Monday, August 25, 2014

First of 3 Film Greats Who Recently Passed-James Garner


James Garner- April 7, 1928 to July 19, 2014

This is not like my A to Z challenge but a list of my favourite films from 3 great stars who recently passed away. This took me a while to think about this- should I write about this and what would I say, if anything, and would it sound the least bit interesting since I do not promote myself as a film critic but a lover of films. James Garner is one of my favourites of recent film actors( to me he is a newer star even though he acted in the 1950's onward). He grew up with an abusive step-mother, he was a Korean war Vet and he married the love of his life 2 weeks after meeting her (stayed married too). He also was fond of smoking pot as it helped ease his pain in his knees. He had no problem speaking his mind and according to Julie Andrews and Sally Field was the best kisser they ever experienced (hopefully that excludes their husbands). Anyway here are my 10 favourite films of James Garner.

10. Maverick (1994)- Of course he was the original Maverick along with Jack Kelly who played his brother Bart but I am talking about the Mel Gibson film. This is not a mind bending film that is Oscar worthy but it is a fun movie to watch and I can watch this over and over again. James Garner brings class to this film. If only there could have been a Rockford Files movie but the main star would have had to have been James Garner himself.

9. Move Over, Darling ( 1963)- This was a fun film with Doris Day. Actually he made another film with her called "The Thrill Of It All". I like both so either is actually good for this spot. This was originally with Marilyn Monroe and Dean Martin but when she died, he dropped out so it went to these 2 greats. I love the basic romp and typical early '60's style to it even though, in the other film I mentioned, Doris decides to stay a homemaker...ichhhhh. If you can rent it or watch it on Netflix you will enjoy this merriment.

8. My Fellow Americans (1996) - This co-stars Jack Lemmon and they should have made more films together. Again it is not a film classic but it is a lot of fun. 2 ex-presidents one Democrat (Lemmon) and one Republican (Garner who never wanted to play a Republican:))  and they are marked for assassination. Let the hijinks commence and it is enjoyable once again. In lesser hands it would not be fun but these 2 give it a touch of class.

7. Murphy's Romance (1985) - Sally Field stars in this film with James Garner who received his only Oscar nomination with this film. It is a comedy with depth. It is about love and age and so much more. It is worth checking out for sure besides Sally Field couldn't get enough of his kisses. She said it made her knees weak.

6. Support Your Local Sheriff ( 1969)- Now let's talk comedy and hijinks with a great cast of character actors like Harry Morgan (M.A.S.H. fame), Jack Elam, Joan Hackett, Bruce Dern and Walter Brennan. A comedy western in the best sense which brings us to...

5. Support Your Local Gunfighter (1971)- Yup same hijinks with a similar cast except for Suzanne Pleshette as the love interest and Chuck Connors as the bad guy. Great bar fight, Fun, Fun, Fun and you know the cast must have had fun making this film.

4. The Notebook ( 2004)- You know I never wanted to see this film because I thought it was all about Ryan Reynolds and Rachel McAdams and their soppy romance. I also dislike hype which made me not want to see the movie all the more. One day this past year, I wasn't well and it was on TV so I decided to finally watch it and I was glad I did. The reason-The excellent heart-breaking performances of James Garner and Gena Rowlands.  I had no idea how much screen time they had and they, to me, made the film. The power of love and pain was shown in the simple looks and gestures of these 2 great actors.

3. Victor/Victoria (1982)- This is an all time great comedy and, yes, there is music in this but it goes with the film and brilliantly I might add. Julie Andrews at one of her best teamed a second time with James Garner. Robert Preston as an aging queen who helps Julie Andrews be a gay man in Gay Paris. Lesley Ann Warren almost steals the film and Alex Karras is great as James Garner's bodyguard. A women pretending to be a man pretending to be a woman in the early 1930's with gangsters and mayhem afoot. A remake of the German film Viktor/Viktoria starring Renate Mueller but a great remake.

2. The Great Escape (1963)- All star cast with Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Richard Attenborough and Donald Pleasance (who did survive a POW camp in WW2). It is a rousing war film that, of course, is not accurate in how the 50 died (sorry plot spoiler) but it is accurate in how they dug the tunnels, forged documents, made outfits all to escape. James Garner plays the man who can get all the stuff ( the scrounger). When they do escape it is thrilling and the motorcycle chase is fun to watch.

1. The Americanization of Emily (1964)- This is James Garner's favourite film and he loved working with Julie Andrews. He plays a coward who does not want to go to war but due to the undermining of authority figures he gets in deep and it does play on the social conscience of war and what it means. It is fun to note that Julie Andrews said when they had a kissing scene, he kissed so well that when she walked away her legs gave out and they had to retake the scene...which she didn't mind.

So this is my list of James Garner's films-my favourites. Do you have any? Do you wish to include any in your comments? Let me know. Oh and to all the ladies...isn't it a shame we never had the chance to kiss this man:)

40 comments:

  1. I enjoyed the Support Your series. And Maverick was really funny. Will always remember him for The Rockford Files.

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    1. The Rockford Files was great. I agree-love the 2 films Support your....

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  2. I really loved him in The Notebook! What a gifted actor he was.

