Category Archives: Film & Media

How Deep Is Your Love: The Bee Gees’ first hit song for “Saturday Night Fever” still defines the Disco Age.

By John P. Walsh

How Deep Is Your Love (1977) by the Bee Gees ranks number 375 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.1 It sits between White Room (1968) by Cream and Unchained Melody (1965) by The Righteous Brothers. Barry Gibb, the lone surviving Bee Gee today, reportedly said that How Deep Is Your Love is his favorite Bee Gees song. 2 In 2011 it was voted in a TV poll as the UK’s favorite.3 Recorded in the spring of 1977 in anticipation of the album and film Saturday Night Fever to be released later that year— How Deep Is Your Love was released in the U.S. as a single in September 1977. Three months later, after the smash-hit film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta was released, How Deep Is Your Love became the number one song in the U.S. on Christmas Eve 1977 and stayed in the top spot for three weeks. Although the song had started on the charts in October 1977, when it reached number one it stayed in the top 10 for four months until April 1978 which, at that time, set a longevity record. There are two official music videos for How Deep Is Your Love featuring the Bee Gees.4

This is the later of two official music videos performed by the Bee Gees of How Deep is Your Love.

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The music of the Bee Gees (left to right: Robin, Barry, and Maurice Gibb) and the 1977 film Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta breathed fire into the disco music craze and helped define the disco era in the late 1970’s.
albumA huge international pop music hit starting in late 1977, How Deep is Your Love written and performed by the Bee Gees made its way into the Saturday Night Fever: The Original Movie Sound Track album that went Platinum on January 3, 1978 and was certified 16x Multi-Platinum on November 16, 2017.  It remains one of the top ten-selling albums of all time.

When the Bee Gees were asked by film producer Robert Stigwood to provide five songs for a film tentatively titled Tribal Rites of the New Saturday Night based on the 1975 New York magazine fiction article about the urban disco scene, they didn’t want to compose music specifically for a film (although Barry did write the title song for Stigwood’s follow-up picture, Grease). It didn’t help that the Bee Gees were given neither a script nor hardly told what the movie plot was about. They offered Stigwood, their longtime manager, songs that they were already working on, namely, Stayin’ Alive, Night Fever, If I Can’t Have You (later sung by Yvonne Elliman), More Than A Woman, and How Deep is Your Love.5 At one early screening with John Travolta and director John Badham, among others, the Bee Gees were pleased though a little surprised when they saw for the first time scenes of the re-titled Saturday Night Fever with their music and lyrics to back it up. Although the music soundtrack at this juncture was demo cuts, the songs they wrote and performed meshed perfectly with the film’s scenes about which they had never been told very much. To be added to their astonishment—as much as anyone else’s there attending that rough cut – is that the Bee Gees had no idea they had embarked on a motion picture that would soon prove to be a milestone in film history.  Saturday Night Fever would perfectly capture a moment in time and forever define the disco age.

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John Travolta arriving at the London premiere of Saturday Night Fever on March 22, 1978 with companion Kay Edwards.

Following its world premiere in Hollywood on December 7, 1977, Saturday Night Fever became an enormous success. It became Chicago film critic Gene Siskel’s favorite film—soon after, Siskel famously bought Tony Manero’s white suit at a charity auction in 1978 for $2,000. Colleague and friend Roger Ebert writing shortly after Siskel’s death in 1999, believed that Saturday Night Fever had struck Siskel mainly on an emotional level but also for its themes that had impressed him. Other influential film critics were similarly praiseworthy of the film’s subject matter. At the 50th Academy Awards on April 3, 1978 Saturday Night Fever had received only one nomination (John Travolta for Best Actor) in a year where Annie Hall and Star Wars dominated the competition. Robin Gibb later observed that Saturday Night Fever was made on a very low budget, released very late in the year and had no expensive promotion. The film’s word of mouth was good, however, which even included its star, John Travolta, who at its world premiere at then-Mann’s Chinese Theatre admitted watching the musical film on the big screen as if seeing a fantasy or dream for the first time.6

Stigwood and Bee Gees

Producer Robert Stigwood with the Bee Gees at the peak of their careers. Australian Stigwood managed the English-Australian pop-rock band for a decade before Saturday Night Fever launched them into global superstardom.

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Tony Manero’s shiny white polyester suit – bought off the rack in Brooklyn for the making of the film Saturday Night Fever- has been compared to a symbol of aspiration and hope in what is otherwise a dark movie.

Conceptually the song How Deep Is Your Love materialized when, working with collaborator Blue Weaver, Barry Gibb’s instigating question to him in beginning to compose it was: “What is the most beautiful chord that you know?”7 It was the first song the Bee Gees composed that ended up in the film Saturday Night Fever. After a creative hit-and-miss process at the piano – and further collaboration with Robin and Maurice – the song was put together in the middle of night in about four hours at the Château d’Hérouville studios in France.8 This was part of the Bee Gees’ usual working process – arriving into the studio around three o’clock in the afternoon and ending their workday near or after midnight – resulting in all of the film’s songs written quickly, with the lyrics finished later and the disco music taking longer.9 The Bee Gees’ falsetto singing had always been emotional, and it was often by way of collaborating with industry talent— other musicians, producers, and the like—that their music developed in new directions. By the time How Deep is Your Love came about, the Bee Gees had a reputation for being open to suggestions, including the personally emotional piano chords Blue Weaver offered the Brothers Gibb that night.10 The creation of How Deep Is Your Love followed a course already prevalent in the Bee Gees musical career – an attitude of collaboration and creativity in the studio that allowed ideas to be suggested, and beautiful melodies to quickly emerge as the result. Though How Deep is Your Love was composed in one sitting, its arrangement and production took longer which changed some of the song’s original structure. The title was based on what the Bee Gees simply maintained was the variety of connections listeners could make with the phrase How Deep is Your Love – and so providing the song with further universal appeal.11 Following the film’s U.S. release by Paramount Pictures on December 14, 1977 Maurice Gibb believed its ultimate success was the combination of its phenomenal 23-year-old star John Travolta and the music soundtrack whose album had already been certified Gold on November 22, 1977 and certified Platinum on January 3, 1978. The combination of  star power and music –  along with stunning word of mouth and critical acclaim – created a record-shattering synergy for both film and soundtrack album featuring Bee Gees songs making the cultural impact of Saturday Night Fever swift and enduring. How Deep is Your Love remains one of the most anthologized love songs of the modern era. As recently as November 16, 2017, the soundtrack album was certified 16x Multi-Platinum.12

John Travolta.
John Travolta in the 1970’s. Playing 19-year-old Tony Manero in Saturday Night Fever about a teen with a good job at the local hardware store in Brooklyn who is trying to dance his way to a better life. His performance earned the 23-year-old Travolta an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role that year.  
Donna Pescow and John Travolta
Donna Pescow as Annette and John Travolta as Tony. In Saturday Night Fever, Annette is Tony’s former dance partner and would-be girlfriend.

Karen Lynn Gorney and John Travolta.

Like Brooklyn-born Donna Pescow and others in the cast of Saturday Night Fever, co-star Karen Lynn Gorney, John Travolta’s love interest in the film,  was a newcomer. Even Travolta who had a swelling fan base because of his ongoing role as Vinnie Barbarino in the popular late 1970’s TV sitcom Welcome Back, Kotter, was not seen as a dance man. Hungry to take his acting career to the next level, Travolta’s energetic dance scenes had critics praising his performance as among the best ever filmed.
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This two-minute scene of disco dancing by John Travolta thrust his energetic performance into the annals of film history.

John Travolta as Tony Manero

“Robert Stigwood explained to the Bee Gees about this young guy, who every weekend blows his wages at a disco in Brooklyn. He’s got a really truly Catholic family, and he’s got a good job, but he blows his wages every Saturday night. He has his mates with him. Then he comes back and starts the week again, and this goes on every Saturday night. But it’s just this one Saturday night that’s filmed. So that’s what we knew (about a film we were writing music for) except it was John Travolta playing the part…” Maurice Gibb in Bee Gees: The Authorized Biography.
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Tony Manero’s mother and father (Flo Bovasso and Val Bisoglio) had other priorities than Tony’s future.
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Tony’s friends Bobby C. (Barry Miller), Double J. (Paul Pape), and Joey (Joseph Cali).

