WEIRDLAND: July 2012

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The meaning of winning: Dick Powell, Evelyn Keyes and John Payne

"I’ve forgotten what it was like to have self respect." -Van Heflin and Evelyn Keyes in The Prowler (1951)

French film historian Bernard Tavernier, in the bonus-disc of "The Prowler" DVD, refers to the film's "metaphysical" decor and considers "The Prowler" “maybe one of the ten best films of the genre” in the 20-minute interview featurette “The Masterpiece in the Margins: Bertrand Tavernier on The Prowler”. If you listen very carefully, you will hear Eddie Muller lobbing questions from behind the camera.

Promotional still of Evelyn Keyes for "The Prowler" (1951)

With his repeated references to his "lousy breaks," Webb (Van Heflin) is a very modern character, a predecessor of the aggrieved shooters who make tragic news today, when their self-pity, anger and perceived victimization erupts in violence. A wolf in cop's clothing, Webb is a fraud. Source: blogs.commercialappeal.com


"The Prowler" can also be listed as a "film gris" (French for "grey film"), a term coined by Thom Andersen, which is a type of film noir that categorizes a unique series of films (released between 1947 and 1951) in the context of the first wave of the communist investigations of the House Un-American Activities Committee.

Film gris differs from film noir in some of the following ways: Films gris tend to blame society rather than the individual. The dividing line between crime and law enforcement is often blurred. Also, the audience's identification is often with the collective in a way atypical of Hollywood films.

Van Heflin with Barbara Stanwyck in "The Strange Love of Martha Ivers" (1945) directed by Lewis Milestone, written by Robert Rossen

Evelyn Keyes as Nancy Hobbs in "Johnny O'Clock" (1947) directed by Robert Rossen

Robert Rossen's first experience of directing came when he was called in by Harry Cohn at Columbia to write the script of "Johnny O'Clock", and when Cohn and the star Dick Powell asked him to direct. Bernard Tavernier argued, discussing "Johnny O'Clock", that the film exhibits a 'directorial grace' and 'an invention' not shown in Rossen's later career. Tavernier saw the film as reflecting Rossen's 'Jewish pessimism and idealism', a combination that was 'perfect for film noir'.

Johnny O'Clock [played by Dick Powell] seems entirely selfish and invulnerable, an echo of Bogart's wartime pose. Yet, not for the last time, a Rossen protagonist has finally to reconsider the meaning of winning. Rossen's world is pessimistic, and there is no explicit affirmative vision, as in Polonsky's work. Yet, every scene of the film is directed with care and imagination, hinting at the romanticism beneath the surface, the reluctant altruism that Michael Wood sees as characteristic of the hardboiled American film of the period. The modest success of "Johnny O'Clock" led to the approach by Roberts Productions, including John Garfield, to direct "Body & Soul". -"Film and Politics in America: A Social Tradition" (1992) by Brian Neve

"I'm no fool. I'll pick the spot and I'll pick the time. And I'll get away with it. All my life I've operated that way. And all this time I've won". -Dick Powell as Johnny O'Clock

This is maybe the sexiest role played by Dick Powell ever, and Evelyn Keyes looks like a vestal Lana Turner (acting in a delicate, sorrowful way). Their chemistry is beyond real! Both Johnny and Nancy are individualist personalities trying to deny their romance in its initial stages and wisecrack in an atmosphere of gloomy betrayal.

-Nancy: "I like you, Johnny O'Clock, if that's what you want to know".

-Johnny: "Put it in writing and I'll paste it in my scrapbook".

"Dick Powell, mining his tough-guy vein opened up by 'Murder, My Sweet' is the eponymous hero, a cagy casino manager juggling shady relationships around the roulette. His subzero veneer starts to melt after meeting equally cynical Evelyn Keyes, whose younger sister just got mysteriously offed around Powell's joint. Packed with unexplored existential gambling, fetish objects and implacable detective figures, the dramaturgy here is as sub-Dostoevskian as his more famous 'Body and Soul' is faux-Odetsian." Source: www.cinepassion.org

POWELL, DICK (1904–1963). Powell was a multitalented individual who was able to achieve highly in a number of entertainment fields. He began his working life as a musician and singer who later turned to hard-boiled dramatic roles in one of the most successful career shifts in Hollywood history. He became a prominent song-and-dance man, known best as a crooner in musicals such as 42nd Street (1933) and the Gold Diggers series (1933-1937). His persona was that of a likeable and affable, handsome young man who was a witty and charming romancer of the ladies.

At RKO he was given the lead as detective Philip Marlowe in the 1944 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s novel Farewell, My Lovely. Even Chandler thought him closer to his own view of the character than Bogart was later in The Big Sleep. Powell eclipsed his old image as a sweet singer to become a totally convincing tough guy who evinced endurance and resilience. He was especially skilled in the delivery of the film’s voice-over narration, a key component in evoking the spirit of Chandler’s prose.

"The only reason I took the job was because my bank account was trying to crawl under a duck. And I never found him. I just found out all over again how big Los Angeles is. My feet hurt and my mind felt like a plumber's handkerchief. The office bottle hadn't sparked me up so I'd taken out my little black book to go grouse hunting. Nothing like soft shoulders to improve my morale"... "I caught the blackjack right behind my ear. And a black pool opened up at my feet again, and I dived in. It had no bottom. It felt good. Just like an amputated leg. Next thing I remember I was going somewhere. It was not my idea. The rest of it was a crazy, coked up dream. I had never been there before." -"Farewell, My Lovely" (1940) by Raymond Chandler

His depiction of the suave gambler in Johnny O’Clock added urbanity to Powell’s tough image, and he was able to combine a streak of ruthlessness with a hint of chivalry in a similar way to Bogart.

Powell was also very capable and effective in the complex leading role of John Forbes in Pitfall (1948), one of the central masculine roles in classical film noir. In this film he plays a husband caught in a brief adulterous affair who has to extricate himself from association with murder, manslaughter, and jealousy to rebuild his marriage.

Dick Powell and Rhonda Fleming as Rocky and Nancy in "Cry Danger" (1951) directed by Robert Parrish

His leading role as Rocky in the underrated film Cry Danger (1951) shows him up well in a story that vividly illustrates conditions for everyday people in postwar Los Angeles. -"Encyclopedia of Film Noir" (2007) by Geoff Mayer and Brian McDonnell

Gloria Grahame and Dick Powell in "The Bad and The Beautiful" (1952) directed by Vincente Minnelli

Dick Powell: From Lightweight Crooner to Noir Icon and Beyond. At Little Rock College, Powell formed a band called the Peter Pan. He also worked variously as a soda jerk, in a grocery store and at the phone company. Powell’s professional career began in 1925, when he toured the Midwest with the Royal Peacocks dance band. Later, Powell played Indianapolis with the jazz-oriented Charlie Davis Orchestra, for whom he sang and played banjo.

Dick Powell and Ruby Keeler in "Footlight Parade (1933) directed by Lloyd Bacon

Cast invariably as a boy singer or song plugger, Powell was paired romantically on film with sweet-faced hoofer Ruby Keeler. Audiences may have imagined Dick Powell paired with Ruby Keeler, who in real life was unhappily married to Al Jolson. But off camera, Powell only had eyes for someone whose vaudeville roots and blue collar work ethic contrasted sharply with her sassy, sexy movie persona.

She was Joan Blondell, who married Dick Powell in 1936 following her divorce from cinematographer George Barnes. Together, they had a daughter, Ellen; Powell also legally adopted Blondell’s son, Norman. In 1944, Powell’s eight-year marriage to Joan Blondell ended abruptly.

The following summer, he married light leading lady June Allyson, 13 years his junior. They adopted a daughter, Pamela, and Allyson gave birth to Richard Powell, Jr. Home for the Powell family was an expansive ranch house in L.A.’s scenic, upscale Mandeville Canyon.

Meantime, Dick Powell’s long-stifled career ambitions at last began to flower. He starred on radio in Richard Diamond, Private Detective, singing occasionally as the storylines warranted. Source: suite101.com

Evelyn Louise Keyes (Born: November 20, 1916 in Port Arthur, Texas - Died: July 4, 2008 in Montecito, California)

Evelyn Keyes in "Ladies in Retirement" (1941) directed by Charles Vidor

Some of Evelyn Keyes's best performances were in film noir: Face Behind the Mask, Ladies in Retirement, Johnny O’Clock, The Killer That Stalked New York, 99 River Street, and her own favorite among her films, The Prowler.

