“New Miss Ellie on Dallas/August 30, 1984.”

Discussion in 'Dallas - The Original Series' started by TJames03, Aug 9, 2019.

  1. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,356
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +837
    Medals:
    2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,639
    Trophy Points:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Ratings:
    +4,355
    From beyond the grave we hear Donna Reed's own words. Donna was placed in an impossible situation, replacing a well established character on the hottest show on the planet, and the actor portraying that character even won an Emmy for it. Why did the producers even contemplate the idea of a recast? Sure they got away with it with the likes of Jenna and Kristin but they were minor roles to begin with. Barbara Bel Geddes portrayal as Miss Ellie was burnt into our retinas. It was the first major misstep for Dallas.

    If there is something I can take from the article it's the Dallas cast treated Donna with respect.
     
    • Agree Agree x 4
  3. stevew

    stevew Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,328
    Trophy Points:
    1,194
    Location:
    Michigan
    Ratings:
    +857
    Medals:
    1
    Member Since:
    Jan 2012
    Seems to me there are some rules here:

    1) never kill off a major character with no option of returning (they violated this with Bobby).

    and

    2) never replace a major character with a new actor (they violated this with Donna Reed)

    These of course are my rules, and there are exception I’m sure, but they seem to be appropriate here.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    6,397
    Trophy Points:
    6,136
    Occupation:
    INFJ
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +8,353
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    These decisions are made by cynical businessmen who believe the product, even Hollywood product, can be assembly-lined, and that as long as the "hook" is there -- JR Ewing -- everything else is exchangeable. So anyone other than Larry can be re-cast (which Larry himself knew wasn't true).

    At least DALLAS learned its lesson about that (which DYNASTY never did) yet DALLAS continued to screw up absurdly almost annually after this in other ways.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. JR Ewing Fan

    JR Ewing Fan Soap Chat Active Member

    Message Count:
    107
    Trophy Points:
    1,678
    Location:
    PA
    Ratings:
    +192
    Member Since:
    I don't even remember. It's had to have been over a decade though.
    'I was stunned when they said I was to replace Barbara. I thought they'd planned to have me play a new addition to the series."

    It would have been better if it was another character. She might have been accepted a lot more.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland

    Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,542
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    one of them high rises down in Venezuela
    Ratings:
    +2,725
    it’s interesting that while every defense of her portrayal I’ve seen is some variation of “she’s much more elegant, like the wife of a wealthy oil baron should be,” in the article she speaks of being excited to get back to her farming roots as the earthy Miss Ellie.
     
  7. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,639
    Trophy Points:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Ratings:
    +4,355
    What character would that have been? Perhaps a Southworth? I'm only curious because if Donna's other character had just dropped into Southfork unannounced it would have been just as confronting - if not more - since Miss Ellie would not have been present.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    6,397
    Trophy Points:
    6,136
    Occupation:
    INFJ
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +8,353
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    I always see her as Jenna's aunt, arrived in Dallas to witness her niece's wedding. She's friendly with Clayton, while Ellie recuperates in a hospice someplace after suffering a "spell" -- perhaps that psych ward committal that nuDALLAS was so enthusiastic about.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
    • Winner Winner x 1
  9. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,356
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +837
    Medals:
    2
    They should have waited at least one season to have seen if negotiations with BBG would have went. I still say the recast was a F U to BBG and DR was a scapegoat.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  10. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,639
    Trophy Points:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Ratings:
    +4,355
    How friendly ;)

    Could have made for an interesting story. The widow Wade begins making regular trips to Southfork in the vain hope she bumps into Clayton Farlow. JR - as usual - spots an opportunity and influences the relationship. We all know JR doesn't care for mamma's happiness. He just wants the father of that impotent rodeo rider off Southfork. Miss Ellie hears trouble is brewing at the ranch after a visit from Mavis.

    You know I think Barbara Bel and Donna Reed could have had some fun with that.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come

    Snarky's Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come Soap Chat Oracle

    Message Count:
    6,397
    Trophy Points:
    6,136
    Occupation:
    INFJ
    Location:
    Haunting that cozy cellar under Falcon Crest
    Ratings:
    +8,353
    Medals:
    7
    Member Since:
    September 2000
    You mean... lesbians?
     
