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Posts Tagged ‘joan collins’

A television network decides to reunite the three female stars of a 60s movie, for a special programme.  However, problems arise almost immediately due to the fact that the three women can’t stand the sight of each other.  When they do all agree to the reunion, things certainly don’t get any easier….

Starring Debbie Reynolds, Shirley MacLaine and Joan Collins as respectively, Piper Grayson, Kate Westbourne and Addie Holden, this film is a hoot.  The three actresses send themselves up beautifully, and I hope that they had as much fun making this film as I did watching it!  Hollywood legend Elizabeth Taylor also puts in an appearance as Beryl Mason, agent for all three women, but her role is very small, which is something of a shame, as she seemed to be sending herself up as much as the others.

The first scene where Beryl and Piper meet is very funny in itself, but even funnier if you know the real life background of these two actresses.  There was a huge scandal in the 1950s, when Reynolds’ husband Eddie Fisher, ran off with her friend Liz Taylor, who subsequently married him.  This film is in fact the first time that the two women have appeared on screen together since then.  And in the scene, Beryl apologises to Piper for running off with Piper’s husband ‘Freddie Hunter’ (which was CLEARLY a reference to Eddie Fisher!)  Piper soothes Beryl and says that she forgave her years earlier, before the two women pull ‘Freddie’ to pieces!

However, the rest of the film also has several delights.  The catfights between the women are so funny, and Jonathan Silverman, as Kate’s adopted son, who is supposed to be directing the whole reunion, has a rare old time trying to keep things together without one or other of them storming off.  Add to the mix a prison escapee, and a big secret in Kate’s past, and the stage is set for lots of laughter.

(Bit of trivia: This film was co-written and co-produced by Carrie Fisher, who is the real-life daughter of Debbie Reynolds, the former step-daughter of Elizabeth Taylor, and who played the daughter of a character played by Shirley MacLaine in Postcards from the Edge.)

Admittedly a lot of the enjoyment in this film is the sheer novelty value of seeing four legends on screen at the same time, but it is actually a very clever and funny film in its own right.  Definitely one to watch if you get chance.

Year of release: 2001

Director: Matthew Diamond

Producers: Ilene Amy Berg, Carrie Fisher, Laurence Mark, Elaine Pope, Lewis Abel, John D. McNamara, Deborah Edell Underwood, Sally Young

Writers: Carrie Fisher, Elaine Pope

Main cast: Shirley MacLaine, Debbie Reynolds, Joan Collins, Elizabeth Taylor, Jonathan Silverman, Nestor Carbonell

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Gregory Peck heads up the cast of this terrific Western (‘terrific’ and ‘Western’ being two words I rarely use in the same sentence).  He plays Jim Douglas, a man who comes to the sleepy town of Rio Arriba, to witness the hanging of the four men who he believes raped and murdered his wife.  However, the night before the hanging, the four men escape and the townsmen ask Jim for his help in getting them back.

I’m not a big fan of Westerns, but I am a big fan of Gregory Peck, which is the reason I watched this movie – and I’m so glad that I did.  It has everything, a suspenseful storyline, a great main character, and a fabulous actor playing him.  This is really Peck’s movie – despite the star billing of Joan Collins (playing Josefa, an old flame of Jim’s), the rest of the cast are really supporting actors.  And Peck plays the brooding, obsessed man to perfection.  He really does have (as one of the criminals notes) the eyes of a hunter, and it’s clear that his desire to see these men dead has completely overwhelmed him.

There’s also an underlying debate in the storyline – when people use the excuse of justice to justify revenge, are they not lowering themselves to the level of those they judge?  For the most part though, this is simply a riveting storyline, with a great actor in the  main role.

Year of release: 1958

Director: Henry King

Writers: Frank O’Rourke (book), Philip Yordan

Main cast: Gregory Peck, Joan Collins

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