Payday Loans
Fay Bainter (1891-1968)

  1. Estelle Taylor, Cimarron, 1931.      She  was an alternative selection for Dixie in MGM’s first version of the Edna Ferber classic. 
  2. Spring Byington, You  Can't  Take  It  With  You, 1937.     “Unavailable,”  reported Frank Capra, used to getting who he wanted. “Then, as so often happened, we found the perfect Penny - the pixie, moonstruck mother who typed unfinished plays - right under  our noses.”  Byington was nominated on the Oscar night  when Capra collected his third directing and second Best Picture awards
  3. Beulah Bondi, Vivacious Lady, 1937.    Change of Mrs Morgan when shooting was postponed because James Stewart fell ill and then had to report to his next MGMovie, Of Human Hearts... with Bondi as his mother. So he suggested she kept that role when Bainter left and, indeed, Bondi mothered him three more times: Mr Smith Gods To Washington, It’s A Wonderful Life and The Jimmy Stewart Show on TV.
  4. Florence Bates, Love Crazy, 1940.     Due as the start of Bainter’s MGM contract until Bates became what the suits termed the featured menace - a domineering mother-in-law - in the the tenth (and best) of the 14 William Powell-Myrna Loy movies. (Powell removed his famous ’tash for his drag scene. 
  5. Spring Byington, Meet John Doe, 1940.     Bainter v Byington for Barbara Stanwyck’s mother in the Doe tale - already told by director Frank Capra as that of Longfellow Deeds and Jefferson Smith, “the fellows, you remember, who went to town and to Washington, respectively,” said New York Times critic Bosley Crowther, “the honest and forthright fellow - confused, inconsistent but always sincere -who believes in the basic goodness of people and has the courage to fight hard for principles.
  6. Katina Paxinou, For Whom The Bell Tolls, 1942.      Also  in  the running: Ethel Barrymore, Gloria Swanson and Florence Talmadge.
  7. Aline MacMahon, Dragon Seed, 1943.    Insulting! Pearl Buck’s book had a point - exposing Japanese atrocities in China.  MGM made it a farce, with the unlikeliest-looking Chinese ever spawned by Hollywood. Taped eyelids for MacMahon, Katharine Hepburn, Walter Huston, Akim Tamiroff…  Many others failed in  Eurasian make-up:  Bainter, Edward Arnold, Donald Crisp, Greer Garson, Van Heflin, Hedy Lamarr, Frank Morgan, Walter Pidgeon, Donna Reed, Edward G. Robinson. Aline earned her sole Oscar nod in what even producer Pando S Berman admitted was a “laughably ill-conceived” picture. 
  8. Charlotte Greenwood, Home In Indiana, 1943.     Change of Aunty Penny for Lon McAllister - and so his troubled soul is saved by what they called trotters and harness-racing. As well as horses, he also had two girls to chase. June Haver, as the bad ’un, somehow got away with wearing fewer clothes than usually OKed by the Hays Office.

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