Thursday Reads: A Little Hollywood Glamour before the Daily Horrors

This dress presages Madonna's lingerie outfits.

This dress presages Madonna’s lingerie outfits.

Good Morning!!

Last night I watched a little bit of The Girl Who Had Everything, starring Elizabeth Tayor–on TCM of course. I had never seen it before.

The movie was released in 1953 when Liz was only 21. She sure was gorgeous. You have to see some of the outfits she wore in that film, one of which is on the right.

From Wikipedia:

The Girl Who Had Everything (1953) is a feature film directed by Richard Thorpe and produced by Armande Deutsch for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. The film features William Powell in his last MGM feature and one of his last film roles before retirement.

The screenplay was written by Art Cohn, based upon a play by Willard Mack, which in turn was based on the novel A Free Soul by Adela Rogers St. Johns. The play and novel were also inspiration for an earlier film adaptation called A Free Soul (1931).

The plot:

Steve Latimer (William Powell) is a successful defense attorney who has tried to give his daughter Jean (Elizabeth Taylor) everything he can in life. She decides to leave her boyfriend, the amiable Vance Court (Gig Young), for Victor Ramondi (Fernando Lamas), a rakish and dangerous man with underworld connections whom Steve is representing. Steve tries to warn Jean away from Victor, but she accepts his proposal of marriage.


Now for some outfits.

girl who had everything

Liz girl

Liz girl2

I can see why JJ loves to watch TCM. Movie stars just aren’t as glamorous these days as in the 1950s.

In real life, Liz was the woman who had everything. After she died, her huge fashion and jewelry collections were auctioned off by Christie’s. From The Telegraph Nov. 19, 2011:

In my job as a fashion curator for Christie’s I have been lucky enough to see close at hand the private clothes of some of the 20th century’s most famous women.

For more information about the latest trend in fashion dresses, visit

Now here was my latest rabbit-hole: a tiny black door framed in black granite, puncturing the windowless facade of an art-handling warehouse in Long Island, New York. I was Alice again, diving down to explore the possessions of another 20th-century icon: the soon-to-be-dispersed jewels, fashion and memorabilia of the last of the great Hollywood Golden Age superstars, Elizabeth Taylor.

Taylor in 1965 wearing the diamond tiara given to her by Mike Todd, her third husband. Photo: Rex

Taylor in 1965 wearing the diamond tiara given to her by Mike Todd, her third husband. Photo: Rex

What met my eyes was rack upon rack of Taylor’s clothes, stretching into the far distance. These racks were packed so tightly that hems, frills, collars and belts stuck out; her collection of clothes in bright orange, sequins, prints, sunflower-yellow, lace and feathers were hung in the order they had been unpacked from her house in Bel Air and her chalet in Gstaad. Handbags – more than 200 – emerged one by one from many crates….

As I went through the racks of clothes it became apparent that here was a vast haute couture and prêt-à-porter wardrobe spanning more than 50 years; Elizabeth must have been one of the greatest couture clients of all time. Once she had bought from the collections, she carefully kept these exquisitely made pieces in superb condition on the top floor of her house in Bel Air.

Here a series of rooms, formerly, I suppose, a guest suite, had become one vast dressing-room carpeted in her favourite lilac. All it lacked was the star on the door. In this eyrie, Taylor kept the clothes she had chosen, worn out in public and laid aside for another day. Her handbags were swathed in tissue paper or in specially made bags and stacked neatly by colour. So were her shoes and the more than 30 pairs of cowboy boots…

More gorgeous photos at the link.

Now back to real life and today’s news {sigh….}

Terrible news out of Austin, TX (  Two dead after car crashes into SXSW crowd.

A driver attempting to evade a drunk driving stop hurtled past a barricade on Red River Street and plowed through dozens of SXSW revelers, killing two and injuring 23 in a horrific scene early Thursday morning, police said. The street, home to many popular clubs hosting South by Southwest music showcases, had been closed to motorists and was crowded with music fans waiting to get into the Mohawk nightclub.

According to police, the man, driving a small Toyota car, went the wrong way down Ninth Street after evading a stop at a gas station around 12:30 a.m., turned onto Red River and drove for more than two blocks, striking numerous pedestrians before hitting a scooter traveling on 11th Street, killing the man and woman on board. The driver then struck a taxi, injuring two, and crashed into a parked van, Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

The man then attempted to flee on foot before he was stunned with a Taser gun and detained by the police officer who originally tried to pull the man over at a gas station on the frontage road of Interstate 35.

