Jim Siergey: Hair Today

September 16th, 2019

“Yeah, so I was flipping through the TV channels and came to rest upon a 1948 flick playing on TCM called The Many Loves of Carmen.”

“Rita Hayworth, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, the fiery haired Rita Hayworth…and the glum Glenn Ford.”

“He never did smile much.”

“Yeah, so I’m watching it for a while, maybe 20 minutes or so. And I see it’s a story of a guy who throws away his life for the love of a woman who doesn’t love him.  It’s a noir film, man! It’s set in the 1800s but it’s noir, man, except it’s in color and with gypsies.”

“I concede you your comparison but that story, it’s older than noir. Why, it’s as old as the ages.”

“Old as the ages, eh?”

“Yeah, well, I thought it sounded better than ‘as old as the hills’.”

“Yeah, yeah. T’was ever thus and all that. But, Ford and Hayworth, they made noir films, even some together. “Gilda” for one.”

“’Gilda’ is a good one. Did you know what Rita said when asked what kept her strapless gown up during her ‘Put the Blame on Mame’ routine?”

ritahayworthLook at that hair…


“Yeah, yeah, “two very good reasons”.  Good line, but that was that, this is this.”

“Which is…?”

“’The Loves of Carmen”, man. Pay attention.”

“I’ll try.”

“Now, I love the music, opera and story of “Carmen” but this movie. …the flaming red haired Rita Hayworth as a gypsy? “

“You don’t think there were any redheaded gypsies?”

“Oh, I’m sure there were. Like the Vikings, they got around. But, one’s stereotypical image of a gypsy girl, an Esmeralda, a Hedy LaMarr, is one with raven black hair.”

“Yeah, well,  stereotypes were made to be broken, man.”

“Don’t get militant with me, bub. We’re discussing Cinema here.”

“Yes, sir.”

“Still, I gotta say Rita never looked lovelier and she was good in her role so I could overlook the hair thing. Glenn Ford, on the other hand, was a real drip. Especially when paired with the vivacious Rita.”

“As I remember, he played a bit of a wuss, didn’t he?”

“Yeah but the worse part was his hair.”

“His hair?”

“Yeah, in his early films he had a greasy look to his hair. Not slicked back but you’d need to wear rubber gloves if you planned to run your fingers through it.”

“Yes, and late in his career, he wore it almost crewcut style but combed forward into a Bryl-Creemed fence. “

“You got it. Weird hairdo, man. In this one he had Elvis hair. No where as good as Elvis but its design was in that direction. Plus he had sideburns!”

“Well, it was set in the 1800s…”

“Yeah, yeah. But the oily semi-bouffant did not suit him. In fact, that may have been the main turn off in the film to me. I couldn’t look at him with that hairdo any more.”

“So, you turned it off?

“Well, switched to something else.”

“So, how many stars do you give ‘The Loves of Carmen’?”

“Two. One for Rita and one for Victor Jory, who made a great gypsy. None for Glenn Ford and even less for his hair!”

“So, you didn’t love “The Loves of Carmen”?”

“Man, that is worse than ‘as old as the hills’ would have been. ”

(Cue trombone “wah-waaaah”)…


Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Frontera Grill

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