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July 30, 1982 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1982-07-30

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Page 10-Friday, July 30, 1982-The Michigan Daily
William Powell turns
a crisp 90 years old

HOLLYWOOD (AP)- "I may be 90
years old, but I feel like 190," actor
William Powell grumbled Thursday as
he markedhis birthday.
The star of the Thin'Man series, Life
With Father, My Man Godfrey, The'
Great Ziegfield and a hundred other
movies spent the day quietly at the
Palm Springs desert home he shares
with his wife of 43 years, actress Diana
"Mousie" Lewis.
Speaking by telephone, Powell soun-
ded like the same crisp-spoken perfor-
mer who delighted film audiences for 35
years. His last movie was Mister
Roberts in 1955 with Henry Fonda and
Jack Lemmon.
"I feel all of 90," he remarked. "I
practically live indoors, but I do sit out

on the porch and yoo-hoo to people as
they go by."
"People are congratulating me, and
for what? For being alive? That's a
peculiar kind of achievement," he said.
"But I admit I was born on July 29, 1892,
in Pittsburgh, Pa."
His wife said the birthday would be
celebrated with her sister, Maxine
Lewis, and brother J.C. Lewis.
"Bill is just amazing, marvelous,"
said Mrs. Powell. "He has a hearing
difficulty and he doesn't get out of the
house. But he is in good spirits."
She added, "He watches television.
He reads a lot. He takes his own
shower. And he enjoys our two darling
dogs, a pug and a combination
Australian shepherd and collie that
someone threw in our bushes as a pup-
py six months ago."
Powell still has a clipped white
mustache and has defied the actuarial
tables that indicated he should have
been dead of cancer long ago.
Forty-five years ago, he refused an
operation for rectal cancer and instead
submitted to a colon bypass operation.
After six months of radiation treat-
ment, the cancer was cured and his
colon restored to normal.
"I was one of the lucky ones," Powell
said in an interview at his 75th birth-
day. "Fortunately for me, they caught
the cancer before it could spread
through the lymph glands and the
Mrs. Powell reported that her
husband had received a congratulatory
resolution from the Pennsylvania
Senate and a letter from the governor of
that state.
She said Powell also received "a
darling note" from his Thin Man co-
star, Myrna Loy, who lives in New

Daily Photo by DOUG McMAHON
Securely locked in place, a bicycle provides a circular frame for E. Liberty
'Offier& Gentleman'
full of tired clichesc

(Continued from Page 7)
Hackford. By downplaying Stewart's
monstrous cliches the cast and director
actually create some clever moments.
For instance, in one scene at a bar
when Zack is thinking about dumping
Paula, Gere and Winger are forced to
bandy lines like, "Zack don't do this to
yourself." To which comes the witty
reply, "But Paula, I know what I'm
doing. It's my life." Gere and Winger
are able, by underplaying the
melodrama of their Harlequin Roman-
ce script, to make their characters
sound like sincere lovers whose only
mistake is having watched one too
many episodes of "General Hospital."

... feels like 190

IN' * r

Unfortunately, these refreshing, un-
campy moments are rare and the film
is most often dominated by a script that
has all the originality of Texas In-
strument's solid-state circuit
Hackford's directing compliments
Gere's and Winger's sincerity, for he
too tries to down-play the melodrama
and thereby add a touch of true-to-life
pathos. In the dance scene when Zack
and Paula first meet, Hackford has the
background band playing "Tiea Yellow
Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree" and
The camera angles and movements
also remain cooly unobtrusive. No
Fellini here, but then any fancy
shooting wouldn't have meshed with
this Hollywood-style realism. Hackford
lets the actors carry the weight of the
audience's attention, using mostly still-
camera shots.
Hackford even takes care to make
sure the makeup jobs on the lead actors
don't turn them into an Ultra-bright
couple. In one of their love-making
scenes Gere and Winger actually look a
bit tussled after they've had a quick
gallop on the mattress.
One of the frightening things about
An Officer and a Gentleman is that it
joins last summer's Stripes and Taps in
glorifying the modern army, be it
through humor, or through selective
positioning of the white hats and the
black hats.
In An Officer and a Gentleman, the
black hats. rest upon a gang of long-
haired "peace-makers" who try to
chase Zack, Paula, and their two frien-
ds out of a bar, but Zack lets loose with
some streetwise karate that gives you a
morally righteous spinal tingle you
probably haven't felt since "Kung Fu"
taught late 19th century California the
merits of "inner peace."
So, if you think being, or marrying, a
Naval Aviation Officer is the zenith of
life, this is the movie for you.

On the Patio at the Michigan Union
Cover 75c beginning after 9:30

Records donated by Make Waves

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