Monday, August 10, 2020

Quips and Quotations (Working Conditions Edition)

 

 
I'd rather leave directing to the directors. I'd find it distracting to be directed by a Paul Newman. Costarring with him is fine. But I like my directors to be father figures. If Paul directed me, I'd be committing mental incest.

--Ava Gardner


 

18 comments:

  1. Oh gosh....another of my favorites.

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    1. You didn't specify Maddie, but I know you have a thing for Classic Hollywood movie divas (as do I), so I'm going to assume it's Ava.

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  2. I guess that Ava is attracted to men from Shaker Heights.
    --Jim

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    1. Jim, in his summers home from college, Newman worked in his father's sporting goods store in downtown Cleveland. My mother told me that she and her friends, who were all in their early teens, used to loiter in the store just so they could gaze at him. He wasn't famous at the time, just extraordinarily good-looking.

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  3. Hi, Kirk!

    "I'd rather leave directing to the directors" is an old school comment by Ava. Part of being a professional in the business is being able to work with all kinds of people, even if you are entertaining unclean thoughts about them. Actors often make great directors. That goes for TV series as well as films. Why there's (reading from a list I found) Ron Howard, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Clooney, Jodie Foster, Mel Gibson, Meat Head (Carl's son), Sofia Coppola, Penny Marshall and Clint Eastwood to name a few.

    In Paul Newman's case, he also made a dang good salad dressing.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, good buddy Kirk!

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    1. Shady, I would add to your list actors who became so well-known for directing, nobody remembers they were actors to begin with. John Ford is one notable example. Elias Kazan is another.

      Before the advent of film schools and film courses in the 1960s, almost nobody ever started out as a movie director. There were no Steven Spielbergs, who've done nothing in their adult lives but direct (and even he started out in TV.) Film editing, cinematography, screenwriting, set design, and, yes, acting, were all steppingstones to directing movies back in the day. Now, it's also true there were film directors who started out as stage directors. But in the theater world, it was even more common for directors to have once been actors. Again, Kazan is a prime example. So is Mike Nichols.

      I can't track down when or where Gardner made that quote, but the only movie she and Newman ever appeared in together, and not in the same scene though judging by the above picture he was obviously on the set, was 1972's The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, directed by John Huston (another director who once an actor, and in fact appears briefly as Grizzly Adams in the movie, though he's a far cry from Dan Haggerty.) At the time Gardner was 50 and Newman was 47. Basically the same generation, though Ava's film career had long since peaked by then, whereas Newman would be a bankable movie star for many years to come.

      Ava was known for her saucy comments, so she may have just been trying to be naughty when she made that one.

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  4. Ava liked being told what to do by older men?

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    1. Andrew, more than she did by men with blue eyes.

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  5. THAT is a marvelous quote. Love me some Ava. Smart lady. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Welcome to Shadow of a Doubt, uptonking.

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  6. Well, I guess Ms. Gardner didn't believe women should be directors then. So glad times have changed ... at least in that way. But a great actress!

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    1. Mitchell, Ms. Gardner apparently wasn't interested in a mother figure.

      Anyway, I'd blame it more on the times than on Ava's view of her own gender. The only two female directors from before 1970 that I can think of are Dorothy Arzner and Ida Lupino. The latter ended her directing (though not her acting) career filming Gilligan's Island. It would have been fascinating to see Ava and Bob Denver in a scene together, but, alas, it was not to be.

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    1. Thank you, Ananka, and a :-) right back at you.

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  8. She was a free spirit who loved drinking spirit x

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    1. John, I think she drove Sinatra to drink.

      "One for my baby and one more for the road..."

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  9. I'm with Ava. I don't particularly like telling people what to do. My directions would be, "You know what to do. Go do it!"

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    1. Mike, that's how Hitchcock did it, which a lot of actors didn't like. On the other hand, Dustin Hoffman and Barbra Streisand are notorious for never wanting to do what the director tells them. I guess it all depends on the individual.

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