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Entries in The Heiress (4)

Monday
Jul082019

Beauty vs Beast: Say it With Cerulean 

Jason Adams of MNPP here with your brand new edition of our "Beauty vs Beast" poll -- not to over-Meryl us (does such a thing exist?) with two Meryl polls in the span of three weeks on top of her much-talked-about turn on Big Little Lies, but it was the 13th anniversary of The Devil Wears Prada back on June 30th and it suddenly struck me like a very expensive coat in the face that, blasphemy of blasphemies, we have never done a Prada Edition for this series. I KNOW!! Insert a gif of one of Miranda's withering glares here. Shameful. So let's see if the Anne-Hatha-lovers have any tricks up their designer sleeves...

 

PREVIOUSLY Last week between bouts of Meryl we tackled another queen of screen Olivia de Havilland, and while she may not have taken down Ryan Murphy with her Feud-based lawsuit Livvy at least got one over on that other queen Monty Clift, taking 59% of your Heiress vote. Said joel6:

"Morris is a beauty and perhaps Catherine is too naive but that's her father's fault not hers. Morris is a low down gutter snake that gets exactly what he deserves and seeing Catherine serve it up to him is sweetness itself. Olivia de Havilland gave several great performances but this is the cherry on top of the cake! Wishing her all the best as an awesome 103 year old and as long as her health holds may she see many more birthdays!"

Monday
Jul012019

Beauty vs Beast: I Ain't Sayin' He's a Gold Digger

Jason Adams of MNPP here with another round of "Beauty vs Beast" silliness, wherein we ask you to lay claim to your loyalties with regards to a pair of typically warring movie characters, naughty and nice or sometimes something a bit grayer -- this week we're wishing a happy 103 years young to the great Olivia de Havilland, turning our eyes to her Oscar-winning role in William Wyler's 1949 film The Heiress. Olivia plays "Catherine," a spinster-type who falls for "Morris"... who is played by Montgomery Clift so it's quite easy to know right off the bat why she falls for him. But is he only in it for the ruby buttons?

 

PREVIOUSLY Pride Month is kaput and with it our fourth and final LGBT-related poll, which had you choosing between gay Meryls -- Clarissa from The Hours managed to both buy the flowers and storm the poll, taking 71% of your vote. Said Biggs:

"Clarissa partnered up with Allison Janney; Jill with Woody Allen. Clarissa wins."

Friday
Jun242016

Olivia @ 100: The Heiress

We're counting down to Olivia de Havilland's historic 100th birthday (July 1st!). Team Experience will be looking at highlights and curiosities from her career. Here's Tim...

Olivia de Havilland is more than a living link to the Golden Age of Hollywood, more than a gorgeous movie star, more than a two-time Oscar winner. She's one of the most significant figures in the history of the American film industry: the woman who broke the back of the studio contract system when she successfully sued Warner Bros. for career independence in 1943. As Hollywood's first independent movie star since the silent era, de Havilland was suddenly in a position to make all of her own creative decisions, leading to a string of challenging dramatic roles that didn't simply trade on her good looks and holy innocent persona.

Both of de Havilland's Oscar wins came about thanks to this period of chasing her own projects, and the second of these performances, in 1949's The Heiress, is a particularly fine example of the movie star as Serious Actress. Based on a play adapted from a Henry James novel, The Heiress tells a straightforward enough melodrama: in 1840s New York, a woman with an annual income of $10,000 from her mother's will and another $30,000 to come when her father passes. A painfully shy, relatively homely women crawling up in years, she falls for the first man who pays her any attention, and he of course turns out to be a craven gold-digger. When her father threatens her with disinheritance the cad leaves, giving her plenty of years to grow good and bitter.

What enlivens this material is, in large part, the exemplary casting of the four main characters: de Havilland as the naïve heiress, Ralph Richardson as her father, Montgomery Clift as her shiftless lover, and Miriam Hopkins as her spinster aunt, unhelpfully projecting her own romantic visions onto the young lady. That's a lot of acting power, and having such great scene partners helped to raise de Havilland's own game, allowing her to have more complicated, and much darker, reactions that most of what she'd been able to achieve in the years prior to that.

She's great at playing a wallflower, in the second film in two years (following The Snake Pit) where she de-glammed herself for Art and Oscars. De Havilland can only look so ugly, even with the hair and make-up department raising her hairline almost to the top of her head, but the actress sells herself as a plain, awkward frump by constantly shrinking herself inwards, hunching down, delivering all of her lines a little bit too quietly and with nervous pauses. But she's even better in the last third of the movie, when she's playing the cold fury of a scorned romantic: there's a deep revulsion burned into her eyes and voice, giving the material its necessarily outraged finale. Without her fury, The Heiress is a handsome soap opera; with her, it becomes a dark tragedy.

For a performer who'll always forever be linked with the fairytale saint Melanie from Gone with the Wind, the haggard look on de Havilland's face and the raw pain in her voice are uniquely shocking and potent. It's as self-effacing as any star turn in the 1940s, and it's an achievement that could only come about in the brave new era of self-directed acting careers that de Havilland herself helped to create.

Previously: The Dark Mirror (1946), The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) and It's Love I'm After (1937)

Wednesday
Nov072012

Tarzan, Lord of the Links

TMZ Carrie Fisher 'damn right she wants to be in Star Wars Episode VII'
Pajiba '11 Heir Apparent Brit Actors to Hugh Grant's Hair.' Hee
Vanity Fair photographs Olivia Munn! (Q: Wasn't she superb in Magic Mike? A: Yes) 
i09 Jeff Bridges was always going to play The Giver. He finally has a director. Maybe. 
Awards Circuit likes Lionsgate's chances in two of the lead acting categories 

The Envelope Skyfall would like a Best Picture nomination, please
All Things Twitter killed the fail whale on election night
Towleroad Barack Obama's election night tweet becomes the most popular tweet of all time
Joe Pitt is sharing concept art from Wreck-It Ralph. You can see the evolution of the new hit character
Hollywood.com celebrates Movember with dos and don't of the moustache via celebrity photos. The only time I've ever done a 'stache was for a Halloween costume and my god it was a terrible look for me! Never again.
BuzzFeed pays tribute to the fallen on Walking Dead (spoilers). I stopped watching the show halfway through Season 2 (exactly like Season 1 only slower!) but people seem to like Season 3 
HitFix thinks that Flight is now a legit Oscar contender. It's not just for Best Actor anymore... 
The Broadway Blog looks at the reviews for The Heiress on Broadway starring Jessica Chastain 

 

Finally, Warner Bros still wants to reboot the once very lucrative Tarzan franchise... and David Yates (who directed the last half of the Harry Potter franchise) is their man for the job. I'd caution them that maybe today's moviegoers don't care about Tarzan. I know personally that everytime I try to generate interest in Tarzan (I have a soft spot for those movies) comments seem to vanish. The last time anybody got seriously excited about Tarzan, in my recollection, was Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan Lord of the Apes -- the only "prestige" Tarzan to date -- and that was nearly 30 years ago. Sure the Disney version in 1999 was a hit but it also was the fumes at the tail end of Disney's second Golden Age and Disney animated features have never been quite the same afterwards. They're already talking about name actors but if you ask me they'd be crazy not to go with an unknown. Tarzan the character is, by nature, a discovery.