How did Ann-Margaret end up in THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER????
Watching this film and she seems like such an unlikely choice for the role--plus she is completely unrecognizable. \
Why is she in this?
The director originally planned on casting Eileen Atkins in the role, which would have made perfect sense.%0D\
But the producers wanted another "name" and since Ann-Margret had played British before in JOSEPH ANDREWS, the director took a chance. Jackson, Christie, and particularly Bates were skeptical, but that ceased once shooting started.%0D\
And it payed off obviously, based on your "she''s unrecognizable" comment, OP. Ann-Margret is wonderful in the part and holds her own against Glenda Jackson, Julie Christie, and Alan Bates quite well.%0D\
I was among a group of people several years ago, one of whom knew some folks involved with that film. Apparently Jackson hated the director, but everyone adored Ann-Margret.
One of my favorite Ann-Margret movies.
Ann-Margret is actually quite a gifted actress. It''s perplexing , but she is. She is sort of an idiot savant when it comes to acting. On the surface and in real life she comes across as a simpering dumbell but put her in front of a camera and she pulls it out of somewhere. She has given several amazingly great performances in her career.
[quote]a simpering dumbell \
I know you mean to pay her a compliment, but having worked with her she does not appear this way in person. She is bright and a lovely woman.
Yes - I did not mean to insult her nor do I think she is actually stupid, but her public personna in interviews is cloying sweet and almost ''church lady". I''m am sure she isnt stupid and Im glad you posted to clear that up. I am a huge fan.
She was brilliant in Who Will Love My Children? is that the right title? Where she is dying and finds homes for her kids?%0D\
Very good in Carnal Knowledge and the TV version of A Streetcar Named Desire with Treat Williams. I taped that when it was broadcast and still have it. I don''t believe it ever got a commercial release.
I saw part of Bye Bye Birdie recently. Not exactly an overly challenging part acting, but she had a presence and charisma that was much stronger than the typical ingenue. You can see why they shifted more of the focus to her. She has had a decent career, but I am not sure it was as big as its potential.
And boyoboy was Janet Leigh pissed about that. Bye Bye Birdie was supposed to be HER movie. After seeing the sex appeal and charisma AM projected on the screen, the script was changed and poor Janet became a footnote in that movie. The end number after the credits always makes me laugh- its an added-on reprisal piece of the title song featuring AM solo- vamping, gyrating and jiggling her boobies at the camera. %0D
And lets not forget that the title song was added to the score just to make A-M more prominent in the film.
BYEEE BYEEEE BIRD-HEEEEE!
AnnMargret jiggling her boobies
Speaking of A-M''s jiggly boobies, does anyone remember a Tonight Show appearance she made around 1982 where she performed the Bob Seger hit at the time called The Horizontal Bop? It was phenomenal I do declare. It really should be on You Tube.
She is a wretched singer.
She isn''t the best singer, R13 but I love her voice anyway. When she isn''t doing all of the growling, cooing, etc. she actually has quite a nice voice.%0D\
I haven''t seen THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER, I''ll have to check it out.
Agree with R14 - when she does "How Lovely to Be A Woman" in BYE, BYE BIRDIE you can tell that she does have a nice voice.%0D\
Unfortunately she frequently had terrible taste in scripts, probably due in part to the judgment of her husband Roger Smith. There''s one well known story that she turned down CAT BALLOU and did the risible (but very amusing) KITTEN WITH A WHIP instead.%0D\
Before CARNAL KNOWLEDGE, she had a string of appallingly bad films like THE SWINGER, MADE IN PARIS, TIGER AND THE PUSSYCAT, THE PLEASURE SEEKERS, C.C. & COMPANY and R.P.M. One critic referred to her as a "vanilla Raquel Welch."%0D\
Mike Nichols unlocked something in her and she went on to become quite wonderful in many roles. One that I recall was in MAGIC, a so-so thriller about a ventriloquist and his dummy, with Anthony Hopkins. But she gives a lovely, touching performance.
Regarding Janet Leigh in BYE BYE BIRDIE: My favorite thing about her in that movie is how she takes the baritone part while Dick van Dyke takes the tenor part in their duet at the end. That always cracks me up.\
I do agree with r4 that Ann-Margret is a superb actress and that it is surprising given that her image is not that of a smart woman. She also did not choose her roles very intelligently until fairly late in life, when she did excellent work with things like RETURN OF THE SOLDIER and (especially) the TV movie of A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE. She may be the best Blanche DuBois ever.
"And boyoboy was Janet Leigh pissed about that. Bye Bye Birdie was supposed to be HER movie."%0D\
Dick Van Dyke wasn''t exactly happy either. He told fellow cast members of THE DICK VAN DYKE show not to see the film because it had become "the Ann-Margret show."
And yet the only parts of the film (other than "The Telephone Hour") that are memorable are those with Ann-Margret in them: the title song, its reprise, "How Lovely to Be a Woman," and "Got Me Some Living to Do." The parts with Van Dyke and Leigh are completely forgettable (at best).
