What the Hell Happened to Melanie Griffith?

Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith

Melanie Griffith is the daughter of Hollywood icon, Tippi Hedren, an Academy Award nominee and Golden Globe winner.  She rose to the A-list in the 80s working with directors like Brian De Palma, Mike Nichols and Jonathan Demme.  But after a promising decade, she stumbled and fell off the a-List in the 90s.

What the hell happened?

Melanie Griffith and her mother, Tippi Hedren - 1966

Melanie Griffith and her mother, Tippi Hedren – 1966

Griffith was born into show business.  Her mother, Tippi Hedren, is best known for the films she made with Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds and Marnie.  Hedren suffered numerous indignities at the hands of the legendary director.  Griffith was a child at the time and remembers a strange gift from Hitchcock.

“It was, like, a coffin box… and I opened it up and in it was a doll of my mother from The Birds… It was, like, made by the studio.  Can you imagine the psychological effect (of that)… He was a very weird guy.”

That’s for sure.  Although, Hitchcock probably never slept with a lion.

Melanie Griffith and pet lion Neil

Melanie Griffith and pet lion Neil

Yes, Griffith grew up with a lion named Neil for a pet.

Melanie Griffith and Neil the Lion

Melanie Griffith and Neil the Lion

Hedron later regretted allowing a full-grown lion to sleep in her daughter’s bed and hang out by the pool.  “We were stupid beyond belief to have that lion in our house,” she admitted.  I’m guessing she feels the same way about Don Johnson.

Griffith’s biological father, Peter Griffith, was also in “the biz” as an actor and producer.  Her parents divorced when she was only four years old.  Her father re-married a model/actress and her mother re-married agent/producer, Noel Marshall.  Given this upbringing, it is no surprise that Griffith started doing commercials at nine moths old.  At the age of 12, Griffith made her movie debut with an uncredited role in the Glenn Ford movie, Smith.

Melanie Griffith - Harrad Experiment - 1973

Melanie Griffith – Harrad Experiment – 1973

At age 14, Griffith had another uncredited role in her mother’s movie, The Harrad Experiment.  James Whitmore starred as a college professor who oversees a bizarre and controversial social experiment at Harrad College.  The experiment involves pairing up incompatible members of the opposite sex to make them confront their sexuality.  Hedren played Whitmore’s wife who helps oversee the shenanigans.

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson at the wrap party for The Harrad Exeriment

Melanie Griffith and Don Johnson at the wrap party for The Harrad Experiment

Don Johnson, who was 22 years old at the time, played one of the horny college co-eds in the movie.  Despite a seven-year age difference, Griffith and Johnson began dating.  Three years later, they were married.  According to Griffith, their relationship was failing and they decided to tie the knot out of desperation.  “We thought if we were married and it still didn’t work, we’d divorce.”  Six moths later, that’s exactly what happened.

Melanie Griffith - The Drowning Pool - 1975

Melanie Griffith – The Drowning Pool – 1975

In 1975, Griffith graduated to credited roles.  In The Drowning Pool, Griffith (who was seventeen at the time) played a promiscuous whose mother is caught up in a blackmail scheme.  Her mother was played by Joanne Woodward who in real life was married to the movie’s star, Paul Newman.  Newman reprised his role from the 1966 film, Harper, in which he played a detective.  The sequel was not as successful as the original.

Melanie Griffith - Smile - 1975

Melanie Griffith – Smile – 1975

Later that year, Griffith played a beauty pageant contestant in Michael Ritchie’s satirical comedy, Smile.  Bruce Dern starred in the movie which was adapted into a musical by Marvin Hamlisch and Howard Ashman in the eighties.

Next: Night Moves and Joyride


Posted on January 5, 2013, in Movies, What the Hell Happened?, WTHH Actress and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 182 Comments.

  1. DePalma obviously ‘barrowed’ from Hitchcock a bit too often, but I still have a soft spot for him because he gave us “The Untouchables” (a movie I love)


    • …wherein he switched from ripping of Hitchcock and ripped off Eisenstein!

      THE UNTOUCHABLES really is a great movie, though. DePalma at least has good taste in the directors from which he steals.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t remember the exact quote, but I believe Hitchcock himself said that if you are going to steal, steal from the best.

        Funny enough, this season of American Horror Story has been ripping off DePalma something fierce.


  2. The saddest part about this article is that Cherry 2000 is the best film mentioned. Was she really A-list?


    • I’ve never seen Cherry 2000, but I’d stand behind “Something Wild” as a really good flick with Griffith in a starring role. Nobody’s Fool is very good, but her role is small. Night Moves is also worth a look and if you watch each of those last two you could compare her nude scenes pre and post boob job. If you were so inclined.
      Griffith was never a very good actress, but for a little while she was definitely a target starlet who played leads in major releases. Most of them were bad, but that’s a different conversation. Milk Money sure didn’t get a wide release based on Ed Harris being in it. The same is true about Born Yesterday and her costars there.


      • I too have never seen Cherry 2000. Our local video store had a copy as a kid and based on the cover I always assumed Griffith played a sex robot. I was genuinely shocked to discover that was not the case.

        Something Wild is a great flick with Griffith at her prime. Do yourself a big favor and check it out.

        I remember really enjoying Nobody’s Fool. But yes, her role is small.

        If you want to see Griffith’s boobs pre and post op, you need only watch Bonfire of the Vanities. Although she remains fully clothed and the movie sucks.

        I was honestly shocked how much Griffith has appeared topless on screen. It is a good thing I didn’t research this one during work hours. Finding clothed pictures for some films was sometimes a bit of a challenge.

        Working Girl is formula, but decent. I never understood the accolades it or Griffith received. But it’s at least watchable.

        I actually saw Stormy Monday in theaters and it’s not bad either. I have heard okay things about some of her other films like Now and Then.

        Honestly, I don’t think her resume is any worse than most actresses. And I was genuinely surprised by how many awards nominations and good reviews she got leading up to Working Girl.

        Once she was thrust into the spotlight, I think the luster wore off and critics realized she wasn’t a great actress.

        Daffy nailed the explanation of what made Griffith A-list. The definition of A-list is that you can get movies green-lit. Griffith had that power from Working Girl through much of the 90s.


        • ScreamingDoom

          Cherry 2000 (if you’re remotely still interested) is the story of a rich douchebag Of The Future who owns a sex robot (the titular Cherry) which he breaks via a spirited round of sex in washing machine suds.

          On going to Ye Olde Sex Robote Shoppe, he discovers that the model sex robot he had is no longer in production, replaced by newer, better models. While the salesman tries to get him sold on a newer model, the guy is obsessed with the old model, so decides to take her brain (a small computer chip that was salvaged from the sexbot wreckage) on a quest to find the same model body.

          The catch is that the only place which may still have one is a violent Mad Max type area controlled by brutal warlords. So El Rich Douchebag hires Melanie Griffith as a mercenary to protect his ass on the trip to get his robot girlfriend back.

          He ends up abandoning his reactivated Cherry 2000 to save Griffith’s chararacter’s life after he falls in love with her.

          Its better than any movie with that plot synopsis has any right to be.


        • Actually, your plot synopsis sounds kind of awesome. Now I’m going to have to watch it.


        • The movie just works as entertainment. The lead – David Andrews – is basically C list (he is one of those guys who seems to be in everything) – but has presence here. Griffith and the other actors do well too.

          I understand the studio had no idea how to market it- and basically went to video/cable- where I saw it.

          Oh- why do studios greenlight films that they have no idea how to market?


        • I really like that last question. I think there are a few possible answers.

          1. Regime change. A studio head greenlights a movie he likes and then gets sacked. The new studio head has no interest in the project. If it’s a success, the credit goes to his predecessor. Sometimes, a studio head will sabotage a movie to make their predecessor look bad. See John Carter.

          2. The studio didn’t realize what they were making. The studio thought they were greenlighting something mainstream and the director went off and did their own thing.

          3. Ambition. The studio head generally likes a project and wants to make it as a personal or prestige project. They aren’t worried about the marketing at the time.

          4. Keeping talent happy. Sometimes, studios make a movie to keep a star happy. In order to get the actor to make the movie they want to make, they also have to make something they may have no interest in. See Christopher Reeve making Street Smart in exchange for Superman IV.

          5. Ineptitude. These days, movies get green lit based on a concept. Filming starts before the script is done because the release date is more important to the studio than the quality of the film. It’s no wonder they see the finished project and have no idea what to do with it.

          Those are just a few possibilities off the top of my head.


        • I’ve heard about the regime change thing- I don’t get it in the case of John Carter- which was a bit too expensive to eat for political reasons (you’d think)

          I also get that promoting a film can be expensive- and if they think a film will bomb- throwing good marketing money after bad production costs doesn’t make sense-


        • In the case of John Carter, Disney did not want it to be a hit. It would have reflected well on the previous regime, which the new studio head did not want. However, there was an additional motive…

          Pixar has been the lifeblood of Disney animation for quite some time. Without Pixar, Disney would have been getting it’s ass kicked by Dreamworks starting with Shrek up through around Tangled. In short, Disney didn’t want those Pixar guys moving on to other projects.

          To put an even finer point on it, the new regime was in place at the studio because the live action studio had been floundering. When the animation department was floundering, Lasseter and the Pixar guys were given control over Disney feature animation and they righted the ship. The new studio head didn’t want that to happen with live action movies.

          Brad Bird had been trying to make a live action movie for quite some time. He was eventually able to do so with MI4 at Paramount. It was a huge hit. Disney was concerned that if another Pixar guy had a hit right out of the gate, all the Pixar guys would want to move into live action. They would either take over Disney’s live action productions or move to other studios like Bird did.

          This was a nightmare scenerio for Rich Ross. It was to be avoided at all cost. Making his predecessor look bad was just icing on the cake. So he set out to sink the movie. The idea was for it to fail. But it failed more spectacularily than anyone intended. Ross was aiming for a disappointment. What he got was a bomb which cost the studio a huge write-down. Ultimately, it cost him his job even though he did not greenlight the movie.


