My obsession with all things L.A. Confidentialhas extended to the real life Veronica Lake. I think she may have been the epitome of the 1940s -- the hair, the sassy line delivery, the glamor. She's also the epitome of Hollywood's dark side too, as she went from great success to a penniless and tragic end.
Over the weekend, Netflix finally delivered me a copy of This Gun For Hire, which is a pretty cool noir. (Trivia nerds probably know it's the film Lynn Bracken and one of her clients are "reenacting" when Bud White shows up.) If you've never seen it, it's worth a watch for Alan Ladd's icy assassin, who makes many of our modern killers seem weak in comparison. It also features one of the quirkiest heroines ever in Ellen Graham. Graham is a spy for the U.S. government, a nightclub singer (did down-on-their-luck singers ever look better than they did in the 1940s?), and a magician. I'm not kidding! Lake even gets two song-and-dance numbers where she performs a string of illusions that Gob Bluth would kill to know the secrets to, and her magic tricks end up saving her life later on.
Nowadays, a spy-singer-magician would be laughed off the screen. But in the good old days, it not only worked, but it reeked of cool sexiness thanks to Lake. Check out the scene below.