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

The Golden Age of Publicity #23

Original Caption:

London -- Actress Katharine Hepburn grits her teeth and bares her claws in the direction of screen queen Elizabeth Taylor, as actor Montgomery Clift and director Joseph L. Mankiewicz become locked in apparent mortal combat during what seems to be a free-for-all at London's Shepperton studios. The battle, which was impromptu, took place on the set of Columbia's 'Suddenly, Last Summer,' the recently completed Tennessee Williams screenplay. (1959)


Marshall P. Smith said...

The Queens of drama.

Sid Smith said...


Kreisler said...

Hilarious - I wonder if this was this meant to be an on-the-spot preview of the famously tortured contents of the film.

Fred said...

Sebastian, the other, other white meat.

Christopher said...

headlines read..."Crazed Terrorist Attacks Hollywood Film Star"

Tommy O'C said...

The still was PR spoofing rampant rumors of rampant catfights on the set.

Director Joseph L. Mankiewicz very much wanted Liz to star in his upcoming epic, "Cleopatra." And Kate the Great was no longer young and lacked Liz's box office clout.

So Mankiewicz favored Taylor at Hepburn's expense throughout filming (or so Hepburn believed). He was also quite callous to the tormented Monty.

The story goes that as soon as the last take was completed, Kate calmly asked Mankiewicz if there were any more scenes to be filmed. No, there weren't. No retakes? No, not at all. When she was sure that filming was absolutely, positively over, she spat in his face.

Afterward, Hepburn was asked if her reaction was due to Mankiewicz's treatment of Clift (she and Monty befriended each other during the troubled production).

Yes, Hepburn said, "But also because of how he treated ME!"

Of course, the question could be, how did they stage this without it turning into the real thing?

Vanwall said...

My bet is a third round knockout by Liz, from a roundhouse left Kate never sees coming, and the wrestlers in the background end up in clinch with one of 'em slapping the mat sometime during the match.

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

it must be just a story - I cannot believe Miss Hepburn would have spit in any civilised person's face. at his feet maybe ...

Worst picture evah of Dame Elizabeth.
well, of everyone really. Dame E loved M.Clift and would not have put up with him being treated badly.

Tommy O'C said...

F.G., that's a good point.

Liz was nuts about Monty. And they say that when one became a friend of Liz's, she was your friend for life.

F.G. Marshall-Stacks said...

Dame Elizabeth is a MONUMENT.
Earning her own living since she was a child, the woman endures.
I just hope she knows (before the inevitable) how beloved she is.