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Hollywood Movie Memories » deborah kerr

Posts Tagged ‘deborah kerr’

An Affair to Remember

Friday, August 5th, 2016

An Affair To Remember (50th Anniversary Edition)

Tagline – Every precious moment of the glad… tender… triumphant love they found — and almost lost!

Starring – Cary Grant (Nickie Ferrante), Deborah Kerr (Terry McKay), Richard Denning (Kenneth Bradley).

Released – July, 1957

Directed By – Leo McCarey

Produced By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Jerry Wald Productions

Distributed By – Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation

Description – While en route from Europe to New York on the Transatlantic liner SS Constitution, Nickie Ferrante and Terry McKay meet. Although each is involved with someone else, after a series of chance meetings on the ship, they become friends. It is here that Terry learns that Nickie is a painter who has given up on his art due to his own critical feelings toward his talent.

During a brief stop along the Mediterranean coast, Terry accompanies Nickie on a visit to his grandmother. She is touched by his kind and sentimental actions toward his grandmother and their chance friendship blossoms into a much stronger attraction.

When they arrive in New York they agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building. This meeting is subject to them both ending their current relationships and committing to one another.

Six months pass and while hurrying to the Empire State Building, Terry is hit by a car, seriously injured, and rushed to the hospital. Nickie is waiting at the top of the building to reunite with Terry. Unaware of her accident, and after waiting several hours, believes that Terry has rejected him.

After the accident, Terry has been left without the ability to walk. In order to conceal her disability she does not contact Nickie and takes a job as a music teacher. Nickie has returned to painting displaying his work in a friends art shop.

Another six months pass and Terry, now in a wheelchair, and her old boyfriend attend a ballet where she sees Nickie with his old girlfriend. As Nickie passes by, she says hello but remains seated in order to conceal her condition.

Nickie learns her address and, on Christmas Eve, decides to pay her a surprise visit. This visit will change the future for them both.

NOTABLE: Deborah Kerr and Cary Grant improvised many of their scenes with a number of lines making it to the final cut of the film.

References were made to An Affair to Remember in 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle resulting in a resurgence of popularity that generated 2 million additional sales for this 1957 romantic classic.

An Affair to Remember was the second of three films pairing Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr.

Deborah Kerr’s singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon. Nixon had also dubbed Kerr in 1956’s The King and I.

Ingrid Bergmann and Doris Day were also considered for the role of Terry McKay.

An Affair to Remember was voted the #5 greatest romance of all time by the American Film Institute.

Lancaster and Kerr Add The Steam In Jones’ From Here to Eternity

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

August, 1953Columbia Pictures release of From Here to Eternity may be a bit toned down from the original James Jones novel, but the film still packs some titillating punch. This is the powerful story of Army life in Hawaii just prior to the Japanese invasion. 

From Here to Eternity boasts a stellar cast led by Burt Lancaster as Sergeant Milt Warden, Montgomery Clift as reluctant boxer and now bugler Robert E. Prewitt, Deborah Kerr, in a role different from any other that she has played, as nymphomaniac Karen Holmes, Donna Reedas Alma ‘Lorene’ Burke a social club worker who captures the heart of Prewitt, and an excellent performance in a make-or-break role by Frank Sinatraas Pvt. Angelo Maggio.

Produced by Buddy Adler, Directed by Fred Zinnemann, a great cast, and the great story are sure to pave the way to multiple awards on Oscar night. But, the sparks are provided by Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in their memorable love scene on the beach.

From Here To Eternity

Sunday, August 15th, 2010

From Here to Eternity [Blu-ray]

Tagline – The boldest book of our time… Honestly, fearlessly on the screen!

Starring – Burt Lancaster (Sgt. Milton Warden), Montgomery Clift (Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt), Deborah Kerr (Karen Holmes), Donna Reed (Alma ‘Lorene’ Burke), Frank Sinatra (Pvt. Angelo Maggio).

