It was 1960, the year that I was born, that my pregnant mother went to the cinema with her sister to see a film starring Janet Leigh. Little did this young woman know that the lovely actress of whom she had known from several light-hearted pictures was to be murdered after only forty-five minutes of on screen time. The film was Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the role was one that would earn Janet Leigh both a Golden Globe award and an Academy Award nomination. I was pre-teenager when my master storyteller mother told me the entire plot of this film. She frightened me so much that afternoon, that to this day, I have never seen the movie. Regretably, I have seen the infamous mad slasher moment more times than I have wanted. It seemed that whenever I was home alone as a teenager during a thunder storm, watching television in my bedroom, Psycho was airing on one of the channels. I'd be turning the knob through the entire rotation of twelve channels, as quickly as I could to avoid seeing any horror movies, and there would be Janet Leigh in the throws of that grizzly shower scene without fail. I grew determined to see why my mother wanted to see a movie starring Janet Leigh in the first place. Mom claimed that she was a wonderful actress and very sweet natured, one whom Mom liked very much. By the time that I had children of my own, I was familiar with several of Janet Leigh's films and I agreed with my mother. Janet Leigh was delightful.
Haven't you seen Holiday Affair (1949)? Janet Leigh plays a single mom named Connie Ennis. Robert Mitchum and Wendell Corey also star, but it is truly Gordon Gebert that steals the show, playing Connie's son Timmy. This is one of my favorite Christmas films of all-time. I watch it every year and recommend it be part of your holiday collection.
Watch this and then see these other four films.
My Sister Eileen (1955) She plays Eileen Sherwood.
Houdini (1953) She plays Bess Houdini, alongside her real life husband (from 1951-1962) Tony Curtis who plays the lead. You may know their daughter in real life, actress Jamie Lee Curtis.
Angels in the Outfield (1951) She plays Jennifer Paige.
Little Women (1949) She plays Meg March.
*Contributed by: "Elizabeth Van Cleve Randolph" Date: Fri, Mar 26, 2010 / 22:27:28 PDT
1960 Nominated for Best Actress in a Supporting Role: PSYCHO