THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK (1933)

Part of my Cary Grant 18 film box set, THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK is Fredric March’s film and he didn’t even receive an Oscar nod. Though the film is considered one of the best World War 1 dramas, along with WINGS, HELL’S ANGELS and THE DAWN PATROL.

 

Fredric March

March plays Jerry, an American flier and part of a group of Americans who join the Royal Flying Corps and are assigned to an Observation Unit in France. His buddy is Mike (played by Jack Oakie) and Cary Grant is Crocker who joins them later after Jerry has deemed him not good enough for the mission.

 

This is a story of one man’s mental breakdown as the full horrors of war become clear.

The men go up in two – man teams, one flying the plane and the other taking photos – and manning the tailgun.

The number of deaths is skilfully shown by an orderly clearing the bed and belongings of the dead officers , one by one, as Jerry looks on.

Jerry gets down every time and is considered a hero, especially after he kills a German flying ace .

Crocker is an expert gunner and his attitude is:

“This is a war. I’m hired to kill the enemy –  everyone I put away means one less to kill me.”

Crocker even shoots down a German who has baled out of his plane and is in his parachute. The men ostracise him for a while.

Cary Grant

The plot is all about the physical and mental disintegration of Jerry.

Crocker, though he dislikes Jerry, is aware of what’s happening to him. He persuades the Unit’s commander to give Jerry a furlough in London.

 

Jerry meets Carole Lombard ( only identified in the credits as ‘the beautiful lady’) at a society party. Their scene together is quite short as she lets Jerry talk about what’s been happening to his unit.

 

In the end, Jerry just can’t take it any more. Even his heavy drinking doesn’t help. Crocker finds him dead, a suicide. Early the next morning he takes the body out to their plane and flies off.

We see Crocker shooting into the fuselage and the plane goes down, presumably killing Crocker too.

The final scene is a memorial to Jerry, saying he died a hero.

My reaction was disbelief – there was no way Crocker would have killed himself. It was totally out to character.

Well  I was right. On AFI.com  , the ending is described as Crocker riddling the plane with bullets, then ” Jerry is honoured in death,but Crocker’s sacrifice has taken its role. While visitng Jerry’s memorial, he appears downtrodden and is shooed away by passers by..”

The AFI (American Film Institute) state that the film has been released at 68, 72 and 74 minutes.

I guess the print I saw was the shortest version, because I think there may be a few minutes missing at the start of the film. And March’s meeting with Lombard might have been slightly longer.

Apparently, stock footage from WINGS was used .

As for the title, well, it’s catchy for advertising purposes. Both birds of prey.

It’s a well written though thoroughly depressing film! I usually avoid war films , but I’m glad I saw this one. March is superb. He had already won his first Oscar for DR.JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE.

It’s not much of a part for Cary  but it did continue his build up to stardom.

 

THE EAGLE AND THE HAWK, Fredric March, Cary Grant, 1933

 

Typical video cover. Cary Grant and Carole Lombard don’t share a scene together in the film, and this doesnt look anything like Carole.

 

Wonderful how Carole gets second billing, with only one scene in the film!

MARTIN LANDAU 1928- 2017

Sorry to hear of the death on July 15, 2017 of MARTIN LANDAU who was so memorable as ‘Leonard’ in NORTH  BY NORTHWEST – which was Martin’s first film.

“I was 30 and it was my first film. Hitchcock and Cary Grant were very accepting of me. Cary was very generous, as was Hitchcock.”

 

 

MAE WEST FOREVER!

Just say the name  and you want to smile. Her one- liners were devastating – and she wrote them herself.

Hollywood had never seen anything like MAE WEST but Paramount, in those pre-Code days, took a chance and she was a sensation. No woman on the screen had ever talked and acted the way Mae did.

Born Mary Jane West in Brooklyn in 1893, she always wanted to be a star, and became one, first in Vaudeville and then Broadway.

In 1926 she wrote a play (under the name Jane Mast) simply called SEX . The police closed it for a few days and Mae spent 10 days in jail.

As she later said, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune from it.”

In 1928, DIAMOND  LIL  ( which became SHE DONE HIM WRONG) opened and she became the bad girl with a heart of gold.

When Hollywood beckoned, Mae didn’t have top billing in NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, but George Raft said, “Mae stole everything but the cameras.”

And for that film Mae wrote the famous line :

A  hat check girl  exclaims, Goodness,what beautiful diamonds.”

Mae’s reply became part of Hollywood legend , Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.!”

Mae was only five feet tall, though you’d never have guessed it.

In 1930, she moved into the penthouse apartment of the newly built art deco Ravenswood  Building in Hollywood and lived there till her death in 1980.

As the late Robert  Osborne said,

She was her own invention.”

And she only made 11 films.

She  could be imitated , but there was only one Mae West!

Here are some of her best lines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I wonder what kind of a woman you really are..”

“Sorry, but I can’t give out samples…”

 

 

 

She’s the kind of a girl who climbed the ladder of success, wrong by wrong.”

 

 

 

I’ve heard so much about you….”

“Yeh, but you can’t prove it.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your golden hair, fascinating eyes, alluring smile, your lovely arms and your form divine..”

“Is this a proposal, or are you taking inventory?”,

 

With W.C Fields.

 

With Cary Grant

 

With Cary Grant

 

 

 

 

 

THE VIVIEN LEIGH COLLECTION

In 2013, Vivien Leigh’s daughter sold Vivien’s  archive of correspondence ,photos and awards to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum.

Now, in 2017, Vivien’s grandsons are putting up for auction , 250  of Vivien’s  personal items .

These include a gold ring  given to Vivien by her husband Laurence Olivier. The ring is ingraved, ‘Laurence Olivier Vivien Eternally.’

Also up for sale is a copy of the book, GONE WITH THE WIND, given to Vivien by author Margaret Mitchell.

Vivien often had the book on set with her.

 

There is her GWTW script too.

 

And her wig as Blanche DuBois in A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, the film for which she won her second Oscar.

Plus paintings, books and furniture will be sold.

Leigh and Olivier were married for 1940 to 1960. She died in 1967, aged 53.

The Sotheby’s website has a short video , with some rare footage of Vivien.

 

With Laurence Olivier in LADY HAMILTON

 

PHOTO MIX 30

Irene Dunne, Cary Grant.PENNY SERENADE

 

Greer Garson, Ronald Colman. RANDOM HARVEST

 

Sydney Greenstreet, Ingrid Bergman.CASABLANCA

 

George Raft

 

Robert Taylor, Katharine Hepburn.UNDERCURRENT.

 

John Wayne, James Stewart.THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE.

This is what really happened.

 

I COULD GO ON SINGING

Always love this shot of Judy as she is about to go on stage. With Jack Klugman and Aline MacMahon behind her.

 

Woody Strode, Jeffrey Hunter, Constance Towers. SERGEANT RUTLEDGE.

 

James Cagney, Susan Hayward.

 

Fred MacMurray

HITCHCOCK AND HERRMANN: The Parting of the Ways

Bernard Herrmann

Bernard Herrmann (1911 – 1975) wrote the score for Citizen Kane,The Day The Earth Stood Still and Taxi Driver, among many other fine scores from the  1940s through the 1960s.

And for a decade beginning in the mid 1950s, he was Alfred Hitchcock’s musical collaborator. Herrmann has been described as Hitchcock’s musical alter ego. His music became a key component of the films.

His composing skills added so much to the romanticism of Vertigo, the thrill- a-moment, repetitive vibration in North By Northwest or the screeching strings of Psycho. Continue reading