The power of Gloria Grahame as a performer is undeniable. Wether you remember her from her brilliant noir work, her performances in melodramas like The Bad and The Beautiful, or even those out of left field turns like her musical work in Oklahoma, she’s quirky, unique and unmistakably herself.
Few actress have carved out a screen persona for themselves quite as Grahame managed. She brought women to the screen who were colorful, complex and fascinating to watch. She’s never defined purely by her beauty and I’m not afraid to say, even if I don’t love a movie, I always love Gloria Grahame in it.
A Career in Review:
If You Can Only Watch One:
There’s some really solid films airing today as part of Gloria Grahame Day. Though, the schedule is quite noir heavy… (Personally, I ‘Can’t Say No’ to Oklahoma). Looking at the schedule, I’m torn between two choices here. There is of course, The Big Heat airing at 8:00pm PST. The 1953 noir stars Glenn Ford and Lee Marvin opposite Grahame and is a deeper cut (and must-see!) of the noir movement.
However, if you’ve been paying attention to these write-ups all month, you’ve probably noticed Crossfire mentioned repeatedly. The 1947 film noir features a number of stars we’ve already talked about (Robert Mitchum and Robert Young… add in co-star Robert Ryan and you have the Robert trifecta of classic film!).
Crossfire is an important work of noir which is deeply representative of the McCarthy era of the middle of the 20th century. The movie (which brings a plot revolving around anti-semitism), features work by creatives Edward Dmytryk and Adrian Scott, both of whom would be blacklisted the same year. Crossfire is an incredibly important work both critically and historically and is one that students of this era should check out at least once.
Crossfire is a late night airing at 12:00am EST.
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Podcaster, film historian, and general lover of all things classic film and television. Studying the contributions of women behind the camera in classic television.
You can find me on Twitter @kpierce624!