Gratitude and Miracles🙏🏽

 

thanksgiving2012

 

Today marks the start of the holiday season, but it doesn’t officially kick off for me until I’ve watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade and one of my favorite holiday films, Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

 

 

Until I see Santa arrive at the end of the parade there can be no Christmas Tree, tinsel, ornaments or stockings. This has been a tradition of mine since I was a kid. Without a doubt, Edmund Gwenn is Santa Claus. No matter what other films he’s made, each character turns into Kris Kringle. (he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) Gwenn played a cockney assassin in Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent in 1940, but all I could scream was “Santa, don’t throw that man off the ledge!”

 

Edmund Gwenn

Miracle Kris

(September 26, 1877 – September 6, 1959)

Natalie Wood was precious as Susan, the precocious daughter of Maureen O’Hara (Doris) who doesn’t believe in fairy tales and attends a “progressive” school. Natalie Wood had an illustrious career until her death in 1981. She was able to make the transition from child star to ingenue starring opposite James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass (1961). Known as a loving, giving person, as well as a star, she’s always had a special place in my heart.

Natalie Wood

Miracle on i believe

(July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981)

miracle DorisDoris is cynical as a result of a bitter divorce so she’s raising her daughter to be practical and sensible. None of this believing in fairy tales and Santa crap. All was going well until Doris – the parade coordinator asks Kris to replace the drunken Santa originally set for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Kris is a big hit and becomes Macy’s official Santa resulting in a personal relationship with Doris and Susan.

Maureen O’Hara (August 17, 1920 – October 24, 2015 )

 

Kris is an immediate influence teaching Susan it’s okay to pretend after she tells him the other kids don’t play with her because she won’t join in their game and act like a zoo animal.

The production took flack from the Catholic League of Decency because how dare you depict a divorced woman with a successful career and a young child as a “normal family.” Yep, 1940’s mentality and morality were hard at work.

 

miracle susan at play

Susan learning to act like a monkey!

Just as Doris is learning to have more faith in life and Susan is embracing imagination, Kris’s sanity is questioned and a legal battle ensues to prove that not only is he sane but the one and only Santa Claus. Fred (John Payne) who is Kris’s lawyer and Doris’s boyfriend, understands the importance of the spirit of Santa especially in the lives of Susan and Doris.

John Payne (on left)

(May 23, 1912 – December 6, 1989)

miracle john

🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻🎅🏻

Kris is exonerated and Christmas day has arrived. Susan has asked for a very special present and is disappointed at the Christmas party to see it isn’t under the tree. Doris, in a refreshing change of heart, tells Susan she must have faith.

miracle on faith

But, Santa Claus moves in mysterious ways and in the end teaches them both the true value of faith and miracles.

 

💞💞💞💞💞💞💞💞💞

 miracle end

Here’s to Faith and Miracles!

Shampoo💇💆😎

shampoo movie

Shampoo (1975)

I may be dating myself, what am I saying, I KNOW I’m dating myself but there was a time back in the day when Warren Beatty (Bonnie & Clyde, Splendor in the Grass) was the finest dude, not just in Hollywood but dare I say the planet!

beatty-and-wood

Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood

Beatty was gracing the covers of celebrity magazines back in the ’50’s, long before the current crop of “world’s sexiest man” covers and was dating star Natalie Wood (“Miracle on 34th” Street, “Rebel Without a Cause“) and other beautiful ingenues making women swoon with envy.

The “fine” phases of Warren Beatty

young and hot Warren Beatty

Image result for young warren beatty

 

“Shampoo” hot and sexy Beatty

beatty-shampoo

 

“Shampoo” (1975) is the story of George Roundy (Warren Beatty) the womanizing hairdresser who realizes too late that his life of philandering has cost him the love of his life. George’s case is that “he can’t help it, they smell so good.”

