Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon: Barbara Stanwyck's performance in the classic film Titanic(1953).

This is my contribution to "The Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon". Please click on poster located on the side- bar to view the other bloggers participating in the event.

Barbara Stanwyck, one of Hollywood's most natural and talented actresses, throws herself whole-heartedly into the role of Julia. She perfectly performs all of Julia's wide-ranging emotions ranging from: frustration, vindictive, calculating, loving, blunt, empathetic and heartbroken.

The film opens with the wealthy, Sturges family, who enjoy traveling from one exotic location to another. Julia worries that her children, Annette and Norman, will grow up spoiled and conceded. She lies to her husband Richard, saying that she is going back home to America for a visit. Julia books reservations for herself and the children on the Titanic, with no plans of returning to Europe.

Video: boarding the ship..

Her husband Richard wanting to change her mind boards the liner at the last minute. Once they are face to face the couple lets loose with 20 years of repressed anger and bringing out in the open a shocking heartbreaking secret.

Richard Sturges: My dear Julia, I've been around enough bridge tables to recognize someone who's holding a high trump - play it now if you will.

Julia Sturges: We'll discuss it later.

Richard Sturges: Now!

Julia Sturges: All right, Richard. One question first?

Richard Sturges: If it's about Norman, you know the answer. No court in the world, no power in the heavens can force me to give up my son.

Julia Sturges: He is not your son....

After, the ship hits an iceberg, their argument seems unimportant and eventually bringing their relationship full circle.....

Julia Sturges: Oh Richard, where did we miss out on each other? I beg your pardon, Sir. I put you down as a useless man, someone to lead a cotillion.

Richard Sturges: After all, it was my major talent.

Julia Sturges: I'm sorry, sorry about everything.

Richard Sturges: We have no time to catalog our regrets. All we can do is pretend 20 years didn't happen. It's June again. You were walking under some Elm trees in a white muslin dress, the loveliest creature I ever laid eyes on. That summer, when I asked you to marry me, I pledged my eternal devotion. I would take it as a very great favor Julia, if you would accept a restatement of that pledge.

They embrace passionately...

You know that Stanwyck took her part very seriously when she said: "It was bitter cold. I was 47 feet up in the air in a lifeboat...the water below was agitated. We were re-creating an actual tragedy and I burst into tears. I shook with great racking sobs and couldn't stop."

Please click here to view past Noir and Chick Flicks Titanic movie review.

Costume: Dorothy Jeakins Courtesy of the Icon Museum.

Dorothy Jeakins (January 11, 1914 – November 21, 1995). After graduating High School, she was offered a scholarship to study at the Otis Art Institute (now known as Otis College of Art and Design).

Jeakins got her start working as a Disney artist in the 1930's. Her fashion career began as a designer at I. Magnin's, where she was spotted by director Victor Fleming.

She worked steadily for the next thirty-nine years and was best known for her period costumes. Jeakins, who retired in 1990, once summed up her designing: "I can put my world down to two words: Make beauty. It's my cue and my private passion."

The Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon Schedule

July 16

July 17

July 18

July 19

July 20

July 21

July 22


  1. Thank you so much for the information on Dorothy Jeakins.

    I won't thank you for reminding me about "Titanic" as it always makes me cry and I had not intended on crying this morning.

    It is wonderful to be reminded of the variety of Barbara Stanwyck's many roles.

    1. I know.. it is a tear jerker, but.. I really think this film is a good representation of Barbara Stanwyck's talent.

  2. I much prefer this "Titanic" to the James Cameron version. Naturally, Barbara just made it that much better. I liked her lots with Mr. Webb

    1. This also my favorite film version of "Titanic". Even though, I'm not really a fan of Mr. Webb. I can not seem to get that horrible vision of him sitting in the tub from the classic film "Laura" out of my head.

  3. I really feel like this version of Titanic gets lost amidst all the other versions and it's a shame because it's a really enjoyable film. I've heard some people question the plausibility of Clifton Webb and Barbara Stanwyck as a couple, but I've never had a problem with it. Especially since it's meant to be an estranged and coldly formal relationship. Stanwyck really looks great in the turn-of-the-century fashions and I like the way she gives Julia Sturges a wry, knowing sense of humor. It cuts through the melodrama and makes her seem very real and human.

    I agree with Caftan Woman, this film's a tearjerker. But in the best sense. Thanks for adding this stunning entry to the Barbara Stanwyck blogathon!

    1. Thank you for hosting the blogathon. I have really enjoyed reading everyone's contributions.

  4. I've just watched this film, and was in tears from Clifton Webb's reunion with Stanwyck onwards - both of them are great, and I also really like all the rest of the cast. I was glad it doesn't prolong the agony at the end as much as the Cameron film, but compresses it into a few powerful scenes. You can certainly see how the young couple could have inspired Di Caprio and Winslet's characters in the later movie. Really enjoyed your posting and your older review, Dawn!

    1. Thank you Judy for your kind words. I need to re-watch Di Caprio and Winslet's, performance in their version of Titanic. It has been years..

  5. I have never seen this film and you can bet I'm wondering why. I really need to see it.

    Barbara looks fabulous in those costumes. Thanks for including some info on Dorothy Jeakins. :)

    1. Me too, it is a fabulous film. Please keep the Kleenex box near by..

  6. I was stunned when I watched this film, how many camera shots James Cameron ripped off. ;) Love Barbara, but this was one of her least likeable roles for me - there was no chemistry between she and her husband, and I didn't buy that she would want him back as the ship went down. I lacked sympathy. ;) Thanks for writing - isn't it great fun to write about these films?!

    1. It is.. I agree.. there was no chemistry between the two, characters. I think that is where they were in their marriage. But.. I'm not a fan of Clifton Webb.

  7. Your review has made me want to see this movie. Haven't sat through the entire Winslet-DiCaprio-Cameron version, only seen bits of it here and there when it's been aired on cable tv. I did view the British version, with Honor Blackman in the cast and while it is a well-done film, it sticks to the facts of the sinking, so dramatic storylines added like in the Stanwyck-Webb version. Enjoyed your review very much!

    1. I think you may enjoy this version of Titanic. It moves very quickly..

  8. Clifton Webb is usually remembered by his role in Laura, but he was much more, and this film shows it well. I loved this movie, and it was very surprising. And very sad. It made me want more about the Titanic, something the 1997 version didn't.
    Don't forget to read my contribution to the blogathon! :)

  9. I also prefer this version over the remake..


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