I just watched 4 Ginger Rogers movies in a row on TCM.
The only one with Fred Astaire was my least favorite (except for the dancing, of course).
She was a very good dramatic actress but was excellent as a comic actress.
Not watching 42nd Street because I've seen it before, although I loved her Anytime Annie character.
She was a feisty one.
Any love ?
She's wonderful in Stage Door. She seemed to lose her spark as she got older. I can't even remember her performance in that movie she made with Cary Grant and a pre-superstardom Marilyn Monroe.
She's a sensational Roxie Hart in ROXIE HART, much better than RZ, who can't dance a step to match the Black Bottom that Ginger does in jail. Too bad she kind of got boring by the mid 40's.
Great quote about Ginger Rogers...
"Sure, he was great, but don't forget, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.”
r1 - I think that was called "Monkey Business"
It does seem that anyone who has the time to watch four Ginger Rogers movies in a row is unlikely to have the requisite perspective to assess their cultural value.
CAREFREE is quite foul. Ginger is treated so harshly and her part is practically unplayable. The Yam is one of her few solos in the series. It's no Let Yourself Go...
The Major and the Minor is fantastic.
She was the big star, not Fred.
Her career flagged when she started to play ladies instead of cheap floozies who always seemed to be working a wad of gum.
The incredibly weird "Saga of Jenny" from LADY IN THE DARK at the link.
I loved her in her Oscar winning role KITTY FOYLE. But I loved Dennis Morgan and James Craig in the movie better.
By the time of The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), she was "lacquered and mannered." She wasn't even supposed to BE re-teamed with Astaire but for Judy Garland's firing. And as unhinged as Judy was around that time, she did a mean-spirited thing to Ginger. Rogers had peach fuzz on her face that had to be shaved off before filming, particularly for the Technicolor cameras. Judy sent her a shaving mug! Seriously. Judy was pissed that she got canned from the picture, apparently.
Her fifties films are mostly forgettable.
Right-wing no-talent cunt.
I thought she was quite touching in "Litty Foyle," though the film itself is soap opera hogwash and I seriously doubt she deserved the Oscar (against Kate in "Philadelphia Story," Bette in "The Letter," Martha Scott in "Our Town," and even Joan Fontaine with her helicopter head in "Rebecca."
I also enjoyed "The Primrose Path," in its white trash way--of course, Marjorie Rambeau steals her scenes and for the supporting nomination.
In agree, she was better in some of the comedies--"The Major and the Minor" probably the best, thanks to Wlder's witty script. For high camp, you can't beat "Black Widow," her fifties murder melodrama with Peggy Ann Garner, Gene Tierney, and some men. An awkward period for Virginia.
R5 And by the way, I'd rather spend time with someone who watched four Ginger Rogers movies in a row than with someone who spent time watching the Olympics or TCM's Toshiro Mifune festival the other night. And, as Shelley Winters said, when she pulled out her two Oscars after being asked to audition for a role, "I got two Ph.D.s--some people think I gots kul-cha!"
Oh, Jesus! Why are we talking about that right-wing cunt!!??
[quote]She's a sensational Roxie Hart in ROXIE HART.
She is, but Iris Adrian almost steals the movie with one line to the newspaper reporters: "Got a butt, buddy?"
R3, that quote has always annoyed me.
Dancing backwards, also known as following, is less work than leading. The man has to cover far more floor room than the woman who spins on her axis as the man guides her about. (Of course, Rogers and Astaire did a lot of dancing in tandem, each duplicating the other's moves, which is a different kettle of fish.) Also, many women who tap find it easier to produce clean taps in heels than in flats. Accomplished as she was, Ginger really didn't do everything Fred did.
Eleanor Powell was Fred Astaire's only screen partner who could rival and perhaps exceed him in ability.
Another elder gay thread about some loser movie star no one under 80 has heard of.
You know we have color TV and movies now and get this, even SOUND in movies. Try to watch one of those and at least get into the 1950s
Ginger also hated the gays. Ask Harvey F. He was the second guest after her on the Merv Griffin show when aharvey was in LA briefly going into Torch Song (he wasn't as good as Donald Corren).
Ginger left after her segment because she didn't want to share the stage with "that fag." Of course, she had no ideas he already had been the whole time Merv was talking to her.
Merv made hom sex with Denny Tarrio of Danced Fever
1940 was The Year of Undeserved Leading Role Oscars. Neither Rogers nor Jimmy Stewart deserved their Oscars that year, especially when you consider the competition. 'Kitty Foyle' was cornball from beginning to end. And Ginger in dark hair only showed how truly plain and homely she was in the face.
Ah shit, I missed 42nd Street, but they WOULD show it on a Sunday when there's so much stuff to watch.
