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Ginger's Susan Hayward Message Board
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The American Patriot's Almanac

Today I purchased "The American Patriot's Almanac" , a new release by William J. Bennett with John T.E. Cribb.

It is a year's daily readings of events and individual stories of America's people, from the foundation of the country. There is a section on the "fifty most patriotic movies," and as I figured, "The President's Lady" was not on the list!...This remarkable film and Susan Hayward's portrayal of Rachel Jackson, overlooked one more time!! I'm looking forward to reading the book and maybe sharing some of the info on "Ginger's Forum", but was disappointed in the omission of "TPL".

Re: The American Patriot's Almanac

And yet, Ginger, sequences from the film, The President's Lady, were used in a PBS special on Andrew Jackson that I saw a couple years ago. I specifically remember the scene where Fay Bainter is waving goodbye to Rachel, played by Susan Hayward, on the boat.

If memory serves me (duh!), I think the program also showed other scenes from the film.

I fear it's more than simply a mistake that this picture was not noted in the book. For whatever reason, some of Susan's films (including With a Song In My Heart among best musicals) are not taken seriously by film critics. I think it's a disgrace!

Re: The American Patriot's Almanac

On this same subject, my sister bought this book entitled "501 Must See Movies" with Audrey Hepburn on its cover, and not to my surprise none of Susan's films were listed. What a shame, I was livid that our Susan was once again lefted out. There are movies listed that I've never heard of. it's just not fair.

Re: Re: The American Patriot's Almanac

Gloria and Ray, sometimes I think that because Susan did not seem to be one to seek out publicity, perhaps that is why now she is overlooked. Her presence hasn't been drummed into the psyche of historians and film buffs... another example of this is actor, Robert Ryan. Actors like Susan Hayward and Robert Ryan cared more about their craft and that they were looked upon as doing a good job rather than being known for the glit' and glammer.That being said, Susan, of course, was glamourous, and got plenty of publicity in her heyday--a lot of it unwanted, I'm sure. Susan Hayward is truly a gem of the screen that is too often bypassed in a lot of these books and "bests" and "favorites" , but she is still in an overall solid place of honor, I think, and will always be there.

Gloria, I had forgotten about the PBS Special.. well every little bit helps!

Re: Re: The American Patriot's Almanac & Gloria's comment

Hmmm....Gloria....I think you may have a good point there about Susan's films not being taken seriously by the film critics. I can give only a possible guess as to why.... and here is my guess:

Susan's films are all lumped into the critics' minds as "Women's films"...thus perceived as overly emotional bits of fluff.

Therefore in the eyes of the ones who put out The American Patriot's Almanac...PERHAPS they buy into that perception as well.

Linked to the idea that any of her films are just "women's films" is the notion that they therefore can't be as serious about being historically accurate.

Just positing one theory as an explanation of why such things happen with Susan's films. In any case it is unfortunate.

Re: The American Patriot's Almanac

I must make a reply on what Gloria said about WITH A SONG IN MY HEART not being mentioned in the Best Musicals...What so many people (and critics) forget, is that WASIMH was the Oscar winner for Best Musical the year it won...and snubbed out SINGIN' IN THE RAIN which EVERYONE knows about!! But very few know it WAS NOT the Best Musical Movie of that year!

How people can keep passing this musical up is beyond me. It is like so many other 'foolish' things that happen with Susan's movies. Instead of giving her..the just dues of a Birthday tribute on TCM, tomorrow...they play TWO of her films a couple of days before her birthday. This has happened before and had I been well enough, I wanted to start a group of us sending in emails to TCM..early enough to show that we want her to have her birthday tribute just like they do to so many other...(and some undeserving) actors. It was too late to get anything going...but wanted ALL to remember that the Best Musical Film...was..WITH A SONG IN MY HEART and justly due!!

Re: The American Patriot's Almanac


I think you may have misunderstood what I was saying about "With a Song In My Heart." I know it was the best musical of 1952, as opposed to "Singing in the Rain." My point was that critics and so-called film experts have never given it the credit it deserved. They fell in love with "Singing" and totally dismissed "Song."

Frankly, I think that's because they saw "Song" as strictly a biopic and not a musical film, and that's stupid, because at least half -- if not more -- of the film was music!

Errol, I am one of maybe three people in the U.S. who doesn't have cable, so I was not aware that TCM didn't give Susan her due on her birthday. But what else is new? Even when critics do condescend to mention her in a serious way, they often get things wrong. Case in point: Leonard Maltin actually said that Susan lip-synched the songs in "I'll Cry Tomorrow," and that the voice was Lillian Roth's!

I would not pretend that Susan didn't make mistakes in some of the movies she chose to make. But that shouldn't sway critical opinions of those films she made that WERE meaningful, like "I Want to Live," "WASIMH," "I'll Cry Tomorrow," "The Lusty Men" (I hate rodeos, but it was a very good film about rodeo life, and she was great in it), "The President's Lady," which, as I mentioned to Ginger, has been shown in part on PBS as depicting Andrew Jackson's life.

I also think that "My Foolish Heart" was an honest story of the here-today, gone-tomorrow angst of World War II for many young lovers.

And I'm sure critics could find several very good films in Susan's earlier years, if they took the time to look, i.e., "Reap the Wild Wind," "I Can Get It For You Wholesale," "House of Strangers, "Deadline at Dawn"(a perfect example of film noir), "Adam Had Four Sons," "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" and "The Hairy Ape."

But, unfortunately, they don't take the time to look. Instead, they denigrate her because she made "woman's pictures," so popular in the '50s and '60s. Gee, what a shame we didn't have today's gratuitous sex and violence flicks with their special effects and had to resort to stories with a beginning, middle and end, and good characterization to muddle through back then, eh?

Sorry, Errol, I didn't mean to go on like this. But like you and other Susie fans, I get so tired of people (who should know better) denigrating her and her work!

Also sorry to hear you're feeling sub-par. We miss you on here. I hope you'll come back more often. We need all the true movie -- and Susan -- fans we can get!