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« Camping It Up | Main | Apology Not Accepted, Mel Gibson »

July 30, 2006

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"Ball of Fire" is one of my ALL time favorite films and I thought Barbara Stanwyck burned up the screen with the sexual heat that exuded from her. It is also the first film that I became aware of and fell in love with Dana Andrews as that 'bad guy' boyfriend! A funny dear fiilm and I never tire of seeing it!
"Fiddler" of course was a wonderful film and my dear friend Norma Crane's last role (playing Golda) on the screen having been diagnosed with breast cancer as filming began on that movie and subsequently dying at the age of 43....a terrible loss to all who knew and loved her as well as her legion of die hard fans. What a joy to go to The Academy, Danny to not only see these films but to have the privilege of hearing and seeing those who are still with us who participated in the making of these films talk about their experience. Fabulous! Oh how I wish I could go with you!

Thanks for sharing this movie experience. What fun to go to all the Acadamy Award Nominee Films and hear the actors and directors talk about their experiences! It makes me wish we had something like that where I live. Closest we come is a few artsy film houses. I'm with OldOldOldLady...I wish I could go with you.

Danny, I have to say it again: Can we trade places for a day? You seem to lead such a charmed life... I LOVE your social schedule.

Danny! How could Barbara Stanwyck not have been that high on your movie star radar?!? She's one of my all-time favorites--maybe even THE favorite of the golden era actresses. Have you seen 'Baby Face'--the pre-Code trampfest where she sleeps her way to the top of the social ladder? She's incredibly sexy. Part of what makes her sexy is her unconventional beauty. She's really not an Ava Gardner or Joan Crawford. But her looks lasted late into her life. Even as a kid, I thought she was hot on 'Big Valley.' (Her grey 'do is part of the reason I want Leesa to let her hair go grey.)

I always find her in movies that appeal to me more and more as I grow older. She was adept at both comedy and drama and is especially good in films like Christmas in Connecticut and The Lady Eve (both Sturges comedies), Double Indemnity, Clash by Night and The Strange Love of Martha Ivers. Ooh, and Stella Dallas! She's one of the most interesting femme fatales, in my opinion, because she seems so tough and tender at the same time. One of my all-time favorite films is Sam Fuller's Forty Guns. It's a revisionist Western in which she plays an outrageous, ruthless butch rancher/landowner. The title song calls her "a high-ridin' woman...with a whip."

Even in b-grade material I still find her fascinating. Her performance in The Night Walker lifts the film beyond its stock exploitation storyline and marketing. She co-starred with Robert Taylor who she was married to in the 30s and who had affairs with Ava Gardner and Lana Turner before they divorced. A few years later she had a torrid affair with Robert Wagner, 20+ years her junior. I recently read an interview-portrait of her in which she was described as less than an intellectual, someone who relied on street smarts and instinct rather than "book smarts." I don't know that I buy that. Not that she wasn't book smart, I can believe she may not have been much of a reader (or should I say "autodidact"?). But the implication that she wasn't smart is ridiculous and the proof is in her performances.

Oh, Danny...we have to talk!

Matt, you're right on all counts! Not sure why it took me so long to fully appreciate Stanwyck. On the other hand, I remember thinking how amazing (and sexy) she was in her later projects such as "The Thord Birds" which she made at the age of 75!

You need to give me a list of films I need to see to bring me up to speed. I should've kicked Norma Shearer to the curb years ago and replaced her with Barbara Stanwyck. (Oh great, now Kendall will be mad at me...)

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