Bette Davis should have won for "The Letter." She was fantastic in that.
I agree R22, it's probably my all time favorite movie and performance by her.
I like her better knowing she WASN'T a left wing cunt.
I saw Primrose Path yesterday and was surprised how much I enjoyed it, especially since I'd never heard of it before. She sure could sling a wisecrack or a riposte,and Joel McCrae is a treat for the eyes and ears.
PRIMROSE PATH is a wonderful film directed and written by the criminally underrated Gregory LaCava.
I like Rogers up until about 1944 and then she became so affected and unfunny. She really failed when she tried to become a grand dame of acting (MAGNIFICENT DOLL or that awful bit as Bernhardt in BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY). And her kiddie routine was always grating.
Jeanine Basinger's A WOMAN'S FACE (I think?) has a very interesting assessment of the careers of Rogers and Hepburn drawing many parallels between the two.
I had never seen Kitty Foyle until yesterday and thoroughly enjoyed it.
While her Oscar win is certainly questionable, she is in virtually every scene in the film and ages from a young teen to 30-something, playing every emotion possible. I even shed a couple of tears when she lost her baby and then met up with Wynne Stratford VII. And I really didn't know how the film would end....nice surprise!
1940 was a time of great uncertainty in pre-WWII USA and a film like Kitty Foyle and Ginger's performance must have been great consolation to Americans looking for confirmation of women's place in society and the workforce. None of the other nominated performances could match that. Timing is everything!
James Craig was so handsome. I wonder why his career didn't go further...he must have looked glorious in Technicolor.
I wonder if Rogers might have regained some of her spark if cast as Rose in the 1962 film of Gypsy?
As soon as she won the Oscar, she became an ACTRESS, and consequently insufferable.
There was a freshness about her in her 30s films that diminished as she got older and more mannered. It happened to most the actresses from that period when the studios still ruled and they pidgeon holed actress into niches that soon turned to straight jackets artistically. Whoo shit the coffee is kicking in...sorry for the hyperbole.
When Ginger was called out of retirement to replace Judy Garland in "Barkleys of Broadway", Judy was none too pleased. She reportedly sent Ginger a gift of a shaving cream cup and brush (Ginger had a bit of a mustache problem), and then showed up on the set, and swore like a sailor when she saw Ginger wearing a costume created for Judy.
I actually love the idea of Ginger as Mama Rose. She would have been far preferable to Roz.
She also would have made a terrific Dolly Levi in the film (with a beter director than Gene Kelly).
Where does all the hate for her come from? Is any of her radical conservatism and homophobia really documented?
She and her mother were both very vocal during the Red Scare. Ginger went as far as to say that she was forced to say Communist lines in FIFTH AVENUE GIRL.
The movie THE HARD WAY from 1942 is based on Ginger and her mother except they changed the mother to an older sister. Ginger read the script and even acknowledged the similarities. Jack Carson's character in te film is based on Lew Ayres and his marriage to Ginger ended mainly because of her mother's interference.
Ginger really was a far more popular star than Fred Astaire in the 1930s and 40s.
Though audiences loved seeing them dance together, he was always considered kind of a cold fish and none too attractive by the masses. And even though he introduced so many popular standards, he was never appreciated by audiences as much of a singer at the time.
Fred didn't achieve his iconic status until dance in film was really touted as an art by Gene Kelly at the end of the 1940s, though Gene and Fred had very different styles, of course.
People forget thet Fred was on that infamous 1938 list of Box Office Poison along with Kate Hepburn, Marlene Dietrich and Mae West. Whereas, Ginger's career as a leading lady really took off when her partnership with Fred dissolved.
r33, r18 said ask Harvey Fierstein. He's on twitter so he could be asked if there's anything to the Merv Griffin story.
I think you forget, R35, that the infamous Box Office Poison List was a fake that was devised by the studios to target actors whose fat contracts were up for renewal. The owner of a theater chain in the Midwest took credit for it but that was just a cover.
The idea was to panic the stars into re-signing at lower salaries by spreading the idea that no one wanted to see them anymore. The fact that Hepburn was winning Oscars in hit movies thirty and forty years later shows how non-poisonous she was at the box office.
Astaire made movies at an average rate of one per year for twenty years after that list came out, and some of those movies are among his best and most popular. That's not bad for a "has-been."
"I wonder if Rogers might have regained some of her spark if cast as Rose in the 1962 film of Gypsy?"
Noooo!!! Ginger did indeed become more mannered and less fun as she got older, and there's no reason to believe she would have changed to play Momma Rose - quite the opposite. Ginger had a stage mother from hell herself, but never seems to have gotten out from under her thumb. She wouldn't have had the nerve to play Rose as the devouring monster she was.
