Frances Farmer in Exclusive

There's not much I could write about Frances Farmer that hasn't already been written. She's one of those legendary entertainers whose career ended too early leading to heavy scrutiny of the work that she did do. However, I don't care much for the mythology surrounding Frances Farmer...I'm much more interested in her fantastic performances on film. One such performance was in the 1937 movie Exclusive.

Exclusive is a fine film and, unfortunately, one of those titles that the powers that be refuse to release in a proper format. Frances Farmer plays Vina Swain, daughter of a newspaper man (Charles Ruggles plays her father). Fred MacMurray, also a newspaper man, plays her boyfriend and the two have some very nice chemistry in their scenes together. At 77 minutes in length, Exclusive moves along at a fairly brisk pace and certainly offered enough story-wise to keep my interest. Of course, Frances Farmer alone is worth the price of admission...she looks beautiful and she gives an engaging performance.

Nancy Guild in The Brasher Doubloon

In 1947, actress Nancy Guild appeared in her second film, The Brasher Doubloon. The movie, an adaptation of one of Raymond Chandler's detective novels featuring the legendary Philip Marlowe, is actually quite entertaining. George Montgomery plays Philip Marlowe with humor and confidence and Nancy Guild does quite well displaying the innocence and naivete of her character.

Here are some newspaper clippings (advertisements and reviews) concerning The Brasher Doubloon:

Here are some images of Nancy Guild in The Brasher Doubloon (click to enlarge, if you want):

Jill Townsend and Nicol Williamson

Jill Townsend was married to actor Nicol Williamson for a good part of the 1970s, though the pair had met years earlier. In the mid-1960s, they had appeared in the Broadway production of the play Inadmissible Evidence. With a ten year age difference between them, in that play he played her father (she would return the favor years later when she briefly appeared as his mother in flashback scene from his movie The Seven-Per-Cent Solution).

Their marriage only lasted six years and apparently didn't end all that well. However, the following newspaper clipping from December 1970 is from a better time in Jill Townsend and Nicol Williamson's relationship. Take a look:

Alexis Smith in Steel Against the Sky

In 1941, Alexis Smith was top-billed in the movie Steel Against the Sky. Previously, she had only had two substantial film roles (in Dive Bomber and The Smiling Ghost). The fact that Alexis Smith was billed first here, even though she had much less screen-time than her two co-stars, was presumably good news for the actress. Following Steel Against the Sky, she would appear in a number of big movies alongside many big stars throughout the rest of the decade.

Clocking in at just over an hour in length, Steel Against the Sky was Warner Brothers programmer meant to appear on the screen as part of a double feature. The plot concerned a family of bridge builders, with two brothers fighting over the daughter of the boss. Alexis Smith is quite appealing here and, while she doesn't have all that much to do, she nonetheless does very well with her role. She also has great chemistry with her co-star Craig Stevens, so much so that the pair got married in real life a few years later.

Here are some promotional images of Alexis Smith an her co-stars (Craig Stevens and Lloyd Nolan) from Steel Against the Sky:

Here are some images of Alexis Smith in Steel Against the Sky:

Alexis Smith and Gene Lockhart

Alexis Smith during her extreme close-up