Angela Lansbury shows us why she's a national treasure...
For anyone intrigued with knowing more about ANGELA LANSBURY and her career on stage, screen and television, this "Private Screenings" talk with Robert Osborne is like having a complete Oral History of what it was like to work under the studio contract system at MGM during Hollywood's "Golden Age." As she says, her career is compartmentalized because some fans only know her from TV's "Murder, She Wrote," others from the stage successes beginning with the outstanding "Mame," and still others are more familiar with her screen work in films ranging from "Gaslight" to "The Manchurian Candidate" and beyond.
She's a captivating guest, clearly the most articulate star and most realistic one in assessing her own career moves and what she regards as her regrets in not being able to land certain roles she knew she was right for. You have to be completely on her side when it comes to "Mame" (which went to over-aged Lucille Ball). Angela candidly admits that she wasn't considered a big enough name at the movie box office to carry a film, thus her rejection by the studio moguls.
Particularly striking are the generous use of film clips from her early MGM films, especially "The Harvey Girls" in which a very glamorized Angela sparkles in a singing role for which she was dubbed. And the talk about "State of the Union" gives an interesting look at how Tracy and Hepburn helped her land a sophisticated role in that film. Thereafter, she was always being cast in roles that required an older woman (such as mom to Laurence Harvey in "The Manchurian Candidate" when she was only a few years older than him).
Her insight on her own career is marvelous to behold. Clearly, this is one of the best "Private Screenings" Osborne has ever done with a star of Angela's magnitude.
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