For me, there are three actors who were robbed of very deserved Oscars, robbed I tell you!
Cary Grant (for nearly any film he was in) Humphrey Bogart (For Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Petrified Forest or Casablanca) and Mr. Claude Rains for Mr. Skeffington.
I came upon this film late one night and being a larger than life Claude Rains fan I decided to stay up till nearly 3 a.m. on a work night to watch it. This film left me in tears. Claude Rains performance was perfect in every single way.
Mr. Skeffington takes place in New York City at the beginning of 1914. Bette Davis plays “Fanny” Trellis, a beautiful, highly self-absorbed woman, who is always surrounded by men willing and wanting to court her. She “plays” them and toys with them, never really interested in them. Claude Rains plays Job Skeffington, a wealthy NY stock broker who falls madly in love with Fanny.
When Fanny finds out that her brother Trippy stole a great deal of money from his employer and lost it at the race track, she starts to court his employer Mr. Skeffington. Fanny and her brother are living on no income and are near bankrupt and have no way to pay the money back, thus leading to her actions towards Mr. Skeffington. Soon they are married and her brother Trippy is highly upset with the marriage. Trippy ends up leaving for the army in France and soon dies in combat. Fanny blames her marriage to Mr. Skeffington as the reason her brother has died. Fanny finds out she is pregnant and her reaction is “Soon, I will be swollen, puffy and ugly.” She leaves for California to have her baby away from the people who know her in NY Society.
Soon after these series of events, she starts to go out nightly with a gangster who sets up a date so she can find her husband in the company of another woman. This leads to her divorcing Mr. Skeffington. He moves with their daughter to Europe during the World War. Years later her daughter returns home and beautiful young lady. The same day Fanny goes on a sailing trip with a younger beau and is diagnosed with diphtheria. This leaves her looking haggard and old. A cold punishment for a woman who has been obsessed with her own looks her entire life. Her daughter runs off to marry her mother’s younger beau and Mr. Skeffington returns to NY after surviving a concentration camp. She refuses to see him but, he is now blind and penniless. He needs and still loves her. Finally Fanny realizes that the looks are not everything in life.
What is it about this performance I regard so highly? It is Claude Rains’ ability to be stepped on and still show such grace and strength. His heart was constantly toyed with. You can see the pain in his eyes get more constant and deeper throughout the film. I admit, I cry during many films and this one always gets me. He is such a devoted husband and father putting up with Fanny’s constant need for male attention. He still loves her throughout this film. In the end when he is broken, and blind his emotion is intense and heartbreaking. I am so reminded of Lon Chaney’s performance in The Unknown The raw emotion, hurt eyes, powerful performance just sticks with me every time. He so deserved an Oscar for his performance. Hearing Robert Osborne tell of the others considered for this part such as Paul Henried makes me scratch my head. I could easily imagine others in the role of Fanny, but not Job. I feel it was one of the roles that Rains was born to play.
1945 Best Supporting Actor Category
WINNER: Barry Fitzgerald for Going My Way
Nominees: Claude Rains, Clifton Webb for Laura, Monty Woolley for Since You Went Away.
While I have not seen Any of these other films, I have my forever favorite with Claude Rains. His performance in Mr. Skeffington will forever be one of my favorites and I hope, one of yours as well.
I wrote this Blog for the 31 Days of Oscar Blog-A-Thon. Thanks Ladies for hosting! Sorry It isn’t as long as I would have hoped but, with the impending snowtacular, I’ve been piled under work all week.
I am so excited to join Aurora (@CitizenScreen) of Once Upon a Screen, Paula (@Paula_Guthat) of Paula’s Cinema Club and I aka Kellee
(@IrishJayhawk66) of Outspoken and Freckled for the 2013 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon.
I am still working on what I will write about, but I am thrilled to be a part of it.
Another awesome thing to keep an eye out for is the Kansas Silent Film Festival in late February. I already have my hotel booked and weather permitting, I plan on attending. So, join me on Twitter @nikkilynn4 for updates on what’s happening in real time. I hope to see you there!
