Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Patricia Neal and Roald Dahl
What a neat couple! I've always admired Roald Dahl for his many literary achievements--did I mention he was the one who added the ever-so-creepy Child Catcher character to the original Chitty Chitty Bang Bang story? Dahl was co-writer of the screenplay--but I only came to really appreciate and notice Patricia Neal after a second viewing of the eerie but good film, Face in the Crowd, starring Andy Griffith. My mom mentioned that the two of them had been married, which I never knew...But boy, what an interesting pairing of famous people. I don't know enough about them to say this, but the fact that they had been a couple seems to make a lot of sense to me.
Patricia Neal has a unique look and essence to her, a little bit tomboy but feminine, not the usual Hollywood star glitter and glamour you find in other actresses of her era. She's darker, deeper, more raw and honest...qualities also found in Roald Dahl's writing. In Face in the Crowd she plays a woman who is visibly as powerful as--if not more powerful than--the men surrounding her. Her character clearly thinks for herself, makes her own choices, and is even aware of and forthcoming with her weaknesses.
I'd like to see more of her films. It's also about time I re-read some of Dahl's books, if not all of them. The Twits was always a favorite with me as a kid. Cornflakes in the beard. Ha.