This Day in GINGEROLOGY - March 27th
1939: Gus Leonard (born Amedee Theodore Gaston Lerond), who starred with Ginger in the film “The Tenderfoot” (as Grizzled Man viewing Triplets), died in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 80.
1985: Lorena Layson (born Lorena Mayer Jones), who starred with Ginger in the films “42nd Street” (as Chorus Girl), “Gold Diggers of 1933” (as Gold Digger), and “Twenty Million Sweethearts” (as Radio Fan), died in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 78.
2002: Billy Wilder, who directed the Ginger film “The Major and the Minor”, died in West Los Angeles, California, at the age of 95.
2014: TCM aired “Upper World”.2015: MoMA screened “A Night in a Dormitory (short)” and “The First Traveling Saleslady” as part of its series “Acteurism: Ginger Rogers”.
...REMEMBER - The LAST segment of the Palm Springs Antiques Roadshow will be shown Monday, March 27th - It MUST be the one with Roberta Olden getting a piece of Ginger's furniture appraised... so check it OUT!!! (It's a cool show anyway, so...WATCH!) ... On PBS... see local listings for times... AND, I have noticed that the shows may be 'streamed' from the PBS website at any time after they are aired, so... COOL!
Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):
April 4-5, 2017 @ 12:00 A.M. Fifth Avenue Girl
April 8, 2017 @ 10:45 P.M. Black Widow
April 10, 2017 @ 8:00 P.M. - Tales of Manhattan
Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':
None Currently Scheduled...
Sunday, August 30, 2009
The answers to these are posted WAY below the 'movie list' on the right-hand side of the blog...now, y'all COULD 'Google' or 'Wiki' (if allowed in your area), but what is the challenge in THAT, I ask you?
Hope this will be an enriching experience for all...and please, if any discrepancies arise, feel free to comment - as a lot of these are derived from various and sundry locations on the world-wide web, thus open for review...
Good Luck! JW
Question ONE: How old was Ginger when she married Jack Culpepper, her first husband?
Question TWO: What was Ginger's first movie in color, and in what year?
Question THREE: What year did Ginger place her hands and feet in the cement outside Grauman's Chinese Theater?
Question FOUR: Before show business got her, Ginger originally planned to enter what profession?
Question FIVE: Where does Ginger place on the American Film Institute's list of "100 Greatest Screen Legends - Actresses"? (Within 3 spots either way...)
Question SIX: What actress did Ginger replace in the role of "Mama Jean" in 1965's "Harlow"?
Question SEVEN: From 1934's "The Gay Divorcee" onward, Ginger reeled off 20 consecutive movies for her home studio, RKO. What studio broke that streak, with what movie, and in what year?
Question EIGHT: What was Ginger's first film made in Hollywood, and in what year?
Question NINE: What was Ginger's first film for RKO (known as RKO-Pathe at the time)?
Question TEN: Ginger first appeared with blonde hair in what movie?
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Now, just in case Ted IS reading this...a liitle 'subliminal message' for him... ...showHatCheckGirlshowHatCheckGirl... ...showSapfromSyracuseshowSapfromSyracuse... ...showQueenHighshowQueenHigh... :-]
P.S. - A few of the times seemed 'out of order', so thay may be subject to change... the 'Main' November TCM schedule is not listed yet, these were just picked off of 'Ginger's Page' on TCM...
Saturday, August 22, 2009
Puff basically 'shoehorns' her way into Toby's life and coerces him to go 'partying' with her on several occasions, even though she is aware he is married (hmmm...not a 'typical' Ginger role...) Strangely enough, Ann and Puff have a few conversations, and Ann seems to not only be OK with Toby accompanying Puff around town, but even seems to encourage it... well, in the beginning, anyway...Meanwhile, Ann has been advancing quite nicely in her profession (which is quite the contrary to Toby, who is just ekeing out a living), but as a result, she has to spend more time at work, thus more time with her boss, who obviously has designs on her.
Well, that's probably as far as I will go - keep the loose ends for whoever hasn't seen this one yet...
