Eleanor Parker, Paul Henreid, and John Garflield
First of all… Hello again! I’ve been offline for over a week and while I’d love to be mysterious and allow you to think I’d been on vacation in an exotic location, drinking my coffee and raspberry tea by the ocean…. the truth is nowhere near as colorful. My body decided to cash a check my immune system wrote after an entire winter of being home and masked completely FREE from colds and bugs. Payment came due and it’s as though I enjoyed a dose of a nasty cold on top of a mild flu with a brief bout of bronchitis thrown in to keep things interesting.
Quite frankly, I didn’t do much more than watch old movies, play with grandbabies (who were also sick), watch baseball with my husband (also sick), and talk about food and Christmas with my daughters (yep… also sick.. all three).
We’re all well now (thank goodness!) and I’m ready to get things back to normal. I have a lot of different pictures of the day planned for the coming days as well as three… count them, THREE… extraordinary books I want to tell you all about.
However, today, quite frankly all I want to talk about is Paul Henreid, John Garfield, Faye Emerson, Edmund Gwenn, Sydney Greenstreet, Eleanor Parker, Sara Allgood, George Tobias, Dennis King, George Coulouris, and the phenomenal movie they combined to make – Between Two Worlds.
I normally don’t give a second thought to the fact that I’m surrounded by a family who does not watch old movies (except for the occasional John Wayne western, Charlie Chan, or Elvis movie my husband agrees to or the classic horror movies my oldest daughter enjoys). HOWEVER, when I’ve seen a movie that just completely blows me away, I wish SO MUCH they did watch old movies because that movie and its stars are all I want to talk about!
That’s the case with Between Two Worlds. I literally want all of them to sit down, watch it, and then talk with me for days on end about the exquisite performances, the writing, and the flawless direction. I’d love to know which performances were their favorites, which storylines caught them most off guard, their reactions to particular scenes, etc.
As it is, I’ll just come here and talk to you! First and foremost, if you haven’t seen Between Two Worlds, please please please find it and watch every delicious second. It may seem, in the first few scenes, that it’s moving slowly… trust me, it quickly (QUICKLY) turns into a film you don’t want to look away from for even a second. You can find the Between Two Worlds (Amazon link) dvd on Amazon. I wish it were on Prime Video, but it doesn’t seem to be yet.
Hopefully one day!
Eleanor Parker and Paul Henreid
Before watching this particular film during “sick week,” I was already a HUGE Sydney Greenstreet and Paul Henreid fan. Huge, huge, huge. They’re actually the reason I wanted to see this one so much, so I knew they’d blow me away with their performances, because that’s what they always do. I wasn’t quite as familiar with the rest of the cast. In fact, I’d only seen Edmund Gwenn in ONE movie (you guessed it, he was Santa Claus) and had only seen John Garfield in two movies many years ago. I wasn’t much more familiar with Eleanor Parker and wasn’t the least bit familiar with Faye Emerson.
That’s the exciting thing about watching old movies, isn’t it? You’re always meeting new favorites and rekindling old favorites!
I had nearly forgotten what an incredible actor John Garfield was. Holy cats, was he ever talented?!
Sydney Greenstreet, Dennis King, Eleanor Parker, Edmund Gwenn, and Paul Henreid
I could go on forever about the performances of each cast member but I’d be here hours if I said all I’d love to say about each one and my cats would in NO WAY allow me to spend that much time doing something that doesn’t directly benefit their comfort or appetite.
I do want to say, however, that the following impressed me the most…
- John Garfield – Such an outstanding, charismatic performance. He always gives a scene all he has and it’s always more than enough.
- Paul Henreid – Henreid’s performance, here, reminds me a lot of Donna Reed’s in It’s a Wonderful Life and John Wayne in The Quiet Man. Like them, he finds himself surrounded by so many larger than life characters that it would be easy (perhaps even human nature) to play his role larger. He remains true to his reserved character, however, and gives a flawless performance. He never tries to be more than the story dictates and I am in awe at the reserve shown. He is the stability and calming influence the story needs… its anchor, so to speak… and he is the perfect, perfect actor for the role.
- Faye Emerson – How impressed was I with Faye Emerson? I’ve already found and written down every movie she made and plan to watch her entire filmography. I’ve also added her to my list of stars I “collect.” When I fall under a star’s spell… I commit!
- Sydney Greenstreet – Why is this man so insanely wonderful in every role he ever filled?!?! His tone of voice, his facial expressions, his bodily movements…. every single thing keeps perfect timing with his character and purpose in a movie and this role is no exception. It takes his character a while to show up, but once he does, his presence is profoundly felt.
The most important thing I can say about this movie is this: Between Two Worlds reminds you why you fell in love with movies in the first place. I found myself, many times actually, sitting transfixed, eyes completely on the screen, brain 100 percent invested, lungs barely remembering to breathe!
Like I said, the reason we all fell in love with movies in the first place. Between Two Worlds (Amazon link) is on dvd and will occasionally air on TCM. If you’ve never seen it, I hope you’ll move Heaven and earth to watch it.
You won’t regret a single second.