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:)