Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Miss Susan Hayward
I walked in a few days ago and caught a few minutes of Susan Hayward playing Lillian Roth (thanks for the correction which came to me from Mark Murphy) in "I'll Cry Tomorrow."
Wow, this sort of movie has practically disappeared--the overwrought portrait of a woman done or gone wrong. I adored these films as a kid: "With A Song in My Heart," I'll Cry Tomorrow, "I Want to Live." "Back Street" "Where Love Has Gone,"" They Won't Believe Me," "Valley of the Dolls." I saw them mostly on TV but they really pulled me in. I suppose Lifetime has picked up the torch for purple prosed movies, but you need the big screen to really sink into these stories.
Almost all of Hayward's movies seemed to be of this ilk. And she was pretty darn good at it. In 1947, she received the first of five Oscar nominations for her role as an alcoholic nightclub singer in Smash-Up, the Story of a Woman and eventually won an Oscar for her portrayal of murderess Barbara Graham in "I Want to Live."
I doubt anyone much remembers her now--or at least those under fifty. She died of a brain tumor in her fifties.
Who is your candidate for a now under-appreciated actor? Is it the movies that have changed, acting styles, what?