1961_09_30--079_SP - Page 1

1961_09_30--040_SP [Mother Is a Movie Queen]

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Exclusive Automatic Picture Contrast Restoration for sharpest blacks and truest whites. Precision Electron Focus Control provides lasting edgeto edge picture sharpness. t D.' OVERALL DIAGONAL, az SQ. IN. VIEWABLE AREA * TM OF MANUFACTURER * MULTIPLEX ACCESSORY, OPTIONAL EXTRA Continued from Page 40 difficult to describe as it was easy to look at. "Let's just say Lily's in her teens. She's been in the little-theater movement on the Coast here for several seasons. Her dad—we're separated, as you know—helped to finance her in a couple of things that sort of expired. Anyway, she thinks it's high time I did a Broadway play, and so I finally accepted Martin Latimer's offer." "And in all these Hollywood years you've never been in a stage drama?" "No. And I'm petrified. But don't put that in your piece. In fact, dear, I'd like to see a copy of this article before it appears. Not that I don't trust you, Al. But —" "I'll have a transcript in the mails in about two weeks." "In that case send it on to the Park South Hotel, New York." She gave one of her famous smiles. "If you boys like Scotch,, just help yourself. A feller in Edinburgh makes it up for me special." Later Miss Lily Tremaine came up dripping from the swimming pool, a towel flung around her. She was slender, somewhat tense, with a tomboyish figure and an air of deep gravity. "How did it go?" Lora shrugged. "I talked about your father, naturally. And my other marriage when I was just a stupid kid." "And not about the play!" "Of course I talked about the play. But you've got to toss in a little human stuff too." Lora sighed. "I don't know why I let you wangle me into this. What do I know about Broadway? Even Ted Loes, my manager, has his doubts." "Mamma, this lead in New Blood will start you on a whole new career. The play has terrific social implications, the idea of a rich society matron scheming to marry off her son to the daughter of the family cook —" "It don't sound very real-life to me." "But it is real life. Every day you read how some royal prince has been marrying a commoner to bring fresh blood into the family. Actually it's a sort of Strindberg plot —" "Strindberg. Strindberg—what studio does he work for?" "Really, mamma! Strindberg was a famous Swedish playwright." "Well, unless he had a lot of screen credits I wouldn't recognize the name." Reaching over, she patted her little blond spaniel. "By the way, I'm taking Taffy with us. He'll be a comfort. You know I've never liked New York. Cities look better lying on their sides. The way New York stands up balanced on its back legs makes me dizzy." "Honestly, you're a character." "I'm myself, if that's what you mean. I've been studying the lines of this play. I can't seem to get inside Mrs. Broughton, of the Boston Broughtons. It's hard to visualize myself as a society dame." "Now don't tell me you've got an inferiority complex!" "It's possible." Lora shrugged. "I've been so busy bringing you up and running what I was born with into a milliondollar trust fund that I haven't had time to figure out my complexes." She took the towel and began drying her daughter's back and shoulders. "You're the talented one in the family. You remind me of your father. I mean his good side. He was -- Furthermore, I don't like flying. Especially these jets. Why can't we take the Super Chief?" "Mother, where have you been all these years!" "You know where I've been. In my dressing room practicing how to be enticing in front of the mirror. All I hope is that Taffy don't get airsick." " 'Doesn't,' mamma." "Can't I talk bad grammar privately when we're alone, honey? Remember, I got married when I was fifteen, and it kind of put a crimp in my education." A few days later, comfortably quartered in a suite at the fashionable Park South Hotel, Lora was telling her daughter, "The closer it gets to two o'clock, the sicker I feel." "But you've talked with the producer, Mr. Latimer. You saw how charming he was. You've seen Gig Bixby, the director. You've met Harriet Hart, who has the big part of the cook. They're utterly thrilled at having you in the play." Lora anxiously examined herself in the large, beveled mirror. "Is this jersey suitable? I don't bulge too much?" Lily gazed at her mother's figure critically. "Let's admit it, mamma. You automatically bulge. But never mind that. Just concentrate on rehearsal." "All right. But I wish you'd change your mind and come with me." "Mother, once you get into it you'll love it!" The handsome, statuesque actress pulled on her gloves. "I'll probably love heaven if I ever get into it. But that don't mean I'm in a hurry to kick the bucket." Lily had to laugh. "I still say you're a character, mamma." On the empty stage of the dimly lighted theater the company had assembled in working