The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Sex Education #60

Barbara Stanwyck


Anonymous said...

When I first looked at this picture, I thought that it was Jennifer Jason-Leigh.

How old was Barbara Stanwyck at the time the shot was taken? Is it a still? From which film?

When I see her like this, her spirit shining through, her beauty not yet sexually objectified, I admire her golden slippers and sing her praises.


Tom Sutpen said...

I'm 90% certain it's from 1930, around the time she appeared in Capra's Ladies of Leisure. Unfortunately it's been so long since I've seen that film that I can't tell if it's a still from it or not. My guess is it is.

Very nicely-turned remarks, by the way. Couldn't agree more.

Vanwall said...

I'd buy her an ankle bracelet any day.


Maxim de Winter said...

This still reminds me of the time I went to see Tod Browning's 'The Unknown' and was amazed to find that Joan Crawford was, well, really rather hot. At one point.

Maxim de Winter said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tom Sutpen said...

Stanwyck, like Joan Blondell, had a longer track-record for hot-ness than you might imagine. I mean, seeing the two them strip down to their undies . . . not once, but twice . . . in Wellman's Night Nurse will make any red-blooded male a believer in a big hurry.

Joan Crawford . . . I dunno . . . to me, even when she was hot she wasn't that hot.

Different strokes, etc.

swac said...

Ladies of Leisure is an amazingly sharp Capra pre-code. Plus it's got Marie Prevost, not too long before her tragic end. She had the wisecracking gal-pal role down pat.

Columbia seems almost embarassed by its early '30s films, but they're some of the best of the bunch. The Miracle Worker's absence from store shelves is nothing short of a crime.

Brent McKee said...

Stanwyck set the standard for hotness even as late as her appearance in The Big Valley. She had this incredible black "cattle woman" outfit that hugged every curve and even at somewhere north of 55 she still had it. Or maybe that's just me.

Vanwall said...

Stanwyck wasn't just hot, with that kind of blazing degree found at the sun's core, something only the most smoldering stars can project, but she was a helluvan actress - comedic, dramatic, what have you. With her oh-so-distinctive voice that had a come-hither inflection in even her most innoccous roles, (which were surprisingly few, thank God!) she was in a seperate level of hotness from almost every other babe in H'wood.

Sam said...

I also thought this was Jennifer Jason Leigh when I saw this as well. It's surprising to me every time I see a photo here of a siren of the past and how incredible they looked in their youth. This makes me want to get Turner Classic Movies back in my hime as fast as possible to watch a REAL good movie again.