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Friday, June 28, 2013

Loretta Young: The Farmer's Daughter (1947) & Christmas Eve (1986)

The Farmer's Daughter is a 1947 movie that tells the story of a farmgirl who ends up working as a maid for a Congressman and his politically powerful mother. It stars Loretta Young, Joseph Cotten, Ethel Barrymore, and Charles Bickford, and was adapted by Allen Rivkin and Laura Kerr from the play Juurakon Hulda by Hella Wuolijoki, using the pen name Juhani Tervapää. It was directed by H.C. Potter.

The film won the Academy Award for Best Actress for Loretta Young and was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Charles Bickford.

In 1963, a television series based on the film was produced, starring Inger Stevens, Cathleen Nesbitt and William Windom.

Two gems on 2 DVDs ...

(Actual screen captures)

Christmas Eve (1986) Loretta Young
with Arthur Hill, Ron Leibman, Trevor Howard, Patrick Cassidy, Season Hubley, Kate Reid

Golden Globe - Best Performance by an Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for TV (1987) - Loretta Young

NBC TV network, Original airing Dec. 22nd, 1986 - Story of a well-to-do elderly woman, who befriends the homeless and volunteers her time with children, who learns she has an incurable illness and wants desperately to reunite her three grown grand children (who are scattered across the U.S. living their own lives), with their estranged father, her son. She hires a private detective to search for them so as to try to get everyone together on Christmas Eve for one last reunion.

DVD exactly as seen on TV when originally aired.

A heart warming story line that most can relate to.

"Loretta Young brings her strength, intelligence and charm to this role. Welcome Back!"

Although scripts were still occasionally coming in, Loretta now considered herself permanently retired. That is, until 1986, when she was offered the perfect script, the lead in an NBC made-for-TV movie titled "Christmas Eve."

Filming was on location in Toronto, and twelve hour days were the norm, the director and crew allowed her to sleep a little later than everyone else in the mornings. Other than that, at 74, she kept up with the pace.

And she had lost none of her perfectionist tendencies: every night she looked at her dailies to see if her character was developing on-screen the way she should. "Unless you do," she told the director, "you don't know if the character is alive, dead, or too one-dimensional."

Four months later with Ronald Reagan - Loretta attended the Golden Globe awards. As the "Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Movie" category was announced, the winner was . . . Loretta Young! She received a standing ovation as she went onstage to collect her prize. "Miracles do happen," she said to the packed hall. "God in His mysterious way gave me 23 years to prepare for this role. This is the icing on the cake." She thought she heard Mama clapping too.

Two years later, Loretta made her very last film, Lady In A Corner, co-starring Brian Keith and Lindsay Frost, also for NBC and also filmed in Toronto.

Critic Hal Erikson said; "The sole reason for watching this made-for-TV movie is star Loretta Young, looking as youthful and stunning as ever." She was then 77 years young.

Exactly as seen on Television the night it aired ....

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