Happy Birthday Thelma Ritter

Today is the 112th birthday of Thelma Ritter.  She is one of the actors that will make me want to watch the movie if she is in it, no matter how small. She perfected the working class voice of reason character that kept all the other characters from getting too out of touch. And if they did, she had no problem telling them so. Watch her in “Rear Window” and “The Misfits” and you will want to add every movie she is in to your Netflix queue. Ladies and gentlemen, Thelma Ritter. Style Icon.

 

Born February 14, 1902 Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died February 5, 1969 (aged 66) New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress

BEST KNOWN FOR: American actress. She typically played working class characters and was noted for her distinctive voice, with a strong Brooklyn accent.

Ritter did stock theater and radio shows early in her career, without much impact. Ritter’s first movie role was in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). She made a memorable impression in a brief uncredited part, as a frustrated mother unable to find the toy that Kris Kringle has promised to her son. Her second role, in writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s A Letter to Three Wives (1949), also left a mark, although Ritter was again uncredited.

Mankiewicz kept Ritter in mind, and cast her as “Birdie” in All About Eve (1950), which earned her an Oscar nomination. A second nomination followed for her work in Mitchell Leisen’s’ classic ensemble screwball comedy The Mating Season (1951) starring Gene Tierney and John Lund. Ritter enjoyed steady film work for the next dozen years. She also appeared in many of the episodic drama TV series of the 1950s, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, General Electric Theater, and The United States Steel Hour. Other film roles were as James Stewart’s nurse in Rear Window (1954) and as Doris Day‘s housekeeper in Pillow Talk (1959). Although best-known for comedy roles, she played the occasional dramatic role, most notably in Pickup on South Street (1953), Titanic (1953), and The Misfits (1961).

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All About Eve – Required Viewing

The first time I watched All About Eve, it was the actual 35 mm movie version at summer camp.  I sat on the floor of the Fine Arts building at Interlochen Center for the Arts and when I stood up, my hands were covered in charcoal pencil dust from the figure drawing class earlier that day.  I remember talking about it while the reels were changed and being excited to see what happened next.  It was one of those films that gave the viewer a glimpse behind the curtain of the entertainment business into how things really are.  It was fascinating.  None of the actors are slouches, even a super new Marilyn Monroe is brilliant.  If you haven’t seen All About Eve lately, make a date to catch up with it, you won’t be disappointed.

All About Eve

The Wiki:

All About Eve is a 1950 American drama film written and directed by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, based on the 1946 short story “The Wisdom of Eve”, by Mary Orr.

The film stars Bette Davis as Margo Channing, a highly regarded but aging Broadway star. Anne Baxter plays Eve Harrington, a willingly helpful young fan who insinuates herself into Channing’s life, ultimately threatening Channing’s career and her personal relationships. George Sanders, Celeste Holm, Hugh Marlowe, Barbara Bates, Gary Merrill and Thelma Ritter also appear, and the film provided one of Marilyn Monroe‘s earliest important roles.

Praised by critics at the time of its release, All About Eve was nominated for 14 Academy Awards (a feat unmatched until the 1997 film Titanic) and won six, including Best Picture. As of 2013, All About Eve is still the only film in Oscar history to receive four female acting nominations (Davis and Baxter as Best Actress, Holm and Ritter as Best Supporting Actress). All About Eve was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered. All About Eve appeared at #16 on AFI’s 1998 list of the 100 best American films.

Rear View Mirror – My Week in Review

infj

This week, I took Friday off, creating a three-day weekend and I absolutely did not mind it, in fact, I would like a four-day weekend.  Or longer.  My thinly-veiled dislike for my current work situation is becoming less and less veiled, I fear.  In related news, I was offered and declined a job at almost $15K less than what I am currently making.  So tomorrow, back to the salt mines I go…

Sometimes, I feel like tweeting, but mostly, I don’t…

On this date in 1989, the actress of film, television and theater died in the American Hospital in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.  She was interred in Forest Lawn—Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, alongside her mother, Ruthie, and sister, Bobby, with her name in larger type size. On her tombstone is written: “She did it the hard way”, an epitaph that she mentioned in her memoir Mother Goddam as having been suggested to her by Joseph L. Mankiewicz shortly after they had filmed All About Eve.

