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Actresses..


James

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I've been watching movies from way back when as I've developed a real liking for them. Mostly movies from the Silent Era thru the 1950s, with my favorite decade being probably the 1930s.

Anyway, I also really dig the actresses from this period, they just had it going on for me more so than the actresses that came later.

So, from whatever time period, who was your fave?

This would probably be mine, though I still have yet to see most of her movies. But she was the most beautiful of them all for me, and importantly she had aura of integrity when acting on the big screen. Watch at least 20 seconds of the video to give her justice:

 

 

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This is my runner-up. She'll probably be my first choice tomorrow. She was the most classic of the classic beauties. And if you look her up, you'll see that she was also a genius inventor.

When you look up the meaning of the phrase "beauty and brains", you'll likely just get a photo of Hedy Lamarr.

 

 

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Well, old friend, I'm not as much of a movie buff as I always wanted to be. But I will give you two names that rank at the top of my list (off the top of my head):

• Audrey Hepburn — those eyes! — particularly in Breakfast at Tiffany's

• And Eric's old heart-throb Natalie Wood, especially for Rebel Without a Cause. 

Both died way too young!

A name that intrigues me from the 1930s is Mary Pickford. Somewhere along the line of my editing/wriitng in the antiques/collectibles world, I encountered a photo collection and autographs of Pickford, and I always meant to dig in and see her in action, but haven't gotten to it yet. 

 

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I love Mary Pickford, she was the biggest name from the Silent Era, probably. She also became a power player as a founder of UA I believe. By the 1930s when talkies replaced silents, she was all but done. The American Experience on PBS did an episode on her some years ago you can find for free on video platforms. I think you'd love it LC. 

She's uber Americans.

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James, my favorite male actor list never changes- Anthony Hopkins gets the nod. But picking a solitary actress is going to be hard.

Ok, for just this moment, and maybe no other, I'm taking Emma Stone, based mostly on her performance in LaLaland.

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Oh, James...

This is a tough decision!!!

Film studies were a part of my degree, so you can see that cinema is a great passion of mine.

There are so many talented actresses in different genres and time periods.

Ingenue, comedienne, romantic lead, etc.

Some of the less remembered pioneers are adventurous Pearl White, beautiful Mabel Normand, Clara Bow (the original "It" girl) and sexy Louise Brooks.

I adore Eve Arden's exquisite comedic wit and timing!

Rosalind Russell is unbelievable in His Girl Friday.

Love Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Vivian Leigh, Audrey Hepburn and so many more!

Greer Garson, Susan Hayward, Maureen O'Hara...

 

Here's to all the great ladies of the silver screen!

 

 

 

 

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I read a biography on Mabel Norman just a couple months ago, then watched a documentary on her. Full life, bad breaks, sad ending.  They say she was the first great comedic actress in the movies. I´m a fan.  I´m too lazy to look it up, but I believe Stevie Nicks wrote a song about her.

P.S. today my favorite actress of all time is Susan Hayward.  I´m so fickle.

James

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17 hours ago, James said:

This is my runner-up. She'll probably be my first choice tomorrow. She was the most classic of the classic beauties. And if you look her up, you'll see that she was also a genius inventor.

When you look up the meaning of the phrase "beauty and brains", you'll likely just get a photo of Hedy Lamarr.

 

 

Beautiful and brilliant Hedy had some pretty famous admirers in addition to James...

 

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I'm digging this thread, James. I'll add to my earlier name-drops of Audrey Hepburn and Natalie Wood (and Mary Pickford—looking forward to watching that documentary you noted) with... the irresistible Marilyn Monroe.

I'm not a film expert by any stretch (not even close), but I do know she's not technically in the upper echelon of actresses. Yet she sure commanded attention... made you watch... won your heart. (I accidentally just typed in "heat" instead of "heart"!) 

I'd be interested in how others rank Marilyn. Especially Susie, with your background in mind. 

 

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I´ve read and watched docs on her. I love her as a fan. Her beauty was of course an element. But she had something else too, that came from the inside, that translated on the screen, which made her special.

