This beauty of the Silver Screen was stunning. Tierney (1920-1991) starred in some great roles, one of the most notable was as the materialistic Isabel Bradley in The Razor’s Edge, a 1946 film adaptation of the Somerset Maugham novel. In this movie, she chooses not to marry a man, Larry Darrel, who is more interested in pursuing self fulfillment and spiritual enlightenment rather than a socially acceptable material wealth. She is deeply in love with him, but he chooses to see the world, find enlightenment, rather than settle down into a mundane, although prosperous, upper class existence. Even though she eventually married another man, she admits later in the film that her first and only love was Larry Darrel. It is a classic tale of how a woman will always love the unattainable alpha male, even if she marries a beta provider later on. The film reflects the common occurrence that many women will marry one man who will provide them with material comfort, while secretly being in love with another man, who provides them with the gina tingle. That these old Hollywood movies often engage in such a plot show the timelessness of this tale.
She was quite the beauty though. There is something quite amazing about these old Hollywood beauties. The silver screen, the black and white photos, have a way of enhancing feminine beauty that is both alluring, while still being a bit detached. There was a pure femininity to these old stars that seems to be lacking in our modern, more masculinized world. And yet they were in no way less sexual and erotic than our modern actresses. The sexuality is often beneath the surface, hinted at, alluded to, subtlety depicted in mysterious shades of grey rather than the bright, glaring lights of contemporary film. Nude scenes did not exist; and yet these women were somehow more beautifully sexual than what we find in most modern films. Sharp and insightful dialogue was the means to express sexuality, and, although less viscerally stimulating than our modern nude scene, the eroticism conveyed through words and expression and plot was more deeply satisfying than the gratuitous sex scenes we are too often subjected to today. Perhaps it is the restraint of it all: restraint builds sexual tension in way that an upfront eroticism cannot.
I enjoy class and refinement in my eroticism. I enjoy an eroticism that lies beneath the surface, that is not so much out in the open, but rather a bit mysterious, that covers the darker recesses of our souls and desires, the way the smoldering earth may cover a river of lava running not too far beneath. Letting that lava run freely can be a great delight, but we cannot do it all the time, lest we be swept up by its destructive power. These older women of Hollywood, such as Gene Tierney, possessed such traits in great abundance.
And one more photo, because I can look at photos of beautiful women all day long…