Monday, August 22, 2011
Nothing ever possibly in the least ever happens here. Mother, how do you get smallpox?
|THE BIRDS & HITCH = Awesomeness.|
|Yep, I went there. I had to pose with everyone in front of the Marquee.|
|I SOOOOOOO LOVE THEM FOR GOING!|
|I want this.|
|I nearly cried I was so happy.|
After the movie, we went out to eat. I found a place that serves Moose Drool on tap.
I was 2 for 2 and everything was coming up Milhouse for me.
|The greatest beer on earth, Moose Drool.|
|BBQ & Bacon Burger. HMFS!!!!|
|Yep, had to go back at night. It was awesome!|
|Oh, just for fun. This a VERY REAL screen shot of my phone. I love it.|
|How can you have a bad weekend when this is what you see at the beginning of it?|
|The Sista with one of the many great artistic “deals” around the theater.|
Monday, June 13, 2011
If I had a million dollars…..
…..I would do some really dumb ass things. I’m not talking the college money for the kids, health insurance, new house, car, trips, etc. kind of splurge I’m talking a serious splurge. What would you buy?
Chatting with my friend Angie over at The Hollywood Revue made me wish I had this unlimited amount of money to spend on the Debbie Reynolds Auction. Some of you will sadly say, who is Debbie Reynolds?
Well, If I had a million dollars I would go through this catalog of classic movie memorabilia and buy so much. This is a short list of what I would choose.
1) Any and all of the old camera equipt.
2) The Valentino Costumes
3) The Harold Lloyd Suit FOR SURE!
4) Pickfords personal hats and trunks. I would wear a hat every day!
5) The Chaplin hat which is crazy expensive and overpriced in my opinion!
6) The Carole Lombard dress, which I would probably have the money for the lipo to wear that dress.
Yes I would wear some of this stuff, its so beautiful. I know that is TERRIBLE and shouldn’t be done but, i wouldn’t be able to resist!
7) All Katie Hepburn Dresses! All Colbert Dresses!
9) Garbo’s Anna Karenina Dress.
10) Oh, The Marion Davies Paintings! What an amazing find!!! I know exactly where in my house they would look best!
11) All Norma Shearer Stuff, naturally!
12) All furniture.
13) The Clark Gable Robe that I would sleep with every night. ahhh…
14) Viven Leigh’s suit from Waterloo Bridge.
15) The Claude Raines Suit.
16) Paul Henreid’s shirt from Now Voyager
17) Edward G. Robinson’s personal items
18) All Mildred Pierce stuff!
19) Cukor’s personal robe and stuff.
20) Both Peacock gowns!
21) All Ginger Rogers Stuff
22) Everything from singing in the rain.
23) The Lauren Bacall Wedding gown.
24) All Mogambo stuff.
25) Every thing To Catch a Thief.
26) Everything from An Affair to Remember
27 The Penalty lobby card
28) The Harold Lloyd Poster
29) The Jean Harlow Portrait
I am more than sure this stuff would wildly exceed my million dollars but, I would also purchase every pirated classic film not officially released on DVD as well as every DVD in the TCM collection. On top of all of this, I would pay Robert Osborne allot of mula to introduce each film to me in a personalized introduction. HELLO NERD!
Lastly I have try to build up my own little collection of classic film stuff.
This has come from over 5 years of scrimping penny’s and writing classic film stars. It hasn’t amounted to much but, someday I hope to share my collection and love of classic films with a kindred spirit. I don’t know if that will be Alex, Lucy, Madion, Emma, Rylee, Payten…any of these sweet angels. I don’t know, I just hope one of them shares my love and carries on my collection.
Haven’t you heard the news? I’m a gentleman now!
15 Movie Questions
1. Movie you love with a passion.
Hands down, no contest The Philadelphia Story. It is the closest thing in my book to the perfect cast and story. You have a bit of drama, comedy, love, everything! If you dont know anything about this film and are watching it for the first time, you really wouldnt know who Katharine Hepburn will choose. Sweet Jimmy Stewart or Sexy Cary Grant. Ahhh…such an amazing film!!!
2. Movie you vow to never watch.
3. Movie that literally left you speechless.
There is a tie there. “The world, the Flesh and the Devil” is one. Its a heart breaking film about a woman left alone on earth with the oh so sexy Harry Belefonte and Mel Ferrer, tensions rise between the three, particularly between Thacker, who is white and Burton, who is black.
