The Best of Everything
I have a rather ghastly health problem at the moment which forces me to stay at home and off my feet. It's getting rather desperate, because I'm going overseas in a few days time and I'm hoping against hope that I'll be fine by then.
This enforced home time means I've been watching lots of movies, and this morning I finally watched The Best of Everything.
What a brilliant movie! Stylish, sleek and completely absorbing, it tells the ultimate 1950s horror story of what happens to young ladies when they choose careers over marriages. It was based on a trashy novel by Rona Jaffe, who had been responsible for that most trashy of all novels and films, Peyton Place. Obviously Hollywood thought it was onto a good thing, because they brought the glorious Hope Lange in to star in this one too, as well as scooping the pool by engaging the services of one certain Joan Crawford! Joan camps it up like crazy as a wizened and loveless career lady made bitter by the years - "You and your horse-faced wife can just go to hell!" - and Miss Lange herself slides toward the upper end of the camp-o-meter as her outfits become increasingly fabulous and her career more and more demanding.
Really, this is a brilliant film, faultlessly constructed and brilliantly directed by the much overlooked Jean Negulesco. It is sassy and beautifully designed and scripted and a museum piece of mid-twentieth century American social history.