Author Eddie Muller, who profiled Keyes in his book "Dark City Dames: The Wicked Women of Film Noir", recalled her as “One of the smartest and most brutally honest people I have ever known. Her BS detector was finely tuned and went off with great regularity.” He added that “She could have had a much more accomplished career —if she was only less interested in living such a rich, exciting life.”

In 1940, after two years of marriage, her depressive first husband, Barton Bainbridge, shot himself. Her second marriage, to Columbia director Charles Vidor, lasted two years from 1943 before she left him to marry John Huston in 1946. From 1953, she lived with producer Mike Todd, and became jazzman Artie Shaw's eighth wife in 1957. They separated in the 1970s, and divorced in 1985. After his death in 2004, she sued his estate and was awarded $1.42m. Her numerous love affairs were recounted, quite candidly, in her two bestselling autobiographies: Scarlett O’Hara’s Younger Sister and I’ll Think About That Tomorrow. She also wrote of the personal cost she paid by having an abortion just before Gone with the Wind was to begin filming. The experience left her unable to have children.

The most interesting period of her career was in film noir. When told that she had become a film noir icon, she laughed: "It seems that I had a whole career I didn't even know about!" Once past ingenue, the redhead showed a dark side in dramas in which her morality is altered by confrontations with sex and cupidity. As a showgirl in Robert Rossen's debut, Johnny O'Clock (1947), she is drawn into a shadowy world in pursuit of the murderer of her sister. Source: www.guardian.co.uk

Evelyn Keyes in 1940’s, photo by George Hurrell

Promotional still of Dick Powell and Evelyn Keyes for "Mrs. Mike" (1949) directed by Louis King

Among her notable roles: as Robert Montgomery's lover in "Here Comes Mr. Jordan" (1941), the Ruby Keeler role as Al Jolson's wife in "The Jolson Story" (1946), and as Dick Powell's wife in "Mrs. Mike" (1949).

Keyes expressed her opinion that Mrs. Mike was her best film character (in her autobiography, Scarlett O'Hara's Younger Sister: My Lively Life In and Out of Hollywood, published in 1977).

She also starred in B pictures that were later praised by movie critics as prime examples of film noir: "Strange Affair" (1944) "Johnny O'Clock" (1947), "The Killer That Stalked New York" (1950), "The Prowler" (1951), "99 River Street" (1953), etc.

Husband No. 3 was Huston. She was impressed when they met at a Hollywood dinner party, and more impressed when he took her afterward to his Tarzana horse ranch and made no effort to seduce her. The Huston marriage did end in 1950, however, and Keyes sought analysis to recover from the failure. Her conclusion: "I was always looking for the same man — a strong father figure."

“I have no roots,” she told The New York Times in 1977. “I deliberately set out to destroy them, and I did. If there’s any such thing as a hometown for me, it’s Hollywood. I was formed here as an adult.”

Keyes took a frank view of her life and career in a 1999 interview: "To become a big movie star like Joan Crawford you need to wear blinders and pay single-minded attention to your career. Nobody paid attention to me, including me. I was the original Cinderella girl, looking for the happy ending in the fairy story. But my fantasy prince never came." Source: sfgate.com

Evelyn Keyes and John Payne in "99 River Street" (1953) directed by Phil Karlson

Anne Shirley and John Payne appear with Lana Turner at a party at Schwab's in 1938

Anne Shirley and John Payne got married on August 22, 1937 - they divorced on March 1, 1943

Dick Powell and Anne Shirley in "Murder, My Sweet" (1944) directed by Edward Dmytryk

PAYNE, JOHN (1912–1989). John Payne’s screen career in some ways followed the same path as Dick Powell’s, although Payne was never as popular as Powell. Payne began his entertainment career as a singer, moved into summer stock, and began his film career as the male lead in musicals at Twentieth Century Fox. Later, when he had lost his boyish looks, Payne, in the 1950s, switched to action and crime films. Although he made his debut in the domestic melodrama Dodsworth (1936), he was soon cast in musicals: in his second film, Hats Off (1936), he was a press agent romancing Mae Clark; in Garden of the Moon he replaced Dick Powell as a band leader and sang frequently throughout the film; in Twentieth Century Fox’s Tin Pan Alley (1940), the studio’s follow-up to Alexander’s Ragtime Band (1938), Payne replaced Tyrone Power and costarred opposite Alice Faye and Betty Grable.

