Friday, March 5, 2010

Changed my mind.

Here are a 5 actresses that I have changed my mind about. In no particular order.

Barbara Stanwyck

Many years ago, about the time I was getting into Burlesque, I watched Lady of Burlesque (naturally). Something about Stanwyck rubbed me the wrong way and left a sour taste in my mouth. I didn't find her pretty or relatable so I tossed her off in the "not impressed" file and moved on. Fast forward a few years to last year. My friend Alicia and I would have movie night as she had TCM. When they would do snippets or commercials or talk about Stanwyck here and there I started to gain better appreciation to her beauty. I became more attracted to her physically... perhaps it was because she reminded me of Sophie B. Hawkins, whom I think is one sexy lady. *side note* saw Sophie perform in person one year and I swear I thought I was gay while she was on stage. She was just that hot! Back to Stankwyck. More recently Perry and I have watched a couple Stanwyck films - Double Indemnidy and Ball of Fire. Double Indemnidy sealed the deal for me. She was fantastic. Ball of Fire, well she was just too charming to say no to!

Norma Shearer

For a time there Shearer haunted me. She was attached to a bad person in my life and because of that I never really gave her a chance. Another one whom I didn't find pretty at first. I really never knew anything about her, but being a reminder of a less than pleasant time, I pushed her aside. A couple years later saw her in The Women and while I love the movie, didn't care too much for her. Later Alicia and I were having movie night and watched The Divorcee. I fell in love with that movie. We watched a few more of her flicks and I liked them too. But what really made me change my mind about her was I feel in love with her hair! Outside of the Women, she usually has great hair. Plus, looking at photos of her, I think she has some of the most sexiest photos of gals that day!

Joan Crawford

Admittingly my first introduction of Joan Crawford was through Mommie Dearest. While that didn't make me form my opinion of Crawford as an actress I think it did subconciously give me this opinion of her as bitchy. Honestly the only Crawford I knew was later years thick eyebrows and the Crawford smear Crawford. Did not think that was a pretty look at all. Far too harsh for my taste and reenforced my opinion of bitchy since she never seemed happy in her photos. Recently most recently Perry and I watched Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Other than The Women (which I didn't care for her in - mostly because of her hair) this was the first time I really got to see her act. She is damn good. I liked the softness of her voice and the fear she gave her character. It allowed me to see her as something other than bitchy. Then we watched Mildred Pierce and I saw why she was such a popular actress. This movie she came off both strong and vulnerable without that bitchy overtone. Afterwards we watched the Joan Crawford documentries. For the first time I really saw younger Crawford. I had seen pictures of her younger before but for some reason always seperated her in my mind as a different person than gay icon Crawford. I really started to see how pretty she was back before the thick black eyebrows. She seemed a lot more fun and less bitchy. Now I am not saying that I am in love with Crawford, but I will say I have a new appreciation for her.

Bette Davis

I never got the buzz of Bette. I never saw what really made her so great and iconic. Last year I think I saw my first Davis film. All About Eve (with Alicia). I thought she was good, great even, but still didn't understand her oomph. However Perry and I have been watching a few of her earlier films and now I get it. Her over exaggerated almost comical expressive body language is pure genius. How she was able to act so boldly yet make it believeable I will never know. Learning that she was from a theatre background helped me understand why she acted so big. To me, davis isn't one of the world's greatest beauties, though many would disagree, but in her earlier films I think she was down right gorgeous. Not so much in her mid to later films, but some of her younger ones. I also loved that she wasn't afraid to get ugly for film. While I can appreciate Crawford's commitment to glamour, I can also appreciate Davis's willingness to make it real. Then came Baby Jane. I had already found a new admiration for Davis, but Baby Jane made me find delight in Davis. To me she was more than an actress here, but and entertainer. Which from watching the documentries on her, she probably wouldn't find complimentary!

Gene Teirney

Now to turn the tables a bit. I have always thought that Tierney was ridiculously gorgeous. To the point of it being unfair. So I was quite excited when Perry rented Laura. My first Tierney film! Yay! Except my Yay was a bit more like Eh... I dind't like her at all. I thought she was drab and rather disappointing. Next was The Ghost and Mrs Muir. What a fun film! I thought she was delightful in it! Here she restored my faith in her. Then we watched Leave her to Heaven. I was excited about this film as she played a villianess. She broke my heart again... While she wasn't terrible, she really wasn't that great. I really wanted to like her, but I just couldn't. So while I still think she is gorgeous, as an actress she really doesn't have much there. A bit like Veronica Lake is to me.


  1. I'm with you on Tierney, Norma Shearer and especially Barbara Stanwyck...I'm now a big fan of Stanwyck in many of her roles including Double Indemnity, Ball of Fire, etc.

    Unfortunately, I still can't stomach Bette Davis or Joan Crawford -- perhaps it's because of the quasi-monsters they turned into later in life.

  2. I think it is those quasi-monsters that gave me my first impressions of each and had since made me dislike them. But now after watching a few of their flicks, I am starting to understand why so many have love for them. I still perfer my Jean Harlow and Ginger Rogers to them, but I am starting to not look so down on them.

  3. I know exactly what you mean, the problem is cos we're coming to them late, we know their whole life story, including sometimes the madness in later life. If we could just watch the movies without our preconceived ideas it might be easier!

  4. Very interesting post, and such a pretty pic of Betty Davis. I always associated Crawford with that role and was surprised at her earlier and lovier images I've seen.
    Marie @ Lemondrop ViNtAge

  5. I'm actually the other way round with Tierney; i used to find her really irritating but lately i've started to really enjoy and appreciate her work. And yes she is ridiculously gorgeous!

  6. Barbara Stanwyck hair, yo.

    I like Crawford in Mildred Pierce.

  7. I love The Divorcee; just watched it on TCM a week or so ago again!

    I have to agree about Gene Tierney (as much as I love her and "Laura"--but that is mostly because the film really opened the world of film noir to me ;). She's a lot like Lake in the fact that she's pretty to look at, but her acting is so darn uneven. I honestly have only watched a handful of her films because she doesn't really interest me outside of her style. ;)

    Have you watched some of Stanwyck's early films (from the 30s)? She's quite good in some of them. I used to dislike her a bit, until I saw some of her earlier films and was converted. lol.

    ♥ Casey
    blog |

  8. bette davis is such a great actress ,check her out in human bondage and dark victory if you have not yet.

  9. I love all the ladies above each for their gutsy originality...

  10. A must see is Bette Davis in Jezebel. I had a hard time loving her until I saw that movie and now I am a huge fan.

  11. Lemondrop Marie... I still seperate the two Joans!

    STMama... I think you said it better than me!

    Stefanie... I may do another flip flop with her. So far I can only base my feelings of her on the 3 movies I have seen.

    Tayva... Hahah you crack me up. Mildred Pierce was a good film.

    Casey... That is how I feel abouit Teirney. Her style is darling, but that is all she offers me. I didn't like her in Laura. I thought she was super flat there. I did like Ghost and Mrs Muir a lot. I was sad when the movie ended because I wanted to see more! lol

    Dizzy Dame... I saw her in Dark Victory. I liked her a lot in that flick. You can treally see that she is indeed a stage actress!

    Gingey... I like the way you think! :-D

    Midwest Mama... That one is on my list. Right now I am seeing all these great movies from the library so I am limited to what they have. I haven't seen that one there yet. :(