While Ginger is in a 'peripheral' role in this one, she did get in what would be now called a 'catch phrase': "Cigarette me, big boy!" Ironically, she notes in her book that she did not smoke - other than 'trying' it once as a child - and thus had to 'learn' on the set, and of course she became "sick as a dog."
She also had a cute song scene, "I Got It, But It Don't Do Me No Good", where she sits at the piano singing, but really not sure if she is playing or not... that would be a nice 'confirmation' if anyone knows...
Ginger is just so CUTE in this one - as a 'flighty flapper', quite the 'spoiled' type, but somehow still likeable...
Overall, this movie is pretty cute, and has some memorable moments for Ginger's 'debut'... thus, this is one every VKM fan should have, if only for that reason!
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Now, being BRUTALLY honest, I only watched the first two 'tales'...because Ginger is in 'Tale #2', and once it is over, well... (Don't laugh...I have read some of y'all's stuff about 'fast forwarding' thru 'non-Ginger' scenes...why waste precious time? :-] ). And, Rita Hayworth is in 'Tale #1', which definitely serves as a nice 'opening act'...she looks very much the way she did in 'Gilda'...so no problems there...
Anyway, on to VKM! She is fixing to get married (challenge: try to name a VKM movie where she isn't about to get married / divorced / remarried...etc...maybe some of the 'late 40's and newer, but... Just saying...) -and the fellow she is marrying (Cesar Romero) gets into a 'jam', due primarily to the topcoat... well, it is up to his 'Best Man' - played by Henry Fonda, to get him out of hot water with Ginger. It's really not an overly 'involved' tale, but it is pretty cute, although you can obviously see where it is going... and VKM with Henry Fonda work well together, if somewhat briefly.
As for Ginger - MAN! Talk about an 'Uber-flip' for the hair (brunette)...I guess that is what that style is called - basically the typical 40's 'war-time' curl hairdo (I always think of the Andrews Sisters for some reason... you know.... "Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy?" "of Company 'B' ?" No? ...I bet Juliette knows that... if she ever comes down from the mountain... :-] ) ...ANYWAY, just looking at it, it is maybe, just maybe, a bit...much... BUT, and maybe I am a bit 'biased' (NO! really?), but, on Ginger, it really just... ROCKS! TOTALLY! I can't describe it, but it is just very fetching on her - to me, it restored some 'confidence' to my pick for brunette VKM on Beth's poll.... Cool, Cool, Cool. ok. ...Oh, Did I mention her hair was Cool? ok. She is wearing a nice gray suit, nothing flamboyant, but sharp and nicely tailored, as usual... probably one of the few Ginger movies where she only has one outfit!
As for her 'character' in this one, obviously there isn't enough time to 'fully' develop a charcter, so she basically plays 'straight Ginger', with no accent or overt 'quirkyness'... and the roles where she generally has her 'normal' personality really are my favorites - like she may well have been in 'real life'...
Also, some KILLER close-ups of VKM.... almost defies description! Just intensely beautiful...
So, sounds like this one is well in the 'upper crust' of the catalouge, no? Well, sure... but it is kind of hard to put a 'partial VKM' movie towards the top, even though the 25 or so minutes Ginger is in it, would, IMHO, stack up well to any other 25-minute scene she has ever done...therefore, it's in the top third... I guess I need to actually get a REAL ranking going, eh?
Hope this helps out... and please feel free to comment! JW
Saturday, August 15, 2009
As such, the goal here is to give 'Blonde' the same treatment I gave to 'Brunette' years a few days ago, along with a few of my favorite VKM blonde pics heretofore not seen on this blog (and believe me, there are MANY more pics where those came from!!!).
Ginger's original hair color, circa 1930, was described by VKM herself as "...a deep chestnut with a touch of henna. Under my mother's supervision, a touch of Egyptian Red was added...". However, for Ginger's first movie with RKO-Pathe (later RKO Radio pictures), "The Tip-Off", producer Charles Rogers (no relation to Ginger) wanted Ginger's hair to be 'lighter'. The hairdresser decided that meant 'blonde' - and thus the beginning of VKM Light! But not without a bit of motherly resistance... Lela Rogers, Ginger's mom, was less than enthusiastic about the change. "Mother was so furious she was ready to sue everyone!" But, after a few intense days of 'negotiating' between Lela and the studio heads, the Blonde Ginger was starting to catch on, even with Lelee... and Ginger was generally pleased with the change from the get-go.
