Sunday, September 11, 2011

Joy Gwynell: Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair

This morning I happened across the 1948 exploitation melodrama Women in the Night, which is in public domain and available everywhere. In one of the early scenes, a young lady billed as Joy Gwynell commits suicide by jumping from a window in the Nazi officer's club in Shanghai rather than endure further whippings from a sadistic Nipponese (Noel Cravat). It is a strong scene, especially viewed on 9-11, of all days, the poor girl crashing into something made of glass far down below. Certainly more memorable than Miss Gwynell's other public domain film, That Brennan Girl (1946), a much milder exploitation drama in which she simply plays "crying girl." Both films, incidentally, from the-then waning Republic Pictures.

Aside from these films,and The Cheaters 1945), also from Republic, Joy Gwynell played Jane Foster, "Jeanie With the Light Brown Hair" and the wife of legendary songwriter Stephen Forster (Donn Reed), in a 12-part series of musical short subjects about Foster featuring Ken Darby and The King's Men. (Dates of production have proven elusive).

That, as they say, is about that for Joy Gwynell, whose off-screen life remains a cipher to this writer. Or, as the late silent western enthusiast George Katchmer used to put it in his Classic Images columns: "Nothing could be found ...")

No comments:

Post a Comment