Speaking to reporters on Red River Street, which was still littered with shoes, clothing and other debris from the incident, Acevedo vowed the man would face capital murder charges in the deaths of the two scooter riders and 23 counts of aggravated assault with a vehicle.

And in New York’s East Harlem, at least seven people are now confirmed dead after a gas explosion leveled two apartment buildings yesterday. WSJ:

At least seven people were killed and more than 60 were injured in an apparent natural-gas explosion that leveled two residential buildings and severely damaged a third Wednesday morning in Manhattan, officials said.

Police said early Thursday that a seventh person was found dead. This follows an adult male pulled from the rubble just after midnight, a woman found about 2:45 a.m. Thursday, and a man discovered about a half-hour later.

The 9:31 a.m. Wednesday blast rocked the East Harlem neighborhood, shattering windows, throwing neighbors from their beds and sending people fleeing down the block in a cloud of smoke and debris.

The century-old, five-story brick structures housed 15 apartments, a church and a piano store in a neighborhood favored by immigrants. The blast also caused significant damage to a neighboring four-story building. More than 100 residents were staying in a nearby American Red Cross shelter.

Emergency workers were searching for victims in parts of the rubble, but sections remained inaccessible because of a sinkhole created by a water-main break, likely caused by the explosion, city officials said.

The missing Malaysian Airlines jet mystery continues as “conflicting reports” sow confusion. From the LA Times:

BEIJING —  The mystery of missing Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 deepened amid allegations that the airplane flew four hours more than originally thought and might have traveled more than one thousand miles away from where search and rescue teams are looking.

Citing U.S. national security sources, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that government personnel were pursuing the possibility that the plane was commandeered “with the intention of using it later for another purpose.’’ The newspaper also said that data transmitted by an onboard monitoring system toRolls-Royce Plc., the engine manufacturer, suggested that the plane flew for up to five hours in total after its takeoff from Kuala Lumpur at 12:21 a.m. Saturday morning.

Malaysian officials at a press conference Thursday denied the story and said the last engine data was transmitted at 1:07 a.m., about 20 minutes before the aircraft disappeared from civilian radar screens.

Nevertheless, the Malaysians said they had expanded the search and rescue operation into India and the surrounding waters, the Bay of Bengal, Andaman Sea and Arabian Sea. If in fact the Boeing 777 flew for five hours from Kuala Lumpur, it could have traveled 2,200 nautical miles, as far as the India-Pakistan border.

According to Reuters, there is “no evidence” that the plane continue flying for hours after it disappeared from radar. There had been reports of debris being sighted by Chinese radar, but that turned out to be false. According to BBC News, the photos of the reported debris had been “released by mistake.” Authorities are now investigating the pilots of the plane as well as all passengers and crew. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, they are “paying ‘special attention’ to [a] Chinese Uighur passenger.

Police investigating the backgrounds of all 239 people aboard the missing Malaysia Airlines flight are paying “special attention” to a 35 year-old Chinese Uighur man who undertook flight simulation training, according to a report in a leading Malay language newspaper in Kuala Lumpur.

The Uighurs Muslim ethnic minority group from the north-western Chinese province of Xinjiang have been battling for independence since they were brought under Chinese control in 1949, claiming they are oppressed by China’s authoritarian government and face religious restrictions and widespread discrimination.

Earlier this month the Uighurs, who make up 45 percent of the population of Xinjiang, were blamed for a violent attack at a Chinese train station.

At least 100 people have been killed in the past year in violent clashes between Uighurs and Chinese security forces.

A bizarre and humorous read . . .

Kevin Gosztola of Firedoglake inexplicably turned himself into a laughingstock yesterday when he left a bizarre threatening voicemail for James Kirchick of The Daily Beast. Kirchick had written an article last week about the on-air resignation of former RT (Russia Today) anchor Liz Wahl, and apparently Gosztola was outraged that anyone would criticized the official Kremlin propaganda network–perhaps because Glenn Greenwald has praised it and Julian Assange has frequently appeared on it. Here’s the latest from Kirchick: Defending Putin’s Propagandists.

Coming soon to a theater near you: A Filipina Drama Queen pairs up with a Subversive Gay Jew to embarrass the Russian government!

No, this isn’t the tagline for the summer’s laugh-a-minute buddy comedy. It’s how some online media outlets are describing last week’s on-air resignation of Liz Wahl, anchor for RT-America, the English-language propaganda channel funded entirely by the Russian government. Wahl cited the network’s blatantly propagandistic coverage of the crisis in Crimea, its “whitewashing Putin,” and her own family history as the descendant of Hungarian refugees fleeing Soviet oppression as reasons for her departing the network.

And now, the network’s defenders are coming out in droves—and not just from the dark, traditionally conspiratorial corners of the Internet.

Read more about it at the link. As for the Gosztola episode:

This afternoon, a gentleman identifying himself as Kevin Gosztola, who writes for the left-wing website FireDogLake, left a message on my cell phone. He claimed to be working on a project for First Look Media — the high-profile investigative journalism start-up that employs, among others, Glenn Greenwald.

The Daily Beast posted the audio of the voicemail, along with a transcript that I can resist posting:

“So you don’t deny that you encouraged Liz Wahl to resign. We are going to be publishing a story at First Look Media and I know that you’re going to be losing control of the narrative that you’ve managed to create around Liz Wahl’s resignation. We have multiple sources.

“It’s fairly obvious that you have orchestrated this as part of some Foreign Policy Initiative [the think tank where I work] agenda. And this is what we’re going to be putting out there. So your fun little charade, public stunt that you’ve been putting on which the media has completely eaten up here in the United States, is hopefully over

“If you have any comment and if you’d like to respond to me and prove that this is not how it is, you let me know. But otherwise we are ready to go. And, you know, you like to ‘fuck with the Russians’ and we’re going to respond to that and let people know where you’re coming from as you have worked with Liz Wahl to expose what you call a propaganda network.”

WTF?! It’s now bad form at FDL to “fuck with the Russians?” First Look’s editor denied that Gosztola works for them:

“Kevin [Gosztola] doesn’t work for First Look Media. He apparently spoke to Glenn [Greenwald] about the possibility of doing a story for [First Look], but Glenn hasn’t given him an assignment or a contract,” Eric Bates, executive editor of First Look Media, told The Daily Beast in an email. “Glenn let Kevin know that he shouldn’t be representing himself as acting on behalf of First Look.”

How embarrassing. This story was the talk of Twitter yesterday, and not just among the Snowden critics.

I’ll end there and turn the floor over to you. What stories have piqued your interest today?

27 Comments on “Thursday Reads: A Little Hollywood Glamour before the Daily Horrors”

  1. bostonboomer says:

    From the NYT, more news management by Putin:

    Russian Website Is Reined In Over Article on Ukrainian

    MOSCOW — The retribution against one of Russia’s most popular independent online news organizations,, was as swift as it was unexpected. And to many it served as an ominous warning about the state of the media today as the conflict over Ukraine deepens.

    On Tuesday morning, the country’s media watchdog formally cautioned the website after it published an interview with the leader of a Ukrainian nationalist organization that Russia has denounced as fascist. By afternoon, the site’s editor for the last decade was ousted and replaced by another editor viewed as more loyal to the Kremlin.

  2. bostonboomer says:

    Two articles about Hillary Derangement Syndrome:

    Eleanor Clift at The Daily Beast: Sharks Are Circling Around Hillary

    Zerlina Maxwell at RH Reality Check: The Sexists Are Already Coming Out of the Woodwork for Hillary Clinton

    • NW Luna says:

      And get ready for subtle and not-so-subtle howls from the political writers about the horrors of women’s wrinkles. Meanwhile, voters will be choosing Hillary over baby-faced aqua buddhas and their ilk.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    WSJ: Vladimir Putin’s German brings back memories of East German Stasi for Angela Merkel.

    “We will do everything to prevent a breakdown of the line of communication with Russia,” said Ms. Merkel, according to a person attending the meeting. The chancellor promised to apply sensitivity in dealing with Russia, “but also a certain degree of toughness in defending our values.”

    Ms. Merkel and Mr. Putin often speak in German, a language Mr. Putin commands so well that he toasted the Austrian Olympic team in Sochi last month in German while the cameras rolled. But Ms. Merkel, according to a senior European official, confided to Mr. Hollande over a January 2013 dinner that the Russian’s “soft and low voice” when speaking in her mother tongue sometimes reminded her of a “man of the Stasi,” the East German secret police.

    “Even today, I feel the past coming back,” Ms. Merkel told Mr. Hollande, according to the official.

    • RalphB says:

      Riding a horse shirtless, posing with dead tigers Putin is becoming like a cartoon villain. All he needs is a few pictures petting a bald cat to close the deal.

