Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Poll Results: Barbara Stanwyck



I never doubted this one, either. Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in 1944's Double Indemnity. So much brilliant dialogue, so many great Los Angeles locations, Fred MacMurray his usual brilliant self--baby boomers weaned on My Three Sons should symbolically kill their ill-kept image of MacMurray's wholesome TV persona after seeing Double Indemnity. I wouldn't want Steve Douglas' pipe-puffing, cardigan-wearing shroud hanging over my thoughts, either.

But above it all, there's Barbara Stanwyck. It's a Billy Wilder film, but it's *her* movie. Here's how the voting went, with a total of 75 votes:

Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity 32 (42%)
Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven 18 (24%)
Rita Hayworth in Lady From Shanghai 12 (16%)
Jane Greer in Out of the Past 10 (13%)
Lizabeth Scott in Dead Reckoning 3 (4%)

Some quick takes:

There was some serious competition here, but Babs crushed them all. Manupulative and desperate and just plain twisted, yet you still sympathize with her, despite how evil and remorseless she is. Stanwyck was robbed (as usual) at Oscar time; sorry, Ingrid. Gene Tierney's best-remembered for her role in Laura but she was never better and cast against type as she was in the color noir masterpiece, Leave Her to Heaven. Rita Hayworth's hair was dyed blonde and she utters some seriously disturbing dialogue at the end of Lady from Shanghai. My favorite role of hers and if the film had trimmed some of its excess, it may have been remembered as a masterpiece. Jane Greer in Out of the Past. I love how Greer's personality becomes mean and just plain rotten by movie's end. Lizabeth Scott in Dead Reckoning is fine, but she just wasn't the actress those other women were. It is among my favorite Bogart films, though. I think I'm alone in that claim.

6 comments:

  1. Although Out of the Past is my personal favorite Noir on the list. Barbara Stanwyck was definitely the best femme fatale. I think she should have won the Oscar that year.

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  2. I can't believe that Barbara Stanwyck did not win the Oscar that year?! Her role in Double Indemnity is easily my favorite character she ever played.

    Nice poll. It was a tough choice between Stanwyck and Tierney.

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  3. Great poll!

    It was funny, because Gene and The Stanwyck are both in my top ten actresses, yet I voted for Rita (not even in my top 30), because I just ADORE her in that role! But all the choices are great! And The Stanwyck really did deserve to win!

    Although, *I* DO think that Ingy deserved her Oscar that year. She was brilliant in Gaslight. What they should have done was have a tie....haha..

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  4. Stanwyck, Hayworth, and Tierney all played less murderous femme fatales in other films...Gilda, Laura, Sorry Wrong Number. But I guess you had to be a killer to make it into this poll. And I agree with the results. My only question is if Hayworth had played the Lizbeth Scott part in Dead Reckoning as originally planned, would we not have a winner?!

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  5. But I guess you had to be a killer to make it into this poll.

    Everybody loves a killer, Alex! ;)

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  6. C.K. Dexter Haven said:
    >> Lizabeth Scott in Dead Reckoning is fine, but she just wasn't the actress those other women were. It is among my favorite Bogart films, though. I think I'm alone in that claim.

    This movie definitely falls into my 5 faves with Bogart, the other four being "The Maltese Falcon," "To Be or Not To Be," "The Big Sleep" and "Casablanca." Liz was stunning in that movie, to be sure.

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