How Deep Is Your Love quickly reached number one internationally in countries such as Canada, Brazil, Finland, Chile, and France. In the Bee Gees’ native England it reached number three which delighted the newly–resurgent pop music group in that they had a top five hit in a country that by the mid-to-late 1970’s saw Punk and New wave rock in the ascendant.13 The Sex Pistols’ God Save the Queen, also released in 1977, was banned on the airwaves by the BBC for its “gross bad taste” though today it ranks number 175 on the Rolling Stone’s Greatest Hits list – 200 slots higher than the Bee Gees’ disco ballad, How Deep Is Your Love. How Deep Is Your Love and the Saturday Night Fever album provided superstar momentum for the Bee Gees’ next projects, but like their careers up to that point, the English-Australian pop-rock band simply continued their readiness to create music. In The Ultimate Biography of the Bee Gees, Blue Weaver understood the Bee Gees’ success during this period was not due to their “virtuosity,” although their falsetto vocals were “brilliant,” but their collaborative working method which they pursued until reaching the final product that satisfied them – and clearly satisfied some part of the rest of the world.14

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The Bee Gees in 1977.
Bee Gees 1978.
Robin, Maurice, and Barry Gibb in 1978. Barry said that year: “When we were kids, we’d sit on each other’s beds all night and plan our careers. We decided that when we got to the top, we’d have our own office. We wanted to get to a point where we wouldn’t have to ever work again so we could sit back and enjoy everything we had accomplished. A few years ago that seemed forever out of reach. Sometimes I think I’m living that dream now. We’ve never really made it before. If this is indeed the top, then it’s better than what we imagined. It’s a lot of fun.” Bee Gees: The Authorized Biography.
Barry Gibb 2017.
As the Bee Gees, Barry and twins Maurice and Robin became one of the world’s biggest bands ever selling more than 220 million records. In 1997 they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Maurice died in 2003 and Robin in 2012. In 2017 Barry told CBS News: “So when I lost them all, I didn’t know whether I wanted to go on. ”
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70-year-old Barry Gibb was honored during Stayin’ Alive: A Grammy Salute to the Music of the Bee Gees in April 2017 where he got up on stage to close out the show to perform a few hit songs.
Barry Gibb 2012
Barry at his brother Robin’s funeral in England in June 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BrkjaONJRcA

During one visit to the hospital while Robin was in a coma, Barry sang a song that he had written for him called The End Of The Rainbow.
John Travolta and Barry Gibb Bee Gees Tribute Grammys 2017.

 

NOTES:

  1. Rolling Stones List – https://www.rollingstone.com/music/lists/the-500-greatest-songs-of-all-time-20110407 – Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  2. Barry Gibb’s favorite song – The Bee Gees: 35 Years of Music, Billboard: 27. March 24, 2001.  – Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  3. TV poll – https://web.archive.org/web/20121019120053/http://www.itv.com/beegees/ – Retrieved September 13, 2017.
  4. Song’s recording and release dates – Bee Gees Anthology (songbook) by the Bee Gees, Hal Leonard (1991) and Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.116.
  5. Didn’t want to compose music for a film – The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, pp. 411; Hardly told the film plot – Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.110.
  6. Surprised music with unseen film meshed – Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.111; Ebert on Siskel’s favorite film – https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/great-movie-saturday-night-fever-1977 – Retrieved January 24, 2018; other critics’ praise of film- see Pauline Kael, “Nirvana,” The New Yorker, December 26, 1977, pp. 59-60; film low budget, released late- The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, pp. 411. Regarding the white suit that had been bought off the rack in Brooklyn for the film, its symbolism in Saturday Night Fever has been postulated. Professor Deborah Nadoolman Landis, a designer and historian of film costume stated that the white suit was a symbol of aspiration and hope in an otherwise “dark little movie” – see https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2012/aug/06/john-travolta-white-suit-v-and-a – retrieved January 25, 2018.
  7. Song’s musical concept – The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, pp. 411-412.
  8. First song composed for Saturday Night Fever, Château d’Hérouville – Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.109.
  9. Songs written quickly – Ibid., p.109; lyrics later – The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, p. 415.
  10. Open to suggestions – Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.107. emotional piano chords – The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, p. 411-12.
  11. song composing, arrangement, and production – The Ultimate Biography Of The Bee Gees: Tales Of The Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, pp. 409 and 412. Title chose Ibid. p. 412.
  12. Movie’s ultimate success – Bee Gees The Authorized Biography, Barry, Robin and Maurice Gibb (as told to David Leaf), Delilah Communications/A Delta special, 1979, p.112. Costing $3.5 million to make, Saturday Night Fever earned an impressive $237.1 million –see “Saturday Night Fever, Box Office Information”Box Office Mojo – retrieved May 26, 2014. Soundtrack album certified God and Platinum -http://www.beegees-world.com/bio_gplat.html -Retrieved February 1 , 2018. certified 16x Multi-Platinum on November 16, 2017 – see https://www.riaa.com/gold-platinum/- retrieved January 24, 2018.
  13. Number one hit internationally – “Songs Written by the Gibb Family on the International Charts – Part 3”(PDF). http://www.brothersgibb.org/download/page-3.pdf – Retrieved January 24, 2018; number 3 in Britain – The Ultimate Biography of the Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, p. 421.
  14. Continued with their readiness to work – The Ultimate Biography of the Bee Gees: Tales of the Brothers Gibb, By Melinda Bilyeu, Hector Cook, Andrew Môn Hughes, 2001, Omnibus Press, London, pp. 467.©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

Fashionable and versatile award-winning Italian film actress Carolina Crescentini always seems to be working.

By John P. Walsh.

Carolina Crescentini is an Italian film and television actress who has appeared in more than 20 films since 2006. Born in Rome in 1980 (April 18) Carolina grew up in the elegant Monteverde Vecchio district. Not unlike Grace Kelly of Philadelphia, Carolina wanted to become an actress from an early age and studied and worked diligently in the craft. Carolina attended Italian acting schools including the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia – or, The Center for Experimental Cinematography. This Italian institution hosts a national film archives (Cineteca Nazionale) as well as one of Italy’s most prestigious film acting schools (Scuola Nazionale di Cinema). Soon after, Carolina began her acting career in television commercials and short films and music videos. The blonde beauty whose stage presence is similar to Kate Hudson and whose fashion savvy is like Chloë Sevigny got her first big break in films from another Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia alumni –  Fausto Brizzi. It was in the sequel to Brizzi’s 2006 film Notte prima degli esami (The Night Before The Exams) which was a film phenomenon in Italy making around 15 million euros and winning a David di Donatello Award (the Italian Oscar) and several other awards. In Brizzi’s 2007 hit Italian teen comedy Notte prima degli esami – Oggi (The Night Before The Exams – Today), Carolina Cresentini plays Azzurra, the love interest of the main character. Where Brizzi’s 2006 teen comedy is set in Rome in 1989, the 2007 sequel which featured many of the same actors in the same roleswith the addition, of course, of Carolina Crescentini— it is set in the summer 2006 as Italy played for the World Cup which they won that year. Brizzi’s sequel and Carolina’s first major film was an even bigger hit than the original. Even the French film industry made a version of Notte prima degli esami calling it Nos 18 ans and featuring French teenagers set in 1989.

1. CAROLINA CRESCENTINI

Carolina Crescentini in the pillow fight scene from Notte Prima degli Esami – Oggi (2007). The film was the Italian actress’s breakout role.

Nicolas Vaporidis  Carolina Crescentini

Italian actors Nicolas Vaporidis and Carolina Crescentini during filming of Notte Prima Degli Esami – Oggi. About six months later they starred again together in the film thriller Cemento armato.

