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noway1987, May 27, 2006 in General Discussions
I always thought Ann Shirley was cute and talented. Don't know much about her, though. Not sure why her career isn't more well-known,
Ann Dvorak was awfully good, but it seems she never got the breaks of a Bette Davis --- of course, she didn't have Bette's push either. I don't guess anyone did, except Crawford. No wonder they hated each other.
How about Gladys Egan, child star of Griffith's Biograph shorts! It seems virtually nothing is known about her; even the IMDb has no info on her. :-(
To view a photo of her click on one of my postings at my message board. It's one of the only few known photographs that exist of her.
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I've seen The Bad Seed numerous times on the big screen, and each time Eileen Heckert receives an ovation as she finishes her monologue in this camp classic.
I've seen some good choices:Ann Shirley,Ann Dvorak,Eileen Heckart,oooh she was great in the Bad Seed.How about Joan Hackett,Jo Van Fleet,Gail Patrick,Joan Blondell,Karen Black,Linda Darnell,Lucille Ball,Rosalind Russell,Olivia de haviland......there are more,i can't think of them right now.
This is my list of underrated actresses-Maureen O'Hara,Linda Darnell,Joan Blondell,Ann Sheridan,Helen Walker,Lonette McKee,Lynn Whitfield,Gina Gershon,Susan Kohner,Joan Bennett,Cathy O'Donnell,Susan Strasberg,Rita Johnson,and so many more.
Ms Kohner was great in the Douglas Sirk directed version of "Imitation of Life",and I though Susan Strasberg stole from film from Kim Novak in "Picnic',she died way to young and tragically,rumors had it that she didn't have insurance to pay for her cancer treatments.
Here's another vote for Ann Dvorak.
Claudette Colbert doesn't get enough credit for her contribution to such comic gems as Midnight, It Happened One Night, and The Palm Beach Story. She's so relaxed and (seemingly) spontaneous, you forget she's acting.
You don't read much about Frances Farmer these days, but watch Come and Get It, and you can see what a fine actress she might have been.
Like Farmer, Jane Greer showed incredible potential but less than expected follow through. Out of the Past shows she could be the most dangerous of femme fatales. If she and Barbara Stanwyck were in the room, I would say keep your eye out for Greer. She?s much better at convincing those around her that she couldn?t possibly be doing what you think she is doing.
Beulah Bondi, Thelma Ritter, Una Merkel, Kathleen Freeman, Mitzi Gaynor, Sonja Henie, and Agnes Moorehead.
It's funny you say that because Ida Lupino was known as the "poor man's Bette Davis." My mom likes Lupino and always said she was underrated. Marilyn Monroe has to be one of the most underrated actresses. I would've liked to see what movies she would've made had not she died. I think what was needed for her was a heavy transformation like what Liz Taylor did for Virginia Woolf. I know Monroe was going to do What A Way to Go and a showy dramatic piece in The Stripper.
I think Janet Gaynor had terrific comic timing. She is great inThree Loves has Nancy with Robert Montgomery.
IMDB filmography for Mary Astor (as actress) lists 152 movies from 1920 to 1964. A few of my favorite Mary Astor roles--Mary Linden in "Behind Office Doors", Odette Mauclair in "I Am A Thief", Madame Germaine De Laage in "The Hurricane", Edith Cortright in "Dodsworth", Sandra Kovak in "The Great Lie", Princess Centimillia in "Palm Beach Story", Brigid O'Shaughnessy in "Maltese Falcon", Jewel Mayhew in "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte".
The #1 Underrated Actress of the studio era?
Ann Sheridan, hands down.
Even in dreck she is fantastic. When handed superlative material, like "The Man Who Came To Dinner," she's sublime spoofing Gertrude Lawrence and actually steals the few scenes she shares with Bette Davis. How many actresses could make that claim?
I also thought Lucille Bremer was often better than legend would have it. As Judy's older sister, Rose, in "Meet Me In St. Louis," she demonstrates fine comedic timing and she has real screen presence. Bremer's two sequences with Fred Astaire in "Ziegfeld Follies" are also undisputable highlights. Apparently, she appeared in a couple of MGM produced melodramas before she retired. While I haven't seen those films, those pictures are rumored to be among her best work.
