For a short while in my youth, I couldn’t tell sisters Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine apart. To my credit, they do share a family resemblance, and they do often play the same types of roles–the naive and mousy soft ingenue who gets mixed up with an ambiguously bad man who may or may not love her back (see Jane Eyre, Rebecca, The Women, In This Our Life, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, even Gone with the Wind to an extent).
What finally distinguished them for me is hard to pin down. I just one day could tel them apart suddenly and realized I had an irrational attachment to Olivia and an irrational dislike for Joan.
When I heard they despised each other in real life, I somehow felt vindicated in my irrationality and also was firmly on Team de Havilland. I mean, she’s Melanie–the best movie best friend ever–AND she was best friends with Bette Davis is real life. That’s pretty damn BA.
But, for the purposes of this blogathon, I was going to try to put my prejudices aside. I had chosen to compare and contrast thematically similar movies, pitting them against each other in an infographic showdown diva off.
I had chosen Suspicion for Joan Fontaine: the story of a spinster heiress who marries a dashing ne’er do well who may or may not want her for her money. And The Heiress for Olivia de Havilland: the story of a spinster heiress who almost marries a dashing ne’er do well who may or may not want her for her money.
The problem was I hadn’t seen either of these movies before. There I had been thinking it would be a pretty even spinster-heiress match up, like my Joan Crawford vs. Bette Davis Dual Duel had been last year. Ha! No dice!
Suspicion straight up sucks, and The Heiress straight up rules, Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland aside.
So my original plan of any kind of fair and balanced competition was out the window. Here’s Plan B: a flowchart that will help you figure out what kind of #SpinsterHeiressProbz you might have.