Last week, I wrote about Vertigo. It is classic Hitchcock because it is suspense and it has the quintessential American pair. Hitchcock considered America in the form of a couple to be a tall handsome man with a blonde younger woman. Most of his movie pairings are that with Tippi Hedren, Kim Novak, Janet Leigh and Grace Kelly filling the fair haired female role. Novak was the blondie for Vertigo, and seemed destined for stardom. Did not happen. A little hiccup happened. It reveals a little bit about old America vs. new America. Novak fell in love with Sammy Davis Junior, and her career petered out. The studios would not handle an interracial relationship for its stars in the 1950s; no matter the participants nor the talent.
Kim Novak performs very well in Vertigo. She has to sell you at first that she is a rich, classy but slightly crazy lady. Her switch up is then selling you on her just being a regular girl around town, not wanting to play the part of the classy, elegant dame. She has to fight becoming Madeleine for Scottie. She is not just a pretty face or romantic lead in this one because she is in on the con. Novak's career never took off, and 1950s attitudes is why. Vanity Fair ran a long, great article on the Novak-Davis romance. It is pretty stunning to read today, but maybe not if you watched a little known cheesy docudrama called "Hollywood Babylon". Hosted by Tony Curtis, Babylon would tell the darker tales behind old Hollywood legends. Each show ended with "A Moment with Tony", which he'd start with "have ya gotta minute" and would be related to the subject. The show was terrible but incredibly entertaining, and on VH1 or E! in the early '90s. They did an episode on Novak-Davis. Mob gave him a roughing up session. The Vanity Fair article goes into greater detail as Davis was saved by his Rat Pack friends and forced to marry a black woman quickly. It was not so much about Davis as it was Novak who was going to be Columbia's fresh faced female to push. She would be damaged goods with al the implications of an affair with Davis. America wouldn't go for it no matter how powerful the hype machine.
The progressives who hold the megaphone tell awful lies about the past, but as Steve Sailer is quick to mention, it was "I Love Lucy" not "Louis loves Marilyn". Desi, white with an accent, could be paired with Lucy, but no way was America going to watch Louis Armstrong and Marilyn Monroe play house. Odd coincidence, Lucille Ball had an episode on "Hollywood Babylon" about how she walked all over Desi because she was the star, and he was just the husband. She was the first woman with a production studio. Her studio, not Desi's. Some of the past we are fed is fraudulent, but some taboos did exist. Novak's private life made her career a victim of one. She also crossed an incredibly powerful media mogul.
It is also quite the contrast to today. Look at the Kardashians. How do we know them? Not from papa's legal work on the OJ Trial. If that were the case, you would have known about the girls before a sex tape leaked out of daughter Kim having sex with a black guy. Nothing left to the imagination. Not Sammy Davis Jr. level A Lister, but a D List pseudo-celeb himself. This has launched the Kardashian family into pop culture and paparazzi crack fame, earning them millions and creating terrible role models. In the late '50s, a powerful studio like Columbia could not work with Novak because of a private relationship with a well respected black star. In the 2000s, Kim Kardashian has earned her family millions ($40 million for 3 years of their tv show alone) all because her mom leaked a video of Kim in flagrante delicto with some black nobody. What would be implied in Noak's era was revealed for a t see with Kardashian. Progress? Change? Decline.