I’ve been looking for movies based on Daddy Long Legs so that I can immerse myself even further in the John Grier Home and Judy-at-college writing letters filled with line drawings and the general sense of a perfect life being lived. I mean, she seems to be at the right place at the right time through out the whole book and that’s just something very nice to look at.She gets a little displaced when college gets over but there’s a happy ending with Jervis so all’s good.
There’s no fun in any of the movies. Fred Astaire portrays the character all wrong playing a roistering bachelor that makes him look just sad. The first time I saw him in the movie I was too disappointed with his looks to watch further. He plays a noisy drum set. Oooh! Radical! And Judy is … in the anime they turned her into a pig-tailed redhead probably because Anne of Green Gables was just so adorable and Leslie Caron is suspiciously copper hued. They shifted the whole movie away from the location in the book and it’s very hard to appreciate. They had some golden characters – the unsympathetic warden Mrs. Lippett, snooty Julia Pendleton, “Her mother was a Rutherford. The family came over in the ark, and were connected by marriage with Henry the Eight…On the topmost branches of her family tree there’s a superior breed of monkeys, with very fine silky hair and extra long tails.” I mean, hilarious right?! But the movies just have awful, extra-girly female leads and don’t progress any further. Also, none of the movies handle the weirdness (of an older man paying for a charge’s education and then falling for her) well. In fact, the anime version exploits it. Judy tumbles around in a child-like way at the feet of an elongated shadow of Daddy Long Legs. Hmmm. I think the reaction I’m looking for is: EWWWWWWW!
Sigh. I try reading Jean Webster’s Just Patty and get over my grief.