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Magnificent Moorehead, son


This post is brought to you by guilt at giving her such a poor rating in last week's Smackdown when she's such an eternal favorite.

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Reader Comments (5)

What a great shot. My first run-in with her was the Twilight Zone episode "The Invaders". I was horrified, but not in the intended way. I had no clue what she was doing.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

Best. American movie. Ever.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergoran

That is a great shot. I don't think you were unduly unfair to her in the Smackdown. She was okay in Charlotte but much better in other films.

While I think my favorite performance of hers would have to be the venal Madge Rapf in Dark Passage, her performance in The Magnificent Ambersons couldn't be bettered. She's was also great in Mrs. Parkington, Show Boat, The Opposite Sex and so many others. I remember her in a TV movie called The Ballad of Andy Crocker where she created a full formed character in just one scene through gesture and attitude. Her competition was not strong in that her costars were Lee Majors and Joey Heatherton but it was amazing what she was able to do in such a short period of time.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

My earliest and most distinct memory of Moorehead would have to be her performance in Pollyanna (1960). Sure her best work will always be in Ambersons but the impression she made on a 6 year old cinephile as the crotchety Mrs Snow cannot be denied. Same goes for her co stars Karl Malden and Jane Wyman.

July 9, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

That is what David Shipman wrote about Agnes Moorehead in “The Great Movie Stars”:

“Agnes Moorehead started in films with the disadvantage of being over 35; in her first film she played a mother and in her second an aunt. The critics raved, but it was too late. Besides, she was not beautiful and she was obviously intelligent – which facts clearly disqualified her from playing any but supporting roles. No one complained, least of all the lady herself, and she sometimes enlivened up to half a dozen films a year. Five times out of six she acted everyone else off the screen and out of sight, often in parts which can hardly have existed on paper. Her versatility was one of the pleasures of picturegoing in the 40s and 50s. Now and then she hammed, if only in circumstances which would deem her contemptuous of her material; for the most part she was the most careful and subtle of actresses – certainly in “The Magnificent Ambersons” she gives a performance among the best ever put on celluloid.”

That’s what I think about her. Lets praise her forever!

As David Shipman wrote she is almost perfect in all her movies. But she is sensational and overwhelming in some pictures. My favorite performances of her all time greats are:

1. “The Magnificent Ambersons” (1942) Maybe the best supporting performance ever.
2. “Dark Passage” (1947)
3. “Mrs. Parkington” (1944)
4. “Fourteen Hours” (1951)
5. “Caged” (1950)
6. “Johnny Belinda” (1948)
7. “Citizen Kane” (1941)
8. “Since you went away” (1944)
9. “All that Heaven allows” (1955)
10. “Summer Holiday” (1948)
11. “The Opposite Sex” (1956)
12. “The Blue Veil” (1951)
13. “The great Sinner” (1949) only a cameo, but when you think back on this movie you only remember her in the pawnshop
14. “The Magnificent Obsession” (1954)
15. “The Singing Nun” (1966)
16. “Whats the Matter with Helen” (1972)

I have seen “Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte” (1964). She is funny in this but hammed.

July 10, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterthomas

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