john_j_enright (john_j_enright) wrote,

Gentlemen and Ladies in Hollywood

I was reading the Wall St. Journal this morning, and there's a set of mini-book reviews on child prodigies, the first being Child Star by Shirley Temple Black. So, here's real life Hollywood, circa 1940:

"When the MGM producer Arthur Freed exposed himself at their first meeting, Shirley, not yet 12, burst out laughing. 'Go on, get out!' he bellowed, and she promptly shared the story with Gertrude. Her mother's idea of comfort was to tell her preteen about her own experience parrying the gropes of MGM head Louis B. Mayer."

Peggy Noonan also had a column in today's WSJ, "America Needs More Gentlemen", which closes like this:

"For inspiration we end with Hollywood, with Jimmy Stewart in 'The Philadelphia Story.' The character played by Katharine Hepburn makes a pass at him, and he notes he could have taken advantage of the moment but she'd been drinking and 'there are rules about that.'"

When a lady has been drinking
And her self-control is sinking
And she makes a shocking pass,
It is worth your while to ask
Whether in cold morning's light
Such behavior will feel right
Or the source of much regret,
Which is why such rules get set.

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