Thursday, September 24, 2015

You learn something new every day

Today is the last night of Susan Hayward's turn as TCM's Star of the Month, and they'll be showing several of her 1960s movies. Among the movies is Stolen Hours at 2:00 AM, which has the following blurb on the TCM schedule:

An American heiress with an incurable disease falls in love with her surgeon.

I thought to myself that the plot sounded familiar but surprisingly, it took a bit before it hit me: that sounds like a remake of Dark Victory! Sure enough it is a remake of the old Bette Davis chestnut, which is considered a classic but which isn't exactly my cup of tea. That's probably because to me it's one of those films which screams "chick flick", but not in a good way. I'd probably put it in the same category as To Each His Own. (Conversely, I've never had much of that problem with, say, Joan Crawford's Warner Bros. stuff.)

Supposedly Bette Davis didn't like the idea of a remake of Dark Victory, which is really quite silly on her part considering that the material is based on a stage play, so it's not as if her movie was particularly original. Davis and Hayward would go on to work together a year later in Where Love Has Gone, which you can catch tomorrow morning at 6:00 AM. From what I've read, the sparks flew between Davis and Hayward on the set of that one, albeit not to the level of Davis and Crawford making What Ever Happened to Baby Jane.

As for taking a while to spot that Stolen Hours was a remake of Dark Victory, I think that's in part because I was thinking of another pair of movies with a similar theme. Sentimental Journey, released in 1946, stars Maureen O'Hara as a woman who gets married and then, finding out she's dying, adopts a child to keep her husband company after she dies. This one was remade in 1958 as The Gift of Love starring Lauren Bacall and Robert Stack, and it was this remake I was thinking of when I saw Stolen Hours on the schedule.

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