Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Forgotten Movies: Bernice Bobs Her Hair




Read this story last week and remembered that a TV movie had been made of it--albeit not the best casting. Shelly Duvall was too odd an actress to play the typical Southern Belle and Veronica Cartwright was similarly poorly cast. Still it was faithful to the story of a cousin who takes her backwater cousin in hand in making her fit for society. Until she goes too far with her experiment and must be taught a lesson. Joan Mickin Silver directed it and some fine actors filled in the cast. Not a great movie but it captures the 1920s well.

Todd Mason will have more links right here.

15 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Patti - I remember reading this short story a million years ago! I liked it, too. Thanks for reminding me :-)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't it a PBS series that adapted some "classic" stories (American Playhouse, perhaps?) including this one, or is my memory faulty?

Just checked; it was PBS.

I must admit that I've never been a big fan of Duvall (though she did get to play the "role she was born to play" - Olive Oyl in POPEYE) and I agree she was miscast in this.


Jeff M.

Bill Crider said...

I remember this one. Was never a Duvall fan, and especially not in this one.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Yes. Olive Oyl was the role she was born to play. And she wasn't bad in that noirish movie-can't remember the title.

Al Tucher said...

I remember enjoying this one when it was new. Almost 40 years ago. Sigh.

George said...

I've never seen BERNICE BOBS HER HAIR but you've got me interested.

Anonymous said...

Patti, I'm guessing you mean Thieves Like Us. That was indeed a good one.

I also loved her small role in ANNIE HALL. She's the one who tells him "Sex with you is a Kafka-esque experience."


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

That was it and I would have remember that a few years ago.
I wouldn't buy this one. Maybe your library has it.
Hard to believe it was 40 years.

Todd Mason said...

Well, Jeff, this one actually wasn't an AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, it predated AP by some years. However, there was the usually-half-hour PBS series, THE AMERICAN SHORT STORY, that did a number of adaptations including this one, as you've discovered, including a credible version of Jackson's "The Lottery" (and repackaged the fine imported short film of "An Occurence at Owl Creek Bridge" which THE TWILIGHT ZONE had also offered up).

I particularly remember this production because Joan Micklin Silver's script was published in the classroom-use magazine SCHOLASTIC SCOPE at about the time of its first broadcast in 1976, and while I missed seeing it, I read the script and the short story, reprinted in that issue.

pattinase (abbott) said...

In Chapter 3. She's only mentioned once, and it's Jordan's aunt:

Jordan’s party were calling impatiently to her from the porch, but she lingered for a moment to shake hands.

“I’ve just heard the most amazing thing,” she whispered. “How long were we in there?”

“Why, about an hour.” “It was — simply amazing,” she repeated abstractedly. “But I swore I wouldn’t tell it and here I am tantalizing you.” She yawned gracefully in my face: “Please come and see me. . . . Phone book . . . Under the name of Mrs. Sigourney Howard . . . My aunt . . .” She was hurrying off as she talked — her brown hand waved a jaunty salute as she melted into her party at the door.

Todd Mason said...

I think you meant that last comment to go under the Weaver post?

pattinase (abbott) said...

Thanks!!

iluvcinema said...

To your point, this is when TV was more enriching than it is now. I never heard of this but I wager that I would prepare it over any of the the latest in reality programs which currently air on the majors.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Amen. I have never met a reality show I liked. They seem as scripted as real TV.

Sally Solipsist said...

Bernice Bobs Her Hair is based upon a short story? Later? Adapted into a play? Called: "Thoroughly Modern Millie". I read it in a highschool English/Lit/Writing class and we watched the Shelley Duvall movie you listed, too. I believe my teacher's (ex)? Hubby? hmmm...is one of your fave local writers...oh wait. Maybe I'm confusing you with someone else...