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Posts Tagged ‘Joel McCrea’

I had a conversation about shaving today, and I wondered why such a normal part of a man’s life isn’t included in more films — as far as I’ve noticed.

The shaving bits I remember best involve Cary Grant.

English: RKO publicity still from Suspicion (1941)

English: RKO publicity still from Suspicion (1941) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House, Cary Grant and Myrna Loy have a hilarious morning routine, and I believe that Cary Grant has to share a bathroom with his teenage daughter.  He finds the scheduling of getting shaved very difficult.

In Walk Don’t Run, Cary Grant has another scheduling problem with the beautiful Samantha Eggar sharing the same bathroom, and he can’t remember if he’s supposed to shave first or shower first.  Very funny.

Walk Don’t Run is a remake of The More the Merrier, which I also love, but I can’t remember if Joel McCrea actually shaves.   I remember him taking a shower and barking like a seal.  I’ll have to watch it again and take notes.

Even Shakespeare recognized the significance of shaving, making Benedict shave before he begins to woo Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, but I’m trying to remember if Sam Waterston or Kenneth Branagh actually shave on screen . . .  I sense a future film festival topic.

Oh, and Howard Keel shaves before he goes to marry Jane Powell in Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.  That’s a great moment, which always made me a little sad because  Howard Keel had such a great beard.

In my book The M Word, shaving provides two plot turning points.

Are there any other films in which shaving is an important part of the story?

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Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in It Happen...

Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable in It Happened One Night (Photo credit: Lea Ann Belter Bridal)

It Happened One Night

Bringing Up Baby

The Lady Eve

The More the Merrier

Ball of Fire

My favorite screwball comedies have a fairly normal person who finds him or herself in an outrageous situation — that gets worse.  

Cover of "The More the Merrier"

Source: Amazon.com

As I was thinking about my favorite black and white movies recently, I realized that my novels are a little like screwball comedies.  I can easily imagine Jean Arthur, Myrna Loy, Claudette Colbert or Barbara Stanwyck  as my heroines.  And my heroes — some of them could be James Stewart, Joel McCrea, Cary Grant or Henry Fonda.  None of the screwball stories are realistic, but they are fun to watch.  It’s the same with my fiction — it’s based on reality, but there is a quirkiness to it.

So the question is — If you have read my most popular book — Who would play the leads in BABY COMES FIRST if it were made into a film?  Any actor living or dead is fair game.  So yes, Richard Armitage could play ANY of my heroes.

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Cropped screenshot of Jean Arthur from the tra...

I really like Jean Arthur movies.  She was the ideal smart-mouthed, tender-hearted heroine.  She had a sincerity about her acting that made me think that her characters would find and keep that happily ever after — after the closing credits.  She played the kind of woman that I secretly would like to be — or would like as a close friend.  One of my favorite Arthur films is The More the MerrierJoel McCrea is particularly endearing in this movie — slapping his chest and barking like a seal in the shower. 

History Is Made at Night (1937 film)

Another, less well known movie with Arthur is History is Made at Night

It doesn’t always make sense, plot-wise, but there are moments that shine.  The scene in the taxi where Arthur thinks she has been kidnapped by Charles Boyer, a man pretending to be a jewel thief, is wonderful.  The scene where Boyer has to serve dinner to Arthur, thinking that she has gone back to her scummy husband, is on par with his final discussions with Irene Dunne in Love Affair.  I think I need to rev up my VCR. (Good news:  History is Made at Night is now on DVD, too).

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