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JOAN BENNETT for SOTM 2022


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On 11/13/2021 at 7:54 AM, DougieB said:

Well, if anyone's going to light a fire under them, it's going to be you. Maybe you should round up a mob a-la Cecil B. Demented.

LOL. I'm on a mission! :D

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According to the making-of documentary, the final four were Joan Bennett, Jean Arthur, Paulette Goddard and Vivien Leigh. Pretty good company. There's footage in the doc of them doing the dressing scene with Mammy for the barbeque at Twelve Oaks, but no footage of Joan's scene with Ashley. She had the right look for sure and did a good job of capturing the character.

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Yes, that's correct. I saw a bit of them in a GWTW documentary. I can't picture Jean Arthur in the role at all. Joan  must have been pretty good to get that far in the casting process. Goddard wound up the also ran due to her relationship with Chaplin.

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3 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Yes, that's correct. I saw a bit of them in a GWTW documentary. I can't picture Jean Arthur in the role at all. Joan  must have been pretty good to get that far in the casting process. Goddard wound up the also ran due to her relationship with Chaplin.

As much as I love Jean Arthur she wouldn't have been right for role.      Joan had the look,  but I don't think she had as much sparkle  as Goddard or Leigh.

 

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4 hours ago, Hibi said:

Joan had sort of a tony accent which would've had to be worked on too.

But I'm sure Vivien Leigh worked extensively with vocal coaches, so that alone wouldn't have ruled Joan out. I agree with james that Jean Arthur was the least likely. I think of her as petite too, though I could be wrong, which wouldn't necessarily work for a larger-than-life character like Scarlett. Personally, I think Paulette Goddard attacked the role a little too hard; some of it almost sounded like braying to me.  Lots of energy, but not always well modulated. You could see the steely calculation behind the eyes when Vivien did the role and I think there could have been some of that with Joan too, with things happening below the surface. 

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Oh, I agree. I'm sure it could've been worked on with practice. (her accent). I think Leigh was probably the right choice. She certainly delivered and was the right age (the others being a bit too old). I read somewhere that Jean was an ex-girlfriend of Selznick and her advancement was more charitable on his part.

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14 hours ago, Hibi said:

Oh, I agree. I'm sure it could've been worked on with practice. (her accent). I think Leigh was probably the right choice. She certainly delivered and was the right age (the others being a bit too old). I read somewhere that Jean was an ex-girlfriend of Selznick and her advancement was more charitable on his part.

Just out of curiosity I checked and Jean Arthur would have been 39 in 1939, so the "charity" part makes sense. (I had no idea she'd been in so many silent films.) Plus she read (at least to me) as "modern"; when she played Calamity Jane in The Plainsman it was a little hard to swallow, though I like her a lot as an actress and comedienne in contemporary roles. So that puts Joan as at least second runner-up. (See what I'm trying to do here?) And with a potential Chaplin scandal looming for Paulette (unwedded bliss?), that moves Joan up to second place. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

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Yes, Jean was pushing 40. Also Norma Shearer who was a fan favorite in the running (glad that didn't happen!) Joan was almost 30 and Goddard over 30 as well (some dispute about her real age). Leigh had the added advantage of being "new" to American audiences, so she was a blank slate. Most Americans had not seen her in a film, so she had no "baggage" from past films going in.......

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Vivien's baggage came later, and I guess there was plenty of it. But always amazing performances.

I guess if Norma could play Juliet, it was just a hop, skip and a jump to Scarlett?  That documentary showed the list of fan suggestions and it was long. Now I'd be really interested to see it again. Dietrich, anybody?

Hollywood was such a close-knit town that I wonder if the fact that Joan had come so close would have helped propel her into any particular roles. It certainly couldn't have hurt her career standing..........I just checked Wiki to see her films around that time and by chance came across her credit for the John Barrymore Moby Dick from 1930. I remember now seeing it when TCM showed it years ago. She played Ahab's girlfriend. In Moby Dick!!!!! Only in Hollywood. No shade on Joan, though. Work is work.

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I was thinking more along the lines of their past film performances rather than off screen activities! Having a preconceived notion of their film persona. Vivian had none of that with most U.S. moviegoers at the time. LOL. Dietrich as a Southern belle? I think Tallulah and Miriam Hopkins were the favorites of Southern fans. (both really too old)

Am sure it would've skyrocketed Joan's career if she'd got the role. (Unless critics and audiences didn't like her in the film. But she was successful playing a lot of scheming, deceitful "dames" in her career) Joan did a lot of junk in her long career. (or at least junk sounding, I haven't seen a lot of her films, particularly in the 30s). After her early Fox contract, I don't think she was tied to any studio and free lanced for most of it. I'm not sure that helped her or hurt her. Even during her peak, there'd be a dud here and there between good films.

I've never seen Moby Dick!

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4 hours ago, Hibi said:

I was thinking more along the lines of their past film performances rather than off screen activities! Having a preconceived notion of their film persona. Vivian had none of that with most U.S. moviegoers at the time. LOL. Dietrich as a Southern belle? I think Tallulah and Miriam Hopkins were the favorites of Southern fans. (both really too old)

Am sure it would've skyrocketed Joan's career if she'd got the role. (Unless critics and audiences didn't like her in the film. But she was successful playing a lot of scheming, deceitful "dames" in her career) Joan did a lot of junk in her long career. (or at least junk sounding, I haven't seen a lot of her films, particularly in the 30s). After her early Fox contract, I don't think she was tied to any studio and free lanced for most of it. I'm not sure that helped her or hurt her. Even during her peak, there'd be a dud here and there between good films.

I've never seen Moby Dick!

I knew you were talking about Vivien being basically unknown, but I used "baggage" for a cheap shot. I shouldn't have because I love Vivien and her life must have been tough at some points. As an interesting aside, that fan suggestion list from the documentary had Vivien's name (1 person) buried at the end of the second page, so she was on someone's radar besides Selznick.

I'm sure any good actor just wants to work, so Joan wasn't alone with some iffy stuff on the resume. I bet they had fun swapping stories about that at parties, etc. Don't you wish you could be a fly on the wall?

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Yeah, really! Am sure a lot of good dish! Joan being a free agent missed having a studio grooming her for stardom and film projects. But then, having Wanger for a husband helped too.

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20 hours ago, Hibi said:

No photo description available.

Stunning. It looks like Richard Avedon, but whoever shot the portrait did a great job. I was looking at a book of his portraits of the Kennedy family recently and the daughter on the left looks just like Caroline at that age.

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Yes, agree. Sorry to take so long to respond, but I've been offline for awhile due to the holiday. Those are Joan's 2 youngest, probably taken in the late 40s. Both grew up to be as pretty as their mom. (Not sure who took the photo).

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1 hour ago, Hibi said:

Joan gets top billing over Tracy!

Yea,  even in posters created for the foreign market.      (but here Joan has blonde hair).     I haven't seen the film but just reviewed some photos and it looks like her hair wasn't blonde for this  film.

She Wanted a Millionaire (Fox, 1932). Swedish One Sheet (27.75" X | Lot  #86940 | Heritage Auctions

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