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Poinciana

Your Favorite Sudsers

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I recorded The Best of Everything on tape a looooong time ago and was lucky enough to have found it today while going thru our ubiquitous garage boxes. I thought how much it epitomizes the movie soap opera genre.

 

My favs in this category include Stella Dallas, Strangers When We Meet, and Peyton Place and all the others I can't bring to mind right now but would love it if you would post some of your favorites.

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A couple of these movies have already been mentioned, but my vote for all-time great weepies would be "Imitation of Life," "Stella Dallas" and Lana Turner's version of "Madame X".

 

Terrence.

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One of my favorites is "About Mrs. Leslie" with Shirley Booth and Robert Ryan.When we first meet Mrs. Leslie, she's renting rooms for her modest income, widowed, we assume. The back story shows us how a casual meeting with an extremely compatable gentleman led her to enter into an arrangement whereby they would spend a few weeks together each year, strictly for companionship. Years into the realtionship, she discovers he's prominent in government and married with children, but opts to continue the relationship that is so satisfying to them both. When he dies suddenly, she lives out her life as "Mrs. Leslie" in his honor. It may sound crass the way I've told it, but it's extremely touching as played out by these two expert performers.

Another favorite is "Lucy Gallant" with Jane Wyman and Charlton Heston as two strong-willed types who love each other but continue to clash. Claire Trevor is wonderful as his shoulder-to-cry-on and Thelma Ritter is terriffic as Jane's best friend. Jane is an up-from-obscurity fashion designer, sort of like "rae" in "Back Street", another superior sudser.

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I'm not sure exactly how to define a "sudser," except that we all know one when we see it. Thanks for all your entries. I'd forgotten abt About Mrs. Leslie which was a movie with pathos so well communicated by Shirley.

 

I watched The Best of Everything last night. It had it all except it wasn't very good but nonetheless fun. By all I mean a great cast: Hope Lange, Diane Baker (love her in whatever), Suzy Parker, Louie Jordan, Stephen Boyd, and last but waaaaaay not least, Joan Crawford. All about the trials and tribs of a young Vassar grad who takes a typing test and passes and voila she's got a job in a big publishing house.

 

Oh, I forgot the unctuous Bob Evans as Dexter, the rich boy who gets Diane pg and dumps her. The three women in the piece all get jettisoned by their boyfriends. Suzy eventually gets so obsessed with Louie she ends up falling out a window, er kind of high up. And Hope, well she gets jilted by her fiance who then comes back to her and offers her such a deal! He loves her and wants her to be his love when he's in NYC on biz. Wow!

 

You get the drift...BTW, I remember hearing that Hope was terrified of Joan during filming. Watching the scenes with the two of them one can understand why, let's just say Joan was good at projecting intimidation.

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> {quote:title=Poinciana wrote:}{quote}

> You get the drift...BTW, I remember hearing that Hope was terrified of Joan during filming. Watching the scenes with the two of them one can understand why, let's just say Joan was good at projecting intimidation.

 

By that stage in her career, yes, absolutely! She was very good at it, too.

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Would "How Green Is My Valley" and "From Here To Eternity" qualify? And any of those 40's Lassie movies?

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Sentiment is the key word when describing Sudsers. If it makes you "feel" for the characters' long suffering lives then that's it.

 

I will add punilistically that Soap maybe in the eye of the beholder...

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All That Heaven Allows always gets me when poor Jane Wyman is standing in front of her living room window on christmas eve... having been left alone by her judgemental adult children to wallow in her sadness/loneliness (because they won't approve of rock hudson as her love).

 

Also, i always loved the soapy story of The Rains Of Ranchipur.

 

And Stolen Hours with Susan Hayward... very sad ending.

 

Old Acquaintance is another favorite sudser. Bette & Miriam keep the plot moving.

 

I liked Ruby Gentry as well. It had a dark, brooding quality.

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