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Hollywood lost it's magic especially with actresses!


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I would like to know everyone's opinion here.

 

You see, I'm not amused and easily bored with today's actors and especially the actresses.

 

I find myself envious and amused by the classic era actresses, who've lived and died before I was even born but still I envy them. The women in movies today don't have the beauty of the 1930's and 1940's actresses. All the girls had their own beauty, look, type in those days. Now and days it's like most of the actresses resemble each other, no individuality, not much to envy, especially when you see them without makeup. I guess today's actresses don't live up to the illusion of what a movie star suppose to be like stars than in the golden days. Plus, the beauty was natural without all the makeup and surgery. I wonder was it something in the water back than because we need some of it now. Not to say the actresses today aren't attractive but you get bored with them after a while unlike the golden era actresses. Actresses today lack charm, allure, mystery and full fledge femininity from head to toe. Actresses today are too bold, in your face, I guess too much like us ordinary humans. In the golden era they wanted to make us believe and did that movie stars were better than us and was perfect.

 

You don't see women who look like or have the image of Clara Bow, Jean Harlow, Frances Farmer, Dorothy Lamour, Myrna Loy, Dolores del Rio, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Claire Luce, Hedy Lamarr, Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Kathryn Grayson, Lana Turner, Veronica Lake, Ann Sheridan, Gene Tierney, Linda Darnell, Lena Horne, Nina Mae McKinney, Dorothy Van Engle, Francine Everett and I could go on.

 

When you think about it, it really wasn't that long ago, but much has changed and I can't believe that they didn't at least keep some of that golden era MAGIC. I don't think the actresses today could ever compare to our golden era stars and don't let me start on the males, they lack that rugged but romantic image.

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Classic,

 

I think that part of the problem with today is the cult of celebrity.

 

Actresses such as Meryl Streep, Jodi Foster, Kristen Dunst, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Catherine Keener, Halle Berry, Jada Pinkett Smith, Angelina Jolie (forget her personal life and emphasis her movie roles), Mary Steenburgen, Christine Lahti, Susan Sarandon and many others, are all (imho) just as beautiful and just as talented as the women of the classic era.

 

Women who are more famous for whom they bed, where they party and what they wear are part of the cult of celebrity and that, to me, is different than being an actress who takes their craft serious.

 

lynn in sherman oaks

 

 

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I'm sorry not in my opinion, these actresses today may be pretty having the best make up artist but standing up against Rita Hayworth, Anita Page, Hedy Lamarr, Linda Darnell, Myrna Loy, Gene Tierney, Dolores del Rio, Angelia Jolie and Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep wouldn't pass in my book.

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classicerafan--

Don't take this the worng way--I'm not all that impressed with today's stars either. Heck, I can't even tell the guys apart.

But I think there's a lot of beauty created by lighting, make-up and touch-ups, both today and in the past. I don't know if you've ever seen pictures of say, Marlene Dietrich, Katharine Hepburn or Greta Garbo without their make-up. They are still attractive women, but nothing like the goddesses they are in formal pictures. And I'm guessing that the main reason for lack of plastic surgery was that it was still pretty primitive.

Tracey

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Plus, the beauty was natural without all the makeup and surgery>>

 

Classicfan,

 

The actresses of the Classic era did need make-up and while they didn't have plastic surgery, they all had cameramen they loved to work with. Why? Because the cameramen knew how to light the actresses the best to make them look either their most glamourous or their tawdry best.

 

From Greta Garbo and William Daniels on forward, the actresses all knew who the good cameramen were and many of them learned the tricks and taught them to other cameramen.

 

As for make-up, Max Factor and the Westmoreland family and Charles (???) Tuttle all had long, long careers as make-up artists to the stars.

 

There are photos and some home movies of the stars caught without their make-up and in many ways, they look very ordinary. More like good looking men and women than the glamour kings and queens they were on the silver screen.

