Jack Lemmon vs. Gay Director: Guess Who Won?

Categories: Film

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Screen icon Jack Lemmon was a genius, and thankfully his actor/musician son Chris Lemmon is keeping his unique voice alive.

Chris did his one-man show A Twist of Lemmon in a benefit performance at the Players Club last night, and I was there.

Among his anecdotes:


*The flaming George Cukor directed Jack in his first film, It Should Happen to You (1954), and after one energetic take of a scene, he said to the actor:

"Oh, gosh, Jackie, look at you go! It's really ducky, isn't it?

"But could you give me less, darling?"

Jack did less, but it wasn't enough for Cukor, who wanted even less.

This went on for a bunch more takes, after which Jack exasperatedly said, "If I gave you any less, I wouldn't be acting."

Replied Cukor, "Exactly!"


*Jack's "illegitimate brother" was his frequent co-star, the extremely dry Walter Matthau.

While shooting Buddy Buddy (1981), Matthau fell off a wooden plank, hit his head on the ground, and went unconscious.

Lemmon rushed to put a towel under his friend's head, cradle him, and ask, "Are you comfortable?"

Matthau half-opened his eyes and drolly replied, "I make a good living."


*Chris also loved his stepfather, Cliff Robertson, though he said Robertson instructed Chris to always introduce him to people as "Academy Award- and Emmy-winning Cliff Robertson"!


With Jack Lemmon, the honor and the glory spoke for themselves.

His favorite wisecrack, by the way, was "Go fuck yourself."

Once, when he and Chris were on a plane and it hit a bump, Jack opened his eyes, turned to Chris, and spat out, "Go fuck yourself," then went back to sleep.

I would have liked that guy.


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30 comments
Musto
Musto

My favorite movie is The April Fools with Jack Lemmon and Catherine Deneuve. It's a big, Hollywood-mod screwball fantasy, but it doesn't stretch credulity seeing as Jack was at his handsomest in that film.

Movielover
Movielover

Jack was enormously cute in his movies.  The Apartment, Good Neighbor Sam and others.  Not a drop dead stunner or a guy who would have a huge tool, but really-really cute!  Loved Cukor for all his incomparable movies he made, though reading about him, he might have been a little bit of a prig until all the (real) girls left the party.  I guess you had to walk a very fine line back then, even in Hollywood!

Timmmyk
Timmmyk

One of my Dad's best friends was Jack's roommate at Harvard - he said Jack just smiled and played the piano constantly. Sent a card every Christmas until he passed away, too.

Monsieurpatric
Monsieurpatric

A student at UCLA around 1960, I was driving my VW bug west on Santa Monica Boulevard and stopped at a red at the intersection of Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills.  To my right came a Silver Cloud to a graceful full stop.  I knew quite quickly it was Mr. Lemmon, holding a cigar out the driver's window.  We made eye contact.  He gave me a wink.  I swear.  Can't make it up.

Filmguy2058
Filmguy2058

...make that Sandy Dennis....in April Fools.....

Monsieurpatric
Monsieurpatric

Perhaps this community can make an appropriate fuss and have it released at last on DVD?  Just why's it bollocks'd and all?

Movielover
Movielover

I must see The April Fools!  Sounds marvy and smashing, as those mod folks might say!

Musto
Musto

Are you trying to correct me on my favorite movie??? Are you out of your mind??? Please shut the fuck up. Jack and Sandy were in The Out of Towners. Go away.

Musto
Musto

It also stars Myrna Loy, Charles Boyer, Jack Weston, Sally Kellerman, Peter Lawford, and Harvey Korman. And Dionne Warwick sings the theme song, by Burt Bacharach & Hal David. I rest my case.

Nommel Kcaj
Nommel Kcaj

Uh! Uuuh! Oh yeah baby! Harder!!! (fucking myself)

Loins
Loins

LOL. Some "Filmguy"!!

Ynnocence
Ynnocence

Yes, I was about to mention the theme song. They could write and sing real slow in those days, and still make it matter.

MSpeer
MSpeer

I loved Jack Weston in movie version of The Ritz. When he appeared in drag at the end I could've sworn it was my Aunt Helen.

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