Roz was a blast in the role, and you bitches just don't want to admit it!
Didn't Hermes Pan say that Fred gave Ginger class, and Ginger gave Fred sex?
"The Major and the Minor" is one of my favorite films of hers.
Her mother (who was a fierce ass bitch in real life) has a supporting role in it.
What is nice is that, because of what the film is about, there is no way in hell it could ever be remade.
She can be great (in her films with Astaire and her 30s comedies and "The Major and the Minor") and she can be dreadful (in "lady in the Dark" and her 40s melodramas).
Didn't she play Dolly on Broadway for a while?
I saw her on stage in Anything Goes in the 80s. By that time she was a triple threat--she could no longer act, sing or dance.
Ithink she was still fun as Cary Grant's wife in Howard Hawks' Monkey Business in 1952.
I watch the Major and the Minor every now and then, but she's not a favorite of mine.
[quote]Didn't she play Dolly on Broadway for a while?
Yes. Rogers was the replacement for Carol Channing. Missed many shows from what I was told. There are several Dolly production numbers with Ginger on The Ed Sullivan Show that were included on that Broadway on Sullivan anthology video set. She also played the lead in the London production of MAME. A young Kathleen Turner saw that production with her family. They were living there at the time. Turner once said that seeing Rogers on stage is what cemented her decision to be an actress.
The title number of Mame, performed by the London company is on youtube. It's thoroughly unimpressive in terms of Rogers' contribution, considering her history as a dancer.
[quote] I saw her on stage in Anything Goes in the 80s. By that time she was a triple threat--she could no longer act, sing or dance.
I saw that production too when it played Starlight Theatre. Outdoor theatre with over 9,000 seats and that place wasn't half full.
Sid Caesar was cast as Moonface Martin. They added "I've Got You Under My Skin" for Rogers. She didn't dance as much as sway from side to side. Awful production. Earlier in the 60's she toured in TOVARICH playing the role Vivien Leigh played on Broadway. A flop show but Rogers name alone sold it and people flocked to see it.
Rogers and the MAME cast in 1969, performing for that year's Royal Variety Show.
Carol Channing made her feature film debut supporting Ginger in the godawful The Last Traveling Saleslady.
Believe it or not, Carol is paired romantically with the young hunky Clint Eastwood in the film. I've forgotten who Ginger's leading man is.
Raging liberal Democrat and Jew Bennett Cerf, the head publisher of Random House Books and panelist of What's My Line?, adored Ginger Rogers (his wife Phyllis was Ginger's cousin) so I can only assume Ginger wasn't too radically Republican or conservative.
Ginger was the perfect villianess in BLACK WIDOW, a murder mystery set in the world of Broadway theatre
In CinemaScope... The miracle you see WITHOUT glasses!!
"The Major and the Minor" showed she had a pretty good feel for comedy.
She had a great way with a quip and is delightful in BACHELOR MOTHER, STAGE DOOR, VIVACIOUS LADY, 42ND STREET, etc. I think TOP HAT and SWING TIME are two of the best 30s films, musical or non. But the curled lip became a snarl, the kiddie routine began to grate and that mole on her face just kept getting bigger and bigger.
Balanchine admired her legs and was excited to meet her when he came to Hollywood in 1938. He was disappointed to discover that she was a Christian Scientist.
I recall seeing her on THE LOVE BOAT doing 'Love Will Keep us Together' Not as bad as I recall. As a kid I thought she sucked in it. Sorry about the foreign audio but it's the only one I could fine.
Saw Ginger in Palm Desert, in 1992 , in a wheelchair . She was in a Chanel- like suit, with her long blonde hair, and red, red lips. this was outside the Christian Science church .Seemed extremely sweet, yet I could only feel sad for her , thinking how she used to fly through the air with Fred, and now, wasn't even able to walk. Old age is a bitch - but don't think Ginger was.
The beautiful, smart, wise-cracking comedienne was once a mainstay of American movies...why did this character vanish?
Ginger, Alice Faye and Betty Grable had a similar appeal....the All-American blonde broad next door.
She was such a big star by the time of The Major and the Minor that she had to approve of Billy Wilder as director. It was his first directing job though he had written the screenplays for many classic films before that.
[quote]Fred didn't achieve his iconic status until dance in film was really touted as an art by Gene Kelly at the end of the 1940s.
Are you out of your mind? Astaire changed the way dance was filmed long before Kelly arrived on the scene, demanding that the camera stay on the dancers throughout the number and that he and partner be shot full length. He was already an icon in the dance world before he even got to Hollywood, and people like George Balanchine were in awe of what Astaire accomplished.
