She’s the Baroness, bitches! From The Sound of Music. Except she’s so much more, including a three-time Oscar nominee. Let’s run down mid-century actress Eleanor Parker’s (1922-2013) frock flicks resume:
Escape Me Never (1947)
Set in early-20th-century Venice, and about a fictional family of “musical geniuses.” Parker plays a wealthy English heiress involved in an affair.
The Woman in White (1948)
An adaptation of the 1860 ghost story. Parker plays the main character, Laura, as well as the ghost.
A biopic about silent film actor Rudolph Valentino. Parker plays the actress that Valentino falls in love with.
An 18th-century-set swashbuckler. Parker plays the actress in love with the titular Scaramouche, and competes with the virginal Aline (Janet Leigh) for his affections.
Escape from Fort Bravo (1953)
A Western set during the Civil War. Parker plays Carla, who helps some Confederate soldiers escape.
The Naked Jungle (1954)
Oh god, this sounds potentially very racist: “The Leiningen South American cocoa plantation is threatened by a 2-mile-wide, 20-mile-long column of army ants.” Set in 1901. Parker plays a newly arrived and married American dealing with said army of ants.
Many Rivers to Cross (1955)
A Western set in 18th-century Kentucky. Parker plays Mary, who rescues a trapper and falls in love with him, but he pushes her away.
The King and Four Queens (1956)
A vaguely-19th-century-set Western. Parker plays a woman whose family are outlaws; Clark Gable arrives, and things get scrappy yet romantic.
The Sound of Music (1965)
THE BARONESS, BITCHES. 1930s Austria. Allegedly.
Parker plays the bitchy step-mother who refuses to acknowledge her dead husband’s bastard, setting off a ridiculous chain of events in late 18th century France, England, and the American colonies.
What’s your favorite of Eleanor Parker’s frock flick roles, and why is it The Sound of Music?