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Entries in Pfandom (6)

Tuesday
Feb142017

Pfandom: Troubled Boys & Spurned Girls

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 6 
by Nathaniel R 

Pfeiffer is a hormonally charged pflapper in the remake of Splendor in the Grass

[Editor's Note: Due to a scheduling issue with DVDs and a two day internet outage at your host's home last week we're a bit out of sequence & behind. Apologies]

Last week we got an early glimpse of Michelle Pfeiffer's bad girl side with the campy plodding Texas melodrama Callie & Son (1981). It was one of three telefilms the young actress co-starred in the year before her first leading movie role (Grease 2). Her last two TV movies before stardom make a fascinating double feature for their good girl/bad girl dichotomy and their foreshadowing of more famous roles...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Feb042017

Pfandom: She's Trashy! She's Trouble! Pfeiffer in "Callie & Son"

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 5 
by Nathaniel R 

Michelle Pfeiffer is big trouble in "Callie & Son"

It wasn't initially clear, as it rarely is for new working actors, where Michelle Pfeiffer's place in the Hollywood ecosystem would be. The first three years of her career (1979-1981) were a mish-mash as if her management was throwing her at everything just to see what would stick. In the first three years of professional acting career she made four TV movies, three feature films, had two series regular gigs, and snuck in a few guest spots. The roles were far from stellar but she was working, a lot and was famously a quick study. Callie & Son, an absolutely ridiculous CBS melodrama from October 1981, gave her her showiest pre-Grease 2 role. And her campiest. She wasn't the star. Lindsay Wagner was a TV superstar at the time (The Bionic Woman, Scruples) and plays Callie from teenage years to 40something. In fact, Pfeiffer is so low on the totem pole that her name is even mispelled in the credits (missing one "l"). But the acting is newly confident and fluid. It's ripe, sure, but that suits this character. In short, you can now see the great lyrical star actress that's just around the career bend.

When Pfeiffer arrives the plodding and plotty telefilm gets a badly needed jolt of energy. The PR department noticed and pushed her presence with the following very false advertisement...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan282017

Pfandom: In 1980, Pfeiffer Hit the Big Screen

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 4 
by Nathaniel R 

obsessed with Pfeiffer's eyeshadow in HOLLYWOOD KNIGHTS (1980) 

She didn't quit the supermarket. That's something we need to understand immediately about Michelle Pfeiffer's methodic rise. After losing the beauty contest and landing an agent in 1978, winning TV gigs and moving to Hollywood, she merely transferred to a different supermarket. She was very practical and very focused, according to those who knew her when, taking acting classes and going to cattle calls but always showing up at work. Many stars bios are littered with colorful anecdotes about brief early jobs but in Pfeiffer's case, supermarket checkout girl, was an actual job that she stuck with until the acting, well, stuck.

One of her teachers, who had described her as a tardy, disinterested but smart student in high school recalls meeting her just before her career took off in the grocery store...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan212017

Pfandom: The Reluctant "Bombshell" 

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 3 
by Nathaniel R 

Michelle Pfeiffer, Surrounded by the Male Gaze. That'd be a fitting title for the screen capture above and an apt description of her first major role. Her character on the 1979 sitcom Delta House wasn't even alloted a real name, but only referred to as 'The Bombshell'. Though Pfeiffer had, according to various sources always been wary with men and uncomfortable with her sex appeal, it will become one of the most fascinating things about her screen persona, this friction between how she looks and how cagey and sometimes even hostile she is about being looked at (but Scarface is a few weeks away!). Nevertheless she ran with the opportunity, despite her discomfort. A recurring role on a TV series is a big deal for young actors, financially and for the resume...

Confession: I have never seen the smash hit frathouse comedy Animal House (1978). But I have, now, seen a couple of episodes of its immediate TV sitcom spin-off Delta House (1979). The things I do for you, blogging! Or, rather, in this case, the things I do for Pfeiffer completism...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan142017

Pfandom: More than a pretty face? Too soon to tell. 

a 1979 publicity photo

P F A N D O M  
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Episode 2 
by Nathaniel R 


All Pfans, if not fans, know and relish Michelle Pfeiffer's very first line onscreen. Say it with me now... 

Who is he, Niobe?!

Fantasy Island S2E10 "The Island of Lost Women"
First aired November 25th, 1978 

The line was spoken, emphatically, even giddily, while Pfeiffer gave the goofy Robert Morse (no really) a thorough twice over with her eyes while her hands investigated, too. She barely even looked at Niobe, so intoxicating was the sight of the only man in the vicinity. When Niobe tells her the man has magical powers, her eyes flash with unhinged if virginal comic eroticism. "REALLY?!?"...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan072017

Pfandom: Introducing Michelle Pfeiffer... "Miss Orange County"

Pfeiffer's Yearbook Photo (76?). Miss Orange County Win (78)

Pfandom. Episode 1.
Michelle Pfeiffer Retrospective. Every Saturday in 2017 at TFE
by Nathaniel R 

The time is spring 1978. Fountain Valley High School graduate and former Vons Supermarket checkout girl Michelle Pfeiffer is 19 going on 20 when she takes the Miss Orange County beauty pageant crown. She's dreaming of bigger things and community college isn't quite it.

The first bigger thing is the "Miss California" pageant. The young future-very-big-deal walks stiffly down a makeshift runway for Miss California in that highly practical ready-to-wear combo of swimsuit and high heels...

Click to read more ...