WHO WEARS THE PANTS…


I’m going to steal, plagarize, imitate ( yeh, that’s the ticket… ) ~ …no, better yet: PAY HOMAGE to a feature from one of my favorite bloggers’ set-pieces: FRIDAY FOTO FOLLIES. And since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I hope my friend approves.

What Aurora over at ONCE UPON A SCREEN does, is post a lot of photos that illustrate a theme. She does all manner of these. Click on Audrey and see what I mean.

We have seen some of the most beautiful women in classic Hollywood wearing designs fit for a Queen…gowned by Edith Head, Irene, Givenchy, Orry-Kelly, Yves St. Laurent et al. But I’m a jeans and boots girl. Casual is my speed. I think slacks are the most comfortable, freeing thing to wear. Taking a page from Once Upon A Screen, my post is self~explanatory: WHO WEARS THE PANTS. Here are some of my favorite actresses in outfits either from a movie, photo~shoot or just lounging around. Some of you might think this look is very unfeminine. But you’d be wrong.

I’ll start with the Patron Mistresses of Pants…Dietrich and Hepburn. And Garbo. Can’t forget Garbo. Comfort Queens.

  
Dietrich                                                     Hepburn


Hepburn wears this beautiful smoking jacket lounging outfit in “Woman of the Year
( 1942 ) and it’s one of my absolute favorites.

  

Androgyny, much?

   
Top hat, white tail and tails. No one wears this better. Alright…if you must count Fred Astaire.

The Great Garbo

Ninotchka” “Anna Karenina” “Queen Christina” and for me, her greatest performance… “Camille” ~ Garbo reigned supreme in classic films of the silent and talkie era. Her mystique is unique. She wore a lot of exotic styles in her films and could carry them off. Not glamorous here, but I love her casual look:


Comfort over style

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Here are some other actresses wearing the pants off…pants.


When I was a kid and watched her in tv’s “Bewitched” I probably had little idea of the fabulous career she had as a leading character actress. My favorite performances of AGNES MOOREHEAD are “Dark Passage” “Caged” and “Magnificent Obsession.” She can cut you to the bone ( “Citizen Kane” ) ~ She wasn’t afraid to be what her character needed her to be. But she also could be a friend. Doesn’t Aggie look marvelously relaxed and youthful here?

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She didn’t care for the name, but ANN SHERIDAN was the Oomph Girl and with good reason; she had it in spades. She was Warner Bros’ glamor girl, but if they gave her half a chance, she showed ’em she could act. Whether comedy or drama, Sheridan could handle both with equal aplomb. She’s pictured here with her director Vincent Sherman, who did two pictures with her: “The Unfaithful” and “Nora Prentiss.” Look at those shades and the hair…do a pair of slacks look like it deters Vinnie? He’s at her feet. 

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Here’s my petite Force of Nature…the Queen, BETTE DAVIS. She built many a soundstage at Warner Bros. from the box office success of her films. Seeing her in pants was such an unusual thing because it’s all about dresses for women back then. I like her riding outfit in “Dark Victory.” For me, that look is prognosis positive. Oooh look, Cora Witherspoon who could play to the manor born or W.C. Fields’ wife. I also like Davis’ outfit in “The Great Lie” when she was keeping Mary Astor company while waiting for “their” baby to be born.

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CAROLE LOMBARD ~ 1930’s icon. She was much more than a screwball comedienne. See her in “Vigil in the Night” “In Name Only” or “Made for Each Other.” But gosh darn it, it’s “My Man Godfrey” and “Twentieth Century” that cements her in our memory almost ninety years later. Looks like she’s talking to the great Lubitsch and comfortable doing it. Could it be… or not to be?

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CLAUDETTE COLBERT could wear the hell out of clothes with that petite little figure of hers. ( Her wedding gown in “It Happened One Night” is to die for! ) She had a great career in film ( “The Palm Beach Story” “Midnight” and “Since You Went Away“…to name a few ) but look at her here at home, chilling out…just as you’d expect from Cleopatra.

