Sunday 16 April 2000

Grace Kelly

TCM's Star of the Month program is usually a great opportunity to catch up with a substantial portion of someone's filmography and this one is even better than usual. Grace Kelly only made eleven films in her brief five year career so TCM showed every one of her films, plus a couple of TV plays that I sadly wasn't able to record. I was able to fill in every single gap and so Kelly has become the first filmography I've completed since Asta, the dog in the Thin Man movies.

Kelly had a remarkable career in film, even before retiring from the screen to become Princess Grace of Monaco. She landed a huge film on only her second time out, playing Will Kane's wife in High Noon, and she followed up with Mogambo, playing Mary Astor's role in this remake of Red Dust. Then in 1954 she became one of the most recognised faces in Hollywood. She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for The Country Girl, playing believably beyond her age as the long suffering wife of an alcoholic Bing Crosby, in the same year that she epitomised the Hitchcock ideal as the elegant and beautiful young blonde in Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.

What's so outstanding about her filmography is that so many of these movies are commonly regarded as classics of American cinema, successful popular hits that were also critically acclaimed. They also span the genres, High Noon being one of the great westerns, Rear Window being one of the great thrillers and High Society apparently being one of the great musicals, though I was underwhelmed. There's adventure and war and drama in there too, all wrapped up within an eleven film career.

Two of these films, High Noon and Rear Window are IMDb Top 250 mainstays, so I'll post reviews to those in 2010 when I mount my run through the entire list at a five film a week pace. Here are reviews for the rest, along with ratings from my wife and I and links to each film's page at IMDb.

Rating System
1 - Abysmal | 2 - Bad | 3 - Poor | 4 - OK | 5 - Good | 6 - Excellent | 7 - Classic

Title Year H D Director(s) IMDb
Fourteen Hours 1951 5 5 Henry Hathaway IMDB
High Noon 1952 7 7 Fred Zinnemann IMDB
Mogambo 1953 5 5 John Ford IMDB
Dial M for Murder 1954 7 7 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
Rear Window 1954 7 7 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
The Country Girl 1954 7 7 George Seaton IMDB
Green Fire 1954 4 4 Andrew Marton IMDB
The Bridges at Toko-Ri 1954 6 6 Mark Robson IMDB
To Catch a Thief 1955 5 5 Alfred Hitchcock IMDB
The Swan 1956 5 5 Charles Vidor IMDB
High Society 1956 4 Charles Walters IMDB

No comments: