While watching a Tracy / Hepburn movie yesterday, and thinking of William Powell and Myrna Loy and other famous screen couples, it dawned on me that although Susan acted with a vast number of the leading actors of the 40's and 50's - I cannot think of a pairing that seemed just perfect.
There were ample leads who matched her for toughness - Gable / Mitchum / Cooper / Heston / Kirk Douglas / John Wayne etc. Others whose personas were 'softer' such as Ty Power, Bob Cummings, John Gavin and at times Bill Holden.
'Quirky' pairings - James Mason for example.
But although with many of these leads she looked great beside them, and they worked well together, I didn't get that indefinable, nebulous chemistry that forever links two cinematic stars.
Perhaps because her screen persona was more of a loner as it were ? Interestingly, her Oscar award for "I Want to Live" was for a film where she is virtually totally the central star and no romantic male counterbalance lead exists.
However, because impressions are hugely personal, other Hayward fans may disagree and find that she indeed had a cinematic 'soul- mate' in a particular actor. Remember I am acknowledging that many of her screen duos fired beautifully and convincingly - but I am specifically looking for that unique spark that more or less welded two stars together in the public conciousness.
Hi Kerry...I happen to agree with you! Not a perfect match with any of them...but I think the ones I liked best were the chemistry she had with TYRONE POWER.
I am one of her fans, who 'did not' like her opposite CLARK GABLE. In fact, that is one of my most likable Susan films. I do not see any chemistry there at all.
But...I feel the real 'bad casting' was Susan opposite JAMES MASON...DULL..Dull..DuLL...He faired better with redhead ARLENE DAHL in JOURNEY TO THE CENTER OF THE EARTH...SUSAN could have mopped the floor with him, but gave him his scenes nicely...
Kerry, I agree with you. I can't recall any distinct coupling of Susan Hayward with another actor; although, I respectfully disagree with Errol regarding Clark Gable and Susan. I loved watching them act together, and wish there had been more Hayward/Gable films. Susan Hayward was so individual in her performances, and this probably all goes along with her persona of being such a private person. She just worked well and functioned better alone it seems.
BTW..wasn't Susan's screen name "Lone Star" in "The Honey Pot"?.. that sure seems to ring a bell to me.. ha
Ginger - yes you are quite right - in "The Honey Pot" she was Mrs.' Lone Star' Crockett. I honestly did not think of that when I titled my post. Possibly a sub-concious memory bubbling away under the surface. Well spotted.
It has also dawned on me that I omitted Gregory Peck from my post as one of her co-stars (I think ?). I would put him with my 'softer' list and although in "David and Bathsheba" and "Snows .." they both looked good together and blended well, yet again I don't think it was an electric pairing.
Also I can only hope that Errol doesn't send a hitman to Australia to liquidate me but I also enjoyed her with Gable. But more importantly, I think the problem with the James Mason pairing was in the casting, script and style of comedy as opposed to any weakness on the part of either actor.
As a dramatic star, Mason was excellent and had they ever been paired in a drama/thriller/noirish genre film, I think that the outcome would have been quite pleasantly different. But regardless, he was also not her 'cinema twin'.
I also loved Clark Gable and Susan together but (and here I go extolling the virtues of Untamed again) the pairing of her with Tyrone Power in this movie will forever be the best of her screen partners for me. Hope you enjoyed watching it again Ginger. There didn't appear to be many sparks flying for them in Rawhide though.
I would also make mention of The Conqueror. Although this movie is generally subjected to bad reviews I always enjoyed it. One scene with the Duke which I thought was a good example of Susan's "blazing eyes" was near the beginning after he had first captured her and he pulled her under a rock to shelter from the hordes of Tartars (?) who were galloping over them. Oh, those eyes! Susan did say that Wayne was her favourite co-star. I was quite surprised when the movie was voted in as among the worst 50 ever. I think I must be blind to the faults. Even my son watched it over and over when he was a teenager.
Trish I am also an unabashed fan of "The Conqueror", but mainly because I love historical costumers and Susan looked so stunningly beautiful.
There are pluses around for this film, but the casting of John Wayne as Genghis Khan was really wrong I think. I believe that Brando was originally considered for the part, and I really believe that both visually and aurally he would have been far superior in the role.
The dialogue was often stilted and basically a Shakespearean take on the language. There was very little that was historically accurate about it at all as well. But having said that, I still enjoy watching and can see it often still.
And there are those unintentional funny lines, that Susan delivered with - as you point out - her blazing fury such as the favourite of mine when Wayne tells her he will make her his bride and she glares at him and snarls "Before that day dawns Mongol, the vultures will have feasted on your heart. " !
Hope you don't mind my two cents in this debate. I did like Susan with Gable and wished they'd made more movies together. I'm surprised that nobody mentioned Charlton Heston. I think she and Heston were a very good match in "President's Lady." I also liked Susan with Dana Andrews in "My Foolish Heart."
But I do agree that in most of her films, Susan was the "lone star."
I included Charlton Heston in my initial post along with Mitchum, Kirk Douglas and some others.
As you mention - the Dana Andrews pairing worked well, but like all of the others, it was not that 'cosmic' pairing that would forever lock into the public conciousness.
Certainly, this did not make Susan utterly unique as there were other major stars of the day, who also did not ever form a Hepburn / Tracy or Astaire / Rogers screen partnership I admit.
Kerry: Sorry I missed your Heston reference, and I did read your post. And I'm absolutely amazed that I didn't think of Robert Mitchum because I think they were great together. His laconic style was a counterpoint to her spirited style!
Thanks for reminding me of Mitchum.
Talking of Robert Mitchum, he was always my favourite male star and I could watch him in anything. However, I was probably too busy watching Susan in their two films together to notice him as much! They had some good dialogue though.
I was always sorry that Susan was never paired properly with Rory Calhoun. Obviously they were partners in With a Song in My Heart but there were no real love scenes.
He did show up in I'd Climb the Highest Mountain but I would have liked to have seen them as on-screen lovers. I believe he has always maintained she was his favourite co-star and I just wonder if sparks would have flown had they starred together.
Gloria, I do agree with you re Charlton Heston. He and Susan were lovely together but of course, it was an especially lovely film!
Hi, Trish. Yes, absolutely I wish she and Rory Calhoun had some real love scenes. They were wonderful together with "Song." And, like you, I wished while watching "Mountain," that he had been her co-star. Interestingly, although I think the two movies were only a year or so apart, Rory did look a lot younger in "Mountain," don't you think?
Yes Gloria, Rory Calhoun definitely looked more mature in With a Song in My Heart. Who can forget his face when he is in audience watching Susan emoting the title song. What a movie, one of her many all-time greats. I know it's a cliche but ... they don't make them like that any more!
Trish: And the music! They don't write them like that any more, either.
This was always my favorite Hayward movie. I still watch it. The production numbers are great, especially the title song segment. I can't even imagine that many violinists on one set!
All in all, a perfect movie.