Thursday, September 6, 2012

10 Classic Movies Starring Zsa Zsa Gabor

Glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor never became an A-list actress, but she certainly did find lasting celebrity. In recent years, her health problems and marriage to Prince Frederic von Anhalt have produced a fair amount of tabloid interest in the Hungarian-born Gabor, the middle of a trio of acting sisters that included older sister, Magda, and younger sister, Eva. Here are ten classic movies that provide a snapshot of Gabor's Hollywood career, beginning with the 1952 musical comedy, Lovely to Look At, and ending with the campy horror of Picture Mommy Dead (1966).

1. Lovely to Look At (1952)
2. We're Not Married (1952)
3. Moulin Rouge (1952)
4. Lili (1953)
5. 3 Ring Circus (1954)
6. Death of a Scoundrel (1956)
7. Touch of Evil (1958)
8. For the First Time (1959)
9. Boys' Night Out (1962)
10. Picture Mommy Dead (1966)

Spotlight films

The Headliner: Moulin Rouge (1952)
Dir. John Huston

This biopic about French painter Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec earned seven Oscar nominations in 1953 and won two. Jose Ferrer stars as the diminutive artist, while Gabor plays the famous can-can dancer, Jane Avril, who posed for some of Toulouse-Lautrec's most celebrated paintings. Moulin Rouge came early in Gabor's career, but it would be the most successful film in which she played a major role.

The Hidden Gem: Touch of Evil (1958)
Dir. Orson Welles

Welles' great noir thriller is not particularly obscure, but Gabor's performance is somewhat hidden because she appears only briefly as the owner of a strip club. She does, however, make her short stay memorable, and Welles' picture is an interesting place for Gabor to turn up, especially with costars like Marlene Dietrich, Charlton Heston, Janet Leigh, and Welles himself.

The Cult Classic: Picture Mommy Dead (1966)
Dir. Bert I. Gordon

I'm not even going to pretend to know what Gabor and Don Ameche are doing in a cheesy horror feature from Attack of the Puppet People (1958) director Bert I. Gordon, but if that doesn't count as a cult movie, nothing does. Gabor plays the dead mother of a girl whose release from an insane asylum only precipitates further horrors. Signe Hasso and Anna Lee also make appearances.

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