|Betty Grable dispenses with rival Mitzi Gaynor.|
Lately, I've been on a Betty Grable jag. You know how it goes: You watch one movie, and then do a little online research on it, discover another old movie star you're not familiar with, pull up some movies with her in it . . . .
Betty Grable surprised me. I'd only heard of her as the World War II pin-up girl, and had no idea what sort of movies she had appeared in. I was surprised.
Sure, they're mostly frothy movie musicals, but, in the ones I've seen, she's almost always spunky, self-confident, unflappable, and just won't be thrown off her center by a man -- no matter whether it's a chauvinistic boss or an about-to-cheat spouse.
She never takes the bait. (And that's one quality that, in my experience, always gets the respect of men. All men. The ones who deserve our respect. And even the ones who don't.)
Here's my favorite scene from My Blue Heaven, in which Grable walks in while teenaged vixen Mitzi Gaynor is in the process of seducing Grable's husband (played by frequent co-star Dan Dailey). Grable is cool as a cucumber. In case this movie starts to play from the beginning, cue up to 1:13:30 to see the scene (it's worth it):
Scenes like this, in which Grable sweetly and confidently deals with the men in her pictures -- without making the mistake of taking her men too seriously and getting sucked into jealousy, pleading, crying, and trying to reason with them -- are just wonderful. Definitely something I'll be trying myself next time the need arises. Now I understand what Gramma meant when she said, "Don't lower yourself to their level."