DiscoverYou Must Remember This103: Grace Kelly (Dead Blondes Part 11)

103: Grace Kelly (Dead Blondes Part 11)

Update: 2017-04-111


The quintessential “Hitchcock blonde,” Grace Kelly had an apparently charmed life. Her movies were mostly hits, her performances were largely well reviewed, and she won an Oscar against stiff competition. Then she literally married a prince. Was it all as perfect as it seemed? Today we’ll explore Kelly’s public and private life (and the rumors that the two things were very different), her working relationship with Hitchcock, her Oscar-winning performance in The Country Girl, the royal marriage that took her away from Hollywood and Kelly’s very specific spin on blonde sexuality. 

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just remember this is sponsored by The Great courses plus tried a great courses plus for free by going to my special URL The Great courses plus dot com flash remember were also brought To You by Blue apron create delicious home cooked meals with fresh ingredients delivered right to your door get your first free meals free when you go to Blue apron dot com slash remember the the the the the the the welcome to another episode of You Must Remember This podcast dedicated to exploring the sea crates and or forgotten histories of Hollywood's first century part of the canopy where I'm your host for a and today is another installment in our ongoing series Dead blinds way going the the sale in the can he fix the the the the the the and the no shock to see you dressed the the the the the one question that I get frequently asked especially during a series such as deadlines is there any happy stories in Hollywood well of course there are there just off in slightly less dramatic than the stories of struggle of flawed people reaching for something that's slightly outside their grasp or of wild swings between success and failure and some stories are happier in some telling zz than others and some stories are happy ones until their knots today's episode is about a woman his life by most accounts was pretty great at least until it suddenly and she suffered no serious hardships during her rise to fame in time working in Hollywood she drank but it didn't seem to impact her life negatively until close to the and stories of some of her many romantic dahlias has purple in the tabloids but did little to Mar her perfect public image an image that was as one ex boyfriend put it quotes so proper people thought of her as a nine her movies were mostly hits her performance as were largely well reviewed and she won an Oscar against stiff competition then she literally a prince grace Kelly was a working movie actress for about five years in that time she made only ten movies then she married the Prince of Monaco and went into early retirement from the screen while continuing to be one of the most famous women in the world this was a bad trade for Grace loved acting and missed it but never enjoyed the game of being famous and in fact left Hollywood in part because she didn't want to face the pressure of aging in the public eye a few years after her marriage Alfred Hitchcock tried to learn grace back to the screen but a personal tragedy intervened then in the early nineteen eighties she began edging her way to a comeback shooting her first on camera performance in twenty five years before that project could be completed tragedy once again got in the way Grace Kelly's Hollywood story should have been an almost entirely happy one if not for an ending which no one could've predicted or prevented that is unless you believe certain conspiracy theory join us won't you for the story of Grace Kelly the the As you know from listening to this podcast and often the most compelling remarkable stories are the ones about real people that's one of the reasons why we love the fascinating video courses from The Great courses plus we get to learn about different people time periods and cultures from award experts course so knowledgeable and passionate one of my favorite courses is America in the gilded Age and Progressive Era which basically covers American social and political history from the end of the Civil War through the nineteen twenty s This course is really fascinating and the lecturer Edward T O'Donnell PhD does a really great job of putting the facts into context in a way that's accessible but not condescending I started watching this course awhile back when I was researching our season on the Hollywood blacklist helped to give me context for how we got to that point in history and even for the deadline series that were doing this course has a few lectures that could pair well as social context lectures like Nomar course the new woman or morals and manners middle class society The Great courses class offers unlimited access to stream over a thousand lectures in so many different topics learn more about history art literature even wine and photography and new courses are added all the time you can watch on your from your smartphone tablet TV or laptop get your free trial you love it sign up today at The Great courses plus dot com slash remember the great courses plus da com slash remember she came from a very well off but not exactly high society Philadelphia family