Susan Hayward Movies

Susan Hayward in 1952's With A Song In My Heart.

Susan Hayward in 1952’s With A Song In My Heart.

Want to know the best Susan Hayward movies?  How about the worst Susan Hayward movies?  Curious about Susan Hayward’s box office grosses or which Susan Hayward movie picked up the most Oscar® nominations? Need to know which Susan Hayward movie got the best reviews from critics and audiences and which got the worst reviews? Well you have come to the right place….because we have all of that information.

I have been a bad son.  My mother, probably the biggest fan out there, has been asking for a Susan Hayward movie page for a very long time.  At one point I thought I would do a Susan Hayward page as a Mother’s Day gift to my mom.  Well that did not work…but finally after seeing another 6 months pass….I have finally written a UltimateMovieRankings page on 5 time Oscar® nominated and 1958’s Best Actress Oscar® winner….Susan Hayward. 

Her IMDb page shows 64 acting credits from 1937-1972. This page will rank 54 Susan Hayward movies from Best to Worst in six different sortable columns of information. Television shows, shorts, cameos and movies that were not released in theaters were not included in the rankings.

Susan Hayward in her biggest box office hit of her career....1967's The Valley of the Dolls

Susan Hayward in her biggest box office hit of her career….1967’s The Valley of the Dolls

Susan Hayward Movies Can Be Ranked 6 Ways In This Table

The really cool thing about this table is that it is “user-sortable”. Rank the movies anyway you want.

  • Sort Susan Hayward movies by co-stars of the movie
  • Sort Susan Hayward movies by adjusted domestic box office grosses using current movie ticket cost.
  • Sort Susan Hayward movies by box office rank by year of release
  • Sort Susan Hayward movies how they were received by critics and audiences.  60% rating or higher should indicate a good movie.
  • Sort by how many Oscar® nominations and how many Oscar® wins each Susan Hayward movie received. Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score.  UMR Score puts box office, reviews and awards into a mathematical equation and gives each movie a score.

Stats and Possibly Interesting Things From The Above Susan Hayward Table

  1. Twenty-four Susan Hayward movies crossed the magical $100 million domestic gross mark.  That is a percentage of 44.44% of his movies listed. Valley of the Dolls (1967) was her biggest box hit.
  2. An average Susan Hayward movie grosses $106.50 million in adjusted box office gross.
  3. Using’s 60% fresh meter.  29 of Susan Hayward’s movies are rated as good movies…or 53.70% of his movies.  Beau Geste (1939) is her highest rated movie while The Conqueror (1956) was her lowest rated movie.
  4. Twenty-one Susan Hayward movies received at least one Oscar® nomination in any category…..or 38.88% of her movies.
  5. Four Susan Hayward movies won at least one Oscar® in any category…..or 7.40% of her movies.
  6. An average Ultimate Movie Rankings (UMR) Score is 39.86.  32 Susan Hayward movies scored higher that average….or 59.25% of her movies.  I’ll Cry Tomorrow (1955) got the the highest UMR Score while I Thank A Fool (1962) got the lowest UMR Score.
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Susan Hayward and John Wayne in 1956’s The Conqueror

Possibly Interesting Facts About Susan Hayward

1.  Susan Hayward (1917-1975) was born Edythe Marrener in Brooklyn, New York.

2.  When Susan Hayward was seven, she was hit by a car and suffered a fractured hip. Although doctors’ told her she might never walk again she was back on her feet in less than a year. The injury left her with one leg that was an inch and half shorter than the other, and she had to wear a lift in her shoe.  This cause her to have an ususual walk, but it became a trademark strut for her in Hollywood.

3.  Susan Hayward was one of 100s of actresses that arrived in Hollywood to try out for the Scarlett O’Hara part in Gone With The Wind.  Although she obviously did not get that part….she did start appearing in bit roles in movies from 1937-1938.  

4.  Susan Hayward’s first official screen role was in 1938’s Girls of Probation.  Her first real break was when she appeared in Gary Cooper’s hit film, Beau Geste (1939).  Once she got noticed…there was nothing stopping her as she became one of the biggest box office stars.

5.  Movie exhibitors voted Susan Hayward among the most popular stars in the country 8 times from 1951 to 1961. Her rankings during that time frame…1951-19th, 1952-9th, 1953-9th, 1954-14th, 1955-19th, 1956-13th,1959-10th and 1961-19th.

