Thursday, May 4, 2017

Kitty Foyle

The Bear finally got around to watching Gingrrr's Oscar-winning performance in the 1940 dumb-girl-learns-lesson weepie, Kitty Foyle. He must admit the story is not exactly timeless. America was still very class-conscious and a woman's life still revolved around The Man. (No comment.)

Yet Gingrrr delivers an honest and understated performance far removed from defying gravity on white Art Deco sets with Fred Astaire nearly a decade earlier. She even does a scene as a fifteen-year-old, which recalls her unfortunate turn in Monkey Business with Cary Grant. Was it better than Bette Davis in The Letter or Joan Fontaine in Rebecca (the other two nominees for Best Actress)? The Bear thinks so, although she probably got a buff from being in a serious socially-aware picture. Does it set the Best Actress bar or erase the memory of her in dance classics like Swing Time?

No.

There is a reason Gingrrr is remembered for dancing, and not for drama. (Not that she wasn't a wonderful actress - the reason she is so delightful with Astaire is she is acting all the while she's dancing.)

She did define the "Kitty Foyle" style for America.

(Tell the truth. Does the Bear sound gay when he writes about Gingrrr?)

Um... I'm sorry, Bear, but kinda. And stop stalking me.


The writer was none other infamous Commie, Dalton Trumbo. (Hey, if you wanted just another human opinion you would be reading something else.) In the wartime Tender Comrade, Gingrrr walked off the set over what she viewed as the pink filter over Rosie the Riveter. In her autobiography she cites the line "Share and share alike: it's the American way!" as an example of Trumbo's unapologetic Marxist-Leninist agitprop.

She and her mama were real-life two-fisted (four?) Commie-fighters in Hollywood.

The Bear has forgotten what the other thing was. Anyway, there's another new article after this one.

3 comments:

  1. I have to confess that I am greatly enamored of the 1940's and 1950's actresses. What I great chance to watch some of these movies on TCM. 22 YO Ava Gardner in 1944 Maisie Goes to Reno. Wow. Also a cute Ann Sothern. A real pleasure to see women who know they are women and feminine. Women who KNOW how to walk in high heels! A lost art... sadly.

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  2. The Bear believes anyone can master walking in high heels if they really practice, so take heart. Bear is more 30s to 40s, even silent of the 20s. It's a hobby to, sort of like baseball - memorizing which actor was under contract with which studio, Academy Award wins, trivia... all of Gingrrrs husbands. Sadly, the only way we could get TCM, aside from cable/satellite we did not want, was through Sling online. Sling is the WORST service ever. Believe all those one star reviews at the app store. Picture quality is awful, the stream lags, when it does not just fall off altogether.

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  3. This is why I love Ginger and her commie fighting ways.

    The Bear never sounds gay when talking about her. However, when he mentions that anyone can walk in high heels if they really practice, it does make you wonder...

    ReplyDelete

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