Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Barbara Stanwyck: Straight Down The Line | The Hollywood Collection

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- When I marry it's gonna be somebody I've never seen before.

I mean, I won't know what he looks like, or where he'll come from, or what he'll be.

I want him to sort of take me by surprise.

- Her comedy sense was incredible.

She had such a wonderful interior humor, and I think that she used that a great deal.

Well she had a great range.

- Listen, everything in that speech are things a certain man believed in.

It was my father John, and when he talked, people listened, and they'll listen to you


Funny, you know what my mother said the other night?

She said to look into your eyes, that I'd see Father there.

- I loved to watch her in movies because of her dexterity and subtly of it, she never

anticipates everything, she's always brand new, and always rewarding.

- I was proud of you.

I saw your future in big, electric lights.

It's a pity never to seen you in action again, used to be a thrill.

- She was one of a very small group of women who became stars by being strong women.

She was one of the very few tough women who came across sympathetically, and with whom

the audience could identify.

- She had the simplicity of art, she had the inner fire on the control.

- We're hitting it for the limit, baby.

That's why it's got to be the train.

- It'll be the train Walter, just the way you want it, straight down the line.

You don't know anything about me.

What kind of an animal am I?

Do I have fangs, do I purr, what jungle am I from?

You don't know a thing about me.

- Oh that ain't important.

- People have funny things swimming around inside of them, don't you ever wonder what

they are?

- It would be very difficult to describe Barbara Stanwyck.

She was very complicated, and she could be fiercely loyal to her friends, but she expected

the same thing.

She had been hurt so many times over the years and in her life, that she was very guarded

against becoming close with anyone.

- There was a certain toughness about Barbara.

She was tough with her coworkers, she was demanding, she was also very much loved by


And I think this came from her childhood.

- Ruby Stevens was born in Brooklyn.

She was born to a poor family, and she was orphaned when she was four.

Her mother was killed when she fell off a streetcar, and the father then deserted the


Ruby was brought up in foster homes.

She and her brother were the youngest, they were not in the same foster home.

- [Nolan] He was not as strong as she was.

As long as he was alive, she always took care of him.

She built a tough image of, I don't need anyone, I can take care of myself.

- She didn't talk too much about the past, she had closed many doors in her life, and

that's the way she chose to keep it.

- She was private, she was a very private person.

I didn't know Barbara Stanwyck in her early years, but Barbara and I would sit with our

feet up on the radiator of the Plaza, looking into the Park.

She said, "I envied any of the kids who could go to the park."

Then there was a little boy who had a little tiny red jacket, and it was snowing, and she

said, "You know, I really was heartbroken "that I didn't have some kind of warmth, "and

I didn't have that kind of warmth," and she said, "My whole life I wanted to be in Central

Park "all the time with the other kids," and she never could do it.

- She didn't have all the breaks that she should've had, that she should've been allowed

to have had.

- There were five children in the family, but the others were either married, or her

sister Millie, who was older, was a showgirl.

- Millie is the one who took her on the road from time to time, and traveled with her.

- [Ella] She quit school when she was quite young, about 14, and she took one menial job

after another, and finally she ended up in show business.

- [Nolan] She first worked as a chorus girl when she was about 16 years old, and she used

to tell me that she worked at two shows.

She worked in a Broadway show as a hoofer, and then at night she said she would race

down the street to the other theater that she was a pony in the Ziegfeld Follies in

the midnight show.

- [Ella] She finally got a job at a Broadway show called The Noose.

And Willard Mack, who was the producer of that, saw that he had more than just a chorus

girl, he took her out of the chorus and gave her a scene.

- [Larry] He took an untrained chorus girl and made her into an actress, and she never

forgot this.

- [Ella] She brought the house down, and she had wonderful reviews.

He also named her.

- [Barbara] We were all sitting backstage in the green room of the Glasgow Theatre in

New York City.

There was a very old English program, and it read, James Stanwyck, appearing in Barbara


So he said, "Here's your name, Barbara Stanwyck."

- [Ella] The big break after her small role, which brought her to the attention of the

critics, was Burlesque, with Hal Skelly, who was already an established, top performer.

One night when she was doing this show, she was introduced to Frank Fay.

Now Frank Fay was a vaudevillian, he was Broadway's favorite son at that point, and he was at

the top of the heap.

- [Nolan] Everybody considered him the greatest emcee in vaudeville, and he could play weeks,

months, at The Palace.

He was always new, always fresh, different, and people just loved him.

- [Larry] She was just deeply in love with him, and of course, when they came to Hollywood,

he was a great help to her, he took this inexperienced, young girl, who was then his wife, and tried

to open doors for her.

- [Barbara] And then I came originally for Joe Schenck, who then owned United Artists.

I did a perfectly dreadful picture called The Locked Door, that was the beginning of

talkies, and it was terrible, awful.

- [Ella] Mexicali Rose she did, oh, what a disaster.

It was early talkies, she was totally miscast, she had no direction, another dog to her credit.

- All she could think about was returning to New York, but she never did, however, because

she met Frank Capra.

- [Ella] She went to an interview with Capra.

She had no confidence whatsoever, and finally she said, "Oh hell, you don't want any part

of me," and she just got up and she left.

And so Capra left the office and he said, "Forget it, she's not an actress, she's a


- [Barbara] I had tested a couple of times for various and thundering parts out here,

and I always lost.

I was up to here with testing.

- About a half hour later, Frank Fay, her husband, was on the phone to Capra, and he

said, "What the hell'd you do to my wife, "she came home crying and upset, what did

you do?"

Fay said, "Look, she's young, she's shy, "she's been kicked around out here, she hasn't had

a chance.

"I want you to see a test of the scene "that she had done in The Noose."

And as Capra said, "I wasn't going to like that "for anything, I had no interest in seeing

this test," but about 30 seconds into it he got a lump in his throat, he said, as big

as an egg.

- And he saw something in Barbara that he thought was unique, and he saw an inner fire

there, perhaps, that he could bring out on the screen.

- Would it put you out any if I quit?

Would you care?

- Well, no, I mean, I'd like to finish the job I started.

- Is that all?

- What do you mean, is that all?

- Well I mean, what difference does it make whether you do finish it, who cares, it'll

be just another painting.

The museum is full of paintings.

- Now look here, Ms. Arnold--

- Ms. Arnold, Ms. Arnold, can't you call me Kay?

What am I, a statue or a hunk of furniture?

That's the way you treat me.

I'm a human being.

- He found out that he had a natural actress, that she was wonderful.

- I love him, he's the only man I ever loved.

I couldn't live without him.

I'll work for him, I'll take care of him, gee, I'd die for him.

He don't need his father and he don't need you.

I won't give him up, I won't listen to you, get out!

- [Ella] The Capra-Stanwyck magic, what a relationship that was.

- When she came to Hollywood, Barbara was not a raging beauty.

She had pleasant looks, dark hair, rather Irish looking.

But Capra saw something in her eyes, and as anybody who has studied film knows, the great

stars have penetrating eyes that reach out across the screen.

- [Ella] But she had one drawback, she gave everything on that first take.

This made it difficult because it meant using multiple cameras, but it was worth it to Capra

to get that, that white heat.

Now of course over the years she learned technique, and she knew, of course, how to give on the

fifth take if she had to.

Stanwyck had bad luck with her relationships.

Frank Fay had to be the king.

And when he came to Hollywood, her star rose and his went totally downhill.

He was doing some film work, but it was not major.

- Oh Barbara Stanwyck, may I present Mr. Fay.

- We know each other, we're married.

- Why, of course.

Do you know anything about those stolen jewels?

- Shh, I've just written the most beautiful piece of poetry.

- Really?

- Well I've gotta go.

- Just a second, let's hear it.

- In a year or so the girl returned, and mighty proud was she.

She told how she'd done her duty in the great war o'er the sea.

She told how she picked up the wounded and held each one to her breast, so the woodworkers

got together and made her a cedar chest.

- Well, I'll see you around sometime I guess.

- Kindly come in the garden please.

- It was the first time he really had any failure in his


He just couldn't register in talkies.

Meanwhile her career was growing.

He became very bitter, and he was quite a drinker too.

- She did love this man enough to try and save the relationship through being less than

she was.

He was hurt that she was doing so well and he wasn't, she invested a lot of money in

some work on Broadway, and she was in a show with him, but her career was the most important

thing at that point.

- Seems like only yesterday I saw your picture on the billboard, and Lem Jordan wanted to

tear it down.

- Why, the fella musta been crazy.

- He wanted to, but I wouldn't let him.

- Now you really got me.

- I got you?

- You sure have, Annie.

No other girl's got a chance.

But look, we...

Look, people'll pay to see us battle each other.

Oh, I don't care no more who wins those matches.

- You don't?

- Ah, I know you can beat me and I'm proud of you.