Thelma Ritter always made the leads look even better, too.
Jean Simmons, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Colleen Gray (featured in Tyrone Power's superlative noir "Nightmare Alley")...
How many actresses could make that claim?
Ann Harding. If they played a scene together, I would postulate that she could reduce Davis to the scenery chewer she was. She laid waste to Maureen O'Sullivan in The Flame Within without raising an eyebrow or her voice an octave.
Seems the 'star' system was alive and well in old Hollywood, based on the number of actresses noted here.
Ann Sheridan's performance as Lee Donley in "Torrid Zone" is the most appealing bit of acting I have seen in a long time. I am glad I 'caught' the recent TCM broadcast of "Torrid Zone". I watched "Torrid Zone" after recording on a hard disk drive, once as I transferred the movie from hard disk to plastic disk and once to 'check' the plastic disk recording. Jeez...I think I will watch my plastic disk recording of "Torrid Zone" tonight. Thanks for mentioning Ann Sheridan.
Nice to see someone mention Lucille Bremer, Mr. Lydecker. Some people whisper about her "discovery" and she's generally not remembered very often. One of her best scenes is the "Coffee Time" number again with Fred Astaire in their rarely seen Minnelli jaunt Yolanda and the Thief...
One more actress--Mae Murray.
The past week watched Mae Murray in one silent movie--"Delicious Little Devil" with Rudolph Valentino. Mae Murray's performance made me laugh. Watched Mae Murray in one sound film--"Bachelor Apartment". Again, Mae Murray's performance made me laugh. Her filmography ends in 1931! Reading her IMDB biography--her 'prince' of a husband advised her to quit MGM and..."goodbye movie career". Damn.
My vote would be for Vera Miles. Hitchcock used her effectively in THE WRONG MAN (probably her finest performance) and PSYCHO. She was originally cast in the Madeline/Judy role in VERTIGO but unfortunately was replaced by Kim Novak in that classic due to Ms. Miles' pregnancy. I would also vote for Peggy Dow, who worked briefly for Universal in the early 50s but left the screen after a few films. Dow's most notable role was as the nurse in HARVEY, the James Stewart film.
Ann Sheridan, hands down.
Even in dreck she is fantastic. When handed
superlative material, like "The Man Who Came To
Dinner," she's sublime spoofing Gertrude Lawrence and
actually steals the few scenes she shares with Bette
Davis. How many actresses could make that claim?
THANK YOU, THANK YOU THANK YOU! For years, I've been telling every person I know who has ever liked a classic film about what a great and severely underrated actress Ann Sheridan was, until frankly, everyone (especially my wife) is sick of hearing about i! It's nice to come onto these boards and find people who recognize great talent when they see it. BTW, love your poster name; along with Fred C. Dobbs, another regular contributor, you two have the best handles.
As for Torrid Zone,glad you're so fond of it. It's right up there with the best work Annie ever did, and the movie makes my Top 10 list, just based on her performance and screen chemistry with Cagney. That film has to be one of the top all-time "underrated" screwball comedies from the 1930's/1940's.
I would add a vote for Helen Walker, and add Sally Eilers. She seems to have been forgotten because her career didn't last long into the sound era, and probably because she made too many movies about which she was the only good thing. She had a remarkably natural acting style. I have always thought that she might have been more successful had she been around 20 years later, after the whole method thing happened.
Anything for the astounding Ann, Rickspade!
What is the fantastic Warner Brothers feature with Ann where she poses for a sculptor who later turns up murdered? The plot is almost a direct steal from
Wyler's "The Letter"?
In one scene, Ann visits an antique/curio shop where the owner is secretly keeping an incriminating bust of Ann. That very familiar shop set must appear in virtually every Warner Bros. film of the 1940's -- Re-dressed it also turns up as the antiquarian book store that Bogie scopes out in "The Big Sleep"...again in the flashback sequences of "Humoresque"...The youthful Gershwin scenes in "Rhapsody In Blue"...Possibly also the coffee shop where Miss Crawford first meets Eve Arden in "Mildred Pierce"? It must have been the most overworked and underappreciated set in all of Los Angeles!
Yes, she was great in The Bad Seed, one of my favorites.
I think that's The Unfaithful, which really was sort of an unofficial remake of The Letter.
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