I am particularly susceptible to the parts I play... If my character was having a nervous breakdown, I started to have one".

He also had a longtime working relationship with director Blake Edwards, starring in in the 60s films: Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Great Race (1965) and That's Life! (1986).

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) was one of his favorite roles. He portrayed Joe Clay, a young, fun-loving alcoholic businessman. In that film, Lemmon delivered the line, "My name is Joe Clay ... I'm an alcoholic." Three and a half decades later, he admitted on the television program, Inside the Actors Studio, that he was not acting when he delivered that line, that he really was a recovering alcoholic at the end of his life.

Lemmon's production company JML produced Cool Hand Luke in 1967. Paul Newman was grateful to Lemmon for his support and offered him the role later made famous by Robert Redford in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but Lemmon turned it down. He did not like riding horses and he also felt he'd already played too many aspects of the Sundance Kid's character before.

Lemmon often performed in films with Walter Matthau. Among their pairings was 1968's The Odd Couple, as Felix Ungar (Lemmon) and Oscar Madison (Matthau).

William Holden:
Wild Bunch, The (1969)
Paris - When It Sizzles (1964)
Casino Royale (1967)
Devil's Brigade, The (1968)

Holden was forced by studio contracts to perform in films such as, Paris When It Sizzles (1964), also co-starring Audrey Hepburn. By the mid-1960s, his career was beginning to fade.

Robert Redford:
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
This Property Is Condemned (1966)
Barefoot in the Park (1967)
Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969)

Redford, made his screen debut in the film, War Hunt (1962). Later he was cast in larger roles in movies such as, In Inside Daisy Clover (1965) with Natalie Wood, they also performed together in the film, This Property Is Condemned (1966). The same year saw his first teaming with Jane Fonda in, The Chase. Fonda and Redford were paired again in the film, Barefoot in the Park (1967) also the film, The Electric Horseman (1979).

Redford was cast in the film, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), scripted by William Goldman, in which he was paired for the first time with Paul Newman. The film cemented his screen image as an intelligent, reliable, good guy.

Redford did have a few box office flops, Downhill Racer (1969) and Tell Them Willie Boy Is Here (1969).

Anthony Quinn:
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Guns of Navarone, The (1961)
Barabbas (1962)
Alexis Zorbas (1964)

By the 60s Quinn, was beginning to show his age and began his transformation into a major character actor. He played a Greek resistance fighter in the film, The Guns of Navarone (1961), a ex-boxer in the film, Requiem for a Heavyweight, and Auda abu Tayi in the film, Lawrence of Arabia (both 1962). He also played the title role in Barabbas. The success of the film, Zorba the Greek (1964) which won him another Oscar nomination for Best Actor. Other films include: The 25th Hour (1967), The Magus (1968), Guns for San Sebastian with Charles Bronson and The Shoes of the Fisherman, where he played a Ukrainian pope. In 1969, he starred in the film, The Secret of Santa Vittoria .

Henry Fonda:
Once Upon A Time In The West (1968)
Longest Day, The (1962)
Battle of the Bulge (1965)
Boston Strangler, The (1968)

In the 60s Fonda, was still performing in the western television series The Deputy (1959–1961), in which he starred as Marshal Simon Fry. The 1960s also saw Fonda perform in many war and western epics, including 1962's The Longest Day and How the West Was Won, 1965's In Harm's Way and Battle of the Bulge. In the Cold War suspense film Fail-Safe (1964), Fonda played the President of the United States who tries to prevent a nuclear holocaust through tense negotiations with the Soviets after American bombers are mistakenly ordered to attack the USSR. He also performed in the light-hearted film, Spencer's Mountain (1963), which was the inspiration for the TV series, The Waltons.

Fonda , performed against type as the villain 'Frank' in, 1968's Once Upon a Time in the West.

Fonda's was good friends with Jimmy Stewart and they teamed up to work on the film, Firecreek(1968), where Fonda once again played the bad guy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Happy Birthday: Jack Lemmon!

Jack Lemmon (February 8, 1925 – June 27, 2001). He starred in more than 60 films including: Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Mister Roberts (for which he won the 1955 Best Supporting Actor Academy Award), Days of Wine and Roses, The Great Race, Irma la Douce, The Odd Couple, Save the Tiger (for which he won the 1973 Best Actor Academy Award), The Out-of-Towners, The China Syndrome, Missing (for which he won 'Best Actor' at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival), Glengarry Glen Ross, Grumpy Old Men and Grumpier Old Men.

