Sunday, June 20, 2010

Repost: Father's Day with John Ford

A fellow blogger recently requested that the Siren send a link to her favorite post. After three years, there was still no question--this is it. She reposts it now, and wishes her readers a happy Father's Day.

My father was a constant reader, a wicked prankster and something of a film buff. His film tastes were pretty eclectic--we went together to see The Pope of Greenwich Village, for example--but his real reverence was for the classics. I remember his description of a scene in The Gold Rush, to give his small daughter a flavor of it in those pre-VCR days when anything silent was hard to come by: "...and then he looks up at the clock, and he realizes, she's not coming. And just like that, you go from slapstick to sad..."

For Dad one filmmaker towered above all others, however, and that was John Ford.

One spring Saturday when I was in my early teens, Dad was talking to his adult nephews on the phone. A film recommendation from Dad was something to be taken seriously, and that Sunday morning the Superstation's Academy Award Theater was showing How Green Was My Valley. Our main phone line was in the kitchen and I could hear Dad's end of the conversation. "You should see this one...John Ford, Wales...Maureen O'Hara too...gorgeous...You'll get a kick out of it."

The conversation ended and I caught Dad's eye over whatever he was reading at the kitchen table.

"Get a kick out of it?" I repeated, incredulous.

"Sure," said Dad, affably. "Good movie, isn't it?" As he went back to his book, I swear I heard him chuckle.

Sometime after noon on Sunday our phone rang. It was Cousin R., and he sounded like he was coming down with a cold. "Put that father of yours on the phone," he snapped. I handed the phone to Dad, he put down the New York Times crossword puzzle, and as I leaned across the kitchen table my cousin's voice rose to a volume that carried it well beyond the receiver, especially when my father pulled the phone away from his ear to avoid hearing damage.

"...coal miners...strike...and they go to America...falls in the water...gets sick...accident...the other two leave...won't marry her...ANOTHER accident...goddamnit, I'm gonna get you for this one."

"But it was a good movie, right?" said my father, looking pleased with himself.

"...GREAT movie...I'm going to GET DRUNK."

The conversation ended. Dad returned to his crossword puzzle. "Where's he gonna get a drink?" asked my sister, who had heard the whole thing too. A shrug from Dad.

"He's in a dry county," I reminded Dad.

"It's SUNDAY," added my sister.

The phone rang again. It was another, older cousin, the football coach, who seemed to have caught his brother's cold. "Tell your father we're sending him the liquor tab," he barked.

I hung up and looked at Dad. "You totally tricked them into seeing that movie," I said.

His eyes didn't move from the crossword. "They'll thank me for it later."

Funny that this memory of my father should concern How Green Was My Valley, which has Donald Crisp, 180 degrees from his terrifying drunk in Broken Blossoms, playing one of the most lovable fathers in screen history. Not until Gregory Peck tucked Mary Badham into bed in To Kill a Mockingbird would there be an equally noble, and touching, portrait of fatherhood.

How Green Was My Valley ends with Crisp's death at the bottom of a mine shaft. Ford's camera focuses on the lift bringing other miners to safety. One platform of exhausted men passes us by, and then we see the one we are waiting for, Donald Crisp's head barely at the edge of the frame, cradled by his youngest son. That son, Roddy McDowall, stares past the camera, his beautiful face a bleak mask that reflects every child who ever faced a future without a parent. I've been facing that myself since 1991. Perhaps that's why I haven't watched the movie since.

But Ford wasn't by nature a pessimist, and How Green Was My Valley doesn't end on that shot. Its final montage includes McDowall and Crisp, going for another walk together. Memory isn't enough, but memory has its comforts, even if they're as simple as remembering how your father once lured an audience for one of his favorite films.


Dennis Cozzalio said...

Beautiful. This is a scene I would've loved to have played out in my own childhood. Your father sounds like a fine man and yes, memory does have its comforts. Thanks for sharing this Father's day walk with your dad with us.

Dan Leo said...

Everything Dennis said goes for me. I think I might be watching "How Green" this week. Thanks, Siren.

Anonymous said...

Damn, that's a fine post. So fine that it's kind of reductive to call it a "post," at least as far as an old ink-stained wretch like myself is concerned. So—damn, that's a fine piece of writing.
I'm moved and filled with admiration—and a little jealous, too.

Gloria said...

Campaspa, thanks for shring such a touching memories.

