Errol--hope you and everyone here--will enjoy a season of good cheer!
You know, Errol, I just read your heartfelt reaction to the way Susan, who offered so much to the movie industry--and always put her best into the movies she made--never truly got her due from this country.
A perfect case-in-point is that I had to reach the age of mulling over Social Security, before I became truly aware of her (first on Fox Channel and then, occasionally, on TCM--and finally, when I happened to find this board, using google!) It was only then that I was became so keenly aware of her unusual ability to put herself into each role--and the genuine fierce characters she so often played--unlike the simpering actresses of her day.
The irony of my first becoming a fan at my age, when she has been gone to us for so many years, has to be linked to the fact that not only were her films rarely shown--but there were few critics who recognized her ability--rather, preferring to 'smear' her for her choice to stand up for herself, work independently and prefer a life of privacy.
(Because she was NOT a publicity hound, Hollywood appeared to 'take what they could get'and spill the most they could extract from her divorce from Jess Barker--and that crazy 'non-event' with Red Barry.) I gues they were desperate to get more of 'the goods' on her. They may have admired her individuality and intriguing remoteness, which suggested 'Here's an unusual actess'--but, in reality, a woman like Susan, at that time, was NOT particularly liked or trusted, as she was NOT the typical female of those days.
That she may have been shy and excrutiatingly uncomfortable in that Hollywood environment--which might have helped build a growing remoteness in her, and, later, a haven for drink), would never occur to that Hollywood world--the studios, the critics, the publicists she had to 'please'. Having real concern for her as a 'person' was not, I am sure, part of the how the 'system' operated.
So! That may well be why I can reach my age and remember her only 'remotely'as an actress--and a good one! But, all that I can say to alleviate that anger towards those who trampled on her extraordinary talent and her determination to perform at her best level, is that, no matter how many years may pass, there WILL always be a next generation who discovers and appreciates her. No matter the time inbetween.
Incidentally, Errol, I just read a post you wrote during the last year, about strangers becoming friends. And how lovely it was when all the people who used to take a peek into this Message Board, would be inspired enough to join in with the group. It's obvious to assume that--if you manage to uncover a Board for Susan Hayward--you must have admired her talent at some point! And it would be nice if people with similar interests DID go from 'strangers to friends'. Anyway, it was a lovely message, Errol--and everything you said is very true!
I have enjoyed the thoughtful comments from everyone here--and it would be nice to see more from 'newbies', as well, to turn more 'strangers to friends'!
So--thanks for your posts, Errol! And cheers to Ginger's special board!!
...that remoteness was in my Mom from the "get go". Her Father was an alcoholic, so was her Mother. It is probable that she was incest survivor. She married two alcoholics, both of whom came with cargo containers full of "issues".
From the Doctor's Opinion Big Book / AA :
"Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable and discontented, unless they can again experience the sense of ease and comfort which comes at once by taking a few drinks—drinks which they see others taking with impunity. After they have succumbed to the desire again, as so many do, and the phenomenon of craving develops, they pass through the well-known stages of a spree, emerging remorseful, with a firm resolution not to drink again. This is repeated over and over, and unless this person can experience an entire psychic change there is very little hope of his recovery."
She was offered the opportunity to experience that psychic change while filming "I'll Cry Tomorrow"...She wasn't ready...some people NEVER are
I do appreciate your sharing this aspect of the reality of your mother's life--the genetics of both family sides (if one believes there is an 'addiction' gene in some of us...and I do)--her unhappy childhood--and her choice of the numbing remoteness and false 'bravado' that a alcoholic haze can bring.
I, too, grew up very closely with an alcoholic relative, and it was so painful. It affected everyone around her, but my sisters and I were very lucky to have non-drinking parents (except for the odd party drink). This, perhaps, made my own social drinking during my years living in England-- with the ubiquitous pub being the starting place for social gatherings--briefer than it might have been, as I soon became aware of the false and SHORT comfort a drink would bring to my basically shy personality.
What you quoted from the AA book about 'experiencing a psychic change' for real recovery was true for my relative--though she was 60, before she was willing to accept that change--a long time for loving, but frustrated relatives. She, too, finally approached AA--and though with difficulty--made it though and continues to do so.
It is extremely sad that your mother was never "ready". To her credit, though, her audiences and fans, saw nothing on the screen but a most unusually talented woman who loved her craft and always focused to improve it. And, how frustrating it is, when you admire such talent, that the only sources to learn more about that person is a few carelessly-written, mostly incorrect biographies. I'm sure you cringe at the 'amateur analyses' of her by those (like me!!) who read and come away with book loads of incorrect information. Thanks for setting us straight.
At any rate, we here are all extremely happy that when your own 'psychic change' came about--you were ready!
My best to you and your family for a wonderful New Year, filled with health, happiness and peace. (And trout! LOTS of trout!)
Tim..Thanks for putting things straight on all of this and the A/A quote, which I know so very well. We all have 'flaws' in our lives and if we didn't we wouldn't be here. It is part of life and how/when we handle it is part of what I have always called 'the tests in life'. It should be hard to judge 'others', even after we have taken it upon ourselves, to make changes we found we needed to change. I am so glad you wrote what you did on this....