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Sunday, May 20, 2012

Sunday Movie Review: "Imitation of Life" (1959)

And this Sunday, my Lana Turner obsession continues....


IMITATION OF LIFE (1959): Cast, plot details 

A struggling young actress with a six-year-old daughter sets up housekeeping with a homeless black widow and her light-skinned eight-year-old daughter who rejects her mother by trying to pass for white.
[from imDB]

  • Lana Turner as Lora Meredith
  • Sandra Dee as Susie Meredith
  • John Gavin as Steve Archer
  • Juanita Moore as Annie Johnson
  • Susan Kohner as Sarah Jane Johnson

THE VERDICT:  ★★★ 1/2

A great performance by Lana Turner, an entertaining plot line, and lively characters keep his soap opera turning; watch it over the 1934 film.

So, for me, this film's star rating got bumped up just a bit after watching the original 1934 version of this film. The 1934 version stars Claudette Colbert, whom I love, but being made in the thirties it is much more blatantly racist whereas this film, being made on the verge of the Civil Rights Movement, seems to combat the issue more. In general I don't find old films racist except African Americans are playing the stereotypical roles, which is not right but usually their employers have respect for them and there are no derogatory lines. Whereas Claudette's character has obvious respect for her housekeeper in the original, there are some ugly sexist ("What use is algebra to a girl?") and racist (the little girl mistakes the African American housekeeper upon first meeting her for a "horsie") lines. So I'd say totally skip the 1934 version; Claudette is great but it is simply a film that does not age at all with modern audiences & the 1959 version is a much better option.

I was watching the 1934 one on Youtube, and whilst strolling through the comments, I came across one that said "This is even more racist than the newer one!" Which I thought was weird because I didn't really find this movie racist. Lana Turner's character has a lot of respect and affection for her housekeeper, Annie, and so does her daughter, who refers to Annie as her "aunt." The only racist one in this movie is honestly Annie's black daughter, and whenever she says something cruel to her mother Lana's character Lora steps into rebuke her, etc. As well as SPOILER at the end of the film, after Annie's death, whites and blacks desegregate to celebrate her life.

So compared to the 1934 one, this movie seems like an advertisement for Civil Rights. That being said, I'll get onto the actual film.

This was the movie that brought back Lana Turner's career after the 1957 scandal in which her teenage daughter accidentally killed her gangster boyfriend. Well, though I wasn't crazy about the movie as a whole, I really did like her in this. (I'm sure that's not a surprise to anyone). I'm absolutely enthralled with Lana; she's such an adorable sweetheart, really! She was lovely in this, she made me cry at the end of the film; I'm really enjoying these movies of the soap operish quality of hers. I bought Madame X (1966) over the weekend and I hope to see it soon, so we'll see how that goes. I do love Claudette but Lana won my heart in the battle of the two performances.

John Gavin, who was familiar to me from Psycho (1960), was good though throughout the film he and Lana are engaged in an on and off relationship that I couldn't really comprehend. But over all I thought he was good and satisfied what his role called for. I also thought Sandra Dee was good, if not a little bit too enthusiastic and peppy, but I suppose that is alright as Sandra Dee hails from, you know, Gidget. (Well, actually, the only other thing I've seen Sandra in is A Summer Place which was a far cry from Gidget or even the character in this movie but the point still stands... y'know.)

I loved Jaunita Moore as the housekeeper, Annie. The character itself is wonderful and you can understand why everyone - white, black, green, or blue - loves her. Just the whole time through I kept paining and paining for her, and I couldn't stand watching her daughter treat her the way she did. Which brings me to the daughter, Sarah Jane. Oh my, her character was such a total and utter b*tch I just wanted to throw something at the screen. Sarah Jane is black, but she looks totally white, and she wants to 'pass', and in doing so, give up her mother. She was just so utterly notorious and frustrating and I honestly wanted her mom to just give up on her and let her go live her life as a prostitute or whatever it is that she wanted to be. The actress was good though, because the character was just so awful, but I don't understand why a light skinned black actress couldn't have been chosen for the role. The actress, she was literally had a snow white skin tone in my opinion, I don't understand why a little bit of makeup couldn't have been applied to make her appear a bit tanner, like Jean Simmons in Black Narcissus (1947) and Natalie Wood in West Side Story (1961). 

