Nothing Is Invisible

……….Cultural Kaleidoscopy………..

Posts Tagged ‘Spencer Tracy’

High Society

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 11 September 2011

High Society, theatrical release poster

High Society (1956)(DVD) Directed by Charles Walters and starring Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby with Louis ArmstrongHigh Society, the film musical, is a reprise of the truly marvelous The Philadelphia Story (which starred Kathryn Hepburn, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy and James Stewart and for which Stewart won an Oscar for Best Actor in 1940) and is Grace Kelly’s final film, released three months after she became Princess Grace of Monaco.  Receiving mixed critical reviews, though achieving box-office success, it’s true that the sauntering Bing Crosby pales in comparison to the inimitable Cary Grant’s portrayal of C.K. Dexter Haven, and Frank Sinatra, seeming to strain to sing some of the wonderful Cole Porter tunes in the film, is no comparison at all to James Stewart’s award-winning portrayal of McCauley Connor, the Spy Magazine reporter.  The lovely Grace Kelly, though uneven, is not a terrible Tracy Samantha Lord, though it is certainly impossible not to think of Kathryn Hepburn’s superb performance (of course, the film role and the play, a resounding Broadway success, starring Hepburn, which served as the basis for both High Society and The Philadelphia Story, were both written expressly for Hepburn), and to miss the chemistry between Hepburn, Grant and Stewart.  Nevertheless, High Society is certainly worth watching, even if it is only for the great Louis Armstrong and his band, who perform a couple of snappy numbers. (PR)

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Captains Courageous

Posted by the editors on Sunday, 13 March 2011

Captains Courageous, 1990 VHS version cover

Captains Courageous (1937) (DVD) directed by Victor Fleming starring Freddie Bartholomew, Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, Melvyn Douglas, Mickey Rooney.  Based on the novel of the same name (1897) by Rudyard Kipling (a long and fascinating Wikipedia entry, here).  Captains Courageous offers not only a wonderful sense of realistic detail of fishing the Great Banks in 3-masted fishing schooners in the early 20th century (with much real footage), as well as a sensitive recounting of Kipling’s tale of how a young teenager learns what it means to be fair, to work hard, and to value life, but also offers a wonderful opportunity to delve into the accomplishments of it star-studded cast, and director.  To this end, it may interest you to note the following details of their various filmographies:

Lionel Barrymore: (It’s a Wonderful Life, 1946, Directed by Frank Capra with James Stewart; Key Largo, (1948, Directed by John Huston, with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall), brother of John Barrymore, great uncle of Drew Barrymore)

Melvyn Douglas: Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for both (Hud, (1963), starring Paul Newman, and Being There (1979) with Peter Sellers and Shirley MacLaine)

Spencer Tracy: (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1941, also directed by Victor Fleming; Woman of the Year, 1942, with Kathrine Hepburn) ranked 9th, in 1999, by the American Film Institute’s list of Greatest Male Stars of All Time 

Victor Fleming: (The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Gone with the Wind (1939), for which he won an Academy Award for Best Director.)

All said, a film worth watching for any number of reasons. (PR)

We recommend that you buy your DVDs.  Have a wonderful personal film library..

top image: Wikipedia

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