6.  Susan Hayward portrayed an alcoholic in three films.  She was nominated for an Oscar® for each of those performances. Those movies were 1947’s Smash-Up: The Story of a Woman, 1949’s My Foolish Heart , and 1955’s I’ll Cry Tomorrow.  She picked up two more Oscar® nominations in her career….1952’s With A Song In My Heart and 1958’s I Want To Live!.  She won the Best Actress Oscar® for I Want To Live!

7.  Susan Hayward was married two times in her life.  Her first marriage to B actor Jess Barker lasted from 1944 to 1954 and produced 2 children….fraternal twin sons named Gregory and Timothy. Her second marriage to Floyd Eaton Chalkley lasted from 1957 to 1966 (his death)…they had no children.

8.  Roles Susan Hayward turned down or was seriously considered for:  Elizabeth Taylor’s part in Cleopatra, Anne Bancroft’s part in The Graduate, Barbara Stanwyck’s part in Double Indemnity, Ingrid Bergman’s part in For Whom The Bell Tolls and parts in South Pacific, Can-Can and The Razor’s Edge.

9.  Susan Hayward is one of many members of the cast and crew of 1956’s Conqueror that eventually died of a type of cancer.  The Conqueror is sometimes called “An RKO Radioactive Picture.” It was filmed near a nuclear test site, and the set was contaminated by nuclear fallout.  After location shooting, contaminated soil was transported back to Hollywood in order to match interior shooting done there. Over the next 20 years, many actors (John Wayne) and crew members developed cancer.

10.  Susan Hayward’s footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre are the only ones set in gold dust.

Check out Susan Hayward‘s career compared to current and classic actors.  Most 100 Million Dollar Movies of All-Time.

And finally check one of our few You Tube videos.  Ranking Susan Hayward’s Top Ten Movies.

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34 thoughts on “Susan Hayward Movies

  1. BRUCE

    1 After being reminded of the fact by Steve’s excellent Susan Hayward video I indicated in a post that whilst by definition any list of 25 “legends” can’t be totally inclusive or definitive Susan probably deserved a place in the AFI lists far more than several who were on them. Accordingly you will appreciate why I’ve waited for and now warmly welcome this update. The new high figure given to Canyon Passage particularly pleases me as I’ve always admired Dana Andrews.

    2 Susan was a life-long friend since their schooldays with 1950s matinee idol Jeff Chandler with whom she co-starred in the 1959 Thunder in the Sun Jeff died tragically in 1961 at 41 from surgical complications related to blood poisoning from the fall from a horse but had lingered for a while in great pain on life support, and when Susan came to visit him he pleaded with her to pull the plug but understandably she felt unable to do so.

    3 A very sad business and a loss to moviegoers of that time. I for one loved going into Belfast on a weeknight to watch the latest Chandler movie. John drew attention to the fact that the popularity of artists varied geographically and “Big Jeff” as he was called was a great matinee idol in Belfast so that on any marquee here in the 1950s his name would have probably been before everybody’s but the Duke and in the outer city cinemas. Glenn Ford

    1. Hey Bob.
      1. I have always thought Susan was more deserving than Hayworth in the AFI 25.
      2. Dana Andrews is one the actors that have gotten lots of requests but have not yet gotten a UMR page.
      3. I did not know that about Jeff Chandler…truly sad…but nice of Hayward.
      4. Good to know Chandler was so big in Belfast.
      Thanks for the movie thoughts on Hayward and Chandler.

  2. 1 Susan Hayward’s dominant decade was the 1950s when big hits in which she was the leading female came cascading down and she had her greatest Oscar recognition and was most frequently mentioned in lists of most popular US movie stars. She had the reputation of being a scene stealer and other actresses in particular were said to be wary about sharing scenes with her.

    2 COMMENTS ON INDIVIDUAL VIDEO POINTS (1) true enough 15 of your 30 selections come from the 1950’s (2) I was very surprised to see The President’s Lady virtually in your Top 10 but as the saying goes “Charity begins at home.” (3) was also ambivalent about Beau Geste being No 1 as it is not really a Susan Hayward movie and anyway I don’t think it has dated well with Coop being a rather wood Beau (4) however Bruce has it as HIS No 1 and he is in broad sync with you about 4 of the Top 5 so all’s right with the world ! (5) was glad to see you recognising Ada with Susan/Dino (6) my personal pick of the posters is I’ll Cry Tomorrow Fighting Seabees and Demetrius and the Gladiators and I see that on the 2 for the latter movie top billing alternates between Susan and Vic Mature (7) 3 super stills of Susan with separately King Gable, Big Bob and Greg Peck and if about the photos I may again use an old quote “They don’t make em like that anymore.”

