oooAnother great piece on Stanwyck, this time from Girls Do Film, as part of the the Classic Movie History Project blogathon, hosted by Movies Silently, Silver Screenings and Once Upon a Screen.
There’s a moment in almost every one of Barbara Stanwyck’s pre-Code films when the actresses’ energy and fire breaks through into her character, creating a moment of pure emotion and intensity. It’s pure speculation to suggest that Stanwyck’s working-class background and upbringing directly influenced the snappy, back-chatting roles she took and how she chose to play them, but her brusque and no-nonsense approach allowed audience sympathy to remain on her side, no matter what role she was playing. Bank robber, gold-digging opportunist, a scrappy nurse: in the pre-Code era, Stanwyck played them all (and more). Her ability to walk the line between good and bad enabled her to get away with the characters – although that’s not to say the films escaped censorship.
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