Forty Guns - 1957Forty Guns - 1957

Archive 275 - March 2016

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The Palm Beach Story - 1942

Palm Beach StoryPalm Beach Story

The Palm Beach Story - 1942 - Released November 7, 1942

Colbert is kept in an expensive apartment by failing inventor/husband Joel McCrea (they are Mr. and Mrs. Jeffers). The couple is seriously behind on their bills and on the verge of being evicted when a "Fairy Godfather" appears (aka, the "Weinie-King" an eccentric elderly man with a fortune made in low-cost lunch meats) who, smitten with Mrs Jeffers (he meets her while she is hiding in a shower stall in the apartment, he is inspecting the place because he might like to rent it ... "You don't come with the apartment?" he asks). He provides funding to save the couple from impending financial disaster.

But Colbert's character has the idea to permanently fix their financial situation: she'll divorce her husband, go to Florida, marry a millionaire, and use the new husband to fund the old husband's crazy ideas (Mr Jeffers has a plan to build a city airport atop a super-heavy-duty tarp suspended on wires hung from skyscrapers. The small-scale model in McCrea's engineering office looks utterly unfeasible outside of a Hollywood movie).

Colbert (Mrs Jeffers) takes off for Florida, and soon McCrea is in pursuit (he also gets funded miraculously by the 'Weinie King') and the story, now choc-full of double-identities (there's more to come) continues to have twists and turns as it picks up additional characters (Mary Astor, Rudy Vallee).

Written and Directed by Preston Sturges, the tale is screwball comedy mixed with satire.

More on the Palm Beach Story

Eleanor Parker - 1948

The Woman in White - 1948

Eleanor Parker - The Woman in White - Released May 15, 1948

Eleanor Parker - 1948

Sudden Fear - Crawford Vs. Palance

Sudden Fear - 1952 - Jack Palance and Joan CrawfordSudden Fear - 1952 - Jack Palance and Joan Crawford

Is this love? Joan Crawford as a middle-aged playwright (Myra Hudson) who is pursued by an unconventional leading man she had fired from her new play (he didn't look right). An apparent chance meeting leads to a whirlwind romance and soon Palance (as Lester Blaine) and Crawford are married: but by now we in the audience know something is not quite right.

Then Gloria Grahame appears,and she has a mysterious hold on Palance having to do with a borrowed $5,000 and a few other more intimate peculiarities - plus she doesn't mind if he threatens to kill her (it's just his way of saying "I love you") and she smiles happily when Lester does it.

Directed by David Miller, Sudden Fear is not a complete abandonment of the typical Crawford-pseudo-noir film, but it is a different effort with Hitchcockian tensions.

Burgess Meredith - Spring Madness, 1938

Burgess Meredith 1938 - Spring MadnessBurgess Meredith 1938 - Spring MadnessBurgess Meredith 1938 - Spring Madness

Suddenly, Last Summer

Elizabeth Taylor - Suddenly Last SummerElizabeth Taylor - Suddenly Last SummerMercedes McCambridge - Suddenly Last Summer

Suddenly, Last Summer - Released December 22, 1959. Directed by Joseph Mankiewicz

Mercedes McCambridge (as the mother of Catherine Holly, played by Elizabeth Taylor) is being torn apart by her passive betrayal to her daughter as pressures from several sides have landed Cathy into an asylum and scheduled to receive a lobotomy. Tennessee Williams' dark, Southern-gothic play about going crazy (and other problems) is outsized and filled with 1950's Hollywood-style angst, with Taylor pulling most of the load. A shaky Montgomery Clift is also on screen in the heroic role of a rescuing surgeon and erstwhile psychologist up against Katherine Hepburn (as Violet Venable), an extremely wealthy woman who always gets what she wants, and she wants Catherine Holly's brain medically modified to delete the secrets of what happened to her son Sebastian (who we barely see in the film) on a disastrous vacation trip to Europe.

Colin Clive and Valerie Hobson

Valerie Hobson and Colin Clive

While making Bride of Frankenstein, January 1935


Original Page March 2, 2015

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