By Love Possessed


1h 55m 1961
By Love Possessed

Brief Synopsis

A woman's desperate search for love leads to an affair with her husband's law partner.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 13 Jun 1961
Production Company
Miral Productions; Mirisch Pictures; Seven Arts Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens (New York, 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Synopsis

Arthur Winner, Julius Penrose, and Noah Tuttle are partners in the leading law firm in a small Massachusetts town. For some time, the marriages of both Arthur and Julius have been on shaky ground--Arthur's because his wife, Clarissa, feels that their union is merely a business merger, and Julius' because of an automobile accident that has left him impotent. After several chance meetings, Arthur enters into an adulterous affair with Julius' frustrated, alcoholic wife, Marjorie. Simultaneously, Arthur begins having trouble with his rebellious young son, Warren, who has no intention of either practicing law with his father or of marrying Helen Detweiler, Noah's wealthy ward. Instead, the young man takes up with Veronica Kovacs, the local prostitute. When he tires of her, she falsely accuses him of rape, and he flees town. Suddenly aware of his failure as both husband and father, Arthur resolves to start a new life with Clarissa; and he begins by breaking off his relationship with Marjorie. That night the heartbroken Helen commits suicide by drinking cleaning fluid. As the stunned Arthur goes through the papers of her estate, he discovers that Noah has embezzled over $60,000 from her account. Since the old man used the money to repay investors in his bankrupt trolley line and is slowly repaying it, Arthur and Julius decide to remain silent about the discovery. Young Warren learns of Helen's suicide when he returns to town to borrow money from Marjorie. Though she is willing to let him have it, she tells him that running away from a problem is only a temporary solution. Sobered by the advice, Warren decides to remain and face Veronica's charges. After he has left, Marjorie realizes that her advice to Warren also applies to herself, and she returns to Julius.

Film Details

Genre
Drama
Adaptation
Release Date
Jan 1961
Premiere Information
Los Angeles opening: 13 Jun 1961
Production Company
Miral Productions; Mirisch Pictures; Seven Arts Productions
Distribution Company
United Artists
Country
United States
Screenplay Information
Based on the novel By Love Possessed by James Gould Cozzens (New York, 1957).

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 55m
Sound
Mono
Color
Color (DeLuxe)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1

Articles

By Love Possessed


With its saga of infidelity, rape, suicide and corruption in a small New England town, By Love Possessed (1961) seemed like a return to Peyton Place. Throw in that film's leading lady, and the connection gets even stronger. And just to stir up the pop culture soup a bit more, the picture also featured one of television's favorite private eyes, a two-time Oscar® winner, Hollywood's most acclaimed tanning artist, the mother of the men behind American Pie, Dallas's Miss Ellie, Scarlett O'Hara's father, Batgirl and Archie Bunker.

It all started as a best-selling and rather lengthy novel by James Gould Cozzens. His tale of intrigue in a small-town law firm had toppled Peyton Place from the top of the best-seller list, then held the position for five months. The book had been acclaimed by conservative critics for using all that sin to reaffirm basic family values, while Cozzens courted infamy when an interviewer cited him for racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic comments.

The same year he won an Oscar® for producing West Side Story (1961), Walter Mirisch picked up the screen rights to By Love Possessed for $250,000 and assigned the script to Charles Schnee, who had scored with the Hollywood soap opera The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). Schnee cut the controversy but kept the sin. He also reset the film in New England (most critics thought the novel's setting was Doylestown, Pennsylvania), allowing for some beautiful location shots of Groton and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. But Mirisch wasn't happy with the rest of the screenplay and called in three other writers to improve it. As a result, Schnee sued to have his name taken off the picture, and the credit went to John Dennis, a pseudonym.

For all the problems, director John Sturges, who had just finished the classic western The Magnificent Seven (1960), gave the film a sense of heightened melodrama, helped greatly by Lana Turner's performance as a straying wife who flirts with both her husband's law partner and the partner's son. As described by one critic, "it's a role she does well—the dame with a surface elegance glossing a wanton brassiness."

