I completely forgot that yesterday was Thursday — here is Forgotten By Fox, which appeared at MUBI on schedule but without my realizing it. Anatole Litvak’s THE DEEP BLUE SEA is simultaneously impossible to get and easy to see.


9 Responses to “Oops”

  1. Is the Zanuck anecdote true? It’s hilarious.

  2. David Ehrenstein Says:

    Rattigan was really something. When “Entertaining Mr. Sloane” opened he sent Joe Orton a fan letter that simply overwhelmed him. Orton wrote “well-made plays” — albeit naughtier than any ever written — and Rattigan told him he was on the right track. Naturally Rattigan was impressed because Orton drove straight into gayness in ways Rattigan couldn’t.

    There’s a marvelous documentary on Rattigan on You Tube by, of all people, Benedict Cumberbatch, Seek it out.

  3. The Zanuck story is true according to Fleischer anyway, who was aghast at it.

    I am vaguely contemplating exploring late Rattigan movies such as The VIPs, but I’ll have to do it when Fiona is out. We both remember it being on TV when we were kids and finding it endlessly boring.

  4. chris schneider Says:

    I’ve only seen clips of the Litvak DEEP BLUE SEA. The Davies one I’ve not seen at all. I am, in any case, a big fan of Rattigan’s play — despite the fact that U.S. revivals of it seem to be unlucky.

    As for the Kenneth More character … I think that it’s a matter of how the character was conceived that is crucial. I view SEA as a semi tragedy in that a person capable of great love (the heroine) falls for someone who’s pleasant and good-natured but incapable of anything like a commensurate response. Sort of like Murray Head in SUNDAY, BLOODY SUNDAY.

    I’ve yet to see THE V.I.P.s. I did, however, find the Rattigan-written MR. CHIPS musical faintly insufferable.

  5. Nobody likes that Chips, do they?

    The VIPs is based on the conceit that airports and doing one’s taxes are glamorous and exciting…

  6. Simon Kane Says:

    That Zanuck story is amazing. I like to think that protracted bouts of shouting also give actors’ voices the godliness of the gasper. Matt Berry’s old school tones were definitely forged in the London Dungeon.

  7. That ought to work. The voice-deepening technique used, reportedly, by Rock Hudson and other gay actors, is not recommended. Wait till you catch cold, go up in the mountains where the air is cold and thin, scream until your vocal cords crack. I would think that’s the sort of thing that could go badly wrong.

    Said to be the origin of the expression “screaming queens” but I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a myth.

  8. David Ehrenstein Says:

    “The VIPs” is “Grand Hotel” in an Airport lobby. It gives Taylor and Burton (fresh off a “Cleopatra”) a chance to tastefully smolder, Louis Jourdan a chance to be charming yet ineffectual, Orson Welles a chance to ham it up with Elsa Martinelli, and Maggie Smith (in the Joan Crawford role) a chance to Rule the World. Rattigan knew precisely what he was doing here as he did in “The Yellow Rolls-Royce” — an “entertainment” without a thought in its lavishly appointed head.

  9. We just watched it. Largely concur.

    Prefer The Solid Gold Cadillac to The Yellow Rolls Royce…

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