Sunday, June 21, 2009
Meet Joan and Constance Bennett
The lovely Bennett sisters are two actresses I'm intrigued by, though my exposure to them has been rather limited. Both Constance and Joan were stunningly beautiful and both adept at melodrama and comedy. Connie's career cooled off by the mid-1930s with the changing tastes from melodrama to screwball comedy and musicals, while Joan's roles slowed in the 1950s after her husband, producer Walter Wanger (responsible for Susan Hayward's 1950s success) shot Joan's agent and alleged paramour, Jennings Lang (guess where he was shot!), who was quite the ladies' man; Kate Hepburn among his many interests.
Joan (1911-90) is the one with whom I'm most familiar, as her role as Ellie Banks in Father of the Bride (on TCM tonight!) shows her low-key but effective sense of humor, but I'd like to see her earlier work from the 1930s and 40s. She's also well-known for her role on the Gothic TV soap opera Dark Shadows, which I just found out about!
Glamour Every Night: Joan Bennett prepares for some fancy outing in the 1940s
Connie (1904-65) has two George Cukor-directed movies I have yet to see, Our Betters (1933; July 7 on TCM!) and What Price Hollywood? (1932), which is an early take on the A Star is Born formula. The excerpts I've seen look promising, and I am quite the Cukor admirer. I have seen her in 1937's Topper, but apparently that didn't make an impression on me. She gets another chance when I see her in her early-1930s peak.
I'm open to your suggestions and recommendations for these two ladies' finer films, and would appreciate all feedback on this most-pressing matter! I need me some Bennett sisters!