Randy_D

"Ann Sheridan Day" Proclamation

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Denton County, Texas, has proclaimed February 21, 2015, as Ann Sheridan Day.

 

Ann was born in Denton and February 21 is the centennial of her birthday.

 

You can hear the audio of this proclamation on this YouTube clip.

 

 

 

Randy

 

Ann Sheridan Fan Club

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Denton County, Texas, has proclaimed February 21, 2015, as Ann Sheridan Day.

 

Ann was born in Denton and February 21 is the centennial of her birthday.

 

You can hear the audio of this proclamation on this YouTube clip.

 

 

 

Randy

 

Ann Sheridan Fan Club

Hooray!  She was wonderful, and very deserving of this special day of tribute.

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Sheridan had a snappy way with an insolent one liner that few other actresses could match. One of the great dames of the movies, she could play brittle comedy exceptionally well. Critics didn't take "dames" in the movies too seriously in her day, but that never prevented me from loving her. Loved her cynical roadside waitress in They Drive By Night. Loved her initial sassing Cagney back in Angels with Dirty Faces, followed by her loyalty to him. Loved her warm, loving small town girl in Kings Row (her favourite film and role). Loved watching her potent chemistry with Flynn in the unfairly neglected Silver River.

 

In an interview that Ann Sheridan had not long before her death, she was asked what she thought her film legacy might be. Annie, ever the pragmatist, responded there would be none, that her film career would be forgotten.

 

Unfortunately, I think that Ms Sheridan's prognostication has proven to be largely correct. Outside of a few hardcore film buffs, she never appeared in any one film that has lived on and with which the general public connects today. (By the way, Sheridan dismissed any talk that she had once been under consideration for Casablanca as bunk, as far as she knew).

 

It's nice, however, to see that there is a Sheridan fan club in her home town. Annie was always a very proud Texas girl. For my money, Ann Sheridan and James Cagney were one of the great uncelebrated screen teams. (And Torrid Zone showed her to be one of the few Cagney co-stars to ever be able to steal a film from him).

 

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Cagney and Sheridan, with, as Jimmy calls it in this film, her "14 carat oomph."

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Nice post/thread Randy. Glad to see her hometown folks are celebrating her in style. Because of the 31 Days of Oscar, TCM is skipping over her birthday but I think they have an upcoming tribute planned for her after the Oscars.

 

On February 21st, the day when she would have turned 100, I am going to feature her in a column on my blog and also here at TCM on the 'Today's Topic' thread. I will be discussing the time she sued Howard Hughes and won. I think she was a formidable talent and a human being with a strong sense of fairness. 

 

My favorite Ann Sheridan films are the ones she made post-Warners when she was in charge of selecting her own material as a freelancer. She has standout roles in I WAS A MALE WAR BRIDE; and in 20th Century Fox's STELLA (a truly great dark comedy); and the late-career film she felt people should see and remember her by-- COME NEXT SPRING, a perfect rural drama with Steve Cochran she did at Republic.

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I'm so glad that Ann's predication that her career would be forgotten has turned out to be so wrong. She is one of my "must see" actresses and her versatility, ease of manner and wit are special, indeed. I think TCM truly erred (ya think?) in not making her the SOTM in March but perhaps (one can always hope) they will rectify that error later in 2015.

 

Happy (Almost) 100th BD Ann Sheridan.

 

Lydecker

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Because of the 31 Days of Oscar, TCM is skipping over her birthday but I think they have an upcoming tribute planned for her after the Oscars.

 

 

 

Indeed, TCM will be airing an evening of Ann Sheridan films on Thursday, April 23 comprised of her frequently-seen (but still entertaining) Warner Bros. films (GEORGE WASHINGTON SLEPT HERE (1942), KINGS ROW (1942), etc.). And three evenings prior, on April 20, THEY DRIVE BY NIGHT (1940) will be airing in primetime.

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I'm so glad that Ann's predication that her career would be forgotten has turned out to be so wrong. She is one of my "must see" actresses and her versatility, ease of manner and wit are special, indeed. I think TCM truly erred (ya think?) in not making her the SOTM in March but perhaps (one can always hope) they will rectify that error later in 2015.

