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Leading Lady Tournament Week 3: The 1950s

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If you thought the 1940s was a decade filled with fantastic female talent, wait till you see the line-up for the 50s!  The ladies assembled here show the dichotomy in femininity during this decade.  You have the sweet and innocent clashing with the ambitious and sexual, with a few walking the tightrope into both worlds.  As always, clickable links take you to any reviews published by me.  Voting runs from Monday to Monday.

LANA TURNER

Films That Secured Her NominationThe Merry Widow, The Bad and the Beautiful, Peyton Place, Imitation of Life

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Turner epitomizes the excesses and glamour of the 1950s (Imitation of Life is a prime example).  Turner had played the femme fatale in The Postman Always Rings Twice, but in 1958 Turner became a real-life femme fatale after the mysterious death of her lover Johnny Stompanato.  While Turner was never tried (her daughter claims she was the one who did it), it definitely colored her persona.  I’m not quite sure of her chances opposite another platinum blonde with a bigger name.  

GRACE KELLY

Films That Secured Her NominationHigh Noon, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, The Country Girl, High Society

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I’m aware of how wrong I am when it comes to predicting outcomes, but I really think Kelly will put up a fight for the top spot.  Sure, Marilyn embodies the 50s, Audrey has the innocence, and Taylor is beautiful, but Grace is beloved.  She’s the American Princess and could easily use that to walk away with this decade.

MARILYN MONROE

Films That Secured Her NominationAll About Eve, Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, The Seven Year Itch, Some Like It Hot

My Thoughts on the Nominee: I started my blog around Marilyn Monroe, so she holds a special place in my heart.  She’s easily going to be in the top two of this decade, if she doesn’t win outright.  She’s the embodiment of the 1950s, as well as global pop culture icon.  Yeah, she’s got some clout in this tournament.

AUDREY HEPBURN

Films That Secured Her NominationRoman Holiday, Sabrina, Funny Face, Love in the Afternoon, The Nun’s Story

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Audiences have a love/hate relationship with Audrey, so I’m interested to see where the numbers will land.  Audrey’s work isn’t as confined to the decade as Monroe or Grace, so that might hurt her chances of success.

ELIZABETH TAYLOR

Films That Secured Her NominationFather of the Bride, Father’s Little Dividend, A Place in the Sun, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Giant

My Thoughts on the Nominee: Liz rounds out the 1950s, and some could say she straddles the line between the 50s and 60s.  Two of her iconic films are included in this decade (Place in the Sun and Giant), but those were anchored by equally iconic male roles.  Taylor could be the wildcard in this bunch, either getting a ton of votes or very little.

Voting starts now!  We’ll update the numbers on Thursday.

Kristen Lopez View All

A freelance film critic whose work fuels the Rotten Tomatoes meter. I've been published on The Hollywood Reporter, Remezcla, and The Daily Beast. I've been featured in the L.A. Times. I currently run two podcasts, Citizen Dame and Ticklish Business.

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