Sartorial Screenings Takes a One Way Passage!

Cruises! The romance, the adventure- the convicted murderers who romance you as you die of consumption……sigh. How dreamy!


Lets set the scene:

Hong Kong 1932! A harbor bar full of intrigue and exotic travelers! Dan- our hero, played by the dashing William Powell is a murderer on the lam! Moo Shu Lamb, I suppose.

He spots the beautiful, frail and orchid-like Joan at the bar. She’s played by the lovely Kay Francis.


Kiddies, if you aren’t familiar with her its a shame, because at one point she was the highest paid and most beloved actress in town and the studio boss thought she was getting uppity and overpaid. They worked hard to drag her down. The golden goose had a mild speech impediment and they started hazing her with scripts she couldn’t handle. Perhaps you’ve seen the classic ‘She sells seashells by the seashore- a tale of society woe’? Or perhaps the rarely viewed ‘Vestal vessels Ethel and Esther’ two classics written specifically for her that about put poor Kay over the edge! But I digress kittens. Back to Joan.


Her friends are joining her in this quaint oasis for a ‘Bon Voyage Lunger!’ drink before she drags her semi-corpse on a cruise. They meet by bumping into each other. I blame her lack of peripheral in that Sister Batrill headpiece. 1stLet’s focus on this ensemble, can we? It’s just a slice of long-waisted heaven.


I’m hoping to go on a cruise myself. As soon as I gather the appropriate 75 outfits. kay3

I thoroughly appreciate the buttons giving her crotch face some ghoulish eyes. Reminds me of Jack Skellington’s dog.EPSON scanner image

Menacing crotch be damned- Dan is smitten! They share a beverage.


Historical note: Hong Kong bars did not offer straws. Hmmm…..maybe that’s how she got her awful unnamed disease. Stay safe children, Bring your own sippy cup when travelling. They begin this adorable tradition of breaking the glasses after they skull their pink squirrels. I’m sure the bartender finds it precious.02-crossed-stems

Dan exits the bar and right into the arms of Sergeant Steve Burke! He knows that Dan is a wanted Man and he’s taking him to San Quinten to visit Sparky the barco-lounger! Dan begs him not to let Joan see him in cuffs. Best not to bring out the kink until after he meets her mother, you knows?


Dan makes a daring bid for freedom by leaping into the harbor- hoping the fetid water will burn thru the handcuffs? In true killer with a heart of gold style, he realizes that the sergeant can’t swim and he returns them both to the shore.


wetIf this were a new movie, he’d have gotten consumption and have run off to die with Joan at Coachella but William Powell movies aren’t usually that emo. Sigh.deck2

Oh here’s a coincidence worthy of a movie! Joan is on the same ship! If you avoid cruises because you only fear the Hantavirus, you may be overlooking the amount of dangerous murderers being transported on the average Carnival cruise! Look it up, it’s a fact. Expedia lets you choose your deck, but rarely the type of felon in the next cabin. That’s a gold star perk.


Joan is so happy- as only the people who have found love and reached their ideal body weight due to a nameless film disease. Remember in Hollywood: pelt= CASH!! Meow!


This cruise is a month long! Literally, we are seeing the slow boat from China. Dan pretty much gets the run of the boat- Jack Dawson style. He wins at bingo, gets his hair braided, makes liberal use of the buffet and runs into old felon friends. Sleeve porn!

OneWayPassage34-650x496 Skippy and Barrelhouse Betty are travelling cons on their way to San Fran. They promise not to tell Joan that Dan is not really a travelling salesman, but a murderer- nice, right? That’s what friends are for.


Dan and Joan canoodle and talk about every little thing- well, every little thing except her persistent cough, bleeding gums, and hair loss. No mention of his need to kill periodically either, me thinks- but love is grand. So are her hats.



They go on exotic shore excursions! Well, actually Dan was trying to arrange an escape, but Joan insisted that  he take her on a non-refundable package tour to a parrot habitat. The romantic hijinks were cut short by the constant beeping of his ankle monitor and her bouts of painful blindness.



Meanwhile, Steve the copper is falling under the genteel sway of Betty! gun

Betty is claiming to be a countess. Countess du Barrelhaus to be exact. Swindling her way to San Fran as it were. Skippy is mostly drinking and contemplating his purposelessness in a nihilistic way. Gaw, 30’s movies can be so cliché.

Back to Steve. He’s so smitten! Aline MacMahan must have been totally loving this role. Usually she’s the nurse or the sassy secretary- not a lot of chance to glam up. betty 4

He is not totally believing of her fine European heritage tho. Could be how well she outspat him on the promenade deck. She wants to tell him- and he wants to propose! Just as he pops the question, a telegram arrives telling him to lock the bee-otch up! He flings his job and telegram to the wind and makes Betty and her barrel his own!Betty 2

Oh no! The long walks and sight-seeing have laid Joan low! With her low immunity, she probably has added beak weevils to her list of things to brag about at the next pinochle tourney!  Poor Dan was going to tell her that he has a date with Sparky the easy chair! He rushes back to the boat- cradling her in his manly and felonious arms!

shhhThe doctor spills the beans to Dan- she’s on the last minutes of her cell plan and won’t be getting her contract renewed! He dashes off a note to her- if she can get there, in one month  he’ll meet her in Mexico.  Sigh. It’s like my favorite movie couple- Andy and Red! and

She wakes from her coma and finds the note and the doctor trying on her cruisewear- she runs to find him- but it’s too late! She collapses in a crepe and charmeuse puddle. KF_OneWayPassage05Flash forward…..a bar in Acapulco. A crowded bar. Lonely Skippy stares forlornly.


What of our lovers? Did she get that full body transplant? Did he get clemency? Did anyone ever pay the doctor? Over the din of wastrel alcoholism, we hear the sound of broken glasses and symbolism……..35-shattered-glasses

photo credits: little me, google images

Sartorial Screenings Cage Match! Wife VS Secretary

Children- we have a cautionary tale of Love, fidelity, hair dye, Gable in a steambath,  and oppulent deco decor!


