Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Woman who made "The Godfather"

Longwing started it.

For much of the past month he has been rummaging through his mother's family photos, publishing his mother and aunts photos of their late 60's, early 70's selves.

Beautiful preppy girls at the apogee of preppydom. Eye candy for men of a certain age. Ten, maybe 15 years before Longwing's birth.

For all his great shots, he has missed the most important icon of the era. Tomorrow's birthday girl. Alice Macgraw.

Ali had the misfortune of attending the Farrah Fawcett school of acting. She did other things, but is known for only one movie. It made her and broke her.

I read that book Christmas Day, 1970. I was in Air Force basic training, and a paperback was one of the few things from home we were allowed to keep. It was ages before I saw the movie. Thank goodness Jenny didn't survive to see the sequel.

Love Story producer Robert Evans fell for her instantly, and she quickly became his 3rd. wife. He pushed her to make a movie with Steve McQueen, which she didn't want to do. She and Steve were instantly inseparable. Ali became the love of Steve McQueen's life. They were oil and water.

Obviously, I don't know Ali, but do know several women who do. It's widely held that she is one of the most generous, kind hearted women you are ever likely to meet. She was and is gorgeous.

So how did she make "The Godfather"? Paramount Studios was weeks away from closing their doors forever when Ali's big movie was released for Christmas 1970. It made so much money, so quickly, Paramount stayed open. Production of the Godfather began in the spring of 1971, all because love means never having to say your sorry.

If you must know, however ungallant, look up her year of birth. I was stunned.



James said...

Damn Toad, now I shall spend the day thinking of no one else. Not such a bad thing,thanks.

nanc said...


Shelley said...

Oh, yes, Love Story. If I remember rightly, she brought back hopelessly uncool hats. I was so grateful that it was 'in' to be warm again.

longwing said...

Toad, friend. Thanks for the link. Dude, I was born in 1958.

It's been very long since I've seen either but my memory is that "Goodbye Columbus" is a much more watchable movie than "Love Story". It's a Phillip Roth story having McGraw play the rich preppy girl beside Richard Benjamin as the less well heeled boyfriend. Not a WASP tale at all, but very preppy I think.

Easy and Elegant Life said...

It was the disdain with which she branded him "preppy" that did it.

A fine birthday tribute from a gentleman of the first rank.

Main Line Sportsman said...

Her movie with McQueen,,,"The Getaway" was great...the re-make...not so much.
And the sequel...Oliver's Story...virtually unwatchable...but for Candice Bergen's beauty.

Old Trad said...

She was the girl of our dreams.

Sam said...

Great blog - will keep me musing all day. Thanks.

Mrs. Blandings said...

Ah. I loved Goodbye Columbus, but I love all of Roth. And, Toad, I think I read in a recent VF article that the screenplay came before the book. But I'm too lazy to google it.