Janet Leigh’s 10 Best Movies

A day like today is born Janet leighemblematic actress who would rise to fame for being the most relevant muse of Alfred Hitchcock by embellishing one of the most terrifying and mythical sequences in cinema and becoming a revolutionary turn of the narrative until that unthinkable 1960.

However leigh it was more than a shower scene; she was a talented and committed actress with over 50 titles in film and a little over half on television. She would win a Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress at that time, but she would also become a recognized face within the noir, thriller, western, and horror scene with a steady career that spanned from the late 40’s to the early 90’s. 80’s (consequently he would have sporadic appearances both on the big screen and on the girl).

Also endowed with great beauty, with her blue eyes, her voluptuous figure and a sensual voice, Leigh would procreate a film family when in her third of five marriages she had the also actor Tony Curtis as a couple, with whom he shared 5 films. Two daughters emerged from this relationship, both actresses and one of them the famous Jamie Lee Curtiswho followed in her mother’s footsteps as a talented “scream queen” in The fog and Halloween.

10 – That Forsyte Woman (Compton Bennett, 1949)


A very tragic romantic drama that represented one of the most intense soap operas of the 40s (a wealthy spinster falls in love with her niece’s fiancé), with a luxury cast headed by the beautiful Greer Garson and the inevitable charisma of “Don Juan” from Errol Flynn. The difference here compared to his career as a film adventurer, is that despite retaining his archetype of cynical gallant, Flynn denotes his dramatic talent at the command of a very correct direction of actors, who cause an environment of great romantic tension. between the love triangle on screen. An almost debutante Leigh as her niece, would make her stand out from some of the main characters.

9 – Prince Valiant (Henry Hathaway, 1954)


Adventure film based on the comic book character that appeared on Sundays in the newspapers of the time and narrated the exploits of a young Viking who is prepared to assume the position of his father, the king. Classic matinee movie, starring Robert Wagner, James Mason, Janet Leigh, Debra Paget and Sterling Hayden. The rhythm that the director gave to this film was adequate for a blockbuster with a luxury cast and great public and box office success, which in his story borrows certain elements from the tale of “King Arthur” in order to prosecute what is a very unknown, but still one of the best film cartoon adaptations in history.

8 – Harper (Jack Smight, 1966)


A police thriller with a touch of noir, the ill-fated filmmaker Jack Smight achieves his “one hit wonder” by reincorporating many classic elements of 40s film noir, to a plot that shines between some good twists and a direction that displays tension in the face of a simple case that little by little becomes more complicated and mysterious. Of course, the direction of Newman’s charisma receives a lot of help, which as a private detective displays his characteristic cynicism within a story where everyone seems to want to hide something. A very clever and fresh script for the genre, it highlights the appearance of Leigh, who achieves a good role to preserve a little more her presence and her talent during the 60s.

7 – The Fog (Carpenter, 1980)


Although he came from his glorious Halloween, Carpenter remains at the level, achieving a true narrative status on the management of the environment and darkness, projecting a sinister vision of revenge and flirting for the first time with the surreal and “Lovecraftian” aspects with which he consequently would work throughout his filmography. Influenced by monster films and following his references to Hitchcock (hence the inclusion of Leigh at the beginning of the twilight of his career), Carpenter maintains a grim coherence by making his mist the sinister and threatening protagonist within these dark scenes full of of symbologies, breaking beliefs and denoting that blood is not needed to terrify the audience. As a curious fact, mother and daughter acted together.

6 – Scaramouche (Sidney, 1952)


Swashbuckling adventure film directed by George Sidney, starring Stewart Granger, Eleanor Parker, Janet Leigh and Mel Ferrer. In this film that became a classic of the genre, the adventures of a man who, hiding his true identity, seeks to avenge a family affront are recounted. In this film we find a very young and novice actress Janet Leigh, turned into the love object of the cinematographic hero, which allowed her popular recognition for her beauty and artistic talent and obviously catapulted her cinematographic career, well, from here without His best period would undoubtedly emerge in a climax that would last 8 more years.

5 – The Manchurian Candidate (John Frankenheimer, 1962)


A risky political “thriller” that focuses its narrative on the brainwashing of American prisoners in the Korean War (a very personal issue for the director). Much had to do with Sinatra’s participation in the production seeing the light, since it was considered “incorrect” not only by the Government and its scathing analogy about the militarized manipulation of his most important asset, the soldier; but also because the end of its filming and premiere coincided with the assassination of Kennedy, leaving it in limbo. Frankenheimer tightens the strings and uses the matriarchal figure as the symbol and extension of governmental Manichaeism, in a clear metaphor for the “motherland” and the infallible truth – her love.

4 – The Vikings (Fleischer, 1958)


Another classic adventure film directed by Richard Fleischer and with a stellar cast with the participation of Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine and Janet Leigh, we find a film that tells us about the adventures of a couple of Vikings who, Unaware that they are half-siblings, they come together to save Princess Morgana (Janet Leigh) with whom they were both in love. There is no doubt that at that time the actress had become a sex symbol of the time, which made it difficult for people and critics to fully recognize her artistic capacity and not only her physical beauty, but her fulfillment in her paper is more than acceptable.

3 – The Naked Spur (Mann, 1953)


In the case of The Naked Spur, Leigh is part of the 5 pieces that make up an odyssey full of tension and suspense, highly enjoyable also thanks to that combination of her sensuality and talent, which forge a visual delight that director Anthony Mann knew capture and exploit in each plane and in communion with the narrative of one of the best westerns in history. Although that facet of “damsel in distress” persisted, here some dramatic registers would begin to be noticed that would later serve her for more complex roles (although almost always within this archetype), which is notable in her chemistry with James Stewart, a hero of the physically peculiar western that is very happy to be “the victim hero of the western”.

2 – Touch of Evil (Welles, 1958)


Not only this revolutionary noir meant for Welles his last great package of directing and acting, but also a kind of final atonement. One of the angular pieces of the genre, this is one of the greatest examples of his acting maturity and from a critical perception, where his talent would exceed his still enduring and undoubted beauty. As the femme fatale of this vehicle of Orson’s acting and directing redemption, Leigh would even help out a stiff Heston at times with her performance, having several of the best passages in the cinema. As an interesting fact, Leigh shot the entire film with a broken arm, but somehow between her and Orson they managed to carry out the takes in a way that Janet did not make sudden movements.

1 – Psycho (Hitchcock, 1960)


Already with her status as an acting legend and sex symbol, she and Hitchcock would change the narrative and commercial course of cinema by potentiating their “macguffin”, which would take on a new and revolutionary meaning even in the advertising field. Alfed decided to use the name of the actress as a promotional emblem for the film, showing it off on every poster, marquee and show. Imagine the shock of the public to see how and in what way the supposed main character dies a little before the half-length of the film! Impressive and impressive for a good portion of the audience, Leigh would win the Golden Globe, being so shocked that years later she confessed to feeling very vulnerable taking showers, so she decided to only take her baths in a tub, maintaining this habit until her death.

Tags: HarperJanet LeighPrince ValiantPsychoScaramoucheThat Forsyte WomanThe FogThe Manchurian CandidateThe Naked SpurThe VikingsTouch of Evil

about the author

The Fett@El_Fett cinescopia.com

The most realistic and bastard film critic that can exist. A merciless entity that has the flattery of transmitting its feelings and wisdom to mortals in the best venue on the seventh art. Movie buff at heart and raw critic by vocation. Alter ego of Marketing and PR graduate Oscar M Rodríguez (FB) Follow me on twitter @El_Fett

We would love to thank the author of this article for this remarkable material

Janet Leigh’s 10 Best Movies