This is the pillow fight scene in Fausto Brizzi’s sequel Notte Prima degli esamei – Oggi where Nicolas Vaporidis as Luca and Carolina Cresecentini as Azzura first meet. A box office smash in Italy, it was Carolina Crescentini’s first major film and started her on the road to stardom. In Italian. (3.22 minutes).

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Carolina Crescentini at the Taormina (Sicily) Film Festival.

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Carolina Crescentini wears Italian and international contemporary fashion with elegance and flair.

Within the year of her first major film Carolina immediately co-starred with Italian star Nicolas Vaporidis to make Cemento armato (Concrete Romance), a 2007 Italian neo-noir thriller directed by Marco Martani. Crescentini’s dramatic performance as Asia, a rape victim, earned her a Best Actress nomination at the prestigious Nastro d’Argento (Silver Ribbon) Awards. In 2008, Carolina was nominated for a David di Donatello Award for Best Supporting Actress playing Benedetta, a fragile and spoiled rich beauty pursued by Silvio Muccino in Parlami d’amore (Speak to me of love). The film became another smash hit in Italy that year.

This is the trailer for Cemento armato. In a role that earned her a Best Actress nomination at the Nastro d’Argento awards in 2008, the blonde beauty Carolina Crescentini wears her hair dark which matches this film’s often violent character. In Italian (1.27 minutes).

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Carolina Crescentini with hat.

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Carolina Crescentini’s performance in the Italian thriller Cemento armato (Concrete Romance) earned her a Best Actress nomination in 2008.

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Carolina Crescentini.

7. CAROLINA CRESCENTINI reads about tennis

Before becoming an actor, Carolina Crescentini thought she would be an art or film critic. Here she reads about tennis star Andre Agassi.

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Carolina Crescentini’s beauty has been called special. A blonde with gentle features her beauty captivates but does not immediately overwhelm. Her attraction is fed by details: blue eyes surrounded by sensual dark circles that give an uneasy and lived-in air.

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Carolina Crescentini’s smile radiates kindness and beauty that might offer Botticelli a worthwhile subject.

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The graceful figure of Carolina Crescentini.

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Carolina Crescentini.

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Carolina Crescentini.

A scene from Carolina Crescentini’s third film Parlami d’amore (Speak to me of love) in a role which led to her being nominated for a David di Donatello Award for Best Supporting Actress. Her co-star is Silvio Muccino. (2:34 minutes).

Silvio Muccino presenta il suo "Parlami d'amore"

Carolina at the premiere of Tell me About Love (Parlami d’Amore).

Carolina made films where her roles were smaller but memorable such as playing Anna in veteran Italian director Giuliano Montaldo’s I demoni di San Pietroburgo (The Demons of St. Petersburg) a bio-pic about Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky. With a soundtrack by prolific Ennio Morricone, Carolina said her experience for this 2008 film on location in Russia was very beautiful.

The trailer is from The Demons of St. Petersburg which was one of Carolina Crescentini’s favorite films to work on. It is a biopic of Fyodor Dostoyevsky shot on location in Russia featuring an all-star international cast.  (1:41 minutes).

14. Carolina Crescentini

Playing Anna in The Demons of Saint Petersburg (2008) which Carolina described as a beautiful film work experience.

15. Carolina Crescentini

I demoni di San Pietroburgo – Carolina Crescentini, Miki Manojlovic, Anita Caprioli, Giuliano Montaldo (director)

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Carolina Crescentini at an event in Rome for The Demons of St. Petersburg.

In 2010 Carolina’s body of work was further recognized by winning the Giuseppe De Santis Award for Best Female Newcomer and the Giffoni Award at that venerable international children’s film festival. In 2011 Carolina won the people’s choice Ciak D’Oro award for Best Supporting Actress playing Corinna in the 2011 Italian comedy film Boris-Il Film based on the popular Italian TV series of the same name. 

From Boris-Il Film (58 seconds):

16. Carolina Crescentin

Carolina Crescentini, the star of Boris – Il Film.

18. Carolina Crescentini

Carolina Crescentini as Corinna in Boris-Il Film.

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Carolina Crescentini dressed in Ferragamo for a press conference in Rome for Boris-Il Film. Part of the SS2011 collection it is elegantly detailed within a warm and refined tone. Carolina chose to combine a double-breasted jacket with brown high heel boots for a delightfully easy look.

Carolina Crescentini.

Carolina Crescentini in Ferragamo.

Carolina Crescentini

Italian film actress Carolina Crescentini in a still from Boris-Il Film.

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Carolina Crescentini next appeared in the 2010 film “Twenty Cigarette” about a survivor of the 2003 Nasiriyah bombing in Iraq. Carolina commented that the film was an authentic story without  rhetoric, fully respectful of the feelings of the fallen family.

20. Carolina Crescentini

At the 73rd Venice Film Festival in 2016.

20. Carolina Crescentini

73rd Venice Film Festival.

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Carolina Crescentini plays Angelica in the 2009 Italian comedy film “Generazione 1000 euro” written and directed by Massimo Venier. The film received two Nastro d’Argento nominations for best comedy film and for best supporting actress.

Excerpt from a trailer for the 2009 Italian comedy film Oggi sposi (Just Married) directed by Luca Lucini. Carolina plays Glada in a movie about a reformed ladies’ man who has his heart set on marrying the daughter of the Indian ambassador. (56 seconds):

In the 2011 award-winning drama film The Entreprenuer (L’Industriale), Carolina worked again with director Giuliano Montaldo. It follows the story of a businessman facing extreme challenges to make his enterprises successful. A press event with the director and cast (4:07 minutes) is followed by a clip featuring Carolina Crescentiti and Pierfrancesco Favino in a scene from the Italian Golden Globes Best Film (:31 minutes):

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Carolina Crescentini and Pierfrancesco Favino in The Entrepreneur (2011) directed by Giuliano Montaldo.

In addition to regular work in many Italian TV series and movies including the series I bastardi di Pizzofalcone (2017) and movie Donne:Pucci (2016), Carolina Crescentini is a fashion icon in Italy wearing many designs by prestigious fashion houses, both old and new, Italian and international. Carolina has appeared on many magazine covers including rather famously, her shoot for Playboy in May 2010, Carolina said that in some shots she can’t recognize herself and chalking it up to “Photoshop.”

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Carolina Crescentini posing in Playboy in 2010.

Carolina

Glamorous Carolina.

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Carolina Crescentini in Playboy in 2010.

Carolina Crescentini

Carolina Crescentini.

Carolina Crescentini 2017

F Magazine, Italy (8 February 2017)

Carolina Crescentini

Io Donna Magazine (24 January 2015)

Carolina Crescentini

Grazia Magazine, Italy (24 August 2016)

Tu Style Magazine [Italy] (9 May 2016)

Tu Style Magazine, Italy (9 May 2016)

CAROLINA CRESCENTINI

Playboy 2010.


Carolina’s most recent film work includes Tempo instabile con probabili schiarite (Partly Cloudy with Sunny spells), a 2015 Italian comedy about business partners who find oil on their land at the same time their furniture factory is going out of business. Carolina plays Elena, the wife of the lead. She also appeared in the discomfiting satiric film called Pecore in erba (The Sheep in the Meadow, a.k.a. Burning Love) written and directed by Alberto Caviglia which debuted at the Venice Film Festival in 2015. Also in 2015 Carolina worked once again with veteran Italian film directors— this time it was the brothers Taviani in their wry Maraviglioso Boccaccio (Wonderous Boccaccio) based on vignettes from the fourteenth centuryThe Decameron. Both the book and the film premiered in Florence – although by different authors six centuries apart.

Trailer for the witty and wry 2015 film Maraviglioso Boccaccio directed by veteran Italian film directors Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (1:34 minutes)

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Marvelous Boccaccio: Carolina Crescentini in a scene where she plays a wayward nun.

