Barbara Stanwyck source: Tumblr Barbara Stanwyck Sewing

Barbara Stanwyck 1907-1990

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck, American Actress
Born Ruby Catherine Stevens
July 16, 1907 – January 20,1990

Considered one of the finest actresses to work in American film productions of the 20th century. She was a favorite actress for many directors because of her no-nonsense work ethic and dedication to professional standards. In particular, Frank Capra and Cecil B. DeMille named her as a favorite to work with.

Shuttled through foster homes as a child, Ruby Catherine Stevens barely knew her parents, her mother (Catherine Ann McPhee) having died when Ruby was two, and her father (Byron Stevens) abandoning the family when she was four (Byron made an attempt to find work in the Panama Canal zone with a pledge to return to his family, but he apparently died there). Left under the direction of an older sister who was working in dance and theatre, Ruby was working full time by the age of 13, and was a dancing girl at 15.

Young Barbara Stanwyck

In 1926 she was cast in the Willard Mack play "The Noose." Her first screen appearance is in a minor role in the 1927 film "Broadway Nights." This was followed with "The Locked Door," a film so ineptly made that Stanwyck's personal comment on the film was "They never should have unlocked that damn door." About to abandon Hollywood to return to stage work in New York City, she met with Frank Capra and soon made "Ladies of Leisure" in 1930. Pauline Kael said about this film:

"...the story is a museum piece of early talkies sentimentality, but, in a way, that only emphasizes Stanwyck's remarkable modernism. ...[she] seems to have an intuitive understanding of the fluid physical movements that work best on camera; perhaps she had been an unusually 'natural' actress even onstage." From Kael's book 5001 Nights At The Movies, published by Henry Holt, page 403.

Young Barbara Stanwyck

Stanwyck's acting method, particularly when young, was to throw all of her energy into the first take in a burst of pent-up energy. Capra realized (he made four films with her: Ladies of Leisure, Forbidden, Bitter Tea of General Yen, and Meet John Doe) that rehearsals and multiple takes dissipated her energy and reduced the focus and power in the subsequent takes. His solution was to get everyone else rehearsed and then to bring out Stanwyck for only dry walk-throughs, and then to set up with extra cameras rolling for the first real take, because he was never quite sure what was going to happen on that pivotal first attempt and he didn't want to lose anything for lack of "coverage" or malfunction (this method actually grew to become Capra's preferred strategy on all his films, to the extent that his later movies produced much higher than average shooting footage.)

Barbara Stanwyck, 1928

Barbara Stanwyck 1928

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck - The New Magazine 1932

The New Magazine 1932

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

Stanwyck Screen Career

She has 82 films listed at IMDB, and a dozen various TV shows (not counting her own short-lived "Barbara Stanwyck Show"). She worked onscreen from 1927 until 1986.

