Saturday, January 18, 2014
Today's "Anything Goes Saturday" installment is yet another look at the MGM studio backlot in its final days. See part one here, and part two here! For those of you who have forgotten, these unique images are from some Viewmaster photos taken by an acquaintance of mine, who visited the studio with his wife in 1970.
The whole darn place was going to be auctioned off - absolutely everything! And that included Roman chariots. I never realized until now how much I need a chariot. Nearby, other buggies and coaches await the auctioneer's gavel.
Wait! Wait! I changed my mind, I'd rather have a gypsy wagon. I could tell fortunes and pick pockets and sing colorful songs and dance lusty dances with sultry damsels. I already own a tambourine.
The remaining 5 images all involve the sale of MGM's massive, historic collection of movie costumes. I can't help thinking that Debbie Reynolds must have acquired more than a few treasures in her collection from this very room (she sold much of her stuff for millions of dollars recently).
Another look at the same area. Too bad the color balance is so wonky. The craftsmanship behind these costumes amazes me, and the quality of the rare brocades, silks, velvets, and every other imaginable fabric probably couldn't be duplicated today.
I wonder if the auction catalog mentioned what movie each item was from? "Dress worn by Norma Shearer in The Women, 1939". Or whatever. Or perhaps it was just something more prosaic like, "White dress with sequins". I'd like to think that bidders knew the history of the items they were bidding on.
Ah, now that's more like it! I NEED a 15-foot long, gold embroidered, ermine-lined cape. For job interviews, funerals, or snuggling up with a loved one while watching TV. Notice the selection of crowns and scepters (something for everyone!), and even a piece of original artwork by a costume designer - perhaps Adrian or Edith Head.
Do you think people bought items just to own a piece of Hollywood magic, or to actually wear? Granted, a lot of it was completely impractical, but there were some elegant ladies' dresses and fine men's suits as well. "I'm wearing William Powell's tuxedo, and my wife is wearing Greta Garbo's gown"!
I have even more vintage photos from the last days of MGM studios, so stay tuned.