We're having daily nooners with the supporting actresses of '52 in preparation for this weekend's Smackdown. But I hope I'm not burning out all our comment juice with these lead-up posts. So today, an "artistic" detour. Though we sometimes lament that movies are made by committee or that artistic decisions are determined by bank ledgers at huge corporations, it's always been true that the movies have been been hybrid babies, born from both business decisions and artistic concerns. Still, even for the fame-craving, what draws (most) people to showbiz is some kind of creative urge or spirit. So the movies have more than their share of artistically inclined characters within them. Moulin Rouge (the 1952 version) is about a famous artist, Singin in the Rain is about (singing & dancing) actors, and The Bad and the Beautiful is about all sorts of creative types: actors, writers, directors. Which led me to this train of thought...
Gloria Grahame's character in The Bad and the Beautiful gets a Pulitzer winning novel written about her and Colette Marchand's character in Moulin Rouge gets her portrait painted by Henri Touluse-Latrec.
Which would you find most flattering: your portrait painted by a great artist or a book written about you by an esteemed writer? OR...
Are you the type who'd rather do the immortalizing yourself for someone else? That's what Terry Moore does as almost-horny college student "Marie" in Come Back Little Sheba when she brings Turk (Richard Jaeckel) local star jock home for a bit of live modelling.
Lola: That's a beautiful drawing Marie!"
CONFESS IN THE COMMENTS! Painting, Novel, or Do It Yourself?
P.S. After the jump we have to talk about that scene in Come Back Little Sheba cuz it is everything.
Before the sketching begins in this scene there's this crazy bit of gender politics where Marie explains to dumbfounded/fascinated Lola that women pose nude for live modelling but men wear athletic uniforms because men are "more proper". Errr. Okay, Marie.
After Lola compliments Marie's drawing (in progress), there's this wonderful bit of awkward silence (with incongruous jaunty music playing on the radio) as the housewife hovers lustfully doing her own bit of mental sketching...
Lola: I wish I was artistic."
HA. I bet you do, bitch. I bet you do.
Shirley Booth, still the only 50something winner in the Best Actress category, is just shameless in this scene. And the broomstick she brought young turk to pose with (he's pretending it's a javelin) suddenly morphs from dumb innocent prop to hilarious phallic symbol.
Turk catches her looking and stops posing abruptly, less embarrassed than annoyed. Lola guiltily retreats to fetch the young couple something cold to drink.
Turk: Can't you keep her out of here. She makes me feel undressed!
Marie: Aren't you?
Turk: Hasn't she ever seen a man before?
Marie: Not a big beautiful man like you, turkey!
Actually I beg to differ. In a weird bit of casting, Shirley Booth is married to Big Beautiful Man Burt Lancaster (in deglam mode). But I digress.
I ♥ this scene so hard. Awkward, horny, risqué, dated... delightful!