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A Walk on the Noir Side


rohanaka

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Ciao, CineBabe -- I think Ava has some competition. And as you know, I love Ava!! But man...JOAN BENNETT was absolutely a deadly black widow in the Fritz Lang double feature I saw this weekend at the Film Forum. I was floored!!

 

Now we're talking!

 

How could four years later Fritz put Bennett in a square coat, cut her hair, wild glasses, made her look boxy and unsexy in RECKLESS MOMENT"?

 

That wasn't Fritz! That's Max Oph?ls. Fritz returned to Joan for Secret Beyond the Door.

 

And then later she plays a Mom in "FATHER OF THE BRIDE" and takes away ALL her sex

appeal???

 

I've yet to watch that one. I want to see The Macomber Affair. If only TCM would play it.

 

Well..."SCARLET STREET" has the bleakest...blackest...most hopeless ending I have EVER seen...but more about that later.

 

It's impressive! Ahhhhhhhh, Lazy Legs.

 

I didn?t really see Moorehead in Fay, Jackaaaaaaay, but I will say she was a very interesting damaged individual.

 

I agree. I was attracted to Fay and her damaged woman.

 

Awwww...what critique could you have of that film? It's noir...it's a mystery....

 

No, it was my critique of Ella.

 

Oh dear. Vacant??? Oh dear.

 

See!

 

You probably won?t like her in ?THE STRANGE AFFAIR OF UNCLE HARRY.?

 

I want to see that one! It's also Siodmak. Then there's The Suspect, which is another Siodmak/Raines connection that I wish TCM would play. Ella hasn't been getting much love from TCM.

 

She has a rather masculine persona in that film. She?s not one of those loose-y goose-y actresses. Her voice is kind of flat as well as her having a flat affect.

 

I don't see Ella as being "masculine" in either Impact or Phantom Lady. She's definitely feminine. She just doesn't seem to have any kind of personalty. "Flat" is a really good word for her. Or "monotone." As I said, I keep waiting for her to shift gears, but she doesn't. It could be the characters. I need to see Ella playing a different kind of character.

 

I?m not sure you?d care for her opposite John Wayne in (one of my favorite westerns) ?TALL IN THE SADDLE.?

 

This is the film Miss G has recommended I watch for Ella. I'm hoping the Wayne box set drops a little price.

 

Just now talking to my father, his overall impression of Ann Sheridan is ?she never smiles.? "Huh Daddy? She has a great throaty laugh," I say. ?Nah her face doesn?t move.? Ohhhkay.

 

Funny you mention Ann, because I've just started to watch her and she hasn't done much for me, either. But I will say she does have a personality. She's not flat, like Ella.

 

Who am I to try and talk anyone out of their thoughts/opinions. Movies are emotional for me. I'll probably never really be able to defend my position 'cuz it's mostly emotional for me. You don't get anything from Ella...and I get a lot from her.

 

And that's what I like! And I know Ella has her male fans on this board, too. She just hasn't done a thing for me in the two films I've seen her in.

 

I?ve never seen it from beginning to end until yesterday. Whew! What a saga Louise went through. She?s got the father, the son and the daughter falling in love with her. She?s got Arab sheiks wanting to buy her. She certainly went through the mill in that film. I?m not sure if you saw it yet or not...so I?ll not say anything to spoil it for you. But you ought to check it out. There are just some movies one must have under their cinematic belt. You make like a film, or may not like a film. But it?s good to have seen it.

 

I'm glad you watched it. I have borrowed the DVD from my brother, so it's now just a matter of me watching it. As you mentioned in the other forum, I do like Louise Brooks. She's very expressive. She lights up the screen.

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Hola Frankie G - How could four years later Fritz put Bennett in a square coat, cut her hair, wild glasses, made her look boxy and unsexy in RECKLESS MOMENT"?

 

That wasn't Fritz! That's Max Oph?ls. Fritz returned to Joan for Secret Beyond the Door.

 

Ooops! You're right. So sorry.

 

***

 

And then later she plays a Mom in "FATHER OF THE BRIDE" and takes away ALL her sex

appeal???

 

I've yet to watch that one. I want to see The Macomber Affair. If only TCM would play it.

 

I don't know why but I love the title..."THE MACOMBER AFFAIR." As for "FATHER OF THE BRIDE" correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will...) you're not an Elizabeth Taylor fan, right?

I don't know if you'll like that one...but like I say, all the classics are worth seeing if only to be able to say: "I saw it. Let me check it off my list."

 

***

 

It's impressive! Ahhhhhhhh, Lazy Legs.

 

Is it just me or am I being a meanie for wanting Dan Duryea to be beaten within an inch of his life. Ooooh he's so hateful!!!! And cowardly!!! Dang...where's Susan Hayward when you need her!!!

