The "Greatest Screen Legends" re-evaluation thread
Women 1. Katharine Hepburn 2. Bette Davis 3. Audrey Hepburn 4. Ingrid Bergman 5. Greta Garbo 6. Marilyn Monroe 7. Elizabeth Taylor 8. Judy Garland 9. Marlene Dietrich 10. Joan Crawford 11. Barbara Stanwyck 12. Claudette Colbert 13. Grace Kelly 14. Ginger Rogers 15. Mae West 16. Vivien Leigh 17. Lillian Gish 18. Shirley Temple 19. Rita Hayworth 20. Lauren Bacall 21. Sophia Loren 22. Jean Harlow 23. Carole Lombard 24. Mary Pickford 25. Ava Gardner
PUH-LEASE... this list doesn't make sense. #1 IS DAVIS. Audrey Hepburn higher than Monroe/Taylor/garbo/bergman = a fucking JOKE. Claudette Colbert #12 ? WTF?? especially if Natalie Wood isn't on the list. Where is Doris Day ? Bacall #20 ? no way. Sophia Loren and Mae West ? I don't think so, Why not Pia Zodora also? Who made that list ???
|by Anonymous||reply 89||October 18, 2021 1:45 PM
Are you 105 OP? Are live ones not included?
|by Anonymous||reply 1||August 21, 2021 11:13 PM
NO, it's the AFI golden age list. You need to have started your career before 1950 or have a significant body of work in the 50's
|by Anonymous||reply 2||August 21, 2021 11:21 PM
The AFI lists are all garbage honestly. This one included. I remember The Wizard of Oz was on their list of "Greatest Scares".
|by Anonymous||reply 3||August 21, 2021 11:27 PM
was THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT on the " Greatest laughs" list ?
|by Anonymous||reply 4||August 21, 2021 11:30 PM
R4 that would be perfect. Along with Dead Ringers on "Greatest Romances".
|by Anonymous||reply 5||August 21, 2021 11:31 PM
Seriously, how many people, even on DL, can name two "Claudette FUCKING colbert" movies ?
|by Anonymous||reply 6||August 21, 2021 11:34 PM
okay go ahead, "it happened one night " and ???
|by Anonymous||reply 8||August 21, 2021 11:36 PM
Skylark and Midnight. Sleep My Love, Three Came Home, Imitation of Life, Drums Along The Mohawk, Cleopatra.
|by Anonymous||reply 10||August 21, 2021 11:43 PM
Imitation of life is a LANA TURNER movie
|by Anonymous||reply 11||August 21, 2021 11:47 PM
btw WHERE IS LANA on the fucking list ?
|by Anonymous||reply 13||August 21, 2021 11:55 PM
OP, the list is not perfect but it's probably the best one by any highly regarded publication. If I were to pick top 10, my list would be
Kate Hepburn ( undisputedly )
|by Anonymous||reply 14||August 22, 2021 12:50 AM
nice list R14 but i dispute that. Kate hepburn wasn't thought better than Davis, or more important, in Davis's lifetime. She was on a hype renaissance a t the time the list was made, but Davis was the undisputed queen of HW
|by Anonymous||reply 15||August 22, 2021 12:53 AM
Since You Went Away is another great Claudette Colbert movie, co-starring Jennifer Jones, Robert Walker, Monty Woolley and Shirley Temple. It was produced by the great David O. Selznick.
Colbert also starred in the pre-code epic Cleopatra (1934), which was so hot it was condemned by every church group in America.
BTW, Colbert was the original choice to play Margo Channing in All About Eve but illness forced her to withdraw. Bette Davis got the role and made screen history.
|by Anonymous||reply 16||August 22, 2021 2:16 AM
So, it's basically the spoken bridge of "Vogue", then.
