Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Great (film) Debates vol. 95

Bad things come in threes, and so do Hollywood dinners.

Name three Hollywood stars (living or dead) you’d like to invite to dinner.

Panelist: T-Rav

I'd have to go with Charlton Heston, because he was freaking Moses (and I'd also like to get his opinion on all those Planet of the Apes sequels); Paul Newman, who may have been a bit wacky politically but seems to have been a genuinely nice guy (and of course a great actor); and on the living side, Jennifer Lawrence, aka the future Mrs. T-Rav.

Panelist: Floyd

William Powell (from My Man Godfrey, The Thin Man movies), Jack Lemmon, and Kevin Spacey... Why? William Powell was Golden Age -- my favorite actor from the 1930s and 40s. Powell was in Mister Roberts (his last film) with Jack Lemmon who was just starting in films. Lemmon was in Glengarry Glen Ross with Kevin Spacey who was just starting out in 1992. All three were and are great storytellers. I imagine a setting like Jon Favreau's Dinner For Five -- good food, great cigars, drinks, maybe some poker and a lot of movie talk stretching from silent movies to the latest Netflix series about politics.

Panelist: AndrewPrice

Gene Autry... the nicest human being ever. Quentin Tarantino... the most interesting director ever. Robert Shaw... who impresses the hell out of me.

Panelist: BevfromNYC

Let me just start off by saying if you’d ever eaten with an actor, well, let’s just hope it’s not a buffet! Okay, that being said, one would have to be Cary Grant, but it would have to be in one of those great old supper clubs like the El Morocco in NYC and would involve martinis. Secondly, Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn because I bet they would have some really great stories to tell about old Hollywood. And then maybe Vincent Price, but I would make him cook because I hear he was amazing in the kitchen and what an interesting career he had!

Btw, have any of you watched TCM’s replays of old Johnny Carson interviews with Hollywood stars? I just saw one with Henry Fonda. Of course that is when people like Carson actually talked and interviewed them. Carson was the best.

Panelist: Tennessee Jed

1) Philip St. John Basil Rathbone (June 13, 1892- July 21, 1967) -- In the fall of 1966, I had the pleasure of meeting Basil Rathbone and hearing him speak at my college. As it turned out, he would die some 8 months later, victim of a heart attack. He was one of the most interesting people I have ever met. Born in South Africa to the son of a mining engineer, Rathbone also served as an intelligence officer during WWI. Later he became a renowned Shakespearean actor, then a film actor in the 1920's. When he came to the U.S.A., he was often cast as a villain playing against Errol Flynn. In the late '30's and early 40's he became known for playing the great fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes. I also liked him since his family was originally from Liverpool (as was mine), and of course, there is the Sherlock thing.

2) Jennifer Anne "Jenny" Seagrove (b. July 4, 1957) -- born in Kuala Lampur, this British born actress first came to my attention in the film Local Hero. I also liked her in the role of Mary Morston (who later becomes Mrs. Dr. John Watson) in the film The Sign of Four featuring Jeremy Brett and Edward Hardwicke as Holmes and Watson. Seagrove overcame severe anorexia as a teen. She gives a lot of money to charity, and, of course, she is also a classically and incredibly beautiful woman. I mean if you are a guy setting a fantasy table for folks from the acting profession, why wouldn't that be a prime consideration? If I'm honest, I probably wouldn't have thought to include Jenny if I didn't just see her in an episode of "Endeavor," the BBC show about the early career of Inspector Morse.

3) Kevin Costner (b. Jan 18, 1955 Lynnewood, Ca.) -- believe it or not, I'd invite Costner. By all accounts, he seems like a fun guy in real life, and one who is not a hugely obnoxious liberal. I think he would be a nice addition to the group who would have some fun inside Hollywood stories, and make the two Brits feel at home. On the DVD of Open Range, Costner talks in detail about getting the financing set up for that film, and other issues surrounding the production. He did a great job of talking about that stuff and I found it fascinating. So you are invited, Kevin! ;)

Panelist: ScottDS

This should've been two questions: who you'd like to invite to dinner, and who you'd like to invite to a pub!

For dinner, I would like to invite Groucho Marx (I wouldn't be able to get a word in edgewise), Bill Murray, and Stephen Fry.

To a pub, I would like to invite Brian ("Gordon's aliiive!") Blessed, Robert Shaw, and Michael Caine. And yes, I realize Blessed and Fry aren't exactly "Hollywood stars" but they're certainly talented and interesting individuals.

