20 November 2005

when women wore hats

Cukor's "The Model and the Marriage Broker" opens with a breathtaking shot of the Flatiron Building. I remember when I was a lad & lookd out the window of a cab & saw that landmark for the first time. there were tingles all over my body. soon we see Thelma Ritter & Nancy Kulp in hats. yes this was 1951 & there are hats everywhere. at one point Ritter has a monolog which includes commentary abt seagulls & damn if there isn't a gull on her hat.

one of the many aspects of cinema that I love is that of the time capsule. in this film there are priceless shots of everyday Manhattan of that time. all the way down to a garbage truck. then there is the encapsulization of mores. we learn so much abt attitudes thru popular movies.

& finally film preserves people. here the magnificent Ritter in a rare starring role is at the top of her craft. there are also some brief appearances worth noting: Broadway's Joan Roberts (the original Laurey in "Oklahoma")in the first of only 2 movie roles & silent screen great Mae Marsh in one of her frequent bit parts. but also there is Scott Brady in his prime. he was 27 when he filmd this comedy & I'm sure had both sexes swooning. the only time I went to the Academy Awards I walkd the red carpet just before Brady. he was past his prime then but I cdn't have been more thrilld to see him.

Brady at the baths with Tony Curtis (1950)


richard lopez said...

very good point about movies as time capsules of fashion and mores. that is one of the reasons i love cinema. just this morning watched a wwii-era film called _crash dive_ about two navy officers who are best friends but competing for the same girl. the movie was a model of 40s era fashion, home decorating and colors. and at the end of the film the hero praises the hard, necessary work of all the armed forces. before the screen fades to black there is in the lower-half of the screen an ad to buy war bonds at this theatre. loved it.

Malibu Boy said...

Nancy Kulp. That names sound so familiar. This isn't Mr Moonie's secretary is it?

AlexG said...

Kulp was a tall scarecrow best rememberd for playing Jane Hathaway on "Beverly Hillbillies." in 1984 she ran unsuccessfully for Congress. late in life she came out as a lesbian.