Chapter 13

Chapter 13
Ginger Perseveres

Perfect Strangers March 11, 1950
Perfect Strangers reunites Dennis Morgan with Ginger. The film takes a group of people who come from all walks of life and sequesters them in a hotel room during a trial for murder.  The jury consists of eight men and four women.  Theresa ‘Teri’ Scott (Ginger Rogers) is a buyer for a local department store. Teri’s husband lives in Cleveland.  They have lived separately for the last two years.  David Campbell (Dennis Morgan) is in a management position for a pharmaceutical company owned by his father-in-law.  He has two small daughters who are seven and nine.  Teri and David are lonely and unhappy with their present life situations.  Teri and David find common ground in their loneliness and fall in love with each other as they find themselves continually in each other’s company.
Ernest Craig owns a bookstore and is accused of killing his wife for the love of his secretary Eileen Marcher.  His wife has refused to give him a divorce for which he has asked for several times.  Another juror, Mrs. Bradford is a member of the upper crust and does not feel Mr. Craig is entitled to a fair trial.  Ernest Craig is guilty of betraying his wife just as Mrs. Bradford’s husband Ernest Bradford betrayed her by leaving her for a younger woman.  The other jurors toss around Mr. Craig’s guilt or innocence as they eat dinner.  Mrs. Bradford concedes that Mr. Craig will have a fair trial even though she already knows he is guilty.  Teri is the optimist and insists on giving the defendant a fair hearing by presuming he is innocent until the evidence proves him guilty.
Mrs. Bradford has her nose in the air and only accepts Mr. Campbell to be on her level socially as they are from the same social set.  She continues to looks down on the other jurors with distaste and especially Teri as she has championed Mr. Craig’s right to a fair trial and the attentions of David Campbell.
David supports Mrs. Bradford’s opinion that Mr. Craig was in the wrong for leaving his wife.  Teri is hurt and loses her temper.  Teri and David reconcile later that evening on a balcony outside of their rooms.  Mr. Fisher fantasies about being with Teri and cannot envision what her husband was thinking when he left her.  David and Teri discuss their lives and find they share a lonely emptiness and kiss in an emotionally weak moment.  They contrive places and times where they can be together and somewhat alone.
As the trial continues, the District Attorney reads letters from Eileen Marcher to Ernest Craig.  Teri reevaluates her situation and feelings towards David and sees a parallel with Ernest and Eileen’s relationship.  Teri expresses her concerns to David and decides that they need to stay away from each other.  David counters Teri with it does not make any sense as one situation has nothing to do with the other.  Teri replies, “You fall in love with a married man and see how much sense it makes.”
Teri rebuffs David’s attentions as the trial progresses.  The resemblance between David and her relationship and that of the defendant and his secretary are too close for comfort in Teri’s mind. Teri wants to keep a clear mind during the rest of the trial.  Nevertheless, when push comes to shove, David confronts Teri.  She feels it is unfair to his two daughters and wife, so she promises to meet him in a year to see if they still feel the same about each other.  If their feelings for each other are still there, she will go away with him.
As the jury leaves the courtroom to deliberate, David sees a change in Teri’s demeanor.  He asks her if she is okay.  Teri’s replies she is now.  David is not sure what she means.  David is voted foreman.  Teri takes it upon herself to find out why the three dissenting voters have voted guilty.  After some soul searching and reflecting, the three dissenting votes are changed and they bring in a not guilty verdict.
Various media projects have tweaked this scenario numerous times.  The most notable being 12 Angry Men in 1957.  I was surprised that Perfect Strangers preceded 12 Angry Men by seven years.
As the jury members disperse, they say their good-byes to Teri because she has made them look into themselves, were influenced by her persona, and thank her for what she has done for them.  Teri and David realize that their love for each other cannot survive because of what it would mean to the other people in their lives and how it will change them personally.  They would not be the same people they fell in love with.  David still persists and wants to wait six months to a year; then they could be happy together.  Teri realizes the impossibility of it and announces that she is going to Cleveland to try again with her husband.  Teri walks away and then turns back to watch David walk out of the courthouse.  She turns and walks away heartbroken but with her head held high and shoulders straight with a new resolve.  Whether she goes to Cleveland or stays is unknown, but she sacrifices love for what she believes is the right thing to do.  David belongs with his daughters.
Ginger puts in an excellent performance.  Thelma Ritter is her usual enjoyable self.  I count this movie as one of my favorites because I find the characters well developed and put forth on the screen credibly.  I like Ginger’s hair when she wears it down more than up.  I would have liked seeing her with her hair down more on screen than up.e HeHe
       Ginger is seeing Greg Bautzer a celebrity attorney.  He spends his evenings squiring many of Hollywood’s glamorous women.  Ginger participates in the first Pimm’s Cup Tournament at the Palm Springs Racquet Club.  Ginger and Greg Bautzer find themselves in the finals for mixed doubles against Pat de Cicco and Gussie Moran the Wimbledon champion.  Gussie has a cameo in Pat and Mike as herself.  Ginger and Greg emerge triumphant after a potent struggle: 11-9, 4-6, and 6-2.  Ginger and Greg receive their trophies from William Powell and owner of the racquet club Charles Farrell who costarred with Ginger in Change of Heart.
      Dancing Queens, Ginger and Ann Miller dance an impromptu Charleston at Hollywood’s Mocambo.  The Charleston is on the upswing again with the release of films Lend an Ear and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.
      After finishing Perfect Strangers Ginger was going to take a long awaited vacation when she accepted the part of Marsha Mitchell in Storm Warning, an extremely gripping movie.  Lauren Bacall bowed out of the production because she chose to accompany her husband Humphrey Bogart on location in Africa.  He was making African Queen with Katharine Hepburn.  Ginger was the better fit for Marsha Mitchell.  Lauren is thirteen years younger than Ginger and had the look of a high society New York model attached to a prominent fashion house and would not be traveling across the country with a salesman modeling a line of dresses for buyers.  Ginger is a stunning woman whose days of modeling in upscale fashion houses are over.  Lauren and Doris would not be convincing as sisters.  Ginger and Doris resembled sisters in looks and demeanor.
        Ginger returns to Warner’s for this endeavor and finds a dressing room of roses welcoming her from a crew who think highly of their star.  Ginger plunges into pre-production activities with wardrobe fittings, camera tests, and makeup sessions like the professional she is.
      When I found Storm Warning, I was in seventh heaven.  It is tense and menacing.  Ginger and Steve Cochran put in stellar performances.  Steve nearly steals the movie from Ginger with his performance of the Neanderthal KKK murdering husband of Doris Day.  Doris is believable as the naïve wife who loves her husband even after she finds out about his affiliation with the Klan.  Ginger spends a good portion of the film trying to help Doris see the light that her husband is no good and not worth wasting her life on even if she is carrying his child.  Ronald Reagan's performance is adequate as the district attorney.  Storm Warning was a daring film for its time and was banned in the South and condemned by some as communistic, which is absurd.  The story revolves around Marsha Mitchell (Ginger) who is a model from New York City.  She stops in a small southern town in order to visit her sister when she witnesses a murder.
      In the fall of 1950, before the film’s release, Ginger participates in the mixed doubles at Forest Hills’ U.S. National Amateur Tournament.  Frank Shields who had been the runner-up in the singles at Wimbledon in 1931 is Ginger’s partner.  Frank is the grandfather of the celebrated actress Brooke Shields.  Ginger and Frank Shields find themselves eliminated in the first round but their match was popular with the tennis fans.  Their match drew a larger crowd than the main match.  Ginger had a respectable gallery following her every move even when she was just practicing.
      Earlier Ginger and designer Igor Cassini played in a mixed double celebrity tournament.  Ginger and Igor Cassini advance to the finals and played Jinx Falkenburg Wagstaff and former Princeton basketball star Bud Palmer.  I have seen photos of Ginger leaping over the net not in victory but proving that at 39 she can still do it.
Storm Warning January 17, 1951 Miami Beach, Florida premiere

                          February 10, 1951 USA
                          March 2, 1951 New York City, New York  
      Marsha Mitchell (Ginger) is on her way to Riverport with salesman Cliff Rummel.  Cliff takes the orders while Marsha models the dresses for the buyers.  They are on their way to Riverport to meet with buyers on the behalf of Beejay Frocks.  Cliff tries to make the moves on Marsha and Ginger who is very familiar with the nuances of baseball use a baseball analogy to turn down the ever-persistent Cliff.  “Look Cliff, don’t you ever give up? You made a pitch in Baltimore, a long play in Mobil, and you fouled out in Atlanta.  Cliff, in any league three strikes is out.”
Their bus arrives at Rock Point somewhere in the South at ten in the evening.  It is a dark and grimy looking town.  Marsha gets off the bus and plans to spend the night with her sister Lucy (Doris) who she has not seen since her marriage two years ago.   Marsha tries to call her sister from the bus station but no one answers.  The bus driver hurries Cliff and the other passengers back onto the bus when the ten-minute rest stop is cut to a quick five minutes.  Marsha will meet Cliff tomorrow night at the Baker Hotel in Riverport.  (It was at the Baker Hotel in Dallas, Texas, that Ginger wins the state Charleston contest.)  Marsha tries to find a cab so she can go to the Valley Café Recreation Center where Lucy works as it is ten to eleven blocks up the street.  Everywhere she goes Marsha meets with inhospitality and hostility.
Marsha hurriedly checks her suitcase at the bus depot before it closes.  She starts on her trek to the recreation center when she notices all of the businesses are turning their lights off leaving the street in an ominous darkness as the proprietors hastily leave their establishments.  Just as she nears the jail, she hears a commotion and views the scene from around the corner of a nearby building.  Men dressed in white sheets and hoods have dragged a man out of his cell. The men are threatening to hang him as one of them waves a rope in the air while the others beat him to the ground.  He gets up and runs a little pass Marsha when the bullets of a Klansman’s ripping through his back stop him dead in his tracks as he falls to the ground.  As the robed men run toward him, Marsha retreats to the doorway of a nearby building.  A few of the men lift their hoods as they run to the man.  When it is evident that he is dead, they disperse.  Marsha goes to the man to see if she can help but when someone turns on the lights in the jail and raises the blinds to look out at the  scene, she flees down the darken street.  After running to a safe distance from the despicable deed, she stops and wretches by a lamppost along the street because what she has witnessed has physically sickened her.
Lucy is on cloud nine as she has just found out that she is pregnant.  Marsha is happy for her but is plagued by what she has just witnessed.  Lucy tells Marsha about the reporter Adams.  He came to town two to three weeks ago, was able to get a job at the phone company, and was writing articles against the Klan.  Adams was arrested on the trumped up charges of drunken driving.  Marsha feels like she ought to do something but she does not know what.  Lucy convinces Marsha to go home with her and wait for her husband Hank because he will know what to do.
The sisters hear Hank arrive and Marsha pretties herself up.  When she comes out of the bathroom and sees Hank, she is horrified and becomes stiff and unfriendly.  Hank is one of the Klansmen who was there when Walter Adams met his demise.  Marsha shrinks away from his advance with terror and disbelief in her eyes.  Ginger plays the scene flawlessly with a subtle vulnerability and determination.  Lucy stubbornly defends her husband as he lamely explains that he was caught up in the excitement of the event.  Marsha begs Lucy to come with her because Hank is no good to which Lucy turns a deaf ear because she loves Hank so much.  Marsha decides to leave in the morning.  The sooner she can remove herself from the unpleasantness she has experienced since her arrival in Rock Point the better off she will be.
Upon their arrival at the bus depot, a detective is waiting for the mysterious passenger who left her suitcase the previous evening.  A detective escorts Marsha to the district attorney’s office.  District Attorney Burt Rainey (Ronald Reagan) does not really believe Marsha witnessed anything of importance but is hoping that maybe she can help.  (Kings Row and The Hasty Heart were two of Reagan’s best film roles.  I watched Ronald Reagan and others host the weekly Death Valley Days program, which was sponsored by The 20 Mule Team Borax.)  Rainey’s hopelessness changes when Marsha unwittingly describes the hooded men as the perpetrators of the dastardly deed in order to keep Hanks identity from the authorities.  Mr. Rainey delays Marsha’s departure and demands she gives her testimony at the inquest that afternoon.
Charlie Barr the Klan’s head man makes a visit to Hank’s home and tells Marsha in no uncertain terms that if she reveals that the Klan was involved Hank will be pegged for the murder as he was the one who fired the shots killing Adams.  Lucy pleads with Marsha to protect her husband, as she loves him so.  Marsha cannot convince Lucy that her husband is not worth saving and would be better off with her.  Marsha leaves for the courtroom with the detective not knowing what she will say.
Marsha bends to the treats of the Klan and her love for her sister.  Marsha does not testify to the Klan’s involvement or name her brother-in-law as the killer in the cowardly murder of Walter Adams.  She states that it was dark and she could not see who was responsible for the murder.  The verdict is persons unknown committed the murder.  Marsha cannot bear to look into the widow’s eyes as she ends up facing her face to face as she leaves the courtroom.
Marsha is ashamed of herself for succumbing to the pressure of the Klan because of her love for her sister by lying on the stand.  Marsha leaves the courtroom and down the back stairs because of the unruly crowd celebrating the Klan’s victory.  Marsha finds District Attorney Rainey and the detective discussing their defeat.  This is Ronald Reagan’s best scene as Burt Rainey.  He pulls out all of the stops and pours on the guilt letting Marsha know that she is responsible for letting the Klan get away with murder literally.  Burt points to the cell the unruly mob forcibly removed Adams for emphasis.  Rainey is disgusted with Marsha and her inability to stand up to the Klan even though her sister is married to a Klan member.  He pushes her towards the doorway and turns away as Marsha leaves.  Marsha stops outside the courthouse and weeps openly because of the emotional burden she carries by her choice not to tell the truth about the killing.  Upon regaining her composure, she goes to the recreation center to get the house key from Lucy so she can pack and leave this unfortunate event behind her.  Lucy thanks Marsha for what she did for Hank.  Marsha does not want to be thanked, as she feels dirty enough because of what she has done.  Marsha steps in when Hank is harassing Mr. Hauser.  Hank turns on Marsha and Charlie Barr has to step in.  Charlie tells Marsha, “The boys are just having a little harmless fun Miss Mitchell.” To which she replies, “Is this what you call harmless?” Barr defends the Klan by saying, “You’ve got us wrong. We’re not as bad as people say.”  Marsha retorts, “No, you are worse.  Give me the key Lucy.”  Marsha goes to leave and Charlie takes her arm and says, “Like I said the Klan does a lot of good.”  Marsha answers Charlie with, “I’ve seen what the Klan does” and walks away.  Mr. Barr warns Hank to not make any waves with Marsha, as they are not out of the woods until she leaves town.
