|Count on Dietrich to out-Miranda Priestly Streep herself!|
At times, I envision these three movies as a cinematic collage of hilarious derision, and when I learned about "The Great Recasting" blogathon hosted by Frankly, My Dear and In The Mood, I spied an opportunity to mingle a few of my favorite icy characters.
Following the rules of "The Great Recasting," I'm appropriating the 2006 flick, The Devil Wears Prada, by imagining it as a 1951 movie called The Devil Wears Dior (the fashion house that dressed Dietrich for Stage Fright, a movie heavily screen-capped in this entry), recasting Dietrich and Wyman (who must have been a masochist in my alternate universe) as Miranda and Andy's characters respectively due to their antagonistic onscreen chemistry, with A Foreign Affair's director--the comedic genius, Billy Wilder--at the helm. Those of you familiar with The Devil Wears Prada, Stage Fright, and A Foreign Affair will recognize the pastiche of dialogue from all three of these flicks, but in a distilled bitchy brew--without the added ingredients of murder, post-war occupation, and romance. Consider it a sort of Socratic dialogue gone camp that probably would have flopped and become a cult classic. Rather than explain why I made all these choices for my "The Great Recasting" entry, I'll show you by biting the style of a blog that entertains me--I'm Not Patty. Let's get on with it!
The Devil Wears Dior
directed by Billy Wilder
STARRING Marlene Dietrich as Anaïs Silkman Bloom, editor-in-chief of the trans-Atlantic women's fashion magazine, Nouvelle Vue. Anaïs has a penchant for Dior and may be a jab at a few fashion arbiters of the '50s publishing world, e.g., Harper's Bazaar's Carmel Snow, American Vogue's Edna Woolman Chase, and British Vogue's Audrey Withers.
WITH Jane Wyman as Annabel "Billy" Fox, a fresh-faced Vassar graduate who thought she'd be writing on postwar politics in The New Republic--not schlepping stockings at Nouvelle Vue.
PLUS, a supporting cast meant solely for added comic relief.
|Fortunately, Billy has toned down her look a bit after realizing that she isn't going to become the next|
Ida M. Tarbell at a fashion rag. As she enters the Nouvelle Vue office, her nerves start to overwhelm her.
|Rightfully so! Billy's come in for an interview right when editor-in-chief Anaïs Silkman Bloom is busily "auditioning" veils for an upcoming article about the most glamorous widows on Park Ave.|
|Without even glancing at the schoolmarm in Sears, Roebuck & Co. mail order togs, Anaïs asks, "Who are you?" Billy answers, "I'm Annabel Fox, a recent Vassar graduate--"|
|Before Billy can brag about her achievements,|
Anaïs turns toward her and interrupts, "Why are you here?"
|Taken aback, Billy blurts, "Well, Miss Bloom, it was either this or Hot Rod magazine."|
|"You don't read Nouvelle Vue, do you?"|
|"And before today, you'd never heard of me."|
|"And I see you do not believe in lipstick. And what a curious way to do your hair--or rather not to do it."|
|"Well, I think that's a matter of perso--"|
|"No, that wasn't a question! Read your resume to me, dear. Not so loud, though."|
|"I was editor-in-chief of The Miscellany News, where I wrote an award-winning exposé|
on secret Socialist societies at women's colleges--"
|Anaïs, however, resumes her fitting and announces, "That's all."|
|Taking the hint, Billy sees her way out. . . .|
|but her bruised ego compels her to step back and declare, "Madame, I may not be a fashion plate,|
but I've got brains, and I'm willing to work fingers to the bone." Anaïs merely repeats, "That's all."
|Before Billy exits the building, one of Anaïs's lackeys gives her the good yet perplexing news, "You got the job!"|
|Attending to Anaïs's every need, Billy can barely keep up|
with the unfamiliar names and terms thrown her way.
"Mavis, I need 27 fuschia coats from Bonnie Cashin!"
|"Phyllis, get me a Balmain stole!"|
|"Emily, book Dovima for the next cover shoot!"|
|Although Billy usually listens obediently to Anaïs, she eventually slips and smirks,|
which provokes Anaïs to verbally eviscerate her. "You see that smock you're wearing?" Anaïs inquires.
|Dumbfounded, Billy nods her head.|
|Following this advice and perhaps with a bit of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's magic, Billy transforms into the glamorous assistant she was meant to be.|