Cameron Kelsall: In 1999, the American Film Institute named Katharine Hepburn the greatest female screen legend of all time. Susan Strasberg didn’t make the list. That’s not exactly surprising, but there was a time, after Strasberg’s stage success in The Diary of Anne Frank, when she was viewed as a star on the rise. It was a short prime—largely due to the failure of Stage Struck, a 1958 adaptation of Morning Glory, the film for which Hepburn won the first of her four Oscars. Let’s just get this out of the way up front: Comparing anyone to Katharine Hepburn is a losing bet. Even if you’re not a raving fan, you have to recognize the once in a generation—hell, once in a century—individuality and style that Hepburn brought to her screen roles. Pretty, petite and forgettable where her predecessor was striking and irresistible, Strasberg doesn’t convince as the headstrong, mercurial aspiring actress who takes Broadway by storm.
David Fox: Indeed, this failed to be the brass ring for Susan Strasberg, though I’m struck by the fact that she still has the most substantial film career of her famous family, especially considering that, sadly, Susan died of cancer in 1999, at age 60. Before saying more about her performance, though, I’d like to look at Stage Struck itself, because I think that the problem isn’t entirely her…
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Categories: Criticism, Movies, PARTERRE BOX, Theater
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