søndag 14. desember 2008

THE SUSAN DAHL COLLECTION: SONJA HENIE, VERA ZORINA, GRETA GYNT, SIGRID GURIE and ARLENE DAHL

many clips from my youtube-channel MGMpresentsSEB http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPFAnnDcKvU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_z4kX5ZXQLg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rmv4CoC2N6E
Susan Dahl collage(C)(P)3005 2008. All Rights Reserved
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCg4jL-fLFM





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BHqg6or5W-I
WELCOME TO MY SITE CELEBRATING THESE WOMEN AND CHOICE FILMS STARRING THEM ALL. You are welome to join the Facebook group with the same name as well. This text(C)(P)2008 by HENNING SEBASTIAN JAHRE. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Note that I have collected and edited this from my diary and other places
and thus it is written in both present and past tensehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mCg4jL-fLFM Some images from Getty Images http://www.gettyimages.com/?esource=googNOR_Brand&country=nor&kw=nor+getty_images
ONE IN A MILLION by me7 of 7 people found the following review helpful: SONJA HENIE`S FILMDEBUT, June 27, 2000One in a Million borrowed a lot from Sonja`s own life. For starters, Sonja`s father Wilhelm was Norway`s first World Champion ever - winning a bicycle race in the late 1890s. He didn`t have to give back his medal like Jean Hersholt`s character in the film though. The dilemma concerning professionalism in the film is also from Sonja`s life. Swedish ice-skater Vivi-Ann Hulten`s mother tried several times to diminish Sonja`s reputation and Papa Henie`s "unethical" methods. Anyway. ONE IN A MILLION is a showcase for Sonja and indeed Darryl F. Zanuck injected a lot of talent including the Ritz Brothers in order to secure the movie at the box-office. He needn`t worry. Sonja became a star of the first magnitude and was Queen at the box-office until 1939 when the skating craze had ended... It is a showfilm really, made like a music video 2 showcase its talents in the film. Not unlike THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES really...





Queen of Ice, Queen of Shadows: The Unsuspected Life of Sonja Henie by me4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:A STUNNING BOOK, July 3, 2000As one of the critics says; this i s indeed a pageturner... However, there are numerous faults facts in this book. Among them includes that the film IT`S A PLEASURE was a Fox film. Wrong, it was produced by International and released by RKO. Several critical comments on her films are stolen from among others Leslie Halliwell, a notable filmcritic and the ONLY bible for moviebuffs until internet movie database came along.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gy-B7U5NAYw


Stories of Sonja and Tyrone are also way over the top; the talk they had in the dressingroom - how did Leif Henie and Raymond Strait get hold of t h a t? Leif was still in Norway at the time. However. There are several items that distinguish this biography; the stories by Sonja`s secretary Dorothy Stevens in particular...





It is true that in creating the ice-skating star Sonja Henie, her father created a monster. But in the long run Sonja suffered from it. She was never taught to be a normal person. And indeed: She gave Norway a place in the sun and donated with her third husband Niels Onstad the Henie-Onstad ArtGallery near Oslo. U should visit it if u came to Norway.






Vera Zorina

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkQKC8ZDuzc


Greta Gynt
















Arlene Dahl with husband nr 2 - Fernando Lamas Arlene Dahl and first husband Lex Barker... They were married 1951-52









Arlene Dahl and Rhonda Fleming in SLIGHTLY SCARLET 1956



Arlene Dahl


























Sigrid Gurie














Sonja Henie by the pool















Sigrid Gurie as Inez in ALGIERS 1938
















Sonja Henie





http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Q7T5-sg2SE











Sigrid as Princess KUkachin in THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO 1938



Marlene Dietrich and Vera Zorina partying mid 30s








































Samuel Goldwyn with his two Norwegian imports Sigrid Gurie and Vera Zorina ca 1937











http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KpbYZi_DGA







http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s15rj6CFu28



















Greta Gynt 1944 from the great site Getty Imageshttp://www.gettyimages.com/?esource=googNOR_Brand&country=nor&kw=nor+getty_images
















Kirsten Heiberg and E.F. Furbringer in TITANIC 1943



















Gertrude the Duck, Lorenzo Lamas and mother Arlene Dahl during the shooting of JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 1959














































Sonja Henie, Marcel Cerdan & Edith Piaf























Sonja Henie and I on August 11 2008



























http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9_aF1CEKGE










































































Judy Garland and Sonja Henie














Who I C? June Haver, Sonja Henie, Edith Piaf, Judy Garland & Ginger Rogers

































































































Anthony Hopkins and Claire Bloom as Helmer and Nora in A DOLL`S HOUSE 1973




















Janet Leigh, Kirk Douglas and Ernest Borgnine in THE VIKINGS 1958





















Kirsten Heiberg and E.F. Furbringer in TITANIC 1943

























Vera Zorina


















http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z1Mz4hUxJqQ














































Greta Gynt and Hugh Williams in TAKE MY LIFE 1947 Bela Lugosi and Greta Gynt in THE DARK EYES OF LONDON/The Human Monster 1939
















http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RZq8v6Dstw0



























Lex Barker




















Fernando Lamas Sigrid Gurie










































































http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AvkF9NTZH24





































Peder Larsson(a Swede), his wife Sigrid Swangrønning, Anne Brobak holding her grandchild, a very young future actress ARLENE DAHL and Anne`s husband Johan Svangrønning. Arlene`s mother Ingeborg died before Arlene reached womanhood and her father was Rudolf Dahl. Her parents seperated when she was quite young and when her stepmother made it clear she didn`t like her, she was on her own from her teens and proved to be a born survivor.
She still speaks and writes in our language. Indeed she taught her son Lorenzo the prayer "I Jesu Navn Går Vi Til Bords", but when he said the prayer in a Norwegian TV-show, Gylne Tider 2005, it was quite clear he had forgotten how to pronounce it, but he heralded his Mum`s Norwegian meatballs and that while growing up, her gløgg got him drunk during the christmas season.
. My friend singer Stephen Ackles met her several years ago in Minnesota and talked about a star and a lady in the nicest sense of the word....




