So far March-in-March has been a wonderful success! I want to thank all of the contributors featured here on the site. We have a few more coming next week, including a post from yours truly, so stay tuned!
Those who are participating in the free-for-all event on your personal blogs today and tomorrow, please feel free to leave me a comment with a link to your post, or email me at sittinonabackyardfence (at)gmail(dot)com. I’ll get your post linked and added to the list below.
The very first Fredric March performance I saw was actually during the “William Holden phase” of my classic film self-education. The film was the 1954 corporate boardroom drama Executive Suite. March has a supporting role as Loren Shaw, the company’s fiscally conservative Controller. Shaw is difficult, obnoxious, and just downright infuritating. He’s simply unlikable. I hate to admit this, but I have a bad habit of disliking an actor if I hate the character portrayed. After watching Loren Shaw weasel his way to the top of the executive food chain, while attempting to discredit the beloved William Holden, I took it personally. “No one hurts my William Holden and gets away with it”, I thought. I’m ashamed to say it, but at that moment, Fredric March was added to the “I don’t like you” list. In all honesty, it is a testament to his acting prowess.
A few years later, TCM featured March during their annual Summer Under the Stars festival in August. I don’t know what possessed me to sit down and watch this actor I thought I loathed, but it doesn’t matter. What I do know is how I felt watching a master of his craft: simply awestruck. I watched every film TCM aired that day, with little reliance on my DVR. I immediately began searching for all of his films and slowly amassed a decent portion of his filmography. One thing I quickly realized about Fredric March is that he is largely forgotten today, despite his two Academy Awards, two Tony Awards for best actor, and a career that spanned half a century.
Although March is not remembered in mainstream pop culture like Humphrey Bogart, Cary Grant, or even Fred Astaire (remember when he and Stanley Donen choreographed that famous “vacuuming on the ceiling” number?), he is remembered by the classic film community. Not only is he remembered, but he is respected and adored. I discovered this through interactions with fellow classic film bloggers and my pals on Twitter. It was this shared admiration that inspired me to host an event honoring one of the greatest actors of the stage and screen.Throughout the rest of the month, The Fence is featuring essays on Fredric March and his films by bloggers I hold in the highest regard. The goal of March-in-March is to celebrate his life and career, encourage discussion, and inspire those who are not familiar with his work to give him a chance. March once said:
Stardom is just an uneasy seat on top of a tricky toboggan. Being a star is merely perching at the head of the downgrade. A competent featured player can last a lifetime. A star, a year or two. There’s all that agony of finding suitable stories, keeping in character, maintaining illusion. Then the undignified position of hanging on while your popularity is declining.
He might have not held much stock in stardom, but for me and all the wonderful people contributing to this event, Fredric March’s star still shines bright.
I will be back next week with thoughts on a couple of my favorite, lesser known March performances. In the meantime, I’ll be posting March-in-March related material, like trivia and photos, on Twitter. Follow me @biscuitkitten and join in on the discussion with the hashtag #MarchInMarch. If you’re interested in participating in the Free-for-All event, go here for information. Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for the new Kino International release of A Star is Born. Scheduled for tomorrow is an excellent analysis and review of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by my good friend Josh Mauthe.
The March-in-March blogathon will include 2 free-for-all days so that everyone can participate! Those days are scheduled for March 24-25th (Saturday and Sunday). On Saturday morning I will publish a post here and add your links as I receive them. All you have to do is give me a link to your article via email (sittinonabackyardfence (at) gmail (dot) com) or leave a comment on that post.
Please spread the word! I would love to have lots of submissions on the free-for-all day! If you’d like to contribute, just leave a comment below and I’ll add you to the list. And if you haven’t done so yet, please snag the banner for your blog! Stay tuned for more information, including a giveaway and how you can contribute via Tumblr!
I have a wonderful blog event scheduled for March 15-31st, featuring one of the true greats of the stage and screen: Fredric March. I am fortunate to have an outstanding group of bloggers signed on to contribute: