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Ann Dvorak was beautiful pre-code actress, whose beauty would not look

out of place nowadays ( she'd make most of the new actresses around

seem pretty ugly.)

But what a gutsy and determined lady - from being a chorus cutie in "Free

and Easy" (1930) and many other musicals to being a top dramatic actress

only two years later in "Three on a Match" and "Scarface" - I don't think

anyone could fail to come under her intoxicating spell.

My two favourite films of hers are 1. "Three on a Match" -(surely one of the

best pre-code films of all). Ann had so much class as the wealthy Vivian

who is bored with her life, craves excitement and gets it in the worst possible

way. Lyle Talbot was good also as her weak-willed lover.

Lyle Talbot, George Brent and Warren William are my favourite pre-code actors.

2. "Housewife" (1934) - I thought was great. The ending was disappointing - it

wouldn't have ended like that if it had been made in 1932 instead of 1934.

Ann played Nan, a capable "housewife" who is married to Will (George Brent)

an advertising exec, who has no self belief. After convincing him to set up on

his own and giving him all of his successful ideas Ann starts to lose him to

Bette Davis. Bette Davis, in my opinion, does not hold a candle to Ann in

either looks or acting and I started to wonder what happened to the determination

she had at the beginning of her career.

I suppose marriage to another actor (Leslie Fenton, another of my faves) and

having a much more determined Bette Davis at the same studio - she seemed

to be pushed aside.

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Oh yeah, I like her looks and acting as well. She was friends with Joan Crawford, and they both look a bit alike(The young Joan Crawford) Too bad she didn't get better roles, but it sounds like unlike Bette Davis, her holding out hurt her career. A post-code film, G-Men gives us a chance to see Ann's belly button! She and the other dancers are fairly well covered up, but their midrifts are bare....funny, 30 years later, Barbara Eden had to cover her's up, yet aok in a film from 1935!

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Bette Davis, in my opinion, does not

hold a candle to Ann in

either looks or acting and I started to wonder what

happened to the determination

she had at the beginning of her career.

I suppose marriage to another actor (Leslie Fenton,

another of my faves) and

having a much more determined Bette Davis at the same

studio - she seemed

to be pushed aside.

 

I think that Dvorak's battles with the studio over salary and the choice of films to which she was assigned had as much to do with her career demise as did anything else. When she found out that she was paid the same as Buster Phelps, who played her son in "Three on a Match", she tried to have her Warner Bros. contract terminated. It was the rare actor who was successful in battling the studio system over such issues.

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[nobr]Ann Dvorak's beauty, intelligence, talent, and flinty, independent spirit didn't fit the Hollywood mold. Her best roles in such films as The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932), Three on a Match (1934), and small, highly charged appearances in Our Very Own (1950), and A Life of Her Own (1950) are informed by her sensual frankness and a somewhat resigned attitude to life that is far more memorable than the work of many actresses with longer, more successful careers.[/nobr]

 

I'd love to see two of her seldom shown movies: Side Streets (1934) with the excellent Aline MacMahon and Paul Kelly and I Was an American Spy (1951) in which she stars as a real life American woman who was a spy in wartime Manila.[/nobr]

 

It may seem trivial, but she probably had the most beautiful blue eyes this side of Loretta Young![/nobr]

AnnHurrellFix.jpg

Ann Dvorak, through the eyes of George Hurrell's masterful camera.

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There are a ton of films I'd love to see her in. The Strange Love of Molly Louvain (1932) Directed By Michael Curtiz " Love Is a Racket " "Sky Devils" with Spencer Tracy "The Crowd Roars" with Cagney.

Ann Dvorak was the daughter of silent film star Anna Lehr.

I wonder if Warner Bro's. realized what they lost.

 

 

vallo

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  • 2 months later...

Lets encourage TCM to celebrate pre-code Ann on her birthday August 02. Some suggestions: Crooner, Heat Lightning, The Way to Love, Love is a Racket and Massacre.

I love Ann Dvorak and agree with the person who said she had all over Bette Davis in both looks and talent.

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