The film stars Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, and Goldie Hawn (Kate Hudson’s mom), with Lee Grant, Jack Warden, Tony Bill and in an early film appearance, Carrie Fisher. The movie is set on Election Day 1968, the day Richard Nixon was first elected as President of the United States, and was released soon after the Watergate scandal had reached its conclusion.

warren beatty shampoo

Goldie Hawn, Nixon, Warren Beatty

The political atmosphere provides a source of dramatic irony, since the audience, but not the characters, are aware of the direction the Nixon presidency would eventually take. However, the main theme of the film is not presidential politics but sexual politics; it is renowned for its sharp satire of late-1960s sexual and social mores. (Wikipedia)

I almost didn’t publish this post because of recent disturbing events going on right now in politics but thought no, this film isn’t about committing assault, it’s about facing your viewpoint of morality and realizing how callously you’ve been living your life.

When I first thought about posting this it was based on the politics of the ’60’s then ironically found myself in mid-sentence realizing that the controversies of the Nixon era have nothing on the despicable state of politics today.

warren beatty shampoo

Goldie Hawn, Julie Christie, Tony Bill, Warren Beatty

But I digress, I loved “Shampoo” because of one – watching fine Warren Beatty and two – the ending. You have to pay the piper and take responsibility for your actions. George represented a lot of guys who thought doing as many women as possible was cool and made them all that but, the truth is, what goes around, comes around.

“Shampoo” was Carrie Fisher’s first film and won Lee Grant the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. The film was directed by the brilliant Hal Ashby. (Harold and Maude 1971)

Other Academy nominations were:

Robert Towne (“Chinatown”) and Warren Beatty – Best Writing, Original Screenplay

  • Best Motion Picture (Musical or Comedy)

  • Best Motion Picture Actor (Musical or Comedy) – Warren Beatty

  • Best Motion Picture Actress (Musical or Comedy) – Julie Christie & Goldie Hawn

The lead character, George Roundy, is reportedly based on several actual hairdressers, including Jay Sebring and film producer Jon Peters, who is a former hairdresser. Sebring was brutally murdered by the Charles Manson family in 1969. According to the 2010 book Star: How Warren Beatty Seduced America by Peter Biskind, the screenwriter Towne based the character on Beverly Hills hairdresser Gene Shacove. (Wikipedia)

 

jay sebring

Jay Sebring

jon peters

Jon Peters

The film had little critical praise but commercially, “Shampoo” was a great success. Produced on a budget of $4 million, the film grossed $49,407,734 domestically and $60 million at the worldwide box office. It was the fourth most successful film of 1975 by box office takings, beaten only by Jaws, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Wikipedia)

I had no idea that the year after its release there was a blaxploitation send-up, Black Shampoo.

Trivia: Warren Beatty is actress, author Shirley Maclaine’s brother.

Image result for warren beatty and shirley maclaine

Now

warren beatty and shirley maclaine

Shirley MacLaine and Warren Beatty

Henry Warren Beatty (born March 30, 1937) has been nominated for fourteen Academy Awards – four for Best Actor, four for Best Picture, two for Best Director, three for Original Screenplay, and one for Adapted Screenplay – winning Best Director for Reds (1981).

Beatty is the first and only person to have been twice nominated for acting in, directing, writing,and producing the same film – first with Heaven Can Wait (1978), which was co-written by Elaine May and co-directed by Buck Henry, and again with Reds, which he co-wrote with Trevor Griffiths.

Image result for academy award

In 1999, he was awarded the Academy’s highest honor, the Irving G. Thalberg Award. Beatty has been nominated for eighteen Golden Globe Awards, winning six, including the Golden Globe Cecil B. DeMille Award, with which he was honored in 2007.

Among his Golden Globe-nominated films are, Splendor in the Grass (1961), Bonnie and Clyde (1967), Shampoo (1975), Dick Tracy (1990), Bugsy (1991), and Bulworth (1998). (Wikipedia)

Warren Beatty’s Political Honors:

Eleanor Roosevelt Award from the Americans for Democratic Action, the Brennan Legacy Award from the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, the Phillip Burton Public Service Award from the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, and the Spirit of Hollywood Award from the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies.

Image result for brennan center

Beatty was a founding board member of the Center for National Policy, a founding member of the Progressive Majority, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has served as the Campaign Chair for the Permanent Charities Committee, and has participated in the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

He served on the Board of Trustees at the Scripps Research Institute and the Board of Directors of the Motion Picture and Television Fund Foundation. He was named Honorary Chairman of the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in 2004. (Wikipedia)

Image result for warren beatty politics

Looks like Warren Beatty has been more than just “fine”. Over his career, he’s been accomplished both in Hollywood and the political arena.

