After reviewing Something Borrowed, one of my readers noticed that I get roped into a lot of bad movies. He can’t say the same about this timeless masterpiece. A few months ago, I had the pleasure of hearing Ernest Borgnine review his movie career and speak about his “From Here To Eternity” experiences. Turner Classic Movies (TCM) was promoting their classic film festival. I didn’t know my wife and I were in for such a treat. Eager movie goers lined up at the Graumans Egyptian Theater braving the Hollywood traffic gridlock. Borgnine passed by as I snapped a pic. He was looking quite healthy and energetic at 94! A few autograph seekers wanted his John Hancock, but he politely waved them off.
Ernest Borgnine Recollects
He was in the service and when he returned home he didn’t know what to do. He didn’t want to work in the factories so he listened to his mom’s suggestion of using his personality and being an actor. The rest as they say is history. He spoke highly of all his co-stars. He recalled Montgomery Clift’s emotion filled eyes and how he taught himself to play the bugle. We all laughed out loud as Borgnine recalled being picked on by a bunch of Italians for making trouble to Frank Sinatra in the movie. Luckily he defused the tension with some beers and confessing that he was Italian, too. Sadly I recognize him more from his television roles (McHale’s Navy and Airwolf), but was eager to watch this Hollywood classic.
Dashing Leading Men
Clift and Burt Lancaster were both larger than life on the silver screen. They dominated every scene they were in. They commanded the men and made the women swoon with their courage, leadership, and charm. What more could you ask for from your leading men?
Beautiful Leading Women
Deborah Kerr and Donna Reed were the perfect counterparts to our heroes. Kerr the firey blond and Reed the mysterious brunette more than held their own. They were vulnerable, but strong and supported their men till the end.
I always imagined ole Blue Eyes (Frank Sinatra) a dashing leading man himself. It was odd as he played the scrawny clown in the film. But he did turn in a powerful performance and won a best supporting actor award in 1954.
Golden Age Of Film
Long story short, this was a romance drama that takes place just before Japan bombed Pearl Harbor. It had all my favorite cinematic elements, drama, suspense, romance, comedy, camaraderie, and the always popular emotional roller coaster. Perhaps it was the black and white format, but the movie just felt classical. The story played out like scenes from a play. The dialog was snappy and each performance leapt off the screen. I was blown away. After the movie, I couldn’t contain my excitement. I don’t recall any contemporary movie that moved me so. It was breath taking. If you haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a favor, and see what classic Hollywood movie making is all about.