Valli Kemp played Vulnavia in
Dr. Phibes Rises Again (1972).
The original actress, Virginia North
had gotten pregnant and was unable
to appear in the sequel.
In the first film, Vulnavia is seen
talking to a dog, and she gets to
scream at the end. In the second
movie, she has no lines whatsoever.
(Grayscale wouldn't have worked
for this post. We'll get back to good
old black & white photos tomorrow.)
When I look at you girl I get an extension
And I don't mean Alexander Graham Bell's invention
Switchboard Susan can we be friends?
After six and at weekends
I'm a long distance romancer
I keep on tryin' till I get an answer
Give me! give me! one more chance
She's a greater little operator
- Nick Lowe
There are several great pictures of Veronica Lake, the "Peekaboo Girl," over at Vintage Photographs. That's a great site. I don't really like Veronica Lake that much, but I love her in Sullivan's Travels (1941), This Gun for Hire (1942), I Married a Witch (1942), So Proudly We Hail! (1943), and The Blue Dahlia (1946). She ended up in several dumb movies, drank herself sick, and worked as a waitress or barmaid toward the end of her days. I think I read in Edith Head's Hollywood (NY: Dutton, 1983) that Edith liked designing for Veronica, because she was so petite (4'11"). She's what some guys would call "a spinner." Go over to the Vintage Photographs site and check out the pictures, but hurry back.
This last one is my favorite scene from Sullivan's Travels.
I'm dizzy drunk and fightin'
On tequila white lightnin'
Yes my glass is getting shorter
On whiskey ice and water
Yeah so c'mon have a good time
And get blinded outta your mind
So don't worry 'bout tomorrow
Take it today
Forget about the cheque we'll get hell to pay
The other night I watched Kiss and Make-up (1934), a great little Helen Mack movie. Helen's co-star is the wonderful Edward Everett Horton, a very funny character actor, notorious "sissy type," and the narrator of Fractured Fairy Tales from The Bullwinkle Show. Helen Mack is a secretary for Dr. Maurice Lamar, whose business is beauty. It's not really clear whether it's a cosmetic surgery practice or merely a health and makeup sort of office. The doctor is so busy with his female patients that he fails to notice that Helen is in love with him. Edward Everett Horton's incredibly vain wife (Genevieve Tobin) is made over by the doctor, divorces Horton, takes up with Helen's boss, and makes his life miserable. The doctor marries Edward Everett Horton's ex-wife, and they fly to the Mediterranean for their honeymoon, where the doctor is supposed to address a conference of beauty doctors. Naturally, they take Helen Mack along. And, naturally, the narrator of Fractured Fairy Tales shows up at the same resort. People sing songs. Helen and Edward sing a song called Cornbeef and Cabbage, I Love You, which is quite silly. Dr. Lamar tries to sing a song called Love Divided By Two, but his teeth get in the way. It's hard to sing with a frozen, toothy smile on your face. Comedy ensues. You've seen it all before. And, because Kiss and Make-up takes place in an Art Deco beauty palace, there are lots of scantily clad starlets roaming across the frame. And, of course, the best part is Helen Mack. You have Helen Mack walking. Helen Mack swimming. And basically Helen Mack just being Helen Mack. Kiss and Make-up is now one of my favorite Helen Mack movies, right up there with She (1935) and Fit for a King (1937).
May 25th is Jeanne Crain's birthday.
I usually get Jeanne Crain mixed up with
Donna Reed. Not sure why. Anyway, my
personal favorite Jeanne Crain movie (as
if that really meant sh!t to a tree) is Leave
Her to Heaven (1945). The most annoying
Jeanne Crain movie I've ever seen (and if
I'd seen any of her musicals I'm certain
they would annoy me even more) is Hot
Rods to Hell (1967). Someone in that movie
needs a gun and a lot of ammunition.
(And, of course, you might remember that cool
pinup photo from the Crain Shots post.)
Happy birthday, Jeanne.