About crimsonkay

A long time resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, Dan Akira Nishimura was born in Los Angeles where as a child, he saw the road show productions of Ben Hur, Spartacus and El Cid, thus launching his film viewing career. He is an essayist and correspondent for Noir City, the online magazine of the Film Noir Foundation.In that capacity, he’ll be part of the media pool at Hollywood’s Turner Classic Film Festival in April of this year.”

Grace Kelly in THE SWAN

The Third Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon

Welcome to the Third Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon, hosted by the Wonderful World of Cinema!

I watched The Swan (1956) for the first time. When I hear Grace Kelly, I immediately think of the her work with Alfred Hitchcock. The Swan isn’t on a par with those classics, but it does have several things to recommend it. Kelly and Louis Jourdan have good chemistry as the star-crossed almost lovers. Jourdan is Nicholas, the royal tutor, who’s treated like a servant. In a preview of things to come in her life, Kelly plays Alexandra, a princess. Alec Guinness, the third pick after Rex Harrison and Joseph Cotten, makes the most of a thankless role as Prince Albert, the hapless heir to the throne of a fictitious kingdom. There’s wide-screen Technicolor which highlights the period costumes by Helen Rose. Agnes Moorehead shows up late as Albert’s mother. It’s a light romantic comedy with a bittersweet ending that will probably please no one. For more on the making of the film and a detailed plot summary, visit Back to Golden Days curated by Cátia who wrote about The Swan for last year’s Royalty in Film blogathon. In the article, she writes:

Kelly met with Dory Schary, then head of production at MGM, and proposed the idea of making a film version of The Swan, with her reprising her television role. Schary said he would think about it and, shortly afterwards, presented the project to her agent, Jay Kanter, as if it were his own idea. In April 1955, Kelly signed the renewal of her option papers and agreed to return to Metro for The Swan, scheduled for production that autumn. Kelly found that she had a deep understanding of Alexandra — “a woman I thought I really had under my skin,” as she later said.

Kelly and Jourdan don’t sing but they do dance and fence.

Grace Kelly practices fencing with Director Charles Vidor as fencing master Jean Heremans looks on, just before the filming of MGM’s “The Swan” started.

Photo from Grace Film