1927 Broadway Nights Fan dancer (uncredited)
1929 Mexicali Rose Mexicali Rose
1929 The Locked Door Ann Carter
1930 Ladies of Leisure Kay Arnold
1931 The Miracle Woman Florence Fallon
1931 Night Nurse Lora Hart
1931 Ten Cents a Dance Barbara O'Neill
1931 Illicit Anne Vincent Ives
1932 The Purchase Price Joan Gordon
1932 So Big! Selina Peake De Jong
1932 Shopworn Kitty Lane
1932 Forbidden Lulu
1933 Ever in My Heart Mary Archer Wilbrandt
1933 Baby Face Lily Powers
1933 Ladies They Talk About Nan Taylor/Nan Ellis/Mrs. Andrews
1933 The Bitter Tea of General Yen Megan Davis
1934 The Secret Bride Ruth Vincent
1934 A Lost Lady Marian Ormsby Forrester
1934 Gambling Lady Lady Lee
1935 Annie Oakley Annie Oakley
1935 Red Salute Drue Van Allen
1935 The Woman in Red Shelby Barret Wyatt
1936 The Plough and the Stars Nora Clitheroe
1936 Banjo on My Knee Pearl Elliott Holley
1936 His Brother's Wife Rita Wilson Claybourne
1936 The Bride Walks Out Carolyn Martin
1936 A Message to Garcia Raphaelita Maderos
1937 Breakfast for Two Valentine Ransome
1937 Stella Dallas Stella Dallas
1937 This Is My Affair Lil Duryea
1937 Internes Can't Take Money Janet Haley
1938 The Mad Miss Manton Melsa Manton
1938 Always Goodbye Margot Weston
1939 Golden Boy Lorna Moon
1939 Union Pacific Mollie Monahan
1940 Remember the Night Lee Leander
1941 Ball of Fire Sugarpuss O'Shea
1941 You Belong to Me Helen Hunt
1941 Meet John Doe Ann Mitchell
1941 The Lady Eve Jean
1942 The Gay Sisters Fiona Gaylord
1942 The Great Man's Lady Hannah Sempler
1943 Flesh and Fantasy Joan Stanley (Episode 3)
1943 Lady of Burlesque Deborah Hoople aka Dixie Daisy
1944 Hollywood Canteen Barbara Stanwyck
1944 Double Indemnity Phyllis Dietrichson
1945 Christmas in Connecticut Elizabeth Lane
1946 The Strange Love of Martha Ivers Martha Ivers
1946 The Bride Wore Boots Sally Warren
1946 My Reputation Jessica Drummond
1947 Cry Wolf Sandra Marshall
1947 The Other Love Karen Duncan
1947 The Two Mrs. Carrolls Sally Morton Carroll
1947 California Lily Bishop
1948 Sorry - Wrong Number Leona Stevenson
1948 B.F.'s Daughter Pauline 'Polly' Fulton Brett
1949 East Side - West Side Jessie Bourne
1949 The Lady Gambles Joan Boothe
1950 To Please a Lady Regina Forbes
1950 The Furies Vance Jeffords
1950 No Man of Her Own Helen Ferguson / Patrice Harkness
1950 The File on Thelma Jordon Thelma Jordon
1951 The Man with a Cloak Lorna Bounty
1952 Clash by Night Mae Doyle D'Amato
1953 The Moonlighter Rela
1953 Blowing Wild Marina Conway
1953 All I Desire Naomi Murdoch
1953 Titanic Julia Sturges
1953 Jeopardy Helen Stilwin
1954 Cattle Queen of Montana Sierra Nevada Jones
1954 Witness to Murder Cheryl Draper
1954 Executive Suite Julia O. Tredway
1955 Escape to Burma Gwen Moore
1955 The Violent Men Martha Wilkison
1956 Irene Frazier Äì Sudden Silence The Ford Television Theatre (TV series) Irene Frazier
1956 These Wilder Years Ann Dempster
1956 The Maverick Queen Kit Banion
1956 There's Always Tomorrow Norma
1957 Forty Guns Jessica Drummond
1957 Trooper Hook Cora Sutliff
1957 Crime of Passion Kathy Ferguson Doyle
1958 Trail to Nowhere Zane Grey Theater (TV series) Julie Holman
1958 The Freighter Zane Grey Theater (TV series)Belle Garrison
1958 Sudden Silence Decision (TV series) Irene Frazier
1958 Three Dark Years Goodyear Theatre (TV series) Midge Varney
1958 Three Years Dark Alcoa Theatre (TV series) Midge Varney
1959 The Lone Woman Zane Grey Theater (TV series)Leona Butler
1959 Hang the Heart High Zane Grey Theater (TV series) Regan Moore
1960 The Barbara Stanwyck Show (TV series - 37 episodes)
1961 The Maud Frazer Story Wagon Train (TV series) Maud Frazer
1961 Star Witness:The Lili Parrish Story G.E. True Theater (TV series)Lili Parrish
1962 The Caroline Casteel Story Wagon Train (TV series) Caroline Casteel
1962 Elegy The Untouchables (TV series) Lt Agatha Stewart
1962 Special Assignment The Dick Powell Theatre (TV series)Irene Phillips
1962 Walk on the Wild Side Jo Courtney
1962 The Captain's Wife Rawhide (TV series) Nora Holloway (credited as Miss Barbara Stanwyck)
1963 The Molly Kincaid Story Wagon Train (TV series) Kate Crawley
1963 Search for a Dead Man The Untouchables (TV series) Lt. Agatha Stewart
1964 The Night Walker Irene Trent
1964 Roustabout Maggie Morgan
1964 The Kate Crawley Story Wagon Train (TV series) Kate Crawley
1964 Calhoun: County Agent (TV movie) Abby Rayner
1965-1969 The Big Valley - 112 episodes (TV series) Victoria Barkley
1970 The House That Would Not Die (TV movie) Ruth Bennett
1971 A Taste of Evil (TV movie) Miriam Jennings
1973 The Letters (TV movie) Geraldine Parkington
1980 Toni's Boys Charlie's Angels (TV series) (1980) Toni
1983 The Thorn Birds (TV mini-series) Part 4 Mary Carson
1983 The Thorn Birds (TV mini-series) Part 3 ( Mary Carson
1983 The Thorn Birds (TV mini-series) Part 2 Mary Carson
1983 The Thorn Birds (TV mini-series) Part 1 Mary Carson
1985 The Celebration The Colbys (TV series) (20 November 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 Conspiracy of Silence The Colbys (TV series) (27 November 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 Moment of Truth The Colbys (TV series) (28 November 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 The Family Album The Colbys (TV series) (5 December 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 Shadow of the Past The Colbys (TV series) (12 December 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 A House Divided The Colbys (TV series) (19 December 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 The Reunion The Colbys (TV series) (26 December 1985) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1985 The Californians Dynasty (TV series) (9 October 1985) - Constance Colby Patterson
1985 The Man Dynasty (TV series) (16 October 1985) - Constance Colby Patterson
1985 The Titans Dynasty(TV series) (13 November 1985) - Constance Colby Patterson
1986 Fallen Idol The Colbys (TV series) (2 January 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Letter The Colbys (TV series) (9 January 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Turning Point The Colbys (TV series) (16 January 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Thursday's Child The Colbys (TV series) (30 January 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Pact The Colbys (TV series) (6 February 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Fallon's Choice The Colbys (TV series) (13 February 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Trial The Colbys (TV series) (20 February 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Burden of Proof The Colbys (TV series) (27 February 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 My Father's House The Colbys (TV series) (6 March 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Outcast The Colbys (TV series) (13 March 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Wedding The Colbys (TV series) (20 March 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Honeymoon The Colbys (TV series) (27 March 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Double Jeopardy The Colbys (TV series) (10 April 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 A Family Affair The Colbys (TV series) (17 April 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 The Reckoning The Colbys (TV series) (1 May 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Anniversary Waltz The Colbys (TV series) (15 May 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson
1986 Checkmate The Colbys (TV series) (22 May 1986) - Constance 'Conny' Colby Patterson

