Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The death of glamour

Whatever happened to glamour in Hollywood?

I'm puzzling over this today because it's the shared birthday of two great female stars of yesteryear:

Jean Arthur, the comedic genius with the distinctive voice who shone in such classics as Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The More the Merrier, and her best-remembered dramatic role, Shane...

...and Rita Hayworth, the sensuous screen queen who put the "B" in "bombshell" in such films as Gilda, Blood and Sand, You'll Never Get Rich, and one of my favorites, The Lady From Shanghai, directed by and costarring Hayworth's then-husband, Orson Welles.

As Madonna once sang:
They had style, they had grace
Rita Hayworth gave good face.
Where are the Jean Arthurs and Rita Hayworths of today? Where are the Marilyn Monroes? Or the Maureen O'Haras? Or, for that matter, the Veronica Lakes, the Claudette Colberts, the Betty Grables, the Lana Turners, the Jean Harlows, the Jane Russells, the Hedy Lamarrs? (All together now: "That's Hedley!")

When I think of many of the so-called sex symbols of today's Hollywood, I cringe. Jessica Simpson? Britney Spears? Brittany Murphy? Animated Barbie dolls, bereft of talent and class. Jessica Alba? Cameron Diaz? Yawn. Pamela Anderson? Puh-lease.

Who among the stars of 2006 has the true glamour of the legends of the past?
  • Angelina Jolie does, I suppose, though while I believe she's a decent actress, I find her screen persona cold and off-putting.
  • Scarlett Johannson is growing into it.
  • Halle Berry has a certain measure of it, even though to me she's more girl-next-door than icon.
  • Drew Barrymore: Ditto.
Am I missing anyone?

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1 insisted on sticking two cents in:

Blogger Mr. Fabulous offered these pearls of wisdom...

I completely agree with you about Scarlett Johannson.

And perhaps Charlize Theron?

4:02 PM  

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