Though I thought several performances were great and Lana Turner made me cry in the end, this is not one of my all-time favorites though. For me, there were a few annoying indiscrepancies in the plot line and overly dramatic moments for me to absolutely ADORE this movie - but I'd much rather recommend this one than the 1934 one.


  • Natalie Wood was considered for the role of Sarah Jane Johnson. (I don't know how I feel about this, Natalie being one of my all-time favorites - while I know she would have done a awesome job, I'd hate having to see her play such a terrible terrible character).
  • Pearl Bailey was considered for the part of Annie Johnson.
  • Douglas Sirk's last movie before retiring to his native Germany.
  • A picture of Bobby Darin is used as a prop in Sarah Jane's room.


This is kind of a SPOILER SCENE. You can watch the full movie here.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kate! [5 Things]

Another birthday! Another Hepburn's birthday!



Katharine Hepburn behind the scenes of The Philadelphia Story, 1940

Happy Birthday, Kate!

There has been no one, before or after, like Katharine Houghton Hepburn. Mean as a snake, dear as an angel— she is one of the great humans, better than the legend. She isall she appears to be, with a face for Mount Rushmore.
- John Bryson [Photographer//Friend]

#5: Susan Vance (and an assortment of other characters)
I like so many of the characters Katharine Hepburn played: Tracy Lord (The Philadelphia Story), Tess Harding (Woman of the Year), and Amanda Bonner (Adam's Rib) are a few of my favorite Kate roles that represent much of the characters Kate played in her career. Free-spirited, liberated, independent woman who wore pants and told the men what to do; not the other way around - and this was the 1940s. Its one of my very favorite things about Kate. But my all time favorite character isn't one of these feminists, but, in fact, a zany screwball heiress named Susan Vance. Susan hails from Bringing up Baby (1938), my favorite Kate film - though it's hard to pick just one.  Susan, with her notoriously high pitched giggle that I adore to imitate, is the exact opposite of the traditional Kate character, probably the sort that would tick a traditional Kate character off to no end. (Can you imagine Tess Harding & Susan Vance meeting?). And still, it's my favorite. Bringing up Baby (1938), was one of my very first classics, and my very first Kate film, and I instantly fell in love with her. Perhaps a lot of it had to do with adorable Susan, who won my heart from the moment she took Cary Grant's golf ball. (We're watching the film in one of my classes, because of me, and I'm afraid to say that one of my friends asked me in all seriousness, "Does Susan have a mental problem?")


#4: Her voice
I hear people complain about Kate's voice all the time, and I'm like, "WHAT?! ARE YOU DEAF?!" Oh, well, each to their own. I however beg to differ. Kate's voice was one of the first things that made me love her. It honestly just adds this to underlying quality of adorableness she has, and it makes me adore her even more. If you haven't noticed lately, I gush over voices a lot: lusting after Greer Garson's, wanting an Ingrid accent of my own, and forever noting Cary Grant's particular way of saying "hell-o!". Well, Kate is right up there with the three of them. I'm positively in love with her "Bryn Mawr accent", which also brings me to add, to those that may disagree: she didn't choose her voice, it was just the accent that she happened to have, like anyone else picks up one.


#3: Her looks.
A lot of people don't think Kate Hepburn was beautiful, and once more I must disagree. Katharine Hepburn was not the conventional beauty, she was certainly "different looking", but she was still quite gorgeous in that particular way of hers. When I first saw her on the screen as a little girl, I thought she was absolutely stunning and couldn't get over how pretty she was! Now I can understand that while perhaps she isn't the traditional beauty, she was still indeed beautiful: I mean, those cheekbones, that smile, the carefully sculpted features? So no, I just don't get it when people say she wasn't beautiful. Oh well. Once more, each to their own.

#2: Kate & Spence.
Perhaps, I believe, my favorite couple - next to Lucy & Desi, I mean. And they weren't even married! I think the wonderful thing about the great old Hollywood unions were, in addition to giving us the pleasure over swooning over them as a couple, they also gave us great performances together. Kate & Spence are certainly a testament to that. I recently watched Sea of Grass (1947), and therefore, I can proudly say that I have seen all nine Kate & Spence movies. Gosh, they're just simply wonderful together. On screen and off. As for on screen, my favorite is likely either Woman of the Year (1942) or Adam's Rib (1949). As for off screen, I suggest you watch this. (And yes, you will need your Kleenex).


