I believe Sinclair Lewis was the author who wrote "Dodsworth" (which I am now very anxious to see!) And if you have not ever read the Lewis book "It Can't Happen Here", I very highly recommend it as a 'prediction' of the future of America, when both fascism and---(well--just think of some of America's startling changes HERE at THIS point in time) 'freedom and liberty' begin to come to a frightening impasse!!
"Dodsworth", the film---and "It Can't Happen Here', the Sinclair Lewis book, have mo similarities as far as I've heard (not having seen the 'Dodsworth' film yet nor read the book), but I really did want to mention how Lewis was an astounding writer of his day!! I highly recommend "It Can't Happen Here". I wondered if it COULD!!!
And I apologize if this note seems too 'political' (or 'off-topic!!). I'm not taking 'sides'--but I just wanted to note my respect for Lewis's prescient thinking.
(I guess this message belongs in 'General'--but then it would not relate to any direction of THIS topic!)
My list is a bit eclectic!! Not all on my list are there for their acting---some, I just enjoyed watching!
1. Susan Hayward gets my first place, but she was almost pushed out by....
3. Deborah Kerr
4. Barbara Stanwyck
5. Audrey Hepburn
6. Betty White (You GO, Girl!!)
7. Vivian Leigh
8. Elaine Stritch - (I met her once--she is VERY funny!)
9. Diane Keating
10 Diana Rigg
11 Helen Mirren
12 Katherine Hepburn (too 'mannered' for me--but I still always like watching
More on my list, like, Ingrid Bergman and other great Europeans, but I'll stop here!
I love seeing Jean Harlow on your list, Ginger! She was a fascinating creature. I didn't like her at first because of her looks--too severe or something--but now I like her a lot. Also love Vivien Leigh and Ann Sothern a great deal.
This list is not in any particular order except of course for Susan (and Jennifer Jones)
1. SUSAN HAYWARD
2. JENNIFER JONES
3. YVONNE de CARLO
4. MARILYN MONROE
5. INGRID BERGMAN
6. RITA HAYWORTH (specifically for her dancing ability)
7. GRACE KELLY
8. GLORIA GRAHAME
9. ELEANOR PARKER
10, JULIA ROBERTS
I was very interested to read about all the other "Top Tens". I had to include Julia Roberts although she is the only "present-day" star worth mentioning!!
I knew that paring down a list to only 10 would be difficult to do without leaving out people. In my case I had to leave off Eleanor Parker (a really great favorite of mine), Claire Trevor and Ingrid Bergman. However, I based the 10 on a visceral feeling of how often I watched and was intrigued by their films as opposed to loving maybe one of two of their films or only liking them in mediocre movies. Bette Davis, for example, appeared in so many superior films that I liked, she definitely had to be on my list.
I enjoyed reading all your picks and glad you agree with some of my choices.
I am a rabid fan of Elaine Stritch and absolutely envious of your meeting her. But of course Elaine is strictly a Broadway Baby not a movie star. That goes for Betty White (TV), too, whom I adore. But then you knew all this and just wanted to stir things up.
As I mentioned my list was in no particular order. I grew up with Barbara Stanwyck films, so she would have definitely topped my list. My mother introduced me to Stanwyck's movies when I was about 7 years old. No wonder I turned out the way I did -- just kidding. But truthfully her films weren't really appropriate for little kids.
I like to watch Norma Shearer movies because my mother was always told she looked like her. That got me interested, and I especially liked her in "Marie Antoinette" and "The Women."
Interesting list. Glad we agree on Stanwyck (whew!). Liked Harlow in "Dinner at Eight." Lana Turner almost made my list -- have seen a lot of her films, as well as Hepburn. As you said, it's really hard to pick just 10. I had thought about a top 20, but that's too easy.
.......Nobody stirs a pot like I do--the ingredients are always 'on the boil' and do not always mix (ladies of movies vs. ladies of television). But, yes, I did cheat in this way..........yet, who could not help but notice that Lassie has performed in both genres, therefore making her an ingredient particularly rich with her flavorful bark!!
(Now, I wonder if our next list should be our favorites for their peculiar mannerisms........i.e., Marsha Hunt for her 'hank 'O hair', concealing heaven knows what! And so on.)
Can't believe I have another rabid Elaine Stritch fan to share her glorious insanity with!! Will tell you another time of the riotous--tho' short-- conversation we had back stage after her show in 2002, "At Liberty". What a woman!! But will save that for the General Board.
