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TCM Greatest Classic Legends Film Collection: Barbara Stanwyck [4 Discs] [DVD]
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Overview

Special Features

  • Baby Face features:
  • Intro by Robert Osborne
  • Theatrical trailer
  • Annie Oakley features:
  • Musical short Main Street Follies
  • Cartoon Into Your Dance
  • My Reputation features:
  • Musical short Jan Savitt and his band
  • Cartoon Daffy Doodles
  • Audio-only bonus: two radio adaptations
  • East Side, West Side features:
  • Passing parade series short Stuff for Stuff
  • Cartoon Counterfeit Cat
  • Closed Captioned

Synopsis

Baby Face
Baby Face is a good example of the kind of spitfire lead female characters that appeared in the cinema of pre-code Hollywood. Lily Powers (Barbara Stanwyck) works as a barmaid in her father's factory-town saloon where she learns to deal with the unwanted advances of male customers. When her father dies, she moves to New York City with her maid, Chico (Theresa Harris), to become a ruthless gold digger. First she meets office boy Jimmy McCoy (a young John Wayne in an uncharacteristically clean-cut role) who helps her get a job at the Gotham Trust Company. From there, she seduces and discards various men (George Brent, Donald Cook, Henry Kolker) as she sleeps her way to the top of the company. Jealously between the men causes a murder scene, so Lily takes her furs and jewels and moves to Paris with Chico. The production code censors tacked on an ending that featured Lily giving away her money and returning to her home town with Brent. ~ Andrea LeVasseur, Rovi

East Side, West Side
Director Mervyn Leroy lends a burnished MGM gloss to this sordid tale of infidelity among rich New York East Siders. Barbara Stanwyck stars as Jessie Bourne, a charming society woman whose finds out that her husband Brandon (James Mason) is guiltily indulging in an illicit affair with the earthy Isobel Lorrison (Ava Gardner). Jessie bears her husband's indiscretion with a gallant dignity, and when Isabelle is killed, Jesse realizes that she doesn't care for Brandon anyway. Van Heflin is also on hand as ex-cop Mark Dwyer, who admires Jessie's stoic dignity. ~ Paul Brenner, Rovi

My Reputation
A woman struggling to rebuild her life becomes the victim of uncharitable rumors in this sudsy drama. After the recent death of her husband, and with her sons away at school, Jessica Drummond (Barbara Stanwyck) is lonely and out of sorts -- and uninterested in the potential suitors her mother, Mrs. Kimball (Lucile Watson), chooses for her. Jessica joins her close friend Ginna Abbott (Eve Arden) on a skiing trip and meets Maj. Scott Landis (George Brent), a handsome man who is clearly attracted to her. Jessica makes it clear that she has no interest in a short-term fling, and upon returning home, she meets Frank Everett (Warner Anderson), a sweet but dull man whom she begins dating. Frank is willing to marry Jessica, but by chance she meets Scott again, and while she's not willing to be seduced by him, she finds him more exciting and alluring than Frank. As Jessica debates the merits of passion vs. security, she becomes the subject of mean-spirited gossipmongers who speculate that her relationship with Scott has become inappropriately intimate for a new widow. My Reputation was shot in 1944, but it wasn't released until 1946, as the studio believed that it would be better received after the end of WWII. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Annie Oakley
This highly fictionalized biopic of legendary sharpshooter Annie Oakley stars Barbara Stanwyck as "Little Sure Shot" Annie. Coming down from the hills of Ohio, Annie rises to fame with Buffalo Bill's (Moroni Olsen) Wild West Show. Her success as a performer is counterpointed by her stormy romance with fellow performer Toby Foster (Preston S. Foster), whose reputation as the World's Great Marksman is shot to holes by Annie's accomplishments. Walking out on Annie and the show, Toby loses himself in the streets of New York but is discovered and dragged back by Annie's faithful Indian friend Sitting Bull (Chief Thunderbird, whose performance is far from politically correct but undeniably amusing). Melvyn Douglas co-stars as Annie's manager and would-be boyfriend Jeff Hogarth, while an uncredited Dick Elliot delivers a hearty performance as press agent Ned Buntline; others in the cast include such 2-reel comedy favorites as Charlie Hall and Harry Bernard, who like director George Stevens were alumni of the Hal Roach fun factory. The much-later musical version of the Annie Oakley story, Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun, bears traces of this 1935 film, but not so much as to constitute plagiarism (Coincidentally, Herbert Fields, one of the writers of Annie Oakley, collaborated with his sister Dorothy on the libretto of Annie Get Your Gun). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

Cast & Crew

  • Barbara Stanwyck
    Barbara Stanwyck - Lily "Baby Face" Powers
  • George Brent
    George Brent - Trenholm
  • Donald Cook
    Donald Cook - Stevens
  • Arthur Hohl
    Arthur Hohl - Sipple
  • John Wayne
    John Wayne - Jimmy McCoy
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