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Your favorite of Susan's leading men

I don't know if we've done this before, but I would be interested in knowing your personal favorite leading men in Susan's pictures.

I've always liked Robert Preston and Eddie Albert with Susan, maybe because they didn't overshadow her as someone like, say, John Wayne did. (Or should I say "try" to overshadow her?) And yet Preston and Albert, in their own quieter ways, were strong.

In later years, of course, some of her leading men were younger than Susan, but those of us forward-looking folks (Ha!) never minded younger men with older women, LOL. After all, it has been the other way for years.

I am speaking of leading men like John Gavin and Michael Craig, whom I did like with Susan, even though Gavin was so wooden.

Although Robert Mitchum was a strong personality, he and Susan were very good together. I always wondered if it was because they reportedly didn't like each other. Maybe that led to a kind of sexual tension?

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Re: Your favorite of Susan's leading men

Interesting question Gloria. It has a few levels but I am looking at just the 'screen chemistry' as it were between Susan and the male lead, not so much whether I particularly like the actor in question.

Because she had such a strong vibe on screen, even when young, I often found that some of her male leads were overshadowed by her. One example is Ty Power. Whilst he almost held his ground in "Untamed" - I felt that in " Rawhide" he was somewhat insiped next to her.

I recall that when asked, she said that John Wayne was her favourite leading man, but I did not particularly enjoy their pairing as much as Susan did.

Certainly there were strong men playing opposite her over the years, but I guess I would have to nominate

Clark Gable - they matched beautifully in 'Soldier of Fortune'.

Bob Mitchum - great balance in 'The Lusty Men' and 'White Witch Doctor'.

Gary Cooper ? hmmm, she was too much the ingenue in 'Beau Geste' and although I passionately love 'Garden of Evil' I didn't feel that there was any great cinematic spark on screen between the leads.

Chuck Heston - yes, I thought they complemented each other well in 'The President's Lady'.

Robert Preston - ditto for 'Beau Geste' above and 'Reap the Wild Wind' and 'Star Spangled Rhythm' also did not really feature just Susan and a lead in dominant centraL roles - but they fired well in 'Tulsa'.

Some I was not that fond of- such as pairing with Dean Martin in 'Ada' and certainly not with James Mason in ' Marriage-Go-Round', nor Vic Mature in 'Demetrius...' nor Jeff Chandler in 'Thunder in the Sun'.

I also have no problem with her later leads being younger, just that - as you mention with John Gavin - they looked great together up there on screen, but there was no legendary Hepburn / Tracy - Bogart / Bacall - Powell / Loy style of screen chemistry.

Sorry to waffle away here as usual - I must answer your question -

for me, Gable and Mitchum.


Re: Re: Your favorite of Susan's leading men

I'd have to say Robert Mitchum in The Lusty Men. I also think Susan and Richard Conti had good chemistry in House of Strangers.

Re: Re: Re: Your favorite of Susan's leading men

Gloria, great question, and I think I pretty much agree with Kerry. I absolutely love her and Clark Gable together. Every time he swoops her up in his arms and carries her, it just sends me!!.. ..I wish they had made more films together. They were both very strong individuals and they looked great on screen.

I liked Susan and Mitchum together also even though I have read that they didn't get along. Perhaps you are right, Gloria.. it created somewhat of a tension
that was exciting to the audience.

I always liked her with Gregory Peck too. Their was a sort of strength and sweetness about their mutual acting.

I love Back Street and she and John Gavin were beautiful and believable. His looks obviously carried him because he can't match her acting..still it was all so very romantic and the first film that I began to notice Hayward. Their romance made quite an impression upon me. They were a good match.

I never particularly liked her and Preston. To me, Robert Preston is not the leading man type.. he's the music man for heaven's sake!

It will be interesting to see what others have to say about her leading men.

P.S. I thought Rory Calhoun was perfect as her leading man in WASIMH.

Re: Re: Re: Re: Your favorite of Susan's leading men

Yes Gloria, great question.

My favourite male star was always Robert Mitchum and I fully agree with the sparks flying in The Lusty Men. They were exceptionally good together although, as has been mentioned, Susan didn't care for him and I believe he was quite rude to her!

However, I think Gloria hit the nail right on the head when she mentioned Clark Gable (I loved him too) and I especially remember the scene when the typhoon (? was it a typhoon?) arrived and Susan exited the house - she looked as though she was electrically charged (maybe Clark or maybe her fabulous acting skills!). My goodness, that lady could certainly light up the screen and practically pop right off it on occasion! I think I have mentioned this scene in a previous post some time back.

I also agree that Susan and Richard Conte had some intense scenes in House of Strangers and I adored her with the fabulous Tyrone in Untamed wearing the green satin ballgown and awaiting him to ascend the stairs to her. They don't make them like that any more!!

Gloria mentioned Rory Calhoun and I did love them together too in With a Song in My Heart. As has been said, Susan was such a strong personality that she did overshadow most of her co-stars - maybe that is partly why we all adore her so much.

The other male star I would mention is James Stacy in Heat of Anger. Now he was a much younger man and I certainly think there was more than a hint of some sexuality between them - they sparkled and were amazing in their scenes together. It is so sad to remember his dreadful accident (motor cycle I believe) where he lost an arm and a leg. It would have been a great series had not fate stepped in with Susan becoming ill too.