Barbara Stanwyck: Reasons to love ‘Missy’…

The ultimate Femme Noir? Certainly not a lady to trifle with. Or even to look at wrong. She’d probably slug ya one.

If you’re looking for a tough talking dame, check her out in Billy Wilder’s outstanding Double Indemnity – a great example of film noir.

To see a softer side to her, as well as her fantastic comedy timing, have a look at the romantic comedy, The Lady Eve in which she plays the consummate con-woman. The film also co-stars a young Henry Fonda.

Often playing the fallen woman, or at the very least, the woman who must rely on her wits to get by (which to post-code Hollywood seemed to usually amount to one and the same thing), Stanwyck is also always utterly believable in the role of one more vulnerable, or noble – as in Stella Dallas or Capra’s Ladies of Leisure.

Frank Capra’s Meet John Doe has her play the tough talking, quick thinking newspaper woman who invents a story – and a hero (played by a truly beautiful Gary Cooper) – in order to save her own career. When the story and the hero start to be believed by one and all – including herself – things spiral out of control.

posted by Dixie Turner