Never thought I'd see the day when I can stand out, but now I--

- Toby, I'm gonna tell everybody how wonderful you really are.

- [Film Announcer] Annie Oakley!

- [Bob] The fact that his career was disappearing was the real problem.

No matter what she did, she couldn't change that.

- [Ella] She also adopted a child, a boy, hoping that that would help.

She would like to have had children, she couldn't, but again, that was not enough to save the


- He just fell deeper and deeper into alcoholism, and made impossible demands on her, was very

jealous of her career and her success.

- And gradually he became physically abusive to her, there were those who would talk about

hearing him hit her on the set of a film, and it just wasn't working.

- [Bob] Eddie Foy, Jr. told me that Frank never fell out of love with Barbara, and that

to his dying day, he said, "She'll come back to me someday," and he always held that belief.

He never married again, he was always waiting for Barbara.

- [Ella] Her first major opportunity was the wonderful 1937 Stella Dallas, where she was

padded, she had horrible makeup, junky jewelry, and hideous costumes.

And Stanwyck loved that role, and she worked very, very hard, and she received her first

Academy Award nomination.

Her favorite scene in Stella Dallas was the very last scene, and this is where she is

standing outside in the rain and watching her daughter marry a wealthy man, and she

sees the veil lifted from the face, and sees how happy she is.

The tears come to her eyes, and she walks away very satisfied with what she has engineered,

even though the daughter never knows, it's true self-sacrifice.

Stanwyck was not a sacrificer in real life, she loved to play it on the screen.

- She had this vulnerability that people wanted to, in a sense, help her, could feel her tragedy,

but yet she never had that fateful thing that actors can do, and that is self-pity.

- But it was only in the intimacy of our friendship with my wife, where she confided in us, that

one time, only one time.

The rest of the time, that's water under the bridge, I'm go forward.

I don't live in the past.

- Barbara never had a great deal of vanity the way most stars do.

It didn't matter with Barbara, either on the screen or off, she was just being herself.

I was surprised with how small she was, but that often happens.

- These images you see on a screen and you think they're much taller than they actually

are, she's a tiny little thing.

- Barbara Stanwyck never fussed with her clothes, or checked with them, you got her dressed

in the morning, and if she was wrinkled or there was something wrong, you had to tell

her, because she was so busy concentrating on her lines and on her performance.

And she used to always tell me, "If the shoes are important, "than the whole thing's a mistake."

- Barbara was a very kind person, she was very helpful to young actors.

The most famous example, of course, is Bill Holden, who was scared to death in his first

real starring role on Golden Boy.

- [TV Announcer] In Hollywood, event motion picture producers start bidding for the screen

rights to Golden Boy, which finally go to the Columbia Studio.

The studio casting director combs all Hollywood, interviews hundreds on young actors to find

one capable of playing the title role, that of a boy who thrusts aside his violin to become

a mauling fury in the prize ring.

The final choice is William Holden at the pinnacle of stardom.

Under the direction of Rouben Mamoulian, maker of many of the screen's biggest hits.

- Everybody wanted that part of Golden Boy, man I wanted it, and a fella called William

Beedle got the part, his name was Bill Holden.

She brought him along and helped him so much, but not many people would do that.

- [Ella] Golden Boy was his first major opportunity, and after he'd been shooting for a short time,

they were ready to replace him.

Stanwyck went to bat for him and she said, "You haven't given him a chance."

- You shouldn't be in the ring, Joe.

You belong in your home with your violin.

- Say, that's funny coming from you.

- I know.

Oh Joe, do you remember the night you spoke of music and what it meant to you?

You knew what was right then, how people should live.

Joe, maybe you ought to give up fighting.

- She took him under her wing, rehearsed in her dressing room, encouraged him, and got

a pretty fine performance out of this young kid, who was up against this consummate actress.

- I wanted to conquer the world, but instead I smashed myself.

I'm lost, Lorna.

- No darling, you're not.

Now you can go back to yourself, to your music.

- With this?

A great violinist with a broken hand.

- Your hand will heal, and you'll play again, you must.

Nothing can stop you when you do what's in your heart.

We have each other Joe, we'll find a way.

- Stanwyck is one of the few star actresses who was in control of her own life, she was

not a studio creation.

She made films at all the studios, and that was very, very rare.

And in that journey, therefore, she picked material that was versatile.

The variation of the roles that she would play, it was just, the difference between

Stella Dallas and The Lady Eve.

She spun across drama and the comedy with, just benevolent ease.