Her exhusband Fernando Lamas once said: "The nighttimes were very nice, but the daytime was like being married to Elizabeth Arden".




He left Arlene for Esther Williams and demanded she leave her career, become Esther Lamas, devote herself entirely to him - which she did. She even had to let her kids stay at another house



I have compiled a collection of 17 films starring Norwegian women. The name "Susan Dahl" is a pseuvdonym for this collection of films. The films are from the late 30s to the early 70s. As a matter of fact the films THE VIKINGS and A DOLL`S HOUSE stars no Norwegian woman, but the first was filmed mostly on location in Norway and the latter is a version of Ibsen`s famous play:-)




Compared to SUNSET BOULEVARD, CASABLANCA, ALL ABOUT EVE, SINGIN`IN THE RAIN and DOUBLE INDEMNITY - the Susan Dahl collection includes no classic in the truest sense of the word...Only ALGIERS, TAKE MY LIFE, THE VIKINGS and JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH qualifies, but none of these films are ranked as greats or classics by a majorety board of critics...


.Pauline Kael once observed:"Movies are so seldom rarely great that if we cannot appreciate great trash we have very little reason to be interested in them..."And for me these films are classics because of the STAR and PERFORMANCE-quality alone.... And themes and further good contributions by cast and crew are also of major importance..



"So they are NOT CLASSICS???"The answer is that it takes more that a performance to make a film a classic. It must stand the test of time like GONE WITH THE WIND, KING KONG and THE WIZARD OF OZ.Judy Garland`s A STAR IS BORN 1954 is not a classic.... as a whole it remains uneven.... But her numbers are ace........ Well by now dear reader you must have an idea of what I`m talking about and let`s get down to business

By 1937 Sonja Henie was a full fledged movie star after only one Hollywood film(One in a Million). Thin Ice was her first as a superstar and to Darryl F. Zanuck`s (the head od 20th Century-Fox)dismay, she insisted on Tyrone Power as her leading man. Zanuck answered with abig NO NO, but Sonja then let it know he had to wait to cash in on the success of One in a Million. He relented and the film was a huge success. Sonja`s papa Wilhelm was schedueled for a little part, but died during the shooting and it was a thing never to be.

In 1937 producer Samuel Goldwyn put two Norwegians on a contract. The result was THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES and THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO(both 1938) and they both failed badly as the box-office.... I love them! The first is an effective satire on Hollywood and shows us Vera Zorina at her comic best. The other is a lighthearted affair with lavish sets and costumes co-starring Gary Cooper, Basil Rathbone and Sigrid Gurie.Goldwyn fell badly in love with Zorina and various theories have been published. She herself denies that idea, but his grandson confirms that that was the only time the Goldwyn marriage was on the rocks...Sigrid Gurie made a good impression, but suffered when it was disclosed she was born in Brooklyn, not Norway.... Little mattared that she had Norwegian parents and passport and had lived there since the age of one-----...... It was printed that she was a hoax.....Both Zorina and Gurie suffered from Goldwyn`s lukewarm protection of them, although a decade would pass before they both stopped making films.



Gurie`s next film was ALGIERS 1938 starring Charles Boyer, Gurie and Hedy Lamarr. It may be the one who could be called a classic... Everything works here, except that Hedy stole the film from Sigrid and today no one remembers Sigrid in the film. "Come whizzz me tOOO Cazzzbahh" was never said by Boyer in the film, but it continues in movie legend to this day..

MY LUCKY STAR 1938 is the best Sonja of the 30s.... The numbers are ace...

THE DARK EYES OF LONDON 1939 stars Bela Lugosi(of Dracula-fame) and Greta Gynt and to this day it is a haunting feature marred by too many bad dvd-releases with bad picture and sound.....It doesn`t help with some wooden acting on Greta`s part........The film however contains effective and scary scenes and has quite a reputation in some quarters.




ZORINA stars with Erich Von Stroheim, Peter Lorre and Richard Greene in I WAS AN ADVENTURESS 1940 and it is her best film. The only letdown is that the Swan Lake ballet choreographed by her then husband George Balanchine is uninspired and freezes the film. Nevertheless; it is a mystery why it has never been released on video and dvd; the cast and crew delivers PLENTY:-)
SUN VALLEY SERENADE is being enjoyed as the best Sonja as an actress.


Zorina repeated her Broadway-success with LOUISIANA PURCHASE 1941 with Bob Hope, Victor Moore and Irene Bordoni. It was a huge success, though most of the songs was taken out and it is a bit stagey. Zorina however is a joy all way through the picture. Paramount let her stay and she tested successfully for the role of Maria in Hemingway`s For Whom The Bell Tolls. Backstabbing caused her to be taken out after only two weeks and her reputation as a screen actress was forever tarnished.



TITANIC 1943 was the first film by that title, but by no means the first about the famous disaster. This film goes down in history because if was banned even by Nazi officials as being to good as a disaster movie and the fact that director Herbert Selpin was found in his nazicell murdered by (arranged as suicide)hanging.... The film is absurd as propaganda, but producer, director and writer James Cameron owes it too much for comfort.....The love story in his 1997 epic is borrowed from this film as is several scenes containing jewel-theft and a prison-scene down below deck.......Norwegian singer and actress Kirsten Heiberg has a star-billing role, but is on-screen only as a supporter. The film has only recently been released to full restored glory and by now is being enjoyed worldwide as something obscure, but fascinating piece of filmmaking....