Video: Kevin Spacey on Jack Lemmon.

Please click here to view past Jack Lemmon movie reviews.

Lemmon's film debut was in a small part as a plasterer/painter in the film, The Lady Takes a Sailor(1949). He became better known in the film, It Should Happen to You(1954).

He was also close friends with Tony Curtis, Ernie Kovacs, Walter Matthau and Kevin Spacey. He made two films with Curtis, three films with Kovacs, and eleven with Matthau.

Early in Lemmon's career, Lemmon met Ernie Kovacs during the filming of, Operation Mad Ball. Lemmon and Kovacs became close friends and appeared together in two other films: Bell, Book, and Candle and It Happened to Jane(1977).

He became a favorite actor of director Billy Wilder, cast in his films: Some Like It Hot, The Apartment, Irma la Douce, The Fortune Cookie, Avanti!, The Front Page and Buddy Buddy.

He also had a longtime working relationship with director Blake Edwards, starring in Days of Wine and Roses (1962), The Great Race (1965) and That's Life! (1986).

Lemmon recorded an album in 1958 while filming Some Like It Hot with Marilyn Monroe. Twelve jazz tracks were created for Lemmon and another twelve were added. Lemmon played the piano and recorded his own versions of Monroe's songs, I Wanna Be Loved By You and I'm Through With Love, for the album which was released in 1959 as, A Twist of Lemmon/Some Like It Hot.

Lemmon was awarded the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1956 for Mister Roberts (1955) and the Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973), becoming the first actor to achieve this double. He was also nominated for a Best Actor Oscar for his role in the controversial film Missing in 1982 and for his role in Some Like it Hot.

Days of Wine and Roses (1962) was one of his favorite roles. He played Joe Clay, a fun-loving alcoholic businessman.

Lemmon's production company JML produced the film, Cool Hand Luke (1967).

Lemmon appeared in many films with his friend Walter Matthau. Among their pairings was 1968's The Odd Couple(1968), The Fortune Cookie (for which Matthau won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor), The Front Page and Buddy Buddy. In 1971, Lemmon directed Matthau in the comedy, Kotch. It was the only movie that Lemmon ever directed and Matthau was nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his performance.

Also, Lemmon and Matthau had small parts in the film, JFK(1991) (the only film in which both appeared without sharing screen time). In 1993, the duo teamed up again to star in one of my favorite films, Grumpy Old Men. During the rest of the decade, they would go on to star together in, Out to Sea, Grumpier Old Men and The Odd Couple II.

A rare death scene for Lemmon came in, The China Syndrome, for which he was awarded Best Actor at the Cannes Film Festival. In 1982, he won another Cannes award for his performance in, Missing (which received the Palme d'Or). At the 1998 Golden Globe Awards, he was nominated for "Best Actor in a Made for TV Movie" for his role in , Twelve Angry Men, losing to Rhames. After accepting the award, Rhames asked Lemmon to come on stage and, in a move that stunned the audience, gave his award to him.

(The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which presents the Golden Globes, decided to have a second award made and sent to Rhames.)

Jack Lemmon movies I have seen:

1997 Out to Sea
1995 Grumpier Old Men
1993 Grumpy Old Men
1979 The China Syndrome
1977 Airport '77
1970 The Out of Towners
1968 The Odd Couple
1966 The Fortune Cookie
1965 The Great Race
1965 How to Murder Your Wife
1964 Good Neighbor Sam
1963 Under the Yum Yum Tree
1962 Days of Wine and Roses
1962 The Notorious Landlady
1960 The Wackiest Ship in the Army
1960 The Apartment
1959 It Happened to Jane
1959 Some Like It Hot
1958 Bell Book and Candle
1957 Operation Mad Ball
1957 Fire Down Below
1955 My Sister Eileen
1954 Phffft
1954 It Should Happen to You

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

It Should Happen to You (1954).

It Should Happen to You (1954) . Romantic/comedy. Cast: Judy Holliday, the first screen appearance of Jack Lemmon. Other cast members: Michael O'Shea, Vaughn Taylor, Connie Gilchrist, Walter Klavun, Whit Bissell, Constance Bennett, Ilka Chase, Wendy Barrie and Melville Cooper. The film was directed by George Cukor and filmed on location in New York City. Screenwriter Garson Kanin originally intended the script as a vehicle for Danny Kaye, but Kanin's wife, Ruth Gordon, suggested casting Judy Holliday instead. The title was initially, A Name for Herself.