#1: Kate just being Kate.
This one is kind of hard to describe. I get it's just a summarization of Kate being Kate. Because, Katharine Hepburn was just generally the definition of an awesome person. She did all her stunts in films, did headstands when she was in her eighties, swam in the Venice canals each morning whilst filming Summertime (1955), and didn't give a damn about what anyone else thought. She was never willing to change herself for anyone. I admire that quality about her so much, that persistence to always be herself and keep her character. She stuck with that her entire life, I think. Katharine Hepburn was really quite honestly an amazing human being. I just don't know how to put it into words, but there is simply this aura about her. It usually results in people either completely hating or completely loving her. To me, it turned out to be the latter. In my definition of "Katharine Hepburn", she is one of the best actresses to have ever graced the screen and a simply wonderful person with an incredible personality, whose self-confidence I hope to have myself one day.

3 Rules by Katharine Hepburn to live by:
"1) Never quit
2) Be yourself
3) Never put too much flour in your brownies."

six favorite photos of katharine hepburn asked by frivolouswhim

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Movie Review: "Peyton Place" (1957)

I know I wasn't around last month a lot, but look, it's only one week into May and I've already gotten three posts up already. I'm quite proud, I must say!


PEYTON PLACE (1957): Cast, plot details

Coming-of-age story set in a small New England village whose peaceful facade hides love and passion, scandal and hypocrisy. Allison, a beautiful high school student and aspiring writer, struggles to grow up under the thumb of her emotionally crippled single mother. The mother, Constance MacKenzie, a woman with a hidden past, is now aroused by the temptations of the new high school principal. On the other side of town, Allison's best friend Selena lives in a shack with an abusive stepfather. As the seasons change, so do Allison and her friends, as they struggle to mature in the stifling small town. [from imDB]

  • Lana Turner as Constance MacKenzie
  • Hope Lange as Selena Cross
  • Diane Varsi as Allison MacKenzie
  • Russ Tamblyn as Norman Page
  • Arthur Kennedy as Lucas Cross
  • Lee Phillips as Michael Rossi


This film is definitely entertaining and though it obviously will verge on soap operish at points, it was still a good a film with a gorgeous score and I still suggest you give it a watch 

The fact that this film was the basis for the popular soap opera of the same title didn't really turn me off from seeing this movie. (I think what made me more reluctant was the fact that the running time is three hours long, but I didn't regret it later!). It's not that I like soap operas, because I definitely don't, but I have a guilty pleasure for overly dramatic films, sometimes based on novels & plays, perhaps of the Tennessee Williams variety. Plus, I absolutely love movies with court scenes, so...

I must say, I rather enjoyed this film! Perhaps it's because it fit my watching palette but I liked it. It was a "coming of age story", and being a teenager I do enjoy these. I was intrigued with a teenage party scene in the film, where the resident "bad boy" tries to spike the punch with liquor ("good girl" Diane Varsi does put a stop to it). I guess most think of teens of the 40s as bobby soxers, but issues like peer pressure, drinking, bullying, sex, etc. were just as rampant then as they were now, only it was considered good conduct to only whisper about it and not face these issues out loud, especially in small towns like Peyton Place, as this movie shows. As a result, so many became patronized and fearful of being themselves because of how dangerous small town gossip was.

It's surprising that this movie could've been made in 1957. The central themes are illegitimate children, rape, and murder. I imagine that the Hays Code office were sweating bricks during the entire production. But I think these issues were handled well and discreetly, in a way that would have not entirely scandalized audiences in 1957 and seem entirely mild to audiences nowadays. 

As for the acting, I might as well begin with Lana Turner. Oh my, I really did love her. She was one of the actresses I chose to watch in 2012. What I thought of Lana before seeing her in this was that she was a sex kitten actress whose daughter killed her gangster boyfriend. But I was wrong, she was just splendid in this, and I look forward to seeing her in movies like Imitation of Life, The Bad and the Beautiful, and most importantly, The Postman Always Rings Twice. I really enjoyed Lana, her adorable face, and her great performance. In fact, she's really the main reason I chose this particular movie to review. And how ironic the courtroom scene in this would be for her a year later!

