10.Somewhere in Time
Dir. by Jeannot Szwarc (1980), starring Jane Seymour, Christopher Plummer & William H. Macy
Dir. by Raoul Walsh (1947), starring Robert Mitchum, Teresa Wright & Judith Anderson
8.The Good Mother
Dir. by Leonard Nimoy (1988), starring Matt Damon, Liam Neeson & Diane Keaton
7.The Pride of the Yankees
Dir. by Sam Wood (1942), starring Babe Ruth, Gary Cooper & Bill Dickey
Dir. by Fred Zinnemann (1950), starring Marlon Brando, Teresa Wright & Jack Webb
5.The Little Foxes
Dir. by William Wyler (1941), starring Bette Davis, Teresa Wright & Dan Duryea
Dir. by Francis Ford Coppola (1997), starring Matt Damon, Claire Danes & Mickey Rourke
Dir. by William Wyler (1942), starring Greer Garson, Teresa Wright & Walter Pidgeon
2.Shadow of a Doubt
Dir. by Alfred Hitchcock (1943), starring Alfred Hitchcock, Teresa Wright & Joseph Cotten
1.The Best Years of Our Lives
Dir. by William Wyler (1946), starring Myrna Loy, Teresa Wright & Fredric March
In autumn 1939, Wright began a two-year appearance in the stage play Life with Father, playing the role of Mary Skinner. It was there that she was discovered by Samuel Goldwyn, who came to see her in the show she had been appearing in for almost a year. Goldwyn would later recall his first encounter with her backstage:
The aforementioned Teresa Wright shall not be required to pose for photographs in a bathing suit unless she is in the water. Neither may she be photographed running on the beach with her hair flying in the wind. Nor may she pose in any of the following situations: In shorts, playing with a cocker spaniel; digging in a garden; whipping up a meal; attired in firecrackers and holding skyrockets for the Fourth of July; looking insinuatingly at a turkey for Thanksgiving; wearing a bunny cap with long ears for Easter; twinkling on prop snow in a skiing outfit while a fan blows her scarf; assuming an athletic stance while pretending to hit something with a bow and arrow.
In 1941, Wright was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for her film début in The Little Foxes. The following year, she was nominated again, this time for Best Actress for The Pride of the Yankees, in which she played opposite Gary Cooper as the wife of Lou Gehrig. The same year, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress as the daughter-in-law of Greer Garson’s character in Mrs. Miniver. Wright is the first out of only nine actors who have been nominated in both categories in the same year. Her three Academy Award nominations and one Academy Award in her first three films is unique. She remains the only performer to have received Academy Award nominations for her first three films.
his new performance of hers, entirely lacking in big scenes, tricks, or obstreperousness—one can hardly think of it as acting—seems to me one of the wisest and most beautiful pieces of work I have seen in years. If the picture had none of the hundreds of other things it has to recommend it, I could watch it a dozen times over for that personality and its mastery alone.
Four years later, she would appear in another story of war veterans, Fred Zinnemann’s The Men (1950), which starred Marlon Brando in his film debut. In 1947, Wright appeared in the western Pursued opposite Robert Mitchum. The moody “Freudian western” was written by her first husband Niven Busch. The following year, she starred in Enchantment, a story of two generations of lovers in parallel romances. Wright received glowing reviews for her performance. Newsweek commented: “Miss Wright, one of the screen’s finest, glows as the Cinderella who captivated three men.” And The New York Times concluded: “Teresa Wright plays with that breathless, bright-eyed rapture which she so remarkably commands.”
In December 1948, after rebelling against the studio system that brought her fame, Teresa Wright had a public falling out with Samuel Goldwyn, which resulted in the cancellation of Wright’s contract with his studio. In a statement published in The New York Times, Goldwyn cited as reasons her refusal to publicize the film Enchantment, and her being “uncooperative” and refusing to “follow reasonable instructions”. In her written response, Wright denied Goldwyn’s charges and expressed no regret over losing her $5,000 per week contract.
I would like to say that I never refused to perform the services required of me; I was unable to perform them because of ill health. I accept Mr. Goldwyn’s termination of my contract without protest—in fact, with relief. The types of contracts standardized in the motion picture industry between players and producers are archaic in form and absurd in concept. I am determined never to set my name to another one … I have worked for Mr. Goldwyn seven years because I consider him a great producer, and he has paid me well, but in the future I shall gladly work for less if by doing so I can retain my hold upon the common decencies without which the most glorified job becomes intolerable.
Years later, in an interview with The New York Post, Wright recalled: “I was going to be Joan of Arc, and all I proved was that I was an actress who would work for less money.” For her next film, The Men (1950), instead of the $125,000 she had once commanded, she received $20,000.
Muriel Teresa Wright (October 27, 1918 – March 6, 2005)