 

***

 

I want to see that one! It's also Siodmak. Then there's The Suspect, which is another Siodmak/ Raines connection that I wish TCM would play. Ella hasn't been getting much love from TCM.

 

Yeah...wrong studio. And Ella's not getting much love from you.

 

I don't see Ella as being "masculine" in either Impact or Phantom Lady. She's definitely feminine. She just doesn't seem to have any kind of personalty. "Flat" is a really good word for her. Or "monotone." As I said, I keep waiting for her to shift gears, but she doesn't. It could be the characters. I need to see Ella playing a different kind of character.

 

I hear ya. She's a brunette Nancy Drew with dogged determination. Gear shifts...I fear you won't see that with her.

 

***

 

Just now talking to my father, his overall impression of Ann Sheridan is ?she never smiles.? "Huh Daddy? She has a great throaty laugh," I say. ?Nah her face doesn?t move.? Ohhhkay.

 

Funny you mention Ann, because I've just started to watch her and she hasn't done much for me, either. But I will say she does have a personality. She's not flat, like Ella.

 

Ann is fiery like a firecracker...Ella is like still waters. Joan Bennett was languid.

 

...And I know Ella has her male fans on this board, too. She just hasn't done a thing for me in the two films I've seen her in.

 

Fair enough. Most likely the guys can 'splain her better 'n me.

 

As you mentioned in the other forum, I do like Louise Brooks. She's very expressive. She lights up the screen.

 

Now there's a brunette with flashing coal black eyes who just pops. They didn't know what to do with her. She left many of her contemporaries in the dust!

 

Watching "ALIEN" on the IFC channel now. The move is thirty-two years old and Sigourney Weaver and cast and story is still tight and thrilling. Yay RIPLEY!!!

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I'm definitely an Ella fan. I like the sort of character she usually plays. She is quite, calm, purposeful, and yes, determined. She overcomes the obstacles, and does whatever she commits herself to, which is usually be supportive to someone who needs help. And, of course she is good looking, too. I don't find her voice, or her acting, to be "flat." True, she's not flamboyant, but that's nice for a change, because she really has a spine, even if she's quiet about it.

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What's the word, Lively Gal -- I don't know why but I love the title..."THE MACOMBER AFFAIR."

 

So do I. And I'd love to see the film. Gregory Peck is the lead. It's a United Artists film.

 

As for "FATHER OF THE BRIDE" correct me if I'm wrong (and I know you will...) you're not an Elizabeth Taylor fan, right?

 

I like Liz as an actress, I'm just not attracted to her. I'm also not drawn to the kind of films she starred in.

 

I don't know if you'll like that one...but like I say, all the classics are worth seeing if only to be able to say: "I saw it. Let me check it off my list."

 

It's the kind of film that Father of the Bride is that is the deterrent for me, more than anything. But I'll watch anything.

 

Is it just me or am I being a meanie for wanting Dan Duryea to be beaten within an inch of his life. Ooooh he's so hateful!!!! And cowardly!!! Dang...where's Susan Hayward when you need her!!!

 

He's fantastic! And I'm glad you think so horribly of him. Now that's acting!

 

Yeah...wrong studio. And Ella's not getting much love from you.

 

No, no love for Ella, just yet. I need to see her in another role. What would you suggest?

 

I hear ya. She's a brunette Nancy Drew with dogged determination. Gear shifts...I fear you won't see that with her.

 

No gear shifts? That's disappointing. I keep wanting a playfulness or excitement with her. She's not very natural. She's more on the "cold" side than "warm" side. For example, Gail Russell can be similar, but Gail has a warm smile and can be playful. Grace Kelly is someone who mostly has a flat style to her, and you know that I adore her. But, thanks to Hitch, I've seen her flirty and playful and bewitching. I've yet to see any of this with Ella. She's a straight line. Yes, I felt she handled what was asked of her in Phantom Lady. She met the situations. But I keep looking for something that is "Ella." Something that's not in the script. I haven't found her.

 

Ann is fiery like a firecracker...

 

Ann has a style. "Fiery" is a good word for her. She's got an edge to her. But I've seen her soft, too. And I liked what I saw.

 

Ella is like still waters.

 

I want a ripple!

 

Joan Bennett was languid.

 

I love languidity! Joan knows how to talk. Her tone is excellent. It actually is "languid." It's nice and slow and seductive. Veronica Lake is another who does the same. You know, I think you hit on something. Ella doesn't know how to use her voice. Again, one gear.

 

And, yes, I do believe everything is about "tonal." It's the different kind of tones that we all respond to. I haven't responded to Ella Raines' tone. It's the same with Ann Sheridan. Susan Hayward is another. It's their tones.

