Marion Davies Rehab Goes On
TCM all-nighted Marion Davies this month to remind us how slammed this actress/comedienne was by the second Mrs. Kane and lasting impressions from said 1941 caricature. Was W.R. Hearst defending Davies' honor as much as his own by applying hammer and tong to Orson Welles? There must be record of how Marion Davies felt over RKO's grim impersonation, but I guess for then-obvious reasons, she kept quiet. Writers have since defended this one-time movie star among Welles' collateral damage. They'll cite Show People and The Patsy as silent proof of Davies' talent. I'd at least add talking Blondie Of The Follies, equal delight The Floradora Girl, and precode time capsule Five and Ten to ones doing her credit, each an obscurity and all better than you'd expect.
|Wealthy Partygoers Make Their Own Movie In a Sequence Deleted From Five and Ten's Final Print.|
|Among Blondie's Many Virtues ... Vivid Depiction of Backstage Life|
|It's Less a Game of Backgammon Than Mistress Trading Between|
Precode Rogues Bob and Doug
Robert Montgomery engages Precode's art of gentle predation after Metro pattern set by Adolphe Menjou, Gable, Franchot Tone, innumerable others, all seducers so expert as to make present-day impressionables wonder if such technique might still work.
|Another Precode Delicacy --- Girl Fights That Were Really Fights|
|A Precode Dropout That Might Have Become One Of The Era's|
Brightest Lights --- Billie Dove
|1932 Patrons Looked Longingly at Davies,|
But What I Covet Is That Deco Stair Bannister!
|Is Billie Dove Putting Marion On Notice That Blondie|
Is Her Movie To Steal?
Marion Davies' Blondie gets off a stinging impersonation of Garbo during a specialty with Jimmy Durante. He's Jack Barrymore and they're spoofing Grand Hotel, only she clamps deep into GG's Achilles with make-up, expression, and voice to reveal baseline absurdity of the Swedish sphinx's act. Was Marion first to nail lampoon potential of I Vant To Be Alone? Don't know, but I'm guessing Garbo was not amused at send-up so close to the bone. Davies had done these caricatures before --- in 1928's The Patsy, she laid several dramatic divas to rest, most devastatingly Lillian Gish. I'd love to have observed commissary meets between Davies and less-than-good-sport targets of her spot-on satiring. Did her own impressions prepare MD for the cruel jape Citizen Kane later played on her?