Mary Astor

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srowley75
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Post by srowley75 »

I think I was most impressed by Astor in The Palm Beach Story. Her performance is on target throughout the entire movie - not just her dialogue delivery, but also her body language, her gestures, her wonderfully sly smile. One of the all-time great comic turns. If the movie had been made ten years earlier, Astor would've made a great Auntie Mame.

-Stephen
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rudyfan
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Post by rudyfan »

Okay, clearly I need to see The Palm Beach Story. :oops:
drednm

Post by drednm »

THE PALM BEACH STORY is a riot...... Astor along with Claudette Colbert, Joel McCrea, the Weenie King (played by Robert Dudley), and the Ale & Quail Club..... one of the funniest movies ever made IMO....
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srowley75
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Post by srowley75 »

rudyfan wrote:Okay, clearly I need to see The Palm Beach Story. :oops:
Donna,

Do yourself a favor and buy it. Yes, the economic outlook continues to be grim, but this title in particular is one of Universal's more reasonably priced classics on DVD (most of the time you can find it for under $10 - check www.deepdiscount.com), and it'll put a smile on your face even as the world around you continues to wallow in doom and gloom.

And trust me, if you like classic comedies, it's one you'll want to revisit often. I certainly don't regret having bought it - I'm just glad Universal had the good sense to release it before it became a $30 Criterion release (as was the case with other Sturges films like Sullivan's Travels and The Lady Eve).

-Stephen
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moira finnie
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Re: Mary Astor's Birthday

Post by moira finnie »

Monday, May 3rd is the anniversary of Mary Astor's 104th birthday, so TCM is running a slew of obscure pre-codes and a few of her better known movies featuring this talented woman. You might enjoythis splendid appreciation of the actress and writer at The Bright Lights Film Journal. Below is the day's worth of programming on TCM and several photos of this talented and comely individual:

6:15 AM
Beau Brummel (1924)
In this silent film, the legendary dandy takes on British society to court a lady above his station. Cast: John Barrymore, Mary Astor, Willard Louis. Dir: Harry Beaumont. BW-128 mins, TV-G

8:30 AM
Runaway Bride, The (1930)
A criminal gang goes after the jewels their dying leader stashed in a woman's handbag. Cast: Mary Astor, Lloyd Hughes, David Newell. Dir: Donald Crisp. BW-66 mins, TV-G

9:45 AM
Sin Ship, The (1931)
A ship's captain fights to protect a female passenger from his crew. Cast: Louis Wolheim, Mary Astor, Ian Keith. Dir: Louis Wolheim. BW-65 mins, TV-G

11:00 AM
Smart Woman (1931)
A woman plots to make her cheating husband jealous. Cast: Mary Astor, Robert Ames, Edward Everett Horton. Dir: Gregory La Cava. BW-68 mins, TV-G

12:15 PM
Dinky (1935)
A military school cadet's mother is framed and sent to prison. Cast: Jackie Cooper, Mary Astor, Roger Pryor. Dir: D. Ross Lederman. BW-65 mins, TV-G

1:30 PM
Woman Against Woman (1938)
A divorcee decides she wants her husband back after he's re-married. Cast: Mary Astor, Herbert Marshall, Virginia Bruce. Dir: Robert Sinclair. BW-61 mins, TV-PG

2:45 PM
There's Always a Woman (1938)
While working on a simple case, married private eyes uncover a murder. Cast: Joan Blondell, Melvyn Douglas, Mary Astor. Dir: Alexander Hall. BW-81 mins, TV-G

4:15 PM
Midnight (1939)
An unemployed showgirl poses as Hungarian royalty to infiltrate Parisian society. Cast: Claudette Colbert, Don Ameche, John Barrymore. Dir: Mitchell Leisen. BW-94 mins, TV-G

6:00 PM
Great Lie, The (1941)
Believing her husband to be dead, a flyer's wife bargains with his former love to adopt the woman's baby. C

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Below: with Clark Gable in Red Dust (1932)
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Below: with Clark Gable in Any Number Can Play (1949)
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Dodsworth (1936):
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During a notorious trial for child custody, Mary Astor's personal life was put on trial. Astor later admitted that when on the stand during this traumatic phase of her life, she pretended to be the wise and level-headed "Edith Cortright," her character in Dodsworth (1936). You can read more about this event here.