 

Happy (Almost) 100th BD Ann Sheridan.

 

Lydecker

 

 

Well, she is forgotten by the general public. I think that's what she meant. Its too bad. Had she lived longer she might not have been. She died before the nostalgia craze caught on. Sad, she died so young...............

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Well, she is forgotten by the general public. I think that's what she meant. Its too bad. Had she lived longer she might not have been. She died before the nostalgia craze caught on. Sad, she died so young...............

Wouldn't she have made an incredible TCM interviewee??

 

Lydecker

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Wouldn't she have made an incredible TCM interviewee??

 

Lydecker

 

 

YES!

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It's nice, however, to see that there is a Sheridan fan club in her home town. Annie was always a very proud Texas girl. For my money, Ann Sheridan and James Cagney were one of the great uncelebrated screen teams. (And Torrid Zone showed her to be one of the few Cagney co-stars to ever be able to steal a film from him).

 

 

Actually, I'm in Michigan. :)

 

But thanks to social media we've connected with fans from all over the world. Just doing our best to make sure Ann isn't forgotten.

 

In addition to Ann Sheridan Day, Denton County is working on a historical marker for Ann. Let's hope they can get this done!

 

Randy

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 Along with Joan Blondell and Olivia De Havilland ,     Ann was  one of Cagney's best leading ladies. She deserves to be remembered and I'm sure she is by many. For younger people getting into the "classic " films, Ann is one of those  treasures waiting to be  discovered.

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 Along with Joan Blondell and Olivia De Havilland ,     Ann was  one of Cagney's best leading ladies. She deserves to be remembered and I'm sure she is by many. For younger people getting into the "classic " films, Ann is one of those  treasures waiting to be  discovered.

yes, I will never forget her remark about her dress holding up to a night on the town with Rocky Sullivan in angels with dirty faces. :D

 

 

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If any film I would say KING'S ROW which is a minor classic.  I always said Sheridan should have followed others and starred on Broadway in a musical  like Angela Lansbury and Alexis Smith.  Sheridan, who I think was gorgeous, had a good singing voice and she would have wowed them on stage.  I love her in NORA PRENTISS.

 

In addition, we both share the February 21 birthday.  Met many stars in the early 90s getting their autographs but wish Sheridan would have been around then since I would have loved to have met her.

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Ann Sheridan was something special but sadly her film legacy doesn't do her justice.   One reason is that she was under contract at Warner Brothers.   With Bette Davis being their star the other actresses under contact (DeHavilland,  Lupino,  Sheridan and later on Alexis Smith)  got the left overs.   

 

Sheridan really shines in Torrid Zone and the plot of the movie does focus on her Character.   But in most of her pre-WWII WB movies the character Sheridan plays is very secondary to the plot.   

 

My favorite Sheridan movies are:

 

Torrid Zone

Man Who Came to Dinner   (great part for Ann in this Bette Davis \ Monty Woolly movie)

Angel With Dirty Faces   (but a small part)

They Drive by Night   (small part but seeing Lupino and Sheridan in the same movie is a treat)

Dodge City   (maybe the best WB movie she was in but she is completely wasted in this Flynn\DeHavilland movie)

It All Came True;   A leading part and her last movie with frequent co-star Bogie   (in 37 they made 3 movies together,  with one,  Black Legion being of interest for it's topic).

Edge of Darkness;    Flynn and Ann - Wish they did more movies together

Nora Prentiss;    Ann is fine in this movie but Kent Smith is, well,  Kent Smith

King's Row;     Good movie but the focus is mostly on the Cummings character

I Was a Male War Bride;    Only an OK comedy.   Yea, with Grant and Ann one would think this would be great but there is a lack of chemistry between the two  (or maybe it is because I don't like Ann in uniform!).

 

 

 

 

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Edge of Darkness;    Flynn and Ann - Wish they did more movies together

 

Flynn and Sheridan were also co-stars in her final film on her Warners contract, Silver River. This film shows both of them off very effectively, and they had wonderful chemistry. Silver River, a western about a reprobate gambler who becomes a business buccaneer in the west, trampling over anyone getting in his way, is a neglected gem that deserves to be better known.