This reminds me of my father re-telling us his favourite Tarzan movies, and particularly his enthisiasthic rendering of "Tarzan in New York" (I suppose that's why I have a soft spot for Johnny Weissmuller). I also recall how he enjoyed "The Crimson Pirate", because papa had sort of Burt Lancaster looks.

One of his favourite films was "Land of the Pharaohs" (he loved the clever engineering bits about the Pyramid construction). I always found and odd coincidence that this film was shown on TV the day he died.

The Siren said...

Thanks guys. I had not thought about this incident in a while, though I sent the link to yet another cousin and he remembers it well (and claims R. really did have a cold, ha). While I haven't seen this movie in almost two decades I did see Bogdanovich's doc about Ford a couple of weeks ago, and two scenes from How Green Was My Valley were in it, including the final sequence. That brought it back, all right.

maurinsky said...

My father doesn't watch movies (he generally falls asleep in front of the TV, and he cannot stay awake in the dark so no theaters for him), but my mother made me sit down and watch this with her when it came on the 4:00 afternoon movie one summer day when I was probably about 10. She picqued my interest by pointing out that the little boy was Cornelius from Planet of the Apes, a movie I loved.

I think I sought out everything with Roddy McDowell in it after that.

Noel Vera said...

Great story. Unfortunately, I don't have relatives as sensitive as all that. If I tried to recommend that film to them, they'd complain it was black-and-white.

I remember one film I recommended to my parents--Smash Palace. Afterwards, my mom ask me "Did you recommend it for the sex?" "No, because it was good." She looked as if she wanted to talk about it a bit more, but we didn't.

Lynn@ZelleBlog said...

Thanks for posting, movies were a big part of my relationship as a kid with my dad. Something we liked to do together, especially cheesy horror movies.

Brooklyn is only about two hours from me, Im from NY. Nice to meet you!

The Siren said...

Maurinsky, I like McDowall a lot too, and wish he had more roles of the caliber of How Green Was My Valley. In her memoirs Maureen O'Hara said his was arguably the best performance by a child actor either, though she noted that McDowall always modestly insisted Jackie Coogan deserved that accolade for The Champ.

Noel, I have spent the better part of my life avoiding watching sex scenes with my parents. Just ... can't.

Lynn, nice to meet you too. I am afraid if you scroll you will discover I am not much of a horror buff but I do have a few I need to see, to fill in the horror-classic gaps.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Great post. Lovely description of a lovely film.

Tonio Kruger said...

Great post, Campaspe.

Now you got me remembering all the movies I used to watch with my late father. (Unfortunately, "How Green was My Valley" was not one of them.)

Exiled in NJ said...

Were there commercials on the Superstation? I remember the ones that filled Million Dollar Movie, but at least the technicians usually inserted them with care, unlike today's AMC, TNT, WE, Bravo, TBS etc etc etc. Seems a shame if ads would mar such a lovely post.

My father would take us to see the movies outdoors at the camp where we lived in Puerta la Cruz, Venezuela when I was eight. Up on the big white wall was Sunset Boulevard, The Gunfighter, Panic in the Streets, Winchester 73 and somehow transplanted from the 1930s, The General Died At Dawn, among others. Sometimes I will see an old film and realize I saw it then, like The Black Rose.

OutOfContext said...

I saw the Bogdanovich thing on Ford as well. Very nice. For some reason I gained a lot of respect for John Wayne after watching it (and Back to Bataan right after). I liked when Ford gave him the direction to be a blank and let the audience do the work. Ford sure made the interviewers work. Maybe his gruffness came from being sensitive about being a sensitive artist. The Wayne quote underscored what I've always liked about Ford who made pretty sentimental pictures really, he was a visual artist first and foremost. Anyway, the top shelf or our family's large DVD collection is for this Dad's favorites and on it sit The Grapes of Wrath and How Green Was My Valley.

Noel Vera said...

Hallo, Siren. Namedropped Colorado Territory at girish's site, and it went over as spectacularly as a frog's fart. Have you seen it, and what did you think?

The Siren said...

Jacqueline, thank you! I am checking out your site too, and enjoying it very much.

Tonio, it is making me realize that I have a duty to show my kids good movies, too. I do not think I will unleash the Ford on them just yet, though (the twins are 4 at the moment and still digging Winnie the Pooh).

