Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"The Unique Beauty of Gene Tierney

the most
beautiful woman in
movie history

(Darryl F. Zanuck, founder, 20th Century Fox)

Gene Tierney Articles: "The Unique Beauty of Gene Tierney"

"Among faces, Gene Tierney's is a tournament rose, an opaline study in serene, sexualized perfection, a mad musky Egyptian daydream of cat thoughts.

It's a face that, yes, could make you half-believe in the human ideal, make you pass into a foggy romantic movie-trance of studio key lights and shadows with edges so soft you could lay your head down in them and sleep for a week. All you want as you're looking at her, all you think you'll ever want, is to get close enough to smell the lilac vapors rising from her shoulder.
Tierney's beauty lies somewhere between homespun Everygirl and Oriental exotic, shy high school sweetheart and man-eater.
Her eyes smile before her lips do.
But if the lips parted in a smile, you'd be witness to the sweetest overbite in Hollywood history.

This is a face built to be gazed upon.
Perhaps that's why 'Laura' was Tierney's breakout film. Deadpan cop Dana Andrews spends the whole first half of the movie falling in love with her portrait. When she shows up in the flesh,
Andrews is shaken to the core--we are, too.
'Laura' is hardly just a murder mystery;
it's a meditation on the
brute force of a beautiful face."

Excerpted from Michael Atkinson's essay
in December 1994 Movieline magazine

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