Wednesday, February 25, 2015

You Stepped Out of a Dream: Madeleine Carroll

This is my entry in the Madeleine Carroll Blogathon hosted by the lovely ladies at Tales of the Easily Distracted and Silver Screenings. Click Here to read more about the beauteous Miss Madeleine.




Many years ago I had a friend named John. John was an elderly gentleman who grew up poor in the Bronx and became something of a self-made man, while he lived in obvious comfort, he loved to tell stories about his youth in the Bronx, growing up with many brothers and sisters and making do with very little. As we got to know one another better, we discovered that we shared a love of classic film, or, as we called them back then, old movies. He would sometimes call me in the middle of the day to try to stump me with a trivia question or to identify the name of an actor or actress whose name he couldn't remember.

Madeleine casts her spell
One of John's favorite movie stories to tell (and when he liked a story he told it many times) was about his first crush - Madeleine Carroll. John was very proud of his Irish heritage and never let anyone forget that Madeleine was a (half) Irish lass, herself. As a boy, the vision of love and romance that was Princess Flavia from 1937's "The Prisoner of Zenda" never left him and formed his image of a desirable woman.

Around this time I made my first trip to Hollywood. This was right before the days of EBay, so movie memorabilia was not so easy to come by if you didn't go out of your way for it. while diving through treasures at the Larry Edmunds Bookstore, I came across a press photo of Madeleine and knew it was something John would love. He was delighted and grateful and immediately found a place for her on his desk next to his wife and children and grandchildren. I was so happy that I could add a little Madeleine to his daily life.

Princess Flavia
This got me thinking of of how those first movie crushes shape our desires as we sail forth into the real world and into adulthood. In 1963 my Mom and I went to see "Charade" and forever after Audrey Hepburn has been my ideal of the woman I would like to be and Cary Grant as the man I wanted to love me.

The photo that sat on John's desk
So, here's to you, my old friend John. Thank you for sharing your story of your young love for this beautiful actress and how her perfect image always lingered in your dreams.

19 comments:

Caftan Woman said...

"This got me thinking of of how those first movie crushes shape our desires as we sail forth into the real world and into adulthood."

The day it struck me like a thunderbolt that I was falling for the guy I would marry (26 years and counting) the first thought that popped into my head was "He doesn't look anything like Randolph Scott!"

It was wonderful to hear about your friendship with John and his devotion to that first lady love.

Rich said...

Now having seen ZENDA myself, I can totally see how your pal could fall for Carroll. Great choice of pic to give to him.

bunnybunclassicmovies.com said...

I love John's exquisite photo of Madeleine with the bare shoulders and long gloves. I want to be Claudia Cardinale or Janet Gaynor with Louis Jourdan as my man.
This was a very loving write-up on your friend John and his admiration for Madeleine.

DorianTB said...

Marsha, I loved your wonderful salute to dear Madeleine Carroll Carroll and your loving tribute to your friend John, who clearly was an remarkable man in his own right; you were a lucky man to have such a great friend! Thanks so much for sharing John's joy of movies with our Maddie!

Silver Screenings said...

What a wonderful tribute to Madeleine and to your friend, John. I could picture your excitement in the Larry Edmunds Bookstore (one of the best places on earth), as you stumbled on that photograph. You probably brought a tear to his eye – you nearly brought one to mine.

Thanks for joining our blogathon with this wonderful post. :)

Judy said...

That's a beautiful photo, and a lovely story too. Judy

said...

This was so beautiful! You wrote a wonderful tribute to both Madeleine and your friend John. You moved me deeply with your piece.
Kisses!

girlsdofilm said...

I just love hearing stories about how fans discovered stars or, in this case, how movies can bring individuals together. It's true that those you discover when you are young will always hold a special place in your heart, and it's impossible to shake off the connection.

FlickChick said...

Thank you, CW - it was fun remembering that time. Sadly, John is no longer with us.

FlickChick said...

Hi Rich - wasn't that photo beautiful? I was so excited when I found it.

FlickChick said...

Bunnybun - hmm... Louis Jourdan is a pretty amazing choice. SO much fun to dream and crush, isn't it?

FlickChick said...

Hi Dorian = thanks for co-hosting. Madeleine certainly deserves her own event!

FlickChick said...

Hi Ruth - I think I might have brought a little tear to his eye (he was a sentimental Irishman, after all). Thanks for co-hosting an awesome event!

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Judy - this story always goes with any mention of Madeleine.

FlickChick said...

Le - thanks you so much for your kind comment. I hold that story very close.

FlickChick said...

Girls - yes - those first crushes really do stake a claim in our hearts and minds.

Inge Gregusch said...

Lovely post, as always. Terrific story with gorgeous pics and photos. Love the magazine cover.

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Inge. Thanks to you I am hooked on magazine covers.

ClassicBecky said...

Forgive my tardiness, Marsha ... what a lovely story. I'm sure John has a special place in his heart for you. If somebody found something similar re Errol Flynn for me, I would feel the same way. Wait a minute, what am I talking about? You did some fantastic and funny cards on The Great Flynn that I treasure on my blog!