Monday, February 13, 2012

Inspirational Icon Monday: Deborah Kerr

Every girl has their romantic fantasy. Even girls like me that will always choose a thrilling adventure or suspenseful mystery film over a sappy chick flick. For some reason, whether we're cynical or optimistic about love, when we see a film that actually has a moment that is breathtakingly sexy or emotionally true to the way human's deal with love, we can't help but be touched and imagine ourselves in the role of the on screen lover. There is no one that got female audiences as invested in their female lead's romantic woes in the 1950's more than Deborah Kerr.

The iconic image of Kerr and Burt Lancaster's intertwined bodies lying on an Oahu beach with splashing waves surrounding them in From Here to Eternity (1953) has long been considered the most romantic moment in the history of film. Who doesn't want an overwhelming love where raw lust takes over and even the idea of sand getting into undesired places is dismissed?

After a long power struggle, Kerr as Anna the Welsh teacher summoned to teach the many children of Siam's King Mongkut in The King and I (1956), discovers she's in-love with him when he gifts her with a ring as thanks for her successful efforts and she gifts him with a dance turned yearningly romantic. Politics and cultural conflictions keep them apart until he dies and leaves the already widowed Anna alone once again. Who hasn't experienced a love that was never realized?

Who can forget the moment Cary Grant's Nickie realizes the reason Kerr's Terry was a no show at their planned meeting a top the Empire State Building on Valentine's Day was because she was hit by a car and paralyzed in An Affair to Remember (1958)?

Kerr brought humanity to her prideful lover roles.  She demonstrated both onscreen and off [she had a string of jealous lovers and two husbands that disliked the attention she received for being a leading lady] that pride is the source of most conflict. On Valentine's Day, just like any other day of the year, women are not sitting around watching Kerr's romantic films or any other rom-coms fantasizing about the hardships of love. We fantasize about the beach scenes. We fantasize about the undying profession of love. We fantasize about being worth the tougher times and that the romance we see on screen could be ours. Not all the time, but it will be there. Whether we're single or married, we will continually and unexpectedly be whisked off our feet. I don't think that fantasy ever goes away. How could Deborah Kerr's 1950's romance films stand the test of time if it did?

 From Here to Eternity:

The King and I:

An Affair to Remember:

Love love love this dress!

Kerr Style:

I wish I looked this hot in short shorts!

No comments:

Post a Comment