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Feaito- This line just jumped out at me:

 

Shearer was first a star and a personality. Harding was an actress first.

 

I have to agree with you on that. Perhaps I can try to remember it when I watch her next.

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*liked Robert Williams a lot but understand exactly what you mean about that type. That inner mean streak towards women, especially noticeable in Tracy (whom I do like anyway) must have been a product of the first years of poverty in the depression. I noticed a "kill the rich" mentality that was also singularly unattractive. In some ways, I am glad the movies mellowed a bit. The Lee Tracy/Pat O'Brien/Robert Williams guy was only around for maybe a year or two, and then it deepened into something more substantial. It's too bad we didn't get to see what Williams might have done.....None of them has enough sex appeal to really get away from the stereotype. Lee Tracy is wonderful in a couple of movies in which there is no major love story... but he falls flat to me in so many other ones... I think there is a certain lack of charm in these depression era wiseguys. There has to be an underlying sweetness to get away with the sweet talk/slap-in-the-face character. Cagney could get away with it, because there was a baby inside of him... a soft , mushy, emotional center. I guess Pat O'Brien had it too, though he doesn't really do it for me, either.*

 

Hi Jackie,

 

I'm going to try replying to you again since I lost my original post in the Great Confusion yesterday afternoon. :)

 

As far as Robert Williams goes I like him based on that one performance in *Platinum Blonde* but I haven't seen the last third of the film in many years due to technical glitches with TCM and my dvd recorder. I think I finally have a complete copy so I need to see what I'm forgetting from that last part of the film. I once said Williams struck me as a precarious mix of Spencer Tracy and Groucho Marx ! I'm standing by that.

 

You make a wonderful point about there being a certain lack of charm in these depression era wiseguys. I also agree with you that Cagney largely escapes this. I think Tracy, Gable and others do soften as the thirties progressed but it still bubbled up in their performances throughout the thirties.

 

I'm not sure I would make an exception for O'Brien, except when he plays a priest. I think his performance opposite Lombard in *Virtue* is one of his best because he isn't such a blowhard, Lombard isn't a doormat, and he has to come to terms with her character. Eight years later, in *Torrid Zone* he comes on screen with such a full head of steam, that you just wish Ann Sheridan would shove a broken shot glass in his face.

 

I think Errol Flynn, though he came later, is someone who doesn't fall into this type. Putting aside his costume adventures, in his other work he has such an easy charm with women and a good sense of self-deprecating humor. I never sense an underlying malice in him. I confess though that I haven't seen all of his films.

 

((This all made more sense when I wrote it yesterday :) ))

 

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Eight years later, in Torrid Zone he comes on screen with such a full head of steam, that you just wish Ann Sheridan would shove a broken shot glass in his face.

 

Wowwwweeeee! First Movieman Chris starts panting over Gail Russell and now Mad Hat Molo

is getting into barroom brawls with rowdy Irishmen! What is Charlie putting in your drinks,

fellas? And how can I get one? :P

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Oooh go Molo with your baaad-a$$ self. I love reading about man-crushes. Who else do you like? Boyz, if you wanna weigh in on that, I'd love to read it Feaito, Frank, Fred C., Movieman...do continue.

 

I'm almost ready with my winding down on "When Ladies Meet." Next post...

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Awesome reply, MAD Hat! Your quite the tough guy yourself! You've definitely made me want to watch *Virtue* immediately.

 

I am so sorry you lost your post! I can totally relate, as I lost some rambling of my own in the last week.

 

I totally "get" your description of Robert Williams, I think that the Marx/Tracy comparison is totally accurate, and it made me laugh hard too!

 

Yeah, I think Pat O'Brien was a pretty tough customer, in real life as well as on screen. What you see is what you get with him. I think he was more like Cagney's character in the movies than Cagney was. Maybe that's why I never warmed up to him.

 

Tracy and Gable were both men's men, but (in the movies, at least) their misogynistic tendencies were tempered by .... what can I call it?..... *soul*. No excuses for their behavior, but a lot of depth there. That helps me to appreciate them more than a Williams, O'Brien or L. Tracy, who seemed to be pretty much on the surface..... Gable and S.Tracy's characters might dislike the way a woman acted, but then, a lot of the time they didn't like how their male cohorts acted either. And there was none of this modern day "he was hurt badly by a woman" stuff. They were unapologetically tough, but knew enough to let a dame see their soft underbelly.....

 

And Errol Flynn, well, the man just _loved_ women - it oozes out of his every pore! I don't remember him ever doing anything in a movie that seemed hateful towards women at all.

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Hey y'all! *I'M* trying to be sensitive here! :)

 

Miss G, Bourbon, Bourbon Bourbon.... Remember you're from the south! :D

 

CM,

 

I've always liked Gable. Also Cagney, Bogie, Grant, and my main man Jack Carson.

 

I love Jean Arthur. I think she's neurotic but realistic. I can relate. She seethes with irritation and incredulity that people don't understand what she knows, yet she masks it with a nice folksy attitude and she's never confident enough to be threatening. She also has a good sense of the absurd. She's my kind of gal.

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Hi Feaito,

 

Well they call this the ramblin' thread. You are about to see why. I have a tendency to babble on and on...and on! :)

 

 

*Shearer was one of my ?first loves? in that respect and Ann Harding I could say that was my second love. Both ladies were classy, sophisticated, good-looking, first magnitude stars of the Pre-Code Era.*

 

Shearer is someone I've been fascinated with since I first became interested in film. Harding is still fairly new to me.

