CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Spotlight on Marie McDonald

Recently I wrote a review of the 1947 Gene Kelly comedy Living In A Big Way. And his co-star was the lovely and vastly underrated Marie McDonald. I really didn't know too much about Marie and her film career until I came across the wonderful blog page Marie McDonald, that is written by Elizabeth Ann. Here's the link to her fantastic blog:

I really can't improve on any of the facts and details of Marie's life that Elizabeth Ann has already covered. So go there to check out her blog to learn more about one of my new favorite actresses. What I can do is talk about the few films I have seen Marie in and shed some light on her to all of my fellow bloggers.
Before watching Living In A Big Way, which I loved, the only other film I could recall seeing Marie in was the 1958 comedy The Geisha Boy with Jerry Lewis. In that film Marie was not the sole female star like she was in Living In A Big Way. She had to share screen time with up and coming actress Suzanne Pleshette and Japanese actress Nobu McCarthy. But she held her own for which was one of Jerry Lewis first starring vehicles sans Dean Martin.
I think the people that have seen a Marie McDonald film, it would probably be the semi-classic Getting Gertie's Garter (1946) co-starring Dennis O'Keefe. It is comparable to the 1944 film Up In Mabel's Room. In fact O'Keefe stars in that film as well but as a different character. I haven't see either film but I imagine Marie is just as good in Gertie as she was in Living in a Big Way. But I plan to see Gertie as soon as possible.
One of Marie's biggest films has to be Guest in the House (1944), even though her part is fairly small. The cast includes Anne Baxter, Ralph Bellamy, Ruth Warrick, and Margaret Hamilton. I have seen bits and pieces of this film but not all of it. And the scenes I saw didn't feature Marie. So that's another film I need to watch as well.
From reading through Marie's bio over at Elizabeth Ann's blog, it seems she had a lot of bad luck and could really never have the career that once seemed so promising. She was married several times, had a few miscarriages, multiple run ins with the law, and a nervous breakdown. All of this in the space of a young 42 years before dying from an overdose of pain killers. I for one, never knew anything about Marie until recently coming across Elizabeth Ann's blog. Now I am interesting in seeing as many of her films as possible. As a matter of fact I just saw where Guest in the House is currently available for viewing online. I believe my friend and co-blogger Dawn of Noir and Chick Flicks recently had it posted on her blog as well.
Don't be surprised if you start seeing a lot of posts about Marie on my blog as she is currently at the top of my list of must see viewing.


Daddy Squeeze Me! said...


Dawn said...

Monty, I will be looking forward to your, Marie McDonald, film reviews.

Anonymous said...

This is a great tribute to Marie! She was a very talented actress and singer. If more people would see her movies I'm sure they would become fans too.

Thank you for mentioning my web site :-)


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