Wednesday, 30 January 2013

15 Loves That I Love (part 1)

Hello pals and gals! This is a post I've been wanting to do about On-Screen couples for a while, but when my homegirl Nattie, over at In The Mood, did one on her favorite Off-Screen Couples, I decided to break the post down into two parts: One Off-Screen and one On-Screen. One thing you should know right off the bat is that I am not an incurable romantic. I understand that only love is, more often than not, not enough! Stories like the Arnazes, the Sinatras, couldn't go on despite the love that united them. If you read my blog with some level of regularity, you are probably familiar with these stories already, so I won't tell them in detail yet again, but I will share some anecdotes about each couple, that maybe you didn't know before :) Hope you enjoy!
 Off-screen love stories:

'Til not even death do us part

Everything about these two seemed to be taken right out of a novel: The hopeful dreaming teen and the big time star, the glamorous setting in which they met, the indestructible love that followed, the fairy-tale wedding, the sudden death and the lifelong remembrance. Here are some facts:
  • When they started going together, Bogie gave Betty a whistle-shaped gold bracelet, as a token of his affection and a reference to her line "You know how to whistle, don't you?" Bogie's ashes were buried with this bracelet. 
  • Howard Hawks, both jealous of their relationship and worried that their sentiments would impair the making of the movie, invited Bacall to his house one night. When she got there, he yelled that, if she remained involved with Bogart, he would send her to a B studio and that she should not be sacrificing her career for a man to whom she meant nothing. She confronted Bogie, in tears, and he said "You mean the world to me." 
  • At the start of their relationship, they would hide in his boat, her apartment and her car to be together. Their favorite thing to do was drive off into an empty street and stay in one of their cars, holding hands, talking, kissing and laughing together.
  • In moments of separation, they would write each other ardent love letters. Some of Bogie's famous quotes were: "Please, Baby, fence me in, for the world is too big and I don't like it without you.", "You are my last love and I shall love you until the day I die.", "You came into my arms and into my heart and now the only true love I have is yours" and "I will die before I let any harm come to you." All of them, including the last one, were true.
  • Greer Garson was the first person to alert Betty that Bogie might be ill. She said he was coughing too much and that he should see a doctor. Throughout his year-long illness, Betty was rock solid and didn't cry until the night of his death. She went to bed at night and in a few minutes, she was sobbing. "Please don't let anything happen to him! Please don't let him die! Let me go in his place!", she screamed herself to sleep. Two hours later, he was dead, at only 57. 

Clinging tight to the same thing

Spencer Tracy decided in 1932 that getting married to Louise Tracy was wrong and went to live in a separate house. Katharine Hepburn decided in 1933 that getting married at all was wrong and proceeded to an amicable divorce from Ludlow Smith. In 1940, they decided that being together would end a life of wrongs and finally give the two some rights. They dated in secret for 27 years, and lived together for 6 of them. They never married, because Kate was opposed to the idea and Spencer didn't want to go through the hassle of a divorce. Out of respect, Katharine remained silent about their affair until Louise's death in 1983.
  • Kate and Spencer's story resembles a tiny bit a teen flick of the current day: A girl who dates her favorite superstar. Spence was Kate's favorite actor, she had been a fan of his since 1930, and despite being an established, beloved actress herself, she nearly melted when she first saw him in person. (She's one of us, fangirls!)  Kate reports that she had been wanting to meet him since she saw him on The Last Mile, but when she got to know him, that admiration instantly turned to love. "I would've done anything for him."
  • Katharine's father was Dr. Thomas Norval Hepburn and was a specialist in sexually transmitted illnesses. Kathy is said to have asked him for a pill or an injection that she could pass as a vitamin, but that would actually lower Spencer's libido, because Kate was getting too tired from doing it every night. Can you imagine that?
  • Spence was famous for hitting on every single one of his co-stars and he was said to have had an affair with Myrna Loy during the filming of Whipsaw in 1935. When he saw Myrna again, now already dating Kate, he assured her nothing else would happen between them. "I have found the woman I want." Then, he is said to have enthusiastically listed Kate's qualities until he realized Myrna hadn't asked anything and was not looking to rekindle their affair.
  • When Kate and Spence were filming Keeper of the Flame in 1942, she found that her little "fling" with Spencer might just be becoming something stronger and stronger. She was horrified at the thought of falling in love and the implications those new feelings would bring into her life, which made her distracted on set in Spencer's presence. The screenplay writer realized it and confronted her about it. He got an apologetic letter: "For the first time in my life I am humbly - sweetly - desperately in love", she wrote.  
  • Other than those early statements, they were known for rarely expressing their love for each other this enthusiastically in public. So, when the filming of Guess Who's Coming To Dinner was finally completed in 1967, the cast and crew were surprised when he took her by the hand and kissed her in front of everyone. "If you ever have something that comes near what we have," he said, "then you will know love." He died 17 days later, and his public declaration of his affection was interpreted as an effort to say "this is the love of my life and I want you all to know that before it's too late."

His profane angel

They were extras in the same silent film in 1926 and didn't even meet. They starred in the same hit picture in 1932, but they were both married to other people. Fate seemed to want them to be together, since they were always found in the same circles. Their romance finally started to take off at a party in 1936. In 1939, during a break in the production of one of Gable's movies, they went off to marry. An all-around success: Lombard was the love of his life, and the movie was Gone With The Wind

  • Carole cried during the entire wedding ceremony. By the time she had to say "I do", her voice was so shaky she could barely get it out. Her crying made Gable so nervous he gave the minister the wedding ring before he asked for it. 
  • Before they got together, in 1936, Carole and Clark attended the same party. Carole, always the jokester, made a crack he found distasteful. They had a fight about it, but both remained in the party. Later, to make nice, Carole challenged him for a tennis game and they played until it was too dark to see. Gable was so absorbed by Lombard's company, that his date took another ride home and he didn't even notice. 
  • They called each other Ma and Pa. A quote attributed to Lombard is “I don’t give a damn about me. I want to take care of my pappy; give him everything he wants.”.
  • A quote attributed to Gable: “Ma, we’re lucky people." He is said to have said it while they were sitting in their ranch watching the sunset. Gable was very emotional. 
  • Lombard always wanted Gable to join the Air Force. On January 16th of 1942, Gable waited to greet his wife at the airport when he learned that a plane coming from Indiana had crashed into The Potosi Mountain and all occupants, among which his wife, were dead. Gable joined the air force a month later and, when he was honorably discharged, he made arrangements for the naming of the American battleship SS Carole Lombard. (She was arranged to appear in a movie but died before filming started. Joan Crawford, the star that took over, donated her entire salary to the Red Cross, the organization that found Lombard's body.)

Never just a title

They made millions laugh, when they themselves cried. Despite all the bumps along their road, they are still remembered as one of the most (if not THE most) passionate couple who ever set foot in the City of Angels. Their out-of-control type of love drove them crazy and made them want to kill each other sometimes, but they would kill for each other at any given time. Love them or hate them, their relationship had the quality of unforgettability. 

  • They eloped in November of 1940, only hours before Desi was supposed to go on stage on a Broadway show he was playing in. He called his director to justify his tardiness. "I've just been marrying Lucy". Everyone's excitement was so great that the director decided to announce the wedding to the audience and had them walk on the stage holding hands. The thousands of attendees cheered on as the happy couple smiled, numbed with bliss. 
  • They had a huge fight only months after moving into their ranch in Chattsworth and he walked out of the house, convinced his marriage was over. A couple of days later, as Lucy was staring out the window, she saw him walking around, as if debating whether or not to ring the doorbell. She ran outside and fell hopelessly into his arms. 
  • On their first date, he wanted to take her out dancing. He asked her if she knew the rumba. She did, but denied it because she wanted him to teach her all over again. It worked. 
  • When they were about to get divorced, in late 1959, they took a terrible trip to Europe, in a last effort to mend their broken hearts.They had one fight that was so horrible that it ended by her pointing a red fingernail to his face and saying "I wish you were dead!", then immediately bursting into tears. Neither ever forgot it. 
  • Two days after Desi's death, Lucy received a tribute on The Kennedy Center. Anticipating he'd be too sick to go, Desi wrote a letter to be read out loud to Lucy. He stated that "I Love Lucy was never just a title". A 74-year-old Lucy broke down in the audience. 


Their meeting was caught on camera: It was a scene from "Flesh and the Devil" (1926) and he had never seen her before. She was an exotic Swede in America for only a year, still having trouble speaking the language, but already enchanting every American she crossed paths with. He, the most handsome and glamorous star of his day, the one every man wanted to be and every woman wanted to have. In a way they were the most unexpected couple in silent cinema history, but in another way they were more meant to be than all of them combined. 