 

*Harding was the epitome of the Patrician beauty, because Shearer, in spite of her elegance and high class appeal, had that mischievousness and joi-de-vivre who someone mentioned before, that perhaps made her closer to audiences and thus more popular with women in general, I think. Ann Harding had maybe a more distant and aloof quality, but I sincerely feel that she was a better actress than Shearer.*

 

I agree with all of that. My first thought after watching Harding was that she was a better version of Shearer but I've changed my mind. You point out some key differences in the two of them. I tend to agree that Harding was the better actress. She is aloof, but there is an almost hypnotic ease about her. She just seems more relaxed and effortless in her acting and perhaps comes across as more realistic because of it. Still, there is something to be said for Shearer's ability to simmer under the surface.

 

While Harding seems, at times, quite weary in her realism, Shearer can be fun in the way she flouts convention as an insider. There are layers to Shearer that need to be cut away. Her mannerisms, her fluttering, all used as ammunition by her detractors, make her all the more interesting for me.

 

*Shearer was first a star and a personality. Harding was an actress first.*

 

I can't argue with that. *Riptide* was Shearer's comeback film after being off the screen for over a year due to Thalberg's health and her having her first child. After that, all we have are six years of Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Juliet and Marie Antoinette. Those that think Thalberg was a major asset to her career should ponder that period for a while. Neither she, nor Harding, prospered after the code crackdown. Yet Shearer was an anxious person who was only really happy when she was working. She was ambitious, but not necessarily in line with Thalberg's thinking as to what course her career should take. I get the feeling Ann Harding could take it or leave it, but Shearer needed to work, not for money, maybe not even for fame, but for her own sake.

 

When Shearer was left to her own devices after Thalberg's death, she proved to be a poor judge of her own material. Unlike Harding, she refused to age. She had *The Women* forced on her by Mayer, *Idiot's Delight* is an odd duck with some very interesting moments. Her best post-Thalberg performance is probably the little known *Escape*, where she is subdued and crying out for a Hitchcock to exploit the anxiety buried beneath her polished facade. Her last two films demonstrated her inability to choose material that might have kept her interesting to war time audiences, and also her refusal to take chances, to age and to evolve. It was she, not the movie going public or Mayer, who had decided her time had passed and she stepped aside. Enter Greer Garson.

 

I look forward to exploring Ann Harding more. I don't think I'll find her as interesting personally as I do Shearer, but like I said, I'm still waiting to see what she might do. Hopefully, I'll be able to see more of her early work in the future.

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Well Jackaaaaay, I'm sitting beside you. My ramble on "When Ladies Meet."

 

-------------JACKFAVELL-----------------

 

?Awesome review of ?WHEN LADIES MEET.? I am going to have to go check out the woman who beat Myrna Loy acting wise and man wise...you make me wish I had not fallen asleep, and I will give poor Ann another chance....?

 

Thank you. I don?t know how awesome my review was, but I do hope you give Ann Harding another chance. She?s not for everyone, but I find there?s a gravitas about her. I would say she is a Sophisticated Serious Actress. She can bandy about dialogue. Remember that interstitial Julianne Moore does about Myrna Loy and how she has to enter into the nightclub... falling? You don?t see Harding falling. You won?t see her doing the Big Apple. She?s reserved...she?s subdued... she?s no Irene Dunne. And she doesn?t have to be.

 

"Here is a description of Minerva from mythology (Athena if you prefer Greek):

 

...Jupiter's forehead split open and out from his cracked skull sprang a tall, fully-grown, grey-eyed maiden and that was Minerva. As she sprang from her father's cranium, she instantly became goddess of intellect and wisdom.?

 

Please...please temper your eggheadedness. OMG! You?re reading Edith Hmilton while talking about classic films?! I?m never going to catch up to you!!! (I prefer my mythology Greek not Roman you brainiac you! :-) ) Please don?t make the case for any of our resident males to say: ?Ohhhhhh, that?s why women are such pains in the neck!!? Yikes! You do make such a wonderful case for Myrna Loy?s existence though. She did enthrall Gable & Powell & Spence & Brent & Tyrone; not in a va-va-va-voom way, but with a sexy maturity. No nymphet like Tuesday Weld or sex kitten like Ann-Margret. She is a Woman. Oh yeah, she was a looker, no doubt. Your description of Myrna springing fully formed from One-Take Woody?s head was a great read.

 

Now if I may pick your eloquent brain, or anyone else who wishes to chime in on this...please do: what was the difference between the persona of Irene Dunne and Myrna Loy?? They both worked with Cary Grant and Spencer Tracy and William Powell and even opposite each other in ?Thirteen Women.? Dunne made Spencer Tracy seem sexier than he ever did with Hedy Lamarr. What do you find is the difference between the two? Thanx!

 

?The Lee Tracy/Pat O'Brien/Robert Williams guy was only around for maybe a year or two, and then it deepened into something more substantial. It's too bad we didn't get to see what Williams might have done.....None of them has enough sex appeal to really get away from the stereotype. Lee Tracy is wonderful in a couple of movies in which there is no major love story...?

