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Peggy Ann Garner Appreciation Post


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Does anybody else around here love Peggy Ann Garner? I've watched A Tree Grows in Brooklyn  two or three times now and, even though she's only 13 in it, she acts like an old pro. She won the Best Juvenile Actor Oscar for her work, and it was well-deserved too, I also started watching In Name Only starring Cary Grant and Carole Lombard yesterday, a movie where Peggy co-stars as Lombard's young daughter and she's adorable in it. Any other of her films that I should check out, or is that pretty much it?

Peggy Ann Garner.jpg

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As part of Noir Alley,  Muller showed Sign of the Ram (1948),  and Garner is in that film.     Garner also plays Dana Andrews' daughter in Daisy Kenyon (1947) - a Fox film that TCM has shown but not often.

As an adult I believe her most popular film is Black Widow where she plays a very dark and twisted character.   But she doesn't look anything close to this poster:

 Black Widow 1954.jpg

 

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Peggy Ann Garner is also outstanding in Junior Miss (1945), which is based on stories by Sally Benson (who wrote another group of stories that formed the basis for Meet Me in St. Louis).

Junior Miss is the hilarious story of a young teenager, Judy, her family (mom, lawyer dad, older sister Lois), and best friend Fuffy (Barbara Whiting) who live in a New York City apartment building.  With the best intentions, Judy fixes up her long-lost uncle with the daughter of her dad's boss, and, as you might guess, things don't go exactly as planned.  Meanwhile, sister Lois (Mona Freeman) and her high-school friends (including a very young Mel Torme) try to act like grown-ups but only demonstrate that they have a ways to go.  A very funny movie set at Christmas-time, one we watch every year.   As a Fox film, it doesn't seem to show up on TCM much (or at all?), but it's worth purchasing the DVD to see this real gem. 

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I like Peggy. She occasionally turns up on a TV show from the 1950s or 1960s. I often don't

recognize her as an adult, but she was still pretty cute.

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There are two Peggy Ann Garner films that you should definitely check out:    Jane Eyre (1943) and Nob Hill (1945).


In Jane Eyre, Peggy Ann Garner plays Jane as a child.   She's in the first 20 minutes of the movie.    

In Nob Hill, Peggy Ann has a bigger supporting or co-starring role.   Her character is connected to the main love triangle - Vivian Blaine, George Raft, and Joan Bennett.     (Vivian Blaine had third billing in this movie, but she is the real main star of it.   It was probably her biggest lead role ever on film.   She's great in that one, and she sings a lot in it too.   Peggy Ann is terrific in this movie as well.)

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I loved Peggy Ann in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  I think I've seen Black Widow, but I don't remember Peggy.  Was she the lady with the matronly Ethel Mertz 'do ?

It's a shame that she wasn't able to successfully transition into adult roles.  She was an excellent child actor and one of the few that seemed natural.  She wasn't irritating. 

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2 hours ago, Classic aficionado said:

There are two Peggy Ann Garner films that you should definitely check out:    Jane Eyre (1943) and Nob Hill (1945).


In Jane Eyre, Peggy Ann Garner plays Jane as a child.   She's in the first 20 minutes of the movie.    

In Nob Hill, Peggy Ann has a bigger supporting or co-starring role.   Her character is connected to the main love triangle - Vivian Blaine, George Raft, and Joan Bennett.     (Vivian Blaine had third billing in this movie, but she is the real main star of it.   It was probably her biggest lead role ever on film.   She's great in that one, and she sings a lot in it too.   Peggy Ann is terrific in this movie as well.)

I love NOB HILL (1945). But the main reason I love it it is because it reunites George Raft and Joan Bennett who made three previous films together. I think they have incredible chemistry.

I agree that Peggy Ann does a fine job and so does Vivian Blaine. Sexy young Rory Calhoun has an early part as well.

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What endears me to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is Peggy Ann Garner's performance, outstanding. I also enjoyed the great Joan Blondell. The film breaks my heart every time, especially when James Dunn sings Annie Laurie. He won the Oscar that year.

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1 hour ago, Oneeyeopen said:

The film breaks my heart every time, especially when James Dunn sings Annie Laurie. He won the Oscar that year.

 I love James Dunn. He had the most expressive eyes (and a pleasant singing voice.) I always sensed a little bit of his real life in his performance of Johnny Nolan.

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24 minutes ago, sagebrush said:

 I love James Dunn. He had the most expressive eyes (and a pleasant singing voice.) I always sensed a little bit of his real life in his performance of Johnny Nolan.

He plays a similar character (the part of a drunken father) in KILLER MCCOY. He was a great actor.

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11 hours ago, Classic aficionado said:

There are two Peggy Ann Garner films that you should definitely check out:    Jane Eyre (1943) and Nob Hill (1945).


In Jane Eyre, Peggy Ann Garner plays Jane as a child.   She's in the first 20 minutes of the movie.    

In Nob Hill, Peggy Ann has a bigger supporting or co-starring role.   Her character is connected to the main love triangle - Vivian Blaine, George Raft, and Joan Bennett.     (Vivian Blaine had third billing in this movie, but she is the real main star of it.   It was probably her biggest lead role ever on film.   She's great in that one, and she sings a lot in it too.   Peggy Ann is terrific in this movie as well.)