Is there no end to the world stealing from me?
|by Anonymous||reply 17||August 22, 2021 2:36 AM
Ingrid Bergman > Katharine Hepburn (and I like Hepburn).
|by Anonymous||reply 19||August 22, 2021 6:29 AM
Hepburn could comedic and tragic and could perform the classics, why shouldn't she be top spot. I would put Stanwyck before Davis. Davis dipped into horror/horror-adjacent.
|by Anonymous||reply 20||August 22, 2021 7:01 AM
I gave an excellent performance for 70 years
|by Anonymous||reply 21||August 22, 2021 7:42 AM
Where do Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep fit in there if we opened it up to modern legends?
|by Anonymous||reply 24||August 22, 2021 8:34 AM
It's hard to take any list that doesn't have Davis as number one seriously.
|by Anonymous||reply 26||August 22, 2021 8:39 AM
Really R26? I'm not challenging you but Kate Hepburn is hardly a slouch. She won 4 Oscars in her career and has a much better filmography in my opinion than Bette. I don't deny Bette anything but a lot of her movies weren't that great. I find quite a few of them awful.
|by Anonymous||reply 27||August 22, 2021 8:44 AM
It's not about how many oscars you win
|by Anonymous||reply 28||August 22, 2021 10:12 AM
If we are strictly talking about the best actresses of that generation, I think Davis and Stanwyck should be tied....or Stanwyck on top.
|by Anonymous||reply 29||August 22, 2021 4:21 PM
Kate never did schlock/horror pics. She rebounded in Philadelphia Story and never looked back. Filmography counts for a lot.
|by Anonymous||reply 30||August 23, 2021 11:40 PM
[quote]It's not about how many oscars you win
|by Anonymous||reply 31||August 24, 2021 12:38 AM
Davis' acting is outdated and was pure ham. If you want to talk about whose acting is still natural and still stands as believable as it was back in the day then it's Ingrid Bergman. But in terms of sheer acting legacy and iconography no one comes close to Kate.
Like David Niven said about Kate, the great once at the Oscars in 1970s, "A star is a star is a star but ladies and gentlemen, this is a STAR".
|by Anonymous||reply 32||August 24, 2021 12:50 AM
I noticed that the title is "Greatest Screen Legends" not "Greatest Screen Actresses." Wouldn't that make Marilyn Monroe #1. She is often cited as Hollywood's greatest screen legend.
|by Anonymous||reply 33||September 19, 2021 8:07 AM
Vivien Leigh gave what are arguably the two greatest performances in screen history. Inarguably, they're the two greatest by a female actor, plus GWTW is the highest-grossing film of all time. Her ranking is hurt by making so few films (eight after achieving global stardom), but she should be in the top five for sure.
|by Anonymous||reply 34||September 29, 2021 7:56 PM
I think Vivien Leigh belongs in the top 10, even though she didn't make as many films as Davis or Hepburn.
|by Anonymous||reply 35||October 16, 2021 4:09 AM
The real actresses came with the New American Cinema.
|by Anonymous||reply 36||October 16, 2021 4:15 AM
Gone With the Wind has been cancelled, it's very problematic now.
|by Anonymous||reply 37||October 16, 2021 4:18 AM
R37, GWTW hasn't been canceled. It was shown in L.A. a couple of weeks ago and is still available on streaming services and TCM. What a stupid comment.
|by Anonymous||reply 38||October 16, 2021 4:21 AM
Greatest Screen Legends (not actresses) Davis, Monroe, Leigh, Garland, Audrey H, Kate H, Liz, Crawford, not necessarily in that order though. Bacall wasn't a great actress but i suppose she was iconic, only because of Bogart. Bergman , not that legendary.
|by Anonymous||reply 39||October 16, 2021 4:23 AM
R37, Just a couple of years ago the readers of Entertainment Weekly voted Vivien Leigh's performance as Scarlett the greatest female performance in cinema history. That's not exactly canceled.
|by Anonymous||reply 40||October 16, 2021 4:26 AM
r38 it's not revered as it used to be.
|by Anonymous||reply 41||October 16, 2021 4:35 AM
R1 eats Drew Barrymore's pussy.
