Remember When? ... Well, It Never happened: "Who are you going to believe, me, or your own eyes?

Author:Gehring, Wes D.
Position:ENTERTAINMENT - Movies

MARK TWAIN once observed, "The older I get the more clearly I remember tilings that never happened." He died approximately 15 years into the history of film (1910). While there probably was not an inkling of movie consideration in that quote, it still very much could be applied to cinema.

In "Wall Street" (1987), for instance, Michael Douglas' character never says, "Greed is good." Instead, he states, "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good." Along the same lines, Humphrey Bogart never said, "Play it again, Sam" in "Casablanca" (1942). He actually tells his piano player (Dooley Wilson), "You played it for her [Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa]; you can play it for me! If she can stand it, I can! Play it!"

However, more than dialogue can be enhanced by the viewer's imagination. For example, in William Wyler's "Jezebel" (1938), Bette Davis, in the title role, plays Julie, a strong-willed Southern belle who manages to lose her love interest, Pres (Henry Fonda). Like most Hollywood actresses, Davis very much wanted the Scarlett O'Hara role in "Gone with the Wind" (1939). However, when it became clear that producer David Selznick was not going to cast her (Scarlett's selection was a drawn-out publicity ploy), Davis' home studio gave her "Jezebel" as a consolation prize. (Some consolation prize: she took home the Academy Award for Best Actress.)

The signature "Jezebel" scene is New Orleans' social event of the year, the Olympus Ball. Jezebel is engaged to Pres but, as an unmarried lady, tradition dictates she wear white. However, because she feels Fonda's character has not been showing her enough attention, she dons an all-red gown.

Once at the ball, she realizes it was a mistake, but Pres refuses to take her home. Instead, he forces her to dance with him and, as the floor gradually empties, he makes the orchestra continue as the couple dances alone. Fonda's character then leaves her and heads North. There are some melodramatic theatrics at the movie's close, but the money sequence is the couple's solo dance in the red dress. For years, people remembered that ruby-colored gown--but it was a black-and-white movie.

Another example is "From Here to Eternity" (1953), an adaptation of James Jones' novel about Army life in Hawaii shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Though its eight Oscars include one for Best Picture, the standout statuette is Frank Sinatra's Best Supporting Actor award.

The movie has many notable scenes, including one of cinema's...

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