Sunday, October 25, 2009

Mug Shots #9: Gene Tierney AKA The Nothing Woman

She was exquisitely beautiful, but there was also something oddly distant about her, a vacancy that was its own attribute. We see it on display in her two most famous roles: in Laura, she is perfect as the blank canvas others project themselves onto, her passivity becoming a point of obsession for the rest of the cast. In her career-best performance in Leave Her To Heaven, John Stahl uses her emptiness to personify a vast pit of obsessive neediness as Tierney places one of the most shockingly cold-blooded femme fatales on record.

Essential Tierney:
Leave Her To Heaven

Best of the Rest:
Night And The City
Where The Sidewalk Ends
Advise And Consent

Tierney had a complicated and tragic private life--guilt over an institutionalized daughter, a descent into mental illness--that is a rebuke to the lesser problems of many celebrities. Here's a documentary on her life.

1 comment:

Laurie Powers said...

I haven't thought of her in years - and I didn't know that about her life. Thanks for the link to the documentary.