Fade Out – Melvyn Douglas

Episode 29 - Actor Melvyn Douglas' GHOST STORY with special guest Illeana Douglas.

CONNECTICUT IN THE MOVIES - https://www.amazon.com/dp/149307573X

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6 responses to “Fade Out – Melvyn Douglas

  1. Gordon Douglas, Melvyn Douglas… will Kirk Douglas be the next subject?
    I’m only familiar with Melvyn Douglas from the supernatural thrillers The Changeling and Ghost Story, where he’s the target of vengeful ghosts.
    I’ll definitely be seeking out Mr Blandings Builds His Dreamhouse.
    Illeana Douglas’ book sounds like an entertaining Reed. I recently gave up my library of film books due to a move. Maybe it’s time to rebuild it.
    I’ve always wanted to ask her. In her guest appearance on Seinfeld, Ileana’s character goes ice skating with George Costanza. Do you suppose they traveled up to New Hampshire, to a certain frozen pond, hiding the corpse of a duplicitous weather girl, to ice skate there? I can’t be the only person who’s made that connection.

  2. I probably first became aware of Melvyn Douglas via Being There (1979) as I’m almost certain my mother took us to see that in the theatre. I especially recommend him in Hud (1963) opposite Paul Newman. I recently rewatched it & every moment in that film is spot on perfect. Mr. Blandings is another 1940s favorite.

    Ghost Story seemed to run on HBO a lot during the early 1980s so I definitely know I saw it. I’m not one for the horror genre, but I’ve always liked it.

    FYI I’ve been listening to the excellent BBC series In Our Time for the last several months. Its host Melvyn Bragg (a prominent UK broadcaster) was named after Melvyn Douglas.

    Finally, I’ve been to several TCM film festivals & Ileana Douglas has conducted several interviews with prominent stars & she knows her stuff. Although she won’t recall it, we met briefly on a TCM cruise several years ago. There was a reception & I was sitting alongside her, Robert Osborne, & Eva Marie Saint. It was a surreal experience!

  3. Nice ep. Melvyn Douglas is a recognizable but not household name from Hollywood’s Golden Age, but I’ve still managed to see about a dozen of his movies. Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House is not at all a favorite, but I loved hearing about its importance to North American society!

    I think my favorite movie he’s been in is 1962’s Billy Budd.

    Rob, you always get the classiest guests.

  4. Great episode Rob and really amazing guest. Kudos to you!
    Love the discussion about Connecticut being the dark suburbia. As a native New Englander, Connecticut has an image of being the place where the ultra-rich people who work in NY live. I never understood how the commute would work but there you go.

    As for the discussion about Melvyn Douglas, he is one of those faces that definitely appears on TCM with some regularity. Perhaps the craziest thing that was said in the show was when Illeana said Melvyn was always compared with William Powell. Because I have some sort of face blindness with the two of them and always have to look in the credits to see which one of them is in the movie I am watching. So weird!

    And how has there not been a ‘the curse of Ghost Story’ documentary given how many ‘last film’ tags this one has!

  5. Great episode! It was a real pleasure getting that behind the scenes perspective Illeana had, visiting the set with her grandfather. Earlier this summer my daughter and I watched The Changeling for the first time, and just days I ago I did the same with Ghost Story. I was genuinely creeped out and entertained by both, and of course Melvyn Douglas is wonderful in them. Probably due to the success of Gregory Peck in The Omen, there was a string of older, established actors appearing as leads in horror films at the time. Too bad this seemed to fade away as the 80s moved along, and we got more and more slasher content. It would have been nice to have had some more horror alternatives like this.

    I know some critics at the time felt Ghost Story was disjointed and hard to follow, but I didn’t get that. It does seem like there was quite a bit of the film left on the cutting room floor. I’d love to see an extended cut suface…much like a certain drowned car!

  6. Rob, I cottoned on to this one late, and I’m only a few minutes in, but I’m enjoying it. Great job getting another ringer guest! What a smart lady!

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