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Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

I was watching "The Razor's Edge" with Tyrone Power and, because I do like him, I wondered why I didn't like him as Susan's co-star in "Untamed." Maybe because it was a slow-moving Western, or maybe they just didn't have chemistry together.

So I made a list of other male co-stars of Susan's I didn't like: Gary Cooper in "Garden of Evil," Lee Bowman in "Smash-Up," Robert Cummings in "Lost Moment," Robert Montgomery in "Saxon Charm," Dan Daily in "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," Kirk Douglas in "Top Secret Affair."

Maybe the movies they appeared in were part of the problem, but I think that, mostly, the spark just wasn't there between Susan and these actors.

On the other hand, here are the male co-stars I thought had chemistry with Susan: John Wayne in "Fighting Seabees," Clark Gable in "Soldier of Fortune," Charlton Heston in "President's Lady," Robert Mitchum in "Lusty Men," Richard Conte in "House of Strangers," Dean Martin in "Ada," John Gavin in "Back Street," Robert Preston in "Tulsa," Rory Calhoun in WASIMH." I also liked her with Darren McGavin in the TV film, "Say Goodbye, Maggie Cole."

Anyway, those are the ones who pop into my mind. How about your selections? Do you agree or disagree with me? Want to add any others?

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Gloria - interesting post. Lots to comment on really but I will limit myself to just two mentions for the moment.

'Garden of Evil'. I agree with you completely. Not that Gary and Susan were not great in their own right and there was zero wrong with the movie ( it was and remains one of my favourite Westerns) but they had absolutely no onscreen chemistry. None.
To be honest, I thought the only screen chemistry was between Gaz and Richard Widmark. Not unlike those 'buddy westerns' such as 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid' where the two male leads click perfectly.

Susan's Leah had no emotional link with Hugh Marlowe either. She seemed to be mounting the rescue out of a sense of duty and obligation and faded memories of love, while he was sullen and suspicious and antagonistic with her.
So one imagines the scene is set for perfect chemistry between Susan and Gaz, but ?

Re your mention of Ty Power also not seeming to have much in the screen chemistry department with Susan in ' Rawhide'. Again we are in agreement.
This is just my perception of the movie here and may be wrong, but I thought Susan's Vinnie was far tougher and more resourceful than Ty's character ? And that may be why they did not click as far as a great screen pairing ?

Despite his 'take charge' attitude at times such as convincing the robbers that Susan was his wife, to save her from the proverbial fate worse than death and a few other highlights, she seemed to me to dominate him. Assuming after the story ends we know Ty and she and the baby make a new life together, I can see who would have been the decision maker and stronger party of the duo.

Actually, that just reminds me that I also felt this in 'Untamed'. That Susan's Katie was so headstrong and independent and resilient that she seemed to need Richard Egan's rough and ready Kurt rather than Ty's more gentle and reliable Paul to ' tame' her.

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like


Thanks for correcting me on "Untamed." I meant "Rawhide," of course, which was a Western. Even while I typed the name, I thought something was wrong! (Just one more reason to look things up, LOL.)

But I have to admit I didn't like Tyrone Power and Susan in "Untamed," either. Again, no chemistry.

The interesting thing about "Untamed," though, is I had read that when Susan and Jess Barker separated or after they had divorced, Susan had a romance with Richard Egan. (Or was that a publicist's doing?)

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

" The interesting thing about "Untamed," though, is I had read that when Susan and Jess Barker separated or after they had divorced, Susan had a romance with Richard Egan. (Or was that a publicist's doing?)"

Actually, publicists notwithstanding, I did read a long way back, that they were indeed dating at that time. Interestingly, when thinking of Susan's later conversion to Catholicism due to marriage to Eaton, I recall that Richard Egan was an avowed Catholic who attended daily mass etc.
He eventually married actress Patricia Hardy who was also a New York girl originally and may have even sprung from Brooklyn !

