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Constance Bennett Day. An almost perfect SUTS day.


slaytonf
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I qualify it only because there are some movies of hers I am not familiar with.  Otherwise, there isn't one in the lineup I object to.  My favorite of them all is one not well known, Lady With a Past (1932).  Once you are able to choke down the idea she is a social misfit, the movie is a fun satire on social conventions with entertaining dialog.  Paradoxically, it plays into Miss Bennett's strengths of breezy sophistication. 

To be sure, Constance Bennett was not a great actress, but she was good at what she was good at, if that makes any sense.  And despite her usual roles of society figures, she was also able to communicate an unpretentious, personal quality that was a big part of her appeal.  You can see this best in sequences in Rockabye (1932), where, as a major stage actress, she visits some of her old local haunts.

All Monday 22 August.

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51 minutes ago, slaytonf said:

I qualify it only because there are some movies of hers I am not familiar with.  Otherwise, there isn't one in the lineup I object to.  My favorite of them all is one not well known, Lady With a Past (1932).  Once you are able to choke down the idea she is a social misfit, the movie is a fun satire on social conventions with entertaining dialog.  Paradoxically, it plays into Miss Bennett's strengths of breezy sophistication. 

To be sure, Constance Bennett was not a great actress, but she was good at what she was good at, if that makes any sense.  And despite her usual roles of society figures, she was also able to communicate an unpretentious, personal quality that was a big part of her appeal.  You can see this best in sequences in Rockabye (1932), where, as a major stage actress, she visits some of her old local haunts.

All Monday 22 August.

So looking forward to her day.  Love her!

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Much thanks to TCM for doing a SUTS day on Constance Bennett.    I have not seen too many of her films - I saw Topper years ago and The Unsuspected.   My dad always used to talk about her, said she was a great actress.   From the two films I saw, I think she was.   I am looking forward to tomorrow!   

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2 minutes ago, Hibi said:

There's a reason her career didnt last beyond the 30s.........

The same reason for most good looking,  stylist,  leading ladies;   she turned 40.      Constance did do some good supporting work in the 40s (the already mentioned The Unsuspected where her charm and fair for the one-liner was still in play),  but yea,   since she wasn't too interested  in going in mother-type roles or grand-old-dames (e.g. like Mary Astor),   producers stopped calling.

 

 

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3 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Her career as a leading lady was pretty much over by '37, Topper notwithstanding. She didnt turn 40 until 1944

So it looks like you're saying she was not a very good actress and that is why her career didn't last.   

I believe it was more than just that;  E.g.  WWII and the end to the curtailing of the type of sophisticated rom-coms that were a mainstay of her film legacy. 

I.e.  she wasn't good enough of an actress to remain a leading lady once age took it's toll.     (which was true for 95% of actresses).   

Anyhow,  I updated my post to say "about to turn 40" since I didn't mean turn-40 as literally as you took it.

 

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On 8/20/2022 at 10:04 PM, lydecker said:

So looking forward to her day.  Love her!

I really enjoyed Constance Bennett day;   There were many films I haven't seen before or saw once only long ago.   There were the pre-code films which are always a treat even when the plots are kind of telegraphed (or have OK-this-is-now-over type endings).

 

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I also enjoyed Constance Bennett day, watching five films (including BED OF ROSES... that Pert Kelton all but steals the movie). Now I'm looking forward to a day --some day-- of Joan Bennett films, preferably while she was still a blonde.

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7 minutes ago, skipd55 said:

I also enjoyed Constance Bennett day, watching five films (including BED OF ROSES... that Pert Kelton all but steals the movie). Now I'm looking forward to a day --some day-- of Joan Bennett films, preferably while she was still a blonde.

I see that you're a fairly new member and thus don't know about the can-of-worms associated  with Constance's sister Joan:  you see Joan doesn't get many tributes from TCM and that has been a subject of discussion for over 20 years at this forum.   

Note that TCM tends to not lease many films  from 20th Century Fox and thus actors that were under contract at Fox don't get as much exposure as actors that worked for MGM,  Warner Bros,  or RKO (the original Ted Turner library of films).   E.g. Brando and Monroe.    Joan Bennett is such an actor.

