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Rita Hayworth is Stayin' Alive
October 16, 2012 4:27 PM   Subscribe

Rita Hayworth is Stayin' Alive

Rita Hayworth was born on October 17th, 1918.*
Rita Hayworth, Tragic Princess from The Hairpin's "Scandals of Classic Hollywood" series (previously)
posted by flex (26 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Rita's also the Dancing Queen. But those legendary dancers are all Footloose.

Incidentally, it was Rita Hayworth, not Ginger Rogers, who was Fred Astaire's favourite dance partner.
posted by orange swan at 4:49 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was already to get all hatey on this - but damned if I was not charmed to pieces. Oh Rita, I definitely blame Mame. Is there a modern equivalent to Rita Hayworth? I think not.
posted by helmutdog at 4:57 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is really well-done, and it makes me wish for a great modern dance movie.
posted by xingcat at 5:00 PM on October 16, 2012


I was watching that and I thought, "Man, Jessica Rabbit looks a lot like Rita Hayworth."

Then I looked it up and apparently Jessica Rabbit is a mix of Rita Hayworth and Veronica Lake.

/random
posted by Malice at 5:17 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for Astaire's favorite dance partner I don't believe he ever said Rita Hayworth. He was generally coy about it. In That's Entertainment he said Gene Kelly. I believe he also said he was his own favorite. Although this citation is Wikipedia, it fits about my memory of the story.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 5:35 PM on October 16, 2012


Not that there was ever any doubt, but I, for one, am certain that Rita Hayworth is, alas, not stayin' alive because I have seen a slice of her brain. It was not in her head at the time.

The great lady died of complications related to Alzheimer's disease, and she or her family had arranged for her brain to be "donated to science."

About 15 years ago, a good friend of mine had a job at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, where he worked in the Alzheimer's research lab. One day, when I visited him there, he opened the freezer and showed me one of the samples they were working on: a cross-section of the brain of none other than Miss Rita Hayworth herself.

It's the closest I've ever gotten to the internal organs of a famous person.
posted by Dr. Wu at 5:39 PM on October 16, 2012 [13 favorites]


Frank Langella Remembers His Rita Hayworth.

"Now, almost 40 years after I faded from her life, there she is in black and white on my television screen. And the camera’s lie is actually welcome and soothing. Her beauty is staggering. Her sultry voice, her body, the way she moves close to a man, the sway of her hips as she drunkenly belts out “Put the Blame on Mame,” stop time and obliterate what had been our reality. Her acting is honest and true. A thoroughbred, desperate to be taken seriously, cursed with a divine beauty, who could not find a man to desire that beauty as only a part of the whole woman."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:26 PM on October 16, 2012


Best video ever.
posted by wrapper at 6:42 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking about Astaire, this thread reminded me to go watch the fan edit version of Smooth Criminal featuring him, Cyd Charisse, and Leslie Caron.
posted by radwolf76 at 7:29 PM on October 16, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pretty damnably amusing. I had a half grin on my face the whole time. Much needed amusement after a long night at work.
posted by Samizdata at 8:43 PM on October 16, 2012


I have developed a killer girl-crush on Rita Hayworth over the years; I don't think I can name another woman with such (seemingly) effortless, exuberant, exultant beauty. I only wish she had experienced the same lasting joy in her personal life to match the joy she still brings on screen.
posted by scody at 8:48 PM on October 16, 2012


On the flip side, I just felt a frisson of heterosexuality. Please excuse me, I'm off to watch The Fall Guy and Magnum P.I. until things get back to normal.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:57 PM on October 16, 2012


radwolf76: "Speaking about Astaire, this thread reminded me to go watch the fan edit version of Smooth Criminal featuring him, Cyd Charisse, and Leslie Caron."

Thanks for the reminder! I had forgotten about that one over the years!
posted by Samizdata at 9:01 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rita Hayworth, to Fred Astaire: 'That's pretty good. Now try it in heels and a tight skirt.'
posted by googly at 9:04 PM on October 16, 2012 [2 favorites]


... going backwards
posted by pdxpogo at 9:12 PM on October 16, 2012


That Hairpin link is fantastic, btw.
posted by roger ackroyd at 9:29 PM on October 16, 2012


This the quote I've heard about Fred Astaire ...

"Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards...and in high heels!" -- Bob Thaves
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:40 PM on October 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Hairpin article is really great.
posted by bardophile at 4:21 AM on October 17, 2012


Oh, my word. I loved That. Mixing together all the things I love. Dancing, music, old movies.

If you're really enjoying your dance and dancing partner, that smile is never fake.

Thanks, flex, that made my day.
posted by Grlnxtdr at 6:47 AM on October 17, 2012


This is really well-done, and it makes me wish for a great modern dance movie.

The Step Up films have average acting and basically one plot for all the movies, but the dancing in them is off-the-charts great.
posted by mightygodking at 7:38 AM on October 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


PareidoliaticBoy: This the quote I've heard about Fred Astaire ...

"Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards...and in high heels!" -- Bob Thaves
You know, I'm really sick of hearing this tired joke.

Ginger Rogers didn't do everything he did. Maybe Gene Kelly could have, but really - no one else comes close.

There's nothing that limits women from being first-rate dancers; in addition to Rogers, there's Charisse, Caron, Graham, Moreno... and Hayworth.

Ginger wasn't Astaire's better. She wasn't his equal. She was his peer. We don't have to prove she's better; that's a lame insecurity.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:20 AM on October 17, 2012


I agree wholeheartedly, IAmBroom. It *is* a lame insecurity - that's nicely put. Rogers was a good dancer but Astaire was a great dancer. She was at no disadvantage; she just wasn't as gifted as her partner.

You're also right that only Gene Kelly was Astaire's equal.
posted by Dr. Wu at 8:32 AM on October 17, 2012


Cyd Charisse had legs,

and she knew how to use them....
posted by mule98J at 11:21 AM on October 17, 2012


Rita seems so natural compared to the others - to me she is something special
posted by mumimor at 12:41 PM on October 17, 2012


We don't have to prove she's better; that's a lame insecurity.

I have no "lame insecurities" about anything. I actually know nothing about dancing, and really don't much care about it. I was responding to the quotes above; as language-use, apt phrasing, and wry observations are things that I do care about.

But, I guess I stand corrected, then. So, I'll be sure to comment here even less frequently than I already do; now that I know how worthless those observations are. Thanks for enlightening me.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:23 PM on October 17, 2012


On the flip side, I just felt a frisson of heterosexuality

We need 500ccs of Young Gary Cooper stat!
posted by The Whelk at 9:28 PM on October 17, 2012


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