Twenty-two years ago last winter, with my reading of The first love (1860), one of the best-known short novels of Ivan TurgenevI verified a certainty of my already remote days in which, still single, I also gave myself to gallant games: love, however its elevation and its greatness, can become as miserable as any other human activity.
Impelled by some friends to narrate the story of his discovery of that feeling that is believed to be more powerful than life, although it can collapse like a house of cards due to an inappropriate word, an inappropriate look, Vladimir Petrovich —the Muscovite adolescent protagonist of Turgenev— takes us back to the summer of 1833. He was sixteen years old at the time and spent the holidays with his parents at a dacha rented by his family for the summer months. One of his neighbors is a beautiful young princess Zinaida Alexandrovna, who plays and flirts with several admirers at once. Our protagonist, captivated by the girl, will not take long to make of her that first love alluded to in the title and join the group of his devotees. Of course, he is the one who yearns the most for the young coquette.
“The great Nicholas Ray must have felt something very similar, albeit in the opposite way to Turgenev’s Petrovich, when he discovered that his son Anthony was the lover of his second wife, the captivating actress Gloria Grahame“
Set to observe her from a distance, as one admires the awakening of courtships to the one who attracts you, without knowing yet how to approach her, Petrovich discovers that Zinaida Alexandrovna has a lover and this is none other than her own father, the father of the lover. first-timer. Petrovich senior, in addition to causing a scandal in the cheerful summer colony, on his return to Moscow turns out to be a wretch who mistreats the princess. If this masterpiece by Turgenev were a cautionary tale, this could well be the fatality to which sentimental love is doomed, compared to the good fortune predicted for rational “love”. Better to love who is convenient before who inspires.
I suppose that the great Nicholas Ray must have felt something very similar, although in the opposite way to Turgenev’s Petrovich, when he discovered that his son Anthony —born from his first marriage to the famous journalist Jean Abrams— was the lover of his second wife, the captivating actress Gloria Grahamemuse of not to go classic and one of the most enigmatic Hollywood performers of her time. Eight years after that discovery—the filmmaker swore he had seen them lying in the same bed maritally—Tony Ray and Gloria Grahame got married. She thus became the new wife of her former stepson; he, the husband of her former stepmother and the stepfather of her stepbrother. She, the memorable interpreter of the bribed (Fritz Lang, 1953), had two children with his former stepson, who was fourteen years older. Previously, she with Nicholas Ray she had had another. So Tony Ray became her stepbrother’s stepfather. What a mess! As the reader will recall, there is a dialogue in Johnny Guitar (1954), one of Nicholas Ray’s most celebrated films, in which Johnny (Sterling Hayden) asks Vienna (Joan Crawford) to lie to him, to tell him that she “still loves” him. I guess the great Nick — “Nick” he called the filmmaker Wim Wenders — must have asked Gloria Grahame for an even bigger fraud. But there was no truffle capable of making him cope with that. who knew him in his big time Madrid, twenty years later, dated the beginning of his decline in the story of his ex-wife and son.
“She was still glowing when she recreated Molly Hoogan, a bartender from dangerous passagean episode of daniel boone directed, yes, by the great Nathan Juran“
Everyone can love whoever they want. No-ones doubt that. But even in Hollywood, where there has always been much more tolerance in sentimental matters than in other latitudes, there was something that squeaked them. Too much trouble no matter how big their swallows were. The filmographies of all those involved were damaged by that scandal, as the Petrovich family’s vacations are terminated when the father’s affair with his son’s platonic love is made public.
The great Nick, who was already dragging the sanbenito of drinking too much, with his American career over, looked for a new opportunity in Spain hired by Samuel Bronston. He was not even able to finish 55 days in Beijing (1963), the second of the two films that brought him to Madrid. Anthony Ray-he was twenty-three years old when he married the one who was his stepmother until he was fifteen—, promised as an actor in large productions when he was forced to work as an assistant director and incorporate supporting characters in television productions. The fate that she suffered after the scandal meant that, while still a young promise, her destiny became that of the old glories without any transit between the two conditions.