Exiled, you mentioned that camp before and then and now I think it sounds like a really romantic way to see a movie. Reminds me of The Spirit of the Beehive, in which a traveling movie wagon shows Frankenstein in similarly rough circumstances in a Spanish village during the Civil War. The Academy Award Theater had lots of commercials and not only that, it had a bad habit, which TNT retains to this day, of ramping up the volume for the ads. But there was something just a bit special about having to wait to see a movie, and then pounce, even if it was cut and you had laundry detergent ads intruding.

Outofcontext, Ford was just plain difficult, according to everyone who ever encountered him. You never knew what you would get--this gruff anti-intellectual scoffing at the notion that there was anything more going on than "a cowboy picture," or the underlying artist who shot everything so precisely it was pretty much cut in the camera. I have Bogdanovich's book of Ford interviews and he seems a lot more forthcoming in that, but even so you can feel Bogdanovich straining to get a response at times.

Noel, LOL! I think that it may just be under-seen; I am afraid I have not seen it either. Your comment intrigued me enough to look up Walsh's interview in "Film Crazy," by Patrick McGilligan. Walsh says Jack Warner wanted another picture, but Walsh had none ready, so Walsh said we'll take High Sierra and put it out West. He goes on to say that he regretted Warner's having forced him to use Joel McCrea, since Walsh wanted Mitchum. The director said he thought McCrea wasn't believable as a guy facing a murder rap. Anyway, we both love The Strawberry Blonde. As I remember Exiled is fond of that one too. It seems to have this great semi-submerged reputation.

Noel Vera said...

Siren, just telling you: Colorado Territory's Walsh's unsung masterpiece. You haven't done Walsh till you've done that picture.

It shows in TCM on occasion.

On Ford, I heard he gave Wayne a hard time.

The Siren said...

Noel, Ford's mistreatment of Wayne is legendary, but depressingly well-documented. Some people trace it to Ford's disappointment that Wayne did not serve in World War II, but my reading seems to indicate that he was always contemptuous and harsh toward Wayne and WW II probably just gave it a different outlet or excuse. Maureen O'Hara says that on each picture Ford always had someone "in the bag"--i.e., chosen as whipping boy. More often than not it was Wayne. When you read about Ford you start to wonder how *anyone* put up with him, movie after movie, and yet they did,
while the (arguably) equally obnoxious and equally talented Fritz Lang had actors leave his set swearing they'd starve before they worked with him again.

inugai_kenzo said...


Thank you.

* * *

The summer before 4th grade, my pop suggested I watch Of Mice & Men...


I coulda used a drink after that...!


That, and seeing "The Trail of the Lonesome Pine" & later "The Shepherd of the Hills" in *technicolor* turned me into a sleepyhead & teevee-holic---sneaking out of bed for the "All Night Movie"

(Bay Area folk may remember Jay Brown of Spartan Dodge---"Home of the Price Slasher").

The hairiest part was turning on the set, then the changing to the channel, "C*L*I*C*K*!!"

Brown showed just about all the Warner Bros. flics---"The Strawberry Blonde," "They Drive By Night," "City for Conquest"...going back to the early thirties---for a couple of years it seemed like.

I remember seeing "Lord Love A Duck" & "The President's Analyst" very early on too somehow. :P

inugai_kenzo said...

I like Colorado Territory as well. I thought Virginia Mayo was really good in it, and that ending!

Exiled in NJ said...

I read the synopsis at IMDB to see if I can get my Deja Vu machine, or call it my 'Way Back' machine to work, but Colorado Territory does not ring a bell. What does is Copper Canyon with Ray Milland. Yes Ray Milland in a Western; almost as preposterous as Cagney and Bogart.

But to the eight year old sitting under the Tropic stars, it was seeing Gregory Peck being shot in the back that left its impression all these years.

Unknown said...

What i remember from that part of the film is the miners searching for the trapped ones. And Roddy McDowell calling, "Da Da" over and over

Funny, you made me think of a half a dozen experiences in theaters with my father that make me smile now.

The Siren said...

As y'all can see, the old comments posted along with the post...but that's okay with the Siren.

Happy Miser said...

Whenever I'm out eating and the food comes and someone at the table remarks how quiet it gets once the food arrives; I always quote:"I never met a man whose talk was better than good food" It has yet to spark a conversation about the film.
I must be moving in the wrong social circles.
Instead of dropping the "f" bomb I say:"Blasphemy, sacralige and hyprocisy!!"
This may be damning with faint praise but the movie is better than the book!
Anyway, in case I have not made myself clear: This movie shall be queen wherever it walks.

Happy Miser said...

And, yes, wonderful father's day story!

DavidEhrenstein said...

