Ok, ok. You’ve heard this before.
Joe Morella and Frank Segers, your classic movie guys, here again to proclaim our love of reader email, tweets and facebooks notations, whatever. We unabashedly enjoy hearing from you, and insist on commenting in our inimitable fashion on reader feedback.
Regular contributor Mike Sheridan weighed in on our May 22 blog (What’s A Classic?) extolling the 1941 RKO classic The Devil And Miss Jones, costarring Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings and Charles Coburn. Sayeth Mike:
One of my favorites. It truly will suck you in whenever its played. Bob Cummings and Jean Arthur are so good you wish you ran in their circle, and the way they accept CC (Coburn) gives you faith in youth. I hope our youngsters are still that way. This movie is truly a CLASSIC in every sense.
Needless to say, Mike, we agree.
In response to our Feb. 13 blog Was Dana Andrews Ever Better? — praising his excellent performance in the 1945 World War II classic, A Walk In The Sun — James asks the following question:
A big fan of Dana Andrews. Terrific actor. Did he serve during WWII? I thought I read his alcoholism kept him out.
No, James, it wasn’t his widely acknowledged alcoholism. By the time World War II began, Andrews was 32 years old and the father of three. His family status exempted him from the draft. By the way, Andrews’ younger brother, Steve Forrest, who did serve in the war, died recently at 87.
We really enjoyed the following missive from Jon, in response to our Dorothy Lamour blog (one of several) – Never Before Seen Photo of Dorothy Lamour — published way back on May 19, 2011:
Actually, I was a 17-year-old prop boy and assistant for Ms. Lamour at the Carousel Dinner Theatre in Ravenna, (Ohio) when she played the role of the mother in “Barefoot in the Park.” The year was 1979. Spring.
I walked her dog, Coco, and warmed up her car. She smoked. She missed her husband, and talked fondly of her son as well and Bob and Bing!
Finally, Timster contributed the following, rather thoughtful missive in response to our James Dean — The Final Debate. Finally! published on Feb. 13. It was our last blog weighing the merits and demerits of Dean as an actor, which prompted lively (but never angry) exchanges with several readers.
I’m going to have to disagree with both, the thrust of the article, and the angry comments that followed.
Of course the authors are correct in their observation that Dean did need to ‘grow up’. And he would have, I believe, had he not made so many Hollywood enemies. He did possess the (Rudolph) Valentino phenomenon as did (Marlon) Brando in his early films. They both attempted to speak for a generation bent on rebellion.
However, as Brando matured and took on more serious roles, so would have Dean. We see this in a few scenes dotted throughout his short career.
The scene that was mentioned from “East of Eden” with Julie Harris is such an example. So too are several scenes in “Giant,” in which he danced around stoic performances by (Rock) Hudson and (Elizabeth) Taylor.
To discount his acting as “method acting shtick” (both he and Brando discounted that training as BS later in their careers) is unfair.
I don’t believe you are seeing the abilities that he demonstrated. Take away the ‘rebel’ persona and the heart-throb aspect in which he was cast several times and you have an aspiring thespian that certainly DOES deserve all the erstwhile praise he received.