 

 

Edith Head – Dresser to the Stars ✨

edithheaddesigns

As a classic movie lover, it seems every important film from the 1940’s until the 1970’s was dressed by Academy Award Winning Costume Designer Edith Head. The look of a film sets the tone which Ms. Head artfully conveyed with her iconic fashions, making her our next accomplished artist in “The Faces Behind the Camera” theme.

Edith Head in 1976

Edith Head in 1976

Born Edith Claire Posener in San Bernardino, California, Edith Head (October 28, 1897 – October 24, 1981) was an American costume designer who won a record eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, starting with The Heiress (1949) and ending with The Sting (1973).

Head’s designs were integral to the look and feel of a picture and she was considered exceptional for her close working relationships with her subjects, with whom she consulted extensively, and these included virtually every top female star in Hollywood.

Dorothy Lamour, Veronica Lake, Barbara Stanwyck, Ingrid Bergman, Bette Davis, Elizabeth Taylor, Grace Kelly, Kim Novack and Tippi Hendren to name a few.

Head received eight Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, more than any other person, from a total of 35 nominations. (Wikipedia)

Born and raised in California, Head managed to get a job as a costume sketch artist at Paramount Pictures, without any relevant training. She first acquired notability for Dorothy Lamour’s trademark sarong dress in Paramount’s, The Jungle Princess (1936) and then became a household name after the Academy Awards created a new category of Costume Designer in 1948.

In 1967, at the age of 70, she left Paramount Pictures and joined Universal Pictures to work with Alfred Hitchcock on such films as –Rear Window, 1954, To Catch a Thief, 1955, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956, Vertigo, 1958, The Birds, 1963, and Marnie, 1964, where she remained until her death in 1981.

hitchcock_collage

An Edith Head costume collection from the Paramount Pictures Archive left Hollywood—for just the second time—to be shown exclusively at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio in Lancaster in “Designing Woman: Edith Head at Paramount 1924-1967” as presented by the Fox Foundation from June 7 through August 17, 2014. (Wikipedia)

Trivia: The costume designer Edna Mode in the 2004 Pixar movie The Incredibles was largely based on Edith Head, according to director Brad Bird, who voiced the character.

Edna Mode - "The Incredibles"

Edna Mode – “The Incredibles”

Head died on October 24, 1981, four days before her 84th birthday, from myelofibrosis, an incurable bone marrow disease. She is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale, California.

Edith Head’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame is located at 6504 Hollywood Boulevard.

 

 

Pioneering Women Filmmakers

The Early Visionaries of American Film: A Series – Part 1

star wars galaxy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…Women were the driving force behind Hollywood and the movies. This is the first part in a series paying homage to the women who broke the glass ceiling and wrote and directed the films that gave birth to the “Golden Age” of cinema and the motion picture industry.  Unfortunately, when the men realized the gold mine films were becoming, the women faded away thanks to the Hollywood studio system. Well, as the saying goes, “that’s the way they do you.”

 

Frances Marion 1918

Frances Marion 1918

 

Frances Marion was a trailblazer. becoming one of the most powerful screenwriters of the 20th century. With a career that spanned decades, she became the first female to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1930 for the prison life film The Big House, starring Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery, and Chester Morris. Her research included visiting San Quentin for the atmosphere and lingo of the inmates. The movie gave audiences their first experience of hearing prison doors slam shut, tin cups clanking on mess-hall tables and prisoners’ feet shuffling down corridors.

 

 

Frances also received the Academy Award for Best Story for The Champ in 1932. The tearjerker chronicled the relationship between a washed out boxer (Wallace Beery) and his young son (Jackie Cooper). Marion was credited with writing 300 scripts and producing over 130 films.