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Maraviglioso Boccaccio: Carolina Crescentini plays a wayward nun who brings her lover into the cloister.

A humorous scene from Maraviglioso Boccaccio featuring Carolina Crescentini as Isabetta, a wayward novice. Also featured is Paola Cortellesi as the convent’s hypocritical superior. (3.02 minutes):

Carolina Crescentini

Carolina Crescentini.

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Carolina Crescentini in a leather jacket.

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Carolina Crescentini at Christmas.

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Carolina Crescentini, costume designer Piero Tosi and Anna Fendi.

CAROLINA CRESCENTINI (20)

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Carolina Crescentini: red carpet.

Text ©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

To be continued….

..

St. Francis of Assisi and the Leper.

 

By John P. Walsh

Come la notte Francesco pregando nella selva incontro il lebbroso – How St. Francis praying one night meets a leper.

Starting at 38:15, the dramatic five-minute scene in the middle of Roberto Rossellini’s 1950 Italian film Francesco, giullare di Dio (Francis, God’s Jester or The Flowers of St. Francis) shows the medieval St. Francis of Assisi (c. 1181-1226) seeking out and embracing a leper, the time-honored social outcast. Following their embrace—an encounter Francis up to this point in his life had assiduously avoided—the saint falls to the ground and, out of the depths of his being, in tears he utters: “My God. My Lord and my all!  O great God!”

While this event is dramatized in Rossellini’s film after Francis’s brotherhood is established, historically it occurred at the beginning of the Italian saint’s conversion.  In Francis’s own Testament written in 1225—one year before his death at 44 or 45 years old—the saint stated his embrace of the leper became the cause of his conversion. As Francis put it he “exercised mercy” to the leper not because he had been converted but that the leper— a common sight in medieval Europe and one that filled Francis with horror whenever he came upon one—became the astonishing means for his conversion.

In the thirteenth century in Europe, lepers by law had to live apart from the rest of society owing to their contagious infectious disease. Yet from at least the seventh century in Italy onward there was special orders of knights who took care of them. For a rich young man such as Francis seeking glory in military arms, he naturally despised this dastardly contagion and diligently avoided lepers. In the time period that Rossellini’s poignant film scene is set— it is either 1205 or 1206—there existed tens of thousands of church-run leper “hospitals” in Europe including one that was only a short walk outside Assisi’s town walls called San Salvatore delle Pareti.

Before this famous encounter of embracing the leper in the life of St. Francis, Francis, who was around 24 years old, had worked up to the crucial moment only gradually. After he had given up his several quests to be a soldier and returned to Assisi for good, he was welcomed back by his family and friends.  But for the same reasons that he abandoned his military career before it even started, these also prompted him to walk tentatively out of Assisi along the road to the leper hospital (whose site today is a farm field) to interact with its challenging pastoral activity of caring for these patients which stretched back 600 years to Pope Gregory the Great (540-604).  Sometimes it was the sickening smell peculiar to the leper hospital that would waft into Francis’s nostrils and make him flee. Other times, young Francis—who by now was living mostly as a hermit— after venturing to the leper hospital to give them a charitable gift vanished as bell-clanging patients appeared. He left his gift on the roadside because he did not desire to come into any closer quarters with these outcasts.

It took much more time, effort and prayers in solitude which Francis believed were eventually answered by God until he discovered his courage and confidence to embrace a leper as dramatized in Rossellini’s film.  Following a lifetime spent in heroic Franciscan mendicancy, the now world-famous Umbrian saint proclaimed that it was at this moment—as he conquered his fears and embraced the other in love no matter how apparently godforsaken—that his life in and for God truly started.

SOURCE: St Francis of Assisi: A Biography by Johannes Jørgensen (1912). Translated from the Danish with the author’s sanction by T. O’Conor Sloane, Image books, 1955.

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

Grace Kelly in Photographs: Philadelphia, New York and Hollywood.

Text by John P. Walsh.

Here are some famous and rarely seen photographs of Philadelphia-born Grace Kelly (1929-1982) before and during her short but dazzling film career in Hollywood. Called the “Greatest Screen Presence in Film,”1 passionate and dramatically talented Grace Kelly was Alfred Hitchcock’s favorite actress when she starred in three of his classic films of the 1950’s: Dial M For Murder (1954), Rear Window (1954) and To Catch a Thief (1955).  After Grace was discovered in 1951 by Gary Cooper who said that she was “different from all these actresses we’ve been seeing so much of”2—and subsequently cast in High Noon (1951) as Cooper’s movie wife—Grace Kelly’s incomparable charm and allure swiftly impressed Hollywood and the world. From September 1951 to March 1956 Grace Kelly’s star blazed in eleven major motion pictures for five different Hollywood studios. Following High Noon for United Artists, her performance for M-G-M on John Ford’s Mogambo (1953) led to Grace’s first Academy Award nomination as Best Supporting Actress. Grace began work in July 1953 on Dial M For Murder for Warner Brothers where she met Alfred Hitchcock who became a cinematic mentor. Soon after, The Bridges at Toko-Ri (1954) at Paramount Pictures began Grace’s ground-breaking multi-film collaboration with Academy-Award winning costume designer Edith Head. Grace refused other lucrative film offers to work again with Hitchcock, this time at Paramount Pictures, on Rear Window co-starring Jimmy Stewart. In this landmark film which came out in summer 1954, one of Hitchcock’s dramatic emphases for Grace Kelly’s film persona was to display her natural elegance and sex appeal—he was amused by her public image as an “Ice Queen”3—by having her costumed in an array of fabulous Edith-Head-designed lingerie, dresses, and pants. Growing up in Philadelphia Grace Kelly as an adolescent and teenager had modeled in local fashion shows but, by the middle 1950’s in her mid-twenties, she became an international fashion and style icon. Following these first phenomenal film credits, what happened for Grace Kelly next was perhaps surprising but not unexpected, and a clear and certain capstone to, and beacon for, her professional acting career that was barely five years old. Never just a pretty face, Grace Kelly insisted in her studio contract that she be allowed regular breaks to be able to act in live theater.4 Grace admired the art of the live stage and welcomed demanding theater and film roles that challenged and exhibited her acting range and abilities. This was part of her motivation to go after the hardly glamorous but dramatically impressive role of Georgie Elgin in George Seaton’s The Country Girl (1954) for Paramount Pictures. With co-stars Bing Crosby and William Holden, the film featured Grace playing the long-suffering wife of an alcoholic actor struggling to resume his career (played by Crosby). At its release, the film was a hit and nominated for seven Academy Awards. On Wednesday, March 30, 1955, at the telecast of the 27th annual Academy Awards held at RKO Pantages Theatre,5 The Country Girl won two Oscars, including one for Grace Kelly for Best Actress. At just 25 years old Grace Kelly—of the ambitious and hugely competitive Philadelphia Kellys—had reached the highest echelons of the cinematic arts by way of her profession’s gold-plated statuette. Always looking ahead, Grace’s film career had already turned international. She did Mogambo for a host of reasons not least of which was being able to see Africa with “all expenses paid.”6 In early 1954 she had flown to South America to make Green Fire (1954) for M-G-M with Stewart Granger and then in May 1954 she was at the French Riviera to make her third film with Alfred Hitchcock: To Catch a Thief (1955) co-starring Cary Grant for Paramount Pictures.  Grace liked the Riviera enough to travel there one year later, in April 1955, this time for the 8th annual Cannes Film Festival. To what degree Grace could imagine in advance how that particular journey to that most beautiful part of the world would impact her film career as well as future life as wife and mother was beyond her. It was during that early spring 1955 Mediterranean trip that Grace Kelly was first introduced to Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