And, as for Betty White? She is tops on every list I have ever written, never mind what the list was for!! I have always loved her---possibly because she so resembles my Mom--no longer with us, but no doubt still laughing at her favorite 'Golden Girl'!
Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's lists and was delightfully surprised by some!
Thank you, Jill. It took me a very long time to get into Barbara Stanwyck movies, actually. For some reason, I thought she was just "okay" when I saw her films. But I have a lot of friends who are big fans of hers... finally, I just started liking her more and more... not sure which movie did it for me... might have been Stella Dallas, which I saw in college for my Film Genres class. Anyway, I just love her attitude in her films... and she was beautiful and strong and a great actress. I also love Norma in Marie Antoinette although not that much in The Women. For me, the actress who catches my attention is forever Rosalind Russell, haha.
Desiree, I suprised myself with Jean Harlow...ha..but I do enjoy her films especially Dinner at Eight, and I haven't seen all of her films. She was from Kansas City, my town, which I thought was kind of interesting.
Jill, I love everything Barbara Stanwyck has done..pretty much. I should have had Ingrid Bergman on my list. She would have been 11 I guess.
JILL - Regarding Rita Hayworth, I didn't mean that I didn't appreciate her acting as I have many of her films - especially love SADIE THOMPSON. I love Rita but I just ADORE her dancing. She could certainly move and there are wonderful snippets of her on Youtube.
I hope your summer of acting was full of all the fun and mayhem that can come only from the theater world! You will have to tell us about it!
I see that you and I share some special actresses in our lists. Keeping the list down to ten was excrutiating (and in fact, I didn't! I cheated and added more, whom I'd left out!!) And, as you can see from my Elaine Stritch and Betty White--I could barely stick to the topic!!!
Anyway, good to hear from you and hope your summer was everything you antcipated!
It Can't Happen Here was also adapted by Lewis into a play. A movie was going to be produced by MGM, but Mayer cancelled it because Nazi Germany was unhappy with the idea and Hayes (he of the censorship) told Mayer that MGM would lose the German market if the picture was produced. So they dropped it.
But the Lewis book was very loosely adpted for a series that also didn't appear, but was produced as a single film titled Shadow On the Land. The IMBD description sounds very much like yours of the book
...and thanks for all the facts about "It Can't Happen Here"--and how Meyer 'wrung his hands' over the Lewis plot 'offending' the Nazi nation! I'd never read about that! Do you know the year? Actually, I can look that up myself, so don't go to the trouble!
Anyway, it says a lot about how cash overcame ideology! And how the 'studio system' could play a large part in politics!
Is the single film "Shadow on the Land" still available? I haven't read the IMBD description yet but will do so now!
If you haven't read Philip Roth's recent novel, "The Plot Against America", he, too, presents a chilling, ominous look at how slowly but insidiously, underhanded plans by enemies, (depending on America's willingness to follow those enemies who sought to change the 'American Way'), could have changed the tenor of our country faster than we imagine.
(If a film HAD been made at the time, I could easily see Susan, in her own independent way of following her beliefs--playing the role of a determined citizen who recognizes each subtle change in our country--and soon finds a way to prove what is taking place!)
No, I don't know when Mayer caved in to the Nazis, but I was able to purchase a copy of Shadow On the Land from a very obscure rare-film Company and watched it last night. The quaity of the DVD was pretty bad, and the musical background accompaniment was apalling, but it was a fascinating movie. Very raw, very rugged, but it certainly made you think--particularly in the troubled times in this country in recent and present years. Jackie Cooper (!) in a very grown-up role, Gene Hackman (very early and not realy terribly good), John Forsythe--brilliant as a very evil guy, and the Canadian actor, Marc Strange is the main character, and a fine performance. Also, smaller roels for Janice Rule (very good) and Carol Lynley (adequate).
Thanks so much for the information about 'Shadow On the Land'. I shall have to call up the Site you've just given me. Sounds like a film I would very much like to see--even with all its flaws.
Makes me think how lucky we are that at least SOME of the old films were saved and 'revived' from the poor way film was kept in those days. Sounds like 'Shadow On the Land' is a perfect candidate, if it is still possible to bring back the quality of the film.
My sister watched some older movie from the 1930's, when there was not yet the realization that careful storage was so important for preservation. And, she said the actors in the movie were just 'ghosts' whom you could practically see right through. She showed me a few minutes of it---and I could not believe how the people and the objects in the room looked like 'negatives'!!
Anyway, thanks for your research on the 'Shadow On the Land'---I hate to see the demise of movies with themes that depict the political and economic realities of their time. These are part of our history.