Sunday, February 14, 2016

Valentine's Day: Love is in the Air

We hope you have a warm & fuzzy Valentine's Day this February 14th. But if you don't (and I don't believe I ever have!), maybe you can live vicariously through the folks depicted today who are doing a decent job of demonstrating love, desire and/or ecstasy during their work on a movie. In a couple of cases, the participants were exactly acing! (This is by no means an inclusive collection of screen lovers, just performers whose publicity photos caught my eye enough to share today.) Our cover lovers are Rudolph Valentino and Bebe Daniels from the 1924 silent film Monsieur Beaucaire.

The immortal Great Garbo with John Gilbert in Love (1927.) These two lived together for a time and were once engaged, though Garbo couldn't allow herself to become someone's wife (i.e. - not in charge of her own life.) And as an alleged bisexual, she may have had other things on her mind...
I LOVED this portrait of Walter Huston and "wavishing" Kay Francis in The Virtuous Sin (1930.)
Gary Cooper and seductive Marlene Dietrich in Morocco (1930.)
Herbert Marshall gets his turn with Kay Francis in Trouble in Paradise (1932)
A potent movie star coupling of the '30s & '40s on screen (and off) were Clark Gable and Joan Crawford.
This shot is more demonstrative than the previous one.
Surely Gable's greatest love, however, was his wife Carole Lombard, who was tragically killed during a war bond selling tour in 1942. They made this film, No Man of Her Own, in 1932 prior to their eventual relationship and marriage.
Romeo and Juliet (1936) was an opulent telling of the Shakespeare classic, though modern audiences find it rough going to find the doomed teenagers of the story played by the very adult Leslie Howard and Norma Shearer.
Howard was an alarming forty-three while Shearer was thirty-four! Shearer, nonetheless, remains the only on-screen Juliet to ever receive an Oscar nomination for her performance.
We'll forgive Miss Bette Davis for not looking costar George Brent in the eye during this pose for Dark Victory (1939) since, by now, the character is blind!
Another strong romantic pairing of the 1930s & '40s was Olivia de Havilland and Errol Flynn, seen here in Dodge City (1939.) I love Errol's eyes in this one.
Harboring a reportedly unconsummated desire for one another helped this twosome create considerable chemistry on-screen. This movie, They Died with Their Boots On (1941), was their final pairing.
De Havilland's sister Joan Fontaine gets in on the action with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. in Gunga Din (1939.)
This sort of upside-down/horizontal pose (seen above by Garbo & Gilbert) was used many times by Hollywood photographers, in this instance featuring Gary Cooper and Barbara Stanwyck during Meet John Doe (1941.)
A very famous example of celluloid love becoming the real deal occurred on To Have and Have Not (1944) between newcomer Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart.
I love this pose and Bacall's hair here. Also, if you look at this in large size, her eye makeup seems startlingly contemporary (or at least later than 1944!)
Lana Turner and John Garfield sizzle on the sand in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946.)
The Merry Widow (1952) with Lana Turner and Fernando Lamas might have been a benign movie, but sparks truly flew between its stars.  Wait for it...
Well before her own marriage to Fernando the Great, Esther Williams overheard this duo's passionate (and loud) lovemaking in the dressing room next to hers at MGM!
Here we have Alan Ladd and sultry Arlene Dahl (who was also one of Fernando Lamas' wives) in Desert Legion (1953.)
John Payne gives Coleen Gray a roll in the hay during The Vanquished (1953.)
Here's a rather rare alternate photo from the one used in advertising for Magnificent Obsession (1954) with Rock Hudson and Jane Wyman.
I especially like this one, which is closer to the one used for the film in which Hudson was pressed up against Wyman's chest in a dramatic fashion.
Though she has her naysayers, I adore Shirley Jones in and out of Oklahoma! (1955) and I also consider Gordon MacRae's baritone to be one of the most beautiful movie voices I've ever enjoyed.
Two beauties, Natalie Wood and Tab Hunter, in promotion of The Girl He Left Behind (1956.)
Tab Hunter, regardless of his own sexuality, could really turn on the heat in still photos. I love the way he looks here and above.
As is sometimes (often?) the case in these instances, Wood established less combustion on screen with her real life husband Robert than with other platonic costars! This still comes from All the Fine Young Cannibals (1960) and was the only feature film they acted in together.
Houseboat (1958), which was Sophia Loren and Cary Grant's second film together, had been intended to costar his wife Betsy Drake (who'd penned the script!), but after he fell for Loren on the prior movie, the project was refashioned to fit Loren's persona. By the time the movie was lensed, their affair had already come to a halt, causing some degree of tension on the set!
I love this photo of John Kerr and France Nuyen on location for South Pacific (1958.)
Janet Leigh and John Gavin made a sultry, if brief, couple in Psycho (1960.) Her bra & slip-clad love scene pushed the staid boundaries of the time, especially since the characters were not married.
This is a gorgeous (tinted) shot of Angie Dickinson and Roger Moore from the 1961 missionary drama The Sins of Rachel Cade.
One of several arty portraits taken of Shirley Knight and Paul Newman for Sweet Bird of Youth (1962.)
This one lacks the passion of the others in this post, but I wanted to include it to show off the then-slender Knight and the always sexy Newman with his belly peeking out from under his shirt.
Wall of Noise (1963) paired Ty Hardin with Suzanne Pleshette in a story about their illicit affair at a race track. The movie was black & white, but this portrait allows us to see them in glorious color.
This pose looks more like a break in the session in which they're receiving instructions, but again I had to include it because it shows more of them stars, particularly Hardin.
This shot from The Comedians (1967) vaguely recalls one that Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton did previously for The V.I.P.s (1963), though this one didn't set off as many sparks on screen or at the box office.
Needless to say, the biggest splash made by this couple occurred during Cleopatra (1963.) Though the movie lost money, it only did so because it ultimately became so spectacularly expensive that almost nothing could have caused it to turn a profit. It was the number one film at the box office that year, yet operated at a loss!
We leave you with a romantic smooch from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), which starred Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen. Again, we wish you a wonderful Valentine's Day and hope it's a lucky one, too!