It’s a tale as old as time! A moustache as thin as the plot!wi4

Van is a powerful, suave business man- a titan of publishing! He is of course fully supported by his faithful braless clerical support- Whitey! wh1

Whitey is the perfect secretary! She knows business, makes a great soy latte and serves up sass and encouragement! Van is in love with her  NO!! No, no! Van is happily married to this incredible penthouse! wi2


Oh, wait- the penthouse has a extra bonus! It’s Linda Stanhope- Van’s ever so lucky and fabulous stay at home wife!wi5

Van and Linda are the happiest! 3 glorious years of wealth and amazing gowns! What depression? Van loves to surprise Linda with lovely gifts, too. wi6

Van gives Linda a gorgeous bracelet inside a trout to remember their romantic camping trips. Seriously- the 3rd anniversary is traditionally the ‘scales’ anniversary- look it up! wi14

Linda even gets along with Mother Stanhope- they often lunch together and beat the maids together. But Father Stanhope was a wastrel and Mother Stanhope fears her son has eyes for Whitey!wi17

I’m sorry? Who let you in here? Who are- oh, you’re Whiteys boyfriend Dave. Yeah, good luck with that.



Van is ready to annex another publishing company! I hope it’s anime- that would be cutting edge! He’s a shark! He knows that if the other company knows he’s circling them, they will raise their price and it’ll be  no-go. Isn’t business thrilling? It’s like Wall Street with less hair product. Let’s listen in on this titan of industry as he plans:


Van and Linda have a fancy party to celebrate their amazing life! But Van ends up calling Whitey to come over and work late!

It’s a good thing they dress formally for dinner in Flatbush and Whitey is so devoted to her job!

wi13Clearly Linda is the most trusting and fabulous wife with no marital issues. She hasn’t even offered Whitey one of her old bras as a gift. wi20

Dave and Whitey have a glorious time! Dave thinks they need to move their relationship to the next level, but Whitey is a career girl!

A perfect assistant. She watches Mad Money all the time! To keep the plans for the take over of Tiger Beat on the low low Whitey and  Van decide to go make their business calls from the local pharmacy- since Whitey has to pick up more peroxide and nipple petals.

Good secretaries always multi-task!wi9

Very clever Whitey! wi11 Mother Stanhope and Linda are also out buying petals for Mother and stop off for a phosphate at the same pharmacy Oh, seeds of doubt are germinating!! That pharmacy is almost as busy as that phone booth!



Mother Stanhope needs Linda to wake up! Van is a skirt chasing horndog like his father was! She needs to lock it in with a swiss bank account and some heirs before he knocks up the help! Those are direct quotes. wi10

After a fancy skating party, Linda confronts Van, well sort of, she is doubtful about his relationship with the braless steno-jockey. A fight ensues about replacing Whitey. Honestly, is that the beanie cap of a woman on the prowl?? Ok, maybe he dropped a contact lens.

Van swears that as soon as his big business trip to Havana is over- they’ll go back to fishing and buying statues together and all will be well!wi23

Oh dear! Whitey of the limp ruffles has heard business gossip! Van’s plan could be sunk! She high-tails it to Havana to help Van save the deal!wi25

They work all night! Shoulder to shoulder! Like professionals do! No hankerous in the pankerous!wi24

Meanwhile Dave waits patiently. wi27

Well! The deal gets done and all is well. I wonder if its morning in New York yet? wi28

Uh oh. Linda gets a cold shower that morning when Whitey answers the phone at the hotel! Not good. After all the venom Mother Stanhope has sprayed her with, she is thinking she’s a chump and Whiteys a chippie. Oh dear. Linda decides to leave Van! Well, if Linda is going to drop him, Whitey will catch him. She breaks up with Dave, but makes an attempt to keep wearing a white hat by going to see Linda. Gratuitous amazing bedroom picture! Is that a brass greyhound? Posh to the bosh!!WIFE_VS_SECRETARY_00021

Whitey tells the miffed Linda that no, they hadn’t been involved, but he was a great guy and if Linda didn’t want him, she sure did. So Linda should think about the mistake she’s about to make, because Whitey is getting her track shoes on. wi29

Linda realizes that its better to be with the man she loves and take a chance- maybe never knowing if he is trustworthy, than to be like her bitter Mother in law.

Whitey gives Dave a call. He loves her and he decides to be the bigger man. Honestly, I was hoping he’d run off with Linda.



photo credits: little me.

Sartorial Screenings Reminds you that-



It’s an all American story of boy meets girl, boy tours the borscht belt with girl, boy plays the Hippodrome. Hijinks ensue! Meet the Donahue’s! Vaudeville royalty- they’ve toured everywhere that has a train station. They are a triple threat and Dan Dailey has excellent gluts! 1 This is a favorite film of mine- the music is excellent in the shower, the cast is great and the melodrama- delish! 3

Here come the little Donahue’s! The family grows like corn! 4

Soon the Donahues are the 5 Donahues and the kids are touring like indentured Osmonds! 5

But Mama doesn’t want the kids to grow up backstage with riffraff- helping fan dancers re-glue their pasties and of course, no one ever wants their child around clowns, gees! So they decide to put them in a fancy school while the parents return to the 2 a day! 7 But they are miserable without their parents and its no wonder- they have greasepaint in their blood, I tells you! So mama stays home while Dan-Daddy tours. I’m sure he hates it.6

But as it does in musicals, time marches on and the kids graduate, skip college and return to the stage! 8

**Costume thought- Ethel is pretty much still holding her own here- as long as they keep Mitzi covered- the nip waist is a good look for a women who is part singing walrus. It’s good that the kids grew up quickly in  the film- because the next hour is dedicated to showing us how talented they all are in a 4 hour medley of Alexanders Rag time Band. 2

Oh thanks Irving Berlin- I can’t get that ‘raggy beat’ out of my feet now. Meet Tim-Donald OConnor- who always makes me think he’s wearing a Jack Lalane bodysuit under his clothes. He’s like a tiny Fred Astaire. Or maybe Fred Astaires accountant…….


