In her modest, jewel of an autobiography, On the Other Hand, film actress Fay Wray (September 15, 1907–August 8, 2004), best known for her role as Ann Darrow in the classic film King Kong, unravels her life in Hollywood in a lovely, impressionist style.
As Seraphic Secret wrote in Part I, Wray, a fatherless young beauty from Canada, made her way to Hollywood with her sister Willow and Willow’s husband, William Mortensen. Her brother-in-law, a dashing young man, sexually abused fourteen-year-old Fay. At one point, he took “artistic photos” of her on the beach — and when Fay’s mother later discovered these photos, she destroyed them, furiously smashing plate after plate.
But even before the emotionally confusing incidents with William, there was another beast in Fay’s life: her eldest brother Vivien, whom she adored.
Automobiles represent freedom. You climb into a car and go, go, go, whenever and wherever you want.
The car is modern man’s most potent symbol of, and path to liberty.
Contrast cars with trains.
Trains and subways are an expression of the collective. Individual identity is erased. You are at the mercy of a state run system that turns the citizen into a small cog manipulated by unmotivated, inefficient government bureaucrats.
That’s why progressive/liberal/leftists are obsessed with high-speed rail. The freedom of the road is repellent to big government statists. The ruling elite seek to regulate and control tobacco, food, calories, soda size, education, light bulbs, toilets, health care, reproduction — your very geography. In short: liberty is constricted by any and every means, all in the name of: “We know what’s good for you because you’re too stupid to make your own choices.”
Nazis just adored trains. And hey, the Italians boasted that Mussolini made the trains run on time, though Italian trains were about as effective and efficient as the Italian army. Which is to say, not so much.
At a certain point, one must acknowledge the convergent philosophies of post-modern liberals and iron-fist fascists. Both ideologies assert the power of the state as the final arbiter of human affairs. Hence, the government replaces G-d and family as the center of man’s universe. It’s no surprise that the formal title of the Nazi party was “The National Socialist German Workers’ Party.”
Hollywood produced great stars who proudly posed with their autos, symbols of glamour, affluence, and freedom.
Hollywood’s Golden Age, from the 20’s to the late thirties, was a dream factory.
And glamour was the dream that was sold in every frame of every film. Studios tightly controlled the image of the stars they groomed and promoted, presenting them as glittering jewels, untouched and unsullied by the daily concerns of ordinary life.
When Mickey Rooney informed MGM chief L.B. Mayer that he was going to marry a young starlet named Ava Gardner, Mayer’s anger was incandescent. Rooney was destroying the Andy Hardy brand. Never mind that Rooney was notorious for partying with high-priced call girls, Mayer understood that the carefully cultivated image of a clean living American boy was the reality for millions of movie fans.
Fans imagined their favorite stars as immaculate beings from heaven. And nothing could more quickly dispel this fantasy than the reality of a star with all too human parents.
Here are a few photos the studios did not want the public to see.
The operative word is effortless.
In truth, Chaplin’s style was only achieved through the superlative tailoring of the English Savile Row firm, Anderson & Sheppard.
As the new book, Anderson & Sheppard: A Style is Born, edited by Graydon Carter and Cullen Murphy, makes clear, the venerable British tailors shunned actors and other show-biz types as vulgarians. But soon enough, the vast wealth of Hollywood’s elite broke down the walls of class snobbery and a who’s who of male Hollywood royalty—more apt to pay their bills than the increasingly impoverished British aristocracy—became life-long Anderson & Sheppard clients.
Here are just a few of the Hollywood males who beat a path to No. 30 Savile Row for the painstaking, detailed craftmanship of this exclusive firm.