the father Jack was the son of Irish immigrants who had built a successful brick Lane after winning a gold medal in the Antwerp Olympics for rowing Jack himself made starting his own brick business with the family business The Grace's on the Depression her father's business was essentially unharmed economy and his personal fortune had been invested market so he didn't lose anything with the market crashed growing up grace Kelly and her three siblings never financially struggled are wanted for anything material and yet her parents long to be accepted by the old class of the suburbs they had bought their way into and that desire would long for race was an introverted child and Child a Reader up stories and she cast her dolls assigning characters and in social situations grace was reserved and quiet she was extremely and refuse to wear glasses which made it difficult for her to engage with people she could rarely recognize who is trying to talk to her Grace's parents didn't think she was special or particular the talent and her father was particularly critical in the whole day long after Grace was famous Jack Kelly would still tell anyone who'd listen that he thought his daughter Peggy was the real star in the family raised Catholic grace went first to a convent school and then to a secular high school designed for young made trades were interested in establishing an ideal satisfying and in administering and scientifically after graduating in forty seven grace had hoped to attend Bennington College in the fall to study theater but due to bad grades in math she had been rejected so that summer grace began working on her parents to convince them to let her go to New York to study Academy of dramatic Arts her parents were hard to support after all they had literally center to a high school for training from their point of view and based on their expectations of what a good seventeen year old daughter should be doing going to New York to become an actress was the first at slippery slope to total degradation by Grace Kelly had never had to accept no for an answer and she wasn't going to start rebelled against my family and went to the law she would later say to find out who I until I was her parents had zero faith that she would succeed her mother figured there was no harm in letting her go off on her around because she seems Grace would come crawling home after a week her father later that she live at the barbers on the hotel for women that had strict rules about things like curfew and is the Kelly family could have easily paid crisis tuition of eight thousand dollars a year which would be the equivalent of about eleven thousand today but she was determined to prove herself as an independent young woman following the lead of some of at the barbers on Grace sign with a modeling agency and immediately found steady lucrative work in print ads and TV commercials she finished acting school in nineteen having experienced nothing more difficult than a romance with that a forced Jewish professor of whom immediately after grace was offered acting work at a summer theater in Pennsylvania including a part in revival written by her uncle called the torch parents then caster in a Broadway production of Sternberg is the father the performance attracted the attention of agents Edith Van cleave who had represented Marlon Brando at the start of his career and you soon signed Grace it also led to Grace's casting in her first film Henry is fourteen then Grace began finding arena television dramas filmed dozens of these over the next few years working constantly and yet later she would insist that she had trouble advancing her career because of the I was in the two category for very long she would say I was too tall too leggy to JCPenney she insisted one film director and screen tests as her she's perfect well what about this girl is that she's not pretty and adds grace landed her first significant film role based on her face alone the well and also the fact that her skimpy film to be paid a minimal the producer Stanley Kramer to play Gary Cooper's wife in High noon and he was looking for a bargain Jay cancer and other Brando agent who is now representing grace for movie and TV work sent some photos of Grace to Kramer who showed them to Director Fred cinnamon and with one look the man agreed that they had found their gal in the moments both director and producer were able to overlook their misgivings that Grace was too young to convincingly play opposite the fifty year old Cooper or her character is typified in a scene in which Grace her hair and skin the same color as her frilly white dress bags her husband's former lover played by Mexican American actress Katey Gerardo dressed in cleavage baring black to let Grace play savior and trying to understand why he wouldn't go with me in the Because of You What You Want From Me Go he still has a chance letting go I cannot help you piece the stadium from the house looking for a year on the the the I am even on the same trend you are the quietest game if you don't know I cannot explain it to the thank you the date huh the whole duty of the US this time of guns can do that much you know Mrs. Ramirez the guns but then my brother was killed by the way we're on the right