 

Very astute to point out the change in type that played out by the end of the 1930?s. ?Not having enough sex appeal to get away from the stereotype.? How right you are. You don?t even see them in clinches with the leading ladies. The camera cuts away when these guys go into a clinch. Guess nobody wants to see that, huh? No sex appeal. They make it so the woman is adoring them. I could see Frank Morgan with Fay Bainter. Williams, Tracy et al are like the male versions of the smart-witted dames (Eve Arden, Gail Patrick) who are desexualized and only have their acerbic wit to keep them warm at night. These guys don?t move lovestories. In 'WHEN LADIES MEET' Morgan?s kiss with Loy is not even seen full on. He makes his move but the camera pans away until we see Bobby boy, climbing up the balcony to see Loy.

 

"Yesterday was a great day for backless dresses ....except I was so disappointed in Myrna's outfits in PENTHOUSE. Ugh! Her wardrobe was a disaster...?

 

I didn?t see all of ?PENTHOUSE? but I thought Ann Harding got the brunt of the bad fashion decisions in ?When Ladies Meet.? Ow! That golfing outfit looked like a bunch of sheets wrapped around her. And that little cloche hat...mama mia. I?m no fashion plate so maybe I can?t talk. In ?RIPTIDE" Shearer starts off with the skimpiest of outfits for a costume party. In ?WHEN LADIES MEET? clothes seemed to be used to create a contrast between the Wife and Mistress. Why not give everyone a run for their money instead of dressing Harding so dowdily and frumpily that Morgan should?ve divorced her on the spot.

 

Okay, check it out. If I were directing it, I?d have that very same scene in the bedroom between Wife and Mistress where they discusss the book and the pros and cons of the plot. BUT (a big fat but), but with one difference. I?d have Harding let down her flaxen hair like Rapunzel and start brushing it while she makes her point from the Wives point of view. What would that prove? I dunno; nothing maybe. But maybe it just might give the Wife a fighting chance in the eyes of the audience. (Remember when they put Ashley up against Rhett? Wan Lesley Howard opposite dark & virile & warthy Gable). Hmmmm...

 

?Probably more brilliantine than brilliant... or is that banana oil...?

 

What a combination!! Now, do I rub that in my scalp to help me think better...or soak my hands in it to make me write better like you??

 

----------------BRONXGIRL---------------

 

?I had told Maven that I'd seen some of Robert Williams in it, and was really impressed, although he certainly is not the traditional leading man type. I loved his romantic scenes with Harlow (the shot of them through the water fountain took my breath away). I liked how relaxed and natural she was in his presence, not artificial as I sometimes find her.?

 

Sometimes the clothes make the man; sometimes the man makes the girl. Some leading ladies do better with different leading men. I didn?t see all of ?PLATINUM BLONDE.? I must look for the waterfall scene, Bronxie.

 

"But...two women fighting over him? And one of them Myrna Loy? That didn't seem believable to me, lol. I'm not a big Ann Harding fan, I can see she's a good actress, but, I don't know, she's a bit too earnest for me, and, I'm sorry, but kinda bland. I was a little bored with this film overall. The romantic dialogue between Myrna and Frank was stilted and rather corny, and he also says things like ?By Jove?.?

 

I enjoyed the film, especially when Harding and Loy meet. But I do agree, fighting over the wunnerful Wizard of Oz?? I don?t think so. He would do well to have someone like the lovely Fay Bainter by his side. And I was very surprised and grateful to see him not so blustery. He didn?t look too bad, but not for dear Myrna.

 

?As usual, your descriptions are pitch-perfect and you write exactly what I'm thinking! That's just what I feel about Shearer compared to Harding.? - Bronxgirl to JackFavell.

 

Do you two have some telepathically symbiotic relationship where one thinks and the other writes?? I need someone to help me put my thoughts into coherent words.

 

"Oh, those Peter Pan guys. They're so adorable -- Bobby, Errol...Women just can't resist them.?

 

They are...aren?t they? You just can?t marry ?em. Or just make sure YOU have a good insurance plan. Say, didn?t Kay Francis come across that when she married playboy George Brent in that movie where he was a pilot who yada yada yada somebody chime in here...

 

?Ah, another Louise admirer!! All those other actresses to me seem somehow like CHILDREN compared to Brooks.?

 

You said a mouthful there, Bronxie. Yes I am a Louise Brooks fan. Haven?t seen many of her movies I must admit. Remember seeing her interviewed in the 1980?s was it? Older, long hair and seemed purty bitter. But she had guts. Brave. Went to Europe. Worked with Pabst. You know...I think from what I?ve heard a little, Kay Francis was kind of brave like that too in her personal life. WoW!!

 

"Now from the sublime to the ridiculous -- this evening when I come home I'm going to watch 'THE HORROR OF PARTY BEACH.' Rich...posts a photo of the creature and I swear, (even with the "hot dogs" in its mouth) it reminded me a bit of Sydney Greenstreet in 'THE HUCKSTERS.' I don't know why.?

 

HA!! I love that movie. Haven?t seen it in many years. Sidney Greenstreet. Could be because he?s a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk...with food in his mouth. Yipes!

 

--------------MISS GODDESS-------------------

 

?I love his character and most of all I ADORE Alice Brady in this. I think she's just as funny here as in 'MY MAN GODFREY' and maybe the funniest character actress ever. I just love her flighty, naughty and indiscreet charm. I'd love a friend like her, as long as I didn't tell her any secrets I didn't want to get out! Ha!?

