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Warming to my theme…

Gloria Swanson was 51 when she played Norma Desmond.

My teenage impression of Norma Desmond, she was a thousand years old. But, thinking about it, it the story works better if she is way too old for a comeback, but not clownishly, ridiculously too old.

God, the makeup didn’t do them any favors, though, did it? Like the way your mom’s high school graduation picture made her look about 42.

Oh, speaking of clownish and ridiculous, I’ll close with Carol Burnett’s Norma Desmond. I don’t recommend looking up any of the skits — too broad, too long and totally belabor the joke — but holy shit the stills of her crack me up every time.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 26, 2019, 9:20 pm

Things I didn’t know about Gloria Swanson: she was 4’11” and her first husband was Wallace Beery.

Comment from DurnedYankee
Time: February 26, 2019, 10:18 pm

She was married to Long John Silver?

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 26, 2019, 11:23 pm

I loved Burnetts GWTW skit.

Jean Arthur & Marlena Dietrich both look great in A Foreign Affair. While wiki has their ages as 48 & 46, I distinctly remember the TMC hosts discussing how both lied about their ages & they were 51 & 49.

ps: That last photo is a good idea for a Halloween costume.

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: February 27, 2019, 1:27 pm

She was married to Long John Silver?

Well, for a while, but she also had a fling with The Champ, not to mention Pancho Villa…

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: February 27, 2019, 1:39 pm

Sunset Boulevard is a truly great film, with an atmosphere and flavor that lingers with you long after you see it. The voiceover technique William Holden uses reminds me of someone speaking as quietly as possible into the phone so as not to be overheard by people in the next room.

Anything with the name “Billy Wilder” as director, writer, or both is worth seeing at least 2 or 3 times. Well, I’m not sure about his later films like Avanti! But everything he did from 1944 to 1961 is absolute dynamite.

As for Carol Burnett’s sketches, hey, that was how I first got a nodding acquaintance with Sunset and Gone With the Wind. I had no idea the green velvet dress (improvised, you’ll recall, by Carol’s Scarlett from curtains: “I saw it in the window and just couldn’t resist it”) was an important point in the real GWTW movie!

Comment from DurnedYankjee
Time: February 27, 2019, 3:47 pm

Oh the reason they shot Pancho Villa,
was he danced on his mother’s Mantia.
And the message did not reach Garcia,
he was out somewhere dancing on hats.

Name that tune.

Comment from Ric Fan
Time: February 27, 2019, 5:04 pm

Wolfus Aurelius: If you like Billy Wilder, check out A Foreign Affair, also a Wilder flick.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: February 27, 2019, 10:13 pm

@DY – Allan Sherman’s The Mexican Hat Dance.

Whaddoo I win? Huh? Huh? What’s muh prize?!?

Comment from Steve Skubinna
Time: March 4, 2019, 8:05 pm

The hysterically funny soap opera parody Soapdish has Sally Field, furious that the costume director has put her in a turban, screaming “I look like Gloria F*cking Swanson!”

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