Friday, January 28, 2022

Farewell to Moira Finnie

I was greatly saddened last night to learn of the recent passing of Gina Neylon, known to all online as "Moira Finnie."

Scott McGee of Turner Classic Movies announced that she passed away suddenly of heart failure last week. Alan K. Rode also paid tribute to her last evening.

"Moira" wrote for the late, lamented TCM Movie Morlocks blog. She also had the joy of introducing a movie with Robert Osborne on TCM in 2012, TOUCHEZ PAS AU GRISBI (1954).

Moira was a brilliant writer, not just at Movie Morlocks but at her own blog The Skeins (formerly Skeins of Thought). She was also a key moderator at the Silver Screen Oasis, where there is a short thread about her passing.

The links I've shared here over the years to Moira's Movie Morlocks columns went dead when the site shut down, but she transferred at least some of the articles over to The Skeins. I encourage my fellow classic film fans to spend time there delving into her wonderful writing.

I was always delighted when Moira commented on a movie here at my own blog, as she was always so thoughtful and supportive, and her enthusiasm was contagious.

Her writing on the relatively unknown EMBRACEABLE YOU (1948) a dozen years ago is a marvelous example of her ability to capture a film in writing and make the viewer want to see it.

My friend Jane reminded me today of Moira's wonderful 2010 essay on Joel McCrea and Frances Dee. I was particularly glad to revisit it as one of the kind things Moira did for me was send me a copy of Joel and Frances in THE SILVER CORD (1933), many years before it was shown on TCM.

She also provided me copies of rarities such as THE MACOMBER AFFAIR (1947), THE SAXON CHARM (1948), and more. They simply appeared in my mailbox out of the blue, and it was like Christmas!

Moira was a sporadic Twitter user and has not been a regular commenter here for some time, but we periodically corresponded via email or snail mail over the years. Not having heard from her in quite a while, I had been thinking recently that I should drop her a letter and say hello...

This has been a sad month, with Moira's death closely following the unexpected passing of Terry Teachout. I admired both of them greatly, appreciated their recommendations, and loved "talking movies" with each of them. Moira, like Terry, leaves behind so many people whose lives she has touched positively, including my own.

She will be greatly missed.


Blogger SimpleGifts said...

Thank you, Laura, for the lovely tribute. Gina "Moira" will be so missed. Jane

12:37 AM  
Blogger Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Moira was a brilliant, wonderful writer and her passing is a great loss to our classic film community. Thanks for the tribute to her.

9:01 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you both so much, Jane and Jacqueline, for joining me in remembering and celebrating the wonderful Moira.

She will be greatly missed.

Best wishes,

9:31 AM  
Blogger Will McKinley said...

Thanks for this lovely remembrance, Laura.

10:34 AM  
Anonymous Colin McGuigan said...

This is sad news. Ours is a small community and the loss of a prominent member, even one I have to admit I only knew through her writings, is felt all the more deeply. That's a nice tribute you put up.


1:39 PM  
Blogger Vienna said...

I followed Moira on the wonderful Silver Screen Oasis. Wonderful writer. I still miss the Oasis not being an active site any more. It really does have everything you could ever want in a film website.

1:12 AM  
Blogger Margot Shelby said...

This is sad news indeed.

On a completely unrelated note, does anybody know if the Noir of the Week site is defunct? It doesn't seem to be functioning anymore.

11:28 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

I really appreciate each of you sharing your appreciation of Moira. She was special and we will all miss her.

Margot, I would be interested to know about Noir of the Week as well. I just see posters at that page now, but nothing happens when I click on them. I've been thinking for a while that I needed to do an update on my blog roll and check for issues like that. I hope at least archives will be left up.

Thank you all again for your touching remembrances of "Moira Finnie."

Best wishes,

6:58 PM  

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