Hello my darlings! Here’s a sequel to the original “That Awkward Moment When” (http://goldenagedames.wordpress.com/2012/10/12/that-awkward-moment-when/) in which we saw that the flawless gods and goddesses of classic film were actually normal people like you and me. So next time you do something embarrassing, don’t fret! Think of this:
That Awkward Moment When Spencer Tracy Forgot His Pants
This scene is from one of my favorite Tracy films, Father of the Bride. Thankfully, father Spencer Tracy did not appear at daughter Liz Taylor’s wedding looking like this. Or maybe he could’ve. He has nice, slim, hairless legs.
That Awkward Moment When Bette Davis Flubs The Line
I think it’s really cute when classic movie stars, especially legends like Bette Davis, mess up the line. The reactions that old movie stars had were vastly different from the reaction stars have today. Like, they would get really upset and embarrassed that they messed up. Back then, time and film were precious, since we are talking about the Studio Era during the Depression. Some actors had really hilarious reactions, though. Like Carole Lombard’s streams of profanity whenever she messed up. You can see plenty of these classic film bloopers on YouTube!
That Awkward Moment When Lucille Ball and Harpo Marx Are Long-Lost Twins
I think I might’ve blogged this before, but the crazy resemblance here never fails to astound me. This is from one of my all-time favorite I Love Lucy episodes, the one in which she dresses up as tons of classic movie actors to impress her New York friend and ends up meeting Harpo Marx. This photo has convinced me that Lucy and Harpo are long-lost twins. They have the same hair, smiles, maniacal expressions…there’s no way that these two weren’t womb-mates!
That Awkward Moment When Marlon Brando Duckfaced
This photo of Richard Burton and Marlon Brando never fails to make me laugh hysterically. I feel that I’m looking at a picture of two bozos on Facebook instead of two acting greats. It has all the qualities of a Facebook photo: the background is obviously someone’s home, they have that “hey buddy!” pose, and the photo was taken with a low-quality camera. But what makes this the absolute perfect Facebook shot is Marlon Brando’s duckface. The man was definitely ahead of his time here. But instead of making the pose something ridiculous that is only done by ugly fake pussies, Brando makes it look classy. Only because it’s Brando.
That Awkward Moment When Buster Keaton Looks Like A Baywatch Babe
Buster Keaton is one beautiful hunk of man. Nothing makes it more obvious than this photo. Look at him seductively gliding through the water like he’s some god of the sea. Look at that sexy swimsuit, complete with an undershirt. Look at those nice pecs. And look at the wonderfully glum expression. He’s giving Pam Anderson a run for her money here.
That Awkward Moment When Joan Crawford Is Given An Ugly Portrait of Herself
Imagine you are Joan Crawford. You are asked to sit for a painting. All the while, you are positive that this painting will be a beautiful gorgeous replica of your beautiful gorgeous face. Then you get…THIS. What the HELL is that painting even?! That’s not pretty Joanie! It looks like the frickin spawn of the devil. And look at Joan’s face. I wouldn’t be pleased if I were painted as Satan’s mistress either. Thankfully her self-esteem didn’t go downhill after this one.
That Awkward Moment When Winston Churchill Leaves Very Little to the Imagination
Okay, I know Winston Churchill isn’t a classic movie star but I came across this photo and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to post this. This takes the cake in embarrassing swimsuit moments (and we’ve all had them) because here he’s actually wearing a swimsuit yet it’s so tight that he might as well be naked. Way to flash the entire beach, Winston Churchill.
That Awkward Moment When Laurence Olivier Ruins the Picture
This has to be my favorite photo of Viv and Larry. There’s Vivien Leigh, so gorgeous and glamorous, as always. And then there is Laurence Olivier, in perhaps the most hilarious photobomb in the history of photography. I’m actually surprised that the usually serious Olivier’s face didn’t shatter into a thousand pieces from all that laughing. Touche, Larry.
That Awkward Moment When Errol Flynn Looks Like He Isn’t Wearing Pants
That Awkward Moment When Carole Lombard and Robert Montgomery Are Losing It Over Baby Cows
It’s pretty funny to see non-farm folks doing farm things. Observe how these two baby calves are obviously getting the better of Carole and Rob. Carole seems horrified, but she’s doing a lot better than Robert Montgomery, who is actually about to fall over right into the calves little pen. Which is fine, I don’t like him that much anyway (crucify me now).
That Awkward Moment When Humphrey Bogart Is Dressed Like a Grandma in Public
Humphrey, why are you making what seems to be a public speech when dressed like a sweet little Victorian-era grandmother? What has gotten into you, my man? You are supposed to be a rough-n’-tough hardboiled detective! But he’s Humphrey Bogart and he’s always cool so he probably got away with this.
That Awkward Moment When Katharine Hepburn Shreds Better Than A Twelve Year-Old Boy
Katharine Hepburn is awesome for many reasons. But I betcha didn’t know that she can skateboard! Judging by this photo, she’s got some mad skills. She skateboards so much better than those shrimpy twelve year-old boys with baggy clothes and oily hair who think that they are skating gods but actually end up scraping their knees on the pavement. Kate the Great should’ve been featured in an episode of Rocket Power, if you ask me.
That Awkward Moment When Katharine Hepburn Makes A Giant Food Mess
Here’s another awkward moment featuring Kate the Great, but here she’s dishing the gossip…and the food crumbs. Look at that abhorrent mess around her plates! Oh my Jesus. I don’t know if any of the food that was on these plates actually made it into Kate’s digestive system. It looks like it all ended up as mess for janitors to clean. Hollywood actresses were supposed to eat like ladies, not like cavemen!
That Awkward Moment When Humphrey Bogart and Peter Lorre are Sitting Naked in a Sauna and Playing Cards
That Awkward Moment When Katharine Hepburn Takes a Dive
Kate is on a roll today! This is the third awkward moment featuring her. I believe this extremely embarrassing moment was from a film, but I can’t remember which. It must be from a film, since if someone just happened to push her into the water like that, I would assume they’d never see the light of day ever again.
That Awkward Moment When Gary Cooper Is Too Tall for His Horse
Dude’s feet are pretty much dragging on the ground. His 6’3″ is much too much for that fat little pony. But Coop looks like he’s making the best of the situation, even though the Coop-to-pony ratio is greatly imbalanced.
That Awkward Moment When Fred Astaire Defies Gravity
That Awkward Moment When Your Music is Making Cary Grant’s Ears Bleed
Here, Eva Marie Saint and James Mason were attempting to serenade Cary Grant with a song on the harp while on the set of North by Northwest. However, Cary Grant found the song so vile and so shitty that he had to cover his ears before he lost his sense of hearing entirely. Sorry guys, your music isn’t classy enough for Cary.
That Awkward Moment When James Cagney Falls Into a Cactus Bush and Bette Davis Just Laughs
That Awkward Moment When Vivien Leigh is Dressed to the Nines and Lauren Bacall is Dressed in a Bathrobe
The difference between Viv and Betty in this picture is astounding. Viv is dressed to perfection in black, furs, and pearls. Timeless! However, Lauren Bacall is hanging around in a fuzzy, too-small bathrobe that looks like one I owned when I was four years old. Now that’s what I call awkward!
That Awkward Moment When Ray Milland is Very, Very Drunk
Hope you enjoyed this latest installment! x
I’m gonna be quite busy for the rest of the week, so you might notice a lack of posts until the weekend. But on the bright side, it’s my last midterm tomorrow (FINALLY!), but I will still be a bit busy afterwards because now I WORK! Yaaaaayyyyyyy! My new job is the COOLEST! I work at a bookstore in Soho, which is nearby all this awesome shopping, including this little store for rare/vintage and handmade perfumes right across the street (FIST. PUMP!). And guess what? The bookstore is letting me specifically curate their Film/Theatre and Art sections! AWWWWW YYYYEEAAAHHHHH! I’m also actively participating in donating my old or unused clothes and other necessities to Hurricane Sandy victims, which is taking time from schedule as well, but is extremely rewarding I also voted for the first time in my life today, and it felt GREAT! I even got a little voting bracelet that I’m gonna wear forever (or until it gets so old that it turns to dust). The entire process was only five minutes, but it was the most triumphant five minutes of my life! Another UNBELIEVABLE thing that has happened to me recently is that one of my favorite actors from the show “Sleep No More” (which I blogged about in July) has invited me PERSONALLY to attend the launch of the new music video for his rock band!!!! I was literally jumping for joy! It’s not every day that a girl’s actor crush (who happens to be a down-to-earth, well-respected total sweetheart) notices her like this!
