“Most women are unhappy. They just pretend they aren’t...”
Vicki Buckley in Human Desire
Grahame’s innate ability to tap into the psyche of troubled characters imbued them with an emotional depth that hinted at a troubled past, and a doomed future. This selection of her films, the first part of a two-month season, illustrates this talent and reveals her scintillating screen presence and effortless glamour. Whether in evening dress or slacks and flats, Grahame exuded femininity and was perhaps the most sexually charged of all Hollywood femmes fatales. Her scandalous and turbulent private life has intensified her legendary status, but this shouldn’t distract us from her most important legacy: her uniquely compelling performances.
“I’m jist a girl who cain’t say no. I’m in a turrible fix”
Ado Annie in Oklahoma!
Part two of our season further explores Grahame’s femme fatale finesse, but also showcases some of her lighter roles. As irrepressible wide-eyed Ado Annie, Gloria Grahame proved that her talents were not limited to intense performances in film noir. Although played purely for laughs, her character in Oklahoma! is still very much in the mould of her earlier roles: a woman at the mercy of her impulses. Grahame herself was a woman of intense passions with an often scandalous personal life. Yet she was a sensitive and versatile actor of stage and screen who brought a mixture of impetuousness and vulnerability to every role. As a woman she was vivacious and fun-loving, yet needy and insecure. As she became increasingly difficult to work with, film offers dwindled, depriving audiences of one of Hollywood’s most distinctive and captivating stars.
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