 

 

Born Marion Benson Owens (November 18, 1888) in San Francisco, California, she worked as a journalist and served overseas as a combat correspondent during World War I. On her return home in 1910, she moved to Los Angeles and was hired as a writing assistant, and actress by “Lois Weber Productions”, a film company owned and operated by pioneer female film director Lois Weber. (more on Lois Weber in Part 2 of the series)

 

Lois Weber

Lois Weber – Film Director

Frances was quite beautiful and could have been an actress but preferred to work behind the camera. She learned screenwriting from Lois Weber and went on to become the highest paid screenwriter, woman or man. Hollywood moguls competed for her stories and stars of the day Mary Pickford, Lilian Gish, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino brought her characters to life on the screen. From 1919 – 1939 her star was ascendant, born at the right place and the right time, honing her craft during one of the most liberating eras for women in film.

 

 

When Marion met Mary Pickford (actress, producer, screenwriter) they became best friends with Marion writing screen adaptations of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Poor Little Rich Girl for Pickford. As a result of the commercial success of “The Poor Little Rich Girl” in 1917 Marion was signed as Pickford’s “exclusive writer” at the salary of $50,000 a year, an unprecedented arrangement for that time.

Pickford was the celebrated “America’s Sweetheart” and in 1919 together with her swashbuckler actor husband Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., director D.W. Griffith (Birth of a Nation) and “The Tramp” Charlie Chaplin established “United Artists” pictures. These four were the leading figures in early Hollywood and this was their stand for independence against the powerful studio system. Mary was also  one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 

In 1921, Frances Marion directed a film for the first time with Just Around the Corner. That same year, she directed her friend Mary Pickford in one of her own scripts entitled The Love Light. Their relationship was more than just writer and star, they were collaborators and the friendship between Pickford and Marion lasted more than 50 years.

Married four times, Frances Marion had two children with third husband, actor Fred Thomson. This was her longest marriage, lasting from 1919 until Thomson’s sudden and tragic death from a Tetanus infection in 1928. Frances’ great friend Mary Pickford had introduced them. Frances said it was love at first sight.

 

Fred Thomson and Frances Marion

Fred Thomson and Frances Marion

For many years she was under contract to MGM Studios, but, independently wealthy, she left Hollywood in 1946 to devote more time to writing stage plays and novels. Frances Marion published a memoir Off With Their Heads: A Serio-Comic Tale of Hollywood in 1972.

Frances died on May 12, 1973 leaving a legacy of innovation, independence and inspiration for future aspiring female writers. The documentary, Frances Marion: Without Lying Down,” is an insightful profile of her life and achievements in Hollywood.

 

Without Lying Down

Mary Pickford and Frances Marion

 

Narrated by “Pulp Fiction” actress Uma Thurman and Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, who gives voice to the screenwriter’s own words taken from her letters, diaries. and memoirs. The documentary also features footage from more than twenty of Marion’s movies, with commentary by silent film historian Kevin Brownlow, and film critic Leonard Maltin.

I was fortunate enough to catch it on Turner Classic Movies and it was very enlightening on women’s roles in Hollywood. It’s also available for purchase at Amazon.com. I highly recommend checking it out!

  frances marion lying

“I’ve spent my life searching for a man to look up to without lying down.” Frances Marion

 

It took more than 60 years before women were once again present in meaningful numbers at every level of film production.

 

 

 

 

 

Gratitude and Miracles 💛

 

thanksgiving2012

 

iheartfilm is dedicating the month of November to the lesson of Gratitude in films; the quality of being thankful.

This is a re-post from last year. It so fits the theme of gratitude and is my official movie to kick-off the holiday season. We lost Maureen O’Hara (Doris) last month (more on the late actress here) so this is also a tribute to her career and role in this holiday classic. Enjoy!

Today marks the start of the holiday season, but it doesn’t officially kick off for me until I’ve watched the Thanksgiving Day Parade and one of my favorite holiday films, Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

 

 

Until I see Santa arrive at the end of the parade there can be no Christmas Tree, tinsel, ornaments or stockings. This has been a tradition of mine since I was a kid. Without a doubt, Edmund Gwenn is Santa Claus. No matter what other films he’s made, each character turns into Kris Kringle. (he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor) Gwenn played a cockney assassin in Hitchcock’s Foreign Correspondent in 1940, but all I could scream was “Santa, don’t throw that man off the ledge!”

