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Thursday, November 3, 2011

My Greer Garson Epiphany

This is something that I've been pretty excited about for the past week!

Remember back in September, on Greer's birthday, I said:
"You want to hear something shameful? I haven't even seen a Greer film in completion! Yes... not even "Mrs. Miniver". (I know, I hang my head in shame).... So something I promise to do in the next weeks or so is watch a Greer Garson movie."
 [September 29 from this post].
I actually did stick to that promise, though not exactly on purpose. Last week (before I had my epiphany) I wrote a post about what was in my Netflix queue and there were two Greer movies in it, but not exactly first on my list. (Though, technically, my queue isn't in order of what I want to see  first because there are so many movies I want to see and I'm too lazy to sort through it).

"The Epiphany" actually came exactly a week ago.

They showed "Adventure" (1945) on TCM last week. I was trying to do some homework for art class when the movie came on, and to tell you the truth it didn't actually capture my attention until Greer came on screen. (All the before stuff: Clark Gable on the ship, and some boy dying, and Thomas Mitchell losing his soul didn't captivate me, I guess).  I put away my work and I just had to watch her, watch the movie.

Actually, "Adventure" (1945) isn't all that great of a movie (I won't get into that much, as I may do a SMR for it), but Greer, and the way she played her character against Clark Gable's really entrapped me. I could finally see what was so 'special' about her, something I had been pretty much oblivious up until that point because I'd never completely sat down to watch one of her movies. I don't think that the still pictures do her justice.

I mean, she obviously looks lovely in them but I think you really need to see her on screen to love her. 

Because, I DO love her now! I'm sitting there watching her in this half bad movie, "Adventure" (though that tagline is BRILLIANT, "Gable's back and Garson's got him!"), and I went, "Oh, well, now I can tell what everyone loves about her!!!" You can't exactly explain it because you just have to watch her on screen, I suppose. But she's lovely. Seriously, it was like the lightbub moment for me. 

And oh my gosh! That VOICE. I WANT her voice. It's not the usual British accent (which, in itself, is awesome - I mean, I've got this thing for accents), it's that with these lilting tones. I can't quite explain it, it totally helps endear you to her.

Have a listen for yourself:

"Why do sailors drive so fast?"

And something I've heard other people say about her is, well, that she talked a lot. :) I'm not one of those people that mind "talkers" but I guess only if I can get a word in edge wise. I don't know. I mean, for Goodness sake, I obviously ramble on this blog a lot but in reality, I need to know a person quite well to talk to them (in that case, though, I can. Ramble. A lot. :D). THE POINT IS, even if I hated "talkers" - which Greer certainly was, a good proof of this is her five and a half minutes long Oscar speech, the longest to date - I would not mind listening to Greer ramble on. Because well, number one, of how pretty her voice sounds and obviously because she is a sweet person you'd want to listen to. So yes, one more thing that makes me love her.

Besides that, let me state the obvious: she is such a wonderful actress. I mean, like I said, "Adventure" was certainly not the greatest movie but when I watched it I was enjoying myself so much. She kept the character alive and with such warmth. Yes... she did play a likable character but all the while.

So since last week when I finally saw my first Greer movie I've watched three more of her films and listened to a OTR broadcast. [This one, and I recommend you listen to it because not only can you listen to her lovely voice, it's also a fun, albeit short, rendition of the classic "My Favorite Wife"]. I've seen "Scandal at Scourie" (1949), "Desire Me" (1947), "Mrs. Parkington" (1944) - and though they aren't Greer's most well known movies, or best, but currently I'm just having fun experimenting with her films, watching her on screen (which I enjoy very much), and just getting to know her as an actress. 

Oh, and I'm watching "Random Harvest" tonight and "When Ladies Meet" tomorrow. I'm excited to watch both; "Random Harvest" because you know, it's credited to be one of her best, and "When Ladies Meet" because (I think), it's also got Joan Crawford and Robert Taylor, which sounds like that should add up to a lot of fun.

I also really want to see "Julia Misbehaves" and obviously "Mrs. Miniver" - but whereas I can get the latter movie I have been unable to find "Julia Misbehaves"! I so want to see it. Elizabeth Taylor is in that, too. It just sounds like a lot of fun. I searched everywhere online for it and came up blank, so I guess I'll just have to wait until TCM shows it on TV next! :(

It's actually quite annoying because Netflix (like I said, my bread and butter, dahlings) has SUCH a small collection of her movies it's shameful. Only like five, I think, really. So I'm kind of trying to find her movies wherever I can now and watching them by all means. :)

[By the way, if you have an other Greer suggestions for me, by all means go ahead and pitch in. I got some in the birthday post I wrote for her - I'm open to more!]

