As with many superstars, Mary Astor and Constance Bennett among them, King Kong’s expressive Fay Wray found herself playing mothers of grown daughters onscreen far too soon. Nicely, Wray finds plenty of moments to bring a sense of charm and joy to her Mrs. Gordon Kimbell – no first name given!!! – in the 1953 MGM musical Small Town Girl.
Mothering musical sensation Jane Powell as she romances Farley Granger’s society playboy (while simultaneously wrangling her way through the rest of her loved one’s strong personalities), Wray is able to show moments of exasperated tenderness over her brood’s foibles and eccentricities while providing evidence that she is the force that keeps her family on the right track.
Terror celebrants, meanwhile, will be pleased to see Wray, whose other horror credits include Doctor X and Mystery in the Wax Museum, share a scene or two with Granger. Granger, who proves here that he was one of the most striking presences in the Golden Age of Hollywood, is well known for his work in Hitchcock’s homoerotic masterpieces, Rope and Strangers on a Train. Besides that amazing contribution to the legacy of dark cinema, this eclectic specimen appeared in a variety of Giallo enterprises (So Sweet, So Dead, Something Creeping in the Dark, What Have They Done to Your Daughters?) and enlivened the beloved 1981 slasher The Prowler, which is highlighted by Tom Savini’s gruesome effects work.
Until the next time, SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!
(Hell of a Gal explores the exceptionally European film career of the always glorious Helga Liné.)
Sometimes a bra is tossed, irretrievably, away…and sometimes friends are ignored. Sigh. Support is just not appreciated on occasion.
The glorious Helga Liné learned this first hand in 1974 Euro trash fest Death Will Have Your Eyes. As Yvonne, the saucy best friend of Marissa Mell’s adulterous Louisa, Liné finds her honest council ignored – with murderous consequences. Of course, at first, these two ravishing beauties play nice and Liné brings a wearied friendliness to the table as Yvonne helps Louisa establish herself.
Fortified, Louisa soon marries an older, upscale doctor (Farley Granger) whose idea of a good time is reciting poetry into a recording machine. Bored, Louisa begins an affair with Stefano (Riccardo Salvino), a colleague of her husband’s. Murdering her husband in order to be with Stefano, Louisa is soon ensnared in the clutches of an all seeing blackmailer and, despite a desperate call to Yvonne, ends up falling further into self-destructiveness.
Mell, known for such films as Danger: Diabolik and The Mad Dog Killer, is just as ravishing as Liné here and one would like to think that this duo could have gone onto create even more continental mayhem if the goddesses of cinema had looked (even more) kindly upon them.
Until the next time – SWEET love and pink GRUE, Big Gay Horror Fan!