Friday, March 18, 2011

Lina Lamont's Lament

Dora Bailey reporting here from Hollywood!
Imagine that you have been a loyal employee for many years. Suddenly, new technology is introduced into your workplace and your employer no longer needs nor wants you. To make matters worse, he ridicules you in front of the entire world. This, my friends, was poor Lina Lamont's fate.

It's time Lina had her say!
We decided to interview Miss Lamont at her spacious Beverly Hills home. It has been five years since Lina has appeared in a film. However, she seems to be doing well, as her home is as well-maintained and as luxurious as ever. As we motor up the sweeping driveway to her front door, we are greeted by none other than Lina, herself (draped in jade silk pajamas with a white fox trim).
DB: Lina! You never looked lovelier!
LL: Thank you, Dora. I do try my best.

Lina escorts me into her lovely sitting room. Freshly brewed iced tea with a fragrant hint of mint and finger sandwiches are awaiting us.

DB: Lina, the last time I interviewed you was at the premier of "The Royal Rascal," your next-to-last motion picture before your sudden retirement.
At the time, you were engaged to Don Lockwood. Your's was one of Hollywood's most popular and glamorous romances. With all of that chemistry on screen and off, everyone just assumed you'd get married. It seemed like a match made in the stars.
LL: Well, Dora, I just assumed it, too. After all, we were engaged. But then that Selden woman wormed her way into my Donny's heart.

Lina's eyes well with tiny, pearl-shaped tears, but she courageously tells her story in her charming, little-girl voice.

LL: Oh Dora, it was a terrible time for me. Here I was, the biggest star at Monumental Studios. It was me, ME, who gave Donny his start. He was just a lowly stunt man when I saw something special in him. Over time I came to love him deeply, but I found out the hard way that he was just interested in me to advance his career. Once  he thought that this Selden creature could be of more use to him, he dumped me.
DB: You were indeed Monumental Studio's biggest star!
Lina retrieves a yellowing scrap of newspaper from a Louis XIV writing desk.
LL: I was "a shimmering, glowing star in the cinema firmament." Says so, right here.
DB: Yes you were, sweetheart.  On that fateful evening of the premier of "The Dancing Cavalier," your first talking picture, Lockwood cruelly exposed that Kathy Selden had dubbed your voice. Lockwood then went on to marry her. Talk to me about that.
LL: Dora, Donny was a good man until he met that horrible Kathy Selden! He would never think of such cruelty until he took up with her. Why, did you know that she actually assaulted me at a party with a cake? A party, I might add, where she made her entrance jumping out of a cake.The woman is a menace!
DB: Oh Lina, that's terrible. Have you been following Don and Kathy's careers?
LL: I pay them no mind. I have no use for second rate talents. I only follow big stars.
DB: Speaking of big stars, do you ever see any of the old gang anymore?
LL: Not so much. I still talk to Zelda Zanders from time to time. She's doing well in talkies. I lost touch with Olga Mara and while I still see Norma Desmond being driven around town, I never speak to her any more. I hope she is doing well. I guess you could say I am no longer in the movie business.
DB: That's too bad, because "The Dancing Cavalier" was a very big hit and you were just beautiful in it.
LL: Thank you, Dora. You're very sweet to say that. But let me tell you, that wig weighed a ton! 
And I just didn't like all of the dangers that wiring for sound presented. In fact, on of the reasons I stopped working is due to an injury I suffered on the set while they were wiring me for sound. Some jerk pulled on the microphone cord they had sewn in my dress and I went you-know-what over tea kettle! Landed right on my derrière! I always suspected it was R.F. Simpson, but I could never be sure.
DB: Oh my! You really took some physical abuse! Can you tell our readers what is next for Lina Lamont?
LL: I can indeed! In fact, that's why I am allowing you to speak to me today. I have a bit of news.
DB: A scoop?
LL: Yes! I am getting married.

Lina waves her dainty hand, revealing a gorgeous diamond ring that has to be at least 20 carats
But her glow was not just from the glittering gem.
LL: Remember Cosmo Brown, the brains behind Don Lockwood? Cosmo and I never used to like each other. In fact, I thought he was a real pill. But Cosmo and I have been keeping company for some time now. Donny also turned his back on Cosmo after he married that Selden woman and they were the best of friends. Cosmo and I commiserated and gradually fell in love. 
DB: Oh you sly young lovers! You really kept that on the QT! Didn't I just read that Cosmo Brown had been fired from Monumental Studios for jumping through another wall? Apparently, he has destroyed one too many.
LL: Now, Dora, you know you can't believe everything you read! The truth is, Donny had Cosmo fired because of our relationship. Apparently, he is still jealous. Well, it's his loss. He can sit home and knit with Miss Mousy. Cosmo is leaving for Broadway to write the music for a new show and I'm gonna star in it! I'll show them I ain't just people! Goodbye, Hollywood, Hello Broadway!

We all wish Lina great success. She is a grand gal and I, for one, know she will be a big hit on Broadway. What do you have to say about that Don and Kathy?

This is Dora Bailey signing off from Hollywood!


Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Witty and totally in synch with the character and the storyline. Wonderful! - Cyndi Longstreet

Anonymous said...

Fantastic! But, I must say...Lina marrying my Cosmo? Ooohhh...I cayn't stand'er!
~ Isis

FlickChick said...

Thank you, ladies! I, too, was a little surprised that Lina & Cosmo got together, but you never know where love will blossom. The question is: will it last?

ClassicBecky said...

FlickChick, I LOVED this interview. It's great to hear from Lina, and who better than Dora to get such a sincere and moving interview! But I'm with Isis - our dear Cosmo would cut Lena down like an oak tree with his sarcastic wit -- Now I would be perfect for him!

Back in the real world -- I thought I'd fall off my chair laughing when I first saw Singin' In The Rain, and Lina finally opened her mouth to say "Well of course we talk. Don't everybody?" My other favorite scene was Lina with the diction teacher. "And I cahn't stand him." "And I caaan't stand 'im." "Cahn't" "Caaant."

Jean Hagen really has such a lovely low voice, and she did some great acting for Lena!

Your post was such fun!

FlickChick said...

Becky: based upon this interview, I am wondering if either a) Cosmo isn't just using her for a plaything, or b) Lina is delusional!

Anonymous said...

I think Lina is delusional. Cosmo is using me for a plaything :D - Cyndi Longstreet

FlickChick said...

Cyndi - I think Cosmo is a rogue!

Edna's Place said...

Great post! Love this film!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Linda. Seriously, Jean Hagen's performance is genius. I could watch it endlessly. Wait a minute, I have watched it endlessly!

Diane said...

"Well of course we talk, Don't everybody? Yes, I was laughing so hard. What a great one, Flick Chick! So much fun!

FlickChick said...

Thanks, Diane (poor Lina - getting laughs at her own expense).

Sweet Sue said...

Very funny and clever.