Friday, August 10, 2012

The Lina Lamont Fan Club: We Will Not Rest!

Greetings from the Lina Lamont Fan Club!

Yes, loyal fans, we are still here. No matter how hard her enemies try to destroy her legacy, Lina Lamont's fans will not rest until the truth is known and Lina is awarded her proper place in the history of film.

He could too talk!
Just as John Gilbert's legacy was harmed by those who sought to destroy him, Lina's reputation has suffered. For those not familiar with Mr. Gilbert, he was a huge star whose career was destroyed when his enemies made his perfectly adequate voice seem inadequate when talkies changed movies forever. Once the great lover of Greta Garbo, Gilbert made powerful enemies and - poof! -  bad sound, bad scripts, good-bye. Garbo, on the other hand, had scripts tailor-made to her vocal abilities and the best directors, sets, co-stars and costumes. Funny how that happened.

Lina's story is not unlike that of John Gilbert. From 1923 - 1929, Lina Lamont was Monumental Pictures biggest and brightest star. Women copied her and men longer for her. She especially excelled in historical romances and, once paired with Don Lockwood, was one half of a screen duo that rivaled the aforementioned Garbo and Gilbert. During the height of her popularity, Lina received more fan mail than Swanson and graced the covers of more magazines than Bow and Brooks - put together!
Garbo and Gilbert could not compare to Lockwood and Lamont
Naturally, Lina was Monumental's highest paid star. When talking pictures took over, the "masterminds" (as Norma Desmond called them) saw a way to force Lina to take a giant cut in pay. They did virtually nothing to prepare her for talking pictures, giving her only a few lessons with a half-baked vocal coach. MGM not only gave Garbo time to get up to sound speed, but also waited until they found just the right screenplay for her talkie debut ("Anna Christie"). Poor Lina was forced to transition at the snap of a finger from the silent "The Dueling Cavalier" to "The Dancing Cavalier," which showcased the much lower-paid Lockwood's strengths and set the stage for Kathy Selden, the chippie who was sleeping with the star, to claw her way to the top on Lina's back.
Lina had a perfectly lovely speaking voice that
 was manipulated by Monumental Pictures
Lina was also falsely accused of being a "dumb blonde." Lina was a high school graduate with straight "B"s. Her business savvy was legendary. In fact, Mary Pickford was known to admire Lina's negotiating tactics.  But besides being Monumental's highest paid and most glamorous star, Lina also had a keen, inventive mind. Not many people know this, but Lina Lamont was the real inventor of the internet. 
Lina loved to keep current with the likes of gossip columnist Dora Bailey
Others stole the credit, but those who know Lina's keen interest in electronics and gossip know that she was in the forefront of merging technology with up to the minute information. Even today, the 512 x 512 pixel standard test image is known as a "Lena." Coincidence? We think not.

Fans of fashion know Lina as one of the best dressed stars in Hollywood. Whether it be in a period romance, as in this sumptuous costume from "The Royal Rascal,"


or this chic and modern monkey-fur trimmed jacked, Lina knew how to accessorize and always looked better than any star in the room.
So, here's to you, Lina Lamont. Your fans still love you and will never rest until you have been recognized as the ultimate shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament.
Lina and whats-his-name
They have rediscovered Louise Brooks. Now it's time for a Lina Lamont revival!




39 comments:

Brandie said...

Preach, sister! Spread the truth about Lina's marvelous singing pipes and dancing stems! Down with Lockwood and Seldon! ;)

Mythical Monkey said...

That's hilarious!

Go, Lina, go!

Grand Old Movies said...

You go, Lina!

Elizabeth Boyde said...

Lina's so refined ....

Laura said...

I APPROVE OF THIS POST. Lina for President! Haters be jealous!

Martin Turnbull (the Garden of Allah novels) said...

At last the truth can be told! They say that history belongs to the victors. Not any more! Thank you for speaking out, brave and true. Lina Lamont's star rises again!

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Brandie - Lina will rise from the ashes!

FlickChick said...

Monkey - I just saw you post - thank you - it was hysterical. Love the poster.

FlickChick said...

