For PeacefulAnarchy The Good Fairy
Margaret Sullavan makes good. I've been a little on the fence regarding Sullavan as an actress. As much as I like The Shop Around the Corner
, her performance is a little off putting to me. Something about an edge of smugness, which isn't necessarily acting. Her abilities kept me from taking a stance, which I'm grateful I didn't, for I softened towards her in Three Comrades
and here in The Good Fairy
, I've been won over.
My compassion also rises, reading about her tempestuous life and sorrows. Could it be her smugness was part fear, part bravado, part ego? And aren't we all haunted by our need to be the hero in our own stories? I also read she wasn't easy to work with on the set of this movie, so she kept people on their toes, along with Wyler's need for multiple takes and Sturges still writing the script as they were shooting. I don't think I hate this. Creating is a strange beast and people ricocheting off each other in the process makes for interesting outcomes.
Whatever Sullavan's baggage, she delivers. Here I don't see the smugness, but instead a girl who really wants to take the not so good advice of her Orphanage director and do her good deads in the world. All hell breaks loose, but her heart is in the right place. The writing is smart and the characters are doing their part in suspending the disbelief. I keep expecting Frank Morgan to shout, "I am the great and powerful...!" But I do find he is the great and powerful befuddler for sure!
Even though this probably won't make my top 100, I now have it as a memory filed under the heading, "Why I love old movies."
Thanks, PeacefulAnarchy, for championing this one!