Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Miriam Hopkins

If any actress needs to have a revival, Miriam Hopkins would definitely get a vote in my book. There have been many actresses that have been forgotten over time, are very under appreciated, and Miriam Hopkins is one of these actresses. Now there are a good deal of folks out there that know little if anything about our friend, Miriam, and of those who know of her, and her work it mostly consist of her code era work, the feud that she had going on with Bette Davis, and the reputation of being somewhat of a difficult person behind the scenes.

What falls by the wayside, is Miss Hopkins’ pre-code past and what a past it is, that of being one of the sauciest actresses and shining stars of the era. Now she didn’t turn movies out at the rate most stars of the era did, but her pre-codes are such a delight, one can’t ignore them. There is an impish, mischievous quality about her, that is the reason why she is such a great pre-code actress, being the perfect fit for both comedies, and melodramas of the era, and if you’ve seen her pre-code films you can’t help not to enjoy her. Whether she is playing Princess Anna, the frumpy princess turned jazz baby in The Smiling Lieutenant(1931), Ivy Pearson , the prostitute/dance hall girl in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde(1931), Lily, the jewel thief in Trouble in Paradise(1932) or Temple Drake, the tease of a southern belle in The Story of Temple Drake(1933) just to name a few, it is hard to ignore the talent that Miss Hopkins displays. So in conclusion, be sure to check out the greatness of Miriam Hopkins' pre-codes, and help in spreading the word. 

Hopkins as Princess Anna (before her makeover) in The Smiling Lieutenant

Hopkins as Princess Anna (after her makeover) in The Smiling Lieutenant

Hopkins as Ivy Pearson in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

Hopkins as Temple Drake in The Story of Temple Drake

Hopkins as Lily, with co-star Herbert Marshall in Trouble in Paradise

Hopkins as Gilda, with co-stars Fredric March & Gary Cooper in Design for Living

Miriam Hopkins’ Pre-Code films:
  • Fast and Loose(1930) her debut film
  • The Smiling Lieutenant(1931)
  • 24 Hours(1931)
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde(1931)
  • Two Kinds of Women(1932)
  • Dancers in the Dark(1932)
  • World and the Flesh(1932)
  • Trouble in Paradise(1932)
  • The Story of Temple Drake(1933)
  • The Stranger’s Return(1933)
  • Design For Living(1933)
  • All of Me (1934)


  1. I think that Miriam Hopkins is growing on me. I love her work in the pre-code era, especially when she was in the confident hands of Lubitsch and Mamoulian. After Wyler's These Three, in which she was very touching, I found much of her work less successful, though I have a soft spot for The Lady With Red Hair (1940), but that's probably because of Claude Rains. Thanks very much for the list of pre-code films she has done. I haven't seen all of them yet!

  2. I love Miriam Hopkins! Vastly overlooked and underrated. What a wonderful post Nicole.