No doubt gossip web sites will be filled right about now with a year in review of the bon mots of Hollywood’s salacious train-wrecks. We, of course, prefer to look back to those happier days of Tinseltown, in an era before criminal stars, before infidelity, before scandal, before...
Oh. Right. I haven’t found those days yet.
Well, let’s look back at the years 1949 and 1950 anyway, and bring in the Associated Press’ movie writer of the day.
My favourite is the Tallulah quote.
Quotes of the Year From Hollywood
By BOB THOMAS
HOLLYWOOD, Dec. 23 (AP)—What are the deathless quotes of the year in Hollywood?
Maybe some of these won’t live into the second half-century, but they seemed out of the ordinary to me. Here are some of the bright, pointed or inane sayings that I have collected from the 1949 news:
Robert Mitchum, commenting on his sentence at the county detention farm: “It’s an experience every taxpayer should go through.”
Laurence Olivier, after winning the academy awards: “I always did say Shakespeare was a good script writer.”
Actor Paul Valentine, divorcing strip-teaser Lili St. Cyr: “Everybody in the country could see more of her than I did.”
Fred Allen on the FCC ban on giveaway air shows: “They have taken radio back from the scavengers and given it back to the entertainers.”
Milton Berle, answering an attack on him by Allen: “Allen still has the first penny ever thrown at him.”
James Mason: “Hollywood is filled with frustrations, but not uninhabitable.”
Claudette Colbert, disapproving French bathing suits: “Of the many features of a woman’s anatomy, one of the least attractive is the navel.”
Mae West: “I’m still looking for the right man. My trouble is I find so many right ones it’s hard to decide.”
Clifton Webb: “There’s no use pretending I’m a modest fellow. Some day I shall write a song called ‘I Fascinate Me.’”
David Niven, on the end of his Goldwyn contract: “For the first time since I was 17 years old, I am able to do what I want. During all that time, I either was in the British army or under contract to Goldwyn.”
Bette Davis: “Hollywood tries to combine entertainment for both kids and adults in the same picture. The result is a movie which isn’t suitable for either.”
Shelley Winters, after returning from a blustery location: “I was so cold I almost got married.”
Description of the “shimmy” in Gilda Gray’s suit against the picture, “Gilda”: “A rhythmical shivering and shaking of parts of the body, synchronized and performed in a personalized syncopated musical rhythm and accompanied with appropriate songs.”
Linda Darnell, decrying the “boyish look” in fashions: “Why can’t women look like women and men look like men? That’s what makes life more interesting.”
Jimmy Durante, telling about rubbing elbows with socialites at the opera opening: “I had to rub elbows—nobody would shake hands with me.”
Bob Thomas, to his readers: “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.”
Quotes of Year From Hollywood
By Bob Thomas
Hollywood, Dec. 22—(AP)—Every year a lot of wind blows in Hollywood and some of it is worth remembering.
I have collected some of the 1950 quotes that are remarkable for one reason or another. Here they are:
Tallulah Bankhead’s answer to reports that Bette Davis imitated her in a picture: “Hasn’t she always?”
Betty Hutton, announcing that she was giving up night life after a reconciliation with her husband, Ted Briskin: “Contented people don’t go to night clubs.”
Fred Allen: “Television is based on the belief that there are a lot of people with nothing to do, willing to waste their time watching people who can do nothing.”
Betsy Drake, asked after her wedding to Cary Grant about possible plans for children: “I think it would be very depressing for one to know that he was a planned baby. That’s so cold and unromantic.”
Hedy Lamarr, explaining why she couldn’t see the police for two days after losing $250,000 worth of jewels: “You know what it’s like to come home late after a party and be wakened from a sound sleep.”
Director Elia Kazan: “Actors should stay hungry.”
Vivien Leigh, asked if her husband, Laurence Olivier, had plans to film more Shakespeare: “I don’t think he’d say. If he did, Orson Welles might start filming the same thing immediately.”
Dorothy Parker, explaining why she didn't take a honeymoon after her re-marriage to Alan Campbell: “We’re going nowhere. We've been everywhere.”
Red Skelton, hearing about a fire at the preview of one of his pictures: “You can’t blame it on the picture because it’s not so hot.”
Jean Simmons, commenting on yell leaders after seeing her first American football game: “I don’t like those people waving their arms to get people to yell. Goodness knows, we scream our guts out at soccer matches, but not at somebody else’s direction.”
Italian Actress Marina Berti, arguing against divorce: “Men are all alike, so why throw one away and get another just like him? It is better to keep the one you have and profit from the time and trouble you have spent on him.”
Marta Toren, on U. S. males: “The American wolf is really shy and uncertain. He is abrupt in order to hide his shyness.”
Lauren Bacall, on the nature of her profession: “A person has to be unnormal to get into this kind of business. Normal people couldn’t take it.”
Jack Paar, telling about his three-year contract with R.K.O.: “I was never even scheduled for any of the pictures they cancelled!”
Bob Hope: “Vaudeville is dead and television is the box they buried it in.”
Chill Wills, the voice of “Francis:” “Folks have been talking to me about going into politics, but I figure I better stay in a field where a talking mule is a novelty.”
Sir Laurence Olivier, after observing the Los Angeles smog: “Isn’t it ironic that motion pictures came westward for the sunshine and now there isn’t any?”