IT`S A PLEASURE 1944 is Sonja Henie`s only Technicolor film and only drama. The numbers are spectacular, but the rest..... let there be silence......And it is Miss Henie`s fault... She is unbelievably bad as the too naive young skater Chris Linden.... Her skating is at its best however....



FOLLOW THE BEST 1944 is in my opionion the best of the tribute-from-the-stars-to-the-men-films from 1942-1944. This is the last and best. Is has a feeiling "that you are there", but Zorina(only good the first 30 minutes)hasn`t much to do and her numbers are too simple..... It seems she was scarred from the Maria-fiasco in 1942 and her last film was Lover Come Back 1946 and she never returned to films claiming she hated filmmaking...





Greta Gynt was by 1947 a great star is the UK and TAKE MY LIFE 1947 is considered her best. It enjoyed glowing reviews, but since it has been difficult to find. The film belongs to the filmnoir genre it should be revived often and I agree that it looks like a Hitchcock-film(the first outing as a director by photographer Ronald Neame).DEAR MURDERER 1947 is filmed quite flatly, but the performances of Eric Portman and Greta Gynt remains a treat. Your eyes can`t get away from their scheeming and great chemistry.....



THREE LITTLE WORDS 1950 was Fred Astaire`s own favorite film. It is full of great songs and numbers, but Arlene Dahl makes a too late entrance and the baseballscenes are DULL...... They stop the show... in a negative way... Still the Metro magic works and is probably the best musical in this collection.
THE OUTRIDERS 1950 is a splendid western with Arlene and Joel McCrea, but her performance is a letdown in otherwise above average western of the period.


SLIGHTLY SCARLET 1956 is Arlene Dahl`s best performance as a psychoSLASHkleptoSLASHnympho.........and she alone is worth seeing this film.... But Ted deCorsia, photography and set design is also highly appealing in this Technicolor filmnoire..... Is is sadly too complex and the finale scene is a stretch... It has its audience though.....THE VIKINGS 1958 is without a Norwegian star, but filmed in Norway. It was a huge success, but the action is of standard fare... By many consiered a classic though...... Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine in the cast...




JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 1959 Arlene Dahl made this her farewell-film(though she did appear in films and TV from time to time after this)and this is a lavish stand-out big budget film, equally big at the box-office. The interplay between the stars(Arlene, James Mason, Pat Boone), the action, the visual and (most of)the effects are firstclass...



The last film in this collection is A Doll`s House 1973 starring Claire Bloom, Anthony Hopkins, Denholm Elliott, Anna Massey and Edith Evans. After many sittings the film builds and should be revived at every Ibsen-film-festival. Its virtues are more theatrical than cinematic, but the better for it. Miss Bloom may be a trifle too old for the part of Nora at first, but if you accept the idea that she has slowly but surely put on a Doll-mask and left all thinking to her husband - then it is a good show. Who says only the young can be naive? In some cases full grown people have to abandon their integrity because of various circumstanses around them.




VERA ZORINA 1917-2003



Vera Zorina in her own words; on Norwegian television 1972:(translanted from Norwegian)"The only thing I could think about was dancing... I always danced......(in getting her first real balletslippers)I think it was my birthday or something.... They were light blue - they SHOULD have been pink - but I LOVED them and I remember taking them to bed"(laughs)(about landing her audition at the Ballet Russe deMonteCarlo and changing her name from Eva Brigitta Hartwig to Vera Zorina)


"There were 20 Russian names - I could`n understand nor say the names - but at the bottom of the list I found .... Vera... Zorina..." (talks about getting her first venture into the musical field - On Your Toes by Rodgers and Hart) "I was a member of the Ballet RusseDeMonte Carlo.... and I wouldn`t consider playing in a musicial... we were all(point to her nose)... like this ... very snobbish... You just didn`t do that.. But then I found out that the choregraphy was by George Balanchine...


"RICHARD RODGERS: "Whatever she did... she did beautifully. Including standing still... When did woman walked out on the stage.... because when I first knew her she was just a girl... There was a silence... Because her beauty took over... She didn`t have to do anything else ... And on top of that she was an excuisite dancer..... and on top of THAT... she was a completely accomplished actress... In "I Married an Angel"(Broadway 1938) she played an actual angel.. who ruined her husband`s life because she was so good..."Vera Zorina: "The strange thing is that.... IF and WHEN success comes.... I wasn`t very happy. I was always nervous.



My mother couldn`t understand why I was so nervous all the time, but it is like this...when you have worked very hard to have a success and when it comes.... it is like a big blanket falling on the shoulders...""Everything I did.... in both films and stage - in was always in collaboration with Balanchine... And I admire him.... yes I was his student and admired him profoundly.... I still do(laughs)(they were married 1938-1946 - Henning Sebastian Jahre)Samuel Goldwyn developed a crush on her and thus never made another movie with her after THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES in 1938. Still under contract he loaned her to Warner(On Your Toes), 20th Century-Fox(I Was an Adventuress) and Paramount(Louisiana Purchase)... Paramount tested her for the role of Maria in Hemingway`s For Whom the Bell Tolls... But backstabbing from director Sam Wood, producer David O. Selznick, Hemingway and Gary Cooper made her sit on location for 2 or three weeks doing nothing and the plot was to have her replaced by Ingrid Bergman... Both Bergman and studio publicity said that Zorina couldn`t act... It ended Zorina`s career... She did make three more films however....Vera Zorina: "I met David O. Selznick at a dinnerparty fifteen years later... We didn`t speak... at the end of the evening he turned to me and said, You know who did it? - I did! I know, I replied quietly... I met Bergman in th 60s... we didn`t like each other...


