Cinematic birthdays for Nov. 19th, this time with lighter loafers.
1889 Clifton Webb, reportedly as out as an actor could be back in the day but Oscar never gave him their top prize. They never give out actors the statue. Sad, but true. Classic films include Oscar favorites like Laura and Three Coins in the Fountain (review) but he's most famous for playing Mr. Belvedere, the uptight gentlemen bachelor of a certain obvious if unspoken persuasion. I saw the first of the three Belvedere films Sitting Pretty (1948) a few years ago and it was quite an... unh... time capsule.
1933 Larry King, asker of inane questions
1942 Calvin Klein makes pretty things
1938 Ted Turner took Jane Fonda away from me (the movies... same thing) ages ago and I've never forgiven him.
1954 Kathleen Quinlan an actress I don't really get
1958 Charlie Kaufman mindbender
1961 Meg Ryan have you ever noticed how people turn on actresses once they hit 40? Especially romantic comedy actresses. I'm not talking about ignoring them but viciously turning on them. It's like 'how dare they age!' This is my theory as to why nobody can ever be nice to Meg Ryan who was always a better actress than people ever gave her credit for being. I realize she hasn't been doing anything close to must-see work for a long while but I'm just sayin'. I'm thinking of Meg Ryan this morning because I've been eager to revisit In the Cut in the wake of Jane Campion's return with Bright Star.
1962 Jodie Foster doesn't make enough movies. I'm done complaining about her fetish for being trapped in small spaces in thrillers. Whatever. Just make movies, Jodie. Even if you must be contained inside of them.
1966 Jason Scott Lee didn't get the career he deserved if you ask me. Or that others would have gotten after Dragon The Bruce Lee Story and Jungle Book.
And 105 years ago, Nathan Leopold (of Leopold and Loeb infamy) was born. Their ghastly "thrill kill" of a teenage boy and the ensuing provocative trial fascinated the press of the day and influenced depictions of crime for years to come. You know how much the movies love to demonize the gays. Of course, in the case of Leopold and Loeb demonization wasn't difficult or uncalled for. The story has been adapted many times but Compulsion (1959) starring Orson Welles, the black and white and very queer Swoon (1992) by Tom Kalin (Savage Grace) and Rope (1948) by Alfred Hitchcock (full write-up here) are the most famous. Any of those are well worth a rental if you haven't seen them.