Joan Caulfield and John Payne as Deborah and Rick in "Larceny" (1948) directed by George Sherman

Payne’s first film away from Fox was the crime melodrama Larceny (1948) for Universal Studio, with Payne starring as a con man in league with Dan Duryea, Richard Rober, and Dan O’Herlihy, who try to swindle a war widow. This film represented a significant departure for Payne in shedding his lightweight romantic persona for a more mature, tough screen image. He followed Larceny with The Crooked Way (1949), with Payne emerging from the army with a piece of shrapnel in his head and a doctor telling him that he is suffering from “organic amnesia.”

John Payne in "Kansas City Confidential" (1952) directed by Phil Karlson

Payne followed with 99 River Street (1953) and Hell’s Island (1955), all violent, bleak films devoid of sentimentality. Payne’s final two noir films in the 1950s were also excellent. The first, Slightly Scarlet (1956), was based on James M. Cain’s novel Love’s Lovely Counterfeit, and the film benefited greatly from John Alton’s sumptuous Technicolor photography.

This was followed by a similar film, The Boss (1956), with Payne as a ruthless politician who extends his corrupt political influence so that it extends across an entire Midwestern state. While the film’s credits claim that the film was scripted by Ben L. Perry, he was only the front for Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted at the time. After more television work in the early 1960s, he was involved in an automobile accident in 1962, which resulted in considerable injuries and facial scarring, and he did not work again until They Ran for Their Lives in 1968, a film that he also directed. Payne retired in 1975 after sporadic television appearances in the early 1970s. -"Encyclopedia of Film Noir" (2007) by Geoff Mayer and Brian McDonnell

Monday, July 30, 2012

Barbara Stanwyck: "The Miracle Woman" (2012) biography by Dan Callahan

Barbara Stanwyck photographed in 1936

Barbara Stanwyck collaborated with some of the finest directors of her time: from Frank Capra, William Wellman, William Dieterle, George Stevens, John Ford, King Vidor, and Mitchell Liesen in the thirties; to Preston Sturges, Howard Hawks, Billy Wilder, André de Toth, and Robert Siodmak in the forties; to Anthony Mann, Fritz Lang, Douglas Sirk, and Samuel Fuller in the fifties; to Jacques Tourneur and Joseph H. Lewis on TV in the sixties.

Barbara Stanwyck in "Stella Dallas" (1937) directed by Kind Vidor

“While women identified with Stella Dallas and suffered for her and with her, I like to feel that she was a woman who cheated failure. One who eagerly paid for the full measure of what she wanted from life.” —Barbara Stanwyck on her role in Stella Dallas

Dan Callahan considers both Stanwyck's life and her art, exploring her seminal collaborations with Capra in such great films as Ladies of Leisure, The Miracle Woman, and The Bitter Tea of General Yen; her Pre-Code movies Night Nurse and Baby Face; and her classic roles in Stella Dallas, Remember the Night, The Lady Eve, and Double Indemnity. After making more than eighty films in Hollywood, she revived her career by turning to television, where her role in the 1960s series The Big Valley renewed her immense popularity.

In his biography "Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman", Dan Callahan examines Stanwyck's career in relation to the directors she worked with and the genres she worked in, leading up to her late-career triumphs in two films directed by Douglas Sirk, All I Desire and There's Always Tomorrow, and two outrageous westerns, The Furies and Forty Guns. The book positions Stanwyck where she belongs-at the very top of her profession-and offers a close, sympathetic reading of her performances in all their range and complexity. A four-time Academy Award nominee, winner of three Emmys and a Golden Globe, she was honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Academy.

Callahan believes that this refusal to collapse into self-pity, or worse, “allowed her to become perhaps the most consistently fine actress of her time in American movies.” By 15, Ruby Stevens was a Ziegfeld Follies girl. She never attended high school. In 1926, Stevens became Barbara Stanwyck for her first acting job in a movie, and in 1928 signed a contract with Warner Bros. Here, Stanwyck developed her film acting style during the pre-Production Code early 1930s.

Barbara Stanwyck, circa 1930

Director Frank Capra used close-ups and multiple cameras to force Stanwyck to be genuine and spontaneous, and when he found that the first take was her best—Stanwyck was apparently capable of emptying her immense emotional reservoir into a scene only one time—he didn’t rehearse her with the rest of the actors. The results were the impressive pre-Code movies Ladies of Leisure (1930), which Callahan calls an Oscar-worthy performance;

Miracle Woman (1931); and 1933’s The Bitter Tea of General Yen. Stanwyck would use and refine this method for the rest of her career.

