Stephen Boyd and Hope Lange- filming “The Best of Everything”, 1959

bestofjoancrawford

Legendary actress Joan Crawford shown with Twentieth Century player Stephen Boyd in this promo photo from The Best of Everything.

Stephen Boyd filmed The Best of Everything with Hope Lange in early 1959. The film was released later that same year, about 2 months before the release of Ben Hur (the movie which would propel Stephen to stardom). The movie was filmed at Fox Studios in Los Angeles, but also some actual New York City scenes were filmed at the Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue and other locations around the city and in Long Island as well. The story follows the tales of three young women living together in New York who work at the fictitious Fabian Publishing Company and their struggles. The movie was based on the sexy eponymous popular novel by female author Rona Jaffe. Stephen plays Mike Rice, an editor at Fabian’s who is also an entrenched alcoholic. As in the novel, Mike and Caroline Bender, played by the lovely Hope Lange of Peyton Place fame, become close friends. The book is more graphic about their affair, which obviously couldn’t be incorporated into the movie version, but there are some subtle hints. In the book, Mike explains how he finds release from his sexual desire for Caroline alone at night, and Caroline is embarrassed by his ‘adolescent’ confession, but Mike explains how it brings him closer to her. In the movie, you can tell that Boyd had read the book. When speaking to Caroline in one scene, he is deliberately stroking his drink glass with his left hand for a very suggestive affect.

Fullscreen capture 942016 24355 PM.jpg

I like the movie ending much better, however, as in the book, after a quick affair, Mike and Caroline drift apart and the novel loses its focus. Fortunately, Hollywood changed this and made these two characters hook up at the end. Obviously, as Rona Jaffe points out in the films DVD commentary, Boyd’s character doesn’t seem to be giving up his alcoholic ways, but this didn’t deter Hollywood from pairing the two good looking  actors together for a romantic ending.  Boyd plays Mike Rice with a touch of patronizing tenderness and empathy, as well as rugged masculine charm.  Boyd received high marks for his portrayal at the time, and he looks ravishingly handsome in the 50’s suit-coats, but he was somewhat overshadowed by such a large cast, including screen legend Joan Crawford and international favorite Louis Jourdan. If you watch this picture now, Boyd does seem to give the most interesting performance, and one wishes he was on the screen more often.  The movie is considered somewhat of a cult classic about the misogynist atmosphere in the 50’s work place, and was a basis for the popular AMC television show Mad Men (apparently the cast was required to watch this film to prepare for their roles). The movie also has a spectacular score by Alfred Newman and great theme song sung by Johnny Mathis.   For more about the filming of “The Best of Everything”, see this link – http://www.joancrawfordbest.com/magvanityfair304.htm

Movie screen shots below and current photos of the Seagram Building area in New Yotk City. You can clearly still see the building which is shown behind Boyd and Lange at the end of the movie. The movie ends with Boyd and Lange walking past St. Bartholomew’s Church on the west side of Park Avenue and 51st street, headed towards the Helmsley Building which can be scene in the distance. You can visit this location today and see many Best of Everything landmarks!

See also:

Joan Crawford Word Press Blog, https://joancrawfordheaven.wordpress.com/

Hope Lange and Stephen Boyd, https://wordpress.com/post/stephenboydblog.wordpress.com/1102

Fullscreen capture 942016 105332 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 105053 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 105244 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 104620 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 104952 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 104600 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 104537 AM.bmpFullscreen capture 942016 105632 AM.bmp-001Fullscreen capture 942016 104443 AM.bmpFullscreen capture 942016 104509 AM.bmp

Fullscreen capture 942016 104106 AM.bmp
Seagram Building

Fullscreen capture 942016 101148 AM.bmp.jpg

Fullscreen capture 942016 104139 AM.bmpFullscreen capture 942016 104155 AM.bmpFullscreen capture 942016 104326 AM.bmp

Fullscreen capture 942016 104426 AM.bmp
Walking on Park Avenue West Side and 51st street
Fullscreen capture 942016 104357 AM.bmp
St. Bartholomew’s Church on the left
Fullscreen capture 942016 104411 AM.bmp
The Helmsley Building Park Avenue

 New York Scenes 2016 of Best of Everything locations at Seagram Building & St. Bartholomew’s Church

BestofEverythingwithRonaJaffe

Stephen with author Rona Jaffe on the set of The Best of Everything.

CANDIDBESTOF EVERYTHINGs-l1600Boyd at rehearsal for The Best of Everything. Note that he is still wearing his wedding band on his left ring finger. His divorce from Mariella Di Sarzana would be finalized about a month an a half later in March of 1959.

bestlange

Boyd and Lange’s close friendship during the filming of The Best of Everything became popular tabloid material.BOEIMG-00BOE3 (2)

BEST OFFullscreen capture 10202015 112522 AM.bmpBestEveryt

FABIAN.AKA Fabiano Anthony Forte Bonaparte.with Stuart Whitman and Stephen Boyd on the set of The Best of Everything.Supplied by   Photos inc.(Credit Image: A© Supplied By Globe Photos Inc/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Fabiano Anthony Forte Bonaparte with Stuart Whitman and Stephen Boyd on the set of The Best of Everything.Supplied by Photos inc.(Credit Image: A© Supplied By Globe Photos Inc/Globe Photos/ZUMAPRESS.com)
best of fabian1550
Pop star Fabian visits the set with Hope Lange, Stuart Whitman and Stephen Boyd on hand –note “Fabian”Publishing!

BOEfabian4

bestofhopehatstephenbesthope3

besthope2

bestof2girlsbestlang

bestofhopestevebestofhopey

boegirls AA

Hope Lange, Diane Baker, Martha Hyer and Suzy Parker- the ladies of The Best of Everything.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “Stephen Boyd and Hope Lange- filming “The Best of Everything”, 1959

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s