Whew, I have not posted this much in eons, maybe when dinosaurs roamed the earth before they perished by smoking cigarettes (Don't believe me? Look up the Gary Larson Far side Cartoon). Anyway, Dell on Movies has a great week, almost ending which features gals on, in or behind film. So, without further adieu, here is my next film with a stellar gal.
PENNY SERENADE-1941 WITH IRENE DUNNE (DEC. 20, 1898-SEPT. 4, 1990
Irene Dunne is looking around her home knowing her marriage has ended with Cary Grant. She looks at the turntable and decides to play some records that remind her of happier times. We flash back to when they first met, marry and find out she is pregnant(when they are living in Japan) before an earthquake hits leading to a miscarriage and her inability to have kids (really, is that such a loss?? I know mothers out there hate me). A little while later, she considers adoption which Cary is not happy about but is soon convinced when they meet the little girl who captures his heart. They are awarded the baby but have no clue how to even change a diaper (quite a funny scene). You wonder how did this amazing family break apart? I am usually not one for melodrama hi-jinks or romance like what is on the Women's Network (It's Christmas romances over there) but this film is raised way above the bar by the acting chops of Grant and Irene Dunne. Both excelled in drama and comedy and it shows in this film that left me with a few tears. I find this film seems to have more maturity than others from the time period but I also believe it was due to showcasing Dunne in one of her best roles. Once again, I have to see more pictures from this amazing lady.
Irene Dunne was a triple threat-excellent in drama, comedy and musicals because of her great operatic soprano voice (even though the Met didn't hire her due to her youth and what they felt was a thin voice). Ms. Dunne was known as the First Lady of Hollywood and, I think much better than Meryl (scratches her ass so give her an Oscar) Streep. Irene Dunne was nominated 5 times but never won an Oscar nor did she ever get an Honorary Oscar..stumps me.
She was known for her poise and graciousness, always friendly and approachable to everyone on the set. She was also known for her stylish and well-dressed manner often dressed by Jean-Louis.
She met her husband, a dentist, and they married in 1927 and stayed happily married until he passed away in 1965. The tabloids and Gossip Columnists of the day (Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons) would try and dig up something but to no avail.
When she was making "A Guy Named Joe", Spencer Tracy tried every way to have his way with Miss. Dunne who would have none of that. Yeah, he was already involved with Katherine Hepburn and, no, he never divorced his wife.
She was an avid Republican who campaigned for Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan. She did state she never liked "Extremism in any case" which is why she disliked Goldwater. "The extreme Rights do as much harm as the extreme Lefts."
She always strove for submissive women to become more independent and to have their own voice (yeas, even in the 1950s).
She became a board member for Technicolour in 1965-the first woman ever elected to the board of directors.
Her last film was in 1952 and, afterwards, she did TV spots until 1962 but she was very active in many charities. She donated $10,000 in 1976 to restore the town fountain of Madison, Indiana where she grew up. She donated her time, money and efforts to the Sister Kenny Foundation, American Cancer Foundation, American Red Cross, She established the African-American school in Los Angeles and gave much to St. John's Hospital where they presented a bust of Irene Dunne for all she did for them. She also helped UNICEF & the World Health Organisation.
Eisenhower made her a delegate to the United nations where she advocated for World Peace as well as refugee-relief programs. She asked the delegation for 21 million to help the Palestinian refugees.
CIMARRON (1931)-First Oscar Nomination
BACK STREET (1932)
THEODORA GOES WILD (1936)-2nd Nomination
THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937)- 3rd Nomination
LOVE AFFAIR (1939)- 4th Nomination remade twice-An Affair to Remember & Sleepless in Seattle
MY FAVOURITE WIFE (1940)
A GUY NAMED JOE (1943)
THE WHITE CLIFF OF DOVER (1944)
ANNA & THE KING OF SIAM (1946)- remade as The King & I
LIFE WITH FATHER (1947)
I REMEMBER MAMA (1948)- 5th Nomination
I hope yesterday's post-op report from your doctor was favorable, dear friend.
I am pleased to join you today and learn more about Irene Dunne, a fine actress whose name I heard often in my youth.
Mothers out there might hate you for your attitudes about children, dearie, but you found a friend in Shady, who likes rugrats about as much as did W.C. Fields. I have not seen Penny Serenade, but I can tell from the film clip that Grant and Dunne have great screen chemistry going.