Ginger's career was off and running, and over the next few years, basically doing short contracts with different studios, made many movies, including a staggering nine in 1933 alone... of those, one of what would be many memorable 'blonde' VKM roles, "Gold Diggers of 1933", was that of 'Fay Fortune' performing "We're in the Money" - the 'extreme' close-up in the 'pig latin' stanza was one of many great 'blonde' moments (meant in a GOOD way!) that Ginger would contribute to the world.
Of course, 1933 also heralded the teaming of Ginger with Fred... in which she would remain as a blonde throughout the 'initial' nine movie series (with obviously some variance in 'tone' from time to time... ranging from 'strawberry' to 'platinum') - thus making 'Ginger Blonde' iconic, and quite hard to argue with, on any level. Of course, some moments in the series really seemed to place her in the 'red-haired' category, such as certain scenes in "The Castles" and as implied in the tune at the end of "Swing Time"... but is most likely what is now known as 'strawberry blonde'.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
The VKM angle? check out about halfway down the page, under 'The Golden Age of Cinema'...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Just some 'info' regarding what we will refer to as the 'non-blonde years' for Ginger, which, in terms of movie milestones, anyway, began with the release of "Primrose Path" in 1940 and ended with the release of "Tender Comrade" in 1943. Of course we are only considering the second 'non-blonde' era for VKM, as she did not go 'blonde' originally until her sixth 'feature' film, 1931's "The Tip-Off".
Ginger states in her book that, for Primrose Path, where she portrays a poor teenager, "...I dyed my hair brunette, which I thought more appropriate for my character." Thus, for all intents and purposes, we can now confidently refer to this time frame as the 'brunette years' for Ginger.
She wanted her darkened locks to be a 'surprise' to moviegoers when "Primrose Path" came out, but during its production, the L.A. premiere of "Gone With the Wind" took place - of course she HAD to go to that, right? So she was fitted with a 'turban', thus concealing the 'do in public.
For her next feature, "Lucky Partners", she dyed it even darker - to the point that the execs at RKO were a bit worried that the fans were going to demand 'blonde' Ginger... but shooting had begun, and by the time 'Ginger Dark' had been captured on celluloid for a second time, no major objections were readily apparent from the masses.
Then the role that 'solidified' her 'non-blonde' image...It is hard to picture 'Kitty Foyle' as having any other hair color...as Ginger put it, "After I had digested the script, I concluded that Kitty couldn't possibly be a blonde. She was the daughter of a proud Irishman, and had to look and act like one. dark hair, blue eyes, a quick wit, and a stinging tongue..." It was a bit lighter than in 'Lucky Partners', but still well in the 'brunette' range.
After Kitty, Ginger made five more 'brunette' movies, before eventually popping the top on the peroxide bottle again: "Tom, Dick and Harry" in 1941, "Roxie Hart" in 1942 (one of my personal faves - she is just SO different in it... yes, ditzy, but with ATTITUDE! a major difference from the 'just ditzy' role in "It Had to be You"...right, Beth? :-]), "Tales of Manhattan" in 1942, "The Major and the Minor" in 1942 (another fave), and "Once Upon a Honeymoon" in 1942.
Needless to say, this period was the apex of her popularity, thus demanding the question, "Was Ginger more famous as a blonde or a 'non-blonde'?"
The world may never know... but it is fun to debate!
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Generally, it is a pretty neat tale, set 'on Broadway'...it does have a kind of 'Barkley's of Broadway' feel, w/o the dancing and singing, so that may help the movie description as much as anything...rehearsal scenes, lots of 'shop talk' at the bar on Broadway with the pictures of all the actors...otherwise known as _____ (can't think of it...anyway, y'all know where I mean)... and your typical penthouse views... seems to capture the New York scene of the early 50's pretty well.