 

Now there's a brunette with flashing coal black eyes who just pops. They didn't know what to do with her. She left many of her contemporaries in the dust!

 

Louise had a style all her own. She could project so much. And she could do so with just her eyes and mouth (smile, pout). Louise is definitely an actress you feel.

 

Watching "ALIEN" on the IFC channel now. The move is thirty-two years old and Sigourney Weaver and cast and story is still tight and thrilling. Yay RIPLEY!!!

 

I do love that film. And Sigourney.

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Top O' The Afternoon To Ya, G-Man - I like Liz as an actress, I'm just not attracted to her. I'm also not drawn to the kind of films she starred in. It's the kind of film that Father of the Bride is that is the deterrent for me, more than anything. But I'll watch anything.

 

Uh-oh...that doesn't bode well...but I hope you find something to enjoy about it. Hey, I know...just concentrate on the great Spencer Tracy. It's his movie really. He loses his only daughter, and his place as The Man in her life.

 

******

 

Is it just me or am I being a meanie for wanting Dan Duryea to be beaten within an inch of his life. Ooooh he's so hateful!!!! And cowardly!!! Dang...where's Susan Hayward when you need her!!!

 

He's fantastic! And I'm glad you think so horribly of him. Now that's acting!

 

Alright now...then Danny acted the hell outta that part; actually both parts ("Scarlet Street" "Woman in the Window").

 

******

 

No, no love for Ella, just yet. I need to see her in another role. What would you suggest?

 

Hmmmm...that's a tough one. I can't think of anything you might like her in.

 

No gear shifts? That's disappointing. I keep wanting a playfulness or excitement with her. She's not very natural. She's more on the "cold" side than "warm" side. For example, Gail Russell can be similar, but Gail has a warm smile and can be playful. Grace Kelly is someone who mostly has a flat style to her, and you know that I adore her. But, thanks to Hitch, I've seen her flirty and playful and bewitching. I've yet to see any of this with Ella. She's a straight line. Yes, I felt she handled what was asked of her in Phantom Lady. She met the situations. But I keep looking for something that is "Ella." Something that's not in the script. I haven't found her.

 

You make a good point...and I understand what you're saying about her. But funny, even with all you say, there's something about her that touches me.

 

*******

 

Ella is like still waters.

 

I want a ripple!

 

I know Bubby...I know.

 

Joan Bennett was languid.

 

I love languidity! Joan knows how to talk. Her tone is excellent. It actually is "languid." It's nice and slow and seductive. Veronica Lake is another who does the same. You know, I think you hit on something. Ella doesn't know how to use her voice. Again, one gear.

 

I remember being lulled by her as I was watching her performances; I felt like I was slowly swinging on a hammock.

 

And, yes, I do believe everything is about "tonal." It's the different kind of tones that we all respond to. I haven't responded to Ella Raines' tone. It's the same with Ann Sheridan. Susan Hayward is another. It's their tones.

 

I hear you about tones. I'm thinking of a vibraphone...something about all the stars we like vibrates within us. Yeah, I probably have that wrong, right? Well, you named three actresses whose tone and (your definition) "flatness" I really like.

 

******

 

Louise had a style all her own. She could project so much. And she could do so with just her eyes and mouth (smile, pout). Louise is definitely an actress you feel.

 

And check it out...she did it all without TALKING. Her silent career was better than her talkies. Talk about an IT Girl.

 

******

 

Watching "ALIEN" on the IFC channel now. The move is thirty-two years old and Sigourney Weaver and cast and story is still tight and thrilling. Yay RIPLEY!!!

 

I do love that film. And Sigourney.

 

:D You ought to see how playful and sexy she is in her recent mvoe with Jamie Lee Curtis, "YOU AGAIN."

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I am so surprised that you found Ella flat and atonal. Most of all, I cannot BELIEVE you thought she was not natural - to me, she is the essence of naturalness... it's what I like most about her!

 

The problem I think is that Ella remained a B actress - she just doesn't have the canon of work that a Joan Bennett or an Ann Sheridan has. She doesn't have a big studio behind her, plumping her up for a huge next role.....she didn't get the star treatment for some reason - maybe she balked at it - I could see her laughing a bit at the subterfuge of Hollywood's system - "But why do I have to have my eyebrows reshaped?" She had to make due with a lot of small inconsequential roles, and never was able to hone her craft the way some of the big stars did. I think comparing her to Gail Russell is probably more appropriate. Of the two, I'd say that Ella is the better actress. Gail is sometimes weak, her lines come out in a very stilted manner. She gets away with it because her heart and emotions are in the right place, always tender and she has a quality that affects you.

