HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS

A glamour girl is one who looks good enough to eat and dresses with taste. –Evan Esar

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In my “preview of coming attractions” post of Oct. 13, the subject of Hollywood glamour girls (in general) and Rita Hayworth (in particular) came up in an exchange of comments. October 17 being Rita’s birthday, it seems the appropriate day to do the appropriate post, focusing not only on Rita, but on several other becoming attractions who fill the bill by becomingly filling their dresses.

My glamour girl choices here are both limited and subjective, due not only to length-of-post considerations, but the implicit broadness of the term, e.g.: is, or is not, glamour girl of a piece with sex goddess? For the arbitrary purposes of this opus, I’ve drawn a distinction between the two by disqualifying actresses considered to be ‘pure’ sex symbols, such as Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell. and (perhaps unfairly) Marilyn Monroe. They (and European sex symbols like Brigitte Bardot) may “look good enough to eat,” but dressing with taste was hardly their strong suit.

With that model of suitability out of the way, here are the glamour girls I think stand out as epitomizing Hollywood’s Golden Age by virtue of such disparate criteria as a touch of class, sex appeal more than skin deep, talent, and even pin-up popularity with WWII GIs.

Let’s start with the birthday girl, Rita Hayworth, who said “I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person. I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess.”:

https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/31/rita-hayworth/

My next choice is the actress called the most beautiful woman in the world in her day:

Next, the actress called the last major star to come out of the Hollywood studio system:

With apologies to the likes of Veronica Lake, Lana Turner, and Betty Grable, I will close with this glamorous actress who, but for the overriding racism of the period, could and should have been a major Hollywood star (seen here in a scene with Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Ethel Waters from CABIN IN THE SKY (1943):

 

22 comments on “HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS

  1. calmkate says:

    she is hot … sounds like racism has increased over there from what we hear … white cops killing black girls in their own bedroom, they are trigger crazy!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Glamour has certainly changed, right? And with that change came other big impacts.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ashley says:

    Brilliant!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. masercot says:

    You must’ve forgot Myrna Loy… the sexiest of all the glamour girls and one of the longest lasting (from the twenties to the fifties).

    BTW, I saw Lena Horne live in Dallas, TX. As good as she is in your clip, she was even better just standing at a microphone…

    Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse says:

      I never looked at Myrna as being in that category — she had much more than a “touch” of class and was too unique and good of an actress. To be thought of as primarily a glamour girl would be doing her a disservice, in my opinion.

      As for Lena, I never saw her in person, but she certainly was dynamic in her TV appearances later in her career. In 1943, when CABIN IN THE SKY was made (Vincente Minnelli’s directorial debut, btw), TV was still waiting in the wings, and movies (along with radio) were king, with CABIN being one of the few all-black cast films produced by a major studio.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Rivergirl says:

    Good group. Would be interesting to see who you think would be considered glamorous today…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Carmen says:

    I’ve just finished reading Gone With the Wind . . .Vivien Leigh sprang immediately to mind when I read the blog post title. Loved those clips mister muse! I always learn something.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse says:

      I never even thought of her, Carmen — probably because she wasn’t thought of as the typical Hollywood type of glamour girl. She certainly was beautiful, though. Anyway, I’m glad you’re “always learn something” here. Maybe I’ll tell my wife and try to make her jealous.

      On second thought, I’d better leave well enough alone.

      Like

  7. …and Hedy Lamarr was one of the quiet tops! 💕

    Liked by 3 people

  8. Richard A Cahill says:

    The world does not lack for beautiful women, Sr. Muse, then and now. But the photography is better now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ1XM9LwS64

    Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse says:

      The photography is certainly slicker now, but I don’t know that it makes beautiful women look more beautiful, Ricardo. To my mind, most commercials (like that clip) promoting a product with beautiful women (often with pouty, supposedly sexy facial expressions) are more of a turn-off than a turn-on, and I’m not buying what they’re selling (at least, not in that venue).

      Like

  9. mlrover says:

    The sad irony is that superficial beauty distracted from the talent and intelligence of many Hollywood “glamour” personalities. They were exploited and used. It was no wonder that Lamarr became bitter at the end. I have no sympathy for Weinstein. So many before him got away with it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse says:

      In those days, only ‘strong’ female stars like Katherine Hepburn could fight off exploitation. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she wasn’t the “glamour girl” type to begin with. Nonetheless, she had the box office clout to be her own woman, and she knew it.

      Like

  10. Lena Horne certainly should have been a bigger star. She was beautiful, she could sing, and she could act. (I love her in Cabin in the Sky!) She truly was glamourous.

    Liked by 1 person

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