Wednesday, December 23, 2009

a case of the woollies

I have a major woolly crush on Monty Woolley. The holidays just wouldn't be the same without him at the manor. He happens to be in two of my favorite holiday films, The Bishop's Wife and The Man Who Came to Dinner. Interestingly enough, Woolley plays two completely opposite characters in these two movies, and I love him as both.


I'm totally in love with him as the charming, tweedy, bearded Professor Wutheridge, so thoughtful and intelligent, in his cozy book laden apartment, full of bits of sculpture and a special hidden bottle of never ending sherry, that stimulates, warms, and inspires, but never inebriates. I want to help decorate his little table top tree with the angel on top, then sit by his fire, his lucky ancient Roman coin, warm in the palm of my hand, listening to him read excerpts from his history manuscripts.

I also adore him as the professor's total antithesis, the brilliant, sharp tongued, Sheridan Whiteside, who bruises everyone around him with witty, Groucho-like insults. I want to be his personal assistant, just like Bette Davis, and handle all his business affairs, straighten his tie, bring him his slippers and maybe even his
woolly socks. Sigh. I'm smitten.

56 comments:

  1. I have never even heard of him and his face is not familiar. Where do you find these people!? :)

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  2. me neither but he's pretty cute...

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  3. Willow: the true movie buff who knows well the character actors.

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  4. there is something about the turn of his smile and the twinkle in his eyes...

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  5. You mean I have competition? I thought I was the only one who was smitten! The Bishop's Wife is my favorite holiday film and I have seen it dozens of times.

    Well, I would like to be Bette Davis in any form...my favorite actress.

    Have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for a great year of posts...I don't always comment, but I ALWAYS read!

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  6. gosh he does look like a comforting fellow. I have never heard of him either and am not sure if I've see "The Bishop's Wife." But surely I have seen "The Man who came to Dinner." With K. Hepburn? Or am I confusing it with "Guess who's coming to Dinner."

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  7. Two excellent film choices, Willow. I'm astonsihed at how few films Monty Woolley made.

    "The Man Who Came To Dinner" should be complusory viewing.

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  8. I adore him in The Bishop's Wife, but actually can't even watch The Man Who Came to Dinner as I find him insufferable. I'm sure *you'd* be able to civilize him Willow! :)

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  9. I saw The Bishop's Wife for the first time only days ago. I can't believe I'd never seen this gem of a movie before. It's my sister's holiday favorite, and Christmas is not Christmas until she sees the film.

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  10. Hahaaa--I love both of those movies as well. This is a great photo of him here! It's mighty cold out here for us today--in the 20's, which for NC, is nippy. But we're snug inside-excepting that when we build a fire, we always crack a window near the fireplace and it helps keep the warm air from being pulled up into the fireplace...last night, we forgot to close that little cracked window, so it was chilly down here! We may just need another fire! Enjoy your movies.

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  11. The role of an academic wasn't too much of a stretch for Whoolley, a professor and lecturer at Yale before he threw it all up to become an actor.

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  12. It's funny, but someone asked me the other day if I thought I would ever get married again...I replied, only if I could marry a professor of archaeology that would read me poetry by the fire with a glass of sherry in hand...they said...ha, In Iowa...

    I can dream right!!!

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  13. Oh Willow, you are naughty! I know Mr Woolley's face and voice but couldn't recall seeing The Bishop's Wife, so I've looked it up on You Tube and there it is in several segments - which I'm hooked on!!! Isn't Cary Grant wonderful? I hope I won't be disturbed for a while! Happy viewing.

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  14. hi willow, monty's new to me and happily i have no films lined up for this evening so i'll be scouting down one of these flicks for my nightly flickering escape!!! have a lovely day at the manor. steven

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  15. Hi Suki, yes, you're confusing the two. "The Man Who Came to Dinner" was made in 1942 and stars Woolley and Bette Davis. It's very much in the style of Groucho Marx.

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  16. I guess I'll be content to watch him from afar.I can't compete with Betty Davis.

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  17. I've seen both of these...in fact The Man Who Came to Dinner was shown recently on TMC.

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  18. Your blog is very nice :) .I really like it !
    Merry X'mas !


