Barbara Stanwyck said that this was the difference between acting in films versus television

Stanwyck thought the two were more alike than people assumed.

The divide between film and television is nowhere near as contentious as it is today. Today, an actor can have a successful career in film and television, sometimes in succession, whereas a few decades previous, that was hardly the case, and the actors who were able to go between film and television easily were few and far between.

One of these exceptions to the rule was Barbara Stanwyck, who had a successful film career before starring in The Big Valley. Stanwyck spoke highly of television to the Waco Tribune-Herald and said, "I've never had to compromise on quality." However, just because she saw the value in both film and television, doesn't mean that Stanwyck found them identical. She clarified, "Of course, on television, time is our enemy. Everything has to be done so very fast. But I've learned that we used to waste a great deal of time in movies. In television, you just have to be ready, that's all."

Some argued that television was a lesser medium than film, simply because it was younger, but Stanwyck disagreed. She said, "I think television performances are just as good — if the actor realizes he must be ready and know his lines. I feel the quality of my performance is just as good on television as it was in the movies."

She went into greater detail during an interview with The Kansas City Star. In it, she said, "It's [television] the same as movies, only faster." She added, "I'm crazy about old movies and watch quite a bit of television. I especially like the Westerns...both the movies and the competition, the series. I want to see what the competition's doing."

Certainly helpful in putting a positive spin on her experience in television was Stanwyck's costars, whom she enjoyed working with. To the Waco-Tribune Herald, she said, "We have a good relationship on the show. I could think of nothing worse than being locked into a family show with people you don't like. I've known Richard [Long] and Peter [Breck] for a long time. I didn't know Linda [Evans] and Lee [Majors] before, but they're very nice, too." Still, the relationships weren't without conflict, though it all worked out for the best. Stanwyck said, "We have discussions — well, they're really heated arguments — about story points, but we always wind up friends."

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3 Comments

Runeshaper 4 months ago
Barbara Stanwyck was great in everything (-:
Bapa1 4 months ago
"Heath, Jarrod, Nick, Eugene, the barn's on fire! Eugene, Eugene?"
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