I was particularly intrigued by the discussion of In Name Only (in which both Kay AND Helen Vinson get to indulge their most evil whims, for no particular reason). For years though, that was actually the ONLY Kay Francis film I had seen, and it REALLY skewed my understanding of her star persona!
Then, I saw Trouble in Paradise, and I was hooked (and I’ve seen about 15 movies since that time).
All of this is just to point out that, since, at this point, none of us were around to see these classic star vehicles in the theaters, the order we see them in (which rarely follows the chronology) can really make a difference. It’s one thing to see In Name Only and know that this is the same woman that starred in Stranded–and it’s quite another to meet her there for the first time!
(some day though, I’m gonna have to write an appreciation of Mary Astor in Maltese Falcon–everyone’s got their own tastes, of course, but I think she’s dead on target in that role–and I’m a huge fan of the novel)