Friday, September 30, 2011

The Darling Deborah Blogathon: Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

In honor of Deborah Kerr's 90th birthday, Sophie of Waitin' On A Sunny Day is hosting the "Darling Deborah Blogathon." This is my contribution ...

John Huston's Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison is a decidedly odd entry in that seemingly endless parade of World War II movies to come out of Hollywood in the last seventy years. More Brief Encounter than Saving Private Ryan, this low-key, tender would-be romance between a marine and a nun is as talky as a Woody Allen movie, and chaste even by Production Code standards, but it's also as good as anything its stars ever did and is one of my favorite movies of the era.

The Allison of Mr. Allison is Robert Mitchum as a marine who's separated from his unit during a naval battle and washes up on the shore of a remote South Pacific island. With no means of communication or escape, and very little chance that anyone will ever find him, he may be there for years.

And then to his shock he discovers that marooned on the island with him is a nun, Sister Angela, played by the disconcertingly beautiful Deborah Kerr.

"That's my luck," he complains. "If ya gotta be a nun, why ain't ya old and ugly? Why do ya gotta have big blue eyes, and a beautiful smile—and freckles?"

Despite the fact that they are both already in committed relationships—him to the Marines, her to Jesus Christ—Allison asks Sister Angela to marry him. She turns him down, of course, but, her protestations to the contrary, it's a close run thing.

And then the Japanese army shows up.

Although the plot of Mr. Allison is simple, the material is delicate, and in the hands of different actors could easily have turned into something comical, something cynical, or something hopelessly sentimental. In fact, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison sounds like the set-up for some kind of joke: "A marine and a nun are stranded on an island together—"

But far from turning into a romantic comedy or a traditional war movie, Mr. Allison instead becomes a meditation on the war between the spirit and the flesh, between the darkness and the light, or, if you will, between man's natural depravity and the better angels of our nature. Rather than favoring one over the other, though, the film suggests that we can only reach our true potential when we are well acquainted with and comfortable with both.

Here, Kerr's Sister Angela begins the movie wholly ignorant of what human beings are capable of—lust, fear, anger, hatred, murder—while Mitchum's Allison has known little else. Before the movie is over, both end up with an appreciation of the full range of human behavior to their immediate salvation and their lasting benefit.

This wasn't the first nun Kerr played. Her performance in Black Narcissus in 1947 is a classic and paved the way for her move to Hollywood. It also serves as a counterpoint to her performance in Mr. Allison. In Black Narcissus, her Sister Clodagh is all too acquainted with the human heart and its complications, and in fleeing from that terrible knowledge, she becomes, if not a bad nun, then a tragically ineffective one. Here, she learns to look reality straight-on, and just as Allison's acquaintance with the spiritual makes him a better Marine, so, too, I suspect will Angela's acquaintance with human frailty make her a better nun.

To get a sense of the different direction this set-up could have gone in, look at Huston's take on a similar story, The African Queen. His Oscar-winning tale of a drunken riverboat captain and a starchy New England missionary who sail down a river together is essentially the same odd couple set-up as Mr. Allison—only there, the film's stars, Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, played the material for laughs, with the loutish Bogart bumping up against the patrician Hepburn to great effect. The result was one of the best romantic comedies of the decade.

But Bogart and Hepburn were playing over-the-top, larger-than-life characters—Hepburn said later that director Huston told her to imitate Eleanor Roosevelt—and much of the pure pleasure of watching The African Queen comes from knowing that they're never in danger, not really. War is a lark and the threat of death by drowning, disease or a hangman's noose is simply foreplay—what fun! I mean, it was either this, Kate and Bogie seem to be saying, or dinner and dancing and maybe a nightcap up in her apartment.

At least they get an A for originality.

In Mr. Allison, though, Kerr and Mitchum play their roles absolutely straight, with a sincerity and vulnerability that's actually pretty rare for a star vehicle. If you're at all familiar with Deborah Kerr's work, that should come as no surprise—she was the gentlest, most guileless actress ever to grace the big screen, and I can't imagine her ever holding any part she played at arm's length.

