Number 75: Gloria Grahame as Rosemary Bartlow in "The Bad and the Beautiful" (Best Supporting Actress Ranking)
During her ten minutes on the screen, Gloria Grahame gives, no doubt about that, an entertaining performance. Each time her husband sits down to start to write something, she comes in and disturbs him. She’s a charming little creature and I actually give Miss Grahame some credit for making Rosemarie so charming because she is actually very annoying. At the same time it’s hard to believe that her husband would actually accept all her behaviours and characteristics – the chemistry between the two actors is unfortunately non-existent.
At a lot of moments, Gloria Grahame also seems lost with the type of roles she plays – the man-hungry, lusty but at the same time conventional and devoted Southern bell-wife is a character that can’t work in such a short time and it’s obvious from the writing that nobody ever expected her to work. Gloria Grahame herself adds to these misfires by lacking too much personality in this role – her line-delivery is probably supposed to be cute but she too often sounds as if she is reading from a teleprompter.
It’s a nothing-role that probably wouldn’t have allowed any actress to impress – and that’s why it’s simply impossible to connect this performance with the word ‘Oscar'. She finds some good moments, like her child-like excitement when she sees film star Lana Turner in the bungalow next door and her last scene is also quite good, when she and her husband are having a fight and she tells him: ‘James Lee Bartlow, you take a good look at yourself in that mirror. You’ve changed since you’ve come to Hollywood, and I don’t mind telling you, it’s no chance for the better.’ But…one line is just not enough.
Gloria Grahame is neither a scene-stealer nor is her character an unforgettable creations – at the end of the movie, you have probably forgotten her again. I feel sorry for putting this talented actress at the last place but it’s just not possible to come up with even one reason why this is an Oscar-worthy performance.