Claire Trevor’s Films Marathon: Feedback

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I’m glad to be back with a new actor’s film marathon: a Claire Trevor’s Marathon. The special thing this time, is that I’ve made this marathon for a blogathon: The Marathon Stars Blogathon (hosted by me at The Wonderful World of Cinema and Crystal at In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood).

I’ve decided to go with Claire Trevor as she has always been a curiosity to me. I absolutely loved her in Born to Kill and, after having seen this one I had only seen her in William Wyler’s Dead End (in which she has a rather small part, but still was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar). Anyway, I had to see more of her work, so this blogathon was the best occasion to. We also celebrated her birthday on March 8, so this will be my way to pay a tribute to her.

During my marathon, I’ve watched a total of 7 Claire Trevor’s films. Well, more 7 3/4, considering that I didn’t have time to finish watching Raw Deal, but I’ll try to make a little come back on this one, according to what I’ve seen so far. And will try, of course, to watch the entire film one day!

My feedback will only focus on Claire Trevor’s performance and character for in each film. Hope you’ll enjoy and, if you’re not too familiar with her, I hope it will make you want to watch some of her films!

Film 1: Key Largo (John Huston, 1948)

Role: Gaye Dawn

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Wasn’t there any best way to start this marathon with what allowed Claire Trevor to win her first (and only…) Oscar? She indeed won the Best Actress in a Supporting role Oscar in 1949 for her brilliant performance in Key Largo. All the actors are great, but we have to admit that she steals the show. The lady she portrays in this film has a strong personality, and this element will often be used for Claire Trevor’s characters. We remember this line when she yells at one of the actors “GIVE HIM A BEER”. Her angry voice tone is very convincing! However, Gaye Dawn has a weaker side due to her alcoholism. We remember this heart breaker scene when she sings “Moaning Low”. She sings completely off key, with no energy. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall feel sorry for her, and so we do: meaning that her emotions are correctly transmitted to us. Gaye Dawn is first known to be on the wrong sad, but she ends up being on the right one when she decides to help Humphrey Bogart. That and her touching performance makes her the real winner of this film.

Film 2: Murder, My Sweet (Edward Dmytryk, 1944)

Role: Helen Grayle/Velma Valento

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Claire Trevor certainly was a queen of Films Noir and this film, along with Born to Kill, proves it greatly. However, I don’t think her character in this one was as much interesting as Helen Brent in Born to Kill. She plays a femme fatale (who lies about her real identity, adding a part of mystery to her character), a mean and cruel one. Claire Trevor knew how to play women with no pity. Velma Valento certainly was one. She doesn’t have that much a big part in this film, but the scenes where she appears are some of the most powerful as she has sort of a malefic aura around her.

Film 3: The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse (Anatole Litvak, 1938)

Role: Jo Keller

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The Amazing Dr. Clitterhouse was to me something very unexpected (in a good way). Just like in Key Largo, Claire Trevor’s co-male stars are Humphrey Bogart and Edward G. Robinson, but, this time, Bogart is the bad one and Robinson is the good one. Note that this film was released ten years before Key Largo. The Claire Trevor of Dr. Clitterhouse is the one we know well: it’s hard to say on which side she is and she uses this mocking tone of voice that is sort of her trademark. She knows how to confront people by looking to them right in the eyes. She wants them to know what she wants. A woman has to shine if she’s alone in a men’s world and Claire Trevor knew perfectly how to. However, she also can be impressed by them and this film proves it.

Film 4: Stagecoach (John Ford, 1939)

Role: Dallas

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This is a film I wanted to see since a long time (I had seen excerpts in class and thought it looked great), so I certainly had to add it to my marathon. Here, Claire Trevor plays a woman who keeps her distances, who is cagey, but who turns out to have a kind heart. She is simply shy. During her trip in the stagecoach, she learns to appreciate those who travels with her. The more she gets to know them, the more she shows her tender side. Although, she doesn’t appreciate everybody, but when she does, it’s perfectly clear. I think this is one of the perfect film to illustrate Claire Trevor’s ability to change emotions. The Dallas from the beginning of the film is very different from the one at the end. This is not only a Western, but also a road movie. In every film genre, but particularly in this one, there needs to have an evolution of the characters. This was a success for Dallas. I also love the scene when she takes care of Lucy’s (Louise Platt) baby. She seems so sweet and so maternal.

Film 5: How to Murder Your Wife (Richard Quine, 1965)

Role: Edna Lampson

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How to Murder Your Wife was one of Claire Trevor’s last films. We had previously seen her in Westerns and Films Noirs, so to see her in a comedy was something completely new for me. Claire Trevor was, of course, older in this film, but still very distinguished. And boy, we happily discover that she could be the perfect Femme Fatale in Films Noir, but also that she certainly knew how to play comedy! Here, Claire Trevor plays a very eccentric woman. She has a supporting role, but, sometimes, those are the best. She is the perfect “annoying wife” and this allows us to see another side of the actress, a wilder one. At this point of her career, Claire Trevor could be considered to be a character actress due to the type of roles that were given to her. Edna is a very cool woman: she’s funny, she dances, she speaks Italian. Claire Trevor still his a strong and brilliant woman in this film, a leader, by defying the misogynist male spirit.

Film 6: Baby Take a Bow (Harry Lachman, 1934)

Role: Kay Ellison

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It was very interesting to see one of Claire Trevor’s later films (How to Murder Your Wife) and then one of her earliest (Baby Take a Bow). Her performance in this one is very different. She plays a more “innocent lady”, a sweet mother (how else could it be in a movie starring Shirley Temple?…). She has a more passive role in this film, but her presence remains appreciated. We are fond of her character has she is a truly good mother who cares for her child. Claire Trevor was still quite young when she starred in this comedy. Even if, by playing a “sweet and innocent” woman, she allowed us to see that she could play different types of roles, I have to admit, I prefer when she plays a strong woman who knows what she wants and defy male’s prejudices towards women.

Film 7: Dark Command (Raoul Walsh, 1940)

Role: Mary McCloud

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I think, among all the films I saw for my marathon, this one revealed my favourite Claire Trevor. Here, she is a real leader. She has a great energy, she knows what she wants, she gives orders to her brother and her father and they obey. RESPECT. When she smiles, it’s an honest one, not a false one like her femmes fatales’ smiles She’s very elegant.  One more time, she and John Wayne are reunited together in a western (also starring Walter Pidgeon). They have a great chemistry together. She intimidates him at first when he tries to talk to her. She’s not easy to approach! She’s somehow insulted when he asks her to marry him, considering that she barely knows him. She’s not interested. But she ends up appreciating him and sees a great friend in him. She also has a good chemistry with Roy Rodgers, who plays her brother in the film. Mary McCloud is a woman who loves her family and his devoted to it. She worries about her brother, but knows how to remain courageous. She’s more emotional when a misfortune happens to a member of her family or someone she loves. When she’s with Walter Pidgeon, she reveals us a calmer side. Claire Trevor still has her little ” mocking side” in this film, but that’s part of her charm.

Film 8: Raw Deal (Anthony Mann, 1948)

Role: Pat Cameron

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As I said, I didn’t have time to see Raw Deal in its entirety, but I saw enough to give you a little feedback on Claire Trevor’s performance. Pat Cameron is nothing but a woman in love. She cares for her boyfriend and won’t let it down (or will she?) She has a rival: another woman (actress). The confrontations between her and this woman adds a tension to the film. Pat will do everything to help her man. She helps him to escape from jail, which is not a small thing. As she often uses to do, the Claire Trevor of Raw Deal is not afraid to say what she thinks.

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Which one did I prefer among these ones? It’s hard to say! I hesitate between Stagecoach and Dark Command (clue: I love westerns), but they all have something special. I think I less appreciated Murder, My Sweet because it confused me at some point, but it remains something interesting to see.

Claire Trevor is certainly is an actress to discover! I’m glad I chose her. So far, I’ve seen 10 1/2 of her films. Born to Kill remains my favourite one of them all, but I hope I’ll see more! I love discovering new actresses, especially underrated ones like Claire Trevor. She was talented, strong and so beautiful!

To read the other entries, I invite you to click on this link:

The Marathon Stars Blogathon

I hope I’ll be able to make another blogathon soon! It has been a while.

