→ Baby Face (1933)Yeah, I’m a tramp, and who’s to blame? My Father. A swell start you gave me. Ever since I was fourteen, what’s it been? Nothing but men! Dirty rotten men! And you’re lower than any of them. I’ll hate you as long as I live!
“ Yeah, I’m a tramp, and who’s to blame? My Father. A swell start you gave me. Ever since I was fourteen, what’s it been? Nothing but men! Dirty rotten men! And you’re lower than any of them. I’ll hate you as long as I live!” —Lily Powers
Barbara Stanwyck started out with a pretty hard life. She was a chorus girl at a time when gangsters ran the nightclubs, and that was pretty rough on the girls. Life was pretty seamy. So she can give that burst of emotion better than the other two can. She is probably the most interesting of the three. She is also the hardest to define: She’s sullen, she’s somber, she acts like she’s not listening but she hears every word. She’s the easiest to direct. She played parts that were a little tougher, yet at the same time you could sense that this girl could suffer from her toughness, and really suffer from the penance she would have to pay
Frank Capra when asked to compare Jean Arthur, Claudette Colbert and Barbara Stanwyck
She had moxie.
Barbara Stanwyck—I prefer her birth name, Ruby Stevens. Ruby captures the moxie that dame possessed.
Toshia Morie with Barbara Stanwyck and Nils Asther in The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933 dir. Frank Capra)
A young Barbara Stanwyck (nee Ruby Catherine Stevens). Beauty.
Currently watching: The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946 dir. Lewis Milestone)
Barbara Stanwyck, photographed by Hal Phyfe in 1927.
December 19, 1939: Jack Benny, George Burns, Robert Taylor, Lyle Talbot, Edward Arnold, Mary Livingstone, Gracie Allen, Barbara Stanwyck backstage at the Salvation Army benefit air show.
Her gams! Her magical gams that were actually short-ish with slightly thick ankles, but holy moly did she know how to pose them, work ‘em. Whether it was a “tripping introduction” to Henry Fonda (The Lady Eve), asking Gary Cooper to check out how icy they were (Ball of Fire), or cautioning Fred MacMurray that he was ignoring the local “speed limit” (Double Indemnity), Miss Stanwyck wove magic with her wondrous wands.
Barbara Stanwyck, in a gown by Edith Head. Publicity shot for Ball of Fire (Howard Hawks, 1941)
Two reactions: yay and WTF. Yay for a prime example of Edith working her costumer’s magic, how she refigured Miss Stanwyck’s figure. Look behind Stanwyck’s arms and you’ll see the ruched waist. Note the diagonal panels that drape away from her stomach, which create the illusion of a long lower torso. Head knew exactly how to transform actors through costume and wardrobe. Actually I don’t remember this dress in the movie. Correct me if my Momzheimer’s is to blame.
Obvious WTF to the flower planter. I can’t understand this one at all. Maybe that explains Stanwyck’s sour expression.
Barbara Stanwyck & Fred MacMurray on the set of Double Indemnity (1944, dir. Billy Wilder)
Wartime food shortages meant that security guards were posted to protect the real cans of food in the grocery store from sticky-fingered cast & crew members. Despite this, the aggrieved store owner reported to the LA Times that some scoundrel had managed to pinch a can of peaches & four bars of laundry soap.
Barbara Stanwyck | July 16, 1907 – January 20, 1990