        • Wow- thanks for the detail

          I usually don’t like people losing their jobs- but Rich Ross’s little Machiavellian plan makes it hard not to root against him.

          What’s missing is the interests of Disney shareholders- they should chase Ross with pitchforks and torches.(to end with a movie reference)


        • Ah, Rich Ross. I’ll share a little more background on some behind the scenes Disney shenanigans as it’s one of my favorite subjects.

          Ross was one of Disney CEO Bob Iger’s cronies. He was successful at the Disney Channel. But most seriously doubted he would be cut out for running the studio. He had a reputation for being an asshat while running the kid’s cable channel. Sure enough, he proved to be in over his head running the studio. Even so, Iger didn’t want to fire him.

          Enter Pixar chief John Lasseter. Lasseter was furious. John Carter director Andrew Stanton is a friend of his. He’s close to all the Pixar guys. And the politics of the situation were not lost on him. A message was being sent. Pixar guys should stay in their place. Lasseter decided to throw some of his impressive weight around.

          He gave Iger an ultimatum. Fire Ross or I retire early.

          To put that in perspective, let’s back up a little to look at how Iger got his job in the first place. His predecessor, Michael Eisner, had a long history of building up creative partners just to alienate them. But (like Iger) he kept a stranglehold on the Disney board of directors that basically let him get away with anything he wanted. That is up until he pissed off Lasseter.

          At the time, Eisner had a couple of feuds within Disney. He was in the process of chasing off the Weinsteins from Miramax. That was acceptable to the board as Miramax had floundered in recent years. But Disney’s contract with Pixar was due to expire. Eisner had been tweaking Lasseter for years. He kept expecting a Pixar movie to flop and he was pretty vocal about it.

          After a disasterous screening of Finding Nemo (directed, ironically, but Andrew Stanton of John Carter infamy), Eisner told everyone who would listen that the movie would flop and he would renegotiate Pixar’s contract when they were at their weakest. Of course, the Pixar guys fixed what was wrong with Nemo (largely by casting the brilliant Albert Brooks as Nemo’s dad) and the movie was a huge commercial and critical hit.

          Eisner also played games with the video release of The Incredibles. In a move that would make Rich Ross proud, Eisner sunk the video release of The Incredibles with minimal marketing. Why? He wanted to send Lasseter a message. Leave Disney and you won’t enjoy the benefits of our distribution system. Lasseter received the message. But rather than bow down to Eisner, he decided it was time for a change.

          Lasseter went around telling everyone that he would not resign with Disney under any circumstances if Eisner was still CEO. Eisner started talking about making Toy Story 3 without Lasseter. It was basically a threat. Leave and you’ll have no control over what happens to your creations. But once again, the threat backfired and further motivated Lasseter to make other arrangements.

          To make matters worse, he was being courted by Jeffrey Katzenberg at Dreanworks. Katzenberg had been Eisner’s right hand man during the renaisance of Disney animation. The two had a bitter falling out which resulted in Katzenberg leaving to form Dreakworks with David Geffen and Stephen Spielberg.

          Meanwhile, Roy Disney (Walt’s nephew) was running a Save Disney campaign to oust Eisner. The feud with Pixar was all the leverage Disney needed. Faced with a choice betwenn losing Pixar and keeping Eisner or replacing Eisner and possibly keeping Pixar, the Disney board chose the latter. Eisner was forced out and his latest right hand man (Iger) ascended to the head of the company. This let Iger start his reign looking like a hero by purchasing Pixar basically because he wasn’t Michael Eisner.

          Fast forward a few years later and Lasseter is locking horns with Iger. Reportedly, the two men don’t like each other. Lasseter is looking to retire. So he can’t pull the “him or me” power play with Disney’s board of directors. But he could force Iger to fire his boy Ross or be faced with Lasseter’s early retirement.

          Further, Lasseter flexed his muscles over Ross’ replacement. He didn’t want another Disney crone. So he demanded Iger hire an outsider which lead to Alan Horn being hired to replace Ross. Iger was not remotely happy with the move. Reportedly, there is tension between Horn and Iger as Horn dislikes Iger’s “all tent-pole” strategy for the studio.

          Probably a lot more info than you wanted. But if you want to read more about Disney politics during the Eisner years, pick up the excellent book Disney War. It’s fascinating stuff.


        • CHERRY 2000 is GREAT, and if you haven’t seen it, you should definitely put it on your to-watch list.


        • Done. I remember seeing it in the video store during the 80s and I don’t think it was ever checked out. I made a lot of assumptions based on the cover art. But it sounds like fun.


  3. I’ve got a soft spot for DePalma. I can’t really take him as seriously as I do lots of other directors, but almost without fail he delivers at least one complete WTF? moment in each movie that just transcends any questions about quality. Typically these scenes are shot in a way so that anybody who has seen more than one DePalma film can immediately identify that something crazy is about to happen. I wonder if anybody has compiled these scenes on YouTube?

    Have you seen Night Moves? LeBlog favorite James Woods also shows up, as does one of the 12 Angry fellows, Edward Binns. Night Moves is uneven and drags in places, but it has some of those hard to believe scenes that pay off a patient viewer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve got a soft spot for De Palma too. I love Carrie. I haven’t seen Untouchables in years, but I remember liking it. I plan to rewatch it soon. Blow Out is good. Even his Hitchcock homage/spoof Body Double is pretty damn entertaining. Same with Scarface and Carlito’s Way.

      I have not seen Night Moves, But I am intrigued.


    • Soft spot for DePalma too. He certainly is not a boring director, no matter how much he rips off others. He certainly knows how to manipulate and edit suspence.

      Like the post I just said on Kasdan and Reiner, he is another who I wish could find one more great entertainment film to make.


  4. Cherry 2000 is a ridiculous but fun romp about a guy named Sam with a sex robot that shorts out after getting wet. Sam gets Griffith to help him track down a replacement robot in post-nuclear war America.

    This film and Air America are among my favorite movies from the late 80s. And both have Tim Thomerson.

    When I first saw Cherry 2000, I thought Griffith was totally hot – and implants were something she definitely didn’t need. But she didn’t age well in my opinion, and her voice always grated on me.


  5. Did you get my email about that essay, Lebeau?


  6. For the most part I agree with you. Although I have always been kind of in the middle about Griffith. I enjoyed a few of her movies in the 80s. Not enough to call myself a fan. But I enjoyed Something Wild a lot and couldn’t wait to see what she did next.

    Like a lot of actors, Griffith was good in the right role, with the right director and co-stars. Something Wild and Working Girl are examples of when the chemistry worked. No actress could have saved a lot of her later works. From Bonfire on, there were a lot of bad choices.

    Her party girl persona and substance abuse sure didn’t help matters. Neither did being married to Don Johnson who most people hated after Miami Vice was off the air.

    Ford and Weaver were definitely the selling points in Working Girl. There is a poster in which you can barely see Griffith standing behind them. But she did anchor the movie.

    I think that movie, while good, was over-rated at the time. I think critics were fawning over it because it was directed by Mike Nichols. Griffith benefitted from that.

    As for Tippi Hedren, it’s been a while but if I remember correctly Hitchcock more or less ruined her career. He was a talent director but a real prick.


    • Yeah, Banderas has definitely been a good presence in her life. I remember people being upset in the 90s when Griffith and Banderas both left their spouses and got married so soon after. But in retrospect, it has definitely worked out for Griffith.

      Professionally, the problem with Johnson was that not only was she married to a deadbeat, she kept making movies with him. It was like the friend you stop hanging out with because of their reprehensible spouse. If you could just see the friend, you would. But since they always bring their lesser half around, eventually you just loose their number.


    • …and there was this



    • 20 Famous Actors Who ‘Disappeared’ After Their Prime:

      Tippi Hendren (The Birds)/Melanie Griffith (Working Girl)

      To continue a theme, Melanie Griffith is yet another show biz offspring and, though she doesn’t look or sound much like her once well-known mom, Tippi Hedren, they do share something in common career-wise.

      A well-known story among film fans is how Alfred Hitchcock and his wife Alma were watching early morning TV while preparing for their new film, The Birds, and saw an alluring young woman in a diet drink commercial. Looking for a new version of the departed Grace Kelly, they subsequently cast model Tippi Hedren, who had no acting experience and…did not quite make her a star.

      Miss Hedren was more accomplished than someone with no training might have been but there was also something a bit cold and starchy about her. The story of her falling out with Hitchcock while making their second film, Marnie (a latter day cult item) is well known and the actress has been living off this moment in time for years but The Birds was her only true moment in the cinematic sun.

      Her daughter, Melanie, was another story in many ways but similar in others. Unlike mom, Griffith had been acting in films since she was a young girl, appearing in such interesting New Hollywood films as Night Moves and Smile. She seemed to be on the brink of something with her work in such interesting cult items as Body Double, Stormy Monday, and, especially, Something Wild, which may be her finest hour as an actress.

      Unlike her mother, she was also a very sensuous actress in these films. Too bad none of these were hits or her career might have gone a different way. Instead, her elevation came with prestige director Mike Nichols’ Working Girl, playing a proletariatian young lady with a combination of talent and duplicity who ends up getting it all.

      Many early champions, such as renowned critic Pauline Kael, felt that the actress had sold out and become bland. Kael warned that if Griffith’s babyish voice was her true and only one that she had better be very careful about the roles she chose. With a big hit, an Oscar nod, and loads of PR over her reunion with first husband Don Johnson (very hot at the time), she didn’t listen. Nothing she’s done since has resembled a hit either at the box office or critically and she looks more and more like a parody of the kind of roles she used to play.


    • Melanie Griffith simply put, is one of those actresses who can really be sink or swim depending on the role. While Melanie was extremely likable, cute, and warm in comedies like “Working Girl” and “Something Wild”, she was never going to be as of a good dramatic actress as she was a comedic one. I think that post-“Working Girl”, Melanie made too many ill-advised forays into drama, which just showed how out of depth she was.