I probably won’t be able to write a post until Friday night, but I promise you it will be a good one! I have also read all your comments, but I won’t be able to answer them until Friday as well. Sorry for the delay, but I just want to get these stressful exams out of the way first. To Meral: I haven’t been able to get on my computer yesterday to change my birthday setting, but I did now, and it has Vivien Leigh’s beautiful face right there, with one my favorite photos of her! Please forgive me for the delay. Better late than never! Love you! India: Best of luck on your surgery darling! Keeping you in my thought and prayers always. You’ve helped me through some difficult times, and I will do everything I can to help you back much love!
New York may be getting another storm on Wednesday, but it won’t dampen my spirits! I haven’t been this happy in ages! Remember to always look on the bright side, my lovely readers. Things can happen that make life seem bleak, but as Charlie Chaplin said in City Lights: “The sun will shine and the birds will sing.”
As all of you, my lovely readers, know, the name of my blog is called An Elegant Obsession. It’s pretty straightforward why I christened my blog with this name: I am obsessed with all things classic Hollywood and vintage, and unlike most other obsessions, mine is an elegant one, if I do say so myself. After all, I am obsessed with an era of glamour and class. Part of what made classic Hollywood so elegant is the art of glamour photography.
Glamour photography is, sadly, a dying (ore pretty much dead) art. Nowadays, the idea of photographing celebrities is to show that they are “just like us”: they go shopping, they get coffee from Starbucks, they mow their lawns…whatever. The purpose seems to be to capture them at their most UNglamorous. However, in the olden days I so love, the purpose of photography was to depict these stars as gods: too perfect, too beautiful to be living in this world.
George Hurrell was perhaps the greatest and most prolific glamour photographer. With a career that spanned over seventy years, he photographed the faces of every important star from Norma Shearer to Sharon Stone. Hurrell’s photography is so great because it’s so dramatic. His hallmarks were dramatic lighting with strong blacks and whites. But the Hurrell trademark I want to talk about today is “The Hurrell Hair.”
As seen on the beautiful ladies Bette Davis, Veronica Lake, Carole Lombard, and Jean Harlow, George Hurrell loved to spread out the long, luxurious waves that all Hollywood actresses had back in the day. Any picture with the hair like that is a guaranteed Hurrell. Hurrell used a backlight on his subjects when taking a photo like this, as it added a shimmer or “halo” effect to the hair…which goes back to what I said about the whole “goddess” thing.
So, not being a photographer and having NO equipment but an iPhone 5 camera, I set out to do some Hurrell hair pictures of my own.
It isn’t so good, as my hair isn’t long enough, the photos are in color, I don’t have photography equipment, and I am an overall strange-looking person. But achieving a cheap knockoff of Hurrell Hair was not as difficult as I would’ve thought it would be!
If you are interested in doing a Hurrell experiment of your own, or if you just want to have long 1930s-1940s style waves everyday like I do, let me know and I will be more than happy to make a tutorial!
Meanwhile, I’ll be growing out my hair to get it as long as Vivien Leigh’s in GWTW:
P.S: does anyone have tips on getting rid of dark under-eye circles? I have them all the time, and no matter how much rest I get, I always seem tired and sick-looking! Thanks in advance for any advice!
Sometimes, when scouring the Internet for images related to classic films and actors, you find lots of random, fun things. Here are some of the gems that you can find when looking up images of some classic movie stars:
Here’s Marion Davies using an odd contraption called the Bentograph. It was supposed analyze the human character. Director Monte Bell gives Marion part of her analysis: “Full forehead; benevolent, creative, learned and happiest when in company of the intellectual. Nose; pretentious, ambitious, sensitive, aims high and demands social and artistic recognition”.
Cary Grant, Sally Eilers, Hal Roach, and Elizabeth Jenns English make for an interesting band!
Ida Lupino visits Harry Fink, bottle collector who used to lend out his collection to film studios so they can be used as props!
Is it me, or does Lana Turner slightly resemble Joan Blondell in this photo?
Anne Shirley, Carol Stone, Rosina Lawrence, Lana Turner, Vicki Lester and Natalie Draper drink soda out of a pumpkin.
Another “handie” (Stewart could perform over 300!): China clipper
Why am I loving Laurence Olivier’s mismatched outfit?
That’s all! I made it quite long to make up for all the days I haven’t blogged. Hope this was fun and entertaining!
In a previous post discussing my tour of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, I mentioned that I bought a book called “Hollywood Poolside” by Frans Evenhuis and Robert Landau.
This book is full of fun, beautiful portraits of golden age stars lounging around the pool, and how these waterside images affected American ideas of wealth and status. Need I mention to all my fellow fashionistas, it’s a great way to see the evolution of swimsuit styles? This book has inspired this post, which not only shows stars by the pool, but shows them rocking their stylish swimsuits anywhere, and is in a way a tribute to the pin-up.
Jane Russell models a cute 50s style powder blue one piece on the diving board.
Ginger Rogers models a 1940s style halter bikini
Jean Harlow modeling the popular black Jantzen one-piece of the 1930s. It had a very demure front, but a revealing back, adding a subtle sex appeal. One of the most popular swimsuits amongst Hollywood’s elite in the 1930s.
Joan Crawford spices up her white one-piece with strappy heels, ca. 1930s
Rita Hayworth in a nautical-themed pin-up shot.
Virginia Bruce models a demure skirt ensemble, ca. 1930s
Grace Bradley in a flattering one piece and chic cape-style coverup, 1936
Una Merkel (cheesy pose!) models a black one-piece and some cute sandals, 1934
A very early photo of Rita Hayworth (socks and sneakers with a swimsuit?), 1938
Marilyn Monroe is very famous for her swimsuit pin-up photos. August 3, 1951
A beautiful candid shot of Monroe laughing, July 1, 1952
Merle Oberon models a cute suit on a diving board, 1939
Who else rocked a swimsuit (and synchronized swimming) better than Esther Williams? January 21, 1948
Although strictly for modeling, Ginger Rogers’ coin suit from Gold Diggers of 1933 is the height of swimming couture!
Yay! A man! Maurice Chevalier (my newest crush) sports a popular men’s swimsuit from the 1930s (men wore it without the shirt as well).
Marilyn Monroe in a cheescake pin-up, July 2, 1953
Grace Kelly and her family on vacation, 1954
Marilyn Monroe in a bikini, May 26, 1952
Claudette Colbert looks adorable in this patterned swimsuit! With Gary Cooper in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938)
Marilyn and a chihuahua, May 17, 1950
The famous shot of Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Liz in an adorable polka-dot one piece, July 4, 1956
Ellen Drew, Susan Hayward, and Betty Grable, 1939
Ava Gardner in a…straw bikini? Yep! ca. 1950s
Jane Russell’s bikini looks like an optical illusion! 1950s
Elizabeth Taylor (only 17 years old here) and (hairy) fiance William D. Pawley Jr. relax poolside, August 25, 1949
What’s more fashionable: Marilyn’s swimsuit or heels? January 25, 1952
Marilyn having fun on the beach, ca. 1950s
Maurice Chevalier with an unknown actress in Innocents of Paris (1929). Her polka dot suit is tres chic!
Ann Rutherford sunbathing in a cute swimsuit, 1937
Ann Blyth (in a fashionable swimsuit) and Farley Granger in Our Very Own (1950)
Esther Williams teaches Mickey Rooney a thing or two in Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942)
William Holden rocks patterned trunks in a scene from the greatest Hollywood-themed film, Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Esther Williams in a sequined swimsuit in Million Dollar Mermaid, 1952
Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)
In a barely there swimsuit in Something’s Got To Give
Rita Hayworth playing cards on the beach (with herself?) ca. 1940s
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly lounge on the beach in To Catch A Thief (1955)
Cary Grant relaxes in some sporty summer clothing poolside
One of the famous Cary Grant and Randolph Scott portraits, ca. 1930s
Cary Grant checks out Marilyn Monroe, ca. 1950s
Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in the pool in Chained (1934)
Ida Lupino lounges around in a bikini and wedges
A lovely one-piece worn by Virginia Grey
Yvonne deCarlo wears a bikini in this pin-up photo
Evelyn Keyes in a sporty black one-piece
Very stylish, Johnny Mack Brown!
Ann Rutherford in a fashionable one-piece
(Blonde) Evelyn Keyes hangs out on the diving board
I must say, my favorite swimsuit pictures are Bette Davis’. There is something so effortless about the way she wears them!
Dorothy Lamour in a cute skirt ensemble
Paulette Goddard models a darling white one-piece!
Here’s a cute style, modeled by Rita Hayworth
Loving Ann Baxter’s suit!
The always-cute Joan Blondell in an adorable swimsuit
Betty Grable in a striped bikini
Sonja Henie, not on ice!
Ann Francis’ swimsuit is CUTE!
Scratch that. THIS is the cutest swimsuit ever created! Modeled by Dorothy Sebastian
Una Merkel in a conventional 1930s one-piece
Paulette Goddard in a wraparound swimsuit
Lookin’ good, Alan Ladd!
Joan Crawford is goddess-like in this white one-piece
Thank goodness Cyd Charisse is modeling a simple black suit here!
Cyd Charisse in a cute halter bikini
A very young Lana Turner in a diving board pin-up
Elizabeth Taylor’s swimsuit is to die for!
Jane Russell in a ruffly one-piece
Ann Blyth modeling an interesting one-strap suit
Ann Harding is 30s chic!
An early Ida Lupino in a patterned one-piece
Another classy Ida Lupino photo
Ava Gardner is gorgeous in this beachfront photo
Ramon Novarro is mighty, mighty fine…
An early Ronald Reagan in a lifeguard suit!
Mamie Van Doren in a pastel pink one-piece
Here she is again in a patterned one piece
LOVE Ann Sheridan’s bikini here!
Betty Hutton in a swimsuit, carrying an umbrella (?)
Jean Harlow in a low-cut swimsuit? Every man’s dream!
Jean Harlow working on her swimsuit body
This I LOVE. It’s glittery!
This one is adorable too!
Jean always looked fashionable
Fooling around in a standard 30s swimsuit
Joan Crawford and Dorothy Sebastian accessorize their swimsuits with cool headscarves, 1925
Joan looks gorgeous in this publicity shot, 1926
Famous photo of Joan with husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr, August 22, 1929
I simply adore this swimsuit!
Joan and Doug im 1931. The men’s swimsuits make me laugh
Joan with Franchot Tone in Dancing Lady (1933). The black fringe is so chic!
Multitasking sunbathing with answering fan mail
I love Joan’s 1940s swimsuits. Here’s my favorite
This one is HILARIOUS. Gloria Swanson in the 1920s
Jane Powell in an itty bitty bikini
Debbie Reynolds goes for a demure look here
But vamps it up here!
Pulling off a classic pin-up pose
A young Doris Day. Love the bikini, not digging the sandals
Bette Davis is so cute here!
Bette Davis in a swimsuit, and Joan Blondell modeling the beach pajama, a 1930s casual beachwear trend
Mary Astor and Manuel de Campo in Hawaii
Tyrone Power always looked good in those tiny swimsuits!
Tony Curtis brings in some much-needed hairy man leg
Oh my God. Rudolph Valentino is SEXY.
Gary Cooper in one of those things…
A (not so good) photo of Johnny Weissmuller and George O’Brein
LMAO who can guess what’s wrong with the above photo of Philip Reed?
Larry checks out Vivien
Larry and Viv at the beach
Johnny Weissmuller and his brother in identical swimsuits
Paulette Goddard in a black one-piece. Nice background!
Jeanette MacDonald is cool in a white one-piece, sunglasses, and a headscarf
Jeanette MacDonald enjoying the beach
Errol Flynn…what a hottie
Susan Hayward, a beautiful, popular pin-up
Susan Hayward flirts with the camera
A fun bikini modeled by Susan Hayward
Olivia de Havilland looking lovely, as usual (LOVE her shoes!)
Olivia de Havilland goes for more natural scenery
Rocking a patterned bikini
Ginger Rogers caught off-guard at the beach
Loving Ginger Rogers’ swimsuit!
Loving this one, too!
Fellow Brooklyn dame Barbara Stanwyck rocks a bikini!
Gene Tierney in an amazing leopard print suit
Myrna Loy lounging poolside in that backless swimsuit I spoke about earlier
Dolores Del Rio in a one-strap bikini
A pin-up era Lucille Ball modeling a gorgeous strapless one-piece
A very young (and still brunette) Lucille Ball in a cute patterned swimsuit and a killer hat!
Esther Williams in a simple black one-piece. She has her own (ADORABLE!) swimsuit line today.
Wearing a tie-front bikini
The always gorgeous Norma Shearer lounging poolside
The lovely and talented Ruby Keeler
Al Jolson with his wife, Ruby Keeler. Nice rubber swim cap!
Claudette Colbert looks glamorous in this one-piece
And even more glamorous in this vintage bathing costume! With actor John Payne
Joan Blondell models an early version of those cutout swimsuits so popular today
Claudette getting some sun, sand, and surf
Here’s a rare one: Greta Garbo!
Greer Garson looking statuesque in a metallic swimsuit
Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster, either before or after that famous scene from “From Here To Eternity”
A colorized photo of Carole Lombard in a glamorous swimsuit and heels
Leggy Lombard was a great pin-up
In a shiny one-piece
Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotten in September Affair (1950)
Kirk Douglas and Brigitte Bardot on the beach
Color photo of Betty Grable in a yellow bikini (with a polka dot pillow)
Ava Gardner in a pinstripe one-piece
In a black tie-up bikini
And in a polka dot bandeau bikini
Humphrey Bogart looking cool in swim trunks and flippers
Hedy Lamarr in a gorgeous one-piece
Veronica Lake in a black tie-front bikini
Maureen O’Sullivan in a knit one-piece and cute sandals
Maureen O’Hara in one of my favorite designs: the skirt ensemble
Grace Kelly in an elegant black one-piece
That thing on Gene Tierney’s swimsuit is a cover-up…I hope
I love this swimsuit that Grace Kelly wore in High Society!
Kelly looking great in a white ensemble
Yep, Dick Powell was the Jantzen guy at some point
Why, Rock Hudson? Whyyyy???
The most famous, greatest swimsuit photo of all: Betty Grable’s leggy 1940s pin-up shot, quite popular with American World War II soldiers.
June is wedding month, right? To celebrate, here’s a group of photos of actresses posed in bridal glamour shots and of some on their big day (or days, that would be a more accurate term!) A couple of week ago, the wonderful site Carole and Co http://carole-and-co.livejournal.com/ had a post featuring Carole Lombard dressed as a bride for a glamour shot. Thank you for the inspiration, Vincent!
Marion Davies in a replica of Princess Mary’s wedding gown, ca. 1922
John Wayne married his wife, Josephine, on June 23, 1933 (78 years ago today!) at the home of Loretta Young (standing behind the bride)
Vilma Banky rocks a flapper-style wedding gown in the film The Dark Angel.
Jean Harlow’s wedding to Paul Bern in 1932. To her left is her stepfather Marino Bello. To her right is Bern, and on the far right is best man, John Gilbert.
Joan Crawford and Douglas Fairbanks in the film Our Modern Maidens
Joan Crawford publicity shot for Dancing Lady
Joan Crawford and Clark Gable in Forsaking All Others (notice the slip-on sleeves of her dress!)
Joan sports a more demure gown in Love on the Run
One of my all-time favorites…Joan in The Bride Wore Red! (this is real color)
Now here’s something modern! Joan and Douglas Fairbanks Jr’s wedding on June 4, 1929. How much do you love her without makeup, her freckles showing?
Gloria Swanson’s wedding dress in Her Love Story (1924) has one epic train!
Gloria Swanson in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1923)
Jane Powell and Geary Steffen’s wedding on November 11, 1949
Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher on their wedding day, September 26, 1955
Debbie Reynolds marries again, this time to Harry Karl in 1960
Doris day posing in a wedding dress
But she opted for a simple suit on her wedding to Marty Melcher in 1951
Bette Davis cuts the cake with husband William Grant Sherry on December 3, 1945
Mary Pickford poses in a wedding dress, ca. 1925
Mary Pickford (she’s second from left) in quintessential 20s wedding wear on her wedding to Douglas Fairbanks Sr on August 3, 1922
Mary Pickford opts for a suit on her wedding to Buddy Rogers in 1937
Katharine Hepburn’s wedding dress in Woman of the Year is nice and simple
Marilyn Monroe chooses a demure black suit with a white fur collar for her wedding to Joe DiMaggio on January 14, 1954
A young Marilyn Monroe with her first husband, James Dougherty, in 1942
Newlyweds Arthur Miller and Marilyn Monroe on July 16, 1956
Judy Garland and Vincente Minelli’s wedding, June 17, 1945
Judy Garland and Mickey Dean cut the cake on March 15, 1969 (no effense to anyone, but he gives me the creeps)
Judy Garland and Mark Herron getting married on November 30, 1965
Jeanette MacDonald and her wedding attendants on her marriage to Gene Raymond on June 19, 1937. From left to right: Mrs. Johnny Mack Brown, Mrs. Warren Rock, MacDonald’s sister, MacDonald, Fay Wray, and Ginger Rogers
Ginger Rogers getting married to Lew Ayres on June 23, 1944 (67 years ago today!)
