Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day Matinee: The High Cost of Loving

Since the weather outside is frightful and my car is not acting so delightful, I decided to cuddle up on the sofa and find something on the DVR.  I have been recording some classics from TCM and other such channels. 

Today's pic is The High Cost of Loving. (1958) Middle-aged middle-manager Jim Fry, with the same company for fifteen years, is in a comfortable rut. But life becomes less predictable when he doesn't receive an invitation to an important luncheon being held by the new company president. Convinced that he's about to lose his job, Jim begins to mull over his limited prospects when his wife confirms that she's pregnant.

The film was billed as a comedy and it did have many funny moments,  but parts of it are far from comedic.  Jim and Jenny had been married for 9 years and were childless.  Jenny is anxious to have a baby and while waiting for the results of many pregnancy tests, she is discouraged by the first two coming up negative (I can relate to this...but it has only been one year for us). Another example of the "not so funny" parts is once he has come to the conclusion that he is indeed "getting the axe", the couple starts to think about their bills.  The list goes on and on....garbage disposal:  5 months worth of payments left, the deep freeze:  6 months left, the new Washer and Dryer he gave her 2 Christmases ago, the TV, Hi-fi, Divan, the 2 chairs that match, lamp, deep freeze....and the list went on. Many can relate to that kind of delima with today's economy and many job cuts. 

I enjoyed this movie and would like to watch it again.  I do not want to give too much of it away so I will just touch on a few of the actors.

Gena Rowlands as Jenny Fry was very fun to watch.  I have only seen Ms Rowlands in her more recent movies like  Something to Talk About, Hope Floats, and of course The Notebook.  She is not one I think of in classic movies, but that surely has changed.  She was absolutely beautiful.  She wore the fashions of the late 50's (in this movie) wonderfully, and that is something I enjoy seeing when watching a classic film, the costumes.  She is a very talented woman.  One could see the hurt in her eyes when her first two pregnancy tests came back negative.

The High Cost of Loving was Ms Rowlands first film.  She was better known, at the time, for stage and TV work.  Some of her roles on the small screen include the soap opera Peyton Place and Columbo.  Later, in the 80's, she appeared as First lady Betty Ford in The Better Ford Story.

Other movies I will be sure to look for staring Ms Rowlands are A Woman Under the Influence and Opening Night.  She received a Golden Globe for both.

Jim Backus as Mr Mason was amusing with his little sayings.  In one scene, as Jim Fry tried to get hired at his firm, he sputtered out a number of cute little "one liners" such as "driving with your hand off the wheel" and " don't mean to mow your lawn" and "punched the ticket when we had the chance" and "staking a claim worth mining" and "bonified as large print".  I just think talking like that is very funny.  We should try to pepper our convos with such little cuties.  One might better remember Jim Backus as Thursten Howell III from Gilligan's Island, although he is known for many many other roles.  It is said that he "was one of the few actors to do it all: radio, Broadway, movies, television and cartoons" by The Internet and Movie Database.

Of course the star of the film,  Jose Ferrer, was wonderful.  He had such a defeated look on his face for most of the movie.  He played the "confused about what I am going to do" man very well.  Mr. Ferrer Mr Ferrer was the first Hispanic actor to win an Academy Award.  The award was for Best Supporting Actor in  The Dauphin, Charles VII in Joan of Arc, he debut film.  He went on to star in many other films and won an Academy Award as well as a Golden Globe for Best Actor when he portrayed Cyrano de Bergerac.

Jose Ferrer was also a very accomplished stage actor.  When introducing the film on TCM the host, Robert Osborne, said that Mr. Ferrer had to be parcuaded to make the jump from stage to screen.

One fact, about Mr. Ferrer's life, that I found interesting was he was married to Rosemary Clooney.  She was his third wife and they had 5 children.

Ok, so all in all this was not a bad day stuck inside.  I enjoyed the movie and would recommend it to anyone who is stuck inside for the day or anyone just looking for a good classic movie to watch.

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