April 9th, 2006

Cinema Dave  Swashbuckling ournalist and

LENT Day 40 My Louise Fletcher interview from the 10th Palm Beach International Film Festival 2005

If you love movies, it is refreshing to meet
cinematic icons who share the same values. I felt the
same kinship with Louise Fletcher, who I interviewed
on April 15, 2005 at the Gulfstream Hotel in Lake
Worth Florida.

I was her last interview and I had been
through a stressful week of tax filing pressure and
sleep deprivation. She looked tired when I first
entered the interview room. We shook hands and she
made a point of pronouncing my last name correctly.

Louise Fletcher was in town to promote "Finding Home"
and to receive the "Legend" award from the Palm Beach
International Film Festival. When asked how it felt
to be acknowledged as an official "Legend,"
Fletcher responded with a smile,

"For one role in one movie. I am happy that Nurse
Ratched is a part of the lexicon. I was lucky, it was
a once in a lifetime event, but I never had any kind
of role to push that image out."

Not that Louise Fletcher had been out of work. Since
winning the Oscar for "One Flew Over the Cukoo's
Nest," Fletcher has averaged approximately three motion
pictures a year and numerous television appearances.
She earned a reoccurring role in "Star Trek Deep Space Nine"
and was seen on "ER" as an elderly sister who may,
or may not, be suffering from abuse, the polar opposite
of naughty Nurse Ratchett.

One of her favorite under rated films was "Brain Storm"
which starred Christopher Walken and Natalie Wood in
her last role. Sadly the tragedy of Natalie Wood's
drowning prevented the MGM from an all
out promotional blitz in 1983.

Another unheralded movie for Louise Fletcher was "Lucky
Star," which co starred another Palm Beach
International Film Festival Legend, Rod Steiger.

A little boy in Amsterdam loves American films,
especially cowboy flicks. One day, the boy steals
money from his father's cash register and purchases a
six shooter from another store window. Upon
returning, the boy learns that his Jewish family has
disappeared, victims of Nazi policies. Roaming the
streets, the boy meets a woman who takes him in.
While attempting to sew the Star of David upon his
shoulder, the boy places the star over his heart as if
he is sheriff attempting to clean up Dodge City.
Released 25 years ago, Louise Fletcher feels that the
story of "Tin Star" should be remade.

Movies influenced Louise at a very young age, "Acting
is all I ever wanted, ever since I was ten years old."
When she was old enough to take a bus, little Louise
went to see "Lady in the Dark" starring Ginger
Rodgers. She stayed in the movie theatre until the
last show, took a bus home and got into "Biggest
Trouble" trouble with her parents. However Louise
went on to have the most beautiful dreams in which the
dreamworld of Ginger Rodgers became real life.

From Birmingham to her farm in France,
even Louise Fletcher admits that
"...she had come a long way baby."

If her deaf father been able to pursue
theology studies with the Baptist Church, he would
not have become an Episcopalian Minister.

"The Baptist church did not offer training for
handicapped preachers."
Therefore her parents had to relocate Alabama.

Her parents taught her the importance to dream, but
she owes some of her success

"...to choices they made before I was born."

In some ways, "Finding Home" is reflective film about
Louise Fletcher's career. While an ensemble piece,
Louise Fletcher's scenes as the grandmother are told
in flashback. The core assertion of "Finding Home"
features three generations of family dealing with the
same thing." Louise is the spiritual influence of the
movie and speaks the film's final lines from First
Corinthians 13, Verse 4-7.