This was also my first Hope Lange film. I too thought she was wonderful and she was really likable as Selena, you just wanted everything to turn out alright for her character. I believe she was nominated for an Oscar for this role, and this was a nomination well deserved. Diane Varsi played Lana Turner's daughter, Allison, a character I liked for the most part (except for when she went all cold on Lana's character, and then Lana's character was weeping on the staircase,  in which I was like, 'POOR LANA! HOW CAN YOU DO THAT TO HER?!'). Varsi was too nominated for an Oscar. I thought she was okay, with a pleasant voice to narrate the gorgeous Technicolor shots of New England, and a pretty face that fit the character. Perhaps the nomination was not necessary, but overall I felt her satisfactory. At the time, both Lange & Varsi were considered to be upcoming stars because of their Oscar nominations, but Varsi quit the business soon after and Lange struck it big in the sixties.

Russ Tamblyn was rather adorable as Norman Page, in striking contrast from his West Side Story (1961) character, Riff. I absolutely hated Lucas Cross (Hope Lange's abusive stepfather), which means that Arthur Kennedy played him excellently.

Overall, I did really like this one, I'm going to be sure to see much much more of Lana Turner, and though you might have some reservations about the film's soap operaish quality and nearly three hour running time, I do suggest you give it a try!


  • Barbara Eden (later to be well-known as Jeannie from the 60s television show 'I Dream of Jeannie') tested for the role of Selena Cross.
  • The studio wanted either Jane Wyman or Olivia de Havilland for the role of Constance MacKenzie. 
  • Susan Strasberg was set to play Allison, but fired when she requested a salary raise. Twenty famous actresses were tested for the role, including Debbie Reynolds, before the role went to newcomer Diane Varsi. (I would have enjoyed seeing Strasberg, who I enjoyed in Picnic, or the always lovely Debbie Reynolds, in the role. I think either of them would have fit it well, perhaps better than Varsi).



Thank you to all who left responses for my let's talk blog; I hope to do more in the future! (:

Friday, May 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Audrey! [5 Things I Love]

Today is the birthday of one my very favorite actresses and all time favorite people - Audrey Hepburn!

Happy birthday, Audrey!

"In Greek myth - among the most ancient of the Western religious histories - you would have to compare Audrey to Hestia, goddess of the hearth, for whom the family home was her main concern and, by extension, every home.

"Saint Audrey seems quite appropriate to me - for she in her life and work she was born to show the world that true grace and innocence, human kindness and hope, still can exist on earth. 

"Whenever the lines didn't quite suit her, she would alter them and they always sounded better her way. Often I would compliment her by saying, 'That's not the line, but it's better that way.' And invariable she would say, 'Oh isn't it? I thought it was. I'll say it the way you want - I thought it was that line.' And I'd always have to reassure her that her rewrite, instinctual or conscious, was an improvement. But she invariably claimed ignorance of any difference and repeatedly said she'd do it my way. I never let her."

- Peter Bogdonavich, director


#5: Regardless of what anyone says, she could act

It's sad that so few, especially in the Old Hollywood community, are willing to admit that Audrey Hepburn could act. I hear this all the time: "Audrey was a great person, but am I going to say that she is a good actress? Definitely not. There are so many better actresses." Perhaps Audrey was not the greatest screen actress to ever grace film, but saying she cannot act is not only unfair, it makes the person who says so look stupid. The two actresses that seem to always be in competition with each other and get the most backlash from classic film fans are Audrey Hepburn & Marilyn Monroe, for obvious reasons. Many fans will stick to one actress and totally blacklist the other, and those who prefer Marilyn often make such statements about Audrey. Now, I'm not a Marilyn fan and Audrey is one of my very favorites, but am I going to say that Marilyn could not act? Certainly not. Under a good director, she gave some great performances, like in Some Like it Hot (1958). Audrey could act. She won an Oscar for her first leading role in an American film. This was way before her posters were hung on sorority dorm walls & lunchboxes with her face on it were sold. She could act, get over it, and if you can't you're just jealous. 

1953: Audrey Hepburn Sabrina hair and makeup test.  “God kissed her on the cheek,” Billy Wilder once said, “and there she was.”

#4: The characters she played

Audrey has played so many of my favorite screen characters. The roles she picked were nearly always women that were sophisticated and stylish, and to me, an epitome of class and grace: and what I aspire to be when I grow up. To name just a few: Sabrina Fairchild in Sabrina (1954), Princess Ann in Roman Holiday (1953), Holly Golightly in Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Arianne in Love in the Afternoon (1957). Audrey antagonists (the same ones that argue that she cannot act) say that all her characters are the same. Perhaps these characters exhibited many of the same qualities (the ones I listed back in the second sentence), but Audrey always seemed to give each role personality and life, making each one original and fresh every time.