 

MOLO - ?Alice Brady is a big favorite of mine as well. I really liked her final scenes here. It was the funniest part of the film. She was a gem.?

 

Oh dear. Oh dear. I really have to take Alice Brady in small doses. She was annoying. I was screaming: ?SHADDUP ALREADY!!!? Too fluttery, flustery fluff. Like Spring Byington or Edward Everett Horton, a little goes a long way. Ohhhh, where?s Fay Bainter when you need her?

 

?She's a bit too high-minded sometimes, that I feel I can't breathe. At least in this one she giggles a lot with Bobby and seems more relaxed.?

 

Her earnestness attracts my attention. Like Deborah Kerr you want to see what?s...behind it all. And that's our Bobby, he relaxes the ladies!

 

?Ann is alright in ?PETER IBBETSON,? but I would have preferred Loretta Young, Hedy Lamarr,or any number of other actresses. I don't believe she had any chemistry with Gary, though the movie is still quite wonderful.?

 

I've never seen this film, but want to. Question: are you sure it wasn?t Coop?s fault?? Uh-oh.

 

?I think I'm the only one who doesn't like Jean or Robert Wililams in 'PLATINUM BLONDE.' Jean is miscast to me, and very stilted. Williams is just unattractive to me though I see he's a good actor, but as a romantic lead??? And for the lovely Harlow? No way! He is too ordinary by far, a character type of actor to me. I don't know he looked like runt, lol! I'm not a big fan of Lee Tracy in lead roles like this either. Something about those nasal voices...?

 

I agree about the nasal voices; wouldn?t want them cooing sweet nothings in my ears. But they were wonderful for throwing repartee back & forth, don?cha think? This is early in Harlow?s career (1931, she?d be 20 years old). The studio was trying to find her niche. (Maybe her niche was Gable). But I believed her as the society girl...but I?ve got to watch the pix from beginning to end without interruption. Now in ?BOMBSHELL? she certainly comes into her own: ?RED DUST? ?CHINA SEAS.? I also did enjoy Robert Williams? performance very much. Not that he didn?t have a touch of meanness, but the way he acted felt very contemporary to me. I played back several times the scene where he tries to come into the house, his entrance blocked by Smythe the butler. ?Now was that nice?? His line reading felt like 2009. He made me think of Sean Penn too. I know...I know: Medic! MEDIC!!

 

?In trying to figure out what it is that I don't find attractive in Robert Williams or Lee Tracy...The other two don't look like they know how or would even want to flirt. They insult women and it's supposed to be cute. You have to have a certain flair to make that work and I just don't think they have that.?

 

Williams and Tracy were probably the kind of boys who liked you, but didn?t know how to show it becuz they weren?t conventionally good-looking; so they?d put a worm in your lunchbox or pull your hair or push you down off the swings, probably. I wouldn?t say romantic, but their charm lies in the way they toss off lines, or breeze through situations or think on their feet. They need someone like Eve Arden...but they might not think her attractive (HA!) To be with them you?d have to give as good as you got.

 

And I also think that since the studios were run by plain ordinary schleppy men, they wanted to see themselves with these drop-dead gorgeous women. You think Louis B., or Jack Warner or I daresay Irving Thalberg could get who they got without the power behind them?? I think they went dateless to their proms. Well, I think Irving wanted to go, but he was sick.

 

?I thought about another actor who I would kind of put in that style of performer: Pat O'Brien. Yes, I do like Pat in a way I don't like the others. He has a look in his eye that breaks me up. He's not good looking and not my idea of romantic at all, but at least he looks at women like he's really a major flirt. I don't know, but it makes for interesting food for thought.?

 

PAT O?BRIEN??? Ugh! I think he?s the most misogynistic S.O.B. I ever saw in 1930?s movies. He was so angry at Ann Sheridan in ?Torrid Zone? for a reason I didn't understand, that I thought he should?ve just kissed Cagney and gotten it over with. But...you have given me food for thought and I shall chew on it a little more. Forgive me if my post is repetitive and I re-ordered your words in your post of 5/19/09 @ 11:43AM. I did it so I could respond to it better.

 

?I love Myrna's hair, Maven! What are you saying?! I think she looks like a sweet doll with that feminine little bob of curls. I love it on her and on Maureen O'Sullivan - in fact I've always loved the nineteen-thirties curly-bob. It's very flattering. Now Ann?s 1890s hairdo is another story...She strikes me as the kind of woman who'd be like Meryl Streep and perfectly at home in the 1970s. There is something decidedly not Hollywood about her....which makes her unique at least.?

 

OMG Ha!! 1890?s? Wow. Maureen O?Sullivan. I knew it looked familiar. Nope, I didn?t think it was flattering on her. Maybe that?s why I would have directed the scene having Harding brush out her hair while speaking. ?...decidedly not Hollywood about her...? is something I didn?t think of. Good thought, MissGoddess. At least you?re conceding that it makes her unique. By the 40?s she does look older.

 

Thanks for thinking of the movie title ?DOUBLE HARNESS.? No chemistry with Powell? Hmm...

 

?It is a bit too starchy for my tastes. Greer is always good but everyone seems ill at ease. I am not crazy about Taylor in comedies.?