That Robert Mitchum also leads with his chin comes as a surprise only if you've bought into the laconic, insolent facade he presented on screen and in interviews. The fact is, under those heavy, drooping eyelids and that weary, disinterested demeanor, there beat the heart of an artist, and in his best work—Out of the Past, The Night of the Hunter, The Friends of Eddie Coyle and this one—Mitchum was exposed, vulnerable and completely authentic.

Of all his great performances, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison was Mitchum's personal favorite.

Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison was the first of four movies Mitchum and Kerr made together. In 1960, they made both The Sundowners (for which Kerr received her final Oscar nomination) and The Grass Is Greener (co-starring Cary Grant and Jean Simmons). In 1985, they starred in Reunion at Fairborough, a made-for-television movie about a veteran who returns to England and rekindles a wartime romance.

Of his co-star, Mitchum said, "The best, my favorite—life would be kind if I could live it with Deborah around."

For her performance in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison, Kerr was nominated for an Oscar, but she lost, of course, this time to Joanne Woodward in The Three Faces of Eve. It was the story of Kerr's life. In all, she was nominated for six Oscars and lost every time, still a record in the best actress category. I think more than anything, she was a victim of bad timing. A list of those she lost to is a veritable Mount Rushmore of actresses from the post-war era: Olivia de Havilland, Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Joanne Woodward, Susan Hayward and Elizabeth Taylor.

And maybe also she was too unassuming and what she did on screen looked too effortless. The Academy has always tended to reserve its top prizes for those who remind us what a terribly difficult and lonely job acting is—even when it isn't.

In fact, maybe that's Mr. Allison in a nutshell: you expect fireworks and instead get something as quiet as a whisper. Don't make the same mistake the Academy did and fail to listen closely.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Great Directors Tournament: Art House Favorties Bracket—Round One

All the first round polls are now up and running. Don't forget to vote in the other brackets if you haven't already.

Ingmar Bergman
Born: July 14, 1918 (Uppsala, Uppsala län, Sweden)
Directorial Debut: (Crisis (1946)
Academy Awards: 9 nominations (including 3 for direction)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 1 win—The Seventh Seal (1957) (Drama)
Three More To See: Wild Strawberries, Persona and Scenes From A Marriage

Stanley Kubrick
Born: July 26, 1928 (New York, New York)
Directorial Debut: Flying Padre (documentary short) (1951)
Academy Awards: 13 nominations (including 4 for direction), 1 win—2001: A Space Odyssey (Visual Effects)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 1 win—2001: A Space Odyssey (Drama)
Three More To See: The Killing, Paths Of Glory and Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

Akira Kurosawa
Born: March 23, 1910 (Tokyo, Japan)
Directorial Debut: Uma (some scenes) (uncredited) (1941)
Academy Awards: 1 nomination, honorary Oscar
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—Rashômon (1950), Seven Samurai (1954) and Ran (1985) (all for Drama)
Three More To See: Ikiru, The Hidden Fortress and Yojimbo

Federico Fellini
Born: January 20, 1920 (Rimini, Emilia-Romagna, Italy)
Directorial Debut: Luci del varietà (Variety Lights) (1950)
Academy Awards: 12 nominations, honorary Oscar (1993)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): (1963) (Drama)
Three More To See: La Strada, Nights of Cabiria and La Dolce Vita

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Great Directors Tournament: Silent Era Bracket—Round One

One of these contests, you'll probably have an opinion about; the other—well, even I'm not so big a fan of silent movies as to think very many people know the films of Louis Feuillade. Two years ago, I hadn't even heard his name. Now I'd rank him as one of the most influential directors who ever lived, the man who directly influenced Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and Luis Buñuel, and I would guess is indirectly responsible for the likes of, say, Christopher Nolan (The Dark Knight).

Anyway, do the best you can. Ideally, you'll rush out and buy Fantômas, Les Vampires and Judex on DVD, have them overnighted to your house and then spend seventeen straight hours watching them.

Hey, you might—you don't know.