I only went to the movies occasionally with my father, as he was frequently out of town on business (he was a travelling salesman for a toy distribution company.) Back in 1961 I took him to Zazie dans le metro, about which he commented to my mother "David likes the strangest movies."

And now moving from fathers to Daddies ModDow notes in today's NYT re the Prop 8 trial --

"Officiating from on high was the dapper and quirky, silver-haired, silver-tongued, silver-goateed Judge Walker, who would have been played in a 40s movie by Clifton Webb."

And that's because --

" Walker is something of a character who invites magicians to perform at the annual court conference and who once made a mail thief wear a sign that said: “I have stolen mail. This is my punishment.” Heightening the dramatic possibilities, he is also, according to The San Francisco Chronicle, gay himself, which might give Prop 8 proponents ammunition to claim bias if he rules against them."


The Siren said...

David, I find describing the Prop 8 judge as a Clifton Webb doppelganger rather encouraging. We can only hope.

LOL at your father -- Zazie is indeed strange. Daddy parted company with me on the likes of Bette Davis (except, oddly, The Corn Is Green) and Sirk and Delmer Daves. He'd roll his eyes and say "oh hell, watch THAT one with your mother." I could lure him to any musical with Cyd Charisse, however, which no doubt SHOCKS you...

The Siren said...

Happy Miser, I have spent most of my life making old-movie references that no one gets. I knew I'd be Girish's friend forever when I told him "my daughter's name is Alida" and instead of asking me to spell it he instantly replied "Valli!"

Yojimboen said...

Good as HGWMV is – though I don’t find it great (this nit-picking Brit never approved of Ford’s casual attitude toward ethnic types) – what with poor Rhys Williams, the only genuine Taffy, completely outnumbered by Scots, Irish, English, American (and one Canadian, Walter Pidgeon) – for me it doesn’t come close to Richard Llewellyn’s prose. (which I can barely read without choking up – try typing it):

“Bronwen came over plenty of Saturdays after that, but I was always shy of her. I think I must have fallen in love with Bronwen even then and I must have been in love with her all my life since. It is silly to think a child could fall in love. If you think about it like that, mind. But I am the child that was, and nobody knows how I feel, except only me. And I think I fell in love with Bronwen that Saturday on the hill.”

The Siren said...

I always loved the novel too, as did my sister. Beautiful opening, heartbreaking close.

Happy Miser said...

Ok, so it's time I re-read the novel! But it is a great movie! "If manners prevent our speaking the truth; we will be without manners."

Vanwall said...

Lovely post - I was the outsider at my family's film viewings, and kinda sill am, except for my youngest son, who indulged my choices enough to become a film-school grad that had actually seen a lot of older films before he got there. He still makes cracks about "plotless, B&W movies", altho he knows that's a base canard, he's just jerking my chain. My sister-in-law, a horror fiction writer, is the closest to my world of watching, and goes well beyond me in contemporary ones, generally with lots of grue, but she knows a lot about film in general, thank god.

My Dad still watches mostly golf - he's a helluvan 80 year-old, who still can shoot his age - and the occasional western or crime film or adventure film, so things haven't changed there since the '60s. He had more than a few eye-rolling incidents when I was watching the endless parade of oldies on the tube as a kid, but he didn't stop me, a kind of passive encouragement - he believed in making your own way in the world, thankfully with support if you fell down.

MrsHenryWindleVale said...

> I have spent most of
> my life making old-movie
> references that no one
> gets

I just had an instance of this a few days ago. I was required to talk about myself to a group of people -- I won't say where, but the circumstances are easily guessed -- and drew blank stares when I invoked the last scene of "Lola Montes."

The Siren said...

We're not alone, Mrs HWV. Dustin Hoffman told a story about addressing a large group of students at a film school. He mentioned The Graduate, noticed he was getting a lot of blank looks, and asked who'd seen it. He said maybe a half-dozen hands went up.

And of course, compared to most of the films I discuss here, The Graduate was made practically last week.

scribbler50 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
scribbler50 said...

Great movie, beautiful post! Well done, Siren.


Sheila O'Malley said...

Beautiful. I love how they all felt ambushed, and what a validation that is of the movie itself, and of your father, for sneakily recommending it.

Steve Paradis said...

Philip Dunne called McDowell the real auteur of HGWMV--once he was cast as Young Huw, and they saw the tests, they (Ford and Dunne) knew he could carry the picture; they didn't have to cast an adult Huw (Tyrone Power was in the running) which would save a chunk of cash and allow it to be a movie about childhood--much of it Ford's.