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Below: While giving a beautiful performance as Marmee in Little Women (1949), Astor also was brilliantly and honestly playing the tired prostitute who tries to help Van Heflin in Act of Violence (1949)
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In Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964), the last role that Mary Astor chose to play on screen.
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A beautiful tribute to Mary Astor from youtube:
[youtube][/youtube]
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charliechaplinfan
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by charliechaplinfan »

Thanks for those pictures Moira. I love the Red Dust one, how sexy do they look? Red Dust most rank as one of my favorite precodes and favorite Gable movies.
Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself - Charlie Chaplin
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pvitari
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by pvitari »

I was hoping TCM would run one of my most-wanted movies, the 1927 silent The Rough Riders, directed by Victor Fleming and starring Charles Farrell, Charles Emmet Mack and Mary Astor. I've never been able to find a copy of this. :(

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Re: Mary Astor

Post by feaito »

Miss Astor was a lovely, feminine woman and she was at her best in "Dodsworth" (1936); How could have Sam refrained from falling in love with such a woman? Impossible.
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intothenitrate
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by intothenitrate »

Hey how's everybody doing? I was having an issue with my internet connection, then I just got all out of rhythm for a while there.

Thanks for those photos of Mary Astor, Moira. I've got to see that film with Van Heflin! Mary is such a great beauty...and then you have that voice...brimming with warmth, intelligence, and refinement. Just divine.

I bought the Palm Beach Story a few months ago and have watched it three or four times. And of course, I share everyone's sentiments about how brilliant (and what a hoot) Mary is. What I noticed on the second or third viewing is how wonderfully Mary works with Rudy Vallee. She's not a scene stealer by herself, but when she's with Rudy and they are working as a unit--the eccentric brother and sister--it's out and out grand larceny.
"Immorality may be fun, but it isn't fun enough to take the place of one hundred percent virtue and three square meals a day."
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laffite
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by laffite »

Avatar: "Hitchcock House"

I know there are people in the world who DO NOT LOVE their fellow human beings and I HATE people like that." --Tom Lehrer
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Allhallowsday
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by Allhallowsday »

MARY ASTOR was on Alfred Hitchcock Presents last night... but I missed it!
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jamesjazzguitar
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by jamesjazzguitar »

I'm glad this Mary Astor thread was bumped-up. Astor made films over 5 decades, starting with silent films in the 20s and ending her career in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte as Jewell Mayhew in 1964. During the 30s and 40s, Astor was an actor that would go from film to film, being the leading actress, a secondary leading actress, or supporting. Starting with Meet Me In St. Louis, Astor took on mother-roles and was somewhat type casted as a mother from there, with some fine exceptions like her role as a woman-of-the-night in Act of Violence (1949).
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drednm
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by drednm »

I have two of Mary Astor's first films, which were filmed in Maine in 1921. She was 15 years ago and starred in Brother of the Bear, which was her film debut) and My Lady o' the PInes. The former was filmed about 5 miles from where I live at the Belgrade Hotel on Long Pond. The hotel was one of those massive summer hotels with a veranda facing the lake. It burned down in the 1950s. Even at 15, Mary Astor had screen presence.
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laffite
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by laffite »

drednm wrote: January 13th, 2023, 8:56 pm I have two of Mary Astor's first films, which were filmed in Maine in 1921. She was 15 years ago and starred in Brother of the Bear, which was her film debut) and My Lady o' the PInes. The former was filmed about 5 miles from where I live at the Belgrade Hotel on Long Pond. The hotel was one of those massive summer hotels with a veranda facing the lake. It burned down in the 1950s. Even at 15, Mary Astor had screen presence.
How do you have these films, please. Not DVD assuredly, but I hope yes. VHS? Did she get screen time? Those would be fascinating to see. Thanks.
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I know there are people in the world who DO NOT LOVE their fellow human beings and I HATE people like that." --Tom Lehrer
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laffite
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Re: Mary Astor

Post by laffite »

Midnight tonight Eastern on TCM, Listen, Darling (1938), with Freddie Bartholomew, Judy Garland, and Mary Astor. I haven't seen it so I have no preview. Our Mary, and young Judy and Freddie.
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I know there are people in the world who DO NOT LOVE their fellow human beings and I HATE people like that." --Tom Lehrer
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