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FloydDBarber

Marjorie Main

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Having seen her in Shepherd of the Hills I know she was capable of dramatic roles.

How many movies was she in where she was not a housekeeper or in a comedic role?

Was she ever in a dignified role of a successful business woman or maybe a teacher?

Did she always have that shrill voice or was it part of her comedic persona?

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I think you're considering her MGM stuff. You have to look outside MGM to find her in more serious roles. For example, check her out as Jackie Cooper's mother in BOY OF THE STREETS...a rather good Monogram picture from the late 30s. She's excellent in it.

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She had small dramatic parts in two films that most people forget she was in. She played

Stanwyck's mother in "Stella Dallas" and the mother of Walter Pidgeon in "The Dark Command." She was excellent in both.

 

Terrence.

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Marjorie was a solid stage actress, long before she wound up in Hollywood. As for her voice, it has a midwestern drawl to it...she was from a small Indiana town called Acton.

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Nevermind. Someone already said it. :)

 

Edited by: FredCDobbs on Dec 10, 2010 9:24 PM

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I just watched THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS this morning...Marjorie has a nice dramatic part in it. No comedy. She plays Granny Becky, a woman blind since birth. This was done at Universal, around the time she signed a long-term contract with MGM.

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Heck...Acton is purd near a big city in the big county of Marion. She may have been born there, but she growed up in her teenage years in Boggstown, Sugar Creek Township, Shelby County (right down the road a piece a few mile from our farm -- turn right at the big stump acrost from Ol' Man Reese's place). We'uns from them parts were right proud of her.

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Acton has since been annexed into Indianapolis...but it was different when Marjorie Main was a kid.

 

Also, she may have moved away for awhile, but she returned to Acton to attend college there. So, yes, some of her most formative years were there.

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Acton, to the best of my knowledge, was larger than Boggstown then and now (even discounting the annexation by Indianapolis). And, Acton has no college and, to the best of my knowledge, had no college. I think Ms. Main went to a -- as they were known -- teacher's college in Lexington, Kentucky.

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I just looked it up...I guess she attended Franklin College in Franklin, IN.

 

The size of Acton or wherever else she may've lived isn't as important as the region itself. She has a very midwestern-sounding accent. Interestingly, she played upper class roles at the beginning of her acting career, but would later become more identified (and typecast) playing saltier, down-to-earth women.

 

She does a great job in THE SHEPHERD OF THE HILLS...I didn't even realize it was her until nearly the end of the movie! It's a very subdued, poignant performance.

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I remember seeing a publicity shot of her when she was about 40 years old. She looked rather attractive.

I saw her in a clip of Dead End and it was a very heart wrenching performance.

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I thought about her when I went for a walk today. I think that her long-term contract with MGM was not a good thing for her. It made her wealthy beyond her wildest dreams and led to the Ma Kettle role with Universal. But MGM did not really promote her well or give her material that would challenge her as an artist.

 

I think she could've earned an Oscar if she had done more dramatic roles like the ones she did earlier at Monogram and Universal. She's a great actress with a range that is not much displayed at MGM. Her worst role at the lion is in UNDERCURRENT where she just disappears after the first twenty minutes (she's Katharine Hepburn's housekeeper).

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