I have a double whammy today with this post and my music post but this happens few and far between. Dell on Movies has a great blog week showcasing women and film. You can choose an actress, director, producer, writer etc... who have been great with a film. Here is my next choice...
THE THIN MAN-1934 WITH MYRNA LOY (AUG. 2, 1905-DEC. 14, 1993)
The Thin Man was almost the start ( They made one film prior to this one)of a beautiful relationship (on screen) with William Powell. They made 14 pictures together and 5 as Nick and Nora Charles, the sleuthing married couple where he married a gal with money and she married a man who is an expert sleuth and she is no slouch either. He also loves his drinks and she can match him even if she ends up on the floor. To make everything perfect, they own a great dog, named Asta (actually, Skippy was his real name), who often stole many scenes and became a star himself.
This film, that started it all, has Nick and Nora trying to figure out what happened to Nick's old client from his P.I. days. Soon bodies start piling up just like the drinks and who can blame them because a good stiff drink is often what is needed. Woody, "One Take" S. Dyke was the director who felt the first take was often the best so the actors had to keep on their toes with him and this helped the speed of this film. This film finally broke Myrna out of her typecast roles as some Oriental or Eurasion vamp. Myrna and William bantered back and forth just like a regular couple and they played their roles to the hilt. Myrna was excellent as an heiress who can match any man while wearing something beautiful. This film is worth a look for sure.
She was voted the Queen of Hollywood alongside Clark Gable who was voted The King.
She was often cast as vampish Orientals or Eurasian natives because of her eyes and high cheekbones but her ancestry is English, Scottish and Swedish.
She was later always considered the quintessential lady/wife in her films(post Vamp) matched 14 times with William Powell, 5 of them were Thin Man films.
She was married 4 times and rumoured to have had an affair with Spencer Tracy (who didn't?) in the mid 30s. Poor gal didn't have much luck with men..one of her husbands was the founder of Hertz rent-a-car.
Gangster John Dillinger, a big fan of Myrna Loy, came out of hiding to see "Manhattan Melodrama" (1934) and was shot to death outside the theatre in Chicago by the police.
She modeled for the figure "Inspiration" for the Fountain of Education at Venice High School in Los Angeles. Over the years, the elements and much vandalism resulted in a fence being erected and the actual sculpture being removed and a duplicate bronze one installed. I don't know what they did with the original.
She served tirelessly for the Red Cross during World War 2 and was a member at large for the U. S. Commission to UNESCO. She openly spoke against Hitler (this was frowned upon by the studio as they never wanted their stars to be political for fear of losing money) which resulted in her films being banned from Germany and ended up on Hitler's black list. I bet she considered that an honour. She was an avid democrat speaking for FDR and, later, JFK and was an open spokesperson for Civil Rights. She really hated how African Americans were treated and shown in the cinemas. "Why does every black person in the movies have to play a servant? How about a black person walking up the steps of a courthouse carrying a briefcase?"
Other notable films..
THE MASK OF FU MANCHU (1932)- played a really nasty vamp who gets her sexual thrills from torturing poor men.
WIFE VS. SECRETARY (1936)
LIBELLED LADY (1936)
THE GREAT ZIEGFELD (1936)- She played Billie Burke who played Glinda in "The Wizard of Oz."
AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)
THE RAINS CAME (1939)
THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) - This was her favourite film
MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOME (1948)
CHEAPER BY THE DOZEN (1950)
THE END (1978)
SUMMER SOLSTICE (1978)- Her last film role with Henry Fonda, also his last, even though it is a TV film.