Tuesday, September 15, 2009

best of the '60s: BAD GIRLS of 1962

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate
The term "momma's boy" has never been quite so vindictive, spiteful, creepy, and absolutely captivating as Lansbury's performance as the wife of a Senator in The Manchurian Candidate.  She parades her own son around for political gain and plays mind games all the way.  Lansbury was very clearly robbed of the Academy Award that year, giving one of the best film performances of all time.  And though Meryl Streep was the only choice to cover the performance in the 2004 remake, it absolutely pales in comparison to the gut-wrenching bad girl original.  Who would've thought she'd be so lovable as Jessica Fletcher and Mrs. Potts years later?  Take a look for yourself:

Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
What better way for Bette Davis and Joan Crawford to duke out their off-camera cattiness than by casting them as aging actress sisters who are unendingly jealous of each other in What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? Davis certainly takes the cake here as the former child star whose now-wheelchair-bound sister's career overshadowed her own.  Let's see... a dead thing on a dinner plate and a little shove down the stairs later, and you've got the true essence of this bad girl performance.  And it's pretty difficult to get that cackle out of your mind once it leaves Davis' mouth:

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