The Tale of the Tape

D.W. Griffith
Born: January 22, 1875 (LaGrange, Kentucky)
Directorial Debut: The Adventures of Dollie (short) (1908)
Academy Awards: honorary Oscar (1936)
Silent Oscars (for direction): 3 wins—The D.W. Griffith Biograph Shorts (1909), Intolerance (1916) and Broken Blossoms (1919)
Three More To See: Judith Of Bethulia, Way Down East and Orphans of the Storm

Louis Feuillade
Born: February 19, 1873 (Lunel, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon, France)
Directorial Debut: Un coup de vent (1906)
Academy Awards: none
Silent Oscars (for direction): 1 win—Les Vampires (1915)
Three More To See: Fantômas, Judex and Tih Minh

Charles Chaplin
Born: April 16, 1889 (London, England)
Directorial Debut: Kid Auto Races at Venice (short) (1914) (uncredited)
Academy Awards: 4 nominations (none for direction), 1 win—Limelight (Best Original Score), two honorary Oscars
Silent Oscars (for direction): 1 win—The Chaplin Mutuals (1917)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—The Circus (1927-28), City Lights (1930-31) and Modern Times (all for Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: The Kid, The Gold Rush and The Great Dictator

Buster Keaton
Born: October 4, 1895 (Piqua, Kansas)
Directorial Debut: The Rough House (short) (1917)
Academy Awards: honorary Oscar (1960)
Silent Oscars (for direction): 2 wins—Sherlock, Jr. (1924) and The General (1926)
Three More To See: Our Hospitality, The Navigator and Steamboat Bill, Jr.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Great Directors Tournament: Modern Era Bracket—Round One

You have until Sunday to vote in this one. (And don't forget to vote in the Classic Hollywood round.)

The Tale of the Tape:

Woody Allen
Born: December 1, 1935 (Brooklyn, New York)
Directorial Debut: What's Up, Tiger Lily? (1966)
Academy Awards: 21 nominations (6 for direction): 3 wins, including one for direction—Annie Hall (1977)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 2 wins—Annie Hall (1977) and Manhattan (both for Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: Sleeper, Hannah and Her Sisters and Match Point

The Coen Brothers
Born: Joel Coen— December 29, 1954 (Minneapolis, Minnesota); Ethan Coen—September 21, 1957 (Minneapolis, Minnesota)
Directorial Debut: Blood Simple (1984) (Ethan credited as producer)
Academy Awards: 13 nominations each: 4 wins (including one for direction)—No Country For Old Men (2007)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 2 wins—Fargo (1996) and The Big Lebowski (1998) (both for Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: Raising Arizona, Miller's Crossing and O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Martin Scorsese
Born: November 17, 1942 (Queens, New York)
Directorial Debut: Vesuvius VI (short) (1959)
Academy Awards: 8 nominations (6 for direction): 1 win—The Departed (2006)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 2 wins—Raging Bull (1980) and Goodfellas (1990) (both for Drama)
Three More To See: Mean Streets, Taxi Driver and The Age of Innocence

Steven Spielberg
Born: December 18, 1946 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Directorial Debut: The Last Gun (short) (1959)
Academy Awards: 12 nominations (6 for direction): 3 wins (including 2 for direction)—Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins— Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998) (all for Drama)
Three More To See: Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Jurassic Park

Monday, September 26, 2011

All-Time Great Directors Tournament

It occurred to me that if Erik Beck of the Boston Becks can come up with his list of the 100 best directors of all time and Monty of All Good Things can run a Classic Stars Match Play Tournament, there's no reason I can't horn in on their action and run an all-time great directors tournament.

Admittedly, I don't have time for a full-blown March Madness style tourney with 64 participants, but I can handle a sweet 16, divided into four brackets, The Silent Era, Classic Hollywood, Art House Favorites and The Modern Era.

