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SueSueApplegate

December Star of the Month: BARBARA STANWYCK

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Filmgoddess wrote:

 

Eugenia: I'm curious as to what about STELLA DALLAS you find dated? It's certainly anachronistic but I don't find anything dated about it. It's of its time which, of course, is not what dated is all about.

 

*Nah, I can't think of more than 3 or 4 films made in the 30s or 40s that would be popular today. Maybe not even that many.*

 

*Today's filmgoers, for the most part, are not interested in that kind of stuff. They want action, lots of nudity, four letter words, and stars who are hot but can't. Not too much of that in the 30s and 40s.*

 

Seems you gave the perfect definition of why STELLA DALLAS is dated, it's of another time in its values; those values are therefore dated.

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I don't believe that "values" are ever dated. Values are values. So I don't see anything "dated" about STELLA DALLAS. I don't think things that are "classic" can ever be dated.

 

We just have different definitions. It's just a matter of opinion.

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Well what I find dated is that self-sacrificial mother who would give up her child due to circumstances, snobbery, or whatever, which was so common back in 1930s movies.

 

Alos, by dated I'm underscoring what you said about audiences nowadays not able to watch movies from the 30s; they find the values as dated.

 

Edited by: Arturo on Dec 29, 2012 12:03 AM

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I just see it slightly differently. I just think audiences today just "don't get it" and it isn't that inherent values have changed; they've stayed the same since the beginning of time. It's that today's audiences want something different and they also suffer from a lack of understanding of anything that's different from what they perceive today. I think it's more a case of ignorance than values changing.

 

They're unable to understand anything outside their own experience which is kinda sad since today's audiences have more access to things than any in history and yet they've become narrower and narrower.

 

I think it's more complicated than "dated." But that's just my two cents.

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2916555853_a5968b29f7.jpg

 

180px-Barbara_Stanwyck_Victoria_Barkley_

 

The Big Valley

 

Remember her as Victoria Barkley, Matron of the Barkley ranch. Bet

many others do, too.

 

She was a no nonsense, git 'er done gal and kept her looks well

for an older lady.

 

Jake in the Heartland

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> {quote:title=Filmgoddess wrote:}{quote}I just see it slightly differently. I just think audiences today just "don't get it" and it isn't that inherent values have changed; they've stayed the same since the beginning of time. It's that today's audiences want something different and they also suffer from a lack of understanding of anything that's different from what they perceive today. I think it's more a case of ignorance than values changing.

>

>

>

> They're unable to understand anything outside their own experience which is kinda sad since today's audiences have more access to things than any in history and yet they've become narrower and narrower.

>

>

>

> I think it's more complicated than "dated." But that's just my two cents.

 

Yes, they have access to more different kinds of entertainment than anybody in history, but you have to make an effort to encounter that something different. For example, I have Directv. If all I ever did was channel surf Directv I'd only encounter infomercials, preachers that can't seem to talk about anything but how much they need money and therefore act like they are in infomercials, reality TV on every channel, and professional screamers that claim they are journalists. My first encounters with classic film were in my childhood. We only had the 3 networks and a couple of UHF stations but they filled up their schedules with all kinds of old movies - even Buster Keaton - during the day, and then the "modern stuff" was on at night.I honestly feel sorry for young people today, because unless they make a real effort to reach out and look for entertainment out of the mainstream, all they will encounter is material that gives them the narrow viewpoint of which you speak.

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I compare today's film industry to fast food..it fulfills a craving for entertainment but you will never remember a "fast-food-film" a day after you've seen it, much less years after its release. Same thing applies to most stars and directors (there are very few exception)..they shine bright for a second and then quickly die...Outside of 10 films a year, everything else is like high fructose syrup, pure garbage...

 

 

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Jake, speaking of Stanwyck in television, I came across an interesting blurb from a 1932 (yes, I have the year correct :) ) issue of Motion Picture Magazine, where they labeled Stanwyck as an "ideal Television type". The main article is called "Will Television Mean the End of Garbo?" Here is the blurb:

 

2rm36z8.jpg

 

I found the article and magazine by going to the Media History Digital Library website, which poster VP19 recommended to us a few times:

 

 

http://mediahistoryproject.org/

 

 

This link should go directly to the article - I hope it works:

 

 

http://archive.org/stream/motionpicture42moti#page/n247/mode/2up/search/stanwyck

 

Edited by: EugeniaH (correcting the year to 1932)

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Wow Eugenia. Now THAT was a fascinating read in that link. Thanks for posting it.

 

Btw, did you happen to notice the size and aspect ratio of the "future television" here in that article?

 

motionpicture42moti_0251.jp2&scale=4&rot

 

It's pretty much as they've come to be now days, isn't it! What foresight, eh?!

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I can't say enough great things about that Media History website. An invaluable and fun resource for classic movie fans!

 

(Okay, I sound like a commercial, but there you go!)

