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Blunt, no nonsense Patricia Neal sat down with Robert Osborne in 2004
for this insightful interview about her career and turbulent private
All I can say is, what a woman and what an actress! Neal discusses her film work, her love affair with Gary Cooper, her marriage to Roald Dahl, the death of her daughter Olivia, her son's accident, her three strokes in the '60s, and her complete rehabilitation which was REMARKABLE. She mentions that she thought she drew attention to the physical disability of strokes - as my mother was in that field, I can say that she certainly did. Her rehabilitation also was an inspiration to many.
Neal makes no bones about her dislike for George Peppard, which I knew about from an interview I transcribed for a book on Audrey Hepburn. Brother, she couldn't stand him. This is why I love the interview - she pulls no punches.
Neal is sorely missed, but she left a fine legacy of movies. Too few, but they're there.
Robert Osborne sits down for an interview with Patricia Neal--the
courageous and talented star who had more than her share of ups and
downs during a tumultuous personal life and "reel life." She's
forthright and honest about her feelings and it makes for an
interesting interview. She begins by telling how she always wanted to
be an actress--and became one who based her acting on instinctive
She got glowing reviews for her early work and was soon being sought after by Hollywood studios. Her agent suggested she sign with Warner Bros. and one of the first stars she met was Gary Cooper, who made an indelible impression on her. After doing "John Loves Mary" with Ronald Reagan, she was cast opposite Cooper in a role she very much wanted to play, Dominique in "The Fountainhead." From then on, she had some interesting roles, but when Warner Bros. finally let her go, she returned to New York and the stage where she had success for awhile before returning again to films. She talks frankly about her well known affair with Gary Cooper and her final meeting with him.
In between, she mentions how she met her husband, the tragic death of two of her children and finally--as Robert Osborne called "the Greek tragedy phase of her life"--the series of strokes that left her unable to function well for a few years. Thanks to the help of her husband, she got through the ordeal and was pressured by him to return to film work.
It's quite a story and she comes across as a strong and honest woman who certainly had a story to tell.
Among the film clips are scenes from "The Day The Earth Stood Still," "Bright Leaf," "In Harm's Way," and "Breakfast at Tiffany's."
Private Screenings: Patricia Neal (2004)
*** 1/2 (out of 4)
Winning entry in TCM's series has host Robert Osbourne sitting down with Patricia Neal to discuss her Oscar-winning career and her various tragedies that struck her personal life. Films like HUD, BREAKFAST AT TIFFANY'S, JOHN LOVES MARY, THE FOUNTAINHEAD and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL among many others. We get to see some wonderful stories about the making of these movies as well as stories on Ronald Reagan, Paul Newman, John Wayne and of course Gary Cooper who she had an affair with while he was married. Neal doesn't shy away from this affair and goes into great detail about it and her feelings on it including the last time she saw Cooper and her relationship with his wife and kid. We also get to hear some very tragic moments that started in 1961 with Cooper dying and then the pain of her losing two kids to freak accidents only to then suffer from three near fatal strokes. Neal, as in her film roles, comes across so charming and tough that you can't help but feel all of her joy and pain as she tells these stories. Osbourne keeps things moving very well as usual and this ranks as one of the better entries in the series.
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