Sunday, December 7, 2008

A Boxing Rag, Gloria Grahame, and Yours Unruly

The other day, in a bit of random online research to locate a reproduction of a Weegee photograph, I stumbled across an image of Gloria Grahame I had never seen before. That is the image you, dear reader, see above.

I've long worshipped the bronze idol of Gloria Grahame. How best to describe the lady for those of you not already initiated into her cult?

Based solely on her performances as an actress in film noir classics ranging from In A Lonely Place to Odds Against Tomorrow (honorable mention: It's a Wonderful Life, Macao, The Bad and the Beautiful, the Big Heat), Grahame is the perfect noir goddess. If perhaps you think she's not quite the bombshell you were expecting, add to this mix her actual biography: never quite made it as an A-list leading lady, her marriage to director Nicholas Ray, himself the ultimate Hollywood studio system era nonconformist, resulted not only in her deflowering Nick's stepson, but then, following her divorce from Nicholas Ray, she married the son after his 18th birthday (itself a marriage doomed to ruin), and then beyond even her good looks, Grahame starts to become the ultimate damaged goods femme fatale. In her best performances, these autobiographical loose screws shine through. "I don't think I ever understood Hollywood," Grahame said once.

So to stumble upon this image of Gloria, my obsession with this actress already obviously, irrevocably in place, I just had to fall in love all over again. When I shared it with thee JSH, he quipped, "Barefoot and boxing gloves. Now there's a look for Spring." I don't have to add too much more.

Which leads me to the subject of boxing. Which also leads me to the subject of the start of this blog, which began about a year ago. In one of JSH's early entries, he was bitching about the lack of boxing magazines at his local Border's. Something that I've meant to mention is that at my local Lexington tobacco shop/newsstand, Fayette Cigar (at which I purchase all the tobacco products you have and will have read here first), Dale & Co. keep it real, with both the Ring and Boxing Digest on the stands. I just today, when refilling my roll your own organic American Spirit cigarette habit, picked up the new issue of the Ring.


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