Thursday, March 08, 2007

Gloria Grahame Week

I cain't seem to say "no" to a Gloria Grahame movie lately. Of course, I think it's because I just discovered who she was, so now I'm catching up with the thrill of movies like The Big Heat, In a Lonely Place, Sudden Fear, Crossfire, and The Bad and the Beautiful all for the first time. I've always known the girl who played Violet Bick, but I never knew she was an actual famous (Oscar-winning) movie star. How I've been so oblivious these many years I'm sure I don't know, but it started when I watched Crossfire and Oklahoma! about a month ago and I realized that the woman who played in both was the same trampy girl-next-door in Beford Falls that made Bert the policeman want to go see what the wife was doing.

I know many criticize Gloria's Oscar win for The Bad and the Beautiful, saying that Jean Hagen in Singing in the Rain should have won, but having now seen both performances (haven't seen Thelma Ritter's Oscar-nominated performance from that year), I think I can't argue with the Academy's choice. Jean Hagen would have definitely been deserving, and if she had won I wouldn't complain about Gloria's losing; I think it was a case of two nominees who were both equally deserving. When Grahame is on the screen in TBatB she is electrifying and when she's gone the movie kinda goes a little flat -- I sorta wished her character could come back and liven things up again. It's the sort of part that, because of its role in the storyline, stands out no matter who would've played it, but Gloria adds so much electricity to Rosemary Bartlow that even though she's only on screen for about ten minutes, she's unforgettable; and she adds so much ambiguity to the character that there's a depth and mystery there that isn't really in the part as it's written but is something Grahame adds by her performance. Of course, she should have been nominated and won for her role in The Big Heat as well, but hey, that's Oscar for you!

1 comment:

asim said...

nice driving