Friday, June 28, 2013

For the Book Club

I'm starting a new chapter, literally.

"I was reading a book the other day..."  ~Jean Harlow as Kitty Packard in Dinner at Eight  (1933)
In the 1930s, no one could play a brassy platinum blonde with a heart of gold better than Jean Harlow.  She was the top sex symbol of her day.  I think the high intensity sex symbol superstar wattage of her all-too-brief film career and life eclipsed the fact that she was also one of that decade's best screen comic actresses.  She's rarely mentioned along with the top screwball comediennes of Hollywood's golden era, but she should be.

Years before George Cukor directed Judy Holliday to a Best Actress of 1950 Oscar victory for bringing her classic dumb blonde Broadway performance to the big screen in Born Yesterday, he directed Harlow in one of her best performances in a film that was also that screen adaptation of a Broadway play.  Tailored to showcase a bunch of stars under contract to MGM, she looks like an art deco living doll as she plays the bimbo wife of a shady businessman.  She wants to move up into high class society and be genteel, even though you know she'd politely send back the gazpacho in a restaurant saying, "Oh, waiter, this soup is cold."  She hates her husband's shadiness and we love her for that.  She's not perfect but she'd never pick on someone having hard times.   He would.

Kitty's determined to shake the gutter off her pumps and become a lady.  And becoming a lady means getting invited to the special Park Avenue Dinner at Eight.  Here's a scene I love where the clueless cutie tries to fit in with a renowned veteran Broadway actress.

I hope Kitty Packard would like my book.  I've been invited to write one for ASD Publishing, an independent publisher.  I'll give you new ways of looking at old films so you can see how relevant some of these classics still are to modern times.  I'll also tell you how important classics have been to me, helping me along in my life and broadcast career, helping me to make some racial breakthroughs from L.A. to New York City.

If you visit the company's website, click onto the Our Authors section, scroll down and you'll see my big head.  Wish me luck as I work to prove I've got a bit of ..."the write stuff."

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