As for the cultural soup:

- Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., then the star of TV's 77 Sunset Strip, co-stars as the lawyer who drifts into an affair with Turner until his son is accused of rape;
- Jason Robards, Jr., who won back-to-back Supporting Actor Oscars® for All the President's Men (1976) and Julia (1977), plays Turner's husband, left impotent after an auto accident;
- Perpetually tanned George Hamilton is Zimbalist's son, who turns to the small-town floozy (as if Lana weren't enough for any town) after Turner rejects him;
- Susan Kohner—who retired from the screen to raise her sons Paul and Chris Weiz, later the director and producer, respectively, of the surprise 1999 hit American Pie—plays Hamilton's fiancée;
- Barbara Bel Geddes, future star of Dallas, is Zimbalist's wife, whose hospitalization drives him into Turner's arms (as if any man ever needed an excuse for that);
- Gone With the Wind star Thomas Mitchell, in one of his last performances, plays Bel Geddes' father, the crooked lawyer whose embezzlement sends Zimbalist into a moral tailspin (see, it really wasn't his fault);
- Yvonne Craig of Batman fame is the floozy chased by Hamilton (remember him);
- And at the bottom of the cast list is Carroll O'Connor, who would achieve stardom in All in the Family as a man who would have forbidden his daughter to see or read By Love Possessed while sneaking a peek at both himself.

Director: John Sturges
Producer: Walter Mirisch
Screenplay: John Dennis, from the novel by James Gould Cozzens
Cinematography: Russell Metty
Art Direction: Malcolm Brown
Music: Elmer Bernstein
Principle Cast: Lana Turner (Marjorie Penrose), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Arthur Winner), Jason Robards, Jr. (Julius Penrose), George Hamilton (Warren Winner), Susan Kohner (Helen Detweiler), Barbara Bel Geddes (Clarissa Winner), Thomas Mitchell (Noah Tuttle),Yvonne Craig (Veronica Kovacs), Carroll O'Connor (Bernie Breck).
C-117m.

By Frank Miller

By Love Possessed

By Love Possessed

With its saga of infidelity, rape, suicide and corruption in a small New England town, By Love Possessed (1961) seemed like a return to Peyton Place. Throw in that film's leading lady, and the connection gets even stronger. And just to stir up the pop culture soup a bit more, the picture also featured one of television's favorite private eyes, a two-time Oscar® winner, Hollywood's most acclaimed tanning artist, the mother of the men behind American Pie, Dallas's Miss Ellie, Scarlett O'Hara's father, Batgirl and Archie Bunker. It all started as a best-selling and rather lengthy novel by James Gould Cozzens. His tale of intrigue in a small-town law firm had toppled Peyton Place from the top of the best-seller list, then held the position for five months. The book had been acclaimed by conservative critics for using all that sin to reaffirm basic family values, while Cozzens courted infamy when an interviewer cited him for racist, anti-Semitic and anti-Catholic comments. The same year he won an Oscar® for producing West Side Story (1961), Walter Mirisch picked up the screen rights to By Love Possessed for $250,000 and assigned the script to Charles Schnee, who had scored with the Hollywood soap opera The Bad and the Beautiful (1952). Schnee cut the controversy but kept the sin. He also reset the film in New England (most critics thought the novel's setting was Doylestown, Pennsylvania), allowing for some beautiful location shots of Groton and Fitchburg, Massachusetts. But Mirisch wasn't happy with the rest of the screenplay and called in three other writers to improve it. As a result, Schnee sued to have his name taken off the picture, and the credit went to John Dennis, a pseudonym. For all the problems, director John Sturges, who had just finished the classic western The Magnificent Seven (1960), gave the film a sense of heightened melodrama, helped greatly by Lana Turner's performance as a straying wife who flirts with both her husband's law partner and the partner's son. As described by one critic, "it's a role she does well—the dame with a surface elegance glossing a wanton brassiness." As for the cultural soup: - Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., then the star of TV's 77 Sunset Strip, co-stars as the lawyer who drifts into an affair with Turner until his son is accused of rape; - Jason Robards, Jr., who won back-to-back Supporting Actor Oscars® for All the President's Men (1976) and Julia (1977), plays Turner's husband, left impotent after an auto accident; - Perpetually tanned George Hamilton is Zimbalist's son, who turns to the small-town floozy (as if Lana weren't enough for any town) after Turner rejects him; - Susan Kohner—who retired from the screen to raise her sons Paul and Chris Weiz, later the director and producer, respectively, of the surprise 1999 hit American Pie—plays Hamilton's fiancée; - Barbara Bel Geddes, future star of Dallas, is Zimbalist's wife, whose hospitalization drives him into Turner's arms (as if any man ever needed an excuse for that); - Gone With the Wind star Thomas Mitchell, in one of his last performances, plays Bel Geddes' father, the crooked lawyer whose embezzlement sends Zimbalist into a moral tailspin (see, it really wasn't his fault); - Yvonne Craig of Batman fame is the floozy chased by Hamilton (remember him); - And at the bottom of the cast list is Carroll O'Connor, who would achieve stardom in All in the Family as a man who would have forbidden his daughter to see or read By Love Possessed while sneaking a peek at both himself. Director: John Sturges Producer: Walter Mirisch Screenplay: John Dennis, from the novel by James Gould Cozzens Cinematography: Russell Metty Art Direction: Malcolm Brown Music: Elmer Bernstein Principle Cast: Lana Turner (Marjorie Penrose), Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. (Arthur Winner), Jason Robards, Jr. (Julius Penrose), George Hamilton (Warren Winner), Susan Kohner (Helen Detweiler), Barbara Bel Geddes (Clarissa Winner), Thomas Mitchell (Noah Tuttle),Yvonne Craig (Veronica Kovacs), Carroll O'Connor (Bernie Breck). C-117m. By Frank Miller

