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Garner is warm and natural in interview conducted by Robert Osborne...
JAMES GARNER may not enjoy doing interviews, but this one is well worth his while. He's articulate, relaxed, natural and frank in voicing what he acknowledges are his own opinions about a number of subjects that come up in connection with his successful career in films and television.
It must have been a relief for Robert Osborne to have such an articulate guest willing to talk about himself--as opposed to the very silent Robert Mitchum who clammed up during one of Osborne's "Private Screenings" with Mitchum and Jane Russell.
Garner obviously enjoyed working with stars like Julie Andrews, Doris Day, Audrey Hepburn and Shirley MacLaine and had respect for many of his male co-stars as well--including Steve McQueen and Marlon Brando. It was interesting to hear him tell how his career developed, beginning with lighter roles and becoming much more substantial and dramatic as the years went on.
He reveals that he was extremely lucky that his career got off to a start when a lady pulled out of a parking space and just in time for him to drive into the spot and pay a visit to Paul Gregory, a friend of his who happened to be an agent in the vicinity of the parking lot. He was signed to a job that same day and spent quite awhile on a stage version of "The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial." He had no lines in that stage version, but learned his craft because as an actor he had to react to all that was going on during the length of the play and appear to be hearing it all for the first time. He also relished the opportunity to be in the company of great stars like Henry Fonda, Lloyd Nolan and others.
Osborne runs through the gamut of Garner films that were popular during the '50s through the '70s and Garner is modest about his accomplishments. He said he enjoys the work (something a lot of us wish we could say about our jobs) and never cares about reviews once a film is finished, but goes on to the next project and the experience of working with professionals.
Definitely one of the better "Private Screenings."
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