Monday, April 21, 2008

Lizabeth Scott Speaks

Does Lizabeth Scott have Perez Hilton bookmarked? We know she glances at tabloid covers, if this blurb at Contact Music is any indication. The website quotes the 85-year-old actress, who has spent decades denying interview requests, as saying, "I saw Kate Moss and her new beau all over the cover on the news-stand and thought they looked like vagrants; so scruffy and grubby - just awful. I'd like to see Miss Moss smarten up her act. Doesn't she know young women look up to her? She would have lasted 10 seconds under the Hollywood studio system." But Scott goes on to praise Paris Hilton, Victoria Beckham and Dita Von Teese as celebrities with genuine senses of style, saying, "Two of the three might not be the sharpest tools in the box, but they are glamorous and always impeccably turned out."

Could it be that Scott, the gorgeous starlet whose career was all but destroyed when she was outed by Confidential in the mid-1950s (she sued them for libel, and contrary to what has been reported on several websites, didn't win the case), is one of those anonymous posters who always replies to Hilton items about Dita Von Teese by typing "FIRST!!!!!!!!"? Or maybe she's more the Dlisted type, preferring bitchy remarks about Victoria Beckham's skeletal frame to crude, hastily drawn MS Paint penises pointing at the Spice Girl's face.

I've yet to figure out where Contact Music got their Scott quotes from, so if anyone can help, drop me a line. And if you've never seen the luminous Lizabeth in a movie, you must rent The Strange Love of Martha Ivers, pronto. (The Paramount release, which has a nice transfer, and not any of those $4.99 rush jobs by no-name companies.) Seeing Barbara Stanwyck, Lizabeth Scott and Dame Judith Anderson all in the same movie is a bit like watching Jodie Foster act opposite Alexis Smith in The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, if you catch my drift, but that's neither here nor there -- Martha Ivers is indeed quite strange, one of the oddest noirs you'll ever come across, and Scott is superb as a mysterious young woman just released from prison.

It was only the second film she appeared in (Scott started her career in the theater, working as Tallulah Bankhead's understudy in "The Skin of Our Teeth," and years later there were rumors that parts of All About Eve might have been modeled on their relationship), but she wastes little time in illustrating why Paramount's publicity department called her "The Threat." Though she was given little in the way of quality material during her all-too-brief career, Scott had the kind of sultry looks and prickly presence that were tailor-made for film noir, and was briefly seen as the studio's answer to the Warner Brothers upstart siren Lauren Bacall. And, on a personal note, if I had to be shot by or because of a '40s femme fatale, she would certainly make the short list of dames worth dying for, right alongside Rita Hayworth, Gene Tierney, Jane Greer and Yvonne De Carlo. (Geez, who knew I was such a slut?)

UPDATE: The Scott quotes have been credited elsewhere to the Daily Express.

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