Though she was known for years to not show up for work, show up hours late, etc. Seems she had lost touch with reality and responsibility. Big negative on the ledger in my book.

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Miss Monroe is one of those actresses whose legend looms large for a relatively small portfolio of work.

She is one of those rare people who possessed an onscreen magnetism like few others.

Marilyn's onscreen work is pretty fabulous.  I love her in Some Like It Hot, Seven Year Itch and How To Marry A Millionaire.

She had acting chops.  The Misfits is a pretty magnificent film, however, its production was hampered by her personal demons.

She was a savvy business woman in her manipulation of her Fox Studio contract to get what she wanted. 

She also knew how to market herself by turning the discovery of her nude photographs into a sensation rather than a career ending scandal.

Marilyn Monroe was a complicated and tragic figure. 

I'm certain that she would have gone on to even bigger and better films.

 

 

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Good synopsis. And good point on the nudes. Today, not a big deal. In the 1950s, it was big, but she knew how to keep it from sinking her. 

Marilyn is one of those whose tragic fate leaves us wondering about all the great films we lost over the course of three or four decades. Same with John Lennon—it's heartbreaking to think about how much unique JL music we lost between 1980 and today. 

On a side note...  I knew "I Wanna Be Loved By You" as a Ginger Grant number (Gilligan's Island) long before I encountered Some Like It Hot. :-) 

 

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Ginger Grant. Ha! Another one we´ll never know how good she would have been....if she hadn´t been stranded on the island for so long. What a waste.  : )

PS As big as GI and Ginger was as a character, Tina Louise was underrated in her work in bringing that entertaining as heck character to the world.

James

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Tina Louise is a super talented stage actress as well as film.

God's Little Acre was her debut, I believe, and garnered her a Golden Globe nomination.

She starred in a sci-fi B movie, Evils of the Night, with an incredible cast that included another of my triple threat favorites.  That would be dancer, actress and inventor, Julie Newmar.  

Julie was the original Stupefyin' Jones in both the stage and film productions of Lil' Abner, and went on to have a fine career of notable film and stage credits.

I would also like to mention another veteran of stage, film & television, Miss Barbara Stanwyck.  I have read interviews of many co-stars who all said she was the consummate professional, unlike Marilyn Monroe.  Stanwyck was always the first to arrive and the last to leave a set, always striving for perfection in her productions.  She was a generous performer, always encouraging and supporting other cast members.  Such a fabulous lady with a career to match!!!

 

 

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Interesting, in that I recently bought 2 or 3 movies with Barbara Stanwyck starring, as I was fishing for integrity, ie trying to get more good people into my collection, and reading up on her a little, she seemed to fit the bill.  Per Susie´s review of her, looks like I was right on in my choice of her!

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I got a kick out of The Big Valley as a kid, and Barbara Stanwyck was great as the matron of the Barkley family. Great cast: Richard Long, Peter Breck, Lee Majors... and who didn't love Linda Evans? 

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Good call on Miss Bisset, Matthew!!!

She stars in one of my all time favorite films, François Truffaut's magnificent "play within the play" film, Day For Night.

"Day for night" is actually a cinematic term.  When a filmmaker shoots a night scene in daylight, that's "day for night".  It's usually done to save money or for safety reasons.  You can see the technique used quite a bit in vintage television shows that had a good number of outdoor scenes, particularly westerns.

The film Day For Night is a cinematic treasure, full of clever nuance and double entendre.

James, add this film to your library!

Truffaut is considered to be one of the pioneers of French New Wave cinema and had so many more films in planning before tragically losing his life to a brain tumor at age 52.

Truffaut's partner was another of my favorite actresses, Miss Fanny Ardant.  She may be most familiar to American audiences through her role as Marie de Guise, mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, in Elizabeth.

 

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One last post for the moment...

Elizabeth brings to mind Orlando, which is based on the Virginia Woolf novel.

Scottish actress, Tilda Swinton is magnificent in this time traveling jewel of a film.

Another one for your library, James.

 

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