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« Mercedes McCambridge: All the King's Men (1949)| Main| A Toast to Lilly Wachowski »
Friday
Mar 11 2016

Posterized: Hello,her name is...Sally Field

M'lynn.Gidget.Norma Rae.The Flying Nun.Sybil.Edna Spalding.Mary Todd Lincoln.Mrs Gump.We know her by many names but the one we'll always love best is "Sally Field,"perfectly stage-name appropriate for instant recall and audience adoration...and also her real name since birth.

Though she's been famous for literally half a century (!) she hasn't always been properly appreciated...a common fate for stars whose work looks effortless and who excel in "light"genres like dramedies and romantic comedies.But we like her.We really really like her.Don't you?

Her biggest hits:Forrest Gump,Mrs Doubtfire,Hooper,Lincoln,Steel Magnolias,and literally every film she made with Burt Reynolds from 1977-1980 -- audiences couldn't get enough of them together back then.Most frequent co-stars: Burt Reynolds (4),Jeff Bridges,Michael Caine,Dom de Luise,Tom Hanks,Ed Harris,and Tommy Lee Jones (2).Awards haul: 3 Emmys,2 Oscars,亚博主页1 SAG,2 Golden Globes,2 NYFCC,and forNorma Raea bunch of one time prizes...Cannes,NSFC,NBR,and LAFCA

But let's talk about you + Sally.Do you?How many of her film roles have you seen?All 30 are after the jump...

Act 1A TV Star Branches Out (1973-1978)
Also known as: The Burt Reynolds Years.Before she hit the silver screen in her late 20s,Sally Field was already famous from television for starring roles in three TV series:Gidget,The Flying Nun,The Girl With Something Extra.This surely accounts for how quickly she was second billed (by her second feature!).In the late Seventies she was romantically involved with Reynolds,then a superstar,who led four of her biggest hits.During this time she also won her first Emmy for Sybil...and ideal set up for what happened next.

Act 2A List Movie Stardom (1979-1991)
Norma Raeconfirmed what most people who dont look down on light comedy stars already knew: this was a very fine actress despite also being a mainstream darling who could take a People's Choice Award (1982).Field alternated light comedies with her two heavyweight Best Picture nominated and Best Actress winning dramas (Norma Rae&Places in the Heart) during her heyday.Weirdly she received almost no attention forSteel Magnoliaseven though she gave the best star turn in the movie.(The Golden Globes came through with a nomination at least) and,already in her early 40s the roles and/or her interest in movie stardom started drying up.

Act 3Less Frequent Movies and Back to TV (1991-2012)
Please note that in the space of 5 years Sally went from billing above Tom Hanks as his romantic interest (Punchline) to billing below Tom Hanks as his mother (Forrest Gump)!That's what happens to actresses when they hit 50.Oh the vagaries of Hollywood!After a very quiet latter half of the nineties,she hit the stage briefly (and was fully amazing as a replacement for Mercedes Reuhl in the Tony-winning Edward Albee play "The Goat") but mainly went back to series regular work on television winning two more Emmys for "ER"(2003) and the long-running "Brothers & Sisters"(2007).

Act 4Appreciated anew ???(2012-???)
Sally turns 70 this winter.What will the future hold?Steven Spielberg'sLincolnbrought the beloved star both a role she fought for (people initially puzzled over her casting) and her third Oscar nomination yanking her from the strange-bedfellows group of actors who've gone 2/2 with Oscar (Luise Rainer,Vivien Leigh,Hilary Swank,Christoph Waltz).Contractual obligations had her doing another spin as Aunt May in the Spider-Man franchise...and now we're back in the present day for her new romantic comedy of sortsHello My Name is Doris.

HOW MANY OF HER PICTURES HAVE YOU SEEN?
And are you planning to catch the new one?

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Reader Comments (32)

God,how could she follow her first Oscar win with her worst movies back to back,a Poseidon sequel and a second Smokey movie?

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commentercraver

I can't believe you didn't list Celeste Talbert up top!Truly my favorite of her performances for its over-the-top qualities.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJames

I read that Sally Field is considering returning to Broadway in 2016 with The Glass Menagerie,a role she played at the Kennedy Center Tennessee Williams Festival in 2004.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I will always have nothing but dislike for everyone involved in Not Without My Daughter -- the most offensive,propagandist and inexcusable film ever made about Iranians -- even if they're otherwise likeable people like Field and Alfred Molina.
Sorry,I hold film grudges like that.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterAmir

What a great post those actress from the late 70's early 80's hold a special place for me Lange,Spacek,Weaver,Streep etc but esp Sally
Claire Trevor is a hilarious supporting tuern in Kiss Me GGoodbye
Fave things is Sally movies

Refusing to back down in NRae
Claire Trevor as her mother a hilarious supporting turn (no Oscar nom) in Kiss Me Goodbye
"Shelby Open your eyes"
Her line reaing of "I'm gonna miss you Forrest"
Making 50 odd yr old men seem attractive Caine and Garner
That horrifying death sequence where she is stuck in traffic from Eye for an Eye
THAT MOTHER OF ALL BREAKDOWNS in SM
"My head hurts so"from Lincoln and the fight with Day Lewis,I felt my head hurting when she didn't win.
For showing people she had it in Sybil
For her support of her Son - this 1's a cheat

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

I missed one froim Mrs Doubtfire "THE WHOLE TIME"X 3 SO FUNNY.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

Only seven I think.Most of those movies are disposable,I've probably seen more of her television work.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

What James said.I can't make it through a day without quoting Soapdish.

"WHAT I FEEL LIKE IS GLORIA FUCKING SWANSON!!!"

