Bijou Follies 30s B Feature
Life at High Speed (cont'd)

another cup of coffee. He works. He reads the papers. He cracks jokes with Oakie. He rushes to the commissary for luncheon at 12:30. He goes back on the set. Between 3 and 3:30 p.m. he sends the property boy, employed for this purpose and no other, to get him his afternoon cup of coffee and hunk of pie. He works some more. He rushes home. He dines at home or at the Club La Mare. He studies his lines. In between whiles he and Lilian swim, play tennis, fish, play Monopoly, go to the races, go to the fights, go to the homes of friends, just fritter away their time. . . .

They hardly have time to fall in love. They have almost no time at all to fall out of love. Ginger Rogers told me that she literally did NOT have time to be a wife, a home-maker, let alone a mother, of all things! She never knew, she said, what she was going to have for dinner or when or where or with whom. She couldn't entertain, not even her husband, because at any moment of the day or night, Christmas, Easter, Admission Day, birthdays, anniversaries, she might well hear Fred Astaire saying "Let's go through this routine again, Ginger" - and Fred thinks not of clocks or time tables or date books or train schedules.
Or, again, if she tried to telephone her ex-husband that she would be home in fifteen minutes she would hear a voice from the set intone "Hold it for a still, please, Miss Rogers." And that was that. She never lunched alone but always with an interviewer, with her director, with a radio agent. She is building a new home for herself and her mother in Beverly Hills.

She "reads" blueprints while she gives four or five hours to fittings for the elaborate wardrobe which is hers in every picture.

She goes to the Bowl when the summer concerts are on, to the Philharmonic in the winter. She has a beach house at Malibu and an apartment in town and the new house in process of construction. When she awakes in the morning after an evening spent, perhaps, dancing with Jimmy Stewart at the Troc', she doesn't remember whether she is in the Malibu house or in the apartment or on the set . . . in her brief dreams she hears Fred Astaire calling "Let's go through this routine again, Ginger . . . " She has been known to rise in her sleep and do a few pas de seuls until put back to bed by her mother . . .

Nelson Eddy has three careers . . . the screen . . .radio. . . concerts . . . in his leisure moments, I mean when he is not practising, recording, studying lines, conferring, being photographed, doing autographs, he runs his home, plays tennis, takes a gal out to dine and dance, swims in his pool, entertains and just monkeys about . . .

Joan Crawford and Franchot Tone work all day on the sets, take voice lessons, piano lessons, study French, psychology, read all the best books, entertain, write, produce, act, give plays in their little theater, get sun-tanned in season,
get un-sun-tanned out of season, fritter the languid hours away. . . .

They don't have enough to do . . . go in for ranching and raising cabbages like Frances Lederer, raise dogs like Stu Erwin, do movie photography like Leslie Howard, give kiddies' parties for ten and twelve infants like the Fredric Marches, run houses like Clark Gable, move out of a brand new house into a brander new one like Claudette Colbert, write songs like Ginger Rogers, have nervous breakdowns like Carole Lombard, give circuses like Harold Lloyd, Errol Flynnwrite books like Errol Flynn . . . just invent ways and means to fill in their spare time, you know . . . .



It's like eating too much. The more you eat, the more you can eat. Your tummy stretches, to be literal if not lovely. And similarly, the more you live, the more you can live. Your capacity stretches, too.

It's speed, that's what it is. The race is to the swift. They spurt, dash, gallop, scamper, flit, spring, boom, march in quickstep, shoot, fly whisk, skim, scud . . .

Is your hat still on? Mine's not - it's off to them.
Have you lost your breath? I have.
Do they ever stop? They do not.
I do. Here. Now. Finis.

  

from Silver Screen, December 1936

30s Features ~ Bijou Menu