Java is a new LAMB

Java has become one of the sheeple over at LAMB - the Large Association of Movie Blogs.  Hooray!

I guess I should have some kind of party or say something like "I don't want to belong to any club that will have me as a member" (Groucho Marx), but I'll just leave you with this random screencap of Judy Garland from A Star is Born.

The Art of Manliness - Frank Sinatra

Mention Frank Sinatra and what comes to mind? His boy-ish, public persona in the 1940s? His quest for mature roles in the 1950s? Sinatra the 1960s sophisticate?


At The Art of Manliness (a website that celebrates guys in an online barbershop sort of way), author Brett McKay occasionally highlights Rat Pack Sinatra (the cool as steel, urban man's man), giving advice on how to emulate his style.


 "Cock your hat - angles are attitudes." - Sinatra

One article, "Bringing Back The Hat", showcases different types of hats and how to wear them. Near the end is a section on the various ways that Sinatra would wear his fedora.

There's another entry on Sinatra Slang.

It's interesting to discover what the modern public thinks about classic films stars.

Marge Champion's Interview with the Archive of American Television

A few years ago,  the Archive of American Television  interviewed Marge Champion, legendary dancer/choreographer of film, stage and TV. Among other works, Ms. Champion modeled for Disney's Snow White, appeared in Showboat (1951) with Ava Gardner and performed in her own television show with husband/choreographer/stage director, Gower Champion.



Spotlight Australia: World's First Dramatic Film

This blog entry has been re-printed with permission from the Spotlight Series, a world trivia blog which highlights one continent per post. 

One of the world's earliest film studios, The Limelight Department, was located in Melbourne. The Department, ran by the Salvation Army, began in 1892 with slide projections used as a means to evangelize through storytelling.

"[I]nspiration for the name [came] from the light source used for slide projection and theatre spotlights at the time. Blocks of lime were heated to white incandescence by a gas jet, usually generated by heating chemicals in a retort beside the projector." -- ABC.net

In 1898, with the increasing popularity of "actualities," as movies were first called, the Department added motion pictures to their roster of methods of entertainment and enlightenment.

Although there has been some debate about whether Limelight's Soldiers of the Cross (1900) is the world's first feature-length film, there has been little debate that the film is the world's first dramatic movie.  
"Soldiers of the Cross depicted the lives of the early Christians; it ran for over 2½ hours and comprises fifteen 90-second films and 200 slides, accompanied by oratory and music. It was an illustrated lecture rather than a "true" feature film." -- Salvation Army

Note: The honor of the world's world's first feature length film goes to another Australian film: The Story of the Kelly Gang (1906), produced by Johnson & Gibson.

Limelight produced over 300 films before the studios shut down productions in 1909.

Past & Present: The Wizard of Oz (1939) & The Wiz (1978) - Part 2 of 2

We continue comparing The Wizard of Oz (1939) and The Wiz (1978), which are film adaptations of L. Frank Baum's story of a little girl who gets lost in the fantasy land of Oz . Click here for Part 1.


WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST vs EVILLENE
There must be a main villain to stir up the pot. In Oz it’s a lady with skin problems and a shoe fetish.



What can you say about Margaret Hamilton's well-known, green-faced bad gal that hasn't already been said in tons of books and classic movie retrospectives?

Because she wants the power that comes with Dorothy's ruby slippers, The Wicked Witch of the West  stops at nothing to get it - she threatens small dogs and little girls with death; she has weird little monkey henchmen pick apart Scarecrow; she abducts children. This is a lady with serious issues (and a fitting, dark castle as headquarters), which makes her the perfect, obsessed, fantasy villain.

[The wicked one's counterpart in Kansas, Almira Gulch, is just as frightening because the grump seems like a real person who would take your pet dog to the pound with no remorse.]



In The Wiz, the antagonist (Mabel King) is the proprietor of "Evillene's Sweat Shop: Manufacturers of Sweat" who wants Dorothy's silver slippers and ultimately captures her to get them.  Evillene has one of those great villain names, unchecked vanity and a presence right up there with Cruella De Vil and Ursula. She's loud and determined and tells her pitiable workers not to bring her bad news.

It’s a shame that this unhinged villain doesn’t get proper screen time to explore the madness. She shows up near the end of the film and, after a song, is quickly dispatched. We do not spend enough time with her motivations (and the other characters don't talk about her enough)  for Evillene to become a truly great villain. Because of this, she’s  positioned as merely one more obstacle for Dorothy, instead of her worst enemy.

