Past Imperfect

Past Imperfect – #179

Farley, left: “I can’t stop smiling when I look at you.”

Robert, right: “Wait, that line isn’t in the script.”

Farley: “Nor is my attraction to you.”

Robert: “Really? Well, we just took a turn I wasn’t expecting.”

Farley: “Oh, please. You’re the one that ordered the 120-proof bottle of liquor over there.”

Robert: “I didn’t order… it’s just a prop, Farley. Besides, I thought you were dating Shelley Winters.”

Farley: “Who hasn’t dated Shelley Winters? That’s just the Hollywood publicity routine and I had to serve my time. Personally, I just spin the wheel. Today it landed on you.”

Robert: “You realize that my landing pad only accepts a certain anatomy, right?”

Farley: “Oh, please. I went to an all-boys academy. Things have a way of landing in all kinds of interesting places. Especially when it was raining and we couldn’t work out our aggression on the polo field.”

Robert: “I’m feeling rather uncomfortable with the direction of this dialogue. Shouldn’t Alfred be hollering ‘cut’ right about now?”

Alfred Hitchcock, offscreen and not uncomfortable: “Are you kidding? This is gold and I can’t wait to see where it’s going. Of course, the censors will cut this scene because it’s 1951 and most people are still unenlightened, but it will make for a great extra when they release the Collector’s Edition DVD in forty years. Keep calm and carry on, as the citizens in the country I willfully abandoned would say.”

Farley: “See? Our foreplay has been sanctioned by a man who will eventually kill off a major star in the first third of one of his future movies. I don’t think our love can get any more validation than that.”

Robert: “We don’t have a love, Farley. I don’t understand why you don’t understand that the willful malfeasance on the part of the blogger who is sledge-hammering this post does not grasp the fact that I have no desire to see what’s at the end of the rainbow, Judy.”

Shelley Winters, who is not Judy Garland and therefore doesn’t satisfy the implied cultural reference just introduced but should still should have some say because she was essentially decreed a tramp mere paragraphs ago, waltzes into the scene: “Well, I would like to know where the rainbow ends.” She glares at Farley. “I invested at least five minutes of my life dating you. So, tell me, was it me or was it you who is responsible for our tragic separation?”

Farley: “Are you sure you have the right pharmacist? Because the only thing we had in common was the desire to get our names above the title in our next movie.”

Shelley, having an epiphany: “Oh, that’s right. My bad. I sometimes forget why I sleep with anything that has a pulse in Hollywood. Carry on, and let me know where I can send your sleep-over toothbrush. I need the room in my medicine cabinet.” She glances at Robert, smiles saucily, then twirls and marches out the door to… oh, nobody really cares.

Robert: “Should I be concerned that she’s coming after me next?”

Farley: “Yes. You should tremble in fear. And I should hold you while you do that.”

Alfred: “And cut!”


Previously published, slightly modified for this post. In the prior sharing of this mess, some folks were stunned that Shelley Winters was once the cat’s meow. I proffer two bits of evidentiary documentation:

And it’s okay if you have no idea who Shelley Winters was (or any of these people, really). We now live in an age where many folks don’t have a clue about Yul Brynner, either, unless they happen to be listening to an “oldies” radio station and they hear that name mentioned in Murry Head’s “One Night in Bangkok”. Stars rise, stars fall, and the beat goes on.



30 replies »

  1. Grangers on a train, Shelley’s still heading towards the breast-stroking scene in her wet adventure, Rbert’s about to walk off the big stage one last time. Hitch is thinking about some caRAZy movie that he’s already roughly cutting… in his mind…

    Liked by 1 person

    • See? You are experiencing the Bonnywood Manor Randomizing Effect. We throw out a scene of little value, toss in a bunch of ingredients that have little relation to one another, mix heartily, and serve. Next thing you know, the readers (well, at least the good ones) are off on their own tangents, running free, without filter. Of course, some of them get arrested on indecency charges, but that’s the risk you take…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I think if people ever think of Shelley, which I’m sure they don’t, they think Poseidon Adventure Shelley. Which my husband has to watch every time it’s on TCM. I kept telling him the boat sinks, but hope springs eternal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed, many folks only know of Shelley and her underwater aerobics in Poseidon, poor thing.

      Now, would it be rude of me to mention that the boat doesn’t actually sink? It just sort of flips over. Granted, not an ideal outcome no matter how one looks at it, but still…

      Liked by 1 person

    • Madonna has seen a lot of things. She’s just perfected the art of making folks think she thought of them herself…

      Shall we dance? Of course we should, Yul. You make shaved-head lovin’ fun…

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll admit I never heard of Farley before, but the rest of the luminaries (faded or not) in your post? I’ve heard of THEM. Now that whole “Who?” that’s asked when someone mentions a former or current Hollywood star works both ways. For example I’m more saddened to admit that I didn’t know who Chris Hemsworth was, until I stumbled over the Avengers and Thor movies I’ve been watching. That’s almost criminal. In the first Thor movie he took his shirt off and I swear angels began to sing… Oh my. Excuse me. It just got HOT in here… *phew*

    Liked by 1 person

    • So, basically, the lusty point behind your entire comment is that you want to feed grapes to a shirtless Chris. That’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that our hormones are still firing shots, even if they are random and subdued and have to take a quick rest on the sofa before reaching their destination… 😉


  4. If that’s Farley Grainger…then I’ve heard of all of them. And…I’ve seen pictures of s young Shelley. I think she was considered a “dish.”
    I just remember her in the Poseidon Adventure. I have probably seen that movie 500 times. Every time I watch it, I’m hoping that Reverend Scott pulls through. 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    • True story: I went to see “The Poseidon Adventure” at the theater when I was still a relatively young tyke. This was during the time when those huge, wide-ass, CURVED screens were all the rage. We sat on the front row, so the action was not only in front of me but on both sides as well. So there I was, a wee bairn, watching people die left and right, including the Preacher Man. No wonder I’m a little warped… 😉


    • True, in a sense. At the same time, they are also strangers to EVERYTHING. Which is how we all feel from time to time. (No idea where that philosophical moment came from, but I ran with it…)


  5. That second photo of Shelley Winters…
    You know, it’s funny. When we’re young, we don’t think it will ever happen to us. Age, weight gain, mortality in general, they’re just hypotheticals and we’re sure we’ll be the one who overcomes them. It’s sad really. And yet we all must face them, each in our own way and in our own time.
    Unless we’re POTUS and then we just have FOX news make love to us every night.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True enough, we don’t think ANY of it will ever happen to us. And in one sense, I suppose that invincibility allows some of us to make our way confidently. On the flip side, would we still have wars and racism and pain if we were all taught at a young age that life is fragile and we should respect the frailty as much as the strength?

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I guess it’s pretty common knowledge that back in the day Shelley “got around”, and who am I to judge?
    But to think that by the time she made The Poseidon Adventure she was over the hill is probably to underestimate her prowess!
    Just ask Merle!

    Liked by 1 person

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