Joan Bennett - Rotten Tomatoes

Joan Bennett

Highest Rated:   100% Father's Little Dividend (1951)
Lowest Rated:   43% House of Dark Shadows (1970)
Birthday:  
Birthplace:   Palisades, New Jersey, USA
The title of actress Joan Bennett's 1970 autobiography is The Bennett Playbill, in reference to the fact that she came from an old and well-established theatrical family: her father was stage star Richard Bennett and her sisters were screen actresses Constance and Barbara Bennett. Though she made an appearance as a child in one of her father's films, Joan Bennett did not originally intend to pursue acting as a profession. Honoring her wishes, her father bundled her off to finishing school in Versailles. Alas, her impulsive first marriage at 16 ended in divorce, leaving her a single mother in dire need of an immediate source of income. Thus it was that she became a professional actress, making her first Broadway appearance in her father's vehicle, Jarnegan (1928). In 1929, she began her film career in the low-budget effort Power, then co-starred with Ronald Colman in Bulldog Drummond. She was inexperienced and awkward and she knew it, but Bennett applied herself to her craft and improved rapidly; by the early '30s she was a busy and popular ingénue, appearing in such enjoyable programmers as Me and My Gal (1932) and important A-pictures like Little Women (1933) (as Amy). During this period she briefly married again to writer/producer Gene Markey. It was her third husband, producer Walter Wanger, who made the decision that changed the direction of her career: in Wanger's Trade Winds (1938), Bennett was obliged to dye her blonde hair black for plot purposes. Audiences approved of this change, and Bennett thrived throughout the next decade in a wide variety of "dark" roles befitting her brunette status. She was especially effective in a series of melodramas directed by Fritz Lang: Man Hunt (1941), The Woman in the Window (1944), Scarlet Street (1945), and The Secret Beyond the Door (1948). In 1950, she switched professional gears again, abandoning femme-fatale roles for the part of Spencer Tracy's ever-patient spouse in Father of the Bride (1950). Though her personal life was turbulent in the early '50s -- her husband Walter Wanger allegedly shot and wounded agent Jennings Lang, claiming that Lang was trying to steal his wife -- Bennett's professional life continued unabated on both stage and screen. Her television work included the 1959 sitcom Too Young to Go Steady and the "gothic" soap opera Dark Shadows (1965-1971). In failing health, Joan Bennett spent her last years in retirement with her fourth husband, media critic David Wilde.

Highest Rated Movies

Filmography

MOVIES

RATING TITLE CREDIT BOX OFFICE YEAR
No Score Yet Wild Girl
  • Actor
2012
No Score Yet Dark Shadows: The Curse of the Vampire
  • Actor
2009
No Score Yet This House Possessed
  • Actor
1981
93% Suspiria
  • Madame Blanc
1977
43% House of Dark Shadows
  • Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
1970
No Score Yet Those Fantastic Flying Fools (Rocket to the Moon)
  • Queen Victoria
1967
No Score Yet Desire in the Dust
  • Mrs. Marquand
1960
No Score Yet There's Always Tomorrow
  • Marion Groves
1956
No Score Yet We're No Angels
  • Amelie Ducotel
1955
100% Father's Little Dividend
  • Ellie Banks
1951
93% Father of the Bride
  • Ellie Banks
1950
No Score Yet The Reckless Moment
  • Lucia Harper
1949
No Score Yet Hollow Triumph (The Scar)
  • Evelyn Hahn
1948
54% Secret Beyond the Door
  • Celia Lamphere
1948
No Score Yet The Macomber Affair (The Great White Hunter)
  • Margaret Macomber
1947
No Score Yet The Woman on the Beach
  • Peggy
1947
No Score Yet Colonel Effingham's Raid (Man of the Hour)
  • Ella Sue Dozier
1946
100% Scarlet Street
  • Kitty March
1945
No Score Yet Nob Hill
  • Harriet Carruthers
1945
95% The Woman in the Window
  • Alice Reed
1944
No Score Yet Margin for Error
  • Sophie Baumer
1943
90% Man Hunt
  • Jerry
1941
No Score Yet Son of Monte Cristo
  • Grand Duchess Zona
1941
No Score Yet Green Hell
  • Stephanie Richardson
1940
No Score Yet The House Across the Bay
  • Brenda Lucky Bentley
1940
No Score Yet The Housekeeper's Daughter
  • Hilda
1939
No Score Yet The Man in the Iron Mask
  • Maria Theresa
1939
No Score Yet Trade Winds
  • Kay Kerrigan
1938
No Score Yet The Texans
  • Ivy Preston
1938
No Score Yet I Met My Love Again
  • Julie
1938
No Score Yet Artists and Models Abroad
  • Patricia Harper
1938
No Score Yet Vogues of 1938
  • Wendy Van Klettering
1937
No Score Yet Wedding Present
  • Monica 'Rusty' Fleming
1936
No Score Yet 13 Hours by Air (Thirteen Hours by Air)
  • Felice Rollins
1936
No Score Yet Big Brown Eyes
  • Eve Fallon
1936
No Score Yet She Couldn't Take It (Woman Tamer)
  • Carol Van Dyke
1935
No Score Yet Private Worlds
  • Sally MacGregor
1935
No Score Yet Mississippi
  • Lucy
1935
No Score Yet The Man Who Broke the Bank at Monte Carlo
  • Actor
1935
No Score Yet The Man Who Reclaimed His Head
  • Adele Verin
1934
92% Little Women
  • Amy March
1933
No Score Yet Me and My Gal
  • Helen Riley
1932
No Score Yet Week-Ends Only
  • Venetia Carr
1932
No Score Yet The Trial Of Vivienne Ware
  • Actor
1932
No Score Yet She Wanted a Millionaire
  • Jane Miller
1932
No Score Yet Other Men's Women
  • Marie
1931
No Score Yet Doctors' Wives
  • Actor
1931
No Score Yet Moby Dick
  • Faith Creely
1930
No Score Yet Maybe It's Love
  • Nan Sheffield
1930
80% Disraeli (Disraeli: The Noble Ladies of Scandal)
  • Lady Clarissa Pevensey
1929
No Score Yet Bulldog Drummond
  • Phyllis
1929
No Score Yet The Divine Lady
  • Extra
1929
No Score Yet The Mississippi Gambler
  • Lucy Blackburn
1929
No Score Yet Power
  • A dame
1928

Quotes from Joan Bennett's Characters

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