P.S: If you are on Facebook, I invite you to join my new group dedicated to this actress: Claire Trevor: A Golden Actress

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William Holden’s Films Marathon: Review & Feedback

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I’m happy to tell you that I have now finished my long William Holden’s films marathon. From Golden Boy to Fedora, I saw a total of 16 of his films. The only one I had seen before was Sunset Boulevard. I try to see new movies in my marathons. My introduction to this marathon was an episode of I Love Lucy where William Holden, as a guest star, plays his own role. This is really one of the funniest I Love Lucy’s episodes I’ve seen so far. Lucy, Ricky, Ethel and Fred are going to Hollywood. Lucy and Ethel can’t wait to see movie stars. In a restaurant, William Holden is sitting at the table next to them and Lucy can’t stop watching it. William Holden, who is tired of having no privacy, decided to teach a lesson to Lucy and does to her what she does to him: watching her without discretion. The result is very funny. But now let’s go into the movies, from 1939 to 1978, almost 40 years of Holden!

William Holden and Lucille Ball (I love Lucy)

Film 1: Golden Boy (Rouben Mamoulian, 1939)

Role: Joe Bonaparte

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It’s the famous Barbara Stanwyck who insisted for William Holden to be part of this film. She was right to give him this chance, because William Holden didn’t really have the chance to prove he could become a great star before this film. See, Golden Boy is William Holden’s third’s film and his first film as a leading actor. His two other first films are probably forgotten, but even if Golden Boy is not his most famous film like Sunset Boulevard or The Bridge on the River Kwai, it’s really this film that shows us, for the first time, a memorable William Holden. Also, William Holden was sometimes called Bill Holden, but another of his nicknames was “Golden Boy”. When she received her honorary Oscar, Barbara Stanwyck thanked her friend William Holden by calling him “his Golden Boy. In this movie, William Holden gives us a performance full of sensibility. He plays the part of Joe Bonaparte, a violinist who wants to start boxing because it’s a better way to have a safe financial future. His father (brilliantly played by Lee J. Cobb) opposes to this decision, because he knows that his son is made for music and not for boxing. He knows that this will make him unhappy. Barbara Stanwyck is the William Holden’s boxing agent (Adolphe Menjou) who, at first, manipulates Joe so he won’t quit the boxing. But after a visit to Joe’s family house, she understands, like Joe’s father, that he is really made for the music. She also insists for him to continue what he really likes. Joe hates boxing, but in another way, it brings him money. So, in this movie full of hard decisions, William Holden plays his part with a lot of emotions and refinement. This scene where he plays violin while closing his eyes is very beautiful; ringingly and visually. It touches me because I used to play violin when I was younger.

Film 2: Our Town ( Sam Wood, 1940)

Role: George Gibbs

Our Town

In this beautiful little film, William Holden plays, one more time, a very touching character. But this time, he seems more innocent than in Golden Boy, less “tough”. However, for his sensibility, this character played by William Holden can still make us think of his character in Golden Boy. In a sad scene where is father explains to him that his mother had to chop wood because he forget to, William Holden, remorseful, cries quietly. This is a sad, but kind of beautiful scene because it doesn’t consider this rule full of nonsense that a man can’t cry.

Film 3: The Remarkable Andrew (Stuart Heisler, 1942)

Role: Andrew Long

The Remarkable Andrew

In this movie, I met a funny Bill Holden! Like Sabrina (that I have seen before), this is a comedy, but William Holden is even more funny here than he is in Sabrina. One more time, as he was very young, he plays a young man full of innocence and imagination. In The Remarkable Andrew, Holden plays the role of Andrew Long, a young accountant who finds a $1240 discrepancy in the city budget. His superior tries to explain this, but Andrew decides to  pursue his little investigation and becomes in danger of being blame himself. Then, the spirit of Andrew Jackson, his idol, visits him and tries to help him with the spirit of some great men of American history. Of course, nobody except Andrew can see them, that’s where the power of imagination is brilliantly used. One of my favourite moments is when Jackson asks Andrew for a drink and her offers him some grape juice. That was so cute.

Film 4: Dear Ruth (William D. Russell, 1947)

Role: Lieutenant William Seacroft

Dear Ruth

This is another comedy with a really funny William Holden. The funniest I must say. Even more funny than his character in The Remarkable Andrew. What’s make Bill funny here, it’s his big passion for a girl he had never met before… Miriam Wilkins (Mona Freeman), a teenage girl who want to help the world and fight for causes has a soldier for a pen pal. However, she used her sister Ruth’s signature in those letters that becomes love letters. Everything will be out of control when this soldier, William Seacroft (William Holden) decides to show up to Ruth’s place during a two-day leave. Ruth (Joan Caulfield) has to pretend, but she will have to tell him the truth sooner or later. William is really in love with her and all he wants is to marry her and be alone with her. Ruth is also engaged to another man, Albert Kummer (Billy De Wolfe). Some of the very funny Bill Holden’s moments in this film is when he kisses his dear Ruth. That’s full of passion, but also full of indiscretion because he does it in front of everybody. Well, as we say, love is blind! This movie was a great surprise and a very nice one to watch.

