HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KIM NOVAK

Kim Novak is 86 today. And I discovered something about her I didn’t know. She is a painter and has been all her life.

Kim studied art, winning a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago, and she intended to be an artist till Hollywood beckoned.

After many years out of the limelight, Kim started accepting interviews and attending screenings of her films.

She explained that she painted throughout her life – it was therapy for her in Hollywood. Her art work is impressionistic, surrealist. She paints in oils, watercolour and pastel.

I had never seen any of her paintings before until I found her own website – http://kimnovakartist.com

Kim doesn’t sell her original paintings but does sell limited edition prints which are numbered and signed by her.

Her work has been exhibited in the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio , in San Francisco and in Prague.

 

Kim in her studio.

 

Vertigo/Vortex of Delusion

 

 

Mountain Man

 

 

Kim and her husband of 42 years, Robert Malloy, a retired equine veterinary doctor. They live in Oregon.

 

With Alfred Hitchcock.  VERTIGO

Her most famous film and best role as Madeleine Elster/Judy Barton.

 

10 responses »

  1. Vienna, Kim Novak has been one of my favorite actresses ever since I first saw her in VERTIGO(1958) on NBC SATURDAY NIGHT AT THE MOVIES in 1965. I’m so glad that she is still with us to see the amount of recognition that VERTIGO has finally received. She is happy about this, but in an interview she said that, “The only thing I feel bad about is that Jimmy and Hitch aren’t here to acknowledge it and feel the pride of it. And I wish that composer Bernard Herrmann was here. It was a brilliant movie, but it’s a shame that it never got its recognition in its time.”

    Kim is a wonderfully talented artist and I wish her well.

  2. Kim managed to have a life outside Hollywood. Even at the height of her fame, she lived 300 miles from Los Angeles, in Big Sur.
    One film I want to see is Middle of The Night.
    It would have been memorable if she and James Stewart and Hitchcock had made an appearance together once Vertigo had been acknowledged as a classic.

    • Vienna, there are three really good performances in the May/December romance MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT(1959). Frederic March, Kim Novak, and Lee Grant are top notch, with a really good script from Paddy Chayefsky. Enjoy.

      James Stewart did live to see VERTIGO’s re-evaluation in the so-called critics eyes(finally catching up with the fans). On September 20, 1989 VERTIGO was one of the first 25 selected in accordance with the National Film Preservation Act passed by Congress. The Library of Congress issued a list of 25 American films that would be placed on the National Film Registry as ”culturally, historically or esthetically significant.

      VERTIGO has stood the test of time and I agree that it would have been memorable if Alfred Hitchcock, Kim Novak, and James Stewart could have made an appearance at the 1996 premiere of the restored VERTIGO,

  3. Will look forward to Middle of the Night.
    I wonder if Hitchcock was pressured to soften that dramatic and tragic ending. It’s so downbeat and you leave the cinema feeling you’ve been through the ringer!

    • Vienna- Your hunch about Hitchcock being pressured about the tragic ending may be correct, given that he filmed an additional scene of Barbara Bel Geddes in her little apartment listening to a radio report about the apprehension of Gavin Elster (Tom Helmore). It seems there was some concern about his getting away with his nasty plan. Jimmy Stewart enters and they have a drink. The End. The goal, I suppose, was to send the audience out feeling a tad less depressed. The scene was included as an extra on one of the “Vertigo” DVDs. Here’s a link in case you are curious and want to watch it.:

      https://evesreellife.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/vertigo-the-alternative-ending/

      This ending was included in certain European markets for censorship reasons. -J

      • Thanks so much for that link which was completely new to me. I guess I havent read enough about Vertigo. So interesting to see the alternate ending, but of course not nearly as dramatic.

    • Vienna, yes the ending of VERTIGO is a downer, but it wasn’t as tragic as the end of the 1954 French novel D’ENTRE LES MORTES(FROM THE DEAD) written by Pierre Boileau and Thomas Narcejac(Pierre Ayraud’s nom de plume). The novel is much darker and more neurotic than what Hitchcock could show in his Production Code Administration(PCA) bound movie. The novel’s ending wasn’t used.

      Paramount Studios apparently had no problem with screenwriters Alec Coppel and Samuel A. Taylor’s written ending. The PCA didn’t seem to have a problem with it either, but there was the problem of Gavin Elster(Tom Helmore) -SPOILER ALERT-getting away with his wife’s murder. Things were loosening up by 1957, but the PCA still demanded that Madeleine’s husband be seen to be punished. This was inferred to in the final draft of the script and Hitchcock did shoot such a scene, where Midge(Barbara Bel Geddes) listens to a radio report about Elster’s intended capture in the south of France. Hitchcock fought the PCA’s censorship demands and won, so he was able to keep his original ending.

      • Haven’t read the book. A pity the PCA made Hitch film that final scene. I still have a problem with shop girl Judy being able to pull off an Oscar winning performance as Madeleine. More believable if they had made Judy an actress.

  4. Vienna- I’ve always found that one of the more disturbing elements in “Vertigo” – if not, the most – is the fact that Gavin Elster gets away with his crime, This is Hitchcock at his most provocative. And exacerbating this element is that awful “trial,” overseen by Henry Jones’ character, that throws Scotty under the bus. That sequence in the film really bothers me, largely because Jones is so unctous and unempathetic. Difficult to watch. So. I guess that I am conflicted: I am one of the few who might appreciate that added final scene where it’s revealed that Elster is apprehended. On the other hand, it upends and mars the film’s real final moment. -J

    • It’s funny but anytime I watched Vertigo, I never gave a second thought to the murderer! We hadn’t seen him for so long, that I almost forgot about Elster!
      My biggest problem, as I said above, is how convincing Judy was as Madeleine. Also the coincidence of Scottie bumping into to Judy in the street.

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