Thank goodness there are a number of popular class movie stars I don’t much care for because I’ve struggled to keep up with the ones I DO like.
Got to see a few more Carole Lombards. I accidentally picked up Twentieth Century for the second time. I’m TERRIBLE at remembering titles. The first time I didn’t make it too far before the screeching and yelling and hammy-ness and melodrama got to me. This time I was busy on the computer at the same time so I let it run though I kept putting the volume lower and lower.
I associate Barrymore with ham but I hadn’t though of Carol Lombard that way. After I made my way through a few I was surprised to realize she often either was cast in overly melodramatic roles or overplayed her parts. Couldn’t decide which.
I’ve long felt the movies from the early thirties (with notable exceptions) tended to be a little stage-y and the actors often seemed to me to be playing to the last row of a big theater. But some of these were from the later thirties. Somehow my old-movie-watching until now has mostly included a few of her lighter roles, seen many times. Checking out these new-to-me examples of her work left me thinking she’s quite different from my image.
Although I like Marlon Brando I’ve never liked the type of movies he seemed to choose so I didn’t find anything I wanted to watch on his day and ditto for Paul Newman–that helped me catch up on Carol and I’ll catch up some more on Paul’s day .
Apparently I’ve missed Alexis Smith until now. I picked a couple since I didn’t recognize the name and was surprised that she didn’t
even look familiar. Since I’ve been watching old movies since childhood it usually turns out that I’ve seen “unknown” actors at some point so this was fun. I didn’t really love the films (Night and Day, The Constant Nymph) but it was nice to discover someone new.
Somehow I never get the Charlie Chaplin mystique either. Partly I’m just not fond of silent movies. So this time I picked up one on Charlie’s day from 1957 to see if I could get what everyone raves about. A King in New York didn’t really waken me to the wonder of Charlie. I barely made it through…
I still have a few Cary Grants that I’m slowly working through — all familiar and beloved.
As I write I have The Secret Garden playing. As a life-long fan of the book, I’ve never thought any of the movies have done it justice and this one particularly bugs me but somehow Herbert Marshall never stood out for me, so I wanted to see it again with a view to noting his role more.