    • Funny Funny x 1
  12. Rove

    Rove Soap Chat Star

    Message Count:
    2,639
    Trophy Points:
    1,323
    Location:
    Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
    Ratings:
    +4,355
    If handled delicately it could have bagged another Emmy for Barbara Bel. But seriously would America have handled such a menages a trois? Highly unlikely given how years later the act of indecency between John Ross, Pam and Emma created.
     
  13. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,356
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +837
    Medals:
    2
    Btw, if what she said in the article is true, it’s sad how things deteriorated so quickly. I know that Susan Howard was the only cast member to go to her funeral when she died.

    Even though I’m sure everyone has seen this clip a thousand times, you can just tell it was a big F-up. DR was NOT Miss Ellie and it wasn’t her fault at all.

    I do recall that when she was fired and she found out BBG was rehired she started making potshots at BBG’s appearance in regards to her “sack dresses,” and frumpiness. This could be why the cast might have felt alienated against her because she was insulting their “mama.” Reed def took the insults to a personal level and I think that really hurt her credibility with the cast.

     
  14. TJames03

    TJames03 Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,356
    Trophy Points:
    587
    Location:
    California
    Ratings:
    +837
    Medals:
    2
    I can’t even see DR being another character. She was simply too “polished” for a show like Dallas. She simply wasn’t going to work, no matter what the circumstances were.
     
  15. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

    Message Count:
    5,350
    Trophy Points:
    2,638
    Ratings:
    +8,918
    Medals:
    3
    Member Since:
    July 2007
    Why did TNT Dallas feel the need to get involved in Ellie's business like that. It's just rude.
     
    • Agree Agree x 2
  16. The Holiday Whore

    The Holiday Whore Soap Chat Warrior

    Message Count:
    5,350
    Trophy Points:
    2,638
    Ratings:
    +8,918
    Medals:
    3
    Member Since:
    July 2007
    Not really relevant but I recently discovered that Miss Ellie's sack dresses were actually designed by Hollywood fashion designer Jean Louis. Who designed for everyone from Marlene Dietrich to Lana Turner, Doris Day, Rita Hayworth, Judy Garland. The list goes on and on.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland

    Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,542
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    one of them high rises down in Venezuela
    Ratings:
    +2,725
    watching this clip not having made it that far in the show in quite a while, Jenilee Harrison and all the talk of 'Jason' is almost as jarring as the brand new Miss Ellie
     
  18. Mel O'Kalikimaka

    Mel O'Kalikimaka Super Moderator Staff Member

    Message Count:
    4,947
    Trophy Points:
    5,561
    Gender:
    Male
    Ratings:
    +9,510
    Medals:
    9
    Member Since:
    28th September 2008
    What struck me watching this scene out of context is how stiff and awkward the entire scene leading up to her appearance is.

    The staging is forced, unnatural and clunky. And the writing...!!
















    It's like watching a bloody awful am-dram production of Dallas where everyone had been bickering to make sure they got a line.

    Reed was blamed for a lot of the problems with this season, but seeing what she walked into fills me with sympathy for her.
     
    • Agree Agree x 5
  19. MenaceTheDennis

    MenaceTheDennis Soap Chat Member

    Message Count:
    35
    Trophy Points:
    124
    Location:
    Houston
    Ratings:
    +58
    I don’t think Donna ever criticized Barbara. I think it’s a fiction that was made up by the National Enquirer. Donna was really caught in a damned if I do or don’t situation. She was smart not to copy BBG. The role itself was largely inconsequential after Donna started playing her (BBG had two more opportunities to show off her acting chops while mourning Bobby and the entire is Jock alive storyline) but Miss Ellie’s best days were behind her.

    The producers thought if you had JR and Larry Hagman no one would care who played the other roles. I didn’t loathe Donna like some of the fans. She might’ve changed the way she played her a bit if Barbara never returned and would’ve been more accepted. The way the cast and crew treated her for simply NOT being BBG was horrible imo.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  20. Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland

    Walking in a Winter Guzzlerland Soap Chat TV Fanatic

    Message Count:
    1,542
    Trophy Points:
    892
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    one of them high rises down in Venezuela
    Ratings:
    +2,725
    hey, it’s not the writers’ fault that the extra walking right in front of Donna happened to be a bit taller than her but shorter than Clayton! ;)
     
    • Funny Funny x 1

Share This Page