Loving the Classics has some fantastic old films on DVD, including FIVE Lupe Vélez features. For a direct link to Lupe’s films at Loving the Classics, click the link below. At $14.99 a pop, you can’t go wrong!
Monthly Archives: July 2011
Paul Green is the author of a long-awaited new book on the life and films of actress, Jennifer Jones (see cover image below). Today the book was officially released and he’s kindly granted an exclusive interview to be posted here. I’ve already read the book and it’s a fantastic account of Jones’ career, all interwoven with her personal life. Turner Classic Movies host, Robert Osborne, has written the foreword.
MV: What made you choose Jennifer Jones as the subject of your book?
PG : When she passed away her death struck a chord with me. I hadn’t thought of her in many years and suddenly these memories of her wonderful films came to the surface.
MV: Which films made an impact on you?
PG: The Song of Bernadette and Portrait of Jennie in particular. She had an other worldly quality in both films and both are mystical stories that are perfectly suited to Jones’ acting style. Love Letters has similar qualities.
MV: Do you think her work deserves more credit by critics and the general public?
PG: Definitely. She won an Academy Award with her first starring role and because of her relationship with David O. Selznick was often frowned upon as the years passed. Selznick was obsessed with molding her image and didn’t see her as a light comedienne when in fact this was one of her strengths. Both Cluny Brown and Beat the Devil demonstrate her comedy timing. Selznick preferred to cast her in sexually provocative roles. Duel in the Sun being the prime example.
MV: Was Jennifer Jones a happy person?
PG: She was known for being temperamental under stress and was a very private person. Her true feelings often remained hidden from the public.
MV: How many JJ films are released on DVD? Can a reader of your book read about a particular film and then go out and buy it to watch?
PG: You’ll be happy to know most of her major films are available on DVD. I list them all in my book as well as VHS versions. Sadly a few key titles are unavailable on DVD or VHS including Good Morning Miss Dove, The Barrett’s of Wimpole Street and The Idol. The classic Love Letters is only available on VHS from dealers.
MV: Do you think her on set behavior was misinterpreted as being not prepared by her co-stars, when in actual fact she was a very nervous person. Was she misunderstood?
PG: Yes she was a nervous person and acted differently depending on the film. On Gone To Earth, filmed in England, the director Michael Powell and all the crew loved her. On Terminal Station aka Indiscretion of an American Housewife, filmed in Italy, she was extremely temperamental and slapped the director in the face. Co-star Montgomery Clift sympathized with her behavior on the film because he saw in her the same neurotic tendencies he suffered. I don’t think any actor or director ever considered her unprepared, but the interference of Selznick was a definite nuisance.
MV: My favorite Jennifer Jones film is Carrie. What did her co-star, Laurence Olivier think of her? Did they get along?
PG: You really have to read my book because what he says can’t be printed here. 🙂
Thanks to Paul Green for this exclusive interview about his new book on the life and films of Jennifer Jones.
Paul Green’s Blog can be found HERE
Today, July 18th, 2011, would have been the 103rd birthday of Lupe Vélez. It’s been sixty-seven years since her self-inflicted death at age thirty-six. A Hollywood tragedy. So unexpected. So heartbreaking. A light that was snuffed out way too early…
Almost seventy years on from her passing and the world is STILL talking about her. Next year, at the time of my book’s release, I hope even more people are talking, only this time, I hope they’ll be talking about what REALLY happened to her on that fateful December morning in 1944. No more “died with her head in the toilet” stories…the truth is there to be told and I’ve told it. Besides, her “life” story was so much more than her death. Oh, what a life!!!
I will most certainly keep everyone posted on any updates, a cover, a confirmed title, etc., as news comes to hand.
For now, remember Lupe Vélez on her birthday…
Happy Birthday, Lupe x
I posted a few photos of Lupe Vélez here yesterday, candid images that won’t be appearing in my book because of the photo cull from 150 to 75. Rather than letting the unused photos sit on my desktop, I’m sharing them with you all here. So, here’s a few more, though I forewarn you, they aren’t as pleasant as the ones in my previous post….
Above: Lupe Vélez in her coffin.
Jorge Negrete (1911-1953) and Mario Moreno, who used the moniker, ‘Cantinflas’ (1911-1993) paying their last respects to Lupe Vélez as she lay in her coffin. Negrete and Moreno were two of the greatest Mexican movie stars of all-time, Negrete as a leading man and singer, and Moreno (Mexico’s answer to Groucho Marx) as the most famous comic-character his country had ever produced. In 1944, they were both leaders of The Mexican Actors Guild (ANDA). Since Lupe’s will had not yet been probated, her family had no means to get her body from America to Mexico so The Guild stepped in and paid for the transportation of Lupe’s body back to her home country.
Above: Lupe’s mother and sisters pay their respects…
Several members of Lupe’s immediate family pay their respects before her body at the funeral home. Left to right: Two of Lupe’s sisters stand beside their distraught mother as she is supported by an unidentified man.
Okay, a little update on my Lupe Vélez book. Way back when this project initially took off, I was approved 150 photos by my publisher. However, that number was based on me coming in at 110,000 words. As I got to researching and writing, my word count ended up coming in at 135,000 words! So, this will affect my page count and when the page count is affected, so is the price of the book. In order to keep the book in a price category that we’ll ALL be happy with, I’ve had to cut my number of photographs by HALF!
That’s right, there’ll now be seventy-five photos instead 😦
That said, the story is the story and it’s a GREAT story. I’ve spent the last few days going over my photo choices with a fine tooth comb and I believe I’ve reinvented my selection to meet the seventy-five photo requirement and still tell her story, photographically speaking, in a thorough way. Oh, it hasn’t been easy. I’m exhausted!
Anyway, as the months progress, I’ll post those pics that didn’t make it – HERE!
Lupe sewing costumes with her mother in their home in Mexico. She’s about 16/17 years old here.
Lupe practices her singing. Her mother, Josefina, plays piano.
Lupe’s dancing drove men wild…here she demonstrates some of her moves!