- [TV Announcer] Here's the gorgeous, tantalizing Lady Eve.

Now watch her go into action.

She has her eye on this handsome, wealthy, but terribly naive and inexperienced young

man, who hasn't seen a woman for a year.

Now every woman has her eyes on him, but only Lady Eve knows how to get him.

Meet Barbara Stanwyck, his very, very vexy, Lady Eve.

Bewitching, bewildering, and very bothering to Henry Fonda, a modern Adam.

- Thank you.

Do you know that I find your son very handsome?

- That's the same dame, I can tell by the way she--

- I'll take over from here, Mr. Murgatroyd.

- You and who else?

- I said I'll take over from here, Ambrose.

- Ambrose?

- Leave me alone, will ya?

- The way she and Fonda worked together was enchanting, but in playing that double role,

she was so tasteful, she never pretended to be anybody else, she just thought differently.

That's what was wonderful about her, her thought mechanism was stunning.

- I mean to say, have we met?

- Well of course we have, your father just introduced us.

- Aren't you feeling well?

- Oh, I'm so sorry, you meant, hadn't you met me before someplace?

- Yeah.

- Oh, very probably, let me see, where could it have been?


- No.

- Biarritz?

- No.

- I know, Le Touquet.

You had a mustache at the time, and you tried to meet me at a dance in the casino.

- Oh, you weren't on the S.S. Southern Queen?

- Say, what's the matter with you?

- I'm sorry.

- Oh, were you in love with her?

- Yeah, he was in love with her but he don't remember what she looked like.

- Don't let them tease you.

You can tell me all about her.

- She was a very shy individual, she was not comfortable around strangers, she always preferred

to be around people that she knew.

She loved the crews on the sets of her films, and they loved her.

She knew everybody by name, she felt comfortable with them.

- She was just one of the guys, they all called her Missy.

And they would practically get down on their knees to her, and they loved to go on her


- She knew, in this industry, that you could be the best actress in the world, but if the

man who's pushing the dolly doesn't go when you walk, you can't do it.

If the sound man doesn't have the boom in the right place you can't do it, it's a collaborative

effort, and she was very knowledgeable about that.

- [Ella] When she met Robert Taylor she fell in love, and so did he.

They did an early film, a terrible film, called His Brother's Wife.

They did another called This is My Affair.

These two are so obviously in love, you can see it.

She absolutely adored this man, they had a wonderful relationship.

They were married in 1939.

- [Bob] Certainly Robert Taylor was the most important man in her life, probably the most

handsome man in Hollywood.

He loved her, and that was a great boost for her.

He thrived on this marriage, enjoyed going out with him.

And she wasn't much of a party person, but to do what the studios wanted, go to premieres,

show up at parties, awards, events.

She'd go along with, especially if she had this beautiful man on her arm.

That was a very exciting period in her life, her own career was on the ascendancy and so

was his, and they were the legendary perfect marriage.

- When I was a young boy, I'm talking about the middle-30's, there were three women on

the screen that fascinated me; Greta Garbo, Bette Davis, and Barbara Stanwyck.

At that time I knew nothing about acting, but instinctively I felt that in Davis, and

in Greta Garbo, I enjoyed the histrionics, they were bigger than life, and it was exciting

to watch.

But then when I saw Barbara Stanwyck, I noticed in her an inner power with less histrionics.

It was a little more truth, to me, her performance.

- [Ella] The last film that Stanwyck did of the five she did with Frank Capra was Meet

John Doe.

- Please listen to me, please, I can explain everything John, I didn't know what they were

going to do, let me go with you John.

- Stanwyck was a very strong, emotional actress.

She was a combination of toughness and suffering, vulnerability, the vulnerability would show,

no matter how strong a women she was, sooner or later, in almost every role.

- John, John look at me.

You wanna be honest don't you?

Well you don't have to die to keep the John Doe idea alive, someone already died for that

once, the first John Doe, and he's kept that idea alive for nearly 2,000 years.

It was he who kept it alive in them, and he'll go on keeping it alive forever and always.

For every John Doe that these men kill, a new one will be born, that's why there's bells

a-ringin' John.

They're calling to us, not to give up, but to keep on fighting, to keep on pitching.

Oh, don't you see darling?

This is no time to give up.

You and I John, we...

Oh no, no John, if you die I wanna die too.

Oh I love you,

- She loved losing herself in a character, and going all the way, if it meant aging,

or whatever.

