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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - August 21st

1874: Edmund Mortimer (born Edmund Mortimer Olson), who starred with Ginger in the films “Flying Down to Rio” (as Nightclub Patron), “Upperworld” (as Banquet Guest), “Change of Heart” (as Man Reading Paper in Brisbane’s Office), “Swing Time” (as Roulette Player), “Stage Door” (as Actor in Powell’s Waiting Room), “Vivacious Lady” (as Library Committee Member), “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” (as Nightclub Extra), “The Major and the Minor” (Cadet Ball Guest), and “I’ll Be Seeing You” (as Floorwalker in Women’s Shop), was born in New York City.

1891: Bert Roach (born Egbert Roach), who starred with Ginger in the films “Hat Check Girl” (as Party Guest), “Rafter Romance” (as Drunken Tenant), and “Once Upon a Honeymoon” (as Ship Bartender), was born in Washington, D.C.

1901: Albert S. Rogell, who directed the Ginger films “The Tip-Off”, “Suicide Fleet”, and “Carnival Boat”, was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

2015: FXM RETRO aired “Teenage Rebel”.

GingerTelevision...

Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):

September 12, 2017 @ 2:30 P.M. Upperworld
September 25, 2017 @ 3:00 A.M. Twist of Fate
October 12, 2017 @ 8:45 A.M. Week-End at the Waldorf

Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':

...No Films Scheduled...

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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ginger's 'Non-Blonde' years: 1940 - 1942ish

Well, now for something completely different... well, it's still about VKM, of course...
Just some 'info' regarding what we will refer to as the 'non-blonde years' for Ginger, which, in terms of movie milestones, anyway, began with the release of "Primrose Path" in 1940 and ended with the release of "Tender Comrade" in 1943. Of course we are only considering the second 'non-blonde' era for VKM, as she did not go 'blonde' originally until her sixth 'feature' film, 1931's "The Tip-Off".

Ginger states in her book that, for Primrose Path, where she portrays a poor teenager, "...I dyed my hair brunette, which I thought more appropriate for my character." Thus, for all intents and purposes, we can now confidently refer to this time frame as the 'brunette years' for Ginger.

She wanted her darkened locks to be a 'surprise' to moviegoers when "Primrose Path" came out, but during its production, the L.A. premiere of "Gone With the Wind" took place - of course she HAD to go to that, right? So she was fitted with a 'turban', thus concealing the 'do in public.
For her next feature, "Lucky Partners", she dyed it even darker - to the point that the execs at RKO were a bit worried that the fans were going to demand 'blonde' Ginger... but shooting had begun, and by the time 'Ginger Dark' had been captured on celluloid for a second time, no major objections were readily apparent from the masses.

Then the role that 'solidified' her 'non-blonde' image...It is hard to picture 'Kitty Foyle' as having any other hair color...as Ginger put it, "After I had digested the script, I concluded that Kitty couldn't possibly be a blonde. She was the daughter of a proud Irishman, and had to look and act like one. dark hair, blue eyes, a quick wit, and a stinging tongue..." It was a bit lighter than in 'Lucky Partners', but still well in the 'brunette' range.
After Kitty, Ginger made five more 'brunette' movies, before eventually popping the top on the peroxide bottle again: "Tom, Dick and Harry" in 1941, "Roxie Hart" in 1942 (one of my personal faves - she is just SO different in it... yes, ditzy, but with ATTITUDE! a major difference from the 'just ditzy' role in "It Had to be You"...right, Beth? :-]), "Tales of Manhattan" in 1942, "The Major and the Minor" in 1942 (another fave), and "Once Upon a Honeymoon" in 1942.

Needless to say, this period was the apex of her popularity, thus demanding the question, "Was Ginger more famous as a blonde or a 'non-blonde'?"

The world may never know... but it is fun to debate!

6 comments:

  1. She also had dark hair in The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle, taking it back to 1939.

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  2. Also... correct me if I'm wrong, but she had a dark hair flash in Magnificent Doll! She starts blondish, but by the arrival of Madison is distinctly brunette!! I can't decide which I like more.... I prefer the styling of the bloonge. The thirties forced curl bob thing somehow suited her so very wonderfully, and is in my opinion more attractive than the long strangely solid looking stylings of the forties. But, the brunette contrasts so well with her eye colour, and is associated with some of her best movies... so for me I have to say both, xx

    ReplyDelete
  3. ...it does seem to kinda go 'light to dark', or vise-versa, in a few movies - I kinda thought that in 'Once Upon a Honeymoon', where at the first, it is very dark, but towards the end, it has 'lightened up' some... of course, one could claim that the movie 'time' jumps forward, but it may just be whatever Ginger wanted it to look like at a given time... the 'strawberry blonde' look appears in a few as well - seems like 'I'll Be Seeing You' is a good example of the 'mid-range'.
    On another note, my 'Ginger List' (apologies to Lauren) is being whittled down to a precious few! I will update my 'Master List' soon - but still a ways to go to catch anyone else...but, hey, it's not a contest, right? It's a mutual quest for completeness in the ways of Gingerology!!! Of course, 'Hat Check Girl' REALLY needs to 'check in'... but it will turn up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent writing, and very interesting and entertaining post! :)

    I'm not sure which I prefer, really. Love her dark locks in Lucky Partners, but also love her hair in Bachelor Mother and others of that period. I think as she got older, I liked blonde. She was simply gorgeous in the fifties, of course.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks, Juliette!
    Every time I think I have it figured out, I see another movie or picture, and the indecision returns! I ultimately just think it is cool that no matter the hair color, she could look just unbelievable... The 'Tales of Manhattan' sequence is still 'fresh' on the mind, so brunette is right there... but yes, 'Bachelor Mother' is one of my FAVE faves, and dang, the blonde style is awesome there... well, I guess it's like they say... "Don't make up your mind!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yes, perfectly put. She was lovely in any hair color just as she was lovely in any dress. :)

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