|by Anonymous||reply 42||October 16, 2021 4:37 AM
A new list should be: Streep
|by Anonymous||reply 43||October 16, 2021 4:38 AM
Temple does not belong on this list, although she is iconic - she was a child actress, which is a different thing. I would substitute Gloria Swanson, whose omission is bizarre - as is that of Olivia de Haviland.
|by Anonymous||reply 44||October 16, 2021 4:40 AM
R36 Actually, I've been watching a lot of Pre-Code (1929-1934) movies lately and I've noticed that the acting in them is a lot more natural than in the films from the Golden Age. After the Code was enforced in the mid '30s, the acting became very melodramatic and you begin to hear the faux Mid-Atlantic accent more and more in American films, which would last until the '50s when people like Marlon Brando began to bring realism back to acting.
|by Anonymous||reply 45||October 16, 2021 4:42 AM
R44 I agree you have to include Swanson and Olivia.
But the worst omission is Doris Day.
|by Anonymous||reply 46||October 16, 2021 4:47 AM
I agree partially with R29. Stanwyck should be on top. She acted circles around both Crawford and Davis.
|by Anonymous||reply 47||October 16, 2021 4:49 AM
Where would Jamie Lee Curtis land on the list?
|by Anonymous||reply 48||October 16, 2021 4:49 AM
R39, Bacall was iconic for being the only woman who could play off Bogart and make it work. That's not a low bar to cross.
|by Anonymous||reply 49||October 16, 2021 4:49 AM
R49, you're forgetting Ingrid Bergman, Gloria Grahame, Kate Hepburn, and Audrey Hepburn.
|by Anonymous||reply 50||October 16, 2021 4:52 AM
OP, Natalie Wood doesn't belong on ANY list of Screen 'Legends', let alone 'Greatest Screen Legends'. Poor thing was pushed into films by her evil stage mom, someone so desperate for any connection to fame that she whored out her own daughter to any director within 10 feet.
She couldn't act at all, because she never really wanted to be in the biz in the first place.
|by Anonymous||reply 51||October 16, 2021 4:58 AM
R51, Natalie was naturally gifted. She was wonderful in a number of films. You're stupid.
|by Anonymous||reply 52||October 16, 2021 5:01 AM
R50, you are right, and I should have been more clear - Bacall owned Bogart in an explicitly sexual way, which the others did not, or did so fitfully or according to narrative.
It might seem like a weird distinction to make, but it gave her her power.
|by Anonymous||reply 53||October 16, 2021 5:04 AM
Not only can I name a few Colbert movies I saw her in three different plays on Broadway.
And if you don't know Midnight it is a must see.
|by Anonymous||reply 54||October 16, 2021 5:25 AM
I'd hardly call Davis's performances in Jezebel, The Little Foxes and The Letter pure ham. They are among the best performances I've ever seen.
|by Anonymous||reply 55||October 16, 2021 5:27 AM
Name one R52, that shows that her 'gift' as you say, is comparable to any of the actresses mentioned above.
|by Anonymous||reply 56||October 16, 2021 5:55 AM
R56, Rebel Without a Cause (think of all the emotions that flash across her face in an instant and she was only 15 when she made it), Marjorie Morningstar, Splendor in the Grass, West Side Story, Gypsy, Love with the Proper Stranger, she has many good scenes in Inside Daisy Clover, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice...
|by Anonymous||reply 57||October 16, 2021 5:59 AM
Thanks R56, quite a list of bad examples.
She was passable in Rebel, but nothing compared to Julie Harris in East of Eden. The rest of your list isn't even worth commenting on.
|by Anonymous||reply 58||October 16, 2021 6:15 AM
Incidentally, I have always loved Natalie Wood's laugh. It was so girlish and cute. She sounded (and looked) like the girl next door.
|by Anonymous||reply 59||October 16, 2021 6:17 AM
The list is for "The Greatest Screen Legends".
It says nothing about acting ability.
So yes, you can make a good argument for Natalie Wood and even Kim Novak for that matter.