clothes, and they cast curious sidelong glances at the star as she entered. Following the usual introductions, Miss Tremaine exchanged a nervous joke or two with the producer, a rather elegant man with a pleasant touch of white at the temples. "I can't tell you how I felt when you agreed to do this play," he said. "Good. Then I won't have to tell you how I felt." The cast finally gathered around a long, scarred oak table while the director made a few observations. There was nothing elegant about Bixby, who looked as though he'd slept in his clothes. "I happen to feel that the better we understand the purpose of a drama," he said, "the more likely we are to convey this meaning to the audience. Now you all remember the old story of the tricky little gold digger who gets her hooks into the son of some upper-crust family. Father eventually exposes her by writing a walloping check so young Reggie can marry one of those pudding-faced daughters of the rich." He flipped through the pages of the play script. "Well, if you've read New Blood, you know it's something more than a variation on this threadbare theme. It's no longer a question of buying off the little gold digger. On the contrary, she's needed to put back some vigor into the family blood stream. So we have in Mr. Clary's play a dramatization of this proposition, the campaign of the wealthy Broughtons to arrange a match between their playboy son and the cook's sprightly daughter. The young couple is willing enough, but it's not quite that simple. Mrs. Quinlan, the cook, is dead set against any such union. 'I'd rather Marie stayed single the rest of her days than marry that night-club rounder and drunkard, Monty Broughton,' she declares indignantly. 'Remember, their children will be my grandchildren, and I'm damned if I want any such mixture as this in my family. The rich are good enough to work for, madam. But to marry —' "Well, you get the point. Obviously there's more to this play than mere surface story. It's the way these two parts are played that is crucial. The head-on collision between Mrs. Broughton, the socialite, and Mrs. Quinlan, the cook, represents the differences in our democratic way of life itself. Can they come to terms? Are Judy O'Grady and the colonel's lady really sisters under the skin? That's the question. "Now, the burden of these portrayals lies squarely on the shoulders of Lora Tremaine and Harriet Hart. Miss Tremaine, as you all know, is one of our foremost picture stars. And while this is something of a new departure for her, I think we have a right to expect great things. As for Harriet Hart, her selection to play the cook was, in my opinion, an inspiration. Bill Garrett as Monty and Alice Chalmers as the cook's daughter round out an experienced group of performers. Now this has been a long speech, and it's time we got on with the reading. So please settle back and feel free to interrupt at any point in the procedure." When Lora returned to the hotel, Lily said, "Well, mamma? How did it go?" "Rotten." The actress tossed her gloves on the sofa. "I'm more confused now than when I started." "Why, mamma? What went wrong?" "Nothing. I just got lost after the first six minutes." "But you have to expect it to be a little different from pictures, mamma." "Do I have to expect funny looks and snide remarks behind my back ?" "Oh, now you're just imagining things." "Well, before it's too late maybe I'll imagine myself right out of this play. How I ever let myself be talked into this crazy venture is a mystery!' "But, mother, you've got talent!" exclaimed Lily passionately. "I know you better than anybody in the world. I want to be proud of you!" "You don't have to shout, dear. I hear good. I've just got an awful feeling this whole thing is going to turn out to be a disaster." The girl gestured in a characteristic way with her finger. "You listen a minute, mamma. How do you think I feel when people refer to you as 'The Shape'? How long can you go on playing the sexy dame, the femme fatale in these vulgar films? It ruined your life with papa —" "Leave your father out of this." "And now it's coming between us. Here's your chance to play a strong dramatic part, to show you're a real actress, and you're fighting it. Can't you try ?" "O.K. But I feel out of place, like a whale in a teacup. You'll just have to come to rehearsals and explain things to me as we go along, baby." On stage the following afternoon the property man had arranged some chairs to represent the Broughton living room. "Let's take it from Mrs. Broughton's first entrance," said the director. "Miss Tremaine, haven't you got your play script?" "I'm a quick study. I know the lines." "Good. We'll run through this bit with your son Monty to get the feel of the \mom& .11111-P-7 / WuMi7t /nImr WEW


1961_09_30--040_SP [Mother Is a Movie Queen]
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