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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Connie Stevens, Catherine Hicks as MARILYN MONROE & Carol Lynley, Carroll Baker as JEAN HARLOW ~ 4 DVDs Free Ship USA


Marilyn Monroe & Jean Harlow - biopics

Carol Lynley as HARLOW (1965) Ginger Rogers as Mama Jean

NY Times, May 1965
"The "Harlow" based on Mr. Shulman's handiwork still lurks around the bend, trumpets blaring. Meanwhile, at the Paramount, is the race-winner penned by Karl Tunberg and shot, in the short-cut Electronovision process, apparently before the ink dried. The picture took eight days for filming, the last two due to inclement weather. It didn't rain long enough.

There is, front, center and anything but alluring, Carol Lynley as the nation's movie sex goddess of the thirties. She squeaks, occasionally furrows her youthful brow and twitches her nostrils.

Let's round out the cast. There's Ginger Rogers, as the star's whining, pushing mother; Barry Sullivan, as the girl's lazy, avaricious stepfather; Efrem Zimbalist Jr., as a lofty-nosed actor the heroine finally loves. Hurd Hatfield plays Paul Bern, her "incapable" producer-husband, and Jack Kruschen is Louis B. Mayer, depicted here as a kind of realistic, owlish Santa Claus.

All these, and unfortunates, under Alex Segal's direction, lope through the vignettes of this bony, bargain-basement appraisal of a famous, misguided and tragic young woman. The story, at least as souped up here, never suggests the evolution of a fine comedienne—an actress who learned—whose radiant, white-hot image brightened the screen, glowed and dimmed.

The picture has the tough-minded young heroine falling into her choice "Hell's Angels" role and then battling her mother, stepfather and studio over her sex synonymity, seeking solace in a doomed marriage and finally expiring, rather mysteriously, attended by true love (Mr. Zimbalist) as "Mr. Mayer" intones, "May God rest her soul." Most of the dialogue is atrocious. The picture hovers over the sequence of her tragic alliance with the suicidal Mr. Bern—a brief, amoral aftermath—with peephole solicitude.

Hermione Baddeley totters in with motherly advice to the heroine, playing Marie Dressler. Michael Dante, as a professional lover, clips off the film's most telling line to Miss Lynley: "Everybody has problems. But you stars are the ones who can afford to have them."

The Electronovision rush job on Miss Harlow's life and career is also a dimly-lit business technically. Maybe it's just as well. This much is for sure: Whatever the second "Harlow" picture looks and sounds like, it can't be much worse than the first.

B/W - Overall good quality for this low budget opus filmed in 8 days in EARLY videotape style media.

FOR FILM buffs - Ginger Rogers in my estimatation gives a better performance in this version than Angela Lansbury in the Carroll Baker big-budget opus. It could be the script OR the fact that Miss Rogers had more decades of experience under her belt.

Carroll Baker is HARLOW (1965) Angela Lansbury is Mamma Jean
Million dollar Big screen adaptation of the life of Jean Harlow .

Sex Symbol (1974) Connie Stevens
Co-starring Shelley Winters. A thinly disguised version of the life of Marilyn Monroe, detailing her ups and downs in life and how her erratic behavior contributes to her deteriorating career. TV movie released on DVD overseas with nudity. Two releases combined (occasional English sub-titles) to get a full Complete/un-cut movie (addtl. footage from USA TV release). Quality good.

Marilyn: The Untold Story (1980) Catherine Hicks
Miss Hicks won an Emmy nomination for her portrayal of Marilyn based upon Norman Mailer's best-selling novel of the day. DVD is the ABC Sunday Night Movie premiere airing.

4 no-region DVDs in DVD/CD sleeves, photo labels.
Guaranteed/replaced with same title.

PAY here (CLICK link) for $12.99 DVDs (USA)
4 DVDs in DVD/CD sleeve, photo label. Guaranteed, replaced with same title.
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