Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Star of the Month Jean Simmons

TCM finally gets to its new star of the month for June, Jean Simmons. Simmons was born in the UK and started her flim career there, and it is with some of those early British movies that TCM is starting its salute to Jeam Simmons tonight.

The first of those movies is David Lean's 1946 version of Great Expectations, in which Simmons plays the young Estella. Estella, of course, is the young girl our protagonist Pip (John Mills playing Pip as an adult) falls in love with, although she's being raised by the spinster Miss Havisham to do everything she can to break men's hearts. This is a very well-made production, although it seems as if the British were always good at adapting Dickens to the big screen.

It's followed at 10:15 PM by Black Narcissus, a movie about a bunch of Anglican nuns (led by Deborah Kerr) who are on a mission in British India and occupy an old place in the Himalayas that has more of an effect on them than they realize. Simmons actually plays one of the locals here, not a nun. This movie was made in goregous color, directed by the other great British director of the 1940s, Michael Powell.

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