Yes, many of us do still have a crush on a young Fredric March! 🙂
The 1954 version is a celebration not just of Ms. Garland’s talents but also the steely charm of James Mason. As Vicki Lester’s career spins to the heights of Hollywood, you feel as if there is no room for anyone else, let alone a lover. But it’s also a raw depiction of the desperation of living with alcoholism and denial amid the hypocrisy and hysteria of show business. The 1937 version is delicate and stripped of ’30s Hollywood glamour, and Ms. Gaynor is a light in Depression-era darkness, and not dolled up like Jean Harlow or Joan Crawford. And does anyone else besides me still have a crush on a young Fredric March? His pain as his fame dissipates is a study in restraint in an era of filmmaking not exactly known for subtlety.