Friday, August 2, 2013

Birthday Girl: Flying High


Today's birthday girl apparently flew herself to Fabulon, but had she remained among us, she would be a doubtless glamourous 108.

There's not much that Myrna Loy couldn't do, but even so it's hard to imagine her as a pilot.  Still, Hollywood had odder; aviatrix pictures were something of a plague, and their consistent not-very-goodness makes one wonder why they kept cropping up.  Myrna's was a relatively late entry, 1938's Too Hot to Handle, but from start to finish - from Hepburn in lamé insect drag in Christopher Strong right on through to Rosalind Russell in the utterly forgotten Flight for Freedom (a 1943 Earhart crypto-biopic of sorts) - none were hits.  Even such unlikely flygirls as Alice Faye (Tail Spin) and Kay Francis (the low-budget programmer Women in the Wind) were enlisted to don overalls and try and look convincing in rear-projection flight sequences.  In that company, I guess Myrna could more than measure up, no?

2 comments:

  1. I've seen all of these, except for Women in the Wind, and while none are great shakes and Christopher Strong in particular is a bit heavy handed each one offered its leading lady a strong central character, the kind of which is rare for most actresses today. I think my favorite of the odd little subgenre is Flight for Freedom, maybe because even when she trying to travel around the world and has a stopover she has evening clothes and a massive hairdo at the ready!

    As far as Myrna Loy the woman could do practically anything. Always so cool and classy, just recently saw The Rains Came for the first time and was quite impressed by her work in it.
    It was a different kind of role than her usual, a golddigger of loose morals but after the initial surprise of that she gave a very fine performance. That she was never nominated for an Oscar is a black eye for the academy. Of course she's hardly the only high quality performer so ignored, Ida Lupino comes immediately to mind.

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  2. These women are all pikers. They were playing trained pilots who, unsurprisingly, flew airplanes.

    Doris Day smoked 'em all in JULIE. She was a stewardess who served the meals with a smile, kept the passengers happy, fucked a very hot Louis Jourdan, triumphed over domestic violence, flew an airliner and landed it safely at SFO on the same runway where the Asiana flight recently wiped out with a real pilot at the controls.

    As always, Doris sets the standard. Even for movie aviatrixes.

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