Saturday, February 27, 2010

Gene Marshall: Film Fatale

Designed by Lynne Day in 2005, Film Fatale is a circa 1942 outfit. With her platinum hair and all white outfit, she is reminiscent of Marlene Dietrich, Alice Faye, and Jean Harlow. I chose to pose her at The El Capitan Theater in Hollywood as if she was doing a dance number. From the storycard:

In 1942, Monolithic Studios took a chance that paid off with their newest star. Gene Marshall’s role in “Shanghai Lowdown” was that of a seemingly innocent girl in the power of the mysterious Madame Osatabi Chai Yum. But is she REALLY as innocent as she appears or is she just another femme fatale…?

One of the most striking moments in the film was one that went down in Monolithic history. In Madame Owatabi Chai Yum's den of iniquity, the floorshow is about to begin. Through the heavy haze of devilishly scented thick smoke and over the clatter of busboys' trays, a single trumpet slices the air. The lights in the club black out, leaving the patrons (and the movie audience) in the heavy darkness, breathless with anticipation.

To see more El Capitan photos, visit my regular website.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Gene Marshall: Revisiting Cocoa Crisp

Just never really liked my first go at photographing Cocoa Crisp, which is a Jason Wu Gene Marshall doll. So...gave it another shot and I am much happier. This is one of my faves; the outfit, the poseability, the facial paint and hair...a true classic.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Liz Taylor: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Another one for Liz Taylor fans, this time Elizabeth is shown on the porch of Oak Alley in New Orleans, wearing a dress from the movie “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (1958). This particular doll also had a new hairstyle modeled after the one Liz wore in the movie. Even more so than with the "Giant" fashion, this bareshoulder ensemble shows that this doll needs some more meat on her bones to have the Boticelli beauty of its subject.

Here’s a publicity still from “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” showing the outfit that the FM doll is wearing here. Note how well the Franklin Mint replicates her necklace!

To see more New Orleans photos, visit my regular website.

To see more Gene Marshall and Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Liz Taylor: Giant

Elizabeth Taylor is a Hollywood Legend. It is only fitting that the Franklin Mint added her to their line of celebrity vinyl portrait dolls. I am guessing she didn’t sell as well as Marilyn Monroe, Lucille Ball, or Scarlett O’Hara, as her dress collection is not very extensive. This particular pink gown is from the 1956 movie, "Giant," which has the dubious distinction of being James Dean’s last movie.

The sculpt on Elizabeth’s face is fairly good; unfortunately, the body is too thin and doesn’t convey the voluptuous figure that Taylor is known for.

Here’s a publicity still from “Giant” which began filming while James Dean was wrapping up “Rebel Without A Cause.” This shows the outfit that the FM doll is wearing.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Gene: Blue Goddess

“Blue Goddess” really reminds me of Lana naturally I had to get it. Again, I was going to ditch the doll and use the outfit on "Hello Hollywood" but once it arrived, I changed my mind...partially because I was too lazy to remove the outfit, and partially because the hairstyle was just different enough between the two that I relented. Part of the 1996 collection, "Blue Goddess" was designed by Tim Kennedy and is circa 1945. From the storycard:

Your film career has established you so firmly as a star that public and critics alike eagerly await each new film. Now you welcome the chance to star in a different kind of film, a thrilling mystery with an international setting. And you also love the opportunity to wear a particularly exquisite gown that is created for you in this new and exciting role!

In Blue Goddess, Gene plays a level-headed banker's daughter who gets caught up in a story of international intrigue. Unwittingly, she becomes the accomplice of a gang of clever jewel thieves who plan to steal the famous and fabulous "Blue Goddess" gem of the film's title. However, it becomes clear after the film's premiere to critical acclaim that the name "Blue Goddess" also is meant to apply to Gene as she appears in one of her most stunning film costumes ever.

Because Blue Goddess was one of Gene's first films in color, this unique evening gown was designed to match the distinctive color of Gene's eyes! The gown and attached stole are tailored of diaphanous aquamarine chiffon, draped simply but sensuously across the bodice and hips. So skillful is the workmanship of the fabric that the gown requires just a hint of beading and the addition of coordinating aqua jewelry to achieve its unforgettable effect on screen. Truly, this is the film image that forever established Gene as a "goddess" in the eyes of her fans.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Gene: White Hyacinth

Designed by Doug James in 1997, this circa 1946 outfit won me over slowly. Originally, I was just going to keep the outfit, but I also like the hairstyle. From the storycard:

A tempestuous romance, an intelligent, spirited heroine, and scenes of heart-wrenching poignancy that make you sigh even when reading the first draft…this is the kind of film every rising young actress dreams of starring in. You knew White Hyacinth would be one such extraordinary film.

Gene plays the devoted wife of a musician. As her husband struggles to fulfill his dream of becoming a star bandleader, Gene supports them by working as a secretary to a rich, though ruthless, banker. The banker desire Gene, and plots to ruin her marriage. Gene discovers the banker's deception and angrily hurls her defiance in his face. But his plots succeeded too well. The husband's jealousy and bitterness for his shattered dreams sunder the newlyweds apart. Audiences gasp in sympathy at the inexpressible sorrow haunting Gene's incomparable blue eyes.

But on a glorious spring day in the park the lovers reconcile, and in each other's arms the world melts away…just as do the hearts of millions of fans in that timeless, unforgettable moment of cinematic history.

