Doris Day, The Man Who Knew Too Much, 1956

In Hitchcock’s The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956), Day wasn’t too ornate. She was sensibly dressed, moderately adorned. Her hair maintained the same practical style throughout the film, much to my disappointment. It isn’t a very feminine look. Most of the top hair is short … shall we say, “The Hairstyle That Knew Too Little”? Her short bangs fall just at the top of the forehead.

She also wore this short flat hat on the top for much of the film. In my opinion, the look is not too flattering for Doris’s full moon face. It’s hard to see in the above shots, but she also has a tight bun at the nape of her neck, no flair, no pretty pins or bows. You can see it here in this shot from behind.

Hitchcock only used blondes, you know. Day is one of the least interesting of the whole slew in my opinion, but she has two great moments in this picture. The first is an unforgettable scream at the opera house. You really must watch it just for this. The second is her distressed performance of “Que Sera, Sera” at the height of the film. She does such a lovely job at singing beautifully and expressing affliction at the same time. She made a record of the song, which you might have if you’ve kept your record collection and can get your grandchildren to come dig around in the attic for you.¬†

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Mary Pickford’s Ringlet Curls

I told you we would get back to more of Mary Pickford. ¬†America’s first “Sweetheart” was known as “the girl with the golden curls.” No one could top the things.

Let’s look at an early photograph of her during her Broadway days:

Photo taken by Broadway photographer Ira L. Hill

Her ringlet curls and large, wide hat were common during the early 1900s, but ringlet curls had also been popular during the 1800s and before. In any case, Pickford was well known for her “sausage” curls. Let’s just take a look at several photographs of her great curls.

Sausage curls whet your appetite?

So adorable!

"Does this hat make me look fat?"

Pickford was a star of the silent pictures, but, more than that, she produced over thirty pictures and did a little directing too.

"Give me melancholy."

Around the time her career was going down the tubes thanks to the advent of talkies, Pickford’s mother died and she chopped off her curls in response, shocking the nation and making headlines.

The sad end of the story is that she started getting zozzled more often than not and became a ragamuffin hermit. Damn those talking pictures!

Published in: on 26 February 2010 at 18:27  Leave a Comment  
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