 

Ella's heart and emotions are in the right place too, but she is a straightforward gal. She also has an underlying quality, but hers is different. Maybe she is flat and atonal (though I would say she was just underplaying), but she has a very real, good natured and relaxed personality to me.... like Ann Sheridan, I love what she can get out of the "good girl" roles - more than most actresses of the time in B roles, that's for sure. She is self assured, and unabashedly smart, she makes it look cool and even fun to be smart. Even if her character is supposed to just sit and wait for her man, she is no shrinking violet, or cooing dove of a girl. She plays the good girl like a bad girl and I really love that straight ahead, no-holds-barred fight in her. She's a tomboy, with real long legs and a smashing smile, but she's not full of herself or sensitive. She's happy. Happy with herself and with her job. Well adjusted, even. You just don't see that in Hollywood much. And yet, she has a quiet even radiant talent. She's like a beautiful colt, young and ready to run ahead.

 

I also understand what Cinemava said, that she has a masculine presence - she confronts rather than curling up and pouting. I am crazy for her persona because I totally believe her, no matter what stupid line she has to say. She finds truthfulness in the smallest role. She's not hamming it up, or wondering what her motivation is - she IS motivated - she goes for it. I can't think of another actress who is as forward as Ella. She is ready to do what needs to be done, not wait for someone to do it for her.

 

So I'm with you, Valentine. Ella's got spine, without ever being in your face about it. :D

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Feb 1, 2011 3:10 PM

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Ciao, CinemAva -- Uh-oh...that doesn't bode well...but I hope you find something to enjoy about it. Hey, I know...just concentrate on the great Spencer Tracy. It's his movie really. He loses his only daughter, and his place as The Man in her life.

 

I'm sure I'd like Spence the most. I'd probably like Joanie, too. It's just not my kind of film. That's my preconception.

 

Alright now...then Danny acted the hell outta that part; actually both parts ("Scarlet Street" "Woman in the Window").

 

Duryea is probably my favorite snake of all time. He gets under your skin with his vocal delivery. Again, it's his tone. And he's such a constant blinker.

 

Hmmmm...that's a tough one. I can't think of anything you might like her in.

 

No? So you're saying Ella's best performances are in Phantom Lady and Impact? I can believe it with Phantom Lady. She's the driving force of the film. Was she ever given a more prominent role?

 

You make a good point...and I understand what you're saying about her. But funny, even with all you say, there's something about her that touches me.

 

I can see why you and Jackie are drawn to Ella. You see her as the kind of proactive woman you identify with. You see her as "hands on," not needing some guy to help her with anything. You view her as smart and resourceful. You like the modernity of Ella, especially when compared to other actresses of that era. And all of that is fine by me. None of that is a problem with me. Not at all. I'm wanting some kind of personality from her.

 

I remember being lulled by her as I was watching her performances; I felt like I was slowly swinging on a hammock.

 

And I'm under her spell!

 

I hear you about tones. I'm thinking of a vibraphone...something about all the stars we like vibrates within us. Yeah, I probably have that wrong, right? Well, you named three actresses whose tone and (your definition) "flatness" I really like.

 

Exactly. You're going to respond to different tones. Everyone does. Ella, Ann, and Susan haven't been my tone but they are yours.

 

What's the word, Little Red Buick -- I am so surprised that you found Ella flat and atonal. Most of all, I cannot BELIEVE you thought she was not natural - to me, she is the essence of naturalness... it's what I like most about her!

 

It really is funny how one person can completely respond to a performer whereas another is left feeling empty.

 

The problem I think is that Ella remained a B actress - she just doesn't have the canon of work that a Joan Bennett or an Ann Sheridan has. She doesn't have a big studio behind her, plumping her up for a huge next role.....she didn't get the star treatment for some reason - maybe she balked at it - I could see her laughing a bit at the subterfuge of Hollywood's system - "But why do I have to have my eyebrows reshaped?" She had to make due with a lot of small inconsequential roles, and never was able to hone her craft the way some of the big stars did.

 

But I don't think that would sway me with Ella. I like my share of "B" actresses, such as Marie Windsor. I think it's because I've seen her in two similar roles. What's a good performance of hers I should check out? Miss G suggested Tall in the Saddle because she says Ella spends the movie trying to kill the Duke. Now that's a role that should bring out some emotion from her. That should get me to see her switch into another gear.

 

I think comparing her to Gail Russell is probably more appropriate. Of the two, I'd say that Ella is the better actress. Gail is sometimes weak, her lines come out in a very stilted manner. She gets away with it because her heart and emotions are in the right place, always tender and she has a quality that affects you.