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck - 1933

Ever in My Heart - Barbara Stanwyck

For Ever in my Heart

Victoria Wilson Bio of Barbara Stanwyck

A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1941

Stanwyck Bio Book Victoria Wilson

15 years in the writing, Victoria Wilson's bio of Stanwyck finally has an issue date from Simon-Schuster for September 2013. (This is only volume one of WIlson's life of Stanwyck, titled "Steel-True," covering Stanwyck's life up to 1941)

And Amazon is delighted to sell it to you.

This book has been in the offing for a long time (I first read about it in 2001), originally titled "Barbara Stanwyck: Her Life, Her Work, Her Hollywood, Across an American Century" it is apparently now split into at least two volumes (if not more). With the first volume clocking in at over 1,000 pages, this is one of the largest biography's of an American actress (and certainly the longest of any book on Stanwyck) to yet come out.

Wilson owns a number of Stanwyck's personal correspondence, so her book should have a lot of previously unknown insights and information on the life of this American actress with the constantly revitalizing reputation. Stanwyck crossed from pre-code Hollywood into the golden age era, through 40s and 50s noir, and finally giving way to a few films in the 1960s and then into television work until her death in 1990.

The Barbara Stanwyck Collection on DVD - Review

The Barbara Stanwyck TV Show Collection

Stella Dallas

Stella Dallas


Stanwyck in the Mirror

New Stanwyck Bio Book out from Mississippi University Press

Barb Stanwyck

By Dan Callahan

University Press of Mississippi, 272 pages, $35 ($23.10 at

New Stanwyck biography, the first since the Jane Ellen Wayne bio of Stanwyck from 2009. Cannot comment without seeing a copy. WIll endeavor to obtain one. Meanwhile, a positive (and charming) review of the book is at the Wall Street Journal. See a snippet below from the review:

Hail, the Conquering Heroine Review by Scott Eyman

One woman taught Hollywood how to act

Dan Callahan's "Barbara Stanwyck: The Miracle Woman" is a serious book about a serious woman, less a biography of an actress than a biography of her career. Mr. Callahan follows her choices of roles and tries to capture what she was saying about herself through her acting. It was an astonishing career, whose impressive outlines only became clear in retrospect. Most actors want to be loved - it's the Achilles' heel of the profession - but Stanwyck seems to have been after something else: respect.

Reading Mr. Callahan's book, I was reminded of an old John O'Hara potboiler called "A Rage to Live." Stanwyck had a rage to act. She wasn't the only one so afflicted in that lost time we call the Golden Age of Hollywood. James Cagney and John Garfield had some of the same sense of attack, which probably derived from shared New York roots and from the fact that acting was more than a family business or an expression of a need for approval. It was a means of ascent�the way out.