 

Funny how some folks don?t seem to translate well into comedies. I saw the Crawford-Garson version. It was okay. I think I liked Harding & Loy?s pairing better, though I did think it was interesting seeing Crawford interact with the actress who?d soon be the next-big-MGM-thing.

 

Nice posting that pix of Harding, Loy & Brady. Oooh, that hat!!

 

--------------MOLO-------------------

 

?I think Shearer wins out here because her combination of nerves and mannerisms aided by a pent up, and occasionally smoldering, sexual edginess, make her more fun to watch. Shearer will go where Harding fears to tread. This must have had great appeal to female audiences back then. Shearer was oh so sophisticated and always maintained an air of respectability that was simply out of reach to a Miriam Hopkins or even Kay Francis.?

 

WHOA! Nice! You described her as well as Loy was described by JackieF.. I love the line about "...where Harding fears to tread. That's why I named this thread after that line. Smoldering, huh? Shearer to Gable in ?A FREE SOUL? as she lays down on a chaise lounge, her arms outstretched to Gable. ?C?mon, put ?em around me.? Yeah, smoldering.

 

I think Harding is Shearer's natural rival in all this but she would have needed to "sex it up" a bit and I don't think she could have pulled off that hat trick without losing some of her allure. I might be wrong there.?

 

Now that?s a comparison that I can get behind. That whole paragraph was nicely written and described. You?re right. Harding would have to loosen up a bit to compete with Shearer. In this

 

"Oh yes, When Ladies Meet. The film did perk up once Harding arrived at Alice Brady's home. When Harding wouldn't get out of the car, I got a little frustrated: ?Just get out of the damn car Clare!!? ?

 

Seems like they did little bits of business to stretch things out in movies back then. (I notice a lot of running times back then were :63 mins, :70 mins.)

 

?I agree with the Maven, Ann seemed to loosen up more in the bedroom conversation. I actually liked the dialog between them. When Morgan entered, I was as tense as he was. I thought Ann was in her element here and Myrna faded into the background.?

 

As the scene was playing itself out between Harding and Loy, I was amused by their conversation and Myrna & Harding slowly starting to like each other But when Harding realized who Loy was..I felt that this was really a cruel trick on these two women played by Montgomery. I understood his motivation, but as Ann was realizing who Myrna really is (did Myrna & Morgan have a foot fetish?) I felt bad. Yes, Myrna should have faded into the background (as the mistress) becuz now the wife?s in her milieu with her husband on the scene.

 

I?d like to have Ann and Myrna spend a little more time together knowing each other. Maybe it?d be better if they had accidentally met on the golf course. But I have to accept the way the writer wrote it. It was nice seeing these two together knowing what one was going to become (Loy) and the other was going to be but a footnote.

 

?Now why did Myrna and Ann go gaga over Morgan? I thought all you gals simply toyed with the younger men, but always sought the security of the older, well established gentlemen, the sooner to inherit all that money.?

 

Well Molo, you have figured out our secret, of what women want. Now we must dispatch you!!

 

?Eight years later, in 'TORRID ZONE' he comes on screen with such a full head of steam, that you just wish Ann Sheridan would shove a broken shot glass in his face.?

 

Wow! Why waste a shot of Jack Daniels on O?Brien?? I went with O?Brien kissing Cagney, but your suggestion is just as good, but I?d hate to have Annie do any jailtime.

 

-----And Then There's Errol Flynn...

 

?I think Errol Flynn, though he came later, is someone who doesn't fall into this type...he has such an easy charm with women and a good sense of self-deprecating humor. I never sense an underlying malice in him.?

 

JackFavell - ?And Errol Flynn, well, the man just loved women - it oozes out of his every pore! I don't remember him ever doing anything in a movie that seemed hateful towards women at all.?

 

Errol loved women. And women loved him. Now there was a ladies man.

 

?The moment I saw the opening cast credits to ?GUEST IN THE HOUSE? I percieved that this was a film I couldn't possibly watch on youtube. I am in the process of downloading the clips so I can put them on a dvdr and watch it in my movie room. I'm on clip six now.?

 

Boy I look forward to reading your thoughts on Anne Baxter in this film. We had quite a lively ramble about the film. Art imitating life.

 

------------FEAITO---------------

 

Hi Molo,

 

Yes I realizad that, thanks! But you guys and gals are so fast in posting that this must be one of the most active threads ?in the business? ;-)

 

CineMaven here, Senor Feaito. Yes this is one of the most active threads. I shudder to think that we almost lost it. Yea!!! We fought City Hall and we won that battle.

 

?Harding was the epitome of the Patrician beauty, because Shearer, in spite of her elegance and high class appeal, had that mischievousness and joi-de-vivre who someone mentioned before, that perhaps made her closer to audiences and thus more popular with women in general, I think. Ann Harding had maybe a more distant and aloof quality, but I sincerely feel that she was a better actress than Shearer. Shearer was first a star and a personality. Harding was an actress first. Anyway, both are favorites of mine.?

 

Wow, nicely expressed your opinion of the difference between these two 30?s icons. Patrician vs. Joie-de-vivre. Nice. Can you speak a little of the personas of Irene Dunne & Myrna Loy?

 

Can anyone speak to that??

 

Liked reading you over at the Oasis, but it's really nice seeing you here.