Barbara Stanwyck and Joel McCrea in Banjo on My Knee
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz kiss on their wedding day, June 22, 1949. Love those gloves!
Lucille Ball and Gary Morton on their wedding day, November 19, 1961
Norma Shearer and Irving Thalberg’s wedding, October 3, 1927
Another favorite: Claudette Colbert’s elegant wedding dress from It Happened One Night (1934)
The bridal photo of Lombard featured in Carole and Co
Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth on their wedding day: September 7, 1943
Ava Gardner and Frank Sinatra on their wedding day: November 8, 1951
And on her marriage to Mickey Rooney in 1942
Vivien Leigh on her marriage to Leigh Holman, February 1932
The most famous classic movie wedding gown: Grace Kelly’s. She married Prince Rainier of Monaco on April 19, 1956.
All classic film fans are well-aware of the Debbie Reynolds auction, which took place on June 18th. Debbie Reynolds had been collecting Hollywood memorabilia for manydecades, in hopes of building a museum. Unfortunately, her dream never came true and the bills hiked up, and she soon found it necessary to sell her treasures. Many of the 587 costumes and props unfortunately went to Saudi Arabia and Japan (I apologize in advance for any offense this may cause, but I found that shameful. I’m a firm believer in countries keeping their own history. Things that are purely American should remain in America). If I had money, I would’ve bought at least one of the priceless pieces! Of course, Marilyn Monroe items were the highest-selling (the white subway dress was sold for the most money in the auction) and Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” took second. Here’s some of the highlights of the auction and what they were sold for (I know I’m reporting about this a little late, but it took me awhile to find the photos and figures):
Rudolph Valentino’s costume from “Blood and Sand”: $210,000 + $48,300 buyer’s premium
Harold Lloyd’s personal suit and hat: $4000+$920 buyer’s premium
A lock of Mary Pickford’s hair: $3500+$850 buyer’s premium
Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” bowler hat: $110,000+$25,300 buyer’s premium
Laurel and Hardy’s suits: $16000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Carole Lombard’s gown from “No Man of Her Own”: $11000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Claudette Colbert’s gown from “Cleopatra” (the most beautiful costume in the auction, in my opinion): $40,000+$9200 buyer’s premium
Harpo Marx’s hat and wig: $45,000+$10,350 buyer’s premium
Charles Laughton’s uniform from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $42,500+$9775 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s vest and breeches from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $30,000+$6900 buyer’s premium
Leslie Howard’s costume from “Romeo and Juliet”: $$20,000+$4600 buyer’s premium
Katharine Hepburn’s costume from “Mary of Scotland”: $35000+$8050 buyer’s premium
Norma Shearer’s costume from “Marie Antoinette”: $8000+$1840 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s blue test dress from “The Wizard of Oz”: $910,000+$209,300 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s Arabian-style test ruby slippers (never used in the film) from “The Wizard of Oz”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s personal robe worn while filming “Gone with the Wind”: $10,000+$2300 buyer’s premium
Olivia de Havilland’s costume from “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”: $5000+$1,150 buyer’s premium
Gary Cooper’s uniform from “Sergeant York”: $55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
James Cagney’s jockey shirt from “Yankee Doodle Dandy”: $27500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Claude Rains’ uniform from “Casablanca”: $$55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s riding costume from “National Velvet”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s gown from “Meet Me In St. Louis”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s headpiece from “Caesar and Cleopatra”: $250+$977.50 buyer’s premium
Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce”: $22,500+$5175 buyer’s premium
Ingrid Bergman’s suit of armor from “Joan of Arc”: $50,000+$11,500 buyer’s premium
Hedy Lamarr’s gorgeous costume from “Samson and Delilah”: $12000+$2760 buyer’s premium
William Powell’s suit from “Dancing in the Dark”: $2250+$517.50 buyer’s premium
Errol Flynn’s costume from “The Adventures of Don Juan”: $13000+2990 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s robe from “A Streetcar Named Desire”: $18000+$4140 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from “An American in Paris”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ dress from “Singin’ In The Rain”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ ‘Good Mornin’ flapper dress from “Singin’ In the Rain”: $27,5000+$6325 buyer’s premium
Gene Kelly’s uniform from “Anchors Aweigh”: $27,500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s red sequin gown from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”: $1,200,000+$276,000 buyer’s premium
Red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in “Monkey Business”: $210,000+$48,300 buyer’s premium
Lucille Ball’s shirt, blouse, and coat from “The Long, Long Trailer”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “River of No Return”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: $500,000+$115,000 buyer’s premium
Marlon Brando’s costume from “Desiree”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Perhaps the most-recognized costume in film history…Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway” dress from “The Seven Year Itch”: $4,600,000+$1,058,000 buyer’s premium
Grace Kelly’s dress from “To Catch a Thief”: $450,000+$103,500 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s gown from “Raintree County”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s schoolgirl costume from “Gigi”: $65000+$14950 buyer’s premium
Charlton Heston’s tunic from “Ben-Hur”: $320,000+$73,600 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s headdress from “Cleopatra”: $100,000+$23,000 buyer’s premium
Richard Burton’s tunic from “Cleopatra”: $85,000+$19,550 buyer’s premium
Bette Davis’ bloodstained dress from “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”: $11,000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady”: $3,700,000+$851,000 buyer’s premium.
That’s all, folks! If you want to see the rest of the items featured in the auction, you can still download the catalogue for free in the Profiles In History website.
Since I love history and Hollywood, I was excited beyond belief to visit the Hollywood Museum, located at the former Max Factor building. I’ve heard beforehand that the museum is chock-full of rare artifacts and collectibles…and boy was that an understatement! If you ever visit this museum (which you totally SHOULD!) I recommend you take two or three days to see it, so you can fully view and appreciate everything it contains. Obviously, this was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.
The entrance to the museum, which has the scariest Marilyn Monroe statue of all time waiting there. “Hooray for Hollywood” from the film Hollywood Hotel was playing on a constant loop there, which meant that I was whistling along on a constant loop as well!
The people who work there are very nice. They complimented me endlessly on my hair and makeup (yay!) A lot of people complimented my style in Hollywood in general. Hollywood people are a lot nicer than New York people for sure! Anyway, The entire first floor is intact from the Max Factor days, and is now a tribute to the master behind our favorite faces and hairstyles. So, they still got the pink lobby (which has a ton of stuff to look at as well), and you know that Max Factor’s makeup was created based on hair color, right? (he would create a line for redheads, another for brunettes, blondes, etc) Well, he actually had rooms for the hair colors as well, where he would treat the actresses. Today, each room features a famous actress well-known for having that hair color. The room “For Redheads Only” features Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth, and even some Joan Crawford. “For Blondes Only” features mostly Marilyn Monroe. “For Brunettes Only” features mostly Judy Garland.
In the pink lobby:
Another pair of Joan’s eyelashes, and what I suppose is the stuff she would use to apply them. I think the black thing is mascara, which was dry at that time and quite different from what we have today.
In the Redhead Room:
In the Brunette Room:
In the Blonde Room:
Randomness inside the museum (second and third floors):
Then there was a “portrait room”, full of nothing but glamour photos and shots of vintage Hollywood. That room on its own would take hours! Here’s some highlights:
More bits of vintage Hollywood awesomeness:
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I saw the Harlow at 100 exhibit at this museum. Here are the photos from it:
A souvenir program from the premiere
A menu from the MGM commissary signed by all the major stars of the time: Jean, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, William Powell, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, and Myrna Loy, among others
Beyond the Harlow exhibit:
More vintage film equipment:
The entire basement of the museum was replicated to look like the prison from Silence of the Lambs. Since my family and I were the only people in the museum that day, it was 364237623 times creepier than it should’ve been:
The Dames Hit Hollywood! Day Two: More Grauman’s Chinese, The Egyptian, The El Capitan,The Pig N’ Whistle, and Madame Tussaud’s
As you can tell by the title, my second day in Hollywood was full to bursting! It was hella lot of fun, of course. We went back to Hollywood Boulevard nice and early in the morning. Here’s a better picture of the Hollywood Roosevelt to start us off:
Isn’t it just amazing? Anyway, we arrived a bit late to Grauman’s the other day, and all the interior tours were over. While waiting for the tour this day, we took more pictures of hand and foot prints we missed out on the first day:
After the Egyptian, we had lunch at the Pig N’ Whistle, where everyone who was anyone wined and dined. It was very 1920s, with its extensive bar and dim colored lighting (hence the lack of interior photos. They all pretty much sucked). The food was pretty…well…mediocre, but the point of going here is to breathe the same air as our favorite film stars, so who cares about the food!
The ceiling of the lobby
More of the ceiling of the lobby.
A mural painted along the inside wall.
The carpet in the lobby.
