Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, Robert Mitchum, and director Otto Preminger
There are certain movies that EVEN I know I talk an incessant amount about and Carmen Jones is one of them. I think there are actually five distinct reasons for this…
- I love, love, love Dorothy Dandridge. She was one of the most beautiful and talented stars of all time and it physically hurts me when someone doesn’t know who she was. She was phenomenal and should be a household name.
- I feel the same way about Harry Belafonte. Granted, he is a household name, and practically everyone has heard of this National treasure BUT they probably don’t realize just what a wonderful actor he is. Extremely talented, versatile, and charismatic… if the world were fair, he’d have as many films to his credit as James Stewart. Yes. He is that good.
- The movie is outstanding. I simply love everything about this incredibly entertaining and spellbinding musical. It’s deliciously unique, fast-paced, entertaining, and completely unforgettable. Again, it hurts my psyche when people say they haven’t seen it.
- Olga James and her character, Cindy Lou, have my heart! I’d run through a brick wall for Olga OR Cindy and they wouldn’t even have to ask. I have NO idea how Hollywood kept from seeing the bright and beautiful star they had right in front of them, but they somehow dropped the ball. Olga James should have been given as many movies to make as she chose to. She had an extra something special and it radiated in each scene.
- Pearl Bailey, Brock Peters, and Diahann Carrol round out a phenomenal cast. I adore these three stars and seeing them in the same film with Dorothy Dandridge, Harry Belafonte, and Olga James is almost more than my heart can take. Seriously, this cast is out of this world.
If you’ve never seen Carmen Jones, please just set aside some time and watch it. I promise to stop hounding you if you do!
Jane Greer, Out of the Past
The beautiful and talented Jane Greer and Robert Mitchum star in the outstanding film-noir Out of the Past (1947). Directed by Jacques Tourneur, the movie also stars Kirk Douglas, Rhonda Fleming, Richard Webb, Steve Brodie, and Virginia Huston.
One of this western fanatic’s favorite movies is El Dorado (1966). Directed by the wonderful Howard Hawks, the incredibly (downright perfect if we’re being honest) talented cast includes John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ed Asner, Michele Carey, Christopher George, Paul Fix, and briefly Johnny Crawford (best loved as Mark McCain on The Rifleman).
A movie is only as good as it’s stars and the characters they play, which is why El Dorado is movie gold. The colorful, larger than life characters this cast gives us is a gift that keeps on giving. I honestly believe I fall more in love with this movie each time I see it. The same is true of another Howard Hawks and John Wayne western, Rio Bravo.
James Caan and Michele Carey
The two lead stars in this western (John Wayne and Robert Mitchum) are excellent as always. There is something so right about watching a John Wayne Western and it’s made even more magical when the stars around him were/are just as larger than life and colorful as he was. In El Dorado, the Duke is surrounded by such stars!
Robert Mitchum and Arthur Hunnicutt go with John Wayne as beautifully as Dean Martin and Walter Brennan do in Rio Bravo. When they’re on the screen together, you’re pretty sure they were born for the moment.
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Arthur Hunnicutt
When it comes to supporting stars, El Dorado also has an embarrassment of riches: James Caan, Arthur Hunnicutt, Ed Asner, Christopher George, Michele Carey, and Charlene Holt do exactly what a supporting cast should do.
They simply make the film even better.
James Caan could just as easily be considered a lead star in this film (he gives my favorite performance in the film), he is usually treated as a supporting star… you couldn’t ask for any more support than he gives! The same is true of Arthur Hunnicutt, Christopher George, Ed Asner, and Charlene Holt. This movie wouldn’t be as timeless and perfect without this group of talent.
John Wayne, Christopher George, and Ed Asner
Robert Mitchum, Rita Hayworth, and Jack Lemmon
Rita Hayworth, Jack Lemmon, and Robert Mitchum are wonderful in the 1957 adventure drama Fire Down Below, Lemmon and Mitchum play boat friends who both fall under the spell of beautiful and mysterious Irena – given that she’s played by Rita Hayworth, let’s face it, they never stood a chance!
Jack Lemmon and Rita Hayworth
Rita Hayworth, Jack Lemmon, and Robert Mitchum are each outstanding in this film. Then again, weren’t they perfection in everything they ever did?!
Answer: Oh YES!
Robert Mitchum and Rita Hayworth
James Caan, John Wayne, and Olaf Wieghorst
One of my favorite Westerns of all time is El Dorado (1967). Directed by the wonderful Howard Hawks, it often gets overshadowed by Rio Bravo but… make absolutely no mistake about it… El Dorado belongs in no film’s shadow. It’s more than capable of standing on its own.. casting its own huge shadow!
The western stars John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey, Olaf Wieghorst, and (last but by no means least – he makes the movie what it is), Arthur Hunnicutt as Bull. In the same way there could be no Rio Bravo without Stumpy, there could be no El Dorado without Bull.
John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, and Arthur Hunnicutt
Today’s picture of the day is beautiful Rhonda Fleming and the wonderful Robert Mitchum from the 1947 film-noir Out of the Past (Amazon).
Ava Gardner and Melvyn Douglas, My Forbidden Past
It’s always a special treat when two absolute favorites appear in one film together, isn’t it? Ava Gardner was thoughtful enough to team with my favorite actors quite a few times (Melvyn Douglas, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart to name a few). Melvyn Douglas and Ava were each spectacular in My Forbidden Past (1951).
It is actually their performances (as well as an excellent performance by Robert Mitchum) that make the film take flight. Melvyn Douglas is known, primarily, for his lovable characters but in this particular role, he’s a bit of a cad! It’s actually a lot of fun seeing this side of him and, while I could be wrong, he seemed to enjoy playing this type of character. He brings a great deal of humor to the role and film.
Dr. Mark Lucas (Robert Mitchum) and Barbara Beaurevel (Ava Gardner) are star-crossed lovers in My Forbidden Past – basically a tale of a woman scorned!
The film is set in 1890s New Orleans and the costumes and sets are positively delicious.
Ava Gardner and Robert Mitchum
Lucas, wrongly, believed that Barbara stoop him up when they were on the verge of eloping. In a fit of something between raw emotions and a temper tantrum, he takes off for South Africa and marries a woman named Corinne (played by Janis Carter) on the rebound.
Not one to take defeat well, beautiful Barbara bribes her cousin (played to the hilt by Melvin Douglas) to break up their marriage. It’s all fun and games until the scheme ends in Corinne’s death, with her husband Dr. Lucas suspected of murder.
The chemistry between both Ava Gardner and Robert Mitchum AND Ava Gardner and Melvyn Douglas are palpable.
Ava Gardner and Gordon Oliver