Thursday, July 16, 2009

Stars Of The Early Sound Era, No. 7: Barbara Stanwyck

... who would be 102 today (if she weren't deader than a doornail).


Mythical Monkey said...

I promise I'm going to get back to actual blogging tomorrow (although I've got a few more stars to show you: Edward G. Robinson, Joan Blondell, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff and one more actress to balance out the actors. I'd say Norma Shearer except that as I will explain later in the month, I don't really like Norma Shearer. Probably Marie Dressler, then).

Then I figure Saturday or Sunday, I'll announce the nominees for 1929-30.

Joseph "Jon" Lanthier said...

One of my favorite actresses -- her characters seem so psychologically aware of themselves, especially when the material matches her intelligence. She had a wealth of powerhouse roles, but I'm particularly fond of "The Furies," "The Lady Eve," and "Union Pacific".

Oh, yeah, and that small, little-known noir she made with Billy Wilder..."Twin"-something, was it? ;)

Mythical Monkey said...

Yeah, Barbara Stanwyck is going to have a significant presence in this blog. She was so big in the 1940s that it's easy to forget she was already scoring hits with movies like Night Nurse and The Miracle Woman by 1931 and was still working into the 1980s.

One of my favorites.

Stanwyck in 1941, by the way, with Ball Of Fire, The Lady Eve and Meet John Doe has to have turned in one of the greatest single years by an actress ever ...

Uncle Tom said...

didn't she play "Heath - the strong one" on Big Valley?

That can't be right.

Mythical Monkey said...

I think Heath was "the outsider."

Which I guess made Barbara Stanwyck "the insider."

I'll bet she kept ol' Lee Majors running. "Heath, time for my foot bath!" "Heath, come rub my bunions!" "Heath, peel me grape!"

Must have seen the commercial for that show a thousand times, but I don't think I ever saw a single minute of the actual show ...

Lupner said...

I used to watch 'The Big Valley' as well as 'My Three Sons' on a regular basis as a kid, which initially made it really hard for me to imagine B. Stanwyck and F. MacMurray as the scheming lovers in 'Double Indemnity' (vs. the often-overwrought, white-haired matriarch and the kindly, soft-spoken dad so strongly imprinted in my young brain). Glad I got over that . . . altho I still think of their TV characters first when either one is mentioned.

Mythical Monkey said...

I watched My Three Sons religiously as a kid, at least until "Steve" finally got remarried around the end of the series run, but for whatever reason I never stuck around for The Big Valley. But they used to show it in the afternoons in Nashville when I was a kid and they always ran the same commercial for it and that phrase "Heath, the outsider ..." is stuck in my head forever.

Actually, these days I more often think of Fred MacMurray as Mr. Sheldrake in The Apartment. He played so many nice guys on television and in the Disney films, but he had a real gift for playing heels.

mister muleboy said...

That death thing's a killer.

I think that My Three Sons finally hit its stride when Steve got remarried, and got that fine bride and stepdaughter. Made the show really good.

Kinda like when Henry Blake left M*A*S*H and Sherman Potter joined, and when Frank Burns left to be replaced by Charles. You know, the stories and the acting got real good.

Plus they got over the funny bits that were interrupting the leaden parts.

That was the improvement I saw in My Three Sons

Mythical Monkey said...

It's My Three Sons!
It's My Three Sons!
It's My Three Sons!
On Nick At Nite!

They have a dad.
His name is Steve.
He has a job.
He is real tall.

And then there's Bub.
He makes the food.
They have a dog.
It's My Three Sons!