Callahan explains the famous opening “foreplay” scene in Billy Wilder’s Double Indemnity (1944), with Stanwyck and Fred McMurray, in terms of his subject’s past. He notes the similarity between the rapid-fire dialogue (written by Raymond Chandler) and “vaudeville patter routine,” and surmises that Stanwyck might have drawn on the “specter” of first husband to bring an emotional realism to her role as a woman who despises her husband. Source: www.wsws.org

Promotional still of Barbara Stanwyck for Ball of Fire (1941)

Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea in "The Great Man’s Lady" (1942) directed by William A. Wellman

Barbara Stanwyck and Robert Taylor (they married 14 May 1939 - divorced 25 February 1952)

In Callahan’s readings, then, her two failed marriages and the rift between her and her adopted son matter not for their scandal quotient but because of how she used them professionally. Of her performance as the self-sacrificing mother in “Stella Dallas” (1937), he writes that the hard-working Stanwyck “didn’t like reality and neither does Stella, but Stanwyck had an outlet and Stella does not.”

Stanwyck never signed a long-term contract with a studio. This non-exclusivity goes far to explain why she kept coming home from Oscar night empty-handed (until, that is, the Academy awarded her an honorary Oscar in 1982). Whichever studio she happened to be working for had little incentive to mount a vote-for-Stanwyck campaign. But freelancing gave her a measure of control over the roles she played. She made some excellent choices, and her natural style of acting has aged well. The result is that, unlike the movies of her rival Bette Davis, which ooze campiness, many Stanwyck vehicles — especially “The Lady Eve,” “Double Indemnity,” “Stella Dallas,” “Remember the Night” and “The Bitter Tea of General Yen” — are as watchable today as they were on first release.

Callahan’s enthusiasm informs every page, and he makes a good case for what Billy Wilder, who directed Stanwyck in “Double Indemnity,” said about Stanwyck when she received the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement award in 1987. “In this business, you aren’t supposed to say anyone was the best.” Pause. “She was the best.” Source: www.washingtonpost.com

Mr. Callahan gives a fine summation of the actress's greatest work: "Stanwyck loved the movies, even at their most extreme and artificial, yet she was the actress who most often reminded the movies of reality. Crying alone in your room. Making love with someone you're scared of. Lashing out and hurting other people. Reminding other people of their responsibilities."

Stanwyck had the unusual ability to suggest several things simultaneously, and without the specificity of dialogue. Look at the way she watches Henry Fonda's unworldly herpetologist in "The Lady Eve." On the one hand, as a con artist with a professional's pride in her craft, she can't believe her luck in snaring such a dope; on the other hand... he's kind of cute. At one point, discussing her performance in Fritz Lang's "Clash by Night," he refers to Stanwyck's "daring, her need for flesh." Beneath the physicality, there was honesty, and beneath that, there was an avidity, a hunger—a combination that explains why Stanwyck's reputation has only grown in the years since her death. Source: online.wsj.com

Barbara Stanwyck at the pool with adopted son Dion.

Sam Fuller who directed her in Forty Guns (1957) said: "To work with Stanwyck is to work with the happy pertinence of professionalism and emotion. She's superb as a queen, slut, matriarch, con girl or on a horse... her form or class or appeal or whatever you want to call it stems from tremendous sensitivity and thousands of closeted thoughts she can select at will, at the right moment, for the exact impact."

Scott Eyman explains that there's no way his review is going to be objective: "That's because I love Barbara Stanwyck. I love her because she was never beautiful, but she was always sexy, never more so than when she let her hair go white in middle age. I love her because of the way she called Fred MacMurray's character 'Waltuh' in Double Indemnity — that little touch of the Brooklyn gutter that gave her an authenticity other actresses lacked. And I love her for a guided ferocity that enlivened and occasionally transcended the actual movie at hand. It didn't matter if the material was great — Double Indemnity (1944), The Lady Eve (1941) — or just good: The Furies (1950), Clash by Night (1952), There's Always Tomorrow (1956). And it didn't matter if her acting opportunities diminished as she aged: Whether it was the Elvis-vehicle Roustabout (1964) or an episode of The Big Valley (1965-69), she didn't wink, she didn't slum, she didn't ham. She played every scene for all it was worth and no more." Source: mubi.com

Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck in “The Lady Eve” (1941) directed by Preston Sturges