Grace Kelly stood five foot seven inches tall and weighed 118 pounds. Her dress size was two.7 She was born on November 12, 1929 into the Kelly family of Philadelphia. Grace Patricia Kelly was the third of four children and one of that Irish-German family’s three girls. Elder sister Peggy and younger sister Lizanne were athletic and shared their mother Margaret’s model looks. Margaret was also the family disciplinarian who the Kelly children liked to call “the Prussian General.”8 As a child Grace was dreamy and shy while her siblings were outgoing and athletic. Yet Grace too inherited a keen awareness of her body using her arms and legs to be dramatically expressive in an actress’s rather than athlete’s way.9 By the time she was 18 years old Grace’s beautiful rectangle-shaped face with soft pear-shape dimensions displayed thick blond hair, almond-shaped blue eyes, a small high-bridge nose and ruby lips. Each member of the Philadelphia Kelly family was an exuberant competitor in areas of American life such as athletics, business, politics, or high society.  As an adult one of Grace’s major strengths in addition to her incredible beauty was her ability to focus on whatever goal she decided to pursue whether professionally or personally until that goal was achieved. When Grace won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1955 it was also a brick in the Kelly wall of ambition for success.  Before she was a teenager Grace performed in plays so that in her teenage years a desire to be an actress grew. Since Grace was situated within a protective and affluent family as well as educated in Philadelphia Catholic and private schools she sought theater work in New York City instead of Hollywood which Grace, even after she achieved film success, considered a pitiless machine of cinematic production.10

It was Aristotle Onassis who suggested to Prince Rainier that he marry a beautiful American movie star to bring the glitterati back to Monaco. Onassis’s list at the time did not include Grace Kelly.11 Invited to the 1955 Cannes Film Festival after she had won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Country Girl one month before, Grace was curious enough about the prince to be introduced to him in Monaco on Friday, May 6, 1955. What is memorable from the photographs of their meeting at the palace is that the Prince looks chic and handsome and Grace is at her most beautiful in a black silk floral print dress with her blond hair pulled back into a German-style bun. That evening she returned to Cannes for the festival’s screening of The Country Girl helping to conclude a day that Grace herself called “pretty wild.”12 But Grace’s career in Hollywood wasn’t over—nor her life half begun. She was back in Paris before the festival’s winners were announced (she had won nothing there),13 and soon returned to Hollywood to make what turned out to be her final two Hollywood movies – The Swan and High Society.

TEXT NOTES:

  1. It was actually my brother Kevin, now deceased, who when he was working in the Chicago Film Office wrote to me this apt description of Grace Kelly (and Rear Window as the greatest film ever).
  2. Quoted in Roberts, Paul G., Style Icons Vol 4 Sirens, Fashion Industry Broadcast, p. 74.
  3. Dherbier, Yann-Brice and Verlhac, Pierre-Henry, Grace Kelly A Life in Pictures, Pavilion, 2006, p. 11.
  4. Edith-Head-designed apparel for Rear Window – Haugland, H. Kristina, Grace Kelly: Icon of style to Royal bride (Philadelphia Museum of Art), Yale University Press, 2006, p. 956; so she could act in live theater – TBA
  5. Date and place of 1955 Oscars- see https://www.oscars.org/oscars/ceremonies/1955 – retrieved April 26, 2017.
  6. did Mogambo for an all-expense paid visit to Kenya – TBA
  7. height and dress size- http://www.bodymeasurements.org/grace-kelly/ – retrieved April 28, 2017.
  8. Dherbier and Verlhac, p. 9.
  9. Conant, Howell, Grace: An intimate portrait of Princess Grace by her friend and favorite photographer, Random House, 1992, p.18.
  10. Preferred theater to film-TBA
  11. Leigh, Wendy, True Grace: The Life and Times of an American Princess, New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2007, p.100.
  12. ibid., p. 112.
  13. Dherbier and Verlhac, p. 12.

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by an means, electronic  or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

THE PHOTOGRAPHS:

Grace Kelly, December 29, 1954.Grace Kelly, December 29, 1954.

Grace Kelly portrait from the film “Rear Window” photographed by Virgil Apger, 1954.Grace Kelly’s glamorous portrait during filming of Rear Window photographed in 1954 by Virgil Apger. Apger led MGM’s portrait gallery for over twenty years following Clarence Sinclair Bull’s departure.

Grace Kelly in red by Howell Conant, 1955.

LADY IN RED: Grace Kelly by Howell Conant, 1955. For more than 25 years Conant was Grace Kelly’s friend and favorite photographer.

Grace Kelly MGM portrait
Grace Kelly in an MGM Portrait. 
GK 1954 shaw

Grace Kelly as photographed by Mark Shaw in 1954.

Grace KellyTHE KELLY BAG: Paris-based high-fashion luxury-goods manufacturer Hermès renamed their sac à dépêche a Kelly handbag in 1956 after a pregnant Grace Kelly was spotted carrying one as the new Princess of Monaco.

1954 philippe halsmanGrace Kelly, at 24 years old, in a photograph by Philippe Halsman, 1954.

Grace Kelly, 1954 PHILIPPE HALSMANEXTREMELY RARE: Grace Kelly was muse for many, including photographer Philippe Halsman. This image is likely a test proof from a private sitting in 1954. The photograph has Philippe Halsman’s copyright stamp on the back which indicates it was in his own personal collection.Grace Kelly in 1948Grace Kelly in 1948.

Grace Kelly 1954  Photo Cecil BeatonGrace Kelly in a photograph by Cecil Beaton, 1954.

Grace 1954Grace Kelly in 1954.

Grace 1955Grace Kelly in a promotional photograph in 1955 for Alfred Hitchcock’s To Catch A Thief in which Kelly co-starred with Cary Grant.

GK naked shouldersGrace Kelly poses with nude shoulders in 1955. In 2017 off-the-shoulder fashion has made a big comeback.

GK 1954 Apger

Grace Kelly by Apger Virgil, c. 1954. In 1929—the year Grace was born—Apger was hired in the portrait gallery at Paramount. In 1931 he went to work at M-G-M doing what he did at Paramount: developing negatives, working with the dryers, and making prints. Apger was an assistant to Clarence Sinclair Bull, but Jean Harlow gave Apger his start as a production still photographer on China Seas in 1935. After that, Apger shot M-G-M publicity stills for the stars.

Grace Kelly in Fourteen Hours (1951).A portrait of Grace Kelly in 20th Century Fox’s Fourteen Hours released in March 1951. 
Grace Kelly The Country Girl
Grace Kelly Headshot for The Country Girl (1954). 
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Grace Kelly had many reasons to do John Ford’s Mogambo which started filming in Africa in November 1952. Two of those reasons were to co-star with legendary Clark Gable and sultry Ava Gardner at the height of her fame.

Grace Kelly and Clark Gable Mogambo
Grace Kelly and Clark Gable in a publicity shot for John Ford’s Mogambo. 
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During filming of Bridges at Toki-Ri Grace Kelly fell madly in love with co-star William Holden.

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Grace Kelly, New York City, 1954. Photograph by Irving Penn.
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Photographer Howell Conant observed that every movement of Grace’s body was a telling gesture. Jamaica, 1955.

Grace Kelly and Cary GrantGrace Kelly and Cary Grant kiss on the couch in an interior scene from To Catch A Thief filmed in Hollywood in July-August 1954 as director Alfred Hitchcock and crew look on.

studio publicity, To catch a thief 1954 001FIXEDDesigned by Edith Head, a dramatic sun suit for Grace Kelly to walk to the beach in To Catch A Thief (1954).

Grace Kelly and Cary Grant in To Catch a Thief.Cary Grant and Grace Kelly on location for To Catch A Thief.

La Victorine studios 1954 Hitch directs GK on To Catch a Thief grace kellyCary Grant recalled that Grace commanded so much respect during the filming of To Catch a Thief that there was almost total silence when she arrived on the set.

Grace and Edith Head To Catch A ThiefGrace Kelly and costume designer Edith Head work on fabric selection during the making of To Catch A Thief.

GK arrives with Edith Head to the 1955 academy awards in the Ed 001
Grace Kelly arrives with Edith Head at the 1955 Academy Awards wearing the ice blue gown that Edith designed for her.

