Friday, June 20, 2008
RIP Cyd Charisse 1922-2008
Only under the grand, keen, objectifying spotlights of Hollywood could a little girl born Tula Ellice Finklea in Amarillo, Texas gone on to be the sophisticated, dazzling, and wondrously long-legged Cyd Charisse, among the finest big screen examples of pure class and rapturous beauty. Forget the many television appearances, the theater roles, the occasional dramatic movies, and just watch (or recall) Charisse in exquisite dancing form (alongside Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, or even James Mitchell) in such Hollywood fantasia's as Singing in the Rain (’52), The Band Wagon (’53), Brigadoon (’54), Deep in My Heart (’54) or Silk Stockings (’57), a sight both erotic and dynamic, a moving image as spellbinding as the Dream Factory can produce. As a young moviegoer I didn't like movie musicals or dancing-the-light-fantastic sequences (I was far too wannabe macho) but I did dig Cyd and her elegantly muscled stems. As a middle-aged film buff I truly adore the classic, well-made movie musical, and I worship at the very altar of Ms. Charisse and her innate sexy stylishness.