Miriam Margolyes; Josefina López

I watched a compilation of the Graham Norton show online and fell in love with his very humorous show.   On one such compilation, Miriam Margolyes had been a frequent guest on his show and got along very well with his diverse guests.

Miriam Margolyes is an Australian-British actress and voice artist.  She was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in dramatic arts.

The first time I saw her was as an instructor, Professor Sprout, in the Harry Potter movies.   The next time I saw her she was portraying Miss Fisher’s snobby, prudish, bossy aunt, Prudence Elizabeth Stanley, in the Australian television series, Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. 

Talk about playing against type—she is nothing like the part she was playing on that show.   She has a great sense of humor and great timing with her jokes.  Miriam had every guest cracking up in each episode of Graham’s show in which she appeared.  Will.i.am, an American rapper, was one of them.   Her appearances on Graham’s show have made me one of his fans.   I’ll have to start watching his show.

Real Women Have Curves

I want to look into this comedy, Real Women Have Curves, by Josefina López.   Josefina is a Chicana playwright.   Her play about Hispanic female workers has been made into a movie for which she is also co-author of the screenplay.





twitter.com/grahnort   Graham Norton is an Irish television and radio presenter, comedian, actor and author based in the United Kingdom

Written by Rosa L. Griffin



Review of movie Leave Her to Heaven, based on a book by Ben Ames Williams

Here’s another example of a fictional psychopath in the movie “Leave Her to Heaven” (1945) which was Fox’s highest-grossing film of the 1940’s.

The movie is about a beautiful socialite Ellen Behrendt (played by Gene Tierney, nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award).   Ellen is the former fiancé of the recently elected county district attorney, Russell Quinton (played by Vincent Price).  When she meets Richard, she quits Russell without any explanation.

Novelist Richard Harland (played by Cornel Wilde) is invited to her parents’ house for dinner.   Ellen leaves their house for 12 hours until Richard comes looking for her.  A clue to her personality, her father refused to go looking for her.  Unfortunately, Richard marries Ellen and becomes the male in her life who must give his full attention to her at all times after her father’s death.

Husband Richard soon realizes that Ellen is jealous of his writing, his adopted sister-in-law, his brother—anything or anyone that takes attention away from her.  Unfortunately, Richard was too gullible to see that his wife was dangerous until she herself told him so.

Ellen’s character fits the characteristics of a psychopath.  She possesses “a lack of empathy and feeling for others, selfishness, lack of guilt, and a superficial charm that manifests exclusively to manipulate others”. (See my essay, “Are You a Psychopath?” published in WordPress).  But, the romance changes into a horror movie when Ellen takes it to the dark side of psychopathy by drowning her husband’s disabled brother Danny (played by Darryl Hickman) in the lake, killing their unborn child, and committing suicide to frame her husband and adopted sister, Ruth (played by Jeanne Crain).

The most unbelievable part (Oh, forgive them Perry Mason) is the laughable trial scene highlighting Vincent Price.  Vincent Price’s prosecutor/anguished boyfriend as well as Richard’s defense lawyer/friend, Glen Robie (played by Ray Collins) were the worst lawyers.   Ray Collins was cheated out of the role he could have played.  His character Robie and the judge were asleep at the wheel.

The prosecutor badgered the husband unendingly without one objection from Richard’s lawyer/friend for the last third of the movie.  The prosecutor should have recused himself from this case because of a conflict of interest and lack of impartiality, knowing his romantic background with Ellen before her marriage to Richard.   I guess the filmmakers wanted to create more horror by adding Vincent Price to the horror abounding in the movie.

Normally, I stop watching a movie that loses its senses which this movie did by then.   But I had to see what was so Oscar-worthy.   Gene Tierney’s performance was Oscar-worthy.  She made me believe she was a killer.   However, Cornel Wilde wasn’t given much to work with in this part.  His character was clueless most of the movie as people can be when they are in love.  He sat still and looked handsome.

The other thing that I didn’t like about the movie was the title, “Leave Her to Heaven”, because it implied that Ellen should go to heaven because she was so good.  But, the book author, Ben Ames Williams, drew the title from Shakespeare’s quote in Hamlet, “leave her to heaven, and to those thorns that in her bosom lodge to prick and sting her.”  The title should have been: “Send her straight to Hell!”

This was the second movie in which I saw Gene Tierney as a murderous psychopath, but in the movie, “Razor’s Edge”, she killed people emotionally, not physically.   Otherwise, she was usually the epitome of innocence in her film roles.

Sources:  Wikipedia, IMDb.com

Written by Rosa L. Griffin




Are you a psychopath?

Are you a psychopath?

When you think of psychopaths, who do you think of?

Ted Bundy, Hannibal Lecter (movie), Dexter (tv show)?

But, according to MSN’s online article, “7 facts about psychopaths you didn’t know before,” psychopaths are people who possess “a lack of empathy and feeling for others, selfishness, lack of guilt, and a superficial charm that manifests exclusively to manipulate others”.

A few TV characters come to mind:   Jim Parsons’ character, Sheldon, on the Big Bang Theory; Martin Clunes’ character on public TV, Martin Ellingham, on Doc Martin; David Mann’s character, Mr. Brown on Meet the Browns; Tony Shaloub’s character, Adrian Monk, on Monk; Benedict Cumberbatch’s character, Sherlock Holmes, on Sherlock; Jamie Doran’s character, Christian Grey, in the movie, 50 Shades of Grey, etc.

“Psychopathy is not a psychiatric diagnosis—not a recognized psychiatric or psychological disorder.”

“Psychopathy is dimensional in nature—spectrum between minor, moderate and severe.”

“Psychopaths and sociopaths are not the same.        The difference lies in having a conscience which a psychopath does not have, but does have the ability to blend in.”

“Psychopaths aren’t always violent.        Most rely on their nature and ability to charm for other things like the business world.”

“…But they are overrepresented in prison.       50 to 80 percent of prisoners meet criteria for antisocial personality disorder.”

“Female and male psychopaths may be very different.       Females may express their psychopathy through behaviors that are often mistaken for other mental illnesses”.

“The Amygdala may play a significant role in psychopathic tendencies.       Associated with emotional reactions, decision-making, and fear…having reduced integrity or function.”


Excerpts submitted by Rosa L. Griffin