Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Christmas Album: Peggy



The Twenty-Third day of our Holiday outing finds us enjoying a "panto"--(pantomime to Americans) at this time of year very popular theatrical set-pieces with all sorts of magical, rude, and funny stories enacted by some of the best of British theater--here we see Welsh born Peggy Cummins as Alice in Wonderland in a Christmastime, 1945 stage production of Lewis Carroll's evergreen exploration of all things seen through the looking glass. Perhaps this role prepared Ms. Cummins for her head spinning ride through Hollywood as she was soon plucked from English movies and stage work by Darryl F. Zanuck for the dubious privilege of playing orphaned Amber St. Clare in Forever Amber (1947), the scandalous bodice-ripper set in Restoration England that was delivered in novel form to an apparently panting public by Kathleen Winsor. Zanuck, well aware that the novel had been banned in fourteen U.S. States, but was a best seller in 16 countries, believed that Cummins sweet, blonde charms could make the events of the novel palatable enough to bypass the Production Code.

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