 

I only wish that Flynn and Sheridan could have been featured in more films together. They were reunited for a final time in a 1957 TV western drama, Without Incident. The years had not been particularly kind to either one of them, however, since they had made Silver River, and it shows in both of their appearances in this drama.

 

Silver River, however, occasionally appears on TCM. For Sheridan or Flynn fans, the film is definitely worthy of a viewing or two.

 

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A few years after Flynn death's, Sheridan said that he was great fun to work with and she adored him.

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I love her in NORA PRENTISS.

 

So do I. I think it's her best film at Warners. As several other posters' comments attest, she was over-identified with being a doll/prop for Cagney and Flynn in their films. And most people who mention those films are in reality Cagney fans or Flynn fans who like the fact that Sheridan so nicely went along for the ride with those boys.

 

But in a way, she was an early feminist and her best roles at a studio that did not exactly treat women too well are the ones where she is directed by Vincent Sherman-- those melodramas displaying her considerable acting chops, like NORA PRENTISS and THE UNFAITHFUL.

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As several other posters' comments attest, she was over-identified with being a doll/prop for Cagney and Flynn in their films. And most people who mention those films are in reality Cagney fans or Flynn fans who like the fact that Sheridan so nicely went along for the ride with those boys.

 

I can't agree with this statement at all. Sheridan was hardly a doll/prop for either Cagney or Flynn. The reason she plays so well off them is because (unlike many of their other leading ladies) she stands up to them with her strong personality. In fact, the "doll/prop" stole Torrid Zone from Cagney in the opinion of many.

 

The chemistry that she had on screen with both those two actors enhances the appeal of those films immeasurably. Both Jimmy and Errol had reason to be grateful to have Sheridan on screen with them, as did she to have them. (She later made reference to the box office failure of Stella because of her lack of screen rapport with Victor Mature).

 

It's interesting to see Sheridan in those more dramatic ventures in which she was later cast by Warners, such as The Unfaithful and Nora Prentiss. And her performances in both films are quite adequate, in my opinion. But to dismiss her films with Cagney and Flynn merely because those films can be seen as male star vehicles is, at the same time, to dismiss some of the best work of Sheridan's career.

 

Sheridan, by the way, loved working with both of those actors. In fact, it was the appeal of working with Flynn again in Silver River (plus the prospects of the film potentially being a box office hit which, unfortunately, was not the case) that had her agree to appearing in that production, the film that wrapped up her Warners career.

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I can't agree with this statement at all. Sheridan was hardly a doll/prop for either Cagney or Flynn. The reason she plays so well off them is because (unlike many of their other leading ladies) she stands up to them with her strong personality. In fact, the "doll/prop" stole Torrid Zone from Cagney in the opinion of many.

 

The chemistry that she had on screen with both those two actors enhances the appeal of those films immeasurably. Both Jimmy and Errol had reason to be grateful to have Sheridan on screen with them, as did she to have them. (She later made reference to the box office failure of Stella because of her lack of screen rapport with Victor Mature).

 

It's interesting to see Sheridan in those more dramatic ventures in which she was later cast by Warners, such as The Unfaithful and Nora Prentiss. And her performances in both films are quite adequate, in my opinion. But to dismiss her films with Cagney and Flynn merely because those films can be seen as male star vehicles is, at the same time, to dismiss some of the best work of Sheridan's career.

 

Sheridan, by the way, loved working with both of those actors. In fact, it was the appeal of working with Flynn again in Silver River (plus the prospects of the film potentially being a box office hit which, unfortunately, was not the case) that had her agree to appearing in that production, the film that wrapped up her Warners career.

The problem I have with your analysis is that it defines her as a costar to Cagney and Flynn. How about defining Kent Smith (in NORA PRENTISS) or Zachary Scott (in THE UNFAITHFUL)-- or wait, how about defining Errol and Jimmy as a costar to Ann Sheridan. I think too many people are getting hung up on a small batch of her films, seeing her as a doll/prop or else as a saucy gal pal, instead of evaluating her individually and independent of her costars. 