joel65913 said...

A very, very lovely collection of romantic coupling.

That Kay Francis/Walter Huston pose is very Garboesque with a heavy dose of Nazimova thrown in.

Young Clark Gable was a very handsome man, when he was older I think he would have looked wrong without his signature moustache but I've always thought him better looking without it.

I wouldn't say that Shearer and Howard are a geriatric Romeo and Juliet but watching the movie it became more and more ridiculous as they were obviously FAR past teenhood.

That dress & hat that Bette is wearing were from the party scene after her operation, I remember because she made a big thing about how the hat was covering her missing hair, so she's not blind at that point probably just thinking "This bastard better not be in my key light!"

That is a fantastic picture of Bogie & Bacall, her hair does look great in the shot.

John Garfield...SIGH!! A great actor and so sexy to boot.

Those shots from Magnificent Obsession are SO overly emphatic, much like the film. That's one Sirk movie I've never been able to warm to. Now All That Heaven Allows is a completely different story.

I too like Shirley Jones, though I was disappointed in her autobio. I'm in complete agreement about Gordon MacRae's voice and so handsome! It's a real pity that the big Hollywood musicals went into eclipse just when he was hitting his peak. I mean he kills it in Carousel and then never makes another musical. What a waste.

All the Fine Young Cannibals is a terrible movie but Natalie is absolutely breathtaking in that picture from the film. So is Wagner but her star power always dominated their pictures.

Wall of Noise is a Holy Grail title for me, it's one of only two Suzanne Pleshette movies I've yet to see, the other is The Power with that great thespian George Hamilton! At this point I don't even care if it's particularly good and with Ty Hardin as her leading man my hopes are not high I just would love to track it down. I can't help but notice that she and Liz Taylor had adopted the same hairstyle at the time, that marvelous teased bubble. It suited them both.

Gingerguy said...

Thanks Poseidon, this was swoon worthy. For some reason as a child, I never saw the beginning of psycho, only the part where she is on the road. It wasn't until I was an adult that I saw the hotel room scene-so dirty! that fly on the sandwich, and both being shirtless. That must have shocked in 1960. Now I have to see "The Sins of Rachel Cade"-looks right up my alley. You saved the best for last, those two were gorgeous and had the sexiest chemistry in "Thomas Crown". That holiday was the most fun in 2nd grade when you gave a Valentine to everyone in your class, including the boys.

roberta steve said...

John Garfield. Kind of forgotten now a days, but man was he sexy. Was there ever a better head of hair in movies? Plus he was a very good actor with a gorgeous speaking voice. I once heard him called the original anti-hero who paved the way for Brando, Dean, etc

Thanks for including him Poseidon.

Poseidon3 said...

Hello, my loves!

Joel, always a pleasure to read through your reflections and ruminations. I agree 100% about The King, Clark Gable. I like him young without his mustache yet cannot imagine him without it as an older man. I don't know why I like "Magnificent Obsession." Perhaps for the unintentional humor? I did a pretty lengthy user review of this movie once (years before this blog) that describes this aspect in more depth. It can currently be found on this page:

You'll see which one because it's by Poseidon-3 :-)

I have yet to read Shirley Jones' auto-bio. Maybe I'd better not! I am surprised that "The Power" has eluded you this way!! In the 1990s, that movie seemed to play on TNT all the time (though since that I have rarely, if ever, seen it shown.) I know I will love "Wall of Noise" if I ever see it because I live watching Ty Hardin, wooden or not, and also Ralph Meeker. (BTW, it is on DVD through burn-to-order or some such. I saw it on!)

Gingerguy, LOL about the Valentines! You are so right! I never really thought about it, but I was always more choosey about which ones went to each of my boy classmates rather than the girls... At rehearsal the other night, one of the cast members (a male) gave all of us Valentines (!) - The girls got Disney princesses while the guys got Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mine said, "You are a cut (above the rest)" and while everyone was watching me open it, I deliberately read it out loud, but putting an "n" in "cut." LOL I always have to pop the balloons...... I recently watched "Rachel Cade" and it had its good points, but I began to lose interest as it wore on. Perhaps you'll like it more than I did.

Roberta, glad you liked the picture of John "Julie to his friends" Garfield. His life was punctuated by tragedy. So sad. He left behind a great legacy of movies, but could have done more had he been permitted. Still, to work with Bette, Joan, Lana and Hedy to name only a few during his stay here!