Five Favorite Films with Betty White
The iconic television star discusses her favorite films, working on Golden Girls, and the art of the conversation.
In this week's romantic comedy The Proposal, Betty White steals scenes as Grandma Annie, the spunky, slightly daffy grandmother who welcomes her grandson (Ryan Reynolds) and his boss -- an uptight exec who has secretly blackmailed him (Sandra Bullock) into marriage -- into her Alaskan home. (Naturally, hilarity ensues, most often when White is onscreen befuddling her future granddaughter-in-law.)
Rotten Tomatoes was honored to sit down with Betty White to discuss her Five Favorite Films (hint: she's a romantic at heart) and to revisit her incredible career in Hollywood -- an impressive body of work that includes hosting her own self-titled talk show, her own variety show, creating iconic characters like "The Happy Homemaker" Sue Ann Nivens on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Rose Nylund on The Golden Girls, and winning five Emmys -- all before jumping headfirst into movie roles. Read on to learn Betty White's Five Favorite Films and hear her insights into great television writing, silly moments on the set of The Proposal, and her take on the art of the conversation.
I don't think I'd be in this business if it wasn't for Naughty Marietta
, with Nelson Eddy
and Jeanette MacDonald
. I was 14 and I was SO in love with Nelson Eddy I thought it was the end of the world, and I didn't just like Jeanette MacDonald, I was
Jeanette MacDonald! You know, at 14. And at 14 I also thought, Nelson Eddy married somebody and I thought he needed a much younger woman. I think I saw Naughty Marietta
48 times. I wasn't even interested in show business until then; I did school plays and that kind of thing, but I hadn't thought of it as a career until I got hooked.
I think it's one of the love stories of the world. The music --- I think it's the most evocative score in the world, it's just so beautiful.
is also one of my top, top favorites... it's a James Hilton book; Frank Capra
made the first one and they remade it
. It's set up in the Andes, where Shangri-La is a valley unlike any place on earth. Jane Wyatt
and Ronald Coleman
starred in the first one. Again, it's terribly romantic; I'm a romantic nut!
and Meryl Streep
; again, I thought it was a love story where you cared about [the characters]... I guess it just boils down to chemistry, Jennifer; when they deal you in, you get involved.
Rotten Tomatoes: I love this romantic streak! One of my favorite films is also a romance: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.
Oh, yes, it's beautiful! There's something about that film, Out of Africa
, and even Bridges of Madison County
--- it's that lovely, warm love story with a sadness at the end that just stays with you. [These are movies I watch over and over] or get the DVD when you want a fix; you put it in and just relax and enjoy.
It was seeing Meryl Streep for the first time, seeing that performance. You don't often see somebody just come out from the screen, grab you by the shoulders, and bring you back in. I think it was that that got me about it.
Next: Betty White shares silly moments on the set of The Proposal, reminisces about The Golden Girls, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, and her own unscripted talk show, and examines the art of the conversation