Friday, February 5, 2010

Foxy Ladies

Here we have a quartet of boudoir babes from the 20th Century Fox stable of fillies. It's interesting to note the differences between these four, and the decor they were photographed in (either their own, or studio-created). Indisputably the biggest star was Marilyn Monroe, who was captured by Douglas Kirkland in her near-minimalist, almost spartan Brentwood bedroom.

Joan Collins was imported by Fox from Britain in 1955, as their answer to Metro's Elizabeth Taylor, another exquisite British rose who became the quintessential Hollywood superstar. Collins never quite rose above her also-ran status (until a little thing called Dynasty came along in the 1980's), and this photograph points up the studio's nonchalant attitude toward her: despite the glamorous flourishes (pink poodle, pink pillows, pink phone), there's a bizarrely "unfinished" feel to it all, as if the decorator were fired midway through the job.

The ultimate symbol of 1950's excess and extravagance, Jayne Mansfield's infamous Pink Palace was the ideal expression of Mansfield's uniquely, operatically bad (yet fabulous) taste, a shrine to rhinestone luxury totally befitting the Queen of Kitsch.

She never once played a villain; was a devout Roman Catholic who had seven children with her husband of over 50 years; and was the model of chaste, wholesome beauty in such films as State Fair (1945) and Cheaper By the Dozen (1950). Yet someone at Fox thought it fitting to photograph Jeanne Crain in a boudoir setting that made Jayne Mansfield's seem sedate.

Well, those seven kids had to come from somewhere.


  1. I've always wondered if that shot of Joan was intended for a magazine and if the story was meant to be printed up in the bare space... It is odd.

  2. I've never seen the photo of Jeanne. I'll have to show my husband.

  3. That Marilyn pic is by Doug Kirkland, not Bert Stern. Just thought I'd give credit where credit is due.

  4. Good heavens! You're so right!


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