It’s always tough when listing any Top Movie List but as this will become a steady feature on the site I have decided to start Our Top Four with the enormous talent that is Grace Patricia Kelly : I started my obsession & collecting movies during the early 80s, films from all era’s & genre’s, facinated in general by anything and everything movie orientated and I remember watching Dial M for Murder one afternoon whilst home from school and being mesmerised by this screen goddess, this lady that oozed sex appeal yet had this commanding persona one that filled the screen with a kind of movie magic, I guess Grace Kelly became my first movie love and what a magnificent yet short career this American Sweetheart gave us : I hope you enjoy my ramblings….
Born on the 12th November 1929 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania GRACE KELLY not only had the beauty & elegance of a Hollywood Leading Lady but also had the acting chops of a high quality veteran working & becoming goods friends with the likes of Alfred Hitchcock on three occassions, Rear Window, Dial M for Murder and To Catch a Thief and also winning the Academy Award for Best Actress in the wonderful George Seaton picture The Country Girl, this was viewed as a major shock, many thought Judy Garland would win that year for her turn in A Star is Born : in her short Hollywood career Grace would star with Gary Cooper in the acclaimed western High Noon, William Holden in The Bridges of Toko-Ri and Clark Gable in Mogambo : in 1956 Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier ending her love affair with the screen until her death in 1982
One of my favorite Grace Kelly quotes : Mr. Hitchcock taught me everything about cinema. It was thanks to him that I understood that murder scenes should be shot like love scenes and love scenes like murder scenes
Olivia De Havilland moved to Paris in the mid 50s and still lives there today – she is in my opinion “The Greatest Actress” to have shone on our screens, a giant of cinema who mesmerised with her beauty and injected energy, passion & commitment to her many roles spanning the 30s through to the 60s – De Havilland had an impressive range of performances in her career appearing in classics such as Gone With The Wind, The Snake Pit, Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte and My Cousin Rachel, she was a Double Best Actress winner at the Oscars for roles in To Each His Own and The Heiress but for me it was her many collaborations with actor and friend Errol Flynn that caught my imagination, she may not have been the main star in these early films but it was her infectious presence, them dreamy eye’s and that swashbuckling attitude in movies such as Dodge City, Captain Blood, They Died With Their Boots On, Santa Fe Trail & The Adventures of Robin Hood that started my love affair with cinema and this British-American actress who took my breath away – so from us here we wish Olivia De Havilland a Happy 100th Birthday !!
Sad News – the Swedish-Born actress Anita Ekberg has died aged 83 – known primarily for her looks Anita Ekberg could also act winning a Golden Globe in 1956 for Promising Newcomer and wooing Hollywood with some decent performances in movies such as Blood Alley that starred John Wayne, with Audrey Hepburn in 1956’s War & Peace, alongside Bob Hope in Paris Holiday and opposite Jack Palance in 58’s The Man Inside before landing her biggest, most important role in 1960 & making everybody’s heart beat that little quicker in Federico Fellini‘s classic La Dolce Vita that Trevi Fountain scene still iconic to this day – R.I.P. & thanks for the movie memories !
Happy 98th Birthday to the greatest movie star of his generation KIRK DOUGLAS – back in 1949 Kirk was slowly starting to make a name for himself on screen when cast as the lead actor in Mark Robson’s great boxing film CHAMPION – below are some rare photo’s of Kirk taken around that time – I hope you agree Kirk Douglas is a cinematic treasure & these are wonderful!!
The beautiful and super talented child actress SHIRLEY TEMPLE has died aged 85 – her roles in the Mid to Late 30’s made her a box office draw and in 1935 she was awarded an Academy Award for her outstanding contribution to screen entertainment that year – In her movie career Shirley Temple went on to star alongside some of Hollywood’s finest including John Wayne in Fort Apache, Claudette Colbert in Since You Went Away and Cary Grant in The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer – although the movie world has lost another star Shirley’s beauty, her infectious smile and that sweet singing voice will shine on through her legacy of movies for years to come….
“Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again”
Academy Award winning actress JOAN FONTAINE has died aged 96 – Fontaine delivered some of her best work during the 40’s in classic movies such as Rebecca, Suspicion, The Constant Nymph, The Affairs of Susan and Letter from an Unknown Woman – She and her sister Olivia de Havilland are the first sisters to win Academy Awards and the first ones to be Oscar-nominated in the same year – I first came across the name Joan Fontaine whilst watching 1952’s Ivanhoe where she played Lady Rowena & instantly fell in love with this actress who was not only incredibly beautiful but also in my opinion ranks right up there alongside the likes of Katherine Hepburn, Olivia De Havilland, Bette Davis and Meryl Streep in some of the best actresses to grace the movie screen – If you’ve not seen the Hitchcock classics Rebecca and Suspicion then please do so, not only are they amongst Hitchcock’s finest work but the films leading lady delivers some memorable performances – thanks for the journey Ms Fontaine it’s been one swell ride….
known as the “Woman of a Thousand Faces” Eleanor Parker has died aged 91 at her home in Palm Springs, California – although most remember Ms Parker for her superb portrayal of The Baroness in 1965’s The Sound of Music, it was earlier in her career at the start of the 50’s that she really made a name for herself, playing a teenager in Cromwell’s prison drama Caged, starring alongside Kirk Douglas in Detective Story and playing opera singer Marjorie Lawrence in 1955’s Interrupted Melody all three performances delivering Ms Parker an Academy Award Nomination – another couple of personal favorite’s was the John Sturges western Escape from Fort Bravo showing great chemistry alongside William Holden and Otto Preminger’s 1955 Frank Sinatra led movie The Man with the Golden Arm – she was one of the true greats of the silver screen, a fabulous actress with the looks of a Princess – she will be sadly missed….