Last night I went to a screening of "Kiss of Death" with Victor Mature, Richard Widmark and Coleen Gray. Ms. Gray attended the event and was interviewed on stage. She's in great shape and had some fun anecdotes about her career and work in the film.
One thing that stuck out for me was when the interviewer asked whether Mature had "hit" on her since he had a reputation as a ladies man. She said he tried a little pass but she admonished him, saying she was a married lady with a child. Even though he backed down, from then on he called her "Old Mother Hubbard." That struck me as funny because I had just been re-reading Beverly Linet's book on Susan, and when Susan worked with Victor Mature, according to Linet, he referred to her as "the old grey mare." I can only think now that Susan was another one who turned him down and in the process earned one of his derogatory terms. Guess "old" was his code word for those who "got away".
That all makes perfect sense, Jill.
When I had my Audrey Totter Homepage, I had a section on there of Ladies of Film Noir, and I had some "still" tv captions of a Turner Classic Movie event, probably about 10 years ago, where Colleen Gray, Audrey Totter, Marie Windsor, and okay, now I can't think of the other one's name.. she had a small character role in "Where Love Has Gone" and I think she was also in "They Won't Believe Me."...trivia question..who was she because I can't remember...ha
I think I saw "Kiss of Death" quite a long time ago but can't remember too much about it.
I'm glad you agree with me on that comment.
Can't think of the other film noir actress either. Maybe if I give it more thought. That must have been an interesting TCM show.
Actually, "Kiss of Death" is quite a good film. It is the one where Richard Widmark throws the woman in a wheelchair down the stairs. They always show that snippet of film but there's a lot more to the plot than that. It has quite an interesting story. Also, it was shot on location in Queens where I grew up. There was one scene of kids roller skating on the street and since the film was shot around the time I was those kids' ages, I could have been skating around my Queens neighborhood at the same time. So much fun to see that.
This film was shown as part of a film noir series at the Academy which has been going on since late July. Every Monday night a film was shown that had won Oscar writing awards. I attended some screenings but not all.
It was generally agreed that Victor Mature gave one of his best performances in "Kiss of Death", and Coleen Gray even said that. She mentioned that Richard Widmark always gets noticed because of that one scene but that Mature really carried the film.
Despite his womanizing and so forth I happen to like Victor's work in particular films. I guess it's because I grew up watching his films in the '50s. "Samson and Delilah" was a big favorite of mine as a kid. Something about a big hunky man toppling monuments that really made an impression on my incipient libido. Too much information for this board? Ha. Ha.
Jane Greer, right?.. I think I just remembered her...ha
I always thought Victor Mature was macho too. LOL
On second thought, I might not have seen "Kiss of Death" after you have decribed it, but I have seen that wheelchair scene with Widmark..it's shown often, as you say.
I'll have to see if I can view it on netflix or order it from there.
Jane Greer, right?.. I think I just remembered her...ha
You're right, Ginger. It was Jane Greer. She was one of the actresses being groomed by RKO in the mid-to-late 40's (along with ladies like Jane Russell) for film stardom, but she pretty much withdrew from the stardom scene by the mid-fifties.
From what I remember, she had had a major heart operation just prior to her appearance in Where Love Has Gone. You may also remember her from a 1965 Patty Duke vehicle called Billie, in which she played Duke's mom.
Going back...and reading some of these later posts, I had to respond back on this one! Are you...sure..it was Victor Mature who called her.."the old grey mare"??
My recalling is...it was Robert Mitchum who called her that, when they were making "The Lusty Men".
I will have to look this up now, because I'm almost sure that is who it was. It made it hard on Susan, since they still had another movie to do, through a contract agreement with RKO and 20TH CENTURY FOX..
Mitchum being from RKO and Susan from FOX. They still had to make "White Witch Doctor" for FOX, since she had been loaded to RKO for this film.
Errol, you are correct. It was indeed Robert Mitchum who called Susan Hayward an old grey mare.
Maybe she turned him down?
Or maybe she didn't like his language. Hey, I like him, but he wasn't exactly a gentleman, was he?
NO..Gloria...Mitchum was NOT a very nice guy! He was still in his 'wild days' when those films were made and I had heard it was his 'language and sexual remarks' that turned Susan 'off' from him. I don't imagine it was a very pleasant time for her, knowing they still had another film to make together. I do think Mitchum changed, in later life..and like you, I always liked him as an actor, but way up into the '60's he was sitll the 'wild child' in Hollywood. I think THUNDER ROAD was made in the early 60's and both he and his son were in that one..and both had a problem with drugs and the press.
I think Susan had her hands full when they worked together.
Thank you for coming on board and setting the record right, that it was MITCHUM not MATURE who called her..
'the old grey mare'...