Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Forgotten Movies: A MEMBER OF THE WEDDING
Based on the novel by Carson McCullers, this film details the tumultuous and difficult coming of age of a twelve year old girl (Harris) when she learns her brother is getting married and struggles to come to grips with it. Ethel Waters plays the woman who cares for her; Brandon De Wilde, her cousin.
For anyone who doubts the hysteria, the pain, the loneliness of teenage girls, this film (and novel) proves a point. For a certain type of girl, life needs to be extraordinary. Frankie was one and you can only hope she can find a way out of her town and into a wider world.
Harris was nearly thirty when she played this part. Some may say her performance is over the top, but if you read the book, as I am now, you will see she nailed it. Fred Zinneman directed this, a film produced Stanley Kramer failed to find any merit in. In fact, you can see from the poster above, how he tried to center a wedding rather than the real heart of the book.
This book and film is in the long tradition of Southern writers who feel melodrama is nothing to be ashamed of. You can see most or all of this film on you tube.
On another note, be sure to stop by B.V. Lawson's blog today and meet one of her characters. She has links to other writers undertaking the same challenge.