Thursday, May 3, 2012

...Backwards and in High Heels...

...It was thirty years ago today that the now-famous phrase was published in the 'Frank and Ernest' comic strip above, by Bob Thaves... my first thought when I saw this was, "This Thaves fellow must be a Ginger fan!" And, as decreed from Sir Huey, he's thus an honorary Gingerologist in perpetuity, whether he likes it or not :-) 
I ALMOST named this very blog, 'Backwards and in High Heels'...would still be a great title for one... but Gingerology won out at the last minute, as it was just...right.
...The "Backwards and in High Heels" phrase has been 'misconstrued' over time, such that some believe Ginger actually said it of herself... which is NOT the case (and would have been a bit 'snippy', shall we say, if it were true...) ...but, I know she spoke fondly of the comic strip, so she DID approve of it... and something tells me Fred got a chuckle out of it too, dontyathink?
 I also know there are a few out there who DON'T like this phrase, for whatever reason... as it ultimately compares Ginger to Fred, and I believe someone felt the phrase implied that Ginger was SUPERIOR to literally, it states that she did everything he did, backwards AND in high heels (which he generally DIDN'T do :-] ), thus, she did more than Fred. But I think it is just trying to give our girl credit where credit is due, y'know?
I think the phrase just neatly sums up the true nature of how the Ginger-Fred 'franchise' was actually perceived by the general public, and it reminds us of how she had to fight for equal compensation... not necessarily Fred's doing, but the goofballs who ran the studio. And, in the 'bigger picture', it is a thought-provoking statement in general, in how the fairer gender is to this very day still getting the short end of the stick when it comes to equal pay... and y'all know I'm not a big politico, but... I call it like I see it in this case.
Well, hope y'all are having a great week...realistically, the next review will be out this weekend... down to screen caps, which there aren't that many of... I ALSO am kicking around a MAJOR idea which will GREATLY enhance the Gingerology experience...but I'm not sure if I can even pull it off... but stay tuned...

KIG, y'all!!!



  1. I like this saying! Personally Fred is not my favorite, so I like this quote more. But he is still a great dancer.
    I have the same sign, got it at Hobby Lobby probably 3 years ago. I really like it, and it's up on my wall in my room.
    During the summer I'm thinking about starting these posts about my Ginger Rogers collection. :D

  2. The original cartoon was given to Ginger and is currently in the exhibition in Boston

    I quite like the saying, but i tend to tell people when they quote it, that they spent a lot of time dancing side by side ;)

    There's no better dancer than Fred (imho) but as Arlene Croce said
    "When Fred dances alone, he’s perfect. For as long as we have known him he has been simply Astaire, the dancing man, self-defined. He is his own form of theater and we ask nothing more. But when he dances with Ginger we suddenly realize what further revelations that theater can produce: it can encompass the principle of complementarity. That principle has been missing from every Astaire film since his partnership with Rogers ended. He never ceased to dance wonderfully and he has had some good dancing partners. But it is a world of sun without a moon."

    I seriously wish i was studying film, i'd love to do Masters Research on Fred and Ginger

  3. I don't like the phrase because 1.) It's been pounded to death, and 2.) I think it's kind of faux dismissive of Ginger. It's as if we can throw the phrase off, and not really look and think and feel about her work, and take it seriously...we reserve that for Fred only.

    Thank goodness you didn't name the blog this!

  4. I never took the phrase very seriously because when you watch them dance it's not just him going forward and her going backward. I'm not a dancer but I can't imagine going at the pace she did and doing her moves in heels. That part of the quote does say something.

    Very well put, FAGM! I agree about Fred being the best dancer in films. Arlene Croce has written some very eloquent things about Ginger and Fred. The one you mentioned is another great quote.

  5. GF11: cool - glad ya got this cost a few $$$, but...anything ya find in 'modern culture' with Ginger on it, just HAS to be purchased, right?

    F&GM: Pretty cool to see the original... and nice quotes from Croce... yep - it would be a pretty cool dissertation, wouldn't it? Lord knows we've done enough research on the topic! :-]

    Ron: ...overall, I'm ok with it, if only for the fact it's a 'catch phrase' for Ginger...but, I do concur there's potential for a 'negative' connotation, especially in the sense that it 'pits' Ginger against Fred... honestly, as a team, they had no parallels... but of course both of them did quite well apart from each other. And yeah, I prefer 'Gingerology', because it's...well, 'quazi-original' (there's at least one other 'Gingerology' blog, but it deals folks.)

    Lady F: I agree it's it shouldn't be taken as a philosophy or anything...remember, this was from a comic strip... they could have just as easily other dance team to convey this phrase.

    Well, good to hear from y'all...and glad to stir things up a bit...well, not TOO much, but it's neat to have a discussion with varying views... the ginger Democracy in action! :-)

    KIG, y'all...

  6. Great news for Ginger fans...she'll be part of TCM's Summer Under The Stars for 2012, specifically on Aug. 12 (a Sunday). The tentative list of films (all times Eastern):

    6 a.m. Rafter Romance (1933)
    7:30 a.m. Carefree (1938)
    9:15 a.m. Fifth Avenue Girl (1939)
    11 a.m. Kitty Foyle (1940)
    1 p.m. Bachelor Mother (1939)
    2:30 p.m. Primrose Path (1940)
    4:15 p.m. Shall We Dance (1937)
    6:15 p.m. Vivacious Lady (1938)
    8 p.m. 42nd Street (1933)
    9:45 p.m. Swing Time (1936)
    11:45 p.m. Stage Door (1937)
    1:30 a.m. Barkleys of Broadway (1949)
    3:30 a.m. Weekend at the Waldorf (1945)

    While four Astaire films are part of the24 hours, they are interspersed rather than being part of one bloc (wise idea). Wish a few more of the early films were scheduled (e.g. "Professional Sweetheart"), but all in all it's a pretty good overview of Ms. Rogers' career. And I'm glad "Kitty Foyle," her Oscar winner, was included; for some odd reason, when Lionel Barrymore gets his first SUTS day, TCM is not showing "A Free Soul" for which he won the Oscar (it's also the film that put Clark Gable on the map, and isn't it unfortunate Gable and Ginger never made a movie together?).

    You can see the complete SUTS schedule, plus some other thoughts of mine, at

    1. Awesome stuff, VP! For being a 'casual' Gingerologist, you can scope out some great stuff! Honestly, I should have caught this, as I 'receive' the TCM Newsletter, and somehow didn't see this...I'll do a 'proper post' on it soon, and of course heap praise and accolades on Miss VP of Carole & Co.!!!



    2. Huey, after some self-checking, I discovered that I remain Mr. VP (whew). Other than that, thanks for the compliment!

    3. heh heh...that's happened to me too, back when I was just 'VKMfan'...that's why I added 'Huey'... I think it's the 'avatar'...I see Carole, and think I'm talking to...Carole... the same with mine of Ginger...
      Well, now that THAT'S all cleared up... thanks again, MR...VP! :-)


  7. While Ginger and Gable never made a film together they did do a radio show 'Imperfect Lady'

    Its a shame TCM's schedule in the UK isn't the same as the schedule in the US however :(

  8. Well, the US schedule can be pretty spotty at times... honestly, I have kinda 'strayed' from TCM, since they moved it to the 'upper tier' in our cable service...we still get it, but only on one TV now... I'll have to 're-quaint' myself with it...seemed like they were delving into more 'modern' from the '80s...weird.

    And, wasn't Ginger up for some role opposite Gable? see, I should KNOW this stuff... :-]