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Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

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stuart.uk
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Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby stuart.uk » June 16th, 2013, 10:53 am

Spoiler

I watched Christopher Strong for the first time the other day and had mixed fews about it. Considering Hepburn played a record breaking aviator, the main weakness of the film was the lack of airiel scenes in the movie, which might have made it better viewing.

The one pleasing thing in the film was the performance of Billie Burke as Colin Clive's wife and Hepburn's love rival. For a long time now I've wanted to see Burke playing it straight as an attractive youngish woman, rather than the high pitched excentric's she seems to have played, brilliantly I might add, from The Wizard of Oz through to Sargeant Rutlidge.I wonder if there are any more Billie Burke performances out there that compare to CS.

At the end of the film Hepburn commits suicide by chrashing her plane, after discovering she's pregnant with Clive's child, because she didn't want to break up his marraige to Burke. I wonder if that was a convincing end, because while it was 1933 Hepburn played a strong willed wealthy character and IMO could have disappeared abroad and brought the child up as a single mother, despite the scandel. Also she crashed a plane that would have cost thousands of pounds, so she let her backers down

RedRiver
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby RedRiver » June 16th, 2013, 2:17 pm

There was a time when late night TV in Chicago ran this movie and SYLVIA SCARLET almost weekly. Not literally, but that's what it felt like! I agree with you, Stuart. This is not a first rate film. Neither is "Sylvia." They're interesting as cinema history. Old; early in the actress' career. That's about it. I would say "Christopher" is the stronger of the two (oops!). It has the melodrama of scandal, the adventure of flying. Neither film is high on my list (oops!). For a very young Hepburn in a terrific movie, one can turn to Cukor's literate adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN.

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JackFavell
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby JackFavell » June 17th, 2013, 6:24 am

I really like Christopher Strong, even though it's got all the flaws you mention. Have you seen A Bill of Divorcement, Stuart? Burke is also a normal woman in that one, not the flighty flibbertigibet she would play constantly from then on.

I absolutely love Sylvia Scarlett red, it's one of my favorites of Hepburn's early period. But I like all of her flops, pretty much. Alice Adams (I think was not too well received), Quality Street, The Littl Minister, and best of all Spitfire. Call me crazy but I see a lot of growth through these movies, and enjoy them for what they are.

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CineMaven
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby CineMaven » June 17th, 2013, 9:36 am

This is the whole movie, for me:

Image

Kate was just out on the very edges of the universe in terms of her femininity. It probably didn't go well with folks of the time. She's an aviatrix. Living life on her own terms. The film had to find a way to make her pay...pay for being pregnant? Well that too. Pay for being independent and her own woman more likely. I notice near the end of the movie, Hepburn's character is giving her autobiograph to one of my faves: Margaret Lindsay ( Yay! ) I like "CHRISTOPHER STRONG." I just had a hard way to go to swallow her having an affair with the totally unsexy Colin Clive. I might've crashed the plane myself.
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stuart.uk
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby stuart.uk » July 2nd, 2013, 10:40 am

Wendy

At the weekend, early in the morning, we're getting the chance to see some good, but obscure films. Bearing in mind what you said about Billie Burke in Bill Of Divorcement being more ordinary compared with what she did later, I saw Gladys Cooper play an attractive looking woman in a film called Mr. Lucky with Cary Grant. I also think it was made a year after her performance as Bette Davis' elderly mother in Now Voyeger. Mind you I recall Bette Davis on Dick Cavat's show describe Cooper as a beautiful woman.

RedRiver
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby RedRiver » July 2nd, 2013, 10:47 am

Mr. LUCKY is a fine, understated movie. I believe the TV series is turning up again on late night reruns! I haven't seen it. But I saw an ad. I don't even remember that show from its original run. Maybe I'm too young (I don't get to say that very often!). Maybe it just didn't get a lot of publicity. It's only through syndication, many years later, that I've become familiar.

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JackFavell
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby JackFavell » July 2nd, 2013, 11:21 am

I LOVE Mr. Lucky, it's actually my very favorite Cary Grant movie, and that's a tough call he did so many good ones. I saw the TV show first, late at night in college and loved it. The TV show is good, but the movie is outstanding, to me anyway. Gladys is quite attractive as the society matron who hosts fund raising parties for the war effort. She surprises me more and more lately, Stuart. I've seen her turn up in the oddest films, not just the ones that you think of her in, like Now Voyager. Each time I see her in an unfamiliar movie, I find it actually hard to recognize her distinctive face, even though I know it's her... because her acting skills make her a completely different character. There have been at least 3 movies this last week or so that I saw her in, and every time, I was shocked to realize it was her.

She was at one time considered the epitome of the beautiful British woman and had her picture printed for the public more often than I think any other woman of her time. Here's an incredibly good, fascinating article about her from Moira:

http://moviemorlocks.com/2009/10/14/gla ... at-part-1/

http://moviemorlocks.com/2009/10/21/gla ... at-part-2/

RedRiver
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby RedRiver » July 2nd, 2013, 11:56 am

my very favorite Cary Grant movie, and that's a tough call he did so many good ones

Ain't that the truth! Some actors of that era made consistently good choices. Time after time. Rarely do I see a Grant film, or Crawford or Bogart or Cooper, that I'm disappointed in.

RedRiver
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby RedRiver » July 2nd, 2013, 11:57 am

Could any of today's actors make that claim? Lord help us!

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JackFavell
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Re: Christopher Strong Hepburn and Burke

Postby JackFavell » July 2nd, 2013, 12:27 pm

I agree, there are so few missteps, and even when there are, they are not really horrible films. Cary's mis-steps seem quaint and cute, rather than awful. The Howards of Virginia is eminently watchable. Born to Be Bad, Dream Wife and Once Upon a Time are a drag, but not because of Cary.


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