 

This is one reason why TCM's programmers repeat a lot of titles in the Turner Library. Or why, when they want to do an evening of Alice Faye films, they pick titles from Fox that costar Tyrone Power. There is a huge oversight of these women as independent artists and looking at them on their own terms. We need to stop defining them as players in Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power movies. 

 

To me it doesn't matter if an actress enjoyed working with a certain male costar or if she was his real-life drinking buddy-- what matters is the overall work, not a narrow interpretation of it.

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The problem I have with your analysis is that it defines her as a costar to Cagney and Flynn. How about defining Kent Smith (in NORA PRENTISS) or Zachary Scott (in THE UNFAITHFUL)-- or wait, how about defining Errol and Jimmy as a costar to Ann Sheridan. I think too many people are getting hung up on a small batch of her films, seeing her as a doll/prop or else as a saucy gal pal, instead of evaluating her individually and independent of her costars. 

 

This is one reason why TCM's programmers repeat a lot of titles in the Turner Library. Or why, when they want to do an evening of Alice Faye films, they pick titles from Fox that costar Tyrone Power. There is a huge oversight of these women as independent artists and looking at them on their own terms. We need to stop defining them as players in Errol Flynn or Tyrone Power movies. 

 

To me it doesn't matter if an actress enjoyed working with a certain male costar or if she was his real-life drinking buddy-- what matters is the overall work, not a narrow interpretation of it.

The fact that an actress enjoyed working with a particular actor (certainly in Sheridan's case, regarding Flynn and Cagney) is reflective of an off screen chemistry which translated on screen, as well, producing some of the best work of that actress's career (and further enhancing the actors' careers, too, for that matter).

 

Warners did not treat Sheridan well as far as star vehicles for her were concerned. You can blame the studio for that, but her co-starring work with those two actors still shines as brightly as ever, in my opinion.

 

Nor did I "define" Sheridan as a co-star. I merely stated that some of her best work was when she was featured with a couple of famous male Warners stars. (I had also earlier stated how much I also enjoyed her work in They Drive By Night and Kings Row. Both of those films, particularly the latter, have ensemble casts in which Sheridan's contribution to those films matches that of any of her co-players, a considerable achievement on her part).

 

If you choose to emphasize other films in which Sheridan herself was more of a central figure (though in the case of Nora Prentiss I would say that Kent Smith has more screen time, if anything), that is your right. While, as I stated earlier, Sheridan is quite adequate as a dramatic performer in those films, the impression of those performances is still not, in my opinion, in the same league as her earlier work in either those ensemble casts or opposite Cagney or Flynn.

 

And it's the high quality of her performances in those earlier films that I extoll. Whether you say that Sheridan is a co-star of Cagney or Flynn or they are co-stars of her's is a game in semantics which is silly and entirely besides the point.

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The fact that an actress enjoyed working with a particular actor (certainly in Sheridan's case, regarding Flynn and Cagney) is reflective of an off screen chemistry which translated on screen, as well, producing some of the best work of that actress's career (and further enhancing the actors' careers, too, for that matter).

 

Warners did not treat Sheridan well as far as star vehicles for her were concerned. You can blame the studio for that, but her co-starring work with those two actors still shines as brightly as ever, in my opinion.

 

Nor did I "define" Sheridan as a co-star. I merely stated that some of her best work was when she was featured with a couple of famous male Warners stars. (I had also earlier stated how much I also enjoyed her work in They Drive By Night and Kings Row. Both of those films, particularly the latter, have ensemble casts in which Sheridan's contribution to those films matches that of any of her co-players, a considerable achievement on her part).

 

If you choose to emphasis other films in which Sheridan herself was more of a central figure (though in the case of Nora Prentiss I would say that Kent Smith has more screen time, if anything), that is your right. While, as I stated earlier, Sheridan is quite adequate as a dramatic performer in those films, the impression of those performances is still not, in my opinion, in the same league as her earlier work in either those ensemble casts or opposite Cagney or Flynn.

 

And it's the high quality of her performances in those earlier films that I extoll. Whether you say that Sheridan is a co-star of Cagney or Flynn or they are co-stars of her's is a game in semantics which is silly and entirely besides the point.

