Trifecta

I am often asked why I prefer movie stars of yore to today’s offerings. Allow me to explain, using but a single picture taken sometime in the 1950s:

That’s Jane Russell on the right, Debra Paget (I think) on the left, and I don’t know who’s in the middle.

None of that is important. As long as you’re prepared to overlook the hot dogs, that is.

Drop Dead Gorgeous

From Reader Gloria S. comes this little bit of mischief: “The Alvis was class, so’s this one. ’54 Jaguar XK 120 M, Drop Head Coupe.”

I saw several of these last year over in Britishland, and each one was as beautiful as the other. This one, however (to quote The Englishman) makes parts of me stir that haven’t stirred for a long, long time.

Additional Delights

From Comments in yesterday’s post explaining my brief abstinence:

“Maybe toss in a extra-ration of zoom-zoom, bang-bang and a bit of tasteful hoochie-coochie.”

I live to please. First, some zoom-zoom (Alvis Speed 25, 1939):

Next, a little bang-bang (Browning BAR in .243 Win):

…and finally, some hoochie-cootchie, of unknown provenance:

Hovis Hill

There’s a hilly village in Dorset, Britishland which was used in a TV commercial for Hovis bread many years ago. Here’s a view of the same hill taken during one of the “Beast From The East” winter storms recently:

My first question is: what the hell would possess anyone to build a village on so steep an incline?

My second question: I wonder what the incidence of thrombosis is in this village, compared to the national average?

One Of My All-Time Favorites

…redheads, that is.

It is a great pity that most memories of flame-haired beauty Greer Garson are going to be in black-and-white, because she was extraordinary even by the standards of her time (which, as I’ve lamented before, featured Women With Regrettable Hairstyles).

The best part about Garson is that initially, she never had any intentions of becoming a movie actress. She graduated from university with a degree in French and 18th-century literature and worked in an ad agency in her native London. Then she got into some stage acting, and when she was spotted at a performance by L.B. Mayer, he offered her an acting contract on the spot. Her effect was immediate: she got an Oscar nomination (the first of seven) for her very first movie role in Blossoms In The Dust, and won Best Actress for Mrs. Miniver  just a couple years later.

Most British actresses were portrayed in the contemporaneous stereotype of the calm, classy woman, but Greer Garson somehow managed to escape the typecasting occasionally, such as the dancer in Random Harvest (coincidentally, one of my all-time favorite romantic movies, by the way):

…and she was also capable of being not just beautiful, but sexy as well. Here she is in (yet another of my favorite movies) Mrs. Miniver, showing off her new hat to her husband, wearing a nightgown which… I don’t wanna talk about it:

Maybe it was an inadvertent act on the part of the movie’s director (I doubt it), but that scene is one of the most understated yet sexiest ever filmed — no nudity, no sexual banter, nothing but Greer Garson’s astonishing beauty. And in both the above movies (they came out in the same year, 1942) she was already thirty-eight years old, an advanced age by Hollywood standards.

Here are a few more examples of what I’m talking about:

If only they’d been taken in glorious Technicolor… but hey, I’ll take what I’ve been given.