Marsha returns to Lucy’s home and begins to pack while she starts to dress for her departure that evening.  Hank arrives at home drunk and peers menacingly through the lace curtain covering a small window in the front door.  My skin begins to crawl as I get an uncomfortable feeling.  Hank opens the door quietly and appears in the doorway of the bedroom where Marsha is zipping up her skirt.  She asks Hank to hand her her jacket, which is in the other room, but Hank does not move.  She then tells him just what she thinks of him and pushes pass him to get her jacket as she rebuffs his attempt to intimidate her.  She then goes to the dresser to get her toiletries and puts them in her suitcase.  Hank becomes increasingly obsessed with Marsha and moves in on her.  He begins to tell her how beautifully enticing she is and that sisters like the same things and besides she is a model and should be used to having men.
You have to watch this intensely sinister scene as it reminds me of how a cat toys with its captured mouse before going in for the kill.  This is Steve Cochran’s best scene as he stalks Ginger.  Every time I watch this scene the intensity makes my heart race, my anxiety is heightened, my chest tightens, and I can hardly breathe as I feel as if Hank is about to rape me.
Hank grabs Marsha forcefully and begins to overpower her when she turns her head and bites his upper arm.  Hank releases his suffocating grip on Marsha and she runs for the front door but she is unable to escape.  Hank’s hands and mouth are all over her as she tries to fights back.  Lucy comes home, finds
 him molesting her sister, and pulls him off her.  Hank pushes Lucy down on the floor.  Marsha goes to her, helps her into the bedroom to pack as Lucy finally realizes that Hank is despicable, and decides to leave with Marsha.  They should have just left.  Now, Marsha blocks the doorway to the bedroom as she rips a new one to Hank telling him that she is going to the district attorney and telling him everything.  You can see Marsha’s ferocity in her eyes and facial expression as she is determine to right the wrong she perpetrated earlier that day in the courtroom.
      Marsha goes to the phone to call Burt Rainey when Hank feeling like a trapped rat slugs Marsha in the jaw and she slumps to the floor.  He continues to beat Marsha when Lucy comes to her defense and Hank throws her across the room once again.  I am surprised that Lucy did not suffer a miscarriage right on the spot after being brutally thrown across the room and that Marsha did not bear any affects of her beating at Hank’s hands.
Hank takes Marsha with the help of other Klan members to a meeting in the woods outside of town.  Marsha stands up to Charlie Barr telling him, “I’m no hero.  I’m scared.  That’s what you wanted and that’s the way it is.  Yeah, I’m afraid of what you might do to me.  But if I ever get out of here, I’m going to tell and there is nothing you can do that will stop me.”  Charlie pushes Marsha away from him.  Marsha is dragged forcefully before the gathering.  Charlie orders one of his underlings to whip her into submission.  The scene is so realistic you wince every time the bullwhip wraps around Ginger’s small but defiant frame.
Lucy arrives with Burt and rescues Marsha from the Klan.  Marsha begins to tell Burt what she knows when Hanks takes a pistol from a fellow Klansman and fires at her.  Lucy steps in front of Marsha and dramatically takes the bullet for her making this the only movie Doris dies.  The detective in turn guns down Hank like a dog with a machine gun.  The closing scene is very poignant as Marsha takes Lucy into her arms and laments her decision not to tell the truth at the hearing but Lucy was so happy and she did not want to spoil it.  Lucy falls limp in Marsha’s arms and she pulls Lucy close to her as she cries.  Burt kneels by them and puts a comforting arm around Marsha’s shoulder.  The camera shot is now above them and the burning cross topples over.  Marsha realizes too late that you need to do the right thing even if it might hurt someone you love.  Since Marsha decided not to stand up for what was right her sister Lucy paid the ultimate price with her life.  The music really adds to the sense of foreboding during the entire film.
The Klan in reality would not give up as it did here and would have killed the intruders, as they were the power and the law at that time in our country’s history.  The film makers decided not to address the injustice the blacks faced living in the South and had the Klan’s mismanagement of funds be their big indiscretion.  There are black people in the film but the story revolves around Marsha.  You can see blacks in the downtown scenes walking along the street, standing outside the bus depot and among the crowd outside the courthouse when the reporters are there for the trial.  The majority of the film takes place in areas that are designated “White Only” such as the recreation center.  The scene where Steve Cochran tries to rape Ginger gives me the shivers.  Steve is terribly menacing towards Ginger as he verbally frightens her before attacking her, which is very terrifying to me.  Storm Warning is met with mixed reviews because of its controversial theme.  The Ku Klux Klan is a powerful force in the South and is angered by how they are represented.  Even though this film has an overpowering darkness, it is one of my favorite Ginger film.
Claire Gaucher writes for Movie Story, “You read the suspenseful story here last month-about the terror and horror the Ku Klux Klan breeds.  It’s a shocker with the plus values of intelligent handling of a touchy subject, a tensely built-up story, polished acting. Go!”  Look’s reviewer states, “It is a terrifying movie that follows in the crusading spirit of Warners’ The Black Legion and They Won’t Forget of the socially conscious 1930’s.  Like its virile predecessors, Storm Warning probes and exposes the poison of one of America’s indefensible sore spots: terroristic lynch law still practiced by the Ku Klux Klan.”
“Stuart Heisler’s direction gives Storm Warning a nightmarish atmosphere that heightens the film’s somber subject matter-and blends melodrama with social criticism to make one of the most exciting movies in recent months.  Audiences are not spared the Klan’s ugly cruelty or the motives for it.  Ginger Rogers is starred as an innocent bystander who witnesses a Klan killing, and then is flogged by Klansmen seeking to silence her.  In equally off-beat roles, Steve Cochran, as a Klan Bully, and Doris Day, as his pathetic wife, are the other principals of a fine cast.”
The Groom Wore Spurs March 14, 1951 New York City, New York
      Ginger’s next film is on the lighter side as she portrays lawyer Abigail ‘AJ’ Furnival.  I cannot explain why I like this film other than it is just an enjoyable diversion.  It is not intended to be anything but low-key pleasurable amusement with a few mindless laughs.  Ginger is reunited with Jack Carson who plays Ben Castle a movie cowboy.  Joan Davis is Ginger’s hilarious roommate.  She does a bit with her love interest about alarm clocks and phones ringing which makes me smile.  I know Joan Davis from her television show I Married Joan with Jim Backus who gained fame as the voice for Mr. Magoo and Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island.
      Ben Castle is a womanizing Hollywood cowboy.  He is a total fabrication of his publicity department, as he cannot even draw a gun, ride, or sing.  Ben finds himself owing a Las Vegas gangster Harry KallemaH $60,000.  He contacts ‘AJ’ Furnival to represent him in the matter.  Ben knows of her father’s previous connection with Harry Kallen and thinking that this connection might help with the negotiations.
      Ben is not expecting the striking ‘AJ’ but a dumpy looking spinster is thrown for a loop when they first meet.  Ben arranges for them to leave for Las Vegas that evening.  After their initial meeting with Mr. Kallen they go for a drive up to Hoover Dam.  I cannot explain it, but I love this very romantic scene and proposal.  They get out of the car and face each other and ‘AJ’ says, “It makes you feel so insignificant.”  Ben replies, “It does. But not you, you are mighty significant to me, in this moonlight.”   ‘AJ’ says, “Moonlight is wonderful, it is so mysterious and so” and together they say “romantic.”  ‘AJ’ and Ben’s faces get closer and closer together as they move nearer to one another as they continue to converse which ends in a kiss and then at second thought because they both feel something more than just something casual and kiss more passionately.  Ben continues to talk to Abigail about her being a lawyer, consequences, and no witnesses and they both tell one another they love each other.  My description is not very romantic but they play it just right and I love it.  They kiss again and quickly marry at one of the many chapels that dot the Vegas Strip.
It took fourteen years but Jack finally gets Ginger for his wife.  One of Jack’s best films was The Hard Way as Albert Runkel.
      No matter how angry Abigail gets at Ben whenever he kisses her she falls helplessly under his spell.  It reminds me of The Shoop Shoop Song (It’s in His Kiss).  “If you wanna know if he loves you so, it’s in his kiss.”  When Ben and Abigail kiss, they both know they love each other because it is in their kiss.  Therefore, I like all of those scenes because they are fun and romantic.  The film’s director Richard Whorf has a cameo and negotiates Ben’s contract with his lawyer/wife Abigail.  You can see Ben fall for ‘AJ’ because she becomes Abigail and then Abby to him.  They have a very satisfying reconciliation at the end of the film sealed with a tender kiss.
I just like it for no other reason than it is a nice respite from reality and it makes me smile.  Thanks Ginger and Jack.  One reviewer states, “Richard Whorf has done a skillful directing job and his actors have backed him up with a root-tooting, funny comedy.  Jack Carson is a fillum cowboy-but he hates hosses, can’t really sing and, let’s be honest about it, he’s a complete fraud.  Into his life comes a lawyer-a lady lawyer, played by Ginger Rogers-and our cad marries her.  Things begin to go haywire from that moment on, with yaks sprouting all along the way.  Miss Rogers is a perfect comic foil for the deft Carson, who is a superior actor whether he’s being humorous or tragic.  Joan Davis is among the assembled company, and the only fault to be found with her, is that there just isn’t enough of her, herein.”  The film just makes me laugh and it is entertaining.
Ginger writes an article for Screen World extolling the virtues of the out-of-doors and especially of fishing.  “I think more women should try fishing.  Speaking from my own experience, I should think they would enjoy getting away from the frills of living.  I feel they would love the freedom, which comes with sports, as well as the good-natured competitiveness.  You try to do better than your companions-not to earn cups nor medals, but just to say you brought in the biggest fish or the largest catch.  If you don’t win, there’s plenty of fun anyway, and lots of fresh air and sunshine to enjoy.  Many times I haven’t caught the biggest or the most, but I’ve had a marvelous time.”  Decked out in hip boots, Ginger loves fishing while standing in the water whether it is a lake or a river.  She has her fishing gear nearby just in case someone asks, “Want to go fishing?”  Ginger’s athleticism and enjoyment of the out of doors ties her to me as I also enjoy participating in sporting activities and the wonderment of the out of doors.  One difference is I like my camping to include indoor plumbing.
Ginger has earned many medals and plaques for shooting twenty-five out of twenty-five proving her prowess at skeet shooting.  She tells of a time when she had made ninety-nine straight shots and was going for her hundredth.  She admits to being a bit overconfident and becoming a little nonchalant with her last shot and missed it.  There went her hundred out of hundred.  She had to settle for ninety-nine out of hundred which is not too bad in my book.  Ginger ever the realist readily admits her faults but plunges forward on to the next challenge happily.
Back in town Ginger and Greg Bautzer attend Peggy Lee’s concert.  Ginger is one of Peggy’s greatest fans.  Peggy presents Ginger with the Living Legacy Award sponsored by the Women’s International Center in 1994.  Peggy’s signature song Fever will get your blood boiling as you listen to her belt one out of the park.  Is That All There Is? is another sentimental favorite of mine.
For all of Ginger’s conservatism she believed in a God who loves all of his children.  “To God there is no Russian mind, no Chinese mind, no communist mind…there is only His child, without race, creed or color…”
Ginger tries Broadway again but without success.  Ginger finds herself on the November 5, 1951 cover of Life Magazine for the fourth and last time.  She tells of the joys of being on Broadway again even though the critics found the writing less than par but Ginger and her wardrobe blissfully enchanting.  “Although both the New Haven critics and those in Philadelphia and Washington liked the play-and loved its star-there was some suggestions that it needed cutting before reaching Broadway.  The New Haven Evening Register said it was “a production that displays both grace and humor but still falls short of sharp comedy humor but sharp polishing should give it genuine sparkle.”  Ginger realizing the short comings of the play tells Noel, “So maybe it’ll flop… Well, I’ve been given the death sentence by critics before, and I’ve always survived…After all, it’s just a play.”  Love and Let Love written and staged by Louis Verneull opened on October 19, 1951 and closed after fifty-six performances on December 1, 1951.
From the very beginning the play struggled as the troupe toured before going on to New York.  Louis Verneuil was ill at the beginning of the tour and suffered a heart attack.  Louis Verneuil who authored the play could not continue as director and leading man.  The play suffered from last minute rewrites and needing to replace its director and leading man.  Ginger the optimist hopes the play will run until Christmas.  “Some people here at my hotel went to see our show and sent me some flowers, with a note saying they’d enjoyed it.  I didn’t know who they were, but I phoned them to say thank you.  They said they liked it as well as The King and I.  Regardless of what the critics say, I’ll always be glad we came to New York.  We could have gone on touring around the country, probably playing to packed houses and getting our money back on the show.  But I’d rather be a sitting duck in a big pond.”  One of Ginger’s favorites Jean Louis designed the costumes.  Ginger played sisters, Ruth Gage and Valerie King, and was billed as Ginger Rogers and Virginia McMath.  It will not be until August 9, 1965, when Ginger returns to Broadway in Hello Dolly will she find acclaim once again on the stage with the critics and the audience.
We’re Not Married July 11, 1952 New York City, New York
                               July 23, 1952 Los Angeles, California
      The film opens in the Las Vegas of the East, Gretna Green on Christmas Eve.  Ramona (Ginger) and Steven S. ‘Steve’ Gladwyn (Fred Allen) drive up to the home of the newly appointed Justice of the Peace Melvin Bush (Victor Moore from Swing Time).  Mrs. Bush is played by Jane Darwell who won the Supporting Best Actress Oscar for her supreme performance as Ma Joad in The Grapes of Wrath.  Steve is a little sentimental and wants some rice but the more practical Ramona wants to get down to business and become Mister and Missus for their radio career as a happily married couple demands they are married in real life.  Steve explains to Mrs. Bush how much this marriage means to them because of the monetary benefits they will receive from their radio show to which Ramona adds sarcastically, “And besides we love each other.”  Justice Bush seems a little befuddled because this is his first marriage and Ramona appears to know how this marriage routine is done as she finds the page in the book Justice Bush needs to marry them and enlightens him how to precede with the ceremony.  “White Fang” (Steve) and “Panther Girl” (Ramona) tie the knot under the mistletoe to everyone’s delight.
