Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bette Davis Ray Charles and Alfred Hitchcock-Paul Henreid Directs

A Direct Line to Paul Henreid

Now, Voyager Poster Movie Spanish
Bette Davis Gladys Cooper
Claude Rains Paul Henreid
Paul Henreid's birthday is January tenth. He was born January 10, 1908. Maybe best known for his roles in movies like Casablanca, Now Voyager, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Deception, Between Two Worlds and The Spanish Main, there's a lot more to his career than what he did in front of the camera.

You can celebrate by watching some of the films and TV shows that he directed.

He was one of a group of stars who went to Washington protesting the excesses of the House Committee on Un-American Activities. 

Mr. Henreid divulges in Ladies' Man: his autobiography, that his career was nearly destroyed by the anti-Communist blacklist.

He began another career directing films and television in the early 1950s. 

One of the films he directed is Dead Ringer (1964) starring Bette Davis. This was the second time Davis played twin sisters. The first was A Stolen Life in 1946.

Dead Ringer Movie poster (1964)
(Bette Davis)(Karl Malden)(Peter Lawford)(Philip Carey)(Jean Hagen)

It's never a good idea to murder your sister and try to take her place. Bad karma to say the least.
Dead Ringer Movie Poster (1964)
Bette Davis and a dog who knows something

Dead Ringer also stars Karl Malden, Peter Lawford, Philip Carey, Jean Hagen, George Macready, Estelle Winwood and George Chandler. The director's daughter, Monika had a minor role in the film as well.

Davis famously references her famous What a dump line from Beyond the Forest in Dead Ringer

This was filmed at the Greystone Mansion in Beverly Hills. The same family owns the Doheny Mansion where many films and television shows have been shot at this location including Spiderman and X-Men movies. Thanks to an anonymous commenter for this clarification.

The final film he directed was Ballad in Blue in 1964. The movie starred Ray Charles. While on tour in London, Charles visits a school for the blind and in the process befriends an eight-year-old fatherless blind boy named David. The movie is available to stream, rent or buy on DVD.

Others in the cast included Tom Bell, Mary Peach, Dawn Addams and young Piers Bishop as David. The Raelettes played themselves.

Ballad in Blue Original British Lobby Card
Ray Charles, Bumper Cars at Fun Fair

Ray Charles gives live renditions of his hit R&B songs including I Gotta Woman, What'd I Say, Hit The Road Jack, Hallelujah I Love Her So, and Let The Good Times Roll.

Ballad in Blue Lobby Cards

  At least one song, Light out of darkness, was written for the film.

Maybe you've seen Jamie Foxx in the biopic Ray and you've seen Charles himself in movies like The Blues Brothers? Well if you haven't seen it yet, you ought to see this one, too. That's what he'd say.

Paul Henreid and Burt Lancaster Original 8x10" Photo
Rope of Sand, proving to Mr. Hitchcock that Paul could be eerie

Alfred Hitchcock hired Henreid in 1955 despite the blacklist. I read that he went on to direct more than 80 episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents for television. Looking over one available list, I found at least 20 episodes that he directed including the Alfred Hitchcock Hour.

One famous episode, Out There - Darkness, Season 4, Episode 16, Aired January 25, 1959 and starred Bette Davis.

Mr. Henreid directed a variety of episodes throughout the 1950s and 60s, working with many different actors.

In The Last Escape with Keenan Wynn. A practical joke has a devastating effect on an adulterous spouse. Aired January 31, 1961.

Henreid also directed episodes of the popular TV shows Maverick, Bonanza and The Big Valley.

Related Pages of Interest:

Museum Touch Tours for the Visually Impaired 

Did she teach Paul Henreid to light 2 cigarettes at once? Now Voyager

Sammy Davis talks like Jimmy Stewart talks like Bette Davis  

The Doheny Mansion Films

Resources not cited above: The New York Times April 1992

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