The first time I noticed Barbara Stanwyck she was protecting the family ranch in Big Valley. The next time I saw her on my screen she was gunning for the fetching Richard Chamberlain in the very twisted Thornbirds mini-series in the 80’s. I was taken by her strength and resolve. Whatever she was after was going to be hers. She didn’t always win but she usually did, especially when it came to men. She wasn’t just tough, she was often cruel. They gave her some very tough parts that she bit into fully and completely. But here we see her softer side in The Lady Eve (1941) having Henry Fonda on his knees putting her shoes on.
In Crime of Passion (1957) Stanwyck is married to Sterling Hayden’s character, a police officer who is not as ambitious as she thinks he ought to be. She cheats with Raymond Burr to try and get her husband promoted, but he acts honorably afterwards and won’t give in to her pressure. He says,
“In my book, you have enough chips. Cash them in and go home.”
She doesn’t think that is good enough and takes out the gun she stole in her lovely white gloved hands and lets him have it. I really didn’t think she would do it. Does she get found out? Check out the film on youtube.com if you want to watch it for free. Here she is in better times with Sterling Hayden.
Before I close I just have to show you the way Stanwyck stole the show in The Thornbirds. Here she is, all the fire in her eyes as she had at 20. Wow. What a girl, what a lady.