Two years and six months later Justice Bush learns he has married six couples before he had the authority to marry them.  He did not have the authority to marry anyone until January 1st.   The couples receive a letter telling them of the mishap and that because of a misunderstanding Justice Bush had married them before he could officially do so.  Therefore, they are not legally married.
The next scene is my favorite and a masterpiece of indifference and dislike as I watch Ramona and Steve wake up and get ready for work without saying a word as they stubble half awake through their mindless morning routine.  Of course, it has to be raining outside to go along with the mood inside the apartment, punctuated with thunder.  Once they arrive at the radio station, they begin to bicker until Steve opens the letter announcing they are not married.  They laugh joyously until they realize they signed their contract as Mister and Missus and the bickering begins again but they turn into sweetness once their show starts only for their audience's benefit.
The Bushes are listening to the Gladwyns on the radio, decide they are happily married, and do not need to return their two-dollar fee to them.  They start to reminisce about the other couples.  Marilyn Monroe and David Wayne play the next couple.  David Wayne was in the television series Ellery Queen as Inspector Richard Queen to Jim Hutton’s Ellery.  There I go again with those detective shows.  I was disappointed it only lasted for one season.  Marilyn wins the “MRS. MISSISSIPPI BATHING BEAUTY CONTEST”.  Complications arise when the letter arrives but all ends well when David shows off his son to his mother the newly crowned “Miss Mississippi” winner.
The next couple is Eve Arden and Paul Douglas.  They have settled down into the humdrum routine of married life.  He reminisces about his playboy days with a new girl every night and decides he likes his life with Eve after all and burns the letter.
Zsa Zsa Gabor takes Louis Calhern for a ride.  She sets him up and has him photographed with a young woman in a compromising situation.  She sues him for divorce and is in the middle of negotiations with he receives the letter announcing he has never been legally married her.  He has the last laugh and Zsa Zsa gets her just desserts.
The last scenario has Mitzi Gaynor and Eddie Bracken in a ticklish position because he has been drafted and Mitzi finds out she is pregnant.  They eventually remarry before he leaves for overseas.
We return to find “White Fang” and “Panther Girl” at city hall without rice once again, when a couple who has just been married walk out engulfed in rice.  Ramona and Steve smile at each other and Steve goes and ask the happy couple if they can spare some rice.  He is showered in the rice, then goes over to Ramona, and asks if she will join him.  She willingly accompanies him and they are showered with the rice.  They walk over to the door of the Marriage License Bureau arm in arm with broadening smiles and say to each other, “Okay Panther Girl?”  “Okay White Fang!”  Wedding Bells ringing as they happily renew their life together.
Dreamboat July 25, 1952 New York City, New York
      This comedy brings Ginger and Clifton Webb together as silent screen lovers and stars of the past.  The movie opens on the campus of Underhill College where Professor Thornton Sayre (Clifton Webb), the former silent screen star Bruce Blaire, is very dryly imparting his knowledge of English literature as he quotes from Hamlet’s soliloquy “To be or not to be”.  Carol Sayre (Anne Francis aka Honey West, female detective of the 60s) is following her father’s example and becoming a serious minded staid young woman.  Students from the school invite Carol to a television viewing of “The Exotic Perfume Hour” starring Gloria Marlowe (Ginger) the star of silent films and Bruce Blair her captivating lover, the original “Dream Boat” who sent women into a swoon every time he made love to Gloria on film.  Carol is humiliated by her father’s past and flees.  The stiff and unemotional professor finds himself in the President’s office needing to rectify the embarrassment the university has suffered because of these films airing on television.  Spring vacation is upon them and Professor Sayre decides to go to New York City and secure an injunction against the showing of these films.  Dr. Mathilda Coffey (Elsa Lancaster) holds the professor's future in her hands and makes a play for the dashing “Dream Boat” of her youth unsuccessfully.  Thornton and daughter Carol take off for the bright lights of New York.
The weary travelers stop at a roadside diner and find Gloria and her “Dream Boat” on the television.  The waitress/cook is enraptured with the drama and romance portrayed on the tiny screen.  When she realizes she has Bruce Blair there, in front of her, she shrieks in desire and the Sayres take to the safety of the road again.
Thornton and his daughter go to the Independent Artists Agency to register his complaint when he runs into his screen amour and manager Sam Levitt (Fred Clark, known for his perfect “slow burn”).  Sam has Bill Ainslee (the suave Jeffrey Hunter) show Carol the town.  Gloria busts in, greets Bruce with open arms, and is alarmed that he does not want to make the most of a good thing.  After all, she gave him his big break.  How dare he be so ungrateful?
That evening Sam takes Bruce to a nightclub where Gloria happens to be performing.  Gloria sings You’ll Never Know backed by a quintet of good-looking young men.  (This is one of my favorite songs from the many Ginger sings in her movies.  I wish she would have recorded it but I did find it on an album made by DÉJÀ VU in Italy, 1986, called The GINGER ROGERS Collection.)  Sam leaves and Gloria starts to work her magic on him and pleas her case of poverty.  If the movies are taken off television, it will end her nightclub engagements, and she will not be able to pay off her debts.  To further her case Gloria has Bruce drop her off at a broken down hotel in the slums of the city.   After going in she has the clerk call a cab and returns to her upscale New York apartment.  Bruce feeling for Gloria’s predicament buys flowers and goes to her hotel the next morning.  He is rudely brought back down to Earth when he realizes the desirable Miss Marlowe has duped him.  Now Bruce gets a restraining injunction and looks forward to meeting her in court. 
 The several silent film mini dramas shown throughout the picture are entertaining.  Ginger’s costumes and antics are exotic and fun to watch as Ginger and Clifton Webb play their parts to the hilt.  They all end with Clifton Webb making passionate love to Ginger, overwhelming her, which causes her to faint away in his arms.  The perfume angle is that Bruce could not help himself because of the over powering sensual perfume she is wearing.  They have altered what Bruce says on the screen pronouncing his utter submission to the fragrance of Gloria’s scent and cannot help but make passionate love to her as he kisses her hand and all up her arm ending in a sensual kiss on the lips.  Bruce contends that the alterations have made him look ridiculous.  “Dream Boat” wins his suit.  Gloria is out in the cold but Hollywood beckons Bruce.  Carol and Bill marry.
In the ending scene, Gloria, Bruce, and Sam are sitting in a theater watching the studio’s preview of Bruce’s new movie Sitting Pretty.  Bruce is gloating to Gloria about his triumph return to pictures without her when he becomes aware of the fact that Gloria has bought his contract from Sam and will share in his financial success once again and “do wonderful things together”.
Sitting Pretty shares a title of one of Ginger’s earlier films but that is where the comparison ends.  Sitting Pretty originally hit the theaters in 1948 starring Robert Young, Maureen O’Hara, and Clifton Webb as the beloved Lynn Belvedere made famous on television by Christopher Hewett as Mr. Belvedere on ABC from 1985-1990.
Monkey Business September 2, 1952 Atlantic City, New Jersey
                                September 5, 1952 New York City, New York
      This next film reunites Ginger with Cary Grant and might have led to marriage if he had not still been married to Betsy Drake.  Ginger and Cary’s paths always crossed each other’s when one of them was married or otherwise involved with someone else.  Marilyn Monroe and Charles Coburn costar in this hilarious Howard Hawks comedy.  This endeavor into the ridiculous is a voyage into the mysterious world of backward evolution.  The adults take a trip back to youthful days and experience the immaturity of adolescents and youngsters.
      Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary) is married to the lovely Edwina (Ginger).  He is a research chemist working on a “Youth Elixir” for Oxly Chemical Company.  Hank Entwhistle (Hugh Marlowe) is Edwina’s former beau who lost out to the absentminded chemist but is her good friend and lawyer.  Mr. Oxly (Charles Coburn) has the shapely Miss Laurel (Marilyn Monroe) as his secretary.
      The chemistry between Ginger and Cary is obvious at the very beginning when Barnaby is preoccupied with his formula that he forgets about taking his beautiful wife to the Yacht Club dance.  Edwina takes her husband into her arms, kisses him, and then goes to the kitchen to fix him something to eat because they have decided to stay at home and forgo the dance.  They talk about when they were first married and stayed home from the Everett Winston party because they had other things on their minds and now they are staying home for intellectual reasons.  Edwina sits on Barnaby’s lap and affectionately plays with his suspender while they reminisce about not answering the phone as it rang all night.  Hank shows up wondering why Edwina and Barnaby are not going to the dance besides he ordered flowers and was looking forward to dancing Edwina’s feet off.  Edwina serves Barnaby some soup, he burns his tongue, and Edwina rushes to his side.  Barnaby has found the answer to all of their problems.  “Heat!”  Heating the formula is the answer to their future.  Hank says a celebration is in order and they should now go to the party.  Barnaby agrees that a celebration is in order but counters with the proposition of staying home from the Everett Winston party.  Hank is confused as Everett Winston left town three years ago.  The phone begins to ring and Edwina and Barnaby embrace lovingly and tell Hank to give the Everett Winstons their regards.  Hank leaves disgruntled as Edwina and Barnaby kiss passionately and have an evening of romance ahead for them as they ignore the ringing phone and all outside interference.
The next day finds Barnaby working in his lab.  He has been testing his different concoctions on two chimpanzees, Ester and Rudolph.  Ester watches Barnaby mix the chemicals with great interest.  Barnaby leaves the lab and Gus, the janitor, takes the empty water bottle from the water cooler to get another one.  Ester lifts the padlock out of its latch and proceeds to make her own formula as she mixes several different liquid ingredients together in a beaker.  She takes the beaker and drops it through the cradle (opening) in the water cooler where the water bottle resides.  Gus returns and puts the new water bottle on the cradle of the cooler.  He then puts Ester back into her cage.  Barnaby returns to the lab with his assistant.  Barnaby takes a dose of his formula and then fills a beaker with water from the cooler and takes a drink.  The formula appears to make the water taste bitter.  We soon witness Barnaby turn into a young man in his twenties.  He spends a fun filled afternoon with the appealing Miss Laurel.  They go roller skating, swimming, and take a spin around town in Barnaby’s new sports car.  Barnaby returns to his lab as the effects start to wear off and he becomes increasingly sleepy.  He lies down on his couch and immediately nods off.
Marilyn was primarily seen as eye candy for the male viewers and her attributes as an actress were not always appreciated.  Even in death, Marilyn is mostly revered for her eye appeal and not for her qualities as an actress.  She shows her skill as a dramatic actress in Don’t Bother to Knock and as the femme fatale in Niagara, but she was relegated to roles as the perpetual dumb blonde with a curvaceous sensual body.
    Edwina goes to the lab with a picnic basket full of food for Barnaby.  Barnaby begins to tell her of his invigorating youthful escapade with Miss Laurel.  Edwina inquires about his lipstick laden face to which he replies that what he has to tell her is unbelievable.  Barnaby takes his afternoon activities from a very scientific approach and continues to explain the effects of the formula on his mind and body.  He felt like he was a young man of twenty.  He has found the elusive
“Fountain of Youth” that man has been looking for since the beginning of time.  Barnaby decides to try the formula again under Edwina’s watchful eye.  Edwina has other plans and sends him off to change his coat and wipe off the lipstick from his face while she asks Barnaby whose lipstick it is.  Barnaby calmly states that it is Oxley’s secretary’s and that she is half-infant. Edwina responds, “Not the half that is visible.”  As Barnaby returns Edwina quickly drinks the formula after all he is the scientist and is the best one to evaluate and observe Edwina’s behavior under its influence.  He offers her some water, which she drinks.          
             Mr. Oxley arrives at the lab in time to see Edwina begin to change in demeanor as she artfully puts a goldfish down his pants.  Edwina and Barnaby are going to leave when Miss Laurel enters the lab.  Edwina challenges “the peroxide kissing bug” to a fight as she threatens to pull out her blond hair by its black roots.  Barnaby skillfully removes her from Miss Laurel’s presence.  Edwina finds the convertible Barnaby has bought irresistible.  She lets her hair down as she drives with youthful, reckless abandonment for the Pickwick Arms Hotel where they went for their honeymoon.  Ginger gets in a few steps and waltzes with Cary to the “Wiffenpoof Song” which is their song, “We’re little black sheep who have gone astray, Baa, baa, baa”.
Rudy Valee recorded the song in 1927.  Bing Crosby’s version is probably the most well known but The Mills Brothers with Count Basie, Perry Como, and The Statler Brothers, in 1992, have recorded this song, also.
Edwina affectionately calls her husband Barney as she completely regresses in manner and voice to that of an adolescent.  After dancing the night away with Barnaby they return to their room.  Edwina’s exuberance manifests itself in her running slide down the hallway ending in an enthusiastic fall.  Edwina has become very shy and goes into the bathroom to change into her flannel nightgown; a behavior that Barnaby finds very strange and a complete reversal of previous behavior, as she was also opposed to him undressing in front of her.
           They get into an argument over Edwina’s mother, Barnaby’s previous girlfriends, and Hank kissing Edwina before they were married.  Edwina knocks Barnaby’s arm, he drops his glasses on the floor, and he pushed Edwina out of the way in an effort to find his glasses.  Edwina takes Barnaby’s act as an assault and kicks him out of their room nearly blind without his glasses and in his pajamas.  Barnaby sings their song to her through the door to no avail.  After a few amusing incidents Barnaby spends the night in the laundry room.
      The next morning, the Fultons return home to reporters, Hank, and Edwina’s mother.  Edwina had called Hank and her mother and told them of her disagreement with Barnaby the previous night.  Edwina told them that Barnaby had hit her and that she wanted a divorce.  Edwina had to reassure her mother and Hank that everything was a big misunderstanding and that while under the influence of the formula, she had called them after her argument with Barnaby.
