Friday, March 15, 2013

A Centennial Birthday Tribute to Macdonald Carey

Actor Macdonald Carey was born in Iowa on this date in 1913.

I first knew Macdonald Carey as the grandfatherly doctor on my college roommate's favorite soap opera, DAYS OF OUR LIVES. (I, on the other hand, followed GENERAL HOSPITAL back in those college days of the '80s.) It wasn't until five years ago or so that I caught the Ray Milland-Hedy Lamarr Western COPPER CANYON (1950) and was quite intrigued by the charismatic villain. I was surprised to realize this fascinating Western bad guy was the younger version of "Dr. Horton"!

Later that year I saw Hitchcock's SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943) for the first time and was immediately taken with the earnest, charming young detective trailing Joseph Cotten, who falls for Cotten's young niece, played by Teresa Wright.

Since seeing those movies I've gradually been able to work my way through another half dozen of Carey's films. It was a particular thrill to see him as Nick in the Alan Ladd version of THE GREAT GATSBY (1949) at the Noir City Festival last year; his son Steve was there in the audience to watch his father in an important role in a beautiful 35mm print of this neglected classic. This is a film I very much hope has a DVD release, as it deserves to be more widely seen. Other than one casting misstep, it's an excellent version of the Fitzgerald novel.

I also particularly liked Carey in an offbeat little Western, MAN OR GUN (1958), costarring Audrey Totter and James Craig. It can be streamed on Netflix Instant.

Macdonald Carey, the father of half a dozen children off the screen, passed on just after his 81st birthday in 1994. This photo of him with his family at the Apple Valley Inn comes from Paradise Leased.

Macdonald Carey films previously reviewed at Laura's Miscellaneous Musings: TAKE A LETTER, DARLING (1942), SHADOW OF A DOUBT (1943), HAZARD (1948), THE GREAT GATSBY (1949), THE LAWLESS (1950), COPPER CANYON (1950), LET'S MAKE IT LEGAL (1951), and MAN OR GUN (1958).

Update: Here's a review of CAVE OF OUTLAWS (1951), watched this evening to honor Macdonald Carey's centennial.

Update: And here's a review of COMANCHE TERRITORY (1950).

January 2014 Update: Here's a review of Carey's second film, Anthony Mann's DR. BROADWAY (1942).

July 2016 Update: Here is a review of COUNT THE HOURS (1953).

October 2016 Update: Here's a review of the excellent STRANGER AT MY DOOR (1956), seen at the Lone Pine Film Festival.


Blogger Caftan Woman said...

I sometimes tune in to the beginning of "Days of Our Lives" just to hear Macdonald Carey's voice "Like sands through the hourglass, so are the Days of Our Lives". If the producers ever change that opening there will be an outcry such as the world has never known.

I particularly love Carey's performance in "Streets of Laredo". He is a most charismatic and intriguing bad guy.

Well done, Laura.

9:33 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thanks so much for the feedback and the recommendation of STREETS OF LAREDO -- I have that one in my "to watch" stack, thanks to a kind friend! :)

I'm glad to know his voice still does the DAYS opening, that's neat!

Best wishes,

10:07 PM  
Blogger munkb said...

If you go to web site you can get a decent copy of "Great Gatsby" for $7
They also have an excellent copy of "Come Back to Little Sheba" what a performance by Shirley Booth.
Love your site
Frank NYPD retired

5:42 PM  
Blogger munkb said...

Another film nit shown in years is Dr Broadwsy
with McDonald Carey

5:53 PM  

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