Here’s Katy! Who has the best costumes! 20 Oy! That’s tuxedo’d lump of brylcreem in the back is Steve. In the Osmonds, he’s Jimmy. In the Jonas’s- he’s Frankie. In the Cowsills, he’s the one with the triangle. I could go on. He’s the singer Johnny Ray- who I always thought was just really method in this, but I’m thinking I’m not the only one who didn’t feel his talents. 21

Sigh. Let’s get back to this musical number death march. Forgive me 80’s kids, but I just have to. 22

Ok, so where are we? One more chorus! 27

Everyone back from  concessions? All right. The Donahues are riding high. They have fame, the respect of their theatre peers and cash to burn. Ma and Pa Donahue consider retiring since the kids are all working. But not all is well! Tim has too much time on his hands and also too many chorus girls! He’s out all night drinking and neglecting his glut exercises! That is not Donahue behavior! 10

One evening while escorting a bottle blonde after the show- Tim gets fresh with the coat check girl- enter Vickie! She gives him no shoulder (with or without tulle) and sends him along. 11

Vickie is too busy for his tapping shenanigans! She knows a producer is in the audience and she has bribed the manager to let her perform! she’s a cunning, but good-hearted gal.15

It’s quite a frock. I’m pretty sure Debbie AND Todd Reynolds tried it on at least once. 13

Vickie is a crowd pleaser! The producer doesn’t mind her knocking over his ovaltine one bit! 14

Tim tries his way backstage and she re-rebuffs him! A01pBUSv7Vg8rxbUP2UQwvoppRBShe’s getting a spot in a new show with the famous 5 , um…some  Donahues! Untalented Steve- that Jaw with feet has finally come clean to the family. He is gay and running a bed and breakfast with Rory Calhoun becoming a priest! Yay! No more singing! Now here’s a new twist! Vickie meets Tim at rehearsal and oh my, she didn’t know he was a Donahue and now she’s all kinds of contrite. He doesn’t hold a grudge, he’s still seeing that dress. They make a truce- which he hopes to seal with nookie. He gets a handshake.This drewss is pretty spiffy too. 36.jpg

Vickie is a hard worker and knows she can’t rest on her laurels like Tim! 40

She doesn’t respect his laziness. Or his sweater vests. 16

Katy is not getting enough screen time here- Mitzi Gaynor is so talented and her ‘dance togs are splendiferous!39

Tim is starting to think that Vickie is moving in on her director- but really it’s Katy who is dating the boss- they’ll be Steve’s first wedding. AWWWWWWWW!35

Finally Vickie relents and goes to dinner with Tim. 41

They have a lovely time and she has a dress with what looks like mums made out of angry birds.img_4754

She isn’t ready to put anything but her career first. But they have sparks! 43

But it’s 1954 and that just makes her look like a bitch. You know how that goes. The show goes on! The Donahues plan their big number in the show with new costumes and pants that sort of fit. 37

As the French say, ‘Aw, Hell no.’ Vickie has the same idea! But with more dancers and umbilical area.picmonkeycollage

Wow. Vickie must really be talented! The producers went for her version of Heat wave over the more seasoned theatrical craft of the Donahues! Huh. How strange. heat


Tim smooths it over with the fam. Note: The Heatwave number is very breathy/swoony/panty. When I saw it before puberty I thought she was having an asthma attack. Movie lore states that DiMaggio saw this being filmed, knew she didn’t have any respiratory issues and was very upset. He left the set.


Tim is getting tired of playing second fiddle to the show- or to the producer he suspects is also a bit of a fiddler! Vickie keeps him waiting while she argues show matters one time too many! She can’t stand her purple dress- heliotrope my aunt Fanny! She won’t wear purple! It’ll be in her next contact with the brown m&m clause.29

Tim gets drunk (again) and has a musical number. Like you do- when you’re Donahue. Vickie finds him and harsh words are exchanged. He thinks she’s using that couch on stage a bit more than the script dictates! She tells him to go tap off. 51

Tim taps off. He gets in an accident with a chorus girl and scares the parental Donahues! 23

Dad Donahue gives Tim a serious jawing and tells him he’s not a kid anymore and no one appreciates his crap. I paraphrase. Tim runs off and leaves the show and everyone hanging. 24

Folks, I searched like crazy for a better picture of Mitzi’s killer frock. It’s green and lovely. I also have great respect for the matron of a cosmopolitan cathouse business that Dan Daily  Ethel Merman is wearing. I need to watch the maid in something like that.61

Hey, hey- you know what? The show must go on! In a true Lucy eating a ham on rye moment, Mom Donahue announces that SHE will take Tims place in the show- she’s always practicing with Katy! Um, yeah. Ok. Anything- but lets keep her out of the Heatwave number.


This is the YMCA number:


Dad Donahue spends his time searching for Tim in every alley, dog track and night club. The war starts and Father Donahue (the untalented one) joins as a chaplain. Vickie tries to find out about Tim and make peace with the Donahue matriarch, but no go. Won’t  even share a cab with her in  the rain. 57

Months go by- no Tim! But the Hippodrome is closing and they need a hippo Donahue reunion to make the show perfect! Katy makes a daring play to get everyone back together by having them all share a dressing room. 32

Vickie and Mom Donahue have a heart to heart! She appeals to her as a girl without the  Donahue connections that has to fight her way to the top! She loves Tim! 50

This is so dramatic! Almost the whole family reunited, except for Dad and the stray Tim! But the show must go on! Ethel must perform- tho her heart is breaking! Psst- Ethel- get on stage! 60

What is this?  It’s Dad and he’s found the Prodigal Donahue! He’s been hiding with the sailors! 30

Come on kids! It’s time for the finale! 26

Sniff, sniff. There really is no business like show business- it’s like no business I know. 70

Pan out, pan out! 28




photo credits: little me.