Film 5: Apartment for Peggy ( George Seaton, 1948)

Role: Jason Taylor

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This film was the first of four movie collaborations between Holden and Seaton. I must admit, as much as this was a beautiful film, I haven’t much to say about William Holden’s performance here. Not necessarily because he had a supporting role, but, even if his performance was right in this film, it wasn’t outstanding neither. Also, let’s admit that, in this film, Edmund Gwen, who plays the main character, steals the show.

Film 6: Miss Grant Takes Richmond (Lloyd Bacon, 1949)

Role: Dick Richmond

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One more time, in this nice and easy comedy, William Holden gives us a good performance, but nothing extraordinary neither. William Holden is an excellent actor, but here, he seems to respect what we told him to do without going out of his limits. Lucille Ball, who plays Dick’s secretary, steals the show here, really. However, I must say that his team work with Mrs Ball seems to have worked pretty well. They were great together and it was nice to see them together in a movie after having watched this delightful I Love Lucy‘s episode.

Film 7: Father Is a Bachelor ( Aby Berlin and Norman Foster, 1950)

Role: Johnny Rutledge

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This is really not William Holden’s most famous film, so I really didn’t know what to expect. Well, let me tell you that I adored it! It’s now my second favourite Holden’s film after Sunset Boulevard. I wish more people will see it because it is a very nice and touching movie. It’s what we call a beautiful family movie also. In this film, you will see William Holden singing! Unfortunately, it is not his real singing voice, but it remains fun to watch and listen. Johnny Rutledge (William Holden) is a carefree vagabond. One day, his employer Professor Mordecai Ford is put in jail so Johnny has to continue his road alone. In a small town in the country, he meets a young girl named May. She lives alone with her four brothers: January, February, March and April. They are orphans. Quickly, the kids, especially May, will find a friend in Johnny, but also a father. Johnny who is, at first, not sure this is a good idea, will see himself taking care of them just like they were his real children. This movie was just so heartwarming. William Holden plays someone with a great heart who will do everything, even steal, for these children. He is very tender behind his tough attitude and it’s fantastic to see him a very kind person who take care of those poor children. He really is a hero in this film.

Film 8 : Sunset Boulevard (Billy Wilder, 1950)

Role: Joe Gillis

William Holden Sunset Boulevard

As I just said, Sunset Boulevard is my favourite William Holden’s film. In this film, he gives us another memorable performance for which he received a Best Actor Oscar’s nomination. I think this movie is just fascinating. I mean, everything is perfectly set. I love the narration in it and I think Holden did it brilliantly. He talks with a good fluidity and express himself very clearly. What I like about his acting in this film is to see how his behaviour is different depending of who he is talking to. With Betty, Joe is not the same person as he is with Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson), the fallen actress. His acting in this film is just fine because it is very thoughtful, nothing is exaggerated. We can feel he knew what he was doing. What is also fantastic about this film is the complicity between Holden and Nancy Olson. In the movie, Holden’s character, Joe Gillis, and Olson character, Betty Schafer begin to write a screenplay together and they just make a great team. Unfortunately, because of Norma’s jealousy, the project doesn’t go very far, well, not for Joe. Believe it or not, this movie is one of the reasons that made me want to study screen writing. It’s a movie about screenwriters, but also a brilliant screenplay, my favourite one I must say. It won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

Film 9 : Born Yesterday (George Cukor, 1950)

Role: Paul Verrall

William Holden and Judy Holliday (Born Yesterday)

This was a very interesting movie and, one more time, William Holden plays the role of someone who care about other people. Billie Dawn (Judy Holliday) is engaged to Harry Brock, a rich man with strange money business. Billie is not very intelligent and Harry takes the occasion and makes her responsible of his maneuvering. Unfortunately for him, Billie’s stupidity becomes very embarrassing for him and his business. So, he decides to ask Paul Verrall (William Holden), a brilliant journalism, to help Billie to be more cultivated. Unfortunately, this will go too far for Harry because Billie will become more intelligent than he would have wished and less docile too. Judy Holliday won the Best Actress Oscar for this role. William Holden was great too and he had a good chemistry with the actress. He plays someone very nice, actually the nicest man in this story.

