It must have been Kismet
( Marlene Dietrich, in a photo-op from Kismet
, whose costumes weren't designed by
Travis Banton, but the talented Irene)
But in retrospect, one of the most iconic pairings in Hollywood must have been Marlene Dietrich and Travis Banton as far as couturier conspiracies are concerned.
During one legendary moment of insipration,Marlene retooled a previous Lombard lame' gown as Banton panicked because the Head Office demanded test stills for The Devil is a Woman
, directed by Josef Von Sternburg.
Using one of her shawls normally draped over her piano and commandeering some "cheap veiling" encountered in the fitting rooms to form some loose fitting gloves, Banton told Dietrich that she couldn't wear her creation just to appease the boys in the front office."It is ghastly!" he claimed. Banton looked ill, and the horrified wardrobe girls stared.
But Dietrich did it anyway, and usually the way she wanted it done. Somehow the film wiggled its way through the censors, the front office, the Spanish government, and the depths of the legendary costumer's lair at Paramount, who destroyed the original print after its initial run, and The Devil is a Woman
remained out of circulation until 1959 where it was tucked away in a vault, protected by Dietrich herself, because she claimed it was her favorite film in Maxilmilian Schell's documentary, Marlene.
She "shoulda been a directuh." But her personal life was so.....busy.
And no matter her personal opinions, peccadillos and tangled social calendar, she was an American and did what she could to help us win World War II by her appearances in several dangerous areas performing with the USO, and at one time was aligned with Patton's Third Army, where my father was stationed as a tank battalion commander, but Dad was never able to see one of her shows, but he did see a few others.
My parents, C.C. and Dorothy, walking down Main Street in Houston,Texas. Since Hold Back the Dawn
, with Olivia de Havilland and Charles Boyer was released on 9-26-1941, and Honky Tonk
with Clark Gable and Lana Turner was released on October 1, 1941, the folks were strolling along about five months after their marriage.
They loved going to the movies, and they made sure that I did, too!