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"The Truth About Women" - British Romantic Comedy Drama
released on February 12, 1958
The Actors: Julie Harris (Helen Cooper), Diane Cilento (Ambrosine Viney), Mai Zetterling (Julie Eton), Eva Gabor (Louise Tiere), Laurence Harvey (Sir Humphrey Tavistock), Robert Rietty (the Sultan), Roland Culver (Charles Tavistock), Wilfrid Hyde-White (Sir George Tavistock), Marius Goring (Otto Kerstein), Christopher Lee (Francois Tiere), Michael Denison (Rollo), Jocelyn Lane (Saida), Derek Farr (Anthony), Elina Labourdette (Comtesse), Griffith Jones (Sir Jeremy), Catherine Boyle (Diana), Lisa Gastoni (Mary Maguire), John Glyn-Jones (Raven), Thorley Walters (Sir Trevor Eton), Hal Osmond (Baker), Ambrosine Phillpotts (Lady Tavistock), Bryan Coleman (unknown), Ernest Thesiger (Judge), Balbina (Marcelle), Philip Leaver (unknown), Althea Orr (Mrs. Maguire), Marianne Benet (unknown), Pauline Chamberlain (lady at ball), David Franks (unknown), Yvette Hosler (unknown), Mark Milleham (Tavestock child), Magda Miller (unknown), Delene Scott (Alison), The Blake Twins (Humphrey Tavestock children)
Sir Robert Rietty
One of the greatest blessings of my passion to share the stories and actors from the first decades of motion pictures is meeting some of the legends of those golden days. A couple of weeks ago I received a gracious e-mail note from Sir Robert Rietty, who mentioned that he is currently 91 years young. Known as the man with a thousand voices, he is one of the legends of British theater. When he was 8 years old his father Vittorio, who was a stage actor, teacher and motion picture actor, noticed that his young son had completely memorized the copy of a script that he was given to keep him occupied while Vittorio was rehearsing for a stage production. Father Vittorio immediately started teaching his son the art of acting, and in 1933 Sir Robert Rietty, then a lad of ten, appeared in his first big screen production. As of 2008 he can list well over 200 motion pictures and television shows that he has acted in, written, or shared some of his amazing voice art. I am told that occasionally he has dubbed the voice of a well-known actor after production was finished and the actor was not available to re-do the spoken words of a scene, and even the actor's best fans could not discern that the voice they heard was not that of the famous actor. His command of voice caused him to be in great demand for revoice work on movies and thus his reputation as the man with a thousand voices . . . most assuredly an understatement. He collaborated with Orson Welles on two radio programs, The Black Museum and The Lives of Harry Lime, where you may hear his voice in many character parts. Although many of his film appearances are in movies that are currently copyright protected and cannot be shared here, there are some jewels that I am able to share, and this British tale of the many loves of a character played by Laurence Harvey includes a marvelous scene with Sir Robert in full voice and costume as the Sultan of a great harem. Sir Robert told me that this scene was filmed at the end of a very long day of shooting, and producer Sydney Box told the crew that the scene would only be shot once, with not re-takes, and if there were any problems with any of the shots the whole scene would be scrapped. Very fortunately for us the scene was near perfect and today we can watch the great man in action in this British classic. I will be adding another handful of movies in the coming weeks featuring Sir Robert Rietty, but right now enjoy one of his on-screen appearances featuring not only his amazing voice but his regal self, explaining the Sultan's view on the qualities of women. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with plenty of warm melted butter drizzled over it and enjoy the show.
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Make them laugh, make them cry, and back to laughter. What do people want to go to the theatre for? An emotional exercise . . . Mary Pickford
Some of my Favorites:
Probably my all time favorite movie, My Man Godfrey in 1936 not only gives us an comedic peek at the wealthiest and poorest during the Great Depression, but also was the vehicle for Carole Lombard to create the movie icon of the 'dumb blonde screwball comedy' that is a popular theme even today.
Meet John Doe - 1941: The Frank Capra classic set in the Great Depression era that pits the common man against the political masters. You can't be a fan of old movies until you watch Frank Capra's old movies. This one premiered seventy years ago, and it still stirs our emotions and thoughts now. It is as timely as if it were produced today.
Angel and the Bad Man - 1947: One of the great teachers of the Secret Law of Attraction is Dr. Joe Vitale . . . but before he was even born actor John Wayne paid for and produced this Cowboy Western that featured The Law of Attraction.
The Time of Your Life - 1948: James Cagney financed this strangely different feel-good movie, and he plays the part of Joe, a barfly that tries to live his life by making everyone around him better. I watch this one often, and try to become more like Joe every day.
Painted Faces - 1929: Comedy legend Joe E. Brown is a circus clown in a surprisingly serious role as a juror in a Christmas week murder trial who tells the other jurors a story that will change their verdicts in a pre-code drama that could not have been made a few years later.
Charade - 1963: It doesn't get much better than Cary Grant and Audry Hepburn in a tale of death, deception, spies and lost wealth as a woman tries to sort out the good guys from the bad guys in this cold-war spy thriller love story.