GLINDA THE GOOD?
Glinda is Dorothy‘s unsolicited mentor in Oz and is (supposedly) one of the “good guys.” However, I have never been able to trust her completely.


Glinda the Good (Billie Burke) in
Wizard could have  told Dorothy at the beginning to click her heels three times to get home, instead of sending a little girl on a hazardous adventure to the city before she says anything. Dorothy is right to be skeptical of this overgrown pixie's claims of goodwill; the little girl is Glinda's unwitting pawn in the "chess match" she's having with the green one.

Never trust a smiling lady in a pink bubble, kids; she never passes the smell test.



Glinda (Lena Horne) in
Wiz is less shrill and less saccharine than Ms. Burke’s Glinda  and seems like any normal, nice lady who happens to be suspended in outer space in a glittering blue gown with matching shower cap while turning a blizzard into a tornado. But if you get lost in her long, aggressively sung ode to self-confidence, you’ll miss instructions on how to return home.

At least with Evillene and Triple W you know what you’re dealing with. If I were Dorothy, I wouldn’t trust either of the Glindas.

THE WIZARD IN PUBLIC
During their
first encounter with the Wizard, Dorothy and friends are afraid of this powerful being who they hope will grant their wishes.



In Wiz, the public face of the Wizard (Richard Pryor) is a wall-sized, metal cast of a man's head, with a mechanized mouth that spits out fire when it is angry.  I'd only be afraid of my eyebrows singeing; this wizard looks silly. He's not even as frightening as, say, the trash cans with fangs in the subway station.



In
Wizard, anyone who has an audience with the great Oz (Frank Morgan), is greeted with the sight of a green, floating, disembodied head with a big, booming voice. This thing has a frightening, other-worldly quality. Hands down,  it is the better of the two public faces for the Wizard.

THE WIZARD IN PRIVATE
Since the Wizard of Oz  in both films turns out to be a mere shell of a con man
whose confidence fades when he's without mechanical props, let's see how each movie showcases the wizard's private side.



In
Wizard, behind the curtain is an addle-pated, frustrated guy who, with a well-tailored outfit, seems quite dignified. Perhaps it's just my twisted sensibilities, but this little bit of self-possession makes him seem less of an empathetic character and more like the jerk that he is. [What is it with the adults in this film sending a child off on dangerous missions?]



Pryor's Wizard is discovered to be an ordinary guy wearing a shabby bathrobe. I laughed throughout much of Pryor's 5 minute cameo. The movie contrasts  the resplendent, fire-breathing persona on one side of the wall with the wizard’s dusty cot and thin mattress on the other side. There's an air of desperation and impotence in Pryor's discovered wizard, which makes him both a comical and sympathetic character - the better version of the Wizard’s intimate side.

TO SUM IT UP

While The Wiz might not be one of the great movie musicals, it is still entertaining. The film certainly grabs the self-confidence theme of the story and runs with it full blast. The acting and storyline are mostly dismal, still there are credible and fun supporting characters. Watch the film for its engaging music catalog and its imaginative urban interpretations of the land of Oz [e.g. The poppy fields in
Wizard become a perfumery in Wiz; violent apple trees in Wizard become walking subway station pillars in Wiz. ]. When this films strikes just right, it's a home run.

Wizard is, by far, the stronger, more well-balanced film. Its minor flaws are outweighed by great acting, a cohesive storyline, brilliant color and songs that progress the action. The film manages to be light enough fare for multiple viewings, yet its themes are deep enough not to be dismissed. The Wizard of Oz remains the champ.

Past & Present: The Wizard of Oz (1939) & The Wiz (1978) - Part 1 of 2

There have been (and continue to be) multiple film versions of L. Frank Baum's story of a little girl named Dorothy who gets lost in the fantasy world of Oz and meets a scarecrow, a tin man and a lion who help her reach the Emerald City, where a great and powerful wizard might help her return home.

There are a great deal of colorful characters and flights of fantasy in the story.  However, profound themes of appreciating home and gaining self-confidence abound in this narrative, which makes it both sobering and fun for the entire family.



We'll compare two film versions of this tale: The Wizard of Oz (1939) starring Judy Garland and The Wiz (1978) starring Diana Ross. Why these two? Because they are the only two I've seen (if you don't count the Muppet's TV version).