 

I can't disagree with you about Gail. Gail is a soft, sweet figure. She pulls you in with her sad, expressive eyes. She's mostly needy... which I love about her. But I wouldn't say Gail is a superb actress with range. And I say this listing her as one of my favorite actresses. I just love how she makes me feel about her and her characters. I also love that she can smile and show excitement. She played off John Wayne extremely well in Angel and the Badman. It's a very "warm" performance by her. I need to watch Moonrise... badly.

 

And, in regards to Tall in the Saddle, there's no way I could see Gail Russell looking to kill a guy. Ella has more range than Gail.

 

Ella's heart and emotions are in the right place too, but she is a straightforward gal. She also has an underlying quality, but hers is different. Maybe she is flat and atonal (though I would say she was just underplaying), but she has a very real, good natured and relaxed personality to me.... like Ann Sheridan, I love what she can get out of the "good girl" roles - more than most actresses of the time in B roles, that's for sure. She is self assured, and unabashedly smart, she makes it look cool and even fun to be smart. Even if her character is supposed to just sit and wait for her man, she is no shrinking violet, or cooing dove of a girl. She plays the good girl like a bad girl and I really love that straight ahead, no-holds-barred fight in her. She's a tomboy, with real long legs and a smashing smile, but she's not full of herself or sensitive. She's happy. Happy with herself and with her job. Well adjusted, even. You just don't see that in Hollywood much. And yet, she has a quiet even radiant talent. She's like a beautiful colt, young and ready to run ahead.

 

That was absolutely stunning. What a lovely description of Ella Raines. Now that's writing with emotion. Perfect!

 

I think one of the areas where our disconnect may reside is her manner. Your "calm and cool" with Ella is my "indifferent and lacking emotional depth and range." As I wrote to CineMaven, I haven't seen Ella in but one gear. I keep waiting to see different faces with her, but they all seem the same.

 

But I do agree, Ella is believable in playing a woman doing detective work. Could I see Grace Kelly doing that? No. Gail Russell? No. CineMaven is very right, she really is a "Nancy Drew."

 

I also understand what Cinemava said, that she has a masculine presence - she confronts rather than curling up and pouting. I am crazy for her persona because I totally believe her, no matter what stupid line she has to say. She finds truthfulness in the smallest role. She's not hamming it up, or wondering what her motivation is - she IS motivated - she goes for it. I can't think of another actress who is as forward as Ella. She is ready to do what needs to be done, not wait for someone to do it for her.

 

And I like female characters who take initiative, as well. But, ultimately, it's their tone that I respond to. Joan Bennett plays a spunky lass in Man Hunt. She's courageous. Joan also played a mother protecting her child in The Reckless Moment. That was a different kind of Joan tone. Still, it's Joan. I need to see Ella in a different role to see if she has any kind of emotional range. Right now, she lacks flavor with me. She's one thing. I'd love to see her be playful or excited or charming. Something warm. I did find her cute as a mechanic, though. There is earnestness with Ella.

 

You know, I should watch Hail the Conquering Hero. That's a comedy. Maybe if I see a different side of Ella, I'll like her.

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_Hola, White Hat!_

 

I find Ella very warm. But the problem is finding a different tone, and I'm afraid that Ella simply didn't have the opportunity to do that...she didn't make a lot of movies, her roles were unvaried - medium size to small. so the different tone you are looking for is probably not going to be there. Maybe we can dig up some other things she did, like TV shows. I have yet to watch *Tall in the Saddle*, so maybe you'll like her, maybe you won't. Perhaps you ought to watch her in *Hail, The Conquering Hero* again, concentrating just on her - her character there is much more emotional - maybe that is the note you will respond to.

 

Gail really plays on one tone too, but you like that tone. She didn't really have a chance to switch gears either.

 

Joan Bennett had a huge career, a long one and a star for most of that time - she was maybe the luckiest actress of all the classic film stars - she wasn't so big that she couldn't switch once in a while when she felt like a change. She got along with people and had a husband in the business. She just went on and on and on, reinventing herself many times along the way. That happens to almost no one - Garbo didn't even do it. Only Joanie Bennett and Barbara Stanwyck were able to have that kind of range.

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Hiya, Spunky -- I find Ella very warm. But the problem is finding a different tone, and I'm afraid that Ella simply didn't have the opportunity to do that...she didn't make a lot of movies, her roles were unvaried - medium size to small. so the different tone you are looking for is probably not going to be there.

 

I know what you're saying. But I love the tone of actresses in smaller roles, so I'm not sure it's that. I liked Fay Helm in Phantom Lady, and she was barely on the screen. There was something to her.

 

I have yet to watch Tall in the Saddle, so maybe you'll like her, maybe you won't.

 

That's what I'm trying to figure out. Was it the characters I've seen her play that were rather bland or is it her style?

 

Perhaps you ought to watch her in Hail, The Conquering Hero again, concentrating just on her - her character there is much more emotional - maybe that is the note you will respond to.

 

I've yet to watch that Sturges film, so it would all be fresh to me. I may have to watch that next. The only other Ella films that I have are A Dangerous Profession and The Man in the Road, her last film.

 

Gail really plays on one tone too, but you like that tone. She didn't really have a chance to switch gears either.

 

I agree, Gail is mostly one gear. She's a "pleader." Okay, I must watch Moonrise.

 

Joan Bennett had a huge career, a long one and a star for most of that time - she was maybe the luckiest actress of all the classic film stars - she wasn't so big that she couldn't switch once in a while when she felt like a change. She got along with people and had a husband in the business. She just went on and on and on, reinventing herself many times along the way. That happens to almost no one - Garbo didn't even do it. Only Joanie Bennett and Barbara Stanwyck were able to have that kind of range.

 

That's an interesting take on Joan. What you say is true; Joan really did reinvent herself many times over. I like the Joan of the 40s.

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You like actresses that flirt.

 

I think that's it. :) Even the sweet girls, like Gail Russell, Teresa Wright, and Cathy O'Donnell have a way of "flirting" with me. They pull me in. An actress like Jennifer Jones just sparkles. She has a vibrant personality. I haven't felt any of this with Ella.

 

An actress like Susan Hayward always keeps me at a distance with her gruffness. She's a mean Greer Garson. :D I'm just starting to watch Ann Sheridan. She's one with a personality and she definitely flirts. I'm trying to figure out why she hasn't attracted me, yet. I need to see more.

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

> You like actresses that flirt.

>

> I think that's it. :) Even the sweet girls, like Gail Russell, Teresa Wright, and Cathy O'Donnell have a way of "flirting" with me. They pull me in. An actress like Jennifer Jones just sparkles. She has a vibrant personality. I haven't felt any of this with Ella.

>

 

I like Ella a lot, and she seems like the kind of girl guys...especially American men...go ga ga for because she's a "pal". She'll go to the ball game, go fishing and hunting with them. Yet she's nice, kind and not witchy at all.

 

Chemistry is everything.

 

> An actress like Susan Hayward always keeps me at a distance with her gruffness. She's a mean Greer Garson. :D

 

Susan's baby face is probably what draws me to her, because watching her get mad with that baby face is very funny. If she looked as hard as she talks, I wouldn't be able to stand her.

 

> I'm just starting to watch Ann Sheridan. She's one with a personality and she definitely flirts. I'm trying to figure out why she hasn't attracted me, yet. I need to see more.

 

You may like her serious roles. I'm not a fan of "serious Sheridan", but many here love her dramas. Maybe you should try *Nora Prentiss*, which is pretty good.

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I like Ella a lot, and she seems like the kind of girl guys...especially American men...go ga ga for because she's a "pal". She'll go to the ball game, go fishing and hunting with them. Yet she's nice, kind and not witchy at all.

 

But that's Kate Hepburn and I enjoy Kate. Kate has a huge personality. She's determined, strong, and tough, too. So why Kate and not Ella?

 

Chemistry is everything.

 

It is. It really is.

 

Susan's baby face is probably what draws me to her, because watching her get mad with that baby face is very funny. If she looked as hard as she talks, I wouldn't be able to stand her.

 

At first, she makes me laugh with her anger, but then it wears on me.

 

You may like her serious roles. I'm not a fan of "serious Sheridan", but many here love her dramas. Maybe you should try Nora Prentiss, which is pretty good.

 

I wonder if I'd like her as a moll.

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> But that's Kate Hepburn and I enjoy Kate. Kate has a huge personality. She's determined, strong, and tough, too. So why Kate and not Ella?

>

 

No....Kate carps at men, cuts them down, and loves to act superior. Ella doesn't ever do that. However, Kate is probably ten times the actress Ella is, and she can show real emotional vulnerability. Here's where what Jackie says comes in. Ella just never had a role that demanded that. Even the girl you like in the sanitarium was playing an emotionally shattered wreck, so regardless of the size of her part, it was an emotional scene. Kate got lots of emotional scenes, even among her most aggravating and strident characters.

 

 

> You may like her serious roles. I'm not a fan of "serious Sheridan", but many here love her dramas. Maybe you should try Nora Prentiss, which is pretty good.

>

> I wonder if I'd like her as a moll.

 

Probably not because it's the same as *They Live by Night*. Something different is the dramas, like the one with Errol Flynn or *Kings Row*.

