Faye Dunaway on Film

Crimson

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My early chuckles aside -- elicited by Michael Caine's Southern accent -- I didn't think HURRY SUNDOWN (1967) was campy at all. Over-the-top and florid, yes. I love Southern Gothic melodrama, from Tennessee Williams downward. I loved everything about this movie. I should have known, just based on the director; I usually like Preminger's stylized realism.

I admit, I made it through the entire movie not realizing it was set in the mid-40s; I thought the story was contemporaneous to the mid-60s. (Hollywood in the 60s absolutely could not do 'the past'.) The film's reviews look, in retrospect, inexplicably hostile. I suspect this movie cut a little to close to home for the late 60s. Sure it's Hollywood's over-heated imaginings of "the South", but its brutally frank, naked racism is, if not realistic, at least realistic-adjacent. And that's about the best Hollywood could ever do.

Dunaway is terrific in her small role: fresh-faced and exuberant. I find myself wishing now that I had done this retrospective in chronological order. Faye was so versatile and diverse in the early years of her career. At some point, by the late 70s, her style and mannerisms seem to have become cemented. I'm curious if I would have pinpointed when.

I don't care much for Jane Fonda from the 70s onward, but gosh she was glorious in the 60s. How did she go from being so dynamic and vivid, to so uptight? I demand answers.

Shifting between movies of the late 60s and 70s, it's clear how much the visuals of films took a hit in the 70s. HURRY DOWNDOWN, like BONNIE AND CLYDE and THE THOMAS CROWN AFFAIR, is a beautiful looking film with lush , crisp colors. Why did all all the movies in the 70s look hazy and muddy?

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Snarky Oracle!

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I don't care much for Jane Fonda from the 70s onward, but gosh she was glorious in the 60s. How did she go from being so dynamic and vivid, to so uptight? I demand answers.

One presumes she wanted "to be taken seriously." And KLUTE can't be played the same way as BARBARELLA.

Why did all all the movies in the 70s look hazy and muddy?

I rather liked the ugly naturalism of the '70s look. And it seemed to fit the period. But, yeah, it was quite shift.

Crimson said:
I love Southern Gothic melodrama, from Tennessee Williams downward.

How do you feel about Kazan's BABY DOLL?
 
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Crimson

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One presumes she wanted "to be taken seriously." And KLUTE can't be played the same way as BARBARELLA.

Fair enough but, jeez, did she have to turn into Deborah Kerr masquerading as Gloria Steinem?


How do you feel about Kazan's BABY DOLL?

Haven't seen it. The LOLITA thing is a bit too creepy for me. If I thought the movies knew it was creepy, I might proceed; but I suspect they're both just Hollywood lasciviousness with a side of victim-blaming.
 

Snarky Oracle!

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Fair enough but, jeez, did she have to turn into Deborah Kerr masquerading as Gloria Steinem?

:lol:

Haven't seen it. The LOLITA thing is a bit too creepy for me. If I thought the movies knew it was creepy, I might proceed; but I suspect they're both just Hollywood lasciviousness with a side of victim-blaming.

Actually, BABY DOLLS's reputation for pedo-ism is highly overstated. It's really quite innocent, but one of the pervy cardinals (is there any other kind?) made a huge public deal about the immoral content of the movie at the time. And its image was set.
 

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OKLAHOMA CRUDE (1973)

Way better than I expected. Mind you, my expectations for this one were rock bottom, but this turned out to be a surprisingly solid piece of entertainment. The story is slight: a Western AFRICAN QUEEN-style romance. I've never cared much for George C. Scott, to be honest, but he was gruff and charming and far less flinty than I think of him.

Dunaway's late 60s/early 70s performances continue to surprise me. Those late 70s mannerisms that I so heavily associate with her are entirely absent here. This is a mostly unfussy, unmannered performance; she plays a woman who is strong and independent, but without that heavy-handed 70s feminism that began to creep into films. Roger Ebert's review, specifically his counter-arguments against other critics' harshness towards the film, is a good explanation of the movie.


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Crimson

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A PLACE FOR LOVERS (1968)

This one has a dire reputation: one of the worst movies ever made. Even still, I'm not sure I can judge it. Turns out, my copy is in Italian without subtitles. I still watched it, even though I understood perhaps 5 words in the entire movie.

