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The Meteor of MGM

Film blogger The Self Styled Siren has completed a wonderful two part appreciation of Luise Rainer, forever cursed for winning two consecutive Best Actress Oscars. Although I can only take her movies in small doses (a little of that “chin down, eyes up” expression goes a long way), the fact that Miss Rainer is still around and feisty as ever at the age of 96 makes me admire her even more. Her tombstone ought to be engraved with “She didn’t take any crap from Louis B. Mayer”. That feistiness led to her downfall in the late ’30s — and yet some kind of intangible quality in her onscreen persona (sadness maybe?) makes even her dodgiest films watchable. When Turner Classic Movies broadcasts The Great Waltz and The Great Ziegfeld on the 17th, check them out. She positively glowed onscreen with an earthy, dark beauty touched with innate intelligence. Rock on, Luise.

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