~Joyeux Anniversaire~

~Joyeux Anniversaire~

Happy Birthday, Brigitte Bardot! Can you believe the sex symbol of all time, (next to Marilyn, of course) is 79, today!? Still rockin’ the Bardot Bouffant, to this day and still amazing, for an “almost octogenarian”! Enjoy the beautiful, BB!

Lydia Lunch: Anything Goes!

Lydia Lunch: Anything Goes!

Once upon a time, before there was Courtney Love, there was Lydia Lunch. Before GenX’s apathy and grunge, there was NO WAVE. During the mid-70’s, in the NY underground scene, anyone with a Super 8 camera, could be the next … Continue reading

Fitzgerald’s Muse: The Real Daisy Buchanan

Happy Birthday to F. Scott Fitzgerald! Since the resurgence of Fitzgerald’s popularity, with the re-make of, “The Great Gatsby”, everyone seems to be interested in him. Always remember folks, there is usually a muse behind the man. For Scott, it was his wife, Zelda. Zelda was magnificent and troubled. The original poor, little rich girl. At the age of 8, she used to steal her parents car and go joyriding..yes, I said 8! Her life was gilded, but she was a rebel. At her debutante ball, Zelda said, “I’m so full of confetti, I could give birth to paper dolls!”…wow, right?! Zelda was popular and got away with a lot, because she came from a rich, old family. Zelda graduated high school and that’s when she met Fitzgerald, at a country club dance. She out shined every other girl, especially in his eyes. He immediately professed his love for her, but at her parents behest, agreed that he wasn’t financially stable enough to take care of her. Fitzgerald was determined to obtain money and therefore, obtain Zelda. While he was writing his first novel, he was inspired by Zelda, as the two wrote each other, constantly, falling more and more in love. (The heroine in the book is totally based on Zelda) but, like in The Great Gatsby, it’s all about the money, when it comes to being in love, with an heiress. Zelda told Fitzgerald’s friend: “If he sells the book, I’ll marry him. He is sweet.”! In March 1920, F. Scott’s first novel was published, “This Side of Paradise”, to ravishing reviews, he became an over-night, sensation! Zelda agreed to go to New York and marry him. They wed in , April 1920. Upon marrying her, Fitzgerald told reporters, “I’ve married the heroine of my stories”! While in New York, the couple were SO WILD, William Randolph Hearst hired a reporter, to follow them around, full-time! At the time, things were wonderful for, Zelda. She was still the, unruly child-woman, she was in her adolescence. Zelda was seen sneaking in the back of the kitchens at the old Waldorf, dancing on the tables, wearing the chef’s headgear, then finally falling and being escorted out by the house detectives. And lastly, plunging into The Plaza’s fountain. Zelda was by all accounts a WILDER Daisy Buchanan..in fact, when they had their daughter, at age 21, Zelda stated: “I hope she grows up to be a beautiful, little fool”…where is that line from?? Let’s all say it together…! Zelda had an affair with a French aviator, Fitzgerald unwillingly encouraged it long enough, to be inspired to write an affair scene into The Great Gatsby, then put Zelda under virtual, house arrest to rid her of the infatuation. These scenarios keep going on, throughout their marriage. Zelda throwing diamonds out of windows, throwing herself into dreams of becoming a professional, ballerina (which she was VERY good at), and throwing herself down a flight of stairs.. (Yikes!). Fitzgerald’s alcoholism increased with his accolades and the couple began to blame each other, for the bad things. Zelda grew to despise her husband. After her first breakdown, Zelda went into a sanitarium. She began writing an auto-biography, seeking an artistic identity..or ANY identity of her own. As I stated, she was still an over-indulged, woman-child and believed it, herself: “I don’t seem to know anything appropriate for a person of 30”. “Save Me the Waltz”, was published, in 1932. Scott was furious she had divulged intimate details of their personal, life in her OWN book. Scott retorted with his book about their failing marriage, “Tender is the Night”, published in, 1934. Of course, the two dueling books heavily, contrasted each other! In 1936, Scott started a relationship with Sheila Graham while trying his hand at, screenwriting and Zelda checked into a mental hospital, in Asheville, NC. Scott died in 1940. He only saw Zelda, his heroine, one last time..a year and a half, earlier. Zelda perished in a fire at a mental hospital, as she was working on her second novel. She is still considered the emblem of The Jazz Age, The Roaring 20’s, and as her husband called her: “The First American Flapper”. Yes, she was troubled and yes, she was fabulous. Zelda Fitzgerald was the inspiration for some of the best classic, most beloved, American fiction.

Fall is Here!

Fall is Here!