to get help in the shooting stopped the was nineteen I was the I became acquainted I don't care who's right who's wrong he's got to be some better way for people to leave the High noon and in Future Grace Kelly films there is the world as it is with its violence and complications and then there's the fantasy that Grace Kelly represents of starting over with no blemishes no faults totally and literally light flowy the the When High was finally released in nineteen fifty two a year made it would become a massive success grossing multiples of what it costs to make and winning four Oscars but later Kramer would admit that race had been mis cast that she was simply too young and inexperienced grace felt the same way and she didn't feel good about her performance rather than that which he perceived as a failure get her down grace willingly sought out Mort Rainey she returned and began studying with Stanford Meister one of the of what some would come to call method acting unlikely Stroudsburg and still at others' versions of the meth did not advocate bringing personality experiences into the performance instead he talked chapters to imagine and connect with the character's backstory it was all about as he put it living truthfully in imaginary circumstances the Grace committed to this a full year during which she continued to appear on TV then and GM call and though the luster of the Golden era's most major studio was tarnished a bit in the post Louis age when M you still less and it's a sign of wear and GM was in nineteen fifty two that they were still looking for vehicles for Clark Gable who had been their top star twenty years before the gumbo was conceived as a remake of the studio's red dust which had been a massive hit for Gable Harlow in the nineteen thirties and GM be a comeback for Gable a shot have rather on the jungle set that they still kept on the Culver City back lots would hopefully serve as an enticement to lazy couch bound former who are now mostly content to stay watch TV as we talked about before the industry of the nineteen fifties was determined to counteract the small screen experience by emphasizing the movies could be big big production numbers widescreen formats scope and big bags which parking back to the very earliest experiments in cinema serve just us taking the viewer to places they otherwise and this was why Grace Kelly and ultimately agreed to take the second female for the free trip to Africa she was offered the opportunity when John Ford saw screen test she had for her part she didn't get and the director the ultimate Hollywood man's was impressed by what he called her breeding quality and class beyond offering her the part in the condo and offered grace the seven year still thinking she want HD Theater Grace bristled at the contract which in typical studio era style gave M G M all the power to treat grace like a well paid servants she insisted that she be allowed to take every other from movies to go back to the stage and M G M agreed because with the movie industry it was and they perceived Broadway to be good publicity for their starts the gumbo and into the planning before top billed star making performances of nineteen fifty three which is worth noting just as context the blind mania of the nineteen fifties had not yet fully begun the one of the gimmicks of the remake was that while red dressed and headed bleached bombshell Jean Harlow against darker haired and comparatively natural looking Mary Astor in my gumbo the bombshell would now be a dangerous brunette of Ava Gardner rather than include trashy long as via Kelly in the would symbolize hope cleansing salvation and the possibility could transcend the dirty dusty world he's always known even as Kelly's character behaves with shocking impropriety the gumbo apparently concentrating an adulterous affair at the end of a combo order such as the days is restored grace goes back to her stuffy husband and cable except that his lot in life is to be with women like Ava Gardner's her vicious off bra less itinerant war would know the difference between my gumbo embodies a nineteen fifties dichotomy that would stoke Grace Kelly's in most of our previous subjects in this series we've seen blonde actresses who were defined against a template put in place by who perfected the type earlier by Thelma Todd Marilyn who was rising to fame simultaneously with Grace Kelly is the ultimate example of Kelly with her cool rather than hot demeanor and her Patricia and well Grace harkens back to an even earlier Grace Kelly became what had kept us all maybe could've been had she been a little bit more beautiful and a lot less unlucky but a more useful comparison may be Greta Garbo and not just because and touch ability and even arrogance were common to each woman's ler Greta Garbo got away with being as one of her sons was titled A Woman of Affairs because her persona was so aloof and because her foreign ness was so Scandinavian so glacial love her sax was protected by a layer of ice the Alfred Hitchcock Hollywood's greatest exploited or icy blondes who would make three films with Grace would famously compared the actress to a snow covered mountain that turns out to be a volcano this is essentially the plot of my gumbo Clark