HULK PRESENTS: “IT’S NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN” – RITA HAYWORTH (1941)

May 25, 2011

SOME YEARS AGO, HULK HAVING CONVERSATION WITH OLD FRIEND AND HULK ASK HIM, “WHO WOULD YOU LIKE TO MEET MORE THAN ANYONE ELSE IN WORLD?” HIS RESPONSE WONDERFUL:

“IT NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN…”

AT THAT MOMENT HULK FULLY REALIZE THE SIGNIFICANT IMPORTANCE OF TIMING WHEN COMES TO PERSONS IDENTITY. EVEN IF SOME STARDUST NEVER FADE, HULK WONDER WHAT = THE TRUE VALUE TO MEETING SOMEONE IN THEIR TWILIGHT YEARS, WHEN JUST A SHADOW OF THEIR FORMER SELF? OR BEFORE THEY FAMOUS, WHERE THE VALUE SEEMINGLY NOTHING MORE THAN KITSCH? OR EVEN DURING THE EPIC CREST (READ: NADIR?) OF THEIR POPULARITY, WHEN THEY PROBABLY THEIR MOST DISTANCED AND LOADED WITH AIR OF INVINCIBILITY?

NO… HULK BELIEVE THAT OFTEN THE IDEAL TIMING THAT CUSP WHERE THE STAR IGNITING. WHEN THE PERSON’S FAME EXCITING AND NEW, ESPECIALLY TO THEM. WHERE THEY OVERCOME WITH BOTH THE HUMILITY OF THAT RESPONSIBILITY AND POSSIBLY EVEN EMBARRASSED BY IT. SAY WHAT WILL, IT CERTAINLY WHEN THEY MOST THANKFUL. AND EVER SINCE THAT FIRST CONVERSATION, HULK ALWAYS TRY TO REITERATE WHEN COME TO ANY SUCH LIST…

“IT NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN…”

NOW, AS WRINKLE, THIS ONGOING SERIES OF PORTRAITS ONLY DEAL WOMEN OF THE LAST 75 YEARS OR SO; ONES WHO HULK CONSIDER TO BE THE MOST BEAUTIFUL AND ALLURING WOMEN IN THE WOLD (PRETTY MUCH ALL ACTRESSES). HULK WELL AWARE THAT THE INTERWEBS CAN QUICKLY DESCEND INTO A GAME OF “OMG, SHE HOT! LET’S OGLE HER!” (IT USUALLY NOT SAID THAT NICELY) AND THEN WE FIND OUR-HULK-SELVES SKIRTING INTO OBJECTIFYING AND ULTIMATELY EVEN EXPLOITATIVE TERRITORY.  PLEASE KNOW THAT THIS ANYTHING BUT HULK’S GOAL. HULK NOT WANT THIS SERIES BE VIEWED AS SEXIST IN SLIGHTEST. THE GOAL SIMPLY TO REFLECT ON MOMENTS ON TIME, GO OVER SOME FILM AND TELEVISION HISTORY, DISCUSS THE FLEETING NATURE OF FAME AND THE LASTING SENSE OF IMAGE, AND TO ENGAGE IN THE SUBJECT OF SEXUALITY IN FRANK TERMS, SPECIFICALLY IN TERMS OF MEDIA FORMS. 

AND YES MOST OF IT WILL BE  HULK SPEWING OUT ADORATION SO NO EXPECT MUCH STERILE CRITICISM, BUT THAT AT LEAST THE INTENTION IT COMING FROM.

“IT NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN…”

…SO OF COURSE IT STARTS WITH RITA HAYWORTH.

