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« 10 Word Reviews: Hanna, Like Crazy, Puss in Boots, Coriolanus | Main | Naked Gold Man: Roles For Which Meryl Streep Was Not Nominated »
Monday
Nov142011

Peek A Boo, Veronica

Veronica Lake was born eighty-nine years ago today. She had a hair-do built for Noir, one eye winking come hither while the other hid around the corner, a concealed weapon. Her most famous role in Sullivan's Travels is much less sinister than all that of course, but thanks to the visual loan that Kim Basinger took with LA Confidential I think Veronica will forever be thought of as a girl who had secrets in her hair.

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Reader Comments (9)

I never understood how she, with her iconic look, didn't get to make more films.

Admittedly, she may not have been the most versatile and talented actress on the lot, but that didn't prevent quite a bunch of others to make a career. Probably her reputation for being "difficult" didn't help too much...

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMrW

Best movie star name EVER!

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBia

It is quite a step up glamor-wise from her birth name of "Constance Frances Marie Ockelman", that's for sure!

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJA

in SULLIVAN'S TRAVELS she's outstanding...the Academy made wrong choices even in the fortys...

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMirko

Oh she was iconic when I was growing up in the '70's and '80's - she didn't need Basinger to give her that. I once came across her autobiography (written in the 1960's - she no doubt needed the money) and am sorry now I didn't buy/read it. She sounds like a bit of a pistol.

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Nat have you seen the Hunger Games trailer? I've never read the books, never heard of this until I read about it at this site, and had no interest in it - but I admit I'm interested now. (It felt like a refreshing mental palate cleanser after The Iron Lady trailer.) What impressed me most was the lack of any visible CGI effects, the emphasis on acting and the actors, and settings that look like they exist in the real world. (And Donald Sutherland, though I suspect he'll get little to do.)


http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/lions_gate/thehungergames/

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice

Just saw "I Married a Witch" again on TCM, she is completely bewitching in it radiating star quality. She and Fredric March play so well off each other which really is a credit to both of their skills considering they loathed each other off screen. In her autobiography she tells the story of how he treated her like dirt under his talented feet and she retaliated by sewing rocks into the hems of her gowns whenever he had to pick her up. When he found out it was all out war but never once shows in the film. Plus it has Susan Hayward at perhaps her all time bitchest!
She could be a fantastic actress but was done in by many factors, some of her own making, a prickly personality probably owning to the fact she had been diagnosised at 16 as paranoid/schizophrenic and due to the times her mother ignored that finding and never sought treatment. A severe drinking problem which ultimately killed her at 50, terrible choices in husbands and men in general and after the first few glory years at Paramount terrible scripts that ruined her box office standing. A sad waste.
For the uninitiated who are curious about her the best places to start aside from "Sullivan's Travels" are any of the films she costarred in with Alan Ladd but particularly "This Gun for Hire", the aforementioned Witch and "So Proudly We Hail".

November 14, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

I liked I Married a Witch too. I like the director Rene Clair (I've seen a few of his French movies) and Lake seems fresh and sexy and fun. I wish Nicole Kidman and Michael Caine (as her dad) had remade this one instead of Bewitched. But it still could be cursed by the casting of the male lead. I think I remember reading that Tom Cruise wanted to remake it.

Wasn't the famous story about Veronica Lake that female factory employees were forbidden wearing the Veronica Lake hairstyle as it was considered unsafe around machines?

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradri

Adri - that is indeed the story; there was even a staged promotional photo of Lake, pretending to be a "Rosie" in the factory, getting her hair caught in a machine to discourage women from wearing there hair down at the factories. And then the story is that she starting to wear her hair up onscreen to encourage other women to do the same (which is silly - who wants to see a noir femme with an updo?) and that alone made her career nosedive.

I have to think - and I haven't read her autobiography as Joel has (thanks for that tidbit!) - that the story is a bit of nonsense to cover the real reason? When studios invest a lot of money in developing a star, they don't suddenly drop them without a reason (often drinking or drugs, etc or, in the case of women "a difficult personality".) It also implies that Lake could not act, which is the worst part of that story. Again, maybe someone wanted to slander her and make sure she "never ate lunch in this town again"? It seems suspicious to me now, but it's been repeated over and over as gospel for decades.

November 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJanice
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