Posted: 06/07/2007


Motion Picture Academy Launches Barbra Stanwyck Retrospective

by Alan Rode

The Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences opened a Centennial tribute to the legendary Barbra Stanwyck on Friday evening May 18th at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Hollywood.

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Robert Osborne, host of Turner Classic Movies, anchored a pre-screening gala that featured a special clips package highlighting Stanwyck’s six decades on films and television that opened and closed with scenes from her performance from the iconic noir, Double Indemnity (1944). Osborne extolled Stanwyck as a consummate actress that played every type of role available to a woman…and created some new ones.

There was a special tribute from 90-year old Kirk Douglas, who made his screen debut opposite Stanwyck in the deliciously perverse The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, in 1946. Douglas recollected that Babs gave him the cold shoulder on the set until after their first couple of scenes together. “All of a sudden, she looked at me one day and said, ‘You can act.’” Kirk said that after initially responding to Stanwyck with ice—“too late”—he subsequently took the actress out to dinner and both stars continued friends over the years.

Osborne shared the stage with Stanwyck’s friends and contemporaries. including long time Hollywood columnist Army Archerd and actresses Nina Foch and Patricia Crowley. Some of Stanwyck’s co-stars, including Lizabeth Scott, Earl Holliman, and Gigi Perreau, were introduced from the audience.

The tribute was followed by the screening of two of Barbra Stanwyck’s early, rare films, The Bitter Tea of General Yen and Baby Face, both released in 1933.

The Centennial Tribute to Barbra Stanwyck continues with a screening series at the UCLA Film and Television Archive’s Billy Wilder Theatre in Westwood through June 10th.

Friday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m.
The Bitter Tea of General Yen (1933)
Baby Face (1933)

Sunday, May 20, at 7 p.m.
Ball of Fire (1942)
Meet John Doe (1941)

Saturday, May 26, at 7:30 p.m.
Double Indemnity (1944)
The File on Thelma Jordon (1950)

Friday, June 1, at 7:30 p.m.
Ladies They Talk About (1933)
The Lady Eve (1941)

Saturday, June 2, at 7:30 p.m.
All I Desire (1953)
There’s Always Tomorrow (1956)

Wednesday, June 6, at 7:30 p.m.
Golden Boy (1939)
Stella Dallas (1937)

Friday, June 8, at 7:30 pm
Night Nurse (1931)
The Miracle Woman (1931)

Saturday, June 9, at 7:30 p.m.
The Furies (1950)
Forty Guns (1957)

Sunday, June 10, at 7 p.m.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)
Clash by Night (1952)

Alan Rode is a film historian, writer, and board member of the Film Noir Foundation. His biography of the classic noir heavy Charles McGraw will be released later this year. You can read about the book and pre-order it here.

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