best film: Teresa Wright is in three unassailable films that are at, or near, the masterpiece level. William Wyler’s deep focus spectacle The Best Years of Our Lives (1946) stands atop the list – but Alfred Hitchcock’s Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and the vastly underseen and underrated Track of the Cat (1954) by William Wellman are not far behind.
best performance: There are but two options here. With all due respect to Wright, she does not have much of an impact on the brilliance of Track of the Cat. She is, however, an intrinsic part of both The Best Years of Our Lives and Shadow of a Doubt. She plays young Charlie in Hitchcock’s film. She is opposite Joseph Cotton (Uncle Charlie) and a fabulous sympathetic victim/protagonist. In Wyler’s film, admittedly more of an ensemble piece, she plays Dana Andrews’ love interest and Frederic March’s (and Myrna Loy’s) daughter – but Wright’s underlying honesty makes her Peggy character much more than just a wife and/or daughter.
stylistic innovations/traits: Teresa Wright an undeniable talent that had a hot streak in the 1940s. Her first four films are all archiveable – and five of her five six (including those three Oscar nominations). She had a proclivity for playing fundamentally good characters – but that candor up on screen takes talent to make come across. Wright did not have a large filmography. The Little Foxes is her debut (an Oscar nomination at that in her debut) and there are only about eighteen (18) total film credits when you crop out the television work that took over her resume around 1955 and beyond. This means her best five performances all happened before the age of twenty-eight (28). Still, there is some depth here – she has three Oscar nominations. She is one of a dozen or so actors (Julianne Moore did this, Al Pacino, Jamie Foxx, others) with two acting nominations in the same year (1942) winning for supporting in Mrs. Miniver. These nominations by Wright are earned – and yet they are not her two best performances. This give her a rock solid top five below.
directors worked with: William Wyler (3), Alfred Hitchcock (1), Raoul Walsh (1), Fred, Zinneman (1)
top five performances:
- Shadow of a Doubt
- The Best Years of Our Lives
- Mrs. Miniver
- The Little Foxes
- The Pride of the Yankees
|1941- The Little Foxes|
|1942- The Pride of the Yankees|
|1942- Mrs. Miniver|
|1943- Shadow of a Doubt|
|1946- The Best Years of Our Lives|
|1950- The Men|
|1954- Track of the Cat|
As far as I remember, she wasn’t on the last list. She’s a new addition , right?
I don’t know you’ll reveal it or not but how many new additions you had in total? (Actresses who weren’t on the previous list).
Also I placed a comment on Jeanne Moreau page, it seems as if it slipped your notice. Really interested to know your thoughts.
@M*A*S*H- Sorry, doing some traveling so probably not going to get to every comment like I usually try to. I do have the old list, but not sure if I’ll make the changes to that list part of the page when I update it. I try not to dwell on the mistakes of the past lists. But to answer your question here- Teresa Wright was not on the old list.
I’m rooting for a few more new faces. Particularly Anne Dorval. Not sure about the fate of Geraldine Page but there’s very few people who can outmatch her in terms of talent. Paltrow and Bonham Carter have nice little resumes (pretty solid 3rd performance- Two Lovers/ King’s Speech). HBC also has range.
As for my comment on Moreau page… It was an appreciation comment and I was asking if you can picture her in Hiroshima Mon Amour, Rocco and his Brothers and Demy’s Lola.
(Really interested to know your thoughts)
@M*A*S*H-11 new additions.
The first 6 are in the top 50.
Are there some actresses in particular you wanna see in the list?
I’m more curious about who will be left off. There’s still a number of actresses with strong cases on the old list that haven’t shown up yet.
Bancroft will show up I’m pretty sure. I’m also a bit sure about Sarandon.
Bjork should show up as Falconetti did.
I think all of Scorsese ladies have a threat. Gerwig has a threat so does Emma Thompson but they should show up, they’r incredibly talented and have kinda deep filmography.
Talia shire is goodbye so is Catherine keener.
I’m kinda confident about Jessica Chastain.
M*A*S*H-Yes. Emmanuelle Riva
This can happen. I wish it does.
But like say Susan Sarandon or Jessica Chastain or Anne Bancroft or Anjelica Huston never gave a performance quite like Riva’s in Hiroshima Mon Amour but they have solid depths and solid top 5s. Even Gerwig and Lawrence have a solid top 5.
Falconetti and Bjork’s case is different. Their career comprises of a couple of films (3 for Bjork) and one great performance. But if one can make a case for Riva then why not Faye Wong or Audrey Tatou.
What do you think?
What does Liza Minelli have over Riva? She already made the list a few spots ago.
@Malith- I get your frustration. Riva is a better actor than Minelli for sure. But if you read Minelli’s page @Drake says that Minelli possesses some specific talents.
He calls her a “genuis musical performer” – can’t disagree with that. Right?
I really want Riva to show up but the actresses I’m anticipating either have a really strong #2 performance (Anne Dorval, Tatyana Samoylova) or a nice body of work (Bancroft, Sarandon, Gerwig). Riva sadly doesn’t have both.
@M*A*S*H-Jeez. You seem to be forgetting about Riva’s performance in Amour(2012). I think it just missed the female mentions for 2012. A very strong performance in a top 10 of the year quality film.
Although not as strong as Dorval’s I killed my Mother or Samoylova’s Letters never sent, I’m not ganna go against Riva at all. You seem to be a fan. Have you seen
Therese Desqueyroux by Georges Franju (director of Eyes Without a Face). I think it’s a really good film and ofc Riva is fantastic in it.
@M*A*S*H-I have not seen Thérèse Desqueyroux(1962). I don’t know much about Anne Dorval and Samoylova. So I can’t speak for them. But Riva arguably has a stronger resume than Liza Minelli who landed in this list a few spots ago.
@Malith- can’t disagree with you. I with you.