I feel like you are overstating her chemistry with Cagney and Flynn because you are a fan of those actors. But she had chemistry with Cary Grant and Steve Cochran and Sterling Hayden in her later films. So we should stop trying to turn this thread about Ann Sheridan into a discussion about Errol Flynn or Jimmy Cagney movies. Her career was more than those vehicles at Warners. And even if we did focus on Warners, what about her films with Ronald Reagan (JUKE GIRL) or Dennis Morgan (there were several). Why must the conversation focus on Flynn and Cagney so much? The bias is obvious to me.

 

At any rate, I found this thread a perfect opportunity to inject some much-needed feminism. I get tired of the focus being on the male studio stars when the women carried films on their own and were just as important at the box office.

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I feel like you are overstating her chemistry with Cagney and Flynn because you are a fan of those actors. But she had chemistry with Cary Grant and Steve Cochran and Sterling Hayden in her later films. So we should stop trying to turn this thread about Ann Sheridan into a discussion about Errol Flynn or Jimmy Cagney movies. Her career was more than those vehicles at Warners. And even if we did focus on Warners, what about her films with Ronald Reagan (JUKE GIRL) or Dennis Morgan (there were several). Why must the conversation focus on Flynn and Cagney so much? The bias is obvious to me.

 

At any rate, I found this thread a perfect opportunity to inject some much-needed feminism. I get tired of the focus being on the male studio stars when the women carried films on their own and were just as important at the box office.

I'm emphasizing what I consider to be the best films in which Sheridan appeared (if some of them co-starred Cagney or Flynn, so be it but these are Sheridan's films, as well as their's - she is an important contributor to the success of those films). Neither Juke Girl nor any of the films that Ann made with Dennis Morgan have got a patch on They Drive By Night or Torrid Zone or Kings Row or Silver River, in my opinion, so why would I discuss them if I'm concentrating on what I consider to be the lady's best work? (Sheridan, though, is excellent in Juke Girl, and very good on Shine On Harvest Moon, a pair of otherwise disappointing films).

 

Any chemistry that Sheridan had with either Cary Grant or Steve Cochrane is minimal, in my opinion, compared to the two male stars I named. I have not seen her with Sterling Hayden so I make no comment about her work there. As a matter of fact in an interview that Sheridan had towards the end she listed Cagney and Flynn as two actors with whom she thought she did have noteworthy screen rapport, in contrast, she said, to Victor Mature and Gary Cooper (even though she liked the latter as a person).

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I'm emphasizing what I consider to be the best films in which Sheridan appeared (if some of them co-starred Cagney or Flynn, so be it but these are Sheridan's films, as well as their's - she is an important contributor to the success of those films). Neither Juke Girl nor any of the films that Ann made with Dennis Morgan have got a patch on They Drive By Night or Torrid Zone or Kings Row or Silver River, in my opinion, so why would I discuss them if I'm concentrating on what I consider to be the lady's best work? (Sheridan, though, is excellent in Juke Girl, and very good on Shine On Harvest Moon, a pair of otherwise disappointing films).

 

Any chemistry that Sheridan had with either Cary Grant or Steve Cochrane is minimal, in my opinion, compared to the two male stars I named. I have not seen her with Sterling Hayden so I make no comment about her work there. As a matter of fact in an interview that Sheridan had towards the end she listed Cagney and Flynn as two actors with whom she thought she did have noteworthy screen rapport, in contrast, she said, to Victor Mature and Gary Cooper (even though she liked the latter as a person).

 

Reading both TB and your comments I don't think the opinions stated contradict each other.   I was trying to make very similar points when I listed my favorite Sheridan films.

 

While my favorite Ann screen persona is in the films she made up until WWII in most of those films Ann has a very minor role.  So while I love that sassy Ann persona in most of those movies all we have to hold on to is a few scenes.    The exception being Torrid Zone where much of the movie is build around this sassy Ann film persona.    

 

But I also understand the POV that the films where Ann was the star are her best work because these films feature Ann.  i.e. it is her best work because it is the most work,,,,  her most complete \ total performance  (e.g. in a film like Nora Prentiss).   But in these films Ann is more subdued with that early sassy sparkle mostly missing. 

