Small House of Everything

Small House of Everything

Monday, November 9, 2015


Here's an interesting film starring Hattie Helen Gould Beck. Who's she?  I hear you say.  You may know her better as burlesque star Sally Rand, the woman who brought the fan dance to a red-blooded male public.  A one-time circus performer, she did stage work and landed some film roles in the 1920s.  In 1927 she joined Cecil B. DeMille's company where DeMille renamed her "Sally Rand."  Her career was going well until the advent of sound when her pronounced lisp became a disadvantage.  Switching gears, Sally carved out a notch fo herself as an exotic dancer.  Her Lady Godiva routine at the 1933 Chicago World's Fair brought her a few indecent exposure charges (she was arrested four times in a single day!), as well as ever-lasting fame.  A few years later she gifted the world with the bubble dance.  One of her four husbands was Tod Robbins, the writer of The Unholy Three (filmed twice, once in 1925 and once in 1930, starring Lon Chaney in both films) and of the story "Spurs" (filmed as the classic movie Freaks).  Her liteary influence has extended to both Robert A. Heinlein  (who modeled several of his characters on her) and Max Allan Collins (whose character Nathan Heller romances her).  Football coaches at the University of Delaware named a football play after her.

In Sunset Murder Case, the last of her 26 films, Sally plays a young woman who goes undecover as a stripper to find the killer of her policeman father.  I think it's safe to say that the film was not noted for its mystery content (nor, I fear, for great acting).  Still it's a fun flick that you may enjoy.

1 comment:

  1. For some reason, this reminds me of a story my daughter might have told before she switched gears.