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Thread: Jean Arthur

  1. #1
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    Jean Arthur

    I did a search and did not find a thread for Jean. She should definitely have one. The quintessential screwball comedy acress!



    Jean Arthur (17 October 1900??19 June 1991) was an American actress and a major film star of the 1930s and 1940s. She remains arguably the epitome of the female screwball comedy actress. "No one was more closely identified with the screwball comedy than Jean Arthur. So much was she part of it, so much was her star personality defined by it, that the screwball style itself seems almost unimaginable without her."[1] Arthur has been called "the quintessential comedic leading lady."[2]
    Arthur is best known for her feature roles in three Frank Capra films: Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take It With You (1938), and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), films that championed the everyday heroine. A memorable later performance was in George Stevens' Shane (1953), her last screen appearance.
    Arthur was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in 1944 for her performance in The More the Merrier (1943).

    Interesting tidbit:

    Arthur decided to teach drama, first at Vassar College and then the North Carolina School of the Arts. While teaching at Vassar, she stopped a rather stridently overacted scene performance and directed the students' attention to a large tree growing outside the window of the performance space, advising the students on the art of naturalistic acting: "I wish people knew how to be people as well as that tree knows how to be a tree."
    Her students at Vassar included the young Meryl Streep. Arthur recognized Streep's talent and potential very early on. After watching Streep's performance in a Vassar play, Arthur said it was "like watching a movie star."

  2. #2
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    You beat me to starting this thread, Val.

    I just love the way this woman acted...so natural (as you pointed out) and the way she spoke on screen was cute and sexy as hell. Night before last I flipped on TCM and You Can't Take It With You was on which made me hungry for Mr. Smith (of which she stole all her scenes IMO), so I popped in my dvd of Mr. Smith and enjoyed her again, along with some other of Capra's favorite actors...Edward Arnold (Jim Taylor), Guy Kibbee (the governor), Thomas Mitchell (Diz), Eugene Pallette (Chick), and Jimmy Stewart of course.
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

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    Ha! We watched TCM the same day. It was Jean Arthur day. The thread-starter for me was The Ex Mrs Bradford.

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    I always like to see Jean in a movie. She was delightfully ditzy and her voice definitely stood out!
    I used to have a biography of her. Jean was a lesbian, she loved cats and retired long before her death, virtually becoming a recluse.
    She left behind a fine legacy of comedy roles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valerie View Post
    Ha! We watched TCM the same day. It was Jean Arthur day. The thread-starter for me was The Ex Mrs Bradford.
    Yep me too! I have had the flu and watching that string of movies made me feel better than chicken soup. Leo carillo was in The Ex Mrs Bradford playing a ganster who hires her as a cook. I just always loved him especially as Poncho in the Cisco Kid!
    Regards,
    Mary

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    Quote Originally Posted by STsFirstmate View Post
    Yep me too! I have had the flu and watching that string of movies made me feel better than chicken soup. Leo carillo was in The Ex Mrs Bradford playing a ganster who hires her as a cook.
    I watched the first few minutes of that one after I finished Mr. Smith, but it was bedtime.

    The best of Jean in Mr. Smith.....:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57GLn...E44772&index=7
    Last edited by Bidmor; 09-01-2009 at 03:29 PM.
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

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    Last edited by Northern Lights; 01-28-2010 at 12:18 PM. Reason: Deleted empty posts, pictures disappeared.

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    Ahhhh, I was waiting for a Northern Lights brand Jean Arthur photo gallery...I don't know your secret source but let's keep it a Northern Lights specialty treat.

    Returning to Jean's distinctive pattern of speaking...that was true of most actors "back in the day" when an actress or actor could merely say a few words and one would instantly know their identity. It ain't that way now, with a few exceptions (Cruise, Gibson, Costner, Demi, and a few others) and the current old timers such as Nicholson, Eastwood, Hackman, Pacino et al.

    Don't ya just want for a return to distinctive actors as a rule, instead of primarily cookie-cutter line readers?
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bidmor View Post
    Ahhhh, I was waiting for a Northern Lights brand Jean Arthur photo gallery...I don't know your secret source but let's keep it a Northern Lights specialty treat.

    Returning to Jean's distinctive pattern of speaking...that was true of most actors "back in the day" when an actress or actor could merely say a few words and one would instantly know their identity. It ain't that way now, with a few exceptions (Cruise, Gibson, Costner, Demi, and a few others) and the current old timers such as Nicholson, Eastwood, Hackman, Pacino et al.

    Don't ya just want for a return to distinctive actors as a rule, instead of primarily cookie-cutter line readers?
    My wife and I are thankful that there's a TCM.

    Someone famously pointed out that, no matter how old, every movie is a "new movie" if one hasn't seen it yet.

    IMO very few newly-made movies can compete with overall entertainment value offered by the oldies

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bidmor View Post
    Ahhhh, I was waiting for a Northern Lights brand Jean Arthur photo gallery...I don't know your secret source but let's keep it a Northern Lights specialty treat.
    Girl needs to have some secrets

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    Northern Lights thanks for the wonderful pictures of Jean.I loved her in the movie Shane.I wish I knew more about her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mulligan View Post
    Northern Lights thanks for the wonderful pictures of Jean.I loved her in the movie Shane.I wish I knew more about her.
    You're welcome!

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    Jean's and Barbara Stanwyck's sexuality came up in the Natalie Wood thread so I thought it better discussed in Jean's thread. She was very protective of her private life, more so after retiring from films. I read elsewhere Jean was once referred to as the American Garbo. Also I had read or heard elsewhere recently Jean was gay or bi. After a quick search I did find this:
    http://books.google.com/books?id=f0f...%20gay&f=false
    The Strange Case Of The Missing Corpse
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o-GmH8eFJFU

    Mrs. Peel (commenting on Steed's sword): "That looks a bit droopy." Steed: "Wait until it's challenged."

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    https://www.wamc.org/post/biographer...ing-size-mural Mural of Jean Arthur in downtown Plattsburgh by artist Brendon Palmer-Angell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    https://www.wamc.org/post/biographer...ing-size-mural Mural of Jean Arthur in downtown Plattsburgh by artist Brendon Palmer-Angell
    Very nice Mural of Jean Arthur.(so enjoyed all of her films)
    Carolyn(1958-2009) always in my heart.

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