(about films:) I almost hated it(filming)... Just glad when it was finished... I thougth it was boring......By the way - they always wanted me to play a vamp or someting - I think that was only because I was a European....with high heels or something(shows us)... the parts I got....just rubbish"



LEONARD BERNSTEIN: "So when I first saw.... Zorina.... And we worked together actually only on two occasions that I can recall... And one was a performance of Schønberg`s "A Survivor From Warzaw". Again she was superb. We recorded that and that recording is still existing and available I believe... I`m very proud of that recording and her performance in it.



In 1968 Vera Zorina returns to Oslo and directs CABARET at the Oslo Nye Teater:Vera Zorina: "I think they were faboulous(about the cast).... I REALLY do think that production here in Oslo was better than New York and London... because we had the best actors for each part.... I mean we had a company like Toralv Maurstad, Wenche Foss, Georg Richter... and Kari Simonsen... They all can play anything and to have that in a musical is just marvelous.... I LOVE THEM ALL!!!(laughs)....She did her farewell perfromance in Percefane at the New York City ballet in 1982....Translation(C)(P)February 16, 2008. All Rights Reserved.




SIGRID GURIE 1911-1969(Sigrid Guri Haukelid).... She had a keen interest in drawing and her family in Norway still have her work from her early years.... She studied the artform in London when she finally asked her parents their "permission" to go to Hollywood... "If you`ll let me go - that`s great, if not - I`ll go anyway...."She did..... With striking good looks she studied in tinseltown and after a rejection from Universal, was signed by non other than Samuel Goldwyn... He promoted her as "siren of the fjords" - the Norwegian Garbo.... Goldwyn was a man of contradictions and when it was found out that she was born in Brooklyn, but was back home in Norway a year later - he backed the newspapers in saying she was a fake




It was not to his liking either that co-star Gary Cooper gave her gifts such as two leopards during the shooting of THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO... He had tried to make her another Garbo by refusing her to smoke, drink, go out in public and that she had to turn in early..... According to her niece(by her twinbrother Knut, a warhero in his own right



- Sigrid Gurie was standing by, watching a grand Hollywood-opening - when none other than Clark Gable spotted her and dragged her inside the movie house.... Goldwyn was furious....The niece - and co-star Patricia Morrison - also states that she was a rather closed woman, not easy to get to know... distant.... So Goldwyn couldn`t have been too troubled by that area. However, when Sigrid completely lost attention in favour of Hedy Lamarr i ALGIERS 1938 they agreed to go seperate ways... Sigrid once said that "we all pitied Lamarr.... she had done nudecenes in the Czhek film Ecstasy 1933 and we all thought she would end up on the cutting floor... instead... we did......"She moved to Universal and made only one more film with a major star, THREE FACES WEST 1940 with John Wayne... She was good in a film short in entertainment-value...She died in 1969 of an embolism.... But her legacy refuseses to be forgotten.... Each day her great beauty is updated on the internet with startling great photos of the Hollywood that was.... (C)February 16 2008 - Henning Sebastian Jahre. All Rights Reserved


THIN ICE 1937


2 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
SONJA EMERGES AS HOLLYWOOD STAR, July 13, 2004
By
Henning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) - After One in a Million 1936, Sonja Henie was fast becoming a Hollywood star in the front rank. In THIN ICE she is teamed with her then-boyfriend Tyrone Power and the chemistry is explosive... It`s a Cinderella-story, but given the full treatment by 20th Century-Fox - it`s almost like an MGM extravaganza :-)
The skating is good and Joan Davis as a comedy relief is a winner. As a matter of fact I can`t understand the fuzz they make about the Astaire&Rogers musicals over at RKO... I much more prefer the Sonja Henie`s at 20th Century-Fox... They are never OVERLONG and never outstays their welcome:-)
The affair with Power never ended in marriage; he was bisexual and Sonja found out... When he married French Annabella she was reportedly deeply hurt though they remained friends up until Power died of a heart-attack while filming in 1958.

ALGIERS NORWEGIAN FAILED 2 OUTDO LAMARR, August 31, 2003ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) -This was the reamke of a French original. Goldwyn wanted his Garbo(SIGRID GURIE) to do it... Sigrid later said that they all pitied Hedy Lamarr because she was thought to be a common girl after her nude footage in the film Exctasy 1933. MGM`s Mayer indeed was not sure of Lamarr was good enough for the MGM family and borrowed her to Walter Wanger.As it turned out; Lamarr became a sensation, Gurie NOT! However, Lamarr did many a film but only the 1949 SAMSON AND DALILAH was an equal hit a`la ALGIERS.ALGIERS had a poor print on video, but even on DVD the print is much 2 muddy. It is a shame, because it has an authentic feel... Indeed - when producing CASABLANCA, they hoped they coild achieve something like ALGIERS. However, faith was not kind and CASABLANCA is the eternal classic. If u want 2 c Sigrid do a good performance, check out THREE FACES WEST with John Wayne and THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO with Gary Cooper




THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES 1938 VERA ZORINA`S FIRST FILM, Sep 7 2003ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) When Ingrid Bergman published her memoirs in 1981, Vera Zorina found herself unfavourably mentioned... In 1942 she was up to do Maria in FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS, but was replaced because of tip-toing through the mountains... In an un-authorised biography of Bergman, Paul Henreid quoted Bergman saying "Zorina can`t act... I hope they find out how terrible she is..."However. Such greats such as Richard Rodgers, Leonard Bernstein and Bob Hope have all praised her acting gifts. In 1946 the great GRETA GARBO saw her in "The Tempest" on stage and was spellbound. In THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES she stars as the love-sick temperamentel Olga Samara - and indeed - it is a a Russian Scarlett O`Hara we are given.The film is a great comedy and satire of the Hollywood system and the music and performances are all great.But it is Vera`s picture.Look for her in ON YOUR TOES, I WAS AN ADVENTURESS and LOUISIANA PURCHASE also:)(:



THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO 1938 GREAT PAIRING OF COOPER and SIGRID, Jun 18 2003ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) - Amusing, entertaining.... two words I would use in describing this holiday confection from Samuel Goldwyn. Lavish sets, costumes, music and good performances from Cooper and the Norwegian Sigrid Gurie(she is equally good in THREE FACES WEST with John Wayne


two reviews I`ve written on MY LUCKY STAR 1938

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful:
SONJA HENIE AND JOAN DAVIS IN HIT MUSICAL, January 18, 1999
By A CustomerMY LUCKY STAR 1938 was one of Sonja Henie`s biggest hits. In addition to her wonderful displays on ice, Joan Davis made a great and wonderful comic impact as Henie`s roomie. In addition, Fox cast British import Richard Greene as Henie`s loveinterest, Billy Gilbert for comic relief and Buddy Ebsen for some dancin`a n d comic turns as well. I have always wondered about the fuss made of the Astaire-Rogers films at RKO in the 30s. The Astaire at MGM was much better. So for the 30s, the Sonja Henie films are those I would reckomend. They are truly great thanks to glossy production values and great supporting casts...
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful:
1 OF HER VERY BEST, July 13, 2004
By
Henning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) - This is a real holiday confection, with an all-star cast - Sonja Henie, Richard Greene, Cesar Romero, Joan Davis and Buddy Ebsen. Roy del Ruth is at the helm and naturally delivers plenty. The musicalnumbers are out of this world and the comedy of Joan Davis hilarious and not A BIT DATED. The jet-set aura is perfect and it`s Hollywood at its most Hollywood. No wonder Sonja was Fox`s box-office queen with the young Shirley Temple.


DARK EYES OF LONDON 1939 GREAT PAIRING OF LUGOSI and GRETA GYNT, Jan 18 2004ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway)My DVD suffers from bad sound, but I hope I`ll get hold of another edition. Norwegian Greta Gynt is NOT the cowardly heroine one sees in Dracula 1930 and so forth(Quote from a US critic), but Greta`s Diana Stewart stand up to Dr Orlock a`la a modern Scarlett O`Hara. The film is also brutal and the World seems indeed a not safe place 2 be in this account... All good people are NOT as they are supposed 2 be.....The film is good, but as I said - my edition isn`t on par of what I`ve been told of other editions of this film. We all know of Bela Lugosi, but u better catch GRETA GYNT(1916-2000) in the films DEAR MURDERER 1947-as the neurotic Vivien - married 2 a man called Lee(humoursely - Vivien Leigh - VIVIAN MARY HARTLEY - got her professional name from HER husband, Leigh Holman) and the Ronald Neame-Hithcock-thriller TAKE MY LIFE 1947 as an operasinger, trying 2 catch a real killer when her own husband is suspcted of foul behaviour.But this is DARK EYES OF LONDON - the film that MADE her :-)




I WAS AN ADVENTURESS stars Vera Zorina(Eva Brigitta Hartwig-Norwegian mother, German father)with the legendary names Erich Von Stroheim and Peter Lorre. In this film - simply billed as Zorina - she playes Tanya; a sophisticated jewelthief with a style, chic, comedy touch and sensitivity; rare for an imported ballerina from the stage, This was her third film only and she commanded the screen with tough co-stars admirably. The ballet is a letdown(choreographed by her husband 1938-46, George Balanchine), but Zorina`s work, the all-round professional work by the 20th Century-Fox staff and the a never repeated team of Lorre and Von Stroheim is a repeated treat. It should be more easily to get a hold on than it is, so DO SEE it if you come across with comedy-drama-romance from tinseltown:-)



THREE FACES WEST 1940 3 of 9 people found the following review helpful:Sigrid in her last with a major star, December 20, 2004ByHenning Sebastian Jahre Why on earth did they make this film??? It`s rather short on entertainment value u c - dear reader. However; as a study of mileue and character it survives.. if only just.... Some scenes with John and Sigrid(they did have an affair hehehe)are potent indeed, but they could have made so much MOOOOOOOOORE of it... It`s sad really....

SUN VALLEY SERENADE 1941

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful:
SONJA`S BEST, July 13, 2004
By
Henning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) -

This is remembered primarely because of the excellent music of Glenn Miller. He was to do only another film, Orchestra Wife, before being killed in a planecrash. However; by the early 40s, Sonja Henie had developed into a good comedienne and this is her best - as a dumb, simpleminded blonde. Her timing is impeccable as is her delivery of dialogue... As if that isn`t enough; the supporting cast includes great efforts by The Nicholas Brothers, Dorothy Dandrige(then married to 1 of the N. Brothers and with whom she gave birth 2 a multihandicapped daughter), Milton Berle, Lynn Bari(singing voice dubbed) and John Payne as Sonja`s loveinterest.
It`s 1 of the best musicals ever made, though Sonja`s skating in this 1 is not her best.


