Friday, July 31, 2009

Gene Tierney's Prime

This looks to be from Laura (1944), Gene Tierney's quintessential role. I love her sophisticated demeanor, arty surroundings, and lovely dress. Too often Gene was cast as the goody-goody girl next door and so we rarely got to see her do more against-type roles. Even Laura finds her as a nice girl. However, her Oscar-nominated role in Leave Her to Heaven (1945) and her performance in The Razor's Edge (1946) find Tierney in two of her most fascinating roles. In the former she's a complete psycho, and in the latter she's also a not-so-nice character. Tierney gets an undeserved bad rap as being an average actress at best, but Tierney needed more parts that required her to "stretch", and she was more than capable of taking on such challenges. She was on quite a roll from 1944-46 and is it any wonder her career stalled after this, given her staggering personal problems? Let's see: philandering weasel of a husband, her baby born with severe birth defects, mental and emotional instability in a time when mental health care was icy sheets and wide-awake shock treatments. Yeah, I'd say that Gene had a rough time of things. It's hard not to be a booster for an underdog of sorts, isn't it?


  1. She looks really young in that picture-- neat find. :)

    It's odd how she's still thought of as an average actress (like you said), when she did such a great job in Laura, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Leave Her to Heaven, and others.

  2. Hey, Robert did you get your Thunderbird DVDs yet?

    Juliette: The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is probably my favorite Tierney performance. When I start getting longwinded again, there's a post in the works about Gene and that movie.

  3. She's so beautiful
    Who was her husband?

  4. Her husband was Oleg Cassini.

    And I wouldn't call him a 'weasel': he and Gene were friends until her death.

    As for the 'philandering' part: both of them were unfaithful.

    Also: Gene asked for the 'wet sheets' and 'shock treatment'.

    Believe it or not, when a woman loses her mind, she wants to get it back any way possible.

  5. Some of my best friends are weasels.

    Stable marriage=fidelity

    "Asking for" the treatment doesn't make it any less horrific.

    You oughta know.

  6. Leave Her to Heaven, one of the most chilling movies I've ever seen. And psychos don't get much more beautiful than that!

  7. In that last comment, by
    "psycho", I meant her performance in the movie, not anything personal. Just wanted to clarify!

  8. Leave Her To Heaven is one of my absolute favorite films. In my top 10, if not my top 5...


  9. Darryl F. Zanuck, founder of 20th Century Fox, said she was unquestionably the most beautiful woman in movie history.


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