A Soldier Lovingly Remembers Marlene Dietrich

Happy Birthday Lena

Sister Celluloid

She sizzled onscreen with the hottest leading men in Hollywood—Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Charles Boyer, Robert Donat, James Stewart, Ronald Colman—but Marlene Dietrich’s most memorable co-star may have been a balding, jowly, irascible middle-aged man. While entertaining the troops during World War II, she ventured within a mile of the German front lines on the arm of Gen. George Patton. When asked why she’d take such a huge risk—especially when the Nazi government had placed a seven-figure bounty on her head—she replied, “Aus anstand.” Out of decency.

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A staunch anti-Nazi, the Berlin-born actress had become a U.S. citizen in 1939, refusing a personal request from Adolf Hitler to return to Germany as the centerpiece of his propaganda campaign. Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was one of the first in line to sell war bonds.

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After barnstorming the country for a year and a half, selling more bonds than any other star, Dietrich headed…

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Baking with Marlene Dietrich! Here’s Her Easy Chocolate Holiday Cake

YESSS

Sister Celluloid

Looking for a holiday cake that’s so easy it will have you falling in love again with baking? Here’s a recipe from one of my favorite books, Marlene Dietrich’s ABCs. Which isn’t exactly a cookbook. It’s more like a quiet conversation off in the corner of the room with your impossibly glamorous favorite aunt who you can’t even believe is your mother’s sister—the one the whole family talks about all the time, and not always so nicely.

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But Marlene was a homebody at heart; her lover, Jean Gabin, once complained, “She’s always scrubbing and cleaning!” One night  at the Hollywood Canteen, Van Johnson watched the legendary diva work herself up to something close to ecstasy while washing dishes. When he told her how surprised he was, she growled, “I’m a hausfrau, a cook—not that sequined clown you see on the stage!”

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Well alrighty then! And just to prove it, here’s her fabulously…

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Angus McBean: Facemaker by Adrian Woodhouse – Reviews – Books – The Independent

Lena is awfully ravishing in that photo.

BEGUILING HOLLYWOOD

Dame Edith Evans, by Angus McBean, bromide print, 1959 Dame Edith Evans by Angus McBean, bromide print, 1959 © estate of Angus McBean / National Portrait Gallery, London

Was he a good portraitist? By the naturalistic lights of our day, no. Edith Evans, appalled that a photographer had turned up unannounced at her dressing room door, calmed down when she heard it was McBean. “He will retouch me out of all recognition,” trilled the relieved actress. “It’s simple,” remarked McBean, when asked the secret of his success. “They want to be beautiful.” It was his friend and sometime lover, Quentin Crisp, who summed up Angus’s way with his subjects. “Everything,” said Crisp, crisply, “was retouched but their titles.”

via Angus McBean: Facemaker by Adrian Woodhouse – Reviews – Books – The Independent.

Marlene Dietrich by Angus McBean, 1951 Marlene Dietrich by Angus McBean, 1951

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Suspicion, 1941: 31 Days of Cary Grant, Day 13

rest in peace Joanie -(b. Oct 22nd 1917 – d. Dec. 15th 2013)

Nitrate Diva

Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine in a still for Suspicion (1941), the first of four collaborations between Grant and Hitchcock.

The film originally ended on a much darker note, with Fontaine’s character knowingly drinking poison prepared by her husband—after sending a note to the police that will condemn him after her death.

Grant preferred this version to the more ambiguous finale that the studio demanded. As he explained, “I thought the original was marvelous. It was a perfect Hitchcock ending. But the studio insisted that they didn’t want to have Cary Grant play a murderer.”

Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine in Suspicion, 1941

Image scanned from A World of Movies by Richard Lawton (Delacorte Press, 1974).

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