Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Not Much Ado About Sally Eilers

Don't have much to say about her other than she was the star of Bad Girl which won Frank Borzage a much undeserved Oscar for best director of 1931-32. She made 68 movies in a career that stretched from the late silent era to 1950, but other than Bad Girl and uncredited bit parts in Sunrise and The Crowd, I've never seen any of them, and neither have you, I'll bet.

Dan Callahan for Slant had this to say about her: "Eilers's good looks can't make up for her lack of acting ability."

Once you've said that, you've said it all.

But I collected a couple of photos of her off the internet while researching Borzage and I feel I would be remiss if I didn't share them with you.

That's it, that's all I've got. No five thousand words for you today.

By the way, be sure to vote in the latest Monkey Poll, "Which of these Katie nominees for best picture of 1931-32 have you seen?"

More of a survey really. Vote for all that apply. Remember, there are no wrong answers, only movies you haven't seen yet.

16 comments:

Zoe said...

Short and sweet!
I had a look at her filmography and it IS Much ado about nothing - haven't seen her any substantial roles. sounds like she was a fad, like a furby lol if you don't have much to offer your popularity wanes.

mister muleboy said...

Where are you from, son?

[response]


. Neeeee -ver heard of it.

Mythical Monkey said...

Hal Erickson wrote this about her for allmovie:

Versatile blond leading lady Sally Eilers studied to be a dancer before heading to Hollywood in her teens. She joined the Mack Sennett troupe in the mid-1920s, graduating from bathing beauty roles to the lead in Sennett's 1928 feature The Good-Bye Kiss; that same year, she was selected as one of the WAMPAS "baby stars." One of the busiest actresses in the early-talkie era, Sally appeared opposite James Dunn in a series of popular Fox vehicles, including Bad Girl (1931), Sailor's Luck (1932) and Arizona to Broadway (1933). She was married to Hoot Gibson in 1930, but the union fell apart as her star soared and his diminished. While never a major star, Eilers retained her popularity into the late 1930s, tackling such tricky roles as the Aimee Semple McPherson-ish heroine in 1938's Tarnished Angels. She eased into character roles in the 1940s, the most intriguing of which was her characterization of James Lydon's mother in the 1945 Hamlet derivation Strange Illusion. Sally Eilers retired from moviemaking in 1951 after completing her work on Stage to Tucson.

I'm sure she was a nice lady. My mother-in-law is a nice lady. But I wouldn't want to watch her in a movie, you know?

Thomas Paine said...

Actually, I've seen your mother-in-law in a movie.



She is a lovely woman, and I have no punchline for this observation

Senator Fred Thompson said...

PS Akthough Ms. Eilers is a lovely woman, at least in these photos, I prefer the naked Stella Stevens currently on view in Charley Parker

Mythical Monkey said...

I prefer the naked Stella Stevens currently on view in Charley Parker

You know, The Ballad of Cable Hogue is buried somewhere on my Netflix queue -- if Danny Peary's reports on her performance in it are accurate, she someday might be known as "Katie-Award-nominee naked Stella Stevens."

Mythical Monkey said...

Actually, I've seen your mother-in-law in a movie.

I'm not sure a wedding video counts.

Even if it was surreptitiously filmed guerrilla-style by my brother-in-law.

Of course, the only record of our wedding that really captured the event was that photographed by the esteemed Mister Muleboy -- black-and-white art photos, two of which hang on my office wall.

Say, have you met Mister Muleboy?

Husky Navarro said...


Say, have you met Mister Muleboy?


I have.


Dickhead. . . .

Senator Fred Thompson said...

Say, have you met Mister Muleboy?

I have, actually. In 1987, he interviewed for a position as an associate with my law firm in Nashville, Tennessee. Although a remarkably charming, albeit young and naive fellow -- and clearly packing a virtual Louisville Slugger, if you know what I mean -- he was nevertheless ill-suited to our firm. You see, he didn't want to be an associate with our. . .


oh, wait a minute.

That was you!

I knew I recognized that fucking monkey!

Mythical Monkey said...

oh, wait a minute.

That was you!


That was me. Two hour interview, 20+ years ago. Still waiting to hear back from him, one way or the other.

I'm giving him two more years, then I'm looking for another job ...

Erik Beck said...

Actually, I've seen her in Weary River and in State Fair.

And to be fair to Ms. Eilers, there are many women who can't act. Like Loretta Young. And she won a f#&*!g Oscar.

Mythical Monkey said...

And to be fair to Ms. Eilers, there are many women who can't act. Like Loretta Young. And she won a f#&*!g Oscar.

And not only could Loretta Young not act, but she won the Oscar for one of her worst performances, which is really saying something ...

Zoe said...

maybe that year they were all rubbish that year - sadly not though.
Jane Greer for one
Gene Tierney for another
another tut tut for the oscar's.
maybe in the future people will be saying the same thing about certain winners these days.

Mythical Monkey said...

By the way, for those wondering what we're talking about, Loretta Young won the Oscar for best actress for 1947's The Farmer's Daughter. I've read that before the ceremony, she was considered the longest of long shots -- the other nominees were Dorothy McGuire in Gentleman's Agreement, Rosalind Russell in Mourning Becomes Electra, Joan Crawford in Possessed and Susan Hayward in Smash-Up: The Story Of A Woman.

Also eligible that year were Jane Greer (Out of the Past), Deborah Kerr (Black Narcissus), Gene Tierney (The Ghost and Mrs. Muir), Irene Dunne (Life With Father), and a couple of actresses from films just being released in the U.S., Wendy Hiller (I Know Where I'm Going) and Dita Parlo (L'atalante).

Any one of them would have been a better choice than Loretta Young in The Farmer's Daughter.

Why even Loretta Young in The Bishop's Wife, also a 1947 movie, would have been a better choice than Loretta Young in The Farmer's Daughter, even if it was really Cary Grant's movie. Well, Cary Grant, David Niven, Monty Woolley, James Gleason, Gladys Cooper and Elsa Lanchester's movie.

That's the way it goes ...

Erik Beck said...

If you're enough of a film lover to read and vote in polls on this site and you haven't seen Scarface, or, god forbid, Frankenstein, that IS a wrong answer.

Mythical Monkey said...

If you're enough of a film lover to read and vote in polls on this site and you haven't seen Scarface, or, god forbid, Frankenstein, that IS a wrong answer.

I'd call all of these movies must-see, but of all of them, I would have bet Frankenstein was the one that it would have been impossible not to have let your eyeballs stray across it at least once, it's so famous. And great!