McMahon Overboard

Lo! From Cousin It to It Girl.

Images from GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933.

Chiseling again! Over at The Chiseler, by the miracle of virtual teletype, you can read a new article, or, as ace editor Daniel Riccuito puts it, “seance”, on the subject of the divine Aline McMahon, a favourite and to my mind greatly underappreciated screen goddess of the quirky kind. I’m reasonably pleased with the piece, which emerged in a single session of rapturous transport, only I don’t think I did justice to the McMahon lips, impossibly long, slender yet elaborately flared labial extrusions from an alternate universe where kisses are measured in aeons.

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9 Responses to “McMahon Overboard”

  1. Arthur S. Says:

    One terrific film in which Aline MacMahon is remarkable in is William Wellman’s HEROES FOR SALE. It’s amazing because she plays the love interest instead of Loretta Young.

  2. Well, she becomes the love interest only after Loretta is killed by a flying brick. But, that said, she’s excellent in HEROES FOR SALE, and it’s on the basis of that film that I was looking forward to seeing her in HEAT LIGHTNING, which I finally caught this past week, and liked a lot. Looking forward to seeing more of her work.

  3. So funny you should mention her lips, David, as I was scanning your CHISELER write-up for a reference to that full, wide mouth of hers. And how appropriate that you should focus on her hair as well, since she becomes another creature entirely when it’s down (seems it’s up and pulled back most of the time).

  4. David Boxwell Says:

    She made any and every movie better. And her career best: Zinnemann’s THE SEARCH (48). Magnificent.

  5. I recently saw Aline McMahon in One Way Passage (TCM broadcast) and the whole time I was thinking how absolutely gorgeous she is. Especially that scene where she’s combing her long hair. Watch out, Kay Francis!

  6. David Boxwell Says:

    Our friendly google search reveals her mother lived to be 105, and died as recently as 1984! (7 years before her daughter).

  7. She’s quite a mysterious cinematic figure. Lively one moment, baleful the next.

  8. I’d love to see her play an actual mystical figure, like a witch or fate or something. She always seems at once human and mythic. And she had a fine career in later years, with The Man from Laramie being a particularly nice turn.

  9. That’s right! As soon as I read your comment I could see her sitting in that wagon, holding the reins. I’d forgotten her part in that, nursing after blind curmudgeon Donald Crisp at the end. Yes, she was very good in that. She’d gotten older, heavier, but was still a vibrant presence onscreen.

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