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One of my all~time favorite movie stars is DORIS DAY. I am just over the silvery moon about her. Pretty nautical here in her decidedly 1940’s stylized look. What a career she’s had ( comedy/drama/sing/dance ) working with some of the great leading men in Hollywood like Rock Hudson, Cary Grant, Clark Gable, David Niven, Jack LemmonKirk Douglas…and three guys name Jim: Garner ~ Cagney ~ Stewart. She could also wear her clothes, without them wearing her, whether she’s Calamity Jane or a suburban housewife.  She could do anything. Really. 

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There she is, A girl’s best friend. The great EVE ARDEN who comes in a movie with five minutes of screen time and out she memorably exits, screen left. Here she is in her “Stagedoor” chill. The woman can wear anything. She’s as statuesque as a super model and as sharp as a laser beam. See “Mildred Pierce” if you need proof.

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GINGER ROGERS ~ She could do comedy, drama and dance her *** off. She can put on the glam with the best of ’em ( have you seen her outfits w/dance partner Fred Astaire? ) Doesn’t she look great in these wide legged pants? I always found her to be a natural onscreen.

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HARLOW in satin…is a dream. In slacks…sort of like you and me. I mean, if you and me were glamorous movie star bombshells being relaxed. My favorite films of hers are “Bombshell” and “Libeled Lady” and of course, “Dinner At Eight.” Harlow…you were gone too soon.

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This is my favorite look of IRENE DUNNE’s. She’s on set of “A Guy Named Joe.” She had a nice slacks outfit in “The Awful Truth” too. Never over the top, her talent is always under the radar.

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JENNIFER JONES looks rather pensive. A far cry from her “Portrait of Jennie” “Duel in the Sun” “Madame Bovary” looks. People blow hot or cold over Jones, but I think she’s a fine underrated actress able to exhibit wells of emotion. Her trying to retrieve her love letters from a burning fire brings me to tears. xoxoxo these pants and boots!

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KEEPING UP WITH THE JOANS ~

   

Blonde in the 30’s, brunette in the 40’s. The great underestimated JOAN BENNETT. She can fit any place: on safari or a scarlet street or be the mother of a bride. Yes her sister Constance is known as THE fashion plate. But little sister Joan’s not bad. She’s stylish as diamonds with attitude for days. Whew!!

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She looks like she stepped out of 2018 with those shades and jumpsuit. What can I say about her. No one wore clothes like her. They say no one loved being a movie star more than JOAN CRAWFORD. Well if you’re going to be good at something…

Her career spans decades. I’m partial to her Oscar-winning role in “Mildred Pierce.” But she was good in “Rain“, “Daisy Kenyon” and with Gable. Hell, she’s a STAR!

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“THE LOOK”

You know how to whistle don’t you? LAUREN BACALL is worth whistling for. She was known as “The Look” in her modeling days, and boy she had it. She was never the frilly feminine type. Very tailored. Pants suit her, don’cha think? I like her in “Dark Passage” and “Written on the Wind.” I dunno…I kind of think she was never really given a chance to bloom as an actress. Perhaps not getting good scripts. Perhaps overshadowed by her more famous husband. Perhaps there was more to Life for her. In movies, she always seems down~to~earth, no nonsense; a little intimidating. If you approach her, you’d better bring it. 

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You can’t get more doe-like, more feminine than Loretta Young. Even in this staged photo shoot, she’s a vision. ( Pssst! See her strong performances in “The Stranger” and “Midnight Mary.” )

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For this flaming redhead, comedy or drama, gowns or slacks…LUCILLE BALL could do and wear it all with ease. Yeh, I love Lucy.

