Completely Unscientific Favorite Stanwyck Movie Poll Results

In honor of Barbara Stanwyck‘s 106th birthday on July 16, I asked TCM Party people their favorite Stanwyck movie. I personally feel that she was good to excellent in every movie she did, but everyone has one that stands out more than others. Actually not one. Usually many. As I quickly realized, it’s a tough choice to make. I also realized afterwards I had enough votes on my hands for a totally unscientific poll. Since I didn’t really specify a number of films, I counted each mention via Twitter and Facebook of a movie’s title as a vote for that movie. Yeah, yeah, I know…it’s completely unscientific!

And now…to the results…

5th place — Sorry, Wrong Number (1948)

Stanwyck gets an earful of details of a murder...her own?
Stanwyck gets an earful of details of a murder…her own?

Stanwyck plays a bedridden invalid whose shady husband (Burt Lancaster) may or may not be trying to kill her. Plenty of flashbacks and suspense galore.

4th place – tie
Baby Face (1933), Stella Dallas (1937), Ball of Fire (1941)

Tied for 4th place (in chronological order) BABY FACE, STELLA DALLAS, BALL OF FIRE
Tied for 4th place (in chronological order) BABY FACE, STELLA DALLAS, BALL OF FIRE

I’m not gonna summarize these…if you haven’t seen them, go watch them now.

3rd place – The Lady Eve (1941)

Charles Coburn and Stanwyck work their magic on Henry Fonda under William Demarest's watchful eye  in THE LADY EVE
Charles Coburn and Stanwyck work their magic on Henry Fonda under William Demarest’s watchful eye in THE LADY EVE

Stanwyck, playing a con woman, sets her sights on “Hopsy” (Henry Fonda), the beer heir who can’t stand beer. Hopsy falls in love with her right away, but complications ensue when she realizes she loves him back.

2nd place – Christmas in Connecticut (1945)

Christmas in Connecticut (1945)-low
Fake it ’til you make it…Stanwyck and Dennis Morgan in CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT

I was surprised how highly this placed, but I really shouldn’t be. Stanwyck plays a homemaking columnist who lives in an apartment, can’t cook, isn’t married, and doesn’t have any kids. Her friend, chef Felix (S.Z. “Cuddles” Sakall), provides all the recipes and she fakes the rest. The arrangement hits some hilarious snags when her editor (Sydney Greenstreet) wants a war hero (Dennis Morgan) to stay at her non-existent farm (she totally made it up) for the holidays.

1st place – Double Indemnity (1944)

Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are in a ton of trouble in DOUBLE INDEMNITY
Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray are totally inconspicuous in DOUBLE INDEMNITY

No surprise here. Fine direction from Billy Wilder, stunning cinematography by John F. Seitz, and excellent performances from a perfect cast add up to possibly the best film noir — and one of the best films — ever made.

I know, I missed your favorite…mine didn’t get even one vote! (Hint: check out the feature image for this post.) So give me a piece of your mind in the comments. PS: if you like classic movies, and you watch them on Turner Classic Movies, you might want to join us for one of our live #TCMParty tweetalongs. For deets, follow @TCM_Party or get more info here.

29 thoughts on “Completely Unscientific Favorite Stanwyck Movie Poll Results

  1. Yay! My favourite placed (Ball Of Fire)! I keep meaning to watch Christmas in Connecticut but I’ve never gotten around to it. I’ve *started* it a couple of times, but never actually *finished* it. Must rectify that immediately 😀

    1. I only found out about Christmas in Connecticut a couple years ago…on TCM of course. Lol! I love Ball of Fire too. Hmmm…maybe Stanwyck should have made more movies with Cuddles. Thanks for stopping by, Vanessa!

    1. Hahaha…I think it’s #1 in a lot of books. Some days it is in mine too. Someone said 1933 was their favorite year in Stanwyck’s career…maybe that is how I’ll do this again…you have to pick a year.

  2. She was a knockout in DOUBLE INDEMNITY. My fave though is SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, and I really think it’s because it was the very first time I’d seen her outside of Stockton (The Big Valley) – which I loved as a kid (and still do).

    1. Happy to see your faves are on here, Tonya. I think Double Indemnity was the first thing I saw of hers, I have never seen Big Valley. I should probably check it out…though I’d like to see all her movies first…possibly impossible 🙂

  3. I feel terrible that I haven’t seen any of Stanwyck’s films 😦 I might start w/ BALL OF FIRE as Gary Cooper looks so gorgeous in it, ahah.

