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):

 

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MAY AULD ACQUAINTANCE NOT BE FORGOT

On August 30, I did a post (titled “MAC”) about the late great actor Fred MacMurray. In recent comments to the MAC post, faithful reader Thom Hickey and I opined that I should publish more posts on actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, even though most of them are now little remembered, long forgotten, or unheard of. To the point, how many of these once-upon-a-time familiar film faces and names are familiar to you?

I know not who you know not (above), but I’ve spent some of my happiest hours being entertained (and often drawn in) by such silver screen sorcerers/sorceresses working their magic on my imagination. Watching that clip, it seemed almost unfathomable that nearly all those ‘reel-life’ characters I knew almost as well as I knew real-life family and friends, have gone over THE END. Rapt in their world, how was I to know immortals were mortal?

So, you can take this as a preview of coming attractions featuring close-ups of some of my favorite stars and character actors from the days when the likes of Charlie Chaplin was The Little Tramp….

….and Gloria Swanson was Norma Desmond….

Are you ready for your close-ups?

 

 

 

 

I WANT TO BE ALONE

“Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. –Paul Tillich, philosopher/theologian

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Sept. 18 (1905) is the birthday of famed “I want to be alone” actress (and real-life recluse) Greta Garbo, who (unlike many movie stars) valued solitude over the celebrity spotlight:

Now, dear reader, you may not have a problem with “I want to be alone” — but, as Joel McCrae asked Veronica Lake (40 seconds into this film clip)….

So, when you stop and drink about it (unless you take Joel McCrea’s question literally), there’s no reason why you can’t be….

After all, even the Lone Ranger wasn’t really a Lone Ranger (heaven forbid that his faithful Indian companion Tonto was just along for the ride)….

That’s all for now, boys and girls. Hi ho Silver, away!

 

 

MAC

No, this isn’t a post about the Apple of your eye(s), computer-wise — nor is this a post about a Mac big enough to contribute to a heart attack (calories/cholesterol-wise). This is about a guy who’s the apple of my eye, versatile actor-wise:

Today being MacMurray‘s birthday (August 30, 1908), I thought I’d honor the memory of perhaps the most underrated movie star of Hollywood’s Golden Era, starting with the above clip and continuing with the trailer for one of the most underrated films of his era:

Next, when it comes to film noir, it doesn’t get any better than this all-time classic with a powerhouse cast (including MacMurray, who was reluctant to play the role), director (Billy Wilder), and screenwriter (Raymond Chandler), from the James M. Cain novel:

Speaking of “Double” and classic films, how about two Macs (including Shirley MacLaine) in one of my all-time favorites….

We end with this from near the start of Fred’s career (before becoming an actor):

 

RIDE THE WIND DAY

August 23 is RIDE THE WIND DAY. I can think of no better way to celebrate the day than musically. On the other hand, you may think I should go fly a kite. Why not do both — you might call it killing two words with one song:

You didn’t really think I was going to stop after one song, did you? So, did you know the wind has a name?

But no matter the name, The Wind In The Willows whispers it. Listen for it….

And in that plaintive, melancholy way, I bid you a good Ride The Wind Day.

 

WELL(ES) SAID

“My doctor told me to stop having intimate dinners for four….unless there are three other people.” –Orson Welles (in his obese later years)

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Today being the birthday (5/6/1915) of the great director/actor Orson Welles, I’m going to risk repeating myself by repeating myself….with a few selections (including the following clip) from a past post acclaiming Welles and his role in the classic film THE THIRD MAN:

To those who think the likes of this 1949 film has appeal only for seniors (like me), I’d say such films are called classic because they’re ageless, not made to capitalize on what’s ‘in’ at the moment. To demonstrate, here is a non-senior citizen explaining why she loves it:

Of Welles, the man grown from “boy genius,” much has been written, but I won’t go into the details of his life/legend here — they can be readily culled by clicking this link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles (or less readily culled from recommended books like ORSON WELLES, a 562 page biography by Barbara Leaming). Instead, I will call on some of the wisdom he left behind….and I quote:

Even if the good old days never existed, the fact that we can conceive such a world is, in fact, a confirmation of the human spirit.

Living in the lap of luxury isn’t bad except that you never know when luxury is going to stand up.

I don’t pray because I don’t want to bore God.

Race hate isn’t human nature; race hate is the abandonment of human nature.

Don’t give them what they think they want. Give them what they never thought was possible.

We’re born alone, we live alone, we die alone. Only through our love and friendship can we create the illusion for the moment that we’re not alone.

When people accept breaking the law as normal, something happens to the whole society.

Well(es) said, I’d say.

 

 

 

LIPS SERVICE

The title of today’s post is LIPS SERVICE — as distinguished from ROOM SERVICE — although I’m informed there are major hot-els and inns, both in-and-outside of iniquitous areas, where hot lips can be ordered (what one might call inn-clusive room service).

And then there’s Major Hot Lips Houlihan, which may be a stretch (what one might call post thematic stretch syndrome), but hopefully you can use the exercise as much as I can use the connection:

Coincidently (speaking of seeking hot lips), Robert HOOKER was the author of the novel MASH, on which the movie of that name (1970) and TV series M*A*S*H (1972-83) were based. HOOKER, born 2/1/1924, was the pen name of Korean War Army surgeon H. Robert Hornberger Jr. A very Happy upcoming Birthday to you, good sir, wherever you are.

Two years before “Hot Lips” creator Hooker was born, this red hot song was conceived by composer/orchestra leader Henry Busse:

So you see, friends, this post is not just paying lip service to LIPS SERVICE. This lips service is a hip service because it’s a ‘sound’ follow-up to last week’s THE KISSING POST. It’s in the groove. It’s on record.

Will my next post continue along the lines of this post and THE KISSING POST?

My lips are sealed.