Lemmon had a meeting with studio boss Harry Cohn, who feared that critics might use jokes about the name "Lemmon". He wanted Lemmon to change his name to "Lennon." Lemmon said that if he did that people might confuse his name with "Lenin" and associate his name with Communism, a very real concern in the 1950s. He decided to keep the name Lemmon and went on to become a Hollywood legend.

Small time filmmaker Pete Sheppard, meets Gladys Glover, in New York City's Central Park, while filming her feeding peanuts to the pigeons. Gladys shares with him that she has just been fired from her modeling job and now wonders how she can make a name for herself. Pete tells her that, " she is the only one who can make her dreams come true". Later, while walking barefoot in Columbus Circle, Gladys sees a huge billboard for rent, she envisions her name written there and decides to rent it for the three-months. Several days after Gladys has her name painted on the billboard, businessman Evan Adams III, tells his advertising firm, that his soap company usually rents the billboard for the spring season and wants Gladys to give it up. Gladys meets with Evan and the agency representatives, but refuses their money and an additional five hundred dollars. Back at her apartment, Gladys learns that Pete has just moved into her building. She asks him to visit Columbus Circle to see her bill board.

She eventually makes a deal with the advertising company to have her name posted on 10 billboards posted throughout city. Suddenly, all of New York is curious about who Gladys Glover is. Evan Adams III also has eyes for Gladys.

Fun Fact:
The background music playing during the scene when Peter Lawford is trying to romance Judy Holliday is also used during several scenes in the film, From Here to Eternity (1953) .

I loved the on screen chemistry between Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon. This film maybe my favorite Judy Holliday performance. Is this the first time someone became famous for doing nothing??

Judy Holliday (June 21, 1921 – June 7, 1965). Kanin, together with George Cukor, Spencer Tracy, and Katharine Hepburn, wanted to promote Holliday by offering her a part in the film, Adam's Rib(1949). She got rave reviews and Cohn offered her the chance to repeat her role for the film version of Born Yesterday. She won the first Golden Globe Award for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and at the 23rd Academy Awards, Holliday won the Academy Award for Best Actress, over Gloria Swanson, nominated for Sunset Boulevard, Eleanor Parker, for Caged, and Bette Davis and Anne Baxter, both for All About Eve.

In 1954, she starred with a new young star Jack Lemmon in the popular comedy It Should Happen to You, and again (in 1954), in Phffft!.

She was best known for her ability to shift her mood quickly from comic to serious is one. George Cukor said that she had "in common with the great comedians...that depth of emotion, that unexpectedly touching emotion, that thing which would unexpectedly touch your heart."
Please click here to view past Judy Holliday reviews.

List of Judy Holliday Films :

1944 Greenwich Village
1949 Adam's Rib
1950 Born Yesterday
1952 The Marrying Kind
1954 It Should Happen to You Gladys Glover
1954 Phffft!
1956 The Solid Gold Cadillac
1957 Full of Life
1960 Bells Are Ringing

Saturday, March 6, 2010


The Out-of-Towners(1970). Comedy. Written by: Neil Simon. Director: Arthur Hiller, Jack Lemmon and Sandy Dennis. Simon's screenplay won him the Writers Guild of America award for Best Comedy Written Directly for the Screen.The movie was remade with Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn in 1999.

George Kellerman, is invited by his company to visit their New York City offices and discuss his promotion. George and his wife, Gwen, fly to New York planning to have a fabulous dinner and spending the night in a luxury hotel.

To begin their nightmare of adventures, their plane is rerouted to Boston when air traffic and fog make landing in New York impossible. When they arrive in Boston the Kellermans find that their luggage has been lost and must take a over crowded train to New York. Tired and hungry, George and Gwen reach New York during to what George calls a "monsoon" and find that the city is in the middle of strikes by garbage collectors and transit workers.

They walk the 10 blocks to the Waldorf-Astoria, only to find that the hotel has canceled their reservation. A stranger offers them other hotel accommodations, but soon turns out to be a mugger and takes all their money. Without a place to stay for the night, they go to the police and are told they will be put up at the armory, but the police car which takes them to the armory is hijacked by robbers, who leave the Kellermans in Central Park. They spend the night there and George's watch is stolen.

The next morning two young men mistake George for a mugger and beat him up. The trouble does not stop there, George is later chased by a mounted policeman, who he thinks is a child molester. George and Gwen are helped by a passing Cuban diplomat and all are assaulted by demonstrators. "OH MY GOD!!" Will George ever make his interview or get back home to Dayton, in one piece?

