ANN HARDING

Today is ANN HARDING’s turn to shine brightly.

In August, TCM airs a unique programming feature called SUMMER UNDER THE STARS ( #SUTS ) where each day they feature a full day of one movie star’s films. Today is ANN HARDING’s day. When I first saw Ann Harding I didn’t know I was seeing Ann Harding. It was a “B” movie calledI’VE LIVED BEFORE” where pilot Jock Mahoney believes he’s… lived before. Harding plays the older woman, who confirms that Mahoney is really the reincarnation of her fiancee who died in WWI. Who IS this woman…dulcet voice, so poised, elegant, white blonde hair? I had a passing interest.

I probably saw her again in “THE MAN IN THE GREY FLANNEL SUIT.” There was so much else to pay attention to in this 1956 film, but she had a quiet moment with this other old movie star, Fredric March. (“Hey, there she is again.” I later discovered they first appeared

 

together before in 1929’s “PARIS BOUND” ). Again, my notice was slight, but piqued. To be honest with you all, I can’t tell you when I really truly SAW Ann Harding for the actress she is, but I’m grateful I did. She had an ethereal mien that was distinct from anyone of her time. Yeah, you’ll see the word “ethereal” bandied about a lot below. Her  contemporaries had a different qualities…the great Garbo ~ ( aloof, cool ), Norma Shearer ~ ( fluttery, busy, actress-y ), Harlow ~ ( fleshy, carnal…hotter than the sun ). The actresses who I think are the same ilk as Harding would be a Mary Astor,  Myrna Loy and Irene Dunne. There’s a naturalness, a sincerity, an authenticity is the only way I can explain it. A friend of mine gave me a great description for Ann Harding, [ though her thoughts differ on my comparison ]:

“One thing I’ve always liked about her is her calmness. She’s calm and has this comfortable silence about her sometimes manifested in a confidence. Other times in her naturalness. Just, calm.” ~  Karin Mustvedt-Plüss

Pish posh…enough with the comparisons and explanations. Today is HARDING’s day on TCM and screening today will be:

  6:00am  “Private Affair” ( 1929 )
  7:30am  “Condemned” ( 1929 )
  9:00am  “The Conquerors” ( 1932 )
10:30am  “The Life of Vergie Winters” ( 1934 )
12:00pm  “The Lady Consents” ( 1936 )
  1:30pm  “Witness Chair” ( 1936 )
  2:45pm  “Janie” ( 1944 )
  4:30pm  “Eyes In The Night” ( 1942 )
  6:00pm  “It Happened on Fifth Avenue” (1947)
  8:00pm  “Biography of a Bachelor Girl” (1935)
  9:30pm  “The Animal Kingdom” ( 1932 )
11:15pm  “When Ladies Meet” ( 1933 )
  1:00am  “The Flame Within” ( 1935 )
  2:30am  “Double Harness” ( 1933 )
  4:00am  “The Magnificent Yankee” ( 1950 )

Now while the below directory is by no means all encompassing, I thought I’d give you a little taste of public opinion on her. Below you’ll find several reviews on Ms. Harding’s work. I, of course, will weigh in, as will my friend Fernando ~ who has a quiet little corner on my blog where his pithy reviews are published. My canvassing writers about her didn’t turn up a bushel. But I’ll cite the big Kahunas of bloggers who do give their detailed, full~throated review of Harding films. I’ll even “try” to be mature enough to share a dissenting opinion about her. ( Oh, my aching ‘fair & balanced’ reporting! )

But the most important thing YOU can do is judge for yourself by tuning in to TCM today and seeing some Ann Harding films. Be warned, the stories might creak, but you’ll find her performances quite contemporary. Hey, you’ll either be a fan…or you won’t. But here’s hoping you will.

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CineMaven’s Essays From the Couch

 

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BLOGS ~

DREAMING IN THE BALCONY           SECOND SIGHT CINEMA

  

 

SILVER SCREENINGS                            SPEAKEASY

 

 

SHADOWS AND SATIN

   

 

PERSON IN THE DARK

 

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FERNANDO’s CORNER ~ Bite-sized pithy morsels of thought:

  

      

 

 

 

[   H  O  M  E   ]

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