Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Three Stars: Arden, Henreid, Kelly

Eve Arden

Eve Arden, "Comrade X," 1940.
Eve Arden plays a smart-mouthed girl reporter in this Ben Hecht and Charles Lederer penned comedy.  The big stars are Clark Gable as an investigative reporter black-mailed into marrying strident Communist Hedy Lamarr (as if one needs to be blackmailed into that marriage).  He's supposed to get her out of Russia because she's a target of a potential purge.  It's a funny film with patented Hecht/Lederer banter, in many ways reminiscent of "The Front Page."  And Eve Arden is great in her supporting role as the "best friend" gal pal who might be a better reporter than Gable.

Paul Henreid

Paul Henreid, "Deception," 1946.
Paul Henreid plays Bette Davis' cellist husband in this psychological drama.  She's an artist who has been living the high life as the "companion" of demanding, eccentric maestro Claude Rains.  When she marries Henreid she tries to keep her life with Rains secret (hence the title), but Rains butts into their life, writing a concerto for Henreid to perform.  What is Rains' motive? To destroy the young couple, or to help a new protege?  Will Davis ever come clean to Henreid?  And can Henreid's fragile psyche manage the drama AND perform the concerto?  It's a good, complicated Warner Bros. drama.


Gene Kelly

Gene Kelly, "An American in Paris," 1951.
I could sketch Gene Kelly all day.  This is from late in "An American in Paris," as he watches Leslie Caron leave with her French cabaret singer for a boat to America.  He's brooding.  He's serious.  And he's about to dance his "ballet." 

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