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Grace Kelly backstage after the 27th annual Academy Awards on March 25, 1955 when she won the Oscar for Best Actress for her role in The Country Girl.

1955 Academy Award
Grace Kelly with her Oscar for Best Actress in hand backstage at the 1955 Academy Awards.
grace-kelly-posing-for-e2809clifee2809d-magazine-1954-philippe-halsmanmagnum-photos
Grace Kelly posing for LIFE magazine in the Edith Head dress she wore to both the premiere of The Country Girl and the 1955 Academy Awards ceremony. Photographed by Philippe Halsman.
Edith head rear window

Edith Head’s wardrobe for Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954). Chic and modern, Grace’s memorable film entrance is in this black-fitted bodice with off-the-shoulder V-neckline on top of a full bunched and layered chiffron tulle skirt to mid calf marked by a pattern at the hip. Grace’s high fashion is cinched by a thin black patent leather belt and elbow-length white gloves.

wardrobe by Edith Head for Rear Window

In the 1930’s Edith Head leaned liberal in her costume designs. But in the 1950’s her designs became more conservative. Grace Kelly for Rear Window.

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For Rear Window released in the summer of 1954 Grace Kelly received equal billings with co-star Jimmy Stewart and director Alfred Hitchcock.
famous eau de nil suit work in Rear window

Edith Head’s famous eau de nil suit and matching hat for Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954).

NEW FIXED The Bridges at Toko-Ri is a 1954
In Bridges at Toko-Ri (1955) Grace is radiant in each scene she’s in. She plays Nancy Brubaker, the wife of Navy pilot William Holden who is killed in action in the Korean War. A story of an American family in war-time, the film’s cooperation with the U.S. Navy led to realistic aerial and carrier action scenes that won it the Academy Award for Best Special Effects in 1956.
Paramount PublicityParamount publicity photograph in 1954. Evoking scintillating glamour photographs of the 1930s, Grace Kelly was a star.
Grace Kelly Early Summer 1954
Grace Kelly after filming To Catch A Thief on board the Queen Mary back to the U.S. in early 1954.
Grace Kelly in Green Fire
Grace Kelly in Green Fire (1954). 
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The director greets the leading lady for To Catch A Thief.
Grace Kelly was Hitchcock's Muse
Grace Kelly was Hitchcock’s muse. Beautiful, willful, reserved. 
1955 portrait during her Hollywood years
Grace Kelly in a 1955 portrait during her Hollywood years originally shot in black and white.
GK
Grace Kelly in almost complete profile, 1954.
Kellys 1945
The Kelly siblings in Philadelphia. Grace and Peggy flank Jack with Lizanne on his shoulders, c. 1946.
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Grace Kelly (center) with school chums. Grace had already started amateur modeling and acting by this time.
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Kelly family in Philadelphia, 1935. From left: son Jack and father Jack, Lizanne, mother Margaret. Back: Grace and Peggy.
Mrs. Kelly with Grace and sisters Lizanne and Peggy
Mrs. Kelly with daughters Lizanne, Grace and Peggy in 1938. John, Peggy, Mrs. Kelly, Grace, Lizanne on lap, c. 1937
John, Peggy, Mrs. Kelly, Grace, Lizanne on lap, c. 1937.
Grace in 1941.
Grace in 1941. 

Grace Kelly Ocean City NJGrace on on a family vacation at Ocean City, New Jersey, c. 1946.

Grace in NYC late 1940sGrace Kelly in New York City as a young model and actress, late 1940’s.

GK 1951

Grace moved to Southern California to be in motion pictures. She appeared in her first film called Fourteen Hours for 20th Century-Fox in 1951 when she was 22 years old.
GK 1950s
Grace takes a comb to her hair, early 1950’s.
Headshot late 1940s
Grace in a theatre headshot, late 1940s. Grace studied acting as a teenager and welcomed demanding theater roles that challenged and exhibited her acting. 
Grace in NYC 1950
Grace modeling in New York City in 1950.
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Portrait of Grace Kelly by theater and film photographer Marcus Blechman (1922-2010).
Grace Kelly in a promotional photo for High Noon (1952)
Grace Kelly in a promotional photograph for High Noon (1952). 

Grace and Dorothy Towne High NoonGrace Kelly and her stand-in Dorothy Towne on the set of High Noon.

Lloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Gary Cooper, Grace Kelly High NoonLloyd Bridges, Katy Jurado, Gary Cooper, and Grace Kelly in High Noon. Gary Cooper took credit for discovering Grace for the movies. He said about Grace: she was “different from all these actresses we’ve been seeing so much of.”

FINAL jack kelley & grace 1937 001
Jack Kelly gives his daughter Grace a twirl at Ocean City, New Jersey, in 1937.
FINAl GK HALSMAN 1954 001
Grace Kelly in 1954 in Philippe Halsman’s “Jump” series which featured celebrities jumping for the camera.
FIXED 2017-02-06 july 3 1955 Philly cotton candy july 3 1955 Philly cotton candy 001
Grace Kelly eating cotton candy on the 4th of July 1955 in Philadelphia.
warddrobe tests GK The country Girl -
Grace Kelly in wardrobe tests for The Country Girl. Edith Head dressed Grace’s character of Georgie Elgin in brown wool clothes, cardigan sweaters and low-heel Capezio shoes.
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At the end of The Country Girl, Georgie Elgin is dressed by Edith Head in a dark dress with a low V-cut neckline and jeweled accent at the waist and in a strand of pearls. It allowed the movie audience to see how lovely Georgie Elgin really was.
Grace Kelly in 1956.Grace Kelly in 1956. 
GK jamaica 1955 HC
Grace Kelly photographed by Howell Conant on holiday in Jamaica 1955.
Grace Kelly in Chicago in 1956.
Grace Kelly in Chicago in 1956. 
GK jamaica HC 1955
Grace Kelly, Jamaica, 1955. After making six films in 1954, Grace went on vacation with her sister Peggy and took along Howell Conant to be official photographer. Grace would return to Jamaica for family vacations as Princess of Monaco.
GK 1954 with sister mrs peggy
Grace in 1954 on Corsica with her sister Peggy and Oliver the dog.
GK with MOm
Grace Kelly modeling a fashionable dress for her mother in the mid 1950’s. Look at Grace’s reflection in the mirror.
GK MH GREENE 001
Grace Kelly in New York City by Milton H. Greene, 1955.
Portrait of Grace Kelly by Alfonso SharlandA Portrait of Grace Kelly by Alfonso Sharland (1954). 
GK dressed up.
Grace Kelly in dress, white fur stole, and pearls.
GK 1955
Grace Kelly, 1955.
GK 1954 G Lester
Grace Kelly is dressed for St. Patrick’s Day in 1954. She has a copy of the MGM studio news on her lap. Photograph by Gene Lester.
HITCH &GK
Coffee or tea? Grace Kelly sitting in Cary Grant’s chair and Alfred Hitchcock on the set of To Catch A Thief
Grace Kelly in Ball Gown To Catch A Thief
Hitchcock requested that Edith Head design a fancy ball gown for Grace in To Catch A Thief that dressed her as a princess. 
FINAL grace-kelly-during-interview-with-daily-mirror-reporter-donald-zec-at-the-1955-cannes-film-festival
Grace Kelly in a breakfast interview with Daily Mirror reporter Donald Zec at the May 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Grace Kelly was invited to the festival upon winning the Oscar for Best Actress in The Country Girl. Grace wore pearl earrings and a ribbon on her blue jacket as she sat by the Promenade de la Croisette. Photographer Edward Quinn was also there.
FIXED COPY gk and edith head to catch a thief 001
Grace Kelly and Edith Head working on costume designs. The pair had a close working relationship and remained good friends. After Grace left Hollywood, Edith traveled to Monaco many times to visit her.
FIXED May 5 1956 001
26-year-old Grace Kelly and 31-year-old Prince Rainier III at their first meeting at the palace in Monaco, May 6, 1955. They would be engaged to be married by the end of the year. Photograph by Edward Quinn.
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Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier III on May 6, 1955 in Monaco. He told her, “This is Europe, not America. We think differently here, and you will have to get used to it.”