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  19. For those of you who haven't seen either, I highly suggest "The Bishop's Wife", with Cary Grant and David Niven, for first viewing. It's at the top of my woolly socks holiday list!

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  20. Oh, I know. I adore him. Better to spend my days with the Professor than Mr. Whiteside though. All those blasted penguins!!

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  21. And who wouldn't be smitten!

    I'm veering away from Hugh Grant films this year in favor of watching only black and white movies. So I will check out your woolly crush!!

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  22. Yes, and I'm sure you'll recall Whiteside's opening line, which became famous:
    "I may vomit."

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  23. I feel exactly the same way, only about Sydney Greenstreet.

    "Christmas in Connecticut", "The Maltese Falcon", "Casablanca" - just to name a few places where you can see him.

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  24. Here we go again, Willow, fighting over a man. I must say, you have great taste. I've had a crush on Monty Woolley since -- oh, forever.

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  25. I love the Professor's apartment in The Bishop's Wife, too. It looks so cozy and the books...oh my.
    We just watched this last night and really enjoyed it again. I haven't seen The Man Who Came to Dinner, but will have to check it out. Love Betty Davis!

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  26. Willow ,
    I just saw that movie the other night.. They were all great.
    When I was a kid I had paper dolls and ANN SHERIDAN was one
    of them. Betty Grable.Rita Hayworth. We use to swap paper dolls. I kept mine in a phone book. With labels can you believe??
    The Bishops wife with Loretta Young??

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  27. I thought I'd seen a lot of old movies, but he is unfamiliar to me. What days those must have been before TV...

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  28. I'm not familiar with him either but my does he have you smitten:)...Looks kind and charming...

    After reading this and Bach's post on "The Bishop's Wife", I definitely need to watch this movie again.

    Merry Christmas to you Willow, and also to WT and the rest of your wonderful family!

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  29. Come on now, willow, snap out of it - there is Christmas dinner to be cooked! Have a lovely Christmas - here is wishing you all the very best season's greetings.

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  30. Oh, yes, Christmas dinner...

    I've got to stop floating around with my head in the woolly clouds and start thinking about that turkey and all the trimmings!

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  31. I always try to catch TMWCTD whenever it's on. Sheridan is the most absolute manipulator on earth,and perfected by Wooly! They did this as a revival on Bway a couple of years ago with Nathan Lane as Whiteside..imagine that!

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  32. Willow,
    He is superb as the professor in "The Bishop's Wife". LadyCat and I watched it last evening! One of our favs!
    Warmest Christmas Wishes to you and yours!
    Big Hugs xoxo
    The Bach

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  33. I'm with Otin. He is new to me, although I like the idea of sipping sherry! Season's Greetings Willow.

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  34. You know, he was mostly playing himself in many of his roles ... he came from a privileged family, had been a professor at Yale and he was irascible and sharped tongued ... his roles were not stretches for him.

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  35. willow, I thought I was a movie buff but if I've seen either of these it was long ago and far away. Thanks, I'll be looking them out now as a Christmas treat!

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  36. yes, one of my favorite Christmas movies. but i admit, i did not know this chap's name.

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  37. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas Willow! Thanks for the wooley sock collection!

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  38. HO HO HO! Merry Christmas from me and Otin!

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  39. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  40. Amazing, willow, I was just thinking today of him in both roles.

    TCM is showing The Man Who Came To Dinner Christmas morning.

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  41. Hi Willow,
    Thank you for continuing to enlighten me. I look forward to watching these movies in the order you have recommended.
    Have a wonderful Holiday and I wish you much peace and hope for 2010. Catherine

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  42. It’s that time of year again! I’m doing the rounds and apologising for my complete failure to more regularly offer comment on everybody’s incredible efforts for the year. I know how hard it can be to keep up with the daily grind of everyday posting, and want to thank you for your efforts.

    I especially want to wish festive greetings for all from down here at [nearly] the end of the world, the bottom of Tasmania.

