linda darnell

Linda Darnell ‘What I Got Don’t Need Beads’ – Episode 23

Linda Darnell was hardcore. A Madonna face with an ice heart. She was also funny, generous, extremely giving of her time, loved Mexican food and palling around with her bestie Ann Miller. Instead of being labelled a ‘tragedy’, we here at Any Ladle’s Sweet wish to celebrate Linda by discussing 3 of her finest roles: Forever Amber (1947), A Letter to Three Wives (1949) and No Way Out (1950). Come children…

A Letter to Three Wives (1949) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz [DVD] 20th Century Fox.

Davis, R.L. (1991) Hollywood Beauty: Linda Darnell and the American Dream, Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.

Forever Amber (1947) Dir. Otto Preminger [YouTube] 20th Century Fox.

No Way Out (1950) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz [YouTube] 20th Century Fox.

gloria grahame

Gloria Grahame – Sister Under the Mink – Episode 21

This month we’re righting some wrongs here at Any Ladle’s Sweet. Gloria Grahame shone in support roles in many noir films, under many great directors but she references her mother as her only influence on her acting style. Negative stories surrounding her personal life overtook her talent and hard work and fact and fiction mixed into a tawdry Hollywood Babylon style mess. Gloria was a unique talent and we are here to celebrate her hard work and mesmerising onscreen presence. We discuss 3 of her finest, In a Lonely Place (1950), The Big Heat (1953), and Human Desire (1954).

Callahan, D. (2008) ‘Fatal Instincts: The Dangerous Pout of Gloria Grahame’

Bright Lights 30 April [Available at:…/#.WX9Yq4jyvIV].

Chase, D (1997) ‘Gloria Grahame: In Praise of the Dirty Mind’ Film Comment September/October [Available at:].

Curcio, V. (1989) Suicide Blonde: The Life of Gloria Grahame. New York: William Morrow and Company.

Eisenschitz, B. (1996) Nicholas Ray: An American Journey translated by Tom Milne. New York: Faber & Faber.

Gunning, T. (2000) The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity. London, BFI with Palgrave Macmillan.

Hagen, R and Wagner, L. (2004) Killer Tomatoes: Fifteen Tough Noir Dames. Jefferson: McFarland.

Human Desire (1954) Dir. Fritz Lang [YouTube] Columbia Pictures.

In a Lonely Place (1950) Dir. Nicholas Ray. [DVR] Columbia Pictures.

Ray, N. (1993) I Was Interrupted: Nicholas Ray on Making Movies Berkeley: University of California Press.

Rickey, C. (2017) ‘In a Lonely Place: Film noir as an opera of male fury’

Library of America 28 June [Available at:…-opera-of-male-fury].

The Big Heat (1953) Dir. Fritz Lang [DVD] Columbia Pictures.

Turner, P. (1986) Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool. London: Pan Books.

mary astor

Mary Astor: Bitch’s Cauldron – Episode 18

Mary Astor was in the words of David Niven a woman who “looked like a beautiful and highly shockable nun with the vocabulary of a long shoreman.” Dominated by a brutish money grabbing father, hated by her mother, pushed into film acting and some disasterous marriages and affairs, it was a long time before the real Mary Astor came into her own. A woman consumed by her many passions and demons, she brought a vitality, intelligence and wit to her roles that was ahead of its time. Join us as explore her best work in three films: The Maltese Falcon (1941), The Great Lie (1941) and The Palm Beach Story (1942).


Astor, M. (1959) My Story: An Autobiography New York: Doubleday.

Astor, M. (1967) Mary Astor: A Life on Film 1 st British edition 1973. London: W.H. Allen.

Huston, J. (1980) An Open Book New York: Knopf.

Sorel, E. (2016) Mary Astor’s Purple Diary: The Great American Sex Scandal of 1936 New York: Liveright Publishing Company.

Sturges, P. (1990) Preston Sturges on Preston Sturges Adapted and edited by Sandy Sturges. New York: Simon and Schuster.

The Great Lie (1941) Dir. Edmund Goulding (DVD) Warner Brothers.

The Maltese Falcon (1941) Dir. John Huston (DVR) Warner Brothers.

