"Stanwyck’s greatest strength, in other words—her range—was also the reason that she is impossible to tie down and tame. No genre was beyond her, and no one movie sums her up." ~Anthony Lane
"I was lucky enough to make four pictures with Barbara. In the first I turned her in, in the second I killed her, in the third I left her for another woman and in the fourth I pushed her over a waterfall. The one thing all these pictures had in common was that I fell in love with Barbara Stanwyck -- and I did, too." ~Fred MacMurray
"Barbara Stanwyck had an instinct so sure that she needed almost no direction." ~Preston Sturges
"There is not a more credible portrait in the cinema of a worldly, attractive, and independent woman in a man's world than Stanwyck's career revealed." ~David Thomson
"Working with Barbara Stanwyck was one of the greatest pleasures of my career." ~Fritz Lang
"My only problem is finding a way to play my fortieth fallen female in a different way from my thirty-ninth." ~Barbara StanwyckJuly 16, 2013 will be the 106th birthday of Ruby Stevens from Brooklyn, better known as Barbara Stanwyck. In a career that spanned almost sixty years, with four Academy Award nominations and eighty-five movies to her name, Stanwyck earned a reputation as one of the greatest actresses in Hollywood. She could do just about anything. In film noir, she was terrifying, a creature of glittering allure that could freeze your blood just by raising her sunglasses. In melodramas, she was vulnerable enough to break anyone's heart, but there was always that hint of steel that warded off any excesses of pity. In Westerns, she was tougher than anyone, pushing her wiry body to the brink in action scenes that made even the stunt men nervous. In comedies, she was like quicksilver, changing from tender to raucous to wistful with dizzying ease. She was never the girl next door but she never wanted to be. She was too smart for that, too brave, and too complicated.
Barbara Stanwyck is my favorite actress. I've loved her through good movies and bad and I've never seen a performance of hers that didn't leave me with something to remember. And so I've decided to hold a Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon at The Girl with the White Parasol, from July 16 to July 22.
It's going to be the first blogathon I've ever held on this site and I'm really excited. Participation is open to anyone who who wants to write about Barbara Stanwyck. As it gets close to July, I'll draw up a schedule for the participants but even if you don't want to sign up now, I'll still accept entries during the Week that shall hereafter be known as the Week of Barbara Stanwyck. Cause she deserves it, brother.
The rules of the Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon are as follows (I say rules but it's pretty much just a series of "ifs"):
1. If you'd like to sign up to write a movie review for the blogathon, be warned that it's first come, first served. If you want to call dibs on a particular film, then please let me know in the comments section here or by email (email@example.com). If someone snags your first choice, pick another one. I know that we all love Double Indemnity and The Lady Eve, but I want this blogathon to be about the entirety of Stanwyck's career, not just her most famous films. Stanwyck has such an incredible, diverse list of movies to her name that it would be a shame not to pay homage to as many as we can. Underrated dramas like All I Desire, eccentric Westerns like Forty Guns, twisty little noirs like No Man of Her Own, you name it. Even weird misfires like Always Goodbye have something to offer. The sky's the limit, folks!
For a full list of Stanwyck's movies, start here.
2. If you'd like to write a post about anything else Barbara Stanwyck-related (her costumes, costars, directors, life story, zodiac sign, etc.) you're more than welcome.
3. If you'd like to participate in the blogathon but have no idea yet what you're going to write about, don't worry. Surprise us all!
4. If you come to me saying, "There's this incredible Barbara Stanwyck essay I did three years ago that was so good it made grown men swoon faster than Henry Fonda after a year up the Amazon and please can I repost it for the blogathon," that's just fine too.
5. If you'd like to sign up for a particular day now, that's totally fine, but don't feel like you have to commit to one right away. It's only when we get close to the wire that I'll start bugging you guys.
6. If you love Barbara Stanwyck but don't think you'll be able to write anything for the blogathon, then I'm inviting you to join the cheering section. It means a lot to have people reading and commenting on the posts too and the whole point of a blogathon is not just to talk, but to have a conversation. And if you decide to spread the news about the blogathon on your own site, I will be eternally grateful and walk around doing this:
(Gif is credited to the superb Barbara Stanwyck Tumblr blog)
7. And last of all, if you'd like to have a banner to promote the blogathon, I've got a few for you to take.
I'll keep this post updated with a list of participating blogs and the movies that have already been chosen. Stay tuned for more news. This is the first major event I've ever hosted at The Girl with the White Parasol and I'm so glad it's going to be a celebration of my favorite actress. Happy blogging, everyone!