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Claire Trevor: The Movies’ Best Tart With a Heart
Posted By Beth Daniels On August 1, 2012 @ 7:07 pm In Entertainment | Comments Disabled
“There are worse things than Apaches,” says Dallas, a fallen woman, looking out at the row of tight-lipped, righteous ladies who are running her out of town. It’s the kind of line and scene that makes me wish modern blockbusters gave women more to do. I just finished watching John Ford’ s Stagecoach (1939), a gorgeously-shot film rife with cringe-inducing racial and regional stereotypes that somehow managed to portray the women in it (well, white women) as complicated people. It’s the story of a bunch of passengers — a banker, a lady, a tramp, a Southern gentleman, a whiskey salesman , and a drunk (guess who he sits next to) — traveling in a stagecoach through hostile Indian territory. They are joined by an outlaw, the Ringo Kid , thereby completing the cross-section of society necessary for the film to make all its points about the essential goodness of people, class and station notwithstanding.
Everyone is in this picture and each is doing the thing s/he did the best: John Wayne  is the leading man (his breakout role), John Carradine  is dastardly, Andy Devine  is a dumbass sidekick, Thomas Mitchell  (you know who he is, trust me) plays a drunk…again, and Claire Trevor  is the prostitute. Ah, Claire Trevor . There’s nothing that woman couldn’t do. She could be cutting, sympathetic, damaged, scheming, bad, mean, sexy, and tired — but always real, human, and female. Nobody writes women like that much anymore and it’s criminal. Sure, a gal would fall in love with a guy she’s only known for 45 minutes and who’s kind of mean to her — just like in today’s pictures — but back then she made you believe it.
Claire Trevor had the kind of career most women of her time had. She worked steadily in substantial roles until she hit a certain age (mine), then shifted to stage or took ever-diminishing secondary roles until the mid-1960s when she dropped out of sight. She reappeared in the 1980s when the likes of Love Boat  and Murder She Wrote  found something for a woman of 70+ to do.
If you’re interested in Claire Trevor, I recommend Key Largo (1948), because it’s easy to rent and she got an Academy Award  for her portrayal of Gaye Dawn, Edward G. Robinson ‘s drunken mistress. She’s a peach.
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URL to article: http://blog.aarp.org/2012/08/01/claire-trevor-the-movies-best-tart-with-a-heart/
URLs in this post:
 Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuseeger/249389089/sizes/o/
 John Ford’: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/episodes/john-ford-and-john-wayne/pappy-and-the-duke/594/
 Stagecoach : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llv0Tgwhy_c
 whiskey salesman: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0576083/
 Ringo Kid: http://www.johnwayne.com/
 John Wayne: http://blog.aarp.org/tag/john-wayne/
 John Carradine: http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=6201606
 Andy Devine: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Andy_Devine
 Thomas Mitchell: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0593775/
 Claire Trevor: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/participant.jsp?spid=194063
 Claire Trevor: https://www.google.com/search?q=Claire+Trevor&hl=en&rls=com.microsoft:en-us:IE-Address&rlz=1I7TSNF_en&prmd=imvnso&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=57wZUPLlMua40QGl34GwBw&ved=0CGYQsAQ&biw=1093&bih=498
 Love Boat: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0636787/
 Murder She Wrote: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0653703/
 Key Largo : http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0040506/
 rent : http://movies.netflix.com/movie/Key_Largo/667884?mqso=80030196&mkwid=sCBd7F4jS&gclid=CP7L-eHPx7ECFUff4AodjigAxA
 Academy Award: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/legacy/ceremony/21st-winners.html
 Edward G. Robinson: http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/person/163201%7C45179/Edward-G-Robinson/
 Monument Valley: http://www.utah.com/monumentvalley/
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