Brown Bread: Jean Simmons

Jean Simmons, the British film star who played Ophelia to Laurence Olivier’s Hamlet, sang with Marlon Brando in Guys and Dolls and co-starred with Gregory Peck, Paul Newman and Kirk Douglas, has died at the age of 80. Last year, the 60th anniversary of I’m Spartacus! coincided with the release of Shadows in the Sun, which was, apart from Jean Simmons’ performance, a complete turkey.

Here’s Wendy Ide reviewing Jean Simmons’ last film, Shadows in the Sun for the Times last year:

Shadows in the Sun is middlebrow mush wearing a handful of beads in an attempt to appear bohemian. A stilted family story set at the end of the 1960s, the film is unrelentingly bland and staggeringly uneventful. An octogenarian, Hannah (Jean Simmons), lives alone in a crumbling pile on the Norfolk coast. Her friendship with a beefy young loner, Joe (Jamie Dornan), is a comfort to her, as is the cannabis he supplies her to ease her pain. But her uptight son Robert (James Wilby) disapproves. And that’s basically it, barring a freak paddling accident. Its director, David Rocksavage, pads the tale with lots of scenic shots of coastal Norfolk. There’s more drama in a breakfast cereal ad.

R.I.P. Jean Simmons 1929-2010

Guardian obituary
Jean Simmons: Filmography

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