 

This is why I find her film legacy disappointing.   When I first discovered Torrid Zone (I admit because it was a Cagney WB film),  I was floored by Ann and went looking for other films she was in.     But sadly I learned that Torrid Zone was the best there was.    All of her other films don't match that one; either because Ann is hardly featured or because Ann as the star just didn't have the same magic.

 

Juke Girl is a unique film in this discussion;  As you noted Ann is great in the film (this is the sassy Ann we love), but the overall film is a disappointment.   

 

Silver City is another example;   While it is an Ok movie and has some good moments to me it doesn't come close to Dodge City and is even a step below San Antonio as far as a Flynn western and the wit and banter between the male and female characters. 

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Reading both TB and your comments I don't think the opinions stated contradict each other.   I was trying to make very similar points when I listed my favorite Sheridan films.

 

While my favorite Ann screen persona is in the films she made up until WWII in most of those films Ann has a very minor role.  So while I love that sassy Ann persona in most of those movies all we have to hold on to is a few scenes.    The exception being Torrid Zone where much of the movie is build around this sassy Ann film persona.    

 

But I also understand the POV that the films where Ann was the star are her best work because these films feature Ann.  i.e. it is her best work because it is the most work,,,,  her most complete \ total performance  (e.g. in a film like Nora Prentiss).   But in these films Ann is more subdued with that early sassy sparkle mostly missing. 

 

This is why I find her film legacy disappointing.   When I first discovered Torrid Zone (I admit because it was a Cagney WB film),  I was floored by Ann and went looking for other films she was in.     But sadly I learned that Torrid Zone was the best there was.    All of her other films don't match that one; either because Ann is hardly featured or because Ann as the star just didn't have the same magic.

 

Juke Girl is a unique film in this discussion;  As you noted Ann is great in the film (this is the sassy Ann we love), but the overall film is a disappointment.   

 

Silver City is another example;   While it is an Ok movie and has some good moments to me it doesn't come close to Dodge City and is even a step below San Antonio as far as a Flynn western and the wit and banter between the male and female characters. 

I think that Sheridan's work in They Drive By Night equals that in Torrid Zone. Unfortunately, her character largely disappears in the second half of the truck driver film, but the first half of the film she steals, in my opinion. She's also terrific in Angels with Dirty Faces (small as her screen time may be), It All Came True and Man Who Came to Dinner (though, again, in support). Then came her moving and sensitive small town tomboy characterization in Kings Row, where she held her own against a dynamite cast of character actors.

 

Sheridan never again, I think, had material quite as good as this again. And therefore I agree with you, James, about the frustration at looking at her career. Warners gave us glimpses of Sheridan at her best in 1940 and 1941, then denied her equally good material afterward. But Sheridan herself was often good to excellent, even if the films themselves disappointed a lot.

 

Of her two westerns, she's not in Dodge City enough to rate much more than a mention. But Silver River, a far more serious western, and one with, in my opinion, an interesting and unexpected emphasis upon characterization, rather than action, did give her to opportunity to shine opposite Flynn. In that respect, it was a nice farewell film for her from the studio (though it probably wasn't regarded as such at the time since it tanked at the box office).

 

From what I've seen of Sheridan's post-Warners career, there were a couple of films of interest, with the noirish Woman on the Run and a bucolic pliece of Americana, Come Next Spring. These were later, more mature Sheridan performances, and she's quite good in both films. But the sexy sparkle and word banter that had distinguished her work at Warners is missing, and, for me, much missed.

 

The one post-Warners hit that she had was I Was a Male War Bride. I'm not a fan of this fim, however, finding the comedy largely forced and Sheridan largely de-glamourized in her military uniforms.

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I'm glad to see that Ann Sheridan is getting attention.  She's a great actress.  I think it's a shame that she wasn't able to achieve her potential, since I imagine, being employed at the same studio as Bette Davis, she probably didn't have the pick of the roles.  She also was not as big a star as Olivia de Havilland, who I imagine probably got her pick of the roles as well. 