 

I think Halle Berry is every bit as beautiful as Dorothy Dandridge. Just as I think Liv Tyler is just as beautiful as Ava Gardner.

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Classicerafan said that magic word,"in my opinion" which means it has nothing to do with fact, it is just a statement reflecting how classicerafan feels and believes about that particular subject. It is the opinion of 25% of the people of the USA that the Earth is the center of the universe and that the sun evolves around the Earth. The rest of us can laugh about their opinion knowing that Copernicus and Galileo proved this notion false. People are no different now, beauty wise, than they were 1000 years ago. As far as intelligence goes, well that would be just my opinion.

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I guess what I'm trying to say is, it's just a different time era. The hair, clothes contributed to their beauty and just keeping something to the imagination but still sexy without baring all. I like the book they had faces than, I always use that title, because they did.

I guess people don't change but clothes, hair styles and people's way of doing things change and that's the biggest differences.

 

I never did find Dorothy Dandridge that beautiful, she's no different looking than most good looking black women but beautiful, no, not to me, she wasn't rare in her looks. Since I know of many black actresses outside of Hollywood and in it, I've seen many who are more or just as equal but because you only know of Dorothy and Lena, you say just them, because that's all you know and the only ones. Pat Rainey, Sally Blair, Dorothy Van Engle, Francine Everett and Sheila Guyse were beautiful women who just were rare beautous.

This site features many women you never heard about who were beauties as well.

http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/ninamaemckinney/LadiesofHarlem.html

 

 

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I tend to prefer the glamour and elegance of that time, too, but plastic surgery was not at all uncommon in old Hollywood. Cosmetic surgery was developed shortly after World War I, because soldiers were disfigured by explosives during battle and there were sophisticated enough anesthetics by that time to make it feasible.

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  • 1 month later...

lzcutter,in a strange way I agree with both you and the original poster. Today's stars,especially the women(heck,as a previous poster stated,I can't even keep track of the guys-they're too much of a muchness) don't have the individuality and allure and glamor that the women of Hollywood's Golden Era had,but it's precisely BECAUSE those women WEREN'T natural,or at least ever publicly seen as such.Take,for instance,my favorite lady Norma Shearer-she had eyes that were too small(not in real life,just for the camera,especially when compared to the standard ideal of the time as exemplified by Gloria Swanson,Joan Crawford,etc-now we're talking what the camera loves,not what looks good in plain old daylight),one had a cast,she had thick ankles and her legs were NOT her ticket to fame.She did have beautiful poreless fine skin,thick chestnut hair,a peerlessly flat tummy,and a perfectly patrician profile. As an actress,she knew her stock-in-trade-part of that being her physical assets.She knew how to play up the good ones,and camoflauge the bad ones. To look as beautiful as she did on camera,all that took time and thought-she was known as a perfectionist when it came to lighting,placement,etc. She knew her lines-AND the cameraman's job too,LOL.

Neither she nor MGM would have ever let her be seen for broad public consumption in anything less than a flattering setting. As with all the stars of that day,I suppose that's what gave them their mystique,and their constant perfection.I personally prefer their approach to today's.

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classicerafan, I agree with you about todays actresses, they just don't have the lure that the classic era actresses have. That's not to say that there aren't modern day actresses that I like. Nicole Kidman, Renee Zelleweger, Cate Blanchette and Meryl Streep come to mind, but they will never be Greta Garbo, Norma Shearer, Marion Davies, and Joan Crawford. ;)

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  • 1 month later...

I've read the book They Had Faces Then, too. It's been out of print, but I have an old copy. When you look at the variety they had--Eve Arden, Judy Garland, Garbo, Dietrich, Sonja Henie, Joan Blondell, Mary Astor, Esther Williams, Jeanette MacDonald, Rita Hayworth, Katharine Hepburn, Edna May Oliver, Gracie Allen, Bette Davis, Billie Burke, Carole Lombard, Virginia O'Brien, Mae West and many others- Well, I'm glad there's TCM!

