Dina Merrill

Dina Merrill

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The Sundowners Review


Good
Deborah Kerr as Ida Carmody, an indomitable stick in the Australian outback, makes an impassioned plea for women living a nomadic existence in that spare country down under to the unhappy Jean Halstead (Dina Merrill), "This is good country for sheep and it's not bad for men. But it's hard on us women. The men come here because of the sheep and we come here because of the men and most of us finish up looking like the sheep -- wrinkled faces, knotty hair, not even much of our own minds." Jean replies, "I think you'll always have a mind of your own, Mrs. Carmody." She ain't kidding. Ida has to hold her own against her beer- and gambling-loving husband Paddy (Robert Mitchum), who as a sheep drover in 1920s Australia, keeps his family -- Ida and their teenage son Sean (Michael Anderson Jr.) -- moving with the sheep. Paddy is happy not being tied down, but Ida and Sean want a place to settle down and convince Paddy to take a job as a sheep-shearer in order to make a down payment on a farm. Paddy doesn't realize it though, and the struggle between Paddy, who wants to be free, and Ida, who wants a home, is the slender thread that ties Fred Zinnemann's The Sundowners together.

The Sundowners is a pleasant and happy film, marked by wonderful set pieces (a tremendous brush fire sequence, a sheep-shearing contest, a gambling scene, a tavern brawl) all set to a jaunty Dimitri Tiomkin score.

Continue reading: The Sundowners Review

Dina Merrill and Neil Simon - Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley New York City, USA - O'Neill Theater Center's Monte Cristo Award cocktail reception honoring Neil Simon at the Rainbow Room's Radio City Suite Monday 21st April 2008

Dina Merrill and Neil Simon
Dina Merrill and Neil Simon

Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill - Ted Hartley & Dina Merrill New York City, USA - 'The Ladies Who Sing Sondheim' Afterparty at the Marriott Marquis Hotel Monday 7th April 2008

Ted Hartley and Dina Merrill

Dina Merrill Monday 17th March 2008 Stella Adler School of Acting Benefit at Cipriani New York City, USA

Dina Merrill
Dina Merrill
Dina Merrill and Ted Hartley

Operation Petticoat Review


Very Good
Pleasantly light comedy has Cary Grant and Tony Curtis on a pink WWII-era submarine with five women who tend to screw everything up. How the sub gets pink and how the chicks get aboard is all the fun. Hilarious for its oh-so-taboo treatment of things like underwear. Watch for Gavin The Love Boat MacLeod in a small role.

Butterfield 8 Review


OK
What, you wanna see Liz Taylor as a call girl? Ya perv. Taylor's heralded performance as the archetypal hooker ("the slut of all time!") with a heart of gold is a bit overrated, it's Cat on a Hot Tin Roof all over again (which she made just two years prior) -- and that was a better movie, too. Laurence Harvey is more effective as the client she falls in love with -- alas, he's married and he's a cad, to boot. This leaves plenty of time for some Oscar-caliber waterworks, which is pretty much how Butterfield 8 shakes out.

The Young Savages Review


Good
Despite its pedigreed cast list, The Young Savages, John Frankenheimer's first feature film, is a relatively tepid affair, though it hints at a grittiness and edge that films that would come 10 years later would start to exhibit. The story involves a small juvenile Italian gang that murders a blind Puerto Rican boy, but Burt Lancaster's prosecutor isn't so sure the case is cut and dried. Interesting ponderation on racial tension, but far from classic.

Suture Review


Extraordinary
The sleeper of the early 1990s, Suture is one of those stylish thrillers that you never forget. Shot in black and white, it tells the relatively simple story of a pair of long-lost brothers, one of whom tries to kill the other in order to escape his past and steal the brother's identity. Everyone comments on how alike they look -- the conceit being that the two actors are as opposite in appearance as possible -- one is black and largish (Haysbert), one is white and thin. Stunning photography and a very clever script make Suture the best movie you've never seen. Highly recommended.

Desk Set Review


Good
She's a crack researcher at a publishing firm. He's a computer expert (well, a 1957 computer expert) that's tasked with implementing a system in her department. Together they're Hepburn and Tracy in what would be their second-to-last film together (the final movie being Guess Who's Coming to Dinner 10 years later). Desk Set is quaintly funny and has a few memorable moments -- namely since modern audiences will chuckle over the enormous "electronic brain" installed in the office, a computer that can do more than today's machines are able to do. The typical screwball comedy banter is less fun here than in many contemporaries -- and especially than in many of the duo's prior outings -- but it's ultimately harmless fun with a gossamer message about technology and gender roles.
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