Sartorial Screenings Turns the spotlight on- Stage Door!


In 1937 there were a lot of women wandering the RKO lot freely and they all saw the sign for free lip waxing and one thing led to another- STAGE DOOR!!!!

This is Terry Randall- she is a wealthy socialite who promised granddad that she would make it to broadway because she has determination and hearty pioneer verve. She has just arrived at the legen (wait for it)  dary footlights club hotel for aspiring actresses. she brought 45 suitcases mostly stuffed with furs and books by John Bunyon. 1

Terry is immediately struck by how jaded and grumpy the world-weary gals are. They have seen the stained backsides of the casting couches pillows if you know what I mean.

Lady Footlights- played by Constance Collier gives her the tour. Here’s a chair that Mrs Fisk threw up on, an original sconce from the stage version of ‘Thats no Lady, that’s my wife’ and various other artifacts that make the cramped quarters, thin stew and bathroom hogging worth the rent. 2

there is a lot going on here- like Altman with more ruffles. 3

The hollow eyed Spector of anemia on the sofa is Kay- she was like Dame Judy for a hot minute- but now she’s like Vanilla Ice- she has an owl chorus following her at auditions  going  ‘who? who?’ Now she is out of work, out of money and Lady Footlights will only let her in the lounge area to smell the food and dust- but not the Helen Hayes wimple from the White Sister, oh hells no. 4 Terry saw her play the 3rd rhino to the left in Lion King 2 seasons ago and wants to encourage her. Honestly, Kay needs a vitamin and a steno course.

Jean is Forced to share a giant room with Terry the pretentious baggage and also Terrys literal baggage. She is an expert at snark and tap. She is working on a routine for the nightclub circuit with  Annie- while trying to avoid going on blind dates with Lucille Ball and her never-ending stream of pacific northwest lumberjack serial killers. A free meal is great, but…. 6

When Jean isn’t uk’ing it up, she is taunting the amazing Gail Patrick- who is always on the receiving end of furs, chocolates and doo-dads from her ‘Aunt Susan’ who sends a car for her with a ‘don’t wear your knickers, niecy’ note attached every 3rd night. Jean probably won’t strangle her with her hosiery- it’s her last decent pair.



Meanwhile- Eve actually leaves the house- I assume henry the cat will demand couples counseling- and watches Terry just schwantz right past the big theatrical agents secretary and get herself a role in a big play! It’s the much talked about ‘Melancholy Mists of Autumn’. They march home and announce the audacity- it was Kay’s role! The first play Kay had had a shot at in 2 years and Terry stole it!!!!


But Kay is a serious trooper- she hides her pain and even tries to help the stiff Terry have an emotion. 10

Things are looking up all around- except for Kay, but that’s the plot. Annie and Jean get an audition! The kind that leads to a job!9

This is great! jean even meets a fancy producer type! Who just happens to be Gails Aunt Susan! 15

Oh no good can come of this! He’s an oily customer that sends a car around for young ladies and then slobbers all over them- like Harvey Weinstein with lower cholestral! 12

She makes it thru dinner and then comes the show! My mother would have called it dating a foreigner- all Roman’ hands and Russian’ fingers! Jean barely escapes with her scanties in place!


Gail tries to warn her- that she is just one of a chorus line, but it just stiffens….her resolve to date him anyhoo.

Terry is finding out that maybe acting isn’t all in the head- she is tearing up the writer and directors nerves and chewing up scenery. 18

Her producer tries to comfort her! But she’s seen how Jean is being handled and wants to teach him a lesson!19

She spots a picture of his supposed family that keeps him from committing and knows it’s hooey! So she acts all drunk and slinky when  Jean stops by- better to let her think it’s Terrys fault than let Chester Cheata’stache break her girlish heart!


Lumberjack Update!!! Lucy has found the man of her flannel dreams and is going back to Wisconsin. Cuz no personal dream is stronger than a womans urge to make Bay-Bays. I hope her fab coat isn’t too much for DeepKneebend Wisconsin.


At last it’s opening night for ‘Autumns Glistening Wind’ and Terry is a basket case. All nerves, no talent, you knows? Lady Footlights has been coaching her. 25

Jean got free tickets and Alf is a repeat, so she’s going to see Terry- mostly to throw stale jujubes at her…..but she hears something…’s Kay.26

Oh wells. Jean goes back to her room to loot Terrys closet. Kay? well, Kay spends the evening- performing a little balcony scene with St Peter! 23

Jean hot foots it to tell Terry- I mean what are friends for, right? untitled

Thru the pain Terry is finally able to feel and she performs the play perfectly- like an aging Barbara Bach or some other noted performer. But she is unable to perform again and leaves the theatre- forever. MV5BMTU1MzY4NzE0Nl5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMTc4NTUyNw@@__V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1333,1000_AL_

Next season the Footlights club welcomes another brave, idealistic group of actors in training and as usual- some go far and some end up being made into Pierogis by Lady Footlights. No one knows what happened to henry the cat.


photo credits: little me! Google images.

Sartorial Screenings Brings you The Women!!


Greetings fellow Frilly Filmies! Today we take on a major cinematic classic- the 1939 classic- George Cukor’s The Women. Get your popcorn, prepare the bathtub and pour out a cupful of Mr Bubbles in honor of this major event. I’m a huge fan of this movie and I think it influenced my opinion on female friendships, divorce, dude ranches and snark- not all of them in a positive way! The play was adapted to meet Code by Anita Loos- of Gentlemen prefer Blondes fame. Oh, I’m excited about this!!!! Ready? We go!