(I was kind of annoyed at the lack of photos there are of her smiling, because she's got such a pretty smile. I wish she had been photographed more like that. Anyway, to show you her smile I decided to get a screencap from "Desire Me". The latter clip has some pretty good examples of her smile, too. :D)

Bottom line: She's totally one of my favorites now. <3 And I would basically call this whole experience an epiphany because it kind of hit me like a bolt of lightening, and I'm kind of embarrassed to have never realized this before! So perhaps a rambling sort of post, but Greer is a total favorite now, so, well, I thought I'd update you all. :)

Also, since I am watching so many of her movies you can expect a lot of SMRs with Greer's movies. But, don't worry, I am also watching other movies and we'll, you know, switch it up. :)

I guess I'll end this with this lovely Greer tribute I found on Youtube. I hope to make one myself in time!


Also, guess what?? I've decided to throw my hat in the ring for NaNoWriMo this year! For those of you that don't know what it is, NaNoWriMo stands for "National Novel Writing Month", which is exactly what November is. I LOVE to write stories in hopes of them being completed as a novel - that sometimes does happen, but nothing polished and complete yet for me to take seriously. (Though I've been doing this for quite a while, trust me). Since blogging I've slightly neglected my efforts, but only a bit and this ought to get me back on board. The goal is to write 50,000 words in a month which I probably won't be able to complete. I mean, school keeps me incredibly busy. All my homework and I have important exams to study for at the end of this month. But I do have some down time - this weekend is a long one (no school tomorrow) and Thanksgiving as well, so I thought, "what the heck!". I've seen a lot of bloggers and vloggers that I read and watch trying this, so I wanted to join in. :) Anyone else doing this? Let me know! :)

Also: a quick reminder to please vote in the poll! If it applies to you, that is. The question is simple: "Rebel Without a Cause" vs. "West Side Story" for which film you think is better. There's about a week left and so far only TWO votes. So please, if you can, vote :) because it sucks to present my results with only a couple of votes. (The poll is on the very top of my sidebar, the first thing you'll see). 

PS: I'm currently watching Greer in this interview. She's so adorable! ;D


Carmen said...

Wow, I'm so ashamed of myself. This post killed me because since those far lovely summer days, I've been saying to myself "You'll watch a Greer Garson movie." Well, I haven't, but now that you've written this, I swear I'll hurry, haha. I'll tell you about it when I do.

And if you are so anxious to find "Julia Misbehaves" you may be interested on this. I suppose you are looking for a free way of watching it, but if you're not, here's a possible solution. Anyway, I guess you already know of this source, but don't say I didn't try ;)

StanwyckFan said...

Rianna! I really need to see more Greer Garson... I'm literally dying (LITERALLY DYING) to see "When Ladies Meet", but just my luck it's no where to be found. I really adored her in "Random Harvest" (that's why I'm itching to find more of her films) and I hope you enjoy it!

Martin Turnbull said...

Rianna, it doesn't matter that you took so long to join the Greer Garson Appreciation Society, the important thing is that you are a member. WELCOME!

Irene Palfy said...

Oh - you chose some really wonderful pictures of her! I especially love the last one! Great that you now found another actress to admire! :")

Have a good start into a lovely weekend!


Rianna said...

Carmen - That's how I felt back in September when I hadn't seen any thing of hers! BUT don't be ashamed as it's never too late, lol (as I learned). :D Anyway, you should watch something of hers and let me know what you think of her :) Yeah, I was looking for a free way but I don't think that's really going to happen at this point so I may get the DVD. I appreciate you looking, and thanks much for the link! :)

Natalie - I'm going to watch "When Ladies Meet" on pay per view (I'm going to go watch it after I finish this :D). I hope it'll be worth it, it sounds quite fun, doesn't it?? I watched Random Harvest last night and of course, loved her. One of my favorite scenes was the "Bonny Daisy" part :D. I know there are several of her movies on Youtube, if you look. Let me know if you want links or something! :)

Martin- Haha, thank you! I'm glad I finally made it in. I know what I've been missing now!

Irene - Thanks! Yeah, I was so pleased to find the last one of her, as she's actually smiling in that. ;) And it's always fun to discover a new actress to really love. Have a lovely weekend, Irene! :)

StanwyckFan said...

Thanks for the offer, dear. I think I'll be able to find a few of her movies though, when I'm in need. ;) I'm glad you liked "Random Harvest" that ending was one of my favorites.

Rianna said...

Sure, they're all over Youtube, so if you're in the mood for one you know where to go. ;) Yes, I loved it. If it hadn't had that ending I don't know what I would've done! :)

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