    3 Overall the video is a fine tribute to a great performer who was excluded from AFI’s lists of Screen Legends but who could have knocked spots off several of those who made the lists.

    Best wishes BOB

    1. Hi Bob, thanks for giving Susie H a peek. When I was working on the video John posting at IMDB was wondering which of Susie’s films would be at the top of the chart and I gave him a choice of three films for no.1, only a fraction of a point between them. He picked Beau Geste and I went with that, it was the highest scorer anyway. It’s one of the few Hayward films I’ve actually seen.

      Demetrius and the Gladiators is an old favorite of mine and my fathers, I gave it a slight boost up the charts. I have to admit compiling these videos has got me interested in watching a lot of movies I’ve generally ignored over the years. If a movie wasn’t sci-fi, horror, fantasy, war, western, historical, animated, comedy or musical I would simply ignore it, bad I know. 🙂

      1. 1 Diverging partially from movies for one post you may be interested in an amusing story in connection with your chart topper. As you know to draw suspicion from others over the theft of a diamond Beau Geste disappears into the desert thus leaving suspicion to fall on himself and he is followed into the desert by his brothers.

        2 My father and his brother Bob served with the RAF in the desert during the 1939-45 war
        and they vowed to return there one day in peacetime if either “won the lottery”. That didn’t happen but my family treated my dad to a trip back to the Middle East for his birthday in the early 1990s so that he could visit some of his old desert wartime haunts.

        3 When he returned his brother Bob fell out with him for being excluded from the trip and my father phoned him a couple of times to try to mend fences only to get the phone slammed down on each occasion. Finally my dad wrote to Bob pressing for a reconciliation only to receive a one line written reply which said “I hope you enjoyed yourself out there without me Beau Geste!”

        4 Loved Demetrius and the Gladiators myself and it was one my very favourite film starring Victor Mature – another Cogerson ‘forgotten man’.


        1. Good story Bob, not the happiest ending though.

          I had to include Beau Geste in the line up because Susie was the only girl in the film even if she wasn’t in it much. And it had good ratings.

          According to Bruce’s Almanac Beau Geste wasn’t as successful as some of the others, I’ll Cry Tomorrow did twice as much business.

          Victor Mature shall not be forgotten, I have jotted the name down for a future video tribute and maybe Bruce can add him to his list along with Stewart Granger, Basil Rathbone, Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. 😉

          1. 1 I was reading an interesting article in a film journal today which suggested that the film companies did not take seriously the Quigley polls of Top box office stars because:

            (1) the lists were drawn up by cinema owners most of whom were out in the suburbs and rural areas but the stars who impressed the producers most were those who were the largest draws in the big cities where sky-rocket prices could be charged at major cinemas with large auditoriums. In short the producers looked to their own ledger returns rather than Quigley to guide them as to who were pulling the most weight at the box office. This shows you what an important and commercially valuable historical document Bruce got his hands on when he had sight of those Warners ledgers.

            (2) Quigley became discredited early on in the eyes of producers when it suggested that for a number of years Mickey Rooney was bigger than Clark Gable. Indeed I saw an interview once with Rooney where the interviewer mentioned the Quigley lists and Mickey just shook his head and laughed and said “Me bigger than Gable ! Come off it!”

            2 In my dad’s days in the war years they didn’t have the lottery of course but they did a thing called The Pools that gave out big money to winners.


          2. Your Quigley comment has me thinking of a new idea for a page….I should take the Quigley list….and do a tally on the Top 25’s actually box office for that year….and see what the real Top Ten and the who the real Top Banana really was…..Seems 1946 would be a good year to do….as it needs an update anyway. Food for thought.

      2. Hey Stefan…well obviously John had been studying these UMR charts when he came to the fine decision to put Beau Geste first. Well looking at the movies you watched…you did not exclude too many movies….one day Flora will watch The Godfather and you will watch The Best Years Our My Lives….one day.

    2. Hey Bob and Steve….wow….(1) my page needs an update….(2) I also had The President’s Lady rated in the 10th spot… I am not thinking Steve gave it too much credit for being a Heston movie….lol. (3) I am assuming that one of your latest videos is on Susan Hayward…which is another of my mothers favorites.

      1. Hey Bruce and Bob, I use wikipedia to read the detailed synopsis of many of the famous dramas and weepies I’ve missed over the decades, some of them are intriguing but most of the time I’m glad I didn’t have to sit thru them. Magnificent Obsession, I Want to Live and Stella Dallas are three that come to mind.