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This is MERLE OBERON playing George Sand in “A Song to Remember.” And I have to tell you, I’m floored by this costume. Isn’t it smart? Merle, a unique looking beauty, hasn’t made movies were so memorable other than the towering “Wuthering Heights.” ( I personally like her and Dana Andrews in “Night Song” ). My claim to fame is when I went to see the throngs of stars attend the premiere of “The Godfather” ( 1972 ) back in NYC, I saw Merle Oberon with Robert Wolders. Very few people were excited by seeing her. Boy, I was.

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One of my favorites…PAULETTE GODDARD walks with her beau, Charlie…swinging her shades. Looking sassy, stylish, comfortable and nonchalant. I understand her collection of jewels and paintings is unparalleled in Hollywood. Another actress with not a stellar filmography, her role in “The Women” is a standout. My friend Wendy writes a wonderful essay for my blog on Goddard I urge you to read.

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The Love Goddess is looking mighty casual here in a pair of slacks. Hell, I confess…I don’t care WHAT  RITA HAYWORTH  wears.

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MY STANY!!!!

These are my two favorite fotos of Stany. One she looks younger than one remembers her, and the other she’s so disheveled in “My Reputation” ( 1946 ), her hair and plaid jacket just kill me. 

    

But the theme is pants…

Her career is legendary. But get a load of that blouse, the belt, those leopard print shoes, her attitude. That’s BARBARA STANWYCK alright. See her hand in her pocket? Damn, she’s ready to kick ass, and she ain’t takin’ names either. Elegant.

     

Thank you all for perusing my Friday Foto Follies. I might try this again in the future with another theme I’ve gathered along my way. Once again, I tip my hat to Aurora over at Once Upon A Screen who can REALLY show that a picture is worth a thousand words. Check out her photo galleries by clicking on this photo of 40’s horror Queen, Evelyn Ankers:

…and this?  Oh…it’s just my indulgence. I’m an Evelyn Ankers fan:

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SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( 1964 )

Gather around the soda fountain, folks. Movies Silently is having a Classic Movie Ice Cream Social, where: All you need to do is review a movie that has a sunny plot or has the power to cheer you up when you’re feeling down.”  Well, never has a movie come more immediately to mind than my contribution to this blogathon:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( I )

Yeah…it’s /\  THAT  /\  big. When I need to be cheered up from Life’s doldrums, my immediate remedy is SEND ME NO FLOWERS. It is an immediate pick-me-up for whatever ails me, and can be for you as well. I’ve got what the doctor ordered. I first saw this movie back in 1964 when my family went to the Whitestone Drive-In in the Bronx. Ever since, when I was down in the dumps from some pain in the neck supervisor ( I’m retired now ) or pain in the heart relationship ( that I probably engineered! ) “Send Me No Flowers” is my go-to film.

The DORIS DAYThe main ingredient is simply…DORIS DAY. From “Romance On the High Seas” to “Calamity Jane” to “Tea for Two” she is pure sunshine. Her pep and perkiness is not meant to annoy you ( you heartless reader you! ) Her screen persona is warm and friendly and open you’d have to be a hard-hearted Hannah to resist. Now this is not to say Day is not a complex woman or couldn’t play complex parts. I thought she exhibited that well in “Love Me or Leave Me” or “Julie” as women trying to navigate within an abusive relationship. She’s a triple / quadruple threat. She could sing, dance, do comedy or drama. I’m not only in thinking she should have won an Oscar before now, probably punished because she made things look easy. I’m not alone and it’s not too late to award her an honorary Oscar. My friend Aurora of Once Upon A Screen makes a great case for honoring Doris Day if you check it out here

She worked with the likes of David Niven, Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon, Kirk Douglas, James Garner… ( twice! ) James Stewart and undoubtedly her most handsome leading man…Rock Hudson.