And ON THE BEACH, with Ava Gardner and Gregory Peck. WWII has devastated the northern hemisphere, polluting the atmosphere with nuclear fall out and killing all life. While the bombs were confined to the northern hemisphere, air currents are slowly carrying the fallout to south. The only areas still habitable are in the far southern hemisphere, like Australia. Peck is a Navy man who comes up in Australia and falls for Ava after learning his wife and family has died. Its a very depressing, movie because eventually everyone will die.
Born in Brooklyn, New York on St. Valentine's Day in 1905, Thelma Ritter was doing stock company bit parts around New York even before finishing high school. Thelma later trained at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts and worked for 14 years on stage, mostly in New England stock companies. She worked on radio for much of the 1940s, would go on to win a Tony Award for Best Actress in a musical in 1958 for "New Girl in Town," would receive six Academy Award nominations, all for Best Supporting Actress and received an EMMY nomination in the same category for a
First of all, once you read my blog for the What a Character Blogaton, please go to the banner above and check out the other wonderful posts dedicated to so many Character actors that many do not even know the names of!
So who did I choose out of years and years of amazing actors? I decided to go with Virginia Weidler.
Why little miss Virginia? Well, first of all she is a big part of two of my all time favorite films, The Philadelphia Story and The Women. This girl worked with the best of the best! Norma Shearer, Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart and Katharine Hepburn. So why is so such an unknown face today? I have been in search of this concrete answer for years. I guess you can chalk it up a couple different things.
1) This lovely mom passed away at the age of 41 of a heart condition.
2) She was best known as a child star and probably just didn’t find her niche as an adult.
Both of these possibilities are sad.
Born in California in 1927, Virginia was one of six children and made her film debut around the age of 4. Her biggest success was The Philadelphia Story, and if you have not see that…go find it now! I prefer her as kid sis in The Philadelphia Story. Lydia The Tattooed Lady on the piano is one of my favorite scenes in film history. She was sassy, a little smart mouthed and always sweet. A few years earlier in The Women she played “Little Mary” cute little daughter of Norma Shearer. She was touching in this film. These are two very different characters. Same cute face but, in The Women she was more sympathetic, and dramatic.
This child didn’t just sing & dance in her films, she acted. She was good at what she did and is still not as knows as Judy Garland or Shirley Temple. While she tried to continue her career into adult hood, she was over shadowed again by other more “popular” stars.
While on the topic of Shirley Temple, wouldn’t you have loved to see Virginia in Temple’s role in The Bachelor and the Bobbysoxer? I thought her and Cary Grant had adorable Chemistry in The Philadelphia Story and would have been fun to see together again.
Weilder never really found her niche and wasnt ever a major “Starring Role Actress”. After her final film “Best Foot Forward” she lost her contract at MGM and decided not to pursue any more acting roles. (Our loss!). After holding her own against so many big stars, she was simply gone.
“Ginny” went on to marry a Naval Officer, have two little boys and pass away much to early! According to her husband, she was always quick to change the subject of her films and never watched her films.
I guess I gravitate to her because she did pass too young and failed to give interviews after she left MGM which leaves us with many questions un-answered about her. There are not many pages, books, or anything with information her. She was very private and that has ultimately led to us just not knowing who she really was. I knew there wasnt much information on her when I chose her and I really deep down thought that I could find so much about her if I just did some research. Sadly, I didn’t. I found much of what I already knew. I apologize there is no new information here for Ginny fans. I hope someday some of her family can give us a bigger picture of who she was.
Again, here is an actress who is unknown and will never know how much this community right here adores her. Will she ever know how wonderful her work really is? Would she have cared? Would she have ever done an interview in her later years or opened up about her films? Sadly, we just wont know. I will assume for my own sake that she would have been proud of you, me, and this community of wonderful film fans who so adore and appreciate her.
What I want from this blog is for you to introduce one person to this wonderful lady.Like with all of these Character Actors for this blogathon….let get their names out there! Thank you ladies for hosting this event. Classic Film appreciation causes are always fun!