Thursday, May 21, 2009

Favorite actresses

I've been meaning to get around to this, here are my favorite actresses and the movies I have seen them in.

Joan Crawford
The Unknown (1927)**
Our Dancing Daughters (1928)***
Our Blushing Brides (1930)***
Grand Hotel (1932)**
Dancing Lady (1933) ***
Forsaking All Others (1934) ***
The Last of Mrs. Cheney (1937) ***
The Women (1939)****
A Woman's Face (1941)****
Reunion in France (1942)***
Mildred Pierce (1945)****
Humoresque (1946) **
Possessed (1947) ****
Autumn Leaves (1956)***
Strait-Jacket (1964)***
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)****

I consider Joan Crawford the most versatile actress of her era. She could play crazy, mean, a victim, a seducer and she could play them well. The best work I have seen her in is Mildred Pierce, The Women, and my favorite, Possessed.

Bette Davis:
The Cabin in the Cotton (1932)***
Fashions of 1934 (1934)**
Of Human Bondage (1934)****
The Girl from 10th Avenue (1935)***
Front Page Woman (1935) **
The Petrified Forest (1936)**
Satan Met a Lady (1936)***
That Certain Woman (1937)***
Jezebel (1938)****
Dark Victory (1939)***
The Old Maid (1939)****
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)***
All This, and Heaven Too (1940)***
The Letter (1940)****
The Great Lie (1941)***
The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942)***
In This Our Life (1942)****
Now, Voyager (1942)****
Old Acquaintance (1943)****
Mr. Skeffington (1944)****
Deception (1946) ***
All About Eve (1950)****
Pocketful of Miracles (1961)**
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)****
Dead Ringer (1964)****
Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964)****
The Nanny (1965)****
Death on the Nile (1978)**
Bette Davis: A Basically Benevolent Volcano (1983) ****

Bette Davis knew she didn't have the beauty most of her contemporaries did so, what she lacked in that department she made up in wit, courage, and a ready willingness to play a bitch. And the best bitch at that. I don't even think I like Bette Davis as an actress as much as I like her being herself. When she was interviewed, you were getting her, not another part being played. She was always quick to respond, witty, humorous, and honest despite what others would think. This attitude allowed her to play unconventional roles and hone her craft in playing more powerful women.

Norma Shearer
Lady of the Night (1925)****
Their Own Desire (1929) ***
The Divorcee (1930)***
Strangers May Kiss (1931) ***
Riptide (1934)****
Idiot's Delight (1939) **
Her Cardboard Lover (1642) ****

I've really just discovered Norma Shearer so, I have not seen much but already like her bunches. Besides just being a beautiful woman, Norma Shearer brings a lot of energy to the screen- I think it helped a lot that most of her work was done in the pre-code era. She's not an exceptionally great actress but she is a lot of fun to watch.

Maureen O'Hara
Miracle on 34th Street (1947) ****
Rio Grande (1950) ***
The Quiet Man (1952) ****
The Parent Trap (1961) ***
McLintock! (1963) ****
Big Jake (1971) ***
Cab to Canada (1998) ***

Another exceptional beauty, Maureen O'Hara stars in one of my favorite films, The Quiet Man. I loved all her best when her co-star was John Wayne. They had serious onscreen magic. Beyond her beauty, I love her lilting voice and her fiery attitude.

Myrna Loy
When Ladies Meet (1933)***
Penthouse (1933)***
The Thin Man (1934)****
Manhattan Melodrama (1934) ***
Wife vs. Secretary (1936)***
The Great Ziegfeld (1936)***
Libeled Lady (1936)***
After the Thin Man (1936)****
The Rains Came (1939) ****
Another Thin Man (1939)****
Shadow of the Thin Man (1941)****
The Thin Man Goes Home (1944)****
The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (1947)***
Song of the Thin Man (1947)****
Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948)****

Like Norma Shearer, Myrna Loy brings a lot of energy to the screen. She was always witty, quick and had an uncanny way of showing anger- by not really showing it. Has anyone else notices that? I lover her in all the Thin Man movies, she and William Powell are another prime example of onscreen magic.

Irene Dunne
The Awful Truth (1937)****
My Favorite Wife (1940)****
Life with Father (1947)****
I Remember Mama (1948)***

I wish Irene Dunne had done more movies with Cary Grant, I think they made a great onscreen couple. Although I have not seen many of her films, I like Irene Dunne in that she brings a bit of originality to the screen. I like the way she talks to herself, her nervouse laughter, the way she can just laugh off any insult or get even when it's necessary.

Today on TCM!

It's all about Robert Montgomery! Yum!

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