#3: Audrey, the fashion plate

Like any true Audrey Hepburn fan, I will always insist that she is more than a fashion plate. Much more, which is true, as I have expressed in the latter reasons. Still, I must admit, Audrey Hepburn is one of, if not the greatest, fashion icons. She seemed to understand fashion inside out, most often pooling her ideas with her favorite designer, Givenchy. If there is an actress I most aspire to dress like, it’s Audrey. Her “casual style” was a pair of leggings, a sweater, and flats, which is what I like to wear around the house. This is not to ignore the many gorgeous gowns she wore. Though the most memorable of all is certainly the black dress from Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Audrey wore a multitude of other beautiful formals in all her films, and there isn’t a single one I wouldn’t like to have in my closet!

#2: The elegance & grace she radiated

Elegance & grace are skills that some spend years to achieve, and for others, it seems to come naturally. Audrey Hepburn was one of those people. Every little motion of hers was done in the utmost sophistication, from the little tilt of her head to her walk. And not just in her motions, but the way she interacted with others. She really brings personification of what it means to be classy. Whenever I watch an interview or read quote of hers, it seems just as if she knows exactly what to say and when to say it. And it seems that, when she spoke, she always made it feel as if it was a pleasure to be in your company. 

#1: Her humanitarian work

Perhaps her greatest achievement in her arguably short life, the work she did in Africa towards the end of her life tops off the reasons why I love her as a human and not just an actress. I think it was perhaps her own childhood in Europe during World War II that inspired her to help starving, impoverished children. I think she herself would consider this her crowning achievement out of everything she had accomplished, including her Oscar and all the other acting awards. I think the honest effort she put into helping these children proves that she really had a heart of gold, and was truly a lovely person, the sort who believed in pink and kissing often and laughing a lot.


A quote by Audrey that sums up me and my personality:

"I believe in manicures. I believe in overdressing. I believe in primping at leisure and wearing lipstick. I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles."


“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.” 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Let's Talk | Ingrid Bergman vs. Greta Garbo

Hi everyone, 

A few weeks ago I initiated a poll asking my readers which actress they preferred: Ingrid Bergman or Greta Garbo. Both Swedes & totally legendary. 

In this post I'm going to present the results (which I'm sure many of you have already seen as it was stuck up in my sidebar for quite a long time, lol), but I'm also going to try to introduce a new series, or, well, a new type of post, called "let's talk." One of my most faithful commenters suggested to me a few weeks ago that I do more posts that were interactive with the readers & asked you guys some questions, kinda like this one I did last year.  I really enjoyed during that post and getting opinions; I love reading varying views on things. So I'm going to give another post like that a try, by discussing the poll results with you. I think this is a good post to start this "let's talk" series with as it's obvious that my opinion on it will be kinda biased (anyone who has followed my blog for a little bit will know I worship Ingrid Bergman). I'm hoping for a good response on this one, and if so, I'll do more in the future. So - 

I really encourage everyone to drop me a comment with your opinion on this, especially if you voted in the poll! 

Now, on with it!
Ingrid Bergman (1915 - 1982)


Ingrid Bergman, 1940s


Greta Garbo (1905 - 1900)

Greta Garbo photographed by Ruth Harriet Louise 

Results -

23 votes, total




So Ingrid is the winner. The reason I created this particular poll was just out of pure curiosity. Despite the fact that both women are Swedes, I honestly don't feel that they're alike in any other way. Not in their styles of acting or even in their beauty.

As for acting - while Ingrid could definitely ham up her performances, as seen in, for example, Gaslight (1944), compared to Garbo she is easily the more refined performer of the two. Because of her silent film background Garbo had a tendency to bring an extra level of flamboyancy to her acting. And while both women are easily gorgeous, Ingrid was built up as the "natural" star, refusing to let her teeth be capped or eyebrows be plucked. She often wore very little makeup on the screen whereas Garbo's facial features were more exaggerated and dramatic, earning her the nickname 'The Face.' Her thinly arched eyebrows and heavy lipstick reflected the popular trends among the glamorous, sophisticated crowd in the 1920s & 30s.

