Lana Turner, as Cora Smith, in one of her white outfits, a lovely keyhole dress with a narrow collar and a tie at the neckline and a pocket on just one side.
“Lana Turner already had platinum hair. She’d been that color. So we left it for the film. The white clothing was something that Carey (Wilson, the producer) and I thought of. At that time there was a great problem of getting a story with that much sex past the censors. We figured that dressing Lana in white somehow made everything she did seem less sensuous. It was also attractive as hell. And it somehow took a little of the stigma off of everything that she did,” said Tay Garnett, the director of the film The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), in the book Lana: The Public and Private Lives of Miss Turner, by Joe Morella and Edward Z. Epstein.
Indeed, Lana Turner, as Cora Smith, wears white almost exclusively in the film. And white is indeed an unusual colour to be worn by a femme fatale. Choosing white may have had the purpose intended by director and producer – getting the film past the censors, but what matters is its great impact on the Cora Smith character and on the plot. Dressed in immaculate white (costumes by Irene), Cora is making you doubt her dark, murderous impulses. She doesn’t seem to be evil and she showcases such a wide range of emotions throughout the film, that she almost manages to get us on her side.
I think the element of white (I was stricken by it the very first time I watched the movie) and Lana’s interpretation, with her icy looks, whitering glances and undeterred determination – “I want to be somebody”, are two of the movie’s strongest points. Lana’s presence, glamour, beauty and style made her one of the top film stars in Hollywood from the 1940s through the early 1960s. In The Postman Always Rings Twice, she is focal point of every scene.
With a great plot, cinematography (Sidney Wagner) and musical score (George Bassman), beautiful interpretations from all actors (although Lana remains the highlight of the movie), the right femme fatale and right ending, The Postman Always Rings Twice is among my favourite noir films – you can read our review here. And it leaves a mark right from the beginning. Lana Turner’s entrance remains, to this day, one of the most memorable character introductions in the history of cinema. Continue reading
There are designers like Ralph Lauren, Michael Kors and Jason Wu who may not always hold an element of surprise in their collections, but it’s their well-established, individual, practical styles that I admire and appreciate, without feeling that I’m missing out on something if they don’t come up with anything new every season.
And there are collections that stand out. They may not be that easy to be worn off the runway, but they are beautiful to look at, they take you by surprise and raise a thought or two. And the one collection that stood out at NYFW was, in my opinion, without a shadow of a doubt, The Row. I’ve only gradually taken interest in the Olsens’ brand, but I’ve always respected their particular aesthetic. And their type of minimalism seems to have reached new heights this time. A relaxed, composed and unitary collection, in a beautiful, neutral colour palette, with impeccably executed details, like the draping and wrapping, and an overall appeal that was so refreshing in a sea of shows that failed to deliver any kind of message at all.
Why don’t we see more of the backs of the designs in collections?
photos: 1-7:Style.com / 8-Garance Doré
by guest writer
Thieves Highway (1949) marks Jules Dassin’s last movie in the US under 20th Century Fox Darryl F. Zanuck’s production. Part of the three pillars of his American career together with Brute Force (1947) and Naked City (1948), Thieves Highway is in itself a model film noir. The screenplay was adapted by the writer of the novel “Thieves’ Market”, A.I. Bezzerides. The Turkish born novelist had a large experience working as a script writer on film noir material, including such classics as They Drive By Night (1940), Action in the North Atlantic (1943), Desert Fury (1947), Sirocco (1951), On Dangerous Ground (1951) and Kiss Me Deadly (1955). Thieves Highway is somehow related or a sort of companion, in my opinion, to Raoul Walsh’s They Drive By Night (1940), another exceptional movie of its genre, probably the first in American cinema, although, on many levels, the two movies are different.
Thieves Highway sees our main character, Nick Garcos (Richard Conte), an ex-Army hero back home, learn an awful truth about one of his parents. The tension built up by Dassin bears his mark as a filmmaker. He choses simple things and situations that are exploited to a verge, as for example the ride Nick has to make to the market in order to sell the apples. With a wonderful cast of secondary characters, including Lee J. Cobb, Valentina Cortese and Millard Mitchell, the film is an intense and dynamic experience. With his usual craftsmanship, Dassin is, as always, a visual director, putting his best efforts in delivering an entertaining, full of action product. The cinematography by Norbert Brodine is as plain wonderful as in his other movies involving a lot on angles and chiaroscuro elements.
The producers decided to change the end of Thieves Highway with ‘a standard American flop’, the happy end and a case study of social consciousness, thus ruining the director’s intention of a ‘reality grip’ finale. Jules Dassin always blamed Zanuck for this and declared it many times through his interviews and letters to the studio.
photo: still from the film | Twentieth Century Fox
I am hardly the one to document every trip I take on my blog, but our Greece holiday last week was such a lovely way to bid fare well to summer that I’ve decided to dedicate it a little space here. The location was Syvota, a chic little village in the Epirus region, a part of mainland Greece we hadn’t been to before, on the shore of the Ionian Sea. It is usually frequented by Greeks who come here on vacation, and that was one of the reasons we chose this destination – to blend with the locals and learn more about their way of life.
When September arrives, even if we are having an Indian summer and I could easily get away with wearing sandals, I usually like to mark the change of seasons by wearing slingback shoes, which are just the perfect step into fall. They seem to be holding onto summer for a little longer, but ease your way into the elegance of fall at the same time. And now I have to mention the entire looks, not just the ideal seasonal footwear, in the image above. Do I even have to tell you that this is going to be my uniform for the time being? Can’t think of anything classier.
photo: Tommy Ton, via Style.com
photo: Robert Erdmann for W magazine, April 1995 | Model: Helena Christensen