Overshadowed by her more obviously glamorous contemporaries – the Elizabeth Taylors etc – film fans would be wrong to remember Joanne Woodward as merely the actress-wife of Paul Newman, for she was one of the finest screen actresses of her generation. In 1957, Woodward won an Oscar for the Best Actress for her role as a young woman suffering from multiple personality disorder in The Three Faces of Eve:
Also worth watching is the first film with which she co-starred with husband Paul Newman, William Faulkner’s Long, Hot Summer in which she plays the daughter of the wealthy and tyrannical Will Varner, played to burly perfection by a corpulent Orson Welles.
Long, Hot Summer (1958)
But perhaps her most impressive and incendiary performance comes in The Fugitive Kind, Sidney Lumet’s screen version of Tennessee Williams’ Orpheus Descending. Woodward plays Carole Cutere, the no-good girl from the good family who lusts after Brando and his snake skin jacket and who, with her smeared black eye-liner, torn dress and unapologetic sexuality seems to be a kind of proto-hippy – or proto-punk even – heading for the road and sexual liberation.
Fugitive Kind (1959) co-starring Marlon Brando and Anna Magnani
Woodward And Newman with her Oscar in 1957.
posted by Dixie Turner