3 of 8 people found the following review helpful:VERA SHINES in this film, December 21, 2004ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) LOUISIANA PURCHASE belongs to Victor Moore and Vera Zorina. Moore underplayes hilariously and Vera`s comic touch is both off-beat and with the times... The opening sequences DEMAAAAAANDS to NEVER to be forgotten.... In the trailer we c "Marina" dance in front of "Yvonne"... I wish they could have included that number as an outtake, because - sadly - it is not in the film. Mr Bob Hope isn`t on par with The Paleface and The Princess and the Pirate(looks as if he hadn`t found his niche quite yet), and Vera`s ballet-number is staged too simply.. Why didn`t they use her as in ON YOUR TOES and THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES? She would have been much better without the assistance of Charles Laskey..Indeed it IS a funny film.... a friend of my of 23 demanded at a party the day after: "GIVE ME SOME MISSISSIPPI RIVER WATEEEEEEEEEEER!" hehehe NEVER SAY DIE promises a lot in its trailer, but unfortunately the great Sondergaard is underused and William Devane makes us wanna push him off a cliff... Martha Raye is good, but what really destroyes this film, is that it sounds much more fun in the liner notes, than it really is.... 30/1 2006: Look for VERA ZORINA in the 20th Century-Fox dramacomedy I WAS AN ADVENTURESS 1940 as well. It is a magnificent piece of entertainment co-starring ERICH Von STROHEIM and PETER LORRE



TITANIC 1943:as entertainment. pretty good..... but, April 30, 2006ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) luckily we all have been brought up learning about the horrors of the naziregime. This is a propaganda product, but there are interesting things in it; such as the performances, sets, costumes and special effects... It IS way overboard concerning factual matters concerning the Titanic(the worst being the 1997 epic). Norwegian Kirsten Heiberg is much too like the other female stars of the film(they all look like the UFA superstar - Swedish Zarah Leander. Zarah was never a member of The Party and returned to Sweden in 1942. Goebbels and his like begged her to stay, but still she was unfavourable labeled after that. Kirsten however, married German composer Franz Grothe in 1938 and her loyalty leaves a lot to be desired... A major error; When Gloria(Kirsten Heiberg) is thown overboard from the lifeboat, it is not more focused than that of an extra... A major blow since it concerns one of the principal stars... A NIGHT TO REMEMEMBER is the most accurate account of the Titanic story(unless u count the final spectacular moments in the 1997-film). But entertainment wise (u have to excuse the laughable propaganda of the Third Reich) this is the best - with the 1958-1:-)



JUly 13 2004 IT`S A PLEASUREByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) - This is a novelty: A musical film from 1945 that contains alcoholism, poverty and adultery. Of course it`s Sonja`s show and she carries it of beautifully, though her dramatic depth as an actress might be questioned hehehe. The photography by the great Ray Rennahan is spectacular, as are the scenic design and costumes. Marie "The Body"(as she was called) McDonald is a breathtaking witch. McDonald suffered from too many ex-husbands and eventually committed suicide by the early 60s... Sonja`s solos are the best she did on celluloid(with Iceland 1942) and her dance-scene without skates proved that she was an excellent dancer. What a pity she never was teamed with Fred Astaire; it could have been an interesting musical....




FOLLOW THE BOYS 1944 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:The plot drowns...., December 14, 2006ByHenning Sebastian Jahre ...a and that`s a pity. Cause in THIS film, the Norwegian Vera Zorina is at her peak in style and beauty:-) A friend of mine interviewed her shortly before she died in 2003 and she revealed that she didn`t relish George Raft as a dancing-partner because she only had to tip-toe and do the easiest of turns because he was not up to her standard.... George Raft is his magnetic, if heavy, self and 1 screams for story developement between him and Zorina. Vera Zorina was actually christened Eva Brigitta Hartwig but has to adopt a Russian name in order to star at the famous ballet Russe de Monte Carlo on the 30s... The story is not that bad with these two stars, but in the end it drowns in too many a song-number... Standouts are Sophie, Marlene, Orson, The Andrews Sisters, Dinah, Jeanette, the dog number and W.C. Fields. Another greatness is that the movie has an authentic feel and though editing to studio work is evident, it remains good because u get the feel of the time that was.

Take My Life by Henning Sebastian JahreGYNT`S BEST with Dear Murderer, 30 Sep 2007 In 1947, the Norewegian actress Greta Gynt scored a triumphant success with two films; namely TAKE MY LIFE and DEAR MURDERER.... It lead to a Hollywood-contract with Robert Siodmak/Universal, but she withdrew..... This fast-paced little noir-thriller is highlighted by memorable performances by the entire cast and crew(it was Ronald Neame`s first film) - and many a reviewer has stated that this could have been the Hitchcock-thriller he never was to make:-)) The last 20 minutes is pure cinematic gold:-)



DEAR MURDERER 1947 Tuesday, March 11 2008:In 1947, the Norwegian actress GRETA GYNT made two hits; DEAR MURDERER and TAKE MY LIFE. In DEAR MURDERER she is evil incarnate and her very delivery and timing is impeccable... She may be the best Scandinavian lady speaking the English language at that period(sure, she lived in England for a while as a child, but still....)... Eric Portman and Greta Gynt has great chemistry and the last scene is a nervebreaking experience:-)In later years Greta Gynt told the story that in the 50s a British man used this film as a script in order to get rid of his wife, but was luckily apprehended.... The scene she refered to is the one where Eric Portman kills Dennis Price..





THREE LITTLE WORDS 1950 15 of 16 people found the following review helpful:Arlene Dahl IS GREAT, but underused, July 19, 2004ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway This is one of Astaire`s lesser known vehicles, but in my opinion - 1 of his very best. It was his own favorite movie. He is a delight co-starring with Red Skelton(his intense comic style is toned down here) and has a wonderful chemistry with the great dancer Vera-Ellen. The film is full of good songs and memorable supporting players including Gloria DeHaven(as her own mother Mrs Carter DeHaven), Debbie Reynolds(dubbed by Helen Kane) and Carleton Carpenter. Debbie and Carleton was reteamed in the Jane Powell film TWO WEEKS WITH LOVE and indeed stopped the show with "Aba-Daba Honeymoon".But when the Norwegian actress Arlene Dahl enters the film; she brings the film a step further. Her beauty and charm makes u go wild and her "I Love You So Much"-number good and simply staged. Unfortunately her role as Eileen Percy - the silent movie star - is a minor 1, but she glows every time she`s in front of the camera.Miss Dahl has visited her homeland many times and has done wonders for the Norwegian community in the States. She is also the mother of Lorenzo Lamas of Falcon Crest and Renegade fame.

