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My Reputation (1946)


speedracer5
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I watched this film after seeing it recommended by TopBilled and also seeing that it starred one of my favorites: Barbara Stanwyck.

 

I'd seen George Brent mentioned on this board many times and I'll admit, prior to this film, I had no idea who he was.  It turns out I've seen him in quite a few films with another of my favorites, Bette Davis (Dark Victory, Jezebel, The Great Lie) and Tomorrow is Forever with a couple of my other favorites: Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles.  So apparently, I've seen quite a few of his films but couldn't place him or remember anything remarkable about him.  Even after seeing him in My Reputation, I still couldn't place him in any other film I had seen him in.  I watched this film as a double feature with Baby Face and I hardly recognized him in that film either!

 

Anyway, I really liked Stanwyck and Brent together in My Reputation.  Lucile Watson as Stanwyck's mother cracked me up.  Watson, along with May Robson and Jessie Ralph are the epitome of the cranky old-school mother.  I always get these three women mixed up.  These old cranky women are hilarious.  Anyway, in My Reputation, she was the very traditional woman who is now a widow and is committed to wearing black until the day she dies.  While I was aware of widows wearing black for a set amount of time to show they're in mourning, I didn't know there was a tradition of wearing black forever. 

 

I found this film to be a very interesting film showcasing old vs new customs.  Stanwyck, a new widow, didn't want to face life in perpetual mourning, of course, she was upset and sad, but she also wanted to live the rest of her life.  Everyone else in her life however, wants her to be alone and mourn her dead husband forever.  I was happy that Stanwyck had a friend like Eve Arden who recognized that her friend needed a happy diversion from her suddenly empty home, and took her along on the ski trip where she met George Brent.

 

I loved that Stanwyck finally stood up for herself and basically told off her old friends basically telling them that she didn't give a damn what they thought about her.  Go Barbara Stanwyck!

 

Her children were like the typical overly saccharine and obedient children that are present in movies, they cracked me up though.  Both boys who were I think supposed to be 12 and 14 had such baby faces that I couldn't take them seriously going out on dates with girls.  When they got into the car with the girls to go out, it looked like a car full of children driving.  Typically teenagers look like adults in older movies, but these kids looked much younger than I'm used to.

 

I also found Robert Osborne's opening comments interesting, regarding the fact that this film was made in 1943, but held over for 3 years do to a backlog of films created during WWII.  While I was aware of films being made in one year and released in another, I always assumed that was due to technical problems with the film.  I had no idea that films were held over for years due to a surplus of product. 

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Thanks for the write-up, Speed, baby.

I'm sorry to say I've never seen My Reputation. This is not from a lack of interest on my part, it's just one of those classic films I've never really had a chance to view so far. Now that I've read your thoughts on it, I'll be watching for its next airing.

 

Anything with Barbara Stanwyck is worth at least one viewing.

As for Mr. Brent, obviously you're not aware of the thread devoted to him, or rather, a certain portion of his anatomy. I think this thread might be in "Off Topic Chit Chat".

 

All silliness aside, I can understand why you never really remembered him from one film to another. There's something forgettable about George Brent (other than that one particular thing I mentioned above.)

This is not to say I don't like him...au contraire, he's always pleasant. That might be part of the problem. Offhand, I can't think of a single scene with George Brent, in any movie, where he appears anything other than blandly amiable.

 

edit: actually, here's the thread I was telling you about:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/48490-george-brents-derry-air/

 

(There was an earlier thread on this lofty topic, it was hilarious, but it seems to have disappeared, along with Georgie's fame.)

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Thanks for the write-up, Speed, baby.

I'm sorry to say I've never seen My Reputation. This is not from a lack of interest on my part, it's just one of those classic films I've never really had a chance to view so far. Now that I've read your thoughts on it, I'll be watching for its next airing.

 

Anything with Barbara Stanwyck is worth at least one viewing.

As for Mr. Brent, obviously you're not aware of the thread devoted to him, or rather, a certain portion of his anatomy. I think this thread might be in "Off Topic Chit Chat".

 

All silliness aside, I can understand why you never really remembered him from one film to another. There's something forgettable about George Brent (other than that one particular thing I mentioned above.)

This is not to say I don't like him...au contraire, he's always pleasant. That might be part of the problem. Offhand, I can't think of a single scene with George Brent, in any movie, where he appears anything other than blandly amiable.

 

edit: actually, here's the thread I was telling you about:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/48490-george-brents-derry-air/

 

(There was an earlier thread on this lofty topic, it was hilarious, but it seems to have disappeared, along with Georgie's fame.)

Thanks MissWonderly.  I highly recommend this film. 

