Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

People We Like: Stewart Granger

Back in the '70s the London National Film Theatre ran an occasional series "People We Like" being mini-retrospectives on varied performers, which was always a treat. Here is their Stewart Granger one. [click images to enlarge]

Stewart was of course marvellous in those '40s Gainsborough melodramas like MADONNA OF THE SEVEN MOONS (you need a certain elan to carry off that ritzy harlequin costume...) and CARAVAN - there is a terrific 12 disk boxset of these '40s roles. The swooning romanticism of SARABAND FOR DEAD LOVERS with Joan Greenwood in 1948 is also a choice item. Then of course after the move to Hollywood with wife Jean Simmons came those MGM staples like SCARAMOUCHE, THE PRISONER OF ZENDA, KING SOLOMON'S MINES and the like, with westerns like THE LAST HUNT and the great MOONFLEET for Fritz Lang. I like him in the routine programmer GREEN FIRE (where Grace Kelly is very tailored down in the South American jungle) and Cukor's BHOWANI JUNCTION with Ava - he, Ava and Niven must have had fun making the dreary LITTLE HUT in '57. He and Simmons both play against type in the thriller FOOTSTEPS IN THE FOG. Granger always disparaged his work but must have provided as much fun as Flynn or Power at their peak. He and Wayne guy their images and have a lot of fun in Hathaway's NORTH TO ALASKA, and he hit the Euro trail in the '60s, SODOM AND GOMORRAH being particuarly choice. He and pal Michael Wilding also had that feud with Hedda (or was it Louella?) - his biography "Sparks Fly Upward" is as good as any by Niven. They just don't make them like that anymore.

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