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Monday
May052014

Tyrone Power Centennial. Can We Get a Biopic, Please?

Behold the beauty of young swashbuckler Tyrone Power. Though I'm not really a fan of Zac Efron, may I propose a Power biopic starring the young hunk? Just look at the photos and marvel at how easily Efron could do it, aesthetically that is. And, anyway, all classic stars deserve biopics, if only to reintroduce them to modern audiences.

Today marks the romantic leading man's 100th birthday so we'll celebrate after the jump with a Beauty Break and a few notes on his career. 

Tyrone Power was born in Cincinatti, Ohio 100 years ago this very day and despite being a frail youngster he blossomed into entirely gorgeous athetlic masculinity just in time to become a huge star at 22 with the starring role in Lloyds of London (1936). His career loomed largest in the late 1930s through the entirety of 1940s with several major hits, but he was still a headliner by the late 1950s when he died prematurely at only 44 years of age of a heart attack on the set of the biblical epic Solomon and Sheba - the film was later finished with Yul Brynner in the lead role. 

a classic glamour portrait

Tyrone with screen mama and Oscar winner Alice Brady "In Old Chicago"

Lucky Norma, with Ty nuzzling in "Marie Antoinette"

Tyrone in the sunas the legendary swordsman in "The Mark of Zorro"

A makeup test for the noir "Nightmare Alley"

Previous Tyrone-Related Articles
In Old Chicago (1937) Retrospective and Oscar Trivia 
Black Swan (1942) Tyrone & Maureen O'Hara's steamy swashbuckler coupling

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Reader Comments (15)

I think it's possible I've never seen a Tyrone Power film. Thanks for giving me some ideas...

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSan FranCinema

san fran -- i assume that's why so many people don't talk about him. His films aren't widely seen today but he had so many popular ones. and he so pretty.

May 5, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

I loved him in The Razor's Edge. But basically every leading man is made better by starring with Gene Tierney (speaking of under-discussed actors of the 1940's).

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

Would love to see a Power bio. Zac Efron would be a good physical match, he is trying to stretch and mixes in small more challenging films with the popcorn junk that keeps him viable at the box office but I'm not sure if he could do the heavy lifting the role would require. George Clooney would have been perfect once upon a time.

Ty's life story certainly lends itself to the format. His father died in his arms on a film set from a massive heart attack, affairs with both men and women, including serious ones with Lana Turner and Judy Garland as well as Alice Faye, who's birthday is also today, who admitted that she considered marrying him but he was "to fond of the boys". The accidental death of David Niven's 1st wife at a party at his house from a fall when she mistook a door to the cellar for a closet door. He was a marine flyer during WWII involved in missions to both Iwo Jima and Okinawa. A drinking problem, an all too common occurrence in the 40's and 50's and of course his own sudden death during filming on a film set just like his father. And so pretty!! Sounds like enough material to me.

San FranCinema, like all great stars his filmography is a variable lot but there are some gems.
Worth seeing:

The Rains Came-He's rather ludicrously cast as an Indian but the film is entertaining with good work from Myrna Loy, George Brent and he and was the winner of the first Oscar for Special Effects.
The Mark of Zorro & Blood and Sand-Both with Linda Darnell and both escapist entertainment.
Jesse James-Pure fiction but fun and he is at the peak of his attractiveness
Johnny Apollo-A tough little neo-noir.
The Black Swan-The best of his swashbucklers with Maureen O'Hara
Witness for the Prosecution-An excellent all around film and he's good in it but he doesn't look well.
Nightmare Alley-Power's favorite of his films an excellent but pitch black drama.

One to avoid:
Brigham Young:Frontiersmen-Even with Linda Darnell, Mary Astor and he this was an incredible struggle to get through once.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Yes, the Efron / Power resemblance has been much commented on over the past few years. So much so, I imagine, that Efron himself must be well aware of it by now. Power's own look-alike son, Tyrone Jr., could have played the role years ago. But at this point, Efron's just the right age to recreate Ty in his early prime. I also think he's pretty talented. So a good Efron-led biopic focusing on a particular period in Power's life and career would certainly be welcome.
I still think Power's most perfect performance is in "The Mark of Zorro". But there's lots more to enjoy out there.
Ty at his most comically deft (Day-Time Wife"(1939-with Linda Darnell
at his most irresistibly persuasive -in any of his three films with Alice Faye
or in" Second Fiddle(1939-with Sonja Henie)
(that picture's got a great Irving Berlin score - and Ty even gets to sing a little
-and charmingly - I Poured My Heart into a Song)
at his most dashing - Captain from Castile"(1947 - (this one had Jean Peters and most
1947 audiences head-over-heels in love with him)
and at his most effectively dramatic "Abandon Ship!(1957)
Not to mention treats like "Bllood and Sand", "The Razor's Edge" and "Nightmare Alley"
And yes, Gene Tierney, Linda Darnell and Jean Peters all glowed more brightly in his presence.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKen

Joel6 sold me-that's a movie I want to see. Efron should get on it-he cannot play himbos forever.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJohn T

The Mark of Zorro was one of my favorite movies as a child. So much fun!
Yeah, Tyrone Power was super attractive, but I actually think Linda Darnell took the prize for beauty in that movie. In fact, when Zorro said he and Lolita were going to have fat babies and watch their vineyards grow, I always imagined those babies would be some of the most beautiful in history.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercash

I only first heard about him on Mad Men -- I think someone says Don looks like him.

