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This Day in GINGEROLOGY - September 21st

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARLA KOGER!!!

1974: Walter Brennan, who starred with Ginger in the film “The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle” (as Walter), died in Oxnard, California, at the age of 80.

GingerTelevision...

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

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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Sunday, December 8, 2013

GingerFilms That Weren't, Part Two: "The Gibson Girl"

Welcome to the second post regarding...GingerFilms that weren't - (click HERE for the first installment a year or so back, about 'Mother Carey's Chickens'...)...but concerning THIS installment of GFTW...

"The Gibson Girl" was to be a major vehicle for Ginger courtesy of her 'home studio', RKO... but the production was scrapped at the last minute because....well, we'll explore that in a bit... but first...

...what IS a Gibson Girl?

Well, glad ya asked!

The year was '86...1886, that is... and a young illustrator from Roxbury, Massachusetts named Charles Dana Gibson was doing quite well in NYC selling his illustrations to magazines such as Collier's Journal, Harper's Weekly, and Scribners.
These drawings soon developed into a series of nameless female characters that were VERY well drawn, and were depicted as having great power and sway over the male population they co-existed with...  which would become known as The Gibson Girl.
A nice summary of The Gibson Girl is 'lifted' from Wiki: "Next to the beauty of a Gibson Girl, men often appeared as simpletons or bumblers..." yeah, if that doesn't describe our girl Ginger, nothing does... especially when you consider her gooberhead hubbies... but I digress...
The real life model for the 'prototypical' Gibson Girl was Charles' wife, Irene Langhorne...who was the sister of Lady Mary Astor - yes, THOSE Astors...
Here's Irene...while the fellow shown was a friend of Gibson's, Richard Harding Davis, who became the prototype of the Gibson Man...which we really won't have much for in this diatribe... sorry, ladies... but I guess Gibson was wise to the fact that if ladies emulated the Gibson Girl, maybe dudes would do the same if he created a 'ideal male ' counterpart for the GG... thus sell more illustrations, natch.
Here is a cool Pintrest site with all things Gibson Girl...including a neat item regarding this film (and honestly, I 'nabbed' the pic at the top from this site, so...thanks to the site owner...)

OK, so, how's about this film which was to star Miss Rogers which was to begin production in 1943-ish? Well...
...a 'younger' Ginger, looking quite Gibson Girl-ish, no?

...as to the film script, from gleaning various sources, most notably a former RKO employee who claims to have actually thumbed thru the script, it was not very well done. RKO had quite a bit of investment in the project, including purchasing of the rights of Gibson's drawings for use in the film and general reference.
RKO, although still producing great films in the early 40's, including arguably one of the best EVER, Citizen Kane in 1941, as well as some Hitchcock films, including Suspicion, and of course Kitty Foyle :-)  had some bad investments which caused the bottom line to dip a good bit... although the studio would rebound by the mid-40s. This financial 'hiccup', along with Ginger's looming 'freelance' deal, AND the marginal script, all probably conspired as to why this GingerFilm...WASN'T.

All we have regarding the 'general plot' can be gleaned from this 'preliminary publicity catalog' which was on display at BU... and yes, it's the same drawing, but...DANG someone did a GREAT job drawing Ginger here... too bad this wasn't the artist for the GandF posters... ALTHOUGH... Ginger looks VERY 1940's-style here...AWESOME, of course, but... not really the style of the Gibson Girl...
...the text at the bottom left reads: "A glorious singing, dancing, romantic comedy based on the heyday times of Charles Dana Gibson, the artist who made the American girl famous...bringing back in all their good-time sparkle and lusty glamour those gay, colorful, high-living days that ushered in the Twentieth Century...it's the natural of all naturals for the talents of Ginger and the big-time screen musical and specialty cast soon to be announced".

...I wonder what the tunes were, if any had been written for it? 

...also note the film was to be in Technicolor...dang it! An opportunity for a GingerFilm in color lost...


The general story line was considered again in the 1950's as a Jane Russell vehicle, when Howard Hughes was in control of RKO Studios. The reasoning behind the 'mothballing' at that time is unclear. For all we know, the script is still in a file somewhere out there in Hollywood... would be great to peruse, no matter the quality.

I think this would have been a cool GingerFilm, IF it were given to the correct director... George Stephens or Greg LaCava would have done quite nicely... actually, it kinda seems made for LaCava, perhaps minus any big musical numbers... 

In fact, it could be a pretty cool project TODAY, with a totally revamped script, of course...whom would y'all suggest play the part of the 'textbook' Gibson Girl?

Well, hope y'all enjoyed this post... it was cool to research! AAANNNDDD, please comment with any more info regarding this one!

KIG!!!
Hu
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4 comments:

  1. Well done Huey!
    Enlightening, interesting and funny!
    Happy Gingery Holiday, Marshall!

    Ginger Peachy
    The Trade Corner for Ginger Rogers

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, GP! Maybe more info will show up on some of these - ya never know...

      Hope you have a VERY Gingery Holiday Season as well!!!

      KIG!

      Hu
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      Delete
  2. Keep up the good work Huey. Gingerdelicious <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, EM!!!! Great you enjoyed it... I am going to REALLY strive to be more 'regular' on posting... I think I am 'hung up' on the HueyTreatment deal...but it takes a LOT of time to set those up, honestly... but they are fun!!!

      KIG, EM!

      Hu
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      Delete

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