The Rush Blog said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Rush Blog said...

I haven't seen "HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY" for years. I thought it was one of Ford's best films ever . . . and very depressing. The last reason is why I haven't watched it for such a long time.

Tonio Kruger said...

Great post, Siren.

My late father was an old movie fan but for some reason, How Green Was My Valley was one of the few films we never watched together. I can guess one reason why but I don't want to spoil the party so I'll go.

For what it's worth, I've been in Roddy McDowell's shoes since November of 2003.

Anonymous said...

What a lovely memory. Thanks for this, Siren (and thanks to whomever gave you the nudge to re-post).

My own earliest memories of the movies revolve around Radio City Music Hall, which was still a movie house when I was a child, and still an event.

My first picture there was "Charade" -- strong meat for a four-year-old! -- and I still remember every movie I went to see there with my mother, mostly Cary Grant pictures, or Doris Day films, mixed in with the occasional John Wayne western.

Not all of them were wonderful -- I can't really mount an aesthetic defense of "The Glass Bottom Boat" -- but all remain very firmly and fondly in my memory, not only because of the company, but because of the picture palace I saw them in.

And the details of the experience -- from the cavernous bathrooms in the downstairs lounge, to the tiny ashtrays bolted to the back of every seat in the upper mezzanine -- are as clear in my mind as the feel of the buttons on my mother's white gloves, as she held my hand as we crossed Sixth Avenue.

Of course she introduced to me to other, better movies (mostly courtesy of Sunday afternoon TV broadcasts). And I appreciate all of it. Parents are so crucial to our introductions to the arts -- passing along a love of classic movies is one of the greatest gifts they can give (and that we can give to our own children).

Vanwall said...

“I’m a miner, I’ll go down.”

I have had mixed feelings posting regarding HGWMV, as it comes somewhat close to home for me and my family. When I was a small child we lived in a mining company town, San Manuel, somewhat like the one depicted, although it was an underground copper mine in the desert, not coal in green and luscious Wales, which brought in the tough nuts that burrowed and blasted down there.

My Grandfather spent his share of time in underground mines, mostly as a practical designer for the muck removal equipment - it was a dirty job, and someone had to do it. My Dad, who held an engineering degree, still spent lots of time down inside the mine we lived next to, plenty of it for my Mom to stress out enough for a lifetime, I think. She told me when she was younger in Bisbee, another mining town, the copper tailing mounds, fresh from the smelter there, would sometimes be seen at nite with their slightly greenish glow. They met and married in that town, a place with hardly a flat road in it, and in some places it was faster to take the long stairs to get there. If you’re interested, it’s showcased in the 1955 film “Violent Saturday”, directed by Richard Fleischer and starring Victor Mature, Virginia Leith, Lee Marvin, Richard Egan, and Stephen McNally – a sunlit noir. I enjoy watching it for the town, as much as anything else.

Both San Manuel and Bisbee were full of Hispanics and Native American miners, as would be expected in the Southwest, but they also had a curiously inordinate amount of "Cousin Jacks" - Welshmen - not all from Cardiff, tho, so I don't know if that qualifies them as Taffies - and they went by that slang moniker there because they'd always be looking for an opening in one of the mine and open pit shifts for their Cousin Jack, who had just arrived from the Old Country - the coal country. Just as some Native Americans specialize in working the high steel, it takes a certain kind of steel in the man to do underground for long, and some Welshman made a specialty of it, I found out.

Dad had that kind of steel, he kept going down, but he used his degree to eventually move up and out, for which I’m eternally grateful. The catalyst happened when one of the miners, whom my Dad speculated was probably taking a furtive break, had switched off his lamp, and gotten run over by one of the mining trains and killed in a dismembered fashion. It was bloody, ugly show down in the dark there, and my Dad, being a shift safety man, had to go down and retrieve the body. They never had a collapse while he was there, but it was always in the back of your mind when you were below, and above, for that matter, my Dad said, so that miner’s death made up his mind on the spot. He passed on a promotion and went in a similar, though related direction – selling mining equipment.

We visited San Manuel, Bisbee, Jerome, and many other mining towns over the years after we moved away, and later when my Dad would go on sales calls for his mining equipment company, why, I’d tag long, as did both my sons later on – I was a little amazed when one son quickly identified the main shaft entrance in Jerome, and I hadn’t been there in years. The more I’ve read and the more I’ve seen happen to underground men over the years, I’m glad none of it happened to my Dad. I’ve got his miner helmet in the garage somewhere as a memento, of a time when going underground put food on the table, and I’m glad that’s all it’s representing.

