Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Temple Tuesday: Uncle Lady and Now and Forever

Charlotte Granville played the wealthy Mrs. Crane in Shirley’s 1934 Paramount film “Now and Forever.” Not your typical Temple vehicle, it has a number of unsavory characters. Mrs. Crane takes a fancy to Shirley (as most of the older crusty characters in Temple films do) and wants to buy her from her father (Gary Cooper), a lazy get-rich-quick schemer who has recently taken custody of his daughter to spite to his father-in-law. Ick. Unlike most of the codgers that Shirley charms, this one never thaws. I affectionately refer to this very brusque character as “Uncle Lady.” Granville portrays her as all-business.

I could find very little about the British actress. She began her film career in 1917 with “The Red Woman” and was best known for “Werewolf of London” (1935). She was married to Major Robert Follett Muter Foster Millington Synge, the uncle of John Millington Synge, the Irish playwright. The two had one child together and were eventually divorced. She died on July 8, 1942 in Los Angeles at the age of 82.

And that’s about it for Charlotte. In other “Now and Forever” news, Melissa (aka “The Colonel”) recently came across this photo showing a deleted scene. Most likely it’s shortly before the ending of the film, when Penny’s (Shirley) father (Cooper) and his wife Toni (Carole Lombard) drop Penny off at the train station, giving up custody of the little girl to Mrs. Crane. Double ick.

Although Lombard and Temple are both wearing coats that cover their outfits, the hat Shirley wears is the same one Cooper has jokingly placed on his head in the deleted scene still.

The tie and jacket on Cooper matches on both, too.

While we’re on the subject of jackets: the blog Collecting Classic Hollywood reveals a blazer that Cooper wore in the film. It came from the widow of someone who worked with Cooper for many years.

Made of a sturdy wool, it wasn’t a studio or costume-company created piece. It's a one-of-a-kind made for Cooper exclusively by his tailor, Basil Durant. Durant began his career as a dancer; he later ran a tailoring business called Basil Inc. in Manhattan. His clients also included General Motors executive Harley Earl, the designer of the Chevrolet Corvette. A publicity shot from the film showing Cooper in the blazer:

Back to “Uncle Lady.” These two shots from the end of the film say it all. There is no heartfelt emotion or any kind of sympathy shown for Penny’s parents as the old dowager takes the kid away from them to board the train to Lord-knows-where.

One wonders what her plans for the curly-haired tyke are.

I think a call to Child Protective Services would have been a good idea.

See more Shirley Temple photos at my main website.

1 comment:

Fifthrider said...

A great piece, and a creepy custody battle over a child to be sure, but I'm still hung up on "Major Robert Follett Muter Foster Millington Synge."

Entire Monty Python routines have been written about shorter names.