Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Film Stars Don't Die in Liverpool (2017)

My Rating : 7/10

I had wanted to see this movie for quite a while and finally got to see it yesterday. I don't even think it was a 7 because it was pretty depressing and focused on a small part of Gloria Grahame's life; the last two years. But the back material to the movie is fascinating so a 7 it is.

The actors, Annette Bening and Jamie Bell were really good, but the movie chose to explore a rather small, and unexciting part, of Grahame's life.

Gloria Grahame was a real Hollywood movie star. In It's a Wonderful Life (1946) Gloria played Violet, the girl who would have went wrong without George's help. Grahame was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for Crossfire (1947), and would later win the award for her work in The Bad and the Beautiful (1952) . She also starred in  The Greatest Show on Earth (1952), which won Best Picture, The Big Heat (1953), and Oklahoma! (1955).

Grahame's second marriage was to director Nicholas Ray (Rebel Without a Cause, Johnny Guitar, In a Lonely Place). Their marriage broke up when Ray discovered his wife in bed with his thirteen year old son Anthony (her step son). Gloria's fourth marriage would be to Anthony and they would stay together for thirteen years and have two children (one more than she had with his dad).

As you can see, Gloria had a pretty exciting life. The movie focuses on the last year of her life, when at age 57 she was succumbing to breast cancer (she didn't get radiation because she didn't want to lose her hair), and in affair with an English part-time stage actor Peter Turner who she had met a few years earlier. Peter is thirty years younger than Gloria but was in love with the living legend.

The part of Gloria's life covered in this film isn't too exciting, and it is pretty depressing. But it is a fascinating footnote on a little known film star who lived an incredible life.