The task here at the Board (as I see it, anyway...) is primarily to survey the materials that surface around the Internet and other media sources that are somehow pertinent to film noir--so the gossip hound Karina Longworth qualifies for a mention, if often just barely.
The above is mostly a teaser for a series on Joan Bennett, who remains interesting due to her late blooming career as a femme fatale but whose best work occurs in films where she's either more of a jaded good girl (HOLLOW TRIUMPH) or a besieged matron (THE RECKLESS MOMENT).
To be honest, Joan's work with Fritz Lang has always left me more than a little bit cold, as she strikes me mostly as the form that follows function in WOMAN IN THE WINDOW and SCARLET STREET, never quite inhabiting her characters as fully rounded human beings. Lang tried to give her more gravitas in SECRET BEYOND THE DOOR, but she winds up being rather inert in those murky proceedings; a more promising problematic character (the faithless wife in WOMAN ON THE BEACH) is compromised by RKO's decision to chop up Jean Renoir's film in ways that ultimately leave it rather bloodless.
Many folks hate her performance in the first film of her post-scandal stub of a career (HIGHWAY DRAGNET), seeing a "classy lady forced to go slumming due to circumstances beyond her control," but the frustration and bitchiness that surface in her portrayal are more akin to the single-minded tenacity that she demonstrates in THE RECKLESS MOMENT (even if it is employed here toward malevolent ends).
The VANITY FAIR writeup (which, as you'll see, is mostly pictures) leads us to believe that Bennett and her husband Walter Wanger split up after his dramatic confrontation with Bennett's lover, Jennings Lang (who was fortunate that the enraged Wanger's aim was off)--but such wasn't the case. The couple, originally married in 1940, patched things up and stayed together until 1965. Bennett moved back to New York, shortly becoming the "big name star of yesteryear" on the gothic soap opera DARK SHADOWS--where she'd soon be upstaged by a vampire.
If you're entertained by gossipy podcasts, Longworth is at least energetic in her repackaging of classic Hollywood scandal.