Gene is a vision of fresh springtime elegance…Gene's sublime performance reminds us that love…like white hyacinths in spring…always blossoms anew.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gene: It’s A Cinch

At first I resisted what was supposed to be the last Gene Marshall doll, entitled “It’s A Cinch.” As I’ve stated many times before, the design of the Jason Wu/Integrity Gene Marshalls doesn’t hold as much interest for me as the original Ashton Drake version. I believe they deviate too far from the Mel Odom stylized Deco drawings that first inspired her creation. After seeing some actual photos of this doll and through the miracle of ebay, I was able to purchase a complete outfit for a very reasonable price without the doll. Perfect! Oddly enough, I was watching “I Love Lucy” the other night and saw Vivian Vance's character, Ethel Mertz, wearing a similar outfit (one that Lucy called "tacky"!). However, Ethel didn’t have the green felt hat, bracelet, or gorgeous emerald earrings to accessorize with. Here she is for your viewing pleasure, modeled by a Love Paris doll. Excerpt from "Gene Marshall: May The Love Never End" by Mel Odom:

The maitre d’ at the podium was all agog. The little eatery/drinkery was used to a modest clientele—but when a star of Gene’s ranking dropped by, it was an EVENT!

"Miss Marshall! What an honor and a privilege. When the ladies of the Children’s Hospital Committee told me that I would know when their guest arrived, I never expected…"

"Now you just stop!" Gene’s gentle voice had just a tinge of underlying mirth. "After all, I’m JUST one of the girls! Now, if you could show me where the REST of the girls have set up camp…"

Gene was escorted to a quiet corner past the bar, where the ladies of the Children’s Hospital Committee met monthly over a friendly cocktail.

"Miss Marshall!" the chairwoman said in a quiet voice, so as not to call attention to their special guest. "How splendid of you to join us today!"

"Please, we’re all friends here, working for a good cause. I’m Gene." she said removing her hat.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Trent Osborn: Neat As A Pin

Gene’s not the only one who has multiple hair colors; Trent Osborn went raven for “Neat As A Pin” in 2002.

From the publicity for this doll:

"Neat As A Pin" is limited to 3,000 dolls worldwide. Here, Trent extols the virtues of The Pinstripe Suit, even recounting one hilarious Hollywood highlight. Trent has red hair in this one.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Trent Osborn: The Rains Came

For a period of time, Mel/Gene/Ashton-Drake had a deal where Gene & Company were allowed to use costumes from the 20th Century Fox Collection. The previously posted Marilyn Monroe costume from "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes" was one of these outfits. I always found it a little strange that with all the costumes available to choose from, only a handful of semi-obscure ones were chosen. This particular Trent ensemble released in 2001 was based upon one from the 1939 Tyrone Power film "The Rains Came." In photo #1, Trent is seen walking on the Universal Studios backlot, circa 1965.

From the publicity for this doll:

Twentieth Century-Fox and The Gene Marshall Collection bring you "Trent in The Fabulous Costumes of Twentieth Century-Fox." Trent attends a ball honoring the great films of Twentieth Century-Fox, wearing a traditional Indian costume from the 1930s film, "The Rains Came."

To see more Universal Studios photos, visit my regular website.

To see more Gene Marshall & Friends photos, visit my regular website.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Gene Marshall as Calendar Girl: That Something Extra Gene Doll

"Calendar Girl: That Extra Something" was a limited edition of 3,000, authorized by The Coca-Cola Company and based on a vintage Calendar. This hard to find doll comes with an easel board re-creating the original calendar page. Shot #1 here shows Gene at the now defunct Candler Hospital in Savannah, Georgia. From the story card:

The United States was smack dab in the middle of WWII-and everyone was out to do their part. So when Gene got a call from the local Coca-Cola bottler, she listened with interest. Here was the proposition: the local Coca-Cola plant was setting up a fashion show based on the famous Coca-Cola calendars over the years, and the call was going out to famous film stars, asking them to bring their favorite pages to life. Proceeds from the show would be used to benefit war relief funds.

It took Gene no more than the flip of a bottle cap to agree to be a part of this wonderful fundraiser. And she knew exactly which calendar page she wanted to portray. She'd seen it in the little grocery she frequented on La Cienega, hanging right above the big red Coca-Cola cooler. January/February 1943. An Army nurse taking a break from her duties for a refreshing Coca-Cola break before returning to helping those in need…

The night of the big show, star after star stepped to the end of the runway, much to the delight of the adoring crowd. But when Gene appeared, dressed in her starched cap, white uniform and military nurse's cape, there was a hush-then a tremendous cheer. Gene stepped forward and held her Coca-Cola bottle high. "A toast—to the angels of mercy who have That Extra Something: the power to heal and the determination never to quit!"

See more Savannah, Georgia photos at my regular website.

To see more Gene Marshall doll photos, visit my regular website.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Rita Hayworth: Put The Blame on Mame

I recently saw a clip of Rita Hayworth doing the infamous “Put the Blame on Mame” number from “Gilda” (1946). When it comes to sensuous sex appeal, this number has it in spades. Even fully clothed, Rita Hayworth makes Madonna seem like a total yawn.

Imagine how stoked I was to learn that a Rita Hayworth-Gilda doll had been produced 10 years ago; I was even more excited to actually be able to GET one...all in the course of a week (gotta' love the internet!). Since she can wear Gene’s clothes, I plan on using her for a number of photo shoots; here are my first attempts.

To see my Gene Marshall photos, visit my regular website.