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

Collect 'Em All #50

Merle Oberon
No. 35 in a series of 50 from Players' Navy Cut Cigarettes
Born in Tasmania in 1911 and christened Estelle Thompson, Merle Oberon is of Irish descent. She came to England in 1931 on holiday, and was seen by Alexander Korda while he was directing Service for Ladies. Her work in his film Wedding Rehearsal convinced him that she had much promise as an actress, and when he formed his own company, he gave her a five-year contract. Since then she has appeared in Men of Tomorrow, The Private Life of Henry VIII, The Private Life of Don Juan and The Scarlet Pimpernel.


Nick Zegarac said...

Undeniably beautiful - almost regal - I never found Oberon to elevate herself above B-movie actress. She's too cool, too removed, too remote - somehow so distant that not even the camera can make love to her, though it certainly can admire her gorgeous face.

Vanwall said...

Flynn was a Tasmanian, too - curious that both came from such a far-away place.

swac said...

Hey, my g/f is from Perth, which is even more remote than Taz, in the grand scheme of things.

My hometown yielded Ruby Keeler and David Manners ... everybody's got to come from somewhere.

It does have that end-of-the-earth quality about it though, which probably makes Hollywood seem that much more alluring.

shahn said...

I'd always heard she was from India....
And why all the crosses at her throat? I wonder if they are there to make her seem less foreign?

Brent McKee said...

She was from India - Bombay, (now Mumbai) to be exact. According to Wikipedia, she was of Anglo-Sinhalese descent, born of a 15 year old mother and an unknown father. Her grandmother raised her as her own daughter while Merle never knew her real mother except as her sister. Her mixed race origins were both the reason for her exotic look and the reason for the fiction of being born in Tasmania.

swac said...

I should mention that I'm taking this info verbatim off the cards, so I'm not surprised that much of what appears in this series is a lot of studio-concocted bumf.