Film 10: Boots Malone (William Dietrele, 1952)

Role : Boots Malone 

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The movie by itself was ok, but not my favourite one. However, I liked William Holden’s performance in it. He plays the tough guy who also has a great heart. So, because of that, it was a touching movie. Some parts were a little long or repetitive, that’s one of the reasons why I didn’t enjoy the movie too much. I loved the ending tho.

Film 11: The Turning Point (William Dietrele, 1952)

Role: Jerry McKibbon

The Turning Point

Really, I don’t have much to say about this film either. When I watched it, it didn’t really captivate me. Not that it was not a good movie, but it was not the best noir I ever saw either. Holden was good, played his role rightly, but honestly, I remember more Edmond O’Brien in this film. I have seen it since a less long time that Golden Boy, but I remember Golden Boy best as it was a movie that captivated me much more. Sometimes my parents don’t remember a movie just after a week, well, for me it’s rare, but it is the case for this one.

Film 12: Stalag 17 (Billy Wilder, 1953)

Role: Sgt. J.J. Sefton

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What a great performance we have here! Well, so great that William won the Best Actor Oscar for it! This comedy tells the story of a group of American soldiers who are made prisoners in a German World War II prisoner of war camp. Their objective is to escape by many strategies, but they become suspect that one of them is an informant and Sergeant J.J Sefton (William Holden) is the first one to receive the accusations. Of course, as we love Holden, we don’t want him to be guilty! This was a fantastic performance by him because he expresses his character’s emotions rightly, without exaggerate anything. This was really a TRUE performance, I believed in it. One more time, Billy Wilder directed him perfectly. What I also love about this performance, it’s that it’s a good one to see Holden’s versatility. Sometime Sefton is serious, sometime he has a good sense of humour or is deliciously mocker. An interesting fact about this film is that, when Holden received his Oscar, his speech was the shortest speech in Academy Awards history. He simply said “Thank you.” He hurried to much because TV broadcast had a strict cutoff time, but he explained after that he really wanted to thank the people he worked with, especially Billy Wilder.

Film 13: The Proud and Profane (George Seaton, 1956)

Role:  Lt. Col. Colin Black

William Holden and Deborah Kerr (The Proud and Profane)

Honestly, it was strange to see William Holden with a moustache! Well, that doesn’t make him a bad actor of course. In this film, William Holden was very different than in the other movies of him I had seen before. He plays someone that we will not really like at first. However, his character has a good evolution through the event of the film. Here, the public will probably share Deborah Kerr’s emotion depending of Holden’s actions. He is hard to follow, because sometimes he’s a real bastard, but sometimes he is quite lovable. It’s interesting to see that, in the 50’s, Holden really started to play in war movies like this one or Stalag 17 or The Bridge on the River Kwai. The funniest Holden was the Holden of the 40’s. I was also happy to see this film because of Deborah Kerr gives us a brilliant performance. Her team work with Holden was also very interesting.

Film 14: The Devil’s Brigade (Andrew V. McLaglen, 1968)

Role:  Lt. Col. Robert T. Frederick

The Devil's Brigade

As you can see, here I skipped 12 years of William Holden’s films. However, like in The Proud and Profane, this is also a war movie. This film tells the true story of The Devil’s Brigade during the World War II. The American Lieutenant Colonel Robert T. Frederick (Holden) has the mission to form a commando force with both American and Canadian soldiers specialized in mountain combat. The first part of the film is the training and the second part is the combat between the Americans and the Germans in Italy. Really, I didn’t know what to expect from this film because I had never really heard of before. Honestly, I enjoy it. It was interesting to see the difference between the American soldiers and the Canadian soldiers. At the beginning, they don’t really like each other, but they will learn to appreciate each other and be a real team. The music in this film was very good also. About Holden, I liked his performance, because he plays someone very wise. Someone who thinks before doing anything, he is the real war hero of this picture. This is an older Holden, but this performance just makes me realized that this actor was talented at all ages.

