Monday, December 15, 2008

20 Actresses Meme

Having been tagged by our friend J.C. Loophole over at The Shelf, (I am still putting ice on the large red dodgeball welt on my forehead), who was tagged by the Siren, I am herewith submitting a list of 20 favorite actresses. This meme originated with Film Experience.

This was difficult, and I am appalled by the names I’ve left off. I’ve stuck with two rules, first, the Siren’s edict that these are people who, even if I thought the movie was going to be lousy, I would probably still watch it because of them. My second rule is my own. Since this is Another OLD MOVIE blog, and though there are many present day actresses I admire, for purposes of this blog if it happened after 1960, it didn’t happen. (Or thereabouts. The cutoff date might be a little fuzzy.)

In no particular order:

Barbara Stanwyck
Lillian Gish
Dorothy McGuire
Jennifer Jones
Ingrid Bergman
Teresa Wright
Claudette Colbert
Wendy Hiller
Cyd Charisse
Agnes Moorhead
Bette Davis
Peggy Ann Garner
Hattie McDaniel
Judy Garland
Audrey Hepburn
Greer Garson
Veronica Lake
Ethel Barrymore
Eve Arden
Anne Revere

I’m not going to tag anyone else, because this was worse than taking the S.A.T.s.


J.C. Loophole said...

Yes- but you made a 1600 (is that even the perfect score on SATs anymore?)!
I love your list, as with mine- you always see other lists and say - why didn't I remember her?
A+ and sorry about the welt. I didn't mean to- honest!

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

I don't remember what the perfect score on the SATs is, or even what a good score is. I just remember filling in those cursed ovals with my chewed up number 2 pencil.

As for the dodgeball welt, from now on don't tag me. Send me an engraved invitation hand-delivered by your chauffeur. From now on, those are the only kind of -- ooh, chauffeurs. There's a great meme.

Hazel said...

I have come here via Self-Styled Siren because she mentioned you had chosen Teresa Wright as one of your twenty. She is also one of my favourites.

And props for including Peggy Ann Garner who is just fabulous in A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Welcome, Hazel, and thanks for commenting. I'm always glad to hear from other Teresa Wright fans. Peggy Ann Garner probably deserves a blog post someday, she was a remarkable young girl, particularly as you say, in "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn."

Anonymous said...

Hey! love your's ace. Would you please check out my old film reviewing blog please? Its

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thanks for stopping by, and good luck with your blog.

Moira Finnie said...

Your choices of Peggy Ann Garner, Hattie McDaniel, and Ethel Barrymore reveal your distinctive mind and discriminating taste, Jacqueline.

I doubt if most of us could choose such different individuals. One thing though: Do you prefer Hattie McDaniel before or after GWTW? I tend to think she had more insolent fun being subversive as a lady's maid before the Oscar--though at least she made more long green after the win, even though her life and career received so much scrutiny (good and bad) after the win!
Making merry,

Jacqueline T. Lynch said...

Thank you for your kind words, Moira.

I'd have to say I like both the before and after Hattie McDaniel, for different reasons. As you say, she got away with more subversive fun before GWTW, (she steals scenes with remarkably little effort) but afterwards we were allowed to see her as more than a smart aleck. She could be wickedly funny, and so endearing as well, and that is more than some of even the biggest stars of the era demonstrated.

What I marvel at is that she had so little to work with in terms of roles, and yet she took the ball and ran with it.

My original intention with this post was to pick out an individual scene for each actress and describe what I liked about her. I couldn't go through with it though, because of time constraints and because the whole thing was making my head hurt.

However, I had already given some thought to the scene I'd chosen for Hattie McDaniel, and that was the one in GWTW where she tells Melanie about the chaos in the household after the death of Bonnie. In that one scene, she breaks your heart. This is no cartoon sterotype sobbing before us, it is a flesh and blood woman with more burdens than she deserves, yet who takes on more when she takes on the act of loving a child not her own, so far above her in social rank, and grieves over not only the loss of the child but for the agony of the parents.

In that scene, Rhett, and Scarlett, and even the gentle Melanie become cardboard cutouts, and Mammy is only real human being.

For that I admire Hattie McDaniel, and if her roles afterward, like in "Since You Went Away" bordered on the been there/done that type of servant role, at least she brought some blessed humanity to the character parts of servants which, for both black and white actors, had seldom been seen.

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