Saturday State Post: Classic Movie Actors from New Jersey

My inspiration for choosing which state to cover next in this series was Joan Bennett, who starred in a few movies I’ve watched recently including, Secret Beyond the Door (1947) earlier this week. She was born in the state of New Jersey so that is the state I’m covering today.

A few of the actors and actresses from the state of New Jersey are:

Actor Thomas Mitchell

Thomas Mitchell

Born: July 11, 1892 in Elizabeth, NJ

Died: December 17, 1962 (age 70)

Married twice

Known for the Movies: Lost Horizon, The Hurricane, Make Way for Tomorrow, Stagecoach, Only Angels Have Wings, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone With the Wind, The Dark Mirror, It’s a Wonderful Life, High Noon

My Favorite Thomas Mitchell Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life

Interesting Facts About Thomas Mitchell:

  • A very versatile performer, Thomas Mitchell worked on Broadway in various capacities for almost 20 years before starting his very successful film career. He then worked extensively on television in the 1950’s and early 1960’s.
  • When he won the Tony Award for his performance in the musical Hazel Flagg in 1953, he became the first actor to win the “triple crown” of acting awards. He had previously won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the movie Stagecoach (1939) and an Emmy for his performance as Father Devlin in The Good of His Soul on “The Ford Television Theatre” in 1953. Thomas Mitchell is the second actor I’ve featured in this series to have won the triple crown. Melvyn Douglas from my post about the state of Georgia also accomplished the feat in 1967.
  • In what is often considered the greatest year of movies, 1939, he starred in three of the films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Gone With the Wind. Continue reading →

Barbara Stanwyck’s Crime of Passion (1957)

My mom and dad were married in 1957 and spent 50 very happy years together. For the entire length of their marriage, my mom was a homemaker and by all accounts was contentedly living out her life long dream during those years. Growing up in our happy, love filled home I had always envisioned myself one day following in her footsteps.

I know it’s not a life that many women today could envision themselves living, but I always thought it would be nice to have been a housewife in the 1950’s living in the suburbs. So it was interesting for me to watch Crime of Passion, a movie about a woman who basically had the exact opposite desire. The movie, which ironically came out in 1957, starred Barbara Stanwyck as Kathy, a San Francisco advice columnist who declares that she has no desire to get married and endure what she describes as a “life sentence.” Continue reading →