TCM Remembers - Carroll O'Connor


Carroll O'Connor - who died June 21st at the age of 76 - will be best remembered for portraying Archie Bunker on TV's All in the Family but his career actually was much more extensive. Born in New York on August 2nd, 1924, O'Connor served in the merchant marine during World War II before attending the University of Montana where he worked on the school newspaper. Before graduating, he followed his brother to another college in Ireland (he would later get a Masters in speech from Montana). It was in Ireland that O'Connor started acting in several local productions. He returned to the U.S. for his Broadway debut in 1958 and shortly after started to appear on numerous TV shows like The Untouchables and Naked City. His first film was Parrish (1961) though he eventually acted in over a dozen films during the Sixties including Cleopatra (1963), Marlowe (1969), Hawaii (1966) and Point Blank (1967). O'Connor even auditioned for the part of the Skipper in the TV series, Gilligan's Island, but it was his role as Archie Bunker in a 1971 sitcom that made him a star. All in the Family was an American version of the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part that met some initial resistance (ABC rejected the first two pilots) but quickly captivated American audiences and became the country's top-rated TV show. Archie became such an icon that his chair is now preserved in the Smithsonian. The series lasted until 1979 and brought O'Connor four Emmys, even leading to a four-year spinoff Archie Bunker's Place starring O'Connor. (It also produced one of TV's oddest spinoffs in1994's 704 Hauser about a multi-racial family living in Archie Bunker's old house. It had no cast members from the earlier series and only lasted six episodes.) In 1988, O'Connor took the role of a Southern sheriff in a TV series based on the movie In the Heat of the Night and found himself in another hit, this one lasting until 1995. He also occasionally played Helen Hunt's father on Mad About You. By all accounts, O'Connor was nothing like Archie Bunker; in fact, O'Connor was an active anti-drug crusader, partly the result of his son's drug-related suicide.