The image studios built up for these two women are also entirely different. Ingrid was luminous, virginal, a natural star who always had a smile on her face. Garbo was in stark comparison found by movie audiences to be mysterious, moody, and forever "vanting to be alone." Though, as I said, the studios helped build up these images, these were most often true to their personalities in real life. Ingrid was warm, friendly, even to a certain extent playful, a people person. Though this isn't to say Garbo didn't like a good time, she was more of a recluse who retired from her successful career at its peak. "I vant to be alone," was not just a line in Grand Hotel (1932), but the catchphrase of her life. This, also, isn't to imply that Garbo was rude or introverted, only that she simply enjoyed keeping to herself.

Which woman had more success is a comparison that seems more cruel or unfair to make, and certainly not as clear cut. In my opinion, I will say Ingrid - which, I know, sounds biased, but this is mostly on the grounds of the success of Casablanca (1942). It is one of the most famous, critically acclaimed movies in history, right up there with Gone With the Wind (1939) and Citizen Kane (1941), and because of this movie, as well as her three Oscars, Ingrid is emblazoned into film history. This is not to say that Greta isn't; but because of Casablanca (1942), Ingrid will always be more recognizable with the general public in a way that Garbo will not.

As one can infer from all of the above, Ingrid and Greta's similarities pretty much stop at the fact that they are both Swedes. But this one, common trait between the two seems as if it will forever link them, and film buffs will always seem to make comparisons of the two because of it, despite the fact that they are so different in every other way. In fact, I can assure you that if they were not both Nordic, there wouldn't be anyone who would even bother to compare the two.

As you can see from the results, Ingrid won this one, but only by a smidge - one vote, to be precise. With results thisclose I'm especially hoping voters will comment about what swung them one way rather than the other.

I've only seen a few of Garbo's movies, whereas I've seen nearly all of Ingrid's filmography. Still, I can assure you that I will never like Garbo as much as I love Ingrid. I'm adding here, though, I'm not trying to hate on Garbo at all. But I have loved Ingrid Bergman for a long time, she is one of my top favorite actresses, and I have claimed her most often as my second favorite actress (if I had to pick one). So many of her movies are favorites of mine. My love for Ingrid is unchanging, and so it's needless to say that my pick out of the two, despite the un-proportional ratio of Garbo and Bergman films I've seen, will be Ingrid.

What is it that I love about Ingrid? I just really love her, inside and out. As an actress and as a human. As a actress I hold "Ingrid Bergman" in such a high regard, as the epitome of an actress that every actress should aspire to be. When she plays a role, it's so easy to believe every motion and every line, and you feel like all the fibers in her body are immersed so deeply into her role. I always think of Ingrid as the star who truly loved acting and considered it to be an art. After all, she was quoted as saying, "If you took acting away from me, I'd stop breathing!" Good evidence of her dedication to the art is this particular story:

Ingrid's last role, the one that would win her a posthumous Emmy, was as the Israeli prime minister Golda Meir. When Meir was elected, she covered her face with her two arms, an image that was often then relied on television and to the public many times. As always, Ingrid researched her roles to the core and when she saw this she felt like she would absolutely need to repeat this same gesture. The issue was that this simple motion was not going to be easy for her because of her breast cancer. 

Because of the cancer, it was physically impossible for her raise her right arm. After the mastectomy several lymph nodes were removed, which resulted in an arm swollen to the point where it was huge (Ingrid dubbed it "the big, ugly, overgrown, sick dog"). 

Still, despite this, Ingrid insisted that the role would only be accurate upon preforming this gesture. She discovered the only way to make this possible was to suspend her arm above her head for a long period of time so the liquid would go away. So the nights before she had to film, she would do this, for the entire night, and she wouldn't sleep at all, just to make the gesture correct. If that isn't devotion to something, what is?

As a person, there are so many things I love about her. One is she was never afraid to be herself. She said, "Be yourself, the world worships the original." She stuck by this during her 1950 scandal with Robert Rossellini (if anyone needs clarification of what this was, read this). She didn't try to hide what was going on. She outright boldly admitted to everything that she had done, and didn't regret any of it. She truly faced the music because she knew what occurred was a part of her. People didn't like her for it. They hated her, in fact, took to the Senate floor to condemn her; sent her letters addressing her as "whore" and "slut". Loretta Young, too, had an affair with Clark Gable and became pregnant with his love child. But she covered up the scandal by putting the child into an orphanage and making a big deal out of adopting her in the press. I'm not trying to hate on Loretta, but Ingrid's situation was pretty much similar, and I simply find the way she handled it more commendable. 