This is Mary Haines. She is a mother, socialite and all around saint. She has perfect hair,  Shoulder pads,  and husband. She is in for a seriously bad week. DO53klmX4AExAPV

This is Sylvia- her bestie and total gossip-beast. Her husband is a lawyer and she’s having an affair while he has one too. So life is perfect.


She knows the secret to a happy life is a well-maintained figure and a clueless husband. This is their friend Peggy- she’s young and new to the marriage game. She should avoid Sylvia. In 1939 this is all you had to do to fit into bias cut dresses- because MacDonalds won’t open for another 20 years.gym

Sylvia has major gossip from the salon. Her nail tech told her the most interesting things about the perfect Mrs Steven Haines- he’s stepping out on Mary like a dog!! nails

Now what is a good friend to do? what if it’s not true? They should go all Perry Mason and investigate the Case of the Spread-legged Strumpet! What do we know? She’s a shop girl and she’s been peddling her wares looking for a wealthy moron. Steven is perfect! Off they go to Gimbels to scope her out- being all cas as only Sylvia can do! jasmine

Exhibit A: Crystal Allen- the accessory from the accessories department- she is meant for finer things and doesn’t mind taking them out of someone elses home to get them. She’s going to hook Steven and that’s all there is to it! she makes plans to get him to sleepover while Mary and the kid are at a ‘Wealthy Mothers against gluten filled snacks’ fundraiser. shopgirl

Sylvia knows that Mary will be crushed- but Mary is the trusting sort and knows that her marriage is built on a higher plain and that no one could come between the rich, meaningful love her husband and she share. Oh Mary- you’re making me sad. If Drew Barrymoore and Tom Green couldn’t last- what hope do you have? syl mar

Sylvia cannot believe this farce and under the guise of friendly advice, sets Mary up with her own nail tech. Things go poorly. For all of you out there saying they hate when manicurists don’t speak english in front of them- think of Mary. reveal

Mary is very upset. What about their wonderful life together? What about their plans for a Labradoodle Rehab center in the Berkshires??? Oh, this is disillusioning on so many levels. Also, the bitch was hard on Mary’s cuticles and they’re a little tender now.


Well, when the going gets tough, the well-coiffed get going….on a cruise with their mother. Leaving little Mary home with the dog. She’ll tell Mary right after she changes into another Mr Furley jumpsuit- since it has been 3 hours since she changed last.huh

Little Mary decides to go live with her Sister and her husband C K Dexterhaven Mary takes it like a big girl. Well, Bermuda was lovely, Mary comes back refreshed and eager to renew her faith in Steven, her home and her idyllic marriage. post

She’s going to need new clothes- lots of them! Off she goes to the salon where conveniently everyone is scoping out the new shoulder pads too. Mary is apparently the band leader today. 3484059094_22d8846b56_b

Time for a major and unexplainable technicolor fashion show! Now. The backstory that I have always heard was that Norma Shearer- married to a big studio guy heard rumor that a certain munchkin-filled money pit on another set was getting a ‘color sequence’ and she had to have one too! I don’t know if thats 100% accurate but I like to think it was. Here’s some serious Adrian (also of the munchkin film) couture.14-the-women-1939-film




Mary, things are not all rosie. Crystal is still clinging to your husband. In fact- she may even be here at the ritzy salon where she is also spending Stevens money! Joan1

Sylvie is bursting to tell Mary that the cat is among the canaries! Like friends who care about you do of course- in a nurturing and solicitous manner. preconfront

Well, Mary is no shrinking society violet- she will go and confront the skank in a most dignified way- telling Crystal that Steven wouldn’t like such ‘obvious’ clothing choices. Crystal fires back that ‘when Steven doesn’t like what she wears- she takes it off!’


Oh, 1939 burn that we still don’t have enough aloe for! standoff

Ok, that tears it! If Mary learned anything at Miss Porters it was when to make an exit. She tells her mother she is out of here! Ma is a bit old school- like one room old school. She tells Mary to just ignore it. She has the house, the Hummels, the kid, the name. Let him have his skanky fun- like your father did. You’ll outlive him and buy big hats. mary leaving

Mary says screw that- I’m going to RENO. In 1939 Mary couldn’t get a quick Manhattan divorce- so society ladies take the luxury train to Nevada, spa it and establish residency. sport some faux western wear, make new friends,  and boom- you get your divorce. Hijinks ensue. Mary meets The Countess De Lave (seriously) and Miriam -I assume to divorce the husband she’s leaving for Sylvia’s husband- phew! That’s a lot of lawyers!reno train

Sad Peggy from the lady gym has had another fight about burnt toast with her husband and is on the train too. But she has a secret. She doesn’t want a divorce- she just got worked up.pregnant

The divorce dude Ranch is run by the fabulous Marjorie Main- and no one can give sage advice like her!marjorie-main-01 If they weren’t paying her so much- she’s send all these cats packing! She is assisted by a yodeling ranch hand- Buck. He’s all buff no brain. But provides moonlight canoeing/canoodling for the bored pre-divorcees. in reno

They were pretty bored until Sylvia arrived- her lawyer husband is dumping her and oh, surprise- she’s sharing a cabin with his future bunkmate! reaction

Catfight!!!! camp


An Uneasy truce follows- since they are stuck there! The soon to be x’es keep them up to date on all the Manhattan gossip. reno1

Mary starts to regret her hasty exit and is ready to get back on the train and return to Manhattan with Preggers Peggy and reconnect with Steven- when he calls and tells her he’s married Crystal! Seriously? Really Steven. I’ve never seen you but I just know you look weaselly.


Everyone is back in Manhattan, the Duchess has brought back a souvenir in the form of Buck- who she is planning to turn into the next big Luke Holmes (thats a singer my coworker says is hot- I abstain from Country and or western) since one of her x-husbands lost a lot of radio stations to her.

Our Mary is sharing custody of little Mary who is helping her adjust to being alone and being kind of a joke to her catty

How is Crystal adjusting you ask? Steven is boring, and once she finished putting in an olympic regulation sized spa tub and extra private phone line in, she is bored too.


