“She’s everything the undesirable made absolutely and forever desirable.”
An overview photograph of “Gwen Verdon: too hot for Hollywood?” news article appearing in “Tempo News.” Tempo or “Quick News” was a weekly supermarket check-out magazine aimed towards the suburban American housewife market of the 1950s. Measuring 4 x 5 3/4 inches.
This particular Tempo News issue was published “July 18, 1955.”
“Hollywood’s censorship of Gwen Verdon dance in Gentlemen Marry Brunettes repeated familiar pattern of her film cuts.”“Broadway’s cheers for Can-Can dancer the current star of sellout, Damn Yankees.”
It’s getting to be a habit: Movie censors yell “Cut!” when Gwen Verdon appears in a scene. The tumbling sensation in Broadway’s baseball musical, “Damn Yankees,” can’t get to home base with Hollywood umpires.The latest slash benched the redhead in a scene for United Artist’s “Gentlemen Marry Brunettes“. Gwen was to have appeared in the movie as a Dior model who sheds her garments one by one. She was censored for dancing that was “too sexy” in a costume “too brief.” The decision was an old story to Gwen, who claims: “Boston has never seen me” because she has been consistently cut, in part or total, either at the source or by local censors. The quick witted danseuse added: “In David and Bathsheba I was allowed in the larger cities where there was progressive education.”In the old days before Danny Kaye spotted her on the set of “On The Riviera,” Miss Verdon created routines for other dancers in the movies and taught starlets. The studio hired her to teach Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell to walk across the screen. ”I use to tell them,” she recalls, “to get out there as though you were saying- ‘stand back, boys, you’re looking at a woman.’”Rationalizing the movies’ acceptance of her pupils and the rejection of herself, Gwen philosophized to a Hollywood reporter: “The trouble is, I suppose, Marilyn always looks functional and I look healthy.”To theater-goers, Hollywood’s “bawdy” is sex with a twinkle” and Gwen’s ribaldry as Lola the devil’s disciple in “Damn Yankees” is called “inspired foolishness.” said critic Walter Kerr: “She’s everything the undesirable made absolutely and forever desirable.”