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MyFavoriteFilms

Jane Wyman 1.4.11

27 posts in this topic

I see that TCM has a slew of Wyman flicks today. But actually her birthday is tomorrow, on the 5th.

 

I haven't seen a few of these, so of course the DVR is set:

 

*MY FAVORITE SPY*...with Kay Kyser

*THREE GUYS NAMED MIKE*...an early role at MGM for Howard Keel

*JOHNNY BELINDA*...recently aired on Lew Ayres' birthday

*STAGE FRIGHT*...with Marlene Dietrich

*SO BIG*...costarring Sterling Hayden

*MIRACLE IN THE RAIN*...with Van Johnson

*LET'S DO IT AGAIN*...Columbia's musical remake of THE AWFUL TRUTH, with Ray Milland

 

wyman2.jpg

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I've seen most of these, but do have the DVR set for LET'S DO IT AGAIN. My first exposure to Jane Wyman came from watching Falcon Crest.

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MY FAVORITE SPY...with Kay Kyser

THREE GUYS NAMED MIKE...an early role at MGM for Howard Keel

JOHNNY BELINDA...recently aired on Lew Ayres' birthday

STAGE FRIGHT...with Marlene Dietrich

SO BIG...costarring Sterling Hayden

MIRACLE IN THE RAIN...with Van Johnson

LET'S DO IT AGAIN...Columbia's musical remake of THE AWFUL TRUTH, with Ray Milland

 

*liked her best in her pre-serious roles, as the sassy, sarcastic side-kick*

 

As do I. And I much prefer the 32 version of SO BIG and 37 version of THE AWFUL TRUTH.

 

BTW MFF, I think there was an early B or two at the beginning of the schedule. If SLAVE SHIP had not been on FMC this morning, I would have recorded it/them.

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Falcon Crest was my first exposure to her talents as an actress. She was better as the cunning Angela Channing than Joan Collins' Alexis or Larry Hagman's J.R. She just nailed the role and gave it so many layers...she could be ruthless and destroying lives one minute, then she'd be talking with the family priest and praying as the plane went down at the end of a season. She had a lot of comic relief, too, matching wits against Ana-Alicia. It was the role of a lifetime for her.

 

It's fun to go back and see her earlier dramatic roles in film, especially JOHNNY BELINDA. Or in something a bit softer and tamer like THE STORY OF WILL ROGERS. Then, there are the films she did with Bing Crosby where she sings Mercer's 'In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening.' Plus, her stern Aunt Polly in Disney's version of POLLYANNA. Then, she goofs off with Bob Hope and Jackie Gleason in HOW TO COMMIT MARRIAGE. What a great, versatile actress.

 

She's _vastly_ underrated.

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Her day was a long one. She was a huge star for many years. And she lived till she was 90.

 

I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the breezy comedy THREE GUYS NAMED MIKE. This was made the same year she was Oscar nominated for THE BLUE VEIL, which shows how versatile she is, as a dramatic actress and comedienne.

 

Then there are the Universal sudsers she did with Rock Hudson and Douglas Sirk. She excelled at every genre she did. Her career evolved to cover many unique phases and styles of storytelling, and she was _always_ up to the task.

 

I think she was better than some of the more acclaimed actresses of her day, because she was a casting office's dream. There wasn't anything she couldn't do.

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

> There wasn't anything she couldn't do.

 

Yesterday was my first day off in months and I half watched ALL these films while I puttered around the house. I was amazed as each film came on at Wyman's role-she was SO different in each one!

Nothing like watching one after the other to see how varied her roles were.

Amazing.

I was impressed by her singing in that last one. It was _her_ singing, wasn't it?

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Well to me there was one thing she couldn't do; look beautiful especially when she had want I say was a very ugly hairdo (and I love the 40's look generally). She also has a 'bug eye' type of look. I just don't see her as sexy at all.

 

Of course this is a personal taste but I really don't see men of that era wanting to go see her star in a movie like they would Lana, Ava, Rita, Gene or others. But indeed she was a very good actress.

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I agree to a degree that she didn?t have the sex appeal as Lana, Rita, Ava, etc., but Ms. Wyman conveyed a beauty in her depth as an actress in her movies; and she was lovely in her way.

 

As to John Boy?s comment in regards to the divorce, I read somewhere she fell in love with her ?Johnny Belinda? costar Lew Ayres and that ultimately led to her divorce. But nothing ever came of the affair and they parted ways.

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*She's vastly underrated.*

 

I disagree, and you yourself point out why:

 

*Her day was a long one. She was a huge star for many years. And she lived till she was 90.*

 

*I didn't mention how much I enjoyed the breezy comedy THREE GUYS NAMED MIKE. This was made the same year she was Oscar nominated for THE BLUE VEIL, which shows how versatile she is, as a dramatic actress and comedienne.*

 

*Then there are the Universal sudsers she did with Rock Hudson and Douglas Sirk. She excelled at every genre she did. Her career evolved to cover many unique phases and styles of storytelling, and she was always up to the task.*

 

She WAS highly regarded, as her several oscar nominations (and one win) can attest. She was also a top box office draw in the mid-50s, in the midst of a long, varied and fruitful career.

