Friday Night Classic: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)

I’m still on my John Huston kick. I am watching as many of his films that I can easily get my hands on. The good, the bad, and the meh. Nothing is off limits. After revisiting The Asphalt Jungle last week, I switch gears to something a little less gritty and a little more… dull.

Continue reading “Friday Night Classic: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)”

Deborah Kerr (1921 – 2007)

Deborah Kerr, perhaps best known for her role in From Here to Eternity as the unsatisfied housewife, died on Tuesday at the age of 86.

Her beach kiss with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity (pictured below) is regarded as one of the greatest screen kisses of all time.
Until Eternity, she was seen as a goody goody. Kerr herself once said: “I don’t think anyone knew I could act until I put on a bathing suit“.
I like this story about how she landed the role in Eternity:

[] “She got a new agent, Bert Allenberg [in the early 1950s]. He had called her and declared: ‘Deborah, for years now you’ve been playing the insipid English virgin. I think I can get you the roles you ought to have,’ Collier’s reported.
Harry Cohn, who was president of Columbia Pictures, originally wanted Joan Crawford or somebody like her, decidedly un-virginal. Mr. Allenberg argued the merits of a different sort of sexuality: a heroine ‘who looks like a lady but acts like a harlot.’
The result is screen history — which keeps repeating itself in the form of love scenes almost identical to that which Deborah and Burt played,’ American Weekly magazine said. […]
Her most notable roles were: The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), I See a Dark Stranger (1946), Black Narcissus (1947), Edward, My Son (1949), From Here to Eternity (1953), The King and I (1956), Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957), An Affair to Remember (1957), Separate Tables (1958), Beloved Infidel (1959), The Sundowners (1960), The Innocents (1961), The Night of the Iguana (1964), and The Arrangement (1968).
Kerr was nominated for six Academy Awards, but never won.
She received an honorary Oscar in 1994 for her career as an”artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance.”
You can read her New York Times obituary here.
Like most people my age, my first exposure to Deborah Kerr came from Sleepless in Seattle (1993). Since then I’ve seen countless films starring Kerr, my favorite being Black Narcissus (it gave me chills).
As for the beach scene in From Here to Eternity. I think 50 years from now that will still be the sexiest on screen kiss and it’ll take a lot to change that.

Happy Birthday, Deborah Kerr!

to Deborah Kerr. The legendary actress turns 85 today.

Born in Scotland, Kerr became a star of British cinema when she portrayed three women in The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) and a nun in Black Narcissus (1947). With her early roles for MGM she quickly became known for her portrayal of classy British women.

With her role as an adultress From Here to Eternity (you know, that scene on the beach with Burt Lancaster) and the mold was broken.

Kerr quit movies in 1968 but remained acting on the small screen and on stage. She holds the record for most Academy Award nominations without a win (six). But Kerr was award an honorary Oscar in 1994.

And it’s a well deserved honor. The King and I, An Affair to Remember, The Sundowners and The Night of the Iguana are great pictures starring Kerr. (Check them out!)

So Happy Birthday to screen icon Deborah Kerr.