And Gloria, the Gloria whom father and son loved so much, ceased to be one of the most outstanding muses of the world. not to go classic. from starring to Robert Wise the splendid bet against tomorrow (1960) went on to incorporate episodic characters in teleseries. She was still glowing when she recreated Molly Hoogan, a bartender from dangerous passagean episode of daniel boone directed, yes, by the great Nathan Juranoriginally broadcast on January 15, 1970.
“His fate had been cast ever since he met Nicholas Ray in 1948 during the filming of A woman’s secret. As soon as the filming was over, she married him.“
As far as I’m concerned – leaving aside whether it was the father or the son who was lying in her bed – at the dawn of my cinephilia, Gloria Grahame left me fascinated in his creation of Laurel Gray’s in a lonely place (NicholasRay, 1950). I remember Humphrey Bogart —the screenwriter Dixon Steele on that occasion—, drinking in front of her until he was half dead from her, at the bar of a bar on that tape. And I remember it because later, when I myself hit the jarI saw many guys in many bars served by beautiful waitresses, also drinking half to death for them, who allowed themselves to be admired with the same indolence.
Daughter of a British architect and acting teacher, Gloria Grahame was born in Los Angeles in 1923.. She was barely nineteen years old when she became known as an actress on the Chicago stage. Not long after her, Louis B. Meyer in person, after seeing her in one of her stage jobs, hired her exclusively for Metro. She on screen first stood out as the Violet Beck of Living is beautiful! (Frank Capra, 1946). In the fourteen years that followed, he would collaborate with some of the most prestigious filmmakers in classic Hollywood. Only in 1952 did he do it with Josef von Sternberg —An adventure in Macau—, Vincent Minnelli —captives of evil— Y Cecil B. DeMille —The greatest show in the world—. But her luck was cast ever since she met Nicholas Ray in 1948 during the filming of A woman’s secret. As soon as the filming was over, she married him. The separations and reconciliations of the marriage were constant. Between them they had time to have a son: Timothy Ray, who developed a fleeting filmography as the first operator.
“Anthony Ray, her former stepson, was her longest-lasting husband. Married to him in 1960, they remained united until 1974.“
Separated definitively in 1952, it is very significant that this was precisely one of the most fruitful years for the actress, who in 1954 married for the third time —the first had been actor Stanley Clemens— with producer Cy Howard. But the Rays would not leave her life like the rest of her husbands. Quite the contrary, it would seem that her existence had been marked by them as the face of Debby Marsh, her character in the bribed, when he throws the scalding coffee at him by Vince Stone, the sadistic thug brought in by Lee Marvin.
Gloria Grahame would have to work with Fritz Lang again in ’53, recreating Vicki Buckley from human wishesremake of the human beast (Jean Renoir, 1938), the classic of French poetic realism based on the homonymous novel by Émile Zola. As is known, the story told under that title is the story of a fatal love, cursed by crime and madness. In many ways, it was a harbinger of the fate that awaited its protagonist. As was Karen McIver, her character in the spider web (Vincente Minnelli, 1955), one of the alienated who try to recover the psycho-affective balance in the health home where the film is set.
Anthony Ray, her former stepson, was her longest-lasting husband. Married to him in 1960, they remained united until 1974.. But when her marriage was made public—at first they tried to hide it—because of the scandal, Gloria Grahame was on the verge of losing her mind, as well as the custody of her other children.
She had been having real obsessions with her beauty for a long time.. Those who kissed her before the cameramen claimed that, under her upper lip, Gloria Grahame placed cotton to make her mouth more sensual. Later it was said that, after undergoing the corresponding operation, she lost mobility in said lip.
After the scandal, in search of lost calm, in 1964, she was subjected to several electroshock sessions. Forgotten by Hollywood, she sought refuge in the theater and sustenance in television. He smoked and drank like in the old movies. Suffering from breast cancer, she ignored the doctors’ warnings and continued to work until the end. With metastases spread throughout her body, she died prematurely in 1981, crippled with grief.
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Gloria Grahame, the film noir muse who married her stepson – Zenda