Grace Kelly Rear Window

Grace Kelly in Rear Window (1954)  slow motion kiss close-up.

James Stewart & Grace in Rear Window

James Stewart and Grace Kelly in Rear Window.

 

Publicity Rear window

Grace Kelly and Jimmy Stewart in a Paramount publicity photograph for Rear Window. (1954).

Grace on the set of Rear Window

Grace on the set of Rear Window.

Grace Kelly at ParamountGrace at Paramount.

Grace Kelly in Rear window

 Grace Kelly wearing the outfit for the final scene of Rear Window.

 

Grace Kelly January 1956 High SocietyGrace Kelly in an outfit by Helen Rose for the film High Society in January 1956. 

Grace Kelly MGM publicity photograph

Grace Kelly in a MGM publicity photograph.

Grace Kelly by Bud Fraker Grace Kelly in a Paramount publicity photo by Bud Fraker.

Grace Kelly in earrings by Joseff
Grace Kelly in earrings by Joseff.

Spring 1956 bridal show in New York CityA spring 1956 bridal show at the Ambassador Hotel in New York City featured a Cartier replica of Grace’s engagement ring on the center model. The other rings replicate Rita Gam’s and Margaret Truman’s. Grace Kelly Rear Window

Grace as Lisa in Rear window.

Next  in CORRIDORS: Grace Kelly, Famous and Rare Photographs. Part II: Hollywood ends, Monaco begins (1956-1982).

Walter Cronkite, “the most trusted man in America,” gives advice to today’s news media on what would be his 100th birthday. (Photographs).

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Walter Cronkite, early CBS.

By John P. Walsh, November 4, 2016.

November 4, 2016 is American newsman Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday. The CBS News anchor died in 2009 at 92 years old. Employed with CBS News since 1950, Cronkite anchored the CBS Evening News from April 1962 to March 1981.  Walter Cronkite lived by professional journalistic standards that appear to be largely out of favor in 2016. In times at least as exhilarating and turbulent as our own, the mustached newsman came nightly into Americans’ living rooms for decades and became lionized as “the most trusted man in America” in viewer polls. This was not, in Cronkite’s case, any hollow accolade. Because of its greater accuracy and depth in reporting, Cronkite’s broadcast was, after 1967 until his retirement, the top-rated news program on television. Since grade school I’ve been a news junkie and along with Cronkite’s broadcast I frequently tuned in the nightly newscasts of Howard K. Smith at ABC (originally at CBS) and John Chancellor at NBC in those same years. To quote this year’s Nobel laureate in Literature: The Times They Are a-Changin’. For 2016 I can report an obvious dismal conflation of journalism and partisan American politics at Cronkite’s own diverse and venerable network and other important media outlets which appears very ill-fitted to Cronkite’s inveterate viewpoint for the duty to objective journalism. What would centenarian Walter Cronkite say about over-the-top media bias as practiced in 2016? In honor of Walter Cronkite’s 100th birthday, here are 20 Cronkite quotations germane to the topic:

“I am in a position to speak my mind. And that is what I propose to do.”

“Our job is only to hold up the mirror – to tell and show the public what has happened.”

“In seeking truth you have to get both sides of a story.”

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free or you are not free.”

walter-cronkite-in-october-1960

Walter Cronkite in October 1960.

“Success is more permanent when you achieve it without destroying your principles.”

“I think it is absolutely essential in a democracy to have competition in the media, a lot of competition, and we seem to be moving away from that.”

“Objective journalism and an opinion column are about as similar as the Bible and Playboy magazine.”

“There’s a little more ego involved in these jobs than people might realize.”

“I am neither a Republican nor Democrat. I am a registered independent because I find that I cast my votes not on the basis of party loyalty but on the issues of the moment and my assessment of the candidates.”

cbs_evening_news_with_cronkite_1968

Walter Cronkite anchored the top-rated news broadcast from 1967 to 1981 when the mustached newsman retired.

“I regret that, in our attempt to establish some standards, we didn’t make them stick. We couldn’t find a way to pass them on to another generation, really.”

“I think that being liberal, in the true sense, is being non-doctrinaire, non-dogmatic, non-committed to a cause but examining each case on its merits. Being left of center is another thing; it’s a political position. I think most newspapermen by definition have to be liberal. If they’re not liberal, by my definition of it, then they can hardly be good newspapermen. If they’re preordained dogmatists for a cause, then they can’t be very good journalists.”

“If that is what makes us liberals, so be it, just as long as in reporting the news we adhere to the first ideals of good journalism – that news reports must be fair, accurate and unbiased.”

“It is not the reporter’s job to be a patriot or to presume to determine where patriotism lies. His job is to relate the facts.”

“It is a seldom proffered argument as to the advantages of a free press that it has a major function in keeping the government itself informed as to what the government is doing.”

wc_vietnamwalter-cronkite-at-hue-following-the-tet-offensive-vietnam-1968

Walter Cronkite at Huế in central Vietnam following the Tet Offensive, 1968.

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Walter Cronkite reporting on a NASA event.

“The ethic of the journalist is to recognize one’s prejudices, biases, and avoid getting them into print.”

“I don’t think people ought to believe only one news medium. They ought to read and they ought to go to opinion journals and all the rest of it. I think it’s terribly important that this be taught in the public schools, because otherwise, we’re gonna get to a situation because of economic pressures and other things where television’s all you’ve got left. And that would be disastrous. We can’t cover the news in a half-hour evening event. That’s ridiculous.”

“Freedom of the press is not just important to democracy, it is democracy.”

19620902_jfk_interview_with_cronkite-vietnampresident-john-f-kennedy-interviewed-by-walter-cronkite

Walter Cronkite interviews President John F. Kennedy on September 2, 1963 where it was the president who brought up the subject of Vietnam.

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Walter Cronkite greets President Ronald Reagan for a March 3, 1981 interview at the White House.

“Putting it as strongly as I can, the failure to give free airtime for our political campaigns endangers our democracy.”

“We cannot defer this responsibility to posterity. Time will not wait.”

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Walter Cronkite (November 4, 1916, Saint Joseph, MO – July 17, 2009, Manhattan, New York City).

“And that’s the way it is…”

 

SOURCES:

http://likesuccess.com/author/walter-cronkite

http://nlcatp.org/32-famous-walter-cronkite-quotes/

http://www.azquotes.com/author/3422-Walter_Cronkite

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by an means, electronic  or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.

 

 

Jennifer Jones is Miss Dove in Twentieth Century-Fox’s “Good Morning, Miss Dove!”

 

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Movie poster for “Good Morning, Miss Dove!” from 1955 starring Jennifer Jones.
Jennifer Jones
Jennifer Jones in Good Morning, Miss Dove ! (1955). She plays an elderly teacher taken ill at school who. in flashbacks, we learn that as a young woman she had been about to marry when her father died heavily in debt. Miss Dove decides not to marry but to repay the debt by becoming the town’s teacher.

movie poster

By John P. Walsh

        Good Morning, Miss Dove! is Frances Gray Patton’s contemporary tale of a middle-aged spinster elementary school geography teacher in Liberty Hill who, when suddenly taken ill, sees the entire small town rally to her side. While a mythical period piece from the mid1950’s of an unchanging town with students who obey their beloved teacher as well as being directed by Henry Koster in a stagey way, it boasted progressive casting depicting a newly-integrated (1954) American public school classroom in grand Cinemascope and De Luxe color. Film-going audiences in 1955 loved the film. Awaiting a risky operation, Miss Dove (Jennifer Jones) thinks back on her life and those of her prized grown-up former students who included Robert Stack (a surgeon), Chuck Connors (a policeman), and Jerry Paris (a playwright). All of these students overcame difficult childhoods and found worldly achievement with the help of Miss Dove. Patton’s novel had already enjoyed success in 1954 as a Book of the Month Club and Reader’s Digest selection and its release as a major motion picture by 20th Century-Fox continued the heroine’s popularity. The release of the film during Thanksgiving weekend 1955 was in the same year that Jennifer Jones starred in another Deluxe color film, the American drama-romance Love is a Many-Splendored Thing. For the Academy-Award winning actress to play an elderly spinster (many early scenes feature a naturally beautiful Miss Jones), she plays beyond type for a dark young beauty as well as foreshadowing a sort of mid-20th century American Mary Poppins nearly a decade before the appearance of Walt Disney’s proper English nanny. In the mid1950’s as America settled into the Eisenhower years, Good Morning, Miss Dove! allowed for a lead character – the “terrible” Miss Dove played by Jones – who is an unflinching and beloved disciplinarian when in fact the American public education system was undergoing copious and more difficult change. In that way, the character of Miss Dove is further complicated by becoming a popular icon in the American culture by being mostly a nostalgic figure.

