Why wasn't Miriam Hopkins a bigger star?
I'm have been facinated with black and white films for about 7 years now. My mother introduced them to me when I was 12. I have recently been watching Miriam Hopkins movies and So far Iv'e seen, The Smiling Lieutenant, Trouble in Paradise and Temple Drake.
Seems to me she should have been a bigger star. My mother and gradmother knew of her but couldn't name any of her movies. I found her after watching her in a Bette Davis movie. She was a fantastic actress who should have had a longer career. Anyone agree? Disagree? Remember her?
|by Anonymous||reply 43||10/15/2012|
She had a reputation for being difficult, and it did her in.
|by Anonymous||reply 1||08/28/2012|
She was a legendary cunt and pissed off too many people.
|by Anonymous||reply 2||08/28/2012|
OP, see the Fredric March version of Dr. Jekyll And Mr. Hyde. She was great in that film.
I loved her in The Heiress, with Olivia de Havilland. Did you know that while she played the role of the Aunt on film, she played Olivia's role in the stage play which toured the country at the same time as the film was released?
|by Anonymous||reply 3||08/28/2012|
She was also several years older than actresses you might consider her contemporary like Bette Davis, Olivia deHavilland and Joan Crawford, so by the late 1930s she was already considered over the hill and too old for romantic leading lady roles.
And she was a cunt, based on all reputable reports.
Check her out in BOTH versions of The Children's Hour.
|by Anonymous||reply 5||08/28/2012|
Loved her in Design for Living (a Hopkins-Gary Cooper-Fredric March ménage à trois, anyone?), Old Maid, and Old Acquaintence, but she seemed a bit mannered and affected. Her peers did not like working with her because of her tendency to upstage her co-stars and steal scenes. Plus, she could be a real bitch.
|by Anonymous||reply 6||08/28/2012|
Miriam Hopkins was a bitch!!!
|by Anonymous||reply 7||08/28/2012|
It's funny how Bette Davis thought Miriam a difficult and unmitigated bitch when I'm sure others said the same about her. Wonder why Davis was held in higher regard, while Hopkins faded to near oblivion.
|by Anonymous||reply 9||08/28/2012|
I guess because some of her movies are still popular and held up....I really don't know if I've ever seen a Miriam Hopkins film.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||08/28/2012|
Her turn as a Baby Jane type in an episode of 'Outer Limits' could be contrued as her delicious revenge against Bette Davis.
She had the better part in Old Aquaintance.
I would've awarded her the Oscar for Dr Jeckyll & Mr. Hyde.
|by Anonymous||reply 11||08/28/2012|
A lot of her best films were lost for a long time too. I remember seeing SHE LOVES ME NOT on the afternoon movies as a child but I don't think it's been shown anywhere since. She's great in the films OP mentioned. She is so funny and sexy in THE SMILING LIEUTENANT. But her looks didn't hold up well. By 1940 she looked matronly.
|by Anonymous||reply 12||08/28/2012|
[quote}She was also several years older than actresses you might consider her contemporary like Bette Davis, Olivia deHavilland and Joan Crawford,
Uh ... no. Hopkins was born in late 1902, Crawford and Davis in early 1905 and 1908 respectively. They were the same generation. It was Olivia DeHavilland who was significantly younger than all three, having been born in mid-1916.
|by Anonymous||reply 13||08/29/2012|
She was a tramp; she 'adopted' her son after 'visiting' an orphanage and picking a child that bore an uncanny resemblance to her. And like that other Hollywood slut, Joan Crawford, she fucked anything on three legs.
|by Anonymous||reply 14||08/29/2012|
But r13, 3 to 6 years in Hollywood can be a different generation in women's careers in Hollywood.
Miriam's contempraries in the leading lady department were Ann Harding, Kay Francis and Ruth Chatterton, all huge stars at the beginning of talking pictures but pretty much over as well by the end of the 1930s.
When they were at their peak (1929-1934), Davis, Crawford and deHavilland were mere ingenues.
|by Anonymous||reply 15||08/29/2012|
I just watched Design for living! Could not believe my eyes? I was not expecting something that risque from a 1930's movie! Want to see Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde next. Oh, and Childrens hour. Thanks for the recomendations. I love this actresses talent. Not a great beauty though.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||09/01/2012|
Interesting R14. Thanks for posting. I'm finding out that most of the stars fucked around all the time. Rosalind Russell and Myrna Loy seem to be the exeptions.
|by Anonymous||reply 17||09/01/2012|
I always found her acting style too much for the screen . . . she was a better stage actress.