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

OH...GLORIA AND KERRY...YOu are BOth 'right on', as far as I'm concerned. I agree with these guys 'not' being great co-stars for Susan!!

BUT...I have to ADD one more co-star that I thought did not work...JAMES MASON in MARRIAGE-GO-ROUND. But, I also
feel that this 'whole film'...'did not work'. It was a vehicle for JULIE NEWMAR, since she had done the role on Broadway...but it surely is not a very good film.

(Only my view though..)

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

"but it surely is not a very good film."

Errol - no argument there. I agree that the casting of both Susan and James was very weird for the style of light comedy that 'Marriage Go Round' represented.

Obviously Susan Hayward was my favourite actress of her era. Why else would I have been here on Ginger's site for so many years. But I still maintain that her strengths lay in being a dramatic actress, NOT a comedic one. While there are numerous instances in her films where she delivered humour via dialogue or facial expression - it was more a wry, underplayed sense of mirth.
There are players who will always be known as comedy actresses primarily - Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball,Madeleine Kahn, Carole Lombard etc and others who suit movies like 'Marriage... better.

Similar to James Mason. He of the mellifluous voice who adorned so many historical costumers and spy dramas and thrillers and made such a good villain as in 'North by Northwest' and more. James was a great drama actor who could inhabit roles splendidly - but his lightest comedic touch would stun a hippo.

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Couldn't agree with you more..Kerry...AND I did like James Mason, but in the right roles, like you have mentioned.

I was thinking about some of the actors Susan has played with, in more than one film. It is known that AGNES MOOREHEAD really liked and respected Susan's acting ability. She stated that more than once and did two films with her...UNTAMED and the 'tarter-tittler'

She also worked well with THELMA RITTER in WASIMH..and I think they complimented one another, even though Ritter's role was 'fiction' and not of a 'real person' in Jane Froman's life. (Probably the reason she did not win Supporting Actress for the role, even though she was nominated for it.)

THEN..SUSAN...played very well with EDDIE ALBERT and they did..."Smash-Up" and "I'll Cry Tomorrow" together. But...LEE BOWMAN...not a good match, even if she did 'date' him at the time.

These were only supporting players, but they were strong for Susan's work and they all worked well, including the great performance by JO VAN FLEET as Susan's mother in "I'LL CRY TOMORROW". She got an Oscar nod that year for "EAST OF EDEN", but I still think she won for 'both' performances..and I thought her better in Susan's film than the one she won for.

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

"...the great performance by JO VAN FLEET as Susan's mother in 'I'LL CRY TOMORROW'. She got an Oscar nod that year for 'EAST OF EDEN', but I still think she won for 'both' performances..and I thought her better in Susan's film than the one she won for."

I agree, Errol. Especially the scene in which things come to a head in the rented flat, with the spilled alcohol, Jo explains to Susan why she got her involved in showbiz in the first place, and then breaks down when she realized what a mess her daughter's life had become.

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

I mostly agree with everything said on this post Gloria and particularly the pairing of Richard Conte with Susan in House of Strangers as they worked well together and the chemistry was obvious (although I am not a fan of his.) She also paired well with Clark Gable and the wonderful Mitchum - but only in The Lusty Men.

My Foolish Heart - a big favourite in many ways, not least the fact it was the film that brought me under the spell of Susan, so to speak. I am still enthralled, each time I see it, to see the gentler side of Susan Hayward falling in love with Dana Andrews. Not any sparks as such but just watch her eyes - Susan could act anyone straight off the screen and frequently does.

I do love Susan and Ty Power in Untamed however which has always been one of my favourite films. The points you made are valid Kerry but I love them together in this one - two beautiful people although Ty was showing older than his age here.

James Mason and Susan? Definitely no - completely agree with you Errol.

Another leading man I loved with her was Michael Craig in Stolen Hours. I had read that he was Susan's choice to play the role when she saw his audition. So, the sparks didn't fly as in House of Strangers but I do like them together.