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I think you have something there, Goddess! Kate still flirts....she's terrifically sexy in The Philadelphia Story and Woman of the Year. Joan is flirty too. Ella is fresh, very American, a pal as you say...... she isn't coy. She'd go riding with you, wash your car, or sit around telling jokes with the guys, all the time looking like a million bucks! But she isn't going to seduce you on purpose although she could - she is actually kind of unknowing about her looks. I wish I could have seen her as a seductress, but I don't think anyone ever put her in a role like that. I too would like to see that stretch. The closest we get is that vulgar, gum smacking low rent act she puts on at the jazz club.

 

She is modern, Frank, like you say, but I don't think she's too modern. She's mid-century modern. :D

 

Maybe Ella is just too well adjusted - you, like me, are drawn to damage, to someone with something hidden. I think this may be why you aren't very interested in Susan or Annie either. They are just too wholesome, even when they are playing someone who isn't. However, I bet Nora Prentiss is the movie to break Ann out of that mold with you. Susan can be very actress-y too, which I think you said puts you off.

 

As for Fay Helm, her bearing is what struck me as most like Agnes Moorehead, and the way she could switch directions on a dime - she's so classy at the beginning of the film, then you see her later and she is so far gone, it's amazing.

 

 

>Susan's baby face is probably what draws me to her, because watching her get mad with that baby face is very funny. If she looked as hard as she talks, I wouldn't be able to stand her.

 

This made me laugh because it's so true - if she looked like Glenn Close she'd be a harridan. ICK! I hate Glenn Close's looks. I wish I hadn't mentioned her.

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No....Kate carps at men, cuts them down, and loves to act superior. Ella doesn't ever do that.

 

I wish she did!

 

However, Kate is probably ten times the actress Ella is, and she can show real emotional vulnerability.

 

And I like that about Kate. Plus, Kate has a sense of humor.

 

Here's where what Jackie says comes in. Ella just never had a role that demanded that. Even the girl you like in the sanitarium was playing an emotionally shattered wreck, so regardless of the size of her part, it was an emotional scene. Kate got lots of emotional scenes, even among her most aggravating and strident characters.

 

But Ella is trying to save her love. That's emotional. But, I guess the character didn't have time to show this. The film also changes her character when Thomas Gomez and Franchot Tone enter the picture. She's now leaning on them.

 

Probably not because it's the same as They Live by Night. Something different is the dramas, like the one with Errol Flynn or Kings Row.

 

I guess Nora Prentiss it is.

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Maybe Ella is just too well adjusted - you, like me, are drawn to damage, to someone with something hidden.

 

Possibly. But do you think an actress like Teresa Wright played damaged or hidden women? I love the "sweethearts," and they are usually the ones who aren't damaged and hiding. Like you say, Ella is the supportive girl, and I swoon over them. Maybe it's because there is no "little girl" with her.

 

Still, I think it's Ella more so than a type. It's something Ella is or isn't that has kept me at distance.

 

I think this may be why you aren't very interested in Susan or Annie either. They are just too wholesome, even when they are playing someone who isn't. However, I bet Nora Prentiss is the movie to break Ann out of that mold with you. Susan can be very actress-y too, which I think you said puts you off.

 

Actually, I'm pretty sure I'm not keen on Susan because she's always angry and blowing smoke. I can take that if she'd show another side. When she does, I tend to like her. It's just the majority of the time, she's looking to rip people's heads off.

 

Ann is more of a mystery to me. I think it's completely tonal with her, because she does flirt and she does have a personality.

 

I need to watch another Ella and Ann film.

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

>she is actually kind of unknowing about her looks.

>

 

That is certainly true...she looks like Gene Tierney but acts like Debbie Reynolds...by that I mean she doesn't act like her looks suggest.

 

> Maybe Ella is just too well adjusted - you, like me, are drawn to damage, to someone with something hidden.

 

That's fascinating, about both of you!

 

> This made me laugh because it's so true - if she looked like Glenn Close she'd be a harridan. ICK! I hate Glenn Close's looks. I wish I hadn't mentioned her.

 

You know it pays not to look too Close. :P

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I didn't see much leaning. Tone ingratiated himself into her search to find out what she knew - and Gomez wasn't much help, he just believed Alan Curtis' story. She did everything on her own.

 

Marlow (Franchot Tone) was almost always with Carol (Ella Raines), and Inspector Burgess (Thomas Gomez) also joined her in person and with the investigation. Marlow even drove Carol to see Ann (Fay Helm). Carol was no longer sitting at the bar alone or getting stuck in a seedy room with Cliff (Elisha Cook, Jr.). That all ended. She now had two people to help her, to lean on. That makes a huge difference.

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> And I like that about Kate. Plus, Kate has a sense of humor.

>

 

I think Ella does, too. In fact, it feels more self deprecating than Kate's (though Kate had a wonderful sense of humor in reality that I feel only rarely really comes through films).