- From the review of the Callahan book at the Wall Street Journal

No disrespect to Mr. Callahan or his book (which, as I mentioned, I have not seen yet), many Stanwyck fans are still waiting on the Victoria Wilson book "Barbara Stanwyck: Her Life, Her Work, Her Hollywood, Across an American Century" coming (eventually?) from publishers Simon & Schuster.


Barbara Stanwyck Interns Box Set DVD

Barbara Stanwyck Collection Box Set



Interns Can't Take Money
The Great Man's Lady
The Bride Wore Boots
The Lady Gambles
All I Desire
There's Always Tomorrow

Set also includes original promo trailers.

STANWYCK BIO BOOK by Jane Ellen Wayne

March 22, 2009:
There is a new Stanwyck 256-page bio coming out in April 2009 by serial celebrity bio-writer Jane Ellen Wayne. Here's the publisher's brief promoting the book:

"Barbara Stanwyck swore like a sailor, chain smoked and was an alcoholic. And yet, she was one of Hollywood's biggest stars, indeed, number eleven on the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Greatest Screen Legends, and appeared in classic films such as Double Indemnity and Meet John Doe. In this fascinating biography, we follow the orphan who, by sheer determination, became a dancer in Hollywood and began her rise to the top. She auditioned for Frank Capra who called her a 'porcupine' and had an affair with her but after, made her a star. Barbara's first marriage was to comic Frank Fay, they adopted a son whom she later abandoned in the most extraordinary way. Her second husband was Robert Taylor, to whom she vowed revenge after their break-up for his affairs with Lana Turner and Ava Gardner. Until the day she died, she collected 15 per cent of his substantial earnings. Yet on her own deathbed, she swore he was by her bedside waiting for her. Full of tragedy, ambition, success and jealousy, Hollywood stars and stories that include new revelations of affairs with both leading actors and actresses, as well as details of her films, this is a must for Barbara fans and film fans alike. Jane Ellen Wayne, who was employed by The National Broadcasting Company for fifteen years, is the author of numerous biographies of Hollywood stars that include Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe. Her most recent are The Golden Girls of MGM and The Golden Guys of MGM. She is listed in Who's Who of Women in the World and Contemporary Authors. Ms. Wayne resides in New York City.

About the Author: Jane Ellen Wayne, who was employed by The National Broadcasting Company for fifteen years, is the author of numerous biographies of Hollywood stars that include Robert Taylor, Lana Turner, Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, Grace Kelly, Joan Crawford and Marilyn Monroe. Her most recent are The Golden Girls of MGM and The Golden Guys of MGM. She is listed in Who's Who of Women in the World and Contemporary Authors. Ms. Wayne resides in New York City."

The book may be a simple update of Wayne's 1986 book on Stanwyck which has been bitterly attacked by Stanwyck fans since it's publication. For example these words from the site referring to the 1986 book:

"Nancy Tannenbaum (Texas): Too bad you don't have a rating scale which includes a minus category. This pile of claptrap is clearly the work of a strange and bitter woman who hates Barbara Stanwyck because this "author" (a misnomer if ever one existed) is OBSESSED with [ex-husband] Robert Taylor."

With this kind of pre-publicity, I think Stanwyck fans are going to keep waiting for the long-time-coming Victoria Wilson volume "Barbara Stanwyck: Her Life, Her Work, Her Hollywood, Across an American Century" coming from publishers Simon & Schuster. Information varies about how long this project has been in the works – some say up to twenty years, others less. I first read about this volume's progress in 2001.

In the meantime, the Jane Ellen Wayne book is available from

Ellen Wayne BIo Stanwyck

The Life and Loves of Barbara Stanwyck (Amazon)

Sept 23, 2008:
I guess this isn't exactly gossip since its being put out by the Associated Press to promote Robert Wagner's new autobiography 'Pieces of My Heart':

"...His love affair with Barbara Stanwyck ...Wagner writes of his four-year romance with the star of such classics as "Stella Dallas" and "Double Indemnity."

They met on the set of "Titanic," released in 1953, when he was 22 and she 45 and divorced from actor Robert Taylor.

The press knew nothing about their relationship and neither did most of Hollywood, except for such friends as Nancy Sinatra, the first wife of Frank Sinatra; and Spencer Tracy, whose bond with Katharine Hepburn was the ultimate show business secret.

