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« Best Shot: Mary Poppins Makes Your Heart Feel Light | Main | A Topic That Never Grows Old: Best Actress 1995 »
Wednesday
Jul172013

Remember the Stanwyck

Fans of Classic Hollywood Goddesses will want to check out The Barbara Stanwyck Blog-a-thon which is apparently going on all this week.

A LOT of articles are scheduled and some are already up including a tribute to her sparkling hot costume in Ball of Fire (1941, my second favorite Babs performance!) and a litle Christmas in July action with Remember the Night (1940). I wish I'd known about this one in time to join. It was really fun to write and read about Double Indemnity earlier this summer and Stanwyck has a highly discussable extensive body of work that stretches all the way from classic 1930s Pre-Code talkies on through to hugely popular 1980s television soaps like The Thorn Birds and Dynasty. Anyone remember her on those?

What's your favorite Stanwyck role?

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Reader Comments (23)

Sorry, Wrong Number

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterrick

Ball of Fire is probably my second favorite, too, but I'm going with The Lady Eve as my favorite Stawyck performance. They don't make 'em like her anymore!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAR

The Lady Eve is my favorite too, but I also like No Man of Her Own, one of the many film versions of Cornell Woolrich's I Married A Dead Man.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I love her in Double Indemnity, Sorry, Wrong Number and Executive Suite. And I will probably love her in anything else I se her in. She's great. She was also the best thing about The Colbys (or, as it was originally called, lest we forget, Dynasty II: The Colbys - great title!)

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEdward L.

Ball of Fire is my favorite. Of course, The Lady Eve is a close second. I'm also a sucker for her performance in Titanic, soapy at that movie may be.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterErin in Flagstaff

ugh its so hard to choose ;)

but i know this: the history of cinema would not be the same without her performances in THE LADY EVE, BALL OF FIRE, and DOUBLE INDEMNITY

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterkent

Phyllis Dietrichson in "Double Indemnity" is my absolute favorite Stanwyck role and performance (what a fantastic characher!), followed by "Balls of Fire".

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

Phyllis Dietrichson in "Double Indemnity" is my absolute favorite Stanwyck role and performance (what a fantastic characher!), followed by "Balls of Fire".

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterStefano

I love her in The Furies, an Elektra-like western in which she is fierce, sexually independent, powerful, unstable, violent... A wild animal, like somebody described Sharon Stone in Casino, but a much better performance. Walter Huston is spectacular, too.

It's a film by Anthony Mann, by the way, one of the best directors ever, and one of the most underrated.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Double Indemnity
Ball of Fire
Sorry, Wrong Number
The Lady Eve
and her deeply moving turn in
The Thorn Birds

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMarcos

thornbirds......kiss me like a woman!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjimmy

Stella Dallas!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMike M.

The Lady Eve, Ball of Fire, Double Indemnity, BABY FACE, Meet John Doe, WALK ON THE WILD SIDE

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

It's a sentimental choice, because I'm a Christmas Eve baby, but it would probably be "Christmas in Connecticut". Fun, chaotic, romantic, nostalgic, sad. It's Christmas!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

So many great performances to choose from, I can't recall ever finishing one of her films and thinking she had missed the mark. I'll have to do one for comedy and one for drama and one pre-code.

The comedy would be Christmas in Connecticut. She seems so relaxed and easy in the part, maybe because she was coming off Double Indemnity and was glad not to have to do any heavy lifting, plus it's a Christmas movie that does hit you over the head with Christmas cheer. What a supporting cast as well. I also love Ball of Fire, Lady of Burlesque, and The Mad Miss Manton

For drama I'm a big fan of Titanic. She and Clifton Webb spark off each other amazingly well, the scene between them at the lifeboats is masterful. There's too many others to list but Double Indemnity is up there of course as well as The Bitter Tea of General Yen, Stella Dallas, The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Clash by Night.

The pre-code would have to be Baby Face. What a wild ride that movie is and she plays it for all its worth. An amazing actress would could do pretty much anything.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Joel6-- thank you for mentioning Titanic(1956) That is one of my favorite movies and I'm so happy other people have discovered it. STanwyck and Webb have great chemistry together!

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered Commentertom

I don't get why Christmas in Connecticut keeps being mentioned and Remember the Night isn't. It's one of the best romantic dramas I've ever seen. Every single emotional rings so true, and the ending's complete lack of fantasy KILLS me. One of her ABSOLUTE best all around.

Plus, I mean, Sturges wrote it and he conceived The Lady Eve on-set, which is of course her (and his) best, so that's worth a lot of brownie points, y'know?

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.D.

The Lady Eve is my favorite movie role and I loved the Big Valley.

July 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry O.

for me it's Balls of Fire and Double Indemnity as her best performances and also best movies she was in.

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrace

Nathaniel, for some reason most of my recent comments don't get published, I'm not sure why.

Anyhow I can't just sit here in silence while the GREATEST ACTRESS OF ALL TIME is being discussed.

I couldn't possibly limit myself to one favourite performance. Here's a top 10

1. Double Indemnity
2. The Lady Eve (though, depending on mood, this is sometimes no.1)
3. Ball of Fire
4. Meet John Doe (she had a good year...)
5. The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
6. Forty Guns
7. Ladies of Leisure (it's an obscure Capra film - trashy fun elevated by her presence. It's one of her first roles and her entrance is electric: in extreme long shot, with a single gesture, she pretty much reinvents Hollywood screen acting.)
8. There's Always Tomorrow
9. Baby Face
10. The Furies

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

goran -- we have the same top three with ball of fire and lady eve reversed but i still have a lot of Stanwyck left to see

July 18, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Have to remember "The Big Valley" where she basically sold every Chrysler in America for four years. "Walk on the Wild Side" is still great, "Golden Boy" requires a big nod and never forget her best performance as wife to Robert Taylor.

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJoe

I'm late to this party, but had to comment. Stanwyck is one of my five favorite actresses. I've always wondered what she would do with material being written today. I could definitely see her kicking ass in RED 2 along with Helen Mirren. Here are my top 10, in no particular order:

Mad Miss Manton
Remember the Night
Ball of Fire
Double Indemnity
Stella Dallas
The Lady Eve
No Man of Her Own
Christmas in Connecticut
Meet John Doe (Cooper gets all the credit for this one, but she makes the movie work)

and yes!
The Furies

Spent many Saturdays watching Big Valley re-runs. My sister and I used to count the number of times she fell down, fell off her horse, got pushed, shoved, or yelled "aaaaagggghhhh"--our version of a kiddie drinking game!

July 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPam

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