Thursday, February 19, 2009

Happy Birthday, Ann Savage (1921-2008)

Ann Savage did not have a long career in Hollywood, and never became a big star. Most of her films were "b" list, low budget quickies. She will, however, forever be associated with Film-Noir due to a single film that was shot in less than a week and shot her to femme fatale infamy. To this day, Detour (1945) stands out as one of the best examples of surreal film noir.

As Vera, the quintessential femme fatale in Detour (1945)

with Tom Neal in Detour (1945)

In 1992, the Library of Congress named Detour (1945) as the first film noir and "B- movie" inducted into the National Registry of Film.

Apology for Murder (1945) with Hugh Beaumont

Ann was recognized as one of the most photogenic Hollywood starlets and was a popular pinup girl during World War II.

Ann poses with soldiers during WWII

Ann Savage, not Betty Grable

Ann semi-retired in the late 1950s and moved from Hollywood to Manhattan with husband Bert D Armand'. She occasionally appeared on local TV and in industrial films. The couple traveled extensively until his sudden death in 1969. A grief-stricken Ann returned to Hollywood to be near her mother, worked as a law clerk and became an avid pilot in her spare time. Meanwhile, she continued to delight her fans with her appearances at "film noir" festivals, nostalgia conventions and special screenings of her work.

At the age of 86, Ann was cast by Canadian director Guy Maddin, a film noir fan, to play a shrewish mother in the highly acclaimed film My Winnipeg (2007).

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