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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?

by Anonymousreply 4003/18/2013

The director originally planned on casting Eileen Atkins in the role, which would have made perfect sense.%0D %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 %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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 106/17/2011

Thanks, R1

by Anonymousreply 206/17/2011

One of my favorite Ann-Margret movies.

by Anonymousreply 306/18/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 406/18/2011

[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.

by Anonymousreply 506/18/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 606/18/2011

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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 706/18/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 806/18/2011

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

by Anonymousreply 906/18/2011

And lets not forget that the title song was added to the score just to make A-M more prominent in the film.

by Anonymousreply 1006/18/2011


by Anonymousreply 1106/18/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 1206/18/2011

She is a wretched singer.

by Anonymousreply 1306/18/2011

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 %0D I haven't seen THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER, I'll have to check it out.

by Anonymousreply 1406/19/2011

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 %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 %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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 1506/19/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 1606/19/2011

"And boyoboy was Janet Leigh pissed about that. Bye Bye Birdie was supposed to be HER movie."%0D %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."

by Anonymousreply 1706/19/2011

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).

by Anonymousreply 1806/19/2011

[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.

by Anonymousreply 1906/19/2011

I must have been the only one on the BYE, BYE BIRDIE set who didn't want to fuck Ann-Margret.

by Anonymousreply 2006/19/2011

Carr got her "Carnal Knowledge", and the rest is history.%0D %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 %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.

by Anonymousreply 2106/19/2011

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 %0D I love 'Seduced by Murder'. The whole cast is great in that one. %0D %0D And here she is giving her all on The Tonight Show from 1975. I love this. %0D

by Anonymousreply 2206/20/2011

I don't think she's wearing a bra in r22's link.

by Anonymousreply 2306/20/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 2406/20/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 2506/20/2011


by Anonymousreply 2606/20/2011

I've always felt she would have been the perfect Desiree in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC.

by Anonymousreply 2706/20/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 2806/20/2011

Great casting choice, R27, that would have been amazing. %0D %0D Wasn't she wanted for the Mary Tyler Moore role in ORDINARY PEOPLE? %0D %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.

by Anonymousreply 2906/20/2011

Somebody give this wonderful woman a really good job. I'd love to see her in something terrific.%0D %0D At one time A Little Night Music called out for an Ann-Margret revival, and so did Mame.

by Anonymousreply 3006/20/2011

Hey, she could play Madame Armfeldt now and would actually be BELIEVABLE as a sought-after courtesan.

by Anonymousreply 3106/20/2011

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.

by Anonymousreply 3206/20/2011

Her transformation in THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER is the most extraordinary acting performance I have ever seen. A powerful film too.

by Anonymousreply 3303/18/2013

Here's the trailer, also starring Julie Christie and DL favorite Glenda Jackson:

by Anonymousreply 3403/18/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3503/18/2013

Notice Robert Wagner's kiss in r25's link.

by Anonymousreply 3603/18/2013

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!

by Anonymousreply 3703/18/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3803/18/2013

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.

by Anonymousreply 3903/18/2013

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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

by Anonymousreply 4003/18/2013
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