gUESS now that I have opened MY FOOLISH MOUTH..again, I will start some kind of a ball rolling and see if others will follow suite:
MY FAVORITE SUSAN FILM: "WITH A SONG IN MY HEART"
WHY: I was 10 years old. I had been living with my grandparents since my birth, in the same town (population 250) where my mother had remarried and had other half brothers whom I never lived with, but felt as them as my full brothers and still do..
My grandparents passed away within a year of each other and after it was only my grandmother and myself, we had taken a trip to my Aunt Dora's for a summer visit that I looked forward to each year.
My cousin, Kay and I always got to go the movies, in the larger town next to where they lived in Salem, Utah. Soo...we went to Payson to see "With a Song in my Heart". It was a sad time in my life and a big changing time, since my grandmother would also be dead before that year was over.
I discovered the most beautiful woman I had ever seen (and that remains, to this day to be true)..on that screen. She was playing a woman of beauty, talent and the strong determination to NOT LET LIFE AND THE BAD TIMES GET YOU DOWN>>>It was a true story of Jane Froman...and 'that part I got'..along with the message..BUT...that wonderful, beautiful woman, with the georgous singing voice..(little did I know, at the time, that it wasn't her voice, because each time I watch the film, I'm still amazed at Susan's mimeing of the songs)...THIS WOMAN...WAS EXPERINCEING AND LIVING THIS ROLE...THIS WOMAN WAS..SOMETHING..DIFFERENT THAN OTHER ACTRESSES...THIS WOMAN COULD REALLY MAKE YOU...RELATE..LIVE..AND FEEL IN EVERY EXPRESSION, WHAT SHE WAS GOING THROUGH. OOOH, IF ONLY I COULD REACH UP THERE ON THAT SCREEN AND HELP HER...LET HER KNOW..HOW MUCH...I UNDERSTOOD AND CARED FOR WHAT SHE WAS GOING THROUGH.
I left the movies that day with a complete different feeling than I had ever experienced in a movie theatre before! I had just seen a LADY who would be with me the rest of my life, in one way or another. I would have to watch for her next film..and look back and see what I had missed.
I DID just that..and over the years found so many gems that would give me the COURAGE and STRENGTH to overcome the bad times and move through life. I think I have learned something NEW on each of Susan's films.
She played them ALL..good gals, bad gals, temptresses, kooky nuts, alcholics, fighters, classy dames, down-and-out girls from the wrong side of the tracks, women falsely accused, 'the other woman', SMART WOMEN, Actresses, Singers, President's and Governor's Wives...SHE RAN THE GAMIT...AND GAVE ME A SHOT IN THE ARM EACH TIME I WATCHED HER ON THAT SILVER SCREEN.
I hoped someday to meet her. I did...(enough said..read MY FOOLISH MOUTH) And she will ALWAYS be
THE BEST ACTRESS IN MY LIFETIME...
I always felt a special connection with Susan Hayward because we came from the same place (Brooklyn, N.Y.), & she maintained that "Brooklynness" about her throughout her life & career (even if she may not have wanted to). It's hard to explain, but she was like someone from the neighborhood who achieved the ultimate "American Dream". Even though she was beautiful & talented, it still amazes me sometimes with what she did with her (too short) life. She could have stayed in Brooklyn, but she became a movie star(!) When I watch her it's like seeing a comglomeration of different New York women I've known throughout my life (my mom included) who may have a tough exterior (to guard themselves), but they're soft-hearted underneath. As for my favorite Susan film, I'd have to say "I'll Cry Tomorrow" because she gave a performance which was way ahead of it's time, & I enjoyed her singing (especially the sassy "Sing You Sinners"). I love Doris Day too & sometimes it's hard to believe her film "Love Me Or Leave Me", about torch singer Ruth Etting, came out the same year as "I'll Cry Tomorrow". "LMOLM" was a color extravaganza & "ICT" was more like a gritty documentary, yet they were both show business tales about real woman & life. Susan Hayward is a legend who should never be forgotten. It kills me sometimes when people don't know who she is. (Errol, I enjoyed your comments).
Hi Blooeyz...Thanks for the comments and how Susan blended in with your life. I also liked that you mentioned Doris Day in "Love Me or Leave Me", which I thought was a wonderful film..and was perfect for MIss Day (whom I also admire sooo much!)
It is also funny that many articles came out, before that film was cast, saying that Susan wanted to do the Ruth Etting story! It would have been a great piece of showmanship, had she been able to do both of these films...IN THE SAME YEAR...and had done her own singing in BOTH films. I could see Susan doing this film..but thought Doris was wonderful in the role and thought she was 'short-changed' in not recieving an Oscar nomination for her role. James Cagney, who played opposite her as the Gimp, did get an Oscar nod, but not Day. I feel that the Academy's overlook was then given to her, years later, when she got her only nomination for "Pillow Talk"....which was good and gave her the first of the classy comedies, BUT..in my opinion, was only a 'good' performance, where LMOLM was a 'great' performance.
It would have been an electrical treat, to have seen HAYWARD and CAGNEY opposite one another! Wonder what chemistry they would have had together?
I am useless with attempts to highlight a favourite Susan film ( well a favourite anything, - book, food, band etc)as different movies appeal so strongly in different ways. So I will take the easier way out and mention three - "With a Song in My Heart", "I Want to Live" and " Garden of Evil".
The 1st because it reached me emotionally so powerfully, the 2nd because I felt that it was the best showcase of her thespian talents and the 3rd because it evokes incredible memories of my childhood watching her on screen.
Hi, Errol. I couldn't have said why my favorite film of Susan's was "With a Song In My Heart" was my favorite of her films better than you already have. The film, a copy of which I bought and still play over and over, was a milestone because it not only went against that current "type" of movie (the buxom blonde-Marily Monroe, sexpot flick) but also told an inspiring story. And, like you, even though I knew it was Jane Froman's voice, I swear you couldn't tell, the way Susan "did" the songs.
I first saw that film in a movie theater and was so entranced by it that I sat through it twice, until an usher with a flashlight followed by my very angry father, spotted me and made me leave. Otherwise, I probably would have sat through a third showing. (In those days, that was possible.)
I loved other Susan Hayward movies, including "My Foolish Heart," "I'll Cry Tomorrow," and "Deadline at Dawn," but "Song" will always remain my favorite.
Thanks for your posting and, incidentally, I also had an aunt Dora whom I adored.