Thursday, March 15, 2012

Round Two (Part One) Recap

The results from Round Two (Part One):

"They Had Faces"
#1.Greta Garbo def. #4.Clara Bow, 80-45
#6.Gloria Swanson def. #2.Mary Pickford, 82-38

"Tough Broads and Pre-Code Babes"
#1.Barbara Stanwyck def. #4.Claudette Colbert, 77-52
#3.Joan Crawford def. #2.Marlene Dietrich, 73-60

Mary Pickford's loss to Gloria Swanson wasn't surprising—more movie fans have seen Sunset Boulevard than all of Pickford's movies combined—but the loss was frustrating nevertheless.

"Ain't that a kick in the head," muttered Pickford's husband, silent film star Douglas Fairbanks, before walking away.

Pickford was more philosophical in defeat and spoke to reporters at length. "I guess now I'm supposed to eat those four puppies I threatened to devour if I didn't win," she said, "but I'm not going to do it. The truth is, I had them—and 97 others—made into a fur coat. That and Doug and the tens of millions of dollars I earned during my career will keep me quite warm at night, thank you."

In losing to Joan Crawford, number 2 seed Marlene Dietrich set the dubious record for most votes for a losing actress with 60, a total that would have won most contests.

The German film star was drinking mojitos with Nobel Prize-winning pal Ernest Hemingway when she received the news of her defeat. "Well, as Papa likes to say, 'The world breaks everyone, and afterward many are strong at the broken places.' Which is absolute schei├če, of course. Really, Hem, do you ever listen to yourself?"

"There's nothing fine and noble about losing," Hemingway told her, "unless you lose gracefully. And then it's not only noble but brave."

"Oh, shut up!"

The other brackets featured upsets of their own.

Last year's tournament runner-up, Vivien Leigh, was breathless after her stunning loss to Gene Tierney in the 1940s bracket. "I can't think about that right now," she said, all aflutter. "If I do, I'll go crazy! Tara," she said. "That's it. I'll go home to Tara! Tara Reid, that is. She's got a really well-stocked liquor cabinet! We'll eat a gallon of Rocky Road and drink ourselves into a coma—because after all, tomorrow is another day! And I'll be damned if I'm going to face it sober."

The legendary Ingrid Bergman fared no better, losing to upstart Lauren Bacall, 54-37. "I was willing to pay as much as a franc for each vote," she said bitterly. "In Sweden, they're only worth a penny!"

Also falling in the second round was four-time Oscar winner Katharine Hepburn, who lost to Olivia de Havilland, 54-44. As befitting her reputation for flinty determination, Hepburn did not take the loss lying down. She immediately deployed an army of lawyers to the 1940s to dispute the results, claiming that some votes had not been counted.

"We'll count every ballot," she vowed, "we'll go on to the end. We'll fight in France, we'll fight on the seas and oceans, we'll fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, whatever the cost may be. We'll fight on the beaches, we'll fight on the blogs, we'll fight in the voting booths, we'll fight in the fields and in the comment sections—we shall never surrender!"

Her speech concluded, Hepburn promptly conceded and stomped off to her dressing room.

The other white Hepburn, Audrey, was one of the few favorites to win, handily defeating the ever popular Deborah Kerr, 73-45.

To celebrate, Audrey said she planned to have breakfast at Tiffany's, then jet off to Italy for a Roman holiday where she'd make love in the afternoon then play charades until dinner with her good friends Robin and Marian. "Marian has a funny face," she said, "but she knows how to steal a million which is what that green mansion I want costs."

Then with a cheery wave, she was off. "Sorry," she said, "I couldn't work The Lavender Hill Mob in there. It's a dumb joke anyway."


monty said...

Haha! Brilliant and creative post John. I think you captured the feelings and mood of everyone that is competing in the tourney. But this 2nd round has produced a lot more upsets than I would have ever imagined. Just goes to show actresses will match up with other actresses quite differently. Which makes for the tourney to be very long running over the coming years. I hope you will continue to want to be involved with this. I know I am.

Who Am Us Anyway? said...

Ms. Hepburn, no! You can't concede -- that would be like FDR concluding his Pearl Harbor speech to Congress with, "I have conferred this morning with the congress and the chiefs of staff in emergency session, we have reached our rendezvous with destiny. It is our unanimous and irrevocable decision that the United States of America ...unconditionally surrender. And now my wife and I would like to return with you for the thrilling conclusion of Private Nick Danger, Third Eye."

No ma'am! We gotta black up the windows and nail up the doors & keep right on 'till the end of the war!