The final post for this adventure into Gals and the movies hosted by Dell on Movies. You can write about any gal whether she is/was an actress, director, producer, writer etc... I stuck with actresses and here is another great film by another great actress.
HEAVEN KNOWS, MR. ALLISON-1957 WITH DEBORAH KERR (SEPT. 30, 1921-OCT. 16, 2007)
I first saw this film when I was, maybe 10 years old, and loved it right from that time. I re-watched it only 2 years ago and I still love it. I love her in so many films that it was a close call between this one, "Black Narcissus", "The King and I " and "The Innocents" but I went for a sentimental favourite. The film takes place on a small island during the war when a marine and a nun are left stranded on the island. He is rough inside and outside the edges and she is pristine, ladylike, wary and, well, a nun. They are learning about each other when the Japanese land onto the island and they must hide out. During this time, they get closer and develop a fondness for one another until he gets drunk and states how much he loves her. Let's just say she lets him down by stating is married to God (ughh) and believes in this. When he frightens her making her run out into the rain, she becomes quite ill. Sober and repentant (he is a gentleman always, just so you know), he knows he must try to secure medicine to help her. You can tell the stars got on famously with one another and have a great rapport from watching this film and the others they made together (4 if you count the TV movie, "Reunion At Fairborough"). Once again, Kerr can shine as a woman even behind the nun just like she did in "Black Narcissus". She can show a coolness with emotion, love even when she hates and strength even when afraid. It is an excellent film as I have said about all the movies I talked about this past week. She was nominated for an Oscar for this film-her 4th.
When making this film, Robert Mitchum believed what Deborah Kerr showed on screen-High-bred and patrician, but that was proven wrong. When John Huston (the director) kept telling her to row faster, she broke the oar in half and yelled back to him, "Is that F&$%# fast enough for you?" Mitchum, who was wading in the water, took in a lot of water from laughing so much. From that moment on, they became great friends.
She has, also, never won an Oscar even though she was nominated 6 times which is a bloody shame since she is a much better actress than Meryl ( Oooh, she picked her nose, let's give her an Oscar) Streep. Kerr did receive an Honorary Oscar and got the longest standing ovation that anyone got when they received that specific award.
She was born in Glasgow, Scotland and is known for her delicate beauty with green eyes and red hair plus her fine way of diction and walking (courtesy of her Aunt who helped her get into film). This belied a steely strength that she brought to many film roles.
She did start with Ballet training and was wanting to go professional but was drawn to acting and made it big pretty quickly in Britain.
She had a younger brother, Ted Trimmer, who died in 2004 at 78, because of road rage! Apparently, he went out to mail a letter and where he parked his car, the defendant got out of his car and punched him out. When Ted fell to the ground he hit his head which caused his death. The man was found and sentenced. It could have been about Ted's car slightly clipping the defendant's car or taking the parking spot the defendant thought he should have had.
She worked with Marni Nixon, on 2 occasions, most famously on "The King & I". Marni Nixon was the singing "non-star" to the stars and is only recently becoming known for her contribution to film. Anyway, they became friends while working on the above stated film and enjoyed their rapport with one another.
She was married twice. The first husband couldn't take her stardom and financial success. The second lasted until she died, from Parkinson's and he died 5 weeks later, from cancer.
She had affairs with Michael Powell (famous for his pairing with Emeric Pressburger who were producers, directors and writers for their films), Stewart Granger and Burt Lancaster. Powell and Granger stated they had an affair with her in their autobiographies but it seemed well known that she did carry on an affair with Burt Lancaster while they made "From Here To Eternity".
She was the patron of the National Society of Clean Air and Environmental Protection on Britain from 1992 until her death.
MAJOR BARBARA (1941)
THE DAY WILL DAWN (1942)
THE LIFE & DEATH OF COLONEL BLIMP (1943)
BLACK NARCISSUS (1947)
THE HUCKSTERS (1947)
EDWARD, MY SON (1949)-her first Oscar Nomination
KING SOLOMON'S MINES (1950)
QUO VADIS (1951)
FROM HERE TO ETERNITY (1953)- The famous scene where she and Burt Lancaster make out on the beach comes from this film. Often parodied. 2nd Nomination.
