Thursday, August 06, 2020

The Ella Raines Centennial

August 6th, 2020, marks the centennial of the birth of actress Ella Raines.

Raines was born in 1920 in Snoqualmie Falls, Washington. She graduated from the University of Washington prior to heading for Hollywood.

Raines has always been a favorite actress, combining stunning beauty, striking eyes, and an air of intelligence. I don't believe I've ever disliked a film in which she appeared; to the contrary, her movies are all highly enjoyable.

Nora Fiore, aka the Nitrate Diva, currently has a hashtag on Twitter celebrating the actress, #EllaRaines100. She's highlighted some Raines films I'd really like to see, such as WHITE TIE AND TAILS (1946) with Dan Duryea.

I'd also love to see her TV series JANET DEAN, REGISTERED NURSE (1954-55).

Raines was married for three decades to WWII ace Robin Olds, a career military man who retired as a Brigadier General; they divorced in 1976 and Olds died in 2007.

Ella Raines passed away on May 30, 1988, at the age of 67, and is buried at Glen Haven Memorial Park in Sylmar, California. She was survived by two daughters, Christina and Susan; Susan later passed away in 2018. Raines was preceded in death by a stillborn son, Robert, in 1958.

To celebrate Raines' career, below are stills from most of the films I've seen her in to date, followed by links to individual film reviews.

HAIL THE CONQUERING HERO (1944) with Eddie Bracken:

PHANTOM LADY (1944) with Thomas Gomez and Franchot Tone:

TALL IN THE SADDLE (1944) with John Wayne:

THE SUSPECT (1944) with Charles Laughton:

THE WEB (1947) with Edmond O'Brien:

THE WALKING HILLS (1949) with Randolph Scott, William Bishop, and John Ireland:

IMPACT (1949) with Brian Donlevy:

A DANGEROUS PROFESSION (1949) with George Raft:

SINGING GUNS (1950) with Vaughn Monroe:


Reviews of Ella Raines films: PHANTOM LADY (1944), TALL IN THE SADDLE (1944), THE SUSPECT (1944), THE WEB (1947), THE WALKING HILLS (1949), IMPACT (1949), A DANGEROUS PROFESSION (1949), SINGING GUNS (1950), and RIDE THE MAN DOWN (1952).

And at Classic Movie Hub: John Wayne Favorites, which include TALL IN THE SADDLE.

Update: A few days after this was posted I had the honor of visiting Ella Raines' final resting place in Sylmar, California.


Blogger Jerry Entract said...

Yes, a stunning and rather unique leading lady, she shone in any film I have seen her in. Nice tribute, Laura!

2:43 PM  
Blogger Caftan Woman said...

Ella is a dream film actress and I learned so much from your appreciation and links.

5:26 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you, Jerry! As I’ve read more about her and her films I now really want to catch the ones I’ve not yet seen. I think I have a lead on WHITE TIE AND TAILS. :)

Best wishes,

7:50 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Thank you so much, Caftan Woman! I’m delighted to hear that. I hope we’ll both have the opportunity to enjoy even more of her work in the future.

Best wishes,

7:52 PM  
Blogger dfordoom said...

Phantom Lady was the movie that made me a film noir fan. And becoming a film noir fan is what led to my obsession with classic movies. It's still one of my favourite movies.

10:27 PM  
Blogger surly hack said...

She's been a favorite of mine as well. There are a few of her films I've yet to see, including WHITE TIE AND TAILS.

7:28 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

That's great about PHANTOM LADY, dfordoom! Love that movie's atmosphere, and Ella is great in it. How wonderful it led you into your love for movies!

surly hack, I'd like to see WHITE TIE AND TAILS as well. Hoping to track it down!

Best wishes,

6:08 PM  

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