My favorite of her films is the superb psychological thriller The Innocents (the right clip). When I attended a screening of The King and I in New York several years ago, the singer Marni Nixon — who dubbed Kerr in the musical (and in An Affair to Remember, the left clip) — noted how gracious Kerr was to her. The studio wanted the public to believe Kerr was actually singing, but she was forthright with the press about Nixon's contribution. The two worked hand-in-hand, studying each others physicalities and inflections, to create a believable facade. This speaks of her professionalism and her humanity, which were coiled inside an alabaster beauty (note her most famous scene, in From Here to Eternity in the middle) and unfurled slowly over a grand, concentrated career.
"I have never had a fight with any director, good or bad," she said toward the end of her career (via the AP). "There is a way around everything if you are smart enough." She also told the AP that TV reruns of her old movies have "kept me alive" for a new generation of film fans.
Cannes winds down. What's winning the Palme?
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