 

Edmund Gwenn

Miracle Kris

(September 26, 1877 – September 6, 1959)

Natalie Wood was precious as Susan, the precocious daughter of Maureen O’Hara (Doris) who doesn’t believe in fairy tales and attends a “progressive” school. Natalie Wood had an illustrious career until her death in 1981. She was able to make the transition from child star to ingenue starring opposite James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and Warren Beatty in Splendor in the Grass (1961). Known as a loving, giving person, as well as a star, she’s always had a special place in my heart.

Natalie Wood

Miracle on i believe

(July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981)

miracle DorisDoris is cynical as a result of a bitter divorce so she’s raising her daughter to be practical and sensible. None of this believing in fairy tales and Santa crap. All was going well until Doris – the Macy’s parade coordinator – asks Kris to replace the drunken Santa originally set for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade. Kris is a big hit and becomes Macy’s official Santa resulting in a personal relationship with Doris and Susan.

Maureen O’Hara (August 17, 1920 – October 24, 2015)

 

Kris is an immediate influence teaching Susan it’s okay to pretend after she tells him the other kids don’t play with her because she won’t join in their game and act like a zoo animal.

The production took flack from the Catholic League of Decency because how dare you depict a divorced woman with a successful career and a young child as a “normal family.” Yep, 1940’s mentality and morality were hard at work.

miracle susan at play

Susan learning to act like a monkey!

Just as Doris is learning to have more faith in life and Susan is embracing imagination, Kris’s sanity is questioned and a legal battle ensues to prove that not only is he sane but the one and only Santa Claus. Fred (John Payne) who is Kris’s lawyer and Doris’s boyfriend, understands the importance of the spirit of Santa especially in the lives of Susan and Doris.

John Payne (on left)

(May 23, 1912 – December 6, 1989)

miracle john

Kris is exonerated and Christmas day has arrived. Susan has asked for a very special present and is disappointed at the Christmas party to see it isn’t under the tree. Doris, in a refreshing change of heart, tells Susan she must have faith.

But, Santa Claus moves in mysterious ways and in the end teaches them both the true value of faith and miracles.

 

 

 miracle end

Cheers to Faith and Miracles!

R.I.P Maureen O’Hara – “Queen of Technicolor”

image

Maureen O’Hara, ‘The Queen of Technicolor,’ Dies at 95

(August 17, 1920 – October  24, 2015)

I loved the feisty Irish attitude she embodied in the characters created starring opposite John Wayne, but my sentiments will always go to her role as 8-year old Natalie Wood’s mother in the Christmas Classic, “Miracle on 34th Street.” R.I.P. Maureen O’Hara

Maureen O’Hara, the Irish beauty whose striking red hair, crystal green eyes, and porcelain skin was so dazzling on the silver screen that she was dubbed “The Queen of Technicolor,” has died. She was 95.

O’Hara, who played the feisty wife to onscreen husband John Wayne in five films — three of them directed by John Ford — died Saturday at her home in Boise, Idaho, Johnny Nicoletti, her longtime manager, told the Associated Press.

“She passed peacefully surrounded by her loving family as they celebrated her life listening to music from her favorite movie, The Quiet Man,” said a statement from her family.

She moved to Idaho in 2013 to be closer to her relatives after spending four decades in Glengarriff, Ireland.

Although she was memorable in so many great Hollywood films — including The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939), How Green Was My Valley (1941), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952), Our Man in Havana (1959) and The Parent Trap (1961) — the Dublin native never won an Academy Award, much less received an Oscar nomination.

That oversight was rectified when the Academy presented her with an honorary Oscar at the Governors Awards in November 2014.

 

Musing about what made her a star, O’Hara wrote: “I have always believed my most compelling quality to be my inner strength, something I am easily able to share with an audience. I’m very comfortable in my own skin. I never thought my looks would have anything to do with becoming a star. Yet it seems that in some ways they did.”

(Reposted from the Hollywood Reporter)

Pioneering Women Filmmakers

The Early Visionaries of American Film: A Series – Part 1

star wars galaxy

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…Women were the driving force behind Hollywood and the movies. This is the first part in a series paying homage to the women who broke the glass ceiling and wrote and directed the films that gave birth to the “Golden Age” of cinema and the motion picture industry.  Unfortunately, when the men realized the gold mine films were becoming, the women faded away thanks to the Hollywood studio system. Well, as the saying goes, “that’s the way they do you.”