Ginger plays a 'seasoned' stage actress (Beatrice Page), who can do no wrong (natch), but somehow keeps landing in bad plays... a 'novice' playwright (William Holden) crosses paths with her and her manager/producer/ex-husband (played well by Paul Douglas), and gets them to try out his 'life's work' script, which shows promise... meanwhile, a 'starving' actress ( 'introducing' Pat Crowley...who was good, but really never heard of her...sure she was in more stuff...) basically throws herself into the fray, trying to land a role in the play, which she just had happened to read while working at a 'typing agency' (not too many of THOSE around anymore)... aaannddd, that's probably about as far as I will go - it has a few turns here and there, but no 'major woahs' (technical term for plot twists).
As usual, plenty of cool outfits for Ginger - maybe none in the all-time 'Top Ten', but very nice. From memory (I watched it late last night), most were 'basic black and/or white' numbers, not much in the way of patterns, feathers, etc... The amount of 'Ginger Time' in this one is fair, but there are a couple of other 'storylines' working, too...but overall cannot complain.
Ginger's role is quite 'refined' (but in a very nice way), as many of her 'later' roles were... in a way, it almost seems how she would be in real life... And, I realized she was in her early 40's in this one, where I happen to be right now... and as I have said before, IMO she is quite fetching at this 'stage' in her career. So, this one rates pretty high for me. There is one scene where she is 'away' from Broadway, a retreat, if you will, and is just in work clothes and hair all messed up and stuff, doing sculpture, or casting, or something (she did a lot of that in real life) - well, for some reason, I think she just looks very cool in that scene (well, other than a part in this scene where she cries, which I really don't EVER like to see from Ginger)... can't explain it, other than she has a 'real, just everyday person (but DEFINITELY still Ginger)' look to her, if you get the idea.
Anyway, this one falls in the 'top half' of things, I would say (gotta love my scientific grading scale!) - worth the effort to find. P.S. - check out the friend of the 'young actress' (her name keeps getting changed throughout the movie) - the friend is Marion Ross, better known as Mrs. Cunningham on the 70s' sitcom 'Happy Days'...well, I bet a few of you have seen it...otherwise, ask your parents... oof, I'm getting old...
Saturday, August 8, 2009
As usual, there are many suitors pursuing Ginger, with only one eventual winner... won't tell you that, either.
Her character basically has 'moxie', as one would expect from the first traveling saleslady, no? Although she has her share of 'setbacks', she keeps plugging away at the problem at hand... and we all know what happens when Ginger sets her mind to anything!
As for Ginger's wardrobe, it is nice, 'turn-of-the-century' stuff, but more 'business lady' style; there are only a few scenes where she is 'to the nines'... she has a dinner date, and is in a white number with gold and black flower print on it... 'off-the-shoulder' style (what I would call it, anyway)...pretty nice.
Ginger is in her mid-forties in this one, and is as fetching as ever, IMHO - I think I have written before that the 'middle-age' Ginger is quite attractive to me, being in my 'low-to-mid-forties' myself....
The fact that it is in color is an interesting feature, too... I know "Ginger in B/W" is our mantra, as it well should be, but it is neat to see Ginger in color every now and then (I wish she would have made one of her color films while she was in her 'dark-hair color' mode, just to figure out the exact color...(just let it go, dude...let it go... :-]).
There is only one 'small' thing about this one, and it is really 'nit-picking'... but Ginger basically kicks her voice up a noticeable amount 'higher' in this one... it may well be that her 'sales partner' (Carol Channing, who is quite funny here in her screen debut) has that 'unusual' voice, and Ginger just thought of a 'complementary' timbre for her character, since they are doing a good chunk of the movie dialouge together... it's not to the point of 'annoying', but I guess enough to be 'aware' of it... but not THAT big a deal, I assure you...probably shouldn't have even mentioned it - sorry.
Overall, it is a pretty 'cute' little movie, and Ginger is the primary focus... and she is her usual charming and perky self... the plot is somewhat predictable, and the 'western' aspect is typical, but without any 'out-and-out mean' characters... just 'antagonists'.
This was the LAST RKO movie made, and thus very appropriate Ginger is in it... also, check out a young Clint Eastwood - his character is a somewhat minor one, tho... and, James Arness is featured, the fellow who played 'Marshal Dillon' on the 60's TV show 'Gunsmoke', which actually ran well over a decade, I believe...
