Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gladys George in "Valiant Is The Word For Carrie"

Gladys George received her only Oscar nomination for playing Carrie Snyder in Valiant Is The Word For Carrie.

Valiant is a standard, 30s melodrama that had to have been risky for it's time due to it's racy subject matter. The film is about Carrie, a prostitute who strikes a odd relationship with a young boy. She is ran out of town because the boy simply will not leave her alone and the grumpy little town is getting the wrong idea. The little boy ends up running away and finds her, and the two start a successful laundry business, and soon become rich, and also adopts the young boy and another young girl.

As you can see, this movie is far from being perfect, but one thing is great, Gladys George. Her early scenes as a prostitute are far the best scenes of the movie. She is fearless for an actress in 1936, where she plays Carrie with no shame or morals. It's the little boy who really starts to change her opinion of herself.

It's these middle scenes that really hurt her overall performance. The film becomes more of a focus on a trail, instead of Carrie, but when she does get to shine, Gladys George doesn't disappoint. She's a woman with morals now, and she doesn't want her unfriendly past to come back. So, it's George who is carrying this movie. She has a showy role that doesn't disappoint.

But, I don't want to overrate it, because sometimes bland "early" acting rears it head. Some sort of obvious fake grabbing at ones self (the same thing Luise Rainer did) or overdoing one's line readings, Gladys George falls victim to it. Still, her performance is reliant in how she approaches her early scenes, and those alone may overshadow the letdown of the rest of it.

13 comments:

joe burns said...

Seems like she barely made four........

Louis Morgan said...

Sometimes it is difficult not to want to go on easy on old actors acting in the dull "old" way. I try not to since there were clearly many actors who did not act this way.

Sage Slowdive said...

Gladys George was definitely one of those Mary Pickford/Norma Shearer type actresses who had that early, artificial acting attached to them. But, I still think she was very good here.

Fritz said...

Sounds like one of those typical weepers from the 30s...but I would love to see it! :-)

joe burns said...

I think your ranking will be:

1. Lombard

2. Dunne

3. George

4. Rainer

5. Shearer

I'm looking forward to your thoughts on Sheare and I hope she'll get a very low ranking from you! I can't wait to see when you will give a rating below two stars.

And will 2004 be next?

Sage Slowdive said...

It almost has the same plot line of The Sin Of Madelon Claudet and To Each His Own...

It could be, I guess :)

joe burns said...

Well, of course it could be! Any year could be, in your case.

This is a very off-topic question, but do you like Lady Gaga?

Sage Slowdive said...

Well, I sort of wanted to review 1972 or 2005 next.

hahaha, No....

joe burns said...

I know you've been wanting to do both of those years for a while and I was gonna ask when would you do 2005. You should do it next.

Ha, I thought you wouldn't. I like her, but don't love her. Why don't you like her?

Sage Slowdive said...

She just isn't my cup of tea :)

But, I have a very eclectic taste in music, so I'm sure once she releases something I like, I will admit it.

I really don't listen to modern day music anyways.

joe burns said...

What's some of your favorite music?

Sage Slowdive said...

I'm mostly a rock person, but like I said, I love a ton of different songs/artists.

joe burns said...

I'm not too unique with music- Mostly a soundtrack/ musical person, and I listen to a lot of Judy Garland.