  7. Working Girl was so awful. Melanie Griffith’s performance is one of the worst ever to get a Best Actress Oscar nomination. It’s only worth watching if you love the song “Let the River Run” (as I do).

    Nobody’s Fool and The Milagro Beanfield War are better movies, but Nobody’s Fool is the only one where Griffith actually gave an OK performance. Her role isn’t as interesting as it is in the Richard Russo novel, but her performance isn’t too bad.


    • I won’t say WG was awful. But it was very formulaic. Even at the time, I wondered what all the fuss was about. And I didn’t think her star making performance was nearly good enough to warrant an Oscar. Like you, I thought the song was the best part of the movie.

      I’ve never seen MBW. But I agree with you on Nobody’s Fool.


    • Melanie Griffith in Working Girl:

      Melanie Griffith got her only Oscar nomination to date for playing Tess McGill, a secretary who’s determined to make it in the business world in a very unorthodox way in Mike Nichols’ Best Picture nominated movie, Working Girl. Griffith was considered a front-runner for the prize, though I don’t believe that she ever was a serious threat for the win, especially considering her lightweight role and movie. I guess Sigourney might have gotten ahead of her (along with Jodie and Great Glenn), but I really don’t know. Her family’s Hollywood connections might have helped a bit.

      I’m astonished to say this, but I actually loved Working Girl for the second time. I was especially stunned, considering the fact that I didn’t use to be a big fan of it. However, now I see what it is: a lovely, extremely entertaining product of pop culture. I’m not sure if it really deserved Best Picture and Director, but I’m just glad it received those nods. Also, I’m extremely disappointed that Siggy lost the Oscar: it was such a great opportunity to reward her. And I’m saying this despite one fact: that my actual vote in Supporting Actress would go to Working Girl, but to a different actress (though I go back and forth between her and Siggy and I love Michelle as well). Yep, I’m on the really uncrowded and unpopular Joan Cusack bandwagon right now: my goodness, that woman just rocks in her tiny part and overshadows the rest of her cast in a blink. I’d love to go on and on how much I loved her but I constantly remind myself that this review should be about Melanie, not Joan. 🙂 If you’re interested, I’ll tell you why as soon as I get back.

      Whatever happened to Melanie Griffith? I was just going to say it’s time to go to television, Melanie, I can see that she already has a pilot coming up. Let’s just hope that it brings her back to conversation since I’m really interested how she’s working as a middle-aged actress. I guess an Emmy and another Golden Globe could give some boost to her career. Although I cannot say many other movies of hers beside Working Girl, I’m really rooting for her career.

      Melanie’s nomination for Working Girl is one of the most unpopular and hated nominations ever given out. Many fail to see how she was nominated over the likes of Jamie Lee Curtis, Susan Sarandon or Michelle Pfeiffer (for Married to the Mob). True, but is this the reason why people dislike her so actively here? Partly, in my opinion. Personally, I can clearly see why I used to hate her here: when I watched her movie on tv years and years ago, I got used to her dubbed voice, where the actress sounded like a purr of a cat. And I loved that voice, of course. Compared to that, Melanie sounded like a tortured, not a pampered cat. However, this time I knew what to expect and I wasn’t annoyed by her at all. In fact, nowadays I prefer this voice to this character, it just fits her more. Tess should be clumsy and unlucky, why should she have an awesome voice?

      That being said, I don’t think the Hungarian dubbing came to picture to many others who hate Melanie here. I suppose this is a mystery I’m never going to solve. Let me just say: I absolutely love Melanie’s Tess McGill. From the first moment to the last, I liked this woman, cared about her, rooted for her. You know, I just wanted what Tess wanted: I wanted her to be successful. And I refuse to feel guilt about this opinion of mine. In fact, I kind of feel like I’m a member of a very cool and elite club who really get this performance.

      I suppose my whole attitude towards Melanie is identical with my feelings for her movie. I don’t think it’s a masterpiece of any kind, it just relaxes me and makes me feel good, even for that short period of time I’m watching her. I think you just have to know exactly what to expect from her and you can’t be disappointed. Don’t expect a very emotional, layered portrayal of a woman who’s struggling in the business world. There’s no real suffering going on there and Melanie doesn’t try to dig really deep into her character. While there are some similarities between the two ladies, her transformation is quite far from what we can see from Julie Walters in Educating Rita. Working Girl’s and Melanie’s main goal was entertaining and no matter what people can talk into this film, it’s nothing more than great fun. Neither is Melanie’s performance.

      Still, I liked the development in Tess’ character. As I said, it’s not a significant transformation, but I was still very much impressed by the fact that Melanie showed that Tess starts to resemble the likes of Siggy Weaver’s character, while also remaining a simple girl from Staten Island as she can never really change. Although Joan Cusack steals the scene where this is stated, Melanie’s pretty good on her own right.

      She might be weak at delivering some of the lines or doesn’t make them as strong as they could have been, but being clumsy might have just fit this character quite well. In fact, being a bit weak made this character even more realistic and brought her even closer to the audience. This way, even the occasional mistakes turn into something fun.

      And no, you can’t really ignore the fact how much the audience gets close to this woman, simply because she’s so cute. That topless hoovering scene is so lovely despite lasting for like 3 seconds. These kinds of ordinary moments make this performance so special to me. It gives joy to an ordinary person because they can think ‘Wow, it’s like watching myself.’ Some might look down on that, but sometimes you just have to loose yourself while watching a movie and leave your prejudices behind, very much like in the case of Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. Although I wouldn’t really put Melanie on the same level, every once in a while, I had the same feeling (minus the bitterness).

      I don’t care if it’s fashionable or not, I love Melanie Griffith in Working Girl. I sympathized with her and felt for her character throughout the movie, no matter if she was hoovering topless or changing her look or interacting with her men. I laughed with her, got sad with her and I just always wanted her to get to the top. I loved Melanie’s clear, almost naive emotions, her optimism, her glowing, funny, joyous personality. A thrill for the dreamers and the naives who think they can get that office at the top. If you’re willing to leave your cynicism behind, you’ll love her. Pure feel-good fun.


  8. TBH i find Melanie’s WTHH not really exciting as some1 like John Travolta (who has had many ups and downs / comebacks) or batshit crazy Sean Young.

    Btw, i think when u make a WTHH, u should coincide it with smth like a new movie of the actor/actress etc. Like, u could save the Arnold WTHH later when his next movie cameout (btw, have u seen its trailer – so DTR it’s embarrassing). Eg; there’s a new Sean Penn gansta movie coming out and u could do a WTHH on him, but im afraid reading his WTHH wont be fun.


    • Travolta and Young provided a lot of juicy material. I think Griffith is one of the loonier entries, but not on the Kilmer/Young scale. Basinger and Snipes are up there too. I think part of the problem with Griffith (and one of the reasons I was reluctant to write her up) is that she has made so few memorable movies.

      I actually rushed to get Arnold’s entry done BEFORE The Last Stand was released. I was worried that he would stage a comeback that would make him inelligible for WTHH treatment. In theory, the people I write about shouldn’t have a movie coming to theaters to tie into. Although that is not always the case.

      I’ll give you an example. I have been contemplating writing up Catherine Zeta Jones for some time now. She’s definitely off her A-game these days. But she has 3 movies being released in 2013! So it feels premature to write her up now.

      Also, from a selfish perspective, I have to do a lot fewer updates for articles about actors who are no longer working. 😉

      When chosing a subject, I usually don’t know at the outset how juicy the article will be. Sometimes, I dig in and see there really isn’t all that much there. Jennifer Jason Leigh was an example. She’s practically drama-free. With Griffith, there was actually more good material than I was expecting thanks to her subtstance abuse, multiple marriages and whatnot. Plus, she has inspired a game on the FB page.

      I use the poll to get some reader feedback on who to write-up next. I used to have an “Other” category for write-ins. But nobody who voted “other” ever wrote anything in, so I got rid of it. If there is anyone you want to see featured, let me know. Historically, I have taken requests.


  9. Why is “Working Girl” so overrated? Well personally I think it is because when “Working Girl” was released it was probabily the first film of his genre. Today movies that talk about business-women are so many and they all have the same cliches, but probabily “Working Girl” was something of a pioneer movie in his genre (comedy regarding businesswomen). If you see it today you say “nice, but it looks like many others”, but probabily in 1987 movies about business women were not so common so it looked like something new and fresh while now, 25 years later, this genre has been so abused that “Working Girl” look just like all the movies of that genre.

    So , in my opinion, the reason why “Working Girl” is so over-rated is that, when it was relesead it looked like a novelty that refected the women emancipation process happened during the 70s an 80s. Now it look just like a nice comedy that has the same script and stereotypes we saw many times. This is according to me why “working Girl” is so overrated


    • To a large degree, I agree with you. Like Griffith, WG hasn’t aged well. That’s not so much a flaw of the movie as it is a sign of changing times.

      But when I saw the movie in 87, I still thought it was over-rated. Good, but not great. And certainly not deserving of all of the Oscar noms.


      • In 1987 i wasn’t even born so i watched “Working Girl” on TV something like 5 years ago. I was curious because of all that Oscar nominations, which are a rare result for a comedy, and my opinion is of a nice movie but nothing that deserves a “Best picture” nomination. I think that the reason for all that nominations were because Academy appreciated a movie reflecting a social change. Academy loves to send social or political messages so maybe that’s why all that nominations.

        PS and OT

        By the way, speaking about Awards, check your e-mail tomorrow, you’ll understand 😉


        • Well, now you’re making me feel old! 😉

          You’re probably right about the social change aspect too. There were a lot of reasons for the Academy to get swept up in WG. Big name director, positive social message, an inspiring song, supporting turns by Ford and Weaver, a star-making lead performance by Hollywood royalty.

          Looking at the nominees that year, it was actually a pretty competitive year. Charles Chrichton was nominated for Best Director for A Fish Called Wanda, but the movie wasn’t nominated for Best Picture. Boo! Tom Hanks was nominated for Best Actor for Big, but the movie didn’t get a Best Picture nom. I can live with that even though I much prefer Big to WG.