Good Morning Miss Dove!
A scene from Good Morning, Miss Dove! starring Jennifer Jones. With Leslie Bradley who plays her father, Alonso Dove. Costumes by Mary Wills.

Jennifer Jones in make up for Good Morning Miss Dove
A 35-year-old beauty in 1955, Jennifer Jones through the magic of Hollywood make-up was transformed into the elderly Miss Dove for “Good Morning, Miss Dove!”
Good Morning Miss Dove
Jennifer Jones in “Good Morning, Miss Dove!”
Good Morning Miss Dove
Jennifer Jones as young Miss Dove.

The audience meets the elder Miss Dove at the movie’s start—make-up artist Ben Nye transformed the 35-year-old Jennifer Jones into the 55-year-old Miss Dove—and by flashbacks the film dramatizes her youth as she is about to marry, but chooses not to because her father dies suddenly and she learns he has debts. To pay them back, she steels herself to remain single and take a teaching post. Her chilly veneer is part of her honor to do the proper thing along with the sober accommodation to life’s necessary sacrifices. While those who did not know Miss Dove mocked her behind her back and said she couldn’t have had much of a life—never married, no family, no kids, never went anywhere—her army of students judged her differently. Beyond any possibly wider cultural meaning, the film presents a unique person who by the logic of her experience or, conversely, the experience of her logic enters into a series of social interactions that are both amusing and honest. This includes the penultimate scene on her sick bed where Miss Dove tells her pastor Reverend Burnham (Biff Elliot) blankly: “Life, whatever others may think, has been for me…I have been happy. I have made many mistakes. Perhaps even sinned. I admit my human limitations but I do not in all honesty find the burden of my sins intolerable. Nor have I strayed like a sheep. I have never been AWOL. I have never spoken hypocrisy to my Maker and now is scarcely a propitious moment to begin.” While her conscientious thoughts may be read from varied sides of the political and cultural spectrum they are enjoined to the expression of one woman’s life perfectly dedicated to her students. The film’s denouement starting at around 1:39:00 is  powerful. Accompanied by the tuneful strains of Leigh Harline’s memorable soundtrack, it is a sentimental tribute to Miss Dove’s life which benefited many different people through the years because of no more  than her good character. (1:47:16).

THE MOVIE:

The costume designer for Good Morning, Miss Dove! (1955) is Mary Wills (1914-1997). She worked mainly for Samuel Goldwyn productions and Twentieth Century-Fox, breaking into the movie business as a sketch artist for Gone With The Wind (1939). In her nearly 40-year career Mary Wills was nominated for an Oscar seven times and won the Academy Award in 1962 for her colorful designs for The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm. Born in Prescott, Arizona, she moved to Los Angeles after receiving her Master’s degree from the Yale Art and Drama School where she was the first woman admitted into that program. She started designing costumes in 1944 at RKO with Belle of the Yukon and soon after designed costumes for Disney’s Song of the South (1946). Mary started working for Samuel Goldwyn in 1948 where she designed costumes for Enchantment. For the next six years at Goldwyn Studio Mary was referred to as “The Fabulous Miss Wills.” She was regularly nominated for her costume design in the 1950s when she designed the costumes for Good Morning, Miss Dove! including  Hans Christian Anderson (1952), The Virgin Queen (1954), Teenage Rebel (1956), A Certain Smile (1958), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), The Passover Plot (1976) and the film for which, in 1962, she won the Academy Award. Mary Wills also designed the Rogers and Hammerstein musical film Carouselfrom 1956. She demonstrated a special talent for designing historical costumes, especially after she moved to 20th-Century Fox in 1954 to make The Virgin Queen starring Bette Davis. Later she showed great aptitude for designing dance and folk costumes – a small collection of her original sketches are online at the Los Angeles County Museum – for live productions such as the Shipstad & Johnson Ice Follies founded in 1936 and now simply called the Ice Follies. Mary Wills worked on two major films that she did not get film credit for – namely, Camelot (1967) and Funny Girl (1968). For Funny Girl, she designed the Ziegfeld show-girl brides costumes as well as the costumes for Omar Sharif.

Mary Wills at Samuel Goldwyn Studio

Academy-Award winning costume designer Mary Wills at the Samuel Goldwyn Studio (c. 1948).

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Jennifer Jones in a costume by Mary Wills for “Good Morning, Miss Dove!”
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Miss Dove (Jennifer Jones).
Good morning Miss Dove
Kipp Hamilton (Jincey Baker), Jennifer Jones (Miss Dove), and Robert Stack (Dr Tom Baker). Costumes by Mary Wills.
Good Morning Miss Dove.
A contemporary and nostalgic drama in 1955, the costumes in “Good Morning, Miss Dove!” by Mary Wills.
Good Morning Miss Dove!
Jennifer Jones as a small town spinster teacher who falls ill in the film “Good Morning, Miss Dove!”
Good Morning Miss Dove
In “Good Morning, Miss Dove!” Jennifer Jones is a beautiful young woman who rejects a marriage proposal and becomes a teacher to repay her late father’s debts. Costumes by Academy Award winning costume designer Mary Wills.
Peggy Knudsen and Jennifer Jones
In the hospital Miss Dove is cared for by Nurse Billie Jean Green (Peggy Knudsen). Billie Jean, a former student, left Liberty Hill and had a child out of wedlock. Back in her hometown Billie Jean is infatuated with Bill Holloway (Chuck Connors), a local policeman. Miss Dove recalls Bill as a student and tells Billie Jean that he was one of her best pupils. Later in the 1970s, in real life, Peggy Knudsen, who was suffering from a chronic debilitating illness (she died in 1980 at 57 years old) was cared for by her close friend, Jennifer Jones.
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Miss Dove with former student and Liberty Hill policeman Bill Holloway (Chuck Connors). Miss Dove recalls to nurse Billie Jean Green how Bill first arrived to her classroom, a poor, unkempt boy being raised by his alcoholic grandmother. Over the years, Miss Dove gave Bill odd jobs and bought him a suit for his grammar school graduation. After Bill entered the Marines, he wrote to Miss Dove often, and when he returned to Liberty Hill, she was the person he came to for career advice.
Good Morning Miss Dove
On the day of Miss Dove’s surgery, classes are dismissed and the townspeople of Liberty Hill wait outside the hospital for news of the operation’s outcome.

SOURCES:

http://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/93588/Good-Morning-Miss-Dove/overview

http://www.popmatters.com/review/182178-good-morning-miss-dove/

https://www.academia.edu/1848534/_John_Dewey_vs._The_Terrible_Miss_Dove_Frances_Gray_Pattons_Postwar_Schoolmarm_and_the_Cultural_Work_of_Nostalgia

http://www.themakeupgallery.info/age/1950s/dove.htm

©John P. Walsh. All rights reserved. No part of this material may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by an means, electronic or mechanical, which includes but is not limited to facsimile transmission, photocopying, recording, rekeying, or using any information storage or retrieval system.