Tuesday’s girl this week is Gene Tierney–darling pin-up girl in WWII and the lovely Laura, sweetheart of the movie by the same name, charming both Dana Andrews and Clifton Webb. Oh, and Vincent Price. And me. Lovely.
Yes it’s true–you’ve heard me say more than once that beauty is on the inside. Shut-up.
Seriously, this girl did glow. No, wait. She smouldered. I wouldn’t mind that on my tombstone. How’s that for a legacy?
That was my first, second, and third impression(s) of Gene Tierney. A real sweetheart that could do no wrong. Then I watched Leave Her To Heaven.
It all began on a train. No malice there, right? No, Cornel Wilde, no, don’t be sucked in! But he was. It was the movement of the train, you know, and the sound of the clackity-clack, and how the late-afternoon sun filtered through the blinds.
Then she went boating with Cornel’s brother.
Oh, hell no. No she didn’t. (Yes, she did.) She sat in the boat and watched him drown.
Interestingly, Gene said that Leave Her to Heaven was her favourite film to make.
My favourite of hers was The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, probably because I saw it very young and was enchanted by it. It is both a fairy tale and a ghost story, with a very unusual love story threaded throughout.
I have a soft place in my heart for Gene Tierney. She had some dark clouds in her psyche that she fought with her entire life. She learned how to escape in pretend and love stories, including her own whirlwind romances and marriages with Oleg Cassini, John F. Kennedy, and Prince Aly Khan, to name a few. Mental illness is one of those things–we can live in two very different worlds, but when the mind is unwell, we can find common ground of understanding there. No one has a perfect life, not even when blessed with every beauty and luxury in the world that one could wish for.