Shirley Temple deserves her place on the list.
Leaving out Gloria Swanson is criminal.
|by Anonymous||reply 60||October 16, 2021 5:59 PM
R58, Julie Harris is the worst thing about East of Eden. She was said to be a fine actress on stage, but apart from Member of the Wedding, she didn't translate to the screen. She had zero chemistry with Dean so the romantic angle defied belief. Plus, she was many years older than he was and looked it.
From Variety's review of Marjorie Morningstar: Natalie Wood gives a glowing and touching performance as the title heroine.
|by Anonymous||reply 61||October 16, 2021 6:03 PM
R57, Laurence Olivier was a big fan of Natalie Wood. It's been written about in biographies and Maureen Stapleton even talked about it.
|by Anonymous||reply 62||October 16, 2021 6:12 PM
R32, had to see it after reading your post.
|by Anonymous||reply 63||October 16, 2021 6:33 PM
If it's about screen legends, then Shirley Temple definitely deserves a spot in the Top 10. Not only was she a big child star, but she was one of the biggest movie stars of her day. She was the biggest top star of the Great Depression. In fact, Shirley Temple has gone down in history as the most legendary child star ever.
|by Anonymous||reply 65||October 16, 2021 8:33 PM
Child stars are not women stars. Shirley Temple's iconic performances are those given before she was 12.
She belongs on a list of screen icons - just not this list.
|by Anonymous||reply 66||October 16, 2021 8:49 PM
Bette Davis, because she's still the first name that comes to mind when people think of ACTING!
Marilyn Monroe, who is perhaps the most legendary of all screen stars. People in Pakistan recognize her image.
Elizabeth Taylor, she changed the way we view film stars. Her private life became as famous as any film she starred in, and she starred in many excellent films and many huge hits.
Katharine Hepburn, for sheer career longevity. She didn't have much range, but when she had a role suited to her talents, she nailed it.
Meryl Streep, because she's been the first lady of the screen since the late 1970s. Love her or hate her, there's no denying that she's the most accomplished, acclaimed actress of the modern era.
After these five in some order, it can get ambiguous. I think the top 10 should include Joan Crawford (for reasons that are well known to her), Vivien Leigh (for essentially playing the two toughest and most famous female characters in film history to absolute perfection), Judy Garland (the greatest of the tears of a clown stories in Hollywood history), Barbra Stresiand (she overcame countless obstacles to become the biggest star of her era through sheer force of an incredible talent), and Doris Day (delightful on screen presence, eternally underrated and a huge box office star).
|by Anonymous||reply 67||October 16, 2021 8:57 PM
And then there's Doris Day. Could do drama, comedy, musicals. One of the top female box office stars of all time.
|by Anonymous||reply 68||October 16, 2021 9:00 PM
R67 Meryl cannot be on the list. She was not a Golden Age star with a career begun before 1950.
|by Anonymous||reply 69||October 16, 2021 9:02 PM
R69, it's a RE-EVALUATION thread. This list was compiled more than two decades ago. It needs to be updated.
|by Anonymous||reply 70||October 16, 2021 9:04 PM
Doris Day should be added....delete Bacall from the list.
|by Anonymous||reply 71||October 16, 2021 9:04 PM
They were the GREAT ACTRESSES of all time, the actresses today coukdnt hold a candle, but maybe its because all the crappy films of today
|by Anonymous||reply 72||October 16, 2021 9:09 PM
[quote] it's a RE-EVALUATION thread. This list was compiled more than two decades ago. It needs to be updated.
Hollywood's Golden Age is what it is.
It does NOT include Meryl or Barbra. They are not from that era.