 

 

------WHAT?S NOT TO LIKE???------------

 

Bronxgirl ?Norma's look-at-me-I'm-an-actress-but-a-star too! personality grates on my nerves, and I have to say, I really DON'T like her.?

 

JACKFAVELL - ?I have to agree about Ann...I haven't seen anything that makes me like her, really like her. Cinemaven made a comparison to Shearer which is really a great one. Shearer has a sort of animated joie de vivre that Harding doesn't have, even if it is a bit phony sometimes. And somehow, even with her faults, the bottom line is, I LIKE Norma.?

 

MOLO - ?I am strangely drawn to Harding. The comparison to Shearer is a great one that I have brought up before. They both share a lot of the same (stagey?) mannerisms. I think Harding comes off as more natural but to the point of being too sedate, while Shearer has a more nervy quality where it seems she may flutter right off the screen.?

 

Here are their birthdates. You can figure out their astrological signs. These ladies are children of Victorian parents and come of age during the Roaring 20's. This might shape their screen personas and why some give off that joie-de-vivre and others are reserved:

 

Irene Dunne: 12 / 20 /1898

Ann Harding: 8 / 7 / 1901

Norma Shearer: 8 / 10 / 1902

Myrna Loy: 8 / 2 / 1905

 

 

 

I guess for our own private chemically visceral Idahoes, we ALL have those we like and who we don?t like. There?s many actors I:

 

a respect but don?t like: _____ ,

b like but don?t lust for: _____ ,

c lust for but know they cannot act _____ ,

d And those that have the whole package ________ .

 

(D would be Mitchum & Errol Flynn though under-rated in the acting department becuz of his charm) ...And at the risk of being considered heretical...I just don?t find Gary Cooper sexy. I used to hate to see that sheepishness he used to portray i.e. ?Meet John Doe? ?Ball of Fire.? I?d sceam, ?Man up!!!? Awwright...in ?For Whome The Bell Tolls? he was pretty sexy with Ingrid Bergman, but in general I love Coop, but sexy? Hey what do I know. I heard Lupe Velez used to scratchhim up pretty good. (Psst! Glenn Ford I just don?t like. Aye yi yi...those ears!)

 

If I haven't worn out my welcome yet...

 

Message was edited by CineMaven becuz I had to answer all of you.

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Now this is what I'm talking about!

 

Hi Maven or should I call you "Ramblin' Rose"? I loved reading your post and hope to reply to a

couple of things soon. It's fun seeing you all move back and forth through different topics---it's a

smart bunch here, and an agile one!

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>

> Whew! I escaped your wrath talking about Gary Cooper??? You must be engrossed in the horror at party beach.

 

:D No, engrossed in the bonus materials on my shiny new DVD for The Man Who

Shot Liberty Valance.

 

P.S. Are we alone here? Because I agree---Coop is less appealing to me when he

gets "cute". I like him when he's, what did you say? "Manned up"? LOL! See him

*Morocco* and *The General Died at Dawn*. Cute goes out the window and heaven

strides in the door. Yes, even with a monkey on his back or a flower in his ear.

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I've got to catch up with all these latest posts.

 

Just want to interject that I saw THE PLEASURE SEEKERS this afternoon.

 

Tony Franciosa as a "Spaniard" offering a sweet to Pamela Tiffin: "Want a coooookeeeee?"

 

Okay, sorry, back to the GOOD films now!

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Wow!! I?m amazed with all the clever insight, elaborate opinions and in-depth-analysis I?ve read on this thread. I feel honored to be exchanging ideas with all of you ladies and gentlemen.

 

Theresa, as for favorite actresses, crushes, most appealing females?..mmmm?.I must admit that for years I have stated everywhere that Hedy Lamarr was the most alluring, ravishing, sexy, sensuous beauty of them all?..sooo perfect?..Lamarrvellous! Who can top Hedy when she enters the stage in the Ziegfeld number in ?Ziegfeld Girl? (1941). Too beautiful to be true; too classy: too perfect; green eyes and black raven hair; full mouth, red lips; flawless bone structure: my perdition.

 

Gene Tierney: another crush. In ?Son of Fury? she?s simply mesmerizing.

 

Other crushes? Ava Gardner (the most beautiful animal in the world), Vivien Leigh (flawless), Grace Kelly, Linda Darnell, Virginia Grey, Leila Hyams, Ann-Margret, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Stanwyck ?especially in The Lady Eve-, Carole Lombard, Jean Arthur, Sophia Loren?..

 

In real life I have a weakness for women with ?important? noses or noses with personality?..how could I forget Italian beauty Marina Berti as the luscious slave in ?Quo Vadis???..better stop now

 

Molo, I agree with all you said in relation with Misses Shearers and Harding?.Norma was not smart when she rejected ?Mrs. Miniver?; Wasn?t she? I also feel that ?Escape? is her best picture of the Post-Code Era. Take ?Marie Antoinette?, where her performance is quite uneven; in the first part where she plays young Antonia, her performance appears a bit forced and artificial, but towards the end as she grows older and she plays the ruined Queen, she?s sublime and very moving. I must admit though, that I think that Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of her best dramatic performances along with her impersonation of Moonyean in ?Smilin? Through?