The Siren said...

Vanwall & Stephen, thank you so very much for those heartfelt comments. They made my day.

Sometimes the comments here are better than my posts...

Dan Oliver said...

I love this post; it was the first Siren post I ever read, linked to it by--who?--DVD Savant maybe. Doesn't matter, I read it and was hooked. So nice to revisit it, especially after seeing that snapshot of your dad on Facebook.

Yojimboen said...

“Sometimes the comments here are better than my posts...”

That’ll be the day.

(Though M VW’s reminiscence comes as close as I’ve read. An elegant, gracious piece, sir. You did your pater proud.)

Vanwall said...

Thank you Siren, and M Yo. The epilogue to all of that, is that Thomas Wolfe was right, you can never go home again - all those towns ceased to exist as mining towns: the mines were closed, and the smelter chimney in San Manuel was demo-ed in a rather spectactular fashion, I understand.

Jerome was once declared by New York papers as "the wickedest town in the West" in the early 20th century, when a couple thousand rowdies lived there - by the 1950s there were 50 hardy souls eaking it out there.

Bisbee, a somewhat European looking town, shrank a lot too, and along with Jerome, has had to find a different reason to exist; they are arts and crafts meccas, and tourism pays the bills. Where'd those towns go?

San Manuel, however, is literally only a year older than me, and may disappear in my lifetime, become a ghost.

I've visited Bisbee and Jerome recently, they seem hazy, like someplace else, other than the blue water tainted from copper and the everpresent mountains. San Manuel was still mining when last I was there, but since the mine closed and they let it flood in 2003, I wonder what would be left of that time I lived there.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Roddy was a very hard case, and a very strange one. I would imagine the cinematic authority he wielded over HGWMV had a great affect over the rest of his career. He knew he had power, but he was never put in a power position again.

In his last years he was "cultivating" (not to put too fine a point on it) my friend Bob Hofler (author of The Man Who Invented Rock Hudson and Party Animals: Allan Carr's Hollywood) Roddy would go on and on and on about obscure silent and early sound stars he'd reasearched and come to know (as he was a HUGE movie fan.) Bob would say "Roddy you've GOT to write a book about this. There's so much fascinating material that you know about that scads of people would love to learn." And Roddy would say "Oh I couldn't POSSIBLY! It's all too PERSONAL!" Amd what Roddy was talking about wasn't "personal" or "scandalous" in any way. Just the nuts and bolts about the lives and careers of any number of truly interesting people. I think he wanted to horde it all for himself.

The kicker came during the Michael Jackson trial. Bob was having dinner with Roddy when he suddenly got a call from Elizabeth. She did all the talking. Roddy just nodded and "uh hunh"ed. When it was over he looked off into the distance and said softly "And to think, none of this would have happened if that little boy hadn't started to grow pubic hair."

(Slow Curtain. The end.)

Bryce Wilson said...

I hate to sully such a beautiful post with generic blog stuff.

But I Just wanted to let you know I gave you the Versatile Blogger Award

That and two dollars will get you a cup of coffee but the sentiment is genuine.

Trish said...

Steve McQueen?

Yojimboen said...

Yes, Trish, Steve McQueen and his son Chad; Fall 1961; photographer (probably) William Claxton.

DavidEhrenstein said...

Inevitably William Claxton.

Trish said...

I try not to read too much about the private lives of stars. They're only human after all, so we're bound to be disappointed. But recently I had the misfortune to read Sheila Weller's piece about Ali McGraw in Vanity Fair. I was crushed. I want to remember Steve McQueen as the man I saw in Love with the Proper Stranger and The Great Escape. I don't want to think about him as a stalker husband. That said, I love the guy, and I'll never stop watching his films.

The Siren said...

Mr. McQueen is there in honor of my husband, who's a fan, like every other man I know; it was our 10-year anniversary this week. The Siren is up to her neck in the usual distractions but should be posting soon.

Vanwall said...

Congrats on the 10, Siren!

DavidEhrenstein said...

My favorite Steve McQueen flick is Soldier in the Rain -- with Jackie Gleason and Tuesday Weld. He's so tender in it, without ever being sappy.

Yojimboen said...

My favorite Tuesday Weld film is any film with Tuesday Weld in it.

Somebody pass me a spoon, please!