 

I think you nailed my opinion of George Brent square on the head.  There's nothing wrong with him, but there's nothing memorable.  He doesn't have a memorable voice (ala James Stewart or James Cagney), he's not ugly but he's not insanely attractive (ala Errol Flynn), he doesn't have a strong personality (like Humphrey Bogart or Edward G. Robinson), he's just there.  I have to imagine that his presence appealed to people like Bette Davis or Barbara Stanwyck because he wouldn't steal a scene from them or end up overshadowing them like some of their male contemporaries may have.  He's there to exchange dialogue and/or participate in a love scene with his leading ladies, but the film really belongs to his female co-star.  Are there films that George Brent carries on his own?

 

I have seen the thread you referred to, I haven't noticed that Brent's backside is any bigger than those of any other male actor, but maybe I'll need to see more so I can compare.  There are worse things to do in films than check out the male lead's rear end right? Lol. 

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THE SPIRAL STAIRCASE was a bit of a stretch for Mr. Brent.   But both Dorothy McGuire and Ethel Barrymore may have 'carried' that picture.

I don't think many people went to the theatre to specifically see a Brent picture. He was just a solid presence as a co-star or supporting player.

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Thanks for the write-up, Speed, baby.

I'm sorry to say I've never seen My Reputation. This is not from a lack of interest on my part, it's just one of those classic films I've never really had a chance to view so far. Now that I've read your thoughts on it, I'll be watching for its next airing.

 

Anything with Barbara Stanwyck is worth at least one viewing.

As for Mr. Brent, obviously you're not aware of the thread devoted to him, or rather, a certain portion of his anatomy. I think this thread might be in "Off Topic Chit Chat".

 

All silliness aside, I can understand why you never really remembered him from one film to another. There's something forgettable about George Brent (other than that one particular thing I mentioned above.)

This is not to say I don't like him...au contraire, he's always pleasant. That might be part of the problem. Offhand, I can't think of a single scene with George Brent, in any movie, where he appears anything other than blandly amiable.

 

edit: actually, here's the thread I was telling you about:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/index.php?/topic/48490-george-brents-derry-air/

 

(There was an earlier thread on this lofty topic, it was hilarious, but it seems to have disappeared, along with Georgie's fame.)

 

 

Yes, the original George thread was not brought over from the old boards. :( Surprised you've never seen My Reputation. I missed it this time around, but it's one of my favorite Barbara films.........

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I think that when it comes to George Brent's performances, they can best be described as bland or, to be a little kinder, pleasantly bland. Apparently Georgie Boy was quite the lady killer in real life, though, I understand.

 

I think he's pretty good as the doctor/husband of dying Bette Davis in Dark Victory but, again, he's there to support a strong leading lady without being any kind of danger of stealing the film from her.

 

However, the ONE George Brent performance that I very much like was as Tom Ransome in The Rains Came (1939). Brent brought a genuine charm to his role of a somewhat dissolute character leading a rather aimless existence who becomes a subject of fascination for a young girl (Brenda Joyce).

 

In fact, I think Brent gives the best performance in that all star production. Unfortunately for him, though, his character largely disappears in the latter sections of the film, preventing his performance from really dominating the film.

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I watched this film after seeing it recommended by TopBilled and also seeing that it starred one of my favorites: Barbara Stanwyck.

 

I'd seen George Brent mentioned on this board many times and I'll admit, prior to this film, I had no idea who he was.  It turns out I've seen him in quite a few films with another of my favorites, Bette Davis (Dark Victory, Jezebel, The Great Lie) and Tomorrow is Forever with a couple of my other favorites: Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles.  So apparently, I've seen quite a few of his films but couldn't place him or remember anything remarkable about him.  Even after seeing him in My Reputation, I still couldn't place him in any other film I had seen him in.  I watched this film as a double feature with Baby Face and I hardly recognized him in that film either!

 

Anyway, I really liked Stanwyck and Brent together in My Reputation.  Lucile Watson as Stanwyck's mother cracked me up.  Watson, along with May Robson and Jessie Ralph are the epitome of the cranky old-school mother.  I always get these three women mixed up.  These old cranky women are hilarious.  Anyway, in My Reputation, she was the very traditional woman who is now a widow and is committed to wearing black until the day she dies.  While I was aware of widows wearing black for a set amount of time to show they're in mourning, I didn't know there was a tradition of wearing black forever. 

 

I found this film to be a very interesting film showcasing old vs new customs.  Stanwyck, a new widow, didn't want to face life in perpetual mourning, of course, she was upset and sad, but she also wanted to live the rest of her life.  Everyone else in her life however, wants her to be alone and mourn her dead husband forever.  I was happy that Stanwyck had a friend like Eve Arden who recognized that her friend needed a happy diversion from her suddenly empty home, and took her along on the ski trip where she met George Brent.

 

I loved that Stanwyck finally stood up for herself and basically told off her old friends basically telling them that she didn't give a damn what they thought about her.  Go Barbara Stanwyck!