The ROCK HUDSONROCK HUDSON shines nicely in “Send Me No Flowers.”  Tall, dark and devastatingly handsome, he was  IT in the 1950’s. His looks probably blinded folks to what a good actor he was while they were enamored with the mumbling, tortured performances of Brando-Clift and Dean. Hudson’s a strong romantic lead. And he doesn’t mind looking a little foolish…being caught being kissed by a new divorcee ( Patricia Barry )…or being slapped and getting dosed with a hot water bottle or a pail full of pills and medication. He doesn’t even mind standing next to the mountainous 6’6” Clint Walker. << Sigh! >> Rock Hudson wears comedy very well.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( IV )

The plot? A hypochondriac ( Hudson ) mistakenly believes he’s got just a few months to live. So he tries to find a new husband for his wife ( Day ).  This is a great plot, excellently constructed and executed. If it were set in the 30’s it could star Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. Even looking at it with 21st century eyes the movie doesn’t feel dated. Mistaken circumstances lead everyone down the garden path. Hudson’s best friend and neighbor is played by Tony Randall.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( VI )SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( X )

He has to write a eulogy for his “dying” pal, while drinking and doing all of Hudson’s chores. Randall is great comic relief to the situation and the necessary third wheel to keep this trilogy intact. ( Pillow Talk and Lover Come Back are the first two films of Day and Hudson. ) Randall’s a perfect foil to that great team. In “…Flowers” Randall tags along on the hunt for a husband and is moral support for Hudson.

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( V ) SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( II )SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( XI )

Bright primary colors, the horizontal transition flip between scenes and the Sturm und Drang of those piano chords when Hudson’s illness is mentioned all lend itself to the general fun of things. The subsidiary characters are funny: Ernie ~ the gossiping Milkman, Winston Burr ~ the roaming Casanova Cad, the dry delivery of the Family Doctor ~ Dr. Morrissey, and the inimitable Paul Lynde as the Funeral Director. I’m also loving the switch off at a moment’s notice of Hudson throughout this movie, where he gets to be the straight man to the funny men and the funny man to Doris’ straight man.

Here are some of the moments I simply wait for:

Doris’ sexy raspy laugh when she teases Rock:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( VIII )

“Remember when you thought you had bonechips in your shoulder?!”

or…

“When he says he’s gonna die and he doesn’t die! Didn’t he think I’d get suspicious!!

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When Tony says:

SEND ME NO FLOWERS ( IX )

        “It’s not anything that will affect property values?
           ( #CODEWORDS )

or…

        “What woods, George?”

or…

       “Every chance I get I’m going to feel a tree. Oooh, it’s so
smooth.”

or

“COMPLAINTS! COMPLAINTS! Nothing but complaints! I could do some complaining, too, you know. You ever cut your toenails??!!”


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Winnie Burr ( Hal March ) doing his oft-repeated pickup line for new divorcees. And later getting socked in the jaw when he makes a move on Day.

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ALL of Paul Lynde’s scenes. I literally recall back in ’64 being astounded when he mentions the year 1980. That seemed a Jetsons-lifetime away for a little kid like me. I chuckle at how he slips and slides when Doris has to throw him out of her house. Don’t be a stranger, he ends with. Oh, Paul.

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Rock and Doris cuddling in bed reminiscing about how they met. Cozy, comfortable, familiar, amorously romantic. Marriage, right? ( Hey, don’t burst my bubble, will ya! )

5 MOVIES ( %22SEND ME NO FLOWERS%22 )

The plot all connects in not just an easy predictable way, but in the way of perfectly woven fabric by director Norman Jewison. Tight, yet loose. These pros have been at the rodeo before. They know what to do and how to shade it. The country club, the suburbia, my twisted nostalgia for a world I probably wouldnt have been allowed to be a part of in 1964, the camaraderie of marriage, its mistaken betrayal and that wrong-headed confession:
DOLORES YELLOWSTONE?!! )…the chemistry between Rock Hudson and Doris Day that makes my heart soar and yearn and makes me smile from ear-to-ea no matter what I’m going through.

Uh-boy, looks like I have to pull out that movie right now.

Alright alright…let me be fair. There are MORE suggestions of happy feel good movies in Movies Silently’s blogathon. Just click this banner below and read till your doldrums go away:

BLOGATHON ( ICE CREAM SOCIAL ) 5 : 20 - 23 : 2016

 

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HAVING IT ALL??

