Actress beauty tip #28: Norma Shearer complexion

This is the twenty-eighth installment of the monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.  

Healthy, clear skin is something I struggle with on a daily basis. I’ve tried numerous products from exfoliates to acne cream.

Norma Shearer, Mae Murray and Viola Dane in a 1925 Beaute Craft article.

Norma Shearer, Mae Murray and Viola Dane in a 1925 Beaute Craft article.

But according to a 1925 article in Beaute Craft, clear skin revolves around exercise and diet. To testify to this are actresses Norma Shearer, Mae Murray and Viola Dana.

Oddly enough, the article by Pauline Black, correlates bad skin to…constipation, which is connected to poor eating habits.

Black says Shearer gets her clear skin from good diet. Murray’s credits proper exercise and fresh air, and Dana gets her clear skin from correct food and exercise.

Viola Dana, Norma Shearer, Mae Murray

Viola Dana, Norma Shearer, Mae Murray

 

Black gives suggestions in the article to remedy problems:

Breathing: “No normal woman remains healthy for very long if she does not practice deep breathing, using the entire lung capacity and exercising abdominal muscles as well.”

Water: “Drink enough water. Two glasses immediately upon rising in the morning. A glass after each meal. A glass between meals. A glass upon retiring at night. Some people cannot drink much water easily. You should learn, or drink milk…”

Food: “Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits…Raw cabbage with a little cream dressing is excellent once a day…I would say stop eating meats, eggs, fish and cheese for a few weeks. Give your your digestive apparatus a rest as far as heavy foods are concerned.”

Exercise: “Walking is excellent exercise. Blessed is that girl or woman who has to walk a mile or even two a day to and from work or school.”

For myself, drinking more water and eating well has helped clear up my skin. Lately I’ve been drinking roughly 70 fluid ounces of water a day and have seen major improvements. For diet, the article suggests cabbage, I have been eating kale lately along with fruits and have seen improvements from that as well.

To review: Though the article (found scanned on Beauty is a Thing of the Past blog) gives odd suggestions and reasoning for clear skin, drinking water and eating better has shown improvements with my skin. I have been exercising for several months but change in diet has given me the best improvements.

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Classic film in music videos: Good Boys by Blondie

Norma Shearer and Lon Chaney

This is February’s edition of Comet Over Hollywood’s classic film references in music videos.

Blondie, rock star of the 1980s, released an album in 2003 called “The Curse of Blondie.” This album included a new wave pop song “Good Boys.”

The music video is in black and white and modeled after a silent film and is very similar to the Lon Chaney movie “He Who Gets Slapped” (1924).

In the music video one clown, dressed in white, is in love with a beautiful circus performer. She laughs at his love and keeps company with a mean clown who wears black. At the end of the video, the white clown gets killed by a tiger.

This is similar to “He Who Gets Laughed” because Lon Chaney is in love with Norma Shearer, who also laughs at his love. She is in love with horseback rider John Gilbert, but is determined to marry an evil rich man. In the end, Lon Chaney dies from a tiger attack like in the video and it is caused by the rich baron.

What do you think?

Check back in March for the next classic film reference in music videos.

February’s beauty tip is also coming soon!

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Let’s talk about a little pet peeve of mine…

Andy Hardy

Andy Hardy (Mickey Rooney) surrounded by Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford), Betsy Booth (Judy Garland) and Cynthia Potter (Lana Turner).

How I define a classic movie fan and my pet peeve of the old movie ‘posers’ . I know I am a little fanatical and old movies are my life, but if you are going to claim to like old movies you have to know your stuff.

Another thing that drives me crazy is what consumers and manufacturers consider when it comes to classic movie merchandise (not including books, there is an abundance of wonderful film books). Everywhere you go, you see mugs, purses, T-shirts, magnets, etc with four people on them 1.) Marilyn Monroe 2.) Audrey Hepburn 3.) James Dean 4.) John Wayne. Then I go to Los Angeles with high hopes of Doris Day and Esther Williams merchandise, but I was quickly dismayed. In Hollywood, the movie mecca of the world, they still carried the same crap that they sell in Greenville, South Carolina. (Don’t get me wrong, I like Dean, Wayne and Hepburn but I want some variety.)

Purse

James Dean handbag

In my conversations with supposed old movie fans, there are typical answers that people give me that drive me up the wall. Here is a list which separates the men from the boys when it comes to classic films:

1.) When I ask which old movies they like they say they love all Audrey Hepburn films, which for many only includes Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961), Sabrina (1954) and Roman Holiday (1953). When I continue to question they basically say that the only old movies they have seen are Audrey Hepburn’s. This does not qualify you as an old movie fanatic, but possibly an Audrey fanatic.

Breakfast

A picture that hangs in almost every sorority girl’s dorm room.