Lina is coming back, Grand Old Movies - I can feel it.

FlickChick said...

@ Elizabeth - I could just kill myself.

FlickChick said...

Thank you Laura - Lina will no longer be silenced! Yay!

FlickChick said...

@ Martin - I knew you would be a supporter. Enough of this suppression!

Lara said...

They can't make a laughing stock out of Lina Lamont! Over at Backlots, we are definitely fans of Lina and wholly support this effort to restore her name. What do they think she is, dumb or something??

said...

Very good! Lina was a true star and one of the best supporting characters, considering her performance in Singin' in the Rain. But this is nothing compared to her silent career! ;)
Kisses!

FlickChick said...

Oh Lara, I know Lina appreciates your support.

FlickChick said...

Le - they haven't heard the last of Lina Lamont!!

Scarlett Olive - Katie and Hilary said...

Thank you for bringing justice to our dear Lina Lamont!

We must ALL spread the word of this glorious article!

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Scarlett Olive - I feel the movement growing! Robert Osborne - are you listening?????

Perry said...

Lina Lamont sounds like a great candidate for a Biography Channel special!

FlickChick said...

@ Perry - yes - a double feature with Norma Desmond.

Carrie said...

Lina- a true American starlet. Not everyone can evoke so many emotions, from laughter to tears. SITR wouldn't be the same without her. An icon!

John Peurach said...

Meanwhile, methinks there's many wonderful ways to appropriately follow-up on the inescapable legend of Lina Lamont. Especially now that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has recently seen fit to dish out some of its hardware in the direction of some of those already similarly well qualified in the field of silent picture making. And, as much as anything at this point in time might not in any way make up for her altogether unfortunate dismissal from the limelight of yesteryear - to say nothing of the all too obvious subsequent award night slight experienced nearly 60 years ago when Jean Hagen failed to win a Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her expert portrayal of Ms. Lamont in "Singin' In The Rain" (but that's another story) - my guess is, such a way after the fact/never too late or too little gesture might in fact get the ball rolling for some serious reevaluating of this most definite (and deserving) what becomes a legend most type from the glory days of (arguably) Hollywood's premiere days of had to be there wonderfulness. Or, something like that, if not more so. In any case, thanks FlickChick for boldly going forth and contributing yet another marvelous take on an otherwise important cinematic cause that certainly is in need of some new and improved attention from all corners of the here to there and all the way back film world. In other words, if you lead, we will follow.

Rick29 said...

Awesome post about a fine actress who has been sadly (mostly) forgotten. Splendid photos, too.

FlickChick said...

So true, Carrie - as far as I'm concerned, she is the STAR of the show.

FlickChick said...

Thank you, professor JP. I believe Lina and Norma Desmond will be conferring on the predicament in the near future.

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Rick. Yes, Lina is forgotten, but we here intend to rectify that error.

Saet said...

Ha, ha, very good, all hail Lena!

Saet said...

Oops, I mean Lina *blushes*.

silverscreenings said...

I love this post! Brilliant!

Christian Esquevin said...

If everbody doesn't recognize how great Lina Lamont is then everybody's a dope!

FlickChick said...

Saet - I am sure Lina appreciates that!

FlickChick said...

Thank you, Silverscreenings - I just love that Lina.

FlickChick said...

Christian - you said a mouthful!

Dawn Sample said...

Great post.. I'm a Lina Lamont fan, Sign me up!

Valeska Suratt said...

For trying to right the terrible wrong done to glamorous Lina Lamont, THANK YOU !

(Or as Lina would have said it: "Theeeankew !")

Perhaps you'll consider also championing the cause of another similarly forgotten diva, the incomparable

CESSSSSILIA SSSSISSSSSON !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3XiXbtGJrQ

FlickChick said...

@ Dawn - I knew we could count on you!

FlickChick said...

@ Valeska - yes, Lina and CESSSSSILIA SSSSISSSSSON have lots to talk about (Cissy tweets now, by the way).

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phed49 said...

I met Betty Comden & Adolph Green about 15 years ago and asked them what they thought happened to Lina after SITR ended. Without batting an eye, Green said, "She went into real estate and is richer than all of us."