The bar, which is a little way into the theatre.
On the wall across from the bar, there were photos of stars that frequented Grauman’s. Here’s Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell. Our tour guide told us a highly entertaining story of an Australian girl who absolutely could NOT identify anyone in the photos (if I remember correctly she thought Jane Russell was Amy Winehouse!) The gals are doing their hand and foot prints in the forecourt.
A photo of Clark Gable and his last wife Kay Williams attending a premiere at the theatre. The tour guide then said that Gable was cold to his fans, which was SO NOT TRUE. AT ALL.
Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford doing their prints. They were the first to do so. Sid Grauman is crouching on the floor, helping them out.
The side wall and seats of the screen room. It is decorated with columns, red lights, and paintings of nature in the ancient Chinese style (duh). The seats are red plush, and are quite comfortable, as you can lean back quite far in them!
“Cathay Circle”, the boxes where all important figures and luminaries would watch films. Sid Grauman’s own personal box is the one on the far right. The film projector is directly above the two blue lights.
After the tour, we headed onward to Madame Tussaud’s. You’d think we’d be tired, right? Nope! Especially your hyper-active blogger with her boundless energy!
Two more blocks (you know you love these):
The Madame Tussaud’s in Hollywood, although a lot smaller than the one in New York, is a hell of a lot more fun. The figures are built around little sets, where you can join in and feel as though you are part of the scene. Yes, you do get costumes with some of the figures!
Lady Gaga, who’s here purely to give this post more traffic. I know, shrewd business tactics.
She is accompanied by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. I don’t know why, but I felt that the statue didn’t do him justice, and really doesn’t look like him too much. What do you think? (and by the way, his hair is HAAARRRD)
Hope you enjoyed day 2! Day 3, with my visit to the Hollywood Museum, will be coming soon!
Us seniors got our yearbooks last Wednesday, and since then, it’s been nothing but yearbook MANIA. Everyone is scrambling for signatures, passing the book around to friends, running after teachers with pens in hand, allotting valuable page space among people (empty front and back pages for close friends, divide these pages among the close friends, everyone else can sign by their photo in the book, so on and so forth). Of course, there’s also the frustration of what to write and where to begin writing. There’s also the dread of someone you really don’t know well asking you to sign their book, and you’d have to end up writing some weak, obviously fake, generic message to them (“I’m glad we got to know each other! Good luck in college!”). An ex-friend of mine (she’s a SEVERE NUTCASE and as soon as I found out, I dumped her faster than a hot potato, and you have no idea how much I was made to look like the bitch after that!) asked me to sign her yearbook. To my inner satisfaction, I was probably the second person to sign. I told her to be happy in life (she’s faking being depressed about everything. Sorry for the amount of parentheses in this post).
But what if I was lucky enough to go to school with Classic Hollywood? What would they have to say to me? Look no further!
Hooray for having big beaver teeth like me girl! Go us!
Clark knocked me up so take THAT!
So…wanna go out for dinner at a five-star restaurant tonight? Just kidding! And please stop laughing hysterically at me when I trip/fall on my butt/make pigeon-like motions with my head/get constantly confused and baffled by what’s going on around me.
DAAAAAAAHHHHHHH-LIIIIINNNNGGGG! Best in luck with everything you do dahling, but dahling, you ain’t ever gonna be better than me dahling!
Your dahling friend,
Tallu (DAHLING) (DUH)
You’re butt-ugly! What else can I say, being a blonde bitch?
So…wanna go out for dinner at a five-star restaurant tonight? You get full access to my schnozz!
THE HIIIIILLLLLLLSSS ARRRRRRREEEEE ALLLIIIIIIVVVVVEEEE WITH THE SOUND OF MUUUUUUSSSIIICCC! Please stop calling me “Judy” Andrews. MY NAME’S FRIGGIN JULIE, GET WITH IT GIRL!
With Kindest Regards,
I’m so glad we are friends! I’m not the only cheapskate who badly plays an instrument!
From Your Pal,
Admire the profile! Wanna go out for a drink? Don’t worry about getting a fake ID!
Thank you for tormenting me with duck jokes you meanie!
Robert “Quack” Young
I AM THE FUNNIEST MARX BROTHER! Just wait and see!
I am in love with our friendship! Who else says “MONEY!” instead of “CHEESE!” when we take pictures??
I’m glad you are one of the few who appreciate my brand of humor and acknowledges my talent…even though you often say I look like a turtle.
BABALU! BAAAABAAALLLUUUU! Keep on Babalu-ing, amiga!
~~Desiderio (I know you have an obsession with my full name)
Congratulations to the Queen of Sheba! You, like me, can throw a swell left!
YOU NEED SOME PIANO LESSONS STAT.
We’re two of a kind! But I’m the prettier, thinner one!
Your accent, loud voice, fast way of speaking, sprinkling of your speech with disgusting swearwords, and tendency to make rude noises while conversing are shameful to the integrity of the English Language. I, a mere child, can speak with better diction than you ever will in your entire lifetime. Please try to make an effort to see me sometime this summer so I can attempt to alleviate your situation.
Mr. Freddie Bartholomew
So we share birthdays! How about I eradicate you off the face of the earth so I can be the only one eh?
You’re just jealous of my mumbling voice and brooding persona, so stop making fun of it! And you have to admit, I was cool as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls!
HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU I DO NOT LOOK CONSTIPATED THROUGHOUT GWTW! I hope you will become blinded by my shiny golden locks!
So you think you have big eyes huh?
Thank you for always hoping that someday I will get the girl over Clark Gable.
Voules-vouz le taximeter?
I AM NOT EVIL.
I hope you someday find your very own pale hands by the Shalimar. Stop making fun of my thick Italian accent and my incredibly long name. I know it’s sexy, but please contain yourself.
The only time you ever showed any promise in dance is when you badly needed to use the restroom.
I’m very happy for you really I am.
Aww, I dunno what to say…ummm…aw gawsh!
Sir Laurence Olivier
Aww baby, you should be sittin’ on top of the world!
Al (which rhymes. New song!)
Gentlemen prefer blondes!
I thoroughly enjoy terrorizing everyone with our caustic remarks!
Why do all of your tights look strangely like mine?
Errol Flynn (aka In Like Flynn…please stop randomly saying that)
I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BUBBLE SINCE I WAS A CHILD! You can imitate my voice so well it even creeps ME out!
PS: I LIKE MONEY!
Please excuse me while I count my cocoanuts
Louis B Mayer:
There’s room for only one tyrant around here!
Fellow Brooklyn dames!!!
Please remove this monstrosity of a yearbook away from me! By the way, I still can’t get rid of the botanical freak from Life With Father.
Please stop playing with my nose and calling me Myrna Boy! I’m not a boy!
I did NOT steal my cable-knit sweaters from Clark Gable!!!
We have so many inside jokes! From, “a little bit of laryngitis baby” to “I got the gobloots from the booshoo bird?” I never fail to bust your lungs!
Come up and see me sometime! Oh wait, you’re a girl, not a sexy muscleman.
You’ll be “singin’ in the rain” at your prom tomorrow!
Every time you sing “42nd Street” I have a brain aneurysm
Love, Ruby K.
Stop offering me your retainer!
Women should be obscene and not heard.
May I have my name back?
The Real Carole
Here’s NOT looking at you, kid
Great balls of fire! Stop fancying yourself as Scarlett O’Hara! And there are SOME non GWTW movies in which I don’t die!
Please tell them to stop comparing Kate Middleton to me.
You are a very nice girl. Now stop stalking me and get a life.
Gone with the Wind is coming on TCM tonight at 10, so in honor of that, here’s Clark Gable’s experiences acting the film, in his own words. here’s an article entitled “Vivien Leigh, Rhett Butler, and I” from the February 1940 issue of Photoplay, in which Clark confesses all.
Everyone else has had his say about what went on behind the scenes of “Gone with the Wind.” Now the hero himself, in a startling frank story, tells the truth about the year’s most exciting cinematic event
To begin with I’d like to state that despite what a lot of papers said there was never any feud between Vivien Leigh and me during the filming of ”Gone with the Wind” or at any time thereafter.
Hollywood goes just as much to extremes when it comes to male and female stars cast together as it does on any other subject. Get a man and a woman in a picture together and you are immediately reported as either fighting or romancing. The fact that in eighty percent of your pictures you have no emotion about the beautiful creature opposite you, other than an interest in her acting ability, is never printed. Yet that’s the truth more often than not.
As for any possibility of Vivien Leigh’s falling in love with me I knew that was out from our first glance. For never have I seen any girl more completely in love than that one is-with Laurence Olivier. It’s as visible as a Neon sign that she can’t think or talk of or dream about anything or anyone else on earth-except when she’s on the set. When she’s on the set, she’s what a good actress should be. She’s all business.
