NOW PLAYING

reviewed - out in theaters

review index

HOT TOPICS


Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R

 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

Powered by Squarespace
Comment Fun

COMMENT DU JOUR
Adapting "Guardians" -a screenwriting interview

I especially like that part about how boundaries can be a good thing. Knowing where the plot points have to hit always stops me from wandering aimlessly in my writing. Some may see those thing as cookie cutter but I've always found them inspiring.❞ -Daniel

 

Beauty vs. Beast

Turner & Hooch - 25th anniversary!

vote! 

Keep TFE Strong

Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

For those who can't commit to a dime a day, consider a one time donation for an article or a series you are glad you didn't have to live without.

What'cha Looking For?
Twitter Feed
Subscribe
« Pass The Rubber | Main | Review: Me and You »
Friday
Jun272014

Introducing... The Supporting Actress Nominees of 1964

You've met the panelists and this Monday (June 30th) the Smackdown arrives. So, let's meet the characters we'll be discussing.

As is our Smackdown tradition we begin by showing you how the performances begin. Do their introductions scream "shower me with gold statues!"? Do the filmmakers prepare us for what's ahead? Here's how the five nominees we'll be discussing are introduced (in the order of how quickly they arrive in their movies). Do any of these introductions make you want to see the movie?

THE INTRODUCTIONS

-Dr. Shannon
-Miss Fellowes 

7 minutes in. Meet "Judith Fellowes" (Grayson Hall in The Night of the Iguana)
After a prologue where Dr Shannon (Richard Burton) appears to have some sort of loss of faith mental breakdown in a church where he preaches, we see that he's now giving tours of Mexico. Enter Judith Fellowes with a gaggle of old women, immediately questioning his fees. Her gaze is direct (he doesn't return it) and they enter the bus where she leads her women in a sing-along. Dr Shannon doesn't appear to like her. At all. More friction is surely ahead on their travels.

The Lions are calling for a Christian."

9½ minutes in. Meet "Mrs. St. Maugham" (Dame Edith Evans in The Chalk Garden)
The Chalk Garden makes by far the biggest deal of its venerated supporting actress introduction. We literally spend the first long scene of the movie waiting for Dame Edith to appear. Our protagonist Miss Madrigal (Deborah Kerr) has arrived to Mrs St Maugham's enormous home to be interviewed for a governess position to her tempestuous granddaughter (Hayley Mills). Regarding the plot setup - StinkyLulu aptly tweeted...

 

 


Anyway... The bell offscreen rings and the butler says to Miss Madrigal "The lions are calling for a Christian" (funny). Cut to: Mrs. St. Maugham writing at her desk, pretending to be oblivious/surprised that someone has entered her chamber even though she rang the bell for them. The immediate impression: She likes to rigidly control every situation, she thinks quite highly of herself, and she's probably as difficult to deal with as her granddaughter.

[non subtitled shouting.]

16½ minutes in. Meet "Madame Hortense" (Lila Kedrova, Zorba the Greek
The introduction of this old widowed hotelier, which only shows your hands, gives you nothing of her character or personality except perhaps "excitability". But it's already signalling her importance to the plot because the camera shifts quickly to her point of view, the first time we've gone outside the reality of the two leading men. She watches them arrive in her village through a telescope and shouts out an unsubtitled bit of dialogue to a villager below her window. We'll get a proper very lengthy introduction shortly thereafter.

Sure had yourself a good time today, didn't you Missy?

19½ minutes in. Meet "Velma Cruthers" (Agnes Moorehead, Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte)
After a grisly 1920s prologue wherein teenage Charlotte's married lover is murdered with a meat cleaver (presumably by Charlotte) we jump ahead 40 years and old/crazy Charlotte (Bette Davis) is terrorizing city laborers who want to tear down her house. Cut to: Velma in the shadows of the mansion hearing the ruckus and running to the veranda. Who is this? This instant familiarity, teasing Charlotte about her temper with admonishment and comfort, signals her as the person who runs things... including Charlotte. Her outfit signals that she's the housekeeper. What's with the lurking and placating ... concern for or manipulation of her volatile employer?

Henry, what a disagreeable surprise!

1 hr and 24 minutes in. Meet "Mrs. Higgins" (Gladys Cooper, My Fair Lady)
Just after the intermission of this super-sized musical, at the glorious Ascot Gavotte setpiece, we meet Henry's mother. She's given a full star's entrance, costumed in a different color than all other woman in the scene, back to camera so she can turn into frame for her reveal. Her face immediately falls and we see where Professor Higgins got his rude streak from. Like mother, like son.

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (14)

Is this the right place to complain about Glynis Johns NOT being nominated?!!

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

Peggy Sue - I think it is. I will complain as well. I think Glynis should have been nominated instead of Gladys Cooper.

'Cast off the shackles of yesterday.' What great advice!

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRobMiles

Tennessee Williams, cabana boys, and AVA GARDNER! What more could you possibly want in a film?

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Yes to Glynis! Yes to Ava! They should have taken the places of Gladys, much as I love her and the eventual winner Lila Kedrova.

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I would place Gardner in Leading, though. But yes, she definitely deserved to be nominated! BAFTA was always more generous with Ava than AMPAS... Sigh.

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

Oh, Glynis. The negligent parent as genial, earnest eccentric – preoccupied but never dumb. Who else could open the film with the extraneous and entirely baffling-to-most-kids "Sister Suffragette", and make it work? It wasn't until years later that I realized her big song actually supports “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”; from Jane and Michael’s perspective, Mr. and Mrs. Banks already seem like they speak vaguely important nonsense all the time, but with Poppins they’ve found an adult who admits when she’s bluffing!

