Jeanne and Rubber
For years I have hoped that Jeanne Eagels with Kim Novak and Jeff Chandler would be released on DVD. So I have been thrilled to have the chance to watch it this weekend. I have only seen it once on late night TV when I was a pre-teen with an odd fascination with early 20th stage and silent film stars. Kim Novak has always been one of my favorite not-so-great actresses who managed to be great in a few superior movies. Jeanne Eagels is not one of them but fascinating all the same. Jeff Chandler was a huge presence back in his day but virtually forgotten today. As a teen I thought he seemed ancient, but his silvery silver screen appeal suddenly makes perfect sense today.
Now I am hungry to see more of the real Jeanne Eagels. The above clip from The Letter looks like a fascinating performances in a pretty bad production of a pretty bad Maughan story. Jeanne's take on this role makes Bette Davis' 11 years seem downright subdued by comparison. I particularly love her faux high toned accent typical of early talkies and how she wraps herself around the line: "Rubber! Rubber! Rubber!"