I for one have valued highly your input in this thread and don't think that at any point you have spoken out of turn, on any level, instead you have
provided a balanced view, neither idealising nor demeaning the beauty of the movie stars of past or present. I was practically weaned on old movies
and love the 'golden age' of Hollywood. Not just because it was flawlessly lit and perfectly coiffed, but because the scripts were brilliantly
written. It was largely a veneer though, as you have pointed out quite eloquently. There is good reason that it was referred to as the Hollywood
Star Machine. People were cogs, and treated as such. Those brilliant writers, huge names such as F Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Chandler, were bound
by contracts that stifled their own independent ability to create and instead kept them on a treadmill churning out hyperbole and cliches that the
studios knew would make money. And the stars were treated no better, the women and child stars worst of all. They were locked into contracts that
bound their behaviour, controlled who they were seen with and dated and gave them no choice in what pictures they appeared in, while paying them
peanuts. Judy Garland was practically force fed drugs. Pills to slow down puberty, to keep her thin, to perk her up, then knock her out. The lady
never stood a chance. Then there were the multiple abortions organised by the agents and studios to preserve the veneer, the rapes and physical
violence, all brushed under the carpet with threats of career ruin if the 'stars' didn't comply. That 'unholy trinity' of Louella Parsons, Hedda
Hopper and Sheila Graham were always on hand to do the studio bosses dirty work, with threats of outings and public shamings. It was hard job being
beautiful in Hollywood and the vast majority of those women who survived it and climbed to the top, were tough, intelligent and highly resillient,
many, many more were not anywhere near as lucky.
It is very easy to look at those women of the past and say they are 'better' than the stars of today. That they have more class and decorum, but
the press operated differently in those days and people are allowed flaws today, in the past they were hidden. Stars may have been caught with their
pants down, off their face, or driving under the influence, ala Lyndsay Lohan, but the media could be bought with favours and exclusives in a way that
it cannot today. Part of the trade off of stars getting better pay and more say in the projects that they take on, is that the press get to make
money out of showing them warts and all. While I feel sympathy for those hounded by the paparazzi, I do think it better that women are seen as flesh
and blood creatures who have the occasional bad hair day, make mistakes and are generally seen to be 3 dimensional, it kind of makes it a little
easier on the rest of us and prevents us from chasing some impossible ideal. Back in the day, normal, every day women, didn't have a stylist and
beautician at their beck and call, nor did they have back lighting and soft filters to obscure their blemishes, but that didn't make them any less
beautiful, just as it doesn't today.
The rest, is just fashion. It comes, it goes, it comes round again. Blessed was the day that women could choose to dress to please themselves rather
than be bound by social convention. Others can hark back to times gone by but I, as a woman, much prefer the time that I live in and enjoy greatly
the freedoms that others fought for and earned for me.
I did however learn a lot from those old movie stars. Ava Gardner, simply gorgeous in Mogambo, taught me how to walk, not to mention what the
difference is between being a lady and being a woman. The latter being the far greater aspiration.
All said and done, then like today, there was an awful lot of crap, but when they got it spot on, it was magic. And they really, really don't make
movies like this anymore...the writing (too wordy perhaps for the modern audience)...and...Hepburn and Stewart...who could ask for more. Sheer
- I just noticed this thread was moved! It was in the Reincarnation forum before, wasn't it?
I had been looking at this in terms of possible reincarnation.... which brings in what kinds of "lessons" or things one might be coming back to try
again, if they had once lived in this time.
Not fair to change the theme and then claim off topic content....
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