At first glance it may seem cruel to pit any other against MGM's classic, groundbreaking, Oscar-winning interpretation of the Baum books. [Now that I put it that way, it is kind of mean.] It may seem especially brutal to compare Wizard with The Wiz , a film which is based on the 1975 Broadway hit, yet was universally panned by critics.

Still, sometimes there are flaws in the best films and gems in the worst. Let's explore.

HOME vs. THE LAND OF OZ

 A dull world vs. a vibrant fantasy land

In
Wizard, young Dorothy , who lives on a dusty, sepia tone farm in Kansas and whose neighbor threatens to impound her pet dog, becomes discontent and dreams of another life. She eventually makes it to a city in her fantasy world of Oz, a bright and colorful place with creatures that defy logic and a town made of emeralds. The wide differences between Oz and Kansas accentuate the fish-out-of-water story for our heroine.

The Wiz is a fully urban tale. Dorothy in this film is an adult who lives in a
New York City Brownstone with her aunt and uncle, who are concerned that their introverted and phobic niece has never traveled beyond 125th street. The fictional world of Oz doesn’t come from Dorothy’s fantasies; it just shows up out of nowhere when chasing her dog down the street.

An outer burrough of NYC vs. Manhattan, sort of.

Oz in Wiz is a stylized version of the Big Apple (mostly set among a forest of claustrophobic, monolithic F├╝hrerbunkers from late 20th century architecture), making the contrast between home and Oz much more subtle than in Wizard.

But, for better or worse, both Dorothys end up in a strange place.



In Wizard, a Kansas tornado plops Dorothy into the fabled Munchkin Land, which seems to be an exurban spot just outside of the Emerald City. The young girl is filled with wonder at the rich colors and the kindness of the people there. You could see how Dorothy’s wish to go away from her dull home life to a vibrant place over the rainbow is incorporated into the fantasy world. Because she’s imagined a good deal of this location, she’s not initially as frightened as one might be in an alien place; it’s her dream come true.

In the
Wiz, a blizzard transports the protagonist to Oz. Dorothy is dropped into what seems to be an abstract inner city. People made of glow-in-the-dark graffiti on the walls magically come to life and begin to sing and dance. Dorothy is naturally frightened; Oz is her nightmare - she has gone beyond 125th street.


DOROTHY

For these movies to work well, the audience must empathize with the main character’s goals.



Judy Garland’s Dorothy initially desires to be somewhere other than the farm, but ultimately desires home; Diana Ross’s Dorothy desires to be rid of irrational
fears and her shyness; going home seems secondary. Each character has her wish fulfilled, but Wiz’s Dorothy gets some of hers fairly early on in the film.



Within 15 minutes, adult Dorothy is full of self-confidence. When you can talk to, sing and dance and become buddies with a sentient scarecrow, you’ve gotten over your shyness. Indeed, adult Dorothy seems more organic to the glamorous places in Oz than she does living with her relatives in a brownstone. I wouldn’t have been surprised if this Dorothy remained in the fantasy world after the villains have died.

Garland, an all-around entertainer, convincingly plays pre-teen Dorothy's innocence even when she doesn’t have the help of a beautiful ballad to progress the story. She’s a determined and courageous little girl, but has a whimper in her speaking voice that breaks your heart. She’s a child lost in her own imagination; her emotions are appropriate to the character’s age.

Ross, primarily a singer, struggles with the acting parts. Critics inaccurately dubbed her “too old” to play Dorothy. The maturity level between the 34 year old actress and her 24 year old character should be minimal. [Certainly more insignificant than the difference between that of the well-developed, seventeen-year old Garland and her character, who hasn‘t yet experienced hormonal changes.] Ross’ Dorothy fits well within the urban setting and with the sophisticated music catalog that envelops the film.

The problem with adult Dorothy is that Ross sometimes behaves like an eight year old - crying, grabbing her dog to her chest, more crying, screaming her aunt’s name when she’s lost or afraid. Did I mention the crying?

Still, both actresses can tug at your heartstrings in a song. Ms. Garland’s tune about wanting to be in a land over the rainbow establishes the little girl’s motivations very well. Ms. Ross cries real tears in her final song, “Home,” and your heart bleeds for the character.

SCARECROW, TIN MAN & LION
What’s a fun adventure film without sidekicks for comic relief? Dorothy has three such companions who will help her get her wish and who want their own goals satisfied.