 

I must say I?ve liked almost every film in which Ann Harding has appeared and have always found her performances subtle, smart and with a contemporary quality, even in such weepies as ?The Right to Romance?, ?East Lynne? and ?The Life of Vergie Winters?. My favorite roles of hers? ?The Animal Kingdom?, ?When Ladies Meet?, ?Peter Ibbetson? ?some critics say she wasn?t ethereal enough for the role, I found she was suited perfectly for it and I liked her pairing with Gary Cooper- ?Condemned?; I loved her in ?Double Harness? with Bill Powell. Even in lesser stuff like ?Devotion?, she rises above the material. The only real dud I?ve watched her in was ?Her Private Affair?, but it was a very early, stilted, stiff talkie. She?s superb in ?Love From a Stranger?, although the Alpha DVD print is dreadful. She?s also very fine as Fredric March?s wife and Gigi Perreau?s mother in ?The Man in the Grey Flannel Suit?, which stars my dear Jennifer Jones.

 

Cinemaven,

 

Myna Loy is another favorite actress of mine and besides, we share a birthday! Miss Loy had such a long career before being discovered and of course I first knew ?when I was a young lad- the perfect screen mother and wife .Only recently I met the tempting siren who was profusely featured in exotic roles of the ?20s an early ?30s. I think that after ?The Thin Man? and with the enforcement of the Code Loy?s persona changed?.if you compare her Nora Charles of that film with the Nora Charles of later entries of the series, you can realize she was ?sanitized? in a way. The couple lost certain magic, mischief and the chaotic nature of Nora?s relationship with Nick. Notwithstanding that I enjoy a lot her comedies of the late 30s and early 40s with Bill Powell (I Love You Again, Love Crazy et al).

 

But, for a second we had a different Myrna in 1939 at Fox. I think we talked about this with Miss Lane at SSO, but in ?The Rains Came?, we see a different Myrna -than the MGM Myrna. She suddenly became sexier ?again-, she regained a certain alluring quality of a desirable liberated female, -not the perfect, proper wife at which she excelled. In the Fox film she looked so beautiful, so ?everything?; she was beautifully photographed, lit?.you should check that one if you haven?t seen it.

 

Have you seen her in the very, very sexy ?The Barbarian? (1933). She?s simply great, fantastic! And what about ?Love Me Tonight?? My favorite all-time musical and one of my very favorite films in general; if her scenes hadn?t been cut and/or censored she could have easily walked away with the picture! I?ve read Jeanette MacDonald was jealous of the attention and focus on her mischievous and sex-starved Valentine. She even ended using a white dress ?for the costume party sequence- that was initially destined for Myrna. But in the end, nevertheless she stole the scene with that wondrous black dress, with her beautiful bare shoulders. Her moments in that Mamoulian masterpiece are priceless. She was a Pre-Code girl, for sure! And Jeanette too! The Jeanette MacDonald of Fox?s kinky 1930s comedies and of Paramount?s sexy bedroom Lubistch farces has nothing to do with the Jeanette of the MGM Era. I like both Jeanettes, but her Paramount screen persona was better and superior. Why Myrna and Jeanette became superstars at MGM where their personas were sanitized (after the Code) and tamed? American Society at the time did not want nothing ?it seems- with smart, sexy, sure of themselves women, who weren?t stereotyped bad girls or vamps, and thus could be punished.

 

Irene Dunne?.mmmm?.she?s the actress who has starred in more films than any other actress which have been objects of remakes: ?My Fave Wife?, ?Anna and the King of Siam?, ?A Guy Named Joe?, ?Cimarron?, ?The Age of Innocence?, ?Love Affair?, ?Back Street?, ?Magnificent Obsession?, ?Show Boat??.the list is endless.

 

I think Irene won with the passing of time. Her first roles at RKO did not take advantage of her talent (?Cimarron? ?I know, she was Oscar nominated for this one, but I think her performance was nothing special here- ?Bachelor Apartment?, ?Consolation Marriage?, etc). I feel that when she ventured with comedy in ?Theodora Goes Wild? her career took a new direction ?for good. Comedy gave her persona the mischievousness she needed and which helped her in the landmark roles in her career (in ?The Awful Truth?, ?My Favorite Wife?, ?Life With Father?, ?Love Affair?). She gained a freshness and human quality with time?.the opposite of Loretta, who lost freshness, spontaneity as the ?30s progressed?if you see Loretta in ?Zoo in Budapest? or ?Midnight Mary? and compare her with Loretta of ?The Bishop?s Wife?, you realize the difference.

 

Another actress whose talent and appeal enthralls me is Maggie Sullavan, with that unique husky voice?.but I?m going to end it here.

 

Well, I?ve rambled!! I?m exhausted! Off to bed!

 

Please forgive my typos and mistakes in the language, but remember that I?m not a native speaker.

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

> Wow!! Im amazed with all the clever insight, elaborate opinions and in-depth-analysis Ive read on this thread. I feel honored to be exchanging ideas with all of you ladies and gentlemen.

>

 

I feel the honor should be ours, guapo! ;) I love hearing how much you admire all of these lovely and very talented actresses from the Golden Age. You must have a hard time keeping up with all of the stuff that is available on the TCM feed for the U.S. and Canada, I think the last time I checked their LatAm feed had a lot of contemporary movies. I love watching a lot of the pre-codes, including some of the ones you mentioned, like The Barbarian, which I first watched on TCM. However the last few days I have been pretty busy attending Dewey's film noir festival and I'm going to have a lot of catching up in the coming weeks, because a lot of the stuff lately I have just been recording.