Film 15: Breezy (Clint Eastwood, 1973)

Role: Frank Harmon

BreezyWilliam Holden and Clint Eastwood on the set of Breezy

Breezy is a beautiful and very simple film directed by the one and only Clint Eastwood. I had only seen three of the movies he directed (BreezyThe Bridge of Madison County and Mystic River) and really, I can say, without hesitation, that Breezy is my favourite one. Breezy ( Kay Lenz) is a young hippie who fells in love with a forties man played by our William Holden. Her love for him is so true that it makes you forget their age difference. Both actors give us a beautiful performance in this film and they make a beautiful couple together. One of my favourite moments of this film is when they go to the beach together, I also love those lines:

Frank: “Hello my love.”

Breezy: “Hello my life.”

I mean, who would like Holden to tell us “Hello my love” whatever his age?! After seeing three war films with Holden, it was nice to see something different, it was nice to see him as someone more “ordinary”, closer to us. In this film, his relation with a young girl can make us think a little about his relation with Faye Dunaway character in Network.

Film 16: Fedora (Billy Wilder, 1978)

Role: Barry “Dutch” Detweiler

FEDORA

Wow! What a fantastic way to finish my marathon! One more time, this was another brilliant film directed by my second favourite movie director, the incredible Billy Wilder. This was also Holden’s last film under the direction of this movie director. In Fedora, Holden stars as Barry “Dutch” Detweiler, an independent producer and movie writer who learn the death of the famous actress Fedora. Then, he remembers his unsuccessful tentative to bring her back to screen two weeks ago. Meeting Fedora was difficult because she seemed to be trapped by the occupants of the isolated villa on a Greek island where she lives. But soon, Barry will learn the truth about Fedora. Really, what I like about this film is the fact that it’s a movie full of surprises.  I expected nothing about what happen. It’s captivating and you really want to know what will happen, what Barry will discover about Fedora. This movie makes me think a little of Sunset Boulevard as it is about a fallen actress. Holden was brilliant in this film. His performance is strong and it’s interesting to see how he makes his character reacts to the things he learns about Fedora. It was nice to compare my reactions to his reactions.

So, that was it for this famous William Holden’s films marathon. As you can see, I eliminated some films ( The Lion, The Revengers, The Earthling and The Bridges at Toko-Ri), but don’t worry, I had seen The Bridges at Toko-Ri before and I will see the other ones another time. This is really just a question of time because I really have to start another marathon. As you can see, Network, Sabrina, Paris When it Sizzles, The Country Girl and The Bridge on the River Kwai were not on my list. The reason is just that I had seen these films before and I try to see new movies in my marathons. I would have liked to see Picnic and The Wild Bunch, but I didn’t find them, so it will be for another time. Seeing William Holden’s on FIVE decades was very interesting. I realized he was a very versatile actor. Thanks to this marathon, I have now seen a total of 22 William Holden’s films! Really, he was a fantastic actor. To finish this text, I would like to do a top 10 of all the movies I have seen during this marathon. So there it goes:

1- Sunset Boulevard
2- Father is a Bachelor
3- Golden Boy
4- Dear Ruth
5- Breezy
6- Stalag 17
7- Fedora
8- The Remarkable Andrew
9- The Devil’s Brigade
10- Miss Grant Takes Richmond

Next week, the Dolores Hart’s films marathon will REALLY start. I promise!

William Holden

Coming Soon: Dolores Hart’s Films Marathon

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I have almost finished my William Holden’s films marathon (only 5 more to watch) so next week (probably in the middle of the week), I’ll start a third marathon! I choose Dolores Hart, because I haven’t seen any of her movies, but I’ve heard a lot about her and she seems to be a very interesting actress. Dolores Hart ended her cinema’s carrer in 1963 when she was 24. She decided to become a nun and she is now Prioress of the Benedictine Abbey or Regina Laudis in Connecticut. However, she is still active in the world one cinema by being a member of The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Science (AMPAS). So, she is an Oscar-voting member.

For my marathon, I choose 7 Dolores Hart’s films:

1- Loving You

2- Lonelyhearts

3-  King Creole

4- Where the Boys Are

5- Francis of Assisi

6- The Inspector, A.K.A Lisa

7- Come Fly With Me

Can’t wait to start this marathon! 🙂

Dolores Hart

The Wonderful World of Cinema’s next marathon has started!