  4. Hi, Paula:

    Very good stuff, indeed!

    ‘Ball of Fire’ and ‘The Lady Eve’ cover the funny Barbara Stanwyck superbly well. ‘Double Indemnity’ is Ms. Stanwyck at her sultry, seductive best.

    Though, for a rotten, manipulative man eater. Look no further than ‘The Strange Love of Martha Ivers’. Opposite a drunken, rather wimpy,
    heavily against type, non Kirk Douglas Kirk Douglas!

    1. Thank you Jack, I agree on all counts…i guess it’s pretty surprising that not one person mentioned MARTHA IVERS. Kirk Douglas is like a different person, I sometimes forget he is in it.

    1. Thanks so much, happy to hear you liked the post. I do think she is underrated and a bit forgotten compared to other Old Hollywood stars. Maybe that’s part of the reason I write about her so often. Thanks for your comment!

    1. Oh wow…what a cool question. In no particular order:

        Double Indemnity
        Out of the Past
        The Killers
        Night and the City
        The Maltese Falcon
        The Big Sleep
        The Big Heat
        Where Danger Lives
        Criss Cross
        [tie] House on Telegraph Hill / Gun Crazy

      These are just the ones I thought of first. Let me know what you think if you get a chance to watch them. Anyone else care to list their Top 10 noirs?

      1. LOVE Criss Cross! Here’s an attempt at a list, probably not complete:

        Double Indemnity
        The Maltese Falcon
        Criss Cross
        They Live By Night
        Out of the Past
        The Big Clock
        The Glass Key
        The Blue Dahlia
        The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
        Laura

        Honorable mentions for The Big Sleep (if only I knew what was going on) and Notorious (which more probably just belongs in a list of Hitchcock films.)

        1. Great list. I love all those of course, I just didn’t think of them as quickly. Particularly The Big Clock, Martha Ivers, and Laura. Notorious could probably be considered a noir, but I think of it as a suspense/espionage picture first. Re: The Big Sleep, there are two versions, and the earlier, less-seen, one is a lot more straightforward, but not as much fun. I wrote a post about them a few months ago 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

      2. Great! Many thanks, Paula.

        I’ve seen Double Indemnity, the Maltese Falcon and
        The Big Sleep but not the others. I’ve heard the title “Gun Crazy” so many times! Right, I’m off to investigate…!

  5. Hi, Paula:

    Awwww… Now you’re wanting me to come up with some noirs?

    Great: ‘The Glass Key’ and its Coen Brothers re-make, ‘Miller’s Crossing’.
    ‘This Gun for Hire’
    ‘The Killers’
    ‘Gun Crazy’

    Superb: ‘Detour’
    ‘The Black Dahlia’
    ‘Out of the Past’
    ‘The Big Sleep’

    Excellent: ‘The Big Combo’ (WAY ahead of its time!)

    1. Hi Jack, thanks for making a list…it’s optional! but much appreciated 🙂 I have seen all of those except THE BIG COMBO and MILLER’S CROSSING. I’m not sure i can handle the violence. Actually I haven’t seen THE BLACK DAHLIA either (though I have seen THE BLUE DAHLIA) …who is in it?

  6. D’OH!

    I got my “Dahlias” confused. ‘The Blue Dahlia’ rocks with another team up with Alan Ladd and William Bendix. Which is the film I meant. A neat post-war B&W noir with Ladd as a Navy pilot accused of murdering his wife.

    ‘The Black Dahlia’ is a not very good wannabe neo-noir from 2006. With badly miscast Josh Hartnett and decent Aaron Eckhart as 1940s L.A. Detective tracking down a mutilating serial killer.

    ‘The Big Combo’ seethes with shadowy noir mood and some violence executed in incredibly creative ways. While ‘Miller’s Crossing’ is just very well done cinema about gangs, gang wars, murder and handsome men in hats.

    Drop by le0pard’s. I’ve a perspective on Stacy Keach that might interest you.

  7. I love Barbara! My fave is Stella Dallas and I think it was a travesty that Luise Ranier won over her and Greta Garbo! Academy—get a clue!

    1. I think a lot of people feel that way. It’s not that I don’t like Luise Rainer or any of the other ladies…it’s just that Stanwyck was so great. Thanks for stopping by!

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