This update so far has been sort of a bummer, so I thought I would take a personality quiz and post the results.  I will post a link to the quiz at the bottom of the page under the Related Links section.  Here are my results:

INFJ
Introvert(78%)  iNtuitive(88%)  Feeling(12%)  Judging(44%)

You have strong preference of Introversion over Extraversion (78%)
You have strong preference of Intuition over Sensing (88%)
You have slight preference of Feeling over Thinking (12%)
You have moderate preference of Judging over Perceiving (44%)

The Wiki:

INFJs are among the rarest of types, usually accounted as being between 1–3% of the population.

I – Introversion preferred to extroversion: INFJs tend to be quiet and reserved. They generally prefer interacting with a few close friends rather than a wide circle of acquaintances, and they expend energy in social situations (whereas extroverts gain energy).
N – Intuition preferred to sensing: INFJs tend to be more abstract than concrete. They focus on the big picture rather than the details, and on future possibilities rather than immediate realities.
F – Feeling preferred to thinking: INFJs tend to value personal considerations above objective criteria. When making decisions, they often give more weight to social implications than to logic.
J – Judgment preferred to perception: INFJs tend to plan their activities and make decisions early. They derive a sense of control through predictability.

INFJs are conscientious and value-driven. They seek meaning in relationships, ideas, and events, with an eye toward better understanding of themselves and others. Using their intuitive skills, they develop a clear and confident vision, which they then set out to execute, aiming to better the lives of others.

INFJs have been mistaken for extroverts, as they tend to possess multiple personalities due to their complex inner life; however, they are true introverts. INFJs are private individuals who prefer to exercise their influence behind the scenes. Though they are very independent, INFJs are intensely interested in the well-being of others. INFJs prefer one-on-one relationships to large groups. Sensitive and complex, they are adept at understanding complicated issues and driven to resolve differences in a cooperative and creative manner.

INFJs have a rich, vivid inner life that they may be reluctant to share with those around them. Nevertheless, they are congenial in their interactions and perceptive of the emotions of others. Generally well liked by their peers, they may often be considered close friends and confidants by most other types; however, they are guarded in expressing their own feelings, especially to new people, and tend to establish close relationships slowly. INFJs tend to be easily hurt, though they may not reveal it (except to their closest companions). INFJs may “silently withdraw as a way of setting limits” rather than expressing their wounded feelings—a behavior that may leave others confused and upset.

INFJs tend to be sensitive, quiet leaders with a great depth of personality. They are intricately, deeply woven, mysterious, highly complex, and often puzzling, even to themselves. They have an orderly view toward the world but are internally arranged in a complex way that only they can understand. Abstract in communicating, they live in a world of hidden meanings and possibilities. With a natural affinity for art, INFJs tend to be creative and easily inspired, yet they may also do well in the sciences, aided by their intuition.

The list of famous INFJ types reads like a Who’s Who of really great and awful people:  Plato, Jung, Gandhi, Jefferson, Coolidge, Dostoevski, Schopenhauer, Chomsky, Day-Lewis, Pacino, Blanchett, Pfeiffer, Swinton, Hitler, Khomeini, bin Lauden.  Just like anything really, anyone can end up being a philosopher or dictator.

So that seems pretty right to me, let me know what your results were and how accurate ou felt about them.  Previously, I have always been an INFP, so maybe I am getting more organized?

This week on Waldina, I posted some photos of my the last time I will ever be at the original Bauhaus Books + Coffee.  It closed yesterday.  We took Picasso’s Advice, obsessed over the screwball comedy “The Awful Truth,” mourned that our elected official do not care about the people that voted for them, celebrated Fred Astaire, and remembered Truman Capote.

Waldina Stats:

Total Hits:  95,618
Hits This Week:  379
Subscribers:  216

Over on Wasp & Pear, we celebrated Kurt Cobain, Mia Zapata, took instagram photos of the dogs, remembered the Seattle Pang Warehouse factory fire and other historical Seattle buildings, obsessed over mid-century modern architecture, posted this quote:

I can sympathize with House Republicans because once my mom wouldn’t let me get candy at the store, and then I burned down the whole city.  —Cyanide and Happiness’ Rob DenBleyker on tonight’s shut down of the U.S. Government.