 

Her children were like the typical overly saccharine and obedient children that are present in movies, they cracked me up though.  Both boys who were I think supposed to be 12 and 14 had such baby faces that I couldn't take them seriously going out on dates with girls.  When they got into the car with the girls to go out, it looked like a car full of children driving.  Typically teenagers look like adults in older movies, but these kids looked much younger than I'm used to.

 

I also found Robert Osborne's opening comments interesting, regarding the fact that this film was made in 1943, but held over for 3 years do to a backlog of films created during WWII.  While I was aware of films being made in one year and released in another, I always assumed that was due to technical problems with the film.  I had no idea that films were held over for years due to a surplus of product. 

Love your comment about the "cranky old-school mothers" as you call them. And am especially glad you singled out Lucile Watson here, because I think the way she tries to tell her daughter how to grieve is one of the high points and makes her the arch villain of the piece. And she plays it perfectly.

 

I think the reason this was Stanwyck's favorite (and I am merely speculating) is due to the great scene where she tells off the snooty society woman at the New Year's party. Toughness that Stanwyck does so well in her best roles. I wanted to stand up and applaud her when that scene finished playing. I am sure she enjoyed filming that, because she is truly on fire like only Stanwyck can be.

 

I agree about the kids-- a little too baby-faced, but in a way it shows how they are still vulnerable and they still need their mother and grandmother. The scene where the women see the boys off at the train station earlier in the picture was poignant and heartbreaking without going over the top.

 

You mentioned Eve Arden already. I also like Warner Anderson's underplayed lawyer that should logically be the man Stanwyck turns to after the husband's death. And of course, Esther Dale, as Anna the housekeeper. The part where Jessica (Stanwyck) asks Anna to have dinner with her was another touching scene.

 

This is a wonderful film with so many excellent moments.

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I watched this film after seeing it recommended by TopBilled and also seeing that it starred one of my favorites: Barbara Stanwyck.

 

I'd seen George Brent mentioned on this board many times and I'll admit, prior to this film, I had no idea who he was.  It turns out I've seen him in quite a few films with another of my favorites, Bette Davis (Dark Victory, Jezebel, The Great Lie) and Tomorrow is Forever with a couple of my other favorites: Claudette Colbert and Orson Welles.  So apparently, I've seen quite a few of his films but couldn't place him or remember anything remarkable about him.  Even after seeing him in My Reputation, I still couldn't place him in any other film I had seen him in.  I watched this film as a double feature with Baby Face and I hardly recognized him in that film either!

 

Anyway, I really liked Stanwyck and Brent together in My Reputation.  Lucile Watson as Stanwyck's mother cracked me up.  Watson, along with May Robson and Jessie Ralph are the epitome of the cranky old-school mother.  I always get these three women mixed up.  These old cranky women are hilarious.  Anyway, in My Reputation, she was the very traditional woman who is now a widow and is committed to wearing black until the day she dies.  While I was aware of widows wearing black for a set amount of time to show they're in mourning, I didn't know there was a tradition of wearing black forever. 

 

I found this film to be a very interesting film showcasing old vs new customs.  Stanwyck, a new widow, didn't want to face life in perpetual mourning, of course, she was upset and sad, but she also wanted to live the rest of her life.  Everyone else in her life however, wants her to be alone and mourn her dead husband forever.  I was happy that Stanwyck had a friend like Eve Arden who recognized that her friend needed a happy diversion from her suddenly empty home, and took her along on the ski trip where she met George Brent.

 

I loved that Stanwyck finally stood up for herself and basically told off her old friends basically telling them that she didn't give a damn what they thought about her.  Go Barbara Stanwyck!

 

Her children were like the typical overly saccharine and obedient children that are present in movies, they cracked me up though.  Both boys who were I think supposed to be 12 and 14 had such baby faces that I couldn't take them seriously going out on dates with girls.  When they got into the car with the girls to go out, it looked like a car full of children driving.  Typically teenagers look like adults in older movies, but these kids looked much younger than I'm used to.

 

I also found Robert Osborne's opening comments interesting, regarding the fact that this film was made in 1943, but held over for 3 years do to a backlog of films created during WWII.  While I was aware of films being made in one year and released in another, I always assumed that was due to technical problems with the film.  I had no idea that films were held over for years due to a surplus of product.

 

MY REPUTATION is a good melodrama with a solid cast. Brent does his usual support for the leading lady, without being obtrusive. I read somewhere that the role had once been considered for Errol Flynn; I wonder how that would've worked out.