By Lang Thompson

TCM REMEMBERS JACK LEMMON 1925-2001

Whether playing a cross-dressing jazz bassist or a bickering roommate, Lemmon has kept his fans in stitches for fifty years. But beneath that comedian's facade, the actor had a very serious side, which occasionally surfaced in such films as Days of Wine and Roses (1962) or Costa-Gavras' political thriller Missing (1982). Lemmon was truly a one-of-a-kind actor and his track record for acclaimed performances is truly remarkable: 8 Oscar nominations (he won Best Supporting Actor for Mister Roberts (1955) and Best Actor for Save the Tiger (1973), a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, 8 British Academy Award nominations, 4 Emmy Award nominations, numerous Golden Globe nominations, a two-time Best Actor winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the list goes on and on.

Lemmon entered the world in a completely novel fashion; he was born prematurely in an elevator in Boston in 1925. The son of a doughnut manufacturer, Lemmon later attended Harvard University but was bitten by the acting bug and left the prestigious college for Broadway. Between theatrical gigs, he played piano accompaniment to silent films shown at the Knickerbocker Music Hall in New York. Later, Lemmon claimed that he learned more about comic technique by watching these Chaplin, Keaton and Harold Lloyd two-reelers than acting school could have ever taught him.

From Broadway and early TV appearances to Hollywood, Lemmon moved West to make his screen debut in It Should Happen to You (1954), opposite Judy Holliday in a variation of her 'dumb blonde' persona that had won her an Oscar for Born Yesterday (1952). In It Should Happen to You, Holliday plays a struggling actress who soon wins fast fame as the product of promotion. Lemmon plays her levelheaded boyfriend but finds himself on the sidelines when the suave and sophisticated Peter Lawford appears on the scene. It Should Happen to You, directed by George Cukor, was a popular success and Lemmon and Holliday were quickly teamed again in Phffft! (1954), another lightweight romantic comedy. A year later, Lemmon hit the major leagues when he supported Hollywood heavyweights Henry Fonda, James Cagney and William Powell in Mister Roberts (1955). As Ensign Pulver, a deckhand who avoids work whenever possible, Lemmon won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar®.

Onscreen, Lemmon's characters often found that they were the wrong men for their jobs. In Cowboy (1958), Lemmon plays a city slicker venturing out on the wild frontier. His romantic visions of the West are soon changed by the hard-living, hard-drinking reality. Cowboy is based on the autobiography of Frank Harris, and, like the author, Lemmon found himself adapting to the rough and tumble lifestyle on the trail.

Lemmon brought a new comic persona to Hollywood films. He combined elements of screwball and slapstick comedy with his own self-deprecating humor to create satiric portraits of the contemporary American male. The sometimes cynical comic sense of director Billy Wilder provided Lemmon with the perfect complement. Together they made seven films, but it was their first, Some Like It Hot (1959), that captured the sheer comic genius of their collaborations together.

From sexual antics to social critique, Lemmon and Wilder sharpened their comic knives on the hypocrisies they saw in American culture. The Apartment (1960) focused on a working stiff who lends his home to his supervisors for their extramarital affairs. Problems arise when Lemmon falls for his boss's paramour - it gets even more complicated when she tries to kill herself in his pad! Though The Apartment was a comic success, with each passing year the film's serious side seems even more dark and derisive. Illicit love and the corruption of big business might not seem to be the stuff of hit comedies, but Wilder and Lemmon found humor in the most unlikeliest of places. Director and comic star went on to make five more films: Irma la Douce (1963), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Avanti! (1972), The Front Page (1974) and Buddy Buddy (1981).

Billy Wilder and Lemmon's lifelong comic foil Walter Matthau (nine collaborations with Lemmon in 32 years, including their most popular film, The Odd Couple, 1968) brought some of the comedian's finest funny moments to the screen. But there was a serious side too. Lemmon waived his salary to act in Save the Tiger (1973), the 'great American tragedy' of a businessman at the end of his rope. Lemmon won his second Academy Award for the film. In Missing (1982), directed by the uncompromising Costa-Gavras, Lemmon played a patriotic father searching for his kidnapped son in Latin America. The closer he gets to his goal, the clearer it becomes that a government conspiracy is behind his son's disappearance. Missing was inspired by a true story - the production was condemned by the Reagan administration and awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival.

Very few actors today can match Lemmon's range on the screen. He has acted in everything from lightweight sex farces (How to Murder Your Wife, 1965) to musicals (My Sister Eileen, 1955) to social dramas (Days of Wine and Roses, 1962) to political thrillers (The China Syndrome, 1979). Turner Classic Movies cherishes the memory of this remarkable talent.

By Cino Niles & Jeff Stafford

ANTHONY QUINN, 1915-2001

Not many actors can boast that they've inspired a Bob Dylan song but Anthony Quinn - who passed away June 3rd at the age of 86 - was one of the select few. But that's just one of many incidents in a life that can only be described as colorful. If a novelist had invented a character like Quinn, she would be accused of unbelievable invention. But in Quinn's case, it's all true.

Quinn was born April 21, 1915 in Mexico. His parents were involved in Pancho Villa's revolutionary struggle and must have made a striking couple since the father was half Irish and mother Mexican Indian. The couple were married on a train of rebel soldiers. After Quinn's birth, the family soon moved to East Los Angeles (after a quick Texas detour) where Quinn grew up in the shadow of Hollywood. (A branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library now occupies the site of Quinn's childhood home; in 1981 it was renamed in his honor.) At the age of 11 he won a sculpture award and shortly after began studying architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright. It was Wright in fact who suggested the possibility of acting to Quinn and even paid for an operation to cure a speech impediment. Along the way, Quinn also dabbled in professional boxing (he quit after his 17th match, the first he lost) and street-corner preaching. He continued to sculpt and paint for the rest of his life while also becoming a noted art collector.

Quinn's acting debut was in 1936 initially in a handful of barely noticable spots as an extra until he landed a speaking role in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman, supposedly on the recommendation of the film's star, Gary Cooper. One unanticipated result was that Quinn married DeMille's daughter the following year; they appeared together in Phil Karlson's Black Gold (1947) and had five children. Quinn also appeared on stage in 1936 playing opposite Mae West. Quinn continued in film parts that gathered acclaim: Crazy Horse in They Died With Their Boots On (1941), a gambler in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), a soldier in Guadalcanal Diary (1943).

But it was the 1950s when Quinn broke out. Viva Zapata!(1952) provided him a wonderful role which he used to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Oddly enough, in Viva Zapata! Quinn worked with Marlon Brando who he had replaced in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. (Director Elia Kazan tried to start a rivalry between the two actors but they were great admirers of each other.) Quinn again won Best Supporting Actor playing painter Paul Gauguin Lust for Life (1956) which at the time was the shortest on-screen time to win an acting Oscar. The following year came was a Best Actor nomination for George Cukor's Wild Is the Wind (1957). As he did throughout his career, Quinn rarely hesitated to take work whereever he found it, which resulted in dozens of potboilers like Seven Cities of Gold (1955) but also a few cult favorites like Budd Boetticher's The Magnificent Matador (1955). It was a trip to Italy that brought Quinn one of his most acclaimed roles: a simple-minded circus strongman in Federico Fellini's La Strada (1954). Quinn directed his only film in 1958, The Buccaneer, a commercial failure he later attributed to producer Cecil DeMille's interference. Towards the end of that decade he appeared in Nicholas Ray's The Savage Innocents (1959) as an Eskimo, inspiring Bob Dylan to write "Quinn the Eskimo" (a Top Ten hit for Manfred Mann in 1968). In 1965, his relationship with an Italian costumer created a minor scandal when it was revealed that the couple had two children. Quinn divorced DeMille's daughter and married the costumer.

He continued the same mix of classics and best-forgotten quickies throughout the 1960s and '70s. A key role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) only confirmed his talents while he again earned a Best Actor nomination for the unforgettable lead role in Zorba the Greek (1964). The gritty crime drama Across 110th Street (1972) is one of the best American movies of its decade, enhanced by Quinn's turn as an embattled police captain. Quinn was a pope in The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), an Islamic leader in The Message (1976), a thinly disguised Aristotle Onassis in The Greek Tycoon (1978) and an assortment of gangsters, con men, military leaders and what have you. The rest of his career might be summed up by the year 1991 when he gathered critical acclaim for his appearance in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, was nominated for a Razzie as Worst Actor in Mobsters, co-starred with Bo Derek in Ghosts Can't Do It, worked beside John Candy and Macaulay Culkin in Chris Columbus' Only the Lonely and made a film so obscure it appears to have never appeared on video. Quinn married his third wife in 1997; they had one son. He had just completed the title role in Avenging Angelo (with Sylvester Stallone) at the time of his death.

By Lang Thompson

TCM Remembers - Carroll O'Connor

Carroll O'Connor - who died June 21st at the age of 76 - will be best remembered for portraying Archie Bunker on TV's All in the Family but his career actually was much more extensive. Born in New York on August 2nd, 1924, O'Connor served in the merchant marine during World War II before attending the University of Montana where he worked on the school newspaper. Before graduating, he followed his brother to another college in Ireland (he would later get a Masters in speech from Montana). It was in Ireland that O'Connor started acting in several local productions. He returned to the U.S. for his Broadway debut in 1958 and shortly after started to appear on numerous TV shows like The Untouchables and Naked City. His first film was Parrish (1961) though he eventually acted in over a dozen films during the Sixties including Cleopatra (1963), Marlowe (1969), Hawaii (1966) and Point Blank (1967). O'Connor even auditioned for the part of the Skipper in the TV series, Gilligan's Island, but it was his role as Archie Bunker in a 1971 sitcom that made him a star. All in the Family was an American version of the British sitcom Till Death Do Us Part that met some initial resistance (ABC rejected the first two pilots) but quickly captivated American audiences and became the country's top-rated TV show. Archie became such an icon that his chair is now preserved in the Smithsonian. The series lasted until 1979 and brought O'Connor four Emmys, even leading to a four-year spinoff Archie Bunker's Place starring O'Connor. (It also produced one of TV's oddest spinoffs in1994's 704 Hauser about a multi-racial family living in Archie Bunker's old house. It had no cast members from the earlier series and only lasted six episodes.) In 1988, O'Connor took the role of a Southern sheriff in a TV series based on the movie In the Heat of the Night and found himself in another hit, this one lasting until 1995. He also occasionally played Helen Hunt's father on Mad About You. By all accounts, O'Connor was nothing like Archie Bunker; in fact, O'Connor was an active anti-drug crusader, partly the result of his son's drug-related suicide. By Lang Thompson TCM REMEMBERS JACK LEMMON 1925-2001 Whether playing a cross-dressing jazz bassist or a bickering roommate, Lemmon has kept his fans in stitches for fifty years. But beneath that comedian's facade, the actor had a very serious side, which occasionally surfaced in such films as Days of Wine and Roses (1962) or Costa-Gavras' political thriller Missing (1982). Lemmon was truly a one-of-a-kind actor and his track record for acclaimed performances is truly remarkable: 8 Oscar nominations (he won Best Supporting Actor for Mister Roberts (1955) and Best Actor for Save the Tiger (1973), a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, 8 British Academy Award nominations, 4 Emmy Award nominations, numerous Golden Globe nominations, a two-time Best Actor winner at the Cannes Film Festival, the list goes on and on. Lemmon entered the world in a completely novel fashion; he was born prematurely in an elevator in Boston in 1925. The son of a doughnut manufacturer, Lemmon later attended Harvard University but was bitten by the acting bug and left the prestigious college for Broadway. Between theatrical gigs, he played piano accompaniment to silent films shown at the Knickerbocker Music Hall in New York. Later, Lemmon claimed that he learned more about comic