GREER GARSON: PART 3

Mr. Mayer, who had allowed his protege to languish for almost a year, credited himself with discovering Greer Garson. The original contract had ended, and he was not about to let her get away. Again, he played up to Greer and her mother, and convinced this great new actress to sign a second contract and stay at MGM.

1remREMEMBER? (1939) with Robert Taylor & Lew Ayres

In order to capitalize upon her success (and Oscar nomination) in GOODBYE, MR. CHIPS, the studio rushed Greer into a movie that was not best suited to her talents. She performed admirably in the farce REMEMBER?, despite a far-fetched script.

This was the first of two pictures that Greer made with the studio’s hot male star, Robert Taylor. Norman Z. McLeod was the director of this story about a couple that gets amnesia and conveniently forgets they had fallen out of love. REMEMBER? did not do well at the box office. Greer voiced her apprehensions about the project before filming took place but was coaxed into doing it.

th-6PRIDE AND PREJUDICE (1940) with Laurence Olivier & Mary Boland

MGM intended to star Norma Shearer in this picture with Clark Gable. When those plans fell through, Laurence Olivier was cast, and word reached Louis B. Mayer that Vivien Leigh was desperate to costar with Olivier in Mayer’s high-polish adaptation of Jane Austen’s novel. However, the studio boss decided that this vehicle was perfect for Greer, who was already becoming typecast in genteel parts.

Greer plays one of five husband-hunting sisters in the story, and the film performed very well at the box office. The project marked the only time that Greer worked with Laurence Olivier on screen. However, they had previously done stage work together back in England. In fact, Olivier was the one who helped her get her first lead role on the London stage.

Tomorrow: Greer’s first film in Technicolor…

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