Sunday, January 4, 2015

Barbara Rush turns 88!

Barbara Rush and Richard Carlson in It Came From Outer Space (1953)

Today is the 88th birthday of actress Barbara Rush, whose presence graced a bunch of 1950s movies and later TV shows even if she never became a really big star. I picked a photo of her and Richard Carlson from It Came From Outer Space mostly because I figured that was one people might remember Rush in. Here, she plays the love interest to hero Carlson, who comes upon a desert town after seeing a UFO, and finds that there are strange goings-on in the town and can't get anybody to believe him.

But Rush did a fair amount of serious work. She plays Jane Wyman's daughter in Magnificent Obsession, I film I really, really dislike because I find the plot so maddeningly stupid. Rock Hudson is a playboy whose boating accident requires the defibrillator that Rush's dad owns privately, so when Dad has a heart attack, he drops dead. And then when Hudson tries to make it up to Mom, he causes a car accident that blinds her! So he tries to make that up by becoming a doctor. This is one of those movies that I've never been able to sit all the way through just because it is so irritating in its stupidity, and not in a good way like some of those movies that are such misfires they wind up being fun to laugh at.

As for one of those movies that winds up being more fun to laugh at, you can watch Rush in Bigger Than Life. Here, she plays the wife to James Mason, who has a heart condition that gets treated with cortisone. The only thing is, hubby gets addicted to the cortisone and it gives him delusions of grandeur that threaten the wife and kids! The idea actually isn't a bad one, it's just that the execution winds up going off the rails somewhere.

Finally, I'll mention No Down Payment, where Rush plays one of four wives married to World War II veterans in a new suburban housing development of the sort that were springing up all over the country and especially the places that were really growing in the 1950s like Southern California. This is another movie that has some good ideas but winds up not quite succeeding.


Tom said...

Another good picture she was in: The First Legion with Charles Boyer.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

That's one I've never actually heard of before.

Charles Boyer is somebody who would make a good Star of the Month on TCM who I don't think has actually been Star of the Month before.