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.

Monday, 11 February 2013

BAFTAs, Terence, Gina, Rupert, Clark & Coop ...

Musings on a snowy day indoors on the BAFTA awards and other stuff ... it was amusing (for a while anyway) seeing the impossible-to-get-away-from-here Stephen Fry hosting, spouting a beard and commenting on the amount of actors who had come with their beards (cue Clooney, Jackman, Cooper, Bardem, Affleck, Phoenix, all spouting lots of facial hair - is this a new trend? I shaved off my own beard in my late 30s when it was getting a bit too greyish ....) .
One actor not there was veteran Terence Stamp, but he turned up next morning on breakfast tv, to promote this new film SONG FOR MARION (another of the 'movies for and by oldies') which teams him with that other great '60s survivor Vanessa Redgrave. Stamp, always so stylish and clothes conscious, looked smart and dapper, if older, at 74 now.  I did a post on him recently here, (Stamp label), on his role TOBY DAMMIT for Fellini in 1968.  Terence was pleased that another veteran, 85 year old Emmanuelle Riva had won the BAFTA Best Actress award for AMOUR, and I had to agree with his comment that it was a shame that Trintignant "so beautiful when he was young" as Terry said, was also not nominated for that very brave performance.

Also in the news lately, is that other veteran: Gina Lollobrigida, also 85, with those stories about a fake marriage by proxy.  Here, in "The Sunday Times", Gina gave her version of events and is seen posed in front of that 1954 photo I have used here before, of her with Marilyn Monroe, in this photo by Nick Cornish. Marilyn had told her that she Marilyn was the American Gina Lollobrigida! Gina also says Marilyn was "modest, an exceptional woman. I was fond of her because she was really undefended and what happened to her happened becasue she wasn't a strong character. I was strong and I defended myself more". She also referred to the time when Howard Hughes was chasing her, he was the most persistent suitor she ever had.

Meanwhile, also in the news here, is a new food scare with horsemeat, labelled as beef, found in ready-meals, burgers and kebabs. Seemingly to originate from horses in Romania, but now also found in abbatoirs and processing plants here in the UK. Thankfully I do not use those kind of meals ..... but did eat horse once in France, in the '70s, but did not know what it was until afterwards, it did taste sweeter than usual beef though .... here is that marvellous round-up scene from Huston's THE MISFITS where the mustangs were caught and sold for pet-food. Now, its food for humans ...
Meanwhile, good to see the run of THE JUDAS KISS continues until April - we saw this last year, as per review (theatre label), and it has been a success, and is now back in business in London's west end, with career-best notices for Rupert Everett.  His latest book of memoirs "Vanished Years" is also in my pending pile to read, that attracted rave reviews too. My next theatre date is next week, for that well-received revival of PRIVATES ON PARADE, more on that then.

Watching (again) those recent Hitchcock revivals - several titles get screened every week here - got me musing on how timeless Cary Grant and James Stewart appear now, and that is due in large part to their 4 each for Hitchcock, which are always on view out there .... their contemporaries Clark Gable and Gary Cooper, after their great years in the '30s and '40s, do not seem as fortunate; no Hitch's for them and their last films in the '50s are not that noteworthy or seldom revived (apart from THE MISFITS), they both also died on the cusp of the '60s, whereas too Grant and Stewart worked well into the 1960s. 
Coop had a few modest successes after that hit FRIENDLY PERSUASION which I like a lot, from 1956 - some more tough westerns with Anthony Mann's '58 MAN OF THE WEST and Daves' THE HANGING TREE in '59; but I find him all wrong and too old opposite Audrey Hepburn in Wilder's disappointing - for me - LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON, and in that Fox version of O'Hara TEN NORTH FREDERICK in '58. THEY CAME TO CORDURA is a good one, but little seen, for Rossen in 1959 where he and the equally aged Rita Hayworth are touching; then those final two made in England with Michael Anderson: the so-so WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE with Heston and a good English cast, and the dull thriller THE NAKED EDGE with Deborah Kerr in 1961 where he clearly looks unwell. 
Gable fared better: TEACHER'S PET with Doris was a hit in '58, as was IT STARTED IN NAPLES with Sophia in '60 , then he was suddenly aged for his final, THE MISFITS with Monroe and a quality film by Arthur Miller for Huston, still a key movie now. I also like BUT NOT FOR ME a nice comedy, due for a re-watch, with Lilli Palmer and Carroll Baker, in '59. Clearly though for both maybe years of hard living, drink and smoking had taken their toll.

Gable died in 1960 aged 59; Coop in 1961 aged 60, whereas Cary went on until 1986 aged 82,  and Stewart till 1997 aged 89 ...

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