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Of course she is one of Hollywood's greats. But it is a compliment

to her that she could go into television and do as well as she did, too.

 

I remember some of her films but her role in The Big Valley is what

I think of first.

 

 

Happy New Year

 

Jake

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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.*

 

Betty Lou Keim was in the Broadway play "A Roomful of Roses", and was signed by Fox to do the movie version, with the somewhat misleading title TEENAGE REBEL. She plays a 15 year old sent to stay with her mother, who she resents for leaving her and her fathe years earlier to go off with another man.

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Speaking of Barbara Stanwyck, tonight at 3:45 am EST, set your DVRs for Show of Shows (1929), one of Warner's early-talkies massive musical revue, very rarely shown on TCM, with Stanwyck's first husband, Frank Fay as the Master of Ceremonies. He was signed as a big star by Warners after an impressive run on Broadway at The Palace Theater and this was his first film. Then we all know what happened afterwards, his star faded quickly while his wife's skyrocketed...Some say their marriage is the real life story behind A Star is Born.

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I liked These Wilder Years a lot. A bit soapy, but genuinely acted. More Cagney's film than Barbara's, but they worked well together. There are only a few Barbara films left I havent seen that I want to see: Plough and the Stars; A Lost Lady; Great Man's Lady; The Furies; No Man of Her Own. Hopefully they will pop up some time...........

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> {quote:title=Hibi wrote}{quote}. There are only a few Barbara films left I havent seen that I want to see: Plough and the Stars; A Lost Lady; Great Man's Lady; *The Furies; No Man of Her Own.* Hopefully they will pop up some time...........

Two good ones. The Furies is on Criterion DVD, so it's pricey. No Man of Her Own was on youtube last I checked, but it's maybe been removed since Olive Films released the film this year on DVD. I saw it on amazon.com for about $11, used.

 

I do this because I am a *big* fan of No Man of Her Own, it's her great, unsung triumph.

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> {quote:title=EugeniaH wrote: }{quote}If it isn't you can just bump it up again... ;)

Well, the worst thing about going on vacation is coming back from vacation! The work piles make you wish you never left!

 

Anyways, I finally got around to see three Stanwyck films shown on TCM last month that I had not seen before:

 

 

* Sorry, Wrong Number - very entertaining, most people complain that the flashbacks are a bit annoying and I have to say I am in the same boat, but I guess they were necessary to tell the background story and to create suspense...still, I thoroughly enjoyed it, very suspenseful and Stanwyck does a good job as always making us sympathize with an unsympathetic character. Does not make my Stanwyck top 20 though ;)* but I can see why she was nominated, it is the kind of performance that gets people's attention. Although Anatole Litvak did an elegant job, I wonder what Hitchcock would have done with this film... \ \

* The Maverick Queen: It was an ok western, very formulaic, cute song, beautiful landscape, although I thought it was supposed to be a widescreen film. There was something odd about Stanwyck's make-up, especially in the early scenes, too much make-up! I think we talked about this before, but I find it hard to believe that someone like Stanwyck's character can be soooo attracted to Barry Sullivan's bland character...but anyways...again, this one is just "meh" for me.

* These Wilder Years: Despite the fact that it was utterly predictable from the beginning, it was very cute to watch, the two heavyweights made it work. It is an obvious Cagney vehicle, and Stanwyck's role is more of a supporting role. Still, nice chemistry and feel good movie. What a missed opportunity WB had in the 30s when they had both stars under contract (Stanwyck was under a non-exlusive contract for Warners from 1931-1935).

 

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I know! I was hoping to get some feedback from her...I feel I am writing to myself in this thread since it's so late :^0

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*I was hoping to get some feedback from her...*

 

Thanks, L.E. :) I need to take a break from the boards for a bit but couldn't resist responding to your post. Here's my take on these films:

 

*Sorry, Wrong Number* - I thought the film was 'ok' when I saw it, but watching it again a second time I was much more impressed. Some have thought that Stanwyck's acting was over the top and grating, but I think her behavior is plausible in context to her condition and the circumstances and her character. It is pretty suspenseful even though it's just Stanwyck in a room making phone calls and reacting. I had mentioned somewhere that Robert Mitchum may have been better in the Lancaster role; even though Lancaster's character was supposed to be weak, I think he underplayed it too much. I love the way they filmed the ending - very well done, very creepy.

 

*The Maverick Queen* - It was okay, but I need to see it again because I don't remember it that strongly to point out specific details. I like her and Scott Brady's repartee with one another and she's more of a match for him than Barry Sullivan... Though maybe her character wanted a more "stable" fellow. :) Yes, I remember that she did have a lot of makeup on!

 

*These Wilder Years* - She and Cagney were good together, yep, should have been paired more often, and earlier, most preferably in the early 30s, but oh well. As a 1950s drama I much more prefer *No Man of Her Own* (1950), which had a lot more layers to it, but it was okay. I would definitely see it again. The young actress playing the pregnant teenager was pretty good.

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