Constance made a lot of films for MGM and other studio that TCM favors over 20th Century Fox.    

I'm a big fan of Joan so I keep hoping TCM will feature her as Star of the Month.   

 

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3 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I see that you're a fairly new member and thus don't know about the can-of-worms associated  with Constance's sister Joan:  you see Joan doesn't get many tributes from TCM and that has been a subject of discussion for over 20 years at this forum. 

Not fairly new, my friend; just an infrequent poster. I've been a member for a few years.  I know all about the difficulties in obtaining the films of certain actors for viewing on TCM. That's why I said "some day" in connection with Joan Bennett. But I do recall seeing ME AND MY GAL (1932) on TCM several years ago. Maybe they could arrange to show it again?

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On 8/22/2022 at 6:14 PM, JamesJazGuitar said:

So it looks like you're saying she was not a very good actress and that is why her career didn't last.   

I believe it was more than just that;  E.g.  WWII and the end to the curtailing of the type of sophisticated rom-coms that were a mainstay of her film legacy. 

I.e.  she wasn't good enough of an actress to remain a leading lady once age took it's toll.     (which was true for 95% of actresses).   

Anyhow,  I updated my post to say "about to turn 40" since I didn't mean turn-40 as literally as you took it.

 

A combination of things. Age; Personality (difficult to work with according to many); Style; Changing tastes. The types of roles she played in the early 30s became passe  later in the decade. She was noted for her style/ glamour. Every studio had this type of star. WB: Kay Francis; MGM: Shearer etc. Most of them weren't box office by the end of the 30s. Shearer survived the longest due to the Thalberg connection. Even she gave up the ghost in the early 40s and retired.

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18 hours ago, skipd55 said:

I also enjoyed Constance Bennett day, watching five films (including BED OF ROSES... that Pert Kelton all but steals the movie). Now I'm looking forward to a day --some day-- of Joan Bennett films, preferably while she was still a blonde.

Not likely, I'm afraid. Joan's blonde days were mostly Fox/Paramount/UA. Very few of those Joan films have aired.  I think Joan was a SUTS once IIRC,  but it was almost all films from the 40s.

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18 hours ago, JamesJazGuitar said:

I see that you're a fairly new member and thus don't know about the can-of-worms associated  with Constance's sister Joan:  you see Joan doesn't get many tributes from TCM and that has been a subject of discussion for over 20 years at this forum.   

Note that TCM tends to not lease many films  from 20th Century Fox and thus actors that were under contract at Fox don't get as much exposure as actors that worked for MGM,  Warner Bros,  or RKO (the original Ted Turner library of films).   E.g. Brando and Monroe.    Joan Bennett is such an actor.

Constance made a lot of films for MGM and other studio that TCM favors over 20th Century Fox.    

I'm a big fan of Joan so I keep hoping TCM will feature her as Star of the Month.   

 

Also Constance was under contract to RKO in the early 30s till around '36.  TCM has access to those films.

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26 minutes ago, Hibi said:

Not likely, I'm afraid. Joan's blonde days were mostly Fox/Paramount/UA. Very few of those Joan films have aired.  I think Joan was a SUTS once IIRC,  but it was almost all films from the 40s.

That's true. TCM does show the occasional film Joan made for WB-First National in the pre-Code era, but that's about it. I looked up ME AND MY GAL (with Joan co-starring with Spencer Tracy). It seems that movie was last shown on TCM in October 2012, nearly 10 years ago.

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2 hours ago, skipd55 said:

That's true. TCM does show the occasional film Joan made for WB-First National in the pre-Code era, but that's about it. I looked up ME AND MY GAL (with Joan co-starring with Spencer Tracy). It seems that movie was last shown on TCM in October 2012, nearly 10 years ago.

Yes, they showed it a couple times, (Me and My Gal), but it was a good while ago. Disraeli and Bulldog Drummond once in a good while. (WB). That's about it.

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I wasn't able to catch every one of the Constance Bennett movies shown on her day, so I was wondering if they ran her 1937 short "Constance Bennett's Daily Beauty Rituals" as a filler after any of her features that would have run short of their time slot (like "Topper"). TCM has run it before, so I was sort of expecting it to be included at some point in her day on TCM.

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