THE OUTRIDERS 1950.... This MGM western is great entertainment! The color, photography, star value and story are of high calibre. Arlene Dahl had yet to find her depth as an actress, however she looks great.... What makes this western strong is that as suspenser it works on two levels: The sexual tension between Dahl, Joel McCrea and Barry Sullivan for one. Sullivan is the bad apple and lusts for Arlene. When they dance, he pushes his body to hers like a train enters a tunnel... McCrea interrupts with his jealousy and his dance to Dahl is full of respect, a schoolboy approach and like saying "I wanna take care of you, you`re safe with me"...
The other is the fights between the indians, the gold and so forth.... It is done with a Hitchcock quality and that`s why to my mind this is a classic:-)



SLIGHTLY SCARLET 1956(note that German made TITANIC 1943 is added)5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:BRAVO BRAVAAAA ARLENE DAHL, January 22, 2006ByHenning Sebastian Jahre (Oslo, Norway) This is a fastmoving filmnoir in blazing TECHNICOLOR - and the better for it. The photography by John Alton is spectacular as are the set design and costumes(with Arlene Dahl having a finger in even that)... John Payne(from SUN VALLEY SERENADE-fame) is quite good as the worldweary guy who take what croms that are offered... Unlike Bogart or Cagney he is a believable character with no high drama or over the top macho stuff. Ted deCorsia is brilliant as Sully the hoodlum - the best I`ve seen really... But it is ARLENE DAHL who steals the show. At first she is just glamour, but she emerges to what surely is a performance of Oscar material. Her performance is a beauty to behold - as critic Alison DeWytt in the 20th Century-Fox film "All About Eve" would say: "What a PERFORMANCE... Full of FIRE and music....!" It`s regrettable that this film has little reputation, because it is 90 minutes of excitement, of fun and intrigue. I have come to love Arlene Dahl over the years. Posterity names her only as a decorative plant, but with other Norwegian girls in US and UK films - GRETA GYNT, SIGRID GURIE and VERA ZORINA - she remains sadly underrated... At home I have a collection of films starring these women. I call it the "Susan Dahl collection" hehehe - which includes THE GOLDWYN FOLLIES, ALGIERS, THE ADVENTURES OF MARCO POLO(all 1938), THE DARK EYES OF LONDON 1939, THREE FACES WEST, I WAS AN ADVENTURESS(both 1940), LOUISIANA PURCHASE 1941, TAKE MY LIFE, DEAR MURDERER(both 1947), THE OUTRIDERS, THREE LITTLE WORDS(both 1950), SLIGHTLY SCARLET of course - THE VIKINGS(filmed in Norway)1958 and JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 1959. These films showcase these underrated Norwegian girls and themes THAT SHOULD N O T be neglected or forgotten... The Rhonda Fleming/Arlene Dahl chemistry is good and they seem indeed to be the source of many a trash-book cover of any detective story.... I hope SLIGHTLY SCARLET will find the vast audience it deserves with the likes of LAURA, DOUBLE INDEMNITY and TO HAVE AND HAVE NOT




THE VIKINGS 1958:Kirk in his first "Norwegian" film...., February 9, 2005ByHenning Sebastian Jahre In 1928 MGM released the film "THE VIKING" starring Donald Crisp, a Technicolor silent... Though it told the saga of Leif Erickson, it was a giant flop... In 1999, "The 13th Warrior" also proved not so great at the box-office. But the 1958 "THE VIKINGS" became a champion at the box-office. Beautifully shot in Norway and with the guidance of Norwegian Viking historians, the ships, set design and costumes were admirably executed. However! What is a great effort from the cast and crew in the first half, turns into a dissapointing routine finale and it looks cheap and made for cable-TV... The fighting scenes at the Aella castle is alarmingly amateurish... Whether it is the fault of the extras or how it was shot, I can`t decide... It`s a pity, because the star power is great and so real(compared to MGM`s glossy IVANHOE from 1952.... Sadly... in MY MIND.. the last 30 minutes is a letdown and mind u: It could easily have been a trifle longer... the final scenes are much to hurried... The featurette with Richard Fleischer is interesting, but sadly lacking behind-the-scenes footage... It looks that is was made in a hurry






JOURNEY TO THE CENTRE OF THE EARTH 1959:Special Effects and Miss Dahl save the day, September 17, 2005ByHenning Sebastian Jahre This film has some reputation and yesterday I finally purchased it. I must say, that compared to THE OUTRIDERS and THREE LITTLE WORDS, in this film Arlene Dahl gives a good performance. Her icelandic dialect is quite good(her parents were Norwegian and she even taught son Lorenzo Lamas a prayer in Norwegian when he was still just a kid) though she appears a bit plump, but she recovered after given birth to Lorenzo in 1958... The production values are spectacular and I must agree with fellow critics that surprises stand in line... It IS hokum.... but GOOD hokum:



A DOLL`S HOUSE 1973I must say I find Miss Bloom a bit too old and static for the part, it seems she is struggling to fit into the shoes of Nora; the doll-wife-woman who had surrended all responsebilities to the male dominant in her life... But she excells when Nora matures. True, this was the case for most women over 100 years ago... I also find Torvald`s objections in the finale, on the not so "evil side..." I mean Nora abandens three children in search of herself? What kind of a rolemodel is THAT??? Do we live for ourselves or for our commitments? I must say that from the day you have childeren and enter matrimony, you no longer can do whatever pleases, but must face responsebilities. This is what is known as growing UP. In the year of 2006 we see that too many people must "realise" themselves and end up lonely because they have escaped nearness, tenderness, closeness and committment to other than themselves... Hopkins is a bit overweight, but with Dame Evans and Ralph Richardson - excellent.... Miss Bloom was awarded a Special award in Oslo in 2006, an award called "IBSEN`S WOMEN OF THE 20th CENTURY" with Lise Fjelstad(an excellent Nora, c the NRK adaption), Glenda Jackson(Hedda 1975-Academy Award nominee), Liv Ullmann(The Wild Duck), Wenche Foss and Bibi Andersson(amongst others) for her portrayels of Ibsen`s women... This is a theme never to be closed hehehe




When confronted in the same interview that Louella Parsons once had stated that she and Elizabeth Taylor were the only two who could go in front of the cameras and still look gorgeous without any make-up... Arlene Dahl responded "OVER OUR DEAD BODIES hahahaha......we had a natural beauty that took us an hour to do hahaha.... First of all I am grateful for my parents for given me what they`ve given me... their DNA.. I can take no credit for that... It`s maintaining it that takes a bit of practise..... (the beauty)has helped me rather than harmed me... I`m no gonna regret it... it opened the door for me....





I was touched by an Angel I think... was very lucky....all that happened to me came about without me lifting a finger and part of it was because the way I looked and I photographed well....On Jean Hagen, her co-star in Ambush: She did a film which I turned down after "Three Little Words, which has become a classic now. I didn`t wanna play the part with a Brooklyn accent, I had Swedish accents, Norwegian accents, IRISH accents but I didn`t have a Brooklynese accent so I turned the role down...she did a faboulous job in that.... I said; I`ve never regretted anything, but THAT could be a boarderline hahahah(Jean Hagen starred as Lina Lamont; the silent movie star who didn`t transform well to talkies in SINGIN`IN THE RAIN 1952) Comden and Green wanted me for that part, why they saw me in that part I don`t know, I couldn`t imagine me speak like that, nor did I want to...but I could have worked with a dictioncoach and said "Ajjjj ceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeent steeeeeeeeeeeend it" heheehe. But I didn`t and I`m sorry because that is one on the best musicals of all time



On James Mason, her co-star in "JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH"(1959) "James didn`t want me for the role... I found that out before I played my first scene with him and I really worked on that character because I really wanted to be up to playing opposite James Mason, he was noted for... well he was such a fine actor... I was little concern in coming up to his level...or trying to as an actress...and I really prepared for that role....and in the first scene - I knew he didn`t want me - I didn`t tell him I knew that - but I REALLY GAVE IT TO HIM in that first scene....and I saw this surprise look on his face when he returned his lines to me... and I thought maybe... maybe I hit him with this...maybe he`ll change his mind. Well afterwards, after we played that first scene together he came to my dressing room, knocked on the door and said "Miss Dahl", it was never "Arlene"; may I speak with you. "Of course" Mr Mason .... "You know I didn`t want you for this role... I said "I know.." He said "HOW DID YOU KNOW???? " I said "I`ve found out".. "Well I was wrong, you are an fine actress and we`re gonna have fun on this film.




THE VIKINGS 1958(filmed for six weeks in Norway and included in the Susan Dahl collection) Janet Leigh turned thirty that year(1957)and a Norwegian extra motored all the way to Bergen with her then husband Tony Curtis in order to buy her a furcoat as a birthdaypresent. They all celebrated Janet in Norway. Kirk dismissed the extras as being ungrateful in his autobiography; pointing out that after a great party held in honour of the Norwegian extras and crewpeople(in which Janet destroyed a Kirk-Tony performance by a semierotic dance behind them hehe)they turned to muscles and demanded more money the day after..




Greta Gynt: "They couldn`t pronounce Woxholt(her maiden name), so we sat in a restaurant coming up with all sorts of names: Greta Drøbak, Greta Drammen, Greta Norrena... then all of a sudden the orchestra started to play Grieg`s Peer Gynt... "What`s this?" my husband asked... "Greta Gynt".... that sounds nice we all said.... and now I`m Greta Gynt...." Greta Gynt 1938.








Greta Gynt 1916-2000 was a temperamentel actress who just didn`t have the talent for careerplanning. In my opinion she would have been greater and far more remembered had she not chosen her name after Greta Garbo and Peer Gynt. It`s too simple and cheap... In the late 40s she also returned from Hollywood to England after the successes of Dear Murderer and Take My Life on the grounds that her family was in Norway(she left the country for good in the late 30s), her lover i England as was her son and his father. She could have easily taken the boy with her...




When MGM beckoned she bitched about knowing her lines when asked casually if she knew them already and the end resulted in a small part in the 1951 Soldiers Three with David Niven and Stewart Granger. This also happened when George Sanders asked for a screentest for the 1959 Bluebard`s 10 Honeymoons. She felt Arlene Dahl was dull in Fortune is a Woman 1957 in which she had a smaller part and later singled out herself quoting the critics at the time.




She also blamed an exhusband on the grounds that he advised her to accept top salary for supportings roles in the 50s....



She loathed the fact that she was not given the Kay Kendall part in the musical Technicolor turkey LONDON TOWN 1946, meaning she could have danced that part.




Nevertheless. She is GREAT in TAKE MY LIFE, DEAR MURDERER and the 1944 MR EMMANUEL and I hope she will find an audience with these three films.






























































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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