Seriously, on those House Hunters shows the women go gaa-gaa over the giant spa tub- Crystal must be the patron saint of all things tiling. Crystal is of course a nurturing soul and totally cherishes her time with little Mary, so everything is really great for this new urban family.bath2

But, everyone is starting to notice that Crystal is ignoring Steven and soaking something off her’. Even her new best friend Sylvia- who is in a strange Genie phase between marriages is suspicious. I think that hat comes with a tiny pingpong ball to catch in it.wo1

Oh Crystal what are you up to? Hmmm……bath

This can’t end well! Poor Duchess de Lava Soap! A 6th bad marriage? Gah- it’s like she barely thinks about these things! I’m sure no one has noticed this situation. Except everyone in their circle! Mary is even getting wise to it. Little Mary thinks her father is sad and regretful and drowning under Crystals bath bomb expenditures. yodel

When the Duchess finds out she will yank Bucks yodeller out too!


Who’s going to tell Steven the sad news? Look kids, its real life Hollywood columnist- Hedda Hopper! In an outfit I believe she stole from Emerald Citys career collection.


Hedda drops the bomb that Crystal is Bucking around on Steven!  Crystal is unamused and unrepentant. she still thinks she’s got another horse in the race. lastjoan

Mary leaves the party to race home and put on her best shoulder pads and come console Steven! It’s not sloppy seconds if you owned the buffet first! Time to confront the slut with what they know! joan

Crystal is all ‘So? Bucks a star- we’ll live on his money!’ Um- sorry chippie- none of the Duchess’s radio stations will be playing that noise anymore. You’re back to the 5 & dime!

end joan

Mary? Are you sure? Steven misses you, but your pride? What about it? At least wait until you’ve kicked Sylvias ass, right? holla

Mary races out of the lounge that is apparently the same size as the party- cuz why not, right? Ready to embrace Steven and forget the whole thing happened. Little Mary will get a seal for Christmas and it can live in Crystals tub.

credits: little me, Glamourdaze.

Sartorial Screenings- Sudden Fear!

Joan Crawford- the little strumpet that could! By the 1950’s the industry had changed a bit and Joan was out in the cold without a worshipful studio boss to sleep with and actors who emote were showing up!? Here she is in her academy award nominated set chewing frenzy!

Joan is accomplished, wealthy and writes for the stage! Like Edith Wharton and Neil Simon in a horrible lab experiment!

Let’s play a game, shall we? Let’s count the scenes where Joan positions herself to look up at Cheekbones to stretch her crepey/creepy neck to best aging advantage! Who’s Cheekbones? -why Cheekbones Palance! He’s just finished a 16 city tour of Flowers for Algernon the musical and is ready to take broadway by storm! He’s the lead in her new super-soaper-ama!


He’s brooding, pensive and a wee bit wooden. Not that the script is helping- it’s like Joan writes for the Dove candy heart wrappers. She’s unmoved by his craft- her words of love coming from him are like packing peanuts without salt. All the content, but no flavor. *Obviously she never saw that Ripley Believe it or Not episode where he acts out Rasputin’s death- that was drama, llama!

She gets his bony ass fired!! Job well done- she gets Rob Lowe- Hollywood’s great closer to step in and boom- box office gold. Now she’s headed for San Diego- her real home for some R&R and virgin gnu placenta skin rejuvenation treatments. Anything to keep time at bay!


Oh, who’s that looking like a pile of chicken wings in a grey flannel suit? It’s Palance! What is he doing on this random train to San Diego? Oh Kismet fiesta, indeed!


She’s coy- but he woo’d her with stories of his blue-collar youth and years of working in gay porn. fear13

Ok, he was poor, that’s about it. They play poker and he shows her that money (hers) means nothing to him! Folks this train trip is longer than a Kardashian marriage. Many costumes showed only from the collar bones up. I’m not sure Joan wasn’t wearing the bottom half of a vaudeville horse costume during most of these scenes. sudd5

Oh, Cheekbones- let me show you MY Sandiego! They do Chinatown, a bridge or two,  Comic-Con of course, all the tourist trappings. Her friends are charmed!sudd 25



But by the end of the week- he tells her that their worlds don’t mesh and puts on a show of trying to sneak out of town- yeah right?! Those cheekbones are made to dig gold!


She begs him to stay- their worlds aren’t so different! He swallows his pride and returns to her. As they grow closer she shares her life with him- including her creepy home office that records everything she says to use in her awful plays- I’m thinking Joan has one of these at home too! Kids- this is foreshadowing. sudden9

They marry! He looks for work in the area- possibly as a floor walker at comic-con. His friends accept him as her jagged future.


They do all the society parties together and hold the phone- who is this little harlot on a half-shell? It’s Irene! The girl he left behind.  I love me some Gloria Grahame- no one was born to say ‘Toots’ like Ado Annie! sudd4

Cheeks tries to act all super casual- not noticing that his wife is quite the gamey old hen next to his last chick. But they’re in love, right? so much passion under all that tulle- and that’s just him!


He’s trying desperately to milk this cash cow and needs no distractions! He’d better get IRENE in check once he’s put the old lady down for the night.


Now, he will slip into even more clothes and hit the street! Off to the sweet unspoiled innocence of that hardly opened bud that is Irene!


Irene will not allow our poor honest Cheeks to live in kept man peace- she has designs on him and his wife’s money.

fear 1

Something has to break- but is he really a bad guy or is Irene playing him like the xylophone he resembles when he’s in a swimsuit?? fear10

Myra/Joan is totally trusting- she KNOWS love- cuz she writes, write? I mean So what if Jackie Collins was married like 820 times……Well, nevermind. It’s time to redraft her super will and her lawyer/2 dimensional prop has a notion that $10,000 a year until he remarries is enough for even the most impressively sculpted lothario. No, Joan does not believe in limiting her love or her prospective widowers ability to grieve in the Riviera. fear14

Sounds like a great plan, Joan.

