Let me explain something. I’ve seen Spellbound four or five times, and as I sit here I can’t remember a single thing about Rhonda Fleming’s appearance in it. I know she plays a mental patient in Ingrid Bergman and Leo G. Carroll’s sanitarium and that she has an analysis scene with Bergman early on, but nothing she said or did in that 1945 film ever made the slightest impression.
Update: I just found a YouTube clip of the first ten minutes of Spellbound, which contains Fleming’s performance as a somewhat venomous sort. The performance struck me as brittle and surface-skimmy. She’s saying the lines but there’s a part of you that doesn’t want to listen. Which is why I hadn’t remembered anything before.
Fleming’s third-act scene with Robert Mitchum in Out of the Past was pretty good — she was bland but vaguely memorable in a “junior league patter” sort of way.
I don’t mean to project dismissiveness. Fleming had a noteworthy career and obviously lived a long life, and that took some doing. She hung in there. On the other hand she was a Republican. I don’t want to sound like I’m sounding. She was fine, a trouper, a one-time “Technicolor queen,” etc. And she sat for a 2006 interview with Bob Furmanek, the man most responsible for the 1.85 cleavering of God-knows-how-many 1950s films on Bluray, when Those Redheads From Seattle was shown in 3D at the American Cinematheque.