Kelly's contribution was enormous, but he was pretentious as hell with a huge ego, so of course he touted his art. Astaire didn't have to--he let his dancing speak for itself.
Sorry if I wasn't clear in my original post r59 but what I was attempting to state was that Fred's iconic status for the general public did not come about until the late 1940s when film dance began to be taken seriously by critics.
I would maintain that this was true for most movies stars in pre WWII America. They were not considered artists or icons....they were just hugely popular movie stars.
Though, of course, it's true that Fred was indeed innovative in many ways, the 1930s general public could not have cared less about the innovations. They just loved watching him dance with Ginger.
I just never found her in the least interesting - along with the later June Allyson. Just total bland. Nothing for a gay guy to get interested in.
She spit in Lucy's face once when they got in a argument at Vera Lynn's party.
Not much to add except that her first husband Jack Pepper later had a daughter named Cynthia who was under contract to 20 Century-Fox for awhile.
Cynthia did a couple of movies with Elvis - including Kissin' Cousins - and was the title character in the one season TV series "Margie."
Cynthia and Ginger met in the makeup room at Fox when Ginger was making a TV pilot. Cynthia walked over to her and said: "My name is Cynthia Pepper, and I think you once knew my father."
TV GUIDE reports: "And they had a nice chat."
[quote]I actually love the idea of Ginger as Mama Rose. She would have been far preferable to Roz.
Her mother was very much a Mama Rose type and so Ginger Rogers would not have had to look far for inspiration for the role.
I loved Cynthia Pepper in "Margie!"
It was an early 1960s sit-com about a 1920s teenager with a lot of the same problems and yearnings as modern teenagers.
This was long before the nostalgia craze of the 1970s so it wasn't very successful.
I never knew Cynthia had any relation to Ginger, whose married name for awhile was Ginger Pepper. No wonder she divorced Jack.
I think Ginger was in the closet like Doris...
There are certain vibes in her as well!
I'm tired of people badmouthing Rosalind Russell's performance in "Gypsy".I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that she didn't do her own singing. She was the best actress to play that role, and brought a vulnerability to it that no one else ever did.
R61, Ginger Rogers and June Allison could have made a nice couple in a lesbian film. What a pity we didn't get to see that.
Oh, and i disagree with you. They are not bland. Have you seen Ginger Rogers in 'Storm Warning'? She is anything but bland.
That pic of Doris and Ginger in r66 is from "Storm Warning" with the handsome, hairy hunk Steve Cochran swaggering all over the place as the husband of Doris.
I always felt that perky little Diana Lynn stole every scene she had with Ginger in "The Major and The Minor." Diana was great as the know-it-all daughter Ginger had to room with for her stay at the academy.
Mama was never far from Ginger.
She so did not deserve her Oscar; Kitty Foyle was a weak film and so was her one-note performance. I would have given it to Bette Davis in The Letter or Joan Fontaine in Rebecca. 1940 was the year they scraped the bottom of the barrel for Best Actor and Actress. Jimmy Stewart didn't deserve his Oscar either.
I can't stand Fred Astaire. As an actor especially. I think he ruined "On The Beach". So totally miscast.
Ginger Rogers' haters should really watch Storm Warning-there's a great scene in that movie where Ku Klux Klan whips the living daylights out of her!
Her performance in Kitty Foyle was indeed great but the real reason she won the Oscar that competitive year is simple. She was, by far, the most well-liked of the nominees within the industry. In spite of much of the gossip rendered here, Ginger was already a long-time Hollywood favorite who came up through the studio ranks.
In 1940 Hepburn was still considered a condescending Eastern outsider (and her role in The Philadelphia Story was too uncomfortably close to reality), Davis was considered a talented but highly controlling shrew who had little support from her boss Jack Warner, Fontaine's lovely but passive performance was seen as totally manipulated by Hitchcock (as another poster noted in another thread, Hitchcock heroines never won Oscars, with the sole exception of Joan's Hitchcock win the next year!).
You must view Ginger's performance in Kitty Foyle within its era, which was a nation fearful and preparing for war and American women assuming more independence as they joined the workforce. Talk about capturing the zeitgeist!
I'm forgetting who the last nominee was, but you get my thesis.
"Her performance in Kitty Foyle was indeed great"
No it wasn't, it was weak and almost amateurish. She was a terrific dancer and could give good comic performances, but she wasn't good at drama.
She must have been awfully well-liked to win an Oscar for that mess of a film, because the nicest thing you can say about it was that it was good for Ginger's career.
I wonder if Katharine Hepburn and Ginger Rogers ever flirted each other. For some reason i find that highly possible.