June 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

"1 hr and 24 minutes in"

if you can watch a whole other movie before a character shows up i'd suggest they're extraneous

#scriptnotes

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Yay for Glynis John fans. i can sometimes handle in retrospect when a great performance isn't nominated because i'm like "well, these other movies are what they liked this year"... but when that happens, a movie they otherwise love and they ignore one of its best elements? confusing.

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@par-In Gladys Cooper's case I'd agree with you but I think there are exceptions. Vanessa Redgrave in Atonement had that one scene at almost the end of the film and her performance was a so finely observed I had hoped she would be nominated, and she was in the conversation that year. True she was completing the arch of the character played so well by two other actresses but it was she who really brought it home.

The other example I can think of is Carolyn Jones in The Bachelor Party, another one scene wonder who was actually nominated. She showed up late in the relatively short film and totally stole the picture, admittedly not hard to do with that nihilistic drag of a film but her performance is so delicately beautiful she deserved the recognition.

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Nathaniel-I think Hollywood's attitude towards Glynis Johns was confusing on the whole. A bewitching and unique talent that the powers that be weren't able to figure out how to cast properly most of the time resulting in her best work being done in British films that didn't get the wide audience that would have made her a bigger star.

She was an enchanting comedienne and like her closest counterpart Kay Kendall romantic comedy should have been her niche but she was frequently cast in drama with a plum comic role, Miranda, Mad About Men, The Court Jester, Mary Poppins, only coming along infrequently. Perhaps she was too competent at all genres, she's very moving in the dramatic segment "Gigolo and Gigolette" of the film Encore and as the doomed mother in All Mine to Give, and like Myrna Loy and Ida Lupino was taken for granted.

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

joel6 - i appreciate that insight because she's just woefully underappreciated. STILL.

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

On another matter:
Happy Ramadhan Month to my fellow moslems all around the world.
May we all be fasting happily!

June 28, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercraver

Here are my best supporting actresses for 1964:

1. Edith Evans in „THE CHALK GARDEN“ (Great Britain)
2. Françoise Lugagne in „LE JOURNAL D'UNE FEMME DE CHAMBRE“ (France)
3. Lila Kedrova in „ALEXIS ZORBAS“ (Greece)
4. Grayson Hall in „THE NIGHT OF THE IGUANA“ (USA)
5. Irene Papas in „ALEXIS ZORBAS“ (Great Britain)

6. Lola Albright in „LES FÉLINS“ (France)
7. Ann Sothern in „THE BEST MAN“ (USA)
8. Angela Lansbury in „DEAR HEART“ (USA)
9. Jitsuko Yoshimura in „ONIBABA“ (Japan)
10. Agnes Moorehead in „HUSH … HUSH, SWEET CHARLOTTE“ (USA)

10. Jessica Walter in „LILITH“ (USA)
11. Anastasija Vertinskaja in „GAMLET“ (Russia)
12. Yûko Kusunoki in „AKAI SATSUI“ (Japan)
13. Eva Dahlbeck in „ÄLSKANDE PAR“ (Sweden)
14. Louise Latham in „MARNIE“ (USA)

15. Suzanne Flon in „THE TRAIN“ (USA)
16. Nelly Benedetti in „LA PEAU DOUCE“ (France)
17. Anne Meacham in „LILITH“ (USA)
18. Margaret Leighton in „THE BEST MAN“ (USA)
19. Glynis Johns in „MARY POPPINS“ (USA)

21. Ava Gardner in „SEVEN DAYS IN MAY“ (USA)
22. Jeanne Moreau in „THE TRAIN“ (USA)
23. Kim Hunter in „LILITH“ (USA)
24. Eva Dahlbeck in „FÖR ATT INTE TALA OM ALLA DESSA KVINNOR“ (Sweden)
25. Angela Lansbury in „THE WORLD OF HENRY ORIENT“ (USA)

26. Harriet Andersson in „FÖR ATT INTE TALA OM ALLA DESSA KVINNOR“ (Sweden)
27. Bibi Andersson in „FÖR ATT INTE TALA OM ALLA DESSA KVINNOR“ (Sweden)
28. Anne Vernon in „LES PARABLUIES DE CHERBOURG“ (France)
29. Gladys Cooper in „MY FAIR LADY“ (USA)
30. Lynn Redgrave in „GIRL WITH GREEN EYES“ (Great Britain)

31. Mona Washbourne in „NIGHT MUST FALL“ (Great Britain)
32. Diane Baker in „MARNIE“ (USA)
33. Xenia Valderi in „IL DESERTO ROSSO“ (Italy)
34. Pamela Brown in „BECKET“ (Great Britain)
35. Maggie Smith in „THE PUMPKIN EATER“ (Great Britain)

36. Martita Hunt in „BECKET“ (Great Britain)
37. Anita Björk in „ÄLSKANDE PAR“ (Sweden)
38. Keiko Kishi in „KAIDAN“ (Japan)
39. Elizabeth Ashley in „THE CARPETBAGGERS“ (USA)
40. Larissa Kadotschnikowa in „TINI ZABUTYKH PREDKIV“ (Russia)

41. Tatjana Bestajewa in „TINI ZABUTYKH PREDKIV“ (Russia)

June 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthomas

Thomas - thorough. Why didn't you vote on the smackdown?

June 29, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Post:
 
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>