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  3. How interesting with him and kissing :) I also like that he stayed married after such a short romance. I did like him in Maverick; haven't seen too many of the other movies you listed, but might have to look them up. I did enjoy his TV show with the Rockford Files.

    betty

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    1. Rockford Files was great even though he always seemed to get beaten up:) Hope you get to see a couple of his films:)

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    1. One of my favs...well you already know that:)

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  5. What a great actor! I loved him in The Notebook. He will be missed.

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  6. What an interesting post, Birgit! Always fun to read about movies on your blog. From your list, I have seen some of Garner's movies (Victor/Victoria, The Notebook, and perhaps Murphy's Romance too- but I can't seem to remember. Maybe I should watch it again. And I think I would also enjoy My Fellow Americans because I like Jack Lemmon. Thanks for the recommendations!

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    1. I enjoy My Fellow Americans-it isa fun and funny so i hope you enjoy it as well

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  7. James Garner was the real heartthrob when I was younger. I enjoyed his TV series, The Rockford Files. Thank you for this look back!

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    1. The Rockford Files was so great-step above the usual

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  8. You're a movie aficionado. That's good enough. We have too many critics.

    I love both Support Your Local Sheriff and Victor/Victoria. I think the only one I haven't seen is The Great Escape. So sad to hear he passed.

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    1. They are great and, if you like war films and action ones-The Great Escape is a great film-more depth than most and it is a true story

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  9. I love that you're doing this. The first movie I saw him in was Murphy's Romance with Sally Field. I remember thinking he was handsome "for an old guy." Everyone seemed old when I was a teenager!

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    1. Oh my heart went pitter patter for him and I dreamt that I was older.

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  10. Knowing now about him being a great kisser, I'd stand in line. I've 7 out of your 10. I'm going to put "My Fellow Americans" in our Netflix queue when I leave here. Not sure yet if I want to see the "Notebook" or "Americanization of Emily", but you do make them both sound good. I liked "Murphy's Law" and "Maverick" the most on your list and wouldn't mind seeing them again.

    I always enjoy reading your film posts. They're fun.

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    1. You have to see them all:) They are so much fun and The Notebook is so sweet and sad, I just had to sit through the young people to get to the place I wanted to see which were the older couple but you can't have one without the other

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  11. I didn't watch the Notebook. But I really love his earlier works - esp the one with Julie Andrews...and Rockford Files. Wonderful post, Birgit. Thanks for sharing.
    Have a lovely week!
    hugs, Asha

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    1. The Rockford Files rock:) His works are great-Thanks:)

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  12. That's all I'm thinking about - his (former) kissability. Those lips do look tasty - though not likely still the case. As others have mentioned, I mainly associate him with the Rockford Files. I wasn't even aware that he's done so many great films.

    Take care, BB.

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    1. he did some wonderful films. Yeah I don;t think he would be so kissable now unless you are into zombie lips. Oh he was a great star so hope you check out some movies:)

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  13. James Garner was my mom's favorite actor. We've always enjoyed teasing her about her crush on him. I haven't seen most of his movies and mostly associated him with The Rockford Files, but I do remember seeing Murphy's Romance and loved him in that.
    He always seemed like such a down-to-earth person in spite of his stardom.

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    1. yes he was down to earth and when the Rockford Files was off due to him having knee surgery he made sure everyone was paid from the grips to the hairdressers to the actors. I am certain your mom's knees would have gone weak if he had kissed her:)

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  14. I AM glad you decided to post this series! I loved your A to Z Challenge; it was so much fun to learn about all of those classic stars. Now I get to learn more (the miracle that he stayed married and the thrill of kissing him!) as well as add a bunch of films to my To Watch list.

    I loved him in Maverick. He IS that movie for movie; I've never loved Mel Gibson, but James Garner is so lovely in it that I could watch him over and over again :)

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    1. Yes these films are great and fun! To me James Garner made the movie Maverick!

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  15. I awarded you a little something over at my blog: http://lawsofgravity.blogspot.com/2014/08/liebster-award-part-2.html

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  16. I will miss this fine actor. Thank you for this tribute to him and his films. Thanks too for your kind words of support on my blog. I agree with you and it seems to me that the tragic accident is worse for Marli's sister than for Marli. I believe that Marli is now with Jesus and in a better place. Her poor sister will probably never get over running over her even though it was just an accident. It is all so sad. Hugs, Lura

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    1. I hope, if she continues to feel bad, that she seeks counselling because this was just a bad accident that I am certain her sister would forgive

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  17. I am so behind with my blog reading, so almost missed this! Like everyone above I'm intrigued by the kissing. Wonder what his secret was??? And the Rockford Files were a big favourite at home when I was young. I'll be dreaming of kissing Kames Garner tonight!

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    1. Oh yes, would love to know the secret or at least to have experienced it so I know what they were talking about...Kissing is such a fun thing to do

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  18. Like most of the world, I loved James Garner. I don't think I ever saw him in anything I didn't enjoy.

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  19. Jim Garner was a rather underrated actor. Sure, people like the guy, but you rarely see the guy in any sort of greatest actors list...and he should be in there, dammit!! I especially love Support Your Local Sheriff and Gunfighter.

    Great list. See ya 'round the web.

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    1. He is under-rated and one great actor

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  20. One of our more underrated actors, I feel. Hadn't realized until now that both he and Lauren Bacall had appeared together in a film, My Fellow Americans.

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    1. That's true! He should be better known

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