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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 Anonymousreply 4310/15/2012

She had a reputation for being difficult, and it did her in.

by Anonymousreply 108/28/2012

She was a legendary cunt and pissed off too many people.

by Anonymousreply 208/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 308/28/2012

Interesting r3

by Anonymousreply 408/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 508/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 608/28/2012

Miriam Hopkins was a bitch!!!

by Anonymousreply 708/28/2012

As Bette Davis said, she was a great actress and a horrible woman.

by Anonymousreply 808/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 908/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1008/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1108/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1208/28/2012

[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 Anonymousreply 1308/28/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1408/29/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1508/29/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1609/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1709/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 1809/01/2012

R17, pssst... Myrna Loy was into the ladies.

by Anonymousreply 1909/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2009/01/2012

[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 Anonymousreply 2109/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2209/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2309/01/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2409/01/2012

[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 Anonymousreply 2509/01/2012

I don't think Myrna Loy was into the ladies. I really don't. Doubt Miriam was either.

by Anonymousreply 2609/02/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2709/02/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2809/02/2012

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 Anonymousreply 2909/03/2012

She is my favorite performance in The Heiress, yet not nominated for an Oscar for that role.

by Anonymousreply 3009/03/2012

[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 Anonymousreply 3109/03/2012

Lena Horne specifically called her out as someone who was nasty to her in Hollywood,r20.

by Anonymousreply 3209/03/2012

Did Miriam and Joel ever fuck? He seems to have hooked up with all his leading ladies. Lucky bitches!

by Anonymousreply 3309/05/2012

Because she was a prime bitch who antagonised everyone she worked with.

by Anonymousreply 3409/05/2012

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 Anonymousreply 3510/12/2012

Did Lena Horne and Miriam Hopkins ever really cross paths, professionally or otherwise? I somehow doubt that.

by Anonymousreply 3610/12/2012

I gather she must have been a pill. Even Jack Warner--long inured to Bette Davis--considered Hopkins and impossible bitch.

by Anonymousreply 3710/12/2012

Would someone please start a thread on Merle Oberon?


by Anonymousreply 3810/12/2012



by Anonymousreply 3910/12/2012

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 Anonymousreply 4010/15/2012

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 Anonymousreply 4110/15/2012

Did she do the Broadway after her movie career waned?

by Anonymousreply 4210/15/2012

Wasn't she in one of Tennessee Williams' early plays?

She did JEZEBEL on Broadway before Davis onscreen.

by Anonymousreply 4310/15/2012
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