    So, if you could delete whatever is not applicable, I’d like to wish you a very pleasant/merry/happy/wonderful/safe Amaterasu; Ashurall; Beiwe; Choimus; Christmas; Dazh Boh; Dongzhi; Goru; Hanukkah; Hogmanay; Junkanoo; Karachun; Koleda; Lenæa; Meán Geimhridh; Modranicht; New Years; Ras as-Sana; Rozhanitsa Feast; Şeva Zistanê; shōgatsu; Summer Solstice [if you're in the Southern Hemisphere]; Sviatki; Vánoce; Winter solstice [if you're in the Northern Hemisphere]; Yalda; Yule-tide; Ziemassvētki; and Коляда!

    With a hearty three cheers from Kris, Jen, Henry and Ezra!

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  43. Jeeze, 43 comments already? I guess I'll just take a number and get in line. Anyway, here's my comment, should you read down this far: I liked it. Very entertaining reading and for some weird reason, I can relate. He's quite appealing to me, too. But then, I'm desperate for male companionship. :>)

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  44. A Highland 'Nollaig Chridheil' tae ye an' yers, lass. Lizzy :)

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  45. And I reckon dear old Monty would be just as smitten with you too Willow. You would have made a very impressive team. They just don't make Monty's any more in Tinseltown, & more the pity for it.
    Millie ^_^

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  46. Wooley is great in both of those roles, & they're both fantastic holiday movies. I think Eberle & I have "The Bishop's Wife" on our list this year, probably for Christmas Day!

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  47. Oh yes, these are so very good. But it would not be this time of year without my annual 'It's a Wonderful Life' cry. Cheers to you this holiday, Willow! -Jayne

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  48. I'm certainly a lover of vintage film. The fact that Bette Davis was in it made me want to watch it. I'd have to say that he certainly 'stole' the film.

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  49. Thanks Willow, you just sent me on an exploration through YouTube and the internet to discover (remember) Monty Woolley. Happy holidays to you and your family. Stay warm!

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  50. It's Christmas Eve and I am stopping by Willow Manor with some freshly baked cinnamon-chocolate babka (an incredible bready/pastryish thing I discovered at Whole Foods... run don't walk to discover the non-virtual one if you can) and some mulling spices we can heat up on the stove with wine to wish you a very Happy Holidays and New Year!!!

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  51. PS: This reminds me, I bought the Bishop's wife a zillion years ago on DVD and haven't watched it yet. My husband chooses first Nat. Lampoons Christmas Story (and laughs as if we've NEVER EVER seen it before) followed by A Christmas Carol with Albert Finney, then I choose White Christmas, then he puts on It's a Wonderful Life and if I get another chance we do The Grinch or Elf... I never get to B.W. Will insist upon it tonight!

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  52. Awww...Willow, that is so utterly cute! hee. I just had to laugh. Well, I'm sure if he could, he's want you to as well!

    I know! Ask Wt to grow a bears and lounge in front of the fire for you , dressed in long robe, etc. I'm sure he would be all too please. :)

    Well, no fireplace here but I am actually wearing a robe myself, facing cleaning up the place from all my kids now unwrapped presents. It's quiet now and the kettle is calling my name.

    With that, let me wish you, Willow, and your fan, a very very happy Christmas, full of good cheer. you are loved adn appreciated here in blogland, as i'm sure you know. Thank you for enriching our blogging experience.

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  53. I just watched this movie today. What a wonderful day it is when the sun is shining, you have the day off and you get to watch such movies like this. That's So Shabby worked in the workshop and watched a few oldies like this one at the same time.
    Have a wonderful Christmas Day what is left of it. Happy New Year as well.
    I will be following your blog, won't you follow mine too please?

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  54. Apropos references to Monty Wooley. I particularly love "The Bishop's Wife" at Christmas. If I'm remembering correctly, there's a Claudette Colbert/Jennifer Jones WWII movie that takes place @ Christmas and I think he's in that too but I can never remember the title.

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  55. In 1972, IIRC, Orson Welles played Sheridan Whiteside on TV. I wish I had a copy of that version, but at least I have my copy of the original!

    @California Girl: BTW, the Jennifer Jones & Claudette Colbert film Woolley was in was 1944's Since You Went Away. I've never seen it, but it's got to be the Christmas one you mentioned, since all three were in it.

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Inject a few raisins of conversation into the tasteless dough of existence.
― O. Henry (and me)