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After this very nice Olivia de Havilland’s marathon, I have already started a new one: A William Holden’s films marathon. I introduced it with the I Love Lucy’s episode “Hollywood at last” where William Holden plays his own role. Also, the movies that I have already seen are: Golden Boy, Our Town, The Remarkable Andrew and Dear Ruth. The next ones I’ll watch for my marathon are:

– Apartment for Peggy

– Miss Grant Takes Richmond

– Father is a Bachelor

– Born Yesterday

– Sunset Boulevard

– Boots Malone

– The Turning Point

– Stalag 17

– The Proud and Profane

– The Lion

– Devils Brigade

– The Revengers

– Breezy

– Fedora

– The Earthling

– Texas

– The Bridges at Toko-Ri

– Arizona

This list depends of if I have already seen the films or not. Here, the only William Holden’s films I have already seen are The Bridges at Toko-Ri and Sunset Boulevard. I have also seen The Bridge on the River Kwai, The Country Girl, Paris When it Sizzles, Network and Sabrina

This list also depends of the access I have to the films. Unfortunately, that’s why Picnic and The Wild Bunch don’t make the list for the moment.

After having seen all these films, I will write a feedback of my marathon based on William Holden’s performances just like I did with the Olivia de Havilland’s film marathon.

So, I’ll see you soon with that!

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Olivia de Havilland’s Film Marathon

Very recently, I finished a little Olivia de Havilland’s film marathon. Olivia de Havilland is my 12th favourite actress. The first objective of this marathon was to see more of her films, because I liked her very much in the only two movies with her I had seen before the marathon, but I felt like I had to see more. Those two movies were Gone with the Wind and The Heiress, maybe her two most famous movies. Even if I had already seen them before, I included them in my marathon because they are so great. So, my Olivia de Havilland’s film marathon was composed of these movies: Gone With the Wind, My Cousin Rachel, The Dark Mirror, The Proud Rebel, The Heiress, Santa Fe Trail, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Adventures of Robin Hood. Of course, I would have liked to see more, but this list depends on if I had access to the films or not. In this article, you will read a short comment for each movie. These comments are not based on the movies by themselves, but on Olivia de Havilland’s performances.

Film 1: Gone With the Wind (Victor Fleming 1939)

Role : Melanie Hamilton

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Ah! Gone With the Wind! Maybe the most famous film in cinema’s history or, at least, the most famous classic. Some people like it, some others not. Me, I LOVE it. I have seen this movie three times, and each time I like it more and more. To me, the casting of Gone With the Wind was a perfect casting and this include Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Hamilton. Actresses like Jane Gaynor, Fay Wray, Jane Wyman, Anne Shirley, Priscilla Lane, Marsha Hunt, Gloria Stewart and Andrea Leeds were also considered for the part of Melanie Hamilton. Even Joan Fontaine (Olivia de Havilland’s little sister) was considered for the part, but George Cukor (the first director who worked on this film) was not quite convicted, so she suggested him her sister Olivia instead. She would have been great too as she played a lot of “good women” in her films, like Olivia, but she might not have Olivia’s strength for the role. This is one of my favourite Olivia de Havilland’s performances. She played it so well and with so much softness. With this fine interpretation of a wise woman, I’m sure Olivia became a model for many people. In this movie, she is not only Olivia de Havilland playing Melanie Hamilton, she is Melanie Hamilton, the character created by Margaret Mitchell. Of course, the big star of this film was Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, but it’s impossible to forget Olivia de Havilland as she had such a presence in this film.

Film 2: My Cousin Rachel ( Henry Koster, 1952)

Role: Rachel Sangalletti Ashley

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In this movie, Olivia de Havilland was a little older than in Gone With the Wind, but she was still so beautiful. Rachel, the part she plays in the movie, is a very strange person so that was for me a good way to see Olivia’s versatility. Is Rachel mean or kind? That’s very hard to know. The great Olivia’s performance in this film accentuates this ambiguity and that’s one of the main strength of this film. The big question we asked ourselves after seeing this movie is: Did Olivia played a good person or a good liar or a mean person who pretends to be good? All the answer seem possible. Her chemistry with actor Richard Burton was maybe not the best, but it remains convincing.

Film 3: The Dark Mirror (Robert Siodmak, 1946)

Roles: Terry and Ruth Collins

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As she played two characters in this films, twins in fact, that was maybe one of the most interesting part for Olivia de Havilland. Even if I said that My Cousin Rachel was a good movie to see Olivia’s versatility, this one is maybe the best (we’ll from what I’ve seen). One of the twins is sweet, calm and kind and the other one seems to be kind, but she is mean and crazy. That must have been a hard role to play and Olivia de Havilland’s interpretation is very convincing. That seems funny to say, but she interacts perfectly with herself and she is great in both part. It was also interesting to see Olivia in a film Noir and also playing two very psychological characters.

