She's good as a character actress (the second banana part in VERTIGO), but I could never understand the postwar effort to make a leading lady out of her. (She was probably much better on the stage.) I think my big problem with Max Ophuls' CAUGHT (1949) was my failure to see why a rich and powerful man like Robert Ryan's character, supposedly based on Howard Hughes, would go through all that trouble for a mousy little thing like her. I mean, look at the women Hughes did go to all that trouble for! Quite a solid lineup, to say the least.
I agree completely.
One of the reasons she's so effective in Vertigo is precisely because she's not glamorous and sexy. She makes it clear to the audience why the James Stewart character is indifferent to her but knocked off his feet by Kim Novak's character. (I really identify with James Stewart in that respect! )