2.) Some people say they are old movie fans and proceed to list classic movies that they have seen, but are the very typical classics that EVERYONE has seen like Casablanca (1942) , Gone With the Wind (1939), Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) and The Searchers (1956). These are all lovely movies, but they are certainly not the ONLY old movies out there.

3.) When you like the remake better than the original. I don’t care what you say, saying You’ve Got Mail (1998) is way better than Shop Around the Corner (1940) is practically blasphemous! Ernst Lubitsch (director of Shop Around the Corner) was one of the best, most celebrated and most sought after directors in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Lubitsch has 74 director credits to his name. Whoever Nora Ephron is (director of You’ve Got Mail) is basically a nobody. She has directed all of 8 films and is not nearly the caliber that Lubitsch was or ever will be. I also don’t particularly care for the 1949 remake of Shop Around the Corner, titled In the Good Old Summertime starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. Even if it does have Van Johnson in it, the love me life, it is rather weak and features some really stupid songs like “I Don’t Care” which seems to last for ten minutes. I say this to show that it is not because I dislike Meg Ryan or Tom Hanks, I am showing that I don’t like any remake, Van Johnson or no Van Johnson.

Shop

James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan in Shop Around the Corner.

And don’t even get me started on The Women (2008) Eva Mendes as Crystal!? Robert Osborne even scoffed at the 2008 remake while he was introducing the 1939 version on Turner Classic Movies this month. How anyone can think that Meg Ryan, Annette Benning and Eva Mendes could ever be half the actresses that Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Joan Crawford were is laughable. The Women (1939) was also remade in 1956 as The Opposite Sex with one of my favorite actresses, June Allyson, but it stunk as well. The whole charm of The Women (1939) is that it is an all female cast, no men to be found, and shows the cattiness and hypocrisy of women who claim they are friends. The Opposite Sex had men in it, and the 2008 version of The Women celebrated women’s friendship and togetherness. What? Again, I wanted to note that I disliked the 1956 version to show that it was not just recent remakes that I was prejudiced against, it is all remakes.

Women

Norma Shearer, Joan Crawford and Rosalind Russell in 1939 The Women

Opposite Sex

Ann Sheridan and Dolories Grey in The Opposite Sex with men

Women 2008

Meg Ryan and Annette Bening in 2008 version of The Women

!
Other remakes that are sub par: Father of the Bride (1991)-Steve Martin reprising a Spencer Tracy role, are you kidding? Cheaper By The Dozen (2003)-another Steve Martin movie that had nothing to with the original movie which was about a real life family living in the early 1900′s. You put the Gilbreth’s to shame.

4.) I understand people might not know who Kay Francis and Constance Bennett are…but if you don’t know very well-known, identifiable and easy actors like Bette Davis, Clark Gable or Cary Grant (oh yes, I know people who don’t know who they are) then you have some studying to do before you come back and tell me that you like old movies.

5.) Orson Welles once was quoted as saying, “Keep Ted Turner and his damn crayolas away from my movies.” Welles was perfectly correct. Watch any Shirley Temple movie or possibly A Miracle on 34th Street (1947) or It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) on an old VHS tape or AMC and see the muddy colorization of these films. Colorization looks like crap. People have grey teeth and outfits are colored with terrible hosiptals greens and Barbie pinks. It completely takes the charm away from the movie when Shirley has grey teeth when she is singing “An Old Straw Hat” in Rebecca of Sunnybrooke Farms (1938). People complain until they are purple about being forced to watch a black and white movie, I’m sorry for your misfortune.

Photobucket Photobucket

It takes a lot more work and artistic lighting and direction to shoot a black and white movie. Any self respecting old movie fan would know that. Even from taking a simple film photography class in college, I realized that taking black and white pictures were alot more difficult depending on what time of day it was and how much light was available. It was very frustrating.

Here is a list I have created of what a fan of the Golden Era should or would know.
Things a true classic movie fan should know:
1.) That TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is better than AMC (American Movie Classics).
2.) The significance of the year 1939.
3.) Basic actors like Cary Grant, Claudette Colbert, Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn.
4.) Recognizable supporting and character actors like Keenan Wynn, William Frawley and Charles Coburn.
5.) The dawn of talkies.
6.) What talkies did to silent film actors.
7.) Who Rudolph Valentino is.
8.) Directors like John Ford, William Wyler, Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock and George Cukor.
9.) What the Arthur Freed Unit was at MGM
10.) Which studio the quote “More stars than there are in the heavens” refers to.

I write this blog not trying to convert you over to a classic movie fan. I don’t care if you like them or not, I am just saying that the things I have listed are fairly basic and are known by not just film historians, Robert Osborne or myself. So next time you tell me you like old movies and I say, “What kind?” please never ever say “I like movies from the 1980′s and 1990′s.” or “Well, I only just like Breakfast at Tiffany’s” because you will have gotten my hopes up for nothing.

Thank you.

Black and White

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