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJason

I've seen every single one except Say It Isn't So.I probably should track it down for completeness sake but it looks so awful I don't know if it's worth it even for dear ol' Sal.

My favorites would be Steel Magnolias,Soapdish and Kiss Me Goodbye though I have a soft spot for the little known Heroes.I remember reading that her agent at the time convinced her that she needed to do something commercial after Norma Rae and that's how she ended up in Beyond the Poseidon Adventure and shortly after with a new agent.

I've seen most of her TV work as well,even the short-lived The Court.Loved Brothers & Sisters and never missed an episode.She worked pretty steadily in TV movies in between The Flying Nun and The Girl with Something Extra (which was a cute little show).

Probably the best of them was "Maybe I'll Come Home in the Spring"wherein she plays a runaway hippie returning home to her severely dysfunctional home,it has a soundtrack by Linda Ronstadt to boot.Oddly Eleanor Parker plays her mother in it and the very next year played her older sister in the screamer "Home for the Holidays"which is totally worth watching for the cast...aside from them it also has Julie Harris,Jessica Walter and Walter Brennan as various members of the family.There's also one called "Mongo's Back in Town"where she plays a drifter entangled with hired killer Joe Don Baker.Several of them are on YouTube.

Will definitely be checking out Hello,My Name is Doris.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I've seen 13.My favorites are Norma Rae,Soapdish,Lincoln,Murphy's Romance,and Stay Hungry.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenteradri

I kind of hate her,but she is fantastic sometimes.Like a female Kevin Spacey.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

She was my Mom's favorite actress,and my Mom was watching her 90's miniseries "A Woman of Independent Substance"before she passed away a few hours later.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112226/?ref_=nm_flmg_act_23

So I love this woman.Both of them.

21 of her movies.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

@jason: i second you.soapdish is truly one of the greatest comedies.

i don't feel quite right in aturban!

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenteris that so wrong?

I like the way all of us have a soft spot for "Soapdish",it is a comic delight.I don't know if it will surface on some streaming site eventually,but she did some great work in "Sybil",for which she won an emmy.My other favourites,"Absence of Malice"& "Murphy's Romance".

She was on Kim Master's podcast "The Business"last week,talking about her career and promoting "Hello,My Name is Doris".The film is getting good reviews,it sounds worth checking out.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterLadyEdith

I liked her in Sybil and Norma Rae,and nothing else.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Close

Nat,what are your favourite Sally Field performances?

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

She's amazing in everything.Steel Magnolias at least once a year.If I notice it being rerun,I can't resist watching it again.

Sybil is amazing,well worth seeking out.Her performance has been much lauded but Joanne Woodward is just as good in a very different way.They had great chemistry.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBiggs

I've seen 7 and like others here I love Soapdish.I remember Murphy's Romance being pretty charming but I saw it so long ago so I can't be sure.And yet I still haven't seen either of her Oscar-winning turns.For shame.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Oh,and I definitely want to see Hello,My Name is Doris!

(And now I kinda wish that title actually did have an exclamation point at the end.)

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDJDeeJay

Definitely not a fan of hers...what she did in her work was fine...but to me she was always the same whether it was comedy or drama.

My wife loved the series "Brothers and Sisters"..but I could not watch it because of her.

This new movie looks ridiculous..sorry Sally Field fans.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenterrick

I've seen 14 of them and I'm pleased to report that she's really good in HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS.cute movie.

March 11,2016 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Toilet humor alert: That Surrender poster looks like Sally had the worst wet fart.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterStritch Bankhead

I've seen 14 of her films and my two favourites are Norma Rae and Murphy's Romance.I don't find her filmography to be all that remarkable,although she's often better than the material she's working with.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterCanada James

I never used to like her acting style - it always looked like she was trying to be cute,cranky or cutely cranky.Even in Norma Rae,I thought she was just fine,far from great and I couldn't quite fathom how that face was connected to that character's past.(I've never seen Places in the Heart though,or Sybil.And I could only swallow two episodes of Brothers and Sisters.)

But in Lincoln she was just phenomenal,electric,fearless.Confidently stylised but completely believably human at the same time.I wish she did something with that kind of raw edge again.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I was watching "Sybil"she really is amazing in that

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

Posterized is back!Love it!

I've only seen 14 and I'm totally going to see Doris.My favorite is Steel Magnolias.I agree she should have been more recognized for that performance.Could it be the "You like me,you really really like me"speech?It had a very intense backlash (at least in Europe).

P.S.She was consistently good in Brothers & Sisters too.

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

"Sally turns 70 this winter"

that seriously freaked me out a little

she'll always be sister bertrille to me

March 11,2016 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Love the Places in the Heart poster.Beautiful!

March 11,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBrad

11.

I USED to be a fan of her.Then I converted to Bette Midler.

March 12,2016 | Unregistered CommenterSanty C.

Absence of Malice was a drama,right?The way she's posed in the poster makes it look like a wacky courtroom comedy with hijinx.

She was phenomenal on "Brothers & Sisters",and that show allowed her to use her dramatic chops and also be FUNNY.There's an episode in Season One when they're playing games and her adult son says something smart-alecky,and she delivers a completely exasperated "KEVIN WALKER!"I'm not doing it justice,but I still laugh about it when I think of it.

March 13,2016 | Unregistered Commenterjakey

What are your favourite performances of hers,Nat?

March 14,2016 | Unregistered CommenterBhuray

I have seen 10 of these.Doris looks like a fun wait-for-Netflix movie.

March 15,2016 | Unregistered CommenterDeborah Lipp

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