technique by watching these Chaplin, Keaton and Harold Lloyd two-reelers than acting school could have ever taught him. From Broadway and early TV appearances to Hollywood, Lemmon moved West to make his screen debut in It Should Happen to You (1954), opposite Judy Holliday in a variation of her 'dumb blonde' persona that had won her an Oscar for Born Yesterday (1952). In It Should Happen to You, Holliday plays a struggling actress who soon wins fast fame as the product of promotion. Lemmon plays her levelheaded boyfriend but finds himself on the sidelines when the suave and sophisticated Peter Lawford appears on the scene. It Should Happen to You, directed by George Cukor, was a popular success and Lemmon and Holliday were quickly teamed again in Phffft! (1954), another lightweight romantic comedy. A year later, Lemmon hit the major leagues when he supported Hollywood heavyweights Henry Fonda, James Cagney and William Powell in Mister Roberts (1955). As Ensign Pulver, a deckhand who avoids work whenever possible, Lemmon won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar®. Onscreen, Lemmon's characters often found that they were the wrong men for their jobs. In Cowboy (1958), Lemmon plays a city slicker venturing out on the wild frontier. His romantic visions of the West are soon changed by the hard-living, hard-drinking reality. Cowboy is based on the autobiography of Frank Harris, and, like the author, Lemmon found himself adapting to the rough and tumble lifestyle on the trail. Lemmon brought a new comic persona to Hollywood films. He combined elements of screwball and slapstick comedy with his own self-deprecating humor to create satiric portraits of the contemporary American male. The sometimes cynical comic sense of director Billy Wilder provided Lemmon with the perfect complement. Together they made seven films, but it was their first, Some Like It Hot (1959), that captured the sheer comic genius of their collaborations together. From sexual antics to social critique, Lemmon and Wilder sharpened their comic knives on the hypocrisies they saw in American culture. The Apartment (1960) focused on a working stiff who lends his home to his supervisors for their extramarital affairs. Problems arise when Lemmon falls for his boss's paramour - it gets even more complicated when she tries to kill herself in his pad! Though The Apartment was a comic success, with each passing year the film's serious side seems even more dark and derisive. Illicit love and the corruption of big business might not seem to be the stuff of hit comedies, but Wilder and Lemmon found humor in the most unlikeliest of places. Director and comic star went on to make five more films: Irma la Douce (1963), The Fortune Cookie (1966), Avanti! (1972), The Front Page (1974) and Buddy Buddy (1981). Billy Wilder and Lemmon's lifelong comic foil Walter Matthau (nine collaborations with Lemmon in 32 years, including their most popular film, The Odd Couple, 1968) brought some of the comedian's finest funny moments to the screen. But there was a serious side too. Lemmon waived his salary to act in Save the Tiger (1973), the 'great American tragedy' of a businessman at the end of his rope. Lemmon won his second Academy Award for the film. In Missing (1982), directed by the uncompromising Costa-Gavras, Lemmon played a patriotic father searching for his kidnapped son in Latin America. The closer he gets to his goal, the clearer it becomes that a government conspiracy is behind his son's disappearance. Missing was inspired by a true story - the production was condemned by the Reagan administration and awarded the Golden Palm at the Cannes film festival. Very few actors today can match Lemmon's range on the screen. He has acted in everything from lightweight sex farces (How to Murder Your Wife, 1965) to musicals (My Sister Eileen, 1955) to social dramas (Days of Wine and Roses, 1962) to political thrillers (The China Syndrome, 1979). Turner Classic Movies cherishes the memory of this remarkable talent. By Cino Niles & Jeff Stafford ANTHONY QUINN, 1915-2001 Not many actors can boast that they've inspired a Bob Dylan song but Anthony Quinn - who passed away June 3rd at the age of 86 - was one of the select few. But that's just one of many incidents in a life that can only be described as colorful. If a novelist had invented a character like Quinn, she would be accused of unbelievable invention. But in Quinn's case, it's all true. Quinn was born April 21, 1915 in Mexico. His parents were involved in Pancho Villa's revolutionary struggle and must have made a striking couple since the father was half Irish and mother Mexican Indian. The couple were married on a train of rebel soldiers. After Quinn's birth, the family soon moved to East Los