 

Saludos!!

Holly :)

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I re-visited Louise Brooks through that TCM documentary narrated by Shirley Maclaine, "Looking for Lulu". Fascinating. She had innumerable lovers, was the mistress of rich and powerful men, and even worked for an escort service. Her unique, natural, potent sexuality was obviously noticed by Pabst when he was looking for an actress to play Lulu in PANDORA'S BOX. He saw her in Hawks's A GIRL IN EVERY PORT, and...the rest is history.

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So did Gail look okay in THE LAWLESS? Were the ravages of her tragic personal life catching up with her by then? I hope not.

 

I really love her as Stella in THE UNINVITED. I don't give a hoot about her accent; she manages to bring such a vulnerability and sweetness to the part that makes me care about her character. Rick says to Pamela: "There's a sleeping beauty magic about the kid". I agree.

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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feaito, I love reading your posts! They are so delicious, like candy.

 

What do you think of Louise Brooks? Interestingly, her stated favorite actress was Margaret Sullavan, who actually to my mind LOOKS like Louise! (it's the mouth and eyes)

 

Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

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Oh my Gawd! This tread is just flyin'..... It's awesome! I don't even know where to begin....

 

Molo - Your description of Shearer vs. Harding....well, it was so on target. I never thought about Thalberg actually being a detriment to her career, but I do feel that you hit on something there... I wonder if the public hadn't been given years of grandiose blockbusters with Shearer in the middle of them... what would have happened after Thalberg died? Could she have been received a little better? And it just goes to show you - I liked her performance in Marie Antoinette, right from the beginning. I especially like her when she is being her bad self.... I always like Norma best when she flaunts convention and messes around....I dislike her when she is being "noble".

 

Maven: I can't possibly respond to all the swell stuff you wrote - I think I have to mull and chew for a while. But I wanted to say how AMAZING your post was! Irene Dunne vs. Myrna Loy...... hmmmm. This is a great question....

 

Feaito- I am so glad you are over here! Don't forget, Hedy was also a scientist and inventor with a strong mathematical mind. Poor thing. Trapped in Hollywood, forced to wear beautiful dresses and have her hair and makeup done, while starring opposite Clark Gable, John Garfield and Victor Mature.....

 

Message was edited by: JackFavell

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

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

> > Wow!! Im amazed with all the clever insight, elaborate opinions and in-depth-analysis Ive read on this thread. I feel honored to be exchanging ideas with all of you ladies and gentlemen.

> >

>

> I feel the honor should be ours, guapo! ;) I love hearing how much you admire all of these lovely and very talented actresses from the Golden Age. You must have a hard time keeping up with all of the stuff that is available on the TCM feed for the U.S. and Canada, I think the last time I checked their LatAm feed had a lot of contemporary movies. I love watching a lot of the pre-codes, including some of the ones you mentioned, like The Barbarian, which I first watched on TCM. However the last few days I have been pretty busy attending Dewey's film noir festival and I'm going to have a lot of catching up in the coming weeks, because a lot of the stuff lately I have just been recording.

>

> Saludos!!

> Holly :)

 

Thanks Holly,

 

Latin TCM's Lineup is very inferior than TCM USA's. Almost no Pre-Codes, no Silents and scarce films. There are mainly TV Series: Chips, A-Team, Dallas, Wonder Woman, etc. I was lucky enough to tape a lot stuff from TCM USA during my visits to the US, so I'm still watching that and I have over 1,600 films on DVD to see and revisit -I have bought and exchanged a lot! I wish I could attend Dewey's Noir Screenings. Well, at least two weeks ago I bought many Classic Noirs to watch ;)

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> {quote:title=Bronxgirl48 wrote:}{quote}

> feaito, I love reading your posts! They are so delicious, like candy.

>

> What do you think of Louise Brooks? Interestingly, her stated favorite actress was Margaret Sullavan, who actually to my mind LOOKS like Louise! (it's the mouth and eyes)

>

> Message was edited by: Bronxgirl48

 

Thanks Bronxgirl,

 

I love Louise Brooks. My younger brother who also likes Classic Cinema, fell in love with her after seeing her photograph.

 

Recently I watched Pabst's "Pandora's Box" and I was blown away by her performance, naturalness, beauty and the film in general. A Masterpiece. I fell under Miss Brook's spell. I also saw the documentary you mention.

 

I've seen two other Brooks films: "Beggars of Life" and "The Show Off", both very good, especially the former. Louise Brooks always stands out because of the special quality she exudes. She doesn't seem to belong to the 1920s. She's atemporal!

 

What is going on with these Boards? I cannot finish writing a post! The Post message does not work. Each time I try to post I have to copy paste what I've written to a Word document, then close the internet window open IE again, login and copy-paste what I've written.

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

> >

> Feaito- I am so glad you are over here! Don't forget, Hedy was also a scientist and inventor with a strong mathematical mind. Poor thing. Trapped in Hollywood, forced to wear beautiful dresses and have her hair and makeup done, while starring opposite Clark Gable, John Garfield and Victor Mature.....

>

> Message was edited by: JackFavell

 

Thanks Wendy.

 

I read Lamarr's "Ecstasy and Me" and I enjoyed it. She was indeed a clever, skilled woman!

 

Have you seen her in Experiment Perilous? _Good_ film!

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