Here are the match-ups:

D.W. Griffith v. Louis Feuillade
Charles Chaplin v. Buster Keaton

Alfred Hitchcock v. Billy Wilder
John Ford v. Howard Hawks

Ingmar Bergman v. Stanley Kubrick
Akira Kurosawa v. Federico Fellini

Woody Allen v. The Coen Brothers
Martin Scorsese v. Steven Spielberg

Admittedly, that leaves out a lot of favorites, both yours and mine, but what is life without disappointment and frustration.

The rounds will go off in staggered starts—Classic Hollywood today, the Modern Era tomorrow, etc.—and you'll have five days to vote on each match-up. Round Two will start next Wednesday.

Here's the Tale of the Tape for today's contestants:

Alfred Hitchcock
Born: August 13, 1899 (London, England)
Directorial Debut: Number 13 (1922) (unfinished)
Academy Awards: 5 nominations, no wins
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 4 wins: The 39 Steps (1935); The Lady Vanishes (1938); Vertigo (1958); Psycho (1960) (all in the category of Drama)
Three More To See: Notorious, Rear Window and North By Northwest

Billy Wilder
Born: June 22, 1906 (Sucha, Galicia, Austria-Hungary [now Sucha Beskidzka, Malopolskie, Poland])
Directorial Debut: Mauvaise Graine (1934)
Academy Awards: 21 nominations (including 8 for direction), 6 wins, including two for direction—The Lost Weekend (1945) and The Apartment (1960)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins: Double Indemnity (1944) (Drama), and Some Like It Hot (1959) and The Apartment (1960) (both Comedy/Musical)
Three More To See: Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17 and Sabrina

John Ford
Born: February 1, 1894 (Cape Elizabeth, Maine)
Directorial Debut: The Tornado (1917)
Academy Awards: 6 nominations (including 5 for direction); 4 wins—The Informer (1935); The Grapes Of Wrath (1940); How Green Was My Valley (1941) and The Quiet Man (1952)
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—Stagecoach (1939), The Grapes Of Wrath (1940) and The Searchers (1956) (all for Drama)
Three More To See: My Darling Clementine (1946), She Wore A Yellow Ribbon (1949) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)

Howard Hawks
Born: May 30, 1896 (Goshen, Indiana)
Directorial Debut: The Road To Glory (1926)
Academy Awards: 1 nomination, 0 wins
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (for direction): 3 wins—Scarface (1931-32) (Drama), Bringing Up Baby (1938) (Comedy/Musical) and Rio Bravo (1959) (Drama)
Three More To See: His Girl Friday, The Big Sleep and Red River

Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Classic Stars Match Play" Over At All Good Things

Knew you wouldn't want to miss the catfight between Joan Crawford and Bette Davis over at Monty's All Good Things. Click here to vote.

The Tale Of The Tape

Bette Davis
Name: Ruth Elizabeth Davis
Birth Date: April 5, 1908 (Lowell, Massachusetts)
Height: 5' 3"
Academy Awards: 11 nominations, 2 wins (Dangerous (1935) and Jezebel (1938))
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards: 2 wins—Best Actress (Drama) (1934) (Of Human Bondage) and Best Actress (Drama) (1950) (All About Eve)
Three To See: The Letter (1940), Now, Voyager (1942) and All About Eve (1950)
Personal Quote: "Until you're known in my profession as a monster, you're not a star."

Joan Crawford
Name: Lucille Fay LeSueur
Birth Date: March 23, 1905 (San Antonio, Texas)
Height: 5' 5"
Academy Awards: 3 nominations, 1 win (Mildred Pierce (1945))
Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards: 1 win—Best Actress (Drama) (1945) (Mildred Pierce)
Three To See: Grand Hotel (1932), The Women (1939) and Mildred Pierce (1945)
Personal Quote: "There was a saying around MGM: 'Norma Shearer got the productions, Greta Garbo supplied the art, and Joan Crawford made the money to pay for both.'"

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And If You Don't Like Nirvana ...

... how about Paul Anka?

Musical Interlude: Nevermind

It was twenty years ago today that Kurt Cobain told the band to play. I remember like it was yesterday.

Actually, twenty years since Nirvana released the album Nevermind, which in terms of impact ranks with Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Never Mind The Bollocks, Here's The Sex Pistols on the all-time list of rock albums. (Personally, Revolver gets my vote for the best of all time, but that's just me.)

