Grace Kelly (1929–1982) is among the defining figures of our age. The key events of her life—a meteoric rise to fame in 1950s Hollywood and subsequent retirement from film, at age 26, to marry Rainier III, Prince of Monaco—constitute one of the twentieth-century’s real-life fairytales. But Kelly was also down-to-earth: an elegant, smart woman whose cultivation of a unique personal style continues to have a lasting impact on culture
Both literally and metaphorically, Grace Kelly was the cinema's fairy-tale princess; beautiful, elegant, and impossibly glamorous, she transcended the limits of Hollywood aristocracy to attain the power and glory of true royalty. Born November 12, 1929, in Philadelphia, PA, her father was a wealthy industrialist while her mother was a onetime cover girl. At the age of ten, she made her own theatrical debut in a Philadelphia-area production, and in her late teens she moved to New York, where she worked as a model while attending the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Alfred Hitchcock then enlisted Kelly's services for the brilliant REAR WINDOW; it was said that she was the perfect blonde the master director had been seeking throughout his career. She was now a major star, and when actress Jennifer Jones became unexpectedly pregnant, Paramount begged MGM to allow Kelly to take her place in 1954's THE COUNTRY GIRL. The studio initially refused, but she successfully battled for the role. The result was a Best Actress Oscar. Kelly then teamed with Hitchcock for the third and final time on 1955's TO CATCH A THIEF. While filming on the French Riviera, she met Prince Rainier III of Monaco, and the two began a romance which was soon making international headlines. After starring in 1956's HIGH SOCIETY, a musical update of The Philadelphia Story, and a remake of the onetime Lillian Gish vehicle THE SWAN, Kelly announced her pending marriage to Rainier. She also announced her retirement from filmmaking to devote her full energies to her new duties as Princess of Monaco.
Kelly’s life was among the most documented of all time. She may have been the most photographed woman of the last century, and has left us with copious letters of great charm as well as home movies shot with her own hand. What emerges is a figure sure in her own self-creation, fully aware of her iconic roles as movie star, bride and Princess.
USA. 1954. Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. 114 min. 35mm.
With: James Stewart, Grace Kelly and Raymond Burr. Original English version
Laid up with a broken leg, photojournalist L.B. Jeffries (James Stewart) is confined to his tiny, sweltering courtyard apartment. To pass the time between visits from his nurse (Thelma Ritter) and his fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), the binocular-wielding Jeffries stares through the rear window of his apartment at the goings-on in the other apartments around his courtyard. As he watches his neighbors, he assigns them such roles and character names as "Miss Torso" (Georgine Darcy), a professional dancer with a healthy social life or "Miss Lonelyhearts" (Judith Evelyn), a middle-aged woman who entertains nonexistent gentlemen callers. Of particular interest is seemingly mild-mannered travelling salesman Lars Thorwald (Raymond Burr), who is saddled with a nagging, invalid wife. One afternoon, Thorwald pulls down his window shade, and his wife's incessant bray comes to a sudden halt. Out of boredom, Jeffries casually concocts a scenario in which Thorwald has murdered his wife and disposed of the body in gruesome fashion. Trouble is, Jeffries' musings just might happen to be the truth.
THE COUNTRY GIRL
Saturday March 2nd 3:00pm, Sunday March 3rd 5:00pm
USA. 1954. Dir.: George Seaton. 104 min. Digital Projection.
With: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, William Holden. Original English version
Washed up singer/actor Frank Elgin has a chance to make a come-back when director Bernie Dodd offers him the leading role in his new musical. Frank however is very insecure, turns to alcohol and shuns even the smallest of responsibilities, leaving everything up to his wife Georgie who finds it harder and harder to cope with her husband's lack of spirit. Bernie tries to help Frank regain his self-confidence, believing that it is Georgie who's the cause of his insecurity.
BEST ACTRESS AT THE 1954 ACADEMY AWARDS
Saturday March 2nd 5:00pm, Monday March 4th 7:00pm, Thursday March 7th 7:00pm
USA. 1956. Dir.: Charles Vidor. 104 min. Digital Projection.
With: Grace Kelly, Louis Jourdan, Alec Guinness. Original English version
Princess Beatrice's days of enjoying the regal life are numbered unless her only daughter, Princess Alexandra, makes a good impression on a distant cousin when he pays a surprise visit to their palace. Prince Albert has searched all over Europe for a bride and he's bored by the whole courtship routine. He is more interested in the estate's dairy than Alexandra's rose garden. And then he starts playing football with the tutor and Alexandra's brothers. Invite the tutor to the ball that night and watch how gracefully Alexandra dances with him.
TO CATCH A THIEF
Saturday March 2nd 7:00pm, Sunday March 3rd 7:00pm, Tuesday March 5th 7:00pm
USA. 1955. Dir.: Alfred Hitchcock. Digital Projection. 105 min.
With: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly. Original English version
To Catch A Thief is a lush, entertaining comedy/thriller. Grant is John "The Cat" Robie, an American living on the French Riviera, now retired from being one of the world's most notorious burglars. When a rash of new burglaries happens in the area, Robie becomes the prime suspect. To clear his reformed name, Robie decides to try to nab the thief himself. Scoping out potential gigs, he encounters a rich American mother and daughter, the younger of which has her heart set on catching a man of her own. The stylish film's screenplay, by John Michael Hayes (in his second project with Hitchcock), was based on the novel of the same name by David Dodge. Hitchcock's film was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Color Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Color Costume Design (Edith Head), and its sole winning category - Best Color Cinematography (Robert Burks). The shooting of To Catch a Thief is an historical event since it was there that Grace Kelly met the Prince Rainier of Monaco for whom she later quit acting.
BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY AT THE 1955 ACADEMY AWARDS
Sunday March 3rd 3:00pm, Wednesday March 6th 7:00pm
USA. 1956. Dir.: Charles Walters. 111 min. Digital Projection.
With: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Louis Armstrong. Original English version with French subtitles
C.K. Dexter-Haven, a successful popular jazz musician, lives in a mansion near his ex-wife's Tracy Lord's family estate. She is on the verge of marrying a man blander and safer than Dex, who tries to win Tracy's heart again. Mike Connor, an undercover tabloid reporter, also falls for Tracy while covering the nuptials for Spy magazine. Tracy must choose between the three men as she discovers that "safe" can mean "deadly dull" when it comes to husbands and life.
NOMINATED FOR TWO 1956 ACADEMY AWARD: BEST SONG AND BEST MUSIC