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Arturo,

Your post does not make sense. It seems as if you only want to argue and disagree all the time, when there is no need to disagree. Either that, or you want to correct others constantly. I think I am done debating anything more with you. Take care.

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Yes, she looks very good in this still black and white photo.

 

I was specific in my comments relating to the 50s color moives I saw on TCM the other day where she had that helmet type hairdo and her eyes just really looked big (maybe do to the hairdo now that I think about it).

 

I have Bette Davis stills from her early years where I think she looks very good, but again, those are black and white stills and those type of hollywood photos could make me look like Gable (well maybe not ha ha,). But I also wouldn't say Bette was like a Lana, Rita etc.... Bette was just the greatest actress of all time (which is more important) and like I said Jane did some very good work.

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It's not that I want to argue, disagree or "correct others constantly". If I see something that I perceive to be inaccurate, incomplete, contradictory or misleading, I point it out (of course it can be me that is wrong). You stated that Miss Wyman was vastly underrated, but then post that she was very popular for many years, was nominated for Oscars, etc. All of that seems to validate my view that she WAS NOT underrated, but highly regarded by her peers, audiences, etc. Which doesn't jive with, and seemingly contradicts your earlier statement of her being "vastly underrated".

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Arturo, my impression of it is you do like to correct others and argue what are probably minor points (in the greater scope of things).

 

Wyman is underrated when people constantly overlook her in favor of the Ingrid Bergmans and Marilyn Monroes of the film world.

 

But because of her skill, she was able to reinvent herself a lot, in many different genres and formats. She had a long career because she kept morphing into new entertainment personas. But people don't think of her longevity or career in the major way they do for other stars.

 

When I say to people I love Jane Wyman, they always (and I am not exaggerating, always) mention Falcon Crest. And then they mention JOHNNY BELINDA. They think of her as a dramatic actress. But her first love was music and people do not know how musically talented she was and the films where she sings and dances so well. She is definitely underrated because while she is appreciated in some areas, overall, she is underappreciated for her sheer versatility.

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I agree about Jane's unattractive hairdo. Kind of reminds me of June Allyson's helmet look.

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Just adding to MyFavoriteFilms? comment: Miss Wyman in fact began her career on the radio singing, before she ever made it in films. For those who haven?t seen her sing in movies, watch the ones she made with Bing Crosby, Let?s Do It Again with Ray Milland, and Night and Day with Cary Grant.

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Joan Crawford had that same unattractive bob in her late 40s/early 50s films. They must've all gone to the same wig maker..........

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*Arturo, my impression of it is you do like to correct others and argue what are probably minor points (in the greater scope of things).*

 

One of the reasons I come on these boards is to share information about one of my favorite topics, namely, classic Hollywood motion pictures and stars. If I see information that is not quite accurate (again, as I see it-I may be the one that's wrong), I point that out because while many people here have been reading about classic films for many years (as have I), others are new, or relatively so, to the subject. So I feel compelled to mention it. They may be minor points in somebody's estimation, but that is how some stars' legacies are disserviced, when inaccuracies, etc. are left to stand.

 

Two things about me . . . I work with Appeals, and have to argue cases in front of judges (although I am not by nature combative, but feel I have a logical mind). I am careful (or try to be) in choosing my words, whether in writing or orally, in order to convey the message as I intend it. I also notice when someone else's message is not quite right (again, in my estimation), and will point this out for clarification. This I find to be common when somebody makes a broad generalization, because the exceptions come immediately to mind, and I will state as much.

 

Also, I am a Virgo, and I often feel I don't see the forests for the trees. So while it may seem to someone a minor point from long ago whether Loretta Young became a Fox contractee in the mid-30s apparently because she had been borrowed by Fox, or because she was actually lured from WB by a departing Darryl Zanuck to his new company (20th Century Pictures), which merged a couple years later with Fox Films to form 20th Century-Fox, and thus unwittingly found herself a (20th Century) Fox employee, to me it makes a big difference, and I feel compelled to point it out.

 

Or when someone posts that Marilyn Monroe had been originally cast in THE EGYPTIAN, when I know that she WANTED to be cast, but Zanuck wouldn't cast her because he was casting his mistress Bella Darvi, then I feel compelled to point it out.

 

I don't think I'm doing it to be argumentative, but under the spirit of sharing information, thinking that the accurate information is important to be put out there.

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Well, thanks for explaining. I spend days working in a middle school teaching writing. But I don't know if the way I conduct this job filters on to my internet posts on a TCM board. LOL

 

When you corrected me on neglecting to mention a 57-minute Jane Wyman film, I thought you were being extremely corrective. :) I like to be as thorough and accurate as the next person, but processing information and posting is an inexact science. We cannot always please others, even when we are sticklers for detail ourselves.

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*When you corrected me on neglecting to mention a 57-minute Jane Wyman film, I thought you were being extremely corrective.*

 

Actually, I was trying to convey my frustration in not being able to record this film, as it overlapped with SLAVE SHIP on FMC, and I'd been waiting a long time to record that one again . . . many of my earlier recordings were done on VHS on the SP mode (or whatever mode gives the most recording time and worst quality), and I've been trying for years to rectify that.

 

Of course if the Fox studio would release this movie as part of a Warner Baxter boxset (or two or three), that might simplify matters re: this.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Jan 10, 2011 2:03 PM

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