Happy Birthday, Sandra Dee
Yes, it's Sandra Dee's birthday.
Yes, it seems that all her movies were mysteries,
and the real mystery was:
Are any of the male characters actually going to
get into Sandra Dee's pants?
Would she let her guard down?
Could they convince her that it was true love?
Would she take off that silly pastel dress?
Could they get her drunk enough?
Would her boyfriend be outraged?
Could they talk her into letting herself go?
Would her parents be ashamed?
Would "SOCIETY" be shocked?
Could you utter the phrases "premarital sex" and
"Sandra Dee" in the same sentence?
Will the male characters ever talk her out of that bathing suit?
Would it be worth all the lying and subterfuge?
In the late 1950s and very early 60s, Sandra Dee
was like an unopened gift that sat under the Christmas tree.
Christmases came and went, and the gift box remained sealed.
And, by the mid-1960s, all the boys grew up and gave up
and quit wishing for Christmas Eve to come.
The boys finally figured out
that lusting after Tuesday Weld or Raquel Welch or
Jacqueline Bisset or Ann-Margret or Pam Tiffin or
almost any of the James Bond girls was a lot more
productive than waiting around for Sandra Dee to
step out of her white panties on Christmas morning.
So, cinematically speaking, Sandra Dee's Christmas
never came. And the boys went elsewhere.
And, if you watch her bad 60s comedies today, it's
really hard to understand what all the fuss was about.
That was, after all, the image. And it was the 1950s
and early 1960s, when "normal" was normal, when
appearances meant everything and sex meant marriage.
It was a weird world. And Sandra had a weird image.
It made sense then. Like Elvis. Like Eisenhower.
Like Kennedy. Like Nixon. Like Walter Cronkite.
Like Buddy Holly and Mary Tyler Moore.
Now Sandra Dee's movies just seem lame and overwrought.
But she was, alas, still a gift.
Unopened but still a gift.
Happy birthday, Sandra.