Life goes on, Myra searches for emu blood for her skin treatments and they host way too many parties for the charity that she plans to leave most of her father’s money to.  The guest list is not very exclusive, cough, cough.


Irene- subtly-get some!   Stop showing up for every party and flaunting your natural eyebrows! It’s rude! sudd2

Irene and Cheeks dally in the office- because, it’s full of erotic etchings and nothing fires the libido like making out on top of Myra’s bank statements. Oh, but Cheeks forgets about the Dictaphone! OOH! It’s voice activated and Irene is Cheeks activated! Various ideas for creating a Crawford corpse are bandied about. Luckily no one listens to themselves talk every night before bedtime.

That would be bad! fear15

Lets pause here and ask ourselves what is under this robe? Scuba suit? majorette costume? that swimsuit Connery wore in Dr No? Lets thank the team that made all this possible, shall we? credits

Myra/Joan is not going  to take this killer husband crap lying down! Oh, no Ma’am! In  a plot worthy of…..a better film, Myra turns the tables on them! She will get them both to meet up at Irene’s bordello bungalow and leave compromising notes for each and make it look like a murder suicide and arise like a phoenix with false eyelashes!


Over a pre-theatre dinner, Joan/Myra tries to find a way to delay their departure while she crams notes in their gloves. She’s wearing a fab dress here- I’d like to say this next picture isn’t a publicity photo and that Myra/Joan has this stand in a corner of the den….. I mean, I know I have a posing perch for Bruder and I. Captain Morgan anyone? 52fear9

Joan/Myra claims to be upset that both she and Irene are both wearing white and she’ll go change before the house is struck by righteous lightning. She cunningly rubs some Max Factor on her c’ankle so she can swan dive down the stairs and not go out with them.sudd6

Mercy- what a sexy fall that must have been! Concerned friends gather to mourn-


No- they can’t leave her here alone! all of her spangles will go to waste! She’s far too noble to make them all suffer- go, go you crazy kids! fear5

Ok, Myra/Joan bustles the Cheesers out of the house- leaving her alone with her solicitious husband- after planting a pair of ‘kiss,kiss meet me in your garage and we’ll make a dead wife’ notes in Irene and Cheek’s fannypacks. He worries about her- offering her a nice unlabelled aspirin and a neck massage. She feints sleep to get him to leave.sudd1

She throws on a subtle floor length pelt, a scarf like Irenes and beats feet thru San Diego where the shadows elongate her torso as God intended. She races to Irenes bungalow and tries to catch her alone- she’ll shoot her and frame Cheeks! She test fires. To see how she looks in an action shot.fear3

But Cheeks has shown up for some of his and Irene’s kinky weirdness! Poor people are gross!


Ok, she’ll shoot Cheeks and frame Irene! But she can’t do it! She can’t go against her own moral code even to save herself! Dumb ass. She runs out into the street- but Cheeks thinks she’s Irene running from him- he follows her! fe17

They race thru SanDiego- driving rather recklessly when he realizes it’s Myra! Now he’s got a plan! fe20

You know what? I can’t ruin this for all of you- it’s too good. You’ll thank me later! Oral reports are due on 10/1/2018. MV5BZjY2NmY2NzctY2JiZi00Nzc2LWI3Y2MtNGY2ZGIxODA5MTdjXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyMjUxODE0MDY@__V1_

photo credits: little me

Sartorial Screening! China Seas

Today we welcome back a film favorite- Jean Harlows nipples! Back in 1932 they were covered in Red Dust and in 1935 they gave us this deja view  in China Seas! sea1

Singapore! The jewel of the….well, the China Seas. Our plot revolves around the jaunty, devil may care sea captain and his voyage delivering bullion to people who only have miso currently. Feel free to convert that to todays money in your comments, folks- I’m not here to provide insight, just snark.


Look at that dock! Teaming with humanity and stereotype! IMG_1737

Here’s our intrepid Captain Gaskell! He is at home both at sea and in the parlor. He is no push over and savvy to all high-jinks! sea 2

Our cast includes more than a few character actors and notables. Our ships drunk is Robert Benchley! Former New Yorker writer and raconteur.  He shared an office with Dorothy Parker!

seas3 Here’s Sir Guy Wilmerding! I kid you not. He’s escorting the comely and virtuous widow who will be the foil to Harlows nipples!


Almost done with the white suit brigade, I swear. This is the new 3rd officer. I think they stop numbering after 5- after that you’re a purser or something, whatever. He’s got a sad tale and a bad history- I hope that won’t be a problem.  seas5

Here’s our Baddy! Seriously- Margaret O’Brien swears he tried to drown her on another film- the Beery is a bad, bad man. But charming and he knows our leading Lady, Dolly.


But Dolly only has nipples for our captain. She’s designated herself a friendly port and he only thinks of her as a good time gal. Poor Dolly. Surely alone on the wide ocean she’ll have no competition for his affection. Children, this is foreshadowing. Like the big authors do like Proust, Hemingway, and Danielle Steele.


Our captain has his hands full- but he’s seen many a voyage and knows the way of the seas.seas9

Captain Gaskell knows danger is lurking everywhere! This looks suspicious!!!! seas10

Trannies? Not on his watch! It’s 1935  and Will Hayes will not sanction such- Oh, my bad. They are pirates dressed as women to sneak on board! If they were simply expressing their need to live openly according to their inner voice, Captain Gaskell would have applauded their courage and given them all vouchers for the midnight lounge where a Roberta Flack cover artist is performing nightly. But NO quarter for pirates!!! Get off our ship!!

seas11 What’s this? A brunette! In garments with ease and demure textiles! It must be a lady of quality!seas12

Why Captain Gaskell! How surprising to see you here on your ship! Enter Mrs Barkley- society widow!! He’s knows her from his time in England.