          There was also Married to the Mob and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. I know these aren’t the kinds of movies the Academy typically nominates. But they are every bit as worthy as Working Girl. Heck, even Die Hard could have gotten that nomination.

          I will try to remember to check my e-mail tonight after the kids get to sleep. It’s been a crazy busy week. But I look forward to whatever you’re sending.


  10. Way too little attention to CECIL B. DeMENTED, Lebeau. It’s actually a movie acknowledging what you’d written up to that point.


    • I have to admit, I haven’t seen it. I have never been a John Waters fan. So I tend to acknowledge his movies but not comment on them very much. I’ll have to keep an eye out for it on cable.


      • Waters is great. The movie itself is about a gang of guerrilla filmmakers who have taken the “guerrilla” part a bit too far, and kidnap a washed-up former A-list actress to force her to star in their movie. Griffith is the actress in question, and it jabs at the sorts of movies she’d been making for a while, and what critics had been saying about her. Your article above could almost be a companion piece to it.


    • It’s hard to pick a single role that derails a career. In Griffith’s case, I think she was on the decline long before working with John Waters. I think the train started coming off the tracks with Bonfire of the Vanities and never fully recovered after that.


      • I suppose. That’s not a term I use very often with regards to actors. True, she only had one movie that was a critical and box office triumph. But she had several movies that were successful to some degree either with critics or at the box office. I’m awfully fond of Something Wild.


    • 10 Celebrities Who Should Have Never Attempted Plastic Surgery:

      Melanie Griffith

      Thank goodness, Melanie has a husband who loves and adores her; her botched plastic surgery regrettably has transformed her face over the past several years. Hollywood seems obsessed with lips. In particular, the upper lip. Melanie has always had plump luscious lips but, apparently, she felt the need to go bigger. The result was an over-plumped upper lip that looks stretched and unnatural.


      • She was unattractive BEFORE the plastic surgery:

        The people who write those things are such idiots. If they bothered to do any research, they would see that she had her entire face reconstructed around 1993. Good work. Angelina Jolie has done the same thing.

        This other stuff happened after she married Banderas. She’s incredibly insecure and clearly lost her judgement when it came to cosmetic procedures. Her original work was brilliant. It took a lot of surgical help to look like this:


  11. I was really looking forward to your Melanie Griffith article, sadly I’ve been laid low by a plethora of Winter ailments which have kept me away from the computer for most of the last week or so. As a result your other commentators have covered most of the points I would’ve raised.
    Rest assured your first WTHHT of 2013 was worth waiting for, and I especially enjoyed the background regarding Tom Hanks and the other shenanigans on The Bonfire of the Vanities.

    Time certainly hasn’t been kind to Melanie or her most famous film Working Girl. I was very taken with her ( and the film) at the time it was released, although I’m fairly certain I’ve never watched it since. It’s amazing to me that Working Girl is almost a quarter of a century old!

    Thanks for the mention as well, as always it’s much appreciated.


  12. Somebody in the comments section of Daryl Hannah’s WTHHT entry, made an interesting observation about the decline of Melanie Griffith’s status as an A-list star by the end of the ’90s: Reggie | October 5, 2012 at 7:58 pm
    The outcome of Melanie Griffith’s career was predictable. She was the daughter of an actress, started acting as a child in the late 60s, spent years paying her dues before achieving stardom in the late 80s (Working Girl). She had a star career throughout the 90s, but none of her movies were hits.

    The question that frequently comes up is:

    Why has Griffith’s career been dead (and I mean REALLY dead–she makes Sharon Stone look like a superstar) since 2000? An actress doesn’t have to be a box-office draw to still get respectable roles after 40. So what’s the deal?

    Griffith was never a big time beauty (she couldn’t compete with Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Demi Moore, Meg Ryan), but because of her free-spirited sexy personality she can’t re-invent herself as a character actress either. In addition, she has returned to rehab in 2000 and 2009 which for a woman of her age is just embarrassing, and she looks awful because all the years of drinking and drugging have taken their toll on her appearance. There aren’t any roles that would fit her.


    • Melanie Griffith in a way, seems like an older variation of Lindsay Lohan now when I think about it more. They both arguably got lucky in their “star making” roles (“Working Girl” and “Mean Girls” respectively) due in no small part to the talent involved (w/ “Mean Girls” it was mainly Tina Fey and Rachel McAdams). Both of their careers were part heavily derailed by their substance abuse, which ultimately took a drastic toll on their appearances.


  13. I wonder if it will get a theatrical release.


    • Poor Antonio! He is doing bisquits commercials here in Italy 😀 I’m not joking


      • That’s pretty common though even among A-list actors. They will do commercials in other countries that they would never do in the US to make a few extra bucks. The idea (pre-You Tube) is that their American fans would never see this stuff. But now, it’s out there for all the world to enjoy.


    • Yes he’s not the lone Hollywood celebrity to do commercials in other countries. Recently I remember also John Travolta and Jennifer Lopez doing commercials for italian industries. However here many mocked Banderas commercials because his acting carreer is not in his best moment.


  14. Is anybody else in agreement that Melanie more than often, miscast in her roles (even though you can argue that she at the very least, gave heartfelt performances most of the time) like for example, “Shining Through” (where she played a spy) and “A Stranger Among Us” (as an undercover homicide detective)? It’s sort of hard to take Melanie Griffith that seriously as an actress given her distinctive, breathy little-girl voice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed. She was type cast early in her career as a prostitute, porn star, etc. And she was believeable in those roles. But once she classed up, she didn’t quite fit. Although she was cast well as a trophy wife in Bonfire. It’s not her fault that movie was awful. Almost everyone else in that movie was miscast, but she was fine.


    • Future of Movie Stars: Who Will Shine? Who Will Fade Away?

      Here’s what I like about Dakota- she’s really good at making something work and feel real and organic. (Same thing that I like about Shailene.) She didn’t have much with either the Social Network or 21 Jump Street, but she still managed to pop and be memorable. THAT is what an actress should be- someone that can take cheesy, crap material yet somehow make the character feel real. I’m glad that she’s inherited her talent from her dad, not her mother. (Come on, let’s be honest, Melanie Griffith is such a clear case of someone who lucked into one great role that she was born to do, similar to Heather Graham and Boogie Nights.)


    • Her personal website was very candid. She has taken it down but it was up for many years and you can still see everything via The Wayback Machine.

      After Stella she desperately tried for another baby. She wanted multiple children with Antonio as she wanted to express that she loved him more than her previous husbands, each of whom she’d had one child by. She hosted a chat room where she IM’d with a fertility specialist and when the doctor wrote smoking reduces chance of having a baby for women over 35 & causes earlier menopause, Melanie admitted she didn’t know ANY of this.

      I don’t know which is more embarrassing, that or her admission that she’d never heard of the Holocaust until she made Shining Through.


  15. Thanks for the correction. 2nd one today. Ooops.


  16. Her voice. I cannot abide the sound of her voice! Even when she was a young, trailer trash ho playing young trailer trash ho roles, her voice gave me grand mal seizures.

    As she got older her squeaky emanations sounded ever phonier, incongruous and desperate. And what she’s had done to her face over the years unfortunately only magnifies that despair.

    She’s another on my long list of film creatures I detest.



    • That is a perfect rant. Bravo!


    • A similar thing can be said about Kathleen Turner’s husky voice. When she was young, it was considered sexy. But as Kathleen got older and her looks began to fade (due to her health problems combined w/ her weight gain), her voice became very off-putting.


      • Shakespeare I Am Not

        To each his own I guess but I’ve always liked Kathleen Turner’s voice. That husky, smoky quality is what does it. She almost always sounds like she is hiding something or at least not telling ALL she knows.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think the fact that Turner was cast as the voice of Jessica Rabbit – an obvious male fantasy – indicates that more than a few people found her voice a turn on.


    • Shakespeare I Am Not

      Pardon the late post but just started following this really well written blog. My ex-wife used to refer to it as using a “baby-doll” voice. Not to be mean, but it does a have a tonal quality that is somewhere barely south of nails on a chalkboard. I wonder sometimes though if it’s just an act.


      • There’s no such thing as a late post around here. We’re still discussing articles which were originally written years ago. In fact, I’m always going back and tweaking and updating old articles. They are all works-in-progress. So no need to apologize.

        I have wondered myself if the voice was an act. An attempt at a Marilyn Monroe kind of thing maybe. If so, it leaves a lot to be desired.


  17. Tippi Hedren has her own interesting “What the Hell Happened to…” story:

    When Tippi Hedren was hired to star in Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, it seemed her career was be over before it started. The actress famously rejected the sexual advances of the director, who reacted by subjecting her to real-life torment on the film’s set. Following The Birds completion Hitchcock then refused to let Hedren out of her contract and sold it to Universal. After refusing to become a television performer, the studio had her all but blacklisted from mainstream movies. The actress subsequently saw her career devolve into TV guest appearances and the occasional independent release. Hedren’s experience would be vindicated when it became the subject of a tell-all HBO original movie entitled The Girl which saw release last year.


    • I’m a big fan of Hitchcock’s work. But man, was he an asshole!


      • The industry was downright sadistic to women back then- note that Hitchcock sold her contract- it was Universal that killed her career.

        Didn’t Hitchcock’s career go south soon after? Maybe he should have been nicer to her and kept her around-

        Now that I think of it- I think Grace Kelly played her cards well-


        • Hollywood is still a pretty harsh place for actresses. But the old studio system was nightmarish. Hitchcock was one of the crueller men in the system – especially where Hedron was concerned. I think when he was younger, he was okay having a flirtatious relationship with Ingrid Bergman or Grace Kelly. But when he was older, he just figured he could make and break starlets like Hedron.


        • I need to rewatch Marnie. I got to see it at a Hitchcock film festival many, many years ago. And at the time, I was mildly disappointed in it. I was riding high on discovering Hitchcock classics and Marnie didn’t live up to Vertigo and Rear Window. But that’s an unfair measuring stick. Very few films live up to that standard.


