Monday, August 24, 2009

"The Kind Lady" Kept Me Up Past My Bedtime

The headline of this post may appear a bit tawdry. . . but headlines can misrepresent their subject in order to entice the sensational eye of their readers. I have decided to stoop to that level today as I report on adding another classic film to my viewed list. First, I want to be clear that I enjoy Ethel Barrymore in almost everything I have previously viewed from her career. Some highlights for me are the following: Pinky, The Spiral Staircase, The Farmer's Daughter and Portrait of Jennie (my personal favorite). Last night as part of their Summer Under the Stars day-long tribute to Angela Lansbury, TCM aired The Kind Lady (1951). I had to know what happened to the captive Barrymore and ended up remaining awake until 11:30 p.m. to see the suspenseful conclusion. Source material for film was a stage play followed by a 1935 film version. In Robert Osborne's wrap-up, I learned that Lansbury's mum, Moyna Macgill, had a bit part in the film as the household cook, Mrs. Harkley.

"More regal than royalty." --critical accolade once bestowed on Barrymore quoted in her The New York Times June 19, 1959 obituary.

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