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Mary Astor as SOTM March 2014


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_March 5th_

DODSWORTH..with Walter Huston

THE GREAT LIE..with Bette Davis

DON JUAN..with John Barrymore


OTHER MEN'S WOMEN..with Grant Withers


_March 6th_

PAGE MISS GLORY..with Marion Davies

DINKY..with Jackie Cooper

LISTEN, DARLING..with Judy Garland

WOMAN AGAINST WOMAN..with Herbert Marshall

TURNABOUT..with Carole Landis

CYNTHIA..with Elizabeth Taylor

CASS TIMBERLANE..with Spencer Tracy

A KISS BEFORE DYING..with Robert Wagner


_March 12th_

THE MALTESE FALCON..with Humphrey Bogart

ACROSS THE PACIFIC..with Humphrey Bogart

THE HURRICANE..with Dorothy Lamour

THERE'S ALWAYS A WOMAN..with Melvyn Douglas

THE PRISONER OF ZENDA..with Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

THE MURDER OF DR. HARRIGAN..with Ricardo Cortez


_March 13th_

THE MAN WITH TWO FACES..with Edward G. Robinson

THE LASH..with Richard Barthelmess

BEHIND OFFICE DOORS..with Ricardo Cortez

PARADISE FOR THREE..with Robert Young

THOUSANDS CHEER..with John Boles

FIESTA..with Esther Williams

YOUNGBLOOD HAWKE..with Suzanne Pleshette


_March 19th_


THE LOST SQUADRON..with Richard Dix

THE KENNEL MURDER CASE..with William Powell

BEAU BRUMEL..with John Barrymore

THE SHOW OF SHOWS..with Frank Fay

TWO ARABIAN KNIGHTS..with William Boyd


_March 20th_


THE LITTLE GIANT..with Edward G. Robinson

EASY TO LOVE..with Adolphe Menjou

YOUNG IDEAS..with Herbert Marshall

BLONDE FEVER..with Philip Dorn

ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY..with Clark Gable

THE POWER AND THE PRIZE..with Robert Taylor


_March 26th_

LITTLE WOMEN..with June Allyson

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS..with Judy Garland

RED DUST..with Clark Gable

MEN OF CHANCE..with Ricardo Cortez

THE ROYAL BED..Lowell Sherman

THE RUNAWAY BRIDE..with Lloyd Hughes


_March 27th_

SMART WOMAN..with Robert Ames

THE SIN SHIP..with Louis Wolheim

UPPER WORLD..with Warren William

THE CASE OF THE HOWLING DOG..with Warren William

RED HOT TIRES..with Lyle Talbot

MAN OF IRON..with Barton MacLane

I AM A THIEF..with Ricardo Cortez

ACT OF VIOLENCE..with Van Heflin

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Here are some photos I found that show how long she was in the motion picture business:


1. From her early days as a silent film actress in the 1920s:




2. From the 1930s, in talkies/pre-code films:




3. From the 1940s, around the time she earned an Oscar as supporting actress:




4. Early stages as a character actress:




5. During her television work, a full-fledged character actress:



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Am looking forward to March. I only wish the programmers would have scheduled her better. Her most well known (and often shown) films are in the prime time hours. The lesser known (and interesting) are in the early morning and daytime hours.....OK if you dont work.

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I don't agree that Astor is more of a character actress. Maybe more of a secondary female lead (like Van Hefin was the second male lead in many films), but during the first 20 years or so of Astor's career she was either the leading female star or a secondary one. This is different than a character actress.


Anyhow, Susan is NOT SOTM because of access to her films. It isn't because of her status.

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Hey, I agree that secondary lead isn't often used, that is because it doesn't apply to many actors or actresses. But I view a character actor as someone known to play a certain type of character. i.e. they have a very similar and often overstated screen persona they bring to film after film.


Supporting actors are the studio contract players. Their screen time is limited.


Secondary leads have a lot more screen time than supporting actors or their character is more central to the plot. But yea, I might be splitting hairs here.

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I'm interested to see how this will turn out. I've managed to escape seeing all of these films excluding Little Women (I happen to prefer the June Allyson version to the Katharine Hepburn version and I've watched it many times) so if I manage to catch at least some of the movies I will begin to form my entire opinion of Mary Astor as an actress this March.

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Astor played leads in many of her films. She wasnt a star in the sense of Bette Davis as far as carrying a film, but she did play leading roles or major parts in ensemble casts. I wouldnt characterize her as a character actress until she got older in the mid to late 40s........

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Second leads (male and female) as a category, has been common in movies from the silents to the present day. During the studio era, second leads were usually popular players or new individuals on their way up. Some eventually attained full stardom (Dana Andrews, Richard Widmark, Rita Hayworth). Most had a following, and the studios often had them as the lead of a programmer or B film, and then have them revert to second lead for prestige films and other A films. Some of these are Claire Trevor, Lynn Bari, Ann Sothern, etc. Mary Astor played many second leads, as well as leads, in the 30s and 40s.

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Actually in Astor's case, she could have been a bigger star, but chose not to. Jack Warner offered her the "star treatment" above title billing and such like Bette Davis (probably around the time of The Great Lie) but she told him she didnt want the responsibility of having to carry a film and turned it down...........

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I think what's great about Astor is that it is impossible to typecast her. She really was quite versatile as a dramatic actress. She and Raymond Massey are alike in that regard. You know they will be good in whatever role they appear in, but you are not sure exactly what sort of character they will be playing until you actually see them in the movie.

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PARADISE FOR THREE is airing later this morning. It is sometimes known by its alternate title, ROMANCE FOR THREE. Mary plays a shameless gold-digging hussy in this one.


Great cast that also includes: Frank Morgan, Robert Young, Florence Rice, Edna May Oliver, Reginald Owen and Henry Hull, among others.


Based on a popular novel by a German writer named Erich K?stner, it was remade twice in (then West) Germany. First, it turned up as a hit film in 1955 called DREI MANNER IM SCHNEE (THREE MEN IN THE SNOW). Then again in 1974, also called DREI MANNER IM SCHNEE (but filmed by a different director and with the story made more contemporary).




There is an article about the original MGM film at the TCM database:



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