Comments? Thoughts?


Tennessee Jed said...

all great choices. This should be one of the more fun installments.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - that should make for a hell of an interesting evening.

Tennessee Jed said...

Rav - I imagine Heston and Newman would have great stories to tell. Keep the conversation off politics with them, though :)

Tennessee Jed said...

Bev - you are going "old school" and that's a good thing!

Tennessee Jed said...

Floyd - you have a lot of great eras covered. Stories galore.

Tennessee Jed said...

Scott - You will be laughing your ass off for sure. Just make sure you don't laugh your milk shake up through you nose. It stings!! :)

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed! I think it would make for an interesting evening. Though it would probably end in a gun fight. LOL!

Nice choice on Mr. Sherlock Holmes.

Rob S. Rice said...

Vincent Price. 1st, because I loved the man's work, and 2nd, because he was a superlative cook. W.C. Fields. Give him a week to get caught up and tape the systematic slaying of every modern inflated ego. Glynis Johns in the early 1940's. That face! That... oh, my, that voice!

AndrewPrice said...

Rob, W.C. Fields would be fascinating to meet. I'll bet he's got some amazing stories and some deep insights into humans beings.

Backthrow said...

Lots of great choices already, especially Price, Fields, Rathbone and Powell. Geeking out over old and/or obscure movies with Tarantino would be fun (unless he's a jerk in private).

So as not to be redundant, I'd probably go with these three:

Buster Keaton, unpretentious comedy genius
Ida Lupino, actress/director
Lee Marvin, the man

The booze tab would probably bankrupt me, though.

Tennessee Jed said...

Backthrow: not in fantasy dining!! ;)

shawn said...

Oh god, I hate to admit it, but I would like to pick the brains of 3 (sadly, liberal) directors.

1) James Cameron- The best action movie director out there.
2) Ridley Scott- The best technical director out there. Even his bad movies look gorgeous.
3) 1970's Wood Allen. His early movies are some of the funniest things out there.

Tennessee Jed said...

shawn - keep your friends close and your enemies closer (l.o.l.)

Anonymous said...

shawn -

Ridley might be somewhere in the middle and his movies have ranged from right to left to right again. He's a good example of how you can't always judge a person's politics based on their work. Sometimes, but not always.

And some of Woody's best movies are actually kinda conservative (or at least have conservative messages buried within). And compared to his peers, he's downright old-fashioned at times.

And I would love to be at that dinner, BTW!

Anonymous said...

Interesting how Robert Shaw (of all people) came up twice!

I was tempted to include the great drinking actors like Richard Harris, Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole... that gang, but I'd never be able to keep up!

Tennessee Jed said...

begs the question "who is sicker," Woody Allen or Jerry Lee Lewis? Personally, I'd prefer having a beer with "the Killer" any day.

Tennessee Jed said...

Probably Shaw's drinking scene from Jaws had the impact of off-setting his Red Grant faux-pas with the wine

Outlaw13 said...

Jimmy Stewart
John Wayne
Slim Pickens

and to a completely separate dinner, Elizabeth Hurley

BevfromNYC said...

Burt Lancaster! I want to add Burt Lancaster to my list. What a gentleman he was.

Great list Outlaw! I am surprised those guys didn't come up before. I would add Dennis Hopper to that group for dinner! Wayne and Hopper were supposed to be political enemies, but they actually were great friends.

Tennessee Jed said...

Ah, Bev - Felix Happer of Knox Oil, Dr. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham, and Elmer Gantry all in one fell swoop.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Your booze bill would cover the national debt!

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, I've never seen anything about Ridley Scott's politics, but his films are more often conservative than liberal.

AndrewPrice said...

Backthrow, Lee Marvin would be fascinating to meet as well. He's probably the toughest of the tough guys.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Sure. There's no rule against adding to the list! :)

BevfromNYC said...

Hey, aren't you gonna ask why Clark Gable isn't on my list?

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! That's a very good question? Why isn't Clark Gable on your list?

BevfromNYC said...

I am not sure, but I think seeing crumbs in his mustache or, gods forbid he used the wrong fork! It would spoil the suave mystique. But stuff like that could never happen with Burt or Cary or Vincent!

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, That would be tragic. LOL!

T-Rav said...

Jed, Word.

