13 April 2015 | ricbigi
The Divine Miss Chatterton
I have only seen three Ruth Chatterton films: DODSWORTH, FEMALE and MADAM X. I had never heard of Ruth Chatterton before I saw DODSWORTH and had no expectations regarding her as an actress. After seeing DODSWORTH, Ruth Chatterton's elegant persona entered my life forever. FEMALE, seen a couple of years later, was pure delight. What a find! A younger Ruth Chatterton, equally glamorous and equally brilliant, this time delivering a light, witty, winning performance. When I got to MADAM X, I was already a great fan of this divine actress. How can one describe the effect of her acting on one's feelings? I confess I was spellbound from the start. Chatterton's seamless technique renders her emotional outbursts painful to watch, yet we cannot move or breathe and just stand in awe, witnessing an exposure of emotion that is so raw and so true. I have read reviews that criticize Ruth Chatterton for the very qualities that I find attractive and unique in her acting. That only shows that taste is indeed a very subjective thing. MADAM X is an early talkie, static, old-fashioned, a shameless melodrama. I loved it!