Released – August, 1953

Directed By – Fred Zinnemann

Produced By – Columbia Pictures Corporation

Distributed By – Columbia Pictures

Description – In the months before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Pvt. Robert E. Lee Prewitt has reported for duty on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. Pvt. Prewitt has transferred from a previous duty station after a serious accident during a base boxing match that resulted in the blinding of a friend while sparring.

His new company commander, and Regimental boxing head, Capt. Dana Holmes knows of Prewitt’s boxing skills and wants him to join the company’s boxing club in time to help the company win a scheduled boxing championship. In return, Holmes promises Prewitt a promotion.

Prewitt refuses, not wanting to fight again after the tragic accident at his last duty station. Capt. Holmes’s adjutant, Sgt. Milton Warden, warns Prewitt about going against the wishes of the Captain. Almost immediately, Capt. Holmes encourages the other team members to relentlessly harass Prewitt in the hope of pressuring him to join the team.

Capt. Holmes’s wife Karen visits the base and Sgt. Warden, upon hearing of her “reputation” visits their home knowing the Captain is not there and makes a pass at Mrs. Holmes. Initially, she is not interested, but it isn’t long before the two begin a torrid affair.

After a payday, Prewitt and his friend Pvt. Angelo Maggio visit the New Congress Club where Prewitt meets and becomes infatuated with hostess Lorene Burke, and a drunken Pvt. Maggio has a confrontation with stockade Sgt. Judson.

Each of these personal story’s will continue to become more complicated with a great deal of  inevitable tragedy. The military and private lives of those serving at Schofield Barracks, on the island of Oahu, will never be the same.

As for the impending attack by the Japanese, all hell is about to break loose.

NOTABLE: From Here to Eternity won eight Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director (Fred Zinnemann), Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Frank Sinatra), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Donna Reed), Best Writing, Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound, Recording. The film also received nominations for Best Actor in a Leading Role (Burt Lancaster), Best Actress in a Leading Role (Deborah Kerr), Best Costume Design, Black-and-White, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

In 2002, From Here to Eternity was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress.

Although dismissed by cast and crew, it has been rumored that Frank Sinatra, who had been in a downside to his career, was given this role due to his reputed association with organized crime. This rumor was the basis for a subplot in the film The Godfather.

Based on the steamy novel by author James Jones, the film had a rough time with the censors. The famous beach scene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr was toned down from the novel making it less obvious that the two had sex. Also, Sinatra’s character, Sgt Maggio, was in the novel portrayed as a male hustler.

The on-screen chemistry between Lancaster and Kerr apparently continued off-screen as the pair reportedly became romantically involved during filming.

Actor Eli Wallach originally was set to play Sgt. Maggio. However, he turned the role down in order to appear in Elia Kazan’s Broadway production of “Camino Real.” This opened the door for the Oscar winning performance by Frank Sinatra.

Due to the negative portrayal of the U. S. Army in the novel, changes had to be made before filming would be approved. A brothel became a night club, whore’s became hostesses, much of the profanity was removed, brutal treatment in the stockade was lessened, and the fate of Capt. Holmes changed from him being promoted, to his discharge from the service.

Author James Jones was not happy with the film adaptation of his novel. He believed it to be “too sanitized.”

Burt Lancaster was a little nervous about this role. Previously, his films had a lighter side to them and he was slightly intimidated by the acting skill of Montgomery Clift.

From Here to Eternity’s eight winning Oscars tied for the most Oscars won, up to that time, with Gone With the Wind.

Personal Note: This motion picture is a riveting look at military personal lives. Although toned down from the novel, the film still is a powerful masterpiece featuring a great story, great direction, and solid performances.


Julius Caesar

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

Julius Caesar

Tagline – MGM’s acclaimed production of William Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar.

Starring– Marlon Brando (Mark Antony), James Mason (Brutus), John Gielgud (Cassius), Louis Calhern (Julius Caesar), Edmond O’Brien (Casca), Greer Garson (Calpurnia), Deborah Kerr (Portia).

Released – June, 1953

Directed By – Joseph L. Mankiewicz

Produced By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – This is the film adaptation of the play written by William Shakespeare. It’s 44 B.C. and Rome is celebrating Julius Caesar’s triumph of Pompey. However, not everyone is happy with the victory.

Among the dissatisfied are two former comrades of Caesar, Brutus and Cassius. They fear Caesar’s rule will lead only to tyranny and the only act that would prevent this from happening would be the death of Caesar.

While celebrating his victory, Caesar is approached by a soothsayer who warns him to “beware the ides of March.”

Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, has a dream that she believes is a premonition of a bleeding and dying Caesar. She tells him of this dream and implores him to not go to the Senate that day. Caesar almost gives in to his wife’s fears, but is talked into going to the Senate as this is the day chosen to give him his crown.

Inside the Senate, the conspirators stab Caesar to death. Upon hearing of this killing, Mark Antony vows to avenge the death of Caesar.

Brutus convinces the Romans that Caesar had become too ambitious and that he loved Rome more and would lead them. For the time being he gains their confidence, that is until Mark Antony makes a passionate speech revealing the conspiracy and showing the Romans that Caesar’s will had left all of his wealth to the people.

The conspirators are driven from the city, but still have an army ready to stand behind them. Mark Antony forms another army of loyal Romans and the two army’s prepare for a bloody showdown.

NOTABLE: Julius Caesar won the Academy Award for Best Art Decoration-Set Decoration, Black-and-White, and also received nominations for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Marlon Brando), Best Cinematography, Black-and-White, and Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture.

Marlon Brando’s nomination was his third in three years. The others were for the film’s A Streetcar Named Desire and Viva Zapata.


Quo Vadis

Thursday, December 10th, 2009

Quo Vadis [Blu-ray]

Tagline – Three Years in the Making! Thousands in the Cast! Filmed in Rome!

Starring – Robert Taylor (Marcus Vinicius), Deborah Kerr (Lygia), Leo Genn (Petronius), Peter Ustinov (Nero), Finlay Currie (Peter), Abraham Sofaer (Paul).

Released – November, 1951

Directed By – Mervyn LeRoy

Produced By –  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Distributed By – Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Description – The story takes place in ancient Rome, during the reign of Emperor Nero, and regards the conflict between Christianity and the corrupt Roman Empire.

This conflict is the backdrop to Roman Commander Marcus Vinicius and his love for Lygia a Christian with no interest in a warrior. The adopted daughter of a retired Roman General, Lygia is virtually a captive of Rome.

Wishing to be able to get Lygia to love him, Marcus uses his military success as a means to have Nero give the girl to him for his faithful duty. Although resentful of being a gift, Lygia realizes that Marcus does indeed love her and she him.

Emperor Nero’s behavior has degenerated into acts of insanity which continue to grow culminating with his burning of Rome, an act he promptly blames on the Christians. Nero orders the Roman army to capture and bring to him all the Christians, including Lygia, her family and Marcus.

Their fate… death in the arena.

NOTABLE: Quo Vadis was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, but went without a win. The nominations included Best Picture, two nominations for Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration Color, Best Cinematography Color, Best Costume Design Color, Best Film Editing, and Best Music.

Quo Vadis was originally cast in 1949, with Elizabeth Taylor and Gregory Peck in the lead roles. When the production changed hands the roles were recast.

Quo Vadis was MGM’s highest grossing movie since Gone With the Wind.

An amazing 30,000 extras appear in the movie along with the use of over 32,000 costumes.

During filming, Director Mervyn LeRoy had a ‘lion’ of a problem. When released from their cages to enter the arena, the lions found the weather so hot they immediately retreated right back to the cages. To solve this problem several of the costumes used in the arena were filled with meat to attract the lions.

Personal Comment: If you are a fan of the biblical epics made during the 1950’s, and haven’t seen this lavish production be sure to add it to your list.