Can a woman really “have it all”? This ‘EITHER / OR’ situation of choosing to EITHER stay home OR be in the work force ranges from the serious to the comedic in classic films. There are various reasons for which side of the fence women an men are on on this. Movies show there is always a conflict for the woman in these situations. This is every woman’s own personal decision…but maybe Hollywood has influenced us just a little bit on either our choice or, how we view others’ choice. I offer you a couple of examples of what happens when a woman tries to have it all…and please chime in with examples of your own.

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MILDRED PIERCEMildred Pierce has no choice but to hold down a job and the home front when she divorces her husband. She parlays her job as waitress into a franchise of restaurants. She’s also got a new man in her life. Seems like she’s managing this balancing act. There’s just one fly in the ol’ baking batter: Veda.  (  No pie for Veda.  )

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RED SHOESWhile Gene Kelly gleefully pro- claims “GOTTA DANCE!!!” clicks his heels and shines his pearly whites without a care in the world, Moira Shearer’s character in THE RED SHOES ‘gotta dance’ dreams must mean life or death. She’s being pulled in two directions: she wants to be a prima ballerina, and she’s being pushed by impresario played by Anton Wolbrook. But she’s also fallen in love with a young musician (Marius Goring). She’s dancing on the head of a pin.

(  If that life-long dream is too tight for you, I can show you something in a size 7.  )

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THRILL OF IT ALLIn THE THRILL OF IT ALL wife and mother Doris Day falls into a job as a tv spokesperson and it wreaks all sorts of mad-cap havoc and mayhem in her house. Her doctor husband, James Garner, is not pleased about her doing these commer-cials. But her heart is at home anyway…not on set.                        ( What are you kicking about Doris? What’s his                                                                 is yours and what’s yours is yours… )

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LETTER TO THREE WIVES ( II )  LETTER TO THREE WIVES              It’s so nice to have a man around the house…hey, where’d he go?

In A LETTER TO THREE WIVES Kirk Douglas is a teacher and wife Ann Sothern works in radio. Who wouldn’t want a two-income family? With his teachers’ hours he can be there when the kids get home from school and help out around the house. Of course radio’s hours are a little longer, and she’s on call a little more than he, to keep the sponsors happy. She might not be available all the time, but she is contributing financially to the suburban life- style and exclusive country club they’ve become accustomed to. It’s all good …except its created a vacuum that the 0ther WomanAddie Ross – is willing to fill. Is it Ann’s fault she works for a living?

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ARNELO AFFAIR  ARNELO AFFAIR ( II ) And after the dishes are done and the floor is vacuumed, THEN whaddya do?

THE ARNELO AFFAIR – Yes George Murphy is self-absorbed with his job as lawyer and has little time for wife Frances Gifford. And no doubt, John Hodiak is clearly more exciting than  George Murphy. But don’t you think if Gifford had gone back to work as an Interior Decorator, instead of being a stay-at-home mom, she would have been busy designing homes and not have so much idle time on her hands to be lonely for Murphy and fall for the charms of smooth and charming Hodiak? How many times can a gal go to lunch with Eve Arden.—> ( See the movie and read this nice blog post by Citizen Screen about Arden in Mildred Pierce ). ( And another P.S. Gifford and Hodiak worked together a few years before in Marriage Is A Private Affair.” )

I guess I’ll give Katharine Hepburn the last word on this subject. She is to have said:

“I think that the reason people have an affection for me now is that I have lived a life a lot of women think would have been a nice life to have lived. Dignified but free. They think I’ve done what I wanted to do. They don’t bother to think that they might have five kids and I don’t. But I have brains enough to know you can’t have it all. You just can’t.”

 

This article sums up my exploration of women having to choose between working in the home or having a career outside the home in “Woman of the Year” “His Girl Friday” and “Weekend Marriage.”

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