The wonderful Rosalind Russell is TCM’s Star of the Month for July, and I love her so much I thought it would be nice to do a little write up for her.
Where to begin? She was simply one of the most talented actresses of the era. From comedy to drama, she was just fantastic. She really broke out in the late 1930s/early 1940s with roles in films like The Women and His Girl Friday. But she started working in the early 1930s, playing dramatic supporting characters. Many of her early roles were actually quiet, lady-like roles. And she was very good in them. Reckless, China Seas, Forsaking All Others. They aren’t big roles, but she’s completely convincing in all of them, and it’s interesting to watch these roles against her more famous ones.
Her famous flair is noticeable in other films made before her “breakout roles”. She’s goofy and wonderful opposite William Powell in Rendezvous. She shows great dramatic skill in Night Must Fall. She’s hilarious and wonderful as detective Robert Montgomery’s wife in Fast and Loose. She even gives a great performance in the completely bizarre comedy/thriller Trouble for Two.
She shows her greatest comic flair of her early films in Four’s a Crowd, an insane screwball romance. It’s about as close as you’ll get to something like His Girl Friday in her early films – and, I think, just as good.