Friday, October 9, 2009

She Never Looked Lovelier

The jury's in, and the mystery's solved. Thanks to the mysterious "Anonymous" and seconded by dear normadesmond, it can be revealed that the Dark Lady of two days ago is none other than the favorite blonde of a Certain Newspaper Magnate, the resplendent (if at times chinny) Miss Marion Davies.

Hearst Marion loved disguise roles, and this one was perhaps her most ridiculous daring. In her melodramatic 1934 opus Operator 13, Marion assayed the role of a plucky Union spy during the Civil War, one who gathers information while disguised as her own Octoroon (now there's a word one doesn't, and good riddance, hear a great deal of these days) maid. Not until Joan Crawford (whom Marion really does resemble, at least in the picture's stills) corked up for Torch Song did Hollywood's ever-precarious racial politics go further out on a (star-studded) limb.

And now, children, I have to run - they're calling my (next) plane. More soon...

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