Alt Film Guide
Classic movies. Gay movies. International cinema. Socially conscious & political cinema.
Home Movie CraftsActors + Actresses Eva Marie Saint: Actress Has Gone from Marlon Brando to Superman

Eva Marie Saint: Actress Has Gone from Marlon Brando to Superman

4 minutes read

Eva Marie Saint: Actress has gone from Marlon Brando & Cary Grant to Superman

Eva Marie SaintAs found in Arthur Spiegelman’s 2006 Reuters article “Eva Marie Saint won’t look back,” the Oscar-winning actress “is willing to do everything herself except write her memoirs. ‘The most depressing thing is to go back and say me, me and me. I wake up and keep moving, that’s what my mother said to do.'”

Apparently, Eva Marie Saint received similar advice from none other than Lillian Gish. “My first play [Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful] was with Lillian Gish and she didn’t like to talk about the old days. She said she never liked to go back. She liked to think about today and tomorrow.”

Ramon Novarro Beyond Paradise

Now, whatever Lillian Gish may have said to Eva Marie Saint back in 1953, the silent film veteran did look back when she wrote (with Ann Pinchot) her (whitewashed) memoirs, The Movies, Mr. Griffith and Me, in the 1960s. So, perhaps there’s hope that Eva Marie Saint, who has just turned 88, will write an autobiography one of these days.

Eva Marie Saint movies: From Marlon Brando to Cary Grant

The New Jersey-born (in Newark on July 4, 1924) Eva Marie Saint won a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her performance as Marlon Brando’s girlfriend in Elia Kazan’s On the Waterfront (1954). That was Saint’s first movie role, following years working on radio and on television – in addition to a Broadway stint in The Trip to Bountiful, originally a teleplay.

Saint’s cinematic output hasn’t been very extensive – only 21 movies over the course of more than half a century – but she has worked with a number of notable filmmakers and actors. In addition to On the Waterfront, the Best Picture Oscar winner of 1954, in the ’50s Saint was featured opposite Bob Hope in Melvin Frank and Norman Panama’s comedy That Certain Feeling (1956); in Fred Zinnemann’s “adult” drama A Hatful of Rain (1957), stealing the show from her more exuberant fellow players Don Murray, Lloyd Nolan, and Best Actor Oscar nominee Anthony Franciosa; Edward Dmytryk’s Raintree County (1957), a Gone with the Wind-wannabe with Best Actress Oscar nominee Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift; and Alfred Hitchcock’s classic chase thriller North by Northwest (1959), co-starring Cary Grant and James Mason.

In the ’60s, Eva Marie Saint’s films included Otto Preminger’s Exodus (1960), a terrible movie but a box office hit starring Paul Newman and featuring Best Supporting Actor nominee Sal Mineo; John Frankenheimer’s drama All Fall Down (1962), with Warren Beatty and Angela Lansbury; George Seaton’s solid period thriller 36 Hours (1964), with James Garner and Rod Taylor; and Norman Jewison’s Oscar-nominated farce The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming (1966), with Alan Arkin.

Additionally, Eva Marie Saint supported Elizabeth Taylor once again in Vincente Minnelli’s melodrama The Sandpiper (1965), co-starring Richard Burton; delivered an excellent performance in John Frankenheimer’s all-star racing drama Grand Prix (1966), opposite James Garner, Yves Montand, Toshiro Mifune, and others; and landed a relatively minor role in Robert Mulligan’s psychological Western The Stalking Moon (1968), starring Gregory Peck.

From then on, Saint’s movie appearances became quite sporadic. She has an affair with the younger George Segal in Irvin Kershner’s Loving (1970) and then supported Bob Hope in the Paul Bogart-directed box office bomb Cancel My Reservation (1972). More than a decade later, she was Tom Hanks’ mother in Garry Marshall’s family drama Nothing in Common (1986), once again stealing the show, this time from both Hanks and fellow veteran Jackie Gleason.

Katara + Superman

Recent roles include Martha Kent, Clark Kent’s mother, in Bryan Singer’s Superman Returns (2006), with Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth; Wim Wenders’ psychological drama Don’t Come Knocking (2005), with Jessica Lange and Sam Shepard; and Wayne Wang’s family-dog comedy Because of Winn-Dixie (2005), memorable in a minor role opposite AnnaSophia Robb and Jeff Daniels.

As an aside: Following a screening of Because of Winn-Dixie at the 2005 Santa Barbara Film Festival, Eva Marie Saint took the stage and seemed to be enjoying herself tremendously while chatting with the audience.

Now, although this doesn’t exactly refer to movie work, it’s worth mentioning the Eva Marie Saint Saint-Katara connection. Saint provides the voice of the elderly Katara in the popular Nickelodeon animated series The Legend of Korra, a sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Eva Marie Saint article via

Recommended for You

Leave a Comment

*IMPORTANT*: By using this form you agree with Alt Film Guide's storage and handling of your data (e.g., your IP address). Make sure your comment adds something relevant to the discussion: Feel free to disagree with us and write your own movie commentaries, but *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative. Abusive, inflammatory, spammy/self-promotional, baseless (spreading mis- or disinformation), and just plain deranged comments will be zapped. Lastly, links found in submitted comments will generally be deleted.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. If you continue browsing, that means you've accepted our Terms of Use/use of cookies. You may also click on the Accept button on the right to make this notice disappear. Accept Privacy Policy