THREE FOR THE SHOW

It’s not every day that it’s the birthday of three ‘giants’ of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but this is such a day: Bette Davis, born April 5, 1908; Gregory Peck, born April 5, 1916; and Spencer Tracy, born April 5, 1900.

This post will not go into biographical detail. The lives of these legends can easily be Googled by anyone who’s interested. Instead, I will focus on something about each of them which I (and, hopefully, you) find particularly interesting or appealing.

In previous posts, I included clips of two film stars singing — Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd — who few knew ever sang in a movie. To those unlikely vocalists, I add the Oscar-winning actress BETTE DAVIS, whose fourth & final husband, Gary Merrill, once said, “whatever Bette would have chosen to do in life, she would have had to be the top or she couldn’t have endured it.” I think you will find this WWII-era vocal more than endurable:

In his 1979 book THE WORLD’S GREAT MOVIE STARS AND THEIR FILMS, Ken Wlaschin says GREGORY PECK “has been the Great Liberal of the American cinema for more than 30 years because he usually conveys conflicts in social values, forced to act in a manner disturbing to his inner morality.” He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Here he is with Audrey Hepburn in a scene from one of my favorite Peck films, Roman Holiday:

Last but not priest (overlooking his role as Father Flanagan in Boys’ Town — pardon the pun), we have “the actors’ actor,” Spencer Tracy. I’ve covered Tracy before (in my 6/5/17 post as the star of Bad Day at Black Rock); for this post, I’ll go with this retrospective:

For me, the most memorable moment from that clip is his answer to this Burt Reynolds question:

“Mr. Tracy, you’re so good at everything. Is there anything you’re not good at?”

“Life.”

 

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6 comments on “THREE FOR THE SHOW

  1. Don Frankel says:

    Muse this is fortuitous as what was I watching on TCM last night? An old movie I never saw, 20,000 years at Sing Sing. Who’s in it? Spencer Tracy and a very young and very skinny, with her hair dyed blond, Bette Davis. It’s a great old movie and here’s the Trailer.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. mistermuse says:

    I missed that one, Don, but it’ll probably be on again and I’ll try to catch it next time. Judging by the trailer, Tracy gives a very Cagney-like performance.

    Speaking of TCM, there’s a whole bunch of goodies on tomorrow, starting with Hitchcock at 8:30 a.m. and continuing through to Leo McCarey’s very funny RUGGLES OF RED GAP in the evening.

    Like

  3. Don Frankel says:

    Right you are Muse. Tracy did everything but cry “Ma’s dead!”

    Thanks for the heads up but I have a guest this weekend and she’s a lot younger. They don’t watch the old black and white movies.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Garfield Hug says:

    Good share as I have heard of these screen giant icons! Now I must try and watch their movies.

    Liked by 1 person

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