Behold Hollywood’s Greatest Sex Kitten!
She is one of America’s most accomplished Actresses, and has been nominated for a slew of awards…but she is also Hollywood’s most iconic sex kitten, and she worked with some of entertainment’s greatest stars!
She also starred in one of the wildest movies of the 70’s – and had one of film’s most infamous scenes!
Ummm….well, we will explain “the bean scene” in a moment! But first, a little bit of background on one of America’s most versatile actresses…
Ann-Margret is a Swedish-American actress, singer, and dancer who has been in some of the wildest movies ever made! She is an award-winning performer, with five Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards nominations, plus two Grammy Awards, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and six Emmy Awards!
After building up a string of movie roles and musicals in the 60’s, Margret stunned Hollywood with her honest, raw and naked portrayal in one of the 70’s greatest films, “Carnal Knowledge.”
This was one of the most controversial and acclaimed movies of its time, a “thought-provoking” comedy-drama from the late and legendary director Mike Nichols. “Carnal Knowledge” is a funny, poignant look at relationships as seen through the eyes of two friends over a 20-year period.
Here is the trailer:
Written by playwright Jules Feiffer, “Carnal Knowledge” stars Jack Nicholson, Ann-Margaret, Candice Bergen and pop music icon Arthur Garfunkel. Nicholson and Garfunkel are college roommates who share an endless fascination and obsession with women.
One of their “obsessions” is with Ann-Margret, who is terrific in this film – this film helped her graduate from the innocent sex kitten phase of her career, baring her soul and much much more…
Quite the provocative role for America’s sweetheart! This film established Margret as a formidable Actress – she won the Best Supporting Actress award at the 1972 Golden Globes, and was Oscar nominated for Best Supporting Actress as well!
This intense performance established her as a formidable Actress, but tragedy was soon to follow. On September 10, 1972, while performing in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, she fell 22 feet from an elevated platform to the stage and suffered injuries including a broken left arm, cheekbone and jawbone.
But Margret wouldn’t let this slow her down, and she came back from this serious injury to score her great motion picture success ever – another chance to work with Jack Nicholson as well as The Who!
“Do you think it’s alright To leave the boy with Cousin Kevin? Do you think it’s alright? There’s something ’bout him I Don’t really like. Do you think it’s alright?”
Well, even though the Actress sang this line beautifully, we all know that it was NOT ALRIGHT to leave Tommy alone with his cousin!
“Tommy” is one of the wildest musical ever made, with an incredible cast including Jack Nicholson, Roger Daltry, Oliver Reed and Margret. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress that year.
Bring On The Baked Beans!
“Tommy” is a brilliant take on The Who’s legendary story of the deaf, dumb and blind kid who plays a mean pinball. In the film’s most legendary sequence, Ann-Margret “swims” in a sea of baked beans that pour down on her….
The Actress largely improvised the infamous bean scene. Director Ken Russell told her that her character was having a nervous breakdown, and that she could do whatever she wanted – and this is what she did!
Unfortunately at one point during filming her hand accidentally struck the broken glass of the TV screen and Russell had to rush her to hospital for stitches.
“Tommy” is an amazing movie, and now out on blu-ray, so buy yourself a copy!
Here is some great trivia courtesy of IMDB: Ann-Margret learned her role by reading the script and listening to the original album by The Who. She recorded her singing part in a single eleven hour session!
So what a great career: two films with Jack Nicholson, PLUS working with The Who! Add to that a movie with John Wayne as well. But, did you know she got her start by working with THE KING!?
“Elvis Meets His Love Match!”
Yes, before her breakout role in “Carnal Knowledge”, Margret was Hollywood’s sex kitten, and nowhere she she turn up the heat more than with Elvis Presley!
In the 60’s, Elvis made a string of forgettable Hollywood musicals, but this one in 1964, right after she starred in “Bye Bye Birdie”, made her a star!
This is a wacky, goofy fun film, check out the trailer:
The plot of “Viva Las Vegas” is almost embarrassing, even by Elvis movie standards: “Race car driver Lucky Jackson goes to Las Vegas to earn money to pay for a new engine for his motor car. Working as a waiter, he still finds the time to court young Rusty Martin.”
The film included such dialogue as this, as Margret AKA Rusty Martin, stops in at a gas station and meets “The King” aka Lucky Jackson:
Rusty Martin: Can you help me please?
Lucky Jackson: Can we help you? Yes ma’am.
Rusty Martin: Can you check my motor, it whistles.
Lucky Jackson: I don’t blame it!
Ann-Margret recorded a duet with Elvis called “You’re the Boss”, but it was never used in the film. It was later released however…just one of a number of great songs she has recorded…
When the wedding scene was filmed, many tabloid magazines at time published photos of the “wedding” and suggested that Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret really had gotten married.
The Power Of Elvis!
“Viva Las Vegas” earned at the box office in 1964 than The Beatles! “A Hard Day’s Night” was also released in 1964 at the height of Beatlemania, but “Viva Las Vegas” grossed $9,442,967 compared to $6,165,000 for the Beatles’ debut feature!
There have been many legendary women in Hollywood who are going stronger than ever, like Mamie Van Doren!
Mamie Van Doren had an incredible career in film, and she is still very active on social media – check it out here:
Look for all of these films to really appreciate the talent of great Hollywood icons!
Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cult Movies, Film Noir, Golden Globes, Great Films, Hollywood, Independent Cinema, Los Angeles, Memoirs, Movies, Movies About Movies, Music, New York, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Uncategorized