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noway1987

Underrated actresses

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Hi Rusty,

 

Mae Murray would be so proud to hear you call her an actress. I don't think anybody would have claimed her to be one least of all her....

She was at one time the top movie star in the world and that she was proud of. And, she was always "The Star" and aclaimed as such by all of us who knew her, especially George Hamilton.

She did have a Broadway career before and after her Hollywood days, so I guess she was an actress after all.

 

Mary Astor was more of an actress and didn't give a damn about stardom.

And yes, she would be proud to know you thought she was an underrated one.

 

I'm glad you enjoyed Maisie and admire Mary, too......

 

Larry

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Larry,

 

Thank you for the reply. I could have written much more about Mary Astor. I watched a disk of one of her movies last night--"Easy To Love" (also starring Adolphe Menjou...another great Hollywood performer).

 

Mary Astor could be crazy and mean-spirited ("The Great Lie"), inviting and mean-spirited ("The Maltese Falcon"), funny ("Palm Beach Story"), winsome and desirable ("Dodsworth") and so many other characters. Mary Astor could even elevate the 'fleshed out' industrial film--"Red Hot Tires" to a movie worth a view. Mary Astor, Gene Tierney and (maybe) Kathleen Turner--at present, my "most watchable" actresses.

 

Now. Mae Murray. I have only viewed three of her movies (the two movies I mentioned earlier this topic and "The Merry Widow"). Wait, I'll amend that last sentence. I have a book with a big photograph of Murray, John Gilbert, Erich von Stroheim and several other people on the set of "The Merry Widow". Mae Murray and John Gilbert are schmoozing and Stroheim looks pretty glum. The caption for the photograph reads, "Director and Leading Lady Mae did not get along". Hmm. Well, she looks like she is having a good time. I have not seen enough of Mae Murray's work to have an informed opinion about "yes actress...no actress". I enjoyed her on-screen comedy persona--both silent film and 'talkie'...

 

Rusty

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>

> 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!

 

 

WaldoLydecker,

 

As another poster has already correctly cited, the film in question is The Unfaithful, and yes it is a rather loose remake of The Letter, although Ann's character is much more of a victim than Bette's. . .Bette is an unapologetic murderess (Spoiler Alert: Who can forget her immortal line at the end, "With all my heart, I still love the man I killed!"), while Ann is more a victim of an unscrupulous blackmailer. Anyway, that's great spotting concerning the studio set; the next time I revisit Mildred Pierce and The Big Sleep I will have to make note of those two scenes. BTW, the Sheridan film I usually connect in tone/plot with The Unfaithful is Nora Prentiss, a very good film noir with terrific performances by Annie as a nightclub singer who falls for a respectable, "bored-with-my-life" doctor, very well played by Kent Smith. As a Sheridan fan you've probably seen it, but if not, check it out the next time TCM runs it. Very good indeed.

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Rickspade,

 

Is "The Unfaithful" the movie that has a sculpture instead of a letter? Oh, I know "The Unfaithful" is the movie. I have seen "The Unfaithful" a couple of times and (both times) I had to shake my head and laugh. Why? Everybody in the movie seems to immediately recognize the 'bust' as the movie character--Chris Hunter (Ann Sheridan) . Well, the sculpture is a woman...with hair about the same style as Chris Hunter and...that thing does not look anything like Chris Hunter!

 

I know...suspend disbelief. Okay, other than the 'bust' artist was looking at a picture of someone other than Ann Sheridan during construction, "The Unfaithful" is a pretty good movie.

 

Rusty

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> Rickspade,

>

> Is "The Unfaithful" the movie that has a sculpture

> instead of a letter? Oh, I know "The Unfaithful" is

> the movie. I have seen "The Unfaithful" a couple of

> times and (both times) I had to shake my head and

> laugh. Why? Everybody in the movie seems to

> immediately recognize the 'bust' as the movie

> character--Chris Hunter (Ann Sheridan) . Well, the

> sculpture is a woman...with hair about the same style

> as Chris Hunter and...that thing does not look

> anything like Chris Hunter!

>

> I know...suspend disbelief. Okay, other than the

> 'bust' artist was looking at a picture of someone

> other than Ann Sheridan during construction, "The

> Unfaithful" is a pretty good movie.

>

> Rusty

 

 

I had the same thoughts Rusty, when I last saw the movie. Pretty "flimsy" evidence to use as blackmail against someone. Maybe the artist was actually looking at a picture of the actress who appears in a cameo walk-on in The Treasure of the Sierra Madre! I don't know if you've ever heard of Ann Sheridan's supposed unbilled cameo in that movie (the subject of another TCM thread not too long ago), but many of us long-time Sheridan fans swear the woman in the movie(a walk-on streetwalker with no lines) looks nothing like Sheridan. Therefore, we concluded that her appearance has always been a myth. Anyway, as you said in the beginning, have to suspend disbelief (certainly not the first time).

