Anne Bancroft

September 17, 2010

When I made my "Top 20 Favorite" lists last winter, there were plenty of people that I accidentally left off (omissions) and scores of people I was yet to discover (additions) -- over the next few months I'll be doing Additions & Omissions posts for some of my new-found or forgotten favorites who didn't quite make it to my favorites list last year.

First up is Anne Bancroft. I only discovered her this past February when Millie wrote an awesome post about The Slender Thread. I'd seen her in The Kid From Left Field since my dad makes us watch every baseball movie that comes on TCM, but other than that I hadn't watched a single movie that she starred in. But I consider The Slender Thread to be my introduction to Anne, and it's probably the best introduction one can have!

Although, just when I thought that couldn't be topped, I saw The Prisoner of Second Avenue (1975) starring Anne and Jack Lemmon. It was kind of like The Out of Towners, only they were living in New York instead of visiting and Jack Lemmon was married to Anne Bancroft instead of Sandy Dennis and the events in the film have a much darker lining. Everything that can go wrong does, and throughout the movie the stars go through huge waves of subtle comedy, hysteria, depression and exasperation. Depending on your own personal situation (my own family is having a very tough time with this recession) you might find it all-too relevant, some 35 years after it was released. But it isn't just because of the situations in the film and the fact that we're facing a similar economic upheaval -- Anne Bancroft and Jack Lemmon bring a level of familiarity and empathy to their roles that makes all of the intervening years disappear.

And I think that's what I like most about Anne Bancroft -- the fact that she makes it so easy to relate to her characters and really makes her performances an open door into her character's soul. I wish desperately that she had spent more time in front of the movie camera; her filmography is so depressingly sparse.


emma wallace said...

Aaaand, she has stunning cheekbones!

kate gabrielle said...

lol.. true!! :D

Francy said...

She is amazing. I love her in The Graduate, Home for the Holidays, and Great Expectations as well. Although I need to see a lot more of her films.

Artman2112 said...

i've seen so few of her films, Seven Women which was Fords last film (and not so good) and the Elephant Man which she just had a small role in, but was very good in it. i think i remember her in Silent Movie too. i have yet to see the Graduate or The Miracle Worker!

hey stop throwing things at me!

Millie said...


You are far too sweet!

I'm kind of a fan of her now too. It's so funny. I never really liked her before TST, but I hadn't really seen her in anything (mostly just clips of films now and then). But, her performance in that film was complete SEATTLE, so...;-D

Great post!

And that art. AMAZING!

smatterings said...

a true talent. she will be sorely missed. thanks so much for the post!

Unknown said...

Anne bancroft had the most uniquely warm eyes.A very beautiful woman by any standard.