Edwina and Barnaby return to the lab with doubts about eternal youth which is filled with “maladjustments and near idiocies and low comedy disasters.”  They begin to quarrel about their hidden feelings expressed in their escapades while under the formula’s influence.  Barnaby wants to know why Edwina called Hank for a divorce and Edwina wants to know why he went smooching with Miss Laurel.  They abruptly stop before they say something they cannot take back because they do not want to put their marriage in jeopardy.  Barnaby destroys the formula while Edwina makes some coffee.  Edwina uses the water from the water cooler.  Edwina gets a playful look in her eyes, taps a few steps, and balances a beaker of coffee on her forehead as she lies down on the ground and gets back up again without spilling a drop ( from Ginger’s repertory of party tricks) while Barnaby ponders the possibilities of the formula turning you into a baby if enough is ingested.  The phone rings and the fun is set in motion again as the influence of Ester’s concoction releases its full effects on the Fultons and they regress into ten year olds.
The Fultons go to the conference room with Ester in tow to negotiate a financial agreement with the board of directors and the shenanigans begin.  Cary and Ginger play young children with an amusing flare.  Ginger’s gift for embodying a youngster is brought to the forefront once again with precision and expertise.  Edwina chomps gum, blows bubbles, and uses an elastic band as a slingshot.  She hits her mark twice causing Miss Laurel to hit both Mr. Oxley and Barnaby for a mistaken pinch on her derriere.  Edwina chases Miss Laurel from the room in a childish jealous outburst.  She proceeds to draw a heart with an arrow through it on the blackboard stating that Barnaby loves Edwina.  Barnaby does not like it and chases Edwina around the room and across the tabletop.  Two of the board members catch Edwina for Barnaby in exchange for the secret to the formula, which is heating it.  Barnaby grabs Edwina by the hair, and tries to make her erase the offensive words.  She defies him, takes the chalk-filled eraser, and slaps him in the face with it.  Barnaby loosens his grip on her hair and Edwina flees with Barnaby not far behind her.  Barnaby’s assistant informs Oxley that he heated the formula but still failed to get the results of someone regressing to a younger state.  Oxley and the board members feel they have been outwitted again.
      Edwina is following Barnaby down the street when they come upon open cans of paint as a painter is painting the exterior of a home.  Barnaby and Edwina swap insults and stokes of painted filled brushes up and down the front of each other.  Edwina runs home to call Hank again.  In the middle of the conversation, she falls asleep.  Hank rushes to her assistance because Barnaby threw a whole bucket of paint on her according to Edwina.  Barnaby over hears the conversation and changes his clothes and puts on some war paint.  He recruits the neighborhood children playing out back to tied Hank up to a tree while he proceeds to give him a very close hair cut nearly scalping him.
      In the meantime, a young boy walks into Edwina’s bedroom from the neighboring yard losing his diaper and climbing up on the bed next to her.  When Edwina wakes up, she notices Barnaby’s clothes and thinks he has regressed back to a baby.  She calls a cab and goes straight to Mr. Oxley with her quandary.
Mr. Oxley and Edwina take the baby to the lab and she sings their song to him so that he might go to sleep; giving the formula the time needed to wear off.  While everyone waits, the men drink some water from the cooler.  It tastes bitter so Mr. Oxley orders to have it dumped down the sink.  Barnaby returns and climbs in through the window and lies down by the baby.  Edwina goes into Barnaby’s office and he awakens.  The men are wrecking havoc in the lab as they are under the influence of Ester’s mixture.  Mr. Oxley hands Barnaby his dream contract and the Fultons’ future is financially secure.
      Barnaby and Edwina are dressing for the evening’s celebration when they realize that you do not need a magic elixir to become young again because you are old only when you forget how to be young.  Barnaby takes Edwina into his arms, pulls her close to him, and asks what time she ordered the table.  They entwine in a passionate embrace and kiss seductively.  I am sure they miss another Everett Winston party.
I adore watching Ginger and Cary struggle humorously with their younger selves.  Ginger is superb when she regresses in age mentally and one might say that she is “Forever Young”.  Ginger looks and has the energy of a woman many years younger than she is.
      After filming concluded, Ginger was off to Europe where she finds love and romance with Jacques Bergerac while visiting France and Italy for the first time.  Ginger first meets Jacques at Maxim’s in Paris.  Jacques is escorting Evelyn Keyes (Scarlett’s sister Suellen in Gone with the Wind).  Ginger and Jacques are seen together frequently.  When Ginger left for Italy, Jacques was not far behind.  Ginger is a striking woman who is vibrant and vivacious.  Ginger leaves for Hollywood alone but Jacques leaves for the States not long after Ginger’s departure.  Jacques is signed by MGM to a contract.
Ginger and Jacques marry February 7, 1953, in a surprise wedding in Palm Springs, California, with her cousin Phyllis and husband Bennett Cerf in attendance.  I can sympathize with Ginger’s decision to marry Jacques.  What woman would not fall for the loving attentions and adulations of a younger man?  Ginger cherished being married and having a man in her life.  She considered at one time adopting a child with Jacques.  It seemed possible that at last this effervescent woman might have another chance at love and happiness with a man in her life. 
A bit of trivia is the fact that three of Ginger’s husbands were named Jack-Jackson Culpepper, John ‘Jack’ Calvin Briggs, Jr., and Jacques with Lew Ayres being the exception.  At this time, all of Ginger’s previous husbands lived in or around Hollywood.  The reporters were disappointed when they asked these men what they thought of the union as they only wished Mr. and Mrs. Bergerac the best of luck which says a lot for their admiration, respect, and love for their former wife.  There is a glint in Ginger’s eyes and Jacques lovingly returns the look as he describes his wife as “Delicious”.
Forever Female January 13, 1954 New York City, New York
                           January 27, 1954 Los Angeles, California
      No Laughing Matter starring Beatrice Page (Ginger) is debuting on Broadway to great first act reactions.  That is where the celebration starts but ends starting with the second act. The play falls flat and the play sinks away into oblivion but the reviews rave about Miss Page’s performance as radiant and sparkling.  An aspiring ingénue, Sally (Pat Crowley), claps vigorously as Bea and Harry Phillips, (Paul Douglas) Bea’s ex-husband and producer, enter the restaurant.  While at Sardi’s Bea, Harry, Eddie Woods (James Gleason), an agent, and Bea’s latest flirtation, George Courtland IV (George Reeves who I watched faithfully as Clark Kent alias Superman and was one of the Tarleton twins in Gone with the Wind) take in the reviews.  A writer by the name of Stanley Krown (William Holden; Sunset Boulevard, Stalag 17, Executive Suite, Born Yesterday and Sabrina) eyes the group.  Bea notices and Eddie invites him over, as he is his agent.  Stanley works early morning hours at the Washington Market.  After laboring over his play for a decade, Stanley has completed his opus.  He also has his opinions on Bea’s performance, which are not all that kind.  He thought Bea was charming half the time and half the time she knew, she was charming and condescending to the audience.  Stanley continues by stating that an actress should have humility.  Stanley leaves the pleasant little group for his job at the Washington market selling fresh vegetables and fruits.  Stanley forgets his play and Harry takes it to read.
The next day finds Harry and Bea having breakfast together as he stays over in the spare bedroom when they work late together.  Stanley comes by to retrieve his play and is persuaded to age his leading lady ten years and become 29 so Miss Paige can play the daughter.  Sally Carver comes to the audition for the play as the daughter as a nineteen year old.  She is shocked by the idea of Beatrice Paige playing the daughter even at twenty-nine and that aging the daughter will ruin the play.
Stanley starts on his rewrites and he takes Sally who has now changed her name to Claudia Sylvain to his apartment to type the rewrites.  She was disappointed because she was preparing herself for a wrestling match since she has a crush on Stanley.  Bea comes by to give Stanley a ride to the market because of the inclement weather and finds her competition for Stanley’s affection there.  Bea sees that Claudia has an offer for a part in a play out of town.  Claudia goes but for only a short time.  In the meantime, Bea and Stanley are developing a closer relationship and Harry is beginning to worry as Stanley is different from Bea’s other flirtations.  Stanley might actually steal Bea’s heart away from him.  Harry begins to vie for Bea’s affection.
“The Unhappy Holiday” debuts in Washington and bombs.  Stanley is disheartened but Bea bolsters his depressed spirit and they set a new course as an engaged couple.  Stanley works on his rewrites while Bea vacations in Europe.  Bea sends numerous pieces of correspondence to Stanley.  Harry finds out that a small town outside of New York is putting on Stanley’s play in its original form with the daughter as a nineteen year old.  Harry takes Stanley to see the play and find Sally starring as the daughter under the name of Clara Mooze, which happens to be her real name.  The play is good and Clara is remarkable.  Stanley and Clara have words and Stanley is beginning to have doubts about Bea as Clara interests him.
Harry stops by Bea’s mother’s home, as it is not far away.  After all Stanley needs to meet her at some time.  Harry knocks on the door and Bea’s maid, Emma, answers the door.  She is confused as Mr. Phillips is asking about Bea’s mother.  She goes out into the studio and we find Bea busily taking one of her sculpted pieces out of the kiln.  Bea's appearance is disheveled with clay splattered from head to toe.  She sneaks up the backstairs to her bedroom and starts to pretty herself for Stanley when she realizes she too has been having doubts about their engagement and decides to let him see her as she is.  By mutual consent, Bea and Stanley break their engagement.  Bea had contacted Eddie for Stanley’s original play and made it possible for it to run out of town with Clara as the daughter.  Bea tells Harry that he must produce Stanley’s play with Clara as the daughter.  Harry gets the brilliant idea that Bea should play the part of the mother.  The mother’s part is smaller but is crucial to the play.  Bea ponders why does the mother’s age has to be fifty if the daughter is nineteen the mother could be thirty-nine.
        The film ends with Bea and Harry looking in on the successful playwright, Stanley, and his leading lady, Clara, entering Sardi’s to the applause of the gathered admirers.  Of course, Bea will get her share of raves when the reviews come in.  Harry and Bea leave together with the intention of giving marriage one more try as they never really fell out of love with each other.
It is not a stretch to find Ginger and William Holden as a couple as he is only seven years younger than Ginger but looks older than his actual age and Ginger looks younger that her actual age.  The stretch comes with the age difference between William Holden and Pat Crowley.  I do not feel a connection between Ginger and William Holden or with Pat Crowley and him.  I get a better feel for Ginger and Paul Douglas and I find myself pulling for Paul in his quest to win Ginger back again.  I love the scene when Harry shows Stanley how to kiss Bea with immense and profound feeling.
Ginger and Jacques find themselves in Britain filming their new venture called Lifeline, which will be, renamed Beautiful Stranger in Europe and Twist of Fate in the United States.  This is Jacques first film.  R. Quilter Vincent interviews Ginger Rogers and Jacques about their new movie adventure.  Mr. Quilter finds Ginger as charming and divine in real life as in her pictures.  He asks Ginger if she is through with dancing pictures.  She says she would love to dance on film once more and that maybe Fred and her could make one more picture together.  Jacques comes over and embraces Ginger.  She turns her attention to Jacques and almost forgets that she is in the middle of an interview until Mr. Quilter coughs uncomfortably.  He continues the interview by asking if she would ever give up her career and settle down to just taking care of Jacques.  Ginger side steps the question by answering that she has too many commitments right now to think about giving up her acting career.  Ginger would find it hard to give up her career no matter how beguiling the offer as she was born to perform.  Ginger rejuvenates her soul through acting and entertaining others. Ginger is relaxed, feels at home in a film studio, and radiates when performing.  A large part of her heart will always belong to show business.
        When the Bergeracs return home, they find some youngsters playing tennis on their court.  Ginger very graciously allows Perry Jones of the Los Angeles Tennis Club and his junior tennis players play on her en-tou-cas tennis court.  Perry contributes all the junior tennis crowns in the last eight years to the fact that his youngsters have been able to practice on Ginger’s court.  Ginger’s court is the only one in Southern California with the same surface used for the National Junior Tournaments.
Ginger’s television debut is on October 18, 1954 in Noel Coward’s “Tonight at 8:30”.  Ginger stars in all three playlets in which Otto Preminger produced and directed.  This was Ginger’s first experience with live television.
Ginger’s next film, Black Widow, is the first Cinemascope noir film in Technicolor.  Ginger’s role is not a typical for her but she plays the diva with the mousy husband to the hilt.  Ginger shows her versatility as an actress to a very surprised audience.  Ginger’s role is small and does not consume very much of the screen time but is not only crucial, it is also pivotal to the film’s story line.

Black Widow October 28, 1954 New York City, New York
      This noir film starts with narration by Peter Denver (Van Heflin; The Strange Love of Martha Ivers and Possessed).  “The Black Widow deadliest of all spiders earned its dark title through its deplorable practice of devouring its mate.”  Peter is then seen saying goodbye to his wife, Iris (Gene Tierney; Laura, Leave Her to Heaven, The Razor’s Edge, and The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; the Noir Queen) at the local airport.  Iris is leaving to care for her ill mother until she gets back on her feet.  Iris implores Peter to attend Carlotta ‘Lottie’ Marin’s (Ginger) party.  Peter detests the woman but she is the star of his show and cannot risk hurting her feelings.  Lottie and Brian (Reginald Gardiner) live in the apartment above them and Iris does not want to be feuding with Lottie once again.  Peter reluctantly agrees to stop in to make an appearance.  Peter finds himself on the terrace with a young aspiring writer Nancy ‘Nanny’ Ordway (Peggy Ann Garner, won an Academy Juvenile Award for A Tree Grows in Brooklyn).  Peter takes the poor waif out to dinner and promises the ever-suspecting Lottie to tell his wife when he calls her that night at midnight thus saving Lottie the trouble of informing Iris of Peter’s dinner date with the young uninvited guest.      Peter continues to tell his story noting that Lottie’s party and his meeting of Nancy Ordway and was on June 6th, which happens to be my birthday.  Peter now takes his narration back three months to March 6th when Nanny came to Greenwich and the doorstep of her uncle Gordon Ling (Otto Kruger).  Nanny meets John Amberly and his sister Claire while waitressing.  Nanny eventually moves in with Claire and begins working on her writing aspirations while Claire spends her time painting.  John begins to spend more time in the city with the two women in question and in particular with Nanny.
      A month before Lottie’s party Nanny stops by the theatre where her Uncle Ling has a part in Peter Denver’s “Star Rising” with Carlotta Marin.  Nanny has come by to go to lunch with her uncle but he has already left for the day.  She runs into Brian Mullen, Carlotta’s husband, and they go out to lunch.  Nanny impresses Brian by knowing who he is and building his ever-sagging ego because he is relegated himself to being Miss Marin’s husband as his only claim to fame.