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I agree with every thing you say classic fan. The modern actresses are just plain and are judged by how skinny they are not how beautiful they are. I know a lot of people would disagree with me on this, but I could care less if u do, I don't think the stars of today are very talented either they all either over act or are just boring. (like others have said, I wont get started on the men lol) Although the stars in the Golden era did where a lot of makeup they still looked so natural. But the stars of today don't. Also the studios back then would instruct their actresses how to walk, how to talk, who to be seen with, who not to be seen with, where to go ex cetera ex cetera. You'll never find a picture of a golden era actresses caught outside in her pjs. But you'll never find beauty like the classic actress like Grace Kelly, Cyd Charisse, Elizabeth Taylor, Ginger Rodgers, (just to name a few) they are all one of a kind.

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Y'all realize that back then all contracts had morals clauses in them. Actors and Actresses had to sign them to keep working. The studio tried to control not only the news about them, the photos taken with them but their lives as well. They had to learn to walk, to talk, had pills to control their weight, had cosmetic surgery to enhance their looks, used make up to cover their flaws and often did not have much of say in any of it because once they signed the contract, the studio was in control. As they got older and obtained stardom, they often settled into a compromise with the studio but the bottom line was that the studio was in control.

 

For all its glamour, it was an era where men and women had to deny publicly who they were in love with if the object of their desire was married to someone else or a person of color, had to hide in "the closet" and use starlets as "beards" or they risked losing their careers if the studio invoked the morals clause. Tired after working ten hour days on a picture, too bad, you have to go to the opening of this new nightclub tonight. The car will be around at 8:00 to pick you up. And don't forget, you have to be in make up by 4:00 am tomorrow.

 

There are some photos of the actresses of the day without their make up on and they look just like very natural and ordinary, just like all the rest of us do with very little hint of the goddess that could emerge given the right light and make up.

 

I'm not disputing that it wasn't glamourous era, it certainly was. But there was a very dark side to that glamour as well.

 

Should we have more glamour today Of course we should, but there are some very valid reasons that should not be forgotten for why that era passed into history and is no longer with us.

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Hollywood has lost its magic because nowadays these cookie cutter bimbos are a dime a dozen and nobody wants to tell a story they want to sell you sex. While back then the press may have been phony . Take a minute to look at Clara Bow who was a Jezebel and the press told you so. Back then you had to have composure and a unique bone structure , not to mention actual talent.

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Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Julianne Moore, Meryl Streep , Jodie Foster, Halle Berry, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, Annette Bening, Juliette Binoche, Laura Linney, Joan Allen, Judy Densch, Diane Lane

 

I could go on. I think there are many wonderfully talented women working in films today just as there were 100 years ago. The times may change but talent will always shine through.

 

Could movies be more story oriented? Sure. And given the dismal year that Hollywood has had at the box office we may see more story oriented movies in 2006 and 2007.

 

And for the record, Clara Bow may have been a number of things but Jezebel was not one of them. There are a number of hoary old legends about her that have debunked over the years but people tend to remember the sensational lies instead.

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The poster who wrote about the moral clause and the constraints on the actresses of yonder years made me think of Ava Gardner who said the moviestars of MGM studio were the only merchandise allowed to leave the store at night. That Ava sure was a character. Also, the old studio system was oppresive as someone mentioned and certain studios had the same look over and over again. I've also read somewhere that a star of old said to a newer star of the 60s and 70s they did the samething as them but it was in the quiet. Yes there were beauties but there was trouble for some of these beauties. I do have a problem with the celebrity of Paris HIlton-yuck.

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Another differences between actresses of the past and today, is actresses today they love to do outrageous things to get attention, recording themselves having sex and than acting shock when it gets out, as if they didn't know!

Janet Jackson was sunbathing nude and a camera recording her the whole time and she acts surprised.

Britney Spears put together some tapes showing her honeymoon, and showing herself looking filthy, disgusting, I guess its how she acts at home and wanted us to see.

