Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Gloria Grahame Blogathon for Summer Under the Stars

My small contribution to the Gloria Grahame blogathon at TCM's Movie Morlocks that we devoted to the actress best known for her film noir roles appears below. I focused on her two collaborations with director Vincente Minnelli and producer John Houseman. Don't miss my fellow bloggers posts on this mercurial woman and fine actress. I learned a lot about the lady:

Gloria Grahame, as earlier posters in this week’s series have noted, ruled over the dark world of film noir as a femme fatale. Big budget movies do not seem to have been her natural milieu, though she appeared in her share, and worked with distinctive directors from Frank Capra, Edward Dmytryk, Elia Kazan, Fritz Lang, Fred Zinnemann, Robert Wise, to Cecil B. DeMille and, of course, Nicholas Ray in memorable films with large and small budgets. “A” pictures were never her natural milieu, but her presence in two big-time productions at MGM under the choreographed direction of Vincente Minnelli marked both the height and the beginning of her decline as a figure in that period’s glossiest melodramas.

Gloria Grahame is rarely remembered as an archetypal fifties woman: the wife and mother, supportive of her man. Playing these roles in two films in her particular, engagingly off kilter manner, she worked the clichés to the hilt, under Vincente Minnelli at his best and his worst...more

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