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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 Brings you The Women!!


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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.

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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.

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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

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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!’

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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

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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.

FAST FORWARD- 2 YEARS!

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 friends.mom

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.

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.