- [TV Announcer] The great man's lady, gallant woman of America, who's life was a procession

of wonderful, terrible, turbulent years.

Men who looked into her eyes were forever caught, ready to fight and die for her love.

Queen of the gambling halls, notorious woman of mystery in roaring San Francisco, when

she saw things that even today men and women whisper about.

- Speak for the truth and fight for it, speak for all the people to hear.

Help them to build something fine and free, a country that, that your own little boy and

girl, and all our children will be proud to inherit.

- I'll do it.

- I know you will, Ethan.

- [Larry] One of her favorite films was the Great Man's Lady, in which she aged to an

elderly lady.

She loved that, she loved basking in the character.

- She loved the films that were really difficult to do.

I know that she loved doing Ball of Fire.

The film was written for Ginger Rogers, after she read it she told the producer and the

director, "Oh, I would never play that part, she's too common."

So they called Barbara Stanwyck and they said, we offered this to Ginger Rogers but she has

turned it down, would you be interested?

And she read the script, she said, "You bet, I love playing common broads."

Come on and give me heat ♪ ♪ 'Cause I don't like my music sweet ♪ ♪ I wanna

feel my impulse beat ♪ ♪ Take it off the E string ♪ ♪ Play it on the G string ♪ ♪ If

this gives you a thrill ♪ ♪ It's happening much against my will ♪ ♪ And only 'cause

I've caught a chill ♪ ♪ Take it off the E string ♪ ♪ Play it on the G string ♪ ♪ What

goes a lot ♪ ♪ Goes when I do ♪ ♪ My act ♪ ♪ Boys it's a fact ♪ ♪ Whenever

I'm applauded ♪ ♪ You're rewarded

- Whatever she experienced early in her life which gave her the ingredients to be a survivalist,

she used in, she channeled very, very well.

Some people's persona ends up being totally opposite to their beginnings.

She was very strong, and at the same time, could muster immense femininity, as in The

Lady Eve, and her performance is stunning.

Double Indemnity, it's really the totally other side of the coin, it's a malevolent

woman that she plays, and a lot of actresses wouldn't have the guts to step up to that.

- [Walter Voiceover] How could I have known that murder can sometimes smell like honeysuckle?

- I can't stand it anymore, what if they do hang me?

- They're not gonna hang you, baby.

- It's better than going on this way.

- They're not going to hang you, because you're gonna to do it and I'm gonna help you.

- [TV Announcer] Yes, from the moment they met it was murder.

- I'd have the cops after her so quick, it'll make your head spin.

Now we know the Dietrichson dame was in it, and a somebody else.

- Well they haven't got a single thing to go on, Keyes.

- [Keyes] He'll show, he's got to show, sometime, somewhere, but gotta be.

- [Barbara] When Billy Wilder sent me the script of Double Indemnity and I read it,

I had never played an out and out killer, and as such, I was a little frightened of


And I went back to his office, I said, "I love the script and I love you, "but I'm a

little afraid, after all these years "of playing heroines, to go into "an out and out coldblooded


And Mr. Wilder, and rightly so, looked at me, and he said, "Well, are you a mouse or

an actress?"

I must've said something that gave you a terribly wrong impression.

You must never think anything like that about me, Walter.

- Okay.

- No, it's not okay, not if you don't believe me.

- What do you want me to do?

- I want you to be nice to me, like the first time you came to the house.

- [Walter] It can't be like the first time, something's happened.

- I know it has, it happened to us.

- Double Indemnity was certainly a chance to do a really strong role with no holds barred,

and she loved it.

It garnered her another Academy Award nomination.

- Maybe I had Zachetti here so they won't get a chance to trip me up, so we can get

the money and be together.

- That's cute, say it again.

- He came here first to ask where Lola was, I made him come back, I was working on him.

He's a crazy sort of guy, quick-tempered.

I kept hammering into him that she was with another man so he'd go into one of his jealous

rages, and then I'd tell him where she was.

And you know what he would've done to her, don't you Walter?

- Yes, and for once I believe you, because it's just rotten enough.

- We're both rotten.

- Well Barbara was rare in Hollywood, she was not a personality star.

Most of the major stars, they pretty much projected their own persona, Barbara was not

like that.

She didn't wanna reveal herself.

At any rate, she could adopt any role, she could play mothers in tragedies, she could

play wild, mad-cap comedies, she could play adventures, she loved Westerns, and that was

probably why she was never a huge box office star.

She was a freelance actress most of her time, and she made good salaries, but she never

made the popularity charts.