      Ten days after Lottie’s party, Miss Ordway contacts Peter at his office and informs him of her success in selling a story so he takes her out to celebrate.  They return to his apartment and Nanny seems very morose and pensive by stating, “The secret of love is the secret of death.”  She goes on to wheedle out of him some personal information about Peter and his marriage with Iris. They leave Peter’s apartment and while waiting for the elevator Lottie and Brian step out on their way to see Peter.  Peter steps into the elevator with Nanny.  Lottie snidely states “Odd choice,” to Brian.
      We next find Nanny spending her days writing in Peter’s apartment and leaving before he comes home in the evening.  The Devers and Mullens share the same cleaning woman, Mrs. Lucia Colletti (Cathleen Nesbitt who plays Mrs. Morley in the television series The Farmer’s Daughter with Inger Stevens and William Windom).  Lucia finds the arrangement unusual to say the least.
      Iris is due in and Peter has his secretary inform Nanny to vacate the premises.  When they arrive home, music is playing quite loudly.  Peter assumes Nanny has not left and it annoys him.  He goes to the kitchen to look for her and Iris goes to their bedroom and finds Nanny hanging, stripped.  Lt. Bruce (George Raft; number one gangster and veteran of crime melodramas) interviews Peter inferring that he had an affair with the young girl.  Lottie and Brian show up when they see the police outside of the Denvers' apartment.  Lottie being her forceful self tries to defuse the situation and leaves with Brian following behind the magnificent megastar of Broadway.
      Peter goes to visit Claire because she had told the police that Nanny had confided in her that Nanny was in love with a married man who had a celebrated actress for a wife.  John is there and they tell Peter that they met Nanny at Sylvia’s where she was a waitress.  John says that before Nanny moved in with Claire she was living in the Village with another girl.  Peter is frustrated and leaves for home.
Lottie and Brian are visiting Iris when Peter comes in.  Lottie goes on to advise Iris to move out as she makes her case for Peter having an affair with Nanny.  Peter takes offense and sends Lottie on her way.  Lottie threatens to quit his show and departs pulling her leash on Brian who informs Peter that Nanny was pregnant.  Iris opens a letter from the dead girl telling Iris of her affair with Peter.  This is the last straw and Iris leaves Peter.
Lottie tells Brian of Iris’s departure.  Lottie states very sarcastically that her heart just bleeds for him.  Brian tells Lottie that she is being unfair.  She retorts asking him if he thinks it was all right for Peter to run around with another woman.  Brian tries to defend Peter and Lottie asks directly if he would do it.  Now, Brian sees that as an entirely different situation.  Lottie wants to know in what way it is different.  Brian tells Lottie that they have an understanding between them.   Lottie questions Brian further as to what the understanding is.  Brian tells her that the understanding is that if she would ever catch him with another woman Lottie would break his precious neck.  Lottie kisses Brian and leaves.
Brian calls Peter at his office after Lt. Bruce leaves his apartment inferring that he is on his way to Peter’s office to arrest him because the autopsy proves that Nanny was choked to death before she was hung and it is now murder not suicide.  Peter feels the noose tightening around his neck and flees.  He escapes the police’s net and goes on a frantic hunt to find Nanny’s killer before Lt. Bruce catches up with him.  He calls Brian and asks him to stay by the phone just in case he needs him.  Peter decides that he needs to find out who killed Nanny and goes back to speak with Claire.
Peter threatens Claire and demands that she tell him when Nanny first told her about him.  Claire tells him it was the night John asked Nanny to marry him on June 2nd.  Peter wants to know how Claire can be so sure of the date.  Claire informs Peter that June 2nd happened to be John’s twenty-first birthday.  Nanny told her that she was in love with a married man and did not think his wife would give him a divorce.  Nanny did not tell her that she was pregnant until the day before she died and named Peter as her lover.
Peter tries Sylvia’s but it is closed down but a man sitting on the steps next door gives him a lead on a girl named Anne that worked there.  Anne tells him that Nanny did not live with a girl in the Village but a man that was older with gray hair.  Anne had taken Nanny’s paycheck to her there once.  Anne is able to remember the address and Peter is on his way again.
Peter is surprised to find Gordon at the Village address.  Peter learns that Gordon is Nanny’s uncle.  Gordon tells Peter that he knew she was bringing someone there during the day while he was out but had no idea who it was.  Nanny had told him that the man was married to a famous wife and she would probably cause some trouble.  Gordon never thought of Peter until Nanny mentioned his wife’s name the day before her death.  Peter leaves Gordon’s place before he can tell Peter who he thought it was at first because the police are knocking at the door.
Peter goes home and Iris returns when she realizes that Peter would not be dumb enough to kill the girl in his own apartment and leave her there.  Peter tells Iris that he thinks that Nanny was having the affair with Brian.  Iris cannot believe it could be Brian because he is such a nothing.  Peter finally realizes that Nanny had been talking about this man on June 2nd and he never met her until the night Iris left and he attended Lottie’s party on June 6th.  Nanny had been talking about a famous wife and Peter is not the only person who has an illustrious wife.  Peter asks Iris to call Lottie and ask her to meet elsewhere to talk while Peter questions Brian to determine what his relationship with Nanny was.  Lottie leaves to meet Iris and Peter goes upstairs to confront Brian.
      Brian finally confesses to his involvement with Nanny and tells Peter how he came to be involved with Nanny.  She had treated him with respect.  Then he realized he was in a fatal attraction relationship.  Brian wanted out but she threatened him with exposure.  The day of her death, Nanny calls Brian to come down to Peter’s apartment.  When he arrives, she tells him of her pregnancy.  She tells Brian of her plan to send a lawyer to Peter for the money they would need to live on when Brian divorces Lottie.  Nanny has already mailed the letter to Iris.  Lottie storms in on Brian and Peter, with Iris lagging behind her, demanding to know exactly what Peter thinks he is trying to pull off and stops Brian’s retelling of the day’s events from his perspective.
The lieutenant makes his presence known and wants Brian to continue with his story, which he has been listening to through a hidden microphone in another room.  Lottie sinks down into a chair in disbelief as she learns of her husband’s infidelity.  Brian continues with his narration.  Nanny gives him fifteen minutes to make up his mind and tell her whom she is to send the lawyer to, Peter or him.  Nanny calls Brian fifteen minutes later for his answer.  Brian despondently agrees to send the lawyer to Peter because he finds himself backed into a corner where there is no way out.  While Brian was trying to get enough courage to go down and see Nanny, Lottie came in and he was not able to go downstairs and see Nanny.  The lieutenant is dissatisfied with Brian’s interpretation of events and turns on Brian by accusing him of going down and quieting Nanny for good when she refused to listen to reason.  Brian defends himself by saying he thought Peter had come home early and Nanny confronted him with her plan to blackmail him.  Brian thought Peter became incensed with Nanny and strangled her in a rage.
Lottie steps up in Brian’s defense and frames her own story of events, which points to Peter being the killer, also.  Lottie claims that she went by Peter’s apartment around 3:00 in the afternoon to show him some proofs he had ordered when she overhears Peter and Nanny arguing loudly through the door and departs without knocking.
Now Lt. Bruce has Mr. Oliver (a young Aaron Spelling) up his sleeve.  Mr. Oliver is an usher at the Star Theater where Peter had been watching a movie during the time Lottie claimed to have overheard Peter and Nanny quarreling.  Mr. Oliver remembered Peter because he is an actor and wanted to speak with Peter about a part but was unable to before Peter left the theater.  The lieutenant then asked Miss Marin if she was still willing to stand by her story.  Feeling uneasy and looking worried Lottie says nothing.  The lieutenant starts to arrest Brian when Lottie comes to his defense and says he could not have killed the girl.  When asked how she knows that, Lottie is silent.  The lieutenant is right up in Lottie’s face as he backs her up against the opened sliding door to the terrace.  He begins to tell how he sees the events unfolding leading up to Nanny’s death.  While Brian was speaking with Nanny on the phone, Lottie had entered the apartment and picked up the extension to listen to Brian’s conversation.  There is a knock on Peter’s door and to Nanny’s surprise, she finds Lottie because she was expecting Brian.  Nanny backs away defensively from the door as Lottie enters the room shutting the door behind her.  Lottie tells Nanny bluntly that she is to leave town and her husband this very minute.  Lottie throws Nanny’s coat and purse at her threatening her that if she ever sees Brian again she will live to regret it.  Nanny picks up her things but she just cannot let well enough alone as she starts to leave Peter’s apartment.  Nanny has to get one last dig in which sends Lottie over the brink when Nanny tells Lottie how Brian despises and loathes her.  Lottie grabs Nanny by the scarf around her neck and with the look of devilish contempt on her face strangles the life out of the girl who did not fully realize how forceful and possessive a woman Carlotta Marin is.  Lottie runs out onto the terrace to Brian falling to her knees begging for his forgiveness.
      I never once thought that Ginger would be the killer even with the whole black widow analogy.  Ginger’s scene with Peggy Ann took me completely unaware and unnerved me a bit.  Ginger’s portrayal of Miss Carlotta Marin, theatre star and diva as a nasty, vindictive, conniving, unfeeling woman was more than convincing; it was bone chilling.  I had to take a second look to make sure I was not watching Bette Davis or Joan Crawford choking the life out of Nanny.  Ginger steals the show while playing her part superbly in this alarming dramatic role.
Beautiful Stranger July 13, 1954 London
Twist of Fate November 5, 1954 USA

             Joan ‘Johnny’ Victor (Ginger), ex-cabaret dancer, is swimming in her pool on the Rivera when her maid summons her to the phone.  It is Louis Galt (Stanley Baker) a wealthy businessman who rescued Johnny from a life as a cheap dance hall girl.  Louis provides her with the villa she lives in, the Rolls Royce she drives, and the clothes she wears.  He invites Johnny to lunch.  She dresses and leaves for Louis’ office.  Johnny arrives to the open arms of Louis who has kept her lavishly attired.  He presents her with the model of a new yacht that will be in the harbor in two days and they will sail away from the phones, his busy life where they can be alone together without any outside interference.  For naming her, the Calypso, he bestows upon her another expensive bracelet adorned with several rows of sparkling diamonds.  They kiss and start to leave when Louis sends Johnny to wait in the car, as he needs to speak with a business associate who looks a little shady  by the name of Luigi.  Louis learns that the gold has arrived and they are ready to start pressing the coins. Louis traffics in counterfeiting 1920 British gold sovereigns.
The evening finds Johnny and Louis playing the tables at the local gambling establishment.  Louis is called away and leaves Johnny.  At home, he finds his wife, Marie, has returned because she has learned of the extravagant way he is spending the family's money and her brothers are not pleased.  Louis agrees to go to Paris and speak with her brothers and asks her to go with him.  Marie declines the invitation and decides to stay in Cannes for a while.
In the meantime, Johnny is cleaning up at the tables and an old friend Emil (Herbert Lom) notices her.  Emil married Johnny’s friend, Susan from her theatrical days.  Emil casually runs into Johnny as she leaves the tables.  He offers to buy her a drink and they go and sit down.  They talk about Susan’s health.  Emil notices Johnny’s diamond bracelet and asks if she is going to marry.  Johnny tells him that Louis has been legally separated for years and they are waiting for the divorce to become final which will be happening any day now.  Emil is happy for her.  Johnny passes some bills to Emil as he fumbles for the money to pay the waiter.  Emil pleads poverty because of the bills at the sanatorium for Susan’s care.  Johnny gives him money to pay the bills and tells Emil not to worry about paying her back.  Johnny leaves and Emil takes a deep breath before gambling the money away.
The next morning finds Johnny waking to breakfast in bed and a phone call from Louis.  Louis invites Johnny to Paris for a few days of shopping as he has business there.  She readily accepts the offer and is off to the beauty salon for a shampoo.
Louis is overseeing the minting of the sovereigns.  He has agents selling the coins but needs to have the coins or the money in six days because he intends on leaving on the Calypso with Johnny for good.  He is moving his illegal business to Tangier because it is in an international zone and their laws are not as strict.  Louis has a stockpile of gold there waiting to be minted.
In the meantime, Johnny is waiting her turn at the salon when she overhears two women speaking of their husbands.  They discuss their marital status and state they are still with their husbands and have been separated from them by distance only when the receptionist calls after Madame Galt by name and gives her the handbag she had left behind.  Johnny finds out that there is no divorce in the works as she realizes Madame Galt is Louis wife and flees the salon humiliated by the fact that everyone knows she is Louis mistress and he does not intend divorcing his wife so he can marry her.
We find Louis and Johnny arguing about the fact that he does not intend to divorce his wife ever and lied to her because he knew she would not have become his mistress if he had been truthful.  Even when Johnny was traveling through the grimy little towns working in crummy little theatres with the different shows, she never felt as cheap as she does now among all of the wealth and glamour she lives in now.  Louis had been the first person she had ever trusted and of all people to have lied to her.  Louis defends himself by explaining vehemently he lied because he loves her and knew lying would be the only way he could have her.  The phone rings interrupting their argument.  Johnny answers the call but it is for Louis.  Louis takes the phone from Johnny.  She grabs her fur and runs from her home in a fit of anger.  She drives off in a fury down a narrow winding road with tears streaming down her face.  She over compensates around a turn slamming on the brakes stopping just short of the edge of a rocky cliff overlooking the crushing waves of the Mediterranean Sea.  Johnny opens the door of her car timidly and steps out of it very gingerly as her car precariously balances on the edge of the embankment after hitting a post, which kept her car from going into the water below.  She walks down the road to a small home and meets a family celebrating together.  Pierre Clemont (Jacques) is the suave young artist who lives there and pays particular attention to Johnny throughout the evening.  Johnny sees a family enjoying being together, which is a new experience for her.
Upon returning to her villa, Louis reminds Johnny exactly who she is and what she was.  She is never to run away from him again because she is his.  He reminds her that their lives are forever entangled and there is not a life for either of them without the other.  He fanatically tells her that he would never allow it to be any other way.  He kisses her on the forehead, tells her he will be back, and leaves angrily.  Johnny lashes out at a crystal bowl, which spins on the glass tabletop as she realizes that Louis will never let her go.  Johnny burrows her face in her hands as the tears flow from her eyes.