[quote]Unfortunately she frequently had terrible taste in scripts, probably due in part to the judgment of her husband Roger Smith.\
You can add her longtime manager Alan Carr of "Grease" fame for her bad choices too.\
[quote]She is a wretched singer.\
Yeah, well she managed to star in two huge musicals and was nominated for a Golden Globe as Best Actress In A Musical for Birdie and nominated for an Academy Award for "Tommy" and won the Golden Globe.
I must have been the only one on the BYE, BYE BIRDIE set who didn''t want to fuck Ann-Margret.
The Rotting Corpse of Maureen Stapleton
Carr got her "Carnal Knowledge", and the rest is history.%0D\
Her string of TV movies from the eighties to nineties is nothing short of amazing. Barbara Stanwyck said Ann gave one of the best performances she ever saw in "Who will love my children?"%0D\
Her "Streetcar" was top notch, and she held her own alongside Claudette Colbert in "Two Mrs. Greenville''s". "Seduced by Murder" where she played a horny, psychotic high school teacher who gets a student to kill her husband, rises above what could have been standard TV movie nonsense.
I admit I adore Ann-Margret, even in her worst films. She''s always so committed no matter what. I wish more of her variety shows were available on DVD. There''s some stuff on youtube but usually the quality is horrible. %0D\
I love ''Seduced by Murder''. The whole cast is great in that one. %0D\
And here she is giving her all on The Tonight Show from 1975. I love this. %0D
I don''t think she''s wearing a bra in r22''s link.
This happened at a time when Ann-Margret was flexing her acting chops everywhere. This was a case of a well known star seeking respect as an actress. Most notably in her fantastic television appearance in Who Will Care For My Children? (or whatever it was called). It is also one of the few cases in which the actress in question, actually had the skill, training and chops to pull it off.
Here''s Stanwyck winning the Emmy for The Thorn Birds and singling out A-M during her acceptance speech. Too bad it cuts so quickly from A-M''s response.
I''ve always felt she would have been the perfect Desiree in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC.
Stanwyck was a classy dame for that. Just realized Robert Wagner gave her the Emmy and he and Barbra had a four year affair when Wagner was very young.
Great casting choice, R27, that would have been amazing. %0D\
Wasn''t she wanted for the Mary Tyler Moore role in ORDINARY PEOPLE? %0D\
I can''t provide a link for this, but I recall reading that the author of MAGIC actually went to New Trier High School with Ann-Margret and based the character that she eventually played on her.
Somebody give this wonderful woman a really good job. I''d love to see her in something terrific.%0D\
At one time A Little Night Music called out for an Ann-Margret revival, and so did Mame.
Hey, she could play Madame Armfeldt now and would actually be BELIEVABLE as a sought-after courtesan.
Ann-Margret also wanted to play Cassie in the film version of A CHORUS LINE. That probably turned out to be a blessing in disguise that she did not get it.
Her transformation in THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER is the most extraordinary acting performance I have ever seen. A powerful film too.
Here's the trailer, also starring Julie Christie and DL favorite Glenda Jackson:
Ann-Margret gave beautiful, demanding performances in Carnal Knowledge and Who Will Love My Children? And you are asking how she got her minor role in The Return of the Soldier? Your question comes from a rather shallow form of snobbery about acting that has no resemblance to an understanding about art - something the makers of The Return of the Soldier didn't share.
Notice Robert Wagner's kiss in r25's link.
Wow, r25. That is really cool. I wouldn't be at all surprised if Stanwyck's heartfelt acclaim for Ann-Margret's amazing performance meant a great deal more to her than an emmy award would have.
I'm also struck by the fact that when the nominees were announced one person clapped for Angela Lansbury. Granted, her role in Little Gloria was hardly worth a nomination, but fuck it was Lansbury - show a little respect!
I discovered her in Tommy when I was a teenager, and fell in love. I always thought she had amazing screen presence and like her flawed voice and face.
I wonder if she would have been taken more seriously as an actress if she'd had a last name?
I'm quite serious, too.
Also, as has been said upthread, she was always very much under the misguidance of her long-time husband Roger Smith. At least it appears to have been a happy marriage, if not the wisest business partnership.
I ain't gonna be a Jew no more
Cryin', cryin', I'm no Jewish whore
I have all my love to Christ
And that made me feel really nice
I love you but I ain't a gonna be a Jew
I'm sick and tired of all your stealing land
Give it back to the Palestinian
I will never be a Jew
A weeping and a cryin' and a lying too
I love you but I ain't gonna be a Jew
Last night I thought about Jews
'Bout how they used to lose
'Bout how they like the gays
But that was yesterday
I have done changed my way
Won't be a Jew or gay
I found somebody very nice
His name Jesus Christ now
I ain't gonna be a Jew no more
Cryin', cryin', I'm not Jewish whore
Each and every day of the week
I'll say "Hi Jesus" 'for I go to sleep
I love you but I ain't gonna be a Jew