best film:  Vertigo. It’s one of the all-time great films (top 10 I think for sure still) and the Sight and Sound overall #1 I believe.

best performance:  Vertigo. It’s well known that Novak was not Hitchcock’s first choice for the role but try watching it again and think about Grace Kelly or Vera Miles or someone else in the role. I don’t think the character or film would be nearly as good even though those two may be clearly better pure actresses. Novak has an unease about her that works perfectly for the film.

stylistic innovations/traits: It is a light filmography for an actresses during the Hollywood era (less than 35 IMDB credits) I think she’s known more so as a voluptuous beauty than a great actress but to me The Man with the Golden Arm acts as a confirmation that her work with Hitchcock, in perhaps the greatest film of all-time, is no fluke.

directors worked with: Nobody more than once but Hitchcock of course and Preminger in The Man with the Golden Arm

Top 5 Performances

  1. Vertigo
  2. The Man with the Golden Arm
  3. Pal Joey

Archiveable films

1955- The Man With the Golden Arm
1957- Pal Joey
1958- Vertigo