WHAT??? You're still hatin' on Meryl Streep? C'mon, admit that you shed a few tears when the dingo took her baby! Yessum, I agree that triple-threat talent Irene Dunne, who excelled in drama, comedy and musicals, should have received a Lifetime Achievement Award. There's that name "Spencer Tracy" again! Those pics that went viral, the ones of Spence and me, it's not what it looks like!
I admire Irene Dunne for her charity work and philanthropy, and I'm glad she was willing to draw the line when Barry Goldwater came along. His campaign slogan: "In your heart you know he's right... EXTREME right!"
Thank you for another interesting actress profile, dear friend BB. Have a safe and happy weekend. I'm thinking about you!
Well, you know all went really well with me and I am happy about that. Good ole Dunne was a great actress and loved her charity. I would hope she would not be rabid like the Trumplodytes.Delete
The nice thing about being late yesterday means I am early today for a change. I've never even HEARD of Irene Dunne before. It was nice to learn so much about her. She certainly had principles and class.ReplyDelete
I take it you are not a fan of Meryl (walk in heels down the street and win an Oscar) Streep. I'll go with you on that. I also will go with you on no children. There are those of us who are professionals and would prefer to not be burdened with little ones. Thanks for introducing me to an actress I had never heard of before, dear.
She did have class. I’m glad you heard about her now. Yeah, I think Meryl is really over-rated and most of her Oscars and nominations were not warranted. She is also not a great singer. She hits the notes, much better than me, but no. I love my niece and my friend’s kids but that’s it. When I see a kid that’s well behaved, I like it but most scream and are not disciplined so they can go away...pulease...hahahaaDelete
Thank you! I know you are a great parent so don’t take my words seriously,Delete
I've seen Love Affair-that is a super film. I think I need to add a few of these to my list. Hope you had a great week.ReplyDelete
Love Affair is good and intelligently done.Delete
You got me with this one. I know nothing about Irene Dunne, though I have heard of a few of her films. Thank you for the introduction. And thanks again for helping me have a great blogathon!ReplyDelete
You are so welcome! I enjoyed writing these up. I’m glad you now have heard of this actress.Delete
I like Dunne on screen, she was quite adroit in comedy, fine in drama but her singing voice is not for me. I've seen her musicals but I doubt I'd ever watch any of them again except Roberta and that's strictly for Astaire and Rogers.ReplyDelete
I know she was quite philanthropic and I salute her for that but ever since I read Judy Lewis's (I'm positive you know she was Loretta Young & Clark Gable's love child) autobiography Uncommon Knowledge I've soured on her as a person. According to the book the gracious lady that Irene presented to the world was a front for a distant, chilly woman who would flood you with charm but not really be concerned in anything outside of her own interests much like her best friend, Judy's mother-Loretta.
Be that as it may she did leave behind a legacy of many terrific films. I've managed to see them all, funnily enough the last I was able to track down was her last film-It Grows on Trees. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise, not the quality of her peak pictures but an amusing little comedy with a daffy premise.
My top ten for her:
The Awful Truth
My Favorite Wife
It Grows on Trees
Anna and the King of Siam
When Tomorrow Comes
Theodora Goes Wild
Life with Father
I'm not as fond of Penny Serenade, it's a bit too puerile for me and wouldn't make my top 20. It would however rank far higher than the glugfest that is I Remember Mama and the torturous Cimarron (LOVED the Edna Ferber source novel but the movie is a disaster!)
I do love Penny Serenade which is the opposite from you..hahahaaa but it is one sappy movie that I do love. I have not seen Cimarron but I heard it is dreck. I still Will see it. I do love her work and the poise she gives but I do wonder when she had her hand in so many charities, a strict Republican and a friend of Loretta Young who I can’t stand. You know, I have read that book but it has been years and I have to look at it again and reread about Dunne. You never know about people.Delete
Oh, and I do love her singing but I am so love McDonald and EDDY FILMS. oops hot caps by mistake. Roberta should be seen for Astaire and Rogers and, to be honest, I forgot she and Randolph Scott were in it.Delete
Yeah, Irene Dunne was cool. I can hear her voice.ReplyDelete
I do love her voice.Delete
I'm only familiar with her name, so thank you for this write up!ReplyDelete
I hope you see a couple of her films.Delete