When I read about Ingrid, I laugh and smile and think, this is someone who you'd want to be around. Want to be friends with. She liked to play jokes, she loved American ice cream and butter cookies, she greatly admired her Bohemian father (who died when she was thirteen), and was proud of herself for being able to pull the tablecloth out from underneath a set table without breaking a single dish.

Greta Garbo is a woman beloved by many, and rightfully so. She was certainly a beautiful woman and a good actress. But for me, I don't think she is someone I will adore anytime soon. Just because she's not the type of star I enjoy doesn't mean that others shouldn't. I can think of many in the Classic Hollywood community who love Greta. I'm going to continue to try giving more of her movies a chance, especially as I haven't seen yet what is considered by many to be her greatest film, Ninotchka (1939). I don't exactly think her tendency to overact is my cup of tea, and I'm 99% sure she won't be rivaling Ingrid, my joie de verve, for my affections - but all the while, I will continue my exploration in the films of Garbo.

So here I shall add a disclaimer, so I won't get hate comments from Garbo fans: I definitely do not "hate" Garbo in anyway, and just because I won't be adding her to my list of favorites anytime soon doesn't mean that I don't have respect for her as a performer, because I totally do.

As for Ingrid and Garbo actually meeting face to face, she talks a little about here, but I feel that a passage from "Ingrid: A Personal Biography", by Charlotte Chandler, better sums up the meeting of these two stars. Their meeting took place years after Garbo had ended her film career; it was at a  party in Barbados, in which Ingrid's third husband, Lars Schmidt, already knew Garbo and was chatting with her while Ingrid fretted over how to handle the situation. She felt nervous about approaching the fellow Swedish star because they had passed each other several times in the Metro lot and Garbo hadn't chosen to recognize her, not even a "simple, polite hello." But it was in fact Garbo who approached her first, which led to this odd conversation as described by Ingrid:

"Even though we'd never really met, only briefly passing each other, Miss Garbo did not introduce herself. I suppose she felt no need to say her name. She assumed everybody knew who she was, and she was right."
Garbo had heard from Schmidt that he and Ingrid loved Barbados and were looking at land on which they could build a small beach house.
"Lars and I were thinking of buying some land in Barbados, and buying a simple, very simple, house." Garbo spoke in English, and Ingrid continued in what was not the first language for either one. 
"Miss Garbo said, 'You are making a very big mistake. Terrible. You will regret it.' 
"I didn't understand at all. I suppose my face showed that I was puzzled. Miss Garbo said, 'Do you know why? They will steal everything.' 
"I told her we were not going to build a luxorious mansion, so we wouldn't be troubled. We won't have anything worth stealing because the reason we are coming here is to enjoy a very simple life and to uncomplicate our lives, to take walks and swim, without the burden of possessions. I did not believe anyone would want my shorts and cotton shirts, and Lars would have even less, some trunks and sandals. 
"She repeated, 'They steal everything.' 
"'My bathing suit?'" 
Garbo rose abruptly and departed. She didn't say goodbye to Ingrid, she just left. "I suppose that was her way of saying goodbye." 
Of this incident and their near-meetings that took place in Hollywood, Garbo said, "I do not think I ever saw Miss Bergman in a film. If so I, do not remember it. We passed on the way to the parking lot when she came to Hollywood. She did not say hello or speak to me, so I think she felt the same way I did there. There is no need to be falsely polite. I spoke to her many years later at a party - I do not remember what we said."

I think the bizarre party incident and the slightly snarky comments by both Ingrid and Greta are a result of years of comparison between the two, likely resenting always being linked with one another. I can imagine that Greta became annoyed upon having to constantly hear how Ingrid was going to be the "talking Garbo" upon her arrival in Hollywood in the 40s, and that Ingrid was tired of constantly being asked about Garbo and referred to as the "new Garbo." In the end, I think it's clear that this comparison is one that is needless to be made. Besides their Swedish roots, the two don't have much in common.

As I said before, I would love for you to leave your comments below on what you think of the constant comparison of these two actresses, which actress you chose and why, which one you feel had more success, etc.!

That's it for today, but I really hope to get a nice response to this let's talk series! :)