Johnny runs into Pierre and a friendship starts as Johnny learns how to spin a potter’s wheel and fire her own creation, which takes about a week.  It has been a week of fun and relaxation with Pierre while Louis has been in Paris.
Luigi pays Emil a visit.  He wants the money for the coins or the coins now.  Emil stalls by telling Luigi that he will have the money tomorrow.  Luigi is doubtful but gives Emil a twenty-four hour reprieve to come up with the money for the coins.  Emil tries calling Johnny at the villa to no avail.  He goes to her villa and Nicco, her maid, tells him where she is.  Emil finds Johnny and Pierre stoking the furnace so Johnny can firer her finished pot.  Emil tries to ask for more money for Susan’s care when Johnny informs him that she has telephoned the sanatorium and sent Susan a check to cover her expenses.  Emil need not worry about Susan for she will see that all of Susan’s needs are taken care of in the future.  In his disappointment, Emil leaves.
Johnny turns away from the furnace and stumbles into Pierre’s arms.  She tries to resist but they kiss affectionately.  They spend a pleasant evening together.  Johnny has never known such happiness.  Emil returns to Pierre’s home to see if Johnny is still there and leaves when he finds her there.  When he drives away, Johnny hears his car, thinks that Louis has found her with Pierre, and hurries away in a frightful panic.  Pierre protests as he has fallen in love with her and cannot understand why she is so terrified.
Emil is franticly rifling through Johnny’s villa looking for money when he comes upon a wall safe.  He hears someone approaching and flees through the back door where he watches through a window.  Johnny goes inside and finds no one there.  Her phone rings and it is Pierre.  She starts to tell him that she is all right when Louis appears out of nowhere.  Louis is terribly puzzled by her absence, as he has not been able to contact her during the week.  Johnny acts as if the call is a wrong number and hangs up quickly.
Emil watches Louis put enormous amounts of money away in the wall safe while he tells Johnny that he has finally severed all connection with the past and has sold everything and they will leave tomorrow night together.  Johnny tries to tell him that things have changed but he is too euphoric over starting a new life with Johnny to listen.  Louis puts a bejeweled necklace on her and leaves to make plans for their departure.
The next day Luigi returns the money and coins from the agents to Louis.  He tells Louis of one man whom he was surprised that came up with the goods.  This man had given him a necklace.  Louis is horrified when he sees it, as it is the one he had just given to Johnny the previous night.  Louis inquires about this man and cannot believe that Johnny would fall in love with a man like Emil.  Louis cannot leave his home now but he will confront Johnny as soon as he is able.
Pierre goes to Johnny’s villa because she will not answer her phone.  She starts to tell him that she is not going to see him anymore and that the party is over.  He is not taken in by her refusal to see him anymore.  Johnny tries to explain where her home, clothes, and jewels have come from and that she cannot be with him.  Pierre is no fool and knows that she is involved with another man but that will end now because they love each other.  Johnny turns away from him and tells Pierre that she owes everything to Louis and they are leaving tonight.  Pierre is relentless in his love for her and demands to know if she loves Louis or him.  Johnny falls into his arms sobbing declaring her undeniable love for him.  They kiss passionately enfolded in each other’s arms.  Pierre wants to marry Johnny and tell Louis of their intentions.  Johnny says she will tell him.
Later that evening, Emil returns to Johnny’s villa for the money in the wall safe but Louis drives up and Johnny turns on the lights.  Louis is furious with Johnny and they argue about the man she is in love with.  Louis thinks it is Emil and slaps Johnny forcefully and begins to tussle with her.  Louis yells in a rage that he took her from the squalor she was living in and no one is going to take her from him and if he should try, he will smash him to bits.  Louis threatens to have him beaten and killed.  Johnny runs after Louis and tells him to leave him alone and that she will go with him tonight.  Louis turns back as he goes to leave and throws the necklace on the floor and tells her to keep it this time.  Johnny is so upset she does not even notice the necklace and its meaning to Louis.  Emil has watched everything through a window in the back door.  He sees the necklace and knows Louis knows about him.
Pierre calls and is concerned about Johnny because she sounds terrified.  Johnny leaves the villa to look for Louis and Pierre rushes to the villa and finds it in a shambles.  He sees a picture of the Calypso and leaves for the harbor.  Emil returns to his hovel to pack for a hasty retreat, as he fears for his life.  Johnny calls Emil asking him for his assistance in locating Pierre because Louis has sworn to kill him.  Emil asks cautiously where she is.  Johnny tells him she is at the garage and that no one is at her villa now but Louis is coming by later to collect something from the safe.  It is more than Emil can stand.  He leaves immediately for the villa and the money in the safe.  Johnny leaves the garage in a panic for Pierre’s safety.
Marie begs Louis to stay, as she still loves him.  She tells him that he really does not love that woman he just wants to possess her.  Louis is obsessed with Johnny and leaves his wife even more humiliated than before sobbing.
Johnny has gone to the harbor to look for Louis, and runs into Pierre.  They go to Louis’ home looking for him.  His wife overhears Johnny asking after Louis and knows that she is her husband’s mistress.  She purposefully goes over to the telephone, picks up the receiver, forcefully dials the operator, and asks for the police.
Louis enters Johnny’s villa expecting to find her there but runs into Emil ransacking the safe and stuffing the money into his coat.  Louis draws his pistol and is livid with Emil demanding to know where Johnny is.  Emil tries to tell Louis that the man Johnny is in love with is a potter to no avail.  Emil throws his hat at Louis to distract him and they fight over the gun.  It firers and Louis is dead.  Emil goes to leave but hears a car drive up to the villa.  He drags Louis’ body out the back door and watches what takes place inside of the villa.  Johnny thinks Louis been there because the safe is open and empty.  Pierre notices the gun on the ground, picks it up, and knows it has been fired.  He puts the pistol into his overcoat’s pocket.  Emil overhears Johnny and Pierre talking about going back to his home.  Emil notices Johnny’s pot and remembers that Pierre had told him that a man’s body and bones would disintegrate in the fiery furnace.  Emil drags Louis’ body around to the front of the villa.  Emil puts Louis’ body on the floor behind the front seat and hides while Johnny and Pierre leave in her car.  Emil runs to where he has parked his car away from the villa and drives to Pierre’s home.
The police have gone to Johnny’s villa and they find it in a shambles.  They believe that Louis and Pierre fought over Johnny.  They leave for Pierre’s home.
Pierre and Johnny go inside his home and sit by the fire.  Emil arrives at Pierre’s home and starts feeding the furnace with wood.   Johnny thinks she hears someone outside and Pierre goes to investigate and finds no one.  Emil drags Louis’ body over to the furnace.  While he tries to heft Louis into the furnace, the back of his overcoat catches on fire.  He drops Louis’ arm, takes the coat off, and starts beating it with a log screaming about his money, which is burning.  Johnny and Pierre hear him and race out to see what the commotion is.  Pierre ties Emil up and puts him into the car’s back seat.  They drive off in Johnny’s car for the police station.
Luigi sees Miss Victor’s car coming down the road and waves for her to stop thinking that Louis is with her.  When Luigi notices that Pierre is driving the car instead of Louis, he pulls a gun.  Pierre knocks it out of his hand and gets out of the car.  The two men start to fight for the gun.  Emil starts to untie the rope around his hands.  When his hands are free, he flees out of the back door with Johnny trying to stop his retreat.  She screams for Pierre.  He knocks out Luigi and gives the gun to Johnny to keep Luigi in check.  Pierre chases after Emil.  When Pierre catches up to him they fight furiously on the pathway among the huge boulders along the cliffs overlooking the alcove where the Calypso is anchored.  Luigi comes to and begs Johnny for the pistol so he can eliminate Emil since he killed Louis.  Johnny insists that the authorities punish Emil.  Luigi wrestles the pistol from Johnny when the oncoming police car diverts her attention.  Luigi runs in pursuit of Emil when the police stop their vehicle and an officer steps out of the car and shoots Luigi in the back while the other officer runs over to apprehend Johnny.  Luigi falls to the ground but is determined to kill Emil.  Luigi crawls unwaveringly to a place where he can see Emil just as he is picking up a small boulder and raising it above his head with the resolve to crush the defenseless Jacques’ head like a melon.  Luigi steadies himself and takes deliberate aim mortally wounding Emil.  The officer who shot Luigi arrives in time to hear the ramblings of a dying man confess to killing Louis.  The officers inform Johnny and Jacques that they will be needed at the inquest but are free to go.  They walk up the path arm in arm secure in their love for one another.
I enjoy watching this melodrama from time to time.  Ginger is warm and loving as she finds happiness and love with a Beautiful Stranger in the film and in her private life.  Ginger and Jacques play tennis for hours on end with a swim and a round of golf to top it off.  They are in love and the world for a time stands still as they bask in the loveliness of Shangri-La.

Tight Spot March 19, 1955 New York City, New York
Sherry Conley (Ginger) is in prison for harboring and abetting a criminal, one Tonelli.  Lloyd Hallett (Edward G. Robinson; Little Caesar, Double Indemnity, The Woman in the Window, Our Vines Have Tender Grapes, The Stranger, All My Sons, and House of Strangers to name a few) is a district attorney.  He is trying to get underworld criminal boss Benjamin Costain (Lorne Greene; Ben Cartwright from Bonanza) deported for bringing a fellow mobster into the country illegally while cruising off the coast of Florida therefore becoming an undesirable alien. In a subtle turnabout, Robinson was the undesirable alien, mobster Johnny Rocco in Key Largo, being deported.
Tonelli agrees to testify against Mr. Costain but is shot dead on the steps of the Justice Building on the day he is to give his testimony.  There goes the government’s case against Mr. Costain unless Sherry can be convinced to testify as she accompanied Pete Tonelli on that fateful cruise.  Vince Striker (Brian Keith; The Parent Trap, Family Affair, and Hardcastle and McCormick ) is the harden police detective assigned to pick up a third class citizen, Sherry, from prison and deliver her to a hotel in town as per orders from Hallett.  Hallett has set Sherry up in a hotel room in order to protect her while he puts forth his best effort in convincing her to testify against Mr. Costain on Monday morning.  All will be lost if Sherry does not testify against Costain.  Costain will continue his unsavory underworld activities.  Mrs. Willoughby, a matron from the prison, accompanies Sherry from the prison to the hotel.
The movie was filmed like a play and takes place mainly in a hotel room.  The parameters of the hotel room add to the confinement felt by the actors and plays on the nerves as a distinct edginess builds.  The dialogue is tight and full of wise cracks from both sides.  Vince and Sherry knock heads from first sight with an undercurrent of electricity sizzling beneath the surface of their hard exteriors.  Both Sherry and Vince are wary of each other to begin with not wanting to find themselves in a vulnerable position with the potential of being crushed, humiliated, and emotionally hurt.
I find the telethon on the television a tad bit annoying.  Sherry enjoys the luxury of having a private bathroom with a shower while indulging in ordering meals from room service.  She is going to make the most of her unexpected reprieve from the stark prison life she has endured and will return to shortly.
Hallett tells Sherry she has a responsibility and obligation to society to testify.  Sherry might feel like she owed society something if she had gotten anything from society but a kick in the teeth.  Sherry cannot see the necessity to testify in the behalf of society.  Sherry inquires of the matron what she would tell her daughter to do.  Willoughby hopes that her daughter would be responsible and do the right thing.  Sherry wants to know what exactly our obligation to society is.  Who wants a hero with their insides shot out?  Willoughby tells her she can only give her daughter all the love she can which the girls in prison seem to lack.  She would hope her daughter would face her obligations.  All the love Sherry ever received you could put in her right eye.  alletThe governor offers to commute Sherry’s sentence of eleven months, which is a very long time in prison time, for her testimony against Costain. 
Vince begins to soften as Sherry retells how she found herself incarcerated.  She was not the girlfriend of Pete Tenille who was the brother of Mitzi her good friend at the time.  Pete was a poor, ugly, miserable guy who was asked by Costain to bring a girlfriend along on this particular cruise.  Pete wanted to look good if Costain ever looked his way.  Pete wanted to take along a pretty girl to impress Costain so she felt sorry for him and went along with him ready to hold hands and nothing more as a favor.  Vince sees the gesture as a favor a real nice girl would do for the brother of her good friend at this particular time in her life. 
Sherry wants to listen to some music so Vince tells her where the radio is in the console and how to turn it on.  Sherry starts to sway her body to the rhythm of the music and entices Vince to dance with her.  As she asks questions about his status, she realizes he is available and pulls him closer to her.  She caresses his neck and runs her fingers sensually through his hair.  Vince moves his gun to his side in order to bring her closer to him.  As he tenderly dips her as they dance, a figure appears in the window.  Sherry yells and Vince shoots the man and he falls to his death.  Sherry falls to the ground as Mrs. Willoughby pulls her out of the way of the ensuing gunfire.  Sherry has taken a bullet in her upper arm.  After a doctor meets Sherry’s immediate needs, Mrs. Willoughby falls to the ground and is rushed off to the hospital.  After this attempt on her life, Sherry adamantly expresses her wishes to be taken back to the security of her prison cell where she does not have to face gunfire, but Hallett needs her testimony desperately.  He considers moving her to the city jail.
When Sunday morning arrives, Vince gives Sherry a dress.  She saw the dress in a store window on the drive from the prison with all the delightful polka dots.  Sherry thinks it is an illegal gift from the government in order to persuade her to testify.  Vince is hurt and puts on a hard front as he begins to call her ‘sister’ again in a derogatory manner.  Nevertheless, she accepts the gift, but she is not going to testify no matter what.
When Hallett arrives, Sherry finds out that the gift was from Vince and not the government.  Sherry feels horrible for mistrusting Vince’s intentions and apologizes to him.  Vince smiles and is pleased that she loves it besides looking splendid in it.  Sherry is so ecstatic with the gift, it is like watching a child’s glee on Christmas Day.
Sherry again demands to be taken to her safe prison cell where people are not trying to shoot her.  Costain and Sherry have the law of self-preservation in common with each other for she threatens to call a lawyer if her request is not honored immediately.  Sherry agrees to give Hallett an hour before she will start hollering about her civil rights once again.  Sherry’s older sister has been located and Hallett hopes she will convince Sherry to testify.  Vince leaves to go home to get a clean shirt.  When he reaches the street, he is abducted and beaten up.  My heart sinks as the thugs take him to Mr. Costain who is upset over his brother’s death.  Then my concern for Vince vanishes when I find out that he is Costain’s paid informant in the police department.