Scott, I wouldn't be against dinner with Woody Allen, but I would definitely keep my little sister far, far away.

Anonymous said...

T-Rav -

Fair enough. :-)

Loyal Goatherd said...

Okay, I'll play!
1) Grace Patricia Kelly straight from the set of High Noon (1952). Born in 1929, that would make her 23 or 24 years old.

2) Cheryl Jean Stoppelmoor, from Satan's School for Girls (1973), she also would be about 22 or 24 years old at that time. She might be better known for the screen name she took just a little while later, Cheryl Ladd.

3) Michelle Marie Pfeiffer from the set of Hollywood Knights (1980), again 22 to 23 years old.

So they wouldn't exactly be full of Interesting Hollywood stories at that remarkably same age range. And yes, they are all blondes in their prime years, did you forget I said I would play? Men will require thought as opposed to women which required only lust. Men in a bit........

Loyal Goatherd said...

Men: Charlton Heston, John Wayne, Ronald Reagan and (Since Bev made addition cool) Clint Eastwood. Drinks, dinner, more drinks, all night smoker, poker party. When the Hollywood stories run out, the political stories can begin.

It would be hard to choose between the ladies above and Chuck, Duke, Dutch and the man with no (nick)name. But if I did choose the men would win out.

AndrewPrice said...

LG, Sounds like an interesting party you are setting up there. LOL!

Loyal Goatherd said...

AP, which one tickles your interest the most?

AndrewPrice said...

LG, Well, if tickling is involved, then it's definitely the women. But in terms of hearing stories and talking politics, it's definitely the men.

Loyal Goatherd said...

You know it's not easy being the straight man and setting up the joke for the comic to hit the punchline, but you're welcome!

AndrewPrice said...

LOL! Well, it was nicely set up!

Dave Olson said...

1) Ronald Reagan. I'd love to hear him tell tales of the various stars he worked with and what was really going on behind the scenes at Warner Brothers. I'd also like to ask him about the ugly side of the business, from casting couches to celebrity temper tantrums, and all the death threats he got from the Communist-infested unions. And I'd like to know what he'd think of the potential of new media, where anyone with an HD camera can make a movie and release it to Netflix, shutting the Big Studios out of the entire process. (I think he'd rather die again than watch "Orange is the New Black", but I'll bet that he would get a kick out of a TV series that bypasses every TV network in existence.)

2) Steve McQueen. The King of Cool. I'd love to know what he thought was the secret of his charisma; women wanted him, men wanted to be him. I'd also love to know what he thought of modern day action heroes, who seem to think that bulging arms and washboard abs are all it takes to be a "tough guy".

3) Sandra Bullock. Oh come on, do I need to explain why? It's Sandra freakin' Bullock! Having dinner with me! I could die a happy man after the last bite of pie a la mode!

shawn said...

As to just sitting around and, I'm thinking:
Jack Benny
Bob Hope
Johnny Carson

I'll bet they had some good stories to tell.

AndrewPrice said...

Dave, I would have put McQueen onto my list except I've read a lot about him being a real jerk and that kind of soured me on wanting to meet him. Reagan would be awesome though! Bullock too.

AndrewPrice said...

Shawn, Carson has always struck me as a really nice and really funny guy. He would be great to meet.

Backthrow said...

This would be a fun group at the dinner table:

John Candy
Catherine O'Hara
Bill Murray
Michael Palin
Bruce Campbell
Michael J. Nelson

Ed Jaws said...

A lot of great actors already mentioned. My list with a side dish or four.

Humphrey Bogart - Rick: "Here's looking at you, kid"

Sidney Greenstreet - Gutman: "Now, sir. We'll talk, if you like. I'll tell you right out, I am a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."

Peter Lorre - Ugarte: "You know, Rick, I have many a friend in Casablanca, but somehow, just because you despise me, you are the only one I trust."

All three played in two of my favorite movies together. There just seemed to be a great chemistry between them, at least on screen.

Now if I could, I'd also invite:

Lauren Bacall - Slim: "You remember how to whistle don't you? Just put your lips together...and blow."

Ingrid Bergman - Ilsa: "Kiss me. Kiss me as if it were the last time."

... for class and beauty.

Throw in John Huston and his father Walter, and I'd die a happy man. I bet there would be a lot of great conversation there.

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I'm sensing a pattern. LOL!

Petals said...

Marilyn Monroe
Vivien Leigh
Mel Gibson

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