That 1943 version of "Jane Eyre" is chockful of great child stars. Margaret  O'Brien, who appears as Jane's young charge Adele Varens, received a special Juvenile Academy Award the next year for Outstanding Child Actress. Her performance as the irrepressible Tootie Smith in "Meet Me in St. Louis," certainly was a major factor in her award.

Elizabeth Taylor (pictured below with Garner) had an uncredited role as Jane's Lonwood School classmate Helen Burns. She would star in "National Velvet" a year later.

See the source image

 
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Below is the look Peggy Ann Garner had for Black Widow.     I have always wondered if that hair style was her own or something the make-up team \ director required.

Also this from Wiki on casting her in the film:

Johnson's (director) first choice for the role of Nanny Ordway, 20th-Century-Fox-contractee Maggie McNamara, was cast in the role but soon sidelined by illness, with her Three Coins in the Fountain co-star Jean Peters being expected to replace her. However, the role of Nanny Ordway would ultimately afford a brief cinematic comeback to former child star (at 20th Century Fox) Peggy Ann Garner. Johnson had tested Garner for Black Widow on the recommendation of cinematographer Charles G. Clarke who, while overseeing location footage for Black Widow in New York City, had happened to cross paths with Garner whom he'd worked with on Junior Miss nine years earlier.  Johnson said he took Garner "much to my regret... she was a tiresome little girl. Tiresome woman.

 

 

Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Peggy Ann Garner – (Travalanche)

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19 hours ago, Oneeyeopen said:

What endears me to A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is Peggy Ann Garner's performance, outstanding. I also enjoyed the great Joan Blondell. The film breaks my heart every time, especially when James Dunn sings Annie Laurie. He won the Oscar that year.

All the performances in that film are strong.  JAMES DUNN is wonderful as are DOROTHY McGUIRE and LLOYD NOLAN

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19 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

All the performances in that film are strong.  JAMES DUNN is wonderful as are DOROTHY McGUIRE and LLOYD NOLAN

Yes, all the performances, even down to the bit parts, e.g. B.S. Pully as the Christmas tree salesman.

 

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On 11/17/2020 at 11:59 AM, jamesjazzguitar said:

Below is the look Peggy Ann Garner had for Black Widow.     I have always wondered if that hair style was her own or something the make-up team \ director required.

Also this from Wiki on casting her in the film:

Johnson's (director) first choice for the role of Nanny Ordway, 20th-Century-Fox-contractee Maggie McNamara, was cast in the role but soon sidelined by illness, with her Three Coins in the Fountain co-star Jean Peters being expected to replace her. However, the role of Nanny Ordway would ultimately afford a brief cinematic comeback to former child star (at 20th Century Fox) Peggy Ann Garner. Johnson had tested Garner for Black Widow on the recommendation of cinematographer Charles G. Clarke who, while overseeing location footage for Black Widow in New York City, had happened to cross paths with Garner whom he'd worked with on Junior Miss nine years earlier.  Johnson said he took Garner "much to my regret... she was a tiresome little girl. Tiresome woman.

 

 

Putting Together the Puzzle Pieces of Peggy Ann Garner – (Travalanche)

Yes that is the look I remembered from this film.  That hairstyle is so unflattering on almost everyone.  She's probably what, 20? 22? That hairstyle ages her 20 years. 

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13 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Yes that is the look I remembered from this film.  That hairstyle is so unflattering on almost everyone.  She's probably what, 20? 22? That hairstyle ages her 20 years. 

Garner was 21 \22 when she made Black Widow.     Glad I'm not the only one that felt that hairstyle just wasn't right for the character she was playing.     Clearly for the promo poster the artist didn't use that hairstyle as well as the overall style of the character;   who was somewhat of a hick and not a glamor,  gold-digging gal.  

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1 hour ago, jamesjazzguitar said:

Garner was 21 \22 when she made Black Widow.     Glad I'm not the only one that felt that hairstyle just wasn't right for the character she was playing.     Clearly for the promo poster the artist didn't use that hairstyle as well as the overall style of the character;   who was somewhat of a hick and not a glamor,  gold-digging gal.  

A ponytail would have been more flattering and definitely more youthful.  That hairstyle would have fit with the less glamorous image as well.  In classic movies, it is easy to tell when the movie takes place in the 50s.  All the women all of a sudden have that unflattering poodle cut (I think is what the Ethel Mertz 'do is called). It instantly ages the woman at least 20 years.  I can't think of a single woman on whom that hairstyle was flattering.

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On 11/19/2020 at 9:46 AM, speedracer5 said:

A ponytail would have been more flattering and definitely more youthful.  That hairstyle would have fit with the less glamorous image as well.  In classic movies, it is easy to tell when the movie takes place in the 50s.  All the women all of a sudden have that unflattering poodle cut (I think is what the Ethel Mertz 'do is called). It instantly ages the woman at least 20 years.  I can't think of a single woman on whom that hairstyle was flattering.

Yep, gotta say the only one I ever thought that it didn't age her nor make her less becoming was this little italian senorina here...

4-gina-lollobrigida-vintage-movie-star-j

 

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