Later on, back in the captains cabin, Gaskell tries to set Dolly straight- they have no future and she needs to drape her barnacles over another vessel!


In a move that I can’t believe got by the censor board, Dolly hops up on his rack (that’s no euphemism)  and tries to tempt him and borrow a book? Who doesn’t know that salt air effects antique bindings and Gaskell would never store his better tomes here? Duh, Dolly.



Time passes, children are born, Dolly tries to move on. seas21 Random cruiser with fabulous dress time! She also thinks her husband buys her paste jewelry, but who really cares, right? It’s not like he ignores you for 5 strange men and a chessboard.


I’m glad this shipboard Romeo tries to steal her gum and her heart so we could see the sleeves better.


Dolly and her maid (Hattie McDaniel, I love you!)  are preparing for dinner at the captains table. seas24

When Dolly theme dresses, she goes all in. She’s like a southern girl with seasonal sweaters. When in Singapore, she will dragon up, even in her lounge wear. This gets bonus points- dragon and…..wait for it….. seas25

Gentle readers, the moment has come. at 26 minutes into this classic- Harlow brings the nips to dinner. seas26

Thru what is CLEARLY a clerical error, Dolly is seated closer to the galley than usual. I wonder why the captain isn’t giving her his full attention? seas27

Tension ensues and catty bantor, but eventually Lady Barkley Square puts our girl in her place- finishing school style. seas28

Don’t screw with Auntie Mame. After dinner, Captain Gaskell heads for the bridge to prove he knows where it is. He is alerted to a major storm! seas29

Dolly is AGAIN in the captains cabin. She’s quite the smoker and stores her extra menthols in his cabin. Kind of territory marking with nicotine as it were. seas30

The next day the skies show nary a cloud, so the entitled passengers enjoy a hearty breakfast and shooting stuff. seas31

Dolly is snarking it up with the gentry- seas35

It’s a good time to admire Jeans Hamburglar hat and fancy curls. seas40

Time for a dress change! I remember the first time I saw this film- I fell in love with her lame dress- I just know it’s red. I just know it! seas41


The captain wants everyone to remain calm- the storm is due. seas50

Panic ensues! The waves crash! Unflattering life vests are worn! seas56

Dolly and the Beery take their party back to his cabin- he’s totally blotto. She wins the drinking game and takes her winnings from his wallet where she spots the half note that is the international sign of pirate conspiracy! Every year on my safety tests at work I get the hazmat stuff wrong. How do people know all these signs and symbols? Is it a class somewhere??? Ok, so where were we? Oh yeah- seas70

The weather started getting rough- the tiny ship was tossed. seas72

On no! He wakes up and sees her trying to go warn the captain of :

Captain Phillips: the Prequel but he stops and threatens her. He can’t believe she is going back to captain hair gel after he has ignored her for Demure Mutton! But he’ll let it slide if she behaves. Some threats should help. seas80

Well, its the day after and no one is really up for shuffle board. Lots of souls lost, rum overboard, chiffon dresses irreparable. 5th Officer Albatross comes to report that as in most crises, he was cowering and ineffectual. I see no future redemption for him. He has not earned his pith helmet this day. Must tragedy bring out the turtlenecks on the seas?seas78

Dolly tries to warn the captain in a lounge robe worthy of Mr Furley. He will not listen! She leaves the cabin and Beery spots her and accuses her of treachery! But what is this? Dolly has stolen the Captains key to the armory! Bad Dolly! Don’t combine a bad relationship end with universal harm. Bad Karma Dolly. seas90

Just when you think your bad day has reached its zenith. Pirates. Yup- not those fun musical theatre types either. These are soulless curs of the archipelagos. Mercy! They are here for the bullions! It’s all about the Bullions! IMG_2281

Their leader herds every one into the main lounge Agatha Christie style and refuses to deal with anyone but Beery. Welcome to the brotherhood of men in robes. seas101

They open up the armory, they smash all the hummels, they chase the passengers! The shoot the recently demoted ships mime.IMG_2258

But the bullion casks are full of sand! What???  Who knew? Surely the captain knew. seas102

Beery begs him to give up the loot- or he’ll get……the BOOT!seas105

Ugh- this is gross. Captain Gaskell was the ships best hope in the Merchant Marines annual 3- legged race, too. What a bummer. I’ll save you the torture scenes- just know that it’s not so pleasant and probably on schedule for Fall of 2021:seas115

Looks like our mime is waking up and looking for a place to hide. Or is he?

After much pointless boot twisting the captain refuses to tell about the bullion. They throw him into his own brig. Rude!IMG_2324

But here comes the 5th officer/mime! He’s on the redemption road! IMG_2326

It was sad, yet poignant. Who knew he had a name. huh. Back in harbour, Captain Gaskell interrigates the suspects. seas150

He knows Dolly knows. But does Dolly know that he knows? She refuses to talk. She’s jonesin’ for a ciggie tho. IMG_2348

Aha! Dolly can’t find the box with the marlboro points on it! How can she get that jet ski? Worse yet! She can’t find the half note. IMG_2363

But she tried to tell him- but he was too busy with work and his hoity-toity widow! Fine! I knew and I’ll go to jail for it!


Beery has other plans. He’s taken poison to avoid jail! Well, satisfied with his job, Captain Gaskell returns to the bridge. Where Lady Barkley Square is waiting. She sees he’s a man of the waves. She knows that altho she’s a fine girl and a good wife she would be- his life, his love, his lady is the sea. They bid fond fairwell. IMG_2385

Captain Gaskell prepares to take Dolly to the magistrates. He won’t cut her a break.IMG_2399

In his heart he knows she was just a pawna dn that he truly owns her heart and she his. Aw……IMG_2430

Happy at last, she departs for prison and he vows to wait for her……and to bring tweezers when he visits. IMG_2428



photo credits: little me.