First of all thanks for being here with us. Your book is on my Wish List, because Ann Dvorak (like Karen Morley) has been one of those actresses whom I have seen in many movies and who has grown on me over the years. In the case of Ann, besides her acting talent and magnetism on screen, the fact that I find her intriguing, beautiful, possesing an a-temporary beauty and elegance add even more to her appeal. Those big eyes (sigh); her angular features...she could have been an sculptor's obsession.
I was a Classic film addict since I was a small kid -under five years old- and the film that brought Ann Dvorak to my attention was "Our Very Own" (1950), which in Chile was titled "Vida de mi Vida" (Life of my Life). I have seen that film once (perhaps in the early '80s) and her performance lingered in my mind for years; for me, she completely stood out as Ann Blyth's biological mother (that's what I recall of the plot, after so many years).
Years later, I became familiar with her earlier performances, most notably as the tormented Cesca in "Scarface" (1932) in which she's riveting and more recently, thanks to TCM, with "Three on a Match" (1932) and the superb "Heat Lightning" (1934) of which I am a fan.
My question to you is what was the background of Ann getting the role of Ms. Blyth's biological mother in "Our Very Own" (1950); Did she like her role and the picture? Did she get good reviews for her performance? It's a little known movie of which I'd like to know more and hopefully see again in the near future to fully appreciate as and adult Ms. Dvorak's talent. Thanks.
I am not certain if Ann was singled out for the role of Gert from the get-go, but as she was 15 years into a freelance career by that time, her agent probably played some hand in her involvement. Once she was cast, she received an offer to appear in the Broadway show PEOPLE LIKE US. Goldwyn was anxious enough to keep her that he worked around the theater schedule. Even though the role was small, Ann did enjoy playing Gert who she described as a "character." She liked portraying someone who was less polished physically than most of her other characters, and even though the padding she wore was supposed to make her look frumpy, fellas on the film crew told her that she looked especially sexy.
When I spoke to Jane Wyatt about this film, the only thing she said was, "Was that a Goldwyn picture?" It just goes to show that while some films may resonate deeply with us as a audience, they were sometimes just another job for the actors involved.