Welcoming a guest post from Silver Screenings…
Ruth Kerr from Silver Screenings tells you more about Christopher Plummer’s knitwear in International Velvet (1978).
International Velvet (1978) Official Trailer – Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Plummer Horse Movie HD, Rotten Tomatoes Classic Trailers AND PHOTOS © METRO-GOLDWYN-MAYER.
Flashback to 2016, a time when I had just started my blog and only knew about 1 or 2 film bloggers. That all changed after seeing a post on the lovely Ruth’s blog Silver Screenings advertising a blogathon. Back then I didn’t know diddly squat about blogathons, so reading more, I was instantly hooked on its premise…
The mission of this blogathon was to write about a movie or TV villain, and my pitch was then accepted. I contributed my post on Die Hard (1988) with my chosen villain, Alan Rickman’s Hans Gruber.. and the rest as they say is history. So thanks to Ruth and her blogathon buddies for welcoming me to the blogging community!
Ruth and I have entered each other’s blogathons regularly since then. Ruth’s review includes these topics, for starters… featuring Wilhelm Screams, Odd or Even years and US Marines. She’s also joined me for blogathons featuring Christopher Lee, Vincent Price, Pop Stars and James Garner, and these are just to name just a few. So just look up “Silver Screenings” in the search bar to find all the links to her sterling entries, and details on her blogathons and read her supportive comments.
It was James Garner that we bonded over in yet another and more random way. For Ruth’s splendid tribute to him for her (really missed) Reel infatuation Blogathon, I spotted her accompanying picture from The Great Escape (1963) with Garner wearing a chunky jumper. Since then I’ve had a bit of a thing about actors in chunky jumpers, which I am putting down to living in a country which has snow for nearly half a year. And the fact that these actors look damned good in them…
Then last February I and my chocolate swap buddy, Cat at Thoughts All Sorts, tributed this blogathon in our tagging post, with our The Flaming Hot, Five Reasons Why Tag. In my five chosen lovely characters, I included this man, John Seaton (Christopher Plummer) in International Velvet (1978). Later I recommended the movie to Ruth for his woolly fashions in the movie for the recent Christopher Plummer blogathon.
Ruth then in return added this sterling tribute to my Christopher Plummer blogathon. Her post on International Velvet was more specifically on all his chunky jumpers in this film. So I was thrilled when she agreed to a post swap, and her review choice is my post on The Great Gatsby (1974)…
A wee introduction to Silver Screenings in her own words…
Ruth is a classic film blogger who lives in Canada. Two of her life goals are: (1) to finally read all her Hollywood history books, and (2) to show restraint when it comes to dessert. Ruth works for a digital media company that also owns an independent movie theatre.
Christopher Plummer in 1970s Sweaters
Tatum O’Neal and Christopher Plummer in International Velvet (1978)
Just so you know, we watched the 1978 schmaltz-fest, International Velvet, so you won’t have to.
You’re welcome. In case you’re wondering, the film is about a newly-orphaned teenager (Tatum O’Neal), who is shipped to England to live with people she doesn’t know, namely her aunt (Nanette Newman) and common-law husband (Christopher Plummer). It’s not an easy adjustment. When they first meet, O’Neal tells Newman, “I didn’t want to come here.” Then she tells Plummer she can’t call him “Uncle” because he’s not married to her aunt. “So call me Mr Seaton,” he quips.
International Velvet is, in a way, one of those Girl-Is-Saved-By-A-Horse movies. In this particular film, O’Neal gets a horse and begins competing. Before you know it, she’s at the Olympics and (spoiler!) is instrumental in winning Gold for the British team.
It sounds like a better movie than it is. Even though the cinematography is stunning, this film has a cringing late-1970s soundtrack, as well as a disjointed storyline.
Strangely, there are two things International Velvet refuses to Do Without, the first being narration, which is supplied by three different characters.
Newman is the first narrator, and her lines are nearly as overwrought as the music. At first, it’s difficult to see the point of this blather, but we soon realize she’s a middle-aged woman who was once famous in her youth and hasn’t gotten Past It. Note her telling observation of O’Neal’s success: “I hoped she wouldn’t win too early, and afterwards have nowhere to go.”
Next in the narration line-up is Anthony Hopkins, as the Olympic trainer/coach, and he’s followed by a professional sportscaster, who, unsurprisingly, is the best narrator of the three.
The second thing this film cannot Do Without is Christopher Plummer in sweaters.
Plummer and Newman: A chunky sweater for a chilly day. Image: agreen.top
Despite a rather Rocky Start between O’Neal and Plummer, the two become friends and allies. Plummer’s character is a genuine and amusing fellow, a writer who sets aside meaningful projects so he can write tawdry stories (under a nom de plume) to pay for O’Neal’s equestrian training.
Plummer is one of the best things about this film. He’s sorely missed when he’s absent from the screen; his character doesn’t stew in his emotions, and he accepts O’Neal on her own terms.
Besides, he’s a rather dashing figure in those MGM wardrobe sweaters, which he wears most of the time. We’ve shown you some of these cosy items, but here are a few more:
In Conservative Blue. Image: Avax Home
Sweater vests for everyone! Image: YouTube screenshot
A romantic sweater set. Image:Pinterest
As you can see, Plummer isn’t the only one in this film who wears sweaters, but he does wear them more than anyone else. His character is an author, after all, and you know the old Hollywood cliché: Movie authors must don sweaters.
International Velvet is the sequel to the Oscar-winning National Velvet (1944), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Mickey Rooney. In the 1944 version, Taylor plays a 12-year-old girl named Velvet Brown, who wins a horse and ends up competing in the Grand National.
Filmmakers asked Taylor to star in the sequel as the middle-aged Velvet, but she declined. Newman, who was married to director Bryan Forbes, was cast instead.
We’ve probably dissuaded you from seeing this film. If so, our Work here is Done.
If, however, you are a Christopher Plummer or equestrian sports fan – or a Sweater Aficionado – you may want to slog your way through International Velvet.
Finally, I was honoured, she dedicated this wonderful post to me… when she added “Gill, this one’s for you.” Thanks, Ruth for this lovely thoughtful post, for welcoming me into the blogging community, for your support and friendship… and for those awards and comments.
A big thanks to Ruth Kerr for letting me republish her fabulous post. Financial compensation was not received for promoting this post. All opinions expressed here are her own. I would also like to add that she kindly personally agreed to me using pictures from her post on my blog. If you are involved in the entertainment or blogging industry and would like to be featured or promoted here, please drop a line to me via my Contact Me Page.