        • I don’t get your argument- you say Tippi Hedren was an exceptional actress (and a star- after The Birds)- but had no power in Hollywood- BUT- the studio wasn’t that bad in blacklisting her!

          I think you overrate her in Marnie- I think the part needed an experienced actress- and Hedren doesn’t completely pull it off- not really her fault- it was a very challenging part.

          She certainly should have worked more- but Hollywood was tough then- hey they blacklisted Oscar winner Cliff Robertson for whistleblowing!


        • As stated previously, my memory of Marnie is hazy. But my recollection was that she didn’t quite pull it off either. Lack of experience was surely a factor. Also, you have to question how much of her performance can be attributed to Hitchcock’s direction. He may have been an asshole, but he was also a master director. He went to great lengths to elicit the performance he wanted to out of Hedren.

          I’ll refrain from making too strong of a case one way or another until I get a chance to rewatch the movie. It has probably been 20 years since I saw it.


        • Yeah. That was his excuse. And there’s probably something to it. But giving a young Melanie Griffith a doll of her mom in a coffin can’t be blamed on eliciting a performance out of her mother.


      • Yes, he was a jacka$s to basically any actress who wasn’t Grace Kelly. I also hated how he basically screwed over Bernard Herrmann. Despite his great music for Vertigo, North By Northwest, Psycho, & Marnie, Hermann was given the boot by Hitch because he suddenly thought his music wasn’t good enough. I can only hope Spielberg never does the same to John Williams.


        • I think Spielberg knows how much he owes to Williams. Williams frequently makes Spielberg’s movies. I have seen some critics complain that Spielberg relies on Williams too much for emotional impact and should reign him in.


    • Isn’t it ironic that Melanie Griffith’s daughter, Dakota Johnson is involved in the “Fifty Shades…” franchise considering how Alfred Hitchcock ALLEGEDLY treated her grandmother, Tippi Hedren back in the day: To give you some perspective:

      Now Dakota’s grandmother has gone all out, especially in her autobiography released back in November, about how Hitchcock had her under contract at Universal and used his power to control her and grow his freaky obsession on her. He proceeded to rape and molest her during “Marnie” and then because she refused anything to do with him he kept her under contract but refused to let her act in anything, ruining the strongest part of her career.

      I read recently that Melanie Griffith refuses to watch her daughter in the 50 shades films because it’s weird for her, but she loves the books. Tippi has never seen the films but has the DVD and intends to watch it with Dakota sometime. Interviewers of course ask how they feel about the baby of the family and the youngest of this dynasty being in these films. Now, Melanie sounds like she doesn’t give what she says full thought anyways, but she almost makes it sounds like she approves of taking risks to improve your career by exploiting yourself in an erotic film from the back of the video store labeled “adults only.”

      One would think that Melanie would remember some scary incidents from when she was five or six where her mother would come home from filming “The Birds” and “Marnie” where Hitchcock would torture her mentally and even physically (final scene in ‘The Birds’), when he would stalk her and try to control her life, that her mother would fall into deep sleeps and then Melanie would go to check on her and Tippi being so startled, due to exhaustion and shock, that she would wake up and scream “stop, stop, stop” thinking she was still on set having live birds hurled at her. You think this would traumatize Melanie, and she would associate it with “contract related sexual abuse” as she learned from her mother that more of an intervention would have been staged on Dakota before she submitted to a film like this. Let alone film(s).

      I’m sure when Tippi watches the movies with Dakota, if she has not already, that some form of talk about women being exploited, stalked, and followed would presume. Heck, Dakota might be avoiding this because she knows what’s coming. If you don’t know the story of “the girl” that of Hitchcock and Hedren, you live under a rock of some sort.

      Food for thought for the day.


  18. Really That Bad? – The Bonfire of the Vanities:

    Really That Bad? is a new feature here at Filmophilia. In it writers examine a well known critical bomb and examine whether or not the film lives up to its reputation.

    Brian De Palma’s film version of Tom Wolfe’s bestseller The Bonfire of the Vanities has a reputation as one of the biggest flops of the nineties, and in turn one of the biggest flops in the carriers of De Palma, Tom Hanks and Bruce Willis. It quickly turned from being Warner Bros.’s Oscar contender to a critically bashed misfire. But is this reputation the result of the high expectations and the huge media interest in the film’s production and ballooning budget and not based on the film itself?

    The plot of the film is complicated to sum up in a simple manner. The vain and incredibly wealthy stock-broker Sherman McCoy is a so-called “Master of the Universe.” He has everything, wealth, a marriage to a well-liked socialite and a happy family. But like many people, nothing is ever enough for Sherman. As he’s out driving one evening with his mistress Maria, played by an underused Melanie Griffith, he takes a wrong turn and ends up in the Bronx. As he leaves the car to move debris on the road, he gets robbed by two African-American youths. He manages to escape to his car, where Maria drives off, hitting one of the robbers.

    This event becomes a hot-button issue, which everyone tries to exploit for their own gains. The African-American Reverend Bacon who accuses the police and courts of disinterest in the case based on racism, district attorney Abe Weiss, who sees the case as a chance to prove himself to black voters and the media who sees the case as a surefire way to sell newspapers and ad space. Sherman McCoy becomes a pawn in this game where everyone is out to get him, and gain something in return.

    The book, by Tom Wolfe had been both extremely popular and controversial. To some it was a brilliant satire, sending up everything and everyone in 1980s New York. To others the book was a negative and even racist view of the city. But it had been a bestseller and therefore had to be adapted to film. Every choice the production made, from the casting decisions to locations to the advertising campaign was scrutinized and criticized. Why was Brian De Palma, the director best known for bloody thrillers such as Dressed to Kill, Carrie and Body Double, directing this socially charged satire? Why was the likeable and charming Tom Hanks playing a selfish and unlikeable character like Sherman McCoy? Why was Bruce Willis playing the English, drunk reporter? Why was the Jewish judge now played by Morgan Freeman?

    When reading Julie Salamon’s book detailing the production, The Devil’s Candy, all these choices seem so self-evident. De Palma was coming off of Casualties of War, a financially unsuccessful but critically lauded war film, and he wanted to marry his newfound critical respect with a surefire hit. The studio wanted someone the audience could engage with, and therefore Tom Hanks was seen as the best choice for the part. The film’s budget had become dangerously high, so it needed another marquee name for the part of Peter Fallow, so Bruce Willis was a far better choice than John Clesse, as originally planned. The casting of Morgan Freeman was seen as a way to balance the representation of black people in the film, now audiences would not only see the manipulative and conniving Reverend Bacon, but also the commanding and decent Judge played by another black actor. Freeman was also considerably cheaper than Walter Matthau, who was originally offered the part.

    But none of these changes managed to fix the film, which suffers from a fundamental problem: It’s not funny. Of course comedy is very subjective, and what I personally find funny might fall flat for the next person. But the film has such a challenging narrative, filled with unpleasant people and incidents that everything supposedly amusing falls flat. There is also some tangible sense of desperation in the more overtly comedic set-pieces. A scene where Sherman McCoy shoots the roof of his apartment with a shotgun to kick out his guests suffers from trying far too hard for a joke that isn’t that funny to begin with. Then there are other scenes that are so underplayed that you barely register that what’s onscreen is supposed to be funny. It somehow manages to be both too manic and too subtle.

    That’s not to say that the film is all bad. De Palma is a supremely capable visual filmmaker. The cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond, and the production design by Richard Sylbert manages to imply the heightened and extreme world in which the characters inhabit. Everything in Sherman McCoy’s domain is extravagant and grand, and when he takes a wrong turn into the Bronx, it is displayed as a dangerous war zone. The five-minute long tracking shot that opens the film is also a technical masterpiece, and one of the most impressive De Palma has ever attempted. But you can’t shake the feeling that this visual grandness might even be subtracting from the possible laughter the film supposedly is after.

    It’s interesting that a film that received such a critical bashing, and attracted so much attention as being one of the worst films of the nineties has now been largely forgotten. It seems that most of the key players of the film managed to bounce back. De Palma followed it up with the madcap and crazy thriller Raising Cain, the under-appreciated Al Pacino crime film Carlito’s Way and then directed the huge hit Mission: Impossible. Tom Hanks’ next three films were A League of Their Own, Sleepless in Seattle and Philadelphia, insuring his position as one of Hollywood’s most likeable actors. Bruce Willis also continued being Bruce Willis, balancing successful action films with more comedic roles, with irregular success.

    The Bonfire of the Vanities is not a catastrophically terrible film. It’s a misjudged and ultimately boring and uninvolving film that suffers from the creative decisions made in order to make the material more palatable to audiences. But it did offer something valuable to people interested in films and film production, the book detailing the production: The Devil’s Candy. It’s an entertaining and fascinating account of a surefire hit gone terribly wrong and is highly recommended. I can’t say the same about the film.

    VERDICT: Really that bad. Which is a shame, since the film offers glimpses of a great story, but somehow manages to be a vacuum of interest.


    • Mr. Floppy 09.14.08: Bonfire of the Vanities:

      Melanie Griffith was cast as Sherman’s love affair Maria Ruskin. Nothing against her, she still looked considerably good at the time, but I still think a young lover of a Wall Street investor who’s making millions should have been more sexy and more, you know, young. These criticisms were also heard at the time of her casting and maybe that was also the reason why Griffith after merely three weeks of shooting went and surgically enhanced her chest, which she unapologetically stuffed right in De Palma’s face upon her return. Bonfire of the Vanities? Appropriate.


    • The CineFiles Podcast: Episode 18:

      It’s Episode 18 of The CineFiles podcast! And The CineFiles want to talk about box office bombs! Flicks like ISHTAR, HEAVEN’S GATE, HUDSON HAWK, JOHN CARTER and so much more! But first we talk about the films we’ve recently seen: MISSISSIPPI BURNING, THE REWRITE, MAGNOLIA, RUN ALL NIGHT, THE EXTERMINATOR, THE WEDDING RINGER, WOYZECK, AMITYVILLE HORROR II: THE POSSESSION, SOMETHING WILD, HAROLD AND MAUDE and finally Eric’s take on JURASSIC WORLD. As usual The CineFiles discuss the latest news and rumors. And then we move on to the bombs, yo!

