Thursday, 11 December 2014

Superheroathonic: Margaret Rutherford (Miss Marple No.1)

 Margaret Rutherford's life is one of those that you immediately exclaim 'oh WOW'.  It's unbelievable  that she survived to become a force of nature in her own right.

Margaret Rutherford (1892 - 1972) is probably best know for her film role as the very first Miss Marple.  Here's a great bunch of trailers of the Miss Marple films.  Margaret in a nutshell.  Agatha Christie actually dedicated one of her books to Margaret Rutherford as Miss Marple!!!

Margaret Rutherford (1892 - 1972) is probably best know for her film role as the very first Miss Marple.

As Miss Marple she insisted on wearing her own clothes and refused to be in the films unless her very shy husband, Stringer Davis, performed too.  She married Davis when she was 53yo (waiting 15 years for his mother to die as she disapproved of Margaret), and played Miss Marple in her 70's.  What really gets me, and makes me admire her even more, is her sprightly and forthright manner in the films, and would you believe, canters along on a horse side saddle!  What a bloody trojan.  70 years old!

Before we get on to Margaret's incredible life, here's a little about her very close marriage:

Davis adored Rutherford, with one friend noting: "For him she was not only a great talent but, above all, a beauty."  (Quote from Wikipedia)

In 1963 Margaret Rutherford won an Academy award, a Golden Globe "The VIPs" also starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.  Disappointingly, Peter Ustinov collects the award for Margaret, I've actually got no idea why...

Anyway, here's her stunning personal life.  What a lady that embodies the old British saying 'stiff upper lip' and 'carry on'.

Her father was, at that time, from a renowned family and a well known journalist. One month after getting married, he had a nervous breakdown (now more generally understood to be post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD), and admitted into the 'nuthouse'.  At this time in London it was the Bethnal House Lunatic Asylum.  Yep, they really called it a 'lunatic asylum'.  Just the name is enough to send you running very, very fast in a diametrically opposed direction.  You feel like a bout of impending lunacy just from the very title.

Released from the care of the asylum to his family in 1883 he than proceeded to murder his father, the Reverend Julius Benn. By bashing his head in with a chamber pot no less.  Then he proceeded to slash his own throat. with a pocket knife at a Inn in Derbyshire.  Guess the maid got a bit of a shock that morning.   Apparently the knife slashing wasn't too successful and he was once again commited to an asylum, this time the Broadmore Criminal Lunatic Asylum. Bet that wasn't too nice.  After a seven year sojourn at the asylum he was actually, believe it or not, released and reunited with his wife.  Bet that made her day.

To become somewhat incognito, her father William and his wife, moved to India.  When Margaret was three she was returned to live with her aunt in Wimbledon, London, after her pregnant mother hung herself from a tree.

She'd been told her father was dead, so imagine her (elated?) surprise that he wasn't in fact dead, when she was 12yo. He later died in Broadmore Hospital.

Not surprisingly enough, as an adult Margaret had bouts of anxiety and depression, fearing that her parent's mental illness might be hereditary.

All of this material has been Sourced from Wikipedia.
Here's another good source on Margaret:  British Film Institute screenonline

Collective Nounsathonic

I have a passion for saving collective nouns.  They're so curious and often pretty fabulous.

Please feel free to help me out.

I need more more more!!


Threat of courtiers (from the court of Henry VIII)
Murder of crows
Parliament of owls
Pod of dolphins
Flock of birds
Herd of cattle
Surfeit of skunks
A faire of fairies
A lick of lesbians (a friend came up with this one - fit for Oscar Wilde in wit value!) 
a congress of gorillas 
gaggle of geese 
swarm of bees
an army of caterpillars
pack of dogs
convocation of eagles
a mob of emus
a pride of lions
a bouquet of flowers
flock of sheep
a clowder of cats
a kindle of kittens


Sunday, 7 December 2014

Drollathonic: The Master of Droll

For pure quirkyness as the epitome of droll, is my favourite black & white actor, George Sanders (with Oscar Levant a close second).  In my opinion the best example of perfecting the droll is George Sanders' part in as Jack Favell in Daphne Du Maurier's 'Rebecca' with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier in 1940. George is perhaps best known for his award winning role as Supporting Actor for his part in 'All About Eve' with Bette Davis in 1950.

If your keen as mustard, the full movie is on YouTube

 Below is my absolutely favourite parts encapsulated already put up on YouTube by someone with impeccable taste:


He remained a master of the droll until his death in 1972 with this farewell note:

Dear World, I am leaving because I am bored. I feel I have lived long enough. I am leaving you with your worries in this sweet cesspool. Good luck.