"I would say she gave me self-esteem," writes the actor whose successful TV series included "It Takes a Thief" and "Hart to Hart," but the relationship didn't hold. They were both too busy working and the age difference was too great. Stanwyck eventually broke it off.

"I would always have been Mr. Stanwyck," Wagner, now 78, writes, "and we both knew it."

Sept 15, 2008:
Check out "Highhurdler's" analysis of the ethics in the Barbara Stanwyck 1954 film Executive Suite.

September 14, 2008:
TCM film schedule of upcoming Stanwyck movies:

Sept 30, 2008 Tuesday 9:45 PM
Meet John Doe (1941)
A reporter (Stanwyck) about to be laid-off invents a story about a common American "everyman" who pledges to commit suicide to protest the state of civilization. The resulting publicity forces the newspaper to hire an out-of-work ball player to pretend to be the fraudulent 'John Doe' who becomes a national hero and pawn of a corrupt political 3rd party. Cast: Gary Cooper, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward Arnold. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-122 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS
A extensive page about Meet John Doe

October 3, 2008 Friday 6:15 PM
The File On Thelma Jordon (1950)
A woman seduces a District Attorney and pulls him into a web of theft and murder. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Wendell Corey, Paul Kelly. Dir: Robert Siodmak. BW-100 mins, TV-PG

October 13, 2008 Monday 7:15 AM
Forbidden (1932)
A frustrated librarian goes on an ocean voyage to combat her lonely life, only to fall into a lifelong affair with a married politician. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Adolphe Menjou, Ralph Bellamy. Dir: Frank Capra. BW-85 mins, TV-G
An extensive page with information on the Capra / Stanwyck movie Forbidden

October 15, 2008 Wednesday 10:00 PM
The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
A daffy socialite gets her friends mixed up in a murder investigation. Cast: Barbara Stanwyck, Henry Fonda, Sam Levene. Dir: Leigh Jason. BW-80 mins, TV-G, CC

Stanwyck Blowing Wild

General Yen Stanwyck

August 2008: TCM has a month-long Barbara Stanwyck Film Festival

Clash by Night Stanwyck

Barbara Stanwyck

B F's Daughter Stanwyck

[Below] Screen shot of the New Yorker magazine article on
Stanwyck in regards to her 100 year centennial in 2007.
Stanwyck New Yorker

An excerpt from the New Yorker article on Stanwyck by Anthony Lane:

"Besides the hundred years since Stanwyck’s birth, other statistics demand attention. There are the eighty-three films she made for the big screen. There are the hundred and five episodes, starting in 1965, of the TV series “The Big Valley” in which she starred as Victoria Barkley, thus reinforcing the moral of a lifetime: Don’t mess with the matriarch. And there are the four Oscar nominations, none of them crowned with a win, a scandal for which the Academy atoned in 1982 by bestowing an honorary award. Her appearance that night, sequined and immaculate, suggested that age was simply too awed to wither her, just as America’s love for her was always spiced with a pinch of fear. She built and buffed a screen persona whose unending task was to face down the schemings of weak men, to get a laugh for doing so, and to vent no more pity on the plight of others than she did on her own. Her wars with the world did not go unrewarded. Hence the most vital of all her statistics: in 1944, Stanwyck earned four hundred thousand dollars, making her the highest-paid woman in America."

Modern Times websites Barbara Stanwyck ("Ball of Fire") bio has been around for nearly a decade, I think, but it is still one of the very best articles on her.

Morlock "jeff" has a running commentary at MovieMorlocks on a few of the Stanwyck films TCM broadcast on their day-long Stanwyck Marathon in August 2008. For example this is what he has about The BItter Tea of General Yen:

"...a very offbeat Pre-Code for Stanwyck. An interracial love story between a missionary and a Chinese warlord, it was a rather taboo topic for its era and director Frank Capra brings out the exotic sexuality of the pairing. Once you get used to the fact that a non-Chinese actor (Nils Asther in heavy Fu Manchu-like makeup) is playing General Yen, the stereotyped depiction, Hollywood style, of Asian culture gives way to an intriguing and unusual love story. "

For a complete page on the Stanwyck / Frank Capra Bitter Tea of General Yen

Barbara Stanwyck
Original Page 2006 | Updated Sept 2015

Recent Posts

Dark of the Sun 1968 - Mercenaries are hired to go into the Congo civil war to rescue civilians and to also bring back a $25 million dollar cache of diamonds. Rod Taylor leads the mercenaries (James Brown, Peter Carsten and others) on a three day mission that soon includes Yvette Mimieux before everything begins to careen out of control.

