Tag Archives: stardom

+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…”

{source}

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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Celebrity and Cigarettes

“Stardom can be a gilded slavery. “

-Helen Hayes.

Calling all fans of Hollywood Yesteryear! What have we got here for you, today?!

Talk about bang for your buck! Deep inside every pack of Turf Cigarettes were a pair of these collector trading cards featuring all the studios’ biggest and brightest stars of the day! Many of them are legendary to this day, and have remained icons of style, grace, talent, and ultimate stardom and celebrity. Trading cards like these were a common marketing device since the 1920s paid for by the Studios to stimulate the allure of the “star”.

What a fascinating way to market these names that include heavyweights like Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Errol Flynn, Fred Astaire, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Bing Crosby, Clark Gable, Spencer Tracey, Gregory Peck, Frank Sinatra, Katharine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Bette Davis, and of course Joan Crawford. These are names we all recognize and revere for the impact they continue to make on pop culture today. They are also a constant reminder to the potential for Hollywood Glamour in us all.

Best of all, the collection of cards include names of stars we may not immediately recognize. Names like Myrna Loy, Dorothy Lamour, Christine Norden, Phyllis CalvertAnton WalbrookRhonda Fleming, and Kieron Moore, may not be immediately familiar, so lest we forget!

Makes you wonder why they don’t do things like that today! It’s the least they could do for the millions of people smoking cigarettes around the world (besides CANCER). I mean, a little novelty never hurt anybody!!!

Not sure how many stars these days would accept being thrown into a pack of cigarettes, but things were much different for the star of yesteryear and the star of today. Despite this, what stars do you think would appear in a pack of cards today?

Special thanks to Immortal Ephemera for sharing this awesome collection! Click for more.

“I see stardom very clearly as a construct that’s been created in order to sell things.”

-Julie Christie.

Sincerely,
{theEye}

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Glamour, Glitter, Fashion, and Pills!

The glamour, the fashion, the fame! The lives of the rich and famous sure seems fabulous, but it seems clear to us there is a lot of pressure once you’re on top. Everybody else is doing it… you may think it would help you network, or maybe feel more relaxed.   But when it comes down to it, there are too many ‘yes men’ in this alienating industry. It’s no surprise that substance abuse, be it alcohol or chemical, has become far too prevalent in our time. But pop that pill! If it’s perscribed, it must mean that it’s tailor made for your condition… whatever that condition may be, right?

We want to take you back to a time of “female hysteria” in the early 1900’s, when women were not only condemned as being over emotional and erratic, but the most plausible solution is that these women had cravings their husbands were not fulfilling. So naturally the cure for a over hyped women’s libido was to get ‘some’. Now, its the ‘what’ of the ‘some’ you may be asking, will she ‘get’?? Well, back in the day, the good doctor only needed his own two hands, maybe even just a finger, to help satisfy a women’s cravings. This was the logic then, though most doctors are less hands on today.

Now we look back on this with a horrendous idea of what our society was, but the reality is, it was not too long ago!! These women trusted their doctors, who of course are educating themselves daily, constantly learning new techniques, and being fed tactics from ‘higher up’ declaring the latest craze to hit the medical world. Be it a snake acid injected into the skin to help alleviate age, penicillin, or some kind of sedative promised to kill or calm whatever isnt letting you ‘feel good’ so you can feel a hell of a lot better feeling nothing at all!

Anxiety and depression are curable with a pill, if you live in North America.  Yet astonishingly in poorer nations where water and food is a luxury, the population riddled with anxiety doesn’t seem to exist. We’re so distracted by our worlds innovations, we’re loosing the concept of finding simple joy.

We all have witnessed someone we love battle with their own content.  We are bombarded by countless pressures telling us that what we have isn’t enough. Whether it’s the stresses of our mundane work day, or a quiet ambition driving us to be the perfect version of ourselves, we have become brainwashed to believe that it’s wrong to be unhappy.

In truth, its the up’s and downs of our lives which give us humility. But answers are handed out far too quickly in the form of a prescription. Sure seems like the best remedy for a mild case of celebrity is some kind of a numbing pain killer.

The influence of our prescription bound society is not only evident through tragedy but also found in modern art works.  Back in 2002, Lullaby Spring, a humungous display of  6136 hand painted pills by Damien Hirst recently sold for whopping 22.8 Million Dollars. More recently, we can find work by Beverly Fishman, where pill play has a major role in the efficacy of the Art piece called “Pill Spill“.

We are not suggesting a complete rebellion against the North American healthcare system (necessarily), but we do suggest readers look deeper than their prescription slip. Often if investigated, the ‘discovery’ or ‘root’ of so many modern ailments, are shrouded in as much mystery as the illness itself. It’s disheartening to think that a system which is structured to take care of us, is actually striking fear into us, and draining us of all logic and dollars.

Ingesting something synthetic asking for a cure will not save us, we must embrace what is true to our experiences as we go through them. Trust that tomorrow will be a brand new day.

R.I.P. We love you Whitney.
The Eye.

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