Wednesday, May 06, 2009

May Flowers, Princess Grace of Monaco

May Flowers, weeknights @ 11:00

Fifty-four years ago last month, way back in 1955, movie star Grace Kelly attended the Cannes Film Festival (pictured below) -- it was held in April in those days. She had just headlined two Alfred Hitchcock hits Rear Window and Dial M for Murder and just barely won the Oscar for Country Girl. To Catch a Thief was arriving later that summer. She was in short, as super as superstars get.

During this very trip to Cannes she met Prince Rainier of Monaco! How crazy must that year have been for her? The courtship was aggressive and they married the following April.

Their royal union made her even more famous but ended her film career. Kelly never made another motion picture (though two were released in 1956: The Swan and High Society) and Prince Rainier subsequently banned screening of her films (according to at least one website it's still illegal to show Kelly films in Monaco). Reportedly the marriage got in the way of two comeback trips, the actress wanted to make: a reunion with Hitchcock for Marnie (1962) which went to Tippi Hedren and the ballet drama The Turning Point (1977) which eventually starred Shirley Maclaine and Anne Bancroft. In short, Prince Rainier was an enemy of the cinema.

If you stop to think about it, Cannes not only makes international movie careers it also destroys them. Exhibit: Grace Kelly.

The 62nd annual Festival de Cannes kicks off a week from today running May 13th through the 24th.


Chris Na Taraja said...

Though if you're going to lose your star powered Hollywood career, trading it in to become a princess might not be such a bad thing. Still my heart aches. She would have been 80 this year.

Glenn Dunks said...

And yes, obviously, the union between these two brought about the abrupt end to her life as well. So sad. At least she was (we can only presume) incredibly happy with, quite literally, a prince.

Curtis said...

My god that picture looks like Gwyneth!


Curtis -- i thought the same thing!

But Gwyneth only married a rock star. But her career kind of ended too. Now she's a lifestyle queen.

Glenn -- I am so suspicious of controlling husbands. I always assume all couples like that are unhappy behind the scenes. An incredibly reductive view I know but if someone tried to control me I'd go crazy.

Glenn said...

I think it'd be different if she weren't married to a freakin' Prince. I can't imagine that gives you much freedom and star in movies in which your cavort around with other men, but ya never know...

Iggy said...

Grace Kelly was my first glance at what Hollywood glamour was. I remember as if just happened ten minutes ago, looking at those glamorous pictures on a magazine on the occasion of one of the anniversaries of her death. I think I built on my mind an image of her that probably wasn't real, a woman surrounded by mystery: the whole car accident and that she had become a princess having had a previous job (!!).

It's strange that Hollywood has never tried a biopic, I think her story was meant to be told onscreen. Just raising those children must've been enough for a miniseries.

Also, wouldn't she have been just perfect for the Julie Andrews part in Princess Diaries? Had she been alive of course, that pesky little detail.

Derreck said...

I actually see more of Naomi Watts in the pic more then Gwyneth.

But wow, is there any classic actress out there who just exudes class other than Grace Kelly? She is just the standard that so many other actresses try so desperately to reach these days. Marilyn Monroe might have had the right combination of sex and vulnerability, but Grace Kelly is just the epitome of femininity and class.

Pablete said...

In every single picture, Princess Grace Kelly is a dream come true! What a mirage!