On the surface, everything in this shot seemed to be working perfectly. Ginger looked rather ravishing, her skin aglow from a recent tryst in Big Sur. Her dress was divine, fashioned by an alcoholic designer who had sobered up enough to make sure the material was cut so that just the right things would be accented. And her undergarments were nonexistent, one of the many clever ways in which the studios slipped things past the censors.
But the dark truth of the matter was that Ginger was forced to pose in this particular manner because the stagehands had gone on strike before the set had been properly dressed, leaving things incomplete and unsatisfying. Ginger is not clutching the fake woodwork in the throes of simmering yet stylish passion. She is holding up said woodwork so it doesn’t break lose and kill the bigger star who is about to make his entrance behind her, a wise move considering the bigger star’s contract stipulated that the movie could not be released should he perish unexpectedly. At the Design Guild Awards later that year, Ginger won the statuette for Best Supporting Actress….
Categories: Past Imperfect