As for my falling in love with her, I’m sure that could have been plenty pleasant except that, added to her lack of interest in me. I didn’t have any heart to give away, either. Mine was staked out to that Lombard girl who is mighty beautiful and brainy. Carole and I weren’t married when Vivien and I first met, but we did marry while I was working on the picture and there’s a story about our wedding that has never been told and which I’ll get to presently.
I’ll be truthful about it, however: I’ll confess that, the first time I saw her I doubted that Vivien could really play Scarlett. That reaction certainly shows I’m no casting director. But, accustomed to the more abandoned and superficial personalities of Hollywood girls, Vivien seemed too demure to me, at that first meeting, for the vivid, relentless Scarlett.
David Selznick introduced us to each other at a dinner party at his home. Vivien was wearing a very plain, tailored dress. Site’s much tinier in real life than she appears on the screen, and since she uses little make-up she has a very young unsophisticated air. Besides, she had all the fires banked that evening and that Olivier guy was her escort.
Now I know I should have stopped to consider all that. But having seen Vivien only in “A Yank at Oxford,” in which she didn’t have a lot to do, I just looked at her that first evening at David’s and wondered if that keen-minded producer had gone haywire when he signed her.
I knew he hadn’t the first day Vivien and I got on a set together. (David doesn’t go haywire, anyway, which is another thing I should have thought about-but as a profound thinker I’m a good duck-hunter) The best alibi I can offer for my thickheadedness is that my mind was preoccupied with Rhett Butler. He had me plenty worried, so worried that I didn’t want to play him.
Don’t think that was because I didn’t realize what a fat part he was. Rhett is one of the greatest male characters ever created. I knew that. I’d read the entire book through six times, trying to get his moods. I’ve still got a copy in my dressing room and I still read it once in a while, because I know I’ll probably never get such a terrific role again. But what was worrying me, and still is, was that from the moment I was cast as Rhett Butler I started out with five million critics.
About all the handicap an actor ordinarily has is two or three professional critics to a city which adds up for the whole world to about one large theater’s matinée business. Those birds may rap you and while you’d prefer their praise, still you can take those raps, if need be, hoping that the public which makes up all the millions of other movie-goers will like you regardless. But five million people have read “Gone with the Wind” and each must have his or her own idea of bow Rhett should he played.
There was not only that, but I had an accent to think of, long hair to wear, and twenty-six costume changes-more than Carole has ever had in any one of her pictures (which brought me in for lots of ribbing from that one, too).
Photoplay, in publishing some two years ago, a sketch of me as Rhett had given me a guide on the make-up which was an enormous help, and I followed that. The hair was a mere matter of growth and getting used to going without a haircut. All those things were headaches enough, but I talked with Alicia Rhett, a Southern deb (she’s from Charleston, where Rhett was supposed to have been born), before every scene and she was a marvelous accent coach. (Watch for her in one of the smaller roles. The girl’s good and that “Rhett” stuff is her own name.) But Scarlett, being in every foot of the picture, needed plenty of watching.
We started the picture early last March. I discovered Rhett had been pruned of most of his cuss words and much of his force, but apparently that had to be for the censors. Still, he had every scene he actually had in the book. I was signed for six months (and be it said here that it was a honey of a contract. Selznick had offered me a flat rate for the picture. M-G-M played very fair with me and let me make my own deal. I put it on a week-to-week basis. Six months at that rate was mighty sweet sugar amid I ate it up, for I know I’ll never get such a chance again, and the ranch needed a lot of landscape gardening.)
Actually in production, however, I discovered that Rhett was even harder to play than I had anticipated. With so much of Scarlett preceding his entrance, Rhett’s scenes were all climaxes. There was a chance to build up to Scarlett, but Rhett represented drama and action every time he appeared. He didn’t figure in any of the battle scenes, being a guy who hated war, amid he wasn’t in the toughest of the siege of Atlanta shots. What I was fighting for was to hold my own in the first half of the picture-which is all Vivien’s-because I felt that after the scene with the baby, Bonnie, Rhett could control the end of the film. That scene where Bonnie dies, and the scene where I strike Scarlett and she accidentally tumbles down stairs, thus losing her unborn child, were the two that worried me most.
The problem of Rhett, to me, was that although he reads like a tough guy and by his actions is frequently not admirable, actually he is a man who is practically broken by love. His scenes away from Scarlett make him a heavy and his scenes with her make him almost a weakling. My problem was to make him, despite that, a man people would respect. In that scene where Rhett has knocked Scarlett down stairs and learns later that the baby is dead, while Scarlett hovers between life and death, Rhett has to show remorse and suffering.
The scenario, in fact, has him banging to Melanie’s skirts and crying. So there was Moose Gable, clutching the skirt of that dainty de Havilland and trying to sob.
I thought of the stuffed doves Carole had sent to my dressing room on the day ”Gone within the Wind” started. They are an omen between us. The first night we ever really talked to each other, the night of the White Mayfair three years ago, we quarreled. Next morning when I waked up, a little time worse for wear, I heard the weirdest noise in my room. I was living in the Beverly-Wilshire Hotel at the time but I kept thinking I heard birds in the room. I got up and right I was. I had heard birds in the room. They were a whole hamper of doves of peace that Carole had sent over. Ever since then whenever we have an argument about anything one or the other of us sends a dove. Result is that we’ve got some ten original doves on the ranch today and about fifty of their progeny. Squab from squabbles one could say, though it might be wiser if one didn’t.
Anyhow, I thought of the stuffed doves for luck and I blessed Vie Fleming, the director, who has guided me through some tough ones before this, and as for the rest, I honestly prayed the scene would be good. Vic was kind and didn’t keep the camera too much on my face. He let me try to do most of it on the sound track, act it with my voice, rather than with my expressions, I mean. I only hope you’ll feel I’ve gotten away with it.
In the scenes with Bonnie, I tried to show a mature man’s transfer of love away from a woman he knows doesn’t love him to their child whom he adores. I’ve played only a few scenes with kids so these were a new experience to me, too. A new type of love scene. They were exciting but the scene in the whole picture that I enjoyed playing the most was the scene where I come in late at night, drunk, and Scarlett comes down and joins me, getting a little drunk herself. That’s the scene where I knew what an actress Vivien is because while I intended nothing of the sort, she took the whole shot neatly away from me.
The greatest day on the picture to me was March 31, 1939. That was two days after my wedding to Carole.
It has been written since then that Carole and I had that wedding day planned out for months in advance, but that’s not true. It happened this way. On the afternoon of March 28, I was finished with my scenes about three in the afternoon. While I was taking off my make-up, the assistant director came over and said I didn’t need to work the next day. I called Carole at once and with the aid of a close friend, we headed out that night to Kingman, Arizona. We took Otto along, not only to untangle any difficulties we might get into, but because he had a new car without license plates which meant we wouldn’t be spotted.
We were married at three-thirty that afternoon and left at five-thirty, getting home the next morning at three. Carole’s mother was there, all excited, which kept us up till five. Finally we got to sleep, only to be awakened at nine to discover forty cameramen, three newsreel men and twenty reporters waiting out in the front yard to interview us. Under the circumstances, David gave me another day off.
But the next morning when I reported at the studio, ready for the prison sequence, I discovered Vic had switched things on me and was prepared to do the wedding scene, only this day my bride was Vivien. David had engaged a full orchestra which was gurgling through the wedding march and while I knew it was all a rib on me, I blew up in the first take. The stage hands all groaned, Vivien asked solicitously what was the matter with me, and Vic said, “It’s that Clark has always been shy of girls.”
Despite the kidding I got that day, however, we did precious little fooling on “Gone with the Wind.” I, for one, was a stranger in a strange studio. Somehow, I’d never met Olivia de Havilland or Leslie Howard before. The crew, who are the ones who put over the gags in any studio, were all new to me. And Technicolor is too expensive to play tricks with. Besides David, having three million dollars invested, was down on that set all the time fixing us with his eagle eye. So we worked, day after day and hour after hour, for those six exciting months. It took all the stamina I’ve got, which is enough, but I can’t imagine what it must have taken out of Vivien, who worked twice as much as I did. I only know that never once did I hear her complain.
As for me, when I finally was released, and they let me cut my hair again, the MGM gang sent me a turkey. They named it Rhett Butler and it was a male bird. The card said, “This is just to assure you that even if a turkey, Rhett can’t lay an egg.”
That leaves me nothing to do now but wait until after the picture is released, to read the critics and to see if I have to go out to the chicken house and tell that gobbler to move over.
Hope you enjoyed it! I love it when Clark takes over the interview and tells all. Everything he says is a mixture of clever wit and plain good humor.
Quite often, classic Hollywood stars seem almost like demigods. They have immeasurable talent, unearthly beauty, and juicy, interesting lives. It’s sometimes hard to belive that they’re actually normal, everyday people like you and me. But hey, that’s what makes them so much more special and cooler than whatever the hell we’ve got today. To bring them back to earth, here are some photos of our favorite stars when they were babies! Be prepared for cutie overload! (Photos from Corbis)
Loretta Young, who’s kind of a scary-looking baby if you ask me.
Look at that little man! He grew up to be Cary Grant.
Did Tallulah Bankhead ALWAYS look the same?!
Cutie Jean Harlow! Before she had her famous platinum mane, she was a bit of an Elmer Fudd baby!
Not exactly a baby…Joan Crawford at age six
AWWW!!! Baby Bette Davis!
Wasn’t Tyrone Power adorable? And he always did have those expressive brows!
Obviously, Gary Cooper was meant to be a cowboy
A precious Katharine Hepburn
Baby Jimmy Stewart on a cool vintage tricycle
Perhaps the cutest picture EVER. Baby Judy Garland!
ADORABLE Lucille Ball!
Norma Shearer lookin’ pretty serious
Claudette Colbert as a little tyke
Adorable baby Carole Lombard! I think she’s so cute, but party-pooper Jean thinks she looks like Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter!
Marlene Dietrich, always the glamour girl
GORGEOUS Vivien Leigh! Look at those eyes!
Grace Kelly, already a beauty
And now the most adorable, cutest little baby of all…Humphrey Bogart! He’s so lucky I wasn’t around when he was a baby. He would’ve been kidnapped in 3,2,1!
Happy New Year everyone!
To celebrate, I’m going to look back on my 2010 classic movie escapades. Get ready for An Elegant Obsession’s Annual Classic Movie Yearbook!
Best Movie: Gone with the Wind (1939). This film won ten Academy Awards in 1939, and it deserved every single one!
Worst Movie: Apologies to The Painted Desert (1931), but it was the stinkiest Western ever created. It even has the stinkiest film poster ever created:
Best Female Performance: TIE! Rosalind Russell in The Women (1939) was witty, charismatic, funny, and engaging. Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) was complex, emotional, and heartbreaking.
Best Male Performance: TIE AGAIN! Spencer Tracy in Captains Courageous (1937) was simply amazing. William Powell in The Thin Man (1934) was smooth, suave, and urbane.
Best Villain: Ray Milland in Dial M for Murder (1954). That guy was an evil CREEP.
Best Female Comedic Performance: Carole Lombard in To Be Or Not To Be (1942). She made me laugh to tears.
Best Male Comedic Performance: the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup (1933), Horse Feathers (1932), and Monkey Business (1931). Laugh out loud HILARIOUS!
Best Romantic Screen Team: Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. Platinum blonde stunner with an acid tongue and jug-eared, burly ex-lumberjack? Their chemistry and spark is inimitable.
Best Hero/Sidekick Team: Clark Gable and Franchot Tone. They complimented and played off each other so well, it’s a darn shame they only made three movies together
Best Dressed: Joan Crawford. She always looks her best
Best Kiss: Clark Gable and Mary Astor in Red Dust (1932). Considered to be one of the best classic movie kisses
Best Line: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” fills me up with tears every time
Best Newcomer: I recently discovered Rudolph Valentino, and he has quickly become one of my favorites
Most LOL-worthy Moment: TIE! William Powell cooing in Myrna Loy’s face in I Love You Again (1940) and Norma Shearer’s Jungle Red Nails in The Women (1939)
Hope you enjoyed our first annual Classic Movie Yearbook! Look forward to a new year full films, fun, and a whole lot of insight and sarcasm! As Frank Sinatra said in his song, The Best Is Yet To Come: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Yesterday was the 71st anniversary of Gone with the Wind’s premiere in Los Angeles. Even better…it was also Baby Jean’s birthday! Lucky girl! So we celebrated the two events by watching Gone with the Wind. I thought it would be like any normal viewing of the film: trying to spot bloopers, getting jealous over Vivien Leigh’s looks, sighing over Clark Gable (why couldn’t Rhett Butler exist today? WHYYYYY?!), laughing at implied jokes, listing as much trivia as we possibly could, and making fun of Ashley Wilkes.
However, I was WRONG. More wrong than I’ve ever been in my life.
Baby Jean invited our MOTHER to watch the movie with us. What were you thinking, Jean?! Just because YOU don’t have the hots for the leading male actor DOESN’T mean this was going to be an easy walk in the park!
My mother also has a crushie on Clarkie (if you’ve seen any of my previous posts, you’d know this already). But that didn’t make it any easier for me. There she was, talking about how CUTE he was, and here I was, resisting the temptation to agree/gush over him/control my face from giving me away/hug the television.
I have no idea why I just can’t admit to my mother that I love that man. It’s just too uncomfortable. Telling your mother that you have an undying love for a man 50 years in the grave is NOT an option.
So, my mother started with him right off the bat. Seriously, the OPENING CREDITS weren’t done yet and she was already talking about him! Therefore, I watched the movie, from beginning to end, huddled up into a corner of the couch, so I can wallow in my embarrassment alone.
As my mother laughed along with his laugh (she’s obsessed with it) and drooled all over him, I began to notice things in the film that I’ve never noticed before (anything not to look at his face): how heavily penciled Vivien Leigh’s eyebrows were, that Leslie Howard is more of a strawberry blonde than a straight blonde, there are dogs in the background of the opening scene, two birds fly in the background when the big GONE WITH THE WIND title shows up in the credits, there’s a naked guy in the background during the scene when Frank is taking a bath (before Ashley comes home)…the list goes on and on.
I was also noticing things that the censors should’ve caught instead of jumping all over Clark and “frankly my dear”. Take that naked guy for instance. He’s STARK NAKED! However, he’s shown from the side so you don’t see anything. That’s maybe why they didn’t notice it (?) Or maybe they were just buh-lind. Also, the plot point about Jonas Wilkerson and Emmy Slattery’s illegitimate child is fairly obvious. The language was really bold when relating to that point!
Suddenly, while watching the film, it started getting really, REALLY hot. Very unusual, since we were practically snowed under here in New York. It was so hot, I rolled up both my pants and my sleeves, piled my hair in an ugly bun (I looked like a Dr. Seuss creature), and my hot face was radiating like a furnace. Turns out that Jean and Mom were COLD and it was just me being embarrassed and having the hots for Clark! The only word that was rushing through my head was CRAP. Clark was so beautiful, he almost made my legs burst out into heat rash.
There I was, with the fan on full blast, and the others huddled in fleece blankets. How embarrassing.
Thankfully, I got over it by the end of Part I and no longer needed the fan. My mother fell asleep here and there in Part II, and missed a lot of Gable HAHAHAHA-ing. OH WELL. TOO BAD.
All was smooth sailing until the part when Bonnie dies and Rhett keeps her body with him for three days. That part was very sad, but also a tad strange for me. My mother CRIED. BAWLED. I was so shocked. Could this get any worse? Clark Gable’s moving performance made her cry? Now he’s going to be the god of all actors in her eyes.
We stayed up until 12:35 AM watching that movie. It did NOT want to finish. The only good part about that was that we were too tired to discuss any of it. We crashed and slept as hard as rocks.
Note to self: Never, ever, ever, EVER do that again. Not for a million dollars. Okay, maybe I can endure another four hours of embarrassment for a million dollars!
P.S: My mother also successfully came up with about 30 different insults for Ashley Wilkes, which helped to ease me up. Poor Leslie Howard. He doesn’t get much appreciation, does he?
I have a lot of friends at school.
But that’s the problem: they’re only my friends at SCHOOL. I never wanted to go to an all-girls’ school, so I always tried to think that maybe I could finally have a true female friend (I was an extreme tomboy). So much for that. All my friends at school just see me at school. They don’t bother to hang out with me, blatantly talk about their plans in front of me, and never talk to me about anything else but SCHOOL. Are they using me? Do they really like me? On account of the fact I never spent any time with them outside of school to actually forge a good friendship, I don’t think so. You may think I’m insecure, but honestly, if you were treated that way, like second fiddle, wouldn’t start to doubt yourself a little bit too?
Everyone in that blasted school is so uncultured and stupid it’s unreal! It’s part of the reason why I started this blog: so I can reach out to people who actually care about my opinions on arts and film instead of always dismissing them as old-fashioned. I wish I had a friend who was like me, who shares my interests, and actually assumes that YES, I have a life outside of school! They seem to think I’m not a person, that I have no feelings, well, guess what, I’m just as human as everyone else!
