February 28, 2007

What's that movie?

I idly turned on the television in my bedroom as I was getting ready for work this morning. It was some black and white melodrama with a woman screaming about how she didn't want her baby, she was only 26, she still had her figure, and she wanted to have fun. Told she needed to get a job, she was all: "I don't want no dirty job."

I loved the dialogue.

Then, we see the little girl, trying to show her mother her report card, calling out for friends who never arrive, going up the stairs to her shabby apartment. I found this fascinating for some reason and decided it must be a great film to get my attention over what should be just a cliché: a lonely little girl. But I loved this low-dialogue exposition of loneliness. The girl leaves the door open, gets a lone glass from a high shelf, pours a glass of milk. A kitty cat wanders in, the girl gets a bowl from another shelf, pours some milk for the cat, watches the cat, pets the cat. I'm telling you: fascinating!

Next, she's older. Who's that actress playing her now? She's going on about how the boys only want to go out with her because of what she lets them do with her. At regular intervals she says things like "I'm going to Hollywood!"

Who is that actress?

I go downstairs and turn on the TV that displays the show titles and see the movie is "The Goddess," and the actress is Kim Stanley. I'd order the DVD right now if it were on DVD, but it's only on VHS. I scroll through the listings on the channel -- it's Turner Classic Movies -- to see if they're going to repeat it. There is an unbelievably high-quality set of movies being shown there in the next few days, but I'm not seeing a repeat of "The Goddess."

Have any of you seen that movie? Talk about it!

So let's see what's going on with TCM. Oh, it's the "31 Days of Oscar" schedule, and today they're in Best Screenplay. Who wrote the screenplay for "The Goddess"? Paddy Chayefsky!

Very good.

16 comments:

dick said...

Saw it years ago when it first came out. You are right about what a great movie it was and she was fabulous in it.

Another one that I would really like to see again is "Face in the Crowd" with Andy Griffith. He is most definitely not playing a Sheriff Taylor role here and it is really telling about the use of the media in politics. Excellent movie.

shake-and-bake said...

Did you notice they are charging 80 bucks for a VHS version? Wowzer -- others must agree with you.

George said...

Tonight at 8....

The Train (1964) Burt Lancaster, Jeanne Moreau. John Frankenheimer--director.

Possibly the last B&W WWII epic. Gripping story of a reluctant French resistance leader (Lancaster) trying to stop Nazi train from taking art masterpieces to Germany just before D-Day.

Watch for the scene where Lancaster--from the train yard tower--watches a train enter the switching area. He slides maybe 20-30 feet down a ladder, runs to the train, and leaps onboard as it flies past him.

All done in one shot, definitely no stunt man. Wow.

Jeff said...

"It was some black and white melodrama with a woman screaming about how she didn't want her baby, she was only 26, she still had her figure, and she wanted to have fun. Told she needed to get a job, she was all: "I don't want no dirty job."

I loved the dialogue."

Prof. Althouse sees this movie for what it is, art, rather than some coded text that illustrates the plight of the single, working class (but not working!) mother in capitalist patriarchal Amerika.

No wonder lefty commenters think she's a heretic.

PatCA said...

Oh, no, not Oscars week!

I think I have TCM anxiety complex. I have so many great movies piling up on my Tivo I don't know what to do!

(Yes, Face in the Crowd is great! and chilling.)

Rebel Without a Cause said...

The Goddess was Kim Stanley's first film after starring in a number of television plays and Broadway productions including Bus Stop. Ironically, Marilyn Monroe played her part in the movie version of Bus Stop and The Goddess is a not-so-thinly-veiled take on the life of Marilyn Monroe. Even more ironic, the highly strung Stanley was an alcoholic and suffered a similar fate to her character in The Goddess. She was fired from a 1973 production of A Delicate Balance when Katharine Hepburn refused to work with her because of her drinking and method acting antics and because she kept changing the words of Edward Albee's play. In the documentary Broadway: The Golden Age a number of people talk about her performances on the stage with amazement and I believe it includes a clip of her performing in Bus Stop. The Goddess is probably the best filmic record we have of her brilliance.

paul a'barge said...

Althouse, here is the IMDB entry for The Goddess with Kim Stanley.

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
bearbee said...

Part 10 video interview with director John Frankenheimer. About 9 minutes into the interview he talks of directing Kim Stanley, calling her brilliant.

yashu said...

Interesting post on Kim Stanley here: http://mattzollerseitz.blogspot.com/2006/09/kim-stanleys-private-moments_07.html

Peter Palladas said...

I idly turned on the television in my bedroom

Stop being so provocative you minx!

Ruth Anne Adams said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tully said...

It was some black and white melodrama with a woman screaming about how she didn't want her baby, she was only 26, she still had her figure, and she wanted to have fun

They're supposed to warn the actresses before they start the cameras rolling, so they can deliver their lines instead of being caught in those Candid Camera moments....

(The first word to pop into my mind when I read that was "Britney.")

MattMiller_123 said...

Hi, I am looking for a movie based on the Great Depression. Two boys are left by themselves, their mother is ill and their father is a drunk and outlaw. They are left to fend for themselves. I remember in the movie they fend off bill collectors and police. In the movie they also have lunch by cutting out their mothers cookbooks and pretending they are really eating.

MattMiller_123 said...

looking for movies based on the great depression in the 1980-2000 if you have any good ones please email

jim from pgh. said...

I am so grateful that someone posted this movie name and title. I was trying to tell someone else about the movie tonight.. it is one of the grittiest movies I have ever seen. And now, I can share the title so they can find it!!
I didn't realise this was made so late.. almost like the last of the noir... too bad