Here we are it’s Christmas 2016 and Zsa-Zsa Gabor has gone. Her sisters Eva and Magda, equally gorgeous, scandalous and magnanimous, gone before her. All were married many times over and were absolute darlings of the press though not all were equally as successful in film. Zsa-Zsa was most famous for ‘Moulin Rouge’ and Eva for the T.V. series ‘Green Acres’. Eva was also in one of my very favourite films. ‘The Last Time I Saw Paris’ which starred Liz Taylor and Van Johnson.
I thought the other two were a little more natural than Zsa-Zsa but it was Zsa-Zsa that had the most sizzle. Eva in floral dress ( left ) Zsa-Zsa in evening wear and pearls( centre) and Magda with orchid (on the right.) This post is not really about Zsa-Zsa though it is about what it is to be famous and why it is so important for us to adore those that we consider more beautiful, more successful and richer than we could ever be in our wildest dreams. Why is it that we love people for just being famous. No matter what it is they are famous for? The Gabor sisters, like our modern day reality T.V. stars were famous for just being famous. In films and on television they virtually played themselves. Most of my blogs have been on vintage Hollywood stars and on the beautiful films they starred in and many of you who have been reading my blogs , like me, prefer them to the type of films made now.
This is because many of the vintage films we love had good scripts, superb cinematography, a well-told story, glamorous stars in fabulous outfits and attention to detail as with Eva in the series ‘Green Acres’. Eva was the only one to make a series and her role was that of ditzy socialite married to a farmer. A T.V.show with a clever script, real humour and lot’s of heart. Eva and Zsa -Zsa were often confused with one another and both starred in films which were set in Europe. Usually Paris or Vienna. Zsa- Zsa in ‘Moulin Rouge’ and ‘ Lily ‘and Eva in ‘Gigi’.The films were in brilliant technicolour and featured beautiful scenery and costumes. Not to mention brilliant scores and beautiful songs which are still as revered now as they were then as in ‘For The First Time’ with Mario Lanza.
Many are glued to reality T.V. now, which features none of the above. There are some who would say that Kim Kardashian echoes vintage glamour and I guess I can understand it. By the way, Paris Hilton is the great grand niece of Zsa-Zsa who was once married to Conrad Hilton. A very small world indeed. Liz Taylor was married once to Nicki Hilton and also made a film with Zsa Zsa’s sister Eva. Paris does actually bare quite a likeness. Poor Paris Hilton, however, tried a little too hard to imitate a Barbie doll and so the world turned to Kim Kardashian. There are so many Kardashian clones out there that she’s even eclipsed Barbie which is a good thing considering how many stars were imitating the famed plastic doll with the perfect curves. At least Kardashian is a living, breathing, real live woman. She has yet to feature in an actual film though. I mean one with a story and script that is not about herself or her family.
Anyway I digress. Not all vintage films were wonderful and there were definitely a few duds among them. ‘White Christmas’ was a little trite but oh so charming and a feast for the eyes too. The thing is that not even a bad vintage movie could equal the kind of bilge we are being fed now.Why do we love everything vintage even when it’s obviously not quite up to scratch?
At least an effort was been made to make bad vintage films look good. Even if that was their only purpose . They had a reason to be. Those of us who love vintage do so because we value not only the product but the whole production process. The really great vintage films stay with us always but even the bad ones were consistent. In short I have a passion for the magic of storytelling dressed in a beautiful glamorous package which doesn’t try to be too real. I see movies to help me escape from the world and all its troubles. Reality is there to confront me every day so why do I need to watch it on T.V.?. Give me Zsa-Zsa any day. A little glamour in a world of make- believe. Oh and she also loved dogs which makes her a real star of the highest order.
I am so thankful too that others share this passion that I have. Thank you for reading my blog and for your wonderful comments. May you have a wonderful vintage style Christmas and may you find the time to enjoy some good old vintage films too.R
Renee Dallow ( Hybiscus Bloom. )