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Monday, 22 August 2011

Box Set Monday #8: Debbie Reynolds

Today we have a "Box Set Monday" post from Amanda of A Noodle In a Haystack (isn't her blog name the best thing ever? :D ). She's writing about 6 of Debbie Reynolds' films (only one of which I've seen... *hangs head in shame*), hope you enjoy!

Singin’ in the Rain, 1952
Give a Girl a Break, 1953
The Catered Affair, 1956
The Gazebo, 1959
Tammy & the Bachelor, 1957
The Unsinkable Molly Brown, 1964

So you want to get to know Debbie Reynolds, eh? Good thing you came to an expert – Debbie is one of my favorites, and I’m never at loss when it comes to suggesting her movies. My only problem is limiting myself to just a few, so you can imagine how hard it’s been for me to pick only six of her movies to share with you guys today.

Singin’ in the Rain – Aside from being one of the greatest musicals ever made, this was also the first movie to shine the spotlight on Debbie. She had only been in five movies before Singin’ in the Rain, and always in a bit part – or portraying the sister of a bigger star. As Gene Kelly’s love interest, though, she was allowed to shine and show everyone just how talented she was – whether she was dancing, singing, or throwing pies at Jean Hagen.

Give a Girl a Break – I always say that this is one of the best musicals that no one ever talks about. Debbie is teamed with Bob Fosse this time: their scenes together are really adorable, and their musical numbers are of the kind that make you want to dance up and down the walls and onto the ceiling.

The Catered Affair – Debbie is always remembered for her bright comedic roles, and rightly so. She’s one of the funniest actresses I’ve ever seen. Sometimes we forget, though, that she could handle the dramatic parts, too. The Catered Affair is in black and white and has no splashy musicals numbers and no slapstick: it’s just an unassuming film about a New York cabbie (Ernest Borgnine), his wife (Bette Davis), and the effects that their daughter’s (Debbie) upcoming wedding has on their family. Debbie’s performance is more subdued than usual, and her scenes – especially the ones with Rod Taylor, who plays her fiancĂ© – are quietly effective and sweet.

The Gazebo – Glenn Ford’s character is the main focus of the movie, but Debbie holds her own quite well as his loving wife. Her comedic scenes are terribly funny, too – watch this movie if only to see Debbie try to dial a telephone with her nose!

Tammy & the Bachelor – Tammy may be a little on the corny side, but that doesn’t detract from its appeal. Debbie plays a girl who was raised on the Mississippi and has suddenly been transplanted to a large Southern plantation, where her frank manner and sweet temper helps heal old wounds in a family that was once wealthy but is now on the brink of poverty. It’s an old story, I know, but this is a great movie for a summer afternoon.

The Unsinkable Molly Brown – Last but not least, we have Debbie’s own personal favorite. For her performance as social climber Molly Brown, she received an Oscar nomination. Amazingly enough, Julie Andrews won for Mary Poppins. Whether she won or lost, however, is beside the point: Debbie is, as always, a joy to watch. She plays Molly all the way through from a backwoods gal to a lady of high society, showing us all the stumbling blocks and heartaches along the way.

Thanks, Sophie, for letting me share my love for Debbie Reynolds with your readers, and thanks to everybody who took the time to read this post. If you aren’t familiar with Debbie already, I hope you’ll take my advice and check out of couple of her films. You won’t regret it.
Amanda, thank you so much for writing such a smashing post for this week's "Box Set Monday"! It's been a pleasure having you! :)

If you would like to participate in "Box Set Monday", just let me know my leaving a comment (along with some way for me to contact you), drop me an email, tweet me etc. and we'll see what we can do! :)


  1. Great post! I love Debbie Reynolds! My brother actually gave me Give A Girl A Break as a birthday gift. Pretty awesome gift coming from a guy who says I'm really hard to buy for!

  2. I love these boxed-set posts, Sophie! I've seen all of these except for The Gazebo and Give a Girl a Break. I'd love to see them! Excellent summaries of these movies, Amanda!


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