Second in a series about strong women in film. Strong women are independent, beautiful, sexy, feminine and just want everything in life that a man wants and believe that they have every right to have it!
Two of Ann's best known roles are from the pre-code era of films made from the late 1920s through 1934 when Hollywood let down its hair and loosened its tie, corset and tongue. It was a rough world during the Great Depression, inhabited by tough men and tougher women.
Pointing the gun at her brother, she later
relents and dies in his arms:
"I am you and you are me."
Ann's finest pre-code moment came in 1932's "Three on a Match." If you have never seen this film, run now and find it. "Three on a Match" has it all: friendship, love, drugs, infidelity, violence and self-sacrifice. And all in 63 minutes!
|Beautiful, restless and headstrong|
Other early Ann Dvorak highlights are "The Strange Love of Molly Louvain" where she gets to sing a little of Penthouse Serenade (Ann had musical talents that were occasionally used) and "G-Men" where she gets to die in a phone booth (you just know when anyone walks into a phone booth in an early Warner Brothers film they were done for).
In 1932 she seemed ready to for super-stardom at Warner Brothers, but apparently Ann was just as willful in real life as in the movies. A marriage and her personal life took precedence over her career and, later, a legal battle with Warner Brothers over her contract (the first, before Cagney, Davis & De Havilland) put her on the back burners of non "A" films.
There were other fine performances in not so fine films, but one more moment of glory awaited - one more chance for her to wipe the floor with a bigger star. 1950's "A Life of Her Own" starred Lana Turner, but Ann, as an elegant, used-up and worn-out fashion model, stole the show in her 10 minutes or so on film. And - she gets to make another exit via a leap out of a window, bracketing her greatest early and late roles with suicides via high rise windows. When Ann is on screen, you barely know Lana is in the room, which is not surprising. If this gal could out-shine Bette Davis, what chance did poor Lana have?
|Lana might look better out of clothes, |
but Ann sure looked more like a fashion model in them!
Ann Dvorak - what a woman, what an actress. Once she gets under your skin, you'll never look back!
A terrific site that is all about Ann is "Ann Dvorak: Hollywood's Forgotten Rebel."