Going way back to I Married a Witch, I was always puzzled with Susan playing against Fredric March as her fiancee and obviously very much 20 years her senior but I did love the charm of the film and especially Susan strutting her stuff the way only she could!!

Now the reverse - with Susan playing against a much younger man in Heat of Anger, James Stacey. There did seem to be an underlying current of attraction between them in this film. He was a very good looking man and they played well together. Both were destined for tragedy with Stacey losing limbs and then having a jail sentence.

We all know John Wayne was her favourite leading man and I do love to see them together in The Conqueror. Ok - I know so much bad publicity has been written against this one but when it first came out in Britain it was heralded as "film of the month". This was in 1956 and everyone flocked to see it and enjoyed it too. I think the dialogue and oddities just went over our heads and we enjoyed it for what it was - a huge spectacle to watch with John Wayne (who could do no wrong) and our Susan who was, by the way, probably at her most sensuous in this film. I still enjoy seeing it and so does my young grandson. He loves the horse riding, battle scenes and yes, he likes Susan in it too. Always comments on her lovely long hair.

Susan was such a strong personality in most of her roles that she really didn't need anyone along for the ride - our eyes are always rivetted to her anyway.

Thank you for starting this post Gloria as it gave us all something to think about!


Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Gloria, you nailed it, and my heart still throbs when Gable literally sweeps Susan off her feet and carries her in his arms (Soldier of Fortune)(After seeing the film somewhere around age 14, I found the book , read it, and of course imagined the main characters as I saw them in the film). I don't know how they were outside of filming, but the chemistry was definitely there and I wish they had made more films together...two hard working, PROS, who knew how it was done!

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Oh, yeah, Ginger. My heart fluttered, too, when Gable picked Susan up and carried her in his arms in "Soldier of Fortune." I wish they had done more films together. I also remember reading, probably in one of the books on Susan, how they were both at a party and he saw her and wanted to make a play for her, but she did not encourage him; apparently, when somebody told her afterward, she said she didn't see him because she wasn't wearing her glasses!

Now, I have to think that if this is true, it must have been before they appeared together in "Fortune," but who knows? If it had turned out otherwise, perhaps they would have had a romance. Or married. Dare I even think this? What a couple they would have been!

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Gloria...I STILL LOVE THIS SUBJECT..and really thank you for bringing it up in the first place! Soo much to be said on this subject..and it shows from the fans who have added their views on it all.

I did have to mention, since it has been brought up by Trish..about THE CONQUEROR..I still think of it as a real 'comic book' movie, with many flaws, none of them being sultry, beautiful..SUSAN. But, my goodness, WHO is
going to 'not laugh' at John Wayne playing the Khan role
with that...'western drawl' he has in this film among many others?

This film remains with me, all the time though, since I have to drive right through the desert area where it was
filmed each time I do a show at Tuacahn Broadway in the Desert. The main road runs in the flat area where Susan and her men were stopped, as Wayne and his warriors swarm down upon them from the desert hills. I
look up..and imagine it all happening right here, on each drive. (They built the 2,000 seat ampitheater at the end of that beautiful desert canyon)..so it is always with me.

MORE ON GABLE AND SUSAN...I really think...IF..Susan
had been a seasoned actress, at the time she did the
screen test for GONE WITH THE WIND, I think it would have been SUSAN...in the Scarlett O'Hara role opposite GABLE. THINK..of what all 'might have been'
should this had really happened? Yes..there may have been a 'big romance'...or more. I am glad that they did get to work together though, after she was free from her 20TH CENTURY FOX contract and could move in other circles of co-stars.