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I know I am late in responding to this, but I didn't want to make you upset. I just wondered if you ever felt the same as I? It's funny, but whenever I am watching Ann Harding, and I love her dearly, I get the feeling that I am watching Norma Shearer. Have you ever felt that? I think they could have made a movie together playing rival sisters. It would have been magnificent!

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Despite that cast of true heavyweights (Bogie, Bacall, Edward G., etc.), I thought Claire walked away with "Key Largo."

 

Miss Trevor's rendition of that gorgeous old standard "Moanin' Low" is truly poignant and sublime. I was very pleased that Claire's most memorable sequence from "Largo" was included on the Warner Brothers audio compilation, "Warner Bros. Fifty Years of Film" (released circa 1973).

 

Perhaps someone knows the answer to this...When Claire attended the premiere of Judy Garland's "A Star Is Born" in 1954, she says a few brief words into the microphone before heading into the theatre and caps her remarks with "Hello to Chuck..." Is this a reference to Charlton Heston, (director) Charles Walters...a "Chuck" not involved in the show biz community? A relative? I've always wondered about that reference.

 

PS - Barbra Streisand's 1974 Columbia Records album "Lazy Afternoon" contains a glorious 40's-style rendition of "Moanin' Low," which always reminds me of Claire's version. Well worth buying that entire CD just for that one astounding track -- though there's a lot of superlative material included on that release.

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"When Claire attended the premiere of Judy Garland's 'A Star Is Born' in 1954, she says a few brief words into the microphone before heading into the theatre and caps her remarks with 'Hello to Chuck...' Is this a reference to Charlton Heston, (director) Charles Walters...a "Chuck" not involved in the show biz community? A relative? I've always wondered about that reference."

 

You'll notice that when she says, "Hi Chuck!", she's looking directly into the camera; as if she's directed it to someone who's watching the television show, rather than someone who's in the crowd. Miss Trevor's son, Charles Cyclos, would have been 10 years old at the time and I imagine he was watching the broadcast in hopes of catching his mother; and I'm betting she was saying hello to him. She owes the network a dime. :)

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Oh, yes...if there was one actress who could be cool and hot at once, it would be her...I'll be back after I take a shower [cool or hot?...hot or cool?...oh, drat!...thanks to you, hud, I can't think straight...]

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I've changed *a lot* since I last came on here. My favorite underrated actress these days would be Stella Stevens.

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I agree. I think that Ida Lupino was a very underrated actress. I absolutely loved

her in "They Drive By Night". She more than held her own with George Raft and

Humphrey Bogart. Ms. Lupino fit the role of a femme fatale and got her claws in

George Raft but in the end, paid for murdering her husband by going insane. I

love the part where she sees the electric doors swing. By this time, she is on a

downfall. I like her as a director because she tackled issues that weren't talked

about or any movies were made about. Can't think of the name of this movie----I

think it is called "Outrage" where she tells the story of a young girl that was

brutally attacked but survived. At the end of the movie, she catches a bus back

home to tackle her inner demon, with the help of a preacher that she meets. I

might have some details wrong but I think it was made by RKO. Can't recall the

year. All I know that it is one of my favorite films.

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I agree with the Mary Astor sentiment. She could play almost anything and unlike a lot of actors/actresses she seemed to be more of a team player that worked for the good of the production rather than to be noticed.

 

My personal favorite is Act of Violence (1948) where she plays a barfly past her prime. It's a great role and she makes it seem perfectly natural. There's nothing flashy or showy in the performance. It's deftly underplayed--that's why it's good.

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There are alot out there. Some of which have already been mentioned. But here are two more. Thelma Ritter, who between 1950 and 1962, was nominated six times ("Birdman of Alcatraz," "Pillow Talk," "Pickup on South Street," "With a Song in My Heart," "Mating Season," and "All About Eve,") for an Oscar for Best Supporting Oscar and failed to win six times.

 

And Amanda Donohoe, who as Lady Sylvia Marsh, makes the film "Lair of the White Worm," especially in her scenes with the boy scout.

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> And Amanda Donohoe, who as Lady Sylvia Marsh, makes

> the film "Lair of the White Worm," especially in her

> scenes with the boy scout.

 

Amazing film, wonderful performance. And yes, the scenes with the boy scout are priceless!

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My favorite underrated actress might have been mention but just in case I will mention her again. Whenever she is on the screen you are guarenteed a great performance. She could act with the best of the "stars" of her era in the thirties and forties. lt is a shame that the movie studio heads did not know what to do with her nor did they know what they had. She is sneaky cute and has one of the best Hollywood names ever: Geraldine Fitzgerald.

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Teresa Wright ~ what an actress! She could make you laugh, make you cry. She was wonderful. Geraldine Fitzgerald was also great ~ very independent ~ a precursor to today's woman. Both of them (I think) won awards, but didn't get enough work in film, if you ask me!

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