There is no way to "update" a list about that era unless you want to redefine the definition of Hollywood's Golden Age.
|by Anonymous||reply 73||October 16, 2021 9:11 PM
R73, the title of this thread clearly says Greatest Screen Legends. I'll pause while you reread it. Meryl Streep is a legend. Barbra Streisand is a legend. Deal with it.
|by Anonymous||reply 74||October 16, 2021 9:14 PM
|by Anonymous||reply 75||October 16, 2021 9:15 PM
R74 Please tell us what you don't understand about: "the AFI golden age list"
|by Anonymous||reply 76||October 16, 2021 9:23 PM
Katherine Hepburn could do musicals. On Broadway no less. And 8 performances a week. None of this 7 bullshit.
|by Anonymous||reply 77||October 16, 2021 9:33 PM
We have no sense today of what a huge star Mary Pickford was. I've only seen her in one movie My Best Girl and I totally got why she was so beloved. It's a remarkable performance.
|by Anonymous||reply 78||October 16, 2021 9:37 PM
R75, NYT: "Natalie Wood, who only yesterday was playing with dolls in films, has blossomed into a vivacious pretty brunette who very likely is as close to a personification of Marjorie as one could wish."
|by Anonymous||reply 79||October 17, 2021 12:56 AM
R74, Queen, I'm gonna type this slowly. The list needs to be revised and updated to include more contemporary actresses. What is the point of saying "These are the biggest stars up until this one came along." Lists are fluid and should be updated with less rigid guidelines. You're welcome.
|by Anonymous||reply 80||October 17, 2021 1:04 AM
For the tiresome idiot at R80:
If the list were updated to include more contemporary actresses, then it would not be a list about Hollywood's Golden Age.
|by Anonymous||reply 81||October 17, 2021 1:19 AM
I think people confusion is AFI titling the list simply "Greatest Screen Legends." That is so broad. It should really be "Greatest Screen Legends of the Golden Age" or something like that.
|by Anonymous||reply 82||October 17, 2021 11:03 PM
Kate Hepburn > Liz Taylor > Garbo >>>>>>> everyone else .
|by Anonymous||reply 83||October 17, 2021 11:09 PM
R83, Garbo is a bore to watch onscreen today. I think she'd place outside the top 10 if people are honest.
|by Anonymous||reply 84||October 18, 2021 2:59 AM
Miriam Hopkins never makes these lists but she was hot shit int he early '30s/pre-Code days. She was fearless and starred in very racy films and was quite a deft comedic actress. It's a shame that she's become a footnote in Bette Davis bios.
|by Anonymous||reply 85||October 18, 2021 3:52 AM
R81, you seem angry. Go on Grindr and use a fake photo and get laid in a dark room.
|by Anonymous||reply 86||October 18, 2021 7:58 AM
What about Roz Russell and the deHaviland sisters? I guess they aren’t that well remembered today and aren’t considered “legends” but they are three of my favorite “Golden Age” actresses. When I was younger and started getting into old films, I thought Fontaine was terrible, but now when I watch her films I have a new appreciation for her work.
|by Anonymous||reply 87||October 18, 2021 12:21 PM
And the biggest female box office star of the 1940s - top ten for ten uninterrupted years 1942-1952 - is completely forgotten.
I love her but she would be the first to admit her movies are mostly not memorable and some are real stinkers. Making box-office history is not the same as making legendary movies.
"I'm a success in show business for only two reasons. Put me in a long dress and I'd starve to death."
|by Anonymous||reply 88||October 18, 2021 1:27 PM
Doris Day certainly belongs on the list and her omission at the time was noted by many. In 20 years she starred in 39 motion pictures. With the exception of one, they all made a profit.
She ran the gamut from musicals, suspense thrillers, biographical dramas, domestic comedies, sophisticated comedies, and screen versions of Broadway musicals. Five songs she introduced in films were nominated for Oscars with two of them winning.
She topped all box-office polls, finishing in the number one spot an unprecedented, for a woman, four times.
Whatever you may think of her, she was enormously popular with movie audiences and her name still strikes a familiar chord. even with those who might have never seen a Doris Day film.
She walked away from it, refusing scores of offers to return and never went about promoting her previous film career, choosing instead to devote her life to animal welfare.
|by Anonymous||reply 89||October 18, 2021 1:45 PM