 

Yes during WW2, the studios (or some anyway, like Paramount and WB) found themselves with a glut of movies. This was due mainly to the huge success films were having, in the attempts for people to seek escapism from the terrible headlines. So many movies would be held over, much longer than had previously been the case, thus backing up everthing coming out of the pipeline. Especially in the last year or two of the war, some movies were held from release for the duration while the studios released more timely, i.e. war-themed movies, reasoning that the public would be fed up with these once the war was over.

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MY REPUTATION is a good melodrama with a solid cast. Brent does his usual support for the leading lady, without being obtrusive. I read somewhere that the role had once been considered for Errol Flynn; I wonder how that would've worked out.

 

Yes during WW2, the studios (or some anyway, like Paramount and WB) found themselves with a glut of movies. This was due mainly to the huge success films were having, in the attempts for people to seek escapism from the terrible headlines. So many movies would be held over, much longer than had previously been the case, thus backing up everthing coming out of the pipeline. Especially in the last year or two of the war, some movies were held from release for the duration while the studios released more timely, i.e. war-themed movies, reasoning that the public would be fed up with these once the war was over.

Errol Flynn would have been an interesting choice.  When the film was filmed in 1943, Flynn wasn't yet in his physical decline.  He would have definitely had more personality than George Brent.  Throughout the film, I couldn't figure out why Barbara Stanwyck didn't seem to care for lawyer Frank.  The only reason I could see why Stanwyck wasn't interested in him was because he was who her mother wanted her to be with.  Perhaps by being nothing more than cordial (or perhaps a platonic friend) it was an act of rebellion on her part.  With Flynn playing the Major on leave, I think it would provide a larger reason why Stanwyck would be attracted to him, if only because he would be such a stark contrast from conservative Frank. George Brent's Army Major and Warner Anderson's lawyer Frank were very similar.  Overall, I think Flynn and Stanwyck could have made a sexier "forbidden love" type film.  I really liked them together in Cry Wolf.

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MY REPUTATION may not have been publicly released until 1946, but it was distributed to military installations in 1943.  I have a set of main titles from a 1943 print.  Both the copyright and title background are different from the 1946 general release print.

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MY REPUTATION is a good melodrama with a solid cast. Brent does his usual support for the leading lady, without being obtrusive. I read somewhere that the role had once been considered for Errol Flynn; I wonder how that would've worked out.

 

Yes during WW2, the studios (or some anyway, like Paramount and WB) found themselves with a glut of movies. This was due mainly to the huge success films were having, in the attempts for people to seek escapism from the terrible headlines. So many movies would be held over, much longer than had previously been the case, thus backing up everthing coming out of the pipeline. Especially in the last year or two of the war, some movies were held from release for the duration while the studios released more timely, i.e. war-themed movies, reasoning that the public would be fed up with these once the war was over.

I don't full understand how moviegoing numbers could have been that great during the war, since so many men in the service, many of them overseas, were not part of the moviegoing public during that time..

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I don't full understand how moviegoing numbers could have been that great during the war, since so many men in the service, many of them overseas, were not part of the moviegoing public during that time..

 

 

Wives, girlfriends, kids and grandmas and grandpas were going to the movies without them.........

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Wives, girlfriends, kids and grandmas and grandpas were going to the movies without them.........

And not every young American male adult was in the war. Some of them had exemptions. One of my grandfathers was in Germany from 1942 to 1946, but my other grandfather never went off to war (and he had no disability). 

 

So it is erroneous to assume that every able-bodied man between 18 and 40 was off in the war, because that simply is not true.

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I don't full understand how moviegoing numbers could have been that great during the war, since so many men in the service, many of them overseas, were not part of the moviegoing public during that time..

 

I'm very surprised you don't fully understand what is going on here.   With a lot of the men overseas women had time to do other things.  I hope I don't have to explain what men and women often do together in the company of each other! 

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And not every young American male adult was in the war. Some of them had exemptions. One of my grandfathers was in Germany from 1942 to 1946, but my other grandfather never went off to war (and he had no disability). 

 

So it is erroneous to assume that every able-bodied man between 18 and 40 was off in the war, because that simply is not true.

 

 

 

Particularly in Hollywood........

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Particularly in Hollywood........

Right-- but in all sectors across the country. Movies during this time make it seem like all able-bodied young men served in the war. With the implication being if they did not, they were unpatriotic. There are no stories told about average everyday men who aren't either going to war, at war, or on their way home from war. The propaganda was so thick that it's a very lopsided presentation of the issue.

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Hundreds of thousands of men and women were in the forces during WWII but that doesn't necessarily mean that they were all in a theatre of war.

And many of the Allied forces were stuck in Britain until the latter half of 1944.  Movie theatres, and music and dance halls were very busy during those times.

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I'm very surprised you don't fully understand what is going on here.   With a lot of the men overseas women had time to do other things.  I hope I don't have to explain what men and women often do together in the company of each other! 

Would you be surprised if I told you that I don't fully understand that either?

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