CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Strange and Wonderful Film Career of Julie Andrews

Just recently posted about Mary Poppins and thought I would write something about Julie Andrews. Julie had a dream start to her film career. Her very first film was Mary Poppins in 1964. She was perfect, handling the role with the right touch of light comedy and some drama. She even did her own singing. She was awarded with an Oscar for Best Actress. Not too many people have won Best Actor/Actress with their very first film role. I don't know the number but it's got to be a very short list. Her next film was the comedy/drama The Americanization of Emily, which further cemented her rising film career. As great a start was her career, it could have been even better had she snagged the leading role in the film version of My Fair Lady. Studio executives didn't want to trust their big budget musical on a stage actress, even though Julie was wonderful in the stage version. She even starred with Rex Harrison, who wanted her badly to be in the film version with him. Audrey Hepburn ended up getting the role, but Julie won the Oscar that year so it still turned out pretty good for her.

But nobody could predict the blockbuster that would follow...The Sound Of Music,with Julie playing Maria Von Trapp. Her performance was amazing and somehow she didn't win an Oscar. I'm guessing the Academy was like there was no way they were going to give Julie a second \award for only her third film role. Music ended up making over $160 million in America alone, which was a huge amount in 1964 dollars. Julie decided to mix things up after that with a role in Alfred Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, which is ok but not one of his best films. Then she did a few more musicals such as Thoroughly Modern Millie, Star, and Darling Lili. And that may be the reason her career took such a downturn.

Musicals were on their way out during the late 60's because audiences tastes were shifting but studios were still cranking them out with Julie as the lead like no other star of the decade, save for Barbara Steistrand, who eventually wised up and started making big studio films like The Way We Were. Anwyay back to Julie, she married comedy director Blake Edwards and he tapped her unused comedic talents. First up was 10, the Dudley Moore comedy that introduced the world to Bo Derek. Julie was good in this film, but let's face it the main attraction was Bo. So for Edwards next film S.O.B., Julie ended up baring her breasts for this film that poked fun at Hollywood. It was a misfire. But the husband and wife team returned with Victor/Victoria which was a marvelous film, bubt once again another box-office miss.

Julie was struggling at this time, and didn't bounce back until the double hit of the film series The Princess Diaries and Shrek during the decade of 2000. 5 films that generated tons of cash and put Julie back in the good graces of movie lovers once again.Take away this year's earlier film Tooth Fairy, Julie rebounded with this summer's Despicable Me. So it has been a long and strange career for Julie, at over 50 years in the business, with ups and downs. But through it all she is still here and back doing good film work.

1 comment:

Dawn said...

Monty, Julie Andrews, is not one of my favorite actors. She lost me as a fan, in her film, Victor/Victoria. However, I do agree.. she has a beautiful singing voice. My favorite Julie Andrews movie is, Mary Poppins.


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