WHAT THE FANS THINK
December 1937, Picture Play
“No Ordinary Actress”
By Dorothy Brooks Holcombe.
4042 North Richland Court,
VERY few actresses radiate the warmth and sincerity that characterize Kay Francis’s screen performances. Hollywood sophisticates, glamorous though they are, fail to approach the spirit of friendliness and deep feeling of Miss Francis’s portrayals, because they cannot bring their interpretations of emotions above the surface artificiality that typifies the extreme modernism of our day.
With possibly one or two exceptions, the 1937 screen siren blatantly makes a play for the approval of her audience and, in so doing, fails to penetrate the gap that stands between herself and those who watch her on the screen.
On the other hand, the glamour girls who do not openly court public favor by posing in unnatural positions or forcing themselves to grin continuously in the Cheshire-cat manner—and there are a few who don’t—are often lacking in even the primary requisites of good acting.
They simply fail to register any feelings whatsoever.
Not only must a star’s characterization have the force that marks a truly great performance, but sincerity, a deep-rooted bond which will bring the actress and her audience in sympathy, and interpretation that will give the audience and understanding of the character’s innermost feelings. Not one star in a thousand can do it, but Kay Francis is not to be classed among ordinary actresses for just such an achievement is hers.
With a word she can bring to the mind tranquility of blue twilight; with a smile, the exhilaration of living; and her laughter denotes gayety such as that of Brahm’s madly beautiful Hungarian rhapsodies. One senses even from the screen that she lives for each breathless moment, yet has a knowledge of human emotions which only sympathy for others can bring.