Today marks 100 years since the birth of actor David Niven.
John DiLeo pays tribute to Niven at Screen Savers (click the title of this post). My favorite Niven film matches DiLeo's: the marvelous BACHELOR MOTHER (1939), costarring Ginger Rogers. I think this film's reputation continues to grow with the passage of time, and it is certainly deserved. BACHELOR MOTHER next airs on Turner Classic Movies on March 24, 2010, as part of TCM's tribute to its March Star of the Month, Ginger Rogers.
My other Niven favorite is the Christmas perennial THE BISHOP'S WIFE (1947), in which Niven is perfectly matched opposite Cary Grant and Loretta Young. The last scene, in which Niven's bishop delivers a sermon inspired by Cary Grant's angel, is one of my favorite moments in Christmas movies.
I thought Niven was particularly funny in a supporting role in BLUEBEARD'S EIGHTH WIFE (1938). He has some moments which are laugh-out-loud hilarious.
Among the classic titles released during Niven's long career: THE PRISONER OF ZENDA (1937), WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939), A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, also known as STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN (1946), SEPARATE TABLES (1958), THE PINK PANTHER (1963), and DEATH ON THE NILE (1971).
Here is another birthday tribute.
A post at the Turner Classic Movies message board says that Niven's son, Jamie, took out an ad in the New York Times today which said, "Dad, you would have been 100 today. I think of you often and laugh at all of those stories. You brought much joy to many, so rest easy."
Mr. Niven certainly did bring "much joy to many"!
More Niven films previously reviewed here: THREE BLIND MICE (1938), RAFFLES (1939), A KISS IN THE DARK (1949), and PLEASE DON'T EAT THE DAISIES (1960).