Susan Hayward movies: Best Actress Oscar winner is TCM Star of the Month
Fiery redhead Susan Hayward is Turner Classic Movies’ Star of the Month in September 2015. Like Ida Lupino, Hayward was a would-be Bette Davis that only sporadically landed roles to match her thespian verve. Hers was also a long apprenticeship; in the late 1930s she was a minor Warner Bros. contract player, going on to become a Paramount second lead in the early 1940s, a Universal leading lady later in the decade, and finally a 20th Century Fox star in the early ’50s.
During the period 1947–1958, she received five Best Actress Academy Award nominations, winning once – for Robert Wise’s anti-capital punishment drama I Want to Live! (1958). More on that below.
Only five premieres
Unfortunately, TCM will be presenting only five Susan Hayward movie premieres,* all Fox releases. Hayward’s Paramount and Universal work – e.g., Among the Living, Sis Hopkins, And Now Tomorrow, The Saxon Charm – which remains mostly unavailable (in quality prints), will remain unavailable this month.
Highlights of the evening (Sept. 3) include:
- Gregory Ratoff’s Adam Had Four Sons (1941), a sentimental but surprisingly entertaining family drama – and probably Hayward’s first chance to shine in a bitchy role. Adam Had Four Sons demonstrates that as long as her tendency to Give It All was kept in check, she could have been a first-rate Scarlett O’Hara. The smile, the upturned nose, the sly, sideway look are all reminiscent of Vivien Leigh’s Scarlett. Hayward, of course, was one of the countless Gone with the Wind contenders.
- Canyon Passage (1946), a color Western directed by black-and-white film noir master Jacques Tourneur. The film is notable as the sole Hollywood effort featuring British star Patricia Roc.
- They Won’t Believe Me (1947), in which Hayward is one of the women in Robert Young’s life. This unusual film noir is supposed to have had a longer version that is now hard (impossible?) to find. As it stands, the film is gripping, atmospheric, and generally well acted – but it suffers from an infuriatingly absurd finale.
* According to TCM’s guide Now Playing, the premieres – most (or all) of which have been available on the Fox Movie Channel – are the following:
- I Can Get It for You Wholesale (1951), with Dan Dailey and George Sanders.
- David and Bathsheba (1951), with Gregory Peck.
- The President’s Lady (1953), with Charlton Heston.
- The Marriage-Go-Round (1961), with James Mason.
- Valley of the Dolls (1967), with Barbara Parkins, Sharon Tate, and Patty Duke.
Susan Hayward Oscar nominations
Besides I Want to Live!, below are Susan Hayward’s four other Best Actress Academy Award nominations:
- Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman (1947), in which she plays – Giving It All – a raging alcoholic.
Winner: Loretta Young in The Farmer’s Daughter.
- My Foolish Heart (1949). In this psychological drama, Hayward replaced Teresa Wright, who had recently been fired by producer Samuel Goldwyn. My Foolish Heart was released by RKO.
Winner: Olivia de Havilland in The Heiress.
- With a Song in My Heart (1952). Hayward played singer Jane Froman, who dubbed the actress in the singing sequences.
Winner: Shirley Booth in Come Back Little Sheba.
- I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955), with Hayward as another real-life entertainer: Lillian Roth, who became a destitute alcoholic before bouncing back.
Winner: Anna Magnani in The Rose Tattoo.
Susan Hayward movies: TCM schedule (PT)
5:00 PM BEAU GESTE (1939). Director: William A. Wellman. Cast: Gary Cooper. Ray Milland. Robert Preston. Brian Donlevy. Susan Hayward. J. Carrol Naish. Albert Dekker. Broderick Crawford. Charles Barton. James Stephenson. Heather Thatcher. James Burke. G.P. Huntley (as George P. Huntley). Harold Huber. Donald O’Connor. Ann Gillis. B&W. 113 mins.
7:00 PM ADAM HAD FOUR SONS (1941). Director: Gregory Ratoff. Cast: Ingrid Bergman. Warner Baxter. Susan Hayward. Fay Wray. Johnny Downs. Richard Denning. Robert Shaw. Charles Lind. Helen Westley. June Lockhart. Gilbert Emery. Billy Ray. Steven Muller. Wallace Chadwell. Bobby Walberg. Uncredited: Clarence Muse. Color. 80 mins.
8:30 PM REAP THE WILD WIND (1942). Director: Cecil B. DeMille. Cast: Ray Milland. John Wayne. Paulette Goddard. Susan Hayward. Raymond Massey. Robert Preston. Lynne Overman. Charles Bickford. Walter Hampden. Louise Beavers. Martha O’Driscoll. Elisabeth Risdon. Hedda Hopper. Janet Beecher. Victor Varconi. J. Farrell MacDonald. Barbara Britton. Julia Faye. Uncredited: Gertrude Astor. Monte Blue. Brooks Benedict. Ralph Brooks. Maurice Costello. Mildred Harris. Elmo Lincoln. George Melford. Claire McDowell. Dorothy Sebastian. Harry Warren. Narrator: Cecil B. DeMille. And the voice of Akim Tamiroff. B&W. 124 mins.
10:45 PM CANYON PASSAGE (1946). Director: Jacques Tourneur. Cast: Dana Andrews. Susan Hayward. Brian Donlevy. Patricia Roc. Lloyd Bridges. Rose Hobart. Hoagy Carmichael. Ward Bond. Onslow Stevens. Fay Holden. Andy Devine. Uncredited: Charles Morton. Dorothy Peterson. ‘Snub’ Pollard. Color. 92 mins.
12:30 AM TULSA (1949). Director: Stuart Heisler. Cast: Susan Hayward. Robert Preston. Pedro Armendáriz. Color. 88 mins.
2:00 AM THEY WON’T BELIEVE ME (1947). Director: Irving Pichel. Cast: Susan Hayward. Robert Young. Jane Greer. Rita Johnson. Uncredited: Anthony Caruso. Ellen Corby. B&W. 80 mins.
5:15 AM DEADLINE AT DAWN (1946). Director: Harold Clurman. Cast: Susan Hayward. Paul Lukas. Bill Williams. B&W. 83 mins.
8:00 AM MGM PARADE SHOW #13 (1955). George Murphy introduces clips featuring Susan Hayward as Lillian Roth in I’ll Cry Tomorrow and Fernand Gravey (a.k.a. Fernand Gravet) as Johann Strauss in The Great Waltz. B&W. 25 mins.
Susan Hayward photo via Doctor Macro.
Susan Hayward in Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman: Universal, via the Toronto Film Society.