Her first buddy is Scarecrow, the stuffed costume who wants a brain. I'm not a fan of any incarnation of this character. He's one of the most annoying sidekicks ever, especially when he giggles over nothing at all or after he‘s said something “intelligent.” Gag me.


Both Ray Bolger's and Michael Jackson's Scarecrow are appropriately loose-limbed figures. However, they seem to have a bit of a crush on Dorothy which always creeps me out, for some reason.

----

The rusty, neglected tin man wants a heart in his hollow shell.



Tin Man is supposedly a loving person underneath, but I have to be honest: Jack Haley does not convince me that Tin Man is nice. Behind that soft tone of voice and forced smile he seems as though he wants to smack someone…hard. I keep expecting him to reveal that he’s on the villain’s payroll, working as a spy to infiltrate Dorothy’s group.

Nipsey Russell's version of the Tin Man is closer to normal, but not especially tender.

Maybe Haley and Russell should have played the cerebral Scarecrow and given their heartfelt character to Bolger and Jackson, respectively.

-----

The Cowardly Lion is my favorite among the three sidekicks. Bert Lahr and Ted Ross are larger than life performers who do not allow the woolly costume to consume their personality, it seems.

I've never seen Ross in his other films, but as a kid I remember watching Lahr in some other movie and thinking "Oh no! The cowardly lion has shed his skin!" Instantly recognizable, he is.

I love Lahr's signature snarl. And one of the most engaging songs in Wiz is "(I'm a) Mean Ole Lion," which Ross belts out as he struts around in platform shoes! So '70s. :)



Perfume Movies & Invitation (1952)

Perfume Movies (a subgenre of “women‘s pictures") are tear-jerking soap operas involving an angst-ridden woman who must overcome improbable odds while looking glamorous. The production values are so alluring that sometimes the titles seem to be launching a new fragrance - Magnificent Obsession, InvitationMadame X, Midnight Lace.

Green Briar calls this kind of film “Fashion Noir.” "Noir" is not the best term since it denotes a completely other genre with very particular aspects (Venetian blinds, anyone?) that are not often present in Perfume Movies, but I understand what he’s saying - gritty content with some glam. He also notes that the melodrama of these popular films dilutes the snob factor of the critically-acclaimed movies in the world.
Lana  Turner is gorgeous here and looks like Natalie Wood, another lady given to "woman's pictures."
Whether these films stick it to the critics or are just a guilty pleasure, they can be very interesting. This genre marries the outlandish quality of the psychological drama with the what-will-she-wear-next aspect of classic RomComs. 


Producer Ross Hunter of Universal Studios is usually the poster boy for the 1950s/1960s version of this style of film, with such lavish productions as Imitation of Life (1959), where shrieking violins play while jewels fill up the screen during the credits.

Other studios also jumped onto the bandwagon.

Case in point, MGM's Invitation (1952). It stars Dorothy McGuire as Ellen Bowker Pierce (the one who gets the invitation), Van Johnson (her husband Dan) and Louis Calhern as Simon Bowker (Ellen’s father).
This poster seem to be straight out of true-to-life magazines with titles like "Confessions of...." The brunette is going to have quite a paper cut.

This was before Ms. McGuire became everyone’s mother

Wealthy invalid Ellen discovers that Simon bribed Dan to marry her, thinking that since Ellen is, well, an invalid, she’ll be dead in a year and Dan can move on with his life a richer man.  Did I mention that she’s an invalid? The movie sure does. But it all seems to be in the character’s mind, because Ellen looks as spunky as anyone else on the tennis court; she simply chooses to lounge on a chaise with that ubiquitous blanket around her knees.

Her unnamed illness is a film gimmick to further Simon's and Dan's shady deal. Fine. At least Ellen gets a wardrobe upgrade after the marriage. No longer a spinster (with requisite bun and shawl), she breaks out with  THE NEW LOOK from Europe, complete with strange hats.

While watching this film the other day, my mind kept going back to The Heiress (1949). It has a similar storyline of  prospective husband wanting money or love or both, with hovering father who wants to run his “inadequate” daughter’s life. The story is a bit more believable with Olivia de Havilland’s restraint, though.

