From Philippe, we received a strong pitch on behalf of Susan Hayward, the Fifties star whom we’ve bad-mouthed in previous blogs. (Notably July 14’s Susan Hayward — Forgotten Star?) That’s Susan above with Dean Martin in “Ada.”
Philippe takes exception to our view that while Hayward was a big star in her time, she is less remembered today largely because she starred in forgettable movies.
Here’s Philippe: No classic films in Susan Hayward’s filmography!!? Here in Europe, “Canton Passage (1946), ” House of Strangers” (1949) ,”The Lusty Men” (1952) (regarded as a true American film masterpiece from Nicholas Ray),”Garden of Evil ” (1954) and of course Robert Wise’s powerful “I Want To Live” are regarded as top classic movies and Hayward praised as a terrific actress.
But, he adds, “Valley Of The Dolls” (the 1967 film version of author Jacqueline Susann’s novel costarring Hayward) does not have the cult following in Europe it does enjoy in the US…
Susan Hayward was a worldwide favourite maybe even more popular in countries like Italy, Spain, France or Germany than she was in the USA.
Thanks, Philippe. We wonder what the Europeans know about Hayward that we don’t.
Our Dec. 6 blog about how Americans filmmakers botch period movies (Why Can’t Americans Do Period?) drew interesting responses.
The Lady Eve dropped us this note on Dec. 7:
You may laugh, but my one (and only) complaint about THE GODFATHER (especially Part I) is Diane Keaton’s hairstyle. All wrong. The other women in the film (Talia Shire, Morgana King, the bridesmaids, the mobsters’ wives) have authentic looks, as does just about everything else in the film – but Keaton’s hair is that of a conservative late ’60s/early ’70s housewife.
Thanks. And, no, we aren’t laughing. We’ll take another look at Keaton’s errant hair style.
Regular correspondent Patricia Nolan-Hall (aka Caftan Woman) cites these period movie gaffs: One of the worst offenders has to be 1961’s “Bridge to the Sun”. The true story of a 1930s-era Japanese diplomat (James Shigeta) who marries a southern US girl (Carroll Baker) and their trials when they return to Japan during the war. They were dressed and coiffed like it was an episode of “Ben Casey”!
1954s “The Glenn Miller Story” also fails to capture the 20s/30s/40s, and it was closer to the period. It detracts from the film.
Regarding the latter movie, Patricia, we agree with your criticism of the period lapses. But, but, but… the biography of the famous bandleader (played by Jimmy Stewart) is musically satisfying. The scene set in a band rehearsal studio in which Miller instrumentally works out the swing ensemble’s signature, reed-led sound is a terrific ‘Eureka’ moment.
Vincent also weighs in: I fully concur (with your blog). Watch “Inside Daisy Clover,” which is supposed to be set in the 1930s but hardly has any of that period’s feel.
Well, Vincent, Frank tries as much as possible to avoid watching Inside Daisy Clover. Costarring Robert Redford and Natalie Wood, the film is set in Thirties Hollywood. Couldda fooled us. It looks like 1965, the year the movie was made. Joe, by the way likes the film for it’s performances, and of course, Ruth Gordon co-stars.
In response to our Dec. 5 blog, Again – First Published Here, featuring early Forties photos taken from our marvelous Donald Gordon Collection, Lady Eve coments:
Jeff Donnell looks about 12 years old in that picture! Barely recognize Janet Blair, though. Was Donald Gordon still with Columbia when Kim Novak arrived? That would be interesting…He must’ve been there when Rita Hayworth reigned. How about some pix of Rita?
The late Donald, a tyro actor hired for an abbreviated period by Columbia in the early Forties, was long gone when Novak hit her stride at the studio. However, he did know Rita. We’ll search the files, especially for some great shots of Hayworth in her day.
Thanks to all, and please keep those cards and letters coming.