October 16th, 2013

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Just how do you rank beauty?

carole lombard p1202-1119a

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, or at least that's how the saying goes. Almost all of us would say that Carole Lombard portrait above, Paramount p1202-1119, is beautiful -- but one doesn't rate Carole's beauty within a vacuum. How does it compare with that of others?

Someone tried to gauge the beauty with a ranking some time back. Her name is Claudia, a film studies and English major in her early 20s whose blog is titled "The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of" with the URL http://monroesmile.blogspot.com/ What she decided to do was list, in her opinion, "The 40 Most Beautiful Actresses Pre-1960 (my preferences)." Here's a visual record of her list, to the haunting score of "Lawrence Of Arabia":



If you don't have time to watch the video (which at last count had gathered more than 477,000 views and over 2,500 responses), here's the ranking, from 40 to 1:

40. Jean Harlow
39. Katharine Hepburn
38. Jane Russell
37. Lauren Bacall
36. Ingrid Bergman
35. Cyd Charisse
34. Ginger Rogers
33. Marlene Dietrich
32. Dorothy Lamour
31. Mitzi Gaynor
30. Gale Robbins
29. Gloria Grahame
28. Maureen O'Hara
27. Olivia de Havilland
26. Veronica Lake
25. Joan Crawford
24. Carole Lombard
23. Kim Novak
22. Marilyn Monroe
21. Jane Greer
20. Gina Lollobrigida
19. Natalie Wood
18. Lena Horne
17. Jean Simmons
16. Yvonne de Carlo
15. Grace Kelly
14. Sophia Loren
13. Audrey Hepburn
12. Dorothy Dandridge
11. Loretta Young
10. Brigitte Bardot
9. Greta Garbo
8. Lana Turner
7. Rita Hayworth
6. Hedy Lamarr
5. Claudia Cardinale
4. Ava Gardner
3. Gene Tierney
2. Elizabeth Taylor
1. Vivien Leigh

Interesting list (you would think someone listed as "monroesmile" would rate Marilyn higher than 22nd, but it should be noted that Claudia's a brunette), and I'm glad Lombard's on it (you'll find her in the video at about the 4:47 mark for roughly 12 seconds).

I'm not about to quibble about the individual rankings, since it's pointless; just being on the list should be a sufficient honor for any actress (I'm not familiar with Gale Robbins, who had some film success in the late '40s and early '50s). However, there are a few actresses I'm surprised didn't make the list -- Myrna Loy, Claudette Colbert, and Constance and Joan Bennett...and yes, I do admit to a 1930s bias. (Out of courtesy, I won't disclose whom I think they should have dislodged.)

Anyone here want to make a pre-1960 top 40 actress list of their own? If you wish to rank them, fine, but it's not a prerequisite. And as a quote from near the end of the video states...

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