abstew here. Dame Judi Dench returned to theaters this weekend with the Oscar-buzzing Philomena. (She gets Oscar buzz for nearly everything she's in. She even makes it happen with James Bond films!)
I had a teacher that used to say
Ask me my three favorite actresses and the answer is: Judi Dench, Judi Dench, Judi Dench.
And as great as Dame Judi is in the film, Steve Coogan (who also adapted the screenplay) is equally strong as the investigative reporter helping Philomena, Martin Sixsmith. The two play off each other well in a salty, sweet relationship.
There's a scene in the film which is bound to catch the attention of cinephiles...
They enter the convent where Philomena's son was taken from her ('The Sisters of No Mercy,' as Sixsmith snarkly calls it) to investigate what happened. On the wall in the waiting room is an autographed photo of actress Jane Russell. Coogan stares at the picture and when the Sister he's meeting with comes in, he asks, "What's Jayne Mansfield doing here?"
"I think you mean Jane Russell," the Sister corrects him.
They then have an exchange where Sixsmith tries to remember which one is which and ultimately remembers that Jayne Mansfield (not on the wall) is the one who got her head chopped off in a car accident. Which seems to be the only thing people seem to remember about poor Jayne.
But it all made me wonder: How well do you, TFE readers, know your Jane Russells from your Jayne Mansfields? Below are 10 factoids. Try to guess which fact is about Jane Russell and which is about Jayne Mansfield. After guessing, click on the read more at the bottom for the answers!
MANSFIELD or RUSSELL? TEN FACTOIDS
Try to guess which fact is about Russell and which is about Mansfield. After guessing, click on the 'read more' at the bottom for the answers!
1. Born in Bryn Mawr, PA with the name Vera Palmer.
2. Was a Playboy Centerfold in the early years of the magazine and appeared in every February issue of the magazine for 4 consecutive years
3. A censorship debate with the production code about the amount of cleavage displayed in the film delayed the release of her film debut 2 years after it was filmed. It didn't get a wide release until 5 years after it was filmed!
4. Won the Golden Globe for Most Promising Newcomer - Female
5. Known for her curvy figure, Bob Hope once joked, "Culture is the ability to describe <this actress> without moving your hands."
6. Starred in television commercials for the Playtex Cross Your Heart Bra and the 18 hour bra line "For us full-figured gals".
7. Both actresses were each married 3 times and mothers to multiple children, but she is the mother of the Emmy award nominated star of TV's Law and Order: SVU, Mariska Hargitay.
8. Formed a gospel singing quartet called The Hollywood Christian Group. Their song, "Do Lord" reached 27 on the Billboard charts.
9. Her signature color was pink. Her Beverly Hills mansion was painted the color and named "The Pink Palace". And long before Mary Kay representatives were doing it, she drove around in a pink Cadillac.
10. Has her feet and hands immortalized in cement in front of the famous Grauman's Chinese Theatre.
And now, a musical break before the answers. It'll be the gayest thing you'll see all day: