Thursday, February 12, 2015

And This Blog Loves The Late, Great Lizabeth Scott

While writing an "R.I.P. Blog" is never this correspondent's preference, occasionally, we must note when one of the Last Hollywood Luminaries Standing leaves passes. In this case, we mourn outstanding actress and singer Lizabeth Scott. We'll start with this very nicely done tribute.

There have been quite a few super articles penned about Ms. Scott, who passed away at 92 on January 31. Particularly noteworthy: a well-researched piece on her life and career, Libeled Lady - Film Noir's Quicksilver Anti-Heroine: Lizabeth Scott by Anastasia Lin. This was posted on the Film Noir Foundation website, where one suspects there may be more first-rate essays on her incendiary film roles.

In this blog's recent tradition of zigzagging between classic movie comedians and film noir, then occasionally visiting the world of music, we are compelled to note that Lizabeth Scott excelled in ALL OF THE ABOVE. Comedy? Nailed it in Scared Stiff with Martin & Lewis and also worked very well with Abbott & Costello on episodes of The Colgate Comedy Hour. Music? No problem! She first sings in Dead Reckoning, with the sultriness one would expect.

While Ms. Scott did not go on to a long and prolific music career as songstress Julie London did, she made television appearances promoting her singles and albums in the 1950's.

Noir? As classic movie buffs know well, Lizabeth Scott was a powerful actress well known for her pivotal roles in noir masterpieces. No actress headlined more films in the genre.

There's the incredible I Walk Alone, which features Burt Lancaster, Kirk Douglas AND Lizabeth Scott. How do you cram THAT much explosive personality in one film? Ladies and gentlemen. . . that's noir and some darn good direction by Byron Haskin.

Was there something masterfully diabolical in her "don't you mess with me - EVER" roles? Er. . . uh. . . yes! In the aptly titled Too Late For Tears, she stars as a gal about whom a guy's first thought is, "sure, baby, I'll take that never-ending plunge into a pitch-black, unending abyss with you - natch! And the second thought, invariably too late for anyone's tears, is: "uh. . . thank you very much - think I'll take my chances with Hannibal Lecter instead!"

For more info, see the obits in The Guardian and The Hollywood Reporter, as well as, from The New York Times, Lizabeth Scott, Film Noir Siren, Dies At 92. In addition, Carole Langer conducted an eight part interview with Ms. Scott in 1996. Luke Sacher, the videographer, has posted the footage on YouTube; here is Part One.

Lizabeth Scott's mojo remained an almost unheard-of ability to excel in varied genres - dramas, noir thrillers, comedies, the Elvis Presley musical Loving You, at least one terrific western - on movies and television - and always bring focus and personality to the task.

Now let's sit back and enjoy an episode of The Colgate Comedy Hour with Abbott & Costello . . . and Lizabeth Scott.

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