The dialogue must be atrocious to explain the film's reputation because otherwise this seemed like a perfunctory but visually beautiful romance. Faye was at her most beautiful here, particularly decked out in mod-glam fashions of the time.

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The Joan Crawford movie was... complete with your own words, but the makeup job to resemble Joan Crawford was excellent
"Network" may have been her best performance IMHO
 

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Kate Nelligan can sometimes remind one of Dunaway. In both looks and bravura (and, if the whispers are correct, volatility too).

 

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There´s only one and only twin sister of la Faye:

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"Tina, bring me two axes...!!"​

With a voice even huskier than Faye´s, Moriarty is known mainly for "Raging Bull" as De Niro´s wife. After that, her career continued discreetly until she did "Soapdish", which had the "Mommie Dearest" effect for her, and sent her to Ga-ga Land!
 

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I finally saw Eyes of Laura Mars (1978) and based on everything I read about it here, it fully was what I expected. I really enjoyed it and don't have any major complaints. You all talked about the great atmosphere of late 70s NYC. This trashy disco chic, a unique moment in time captured on film. All the photoshoot scenes, especially the Columbus Circle one, are fab. Faye is great and does a lot of running in high heels so kudos for the effort. I also chuckled at her screaming Donald, Donald. Speaking of Donald, her gay bestie, the choice of freaky male characters/actors is amusing. All of them look and behave somehow demented, the midget, the psycho driver, the ex husband, even the gay best friend. On the other hand, who knew Tommy Lee Jones was so hunky. Also, I had no idea it was him, but honestly I didn't even care since most of the movie you just enjoy the look/feel/atmosphere and wait for the next dramatic murder moment to come to Laura.

All in all, it's a great movie to have on your resume and from what I read it was a modest hit with some praise for Faye's performance. Which again, leads us to the same old problem of Faye making terrible movie choices. Why in the world did she sign for a fully supporting tole in The Champ (1979)? Makes no sense. She was still at the top after Laura Mars and could have done another movie that she would headline.







 
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Crimson

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Which again, leads us to the same old problem of Faye making terrible movie choices. Why in the world did she sign for a fully supporting tole in The Champ (1979)? Makes no sense. She was still at the top after Laura Mars and could have done another movie that she would headline.

I can understand why Dunaway's career lapsed in the 80s. She made a few stinkers in a row. She had a reputation for being difficult. I think too her acting style -- 60s Method filtered through 40s movie queen -- was out of sync in the era of Meryl Streep.

But it doesn't explain how she's never had any kind of comeback. She's practically been persona non grata in Hollywood for 4 decades. Even when she has (rarely) appeared in major films, her roles are small and inconsequential. She's never even had the perfunctory payday roles like, I don't know, Spider-Man's aunt or something.

One of these days, I'm going to read her autobiography to see if she has any insight. The only conclusion I can reach is that it was by choice, and that she just didn't care about her career. Maybe she chooses projects for different reasons, like Kathleen Turner who has said she plays roles she finds interesting but with no consideration to any kind of career strategy.
 

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A PLACE FOR LOVERS (1968)

This one has a dire reputation: one of the worst movies ever made. Even still, I'm not sure I can judge it. Turns out, my copy is in Italian without subtitles. I still watched it, even though I understood perhaps 5 words in the entire movie.

The dialogue must be atrocious to explain the film's reputation because otherwise this seemed like a perfunctory but visually beautiful romance. Faye was at her most beautiful here, particularly decked out in mod-glam fashions of the time.

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I saw the English lanugage verion on TCM. It was very bad. The script made it feel as though the characters felt inhuman, like machines going through the paces.
 

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i watched Network (1976) recently and thought it was terrible, it was way to realistic and now hear me out though so much has happened since than that when that came out it was a fantasy on what things could be, these days it really feels like all that came true and so if i had watched it maybe 20 years ago i think i would have liked it more than i did. and i went in with high hope and it did start out pretty strong but for me it slowly fell apart. now is it among the worst I've ever seen hell no it wasn't.

i'll prolly never watch it again but i am glad that i did end up watching it though as i loved the cast
 
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