My husband and I both love this movie. I think we can recite this movie line for line. I also thought Dennis's performance of the supportive wife was hilarious, as she does everything she can just to keep her husband happy.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon performed in three films together:

PHFFFT! (1954). Romantic/comedy. Cast: Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and featuring Jack Carson. written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson. After receiving their divorce papers, Nina and Robert promise that they will remain friends, no matter what. The mambo scene between Judy and Jack, is the best scene in the film..

BELL BOOK CANDLE (1958) Romantic/ comedy directed by Richard Quine based on the hit Broadway play by John Van Druten.. Cast: Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, James Stewart and Elsa Lanchester Modern day witch likes her neighbor but does not like his fiancee, so she puts a spell on him to love her instead. Only to fall in love with him.

Please click here for past movie review.

THE NOTORIOUS LAND LADY(1962).  Comedy/mystery. Cast: Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, and Fred Astaire. An American diplomat in London rents a room from a woman accused of murder.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

PHFFFT! (1954)

Phffft! (1954) Romantic/ comedy starring Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and featuring Jack Carson. Written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson, and was the second film with Holliday and Lemmon that year. (It Should Happen to You).

The story begins when television writer Nina Tracy, asks her lawyer husband Robert, for a divorce after 8 years of marriage. Robert thinks it might be a good idea, agrees. Nina wants to divorce Robert, because he has never taken her job seriously. After the divorce is final, Nina is hoping Robert is lonely. Instead, Robert is excited about his new found freedom and moving in with his best friend, womanizer, Charlie Nelson.

Robert and Charlie, talk about when Robert and Nina first met: Just after World War II, Charlie and Robert are lieutenants in the Navy. Charlie, in public relations, asks Robert to handle an NBC radio reporter interview and passes Nina off on him. Robert wants to impress her so tells her that he saved the Navy $75,000. Later, Robert goes over to her tiny little apartment to help Nina with her taxes. After dinner, Robert asks Nina where she sleeps, and she presses a button to show him her bed, which shoots out of the wall. When Robert is discharged from the Navy he finds a position as an associate in a prestigious law firm and Nina receives a promotion to radio writer, Robert asks Nina if she would like to file a joint tax return, they soon marry.

Back to the the present, Nina goes back home to New York City to live with her mother Edith, who takes her to a fancy restaurant, where they run into Robert and Charlie. Nina and Robert have too many martinis and glare at each other all throughout the evening.

The following week, Rick Vidal, the co-star in Nina's TV show, asks her to dinner, which she accepts. At the nightclub, Nina refuses to dance with Rick, admitting that she never learned to dance. Later that evening, she finds herself back at Rick's apartment, where the romance quickly turns into a plea to make him the star of the show.

Charlie arranges a date for Robert with Janis. At dinner, Robert realizes he has nothing in common with Janis, he takes her back to Charlie's, but not ready for a new relationship, asks her to leave.

Both trying to move on with their lives.. Nina begins taking French lessons, only to have the instructor accuse her of being a recent divorcee trying to make changes in her life. Robert enrolls in an art class, but is asked to leave because of his lack of talent.

Charlie talks Robert into changing his lifestyle, Robert goes out and buys a sporty convertible and Italian clothing. Grows a mustache and takes dance classes. Unknown to Robert, Nina has the same idea, taking private dance lessons, new clothes and remodeling the house.

My favorite scene of the movie is when, one evening at a nightclub, Robert and Nina, are surprised to run into each other on the dance floor. When a mambo is played, they try to out dance the other and end up dancing together, with everyone looking on. It is obvious that the past is not dead.

Will Robert and Nina ever find each other again?

Fun Fact: The title "Phffft" comes from Walter Winchell's column which was famous during the 50s. When a celebrity couple divorced, Winchell would describe the break-up as "phffft".

I enjoyed the on screen chemistry between Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon. This movie tells the story how you can live with somebody that gets on your nerves and in your heart at the same time. Jack Carson plays his usual bad boy part as Lemmon's friend. Kim Novak was wonderful as a Marilin Monroe type personality.

Jack Carson (27 October 1910 – 2 January 1963), was one of the most popular character actors during the 'golden age of Hollywood', with a film career spanning the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Best known for his performances in the films: Mildred Pierce (1945) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), which proved he could also perform in dramatic roles. He was also cast opposite Myrna Loy and William Powell in, Love Crazy. Carson's trademark was the wisecracking know it all .