It’s fascinating to me when two big stars meet for the first time in movies, bringing their respective “big gun” screen personas with them.
Coming to mind are: Bette Davis & Joan Crawford ( in “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”) ~ Katharine Hepburn & Spencer Tracy ( in “Woman of the Year” ) ~ Randolph Scott & Joel McCrea ( with “Ride The High Country” )….or King Kong vs. Godzilla ( a favorite of mine since I saw it in the movies in 1963 as the bottom of a double bill w/“Bye Bye Birdie” ).
As I watched the ill-fated “Two-Faced Woman” on TCM the other day, I saw two Queens of the 1930’s meet up in the 40’s:
Garbo, the tragic Intrigante. Constance, the magnificent Sophisticate.
As I watch them enter the 1940’s I think back to their slinky-1930’s selves. Both actresses held sway over their audiences in different ways. One was aloof, hidden, an introvert; the other, a rather open-faced extrovert…a warm, icy exterior with a sharp tongue.
~ They each knew their power ~
As they faced each other in the ladies lounge of this Cukor “comedy” ( quotes intentional ) I see no one can sling a line like Connie. She leans forward, she’s not scared of Garbo. She’s in her face. And Garbo…she’s on the still side. She is impervious to Constance’s shards of ice because, HA!!! she don’t care. She smiles throughout. She knows who she is.
Not that these Queens were EVER ingenues, but you could SEE they were full-blown women in contrast to the two young pups ( Gloria DeHaven and another extra ) who enter the lounge during their contretemps.
Look, I might have read this all wrong. These are just my own my cinematic pandemic musings. I realize they’re playing characters. But I enjoyed see the Garbo and Bennett personas brush up against each other as they leave the 1930’s in the dust. Who would have thunk this’d be the last we see of Garbo in films. I like to think they recognized and respected what each brought to the screen and had fun doing the scene.
And maybe, had a little something to prove to each other?