Friday, December 09, 2011

Celebrating Douglas Fairbanks Jr. on His Birthday

One of my favorite actors, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., was born 102 years ago today.

My 2009 post celebrating the centennial of Fairbanks' birth has been updated with links to half a dozen additional reviews of his films seen by me in 2010 and 2011.

Thanks for the happy movie memories, Mr. Fairbanks!


Blogger Page said...

Happy Birthday Doug! He's my youngest sisters favorite actor Laura. I had his autograph framed with a photo a few years ago for her birthday. (Of course I kept one for myself) Quite fond of him too.

9:04 PM  
Blogger Judy said...

I haven't seen all that many of his films, but he is definitely an actor I want to see more of. I really like his performance with Richard Barthelmess in Hawks' heart-rending First World War film 'The Dawn Patrol' - even better than the remake with Errol Flynn and David Niven!

10:21 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I'm delighted to hear from two more Fairbanks fans! Page, what a remarkable and thoughtful gift for your sister. That's wonderful!

Judy, I haven't seen THE DAWN PATROL yet, but I recorded it very recently. Thanks for the feedback on it! I hope you enjoy checking out more Fairbanks titles in the future. Somehow I think you will! :)

Best wishes,

10:24 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

THE DAWN PATROL is a masterpiece, Hawks' first, and even if the remake by Goulding has a good cast it cannot compare to it. I wonder how many people know that the Hawks is now kind of buried by being retitled FLIGHT COMMANDER. Have it on DVR now ready to watch again.

Doug Jr. was especially good in that, and his chemistry with Barthelmess was wonderful--an unusually tender friendship between those two men, really what I would call a male love story.

But Doug Jr. was always a wonderful actor. Along with THE DAWN PATROL, my personal favorite is Max Ophuls' beautiful THE EXILE (very hard to see now), which Doug Jr. produced as well as starring in--it's well-worth seeking out.

Probably no need to point out that he stole the show in THE PRISONER OF ZENDA.

12:00 PM  
Blogger Page said...

My sister and her family had just relocated to Biloxi from New York to be close to my retired parents when Katrina reeked havoc. Anyway, other than photos and pets (kids) the one thing my sister took when they evacuated was Doug's framed photo and autograph. Thought that was hilarious. It's her favorite possession.

I've told my neighbor that if my house is ever in danger of flooding etc and I'm away she is to go in and grab the autographs off the walls and the boxes of photos etc. Forget the clothes and shoes. lol I'm hopeless in my addiction.

12:26 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks for the feedback on THE DAWN PATROL, Blake! Sounds like I have a great Fairbanks performance to look forward to there.

EXILE sounds interesting; I see that Fairbanks also wrote the script! I didn't realize until recently that Fairbanks did quite a bit of producing. I recorded CHASE A CROOKED SHADOW (1958) and was surprised to see him pop up at the end of the film asking the audience not to spill the plotline to others! Look forward to sitting down to enjoy the rest of that film.

Page, that's a great story about your sister saving her Doug autograph and photo!

Best wishes,

5:46 PM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

Thanks for noting that he also wrote the screenplay for THE EXILE--and sorry I neglected that in haste of writing but somehow it had gone out of my head. It was Fairbanks as producer/writer/star who gave Ophuls his first American film and the great director had had a long wait in Hollywood. I hope that film will be more accessible one of these days.

6:23 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Blake, I just received my January Now Playing guide for Turner Classic Movies, and as I perused the coming titles, guess what I spotted will be making its TCM premiere on January 23rd? You guessed it, THE EXILE!

THE EXILE is part of an evening of a half-dozen Ophuls films, including a couple movies I loved, CAUGHT (1949) and the superb THE RECKLESS MOMENT (1949); the latter is also making its TCM debut. (It occurs to me that THE RECKLESS MOMENT would be a great addition to an evening of "Christmas noir" such as TCM will be hosting later this month. Perhaps next year...)

Thanks so much for making me aware of this title; it's on my list to record next month!

Best wishes,

12:07 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

That's great news about an Ophuls evening, and especially that THE EXILE has been rescued--what are the other titles? I hope they wouldn't leave out LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN, which they've shown before--the best of his four American films and they are all great.

Could you share the titles of the others? I've seen most everything of his by now (has taken me years) but I'm curious--I have a few unwatched 30s films here that have not had any kind of official release.

He was one of the greatest of all directors. By the way, THE EXILE is a costume romance and so kind of a swashbuckler as well as very romantic--this had been the specialty of Fairbanks' father in silent films but I think Doug Jr. holds his own and has his own personality in this kind of movie.

9:41 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Blake,

In addition to THE EXILE, CAUGHT, and THE RECKLESS MOMENT, TCM's Ophuls evening will be showing LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN (1948), LA RONDE (1950), and THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE... (1954). (I've previously recorded all of those but not yet watched them. I sometimes think I could watch movies 'round the clock for a year and not "catch up," LOL...but isn't that wonderful?!)

The first four films will be hosted by Robert Osborne under the heading "Max Ophuls in Hollywood," with LA RONDE and EARRINGS following in the late evening/early morning hours.

Best wishes,

9:55 AM  
Blogger Blake Lucas said...

All six of those Ophuls films are great. You have something to look forward to, Laura.

Along with the early LIEBELEI, I'd rank LETTER FROM AN UNKNOWN WOMAN and THE EARRINGS OF MADAME DE... as the best of all his films, and might suggest you start with LETTER if you haven't seen it yet (sounded like it).

Thanks for providing that list. And I'm very sympathetic to living with many unwatched films on DVD or recorded on DVR since I'm in the same predicament. I guess if one has to have a problem, that's a good one.

12:23 PM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Douglas Fairbanks Jr. is my fav actor and i am 13!LOL
i have seen 2 movies that he is in...

The Prisoner of Zenda 1937
(go the bad guy!! -faibanks)
Gunga Din 1939

but what (no need) to see more..

I have heard most of the radio adaptations of his movies and have heard the programe he did called
"The Silent Men."
(look it up)

what else can i say.......

12:48 AM  

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