I don't think that bothered her at all, she just wanted to be a working actress.

- [Male Disembodied Voice] Ivers, Ivers, Ivers...

- No, no, Martha Smith.

- [Ella] Stanwyck had a rough childhood, she had to do for herself.

She also learned that you have to be in control, or somebody else will be in control of you.

This carried over all her life, and it carried over into relationships.

And of course, with Robert Taylor, this was tough on him too.

This was something that began to pull things apart.

Taylor was also an outdoors man, Stanwyck was not an outdoors woman.

She did like to ride horses and so on, but she didn't wanna go camping, she didn't wanna

go shooting, hunting, whatever.

He also liked to fly, he had his own plane.

I think she went up maybe once.

- I knew Bob quite well, he was a guy who was a country boy, he was a fella who loved

to shoot.

And we'd go up to my father's duck lodge and shoot skeet together, and Barbara didn't like

that very much.

Some of the other ladies, like Gary Cooper's wife Rocky, loved to shoot.

I think Barbara was 100% involved in her craft.

- [TV Announcer] Their strange conflict, their even stranger love, brought to its unforeseeable

climax in one unforgettable night when a woman overhears the plotting of a murder.

But which call has created this perfect pattern of terror.

- I want you to get out of that bed and walk to the window, I want you to scream out in

the street, Leona.

- [Leona] I can't, I can't move Henry, I'm too frightened.

- Keep trying, otherwise you've only got three more minutes to live.

- [Ella] Sorry, Wrong Number was a great suspense film, and she had 12 minutes of terror to


This was very, very difficult, and the director asked her if she'd like to do them, spread

them throughout the filming, or do them all together so she would have continuity.

She found that the continuity worked best for her, and again, she received another Academy

Award nomination.

- I don't think anybody really knows what happened between the two of them, but certainly

it's an old, old story in Hollywood, or anywhere, but at a certain period of life, a man casts

his eyes on a younger woman.

- I think Barbara was unremitting, I think she was terribly, terribly tough on herself.

I don't know the story about Bob and the other lady, and whatever happened, but in life there

are no finites, and nobody's perfect.

She was so dead straight on a set of tracks that she marched to, and she just couldn't

allow herself to go any other way.

- I think she never really got over him, and I suppose it was the great love of her life,

was Robert Taylor.

He went on and had a wife and children, but I think he always had that kind of a love

for her also.

- [Bob] Her friends say that there was a void in her life after the divorce.

The only way she could find to fill that void was to work.

- No, I don't wanna miss ya, I got as much right to make you my wife as any man on the


- Gary, let go of me or I'll smash your face with the first thing I can lay my hands on.

- Hey, don't you know I love ya, can't you tell it?

- What are ya?


At a zoo they keep 'em in cages, they keep 'em apart, they don't let 'em hurt people,

you're animals, animals, animals, animals!

- [Ella] In 1952 Stanwyck did a wonderful film, which is called Clash By Night.

It was again, a very strong character, but now a kind of downtrodden character, who falls

for a no-good.

But at the same time wants peace from this terrible life she has lived.

- One thing I know, he was a man who didn't tear a woman down, he made her feel confident.

- Confident?

- Sure of herself, more than she was, not less.

The only man I ever knew who gave me that feeling.

- Which makes me what?

- A sparrow on a treetop.

- [Ella] One of the actresses in the film was Marilyn Monroe.

Stanwyck never had a bad word for Marilyn.

Marilyn would be late all the time, she would be going up in her lines, et cetera, but Stanwyck

understood her, she said she was just a young kid, but she had the world at her fingertips.

- I'm tired of looking after men, I wanna be looked after.

- Weren't you ever in love, Mae?

- Once.

- Where?

- St. Paul, he was big too, like Charlie.

I'll say one thing, he knew how to handle women.

- Is that what you want from a man?

- Confidence, I want a man to give me confidence, somebody to fight off the blizzards and the

floods, somebody to beat off the world when it tries to swallow you up.

Me and my ideas.

- [Ella] You could tell there was magic there, and Stanwyck understood her totally, and knew

where she was coming from.

- Barbara couldn't stand unkindness.

There used to be a kind of core of directors who were mean to performers.

This particular day, on California, there was a director being mean to this one particular

bit player who couldn't fight back, and she said, "Cut, hold it, wait a minute."

She said, "You, you apologize to this actor, "get up on a parallel, I want you to apologize

to him, "in front of the crew, everyone to hear it "otherwise I'm on the first train


And he did.

- Everyone told her if she let her hair go gray it would ruin her career completely,

and she said, "Only the young die," and she just refused to dye her hair, she said she

wasn't gonna sit in a beauty salon for two hours every week having her hair dyed.

- She was never that concerned about her looks, or her makeup, or, she was really interested

more in the character.

I did one picture with Barbara, I was in a picture called the Titanic.

- [Tv Announcer] Unforgettable drama in scene after scene, an immense canvas on which is

thrown the gripping story of young love, of cowardice and heroism, of faithfulness and

adultery, of sinner and saint.

- And if you try to interfere, I'll be as common as you think I am, I'll fight you tooth

and nail, I'll take you to the courts.

- No court in the world, no power in the heaven can force me to give up my son.

- He is not your son.

- Well I think you'll find, if you study the history of great actresses of the 30s and

40s, that they are all strong personalities.

Barbara lived her life as she wanted it, because she'd heard it all, and she could give it

right back to you if you tried it on her.

- She loved Westerns, she loved pioneer women, and she loved the early West.

She loved doing stunts, the stunt people were among her favorites.

She wanted action, she didn't wanna just be sitting in a corner knitting.

- Remember what I told you, keep your head down.

Run for it!

- You've gotta do something about those guns.

- Do you know where McCord's turnin' 'em over to Natchakoa?

Once Natchakoa gets his hands on 'em this whole territory'll be on fire before night.

- [Ella] Barbara Stanwyck did over 80 films in her career.

She loved to work.

Now it became tougher, as it did for all Hollywood actresses in that era, when she hit a certain


Movies had changed.

She realized that television was going to be an important medium, she didn't look down

on it.

In those days Westerns were not the thing for a woman unless she was going to wear a

long gown, and just stand around and make cakes or something.

She wanted to get out in ride, to be in cattle drives, and do all of the things that the

men could do.

She did an anthology show, it was a half-hour show, it won her an Emmy, and it was canceled

in the same season.

- She hated playing herself on the anthology, she would've done everything to do away with

those introductions.

- Some actors, when they are inside a role, they lose themselves, and find great difficulty

in really being themselves, because perhaps there is a certain sense of insecurity.

And I think Barbara, who was rather reserved, she was not the most social person I've ever


This magnificent actress found it a little difficult being herself.

- [Bob] Then came The Big Valley, and that really pleased her.

She loved to get on a horse, and wear buckskin, talk with the wranglers.

The most pleasant part of her later life was when she could do that show.

Her life was not particularly a happy life, and maybe that's why she threw herself into

her work so much, because when she was working on a picture, she gave it everything, she

gave more than 100%.

The amazing thing is that she was so generous.

Linda Evans, when we were doing Big Valley all those years, every Saturday was at her

house working on her script, and working on lines, working on scenes with her.

Linda really started thinking that she was her real mother.

- When I first met Barbara Stanwyck, I was the most frightened writer in this whole town.

Dick Powell called me and said, "I think I can get Barbara Stanwyck "to do a Zane Grey

Theater, write her something."

I was petrified, Barbara Stanwyck, me write something for Barbara Stanwyck?

I did, and Missy, Barbara, did it, and then she called so many people in town saying you

should use this writer, you should use this writer, and that started my career in this


- When I first met her I got out of Chouinard after studying design for film, couldn't get

a job at a studio, and I'd taken a job in Beverly Hills in a flower shop.

And Barbara Stanwyck came in, and of course, they almost had to call 911 for me, because

I was close to passing out that my idol was there and I was talking to her.

- I went to get some flowers for somebody I was dating, I went to this flower shop,

and by coincidence, there was Barbara Stanwyck.

And she immediately gave me a hug and a kiss, said, "Come here, I want you to meet somebody."

I went over and I met the florist, and she said, "He's not only a florist, he does my

clothes, "I want you to use him on your next show."

I started Nolan Miller as couturier, and Nolan's done everything for this company from Dynasty

on down, because Barbara Stanwyck said, "Aaron, you should use him."

- I think in her later years, Barbara was something of a loner.

It wasn't because she had lost her looks, because she looked terrific and did occasional


- [Aaron] When we talked about things that Missy wanted to do, she had just one thing,

"I would do anything, I will show fear, "I will show vulnerability, but I want a strong


"There are too many things being done on television "where women are just victims, "I don't wanna

be a victim, Aaron.

"I can be victimized, but I don't wanna be a victim."

- I think Barbara Stanwyck was interested in this role because it was a love story.

It was a story about her being in love with a man, and that wasn't a role that I think

was available to her at the time.

Barbara Stanwyck must've been in her mid-70's somewhere when we were shooting this, and

that was a big concern to us obviously, because a miniseries is a very lengthy, and difficult

process to shoot.

It turned out that Barbara was the strongest of anyone on that set.

She was a consummate professional, she wouldn't allow her character in the picture to be harmed

by a lotta the extraneous elements that are involved with shooting a movie, and that is

probably why she was so successful in her career, she knew who her character was.

There was one scene in particular, it was a pivotal scene where she starts crying and

expresses her love to Richard Chamberlain, it was all done in one take, in a master shot.

And we were on a stage shooting the scene, and she went through this entire scene uninterrupted,

without making a single mistake, from talking to us and having fun to having tears now in

her eyes, screaming at Richard Chamberlain, crying.

- I'm the goat of your old age, that's all.

A reminder of what you can no longer be.

- Let me tell you something, Cardinal de Bricassart, about old age and about that God of yours.

That vengeful God who ruins our bodies and leaves us with only enough wit for regret.

Inside this stupid body I am still young, I still feel, I still want, I still dream,

and I still love you, oh God, how much.

- [Mark] The entire stage, everyone on the stage had stopped and listened to the scene

and was now applauding for her.

- She never got the awards and the acclaim that her contemporaries did.

Finally it came to her.

- She was in the hospital, and I went to the hospital to tell her that she was getting

an honorary Oscar, and she said, "You're not kidding me, "I'm really getting this Oscar?"

I said yes, she said, "Well I've gotta get well, "I've gotta hurry up and have Nolan

design me a gown, "and I've gotta make plans," and with that, she willed herself out of the

hospital and cured herself.

- A few years ago, I stood on this stage with William Holden, as a presenter.

I loved him very much, and I miss him.

He always wished that I would get an Oscar, and so tonight, my Golden Boy, you got your


- I said, maybe there's a chance I can get Barbara Stanwyck to do a favor for me.

I never heard, she's too old.

Their whole attitude was, Barbara Stanwyck, yes.

Then I had to call her and said, "Would you do The Colbys for me?" and she said, "What's

The Colbys'?"

I said, well this series we're doin' with Chuck Heston, blah, blah, blah, blah, and

she said, "And you're telling me that I'm older than Moses, "is that what you're telling


I said, "No Missy, I thought you'd have fun," and I said, "Can I send you a script?" she

says, "No, don't send me a script.

"When do I report on the set?"

- She was persuaded to be my sister.

She was all I had expected her to be, I knew she would be good in the scenes, I did not

realize how fully she would realize, she would fulfill her responsibility as a professional.

- She was remarkable, she had an inner strength that, when she was very tired and the camera

was rolling, there she was again, as if she were the healthiest, strongest woman in the


"Cut," and then when she'd sit down, you could tell that she was tired, and of course, all

my admiration went to her.

Unfortunately, I only did one scene with her, one insignificant scene, but it was just the

two of us alone.

But in that scene, communicating with her, seeing that simplicity, her eyes connecting

with me, not playing to the camera or doing, but really talking to me, I felt almost an

electricity filling me.

- As with all radiant, in-depth stars, they carry an individual stamp, and perhaps the

best thing is it cannot be defined, they are unique.

Stanwyck, because of the versatility of the canon of work, is one of the most valuable

of those creatures, over three-and-a-half, four decades, that's quite phenomenal.

And right up until the end, everything that she performed was full out, and with style

and stamina.

- [Larry] She was very shy and very insecure, and yet she could go out on a soundstage and

work it for all it was worth, and give the camera exactly what they needed.

The little girl who danced to the music of the Herty Gerty never lost that childish quality.

No matter what her age was, you always wanted to protect her and shield her.

- [Roddy] She makes you realize that you can keep going, there is no end except by your

own choice.

- Bette Davis became a star of a greater magnitude than Barbara Stanwyck, that is in fame, that

is in box office.

But to me, Barbara Stanwyck stands up there way on the top of all the names that have

ever worked in this industry.

- [Barbara] We are all very privileged people.

The good Lord gave us that much more to walk ahead of somebody, and He showed us how to

do it, and we did it, but we're survivors.

But we didn't do it on our own, we didn't do it on our own.

The man upstairs was pushing me.

The Description of Barbara Stanwyck: Straight Down The Line | The Hollywood Collection