I know, I’m a day late but, it’s Fall! I have been breaking out the long-sleeves, dusting off my button-up, trench coat, hand-washing my stockings, and shining my thigh-high, boots! As the leaves change, so does my wardrobe! What’s better … Continue reading

1957’s “The Sweet Smell of Success”

sos4“The Sweet Smell of Success” is an excellent example of journalism, in film. This movie shows a cut-throat, Broadway columnist, played by Burt Lancaster, who has the world in the palm of his hands.  He can create or destroy careers, as he writes for the powerful, New York Globe newspaper.  J.J. Hunsecker has a monopoly on the press, but not on his sister.   J.J. seemingly wants the best, for his sister. He doesn’t believe the man she’s fallen for: an up and coming, jazz musician is suitable for her. His intentions are good, but you know what they say: the path to hell is paved with good intentions!  J.J. is determined to break-up the engagement, his way. The same dirty ways, he uses at his job.

 

imageSidney Falco, played by a dashing Tony Curtis, is a Manhattan press agent.  Falco has a desperate ambition and is steadily, losing clients and money. Sidney sees Hunsecker as his savior.  If only J.J. would write something about his clients, they would surely keep him, as their agent and Falco’s business would be saved. Sadistic J.J. sees Falco as a peon and won’t do him any favors.

imageAs Falco persists with J.J., Hunsecker finally strikes a deal with Sidney: ruin the reputation of Steven Dallas, his own sister’s fiancĂ© and Falco will have all he wishes for. Sidney sees this as a dirty deal but, is willing to do anything for success. Sidney plants false rumors that Dallas is a dope-smoking, communist in a rival newspaper, causing a sensation. The plan works..to a degree. Hunsecker underestimates Dallas, as he fires back and stands up to J.J., hurling insults at him, in a great confrontation. Susan fears her brother and is forced to break off her engagement, to Steven.

Susan knows all-to-well what lengths J.J. will go, to have his own way.  Steven’s insults have bruised the giant ego, of J.J. and decides to ruin Dallas for good, despite the break-up. Hunsecker enlists Sidney once again, to,plant marijuana on Steven and have the corrupt police lieutenant, bust him and rough him up. In return for the set-up, J.J. promises Falco the reigns of his column, while he takes a long, vacation. It’s the ticket to the sweet success, Sidney’s dreamed of. Falco slips some marijuana joints into Dallas’s pocket and the deed is done, just how J.J. had planned it.  image

Thinking he’s going to receive his end of the bargain, Sidney is summoned to J.J.’s penthouse. There he finds Susan, about to commit suicide. Susan tries to leap from the window and Sidney grabs her, just in time…and just in time as J.J. walks in, to the chaotic scene. Hunsecker accuses Sidney of assaulting his sister, as Sidney pleads with J.J., telling him, his sister was about to take her own life. Susan sees the two fighting, her brother beating the physically weaker, Sidney and remains silent, therefore in J.J.’s eyes, incriminating him.  How could the arrogant J.J. believe his saintly sister would do such a thing? Surely, not because she just had to choose between her brother and the man she loves!? Surely, not because she sees the rest of her life played out that same, way.  In J.J. Hunsecker’s eyes, it’s all Sidney’s fault.  In the end and the climax of the film, Sidney reveals to Susan that it was J.J. who had planned, everything.  J.J. calls his friend, the corrupt police lieutenant and has Falco beaten, in a gritty, Times Square on the streets, of New York.imageimage

 

Susan is alone with her brother, in the penthouse and tells him that she did try to kill herself, that death would have been more welcomed than being under the control of her brutal, bully brother. She packs her things, to reunite with Dallas and walks out on J.J. Rather than hurling insults or “I hate you”s, she says she pities her brother and for an egomaniac, that is the worst thing anyone could do.image

 

The film is not only ingratiated in the world of journalism, but also a film noir. The stars shine in the darkest way, but you connect with all of them. It is one of the great roles for Burt Lancaster and for Tony Curtis. They aren’t lovers or comedians. In this film, they show their meat and bones, raw talent, and dramatic capability,  that soars to the highest degree. I hope you will watch, “The Sweet Smell of Success” and enjoy it as much as I did!image

 

Thank you, to Comet Over Hollywood and Lindsay’s Movie Musings, for hosting and letting me write about one of the best films noir, in the Journalism in Classic Film blogathon!

Marilynette Monday!

Marilynette Monday!

Little known facts about Marilyn : Monroe was athletic! She was an early devotee of yoga, and was taught by Indra Devi, a Swedish-Russian Bollywood film star who also taught Greta Garbo and Gloria Swanson. Also, as a young married … Continue reading

Fashion for the Four-Eyed

Fashion for the Four-Eyed

I have been perusing through packages of Warby Parker eyeglasses, trying to pick just the right pair. I’m on my 3rd box! Indecision is my unfortunate, trademark! I am just happy that I can still be fashionable and wear glasses! … Continue reading

Dynamite!

Alexis Smith was signed by Warner Bros. after being spotted in a college, drama performance. Warner billed Smith as: “The Dynamite Girl” and “The Flame Girl” in promotional articles. Alexis was paired with the dashing, Errol Flynn in her first … Continue reading

Perfect Pout

Perfect Pout

Baby-faced, Rochelle Hudson was an Old Hollywood, golden girl. She mostly played supporting roles and starred in B-movies (which can always be a delight). Her uber-ambitious, stage mother had her working at age 15. She lied to studio executives and … Continue reading