Rating? well, it is in the 'middle' of the pack, I guess... quite entertaining, and 'easy' to watch - nothing too 'heavy', plot-wise. Thumbs-up overall!
Hope this helps out somebody somewhere...
Thursday, August 6, 2009
As for the 'Gingerology Quotient' (sounds scientific, no?), she has some very stunning scenes here; I have seen a lot of the 'still' pix from this movie, and knew it should have ample Gingery Goodness in it...(somehow, that just sounds a bit...unusual...but right nevertheless!) The 'period' costumes she wears are generally very stylish and elegant (sorry, I am not a fashion critic...) (and, sorry about all these parentheses...) - there are a few in particular that caught my eye... the outfit when she is riding the horse...cool hat, even with a lot of frilly stuff out of the top of it... and I think this one is actually green - from a pix I saw of it...very fetching - Green is my fav color, so Ginger on Green just...rocks, y'all.... but the best outfit was when she was at the White House party - sparkly white number with the long gloves...yow... and her hair style is pretty cool for this one, too. I think this outfit is the one on the movie 'poster', and the main publicity photos for the movie...just devastating.
Anyway, on to Ginger's role - I think she does quite well in the role, as a 'proper' colonial lady... nothing 'extreme' about the role, but really liked her mannerisms and 'prim and proper' mode, but in a 'warm' manner. You know, it is believed that Ginger is a direct decendent of George Washington... so she should have some 'colonial blood' in her... she has a big 'speech' scene which is pretty inspiring...but I won't give anything away for those who have yet to see it...
I know this sounds kinda 'bad', but, in one scene, when Aaron Burr (David Niven) was talking to her in the park or whatever, lying on the ground, he said something, and she laughed (not a 'HaHa', mind you, but a 'normal' laugh...), and at the end of her laugh, she SNORTED! (in a good, cool way)! I ran it back a few times to be sure... I cracked up...I just never thought of Ginger 'snort-laughing', and it struck me as very cute, especially in this 'proper' role...
Anyway - overall, I really enjoyed this one - plenty of Ginger 'face time', but the overall story was interesting, and did not really drag at all. I don't really have a rating system like Beth - but I will just say this would be in the top third of VKM movies I have seen... Really!
P.S. - when doing these reviews, I will try to not have any 'spoiler' stuff - sorry if that has happened in the past... most of y'all have already seen all her movies, but there may be some who have not... so, hopefully I can describe without any revelations.
also, a few others...
...I think it just kinda rubs me the wrong way that the phrase 'folks today have never heard of Ginger' keeps popping up... guess we have some work to do!!!
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Anyway, 'Gingerology' sounds a bit more interesting... since we all are 'searching and digging' for those Ginger movies which, for some asinine reason, are NOT on DVD (I'm still waiting for the 75-DVD Box Set with all her movies, digitally remastered, of course, loaded with extra features, rare outtakes, audio commentary, etc., along with the complete audio recordings of VKM, digitally remastered to pristine condition... and also containing a 'coffee table'-size 400-page photo book... has anyone heard if they are getting it out by this Christmas this year?? :-O ...well, one can hope, I guess.)
ANYWAY, I also added a list of my 'Ginger Search' travails, VKM movies I have possession of in one form or more... I have plowed through eBay as of late, and really bolstered the list... everything received so far has been in pretty fair shape...the only thing is, be quick about it... there was a VHS of 'Lady in the Dark' (quickly becoming one of my favorites, as seen on YT), and I was going to bid on it or whatever, but just didn't do it quick enough. But stuff is constantly changing on there, so it's worth messing with - and typically the prices are reasonable.
SO, hopefully that gives y'all a bit of 'update' on where Gingerology is headed... I will put my long-winded observations on here, but still faithfully post on Beth's cool site!
Please feel free to reply, and hope you 'jump on' this blog, along with others concerning VKM!!!
It is my hope that I can continue to make 'G-ology' interesting and informative regarding the 'Beautiful Science' of VKM, which is SUCH a great topic!!! ...And remember, your comments are what make Gingerology click - so keep cranking them out!
Thanks again, JW