 

>

> But Ella is trying to save her love. That's emotional. But, I guess the character didn't have time to show this. The film also changes her character when Thomas Gomez and Franchot Tone enter the picture. She's now leaning on them.

>

 

She's on an even keel as a person. I think she's the kind of woman you'd absolutely love in real life, but she's not giving you enough dramatics on screen.

 

> I guess Nora Prentiss it is.

 

Alright, Kent. :P

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I need to too! I want to watch Tall in the Saddle next, but I have about 5 movies I need to watch first. I've been slow watching lately because of Hal Roach, and also because of the bad weather - this is the fifth or sixth snow day we've had and I can't sit and watch movies when the kidling is home!

 

Back to Phantom Lady, I wonder what you thought about the rest of the cast, and the film itself. I think it's much tighter than the Killers, and that was part of the joy of it for me - The Killers kind of loses steam for me somewhere along the way. It meanders or something feels not quite as exciting as that first part. I thought this one was sharp as could be, and exciting all the way to the end.

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

> That is certainly true...she looks like Gene Tierney but acts like Debbie Reynolds...by that I mean she doesn't act like her looks suggest.

 

I think you are right - she isn't as exotic in her nature as her looks would suggest. Although I found her a bit sultry in Uncle Harry.

 

> > Maybe Ella is just too well adjusted - you, like me, are drawn to damage, to someone with something hidden.

>

> That's fascinating, about both of you!

 

Well, I know that's what I find interesting to watch - I was just thinking about Dana Andrews in BYOOL and Ox-Bow a little while ago - when Maven mentioned curly haired fellas, and I thought about how vulnerable he is.... even in Laura, he's got his weak spot, as Waldo so nastily points out. whew! He may be the most sensitive tough guy ever.

 

>

> You know it pays not to look too Close. :P

 

:D

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Hiya, Miss Gun for Hire -- I think Ella does, too. In fact, it feels more self deprecating than Kate's (though Kate had a wonderful sense of humor in reality that I feel only rarely really comes through films)

 

I'm hoping to see this in Hail the Conquering Hero.

 

Kate has an energy to her. She can turn on a dime. She's an extremely nimble actress.

 

She's on an even keel as a person. I think she's the kind of woman you'd absolutely love in real life, but she's not giving you enough dramatics on screen.

 

I'm not so sure. I like emotional girls.

 

Howdy, Oklahoma -- I need to too! I want to watch Tall in the Saddle next, but I have about 5 movies I need to watch first. I've been slow watching lately because of Hal Roach, and also because of the bad weather - this is the fifth or sixth snow day we've had and I can't sit and watch movies when the kidling is home!

 

The life of a mom! I like it. :) You know, I think I need to just bite the bullet and get the Wayne box set with Tall in the Saddle. I've been price hawking it because it has Quiet Gal's film in it and Lana Turner. Now the Ella title makes three.

 

Back to Phantom Lady, I wonder what you thought about the rest of the cast, and the film itself.

 

Elisha Cook, Jr. put on an "Elisha Cook, Jr." show. He was completely himself and very film noir. Your description of his major scene was brilliant.

 

I'm a Thomas Gomez fan, so I certainly liked him. I like him more as a villain, though. Loved Regis Toomey.

 

I liked what you spoke of with Alan Curtis. I felt his portrayal was honest, although I thought the actor to be plastic.

 

Your description of Franchot Tone's performance and damaged man was very good. He did have an air of sympathy while also supplying lots of "creepy."

 

I definitely liked Fay Helm.

 

All in all, I liked the acting. And that includes Ella Raines. I certainly wasn't bashing Ella's performance. She was good. I just wasn't drawn to her.

 

I think it's much tighter than the Killers, and that was part of the joy of it for me - The Killers kind of loses steam for me somewhere along the way. It meanders or something feels not quite as exciting as that first part. I thought this one was sharp as could be, and exciting all the way to the end.

 

Phantom Lady is the tighter film and is more enjoyable. I prefer The Killers because it's darker, has more of an edge, and is more complex. I also prefer Edmond O'Brien as the detective compared to Ella Raines. But I do believe Phantom Lady is the easier watch and far more accessible than The Killers.

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I thought Phantom Lady was deeper, more complex, and had a dark underside hinted at. Interesting how two people can see these movies quite differently. I thought the Killers was kind of simple, an open book, though it had more twists and more of an edge. I wasn't as interested in the twists. I wanted more character. This one had character.

 

I agree about Alan Curtis, he's not an actor I normally gravitate to, but he really seemed like he was reaching for something more demanding here, something more complex. I appreciated his stretch.

 

Regis Toomey was amazing - I have NEVER seen him so .... creepy! This ain't no Meet John Doe!

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Feb 1, 2011 9:18 PM

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