Saturday, 29 September 2012

"You've Such A Way Of Looking At People!" Happy Birthday Greer Garson!

This post is a tribute to Greer Garson but I'm saving some of my recent Greer Garson writing for my entry to the Letters To The Stars blogathon where I'm writing a letter to Greer Garson.

"I`ve been offered nymphomaniacs, kleptomaniacs, pyromaniacs, homicidal maniacs and just plain maniacs. I think producers felt that after playing a long series of noble and admirable characters there would be quite a lot of shock value in seeing me play something altogether different. But I prefer upbeat stories that send people out of the theater feeling better than they did coming in. It`s my cup of tea."
Happy Birthday, Greer Garson!

Today would have been the 108th birthday of the gorgeous, lovely and intelligent red headed actress, Greer Garson. Born in London to British parents in 1904, she grew up to study French and 17th Century literature at Kings College London, take various other courses in subjects such as botany, but eventually end up on London's West End stage - which lead her to Hollywood and fame as a movie actress. She makes me proud to be British. Since her movie debut in Goodbye Mr Chips (1939) she's been gracing our screens and warming our hearts with her lovely presence. She was also famous for her 8-movie partnership with actor Walter Pidgeon, leading Tumblr fans to dub them "The Pidgeons" even though they never were together or married... Whether in black and white, highlighting her pale skin, or vibrant technicolor - letting rip her firey red hair, she glowed on the screen.

"I think the mirror should be tilted slightly upward when it`s reflecting life -- toward the cheerful, the tender, the compassionate, the brave, the funny, the encouraging, all those things -- and not tilted down to the gutter part of the time, into the troubled vistas of conflict."
Unfortunately, in the 21st Century we seem to have forgotten Greer in the lexicon of Hollywood Glamour Girls. Where people idolise Lauren Bacall and everyone seems to know about Marilyn Monroe, hardly anyone still remembers Greer Garson for much except her unrivalled performance in wartime classic, Mrs Miniver. It's a great shame and I hope that by all of the appreciation she gets on Tumblr and Blogger, that we're spreading the Greer love. It doesn't help that her films are nigh impossible to get hold of. TCM release more of her films!!!

If you want some more Greer information, then I highly recommend Michael Troyan's biography, "A Rose For Mrs Miniver: The Life Of Greer Garson". But if you've never watched any Greer Garson before - this problem must now be rectified. I'm going to have another Greer double bill today - I'm starting off with Random Harvest (1942) and ending with the Valley Of Decision (1945). They're not the best paired double bill, but they're ones I haven't seen in a while or that I need to rewatch. I would recommend a triple bill to start you off, with Mrs Miniver (1942), then Random Harvest (1942) and then as a pick me up, Julia Misbehaves (1949). If you're really dedicated then you could tack on Blossoms In The Dust (1941) for the tears factor and Greer's flawless hair as well! Have a happy Greer day!



Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Mr. Troyan's biography is excellent, and the "and just plain maniacs" quote is one of my favorites. A classy and intelligent woman, and a very fine actress. I'm sure you'll enjoy your movies today. Have fun.

silverscreenings said...

She was always luminous, wasn't she? I love the quote you posted: "But I prefer upbeat stories that send people out of the theater feeling better than they did coming in. It`s my cup of tea."

Vienna said...

What a beauty and what beautiful color photos you display.
Who could not love Greer. My Favorites are PRIDE AND PREJUDICE, RANDOM HARVEST and of course MRS MINIVER.
In a 1985 interview, looking and sounding great, Greer proved to have a wonderful memory and was such a good raconteur.On Walter Pidgeon she said, " A wonderful man. We made seven films together and never had a cross word."
She also said, " I was very happy to be part of Mrs Miniver. Winston Churchill said it was worth a flotilla of destroyers!"

Alyssa LM said...

I always love how L.B Mayer said if any woman could be president Greer Garson could.

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