The Palm Beach Story (1942) Dir. Preston Sturges (DVD) Paramount Pictures.

joan bennett

Joan Bennett: Hollywood’s Shimmering Vagabond – Episode 16

In episode 16 we focus on the ‘quiet Bennett’ compared to her volatile film star sister Constance. Joan was fiery in a more subtle way, she didn’t think much of her film career and felt more at home on the stage like her father, the legendary Richard Bennett. She quoted him often in her autobiography ‘The Bennett Playbill’, one of her favourite lines being “We are vagabonds to the heart and we are not ashamed of it”. She said “Well, I’m still a “vagabond” and I’m shamelessly proud of it.”

Her film career was not a long one and she made a little over 70 films but she made a lasting impression, especially in her noir work with Frtiz Lang. We’ve chosen for this episode Private Worlds (1935), Scarlet Street (1945) and The Reckless Moment (1949).

Bennett, J. (1970) The Bennett Playbill: Five Generations of the Famous Theater Family (with Lois Kibbee). New York: Holt, Rinehart & Winston.

Kellow, B. (2004) The Bennetts: An Acting Family Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky.

Private Worlds (1935) Dir. Gregory La Cava [DVD] Paramount Pictures.

Scarlett Street (1945) Dir. Fritz Lang [YouTube] Universal Pictures.

The Reckless Moment (1949) Dir. Max Ophüls [DVR} Columbia Pictures.…9s-scarlet-street


Gold Band Advisory Warning – Episode 2

Our second episode focuses on wives in peril, the post-war ladies who either married a stranger or had a husband return from the war a changed man. We discuss classics from Douglas Sirk, Nicholas Ray and Preston Sturges to name but a few. Our He’s a Keeper segment this month features the dreamy Joseph Cotten.

Gold Band Advisory Warning – Episode 2 by Any Ladle’s Sweet

Our second episode focuses on wives in peril, the post-war ladies who either married a stranger or had a husband return from the war a changed man. We discuss classics from Douglas Sirk, Nicholas Ray and Preston Sturges to name but a few. Our He’s a Keeper segment this month features the dreamy Joseph Cotten.

Does your husband insist you drink glasses of questionable milk each day?
Or coffee? Or hot chocolate?
Does he rummage in the attic?
Does he accuse you of cheating?
Does he carry around expensive ladies jewellery?
Is he obsessed with orchids and ladies without an appetite?
Do dogs dislike him?
Has he failed in his career?
Is he broke?
Does he hide his paintings from you?
Has he curated rooms in his house depicting famous murder scenes?
Is he always snooping in your handbag?
Is he unable to perform in the sack?
Does he have a woman on the side?
Join us!

Bigger Than Life (1956) Dir. Nicholas Ray. [DVD] 20th Century Fox.
Citizen Kane (1941) Dir. Orson Welles. [DVD] RKO.
Cotten, Joseph. (1987) Vanity Will Get You Somewhere. London: Columbus Books.
Crawford, Joan. (1962) A Portrait of Joan. [with Jane Kesner Ardmore] New York: Doubleday.
Dial ‘M’ for Murder (1954) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. [DVD] Warner’s.
Dragonwyck (1946) Dir. Joseph L Mankiewicz. [YouTube] 20th Century Fox.
Gaslight (1944). Dir. George Cukor. [DVD] MGM.
Night of the Hunter (1955) Dir. Charles Laughton. [DVD] MGM.
Notorious (1946) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. [DVD] RKO.
Rosemary’s Baby (1968) Dir. Roman Polanski. [DVD] Paramount.
Secret Beyond the Door (1947) Dir. Fritz Lang. [DVD] Universal.
Shadow of a Doubt (1943)Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. [DVD] Universal.
Sleep, My Love (1948) Dir. Douglas Sirk. [DVD] United Artists.
Sorry, Wrong Number (1948) Dir. Anatole Litvak. [DVD] Paramount.
Sudden Fear (1952) Dir. David Miller. [DVD] RKO.
Suspicion (‘41) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock. [DVD] RKO.
The Barefoot Contessa (1954) Dir. Joseph L. Mankiewicz. [DVD] United Artists.
The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) Dir. Orson Welles. [DVD] RKO.
The Third Man (1949). Dir. Carol Reed. [DVD] 20th Century Fox.
The Two Mrs Carrolls (1947) Dir. Peter Godfrey. [DVD] Warner’s.
Undercurrent (1946). Dir. Vincente Minnelli. [DVD] MGM.
Unfaithfully Yours (1948) Dir. Preston Sturges. [DVD] 20th Century Fox.…ond-the-door/…itions-seek-and-hide
Joseph Cotten in Citizen Kane clip –…Other-Marriage.html