Sunday, August 15, 2010

"Couldn't ACT?" (Updated)


Heh. I couldn't resist this quick piece to generate a little controversy... although it's not my opinion that'll be controversial... this time.

Actress Emma Thompson is writing a "feminist" remake of My Fair Lady. (So far, no problem... although I generally dislike remakes.) Unfortunately (for Ms. Thompson), she was quoted here and elsewhere as saying that Audrey Hepburn "couldn't sing and couldn't act." (emphasis mine)

Couldn't sing? Well... maybe not. It's no secret that Ms. Hepburn's singing in My Fair Lady was dubbed by Marni Nixon.

But... couldn't act?

Most -- okay, all -- of Hepburn's fans, as well as a lot of people in Hollywood and the entertainment field, didn't or don't share that opinion. Either that, or I suppose Ms. Hepburn is holding a borrowed Oscar in that photo above?

What say you, fellow babies?

Thanks for your time.

Update: Screenwriter Frederic Raphael had this to say in rebuttal to Ms. Thompson's unfortunate remarks.

30 comments:

  1. I loved her. And I loved her films. So ... yes, I guess I think she could act.

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  2. Now.... if you had put up a photo of Lana Turner you might have gotten an argument. ;o)

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  3. I can never think of Lana Turner without thinking of her anti-Semitic, child-molesting, b@st@rd fourth husband, Lex Barker. I usually try to separate my personal feelings about a celebrity from his (or her) acting, singing, etc... but sometimes I can't. (Can you say "Mel Gibson," boys'n'girls? Sure you can.) Lex Barker is another example.

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  4. Wow. I never knew that about Barker. I used to love him as Tarzan. Of course I was way too young to know what anti-Semitism was back then.

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  5. Lana's daughter, Cheryl Crane, told all about her molestation by Barker (the reason for Lana's divorcing him, according to Cheryl) in her autobiograohy, "Detour." And in Kirk Douglas' autobio, "The Ragman's Son," Douglas told about a conversation with Barker at a Hollywood cocktail party, in which Barker was making insulting comments about several Jews who were there. Finally, Douglas cut him off with words to the effect of "Well, Lex, being a Jew [emphasis mine], I don't agree with you." I'm surprised he-man Kirk didn't just deck the s.o.b.

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  6. Should have just "asked" him to leave. Like NOW. :)

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  7. Of course - back to your original post - *MY* favorite actress was the OTHER Hepburn.

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  8. Ahhh, Kate! Now you're talking! I absolutely love "The Philadelphia Story," and a lot of her other stuff, too, of course. What a lady, living by her own rules. I miss her.

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  9. I miss her, too. I admired her greatly for her intelligence. I think I loved everything she ever did. Even the bad ones. :)

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  10. I've decided to live by my own rules. Unfortunately I'm neither rich nor famous so no one will notice. Still....

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  11. Certain actors & actresses always seem to rise above bad roles and/or bad movies. I'd list Tim Curry, Sean Connery, a few others I can't think of right now... and Kate. Definitely Kate.

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  12. That line about no one noticing reminds me of an old George Carlin "news" routine (I'm paraphrasing, from memory): "A man has barricaded himself in a downtown apartment. Unfortunately, he has no weapons and no hostages, so nobody is paying any attention to him."

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  13. George Carlin! I was just watching some You Tube clips of him this past week. What a hoot he was!

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  14. I was a long-time Carlin fan. When I was serializing the "My Island" story on my old David'Z RantZ blog, I "ignored" any and all news items and celebrity obits I usually did... except Carlin's!

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  15. I always liked watching Audrey Hepburn, but on reflection now, I'd be tempted to side with Miss Thompson!

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  16. Not wanting to get caught up in this controversy - upon which I have no views of any lasting interest - but this was in the Guardian :
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2010/aug/10/emma-thompson-audrey-hepburn

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  17. How did you all segue off onto Lex Barker?

    Audrey Hepburn could sing quite well and they debated whether to use her voice for the film. She was extremely disappointed when they did not and I forget the reasons why they did not. You'll have to google it.

    AS for acting, well, she was a lovely skilled actress, very subtle. If anyone doubts that, get a copy of "Wait Until Dark" and you'll change your mind.

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  18. Lex Barker? Yeah, that was a weird diversion.

    But the rest of this is fun.

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  19. Hmmmm..... in just reading some of the comments - and reading the article at the link Alan supplied - I would add that perhaps Emma Thompson should take a breath. I would wager FAR more people know who Hepburn is than know who Thompson is. Not that that has anything at all to do with talent, etc. But it speaks to SOMEthing in the mix.

    Perhaps Ms. Thompson just never liked the KIND of films Hepburn did. That can go a long way toward cementing an opinion on something.

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  20. Interesting! I never heard of anyone questioning her acting ability at all! And if she couldn't act, she's drop dead gorgeous anyway! :)

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  21. Now Emma can do a pretty good job, but she is no Audrey!! And Audrey could sing most of those MFL songs...they just got Marni Nxon to belt them out...
    Did you ever see Robin & Marian?
    I thought she was amazing in that one! And so many more....
    Oh yes, she could act!

    And ditto on your comments on Kate H. I really, really miss her too!

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  22. Audrey Hepburn and Kate Hepburn are two of my favorite actresses. Both are extremely talented. And I LOVED Philadelphia Story! It is one of my all time favorite movies. It has my three favs in it...Hepburn, Grant & Stewart...great together!

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  23. Well maybe not in the I-can-do-any-accent-or-transform-myself-completely way that Meryl Streep can act...but I liked her stuff.

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  24. No offense to Ms. Hepburn. She certainly was charming and could wear clothes like a mannequin. But I happen to think Emma Thompson is brilliant. Anything she writes will be fabulous.

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  25. Me again. Have you seen the 1938 film version of Pygmalion with Leslie Howard and Wendy Hiller? I happen to think it's even better than the Hepburn musical version.

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  26. I knew I'd get a variety of comments on this one!

    @FireLight: Yeah, I really enjoyed "Robin and Marian." I own it.

    @Willow: I've always loved Leslie Howard's work, especially in the "Naked Gun" series. (I'M KIDDING! I know that was Leslie Nielsen.) Seriously, Leslie Howard was damned good in everything I ever saw him in, and I'll try to find a copy of the 1938 "Pygmalion." Thanks!

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  27. well i'm surprised at our Em!

    not sure how I feel about the Pygmalion re-write. hmmmmmm.....

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  28. I have typically liked Emma Thompson but think LESS of her due to these comments! Really??? And, I am sorry, a feminist remake of My Fair Lady puts me in a VERY skeptical state.

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  29. Wow---she totally fooled me. All this time with me thinking she was talented---thank goodness for Emma opening my eyes. [irony ends]

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  30. what a wonderful article about her.

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