Ms. McGuire in Invitation is totally overwrought, nearly pulling out her hair. Still, she convinces me that receiving an invitation to a medical seminar is the most tragic thing that’s ever happened in her life. [Maybe I dozed off at a crucial moment, but I don’t get why the letter would upset her. Enlighten me, please.] It also helps that when Ellen first opens the note and runs about like a madwoman, director Gottfried Reinhardt uses the camera to run along with her, breathing life and urgency into an otherwise staid film.

In a Perfume Movie, the leading lady usually soldiers on in the face of adversity, so we know Ellen will be fine at the end. Therefore, my attention was focused on Van Johnson - will he be able to convince me (and his wife) that he has fallen in love with the woman to whom he was completely indifferent at first? He does convince me, and I don‘t know how, since Dan is a louse.  It must be the cowlick that you know is lurking under all that lacquer, and Johnson’s  freshly-scrubbed,  freckled face that wins me over. He has the permanent look of a boy who has just found a horny toad in the crick and gee willikers ain't it purdy can I keep it mama. Cute.


MGM’s production values here aren’t as spectacular as a Universal Studios film of the same genre, and it‘s not just because Invitation is in black and white. The movie has a decided back lot feel in its exteriors and the air of recycled sets and “recycled” people. I keep expecting perky Jane Powell  or a young Elizabeth Taylor to pop up around the corner, or that Ellen and  Dan would have a country club luncheon with Lucy and Desi [that patio looks just like the one in Forever, Darling, especially with Louis Calhern sitting there]. Starlet Barbara Ruick  makes her film debut here as an extra talking to Ellen at the wedding reception. It’s all in the family, but the family is suffocatingly familiar.

Ruth Roman plays bad girl Maud Redwick, who crashes the wedding reception and straight up threatens to steal Ellen's man within a year. She's a vixen and proud of it, babe. It seems that Maud likes Dan's cowlick as well and had made plans to marry him before Ellen came into the picture. This is the person who sends the medical seminar invitation to Ellen a year later. Why? Does the villain want her rival to get better? Who knows? Who cares? Maud has a killer wardrobe (by Helen Rose), which is all that matters.

Jane Eyre (1934) (Update: Watch It Online)

Charlotte Bront├ź’s dark and brooding story of an abused orphan who becomes the self-possessed governess to a little girl in a strange family comes to the screen stripped of its 19th century social criticisms and laid bare as a pure Rom Com.

Whereas, the novel introduces Jane as a person who overcomes her cruel lot in life, this film makes the protagonist (Virginia Bruce) an immature instigator. When her cousins become upset with young Jane, we discover it is Jane who has facilitated a few incidents by taking other people’s items, and generally being disagreeable. When Jane is sent to an orphanage, then grows up to become a teacher, she rebels against the school’s rules, not out of a sense of moral obligation to protect children, but because she simply enjoys challenging authority. She’s absolutely gleeful when the headmaster nearly fires her for insubordination. When her love interest invites another woman to his ball, Jane arrives wearing an inappropriate dress, ala Julie Marsden in Jezebel, to prove a point.

It’s very difficult to empathize with this protagonist.

20 minutes in, Jane gets a new job as governess for the Rochester family and the movie lurches into a Nanny-Marries-The-Boss storyline, which inevitably includes the following:
  •     Headstrong, intelligent woman takes a job as a nanny.
  •     Precocious child wants father figure to marry nanny.
  •     Handsome leading man waits interminably long to admit that he’s in love with nanny.
  •     “Other Woman”  comes dangerously close to marrying leading man.
  •     Nanny must leave to ponder her plight.
  •     After some misunderstandings there is a happy conclusion.
The Sound of Music, The King and I, Houseboat, Corrina,Corrina, even Au Pair all do a better job of infusing some depth into this standard story (or at least making it interesting).

As a result, there is nothing eerie or mysterious about Jane Eyre’s love interest/new boss, Edward Rochester (Colin Clive). He’s not the tortured, conflicted man with many secrets that he is in the book;  he’s your average, dashing leading man.  From their meetcute on there’s no doubt they’ll end up together, so you have to slog through the next 40 minutes of red herrings until the inevitable conclusion.

What keeps me in my seat are some unintentionally hilarious scenes which are completely unrelated to the plot, except that they involve the same characters. In one scene, Rochester’s mischievous niece and Jane‘s charge, Adele (Edith Fellows), gets stuck head first in a large porcelain trash bin. Jane breaks a vase over Adele’s legs which somehow frees the young girl. The scene is ludicrously disconnected from the story and is therefore funny. It’s as though someone has spliced in a Laurel and Hardy short. 