Sadly, a situation at work reminded me of the fable “The Scorpion and the Frog” and the post about the photographer Lewis Hine received the most likes/reblogs in the history of Wasp & Pear.

Wasp & Pear Stats:

Subscribers:  104
New Subscribers:  2
Total Posts:  1, 033
Posts this week:  73

Joseph Leo Mankiewicz – Style Icon

Joseph  Mankiewicz is has had a direct influence in making films that rank amongst the best ever made.  Just running through his list is like reading off everyone’s favorite movies.  Seeing his name at the beginning of a film calmed you, reassured you and let you know that you were about to witness something special.  His words and his direction are the reasons that you love some of the movie stars that you love.  Ladies and gentlemen, Joseph Leo Mankiewicz.  Style Icon.NAME: Joseph Leo Mankiewicz
OCCUPATION: Director, Producer, Screenwriter
BIRTH DATE: February 11, 1909
DEATH DATE: February 05, 1993
EDUCATION: Columbia University
PLACE OF BIRTH: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
PLACE OF DEATH: Mount Kisco

BEST KNOWN FOR: American producer, director, and screenwriter Joseph L. Mankiewicz was known for creating memorable characters. He worked with many major Hollywood stars.

Joseph Leo Mankiewicz (11 February 1909 – 5 February 1993) was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. Mankiewicz had a long Hollywood career and is best known as the writer-director of All About Eve (1950), which was nominated for 14 Academy Awards and won six. He was brother to screenwriter and drama critic Herman J. Mankiewicz who also won an Oscar for co-writing Citizen Kane (1941).

Comfortable in a variety of genres and able to elicit career performances from actors and actresses alike, Joseph L. Mankiewicz combined ironic, sophisticated scripts with a precise, sometimes stylised mise en scène. Mankiewicz worked for seventeen years as a screenwriter for Paramount and as a producer for MGM before getting a chance to direct at Twentieth Century-Fox. Over six years he made 11 films for Fox, reaching a peak in 1950 and 1951 when he won consecutive Academy Awards for Screenplay and Direction for both A Letter to Three Wives and All About Eve.

During his long career in Hollywood, Mankiewicz wrote forty-eight screenplays, including All About Eve, for which he won an Academy Award. He also produced more than twenty films including The Philadelphia Story which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture in 1941. However, he is best known for the films he directed, twice winning the Academy Award for Best Director. In 1944, he produced The Keys of the Kingdom, which starred Gregory Peck, and featured Mankiewicz’s then-wife, Rose Stradner, in a supporting role as a nun.

In 1951, Mankiewicz left Fox and moved to New York, intending to write for the Broadway stage. Although this dream never materialised, he continued to make films (both for his own production company Figaro and as a director-for-hire) that explored his favourite themes — the clash of aristocrat with commoner, life as performance and the clash between people’s urge to control their fate and the contingencies of real life.

In 1953, he directed Julius Caesar for MGM, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s play. It received widely favorable reviews, and David Shipman, author of the book The Great Movie Stars: The Hollywood Years, called it “perhaps the finest Shakespeare film ever made”. The film serves as the only record of Marlon Brando in a Shakespearean role; he played Mark Antony, and received an Oscar nomination for his performance.

In 1958, Mankiewicz directed The Quiet American, an adaptation of Graham Greene‘s 1955 novel about the seed of American military involvement in what would become the Vietnam War. Mankiewicz, under career pressure from the climate of anti-Communism and the Hollywood blacklist, distorted the message of Greene’s book, changing major parts of the story to appeal to a nationalistic audience. A cautionary tale about America’s blind support for “anti-Communists” was turned into, according to Greene, a “propaganda film for America”.

Cleopatra consumed three years of Mankiewicz’s life and ended up both derailing his career and causing severe financial losses for the studio, Twentieth Century-Fox. Mankiewicz made more films, however, garnering an Oscar nomination for Best Direction in 1972 for Sleuth, his final directing effort, starring Laurence Olivier and Michael Caine. In 1983, he was a member of the jury at the 33rd Berlin International Film Festival.