Sherry’s parents had died when she was sixteen.  She went to Clara for help.  Clara would not take her in because her husband Roy would not have her in his house.  Clara does not want Sherry to testify because Mr. Costain controls the licensing needed for the barroom her husband owns.  It is almost worth testifying in Sherry’s eyes just to have a chance to ruin Roy’s business.  The scene between the sisters is overwrought and affecting as Sherry goes at her sister because she chose her husband over her.  It is the second best scene in the movie after the seducing of Vince by Sherry while dancing.
Vince is informed of Hallet’s plans to move Sherry to the city jail by Costain.  Costain is worried about his status in this country and the probability of his deportation if Sherry testifies.  He plans a second hit on Sherry before she can be transferred to the city jail in order to circumvent her giving evidence against him.  Vince pleads with Costain to call off the hit because Sherry does not intend to testify.  Constain insists and Vince returns to the hotel.  I begin to wonder if his apparent attraction for Sherry will have any effect on his participation in her demise or will he fall victim to the law of preservation and save his own life.
Upon Vince’s return, they find out Willoughby has died.  This cuts Sherry to the core because Willoughby gave her life to save hers, no one of any consequence.  Sherry is visibly shaken and does a complete turnaround.  She will now testify against Costain for Willoughby and her motherless daughter.  Vince is terrified now that he will have to go along with the hit.  Tempers flare as he bickers with Hallet and tries to convince Sherry not to testify.  He keeps looking at his watch as it tics off the seconds encroaching on the eight o’clock hour, the time of the hit.  Your insides are starting to churn as you wonder what Vince will do.
When Vince goes into Sherry’s bedroom, she apologizes for testifying but feels she needs to do it for Willoughby.  She asks Vince not to be upset with her.  You can feel her need for him to comfort and kiss her as she moves very close to him.  Ginger made the almost kiss more desirable, tantalizing, and erotic than being engulfed in the act of kissing or lovemaking.  Sherry is pragmatic enough to know that the kiss would not lead anywhere and feels she probably will not live to see the light of day before she testifies but wants to feel close to Vince before she is led away like a lamb to slaughter.  Vince brushes her off as he goes into the bathroom.  Vince opens the window for easy access by the potential assassin.  Vince goes out into the living room as Sherry sits at the dressing table getting ready to leave for the city jail.  Hallet tries to console Vince by explaining that he will be able to watch over and take care of Sherry easier at the jail.  Vince lashes out at Hallet for always going at Sherry about her responsibility and obligations to society.  If he had not always been at her to testify, her life would not be in jeopardy.  The sweat begins to roll down his face as you feel his turmoil and anxiety.  Vince bursts into Sherry’s bedroom with his gun drawn as the clock strikes eight.  Vince kills the assassin but is killed himself in the act of saving Sherry’s life.  Sherry runs to him and crouches over his forlorn body.  Another detective goes into the bathroom and reports that the window was opened from the inside.  Sherry looks up at Hallet and they both realize Vince was a dirty cop.  Sherry embraces Vince’s dead body and sobs uncontrollably because she knows he gave up his life for her.  The closing scene is in the courtroom as Sherry takes the stand to Costain’s chagrin.
I felt Ginger deserved another Oscar nomination for her performance as Sherry.  I watch this movie quite often.  Ginger plays the unsophisticated and earthy Sherry with confidence and believability.
First Traveling Saleslady August 1956
This movie is not one of my favorites because of the poor acting of James Arness, who is very wooden and the very young Clint Eastwood who does not catch my fancy.  I do indulge every so often, because Ginger is in nearly every scene.  My father was a big fan of Gunsmoke and I just never thought much of James Arness’ acting ability or looks.  James did not grab my heartstrings.  His brother Peter Graves (Mission Impossible) was a lot easier on the eyes.  I watched Rawhide devoutly and was smitten with the trail boss, Gil Favor (Eric Fleming) but did not care for the ramrod, Rowdy Yates (Clint Eastwood; Dirty Harry and spaghetti westerns).  I was deeply saddened when I learned of Eric’s death in Peru on location in 1966.  Carol Channing is better suited for Broadway where she found her greater fame.  Film was not kind to Carol even though her role in Thoroughly Modern Millie fit her zany personality a bit better.  Ginger and Carol were the mystery guests on What’s My Line sporting the secret of Carol taking Hello Dolly on the road and Ginger replacing Carol on Broadway in the role as Matchmaker, Dolly Levi.  This would be a high point in Ginger’s career as she is triumphant in her return to “The Great White Way”
      The role as a mother suited Ginger at this time in her life.  It would have been a way to stretch her career in movies.  Ginger’s rapport and love for her daughter in Teenage Rebel is evident and appealing.  Hollywood just was not making very many quality films at this time where Ginger would have a starring role.  Ginger instead turns to television and is the guest on many of the variety and weekly drama shows of the time.  I have a handful of her appearances on DVD but wait eagerly for someone to compile her television appearances for sale.  PLEASE!
Teenage Rebel November 1, 1956
      Nancy Fallon (Ginger) is married to an architect, Jay Fallon (Michael Rennie; The Day the Earth Stood Still, Caesar and Cleopatra, Sanatorium, The Robe, and The Rains of Ranchipur).  They have a seven-year-old son, Larry.  Nancy receives word that her teenage daughter Dorothy ‘Dodie’, from a previous marriage, (Betty Lou Keim who is reprising the role she played on Broadway) whom she has not seen in eight years is coming for a visit.  Nancy fled an unloving and suffocating marriage to be with Jay who cherishes and loves her.  Nancy never thought that her husband, Eric McGowan would deny her her vulnerable seven-year-old daughter when she left.  Nevertheless, the courts sided with Mr. McGowan.  The anticipation of seeing Dodie after all these years permeates Nancy’s whole being.  Nancy busies herself getting Dodie’s room ready for her as she explains to her good friend and maid, Willamay, (Louise Beavers) the circumstances which lead to Dodie living with her father and not with her, the child’s mother.  Mr. McGowan took Dodie to Europe leaving Nancy and Jay no recourse in their desire to have Dodie with them for the court ordered annual three-week visitation.
      Dodie is spiteful, surly, and defensive because she has been terribly hurt by the circumstances of her youth.  She feels her mother deserted her for another man’s love and her father sent her away to boarding schools to live out her youth in loneliness.  Eric’s only reason for keeping Dodie from her mother was vindictive since Nancy wounded his male ego by leaving him for another man and not because of his love for his daughter Dodie.  Eric plans to remarry and sends Dodie to her mother in the company of a lawyer because Eric thinks of this transaction as a legal formality.
      Nancy’s neighbor and friend Grace (Mildred Natwick who guest on many a television show and was in The Snoop Sisters with Helen Hayes) has two teenagers herself.  Dick (Warren Berlinger who marries Betty Lou Keim and guests on several television shows including one of my favorites Murder, She Wrote) has a girlfriend, Madeleine, who happens to be spending the summer in Texas.  Jane (Diane Jergens) is the sophisticated teen who is wiser than her age.  Because of Dorothy’s antagonism towards her mother, Jay enlists the help of Dick and Jane to befriend Dodie and show her a good time.  Dick is racing his hot rod on Labor Day and needs a part for his car.  Jay goodheartedly gets the part for Dick in return for his showing an interest in Dodi and putting her name on his car.
      Nancy tries to win back her daughter’s affection by ignoring the slights and barbs thrown at her and Jay until she finally tells her that she will not be spoken to in that manner ever again.  Nancy is heartbroken because Dodie feels trapped in a miserable existence where she does not trust anyone around her and fights to keep her emotional distance from everyone.  Nancy fears she has lost her daughter forever and then bitterly realizes that Dodie really was not hers to lose because of the years Nancy and Dodie have spent apart from each other.
Dodie eventually starts to let her barriers down as she learns what it is like to be a normal teen while spending more time with Dick.  Dodie begins to soften towards her mother and begins to trust others.
      On the night of the club’s big Labor Day dance Madeleine returns to go with Dick.  Dick is upset because he has fallen for Dodie and asked her to the dance. He failed to let Madeleine know of the change in their relationship because she had said she could not return for the dance.  Dick finds himself obligated to take Madeleine to the dance since he asked her first.  Dick goes over to the Fallon home and tells Dodie of his predicament.  Dodie is so heartbroken, she will not let him explain that even though at first he paid her attention because of the deal with Jay that now he truly likes her and wants to take her to the dance but he had asked Madeline first.  Dodie is beside herself and tears the dress that Jay had bought for her for the dance and turns on her mother demanding that she return her to her father immediately.
      Nancy takes Dodie home to Eric and his new wife, Helen.  Nancy pleads with Eric not to send Dodie back to boarding school where she will feed on her unhappiness.  Eric reminds Nancy that she lost the privilege to have any say in Dodie’s life eight years ago.  Dodie goes upstairs to her bedroom.  Nancy follows and is extremely frank with her because she realizes this will be the last time she might see or even talk to her. 
      Nancy begs Dodie to stay at home and give Helen a chance.  “Just because I was a failure as a mother, do not think every other woman will fail you…No one is ever the way you want them to be…The life you want you will need to make yourself.  The mother you wanted, you will need to be yourself for your own children.”  Nancy lovingly touches Dodie’s hair and says goodbye and leaves.  Dotie opens her balcony door and watches her mother wait on the front porch for the return of the cab.  Dotie goes down the stairs and sees her mother climb into the cab.  She runs outside and yells for her mother.  Nancy turns around seeing her daughter running towards her as she falls.  Nancy orders the driver to stop the cab.  Nancy runs to Dotie and helps her into the cab.  She is attending to the child’s skinned knee asking if it hurts when Dotie tells her she does not know because she is with her mother and she is making everything better.  Nancy and Dotie have a tearful embrace as the cab drives off.  I am crying with contentment as mother and daughter are reunited.  I commiserate with Ginger as a mother sharing love for our daughters and the deep desire for them to find happiness and not let our mistakes ruin their lives. 
Oh, Men! Oh, Women! February 22, 1957 New York City, New York
      This film has Mildred Turner (Ginger) playing the part of Nora from A Doll’s House by Ibsen.  Ginger feels that her self-worth has disappeared with her children raised and gone from the nest.  Mildred’s husband, Arthur (Dan Dailey; Mother Wore Tights, There’s No Business Like Show Business, My Blue Heaven, and The Mortal Storm-his film debut) is a renowned actor and she feels that he does not value her in her own right.  She fears that he only loves her because he sees himself as the perfect husband.  Mildred paints Arthur as a devilish man who rules with superiority and terror over her.  He appears to treat her like a child who is dependent on him for her existence.  She feels that he has treated her like a doll and a plaything.  Mildred spends her time telling her woes to her psychoanalyst Dr. Alan Coles (David Niven).  Mildred decides she is going to leave Arthur so she can find out whom she is and what she wants to do with her life.
     Arthur has taken umbrage with the good doctor and goes to his apartment in a drunken state to only find an old girlfriend, Myra (Barbara Rush) is Alan’s fiancée.  Alan has ended treating Cobbler (Tony Randall; The Odd Couple) because he realizes that the woman he is fixating on is his fiancée, Myra.  This is very disturbing to Alan because the woman Cobbler is obsessing about is not the woman he proposed to.
      Mildred and Arthur finally get together on the doctor’s couch and decide that the mystery and excitement they had when they first met is still there ready to bubble over again.  They leave entwined with eyes for no one but themselves.
      David Niven is miscast as the doctor and fiancé to the youthful ditzy Barbara Rush.  Tony Randall in his film debut is a delightful nut cake who resembles Felix Unger of his future.  The silliness and drunkenness between the males is a waste of the viewers’ time.
      Ginger divorces Jacques July 7, 1957.  Ginger will try marriage one more time with William Marshall.
Ginger spends the late fifties performing on television.  She guests on The Jack Benny Show, The Steve Allen Plymouth Show, Playhouse 90, Perry Como’s Kraft Music Hall, Person to Person, and The Bob Hope Show to name a few.
      On October 15, 1958, Ginger and Fred have television specials but not together.  Ginger has Ray Bolger and the Ritz Brothers as guests.  Ginger started rehearsals a month earlier, ten hours a day seven days a week taking only one weekend off.  Ginger is in her element when she is hard at work but she admits that she does like to get in some tennis.  When Ginger is at home, she swims, golfs, and plays tennis regularly.  I marvel at the fact that Ginger can still fit into the same clothes she wore fifteen years earlier.  Ginger only weighs 120 pounds and has a nineteen-inch waist.  Wow!  When I married, I weighed only 125 pounds and had a small waist but it was never that tiny.  There is talk of Ginger having a weekly live variety show.  There is a write up about the taping of her variety show in a February issue of TV Guide but a network does not pick it up.  It would have been an extremely enchanting experience to see Ginger sing and dance with the stars of the day and those stars of the past every week on television.  Does a print exist of this pilot?
The picture with Ginger and Garry Moore is stamped July 29, 1959, with the following caption “Ginger has a secret-Smiling Ginger Rogers will be the special guest with a ‘secret’ for Garry Moore on I’ve Got a Secret.”  Ginger finds a new home on television before she decides to try the stage again.
AP News Release September 23, 1959, “Ginger Rogers is taking on a drama-with-music role this season for her first theater workout in eight years.  Ginger, who has been busy with television and appearances abroad, sees her starring role in The Pink Jungle as a change of pace.  She plays a scheming career woman in the cosmetics industry but says the role “paints bright colors all around.”  The play opens in San Francisco October 14, 1959 and will be seen in four cities cross-country before its Broadway premiere in January.”  Unfortunately or fortunately, the play flops out of town, closes in Boston, and never makes it to Broadway.  Agnes Moorehead (Endora of Bewitched) costars with Ginger.  All I know about the play is the critics did not like it. 
Lela writes an article defending “Stages Mothers” and her in particular.  Lela had an enormous command of the written word.  She had the potential to be a tremendous columnist, journalist, playwright, author, or anything she had wanted but she gave it up for the love of a daughter who needed her insight and experience in the rough and tumble world of show business.
