I have a movie-star crush on Gene Tierney. I've blogged before about The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, and just recently it was on again -- it inspired me to set up a TiVO wish list to look for other movies she appeared in.
So far, I've see the charming, flimsy Heaven Can Wait, which bears no resemblance at all to the Warren Beatty film of the same name. It starred Don Ameche looking frankly incredible, I had never seen him as a leading man before. And Gene was the typical Gene-character, luminous, beautiful, perfect.
Next up was Dragonwyck, with Vincent Price as an insane landowner in the NY Hudson Valley in the 1840's. Again, Gene has a typical role, but it was very cool to see her Miranda finally realizing what a man she had married, and arguing with him about God, or anything, for that matter. She sparkled.
Currently sitting on the TiVO? The noir classic, Laura, which I hope to get to tonight.
I'm really enjoying these old movies on so many levels. It is interesting to see how fashions, customs, and morals have changed since they were made. But I get an immediate joy from watching how beautifully put-together these films are. So far I haven't seen one tacky or flimsy set -- these are visually beautiful films even when the plot contrivances and the dialog approach ludicrous.
There was a point in Dragonwyck when DH asked me, "Are the farmers coming after him with their pitchforks now?" A moment later, Vincent Price's character asked the same question. I commend the screenwriter for recognizing the situation was perilously close to cliched. He veered away from it with skill and humor. Generally I've seen this skill and humor in all of Gene's movies, but I'm sure she must have made a few clunkers over her extended career. It may take some effort to find them, though!
I've looked over Gene's films and I know she plays against type in at least a few. I hope I get to see them eventually -- it will be so odd to see this nearly-perfect woman play someone who is clearly not.