Friday, November 19, 2010

Cinema Betty

I know that most of you will take issue with me over my attitude in regards to Fabian (and not just his name) in Winter of Change. I really thought that for the first half he ought to be tossed off a parapet or something. It is for this reason, and for Cousin Mervyn trying to marry Mary Jane for her money that I recommend:
Suspicion (1941)
Now that we've sorted out the formalities--the will and the wedding-- how's about you have a nice glass of milk?

Where to begin? Cary Grant plays Johnnie (a sort of Fabian/Mervyn swamp thing) and woos a shy English girl--Joan Fontaine (rhymes with Mary Jane). He sees her on a horse (that is not sent off to the vet for wildness and a rolling eye) and asks for her hand. After their marriage, death follows Johnnie (just like Grandpa and Uncle but with more of a manslaughter angle), some really slippery bed linen is bought (seriously, she deserved what she got for putting Cary Grant in that ridiculous bedroom suite), and some old furniture is put in hock.
Like Winter of Change, Suspicion is a movie that could have been great but wasn't and it is more than likely that the hero will poison her in the end.

The Fateful Bargain. Let's see...Petulant invalid who needs to relearn how to walk?:

Heidi (1937)
I'm a bit of a Shirley Temple fan. Sure, you might say that her curls are impossibly perfect but it's hard to argue with an eight year old that can carry a blockbuster on her two precocious feet. Can you name many full-grown stars today who could pull off the triple threat of singing, dancing and acting?


  1. Don't even get me started on Miss Pouty Mouth Tawk-wike-a-baby, I loathe her. The only thing I can stand her in is the Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer when she is all grown up and little less baby-talky. I can not abide baby talk, lisps and stutters are ok but not baby talk.

  2. Oh MY GOODNESS...
    she WAS a baby
    and I thought she did a pretty good job of saying her lines. Golly Gee Whiz.
    Not many adults could have memorized all that and sung and danced, too.
    And she's one of the few child actors that made something of her AFTER life.
    Give this baby talker a little slack.
    So did you like her better in Fort Apache?
    Tongue so firmly in cheek.... BettyMary

  3. I loved Fort Apache--her first husband starred as her love interest and it's a shame those two didn't make it but I think her second marriage took.

    I am not in love with her speaking pattern (it WAS exaggerated for the screen) but weighed against her enormous other talents was just a footnote to me...

  4. Excuse me - EVERY actor exaggerated their accents, lisps, stutters, etc., on screen in those days. They were still transitioning from silent flicks to a certain degree. Anyone acting like that today would be considered a ham of the worst sort.

    I've always been an ST fan. I still have my ST doll, thankyouverymuch! :)

  5. Yep... she was a major talent. Her second marriage did stick and she was an ambassador to Czechoslovakia during Bush 1's administration (I think). She wrote an autobiography and her memory is phenomenal. She remembers what it was like being just over two years old and being in movies. She remembers how she memorized her lines and did the dance moves. Quite amazing the way she conveys it.

    Definitely a brilliant person.