Thank God I got that out of my system. It haunts me every second of my life. If I could choose different people who don’t go to the school to be my friends, I know that I would be happy and need nothing else. If I could choose a group of people who see me as special and who I know would always appreciate me and never leave me out, here’s who they would be:
If Classic Hollywood dames attended all-girls’ school:
The Smart One/Caring One/Good Listener: Myrna Loy
Myrna Loy was one of the few Hollywood “good girls”. Seriously, Da Loy (my silly nickname for her) was one of the nicest girls you could know. Myrna would be the smart one, the one who would help me out of all my problems and would listen to me when no one else would. She would always calmly see reason (an ESSENTIAL for someone as un-calm as myself) and would give me advice. She would be the true friend who sees people for who they are and would understand everyone better than they understand themselves.
The Flirt: Mae West
Mae West was no great beauty, but she is most famous for her unbelievably overblown sex appeal. Despite this, Mae was smart as a whip and super-witty to boot. Double-entendres, anyone? She would be the one who would roll her skirt just a little too high and wear her tights just a little too sheer for the nuns to bear. She would know the most boys, and go for them in a big way. She’d also be the one who is slightly mischievous, who would occasionally get her (and everyone else) in trouble. It’ll be great to see the looks on boys’ faces when they get verbally hit with “Come up and see me sometime”.
The Baby: Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow was called “The Baby” by her Hollywood friends, and she’d remain the baby in my clique. Jean would be the type who would be naive, who would need guidance from the rest of the clique. She’d be our cutie-pie, the one we love to care for. To add on to her child-like way of thinking, she had one heck of a baby face! Jean was a beauty without knowing it herself. I could see many men crushing on her and she wouldn’t even know it.
The Zany One: Carole Lombard
Oh Carole. It’s no wonder she inspired my 1930s name. Carole, who was famous (or infamous) for her not-so-normal behavior, would probably become my best friend. Her class-clown personality would make her the most lovable of all. I would gladly participate with her in staging the biggest practical jokes, engaging in zany predicaments, and being overall bold, brash, sarcastic, and scary-witty. However, she would also be my BFFL because we both have totally different sides that no one else sees. We’re both secretly generous, we both have our insecurities and are secretly sensitive, and we both love way too hard for our own good. Carole would be the most sister-like to me.
The Popular One: Vivien Leigh
Vivien, with her beauty and seemingly aloof personality, would definitely be the popular one, the one that all girls want to know and all guys want to be with! Vivien always loved all forms of the arts, so I’d bond with her on that. She’d be my art buddy, my opera buddy, and my Broadway buddy. We’d always hang out and explore the latest exhibit or Shakespeare play. Although everyone would be running after her, Vivien would realize that my clique is the coolest you can get!
The Protective One: Joan Crawford
I think it’s physically impossible to hate Joan Crawford. She’s my hero. She’s bold, tough, fair, strong, and every bit a leader. She was THE DAME! Joan would definitely be the one no one would ever mess with. Look at that face! It can protect us from all mean girls and all perverted boys! Dare to disobey?
The Radical: Katharine Hepburn
How can you not include Kate the Great in this clique? Kate was seen as a radical feminist in her day, and she paved the way for many freedoms that women today take for granted, such as wearing pants and smoking in public. Kate would always be the one who spoke her mind and would do whatever she pleased. I’m pretty sure we’d spend more than one day in detention with her! When she was a high-school student, Kate was suspended (or expelled I forget) for swimming nude in her school’s water fountain. Since my school has a polluted fish pond, we might get a repeat of that performance if she was a student in 2010!
Aren’t these girls the coolest people to hang out with? They’d be true friends…and they kick everyone else I know to the curb!
Vivien Leigh had it all: talent, fame, wealth, and beauty. She was married to one of the most successful men of her time, Laurence Olivier, and starred in some of the greatest films of all time. However, not all was sunshine and daisies with Vivien. Vivien was plagued with ill-health throughout most of her life. However, she bravely weathered it and today she is considered one of the greatest actresses in film history. Here are some of my favorite portraits that show just what Vivien was all about:
My school library has some of the strangest books around. I came across a thousand-page tome titled Ghosts several years ago. It is a compilation of ghost stories and encounters, famous and non-famous alike. In the book, the psychic and witch Sybil Leek shared her intersting story about Vivien Leigh:
One Friday morning in July 1967, Leek phoned Hans Holzer, the author of the book, saying that she had a vivid dream in which a woman named Vivien communicated with her and said that she was going on a holiday. Leek asked Holzer if he knew a Vivien, because Vivien wanted Leek to tell him. Holzer was still confused over the incident when he saw the announcement of Vivien Leigh’s death in the Saturday paper. Vivien was discovered dead in her London apartment, but Holzer realized that she could’ve been been for several days. He immediately called Leek and asked her if she knew Vivien. Leek said that she did, but she hadn’t seen Leigh for a long time. Sybil had her strange dream on Thursday night, and she thought that it was Vivien’s way of saying goodbye.
On Monday, July 3, 1967, Leek had some pictures of her taken at a studio. In one of the pictures, the ghostly, out-of-focus profile of a woman partially obstructed Leek. The profile was unmistakeably that of Vivien Leigh!
I made a copy of that story out of the book, which published the picture. The face does indeed look like Vivien Leigh’s, and it’s one of the most chilling things I’ve seen…freaky freaky!
If you’re curious, here’s the link for the photo: http://books.google.com/books?id=E2gytRBMCRMC&pg=PA728&lpg=PA728&dq=sybil+leek+vivien+leigh&source=bl&ots=hcQ7flUtFe&sig=AmmnJfAX1jQimaDitErTlkadMFM&hl=en&ei=g16vTIrrIsG88gaJ9J2fCQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBYQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=sybil%20leek%20vivien%20leigh&f=false
Here’s an EPIC post for the most epic film of all time! Without a doubt, Gone With The Wind is my all-time favorite film (and Jean? Forget it!). We love it so much that we watch it once a month, meaning we’ll end up watching this film more than anyone else in the whole entire world! You see, Jean and I are training ourselves in the art of being a Windie. All what we need are reproduction dresses of those worn by Vivien Leigh in the film!
Gone With The Wind has every element of what makes a great film: colorful characters, great plot, wonderful editing and art direction, attention to detail, killer acting, a sweeping score…you name it, Gone With The Wind has it. The film is so special that even though Jean and I see it all the time, each viewing feels new and different. That, I believe, is what makes a great film: it feels fresh even after seeing it 112 385,910,747 times.
If you’re reading this and you’ve never seen Gone With The Wind yet, let me tell you that there it is a film that caters to everyone’s interests:
Fashion Buffs: you will j’adore Walter Plunkett’s beautiful, envy-worthy costumes
Music Buffs: be amazed by Max Steiner’s sweeping score
Art Buffs: study the bold remastered Technicolor and admire the wonderful architecture and art dirtection by Lyle Wheeler.
Action Buffs: marvel at the amazing special effects during the Burning of Atlanta scene
Clark Gable Buffs: PLENTY of eye candy!!!
One really amazing thing about this film is how it got some of its lines and scenes past the censors. Every GWTW fan knows that David O.Selznick had to pay $5000 for Clark Gable to say the word “damn”, but some other parts, such as the part concerning Jonas Wilkinson and Emmie Slattery’s illegitimate child, should’ve never made it to the film…
Gone with the Wind is also famous for its stellar performances. Vivien Leigh showed she was more than just a pretty face and totally deserved her Best Actress Acadamey Awaard for her supreme talent. It’s amazing to see Leigh’s determination in winning the most coveted female role of all time..imagine Scarlett O’Hara as your American film debut! It was also amazing that Leigh did not get “stuck” in that film role. She was able to branch out and make other great films. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American to win an Academy Award for her wonderful portrayal of Mammy. Clark Gable didn’t win an Academy Award for his performance, but he sure as hell deserved one!
Gone with the Wind: every movie buff’s favorite! It’s hard not to have a strong opinion on this iconic film.
Some cool photos:
There is also no movie that has a better ending…
TCM is dedicating the month of September to one of my favorite film actresses…the great Vivien Leigh. Don’t let her beauty fool you, she is certainly an actress who is full of talent and is considered to be one of the greatest performers of all time. Vivien was famous for her astounding dramatic abilities, taking her classical stage techniques and using it on screen better than most of her contemporaries. The movies that will be featured this month are The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone, Storm in a Teacup, Sidewalks of London, A Streetcar Named Desire, Fire Over England, That Hamilton Woman, Waterloo Bridge, A Yank at Oxford, Anna Karenina, Caesar and Cleopatra, Ship of Fools, and of course GONE WITH THE WIND, Vivien’s most famous movie.