Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Forgotten Movies: Daddy Long Legs

Circa 1949. Grandparents and cousin, Johnnie.



As much as I can remember this was the first movie I ever saw and I saw it with my grandparents. It seems a strange story now--nearly incestuous or pedophiliac--the story of a man who is the behind-the-scenes- guardian of a high school student and ends up romancing her. He offers to finance her education if she will write to him of her studies. When her education is complete they meed and eventually marry.

Could Fred Astaire really work as
a romantic figure for Leslie Caron? I need to see it again or reread the book.My grandfather was a sucker for musicals and that was probably why we saw it.  But watching Fred dance is always a pleasure and Leslie Caron specialized in parts like this--witness Gigi. The film was directed by Jean Negulesco, based on the book by Jean webster

16 comments:

George said...

Movies like this are a lost genre. My first movie was WAR OF THE WORLDS back in the Fifties.

Bill Crider said...

I saw this one. Don't remember much about it other than the title and the stars.

Margot Kinberg said...

Oh, my goodness, I haven't thought of this one in way too long!

Todd Mason said...

A real Will and Ariel Durant, only a slightly different kind of wrong.

A trophy Caron, Astaire as the Woody Allen of the day...

Todd Mason said...

Even the title itself gives a creep vibe, despite having an innocent (and accurate) dimension to go with the creepish one, then as now.

Anonymous said...

No, Fred was way too old and there was something creepy about it. Not quite as bad as Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON.


Jeff M.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Oh, yes. That one creeps me out as well. I wonder what the largest acceptable age gap is if the woman is under 21.

Anonymous said...

I happened to catch one of Dean Martin's Matt Helm movies the other day--Sharon Tate was his love interest. My kids (raised on Austin Powers) kept saying, "Is this supposed to be a joke?"

A few weeks back I also saw a Frederick March-Kim Novak movie with a May-December romance theme. I'd never heard if it before, can't remember now what it was called, but I thought it handled the subject pretty well--until the rather schmaltzy ending.

Deb

Deb said...

While we're at it, let's not forget "Breezy" with William Holden and Kay Lenz; directed, I believe, by Clint Eastwood.

The Kim Novak movie is called "Middle of the Night" and it had quite a talented cast:
http://m.imdb.com/title/tt0053065/

pattinase (abbott) said...

I just saw MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT too, thanks to Yvette Banek. Loved it. Very different movie although Kim didn't seem as young as she was. Never saw the Kay Lenz movie but I always liked her. And WH.

Todd Mason said...

The largest acceptable age gap is whatever the two adults like/accept, but one does have to wonder about Daddy Issues at anything around fifteen+ years...or Mommy issues, when the parties are reversed...as well as Peter Panning and whatever one might call such in women...

Sergio (Tipping My Fedora) said...

Astaire is so sexless as to make the age gap sort of acceptable though it's still a bit creepy - and I say this as a fan!

pattinase (abbott) said...

Although he is quite sexless, he's still odd enough to make it a bit creepy. I am certainly a fan of his dancing but romantically, it never worked. Sadly Hollywood thought ever musical had to feature a romance.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Fred met and fell in love with Robyn Smith, a young woman who shared his devotion to race horses (she was a jockey) late in life. Despite the 45-year age difference the two decided to marry in 1980. It was a very happy union, lasting the rest of his life.

Yvette said...

Patti, I talked about DADDY LONG LEGS last week. I wonder if that put it into your subconscious....or maybe it was just serendipity. :)

I didn't think the 'creep quotient' was that bad. Fred is ageless.

Kelly Robinson said...

I read the book, and it was just as creepy as you describe. The author is Dickens' granddaughter or somesuch.