        1. Hey Steve….when I was watching all the Oscar winners in the major categories…I watched I Want To Live…as that was Hayward’s winning movie…it was ok….but not one I will ever watch again. Magnificent Obsession is one of my mom’s favorite movies of all-time. I will be forwarding your Hayward video to her. She watched your Lana Turner video…but could not comment….but I have her comment ready to go…though I will be the one putting it in. After I fix my Hugh Grant page which currently has Cary Grant’s movies on it…I am headed to your You Tube page.

      2. 1 I see that IMDB is in sync with you guys in giving The President’s Lady a 70% marking so I guess I’m outvoted. That film was actually one of the very few ‘normal’ movies that Chuck made before 10C that I didn’t like but I don’t want to talk about those movies until Steve starts displaying a bit of loyalty to Chuck and gives us his Heston video.

        2 Heston played Jackson in a couple of flicks so I hope I’ve got the right one when I say that the one scene that I did enjoy in The President’s Lady was when Jackson gets to the White House an old backwoods gun tooting friend of his accompanies him and acts as his bodyguard; and in one scene where a foreign dignitary starts to quibble with President Jackson at a gathering the hillbilly points the gun at the offender and says “Shall I blast him Andy?” The other Jackson one was The Buccaneer so the scene might have come from that one?

        1. Hey Bruce, I hope your mom enjoys the vids.

          Hey Bob, Chuck Heston’s video will be out on release soon, at the moment I’m working on Roy Scherer’s top 30.

        2. Hey Bob…..I think Steve is saving the best for last….lol. I have not seen either of Chuck’s A. Jackson movies…but your comment has me interested in seeing them. Good stuff as always.

  3. Hi, Bruce.

    I finally was able to watch the Susan Hayward film on my to-see list, so I am now getting to her page.The film was a film noir called Deadline at Dawn.

    I hated Valley of the Dolls. Absolute trash. Usually I enjoy her films. She played a lot of real people in her movies, and these were often uncomfortable films to watch.

    The highest ranking film I have seen is number 1: I’ll Cry Tomorrow.

    The lowest ranking film I have seen is number 41: Where Love Is Gone, which I saw for Deforest Kelley.

    The highest ranking film I have yet to see is Number 5.

    Thus I have seen:

    4 of her top 5
    8 of her top 10
    11 of her top 15
    13 of her top 20
    15 of her top 30
    20 of her films overall.

    The Lusty Men is at the top of my to see list.

    Because many of her movies were about hard life situations, my favourite movies of hers to watch were not necessarily her best ranked films.

    Thus, my top 5 films of Susan Hayward to watch are:

    Garden of Evil
    With a Song in My Heart
    House of Strangers
    Deadline at Dawn
    The Snows of Kilimanjarno

    I might be wrong, but I have a feeling that the first of her films I ever saw was Smash Up: the Story of a Woman. Either that or it was I’ll Cry Tomorrow. They used to air on TV a lot.



    1. Hey Flora… Deadline At Dawn must have really impressed you…..end up in your Top 5. I will have to check that one out. I will admit that I am not surprised at all to see Garden of Evil in your Top 5. I recently watched that one….and thought of you whenever Mr. Widmark showed up on screen.

      Tally count….Flora 20, me 9 and Steve not many (he did not give an actual count…but I am sure his total is not more than my 9). I always like seeing that your % drops as my rankings go down…that HAS to be an indicator that maybe my rankings are decent. 80% of the Top 10…65% of the Top 20….50% of the Top 30. but only 20.83% of her bottom 24 movies.

      Reap the Wild Wind is decent….but she is only in a supporting role…Ray Milland, Paulette Goddard, Raymond Massey and John Wayne have the bigger roles. Of your Top 5 I have seen 3 of them….with House of Strangers being the other one that I have not seen. I like you want to see The Lusty Men. Thanks for another “homework” comment…you are quickly catching up. One day you will see Sir Larry Olivier as the newest page.

  4. HI ,

    Great page on Susan Hayward,thanks!
    -you forgot one theatrical movie she made in 1942 called “Star spangled rythm”bringing the total of her theatrical movies to 55 (and not 54!)

    -Another error: on your black and white photo for the 1942 film “reap the wild wind” it is not Susan shown on the photo but her female co-star in the movie Paulette Goddard.


    1. @Phil……thanks I fixed the error on the picture….as for the missing movie….Star Spangled Rhythm falls in the cameo category… it was not included. Every Paramount star briefly pops up in the movie.

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