AND HOW COULD IT NOT? MAYBE THERE JUST SOMETHING SO INHERENTLY WONDERFUL ABOUT GOLDEN AGE MOVIE STARS. THEY POSSESS SOME KIND OF MAGICAL SHINE THAT COME WITH THE DISTANCE AND MYSTERY OF BEING STAR IN THAT ERA. BUT RITA HAYWORTH NOT JUST ANOTHER MOVIE STAR. SHE WIDELY-CONSIDERED  BE IN THE TOP FIVE STAR OF THE CLASSIC ERA, BUT SHE FAR AND AWAY HULK’S VOTE FOR MOST BEAUTIFUL AND DISTINCTIVE. SHE NO REALLY HAVE THE CHOPS OF THE OTHERS, BUT HER LOOK SIMPLY TRANSCENDENT+ AHEAD OF ITS TIME. BY HER THIRD MAJOR FILM SHE LEARN HOW HONE HER NATURAL PERSONALITY AND TRANSLATE IT TO HER PERFORMANCE, MUCH LIKE MARILYN WOULD DO LATER ON. THE KEY DIFFERENCE BEING THAT RITA’S SCREEN PRESENCE = EFFORTLESS. RITA PROJECTED THREE DIMENSIONS AND GLIDED ABOUT THE SCREEN WITH GUILE, WHERE MARILYN MORE SEEMED TO STOMP ABOUT, HIT HER MARKS, AND POSE ACCORDINGLY.

IF HULK PUT IT BLUNTLY, RITA COULD BE WATCHED AND INTERACTED, BUT MARILYN COULD ONLY BE LOOKED AT.

PERHAPS RITA’S NATURAL PRESENCE HAD SOMETHING DO WITH HER EXTENSIVE BACKGROUND IN DANCE. ADMITTEDLY, I’M NOT TALKING ABOUT THE ILLUSTRIOUS-BALLET-CAREER-AT-THE-MET-KIND-OF-BACKGROUND, BUT MORE THE SMOKEY NIGHTCLUB SORT. SHE DID HAVE FORMAL TRAINING FROM YOUTH AND PROFESSIONAL LATIN DANCE TRAINING; SHE NEVER WORKED ANYWHERE SCANDALOUS MIND YOU, BUT SHE DID WORK IN THE SORT OF HIGH-END NIGHTCLUBS WHERE SOMEONE WITH HER TALENT AND BEAUTY COULD RISE TO PROMINENCE WITHOUT NECESSARILY HAVING TO ENGAGE IN THE MORE SORDID ENDS OF THAT WORLD (LIKE SO MANY OTHERS DID). AND SO, HAYWORTH = ONE OF THESE PROMISING YOUNG DANCERS THE SHOW UP IN A HOST OF BACKGROUND DANCING ROLES AND B MOVIES.

THE FIRST BIG BREAK FOR RITA= ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) BY HOWARD HAWKS. GOING BY THE LOGIC DISCUSSED IN THE ITALICIZED INTRO ABOVE YOU WOULD EXPECT THIS TO BE THE OPTIMUM MOMENT TO MEET HER, BUT HULK DISAGREE WITH A CAVEAT: SHE WAS NOT RITA HAYWORTH YET. SHE STILL TOO ROUGH AROUND EDGES. AND HULK NOT NECESSARILY TALKING ABOUT HER EYEBROWS, WHICH WERE NO SHAPED INTO THEIR DEFINING ICONIC STATUS YET, CAUSE THAT WOULD BE… SHALLOW? BUT POINT =  SHE REALLY NO LOOK LIKE OR ACT LIKE “RITA” YET. SHE JUST NEEDED LITTLE MORE OPPORTUNITY TO SEASON HER ON SCREEN PERSONA. OF COURSE, HULK COULD ALSO GO WITH GILDA(1948) AND THAT OH-SO-FAMOUS HAIR FLIP WHICH HAS DEFINED HER FOR DECADES, BUT THAT IT NO THAT EITHER.

FOR HULK, THE ANSWER EASY FOR WHEN RITA REALLY BECOME RITA. SHE DANCER, RIGHT? SO WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU PAIR HER WITH FRED ASTAIRE?

MISTY-EYED, SMASH-WORTHY MAGIC THAT WHAT.