Forbidden 1932 - Barbara Stanwyck throws away her career as a librarian for a more exciting lifestyle, but gets bogged down in a long-running relationship with a married statesman (Adolphe Menjou) and director Frank Capra has a hard time making sense of it all in this "weeper" from 1932.

Ball of Fire 1941 - Barbara Stanwyck introduces Gary Cooper to "yum-yum" and it turns his world upside down. Why did she do this? He was perfectly happy secluded in an old house with 7 other bachelors working on writing an encyclopedia. She, however, needed a place to hide from the police and these "eight fish in a barrel" seemed like the perfect cover. Mayhem ensues.

Penguin Pool Murder, 1932 - James Gleason and Edna May Oliver star in a wise-cracking murder mystery set in the New York City Aquarium. He's a police detective and certain she's a meddling old maid until he notices she's not only smarter than everyone else in the room, but she's going to solve the case with or without his help.

The Killing -1956 - Sterling Hayden leads a group of small-time crooks in executing a daring precision racetrack robbery, until a few tiny details screw everything up. A fast-action, time-bending story of an (almost) perfect crime. Marie Windsor and Coleen Gray also star. Kubrick's direction is tight and as efficient as the crime being shown onscreen.

3 Days of the Conder, 1975 - Robert Redford as CIA analyst Joe Turner, trapped between warring factions within the CIA itself. Confused by why everyone is shooting at him, he goes on the run with kidnapped Faye Dunnaway in tow. Sydney Pollack's direction is tense and has clear storytelling. Max von Sydow is on hand as an amused veteran hitman who learns Joe Turner a thing or two. A great big slice of 1970s paranoia powers the film and lays down the template for many films that have followed afterward.

Easy Living, 1937 - Jean Arthur is poor Mary Smith who suddenly becomes the target of every salesman in town trying to gain access to the wealthy, all because of her impromptu friendship with millionaire investor J. B. Ball (Edward Arnold) who she meets by accident when he tosses his wife's fur coat off the top of an apartment building. Classic screwball comedy with script from Preston Sturges.

The Alligator People, 1959 - Tragic case of a man slowly becoming an alligator, and his determined wife (Beverly Garland) who wants to find him (he's in hiding) and get answers. With a hook-handed Lon Chaney Jr as a maniacal alligator hunter in the bayou. Appeared the same year as the famous Elizabeth Taylor film Suddenly Last Summer, and shares many remarkable similarities.

The Last Valley 1971 - Michael Caine and Omar Sharif find refuge in a valley untouched by the ravages of the Thirty Year War devastating Europe. As the snow flies, a peaceful calm settles over the encamped soldiers (who are really more like bandits) and villagers (who have secrets), but Spring is coming.

Heaven Knows, Mr Allison - 1957 - Deborah Kerr and Robert Mitchum. He's a marine and she's a nun on a Japanese occupied island during World War II. Well-done John Huston directed film that somehow finds a way to square a circle when we see that our two characters are completely unable to pursue the love they obviously share.

The Quiet Man, 1952 - Director John Ford's favorite personal project and a comic masterpiece (which he was afraid he had botched while filming it in Ireland) with John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara as newlyweds who must battle their village and themselves to achieve marital peace.

Bachelor Mother 1939 - He's (Niven) the son of the owner (Coburn) of a department store who thinks he's doing a good deed by reuniting an employee (Ginger Rogers) with her child given up to an orphanage. Only the kid isn't hers, and nothing she does can convince anyone of the truth. A screwball comedy classic.

The Lady Eve - 1941 - Preston Sturges directed this most stately of his farcical comedies as a personal challenge to tailor a comedy around Barbara Stanwyck. He provides so much ammo she needs to play two characters, with a befuddled Henry Fonda relunctant to sort it all out (though William Demerst has no trouble doing so).

Night of the Hunter 1955 - British arch-actor Charles Laughton directed only one film, and it features Robert Mitchum as a demented and homicidal preacher (with "love" and "hate" tattooed upon his hands) who is trying to chase down a pair of orphaned children who know the location of hidden bank loot. The only thing standing in his way is a determined Lillian Gish and her shotgun.

X From Outer Space 1967 - Japanese sci-fi tale in which egg-shaped spores catch a ride on a space exploration craft, eventually coming to earth to grow into a Godzilla-sized 'super chicken' that rampages through Tokyo. Though made in the image of a Toho monster movie, this Shochiku Studios effort has a strangely unique take on monster movies cliches.

List of all films