Saturday, June 30, 2012

50'S FOCUS : THE OPPOSITE SEX ... 1956...

MGM
Presents


THE OPPOSITE SEX 

Starring
JUNE ALLYSON as Kay Hilliard 
JOAN COLLINS as Crystal Allen 
DOLORES GRAY as Sylvia 
ANN SHERIDAN as Amanda 
ANN MILLER as Gloria 
LESLIE NIELSEN as Steven Hilliard 
JEFF RICHARDS as Buck Winston 
AGNES MOOREHEAD as Countess Grafin 
CHARLOTTE GREENWOOD as Lucy 
JOAN BLONDELL as Edith 
SAM LEVENE as Mike Parker 
BILL GODWIN as Howard Fowler 
ALICE PEARCE as Olga 
CAROLYN JONES as Pat 

Director of Photography - Robert Bronner         Music by George Stoll          New songs- Sammy Cahn  
     Screenplay by Fay & Michael Kahn           Adapted from  "The Women" by Claire Luce Booth
              Costumes by Helen Rose    Produced by Joe Pasternak    Directed by David Miller


MONTAGE OF SCENES



When Kay Hilliard discovers her loving husband is having an affair with a showgirl, she seeks a divorce and must gather her strength to regain her self esteem. But things are not that rosy between her ex and Crystal Allen. Kay decides to fight for the man she loves and with the help of a little gossip, innuendo and the glare of Jungle Red, we soon discover the bare facts about The Opposite Sex!!




(c)  1956  MGM ...  116 MINS ...  METROCOLOR.....


HELEN ROSE WITH DOLORES GRAY & LAUREN BACALL

THE GIRLS ARE SWAYED BY THE OPPOSITE SEX
CRYSTAL RINGS THE BURNS UNIT




KAY SEES JUNGLE RED WHILE CRYSTAL BATONS DOWN THE EARRINGS!


This glorious film from MGM, has an all star cast and is a remake of a 1939 Joan Crawford / Norma Shearer film called "The Women", based on a play by Clare Luce Booth. The original was a drama, while MGM decided to add musical numbers to this version and bill it as a musical. It was originally set to star Esther Williams, but she was not interested in the role, maybe the lack of a swimming pool put her off!! The role instead went to June Allyson, who was a favourite with fifties audiences.. Joan plays the role off the vixen Crystal, originally played by another J C , Joan Crawford. Of course much later in her career, Joan would become involved with another Crystal, albeit spelt differently! Carolyn Jones who plays Joan's roommate Pat in the film was living with Aaron Spelling at the time, he been another connection with Joan's later career success. Joan was under contract to Fox, but they were delighted with her performances, so they were more than happy to loan her out to MGM for this film. But glamorous as the finished production looks, it was not all heavenly on set. Joan had a few unpleasant incidents during shooting. Whilst shooting a bath scene, which took three days, she developed a reaction to the detergent they were using to create the bubble bath. This caused her to break out in a rash, which burned her skin... While shooting a confrontation scene where June's character Kay finds out Crystal is seeing her husband, June has to slap Joan across the face. Well June slapped Joan so hard that her earring fell off and Joan had a black eye for a few days. June ended up in a worse state than Joan, with the shock as she had not been instructed to do the scene properly. Between being burned by bubble bath and battered by a fifties sweetheart, the last straw was when Joan's ex-husband Maxwell Reed appeared on the Hollywood scene, as he had just opened a lawsuit against her, claiming she owed him over a thousand dollars a month in palimony. He charged her with cruelty and desertion in his superior court suit. He laughably said he had made her the success she was! She even had to deal with been served a summons on the set to appear in a Los Angeles court over the matter.. However Joan enjoyed making the film, even though there was endless costume fittings. The film is more famous for it's fabulous fashion parade, than anything else. The costumes by top MGM designer Helen Rose, who has two Oscars for her work and has been nominated on eight occasions, are sensational to look at.. The costumes have even influenced today's designers, most famously Isaac Mizrahi, who has commented that they had inspired him! The director David Miller was delighted with Joan's performance and was heard telling Joe Collins, Joan's dad that he thought she was the perfect actress, reliable, co-operative, always on time and wonderfully untempremental... I recently spoke to Leslie Neilsen , who liked Joan and has met her over the years, but he could not remember much about the film.  "The Opposite Sex" was nominated for Best Motion Picture Musical or Comedy at the 1957 Golden Globe Awards. Even though it got panned by critics and viewers alike, it still is a glorious film to watch, with a sparkling cast of legendary ladies, glorious costumes,not too great songs, but two out of three ain't bad!!
JOAN OFF SET WITH A DANCER FROM THE FILM..



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