Thursday, November 11, 2010

Retro Lady Love: The Goldie Hawn Era

Though Goldie Hawn, much like her partner in life Kurt Russell, had first caught her big break working for Disney (they both appeared in The One And Only, Genuine, Original Family Band, 1968) It really wasn't until TV's Laugh-In (also 1968) until she really caught people's attention... among other things!

Her first feature film during her Laugh-In run was Cactus Flower (1969), and she was so memorable that she nabbed an Oscar Nomination for her Supporting role. Next up was There's A Girl In My Soup (1970), a latter Peter Sellers vehicle where she was the only real bright spot. $ (Dollars) (1971) was next and she was paired with star Warren Beatty. Butterflies Are Free came out in 1972, and I feel that was the movie where her sparkling performance shot it's way directly into moviegoers hearts. The Girl From Petrovka (1974) has over time become an obscure Romance (with Hal Holbrook!) and Steven Spielberg's The Sugarland Express (also 1974) showed she really had some dramatic range.  Hal Ashby's Shampoo (1975) was another great Hawn role, and she managed to stand out even with Lee Grant's powerhouse Oscar Winning performance. Hawn herself picked up a Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Thus begins the Golden Hawn golden era!

The Duchess And The Dirtwater Fox (1976) might not be the most memorable film in her canon, it's undeniably a Goldie Hawn picture. George Segal was the go-to guy in 70's films, but here he never had a chance. She really left him hanging!

Ah, Foul Play (1978)...  This is arguably the one that really started it all, but by 1978 Goldie Hawn's gift for comedy was already well honed. And it really comes alive here. The nuttiness and sheer joy of Foul Play will stay with you forever.

Private Benjamin (1980) was such an immeasurable success for Goldie Hawn. The film did boffo box office, she nabbed an Oscar Nomination for best actress and she become a real force to be reckoned with in Hollywood. But mostly, she made us all laugh and fall in love with her all over again. 

Seems Like Old Times (1980) was the second pairing of Goldie & Chevy Chase, and although they have great chemistry, this Neil Simon Picture somehow lacks the absolute fun of Foul Play. It's still pretty good. Wait, who's that chick on the poster?

Best Friends (1982) finds Goldie paired up with mega-star of the time, Burt Reynolds, in this romantic comedy-drama directed by Norman Jewison. Goldie gets to show both her funny and her acting chops in this low-key but entertaining film.

Goldie Hawn works with another great director in Swing Shift (1984) with Jonathan Demme, but also alongside her man, Kurt Russell. The actors are all dynamite here. Especially Goldie & Kurt. 

Protocol (1984) was probably Goldie's first real "vehicle" since Private Benjamin, and it's actually really fun. Who could resist her mega-cuteness... and high-waisted shorts?! Goldie Hawn grew up in Washington DC, and this film is a nice little homecoming for her.

Goldie Hawn + The Sports Movie = WildCats (1986) 
And the formula really works. Don't be too disturbed (excited) if you get to see a naked Goldie Hawn in a bathtub!

Overboard (1987) has Goldie re-teaming with Kurt Russell in this moderately successful comedy. It's a fun enough movie, though one that you may be already tired of... I remember this film getting such heavy TV and Cable play. I'm sure it's on right now...

Bird On A Wire (1990) was the inexplicable pairing of Goldie and Mel Gibson... It's an unbalanced mix of comedy and action with only some amusing moments. The poster art looks as if Goldie Hawn is being uncomfortably assaulted from behind by Mel Gibson, who himself looks like he just stepped off the set of Lethal Weapon 2... Which he probably just did.

Deceived (1991) marks Goldie Hawn's first and only real suspense thriller. And you know what, I really enjoyed this slick film. It may be of the junior Hitchcock variety, but it's very entertaining, well made and with Goldie as watchable as always.

CrissCross (1992) also has Goldie Hawn breaking away from the comedy a bit in this drama for yo momma flick. I wish I could remember more about it, but at least Goldie was trying to stretch as an actress.

Why did they take this long to pair these two up? HouseSitter (1992) finds Goldie and Steve Martin mining some Comedy gold. The film may be a bit genteel, but it's actually really funny and Goldie is really winning here. It's a movie I can probably watch over and over, and have anytime it's on.

Death Becomes Her (1992) marks the end of the Goldie Hawn golden era. I wasn't gaga over this Robert Zemeckis film when it came out, but have warmed up to it over the years. Mostly due to any of the scenes between Goldie and Meryl Streep as their character's hatred for each other outlives their demises.

 Goldie posed for the cover of playboy in 1985.
It was one of their highest selling issues.

A few years later, Goldie found some box office success in her next film, The First Wives Club (1996). That same year she worked with Woody Allen in the Comedy/Musical Everyone Says I Love You. Goldie Hawn directed her first and only film to date, Hope in 1997. She returned to comedy and paired with Steve Martin again with the tepid The Out-Of-Towners remake in 1999. Town & Country (2001) was next up. Her third film with Warren Beatty and a notorious train wreck of a movie. I didn't find it so awful but it certainly isn't all that good, either. And finally, her last role to date was in The Banger Sisters (2002) A totally fun and underrated comedy where she had excellent on-screen chemistry with co-star Susan Sarandon. Goldie Hawn rightfully nabbed her first Golden Globe nomination since 1983 (for Best Friends) for this one. It was also her ninth nod!

Goldie & Kurt at a Death Proof event

A lot like Cary Grant, Goldie (unofficially) retired from acting once her age started to catch up with her, and that's a pretty graceful exit. She seems happy with where she is right now and that's not a bad place to be at all (Though we wouldn't mind her returning to screens - in fact, please come back, Goldie!) And isn't her and Kurt Russell's the strongest Hollywood relationship like ever? And they aren't even officially married. Kudos to them!

We still have Goldie's wide range of fun Movies to watch. Some that can be played over and over, and others that might surprise us. Whether she was doing comedy or drama, she's always been a great performer, and your eyes, no matter where she is on the screen, go right to her. You've gotta love her.

 aww, aren't they cute?


Jinx said...

Oh, I love Goldie Hawn, she's just so impossibly cute and fabulous. And she reminds me of my mum. Wonderful post.

J.D. said...

Yeah, I've always dug Goldie and it's a shame that her daughter couldn't replicate her success. Kate Hudson seems to have done a fantastic job of pissing away all the good will she earned with ALMOST FAMOUS appearing lots of clunkers or appearing in interesting films but delivering lackluster performances.

Say what you will about some of Goldie's films but she was always watchable in them. I just saw THE BANGER SISTERS a few weeks ago and enjoyed it immensely. As you pointed out, she has great chemistry with Susan Sarandon and still demonstrates fantastic comedic timing. I really wish she'd work more.

Cinema Du Meep said...

Thanks, Jinx.

JD... Check out this alternate poster for Almost Famous. It might change your mind... or at least distract you!

Bad Ronald said...

I never thought that Goldie was a particularly great actress, but she had such personality that I loved to watch everything she did.

And her in that bikini on Laugh-In... I was just a little boy, then, but man did she make me all warm and fuzzy. I didn't know why, but I liked it.

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