Monday, October 4, 2010

The Shep Ferguson Family Ch. 1 "I Still Love Old Movies"

Another two Sims I created are based on two of my many favorite movie stars of yesteryear who actually did make a couple movies together, James Stewart and Kim Novak. The movies are two of my favorite movies for both of them; both made in 1958. That is, one of Hitchcock’s masterpieces, Vertigo and the delightful Bell Book and Candle.

There are practically no movies Jimmy Stewart ever made that I don’t like, but some of my favorites besides these two are The Philadelphia Story, The Shop around the Corner, (which is the very first English version of You’ve Got Mail), Harvey, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, It’s A Wonderful Life,  Destry Rides Again, Broken Arrow, and Rear Window.

As for Kim Novak, my other favorite movies of hers are Strangers When We Meet, Picnic, Pal Joey and most of all, Middle of the Night, written by Paddy Chayeski with a wonderful cast that includes Fredric March.

I have to say at this point that I was not trying to make them exact duplicates. I wish I had known then what I’ve been learning so that they really could be doubles, but I can’t tear them apart now. At any rate, for those who do not know old movies stars these are pictures of the actors in scenes and still from each movie.

In the movie Vertigo, James Stewart play a character named John (Scotty) Ferguson, a retired detective with acrophobia (fear of heights) which CAUSES Vertigo (basically a kind of dizziness). But most people think Vertigo is fear of heights...well, who wanted to name a movie "Acrophobia"? Vertigo sounds much cooler. 

Anyway, Scotty is hired to watch an acquaintance's wife (without her knowledge) to make sure she is not in any danger. Kim Novak plays the wife, whose name is Madeleine Elster. She is an ethereal, slightly scary, blonde beauty. That's all I'll say about that for now. At any rate here are some photos which I, course, kept in mind when creating my Sims.

Scotty's first glimpses of Madeleine at the restaurant called "Ernie's"

By now Madeleine knows Scotty (she doesn't know he has been hired by her husband). Here Scotty listens to Madeleine tell him how she feels she is haunted...

After Madeleine falls to her death and his acrophobia keeps him from being able to save her, Scotty has nightmares...

Finally, depressed and despairing, he meets Judy who looks so much like Madeleine that the obsessed Scotty tries to make her over in order to bring Madeleine "back from death".

The transformation of Judy into Madeleine is complete:

This is one of the pix of Madeleine before she "died" that I used for reference

Scotty begins to suspect something is amiss:

He will go on to learn that Judy IS Madeleine. That is, Judy impersonated his friend's wife, Madeleine, so that he could kill his wife, knowing Scotty would never make it to the top of the church to save her. Scotty gets a confession out of Judy (who is now in love with Scotty, the same as she was as Madeleine) and is so angry he drags her all the way up to the church steeple where he thought she had fallen to her death. At the top Madeleine becomes frightened and backs off out of the window, this time falling to her death in reality. Scotty, in effect, has lost Madeleine twice. I decided that my female Sim would BE Madeleine. Note the highly arched eyebrow on Kim Novak (AND on James Stewart), these will cause a problem for my Sims later.

Some pics from Bell, Book and Candle now. Stewart played Sheppard (Shep) Henderson, a publisher and Kim Novak played Gillian Holroyd, who runs a primitive art store, but is actually a witch.

Note James Stewart's highly arched eyebrows. It's not just an expression; they show in other scenes and photos.

I decided to blend the two characters, Shep Henderson from BB&C and Scotty Ferguson from Vertigo because, frankly, I already had a Scott Ferguson Sim living in Pleasantview. So, my new Sim became Shep Ferguson. A few photos of Shep and Madeleine.

Madeleine playing pool at married daughter Gillian's home:

You will note that I made both Sims with highly arched eyebrows. I did not anticipate a problem. I made them in Create - a - Sim and created 3 teenagers for them as children. A daughter, Gillian, a second daughter I called Margo after Kim Novak's character Margaret/Maggie in Strangers When We Meet, and a son, Nicky (the name of Gillian Holroyd's warlock brother in BBandC). Problem was all three kids came with pointed ears. And extremely arched eyebrows, almost alien. So they all wore hair that semi-concealed them. It was so surprising I had to laugh. Unfortunately, in spite of all the photos for reference, my Shep and Madeleine did not end up looking like Jimmy Stewart or Kim Novak, but they at least they are unlike any of my other Sims.

I don't really have photos of the kids as teens--I didn't start taking screen-shots until recently. but when I show you the adult photos you may be able to detect it, especially with the oldest, Gillian, who is now married and has an infant. It will be interesting to see how her child turns out!

When Shep moved here he was a retired detective and cast about for what to do with his time. He contemplated several careers, but decided he loved painting and pottery so much that he would devote his time to that and definitely to fishing.

Madeleine also loves to be creative but her forte is sewing. While their three kids were teenagers and before they got too old, Madeleine and Shep decided to try for one more child. They got twins! Harvey (named after one of Shep's favorite movies) and Holly (after Madeleine's favorite movie Breakfast at Tiffany's). The twins have pointed ears too and this time I'm not trying to cover them up. Harvey's eyebrows are totally slanted, it's unmistakable. The twins were adorable and are now 7 or 8. Margo recently married Kevin Candeloro and is expecting their first child. Nicky is an adult and still at home, he's tops in sports, a major leaguer, and still looking around for his true love. Don't know whether he will stay at home or find his own place. It's getting downright crowded in Pleasantview nowadays.

Nicky Ferguson

The twins:

Harvey. See his little alien ears and eyebrows? he's a cutie! :)

Here he is ready to plunge into their pool

One of my favorite Sims 2 photos. "Harvey and the Genie"

 Holly looking as though she's seen a ghost...

With one of her friends, Gareth Caswell

The family at breakfast before Margo moved out.

So I don't have a real plan for this family yet; just the legend of how they came to be. I hope to be able to narrate an interesting storyline within the next couple of months, if not sooner.

New installment of the Ferguson Family (they finally have a plot!) HERE 

Next installment to the Blog HERE

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