For years in the early 1990s Michelle Pfeiffer was attached to her own Georgia O'Keefe project with her then production company Via Rose Productions. See more »
The movie makes a big point about O'Keefe painting the ladies lounge at Radio City Music Hall. In fact, she acquiesced to Steiglitz and turned down the contract and did no planning or actual painting on the project. See more »
About a year ago, when the cast was announced for this film, much flurry was made about Henry Simmons playing the role of writer Jean Toomer, the third point in the crucial triangle that really led Georgia O'Keeffe to decide to stay away from Stieglitz.
Imagine the unexpected disappointment when in the broadcast film, Simmons as Toomer was stifled to not a single honest line of dialog! He is reduced to mention in an insane and inaccurate tirade by Stieglitz as "the Black Prince of Harlem" many decades before Malcolm X (to whom the epithet rightly belongs) was born. And these lines sound quite unworthy of a writer the caliber of Cristofer.
Not only was Toomer, a man of mixed race, hardly in Harlem, but he spent most of his life fighting against being classified as a "Negro writer." Then, even more surprisingly, scenes between O'Keeffe and Toomer show up on the Lifetime website and comprise the great majority of what was omitted from the final presentation -- scenes that could shed quite a different light on her choices about remaining in New Mexico.
Obviously, some effort was made to make Joan Allen and Jeremy Irons look like their historical subjects. Simmons does not look like Toomer at all. At least in the old American Playhouse version of the story Vernal Bagneris makes a credible representative.
Moreover, the finished quality of the omitted scenes belies a late cut. It would certainly be interesting to learn something more for the production record, even if not to abate the unanimous canning by the critics. Toomer's disappearing act is one of the major reasons the film failed.
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