Welcome to Midcentury Madness, where Montgomery Clift picks you up in his convertible and drives you to a party up in the Hollywood Hills and you gossip with Jane Wyman and Shelley Winters over dirty martinis and bad appetizers until Bing Crosby knocks on the door and starts screaming at you for making so much damn noise. Today, June Allyson haaaaates her husband (but also she loves him), Shirley Temple’s daughter is growing up sooooooooo fast, Ingrid Bergman’s daughter has been forgotten, and the party game you should be playing is charades.

Now let’s get started!

Modern Screen

(THERE’S NO HEADLINE BUT THERE’S A WOMAN AND A MAYPOLE ON THE COVER)

Remember the TORRID affair between Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini? Of course you do! I bet you still gab about it with friends. Well how long has it been since you thought of BERGMAN’S. DAUGHTER. PIA. LINDSTROM? Poor little Pia Lindstrom, the “forgotten child” of the whole ordeal, forced to bear witness to the public shaming of her mother. “Yes, Pia will recover,” writes Consuelo Anderson. “But she will never forget what it was like to be 11 years old. Some things you can’t forget as long as you live...” Recently, poor little Pia—just barely aware of her mother’s infidelity—bought her father, Dr. Peter Lindstrom, a “hammer and bag of nails” as a gift. And while they’re healing their emotional wounds with those, Bergman and her new husband (whom his former lover refers to as a “hurricane”) will live the rest of their days in Italy. Pray for pitiful Pia.

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Married superstars June Allyson and Dick Powell love each other deeply, but sooooommmetimes June hates him. In “Sometimes I hate my husband,” June writes that she can’t stand some of his “little habits and idiosyncrasies,” saying they make her “want to retire to a clothes closet and count to 2,000 while [she] regains a calm frame of mind.” We’ve all been there, June! But, like the subtitle of the article says, “all husbands” have “little quirks,” and June, like “all wives,” just “sighs and puts up with all of ‘em.” What more can you do, really? Confront the quirks? Communicate why the quirks annoy you? Tell each other how you really feel? That’s crazy talk, and you, June, and I all know it.

Shirley Temple wrote about her daughter again! It still blows my mind that our dear little Shirley is a mother now, but such is life! The young always get old, but the old can never quite believe that it happened to them. Shirley’s 2-year-old Linda Susan (couldn’t think of a better name, new mommy?) is, “in so many delightful ways, exactly like other little girls you know.” Shirley goes on to write that, because Linda Susan was introduced to flash bulbs at such a young age, she associates them with blinking. So evvvvverytime she see’s a photographer with a flash bulb, she blinks like a maniac! Yup. Just like all kids. She also gets “airsick” every time they fly to Honolulu. Again, normal 2-year-old behavior.

If you think “Hollywood parties are all mink and champagne,” you need to check yourself. Because when famous people have parties, they do one thing and one thing only: they play charades. You don’t need to dress up to attend, but you do need to bring your A-game. Hollywood’s biggest stars want nothing more than to have people over, sip coffee, and play charades with their BFFs in the living room. Barbara Lawrence, Piper Laurie, and Peggie Dow are some of the A-listers who want nothing to do with the glitz and glamour of a typical night in the hills—they want substance. And substance comes from pantomiming things like “Superstition Mountain,” “Buccaneer’s Girl,” and “Sleeping City”—you know, today’s biggest cultural references!

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Look at this letter to the editor about being tired of Modern Screen’s Liz Taylor coverage. How rude!

And Also:

  • Ann Blyth is “Hollywood’s prettiest puzzle.” When you put all the pieces together, the puzzle spells “Who?”
  • Frank Sinatra did NOT want to separate from Nancy. It was all her idea.
  • THE movie to see this month is Riding High, a Bing Crosby picture that is sure to be remembered for the rest of time.
  • Colleen Townsend is leaving Hollywoodland behind. Now she’s all about God.
  • Loretta Young’s prayer was answered! Finally.
  • Janet Leigh’s back from wherever she was!
  • If you’re not wearing denim from “head to foot” you’re a monster.
  • ....but the “cutest girls wear cotton.”

Grade C+ (You schedule dinner with June Allyson and Dick Powell but only June comes.)

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Contact the author at bobby@jezebel.com.