SUSAN AND MITCHUM...."THE LUSTY MEN" has truly become
a 'classic rodeo film' over the years. I remember when
it first came out, and for eras after, it was a THREE STAR rated film, which is the 'very good' rating. BUT
as the years have gone by, that rating has now changed
and it is a..FOUR STAR..EXCELLENT rated film. They were soooo good together in this one..and it all went
the opposite way in WHITE WITCH DOCTOR, which I have mentioned, before,..that must have been a 'bad experience' for both stars, since they were locked into the 'deal' to do that one, between RKO and 20TH
for the loan-out of SUSAN to RKO and in return the loan-out of MITCHUM to FOX. What happened between them
off screen sure didn't come through on screen..and when you have to compare MITCHUM to her hubby, in LUSTY MEN..(ARTHUR KENNEDY)..it is a real 'hands down win' for it being SUSAN AND MITCHUM...not..SUSAN AND KENNEDY. (ha!)

Gloria...I still LOVE this subject!!

It also gave me some reassurance, on my thoughts that Susan was glaring at me, after I made 'my foolish mouth' remark to her, when we met at THE JOEY BISHOP SHOW. I thought she was upset at what I had said and was..SURE..she was glaring at me as the reached the car and she turned toward me again. NOW...I feel that if she didn't even know...GABLE..was 'giving her the eye'...because she didn't have her glasses on..then I feel that she just couldn't see me that well, when she
looked back at me. (It has always bothered me..because
I would NEVER mean to give her reason for disliking or taking my stupid remark..wrong! It makes me wonder, now...how many other people (the HOLLYWOOD PEOPLE) who may have taken Susan as being 'cold' or giving them 'cold looks'. She probably could not see them that well and so things could have been a lot different with some people, had they known this was the problem.

Re: Co-Stars of Susan's I Didn't Like

Wonder WHY this subject came back up on here at the top? It is a year old!!

Re: Co-Stars of Susan\'s I Didn\'t Like

Wow! This wonderful post (even if it was written by Gloria 3 years ago!), is the most informative \'wrap-up for me of \'Susan and her Men\'!!

Having not seen anywhere the number of her films that all of you have, my own more simplistic conclusions on a few of those I did see have been:

1. I loved \"Rawhide\" but thought of Tyrone Powell, who I very much like, as her younger brother!! Susan ran rings around him, so matter how good an actor he was.

2. I found Lee Bowman just insipid in \"Smash-Up\"! She should have been with Eddie Albert!!

3. Don\'t remember which bio about Susan it was, but I remember reading that Charlton Heston in \"The President\'s Lady\" was so grateful to Susan for showing a \'newbie\' like him all she could to help him give an inspiring performance. So, she obviously took to him as a friend, if nothing else.

4. I loved \"Garden of Evil\" (that haunting scenery and those thrilling horseback riding scenes plus Susan looked lovely), but, quite honestly, I felt as if, in most scenes, that she was just punching out the lines,sounding perpetually disgruntled! (Which she no doubt was, with the custody of her children on the line, while she made this film.)

5. Re. Robert Mitchum, (Another of my favorites.) I do remember reading a funny story (if it is true!) that during the making of \"White Witch Doctor\". Susan was so deliberately \'unaware\' of him, that he used to hum \"The Old Grey Mare.....\", when she walked by. Don\'t know why, but I found this very amusing. (I\'ve yet to see \"The Lusty Men\", but look forward to it!)

6. As for John Wayne---it was easy to see that she was always happy to be appearing with him!! Particularly, as it was said, that he was her ideal of what a man should be!! Read another amusing story--this one about \"The Conquerer\", that, at times, the dialogue was so atrocious, they were both laughing too hard to complete a \'take\'!

Well, that\'s about all I feel able to contribute to this conversation with such a wonderfully informed group, who have just given me a terrific education in what I have to look forward to!!

My own conclusion, however, about ANY actor playing opposite Susan is that she was gifted with such a powerful ability to practically hold a film all on her own, that she gave any romantic interest a run for his money!

Susan Hayward offered a most wonderous gift to both the film world--and to those lucky enough to have been part of her life.


PS Gloria - If you happen to see this older post of yours\', I do hope you\'ll return to the Board to say \"Hello\".