The Du Pont Show with June Allyson The Tender Shoot October 19, 1959

    I was jubilant when I obtain a copy of this television program.  It is about a writer Kay Neilson who uses her romantic relationships for her bestseller novels.  She is facing a deadline and has left New York City for the country hoping a change of scenery will help her with her latest novel.  Kay meets a young journalist Gary Stevens (Paul W. Carr).  He won a scholarship for a short story contest.  Gary is the editor of the university’s paper.  Gary is full of ambition and becomes infatuated with the successful Kay Neilson.  Gary asks Kay for an interview for the school paper.  She agrees after Gary quotes W. Somerset Maugham (Of Human Bondage, The Letter, Rain, and The Razor’s Edge) “Everything for the writer is grist to his mill from the scent of a rose to the death of a friend.”  Kay and Gary talk about how writers, themselves in particular, need to feel life profoundly and write about those feelings.  Gary asks Kay if she knows how to fish or ride and she recoils at the thought being a subway strap holder herself.  Gary volunteers to teach her.  Kay resists at first but at second look maybe Gary might provide her with the story she is looking for.
      A friendship begins to build as Gary teaches Kay how to ride and fish with humorous consequences.  Kay spends her days with Gary and her nights writing up a storm.  Then one night sitting beside a campfire, Gary gives Kay a roasted marshmallow.  Its sticky insides are all over her fingers and Gary tenderly cleans Kay’s fingers and face with his handkerchief.  Gary looks into her eyes, tells her how beautiful she is, and kisses her fingers.  Kay rejects his advances but consoles him by telling him how much she liked his story and starts to give him pointers for improvement.
      Summer has ended and the time has come for Kay to leave.  She has finished her outline and notes for her new book with Gary as the central figure.  Gary comes by and finds Kay packed and on her way out of his life.  They make small talk about the enjoyable adventures of summer they shared.  Kay tells him she is going to write about how well she can ride, the fish she caught, and how she shot a bear at twenty paces.  Gary asks, “What bear?” Kay answers, “Who cares?”  Gary tells her how he is going to be making a good impression with everyone because he knows Kaye Neilson and how he is going to be a good writer because she said so.  Gary begins to say he was sorry about the other night at the campfire when Kay interrupts and tells Gary never apologizes for kissing a lady’s hand.  She goes on to say that, just because he is a few years younger, does not mean he has a priority on feelings.  Kay takes him into her arms and kisses Gary on the cheek.  Gary pulls her back into his embrace and kisses Kay with deep meaning and she returns it in kind.  They separate from each other’s grasp slowly.  Gary leaves Kay visibly shaken by the emotions she feels for this young writer waiting to push forward and blossom.  Kay decides to file her story indefinitely until “the tender shoot has grown.”  Two ships passing in the night.  Kay and Gary were fortunate to have found each other if only for a moment.
Love is a matter of chance at best and who knows where that one person who completes you is.  If you are fortunate enough to find your soul mate, grab happiness with that special person when you find him or her and enjoy it fully while it lasts.
Ginger tries marriage one last time with William Marshall.  They marry in March of 1961 and do not divorce until 1969.  It was not a good marriage but Ginger wanted to have a successful marriage and tried to make it work.
      Ginger films a pilot for a television show called The Ginger Rogers Show with her costar from the 30s Charles Ruggles in 1961.  The pilot was about twin sisters.  One sister is a clothes designer while the other sister is a newspaperwoman.  The American television audience was not ready for independent women making their own way.  Women would need to wait to be liberated when Mary Richards (Mary Tyler Moore) works at WJM in Minneapolis.  The pilot was not picked up by a sponsor but was later turned into the The Patty Duke Show involving identical cousins, a show I watched every week.  If the pilot is out there, I would love to see it.
      Ginger continues to guest on various variety shows on television.  On October 8, 1963, she guests on Red Skelton’s show.  Ginger dances with Red Skelton’s choreographer in a modern jazz sequence of a song and dance number that included Spanish and clowns routines.
Ginger speaks about her early days in vaudeville, on the Broadway stage, and in Hollywood when Aubrey B. Haines for Dance Magazine interviews her and highlights her appearance on the Skelton’s show.  Ginger gives her opinion of live television versus taped television.  Ginger sees taped television in line with and very similar to film work.  She bases her convictions on the fact that she has worked with both mediums.  “I believe strongly that all television ought to be taped…I don’t believe in ‘live’ television.  I’ve played in both.  When it was ‘live,’ I’ve played as many as three roles to a performance and changed my costume fourteen times in the days when there were no idiot boards (cue cards).  Taped television signifies progress, I’ve no objection to that…I never saw any of my ‘live’ television shows because I was in them.  I’m more satisfied with anything I can have time for.  I like to practice and rehearse a good deal before performing in the actual show.  In taped television the director pushes buttons to select what particular camera picture will be shown.  In making movies, the film too is edited and cut.  This makes for much better selections.”
      Ginger speaks of the desire she once had to become a schoolteacher but her career in show business just started to grow and took on a life of its own.  The stage became her school.  I wanted to be an actress at an early age but I was drawn to the teaching profession and became a schoolteacher.  I love being with children, helping them as we journey together learning and enriching our lives.
      Ginger sings her film and stage hits on television in April 1964 when she hosts the Telephone Hour.
      In July 1964, Ginger and Harry Truman share a special day in Independence, Missouri, their birthplace.  After filming Magnificent Doll, Ginger was invited to the White House to view the portrait of Dolley Madison.  She accepts and meets with President Truman.  Ginger teases the President by saying everyone knows he is from Independence and no one knows she was born there, also.  The President replied that something needed to be done to rectify the oversight.  Ginger celebrates “Ginger Rogers Day” with her mother, former President Truman, and Missourians in Independence.  Ginger and President Truman broke ground for a new electrical system.  Ginger and her mother spent the afternoon touring the Truman library with none other than President Truman himself as their guide.
The Confession 1964 aka Quick, Let’s Get Married 1971
      Ginger and Bill’s only venture into producing films was an utter disaster.  The film cost Ginger three very close friends, the director William Dieterle, writer Allan Scott from her RKO days, and her costar Ray Milland.  Ginger does not elaborate on what went wrong but it distressed her.
      Ginger would never consent to play a madam if it had not been her husband’s picture but she plays a comely refined one.  Madame Rinaldi (Ginger) and Mario (Ray Milland) have a wonderful chemistry on the screen.  I am rooting for them to get together and marry because they are a good fit for each other.  It goes to show you that Ginger can play any character well if she had a mind to.  Elliott Gould is the town’s mute in his film debut and Barbara Eden (I Dream of Jeannie) is Pia, one of Madame Rinaldi’s girls.  Barbara’s husband at the time, Michael Ansara, is the corrupt mayor.  I watch this film only when I want to see a different Ginger, which is not that often, but she proves again she is first-rate at what she does and that is “ACT” with heart and credibility.

Cinderella February 22, 1965
      CBS broadcasts Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella.  Ginger and Walter Pigeon reunite and portray the royal parents of Prince Charming (Stuart Damon; Doctor Alan Quartermaine on General Hospital) and introducing Lesley Ann Warren as Cinderella.  Jo Ann Fleet is the surly stepmother.  Pat Carroll and Barbara Ruick do a splendid job with their renditions of Prunella and Esmerelda.  Pat Carroll’s cricking knee is amusing.  Ginger and Walter take an all too short spin around the dance floor.
I fell in love with Stuart Damon as he sang Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful with Lesley Ann Warren.  My sister and I were mesmerized by the romance and the happily ever after theme.  We watched Cinderella repeatedly when the show was rebroadcast between 1965 and 1974.  VCRs came into being and my sister was able to tape one of the last televised broadcasts.  Television programs did not record very well in those beginning days but every time we got together we would watch Cinderella and become adolescents again as we sang along with the songs and dreamed along with Cinderella and Prince Charming finding true love and that ever so compelling happily ever after ending found only in fairy tales.
I knew Ginger Rogers was Fred Astaire’s famous dancing partner but I was unaware at the time that this was the actress I was searching for.  I was aware of Walter Pigeon from his films with Greer Garson and others.  Celeste Holm was the Fairy Godmother.   I was familiar with her work through some of her motion pictures: All About Eve, Gentleman’s Agreement, Snake Pit, and A Letter to Three Wives as the voice of Addie Ross.  The music from Cinderella is catchy and heartwarming proving what an astonishing musical composer and lyricist Rodgers and Hammerstein are.
Bob Hope Presents the Chrysler Theatre: Terror Island February 26, 1965
      Helen (Ginger) is an enigmatic woman who lives on an eerie secluded island with her daughter Gloria (Katharine Ross; Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Stepford Wives, and The Graduate).  Helen’s adopted son Mark (Donnelly Rhodes) is bringing his new wife Carol (Carol Lawrence) to visit his mother and sister.  As Mark and Carol arrive at the island, a shadowy figure runs along the shoreline with long flowing blond hair.  Helen greets her son affectionately and welcomes his new wife to the island.  Gloria peers out of the tower window at the reunion-taking place on the dock.  Helen is young and youthful looking longing for her son to stay and not leave too soon because he has been gone for some time. Gloria watches the entourage walk across the grounds to the mansion laughing arm in arm.  Gloria is secretive as she watches from afar.
Helen leaves Carol in Mark’s old bedroom to freshen up before going downstairs.  Gloria is hiding behind a curtain in the hall and sees Helen leave.  Carol opens a jewelry box on the dresser and finds a note from Marian welcoming Mark home.  A menacing laughter fills the rafters of the mansion.  Carol is seemingly disturb by the hysterical laughter and follows the sound up a spiral staircase to a closed door in the tower.  She goes to open the door when Juano appears shutting the door behind him.  Juano attributes the laughter to the sounds made in an old mansion trying to talk to you but you do not need to answer.  He guides Carol back to the main floor.  Juano takes on the appearance of a sinister person hiding a family secret behind the suspicious tower door.  You get the feeling of a Hitchcockian mystery is afoot.  I begin to think that Marian really is not dead but hidden in the tower room reminiscent of Mr. Rochester’s predicament in Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre.
Helen confronts Gloria and tells her to dress and go downstairs and see Mark and Carol.  Gloria is rude and standoffish and tells Carol to leave before it is too late.  Carol is mystified by Gloria’s behavior but is won over by Helen’s genuine kindness toward her.  Juano (Abraham Sofaer) takes care of the grounds and the mansion since the unfortunate disappearance of Mark’s first wife, Marian.  She went swimming and was never seen or heard of again.  The town’s people believe that Mark killed his first wife and her ghostly apparition haunts the island.  Nothing was proved and Mark was released, as a body was never found.  Mark continues to have nightmares and believes he might have drowned her in the swampy waters that surround the island.
      Helen insists that Mark and Carol spend the night. The night ferry signals as it passes the island as Helen has taken down the lantern at the dock so it would not stop for Mark and Carol.  Helen tells Mark of her desires for Gloria and him.  Mark tells her it just was not meant to be and apologizes for failing her.  Helen explains to Mark that it is still her dream.  He ruefully reminds her that he is married.  Helen storms off and leaves Mark and Gloria alone.
While Carol continues to rest in Mark’s old room, Gloria pays her a visit.  She strongly advises Carol to take her husband and leave the island by the small boat tied to the dock.  Carol lies down again and we get a glimpse of the shadowy figure peering through the lacy curtains of her window.  Carol is asleep and this phantom appears in her doorway and approaches her bed bearing a silk stocking in her hands.  As she nears Carol with the intention of strangling her, the wind blows over a vase and awakens Carol who sees what appears to be Marian. Everyone runs to Carol’s room but the intruder is not found.  Mark and Carol go for a walk.
Helen pleads with Gloria to fight for Mark and compete for him.  Gloria tells Helen that  Mark is gone from the both of them because he now belongs to Carol.  Helen counters strongly that if she had wanted him nothing would have stopped her.  Gloria rebuts with her insinuation that is what she has been doing all along.      Helen is repulsed by the notion but then again he is not her flesh and blood and not that much older than Mark.  Gloria demands that Helen send Mark away before something happens.  Helen is terrified of Mark leaving again and begs for him to stay.  Gloria goes to tell Mark to leave when Helen grabs her by the arm and they tussle at the top of the stairs.  Gloria loses her footing and tumbles to the bottom.
Helen runs to Gloria’s aid and yells for Mark.  Helen sends Mark for the doctor.  Again, I am deceived by Ginger’s persona.  Helen is not hiding Mark’s mentally deranged first wife in the tower but she herself has gone over the edge and has become Marian.  With Ginger’s aptitude of changing her voice to sound much younger, she approaches Carol speaking and dressed like Marian.  She tries to strangle Carol unsuccessfully.
The next morning Helen regally walks down the stairs and walks down to the dock.  She boards the boat and sits down.   She reaches for Mark’s hand but he is sitting by Carol arm in arm.  Helen is alone in her own world.  Mark and Gloria have been freed to be themselves.
Harlow May 14, 1965 New York City, New York
      Harlow is Ginger’s last feature film role as “Mama Jean”.  The critics pan the film but Ginger garners the best reviews as the selfish domineering mother of the ill-fated Jean Harlow (Carol Lynley).   It is filmed in black and white electronovision in only one week.  Magna wanted to beat out the Paramount's version with Angela Lansbury (Gaslight, Manchurian Candidate, The Picture of Dorian Gray, and Murder, She Wrote) as “Mama Jean” and Carroll Baker as Jean.  Barry Sullivan reunites with Ginger as her gigolo husband Marino Bello.  Judy Garland was originally casted as “Mama Jean” and was replace by Ginger for a second time.  I have watched both films and admire both Ginger and Angela Lansbury as actresses.  Mama Jean’s character is more substantial in Ginger’s movie than in Angela’s film.  Ginger’s character carries a more dastardly overtone as she cares only for herself and Marino than she ever did for her “Baby” (Jean).  It was not until the end of the movie when Jean asks for William Mansfield (the William Powell character, supposedly) instead of her mother that “Mama” realizes how much “Baby” meant to her and that she was gone from her forever.
      Ginger’s film career is officially over after thirty-five years and seventy-three movies to her credit.
      Ginger with Dinah Shore kicking up a storm on her New Year’s Eve Show on December 29, 1961. 
Ginger with Ray Heindorf and his Oscar.  Ginger is the hostess on the season's first Bell Telephone Hour on September 26, 1965.   Ginger with opera diva Roberts Peter, Ella Fitzgerald, and John Davidson pay a musical tribute to Jerome Kern.