Twenty years. Twenty years. Time flies.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Housekeeping: Blog Posts I've Started And Never Finished (And Likely Never Will)

I worked pretty hard in July and August, not only on a series of posts about 1917 (which I am finishing up this week) but also on some unrelated posts participating in other bloggers' blogathons—"Cary Grant Has A Cold" inspired by Monty's blog All Good Things, a post for the Thrilling Days of Yesteryear Dick Van Dyke blogathon, cued up and ready for the show's 50th anniversary on October 3, and a long post about Carole Lombard's silent film career for the Carole-tennial+3 celebration of that great star's 103rd birthday (October 6).

Then I got distracted for a while. We had new carpet installed, bought a new dryer and began to interview roofers. And I sprained my left ankle, and as soon as that was healed, sprained my right foot. Seems like there were other things as well.

Anyway, I started a number of blog posts that I never finished and likely never will, much to my chagrin. Here they are, all bundled up with no place to go.

Many Many Thanks
Sophie of Waitin' On A Sunny Day has awarded me the Liebster Blogger Award.

"MM's blog was one of the first I ever followed and it's thanks to him that I've watched many silent films that I might not have otherwise - thank you! :D You should all go over there and follow him immediately!"

Wow. Thanks Sophie! That's pretty much the ultimate compliment for a film blogger ...

By the way, she's hosting the "Darling Deborah Blogathon" on September 30 in honor of Deborah Kerr's 90th birthday. If I can get my act together, I'll try to post something, Deborah Kerr being one of my favorite actresses. Maybe "Deborah Kerr Has A Cold" ...

Where Do All The Bloggers Go
I was cleaning up links on my blog last week, deleting the ones that no longer go anywhere, and I got to wondering what had become of some of the people who used to stop by and now have disappeared—not just from the comments section of this blog, which considering the erratic content here is understandable, but from their own blogs, and apparently from face of the earth ...

Note: there were two in particular I was thinking of, Gordon Pasha of Lazlo's on Lex, a great blog about growing up in New York City, and Ginger Ingenue of Asleep in New York, a blog dedicated to movies and insomnia.

Gordon, I was sad to learn recently, passed away in August. He will be missed.

As for Ginger Ingenue, one hopes she's still out there somewhere, not sleeping through the night. If you read this, Ginger, drop us a line.

"Being big and thus prone to falling hard, my relationship with gravity has always been, at best, adversarial."

Something I tell Katie-Bar-The-Door all the time, but she's small and continues to court disaster.

Krazy Kat
(By the way, Paul J. Marasa of The Constant Viewer offers an explanation for why Dressler and Chaplin hit each other with bricks early in Tillie's Punctured Romance—the comic strip Krazy Kat had debuted a year earlier, and if you know your hundred year old comic strips, you know Ignatz the mouse frequently brained the lovestruck Kat with a brick.) (Me, I read Jay Cantor's novel based on the strip some twenty-plus years ago.)

Actor-Proof Parts

I have to confess that the other day, when I passed on the TCM trivia question about Maggie McNamara and her Oscar-nominated first role, not only had I never seen The Moon Is Blue, I'd never even heard of Maggie McNamara. But fortunately, TCM was showing it that very afternoon and I watched it, which I suppose was the point of the question, to lure in the curious.

Directed by Otto Preminger, The Moon Is Blue was a romantic comedy starring William Holden, David Niven and the aforementioned McNamara. ... It was stage-bound and although cutting-edge for its day—they used words like "seduction" and "virgin" right out loud in open defiance of the Production Code—it's hopelessly dated now, and while Maggie McNamara in a brunette pony-tail kind of reminded me of Audrey Hepburn, she brings none of Hepburn's spark to the role. All-in-all, pleasant but forgettable.