  4. RalphB says:

    What that dudebro from FDL did isn’t surprising to me. Last time I read anything at that crap bonanza the comments looked as bad as Noisemax. 🙂

  5. Fannie says:

    There are so many, men and women who don’t know sexism when they see it and are involved in it. Many women do not want a confrontation with family and friends about sexism, like the article says it’s been wired, and rewired into our culture, and in our responses, we are told that we are overreacting, telling men what to do, and being feminazi’s. During the 2008 campaign, I’ll never forget the sludge of crap coming from all corners including, my own family, and my female friends. When I became aggressive in my communications , I really felt like they wanted me quiet, they told me how angry I’ve become, a feminazi. I lost a certain respect for the media, and even for my relation who was a high school counselor, and I asked her what she was doing to help these girls. Nothing, she said. We really need to help the young girls understand it. How about women who we were treating Palin with sexism, and they pitted woman against woman. At that time I was not, then I saw where Sarah Palin was using it to benefit her politics, and her supporters jumped in using sexism, and I had no part in it. With time I’ve said fuck it what it, I’ll give it to you. Then I try to think how Hillary has handled situations and I try to unlearn what I’ve come to accept my whole freaking life, sexism is here to stay, at least in my life time. Progress seems to hurt more now than it has helped. It’s hard to stay healthy, and sexism is wrong. Every chance I get, I try to speak out, be loud, and not be silent. I already feel bad because of my life experiences, and blame myself for all these self doubts, and negative feelings. I can’t afford a therapist, but have my sky dancers to help put it in perspective, and color it like our blog does.

    Stand up, and stand with Hillary, it’s truly a honor and a ticket for change.

    • RalphB says:

      Fannie, You shouldn’t blame yourself for anything. Only the foolish don’t have self doubts at times.

      • Fannie says:

        I know what you are saying, I’ve been made to look foolish, I don’t always believe it, but in a lot of cases girls and women react this way, it’s not good, it is almost ingrained, wired and rewired. Thanks to your encouraging words, many of us realize that we don’t need to be hard on ourselves, and make sure it doesn’t happen to others, especially the young ones.

        You’re a favorite dancer Ralph.

    • bostonboomer says:

      You are so strong, Fannie! Keep on speaking out. You’re the best.

    • janicen says:

      You are not alone. We have all felt the sting of ridicule for standing up for our beliefs. I used to let it bother me before I turned forty but once forty happened I decided that everyone could just kiss my ass. It’s a very liberating philosophy and I highly recommend it. It has served me well for many years now. Totally agree with you about the Sky Dancers. They keep me sane.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Martha Raddatz: US Officials Have ‘Indication’ Malaysia Airline Crashed into Indian Ocean

    U.S. officials have an “indication” the missing Malaysia Airlines jetliner may have crashed in the Indian Ocean and is moving the USS Kidd to the area to begin searching.

    It will take another 24 hours to move the ship into position, a senior Pentagon official told ABC News.

    “We have an indication the plane went down in the Indian Ocean,” the senior official said.

    The official said there were indications that the plane flew four or five hours after disappearing from radar and that they believe it went into the water.

    The U.S. action came hours after Malaysian officials said they had extended their search into the Andaman Sea and had requested help from India in the search for the missing plane and its 239 passengers.

  7. RalphB says:

    tpm: Rove Cautions Republicans: No, The Florida Special Election Wasn’t All About Obamacare

    … Rove believes that Sink’s career as a bank executive likely played a larger role in her defeat than did her support for the health care law.

    The Republican campaign also understood that Ms. Sink’s record mattered. GOP ads pointed out that as president of NationsBank (now Bank of America BAC +0.23% ) in Florida, she collected $8 million in salary and bonuses while thousands of bank jobs were cut. Ads also noted that as Florida’s chief financial officer Ms. Sink approved lucrative contracts with her former bank, and that Florida’s pension funds lost billions between 2007 and 2010.

    Her record made voters even less likely to support her than did her backing of ObamaCare.

    KKKKarl says something I agree with, watch for flying pigs!

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Report: Fla. movie theater shooter texted, too

    He shot the man in front of him for texting his daughter, but the shooter had just texted his son.

  9. RalphB says:

    Raw Story: Rafael Cruz blames California drought on UN Agenda 21, ‘Mother Earth worship’

    In case anyone doubts Ted Cruz is really nuts, just take a look at daddy.

  10. Yes, I love the glamour of classic Hollywood! Great post and pictures BB.