Less than two months ago, a couple whom I am distantly connected to by marriage were in town. The lady’s American; her husband is Indian, and they live in New York. We were chatting about this and that, and the lady told us an interesting story: of how, some years back, they had been invited for a party, the birthday (I think) of someone very wealthy and famous. They were just entering—my ‘relative’ in a lovely purple-blue silk ‘temple sari’—when they ran into Elizabeth Taylor. Ms Taylor had one look at that temple sari and wanted to buy it. “She was willing to offer whatever sum I wanted,” my ‘relative’ recalled. “I couldn’t let her have it, of course. That was the sari I’d worn for my wedding reception; it had sentimental value… but it matched her eyes so completely.”
RIP, Ms Taylor. The lady with the violet eyes. The lady with the seven husbands. The lady who could set the screen on fire—both with her breath-taking beauty and her superb acting. Even though she’s no more with us (she passed away on March 23, 2011, at the age of 79), she will live on in her films, hopefully for many generations to come.
Fellow blogger and Cary Grant fan Sabrina Mathew’s sometime-ago link to this stunning slideshow of the actor made me take a silent vow to do a Grant post soon. It’s taken a while, mainly because I wasn’t able to make up my mind whether I wanted to review Arsenic and Old Lace, Charade, or Operation Petticoat—all classic Grant comedies—but the wait’s finally over. I’ll do Operation Petticoat and Charade later; for now it’s this hilarious, sometimes slapstick, dark comedy directed by Frank Capra, that I remember as being the first Cary Grant film I ever saw. It also remains one of my favourites—across time, genres, actors, everything.