Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 on Tuesday

Ten Times Oscar Got It Right

When big movie stars die, their obituaries tend to begin with, "Oscar-winner [INSERT NAME HERE] died today ..." Sometimes, as with Clark Gable, these performers didn't win for signature roles. But often they do, and they go into the record books for career-defining parts. Like these 10 ladies ...

Claudette Colbert. It Happened One Night. Ellie Andrews. (1934) The most famous hitch-hiker in film history.

Vivien Leigh. Gone with the Wind. What's Her Name. (1939) As God is my witness, I'll never forget her in this movie.

Joan Crawford. Mildred Pierce. (1945) The shoulder pads. They arched eye brows. The no-nonsense attitude. Of course, with what we know about her private life, seeing her as America's most selfless mother is more than a little ironic.

Julie Andrews. Mary Poppins. (1964) Practically perfect in every way.

Elizabeth Taylor. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Martha. (1966) She was only in her early 30s when she played heavy, gray, loud and drunk. Little did we know this blowzy portrait was her Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come.

Barbra Streisand. Funny Girl. Fanny Brice. (1968) Some think her most famous scene is alone in the alley, singing about those people who need people. For me, it's her at the finale, belting it out about her man, with one perfect tear running down her cheek.

Liza Minnelli. Cabaret. Sally Bowles. (1972) Usually Liza strikes me as over the top and skin-crawly. But you can't deny how good she was in these musical numbers. As Sally, over the top is just right.

Diane Keaton. Annie Hall. (1977) Yeah, well. La-de-dah, la-de-dah.

Sally Field. Norma Rae. (1979) Close you eyes. You can just see her on the table with that UNION sign, can't you?

Kathy Bates. Misery. Annie Wilkes. (1990) Don't argue with me about this one, Mr. Man.


  1. Oh I did so LOVE It Happened One Night. Great performances, funny script, racy and glorious.

    I must agree with you - of those listed here which I have seen, they certainly were defining roles and well deserved winners.

    P.S. - I couldn't help but think of you when I saw Babs on the Grammies ;0)

  2. I haven't seen It Happened One Night or Gone With The Wind. I know, I know... how could I not see GWTW? Carol Burnett ruined it for me. I can't watch it because I laugh.