THE DANCE-LADEN LEGACY OF RITA HAYWORTH ALWAYS SEEM GET FORGOT IN THE WAKE OF GILDA-HAIR-FLIP, BUT FOR HULK SHE NEVER MORE AMAZING THEN WHEN SHE WAS TEAM UP WITH ASTAIRE IN YOU’LL NEVER GET RICH (1941). THE MOVIE NOT ALL THAT PERFECT… BUT THEY ARE.

IN A WAY, THAT ALL THAT MATTERS WHEN GO BACK AND WATCH IT TODAY. IT ONE OF HULK’S FAVORITES. EVEN THOUGH ASTAIRE IS FAMOUSLY LINKED TO GINGER ROGERS AS HIS CENTRAL DANCE PARTNER, HE ALWAYS SPOKE MOST FONDLY OF NO JUST HAYWORTH, BUT HER INFLUENCE ON HIM. THEY WERE ABLE USE A LOT OF HER LATIN INFLUENCES AND THEY WOULD THEN GO ON TO MAKE YOU WERE NEVER LOVELIER (1942) TOGETHER AS THEIR LAST COLLABORATION. DON’T BELIEVE ME THAT THEY WERE AN AMAZING PAIRING?

CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO. IT GLAMOROUS. BEAUTIFUL. ELEGANT. ALL THAT GOOD STUFF.

PRETTY, BUT NOTHING SPECIAL?

OKAY NOW CHECK THIS ONE OUT AS IT ACTUALLY SHOWS OFF THEIR MOVES.

IF YOU DOUBTED HOW AWESOME RITA HAYWORTH WAS, HULK NOW ACCEPT YOUR APOLOGY. YES, SHE JUST TRYING TO KEEP UP WITH FRED DURING A LOT OF THE FAST STUFF, BUT COME ON… HOW SHE NOT AMAZING?

WHEN HULK THINK OF FAVORITE CLASSIC FILM ACTRESSES, HULK THINK OF HER.

WHEN HULK THINK OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE HULK THINK OF HER.

HOW COULD HULK NOT START THIS SERIES WITH RITA HAYWORTH?

… OF COURSE LIKE MOST STARS OF THE ERA, THERE BEHIND THE SCENES TROUBLES. UPS AND DOWNS. HEAVY DRINKING. ALL THAT STUFF. HONESTLY, HULK NOT ALL THAT INTERESTED IN THAT PART OF THE STORY. TO HULK THERE MERELY WHAT ON SCREEN AND WHAT ON SCREEN THE STUFF THAT KNOCKS HULK OUT. NOTHING ELSE NEEDED. AS FAR AS ENDS GO, RITA ENDED UP SUFFERING FROM ALZHEIMER’S THE LAST 5 YEARS OF HER LIFE. UGH. HULK WATCHED GRANDMOTHER-HULK DIE FROM ALZHEIMER’S AND HULK CAN TELL YOU THAT THE VERY THOUGHT OF THIS IS TRAGIC…

… BECAUSE NO ONE SHOULD EVER FORGET RITA HAYWORTH.

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5 Responses to “HULK PRESENTS: “IT’S NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN” – RITA HAYWORTH (1941)”

  1. Phil said

    Not like anyone needs a reason to reflect on the awesomeness of Rita Hayworth, but would any of this have to do with getting inspired to watch L.A. Confidential over the weekend?

    Also, I’d want to meet Lady from Shanghai-era Rita Hayworth, mostly so I could rant at her about how that movie was a great bonding experience for my father and me. He used that movie to teach me patience…

  2. [...] HULK PRESENTS: IT’S NOT JUST WHO BUT WHEN – RITA HAYWORTH (1941) [...]

  3. Erik said

    Great article! Rita Hayworth was the most beautiful and talented woman in the history of motion pictures. Even the imperfection of her tooth on her left side is sexy. I have never seen any mention of this anywhere, but if you look closely you will see it. I equate it with Marilyn Monroe’s mole, but better.

  4. José Carlos said

    Sorry. this woman has no imperfection. It is the embodiment of beauty. Aphrodite ….

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