25 thoughts on “WCW: Jean Simmons

  1. No Guys & Dolls? That’s how I remember Jean Simmons, as the Save-A-Soul sister. Also, she played Elizabeth Collins Stoddard / Naomi Collins (originated by Joan Bennett) in the 1991 TV remake of Dark Shadows. 1790 flashback!

  2. Guys and Dolls is not a frock flick, charming though she is as Sister Sarah. It was set in the same era during which it was made.

    1. I always think of it as earlier because of Damon Runyon’s stories, but I remember there’s a mention of television in a song lyric. And Adelaide gets to wear slacks!

      1. He was beautiful and there was just something…. palpably sexy about the whole thing. At the time, it chalked up to the scintillating chemistry between him and Rachel Ward, but maybe his true sexuality infused the portrayal of the tortured priest?

        Also, never forget the redoubtable Barbara Stanwick who also had the hots for the priest and was not above acting on that. This series is an 80’s Gem and I will die on this hill.

        1. Whenever I think about “Thorn Birds” I think: childhood! My mother and grandmother really loved this miniseries. Because of that, whenever I think of the notion of star-crossed lovers, I think of Thorn Birds, not Romeo and Juliet.

  3. Spartacus! I also love her in Young Bess, but i don’t love the film. I didn’t remember she was Olivier’s Ophelia and didn’t know she’d done Miss Havisham (which is almost like Hamlet for women actors nowadays). Not Frock Flicks, but she also appeared on Star Trek The Next Generation as a bigoted Starfleet admiral in apparel of 2367 and was the voice of old Sophie in the English dub of Howl’s Moving Castle.

  4. I loved her in Lean’s Great Expectations and always felt she could easily have played grown up Estella!

  5. Good grief, the lovely Ms. Simmons was born to wear the Classical/Neoclassical look.

    Also, is it just me or she remind one of Ms. Vivian Leigh?

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if her look, the pale brunette with the sharp eyes and dark, elegant brows got her cast as the acceptable Vivian Leigh alternate A LOT.

        (Who is Vivian Leigh? Get me Vivian Leigh! Get me a Vivian Leigh type! Get me a young Vivian Leigh! and lastly, who is Vivian Leigh?)

  6. So Long at the Fair has some lovely outfits. Plus it has the lovely Dirk Bogarde. And David Tomlinson (aka Mr. Banks in Mary Poppins) as her brother.

  7. I just finished Ian Carmichael’s autobiography, and at one point he and Donald Houston were going to do a project together, but Houston got an offer to star in “The Blue Lagoon” which he just couldn’t turn down. (He’s the blond in the pic with Jean Simmons.) Years later, Houston’s brother Glyn played Bunter to Carmichael’s Lord Peter Wimsey.

    1. Working with the lovely Jean Simmons on an equally lovely tropical beach would be an opportunity rather difficult to refuse (Especially if you get paid for the privilege!).

  8. Re “The Actress”–I have trouble imagining a young Jean Simmons growing up to be Ruth Gordon! Those two women (or at least their screen personas) couldn’t be less alike. Simmons was also married to “Young Bess” co-star Stewart Granger in the 1950’s, and during that time she was subjected to Weinstein-like treatment from Howard Hughes, who held her contract. Because she said No to Hughes, he did his best to sabotage her career.

  9. Thorn Birds was the Game of Thrones of its time.
    the zeitgeist loved it. In 20 years, the zeitgeist will stare at it blankly.

  10. Her version of The Blue Lagoon was a remake of an earlier silent film. It’s based on a novel published in, I think, 1908.

  11. I can’t imagine anyone not loving Jean Simmons: exquisite and a fine, underrated actress, from her youth through old age. But I didn’t realize she had played Miss Havisham; must find this.

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