Angeles (after a quick Texas detour) where Quinn grew up in the shadow of Hollywood. (A branch of the Los Angeles County Public Library now occupies the site of Quinn's childhood home; in 1981 it was renamed in his honor.) At the age of 11 he won a sculpture award and shortly after began studying architecture under Frank Lloyd Wright. It was Wright in fact who suggested the possibility of acting to Quinn and even paid for an operation to cure a speech impediment. Along the way, Quinn also dabbled in professional boxing (he quit after his 17th match, the first he lost) and street-corner preaching. He continued to sculpt and paint for the rest of his life while also becoming a noted art collector. Quinn's acting debut was in 1936 initially in a handful of barely noticable spots as an extra until he landed a speaking role in Cecil B. DeMille's The Plainsman, supposedly on the recommendation of the film's star, Gary Cooper. One unanticipated result was that Quinn married DeMille's daughter the following year; they appeared together in Phil Karlson's Black Gold (1947) and had five children. Quinn also appeared on stage in 1936 playing opposite Mae West. Quinn continued in film parts that gathered acclaim: Crazy Horse in They Died With Their Boots On (1941), a gambler in The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), a soldier in Guadalcanal Diary (1943). But it was the 1950s when Quinn broke out. Viva Zapata!(1952) provided him a wonderful role which he used to win a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award. Oddly enough, in Viva Zapata! Quinn worked with Marlon Brando who he had replaced in the original Broadway production of A Streetcar Named Desire. (Director Elia Kazan tried to start a rivalry between the two actors but they were great admirers of each other.) Quinn again won Best Supporting Actor playing painter Paul Gauguin Lust for Life (1956) which at the time was the shortest on-screen time to win an acting Oscar. The following year came was a Best Actor nomination for George Cukor's Wild Is the Wind (1957). As he did throughout his career, Quinn rarely hesitated to take work whereever he found it, which resulted in dozens of potboilers like Seven Cities of Gold (1955) but also a few cult favorites like Budd Boetticher's The Magnificent Matador (1955). It was a trip to Italy that brought Quinn one of his most acclaimed roles: a simple-minded circus strongman in Federico Fellini's La Strada (1954). Quinn directed his only film in 1958, The Buccaneer, a commercial failure he later attributed to producer Cecil DeMille's interference. Towards the end of that decade he appeared in Nicholas Ray's The Savage Innocents (1959) as an Eskimo, inspiring Bob Dylan to write "Quinn the Eskimo" (a Top Ten hit for Manfred Mann in 1968). In 1965, his relationship with an Italian costumer created a minor scandal when it was revealed that the couple had two children. Quinn divorced DeMille's daughter and married the costumer. He continued the same mix of classics and best-forgotten quickies throughout the 1960s and '70s. A key role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962) only confirmed his talents while he again earned a Best Actor nomination for the unforgettable lead role in Zorba the Greek (1964). The gritty crime drama Across 110th Street (1972) is one of the best American movies of its decade, enhanced by Quinn's turn as an embattled police captain. Quinn was a pope in The Shoes of the Fisherman (1968), an Islamic leader in The Message (1976), a thinly disguised Aristotle Onassis in The Greek Tycoon (1978) and an assortment of gangsters, con men, military leaders and what have you. The rest of his career might be summed up by the year 1991 when he gathered critical acclaim for his appearance in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever, was nominated for a Razzie as Worst Actor in Mobsters, co-starred with Bo Derek in Ghosts Can't Do It, worked beside John Candy and Macaulay Culkin in Chris Columbus' Only the Lonely and made a film so obscure it appears to have never appeared on video. Quinn married his third wife in 1997; they had one son. He had just completed the title role in Avenging Angelo (with Sylvester Stallone) at the time of his death. By Lang Thompson

Quotes

Trivia

In 1961, TWA began showing in-flight movies on a regular basis. This film kicked-off the program and became the first movie screened in-flight by an airline. See also Come September (1961).

Notes

John Dennis is a pseudonym for Charles Schnee, who requested that his name be removed from screen credits following a revision of the original screenplay.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 1961

Released in USA on video.

Released in United States Summer July 1961