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Posts Tagged ‘a farewell to arms’

Known more for her work on the stage than on the big screen, Elaine Stritch was born February 2, 1925 to Mildred and George Stritch in Detroit, Michigan. Born into a wealthy family, Stritch had the opportunity to pursue her dream of acting and train at the Dramatic Workship of The New School in New York City. Several other students of the prestigious Dramatic Workshop were Bea Arthur, Harry Belafonte, Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Rod Steiger, and Tennessee Williams.

Stritch made her stage debut in 1944, and in three short years was able to make her Broadway debut in the play Loco. 1947 would also mark her appearance in two other plays, Made in Heaven and the revue Angel in the Wings. As the years went on, her roles began to get bigger and better. While she was an understudy to Ethel Merman in Call Me Madam, she appeared in the revival of Pal Joey (1952). She would then star in the national tour of Call Me Madam, and was given a supporting role in the original production of William Inge’s Bus Stop.

It was in 1961, when Stritch starred in Noël Coward’s Sail Away, that she was “promoted over the title and given virtually all the best songs when it was reckoned that the leading lady … although excellent, was rather too operatic for a musical comedy.”(1) Throughout her time on the stage, Stritch became known as the singer with the brassy, powerful singing voice — and it wasn’t long before she became the toast of both Broadway and London’s West End.

When talking about Elaine Stritch, it’s essential to talk about her role in the British comedy series Two’s Company alongside Donald Sinden. Stritch played the role of Dorothy McNab, an American writer who lives in London and is famous for her sensationalist thriller novels. Sinder played the role of Robert, Dorothy’s English butler who disapproved of just about everything Dorothy did. The series thrived on the culture clash between these two characters. The show lasted from 1975 to 1979, and in total was nominated for four Britich Academy of Film and Television Awards (BAFTA): 1977 for Best Comedy, 1979 for Best Comedy, Best Graphics (for the opening credits sequence) and Best Light Entertainment Performance for the two stars, Stritch and Sinden.

Stritch never appeared in many films, but when she did make an appearance, she always seemed to be a small, but integral part, of a very strong cast. Early on in her career, she appeared in the 1956 film Three Violent People, which starred Charlton Heston and Anne Baxter. She then co-starred with Rock Hudson and Jennifer Jones in the David O. Selznick remake of A Farewell to Arms. A year later, she appeared in The Perfect Furlough co-starring with Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh. But her best performance, in my opinion, was in the film Providence, directed by French filmmaker Alain Resnais.

(1) Source: http://books.google.com/books?id=iQyQNfaIKXwC&pg=PA126&dq=Coward+%22Sail+Away%22&hl=en#v=onepage&q=Coward%20%22Sail%20Away%22&f=false

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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Elaine Stritch

Prominent Roles

The Scarlet Hour (1956) as Phyllis Rycker
Three Violent People (1956) as Ruby Lasalle
A Farewell to Arms (1957) as Helen Ferguson
The Perfect Furlough (1958) as Liz Baker
Providence (1977) as Helen Wiener
Two’s Company (1975-1979) as Dorothy McNab
September (1987) as Diane
The Cosby Show (1989-1990) as Mrs. McGee
An Inconvenient Woman (1991) as Rose
Law & Order (1992/1997) as Lanie Stieglitz
Small Time Crooks (2000) as Chi Chi Potter
3rd Rock from the Sun (1997/2001) as Martha Albright
Monster-in-Law (2005) as Gertrude
30 Rock (2007-1012) as Colleen Donaghy
ParaNorman (2012) as Grandma

Josh Kaye for Classic Movie Hub

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40. Cavalcade (1933)

Other Nominated Films:
42nd Street, A Farewell to Arms, I Am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang, Lady for a Day, Little Women, The Private Life of Henry VIII, She Done Him Wrong, Smilin’ Through, State Fair

At the time of it’s release, Cavalcade was a pretty big triumph. The 110 minute film spans around three decades of history, which is a tough challenge even for directors today. The film is defined by the big events that happen in the lives of the Jane and Robert Marryot, played by Diana Wynyard and Clive Brook. These include the Second Boer War, the death of Queen Victoria, the sinking of the Titanic, and World War I. Cavalcade can easily be considered a tear-jerker due to the fact that the events we witness with this family are tragic on a more personal level. Using such tragic events in history is risky for a film, especially in a time where people are experimenting with cinema and figuring out what topics are proper or offensive to use in a movie. But by taking this risk, Frank Lloyd is able to bring out the best in his actors and allow the audience into the lives of these individuals and feel as they feel. Diane Wynyard is truly fantastic in her role as Jane. It doesn’t look as if she’s acting, but it looks as if she is Jane Marryot, and all of the pain and suffering that Jane has gone through in her life…well it seems as if Diane has been in her shoes before. This was the first Fox Studios film to be awarded Best Picture.

Nominated for 4 Oscars; Winner of 3
Best Art Direction  William S. Darling (WON)
Best Director  Frank Lloyd (WON)
Best Picture – Fox Studios (WON)
Best Actress in a Leading Role – Diana Wynyard

Jane Marryot: There should never be any good reason for neglecting someone that you love.

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