Binnie Barnes and John Wayne, In Old California
The career of Binnie Barnes truly baffles me. She was such a deliciously unique actress – very beautiful, very talented, and full of charisma. Yet Hollywood consistently cast her in secondary roles. She had everything it took to be a leading lady and should, if all things were fair in this world, be a household name today. Yet here we are, with another star who wasn’t given the roles or opportunity to shine as bright as they could have.
Don’t get me wrong, many times this is actually a blessing. By everything I’ve read, Binnie Barnes had a wonderful life, a happy (and long – rare in the entertainment industry!) marriage, and a loving family. She enjoyed a long life and devoted her time and money to charities. When stars were worked to the point of dropping and when their fame became too heavy for them to carry, many sacrificed a happy, normal life for their career.
When you look at it in this light, it makes you realize that Binnie (and other similar stars) didn’t lose anything…. they won the greatest game – a happy, normal life!
One of my favorite Binnie Barnes movies is In Old California. It’s simply a highly enjoyable, lightweight film that makes you fall in love with old movies all over again. It also stars another favorite of mine – an actor you’ve probably heard of (wink wink), John Wayne. Their chemistry is really lovely and their performances perfect, as always.
The 1942 Western was directed by William C. McGann and it truly is one you’ll want to check out.
You can find In Old California on dvd and Prime Video. (Amazon link)
John Wayne and Binnie Barnes