TCM Star of the Month
This month Turner Classic Movies is celebrating Mary Astor as its Star of the Month. Although with someone like Astor, I’m not quite sure I would call her a star. Instead, I would use the term actress. And just to clarify, I mean no disrespect by this. You see, and this is only my opinion, but to be a star means having amassed such a level of popularity that the movie-going public no longer sees the actor as playing a part but rather sees the star playing the part. By becoming a genuine Hollywood movie star, an actor’s screen persona becomes almost more paramount than the part they are playing. When I sit down to watch a Cary Grant movie, it’s because I want to see Cary Grant. With Astor, however, it is different. I rarely ever think, “Man, I just want to watch a Mary Astor movie, today.” However, when I watch a film that features Mary Astor, I am never left disappointed in her performance. And more importantly, every time I see her, she is different.
This is what I mean by saying I don’t necessary see Astor as a star. I never crave her screen persona because she simply doesn’t have one. She is an actress, constantly changing her appearance, her persona, and her parts, elevating each film to its highest level of quality. Heck, even the clunkers she appeared in were somehow better because of her. And now that I think about it, perhaps that is her key to stardom. No matter what type or level of film she appeared in over her 45-year, 156-role career, she always shined. So, to celebrate this star, do yourself a favor and watch the following films airing Wednesdays on Turner Classic Movies.
Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub