Posts tagged: kirk douglas
Japanese Movie Poster
Kubrick and Douglas on the Set of “Spartacus”
(reposting with pictures)
First on today’s agenda would have been Bringing Up Baby, but we were all terribly worn out yesterday. So instead, we saw I’m No Angel with Mae West and a very young Cary Grant. Oscar-nominee costume designer and costume historian Deborah Nadoolman Landis introduced the film, pointing out some of the great fashion Mae West portrays in the film. Incidentally, Mae was only 4’6” and wore huge platforms to compensate. To appear normal, she would only wear floor length costumes, including her lion tamer’s outfit, which could account for her odd walk. Mae West is a true artist in this film, having come up with the story and dialogue for I’m No Angel. The sexual dialogue is comedic genius. And the young Cary Grant shows us a side of him from before he blossomed as a versatile actor. There is a humbleness that he loses quickly after hitting it big.
Second on our list was 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, which was introduced by Ben Mankiewicz and Kirk Douglas. Mr. Douglas was charming and very entertaining for the short time he was there. He talked some about breaking the Black List, his wife, and sang a Whale of a Tale. He was somewhat hard to understand, but for a 95 year old man, I don’t blame him. The movie itself was the single greatest movie-watching experience I’d ever had. The giant squid was even more real than the kraken in Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I really couldn’t guess how they made it look so real. Not only that, but I could see where other ocean-related Disney movies drew inspiration from the classic. For instance, the cannibals chasing Captain Jack Sparrow or the shark chasing after Ariel and Flounder when they go searching for treasure on a sunken ship, as my mom pointed out. I laughed at Kirk Douglas and Peter Lorre’s relationship, I held on for dear life when the squid attacked (especially when the tentacles came in the Nautilus, I jumped), and I cried when James Mason died. Such a wonderful experience.
Right after, we grabbed some Hard Rock cafe to go with us to Vertigo, introduced by Robert Osborne and Kim Novak. She looks great! And I really wish we had time to watch her handprint ceremony tomorrow at Grauman’s, but I have my movies planned. Kim looked beautiful and talked, of course, about her grey suit and working with Alfred Hitchcock. Apparently, she didn’t quite agree with some of his ideas and she was terribly uncomfortable in the suit. The movie was a masterpiece, really. The storyline was great, but what really is considered is Jimmy Stewart’s psychological journey. It’s just in Hitchcock’s style, combining supernatural suspicion and psychological mayhem into one great thriller. Both the lead actors show just how well they can stretch themselves as well. The difference between Charlotta/Madeleine and Judy was so striking that for a good ten minutes, even though I could plainly see it was the same woman, I kept expecting her to be an entirely different actress. And Jimmy Stewart, his variety is always pleasing while still keeping a hint of his humor in all his work.
The last movie was terribly difficult to choose from. It was Swing Time or Young Frankenstein. I eventually settled on Young Frankenstein as Mel Brooks presented. He spoke mostly on his best friend, Gene Wilder’s genius and the process of getting the film together. He too is looking great for a guy in his 80’s. Now, I’ve seen this movie a billion times, but I still found so many new things to laugh at. I knew Marty Feldman did a lot of stuff in the background, but I didn’t realize how much I was truly missing, like when they’re transferring the brain fluids, he’s up on the platform, shuffling! With the big screen, you see so much more detail and with the whole audience, it was like watching it for the first time again. And just as Mel says, it’s Gene’s best performance ever.
**Fun Realization: When we sat down to see I’m No Angel, I realized that Deborah Landis, you know, the Oscar Nominee and costume historian, was the same woman who commented to me on how much she loved my dress on Friday. I may or may not be purposely seeking her out the rest of the festival to show off my other amazing outfits I brought this weekend!