Last film role was playing Robert Redford's mother in "The Chase".
|by Anonymous||reply 18||09/01/2012|
R17, pssst... Myrna Loy was into the ladies.
|by Anonymous||reply 19||09/01/2012|
Can someone kindly give some examples as to how she was a "bitch" and a "cunt"? Those terms are so overused that they don't mean anything anymore, if they ever did.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||09/01/2012|
[quote]Her peers did not like working with her because of her tendency to upstage her co-stars and steal scenes.
I read that Edward G. Robinson really disliked her for this reason, although he was pretty easy-going & got along with most everyone.
|by Anonymous||reply 21||09/01/2012|
Bette Davis fucked Miriam's husband while they were still married.
Hopkins was a good actress. Like Susan Hayward she seems an odd choice for a role. She also aged quickly and probably waited too long to start being a character actress. She is excellent in "The Heiress".
|by Anonymous||reply 22||09/01/2012|
Miriam's biggest pictures as a star were made at Paramount, which is and has always been shockingly bad at distributing their back catalogue.
She also had less of an easily-defined screen persona than many of the more remembered stars of the era. It's easy to "do" a Crawford, Davis, Wayne, Hepburn, Bogart, Cagney etc. They all had personas that were bigger than the characters they played.
|by Anonymous||reply 23||09/01/2012|
That guy who makes up stuff in books said that she was a lesbian. I forget if he said if K Hepburn had sex with her.
|by Anonymous||reply 24||09/01/2012|
[quote]pssst... Myrna Loy was into the ladies.
I've seen this before, but have yet to see who she supposedly hooked up with. Any stories?
Hopkins, Merle Oberon and Joel McCrea are all terrific in "These Three," the original movie version of "The Children's Hour," in which the girl's lie is that Martha (Hopkins) is sleeping with the Joel McCrea character, not Karen. It's a shame that by the time Hollywood got around to permitting the original plot, we were stuck with Shirley MacLaine emoting all over the place in an incredibly slow, deadly film.
|by Anonymous||reply 25||09/01/2012|
I don't think Myrna Loy was into the ladies. I really don't. Doubt Miriam was either.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||09/02/2012|
I can see her being a scene stealer. She is fun to just watch in the few films I've seen. Not sure about her acting.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||09/02/2012|
I worship Myrna Loy and as much as it would make my heart all a flutter I do not believe she ever had a sexual encounter with a woman, maybe emotional. She didn't give a shit what others did in the bedroom however.
|by Anonymous||reply 28||09/02/2012|
So Loretta, which of her co-stars knocked up Miriam then?
Her son doesn't really resemble anyone in particular, but it's fun to speculate.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||09/03/2012|
She is my favorite performance in The Heiress, yet not nominated for an Oscar for that role.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||09/03/2012|
[quote]I read that Edward G. Robinson really disliked her for this reason, although he was pretty easy-going & got along with most everyone.
Robinson asked Joel McCrea why she was such a bitch to him and not to McCrea. McCrea said it was because he was taller than Hopkins, and when she looked up at him on camera all of her chins disappeared.
(This appears in the John Kobal's interview with McCrea in "People Will Talk." There is an interview with Hopkins in the book as well, but she's not very interesting.)
|by Anonymous||reply 31||09/03/2012|
Lena Horne specifically called her out as someone who was nasty to her in Hollywood,r20.
|by Anonymous||reply 32||09/03/2012|
Did Miriam and Joel ever fuck? He seems to have hooked up with all his leading ladies. Lucky bitches!
|by Anonymous||reply 33||09/05/2012|
Because she was a prime bitch who antagonised everyone she worked with.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||09/05/2012|
Hopkins was a stage star at a time when stage stars were big stars. She also had a major film career.
She was universally acknowledged as a superb actress. She was slightly older than the bigger actresses of the 30s and 40s.
And she was a fucking bitch.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||10/12/2012|
Did Lena Horne and Miriam Hopkins ever really cross paths, professionally or otherwise? I somehow doubt that.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||10/12/2012|
I gather she must have been a pill. Even Jack Warner--long inured to Bette Davis--considered Hopkins and impossible bitch.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||10/12/2012|
Would someone please start a thread on Merle Oberon?
|by Anonymous||reply 38||10/12/2012|
She was hilarious as a con artist in Trouble in Paradise and heartbreaking as an abused showgirl/prostitute in Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.
She was also the star in the first three-strip Technicolor feature Becky Sharp.
I don't know about her off-screen personality, but on-screen she is a unique delight, a true forgotten treasure.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||10/15/2012|
TCM is showing a bunch of her films one day this week. Unfortunately they're mostly her lesser, weaker films except for THE OLD MAID.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||10/15/2012|
Did she do the Broadway after her movie career waned?
|by Anonymous||reply 42||10/15/2012|
Wasn't she in one of Tennessee Williams' early plays?
She did JEZEBEL on Broadway before Davis onscreen.
|by Anonymous||reply 43||10/15/2012|