Callahan on The Lady Eve: "For Sturges, Stanwyck keeps hitting gongs of verbal recognition so that they resonate so deeply they can hardly be explained, finally, with specific thoughts or words, just as The Lady Eve itself is slippery and resists the sort of “deep dish” analysis that Sturges always mocked in his work while still offering as complex a sensory experience as any in the cinema. This movie was a hit, a honey and a riot, and it’s been loved ever since it was released, right when America needed to take its mind off the upcoming war, a war that barely impinged on Stanwyck’s life on film (at one point, William Demarest does a vaudeville-like imitation of Hitler, a reminder of the hell happening off screen).

“They say a moonlit deck is a woman’s business office,” says Stanwyck’s Jean, when Henry Fonda’s Charles goes all mushy on her describing his love. Claudette Colbert would have said a line like that with all her earthy, racy common sense. Jean Arthur would have said it anxiously, as if she wasn’t sure if she didn’t sound silly. Irene Dunne might have said it with a tiny twinkle in her eyes, pressing the tip of her tongue to her palette, while Katharine Hepburn would have said it resentfully (or hopefully, if she was in her “femme” mode). Joan Crawford would have made it sound pushy and needy. Bette Davis would have said it ironically. Only Stanwyck could have said this line like she does in The Lady Eve, casting an eye on all of these possibilities while never quite settling on one of them; it’s clear that the idea amuses her, lightly, but Jean doesn’t take it too seriously. Or does she? Stanwyck makes it clear that Jean loves falling for her own act for once. All through this movie, Jean is at her most sincere when she’s being most blatantly insincere with Charles, and surely this is a paradox of human behavior that a world-class actress like Stanwyck would intimately understand.

For all its fun, The Lady Eve also quite seriously describes a process of disillusionment in youthful nonsense romance and the sort of constantly renewing attraction that is necessary, by hook or by crook, for any long-term sexual relationship after the first flush fades and is replaced by deeper knowledge. There’s no such thing as too much information for real, devoted lovers (even if there are certain things that are definitely better left unsaid, a point that Charles makes in the last scene).

-How did your understanding of Stanwyck’s work and understanding of Stanwyck’s biography end up deepening and informing each other over the course of writing?

Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck in "There's Always Tomorrow" (1956) directed by Douglas Sirk

-As I watched all of her films for the book, in rough chronological order, and researched her life, which at a certain point really did narrow to making those movies and giving her all to them, I was struck by how hard it must have been to sustain her all-out sensitivity on screen over the 60 or so years of her career. Her private life was in many ways disappointing, or unsatisfying, but she never closed up for the camera. She had the discipline to keep herself open without ever being destroyed by the hard knocks that kept coming at her in life. That’s why, to me, what she achieved really is a kind of miracle.

-For each major decade of Stanwyck’s Hollywood career—the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s—what’s the one movie role you wish she had played instead of whoever did?

-I would love to see what Stanwyck might have done with Jean Arthur’s part in Howard Hawks’s Only Angels Have Wings (1939). That’s a masterpiece as it stands, and I love Arthur, but she’s clearly uncomfortable in the role some of the time (which sometimes works in the film’s favor and sometimes doesn’t) and with Stanwyck it would be much more coherent, and much, much tougher. Let’s take ever-competent Loretta Young out of The Stranger (1946) and see how Stanwyck would function acting with and being directed by Orson Welles. She covered practically all of the auteur bases, but she never worked for Hitchcock, so let’s remove breathy Anne Baxter and install Stanwyck into I Confess (1953), where she can confess to a love affair and recreate it with Montgomery Clift.

Wearing blonde hair always brings out Stanwyck’s most ruthless side on screen, so I’d love to see how that would work up against Hitchcock’s 
blond obsession. Source: www.thelmagazine.com

"Of course, I've always had a burning desire to be the best of all, and though I know most of things you dream of pass you by, I'll go on working with that same desire till the last role I play". -Barbara Stanwyck

“I am very, very proud… I love our profession very much. I love our people in it. I always have and I always will. And whatever little contribution I can make to the profession, or to anything, for that matter, I am very proud to do so. It is a long road. There are a lot of bumps and rocks in it, but it kind of all evens out, when an event like this happens in your life. From a very proud and grateful heart, thank you very much.” -Barbara Stanwyck, accepting the Screen Actors Guild Award, 1966