 

Frances Marion 1918

Frances Marion 1918

 

Frances Marion was a trailblazer. becoming one of the most powerful screenwriters of the 20th century. With a career that spanned decades, she became the first female to win an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 1930 for the prison life film The Big House, starring Robert Montgomery, Wallace Beery and Chester Morris. Her research included visiting San Quentin for the atmosphere and lingo of the inmates. The movie gave audiences their first experience of hearing prison doors slam shut, tin cups clanking on mess-hall tables and prisoners’ feet shuffling down corridors.

 

 

Frances also received the Academy Award for Best Story for The Champ in 1932. The tearjerker chronicled the relationship between a washed out boxer (Wallace Beery) and his young son (Jackie Cooper). Marion was credited with writing 300 scripts and producing over 130 films.

 

 

Born Marion Benson Owens (November 18, 1888) in San Francisco, California, she worked as a journalist and served overseas as a combat correspondent during World War I. On her return home in 1910, she moved to Los Angeles and was hired as a writing assistant, an actress by “Lois Weber Productions”, a film company owned and operated by pioneer female film director Lois Weber. (more on Lois Weber in Part 2 of the series)

 

Lois Weber

Lois Weber – Film Director

Frances was quite beautiful and could have been an actress but preferred to work behind the camera. She learned screenwriting from Lois Weber and went on to become the highest paid screenwriter, woman or man. Hollywood moguls competed for her stories and stars of the day Mary Pickford, Lilian Gish, Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino brought her characters to life on the screen. From 1919 – 1939 her star was ascendant, born at the right place and the right time, honing her craft during one of the most liberating eras for women in film.

 

 

When Marion met Mary Pickford (actress, producer, screenwriter) they became best friends with Marion writing screen adaptations of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and The Poor Little Rich Girl for Pickford. As a result of the commercial success of “The Poor Little Rich Girl” in 1917 Marion was signed as Pickford’s “exclusive writer” at the salary of $50,000 a year, an unprecedented arrangement for that time.

Pickford was the celebrated “America’s Sweetheart” and in 1919 together with her swashbuckler actor husband Douglas Fairbanks, Sr., director D.W. Griffith (Birth of a Nation) and “The Tramp” Charlie Chaplin established “United Artists” pictures. These four were the leading figures in early Hollywood and this was their stand for independence against the powerful studio system. Mary was also  one of the original 36 founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

 

In 1921, Frances Marion directed a film for the first time with Just Around the Corner. That same year, she directed her friend Mary Pickford in one of her own scripts entitled The Love Light. Their relationship was more than just writer and star, they were collaborators and the friendship between Pickford and Marion lasted more than 50 years.

Married four times, Frances Marion had two children with third husband, actor Fred Thomson. This was her longest marriage, lasting from 1919 until Thomson’s sudden and tragic death from a Tetanus infection in 1928. Frances’ great friend Mary Pickford had introduced them. Frances said it was love at first sight.

 

Fred Thomson and Frances Marion

Fred Thomson and Frances Marion

For many years she was under contract to MGM Studios, but, independently wealthy, she left Hollywood in 1946 to devote more time to writing stage plays and novels. Frances Marion published a memoir Off With Their Heads: A Serio-Comic Tale of Hollywood in 1972.

Frances died on May 12, 1973 leaving a legacy of innovation, independence and inspiration for future aspiring female writers. The documentary, Frances Marion: Without Lying Down,” is an insightful profile of her life and achievements in Hollywood.

 

Without Lying Down

Mary Pickford and Frances Marion

 

Narrated by “Pulp Fiction” actress Uma Thurman and Oscar-winner Kathy Bates, who gives voice to the screenwriter’s own words taken from her letters, diaries. and memoirs. The documentary also features footage from more than twenty of Marion’s movies, with commentary by silent film historian Kevin Brownlow, and film critic Leonard Maltin.

I was fortunate enough to catch it on Turner Classic Movies recently and great news, it will be replayed on June 10th at 6:00 am (est). It’s also available for purchase at Amazon.com. I highly recommend checking it out!

  frances marion lying

“I’ve spent my life searching for a man to look up to without lying down.” Frances Marion

 

It’ll take more than 60 years before women are once again present in meaningful numbers at every level of film production.