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slaytonf

Glenda Farrell finally gets her due.

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Glenda Farrell will be familiar to aficionados of studio-era movies.  She's faded from the popular consciousness, unlike headline stars such as Bette Davis, or others who maintain recognition by association with an iconic movie, like Fay Wray.  But I wonder if TCMers have a true appreciation of her career and place in movie history.  I didn't, until I read about her for this thread.  Here's a good summary of her career and life:

https://thoughtsandramblingsofhardwickebenthow.wordpress.com/glenda-farrell-her-life-and-legacy/

Most often characterized as the fast-talking, smart, sassy, brassy side-kick to the female lead, her other achievements are overlooked.  But she wasn't so much type-cast, as a victim of her own success, along with her movie and real-life buddy Joan Blondell, in creating the type itself.  A vein well and deeply mined by Jack Warner in a series of movies starring her and Joanie as a pair of adventuresses on the hunt for money and men, in varying orders of importance.

People might dismiss this as gimmickry, not worthwhile acting, but I see a real dimension and humanity in her characterizations.  Her professionalism, razor sharp timing, and bulls-eye delivery would be good enough to get her through a few movies, but the hard and edgy aspects of her roles would have paled if there weren't anything under it to make them sympathetic and people care about them.  And this is what must have resonated with audiences, as she was an enormously popular actress, according to her bios, equal to any of her contemporaries.  This popularity got her her own movie series portraying crack news reporter Torchy Blane.  According to Ms. Farrell herself, she worked hard to make her portrayal more than superficial, smart, brash, intrepid; studying the women reporters she came in contact with, and emulating them.  Warner tried to replace her when he latered her from the studio, but the public wouldn't have it.  Only Glenda Farrell was ever accepted as Torchy Blane.

I want to send out a big thank you, and a why-the-hell-did-it-take-you-so-long? to TCM for their long overdue tribute.

Glenda Farrell, Star of the Month, November 2018.

 

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I'm looking forward to Ms Farrell's SOTM selections; I haven't seen many of her films.

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I am over the moon about Glenda Farrell as SOTM in November.  Though I have seen 99% of what she has done, I'll be recording all month. 

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I am also looking forward to Glenda Farrell's SOTM tribute--especially the evening of her films with Joan Blondell.  I really like Blondell.  She's long overdue for a SOTM or SUTS or something! 

There are a lot of films scheduled during Glenda's evenings that I haven't seen, so that is exciting.  I'll have to pick and choose however, my DVR is at 80% capacity! So many films, so little time. 

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On 10/31/2018 at 11:20 AM, speedracer5 said:

I am also looking forward to Glenda Farrell's SOTM tribute--especially the evening of her films with Joan Blondell.  I really like Blondell.  She's long overdue for a SOTM or SUTS or something! 

There are a lot of films scheduled during Glenda's evenings that I haven't seen, so that is exciting.  I'll have to pick and choose however, my DVR is at 80% capacity! So many films, so little time. 

Blondell was featured on SUTS a few years back.    But since TCM showed 4 Cagney\Blondell films,  it could have been a Cagney tribute.

So Blondell should be SOTM;  this way TCM can feature the Cagney films she was in,  the films she did with Farrell and a few other comedies she did at WB,  and then move on to the films she did in the 40s (Nightmare Alley), and later decades.

Bring on Joan!!

 

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Must admit, considering I now think of myself as something of an expert in classic film (at least among the people I know in "real life", if not so much here!), Farrell's name wasn't immediately recognizable to me. I'm even scrolling back up to top of the screen to make sure I spell it right. I think I seriously have her confused with Joan Blondell. I even watched some of the Torchy movies when TCM made a night of them, and I think at the time I thought I was watching Blondell! So, I definitely need to educate myself this month. Looks like I've seen several movies she was in, but I just don't remember her specifically. She was the woman who forces Paul Muni into marriage, then betrays him in I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang? I definitely remember that role. But, as I say, this month will hopefully give me a chance to get to know her career better.

Edit: I just remembered I believe I was actually thinking of the Maisie movies TCM once made a night of, which was neither Blondell nor Farrell, but Ann Sothern. Lotta blondes in the '30s and '40s movies. Sorry for being so confused. But I've also at least seen Smart Blonde.

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Slight correction needed on this article:   "Farrell is the only member of the acting profession whose grave is located in the cemetery of the United States Medical Academy."  Should be:  United States Military Academy.

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