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBia

I feel like I've seen him in lots of movies and I even have two movie posters of his on the wall in my office (Blood and Sand) and L'Attaque de la Malle-Poste (Attack of the Bad Post?), but I can't really recall any of the movies very clearly. I think they were pretty much not that good.

The one that most stands out, because I recently saw it, was the Nicky Arnstein role in Rose Of Washington Square. I've always felt Alice Faye was quite underrated.

You must see "The Mark of Zorro"- he was one of the great male beauties of classic Hollywood- would the bio film deal with his bi-sexuality- a movie about the trip he took with "best friend" Cesar Romero would be fun..

May 5, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

In Italy his eldest daughter, Romina Power, is quite famous since she has been married for many years with unbearable and yet popular singer...you can say that she helped, in some ways, her father not to be forgotten.

such an handsome man, with so many popular movies and at least one perf nomination-worth (NIGHTMARE ALLEY), even if in a quite gritty film

May 6, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

My foundation just hosted the Power family in Power's hometown of Cincinnati to celebrate his centennial. We were also in Massillon, Ohio, and I will be hosting events in Dekalb, Ohio, Pineville, MO, and Los Angeles.

A biopic would be great, but if we're going to have inaccurate quotes by Alice Faye (she never made that comment) we shouldn't bother. Zac Efron would be perfect.

Power still doesn't get a huge amount of play on TCM, which is part of the problem he has today. If you take out his war service, he only had a 19-year career, and yet he is still considered according to the Quigley data, to be one of the top box office stars of all time, including the modern age. In some years, he had as many as three films in the top ten, and that includes at the end of his career, with The Eddy Duchin Story, and Witness for the Prosecution. Tremendously popular films.

TCM would have one believe certain things about film history that simply were not true. They have definitely attempted over the years to make Power seem less popular than he was. Their less than stellar documentary about 1939 is an excellent case in point. They claimed that Jesse James was the #4 box office; it was #2. And they never mention The Rains Came, which was #4. And Power placed higher than Gable in top ten box office, in the year of Gone with the Wind.

Another little-known fact -- Clark Gable was named King of Hollywood once; Power three times. And he was on more magazine covers than any other male star.

Oh, and the trip he took with Cesar Romero -- there were about 20 other people on that trip - and on that trip, Power slept with Eva Peron.

May 14, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

It was when I watched (enjoyed very much!) the interviews on Youtube, of Zac Efron, that I began to notice both men having so much in common... Zac and Ty. Both incredibly handsome, but the thing that got me .. both have an innate love of a good joke, and are so incredibly likeable! Both Zac and Ty have this natural ability to love and be loved, and to be one of the nicest persons anyone would want to get to know. (my opinion!). Also, it is uncanny but both have identical smiles. The beauty, as well, seems 'Other Worldly' for both men.

Tyrone Power has had his share of issues, as has Zac ... both' human' regardless what Hollywood wishes to convince us of...
One does sometimes come away wondering if there isn't something to the subject of reincarnation. Zac isn't Tyrone's double, but yet there is so much there of 'spirit' that when one is in his company (as much as one can be watching a movie) that, I for one, can't ignore the shades of Tyrone Power in Zac's personality, and his ways. ... and that smile of his! Absolutely POWERFUL. !

Zac Efron SHOULD star in a movie about Tyrone Power's life. How do we get something like that in the works, anyway. ???? He's at the perfect age right now!!!

May 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPidgeonsPie

Well, there is a book out from French Canada called "Ty" about a woman obsessed with Tyrone Power who meets his illegitimate son and then meets someone who looks very much like him. I think it's worth writing to Efron's production company and suggesting that he buy the rights. It sounds like a neat story. Also, why can't he appear in the Judy Garland biopic starring Anne Hathaway? I think it would be nice if someone covered that affair for a change. His address is Ninja Runnin' Wild Productions, 7024 Melrose Place, Suite 420, Los Angeles CA 90038. Urge him to take on a Power project, or leave a message at Zefron.com.

May 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMaria

The best, most complete, candid, personal look at who Tyrone Power was is contained in "Searching for My Father, Tyrone Power" -- the memoir/biography written by his daughter, Romina Power. She spent 25 years interviewing the people who knew him best, doing research with access to information that other writers never had. Originally published in Italy in 1998, it was a bestseller there. The English version was finally published this year to celebrate Tyrone Power's centennial. The updated and expanded collector's quality limited first edition has been available only at select centennial events. To date, those events have been in Park Ridge and Northbrook, IL, and in Cincinnati and Massillon, OH. Upcoming events include Milwaukee, Wilmington, NC, and Los Angeles. The mass market edition will be published later this year. For more information about the book, contact tyronepower.firstedition@gmail.com.

July 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEvelyn

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