Posts tagged ‘Ava Gardner’
So once in awhile, Ol’ Blue Eyes gets under my skin and, ring-a-ding-ding, he absolutely ends up doing it his way and there’s nothing I can do-be-do-be-do about it.
The Wee Small Hours and No One Cares have been regulars on my semi-new turntable– pieces of art that positively thrive in the acoustic-friendly, teensy confines of my studio. (One of the small perks to overpriced, undersized Hollywood living.)
Frankie, by many accounts, may have been an insufferable pain in the arse… but I’m perfectly willing to go out of my way to understand those foibles (God knows I’m an insufferable pain in the arse on many an occasion…!) the minute that rich baritone hits the scratching vinyl. After all, who are we if we are not all flawed?
Prior to his Academy Award winning role in 1953′s From Here to Eternity, Sinatra’s career had become a total write-off. From bobby-soxer idol to matinee movie star, Sinatra surrendered it all to face scandal head-on by marrying the woman of his dreams in 1951, Ava Gardner. The press had not been kind. Nor had his fans been loyal.
In between Frankie’s rejuvenating venture as a vocal artist with In the Wee Small Hours (1955) and his poignantly beautiful Where Are You? (1957), Sinatra’s resurrected career as popular recording artist and movie star benefited from this little MGM musical, 1956′s High Society.
The Pictorial could write volumes on Frankie but for the time being, I happen to love this delightful moment of unbridled frivolity in which, it is quite obvious, Frankie is having an absolute ball. The demons were still around the corner, chasing him as they always had and always would be, but it’s marvelous to see Frankie bring his A-Game in charming fraternal intoxication with Bing Crosby in High Society.
Just watch and let Frankie pinch YOU in the Asss-tor Bar:
p.s.: Frankie’s duet with Celeste Holm is likewise delightful:
Just came from this morning’s presentation of The Third Man at the Egpytian Theatre in Hollywood. Introduced by TCM host Ben Mankiewicz (who made the most charming gaffe– don’t worry Ben, anyone could’ve mixed up the American and British versions… well, not really, but we positively adore you regardless!) the film was screened to a packed audience– given the 9AM start time and the deep nature of the material, I was absolutely thrilled to be surrounded by such ardent cinema enthusiasts.
Script Supervisor Angela Allen joined Mankiewicz for a post-screening Q&A. She worked on the 2nd unit in Vienna with director Carol Reed and principal cast. Reid apparently worked all three units on this film– highly unusual– and in effect ended up working, quite literally, 24/7. While shooting in the Viennese sewers, said Allen, a waiter would come downstairs with a tray and a silver cup so Reid could have his coffee. “Only the British,” quipped Mankiewicz, would refer to the sewers as ‘going downstairs.’”
Having worked on over 70 films over 6 decades, Allen’s colorful musings went from Reid chasing Orson Welles all over Europe on Third Man, working with Huston in Africa on the African Queen to Michael Powell on Pandora and the Flying Dutchman (for which she doubled for Ava Gardner on the beach so Gardner could dine with a visiting Frank Sinatra) to The Misfits with John Huston– a director with whom she worked with 14 times.
While on The African Queen, Allen swelled with pride when Huston took her side over an altercation with leading lady Katharine Hepburn whom insisted she had indeed worn a different costume for the take. “Kate,” said Huston, “that’s Angie’s job. Put on the other dress.”
“I sweated bullets for five weeks waiting to find out if I was right or not,” said Allen.
The audience waited.
“And?” Mankiewicz asked.
“I was right.”