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SueSueApplegate

December Star of the Month: BARBARA STANWYCK

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No love here for These Wilder Years ? I'd never seen Cagney and Stanwyck together before, and I thought they hit it off perfectly. IMO this film was very much like The Search or Stella Dallas, in that while on the surface they might be accused of sentimentalism, the underlying sincerity of the acting and the underlying truth of the message made These Wilder Years not only bearable but beautiful. And on top of Cagney and Stanwyck, there was also a fine performance by Betty Lou Keim, whom I'd never even heard of before, as the unwed teenaged mother.

 

Another thing about this movie that appeals to me is that it reminds me of one of Stanwyck's great strengths as an actress: Her ability to convey emotion by simply lowering her voice at the right moment, as she often did when trying to calm down Cagney when he was trying to bully her into forking over the information about his boy. Robert Ryan often used his eyebrows to convey menace in a way that no other actor could duplicate, and Stanwyck can similarly project more complexity in a two sentence whisper than some actors or actresses can convey in two hours of talking. In this case she used her voice to let us know that underneath her principled refusal to tell Cagney of the whereabouts of his son, she realized that there was much more to him than his surface bluster. It's moments like that which make me realize over and over just what a great actress she was.

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Ginger's versatility exceeded Stanwyck's, or any other actress.

 

Well, I will agree that Stanwyck never could quite match Ginger in either hoofing or Pig Latin. Beyond that, I'm not so sure.

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I see Fiance's point that Ginger was very versatile but in my opinion Ginger wasn't half as good in the different genres she played in as Stanwyck.

 

I enjoy Gingers 30s comedies and her dance films with Fred and that is about it. Her later movies just don't move me like her 30s ones did.

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I didn't catch [These Wilder Years|http://forums.tcm.com/], Andy, but look forward to seeing it later...

 

Admittedly with over 60 of them under my belt, I'm running out of Stanwyck films to say this about, but IMO These Wilder Years was the SOTM (Sleeper of the Month) in Stanwyck's SOTM. I've always loved both Stanwyck and Cagney, and yet I was still amazed at just how well they matched up. But I won't spoil it for you beyond that.

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Genie, I think that you'll like *These Wilder Years*.. Both Stanwyck and Cagney gave excellent performances in this one. Stanwyck was genuine and quiet and strong and think their honesty and mutual respect came across in this one. The film has been shown on TCM before, but I think not in quite awhile. I was so glad it was included. :)

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Great! :) I'm really getting to the bottom of the barrel with unseen Stanwyck movies, and as said much earlier in this thread there are some of her films I'm not that anxious to see (such as "Roustabout"), so hope that I think of "Wilder" as one of the better ones.

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I hope this thread is still alive by the time I come back from vacation. I have a few unseen Missy's films that are waiting on my DVR, These Wilders Years being one of them! Someone mentioned this already, Cagney and Missy in a pre-code film would have been THE pre-code film.

 

Andy, you've expressed my thoughts exactly about one of Stanwyck's key acting instruments, her voice. The other two I think are her eyes, and the most important, her insighfulness.

 

As of the late discussion in this thread, we all have our favorites, and can make arguments pro Bette, pro Crawford, pro Hepburn as the No. 1...but it is unquestionable that, from today's perspective/sensibilities on acting,and with the availability of most classic films on DVD/TCM, for the vast majority of classic film lovers that have been exposed to a fair amount of her films, Stanwyck belongs up there in the podium of greats.

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*I hope this thread is still alive by the time I come back from vacation.*

 

If it isn't you can just bump it up again... ;)

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It will probably be just you and me by the time I get to see the "missing" films Eugenia, but that's allright by me :)

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*I would say Stanwyck is the most popular person on these boards, judging from the amount of replies on this thread.*

 

She has her detractors, and also, some of us are posting a lot :) ... For me, as said before, even if Stanwyck was or is deemed to be less talented than many other actresses, I still get so much out of watching her films. Of course, I have other favorite actresses too, and do have Hepburn and Davis, etc. DVDs at home...

 

Thank goodness for TCM, and modern technology that gives us access to these 70+ year old films.

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Seriously? Just about any actress of the golden age was above average. That's sort of the point.

Could you name the westerns, dramas, film noirs, thrillers, mystery -- just to name a few -- films in which Ginger Rogers was at least "better than average." Thanks.

 

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I kinda figured that Addison would be the first to give up the argument and resort to personal name-calling of another board member. Surprise. And sad.

 

 

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That's just reflective of the current critical consensus which is that Stanwyck was the most versatile actress of the golden age of film and one of the greatest actresses in the history of the American cinema. It's pretty simple.

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

> I kinda figured that Addison would be *the first* to give up the argument and *resort to personal name-calling* of another board member. Surprise. And sad.

Actually, trailblazer that you are, you beat me to it several pages ago. Copied and pasted below is the entirety of what *you* wrote to JakeintheHeartland for his earnest, if somewhat non sequitor post about Stanwyck:

 

"Sorry but that post sounds like it was written by a *12 year old with absolutely no knowledge* of film or even television :)"

 

We all have the right to think and speak freely on these boards, I like a lot of the people here and I like reading what they have to say.

 

Sadly, with that right comes the option to be condescending, rude and elitist as all get-out, but thankfully, you seem to have the market cornered on those enough that everyone else seems like Julie Andrews in comparison.

 

 

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Fiance: I'm confused since you posted this:

 

 

Ginger's versatility exceeded Stanwyck's, or any other actress.

 

 

Did you forget to put a question mark on that sentence? I only ask since it appears you're now saying you never said Ginger was versatile.

 

 

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Blah, blah, blah ... I missed the so-called "personal name calling" in that post. But that's okay, I'm not surprised you'd resort to that sort of thing. No argument, attack, it's an age old tactic.

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