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Breathtakingly Beautiful


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I learn something new here every day! Morton Jr , eh? It's funny Stoney that you mention you sorta got hooked on old movies from watching Topper, way back when video was new my parents got this film, and this movie and old Shirley Temple movies were the only black and white fodder I had besides Lucy and it got me hooked as well. I know the whole movie Topper by heart. I even memorized all the words to the song " Old Man Moon" and sing it as a lullabye to my kids to this day. Beware of buying this film! all versions besides my parents are colorized, and original B&W is hard to come by. Better off getting TCM to air it!

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So true, lux0786. I was remiss if I didn't include her.


See her in Eternally Yours with David Niven and of course, The Bishop's Wife. She is gorgeous.


Did she not have the range of a Carole Lombard, though? She seemed more breakable (for lack of a better word) than Carole, so her acting never struck me as memorable.


She was just luminescent, though. I would love to have 8X10 studio glossies, in black and white of course, of all my favorites.

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What comes to mind for me are Loretta's early films for Warner Bros. I thought her acting rather good. I remember a cute drunk scene in Employee's Entrance that required a little flexibility. She had a minor role in an early talkie The Squall (1929). Absolutely adorable. The Accused (1948) comes to mind, a movie I would like to see again. She plays a schoolteacher turned murderer. I don't remember where I saw this movie. I don't think it was TCM, though. If they have it, I wish they'd show it.

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Loretta Young was a beautiful woman, both in her younge years as she got older. I remember her in that original "Nine to Remember" series in February 1980 issue of "Life Magazine," where they had photos of nine actresses, then and now. It was later made into a book called "Return Engagement."


Hedy Lamar, Linda Darnell, Madeline Carroll, and Carole Lombard are also very beautiful.


Another one of the great all-time beauties, also included in that "Life Magazine" article was Frances Dee, wife of actor Joel McCrea. I remember that picture of her where she is leaing against the huge doorway and she looked just gorgeous.


According to what I read after Frances died, she was George Cukor's original choice to play Melanie Hamilton in "Gone With the Wind." However, David Selznick vetoed the choice, saying Frances was too beautiful and would overshadow very beautiful Vivien Leigh as his Scarlet O'Hara. In this "In Memorium" book I purchased late last year, they had this story as well as a color picture of Frances. My mother said, "My gosh, Frances and Vivien could have been sisters, both with green eyes." My mother thinks it was probably the similarity in looks between the two very beautiful women that caused Frances to lose the role of Melanie. Frances Dee was the last of the original nine ladies interviewed to pass away.


Either way, Olivia de Havilland was the perfect Melanie Hamilton. She and Joan Fontaine are quite attractive as well.


Just thought I would throw my two cents worth in.



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  • 1 month later...

Grace Kelly

Audrey Hepburn

Lauren Bacall

Ingrid Bergman

Sophia Loren

Eva Marie Saint

Elizabeth Taylor

Jennifer Jones

Kate Hepburn

Bette Davis

Claudette Colbert

Joanne Woodward

Carole Lombard

Marilyn Monroe (not much of an actress, however)

Ann Sheridan

Jane Powell

Ginger Rogers

Vivien Leigh


Olivia de Havilland, and her sister, Joan Fontaine



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I would agree with most of your list, but I would also add Lana Turner and Linda Darnell. If we are gonna do this for the ladies we might as well also do it for the men. In which case my list would consist of Paul Newman leaving everyone else in his dust, but in the distance there would also be Errol Flynn, Cary Grant and Marlon Brando in his younger days.

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Maureen O'Hara (especially in her Technicolor films--B&W DOES NOT do her justice!)

Deborah Kerr (in THE KING AND I)

Vera Ellen (on the set of ON THE TOWN)

and... (and you can start throwing tomatoes now)

Lucille Ball in her earier films (ZIEGFELD FOLLIES, for example)

Jane Wyman (in POLLYANNA)

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Hi, Alleycat1920:


I'll second that emotion. Joel McCrea is my all time favorites, and one of the most good-looking men ever. I would add to that list his costars: Claudette Colbert and Veronica Lake in the two respective movies you mentioned.


Last but not least, I would add Joel McCrea's extremely gorgeous wife, Frances Dee. She is one of the true classic beauties of Hollywood.


Both Frances and Joel must have had extremely good-looking parents and siblings to turn out the way they did.


Take care.



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Holly wrote:

"...and (you may think me crazy)

Buster Keaton"


I don't think you're crazy! He's adorable! (He has a great smile, too, when you can unearth a photograph of him doing so.)


I was re-watching That's Entertainment III yesterday, and there's a sequence in it on great MGM beauties, shown to the tune of "You Stepped Out of a Dream." All the women were lovely, but one turned around to show her face and it was Ava Gardner. I gasped--I was just floored at how gorgeous she was.





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I wouldn't say RONALD REAGAN was breathtakingly beautiful, but he was certainly handsome in many of his Warner films, no matter what you think of him politically.


And OLIVIA de HAVILLAND, in all of her films with Errol Flynn, certainly fit the definition of breathtakingly beautiful. Who can forget the balcony scene from THE ADV. OF ROBIN HOOD where Lady Marian has an unexpected visitor. Olivia was radiant in that scene especially.


Years later, she was still very much the beauty when RICHARD BURTON climbed to her balcony in MY COUSIN RACHEL to give her the family jewels. (Tiara and all!)





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Good Morning Everyone,


I just came across this thread and have just finished reading everyone's entries.

You're all correct, of course, as this is a very subjective opinion.


My choices:


1) Ava Gardner on the set of "Show Boat" (1951). She is playing poker with some of the crew and swearing when she gets beaten by one of the lighting crew.


2) Lana Turner sitting on her chair getting her legs creamed for an upcoming scene in "The Prodigal" (1955). The crew is oggling her and so was I.


3) Richard Chamberlain (1962) walking on the beach and casting a shadow across my face as I lay outside my Malibu house.



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Breathtaking, eh? (as opposed to only just gorgeous...that list would go on forever):

On the women's side I'll have to go for Ingrid Bergman in "Casablanca".

And the men: Laurence Olivier in "Wuthering Heights"! There are several closeups of him in that film that most definitely give me respiratory problems. As to being on the movie's set (back to the original premise of this post) - it's a good thing that won't ever happen - doubt I'd make it out alive if young Larry were there and turned around and looked at me...

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And on second thought, there's a runner-up. And it's a 2-for-one: The set of "Random Harvest" - luminous red-haired Greer Garson, PLUS Mister Ronald Colman. Can't get a whole lot more breathtaking than that. And if they began to speak, well, I'd be treated to a double-whammy of the most beautiful treatment of the English language I could ever imagine.

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