Tag Archives: cinema style

+RARE+ JUDY GARLAND’S ‘VALLEY OF THE DOLLS’ WARDROBE SCREEN TEST

We love Valley of the Dolls…

And we love the myth and legend of Judy Garland, so to discover this rare gem on the interwebs, was to say the least, a huge score!

If you haven’t seen the film, “Valley of the Dolls” was based on Jacqueline Susann’s best selling novel about several young ladies entrapped in the tumultuous world of the entertainment industry.

It is camp, it is glamour, it is a bona fide classic piece of cinema starring the late Patty Duke as the self-sabotaging but talented Neely O’Hara, Barbara Perkins playing a naive small town girl trying to make it in the big city of New York, and Sharon Tate as their gorgeous pal who is forced to do some “shameful” business to make a little cash . . .

One of the antagonists of the film is the character of Helen Lawson, who is a big-shot Broadway star of the ages who Neely goes up to bat against during the production of a play. There are plenty of bitchy moments that incur, which make the film a true joy to behold.


With this in mind, we were shocked the find out that Helen Lawson had originally been given to none other than JUDY GARLAND!!!

This was big news at the time, with the contract being signed February 1967, and a press conference with Judy and Jacqueline Susann at the St. Regis Hotel on March 2, 1967.

“Lets face it; the role calls for an old pro over 40. That’s for me. It’s for sure I am no longer Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz…the part of Helen Lawson is no more me than the part in Judgement at Nuremberg. It doesn’t pertain to me…”

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Work on the film began shortly thereafter with songs being recorded, and scenes being shot. However, many of this footage hasn’t survived, and many claim the scenes that were shot were few and far between and mostly unusable, with Judy refusing to leave her dressing room.

Things reached a head on April 27, 1967.  Judy was fired.

Fox announced that she had resigned for “personal reasons”, which Judy quickly denied citing that she had showed up on set ready to film at 6am and had no idea!!! In the end, she admitted to objecting to certain obscenities in the film, and many fans agree that this film was far beneath her talents….so in the end, everything works out (I guess, minus the fact she died 2 years later from a heavy drug overdose)!!!

Oh, Hollywood….so strange. So weird. So mysterious and odd. And if you’re wondering what I’m talking about, lets get to the point of this all – the wardrobe tests!

You know we love fashion and style, and William Travilla’s glorious designs for Valley of the Dolls are one of the highlights of this film, and Helen Lawson’s costumes are no exception. In these clips, Judy does her thing showing off the designs, as only she could.

If that doesn’t shock you just a little, I’m not sure what will.  The legacy of Judy Garland is so odd and sad. So young and full of talent; thrown into a monstrous machine that only cared to crank out dollars from her…in the end, she lost her vitality, and her mind.

Let her be a lesson to us all to stay true to yourself, and never be a pawn to those in authority. It’s just not worth it. You live one life. Let it be the best life you can imagine!

In the end, the role of Helen Lawson would go to Susan Hayward, who was a legend in her own right, and had even won the coveted Best Actress Academy Award in 1958 playing a death row inmate in I Want to Live!

I guess, things happen for a reason..

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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{STYLE-WISE} Marlon Brando’s Screen Test for “Rebel Without a Cause” is EVERYTHING!!!

Unveiled is Marlon Brando’s screen test for “Rebel Without a Cause” ; the iconic 1955 film that catapulted James Dean to icon status when the film was released just shortly after his death, making him a tragic martyr to that beloved ‘live fast, die young” attitude that he has come to represent.

Luckily for him, his death made the young boy with glasses a demi-god for being one hell of a misfit. He made it cool to wear jeans, and kept pioneering the t-shirt which had been a style wall knocked down only a few years earlier by the other (original?) bad boy rebel of Hollywood.

rebel without a cause japanese poster

The man whom James Dean probably looked up to….

After all, Brando had broken onto the scene first on Broadway as Elia Kazan’s wunderkind playing  the ravenously macho Stanley Kowalski  in Tennessee William‘s “A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1947. Four years later he would revive the role for the movies, and broke new grounds in the fields of style, as more men adapted wearing their white undershirt alone as influenced by Marlon Brando’s portrayal on the screen.

A Streetcar Named Desire - Marlon Brando - Vivien Leigh- 1951 - Vintage Style- The Eye of Faith

JAMES DEAN on the set of rebel

Appropriate then that Dean’s character Jim Stark would be in the know about these type of style choices. Those guys knew he was cool – they just had to test him.

Interestingly this is not the only collision between the two American legends, as Marlon Brando, himself, was appropriately cast for the lead role of this curious new film by Nicholas Ray.

After all, Marlon Brando was THE rebel of Hollywood. Not only was Stanley a staggering symbol for a delinquency from polite society, but don’t forget he also was “The Wild One“.

The studios must have been pushing for him. Johnny had got it done before, and that’s how the Hollywood system (still) likes to do things. If it’s a safe bet – it’s THE bet. A guy’s already got a persona as the rebel and the film is called “Rebel Without a Cause” (actually, in it’s working stages it was titled “Days of Being Wild” which Wong Kar Wai appropriated for his 1991 film)

But, luckily things didn’t work out that way for all of us, because James Dean really brought something special to that role, that no other actor could give.

He does that mumbling thing and is always looking down, pouting his lips, and squinting his eyes. His hair is effortless. He rocks those Levis Jeans.  He turned the rebel into an introvert, not some hot-shot tough guy who always likes to start fights (like Stanley or Johnny of “The Wild One”), but is actually a fragile romantic. A poet, really, who can’t see life the way everyone else around him has it planned.

This notion is utterly true to life, I think, and that’s why he has left such an impact on the world.

 

Marlon Brando - Vintage Style Idol - T-Shirt Pioneer - Bad Ass Bad Boy Rebel Stud

Brando is surprisingly clean cut in his screen test, and it makes you wonder just what he would have brought to the table. . . somewhere in a different dimension, on another plane, this version exists. I hope one day we get to see it. Watch the video below, and let us know your thoughts!

You can be your own rebel without a cause, by simply being yourself!

Amplify it, and don’t be led by the status quo.

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Until we meet again,

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