Tuesday, December 20, 2011

10 Barbara Stanwyck Predicaments



It has been said that Barbara Stanwyck’s career in movies was notable for how often she played characters in difficult situations. I set out to find out if this was true…

1.   Stella Dallas (1937). Barbara’s a low class, single mum with a daughter who’s the focus of her life, but as the daughter grows up and Barbara tries to do the best for her she can, she realizes that the girl would stand a better chance of making headway in society if her vulgar mother wasn’t part of the picture....
2.   Remember the Night (1940). Kleptomamniac Barbara ends up in jail for shoplifting. The prosecuter takes pity on her because it’s Christmas, and they end up falling in love. This leaves them with a new problem, though: how do they deal with the upcoming trial?
3.   The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946). Having killed someone when she was a young girl and escaped the rap, Barbara becomes suspicious when the boy she loved at the time returns to town after many years. She mistakenly believes he’s out to blackmail her over the incident and this precipitate all kinds of high drama...
4.   The Two Mrs. Carrolls (1947). Barbara starts a romance with Humphrey Bogart but he doesn’t tell her he's already married, or that he’s mentally ill. He poisons his wife, marries Stanwyck and soon her life is in danger too...
5.   The Other Love (1947) Concert pianist Barbara, who’s got a serious illness and is dying, lives it up with playboy Richard Conte in Monte Carlo, but at the same time her doctor David Niven is secretly in love with her.
6.   Sorry, Wrong Number (1948). Barbara overhears a murder plot on the phone, then realises she’s the intended victim....
7.   The File on Thelma Jordon (1950) Bad girl Barbara starts an affair with married assistant D.A. Wendell Corey and almost by accident finds herself falling in love with him. However, she realizes it will never work: she will forever belong in a lawless world....
8.   No Man of Her Own (1950) Pregnant, penniless Barbara gets dumped by her boyfriend and then takes on the identity of another pregnant woman, who was killed in a train crash and had a rich family of in-laws who’d never met her. These in-laws accept imposter Barbara and her newborn son into their family, but then that ex-boyfriend turns up and starts blackmailing her....
9.   Jeopardy (1953) Barbara’s on vacation on an isolated beach in Mexico with her husband when he gets his leg trapped. She has to take the car to get help but then, as luck would have it, an escaped criminal just happens to be wandering around and kidnaps her. Will she be able to get back to her husband before the tide comes in and drowns him?
10. Titanic (1953) Well, you can guess from the title what Barbara’s predicament is here....



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