Film 4: The Proud Rebel (Michael Curtiz, 1958)

Role:  Linnett Moore

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One more time, Olivia de Havilland plays  here a very good person. In fact, this Olivia de Havilland’s performance was to me one of her most touching performances. At one point of the film, her acting brought tears in my eyes as she was so wonderful and full of sensibility. The movie by itself is good, but it’s not a big masterpiece neither, but Olivia brings in it a little supplement that makes this movie so nice to watch. She also has a good chemistry with the actor Alan Ladd, the other star of the film. That was Olivia’s last film under the direction of Michael Curtiz.

Film 5: The Heiress (William Wyler, 1949)

Role: Catherine Sloper

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With The Heiress, Olivia de Havilland won her second Oscar (the first one was for To Each His Own). This is my favourite Olivia de Havilland’s performance, and it was a very well-deserved Oscar. Well, I’ve noticed that, when you are under the direction of William Wyler, the chance to win an Oscar are high! Olivia de Havilland, Greer Garson, Teresa Wright, Audrey Hepburn, Barbra Streisand, Fredric Marsh, Charlton Heston, Bette Davis, Walter Brennan, Harold Russell, Burl Ives, Hugh Griffith, and Fay Bainter are all actors that won an Oscar for a William Wyler’s film. That’s a great bunch of people! But let’s focus on the beautiful Olivia de Havilland. In The Heiress, Olivia played the part of Catherine Sloper with so much subtlety. We can see she took this thing very seriously and did everything she could to act perfectly. And that was a success. I talk about subtleties, because there’s a lot of little details in this acting and in this character. It’s very interesting to see how Olivia shows us the evolution of Catherine Sloper. At the beginning of the film, Catherine is a shy, kind and also a little weak lady who is desperately in love with the handsome Morris Townsend, but after she starts to believe that Morris really wants to marry her for her money, she changes completely. She becomes someone much more strong and now more independent. Even her little soft and shy voice becomes more deep and more serious. Playing the part of Catherine Sloper was probably not easy, and Olivia de Havilland done it very well.

Film 6: Santa Fe Trail (Michael Curtiz 1940)

Role: Kit Carson Holliday

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This is the first Olivia de Havilland-Errol Flynn’s movie that I saw. To be honest, as Olivia’s part was very small, I don’t have much to say about it, but it stays a good performance. She was convincing, adorable and her chemistry with Errol Flynn was great. What I like the most about this performance, his that she played someone with a great sense of humour and, for me, the sense of humour is the best quality someone can have. This film is certainly not a comedy, but there was some funny scenes and, most of the time, they were brilliantly leads by Olivia de Havilland. She plays in this film someone very lively and her performance is convincing. But was this a role made for Olivia de Havilland and only Olivia de Havilland like in The Heiress? Well, as much as her interpretation was great, I agree that other actresses would have been good for the role too.

Film 7: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (William Dietrele and Max Reindhart, 1935)

Role: Hermia

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From all the movies of my marathon, this one is, I must admit, the one that I liked the least. BUT, I must admit too that the actors’ performances were STUNNING. To me, the best one was James Cagney’s performance, but Olivia de Havilland’s one was very great too. That was a good way for her to start a career as it was only her 3rd film. She is quite convincing and we can see she was on the good way to become one of Hollywood’s greatest star. What I like about this film, is that she was so young. In fact, she was my age (19), so it becomes a way for me to identify myself to her (a little). Olivia also played this role on stage.

Film 8 (and the last one): The Adventures of Robin Hood (Michael Curtiz and William Keighley, 1938)

Role: Lady Marian

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As it is a very good movie, that was a good way for me to end my little Olivia de Havilland’s film marathon. As she played here, and brilliantly,  someone with a big heart, we can see she was on the good way to play the part of Melanie Hamilton in Gone With the Wind, another character with a great heart. Even if she was great in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, this is for me one of her first best performances. As I said before, Olivia always knew how to played the good women and, in this film, she made it very well one more time. Her chemistry with Errol Flynn was also one of the best.

Well, that’s it. As you can see, these are 8th very different Olivia de Havilland’s films. For those who haven’t seen any of her movies, I hope it convinced you to see some! 🙂 I have now started a William Holden’s Films Marathon so you can expect a similar article for it.