He was the younger brother of Herman J. Mankiewicz. His sons are Eric Reynal (from his first marriage), the late writer/director Tom Mankiewicz and producer Christopher Mankiewicz. He also has a daughter, Alex Mankiewicz. His great-nephew is radio & television personality Ben Mankiewicz, currently on TCM.

Mankiewicz, who died in 1993, six days before his 84th birthday, was interred in Saint Matthew’s Episcopal Churchyard cemetery, Bedford, New York.

Thelma Ritter – Style Icon

Thelma Ritter is one of the actors that will make me want to watch the movie if she is in it, no matter how small. She perfected the working class voice of reason character that kept all the other characters from getting too out of touch. And if they did, she had no problem telling them so. Watch her in “Rear Window” and “The Misfits” and you will want to add every movie she is in to your Netflix queue. Ladies and gentlemen, Thelma Ritter. Style Icon.

Born February 14, 1902 Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died February 5, 1969 (aged 66) New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress

BEST KNOWN FOR: American actress. She typically played working class characters and was noted for her distinctive voice, with a strong Brooklyn accent.

Ritter did stock theater and radio shows early in her career, without much impact. Ritter’s first movie role was in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). She made a memorable impression in a brief uncredited part, as a frustrated mother unable to find the toy that Kris Kringle has promised to her son. Her second role, in writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s A Letter to Three Wives (1949), also left a mark, although Ritter was again uncredited.

Mankiewicz kept Ritter in mind, and cast her as “Birdie” in All About Eve (1950), which earned her an Oscar nomination. A second nomination followed for her work in Mitchell Leisen’s’ classic ensemble screwball comedy The Mating Season (1951) starring Gene Tierney and John Lund. Ritter enjoyed steady film work for the next dozen years. She also appeared in many of the episodic drama TV series of the 1950s, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, General Electric Theater, and The United States Steel Hour. Other film roles were as James Stewart’s nurse in Rear Window (1954) and as Doris Day‘s housekeeper in Pillow Talk (1959). Although best-known for comedy roles, she played the occasional dramatic role, most notably in Pickup on South Street (1953), Titanic (1953), and The Misfits (1961).

Thelma Ritter – Style Icon.

Thelma Ritter – Style Icon

A good St. Valentine’s Day to you.  It is also Thelma Ritter‘s birthday, she would have been 100.  Thelma Ritter is one of the actors that will make me want to watch the movie if she is in it, no matter how small.  She perfected the working class voice of reason character that kept all the other characters from getting too out of touch.  And if they did, she had no problem telling them so.  Watch her in “Rear Window” and “The Misfits” and you will want to add every movie she is in to your Netflix queue.  Ladies and gentlemen, Thelma Ritter.  Style Icon.

Born February 14, 1902 Brooklyn, New York, U.S.
Died February 5, 1969 (aged 66) New York City, New York, U.S.
Occupation Actress

BEST KNOWN FOR: American actress. She typically played working class characters and was noted for her distinctive voice, with a strong Brooklyn accent.

Ritter did stock theater and radio shows early in her career, without much impact. Ritter’s first movie role was in Miracle on 34th Street (1947). She made a memorable impression in a brief uncredited part, as a frustrated mother unable to find the toy that Kris Kringle has promised to her son. Her second role, in writer-director Joseph L. Mankiewicz‘s A Letter to Three Wives (1949), also left a mark, although Ritter was again uncredited.

Mankiewicz kept Ritter in mind, and cast her as “Birdie” in All About Eve (1950), which earned her an Oscar nomination. A second nomination followed for her work in Mitchell Leisen’s’ classic ensemble screwball comedy The Mating Season (1951) starring Gene Tierney and John Lund. Ritter enjoyed steady film work for the next dozen years. She also appeared in many of the episodic drama TV series of the 1950s, such as Alfred Hitchcock Presents, General Electric Theater, and The United States Steel Hour. Other film roles were as James Stewart’s nurse in Rear Window (1954) and as Doris Day‘s housekeeper in Pillow Talk (1959). Although best-known for comedy roles, she played the occasional dramatic role, most notably in Pickup on South Street (1953), Titanic (1953), and The Misfits (1961).