So I’ve decided to adapt my wonderfully popular Pre-War Actress Power Rankings from my Facebook page to my blog, for all the world to enjoy.
The deal is simple, the “Official Pre-War Actress of the Day” will be rated upon the following qualities:
1. Quality – as in strength of films and performance
2. Versatilty – can she sing, dance, act, do comedy etc.
3. Ballingness – is she hot? is she sexy? is she merely cute? Ballingness=Hotness.
4. Personal Life – as I talked about at length here, I am immensely fascinated by dirt, by death, and the macabre. Points are awarded for scandal, adventure, mysteriousness, activism, and other noteworthy aspects of life. Personality counts too.
So without further ado…Your Official Pre-War Actress of the Day is…
Quality – 8/10 I’ve seen her now in 7 films I think, with almost everything being good. Her two silents with King Vidor, Show People and The Patsy are marvellous, and demonstrating Marion at her self-effacing, engaging, comedic best. Not So Dumb, her talkie with Vidor is abysmal, and the other talkies I’ve seen her in are solid, but not remarkable. It would seem her silent work is where its at.
Versatility – 7/10 She’s a brilliant silent comedienne, probably my favorite, and she made the adaptation to talkies quite well, as she was still regularly starring in films until she retired in 1937. She could sing and dance a little too. But I’ve yet to see her do straight drama.
Ballingness – 9/10 She’s quite attractive, and she has a cuteness when she does comedy. A very expressive face, which is always cool with me.
Personal Life – 10/10 Most famous as the longtime mistress of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst. He basically made her a star, and tried to establish her as serious actress. She’s the basis for the Susan Alexander character in Citizen Kane. She’s gotten a bad rap as being a talentless trophy wife, but she was actually very good at comedy, and deserves a much better legacy. Either way she was very close to a very influential man in American history. She was also a noted humanitarian, and famously gave Hearst over $1 Million dollars when he was facing bankruptcy.
Favorite Role – Peggy Pepper in Show People (1928). Marion as an aspiring actress who gets her break in comedy, but decides she wants to be a serious actress. Her mimicking of Gloria Swanson is completely inspired.
Greatest Moment –
Her Lillian Gish is astonishing.
Professional Sports Equivalent – David Beckham (overshadowed by famous partner, and both unfairly criticized for it)