The film is also enjoyable for its basic approach to action sequences. In this current world of perfectly pieced-together computer generated images, and regulations for everything that moves on a film set, the rawness of some scenes is refreshing.

In one scene, the camera watches Adele skip down a path, twist her foot and slip and fall. She does it in one shot, no cutaways. How does that kid not break her ankle? What a trooper. In an earlier scene, when Rochester must fall with his horse in front of Jane,  all three - the woman, the man and the horse  - are in one shot as the noble steed comes crashing to the ground - no stunt men, no special effects, no jump cuts to a close up of flying reigns. It’s simple action, and, because of its lack of manipulation by the editor, a lovely surprise.

Update 07/10/2010
Jane Eyre (1934) seems to be in the public domain. You can watch it online or download it for free at the Internet Archive.

Film Fashion: Eve in All About Eve (1950)

“Eve, evil. Little Miss Evil…. She is a louse.” - Margo Channing

Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter) is the cruel and doggedly ambitious title character of Joseph Mankiewicz’s and Darryl Zanuck's masterpiece All About Eve (1950). Eve stops at nothing (even intimating that she would commit murder) to usurp Margo Channing’s (Bette Davis) place as the star of New York theaters.

The prolific, Oscar-winning costume designer for this film is Edith Head, whose credits include wardrobe for Elephant Walk (1954) and White Christmas(1954). Head is one of the most well-known movie costume designers of the Golden Age and became personal designer for many stars, including Anne Baxter. Let’s track Head’s costumes and see what they tell us about Eve.

In Eve, we first encounter the title character on a stormy night. Margo describes her as “the mousy one in the trench coat.”

The unemployed young lady’s rumpled coat stands in stark contrast to that of the mature, well-tailored ladies of the theater who do not give a second thought to throwing around expensive furs. Eve discusses her impoverished upbringing and the film begins a twisted Horatio Alger plot. 

When Eve becomes Margo‘s personal assistant, the young lady wears nondescript blouses and skirts. Then one day, she enters the room wearing one of Margo's hand-me-downs.


The suit was given with her employer’s permission,  and while Eve’s wardrobe is a getting a much-needed boost,  the doppelganger factor makes the whole situation creepy (especially after she‘s caught playing with one of Margo‘s stage costumes).

The crucial point of the Margo-Eve relationship occurs at a party, where the usurpation of her life is becoming too much for the drunken star. Here Eve is in her finest outfit to date: a dark dress with ¾ length sleeves and a wide-necked, almost off the shoulder, collar.

Margo wears a similar dress, with mink-lined pockets, of course. It is partly by accident that the two ladies are wearing dresses of a similar neckline. There’s a famous story that Edith Head made Bette Davis’ dress too small. The sleeves wouldn’t reach the shoulders and there was no time to fix it, so Head gave Davis an off-the-shoulder look instead.


It is not accidental, however, that the two are positioned face-to-face. When Margo finally blasts Eve for her deceptions, the staircase railing is in the middle of the frame, further dividing two ladies who formerly had a more pleasant relationship. The physical division and similar costumes give a near mirror effect. They meet in the middle as Margo’s career descends and Eve's career ascends.

Eve gets a new job as an understudy and returns to her workaday blouses and skirts. Only this time her clothes are more becoming.  You’ll see patterned fabrics and more accessories, like stylish belts and scarves.

After becoming a successful actress, Eve accepts an award while wearing a shimmering Greco-Roman-inspired draped gown, with a voluminous cape.  Is it significant that Eve has passed up the furs for something more dramatic? She certainly has her own style that no longer copies Margo's.

One of Eve’s outfits puzzles me. In the scene where she optimistically talks about a new career opening up, Eve is decked out in widow’s weeds, complete with dark veil.
Is this the death of her independence because a columnist is soon to blackmail her for the rest of her life? At this point in the film her gracious public persona is gradually  laid to rest, unearthing a maniacal being who barely stops short of death to get her way. Perhaps she's in this outfit because "the self-seeking, ruthless Eve ...would make a black-widow spider look like a lady bug."


Since ladies on a tight budget in movies too often look as though they’ve stepped right out of the Dior showroom [See It Started With Eve (1941) and any Doris Day movie], Eve's wardrobe is remarkably and appropriately lackluster. As she ascends in her career, the clothes begin to catch up with her ideals.
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