A Tall Drink of Water

Stars we love at the Paramount Summer Classic Film series

<i>The Pride of the Yankees</i>
The Pride of the Yankees

Central Casting's Girl Next Door

Blond bombshells seduced Hollywood beginning in the silent era with Dolores Costello – Drew Barrymore's grandmother – but brunettes maybe never improved on violet-eyed Elizabeth Taylor. Central casting's girl next door rather than cat on a hot tin roof, Teresa Wright could almost pass for Taylor's baby sister. Sweet, slender, girlish, with a high forehead and perky nose, no one gave pained looks a better run for their frown lines. Great weeper, too. When The Pride of the Yankees turns its inevitable corner with 25 minutes left to go – slugger Lou Gehrig (Gary Cooper) stricken with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) – Wright wrings trademark tears alongside her towering leading man and a mostly cornpone script by a pair of pros, Jo Swer­ling (It's a Wonderful Life) and Herman Mankiewicz (Citizen Kane). She makes it look easy. Debuting in William Wyler's 1941 adaptation of Little Foxes, the Harlem-born, Jersey-bred actress' next few films were that director's Mrs. Miniver, Sam Wood's The Pride of the Yankees, and the Alfred Hitchcock chiller Shadow of a Doubt. Three of those four gave Wright Academy Award recognition, including a Best Actress nod for Yankees, though she won Best Supporting Actress honors that same year for wartime drama Mrs. Miniver. In fact, Wright did her best work for Wyler opposite Dana Andrews – as well as Fredric March and Myrna Loy – in his 1946 Oscar sweep The Best Years of Our Lives. Extending into (somewhat) modern times with Somewhere in Time, Teresa Wright (1918-2005) would never be served as a tall glass of water by Tinseltown standards, but if this were reel life, she could wipe my brow any day.

The Pride of the Yankees: Wed., July 2, 7pm; Thu., July 3, 9:25pm (P)

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Raoul Hernandez
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 26, 2021

New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
New Austin Music Worth Your Bandwidth This Week
What we’re listening to

Feb. 5, 2021


Summer Fun 2014

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle