3.22.2012

Who learns to play the bugle?

Montgomery Clift, that's who.  Welcome to the Montgomery Clift edition of the Classic Movie Series Recap.  


Let's begin with two of Monty's classics, then we'll get to the juicy stuff.

The Heiress 
(Directed by William Wyler, 1949)

Olivia de Havilland (Catherine), daughter to her rich father, the surgeon, catches the eye of Montgomery Clift (Morris), who falls quickly in love with de Havilland.  Or does he?  Catherine's father believes that Morris, who is poor, but strikingly handsome and charming, is feigning interest in Catherine for her expected monetary inheritance; after all, she isn't a looker or the most socially skilled woman in her father's eyes.  The love between Catherine and Morris is captivating, and even though we expect that Catherine's father is right--that Morris is in it for the money--there is a real feeling of heartbreak when we find that to be true.  Morris leaves Catherine and flees to California where he stays for years.  He finally returns and asks for forgiveness.  Catherine, who is no longer dull, naive, or timid, gives Morris a dose of his own medicine and leaves him wishing he really did love her.  

Source here.


Alessandro fell asleep watching this movie 4 different times.  It became a joke that we should just play this movie whenever he had trouble sleeping.  But that says nothing about the movie...it is not boring at all...it's just how Alessandro rolls.  He falls asleep in movie theaters too...and at the drive-in.  He fell asleep while watching both Inception and Shutter Island and then claimed he didn't like either.  


Next up...



From Here to Eternity 
(Directed by Fred Zinnemann, 1953)

Donna Reed + Monty + Burt Lancaster + Frank Sinatra - Frank Sinatra = eye candy!  (Sorry, love me some Frank, but he's not my type).  This is a movie that took me on an emotional journey that I didn't know was coming.  Private Prewitt (Monty) is stationed in Hawaii with his Army's unit, where he befriends Private Maggio (Sinatra); the two form a very tight knit friendship and enjoy their weekend passes out on the town with each other.  Maggio is a partier and I guess somewhat of a ladies man (even though he's twirpy, as Alessandro describes Frank).  Prewitt meets Lorene (Reed) and the two begin seeing more and more of each other.  Their love blossoms, but at the same time, so does an unlikely friendship between Prewitt and his hard-nosed Sergeant (Lancaster), who has his own woman issues.  For me, this movie illustrated the immense bond between soldiers, the loyalty to one another they have and the love of serving one's country.  (This is not a war movie in the traditional sense, by the way).  The women of this movie were weak, and I was disappointed in them and their lack of empathy or loyalty toward the soldiers who loved them and their unwillingness to journey into the unknown.  The more I think about this movie, the more I like it; I've watched it twice, and I'm ready to watch it again.

Source here.

If there was ever anyone born to be an actor, it's Montgomery Clift.  Clift was reportedly very hard on himself in all of the roles he played and often times hated the end result.  For this role, he learned to play the bugle  even though he knew he would be dubbed over by a professional.  He still wanted his lip movements to be completely accurate.  Burt Lancaster said that going into this film, he was so nervous that he would be outperformed by Clift that he was shaking during their first scene together in the movie.  

And, um, why is Montgomery Clift so extremely handsome?  I cannot stop staring at pictures of him. 

Source and a good read here.

Source here.
Source here.

He is better looking than any George Clooney or Denzel or Ryan Gosling...


Source here.


...wait, hang on, I haven't decided about the last one...but yes, he is better looking that any of our current day movie stars.  No one is better than Monty. 

Oh, but my poor Monty.  As handsome as he was, he had a tragic life.  He got into a car accident in his 30s that disfigured his face and required him to have surgery.  He became addicted to pain pills and started heavy drinking.  His looks, and life, went downhill.  His career after the accident was referred to as "the longest suicide in Hollywood history."  Marilyn Monroe, who is famous for her own problems, said about Clift that he is "the only person I know who is in even worse shape than I am."  (Via Wikipedia).  Clift died at the age of 45 from a heart condition.  Such a sad sad ending to a beautiful person's life.  


That's it for this week's Classic Movie Series Recap.  Hope you enjoyed!  And please send me some recommendations for classic must see movies. 




*Source for first three photos found here and here.*

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