You would never picture any of these ladies showing up at the Oscars looking bad, most actresses today, they come looking bad at the Oscars, the most special moment in their life. Back in those days, you couldn't find one to show up looking bad at Oscars or any other event.

Could you ever picture, Joan Crawford, Marlene Dietrich, Myrna Loy doing any of these things?

 

Maybe it was harsh back than but at least they made sure their stars were the illusion of feminine perfection which is one reason why we love them.

 

Stars than didn't have to do outrageous things to get notice, just being themselves got them attention.

 

Stars today lack magnetism, allure, personality, vivaciousness, charm, mystery, stars today just act nothing else, they get rather dull, you never got dull with old Hollywood stars.

 

Another problem with stars today is that their just on stage to show off, not to really entertain, most care less about their fans, they feel their fans are there for them, not them there for them and pleasing them endlessly.

All they care about fans doing is keeping them rich and famous, even if Golden Era stars felt that way they didn't say it. Back than they knew their fans got them to where they were.

I would like to see Clara Bow's, Jean Harlow's, Kay Francis's, Barbara Stanwyck's, Joan Blondell's, Myrna Loy's, Marjorie White's today. Stars today just can't put down the sex, that's all they feel they know and need to get ahead. There are other qualities they should study the Golden Era stars. These actresses today will not be remembered as highly as the Golden Era actresses.

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Another differences between actresses of the past and today, is actresses today they love to do outrageous things to get attention, recording themselves having sex and than acting shock when it gets out, as if they didn't know!

Janet Jackson was sunbathing nude and a camera recording her the whole time and she acts surprised.

Britney Spears put together some tapes showing her honeymoon, and showing herself looking filthy, disgusting, I guess its how she acts at home and wanted us to see.>>

 

I would hardly call Paris Hilton, Britney Spears or Janet Jackson movie stars. They, and many of their ilk, are part of the cult of celebrity which we (the universal we) seem to adore.

 

The National Enquirer, The Star, People, Us, Extra, Entertainment Tonight and all the other tabloids and weeklies published and those on the air would go out of business if it weren't for one thing. Our (the universal our) devotion to having to know every little bit of scandelous behaviour about everyone. If we (the universal we) stopped reading or watching, they would find themselves out of business.

 

Just as we (the posters here) don't want to be lumped in the readers of tabloids, weeklies or bad television, we do a disservice to the actors and actresses actually practising their craft when we lump them in with those whose only claim to fame is their celebrity.

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Lzcutter has a very impressive list which I might add Helen Mirren (though most of us know her from her Prime Suspect series). I think magic is missing and it's Hollywood's fault. In the 30s and 40s there were PR machines (and that wasn't always a good thing) that helped make actors "stars." When was the last time we had any news about any of them that wasn't based in a political context. There doesn't seem to be enough info getting out about these ladies that we can learn anything about them on a personal level, make some kind of connection.

Even if they're are making quality films there is not much promotion. They're spending too much time promotiong the next Cameron Diaz or Drew Barrymore movie. It also doesn't help that the women on Liz's list are mostly over 40. Not always a good thing in today's Hollywood.

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Lzcutter has a very impressive list which I might add Helen Mirren...It also doesn't help that the women on Liz's list are mostly over 40. Not always a good thing in today's Hollywood.>>

 

 

Movie Man,

Two excellent points. So, for younger actresses that practise their craft, are good at it and should not be compared to those in the cult of celebrity:

 

Naomi Watts, Charlize Theron, Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Emma Watson, Kate Winslet, Keira Knightley, Dakota Fanning, Rachel McAdams, Amber Tamblyn, Maria Bello, Rachel Weisz and Miranda Otto.

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I used to choose going to the movies by actor, actress, director or story ... today it's down to director and/or story. There isn't a single actor or actress that gets me in the theater. However, there's 99.9% of them that keeps me out of there.

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