29 August 2009

Séance on a Wet Afternoon

Seance on a Wet Afternoon is wonderful for...well, a wet afternoon. Oops... seems my originality just flew out the window. Really though, this one just feels better when viewed on a rainy day.

It was directed in 1964 by Bryan Forbes, who'd previously worked (twice!) with Richard Attenborough, the guy who produced it and stars as Kim Stanley's husband.

If you've not heard of Bryan Forbes-- check out The L-Shaped Room, with Leslie Caron. He also did The Stepford Wives, which is just dandy. 'Cept for the end, with the creepy bug eyed robot. But I won't get off topic (I'll save it for later)...

Anyhoo, the lead actress in the film is the oh-so-marvelous Kim Stanley. Stanley was primarily a theatre actress, but made several film appearances in her career, the first of which was in 1958, in The Goddess, a story based loosely on the life of Marilyn Monroe.

In 1965, Stanley would star in Seance on a Wet Afternoon and win the NY Drama Critics Circle Award for her performance. She was nominated for an academy award that year, but lost to Mary Pop-- er, Julie Andrews. ;)

When I was watching this one the first time, I recognized Stanley as the mother in Frances. After looking it up, I discovered (haha, I'm making myself sound like Colombus, huh?) that she'd been nominated again for her work-- this time as Best Supporting Actress. A short while later, Stanley retired from acting professionally and taught acting classes in Los Angeles and Santa Fe.

I also read that earlier she'd turned down the role of Lila in Psycho, saying she didn't want to work with Anthony Perkins for "personal reasons." Any guesses why?

Seance is about a medium who kidnaps a gal in order to....oh shucks, I'm no good at this. Like I said earlier, I hate doing plot summaries. And if you really wanted that, you could easily check it out at Wikipedia. Only skip the last paragraph, 'cause they do give the ending away. Don't say I didn't warn ya, kiddos.

Anyway, I'm quite busy with college and stuff, so now is the time to throw bottles and other bits of trash at me for neglecting this blog. Just no tomatoes please.


Artman2112 said...

that's interesting that she'd turn down a role in a Hitchcock film because of a problem with Anothony Perkins. Especially considering Norman and Lila have like 2 scenes together in the whole film i think!

i'm kinda bummed though! i have a whole bag of tomatoes here that someone gave me and no way will i eat them all before they go rotten, and here i was thinking i had another use for them...*sigh*

Tom said...

This is on my list of movies to see.

Lolita said...

How could you turn down working with Perkins? I couldn't have done that! Maybe she found him too creepy.

I have too look this film up! Oh, I hate when big sites like Wikipedia or IMDb spoil movies! Why, oh why?

Mykal said...

Juliette: Good if brief post. I'm with Lolita, Wikipedia sucks and IMDb are terrible for anything but fact checking. No tomatoes here, though. I know college comes first. My son just started his second year, and he barely has time to send me a cryptic email.

Anyway - My best guess is that Ms. Stanley found Perkins odd and maybe a bit off-putting. Perkins was gay and admitted to being very "anxious and uneasy" around women. He was noticeably not at his best around women, especially pretty women who seemed interested in him. In his early career, apparently his actions around women made him seem very strange (jumpy and tense). I read that he turned down Jane Fonda, who very much wanted his attentions. Wow!

Perhaps Ms. Stanley was turned off by Perkins at some point in his ultra-nervous manner, which could be interpreted as rude or brusque? Just a wild guess. -- Mykal