The Rose Tattoo

After an exam, I headed home, stopping to buy a burrito.  I sat down to watch “The Rose Tattoo,” the movie with Anna Magnani and Burt Lancaster.  The screenplay was by Tennessee Williams, who had Magnani in mind when he wrote it.  She had concerns about her English, and she is difficult to understand, but she did give American audiences something different to see on the screen.  She is Serafina Delle Rose.  She makes some money sewing, although I didn’t really see why people came to her with their shirts and such.  She has a daughter named Rosa who looks like one of the centerfold actors in one of Andy Sidaris’ movies.  The relationship between mother and daughter brought to mind “The Glass Menagerie.”  Rosa falls in love with a sailor.  I would say that Serafina was right in being skeptical about this person.  Burt Lancaster doesn’t have his first scene for a long time.  He is a truck driver named Alvaro, one of those high-spirited people who goes about life with an unusual openness.  I didn’t see Lancaster as fitting the role.  I’m not sure that Marlon Brando would have been quite right, either.  I thought Lancaster looked like he was trying very hard with his acting.  I feel fortunate that I have firsthand memories of Burt Lancaster’s late movies, like “Atlantic City” and “Local Hero.”  However, the star of the show is Magnani.  She shows fury, jealousy, pain, confusion, and many other emotions.  The movie was funnier than anything else I had seen from Tennessee Williams.  I saw “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” again not too long ago, and the only humor I can recall in it was the presence of the bratty kids.  The picture quality on the DVD was not the best, and there were no special features to speak of.  The movie did win three Academy Awards, which included Magnani’s Best Actress Oscar and a cinematography award.  Magnani was known for “Rome, Open City,” and she was a friend of Tennessee Williams.  Lancaster thought she was a great actress, and so did Helen Mirren.  IMDB said that she was known for her earthy, passionate, woman of the earth roles.  Her last film appearance was in “Fellini’s Roma,” and she died of pancreatic cancer in 1973 at age 65.  Director Daniel Mann went on to work on “I’ll Cry Tomorrow,” “Butterfield 8,” “Our Man Flint,” and “Willard.”  He died in 1991.  “The Rose Tattoo” was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture.  It had a feeling of an Italian film transplanted to the United States.  I never thought of “The Rose Tattoo” as one of the great films from a Tennessee Williams play, especially with Marlon Brando and Vivien Leigh in “A Streetcar Named Desire” out there, but it was memorable.  I liked it more than “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”  I read a little bit more about Erin Moran’s death and felt alarmed at my own health.  The cancer spread quickly.  At my age, I could go from symptoms to death in no time at all.  In reading about Anna Magnani, I saw that she was known as a hypochondriac.  I read about the football fans in St. Louis and San Diego losing their football teams.  They should get together with people in Oakland somehow.  I watched the Shirley Jones appearance on This is Your Life.  She should have suspected something when she and the Partridge Family had to go to a CBS studio when their show was on ABC.  Ralph Edwards mispronounced Danny Bonaduce’s name.  Susan Dey looked like she wasn’t jaded from fame yet.  I also watched Shirley’s appearance on The Rosie O’Donnell Show in which she gave a gift of a Partridge Family lunchbox to Rosie.  Shirley said it was the only lunchbox she had.  I had to buy my own through the Internet.  I didn’t want to think about Ann Coulter trying to make her speech and possibly setting off some kind of violent incident.  I did hear this morning that she cancelled her speech.  That was a wise decision, because I didn’t want to see someone throw a rock at her.  Some of the people who died on April 26 include Srinivasa Ramanujan (1920), Gypsy Rose Lee (1970), Irene Ryan (1973), Celia Johnson (1982), Count Basie (1984), Broderick Crawford (1986), Lucille Ball (1989), Hubert Selby (2004), Phoebe Snow (2011), George Jones (2013), and Jayne Meadows (2015).  Today is a birthday or Kevin James (52), Jet Li (54), and Carol Burnett (84).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for April 26, B.J. Thomas had the Number One single in 1975, “Somebody Done Somebody Wrong Song.”  In 1982, Rod Stewart was mugged in Los Angeles, with the thief getting away with his Porsche.  In 1986, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver were married.  In 1989, Lucille Ball died at age 77.

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