THE PROUD AND THE PROFANE (1956)
THE KING & I (1956)- 3rd Nomination
TEA & SYMPATHY (1956)
AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER (1957)-remake of "Love Affair" and remade, again, as "Sleepless in Seattle"
SEPARATE TABLES (1958)- 5th Nomination
THE SUNDOWNERS (1960)- 6th nomination
THE GRASS IS GREENER (1960)
THE INNOCENTS (1961)
THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA (1964)
PRUDENCE & THE PILL (1968)
I demand that you remove this post and replace it with a Meryl Streep tribute... or a salute to Spanish fireball Charo! :)
But all seriousness aside :)... of all the actresses you have profiled in this series, Deborah Kerr is Shirley my favorite. I love her soul, manner and diction. I have seen Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison two or three times. I appreciate the screen chemistry between Deborah as the nun and my lookalike clone, Bob Mitchum, as an earthy marine who tries to get into the habit. I have also seen From Here To Maternity (correct usage given her antics with Burt on the beach), The King And I, Separate Tables, Sundowners and Night Of The Iguana. As I have Shirley told you in the past, my favorite Deborah Kerr film is An Affair To RemembeR which, as you mentioned, is a remake of the 1939 film Love Affair starring Irene Dunne and Charles Boyer, followed many years later by Sleepless in Seattle. Considered one of the most romantic films of all time, An Affair To Remember is a tear-jerker that I have watched at least half a dozen times over the years beginning in the 50s when I was a boy. I get all verklempt and need an entire box of tissues to get through the scene in which Cary Grant's character catches a glimpse of Deb's character's hidden wheelchair and it finally dawns on him why she ghosted him that day at the Empire State Building. (The day wasn't a total bust. At the observation deck, Grant hooked-up with King Kong and they went bar hopping.)
You did a fine job with this series, Birgit. I learned a lot about these leading ladies and was thoroughly entertained. Enjoy your Sunday and the week ahead, dear friend BB!
Hahahaa..I guess Burt knocked up Deborah? I bet you are Mitchum, Gable and Grant rolled up in one. Koochi, koochi! Hey, afte Grant had an espresso with Kong he was able to hook up with Kerr and see her in the chair..not the electric one. I am glad you enjoyed all my write ups and wishing you well.Delete
I immediately thought of from Here to Eternity when I saw the name Debra Kerr. It's great to see some of her other films listed. I did enjoy reading about these ladies of the past. Thanks for sharing this week!ReplyDelete
Glad you saw that film which is a good one and enjoyed all the actresses I spoke about.Delete
Interesting to read about her and all these movies.ReplyDelete
She is a good actress.Delete
I'm quite fond of The Grass is Greener. The butler having to throw out his book because it's not believable (after all the shenanigans in the movie) cracks me up.ReplyDelete
Yes, I haven’t seen this movie since I was a kid so I need to see it again.Delete
Thank you for featuring my father's favourite actress, whom I was named after. ☺ Deborah Kerr was the epitome of class on screen, so I loved the story about the oar, which makes her all the more endearing. I've seen most of her movies, as well.ReplyDelete
That’s cool that you were named after her. Yes, she was no prude and, I found out, was actually naked for a movie she made in the late 60s.Delete
Another great tribute Birgit!! Loving these! I hope now that you've wrapped them up with all the massive amount of work they entailed is done you'll have time to go back and comment on the previous posts!ReplyDelete
I liked this film, hard not to with Deborah and Bob Mitchum, but not nearly as much as you did. They do have a wonderful chemistry. I think that ladylike image that cling to her like glue fooled many people. She always seemed like a good sport who could adapt to whatever situation she needed to.
She's another actress who I've managed to complete their filmography and I'd say on balance there were more good than bad but like all great stars of the Golden Age there are some real clunkers mixed in with the gold. I think part of why she never won a competitive Oscar is that she was often nominated for the wrong films. The top two that really were errors are Edward, My Son-a chore to sit through and Separate Tables-why was she nominated when every single other performer is more memorable than she is? And yet nothing for what is arguably best work in The Innocents or Black Narcissus.
My top 10 of her films:
The Chalk Garden
From Here to Eternity
The Night of the Iguana
The King and I
An Affair to Remember
Thunder in the East
Eye of the Devil
King Solomon's Mines
I do want to make special mention of The Assam Garden. It was her last film, a lovely meditative drama that would rank in the 11th spot for me.
I’m off to bed Joel, I will return here and I have gone back to the previous posts and responded but still have to finish. Jennifer Jones was so good when she fell out of that elevator in Inferno. She is not one of my favs even though I love Portrait of Jennie but they could have chosen so many other actresses to fill that role, I shall return.Delete
I love her in The Innocents and almost chose this film but it is a spooky one and I wanted other people to gravitate to her. Sounds weird but horror films often don’t appeal to people. I know I was and am totally freaked out by this film especially when you see the woman at the pond and the man in the window. Thinking about it freaks me out but Deborah was so excellent in this role. I also love her in Black Narcissus but I spoke about that film before..more than once so I wanted to choose another fav of mine. You are so lucky to have seem all of her films. She was mousy and bullied by her mom in Separate Tables so of course she will get the nom for that. I am so happy you commented here and on each post. I hope your Thanksgiving went well and now you must watch The Song Of Bernadette..I know you want to..hee hee.Delete
I saw the King and I on TV, but didn't know it was Deborah Kerr. She looks nothing like I remember her from The King and I. I have truly enjoyed this week learning about old female film stars and dissing Streep. It has definitely been a fun week and I am sorry I am in catch up mode.ReplyDelete
She was great in The King and I which was one of my dad’s favourites. I am so happy you enjoyed reading my posts. Have a beaut week!!Delete
I remember this film. It was good. I enjoyed all the information you included. You are a walking encyclopedia when it comes to movies:)ReplyDelete
Hope you are doing well.
Sounds an interesting movie.ReplyDelete