I am so trying to learn this new blogging format and I just screwed up my previous posts. Not sure how to get my newest back. Anyway, over at Wandering Through The Shelves, you get to choose a great film that was the final film an actor made. Once I got to thinking about this, quite a few films came to my mind including the crap films some actors made and was their last. Anyway, here are my 3 that I have chosen...
1. TO BE OR NOT TO BE-1942
Carole Lombard was beautiful, sassy, had a mouth of a hardened sailor and every person loved her. She loved practical jokes and could put people in their place with some wise crack or gesture. Once, when Alfred Hitchcock compared actor’s to cattle, he came onto the set the next day (for Mr. & Mrs. Smith) and found cows on the set instead of the actors. She was married to Clark Gable and they did both love each other. She was selling war bonds and wanted to get home quicker so she decided to take a plane. With her mom and others in tow, they took off only to crash into Tablerock mountain..there were no survivors. This film came out after her death and she never looked more stunning and gave one of her best performances as the wife of Jack Benny. Carole and Jack head a group of Polish actors in 1939 Poland when the Nazi invasion becomes all to real. The young air pilot, in love with Maria, goes to fight the Nazis and the acting troupe help the resistance movement. Even though the word “Jew” or “Jewish” is not said, it is heavily implied and this dark comedy has very deep overtones, a great comedy that I need to revisit.
2. THE MISFITS-1961
This is actually the last film for both, Clark Gable, and Marilyn Monroe who both died too young. This film was written by Arthur Miller for his wife, Monroe although by now, their marriage was crumbling. This film is more of a character study on the 4 main principles, recently divorced Monroe who meets Gable( his first name in the film is Gaylord, “Gay”..poor guy) and they go out to a home that his buddy, Eli Wallach has built. When they go to a rodeo, they meet up with Montgomery Clift who becomes friends with Monroe. Wallach and Gable decide to capture Mustangs and sell them for dog food (disgusting!) and when Monroe witnesses, she starts fighting them and yelling at them calling them killers...one of Monroe’s best scenes. This film is known for the huge difficulties and it unfairly marks Monroe as a reason for Gable’s death just 12 days after filming completed. Monroe was difficult during the making of this film often not showing up for filming and always very, very late. She could not remember her lines and was heavy into booze and pills. Clift had his own demons as well and John Huston, the director, was drinking heavily, gambling, falling asleep on set and just not keeping hold of this film. Gable, a consummate professional, was affected by this but he also wanted to do his own stunts including being dragged by a horse in 108 F heat. He knew he had heart problems but was ignoring what the doctors were telling him. He died of a heart attack shortly before his 60th birthday and before the birth of his son. Monroe was filming another film before she was fired and died u Dee mysterious circumstance in 1963. Even though she was a mess, I believe she was murdered. Anywho, this is an excellent film. And worthy a watch.
3. THE SHOOTIST-1976
John Wayne, one of my favourite actors, played an aging gunfighter coming into town to get a second diagnosis from a friend who is a doctor, played by James Stewart. He has cancer and it is throughout his body and has not much time left. Wayne just wants to be left alone to live out what’s left of his life but his reputation will not allow that to happen. He resides at a boarding house run by Lauren Bacall who dislikes what he is but slowly shows her gentler side to this man. Her son, played by Ron Howard, idolizes this man and wants to know all about his exploits but Wayne just wants peace. He does end up friends with this young man but does not want this boy to glorify what Wayne’s life was. This is a deeply moving, sad film brilliantly acted by Wayne who knew this was his swan song since he was battling cancer and died from it in 1979. Despite the sadness, it’s a film worth seeing and I hope you do.
Which films would you choose?