best film: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington is a weakness for this list and project here but she’s in five top 10 films which is a strength. I think both Shane and Only Angels Have Wings could give Mr. Smith a run for its money as her best film as well so there’s depth here at the top.
best performance: Mr. Smith Goes To Washington. She’s great here and her character’s arc is the driving force of the film. She goes toe-to-toe with Jimmy Stewart in one of his best performance and even steals here share of scenes (her scenes with scenery-chewing specialist Thomas Mitchell mark some of the films’ highlights as well).
stylistic innovations/traits: A fast-talking comedic talent who is indispensable in two of Hollywood’s golden years’ best films: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington and Only Angles Have Wings. On top of her three great films with Capra she worked with comedic geniuses Wilder and Hawks—playing one of the greatest of Hawks’ trademark women of strength in the latter. She went out on top with Shane as her last film as well.
directors worked with: Capra (3), Stevens (2), also once with Wilder and Hawks
Top 5 Performances:
- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
- Only Angels Have Wings
- Mr. Deeds Goes to Town
- You Can’t Take it With You
|1925- Seven Chances|
|1936-Mr. Deeds Goes To Town|
|1938- You Can’t Take it With You|
|1939- Mr. Smith Goes to Washington|
|1939- Only Angels Have Wings|
|1942- The Talk of the Town|
|1948- A Foreign Affair|