Mittwoch, 21. März 2012

Let's watch.. ..TOYS IN THE ATTIC (1963)

Usually when one thinks of Gene Tierney - the films that come to one's mind might be those of her "career's peak" like e.g. LAURA (1944) and LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN (1945). Wonderful films indeed - but today I'd like to highlight a film of hers which features her in her second to last big movie (excluding some TV movies of course):


Julian Berniers (Dean Martin) isn’t very successful – in his live he lost a big amount of money. But now he is back to his home town New Orleans - visiting his two spinster sisters Carrie (Geraldine Page) and Anna (Wendy Hiller).  With him he brings a lot of expensive presents - and his young and pretty wife Lily (Yvette Mimieux). 

Lily's very rich mother, high society lady Albertine Prine (Gene Tierney), isn’t at all fond of Julian - but that’s not his biggest problem: Without the knowing of his wife and sisters he wants to help Charlotte Warkins (Nan Martin), an old flame of his who is married to a gangster (Larry Gates). 

Lily is jealous – but even worse is Carrie – who is madly in love with her brother (in a way which is not very far from incest - but Julian is completely unware of that..) and she makes Lily call the husband of Charlotte..

~ Dean Martin and Gene Tierney ~
The film is based on the very successful play by Lillian Hellman. If you watch out you might spot in this film  Joe Grey  in a bar as an uncredited extra. He was a good friend of (and for a long time a double for) Dean Martin. They appeared together in about 16 films. Joe Grey also was a friend of Frank Sinatra - together they appeared in 10 of Sinatra's films. 

~ Dean Martin and Yvette Mimieux ~

Though this film is all about who does Dean Martin’s character bed, who did he bed – and who won’t he bed:  the best in this are the scenes of Wendy Hiller – of course I am a big fan of hers so not only maybe I am prejudiced in this aspect..

~ Frank Silvera and Gene Tierney ~

Gene Tierney is also really wonderful. She is perfect as an elderly society lady - still looking beautiful. She does her scenes in a very elegant - and partly a bit impish way.
I may step on some toes when I say that I think Yvette Mimieux looks at some moments more like she wa Dean Martin’s daughter than his wife – but I think this is one important aspect of the story: a more aged and by that maybe selfassured woman would have more trust into her husband (I guess.. I wasn't married to any men yet..) – and Miss Mimieux is doing her part quite well. 

After all: the whole cast is really wonderful. 

~ Dean Martin, Wendy Hiller (like me he loves her!! ..) - and Geraldine Page ~

There is one scene which really is a but heavy: Charlotte’s face gets cut with a knife. Frankly: That is a really shocking scene - for those who are not fond of any kind of brutality in films - or trained by watching Horror films.. So please: If you are not easy with this kind of scenes – make sure to have someone in reach who can tell you that it’s over.. 

~ Geraldine Page and Dean Martin.
this is from an amazingly done scene - it's all in the looks.. ~

Besides that I really can recommend this film to everyone who likes a good drama.

Thank you very much for listening!

Enjoy the show!



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