Just this morning on the Sunday Morning Show on CBS, they had a feature on the history of the gas chamber.
Among the history they played the scene of Susan as Barbara Graham dying in the chamber. They named the movie and Susan Hayward (although they didn't say she won the Academy Award for this performance).
What's interesting about this, too, is something I remember reading at the time of the movie. I believe that Walter Wanger (or someone else; perhaps the reporter, Ed Montgomery?) decided that his character should take out his hearing aid when he left the prison after Barbara's execution to drown out the media and people outside the prison, who were both for and against Barbara's execution.
Wanger hoped that this picture and showing the execution, which he considered barbaric, would result in executions being abolished.
Well, according to this morning's program, it took a long time before execution by gas chamber was abolished, specifically 10 years ago when the last one was done in Arizona.
But executions themselves, as we know, still exist. The gas chamber Barbara Graham died in was retrofitted into a room where lethal injections are given.
I guess the old saying applies here: "The more things change, the more they stay the same."
This was very interesting to hear about. I wished I would have seen it, thanks for sharing this news with us, Gloria.
Gloria, I wish I had seen that. Thanks for sharing. The gas chamber scene in that film is so chilling. It's hard to watch. How did Susan prepare for that? She was brilliant. Her performance is absolutely amazing?
At the beginning of the year, I promised myself I would watch one Susan Hayward film a month because I had gone for a long time without watching them, and suddenly started missing seeing her films. "I Want To Live" was to be the first one, and I haven't watched it yet but will catch up with it for January, and I think I'll watch the dvd of "With A Song In My Heart" for February.
Maybe we should have a movie of the month, and all of us watch it and then comment...?.. what do you think...? kind of like a book-of-the month...might be fun and interesting.
I think a Susan Hayward "movie of the month" is a great idea. The only problem for me is that I don't have all of her films. Trish tells me she has every one. Wow! I'm jealous. But Trish says they are shown on regular TV, not cable, in England, so she simply copied them when they played. Here, we have cable, which I don't subscribe to.
Other than a few of her flicks that were copied off cable for me by a friend (who no longer is able to do so), I have bought all the films I have.
Well, let's put it this way: How about your selecting which movie each month we should watch and then comment on. If I have it, I'll join in. If not, I'm sure several of the other Susie fans will.
As to how Susan prepared for the gas chamber scene in I Want to Live, I think that at least part of the credit has to go to Bob Wise's direction. I can't imagine that Susan herself ever witnessed an actual execution, considering it wasn't something that happened that often, and when would the opportunity have presented itself? Maybe that reporter, Ed Montgomery, had seen one or two and talked to her about it.
Gloria, okay, well, maybe along the way, we'll kind of find out who doesn't have what and among all of us maybe we can help each other out on the collections.
I'll just start with my own list and I Want to Live was on my list for January ( which I'm late I know), and With A Song In My Heart for February. I'll make a post for each film and let's try to watch both films and comment by the end of February, and then in March I'll post a new one. Well, we can give it a try.
Yes, I'm sure Susan had wonderful direction by Robert Wise in I Want To Live, but still I have always been in awe of how she reached down and pulled out that most realistic of performances.