      So thaw out that TV dinner you have stored since 1982, dig into some mashed potatoes and processed meatloaf and open yourself a can of Billy Beer! And please rate/comment on us in iTunes. Just… tell us what you think of Episode 18.


  19. Working Girl was just on the other night, so I watched the first half (had to relinquish the screen in favor of a hockey game for the male contingent). It brought back memories of seeing it in the theater, and the buzz it created. At the time, i can’t remember another movie that captured so perfectly the 80s trend of women in business suits, trying to fit in. I thought Melanie Griffith was poised to become another Meg Ryan. Her understated delivery was just perfect for her role as Tess McGill, maybe she didn’t have the acting range but in that role and that movie, she did knock it out of the park. Of course it had to help a lot to have Sigourney Weaver and Harrison Ford to work with! IMHO it was one of the better movies that year. And TONS better than “Big.”


  20. For sure, I can TOTALLY see why WG would resonate more with women, and Big for male audiences!
    And, you are right, the quote is, “I have a head for business…. and a bod for sin.” Go Melanie!


    • I had just finished updating the Michael Keaton article around the time I wrote this one. And I was shocked by all the misinfo on the internet about Keaton. So when I saw the “bod for sin” quote misquoted repeatedly, I felt the need to rant. It’s the most famous line from the movie. If you are going to quote it, get it right!


    • Both were entertaining trifles, well executed. WG just seemed to think it was more than that, while Big did not.
      From a male point of view, I will say that at the time the movie was released I was a little sick of characters like Baldwin’s and Spacey’s. I’m sure the women who experience creeps like these are sick of them too, but a lot of film/TV aimed at women at the time seemed to think that these guys constituted at least half of the male population. I’ve never known many guys like them, so it’s a little outside of my reality.
      I’m sure many feminists got sick of being portrayed as unpleasant man-haters.


  21. In terms of the feminist view of the late 80s (feminism being a term that has many different meanings for people), the brilliance of WG was that the movie captured so well the failed promises of the business sisterhood where women look out for each other. No, they are more likely to stab other women in the back, then as well as now. Oh, trust me on this. Anyway, Melanie Griffith represented the hope of “new” feminism in the business world, when she was trying to describe her new boss to her boyfriend, explaining that having a female boss was like having a mentor instead of a leering pervert like her last boss. Signourney Weaver dashed this hope to pieces of course, but what struck me the most about her in that role was that she played it with humor, demonstrating how a backstabber can be very different on the surface. Side note, the line when the boss was telling Tess how she was expecting her fiance to be proposing shortly, and WHY he would be? “Because I am, after all, me” was one that got a big laugh at the theater, it was totally the delivery of that line.


  22. The 50 Hottest Bad Actresses Of All Time:

    31. Melanie Griffith
    Worst Performances: The Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Milk Money (1994)

    Melanie Griffith isn’t always bad. Actually, in some cases, like 1988’s Working Girl and RKO 281 11 years later, she’s been damn good. But a few strong performances unfortunately can’t totally dismiss a slew of poor ones, and overcooked turns in duds like The Bonfire of the Vanities, Milk Money, and Pacific Heights diminish her career’s overall impact.


    • I’m no fan of Pacific Heights, but Griffith has so many bad movies to choose from. PH is pretty low down the list. All the examples you named are good ones.


  23. I loved this too, and can’t articulate a reason why.


  24. “Something Wild”, my recollection of that one is that it was a hit among 20 somethings and college students, so a niche audience, not huge box office. it was definitely a quirky, fun movie. Other than the basic plot I can’t recall much about it so it’s probably time to see it again.


    • It was a critical darling, but not a big movie at the box office. The plot is pretty formulaic. Jeff Daniels plays a straight arrow who gets caught up with a wild child played by Griffith. They go on a series of quirky rom com adventures. What separates it from most of these kinds of movies is that there is legitimate danger to Griffith’s wild side. Her jealous ex boyfriend played by Ray Liotta shows up and the movie takes a dark turn towards the end.

      I rewatched it when I wrote the article on Griffith and I was surprised how well it held up. If you check it out, let me know what you think.


      • I have another project now awaiting in the Amazon cart currently being compiled. This is in part to get me through a week in the damn wilderness with spotty internet, and to give me something sort of unique to write up for my movie blog under construction: Bonfire of the Vanities. Why? Because of the reasons you outlined in the article, that it was a notorious critical and commercial flop. It’s one of the movies that for some reason I just KNOW is horrible….. yet I never actually saw it. After the bad press, I never made any plans to see it either. But there are just enough writers who consider it an underrated gem, that I now have to check it out myself. Plenty of writers and directors are not appreciated until years later.


        • I hope you enjoy it. I made the mistake of reading the book first. The book is great and the movie is at best not good. If you have read the book, the movie is just that much worse by comparison.


        • well…. I watched it. “Bonfire” could be subtitled as follows: “I’m Brian DePalma and I Don’t Care Who I Am Insulting.” No wonder the critics trashed it! Not like it’s a boring movie other than some sequences should have been edited down more, and not bad acting, in fact a great cast. It has problems, to be sure….lots….but the performances were not among the problems. And I don’t think Melanie Griffith did a bad job at all.


        • The book was actually much more offensive than the movie. The movie was the “dumbed down” version of a book many considered unfilmable.


        • From what i understand… and I really should actually read it before commenting.. the book was a very ambitious well researched satire that spared no one. If you had a vanity, (or an agenda) into the bonfire it went. The book author and film director both maybe went too far with material that required some finesse…. so whatever worthwhile and accurate messages were there, they were overshadowed by the more offensive material.


        • My recollection of the book is hazy as I haven’t read it in decades. But I remember the book being really smart and unflinching. The movie was really dumb and cowardly. Since the movie flinched, the potentially offensive material floats to the surface.


  25. this one needs updating, you forgot her daughter’s name!


  26. I wonder if anybody caught Melanie Griffith on “Hawaii Five-0”:

    I’ve noticed that several What the Hell Happened to… alumnus have been on or are scheduled to be on the new “Hawaii Five-0” (Daryl Hannah, Rebecca De Mornay, and Tom Berenger as well as Demi Moore’s daughter Rumer Willis, if that counts). It seems like your chances of being on the WTHHT is to either appear on the new “Hawaii Five-0”, appear in the movie “Bobby”, make a movie w/ Zac Efron (e.g. Kim Basinger, Michelle Pfeiffer, Nicole Kidman, and Heather Graham), appear in one of the Tim Burton-Joel Schumacher era Batman movies, appear in the film “Major League” (e.g. Wesley Snipes, Tom Berenger, and Rene Russo), or appear in a John Waters movie (e.g. Kathleen Turner and Melanie Griffith and if you want to count the 2007 remake of “Hairspray”, John Travolta and Michelle Pfeiffer).


  27. Seems Melanie’s union with Antonio is ’bout to be kaput……


  28. The tradegy here is Melanie being only 14 years old and being permitted to have a romance with a 22 year old man! If she were my daughter I would have pulled Donny aside and told him to stay away from my daughter. He could have had just about anyone he wanted, why a 14 year old? I often wondered if Melanie had been molested as a child? It would explain the problems with drugs and alcohol. I hope she’ll make it through this divorce ok.


  29. Tippi was too permissive in allowing her 14-year-old daughter to live with and sleep with a 22-year-old man. Melanie has been messed up from a very young age. She was extremely beautiful when she was in movies in the 80s and early 90s. As far as Banderas saving her from self-destruction, she has still had those problems in recent years, and now they’re divorcing. I saw her in Milk Money and Pacific Heights and liked the first one; the second one was good, but so creepy. She wasn’t such a bad actress, not the best but certainly not the worst, and I have no problem with her baby voice. Once Melanie’s looks faded…her sex symbol roles dried up. That’s how she was primarily seen, and aging actresses are usually not considered for those types of movies anymore.


    • I didn’t like Something Wild (just saw it). The film is boring, pretentious and badly written. The characters say each other’s names every time they speak to each other. And MG looked so haggard at 29 it’s hard to accept her as a sex bomb in this. Not a completely bad movie, I just don’t agree that it’s a good one. Going to watch Buffalo Girls next.


  30. The Cast Of “Working Girl,” Then And Now:

    Let the river run.


  31. I think Alfred Hitchcock’s gift of Tippi Hedren’s corpse in a toy coffin pretty much sums up a dysfunctional childhood. Anybody who allows a 14 year old girl to have a adult relationship with a 22 year old man is negligent. But not any ole’ 22 year old man, but Don Johnson, the worst possible choice…it is child abuse or worse. It is criminal.

    I see a child who was spoiled and abandoned by her parents, and a grown woman who never really grew up. She slides into the business of her parents without any real effort or preparation, and due to the luck of the genetic gene pool, she had the looks to pick up superficial parts. After a lifetime in the business she did pick up enough skills to provide significant performances, but only when she had the proper support from the director and supporting cast. And those synergetic opportunities quickly declined as her looks faded and her off screen antics increased. I see a woman who was spoiled as a child who never received the nurturing necessary to build a healthy adult. Again, alcohol raises its ugly head to reap havoc in people’s lives. What can you expect from such a damaged person except a career that mirrors her personal life. Some highs, but mostly rocky, uncertain lows.

    I hope she finds some peace, but life is so unfair. There are so many who would kill to have the same opportunities as those who are born into it. Easy for them to gain access and opportunity and just as easy to let those opportunities slip away. In the twilight of her career she can only wonder, “What the Hell Happened?”

    Another great read from the LeBeauBlog!

    Brad Deal


    • She says in her Biography episode that she was already drinking at ten because she was insecure (!!)

      Her looks are constantly criticized online. Back in the day jocks were making mean comments on the radio. The myth that she was a beauty who destroyed her face with plastic surgery is complete bull. She looked like roadkill in her 20s and early 30s. The only years she looked attractive (to my eyes at least) were during the mid-1990s after her first round of surgeries. She unfastened that good work with her continued alcoholism, chain smoking, pill popping etc. and when she tried to repair it with even more surgery, it just didn’t work.


    • Speaking of Tippi Hedren:

      In her new memoir, Tippi Hedren reportedly goes into greater detail than ever before about her awful experiences working with Alfred Hitchcock—including accusing the director of what today would be described as sexual assault. 86-year-old Hedren’s memoir Tippidebuts Tuesday, and The Daily Mail and the New York Post and have previews her nightmarish account of her time on the sets of The Birds and Marnie. It started early, after a screen-test that she thought had gone well.

      It was all so seamless, until she was called into Hitchcock’s office to meet with a grim-faced attorney who informed her there was a problem. Various sources from her days modeling in New York claimed she’d been ‘available to men’.
      Hedren stormed out offended.

      Hitchcock then proposed another screen test. In this she would drink martinis and answer provocative questions.

      The naive actress found the excitement in his voice ‘creepy’ as he described how, under his direction, she’d slowly get wasted and ‘lose all my inhibitions on camera’.

      And via the Post:

      Before filming [of The Birds] even began, the director warned Hedren’s cast-mates, particularly the handsome Rod Taylor, not to socialize with or “touch The Girl,” she writes. On set, every time Hitch saw Hedren laughing or talking with a man, he would turn “icy” and “petulant” and fix her with an “expressionless, unwavering stare . . . even if he was talking to a group of people on the other side of the sound-stage.”

      He talked about getting turned on while filming Cary Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief, according to Hedren, who also said:

      Once, the portly director actually threw himself on top of her and tried to kiss her in the back of his limo.
      “It was an awful, awful moment,” she writes. But she didn’t tell anyone because “sexual harassment and stalking were terms that didn’t exist” in the early 1960s. Besides, she adds, “Which one of us was more valuable to the studio, him or me?”

      According to Hedren’s account, also via the Post, this type of behavior continued on the set of her next film with the director, Marnie, possibly the most sexually fucked of all midcentury movies, which is a very high bar to clear. Hedren says Hitchcock had a secret door between his office and her dressing room and had a life mask of her face made, just to have around. And:

      Finally, he showed up in her dressing room and “put his hands on me. It was sexual, it was perverse,” she writes of the assault. “The harder I fought him, the more aggressive he became.”

      This isn’t the first time Hedren has alleged appalling behavior by Hitchcock in the time they worked together. We’ve known for years that filming The Birds was a grueling experience—here’s a 1998 CNN review that mentions the inclusion of live birds in filming the infamous, climactic attic scene. It makes for a pretty upsetting re-watch:

      And tales of Hitchcock’s behavior have been floating around for quite some time, too. The Guardian summarized in January 2013:

      Then, in 1983, came Donald Spoto’s biography, The Dark Side of Genius. Spoto revealed that Hitchcock had harassed actor Tippi Hedren on the set of 1963’s The Birds to the point of physical and psychological collapse. During the filming of the followup, Marnie, Hedren claimed that he also “made an overt sexual proposition”, and when she resisted “became threatening”, saying he would ruin her career. He never forgave her for turning him down, and refused thereafter to call her by her name. She became simply “that girl”.

      The release of two biopics around that time—Hitchcock, about the filming of Psycho and starring Helen Mirren and Anthony Hopkins, and The Girl, about the director’s treatment of Hedren and featuring Sienna Miller and Toby Jones—drew fresh attention to the stories. Hedren spoke out at the time; for instance, ThinkProgress reported on her comments at a Television Critics Association event:

      “I had not talked about this issue with Alfred Hitchcock to anyone. Because all those years ago, it was still the studio kind of situation. Studios were the power. And I was at the end of that, and there was absolutely nothing I could do legally whatsoever. There were no laws about this kind of a situation. If this had happened today, I would be a very rich woman.”

      But this is the first time she’s written about her time working with Hitchcock, and in such detail.


  32. Just my thoughts on “Shining Through.”

    My son and I are history buffs, well I should say my son is a history professional with a Masters degree in history. Bout a year ago we watched Shining Through together and could point out the historical flaws in the movie. The implausible, contrived plot and all the flaws that the previous posters have so carefully articulated. But it is a beautiful movie. I see it the same way as the movie Prometheus. A beautiful director’s movie that flows and is easy to watch, but don’t dwell on the facts….because they will make you crazy.

    I really like Shinning Through, but my son could not get past the historical inconsistencies. He thinks I’m stupid, and I kicked him out of the house…

    Oh well

    Brad Deal


    • I’ve only seen it once, but I actually did enjoy the movie as entertainment. I do remember the SPOILER SPOILER SPOILER fact that Michael Douglas is somehow a spy in Germany who can’t actually speak German. That seemed like it should be a basic pre-requisite for the job.

      But I did enjoy the whole movie, as a rainy afternoon kinda flick.


  33. Melanie Griffith signs on for an ABC comedy pilot:

    She’ll play a grandma and former beauty pageant queen who helps raise her daughter’s extraordinarily intelligent kids, in what would become her first regular TV role in a decade.


    • It’s really sad that these are the kinds of roles she is being offered. Yes, she is plenty old enough to be a grandma, but this speaks volumes about how she is perceived. Geena Davis is 60 and playing the mother of a teen in The Exorcist. Kim Basinger in her last movie played a PREGNANT woman at 61.

      Melanie at 47 was playing the mother of two 30-ish women on that sitcom Twins. Ouch.


  34. The Bonfire of the Vanities in Top 10 Worst Movies with Great Casts


  35. I think we got less than 5 days left until this makeover is all settled just to keep things up.


    • I have been tinkering. I already added some pretty crazy material to this article. Hint: Griffith lived with lions! There’s a lot more that needs to be added. The article may not be fully renovated by her birthday in 5 days. I’ll post the gallery on her birthday no matter what. But I may still be working on updating the article after that day has come and gone.

      So much to do and so little time.


  36. This is indeed a great reworking of the original article. You are on a roll, Lebeau! Though I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Roar clip. I can’t stand the whole idea.


    • The Roar clip I included is relatively tame. I watched the one in which Hedren tries to pull the lion off of her daughter and it wad one of the most disturbing things I have ever seen. Un Be Lievable.


  37. Hey, isn’t that Casey Kasem with the trailer voiceover for “Joyride”?


  38. Hey. Great article, though the “what the hell happened bit” is a little thin. Maybe the material just isn’t there for research, but I’d love to know what kind of roles Melanie was offered post Working Girl that she may have turned down to do her string of flops. That is one of the great things I love about some of your other articles, how actresses chose one role over another (I’m thinking Meg Ryan in particular). Keep up the good work!


    • Glad you enjoyed the rewrite. I have to admit, I get uncomfortable writing about parts that actors passed on. The reason being that that it venture into the realm of speculation vs. what actually happened. For one thing, there’s a lot of misinformation out there regarding roles that actors passed up. If you look at IMDB or, you will see a lot of entries claiming that an actor “was considered” for a role. But that could mean anything. Lots of times, the actor wasn’t even offered the part. Someone just mentioned their name once. So generally, I only like to address roles that have been turned down if there is a substantial record of the actor being involved in some form. I like to get quotes or actual auditions to back that up.

      Then you get into the heavy speculation. What was the project like when they passed? Would it have been a hit if they had taken the part? The big example here is Molly Ringwald on Pretty Woman. Everyone makes a big deal out her passing on PW, but the script at the time was nothing like the movie that got made. And odds are if you replace Julia Roberts with Molly Ringwald, Pretty Woman wouldn’t have been a hit. That movie’s success was largely based on America falling in love with Roberts. But America had already fallen out of love with Ringwald at that time.

      Then there’s another element at play here. There were certain roles that practically every actress in Hollywood passed on. For example, just about everyone passed on one of the two leads in Thelma and Louise at some point. I don’t know that that is interesting enough to include it in every article.

      I know it’s a subject of interest and that’s why I sometimes address it. I have also done the What Might Have Been articles to specifically talk about that subject. But within WTHH, I try to limit it to parts that are 1. verifiable and 2. could have legitimately made a difference.


  39. Excellent re-edit. Really fascinating story. I liked the Monty Python reference by the way. I totally caught that. Well, done!

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Good Bad Flicks: Cherry 2000 (1987)


  41. Melanie Griffith, 58, SLAMS Haters With Unfiltered Instagram Photo: ‘Go Ahead… Say Some Mean Things’ (via @etnow)


  42. She destroyed her nose with cocaine, it’s not the same nose


    • I agree. And it’s not even fixable with surgery, or else, obviously, it wouldn’t look the way it does!

      I kind of feel bad for her. Her drug use must’ve been pretty heavy for her to look this bad. Tatum O’Neal, a notorious junkie, does not look anywhere near as worn out as Griffith.

      For another comparison, Elizabeth Taylor was addicted to drugs and alcohol for like 35 years, and even she managed to look presentable.

      Melanie does not even look presentable. You look at her face and can immediately tell, this woman’s lived a rough life.


      • I think at her best, Melanie Griffith looks a little bit like singer Belinda Carlisle, although I think Belinda still looks better. Circle in the sand!


  43. Welcome to the Basement: Roar! (1981)


  44. any chance ewan mcgregor can be added on there.


  45. Getting tips from mum? Dakota Johnson beams as she is visited by her actress mother Melanie Griffith in between takes on the set of Fifty Shades Darker


  46. Melanie Griffith Says She’s ‘Single and Lonely’ After Splitting From Antonio Banderas–abc-news-celebrities.html

    Melanie Griffith is slowly finding her way back into the dating game after splitting from Antonio Banderas after 18 years of marriage. “It’s just sort of nice,” she told People magazine. “My kids are all great. They’re beautiful people. I’m single,


  47. @MelanieGriffith to guest star on @ThePathOnHulu:


  48. Melanie Griffith reveals she felt ‘stuck’ in her marriage to Antonio Banderas… as she admits she was ‘hurt’ by comments about her botched plastic surgery



        Melanie Griffith, daughter of actress Tippi Hedren, got her acting start early in television commercials and modeling. She made her big-screen debut in 1975’s Night Moves, and continued her early career with more nymph-like racy roles in movies like The Drowning Pool and The Garden. She finally found her break-out role when she played secretary Tess McGill in the 1988 film Working Girl—a role which earned her an Academy Award nomination.