Gable knows he can have if a gardener but he becomes obsessed with Grace Kelly because he senses the heat underneath her hands off exterior God I was a good movie and it has a great performance in it from Ava Gardner who at age thirty was at the peak of her beauty and her star power Gardner would be nominated for her sole Oscar from a gumbo Kelly would also be nominated for Best supporting Actress which is a testament to how she had begun to capture the imagination of the industry it's definitely not a testament to her performance it's Gardner who turns but could easily be a cipher of a character into a whole recognizable and relate able woman Grace Kelly speaking in a fine but shrill Patricia in British accents looks lovely but can't bring depth to the film's emotional turns blame John Ford who refuse to do more than a couple of takes with any actor and he wasn't interested in mentoring a new B performer but Kelly's an experience doesn't really to make this plot work grace didn't need to do much aside from look like Grace Kelly Grace formed an unlikely friendship on Sat with Ava Gardner and perhaps less unlikely relationship with Clark Gable grace seems to have had crashed on the king of Hollywood which he encouraged to a point but was not interested in continuing the relationship off location this sort of thing would become a pattern for Grace cast opposite a leading enough to be her father or at least her uncle she become close to them sexually or otherwise grace would put her whole heart into the relationship but it wouldn't last usually because the man was married or because he simply didn't take young Grace seriously Don Richards and grace as college acting teacher ex boyfriend would tell one of her biographer is that Grace quote screwed everybody who she came into contact with was able to do anything good for her at all but her girlfriends told a different story she wasn't sleeping around Cavalier lead or mercenary and they said every time they said grace thought she was in LA it was the men who refuse to take responsibility for her heart the wo I've talked before about how much I love blue aprons ingredients and the ease of the whole system in delivery of just enough for every recipe I haven't talked about that much is the recipes themselves when you subscribe to a friend to go on your site and you pick which meals to have delivered for the upcoming weeks I was so excited about a month ago to go on their site and see that an upcoming recipe was going to dish from the about to conclude season of Top Chef and such a Top Chef fan because two of the final three contestants Sheldon Brooke were both returning to the shout from my previous favorite season set in Seattle I was so hyped for the end of the show and Brooke who has always been my fave wine was so excited to be Elder Cook her which was a pork loin with seasoned black beans 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far as the bulk of the movie going public was concerned remained and tarnished which was good for Hitchcock who would have been happy making movies about nothing but the sexual fire concealed by Grace Kelly's pristine exterior rear window and To catch A thief went further putting the dichotomy of Grace's persona the lava boiling under the snow front and center grace turned down a chance to play the Saint role in On the waterfront in order to make clear window which would subsequently become the quintessential Grace Kelly role which was extremely specific about how Grace would be presented he instructed costume designer Edith Head to quote my car looked like a piece of Dresden china or something she lightly on the story of the movie had to do with wheelchair bound boy or Jimmy Stewart becoming obsessed with the idea that his neighbors are up to something nefarious the real drama of the movie is the sexual tension between a middle aged home and his much younger independent girlfriend played by Grace the real conflict in rear window is between Stewart curmudgeon Lee pressed rendered impotent by his injury and this actual threat of Kelly whose desire to overwhelm him with her desire and get him to accept her as domestic partner as well as a sex partner is at once potentially thrilling and potentially cast rating rear window was a movie about a man's response to fear he focuses on the scary thing going on across the streets in order to avoid the scary thing going on in his stature in rear window Hitchcock was able to go further in his exploration of sex that he had before thanks to Grace Kelly's ability to contain the dangerous acts and her white gloved persona director said can afford to be more colorful with a love scene played by allied eighty nine with one paid by FSA with aha see such a scene can be involved to but if you put the Lady in the same circumstances she is exciting Lamarr us Hitchcock also said I didn't discover Grice but I so I've had from a flight was stunned at the high prevented from being a timely costs as a cold woman and spellbound by Beauty his book on Hitchcock and his actress as Donald spot o' groups grace with Audrey Hepburn was after
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103: Grace Kelly (Dead Blondes Part 11)

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