Moonlighting With

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Hollywood Studio Magazine, Then and Now September 1988
Sexual Hostility in the Movies: From Hepburn & Bogart to Sheppard (sic) & Willis

Cover of Hollywood Studio Magazine Jan 1988 Hollywood Studio Magazine is a national film & collectors' magazine first started in 1957 as an in-house studio publication. It evolved over the years to become more of a resource for collectors and movie buffs. Its goal is toward preserving the glamour that was once Hollywood's while promoting the present and future developments in film. Hence the name, Then and Now. An enjoyable article even though I don't agree with all his points not to mention that it really worries me that the author looks so unprofessional in not even checking to make sure Ms. Shepherd's name was spelled correctly!


HEADLINE: Sexual Hostility in the Movies



If looks could kill then those sullen glances Glenn Ford kept giving Rita Hayworth in "Gilda" would probably have silenced her early in the movie way before she got the chance to take off her gloves and sing "Put the Blame on Mame." Hayworth, likewise, did not seem pleased with Ford and their mutual distrust for one another was the underlying factor that made "Gilda" the screen success it was in the forties and still is today.

Claudette Colbert pretended all through "It Happened One Night" to think Clark Gable was a 'dud' when all the time we knew she could hardly wait to hop in the sack with him.

Gable and Leigh as Rhett Butler & Scarlett O'hara in Gone With the Wind

Gable's Rhett and Leigh's Scarlett were constantly at odds throughout GWTW until Rhett drank too much and finally bedded Scarlett the way she desired. Hepburn's imperious Tracy Lord put down Cart Grant's playboy character in "The Philadelphia Story" until the final reels when they would up together.

Brando and Leigh as  in Streetcar Named DesireTracy and Hepburn

Bogart and Hepburn in The African QueenHepburn's screen persona was generally involved with an underlying conflict with the leading man in her films. Most of the time in Tracy-Hepburn films, the hostility was subdued or treated lightly as in "Adam's Rib," but it was there. In one of the team's least successful films, "Sea of Grass," it dominated the movie, so much so that it turned off the audience. The fans were more comfortable with films like "Without Love," "The Desk Set," and "Pat and Mike."

Perhaps Hepburn's most successful portrayal is as the frustrated old maid in "The African Queen," opposite Humphrey Bogart. From the moment the two appeared on the screen, the quiet hostility was obvious. The differences of opinion soon gave way to a mutual understanding and cooperation that eventually turned into sexual love.

One of the most unforgettable scenes in history is the moment these two lead characters first dicover there is love between them. It is so quietly initiated through John Huston's direction and Hepburn and Bogart's acting that the audience believes the relationship even though it is played against totally unreal situations.

Gable and Harlow in Hold Your ManThe team of Gable and Harlow sent off sparks in the early days especially in films like "Red Dust" when the two didn't see quite eye to eye. In the fifties Doris Day and Rock Hudson flirted with each other through three films using the stand-off approach to sex until the end. Liz Taylor and Richard Burton battled throughout "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" and "The Taming of the Shrew" two successful films amongst their nearly dozen disasters. Gregory Peck and Jennifer Jones had their only truly sexual parts in "Duel in the Sun" and Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray destroyed each other in "Double Indemnity."

Bogie and Baby Bacall were always somewhat antagonistic of each other in their screen outings. They played it 'cool' at a distance. Bergman and Cary Grant distrusted one another in "Notorious," and Bergman won one of her Oscars when leading man Charles Boyer psychologically tortured her in "Gaslight."

On the lighter side, Betty Grable always had misgivings with her leading man toward the middle of her movies as did Alice Faye, but somehow they would resolve the differences by the end of the movie. Fred and Ginger fought throughout most of their dancing films.

Grace Kelly was at odds with both leading men, Crosby and Holden, in "The Country Girl" and won an Oscar for her efforts. And who will ever forget James Cagney letting Mae Clark have it with the grapefruit in "Public Enemy?"

Bruce Willis & Cybill Shepherd, the sexual hostility and attraction on MoonlightingThere's something sexy about couples who don't get along in the living room. It conjures up thoughts about what might happen when they get to the bedroom.

"Moonlighting' is one of today's most successful TV shows and Cybill Sheppard (sic) and Bruce Willis seem far sexier when they're arguing then when they're in bed. The audience knows that there's something between them, but no one can foretell if that 'something' will ever work out. The chemistry becomes mystery and when they're on screen bickering it's sexually electrifying and brings back the good old days in movies when the leading lady and the man spent 85 minutes of screen time bickering and the last five minutes in utter ecstasy.

Sheppard (sic) has come a long way since "The Last Picture Show" and has proved once and for all that dumb blondes can smarten up, but only after they've been kicked around some by the leading men in their lives. She's been able to outlive her relationship with Peter Bogdonovich (sic) to the extent that at this writing, they're even talking a sequel to "The Last Picture Show" with Bogdonovich (sic) directing his ex-lover Sheppard (sic).

Movie moguls are dying to get Sheppard (sic) in a romantic comedy drama a la the old days of Carole Lombard. There's just a bit lacking in screen chemistry with the other top blondes Meryl Streep, Glenn Close and Kathleen Turner. With the right part and the right leading man (Dream casting: Mel Gibson) Cybill could bring back old time glamour to the screen. Sexual Hostility would never look better!

By Johnny Jason

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