Joan Rice

One of the main pleasures of ‘blogging’ is receiving feed-back from readers; otherwise it can get quite a lonely pursuit. Thankfully I do have some who continually leave messages of encouragement and often send information to help with research. Neil is without doubt an important member of my ‘merrie band’ and regularly submits some fantastic material.

Joan Rice with her son Michael in December 1953

Last week I posted a press photo of Joan Rice in 1953, taken shortly after the birth of her son Michael. But the date puzzled me because her pregnancy seemed to coincide with her filming of His Majesty O’Keefe with Burt Lancaster, which was released on 16th January 1954. Thankfully Neil was at hand to put me right and explained that His Majesty O’Keefe had been filmed two years earlier.

Joan Rice in 'His Majesty O'Keefe' in 1952
Neil said:

His Majesty O Keefe commenced filming in Yap, Fiji on July 21st 1952 and finished on 3rd November 1952 - this is from the Burt Lancaster book, Against Type.

I just wanted to reinforce what I have said before in that Joan Rice's major films were made between 30 April 1951 and 5 November 1952 which is such a short time span when we look back. There does seem to have been a long delay before His Majesty O Keefe was finished and released - in the book it says that Jack Warner of Warner Bros. has become increasingly irritated by Burt Lancaster and his partner at the time Harold Hecht, bringing in the films they produced well over budget.

His Majesty O Keefe cost 1.55 million dollars to make. Also The Crimson Pirate had been released a year or so before again a film that went over budget.”

Joan and David Green were married on Monday February 16th 1953 at Maidenhead Register Office and their son Michael was due to be born on Christmas Day, 1953, in London.

There will be more on the life of Joan Rice soon, in the meantime please click on the label below, for more information.


Clement of the Glen said...

Joan Rice and her newborn son Michael in December 1953

His Majesty O'Keefe (1954)

Anonymous said...

Hello, thank you for commenting on my blog!
I love Robin Hood, and am in love with the BBC series.
This Disney Robin Hood is my second favorite version, Joan Rice and Robert Todd are a great Marian and Robin.
But Lucy Griffiths and Jonas Armstrong are better, I think, although I did not like Marian up until the end of the last few episodes of season 1.
Will Scarlet is my favorite character in these shows, though.
Again, thanks for stopping by, and be sure and read the Gisbourne essay when I write it (soon!)

Alianore said...

It is lovely to receive feedback from readers, isn't it? Your feedback on my blog is always much appreciated, Clement. Thank you.

Neil said...

What a great colour film still of Joan Rice you have included and as before the colour and sharpness of the picture from 1954 is perfect.
I remember seeing His Majesty
O Keefe at the Odeon in St.Albans in I guess the summer of 1955.
Good memories.

Clement of the Glen said...

Thank you all for your comments.

I was pleased to read that the Disney Robin Hood is one of your favorites as although it has so many fine qualities, it was almost completely forgotten about.

I must confess to being disappointed with the recent BBC series.

I realise that to make a new version of the legend you have to compete with over 80 different interpretations but I think the BEEB tried too hard to be different.

But I'll pay your blog a visit and let you know what I thought were some of the positives and negatives.


Thank you for dropping by. Yes receiving comments from visitors does make it all worthwhile and although I get many returning readers only a handful ever leave a note.

I became fascinated with the reign of Edward II after reading the discoveries of Joseph Hunter who found a Robert Hood Porter of the King's Chamber during the 1320's. Not only that, but Edward made a tour of the Royal Forests shortly before Hood appeared in the King's accounts which match the 'Geste of Robyn Hode' almost perfectly. Oh! Yes and the king is not Richard but 'Comely Kyng Edwarde'!

So I shall visit your blog and website on Edward II on a regular basis and recommend it to all my readers.

Neil: It is interesting how certain films can bring back memories of our past rather like music. Not only that but inspire us, like The Story of Robin Hood set me off to research his legend.
11/10/2009 12:08 PM

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your other comment!
Yes, the clean-shaven thing was cool, although Jonas ARmstrong wasn't clean-shaven for long! =D
I thougth the kungfu was weird myself =D
But love everything else!

2dogs said...

am somewhat confused about your statement of Yap, Fiji. Do you mean it was filmed on Yap and in Fiji. Yap is a long way from Fiji and I would think in the 50's a logistical nightmare to film in both locations. It was my understanding from information I have read it was only filmed in Fiji? Can you clarify?

Clement of the Glen said...

Thanks for getting in touch 2Dogs.

Geography was never my stong point but in August 1952 Daily Variety news item described how an elaborate facility, possibly the largest outside of Hollywood at that time, was constructed by Warner Bros. on the Fijian Island of Viti Levu, where the film was shot. In addition, portions of the film were shot in the village of Goloa, where additional huts were erected by the studio.

A November 1952 Los Angeles Times article stated that Ratu Lala, the lineal descendant of Fijian kings, who is mentioned in the opening onscreen acknowledgments, assisted the production as liaison to the native Melanesians who served as extras and crew members.

On the map I have in front of me Viti Levu is described as being part of the Fiji Islands.