        But when you compare photos of Griffith as the naturally pretty young woman of the ’80s and ’90s with pictures of her today, she’s barely recognizable. Part of the difference is likely due to an on-set incident from her early years: while filming Roar in 1977, Griffith was mauled by a lioness. The attack to her face required 50 stitches to repair, and a 1984 People interviewer noted that the scars from that attack were still faintly visible seven years after the incident.

        Though there have been rumors that Griffith has had an ongoing love affair with plastic surgery, it seems likely that the natural loss of skin elasticity as we age has contributed to Griffith’s current visage—which now is more “Hollywood Matron” than “fresh-faced starlet,” if anything.


      • 10 Actors Who Never Had Plastic Surgery (And 10 Who Clearly Did)


        The world fell in love with Melanie Griffith in 1988’s Working Girl, a role that also earned her Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations. With the world at her feet, Griffith seemingly squandered her talent on notable flops like The Bonfire of the Vanities and Shinning Through – the latter earned her a Razzie nomination.

        Griffith has put in some fine performances since, of course – 1995’S Buffalo Girls is well worth watching – but as time has gone on she has become more famous – or infamous – for her surgically-enhanced looks.

        Speaking to Porter in 2017, Griffith blamed a series of procedures she had done two decades previously for her strange looks, which were not initially apparent to her. “I was so hurt,” she said. “I went to a different doctor, and he started dissolving all of this s**t that this other woman doctor had put in.”


    • I think Melanie Griffith is a solid actress, but in the looks department, I don’t know, I thought the three men she married were better looking for their sex than she was for hers. In re-watching the “Miami Vice” episode ‘By Hooker By Crook’ last week (of course I did), I found myself being more physically interested in actresses other than Melanie Griffith there, such as Veronica Cartwright, Vanity (I know she wasn’t REALLY an actress, but she played one in the era of the late 1980’s often enough), and Janet Constable (who played a receptionist, and who was also in an early Vice episode titled ‘One-eyed Jack’, which guest starred Dan Hedaya!!!). I’ve just find Melanie Griffith (younger or older, 1970’s or 1990’s, surgery or no), looks wise to be kind of common.


      • The notion that she used to be beautiful is made up, invented. Well [as I’ve said before] maybe for a split second circa Milk Money she was beautiful, thanks to quality surgery, but other than that, no way. I just think it’s unfair to HER that people are saying things like “she was so beautiful before surgery.” Come on! She was downright unattractive as a young woman:


        • I agree, you can’t lose something if it wasn’t ever there to begin with. To be fair, I STILL haven’t seen all of “Fear City” (kind of afraid to), but from what I’ve viewed I think she looks pretty good in that film (it was the way she wore her makeup & the length of her hair for me there).


        • Griffith may not have been a conventional beauty ala Michelle Pfeiffer, but I thought she was attractive in a lot of early film roles like Fear City, Cherry 2000 or Something Wild.


        • I think her greatest strength though, was her personality, that’s what won me over in her roles in “Something Wild” and “Working Girl”. It might be what carried the day for her all along anyway.


        • For myself, actresses with unconventional looks that come first to my mind are Karen Black & Rosanna Arquette. I believe asking every actress to look like Michelle Pfeiffer is just too high an expectation overall though.


        • Actually, Pfeiffer is not someone I’d cite as an example of perfect beauty. She has an alien look to her. Kim Basinger is the gold standard.


        • 15 Famous Actors Who REALLY Aren’t Aging Well


          The world first fell for Melanie Griffith back in 1988, when she starred in the excellent Working Girl. Griffith’s natural warmth and charisma shone through in a performance that earned her a Golden Globe for her efforts. However, the years that followed saw the actress star in flops like The Bonfire of the Vanities and Shining Through – the latter earning her a Razzie award in the process. Though she has continued to work steadily, Griffith has gone on the record admitting she underwent plastic surgery some 20 years ago and that it didn’t go to plan.

          “I didn’t [realize how much her face had changed] until people started saying, ‘Oh my god, what has she done?!’ I was so hurt,” she told Net-a-Porter’s Porter magazine. “I went to a different doctor, and he started dissolving all of this s–t that this other woman doctor had put in.”


      • Gluserty’s opinion was the general consensus back in the day. It was even addressed in the biography doco A&E did on her. They showed an interview with Antonio where he was almost defensive because people wanted him to explain why he chose her. He said “She’s beautiful in my concept of what beauty is.”


        • Antonio Banderas & her were married for quite awhile, and Don Johnson married her twice, so she must have been bringing something to the table. I guess that outside the camera she’s a lot of fun?


        • Yeah, I think so. She really does have a great personality. She’s hobnobbed with all the big names in Hollywood and you never hear anything suggesting she’s unpleasant to be around.


        • I’ve never heard anything negative either, just the usual personal tabloid fodder.


  49. I think she was a beautiful young lady. All this trash talk about her looks is ugly and unnecessary . Her talent is true and that’s what makes a person beautiful. Character.


  50. Their special bond revealed: Kris Jenner, 61, gushes about her ‘girl’ Melanie Griffith, 59, on IG… after the two connected over painful divorces


  51. I felt like taking a shower after this entry. Of course, that’s entirely a reflection of the Melanie Griffith Experience and not on you, Lebeau. I’ve never thought much of Griffith as an actress but her voice, look and vibe were uncommonly soft and thus made her watchable and likable. More importantly, Melanie Griffith’s life before adulthood…DEAR GOD. I read about the lions a couple of years ago with that movie’s re-release, but the nudity at such a young age…reminded me of the Christian Slater article. I do my best not to moralize about parenting and believe in personal responsibility, but some of this Hollywood crap is terrifying and it’s easy to see how these young actors can grow into seriously troubled adults.


    • Also, “In Born Yesterday, Griffith played a ditzy blonde showgirl who only recently learned about the holocaust. (I may have added that last detail.)”

      Comments like this are always a highlight!


  52. Melanie Griffith celebrates 60th birthday by ‘sending love and light’

    The star started the celebration bright and early by going on a special walk with her dog and sharing few words of wisdom with her fans.


  53. Dakota Johnson Was A ‘Diva’ On ‘Fifty Shades Freed’ Set

    Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson is winding up the movie trilogy with Fifty Shades Freed and it’s not a moment too soon for her co-workers, has learned.

    “Dakota was such a diva on the Fifty Shades Freed set,” a source told Radar. “She was out of control, it was incredible.”

    Johnson, 27, is the daughter of superstars Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith.

    Things got so bad on Fifty Shades that producer of the movie appealed to Johnson’s mother, former Working Girl actress Griffith, 60, for help in handling her, the insider dished.

    “The producer called Melanie Griffith and asked her to speak to Dakota about her bad behavior,” the source said.

    The film, the third and final installment of the sexy Fifty Shades movies based on the bestselling books by E.L. James, has reportedly wrappedShades’ Set

    But Johnson’s co-stars won’t soon forget what she put them through, according to the source, especially her sizzling leading man Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey.

    The source said, “It’s so bad that Jamie doesn’t speak to Dakota anymore. All of the people working on Fifty Shades are very happy this was the last installment of the trilogy!”


  54. Melanie Griffith Reveals Epilepsy Diagnosis, Says Divorce from Antonio Banderas Was ‘a Real Healer’


  55. 16 Stars Who Lost Roles Due To Pregnancy


    The 1998 Oscar Bait dramedy underwent several casting changes before settling on the female lead. Among those considered were Uma Thurman (who, in a rare move for Hollywood, was cut for being too young), and Courtney Love (what a missed opportunity there).

    Producers then campaigned for 39-year-old Working Girl star Melanie Griffith but she ultimately turned them down because she had just learned she was pregnant with Stella, her daughter with then-husband Antonio Banderas. Griffith also turned down the 1990 drama, The Sheltering Sky, when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter, Dakota, from her marriage to Don Johnson. Helen Hunt went on to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role as the love interest to Jack Nicholson’s endearingly bigoted curmudgeon.


  56. Good Bad Flicks: Roar (1981)


  57. Melanie Griffith heats up Laguna Playhouse’s ‘The Graduate’

    We know Melanie Griffith from ’80s and ’90s films like “Something Wild” and “Nobody’s Fool,” but the curvaceous blond with the kewpie-doll voice is no stranger to the stage. She played Roxie Hart in the Broadway revival of “Chicago” in 2003 and starred opposite Scott Caan in his play “No Way Around But Through” at Burbank’s Falcon Theatre in 2012. Following stepson Jesse Johnson’s performance in last year’s production of “King of the Road” at Laguna Playhouse, this month Griffith bares all on the same stage as Mrs. Robinson in “The Graduate.”

    Based on the novel by Charles Webb and the classic movie starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft, “The Graduate” premiered in London in 2000, where Kathleen Turner played Mrs. Robinson. And now, at age 60, it’s Griffith’s turn to take it off while trying to seduce Benjamin Braddock. “As long as I’m lit well, I’ll be fine,” the actress says, adding with a sigh. “I’m really fat and gone to hell.”

    As the daughter of Tippi Hedren (Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds”), Griffith grew up partly in Hollywood. Her break came in 1975 when she played a runaway nymphet in “Night Moves.” That role led to a string of seductresses and victims until Mike Nichols (who directed “The Graduate”) cast her in the career-defining “Working Girl,” which won her an Oscar nomination and a Golden Globe.

    The A-list movies and A-list husbands are behind her now, but so is the cycle of addiction and rehab. These days, Griffith is single for the first time in her adult life after four marriages to three men, including Don Johnson, father of their daughter, “Fifty Shades of Grey” star Dakota Johnson, and actor Antonio Banderas, whom she divorced in 2015 after nearly 20 years together.


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