Still, McNamara wound up with an Oscar nomination for best actress, in a year when Gloria Grahame (The Big Heat), Jean Arthur (Shane), and Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe (both for Gentlemen Prefer Blondes) received none. And I had to wonder why. The Moon Is Blue was McNamara's first movie, and she only made four more—her career hit the skids almost immediately afterwards, I imagine when people discovered she couldn't act, not really. (She wound up making ends meet as a typist and committed suicide in 1978 at the age of forty-eight.)

Here's A Blog I Should Follow
I was looking for photos of Roscoe Arbuckle the other day when I stumbled across a really good one on the internet, which I promptly downloaded, and then I thought "this is a good blog, I should follow it," so I scrolled up to the top of the page to find its name:

"A Mythical Monkey Writes About The Movies"

Turns out I had posted the photo back in June. Wah wah wah. Still, it's good to know that if I weren't already a raging narcissist, I would find something to like about myself.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

That's Typing Tuesday #19: Not Mine—I Wear Pants When I Blog

"That's Typing" Tuesday, in which I share unpolished, unpublished writings from my vast store of unpolished, unpublished writings. On Tuesdays.

From today's comic strip, Pickles:

Monday, September 19, 2011

The Silent Oscars: 1910

winner: Frankenstein (prod. Edison Manufacturing Company)
nominees: Afgrunden a.k.a. The Abyss a.k.a. The Woman Always Pays (prod. Hjalmar Davidsen); The D.W. Griffith Biograph Shorts (prod. The Biograph Company); Jeffries-Johnson World's Championship Boxing Contest (prod. J. Stuart Blackton); The Max Linder Short Comedies (prod. Pathé Frères); Mobiliaire Fidele a.k.a. The Automatic Moving Company (prod. Émile Cohl)

winner: Charles Ogle (Frankenstein)
nominees: Max Linder (The Max Linder Short Comedies)

winner: Asta Nielsen (Afgrunden a.k.a. The Abyss a.k.a. The Woman Always Pays)
nominees: Vittoria Lepanto (Salomé); Florence Turner (Twelfth Night)

winner: J. Searle Dawley, Charles Kent and Ashley Miller (A Christmas Carol)
nominees: Émile Cohl (Mobiliaire Fidele a.k.a. The Automatic Moving Company); J. Searle Dawley (Frankenstein); Urban Gad (Afgrunden a.k.a. The Abyss a.k.a. The Woman Always Pays); D.W. Griffith (The D.W. Griffth Biograph Shorts)

It occurred to me this morning as I was walking the dog that in 2011 a schnook like me has greater access to silent movies than an Oscar-winning expert like Kevin Brownlow did forty years ago. How about that. You, too, can become an amateur film historian in fairly short order if you're willing to work at it.

Of course, when nobody has a monopoly on information, it also means everybody has an opinion, and sometimes it's difficult to separate opinion from fact. Fortunately, when it comes to movies, you can watch them for yourself and make your own decisions.

As best picture of 1910, I chose the 13-minute version of Frankenstein. I won't tell you that it's great—none of the choices are—but it was the first American horror film ever produced and thus was groundbreaking. You might compare it with another film also directed by J. Searle Dawley that year, A Christmas Carol, which is notable not only for a double exposure to show Marley's Ghost, but a triple exposure to then reveal scenes from Scrooge's past.

Canon Movies chose the latter as the best picture of 1910, ranking Frankenstein sixth.

I've embedded both movies here. (Public domain copies of my other best picture nominees can be found floating around the internet.) You make the call.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, Greta Garbo

In honor of her birthday, I'll reprint my most popular post, "The Aging of Great Garbo." (To read biographical essays about Garbo, click here and here.)

1914—age 9 (that's Garbo in the middle)

1920—age 15

1923—age 18 (by Olaf Ekstrand)

1926—age 21 Flesh and the Devil (with John Gilbert)

1929—age 24 The Kiss

1932—age 27 As You Desire Me

1936—age 31 (color—not colorized—photo by Sinclair Bull)

1941—age 36 Two-Faced Woman

1946—age 41 (by Cecil Beaton)

1951—age 46 (by George Hoyningen-Huene)

1965—age 60 (by Cecil Beaton)

1990—age 85