 

Sheridan isn't a household name among those unfamiliar with the "Golden Era" of Hollywood.  Probably the most layman movie fan has most likely heard of the bigger films on Warner Brother's roster: Bogart, Cagney, Flynn, Davis and maybe even de Havilland, if solely for her appearance in Gone With the Wind.  Ann, while working steadily, never had her breakout role-- at least a role that would provide her the clout (sole name above the title, being offered better roles in A-list productions, co-star approval, etc.) that many of her peers had.  In the films on her filmography that I've seen, most are her appearances co-star bigger name stars.  Like Tom said, even if the film stars Cagney or Flynn or whatever, the film is just as much an "Ann Sheridan film" as much as it is a "James Cagney" film.  In many of her appearances with bigger name co-stars, her name is above the title alongside theirs.  Frankly, a film billed as "Starring Ann Sheridan" probably would not have brought in the audiences like a film "starring James Cagney and Ann Sheridan") would have. 

 

On the flipside, in one of her appearances in the Errol Flynn film, Dodge City, she is third billed behind Flynn and Olivia de Havilland, Warner Brothers' power duo at the time.  However, Sheridan is wasted in such a small nothing role.  She is mostly in the background singing at the saloon and I think she has a few lines.  She could have been easily replaced with a lesser name singer and it wouldn't have hurt the film at all.  In 1939, Sheridan must have had enough star power that Warners thought that her name below the title next to de Havilland's would bring in the audiences.  In my opinion, based on size of role, Alan Hale deserved third billing. 

 

Sheridan had a great singing voice, fully on display in Thank Your Lucky Stars.  Perhaps she could have been a great musical star at another studio.  Warner Brothers wasn't exactly known for their musicals.  However, Sheridan's sassy persona would have been out of place at somewhere like MGM who regularly had a stable of America's Sweethearts at the ready. 

 

I really like Sheridan and look forward to catching more of her films when they air on TCM or if I can procure them through other sources.

 

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I think that Sheridan's work in They Drive By Night equals that in Torrid Zone. Unfortunately, her character largely disappears in the second half of the truck driver film, but the first half of the film she steals, in my opinion. She's also terrific in Angels with Dirty Faces (small as her screen time may be), It All Came True and Man Who Came to Dinner (though, again, in support). Then came her moving and sensitive small town tomboy characterization in Kings Row, where she held her own against a dynamite cast of character actors.

 

Sheridan never again, I think, had material quite as good as this again. And therefore I agree with you, James, about the frustration at looking at her career. Warners gave us glimpses of Sheridan at her best in 1940 and 1941, then denied her equally good material afterward. But Sheridan herself was often good to excellent, even if the films themselves disappointed a lot.

 

Of her two westerns, she's not in Dodge City enough to rate much more than a mention. But Silver River, a far more serious western, and one with, in my opinion, an interesting and unexpected emphasis upon characterization, rather than action, did give her to opportunity to shine opposite Flynn. In that respect, it was a nice farewell film for her from the studio (though it probably wasn't regarded as such at the time since it tanked at the box office).

 

From what I've seen of Sheridan's post-Warners career, there were a couple of films of interest, with the noirish Woman on the Run and a bucolic pliece of Americana, Come Next Spring. These were later, more mature Sheridan performances, and she's quite good in both films. But the sexy sparkle and word banter that had distinguished her work at Warners is missing, and, for me, much missed.

 

The one post-Warners hit that she had was I Was a Male War Bride. I'm not a fan of this fim, however, finding the comedy largely forced and Sheridan largely de-glamourized in her military uniforms.

I agree about I Was a Male War Bride.  Ugh.  This film is/was on Netflix and I was optimistic because it starred two of my favorites-- Cary Grant and Ann Sheridan.  Unfortunately, the film was a disappointment.  Cary Grant looks so ridiculous as the Male War Bride, that it actually takes away the enjoyment for me.  I find it completely unbelievable that this farce would have worked for a second.  Perhaps if someone else with more delicate features (if that's the right word) were cast instead of Grant (with his very masculine facial features) the film would have worked better.  Perhaps Grant in drag was part of the comedy, but it didn't work for me. 

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