  • In a scene from "Flesh and the Devil", where she lay on the couch and he sat beside her while they kissed, it's reported that the passion and the reality with which they acted was so great that the director ordered that everyone else left the set and had dinner sent up to them a couple of hours later.
  • Garbo and Gilbert moved in together before they were ever married, when she was only 22. The 1920s society never budged: They were more modern than any other decade in the 20th Century. The couple ended up never marrying.
  • He did ask her to marry him in 1928, but at the last moment she got cold feet and never showed up. He was devastated. Louis B. Mayer, who happened to attend the ceremony, cracked "Why marry the  gal? Why don't you just f*ck her and let her go?" Gilbert, furious, punched him in the face and broke his glasses. That, rumor has it, and not his high-pitched voice, ruined John Gilbert's career. 
  • They used to call each other "Fleka" (Swedish slang for "pretty girl") and "Yacky" (the way she pronounced "Jack"). When she received the news of his untimely death in 1936, she was in the theater, but she proceeded to walk home crying quietly and remain there for the following week.
  • Garbo has led a life of almost seclusion since her retirement in 1941, and her relationships never lasted or became anything nearly as profound as what she had with Gilbert. Some say she had an endless well of feelings in her chest but it was locked inside a door only John had a key to. 

So long,

Monday, 21 January 2013

More poems!

Hello my pals and gals!
So, since time has been short (as usual) and I wanted to give you guys something interesting this time, I dug up a few other old poems I wrote about Old Hollywood! While the previous ones I posted were basically dedicated to specific stars, these ones are more based on movies. I hope you'll enjoy them!

It's a Wonderful Life 

Your cheeks are pink like the dress
You wore that Saturday night
It was a dancing contest
Love at the first sight
We sung beneath the dusk
It was the summer air of June
And before I knew what hit me
I was lassoing the moon
I married you a cloudless night
We led our lived the quiet way
With four little children, lots of friends
And a smile on our faces every day
Until our world came crashing down
And I thought there wouldn't be tomorrow
Our love was suddenly not enough
The entire town was moved with sorrow
I wanted to quit and leave this life
I didn't think I deserved a chance
I didn't think of my mom, my kids
I didn't think of our very first dance
And then I climbed
And darling I'd be damned if I didn't jump
I didn't think of what you'd be without me
All I wanted was to leave this dump
And then he came 
An angel to save me from this mess
He said to thank my lucky stars for him
And all my troubles, to him, I could confess
I said I wish I wasn't born
Life was just too damned a deal
So he decided to show me truth
And I embarked this whole ordeal
I saw, the world, Mary, without me

I saw the friends I wouldn't have met

I saw the people I helped get through
And put a roof over their heads
I never thought it would be that way
And when I came back, Mary, I knew
I need to remember it every day
There's nothing better than knowing you
And when we needed them, there they were
The people we called our own
It was still our broken-down shack
But then I felt in a silver throne
I learned that all I will ever want
Is for you to be lovely wife
And as long as we still have each other
It will always be a wonderful life. 

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?

With the slam of a door, the world goes grey
All she knows is the dues she was born to pay
Her sparkle now belongs to her sweet yesterday
And the smile she had known, like the wind, blew away
She tries to break free from the windows above
But her body is so brittle she feels more like a dove
She can never tell what the other's thinking of
How to mimic affection where there never was love?
It's always more than fate intends
The snap of a spine, of a life that ends
She hopes nobody ever else pretends
That all this time, they could've been friends


It's too late to choose to die
I leave you with but a sigh
And the silence of a broken cry
In my heart I know you'll be fine
And of all the gin joints through space and time
I hope you always walk into mine

So long,

Monday, 14 January 2013

Which Classic Actor/Actress Are You?

Hello, pals and gals! 
Just wanted to share this quick and fun little test I found on the web: "Which classic actress are you?"  I'm probably the only person who still takes online personality tests and finds them fun, but just in case I'm not, I decided to link you guys. Apparently it says which classic actress your personality relates to the most in simple 21 questions. Some of the answers are hilarious!

I got "Katharine Hepburn". No surprises there. Here's the description the website offered:

Your result for The Classic Dames Test...

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 12% grit, 24% wit, 48% flair, and 24% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

That's pretty much me, although I don't know about interesting men falling at my feet and I would love to share the screen with Tracy and Grant more than anyone, but it hasn't happened yet! Haha!

I went ahead and also took the Classic Leading Man Test and I got Humphrey Bogart! I never expected to be anything like Bogie, but I guess it's always these two with me! Haha!
Here's the description:

Your result for The Classic Leading Man Test ...

Humphrey Bogart

You scored 29% Tough, 14% Roguish, 38% Friendly, and 19% Charming! 

You're the original man of honor, rough and tough but willing to stick your neck out when you need to, despite what you might say to the contrary. You're a complex character full of spit and vinegar, but with a soft heart and a tender streak that you try to hide. There's usually a complicated dame in the picture, someone who sees the real you behind all the tough talk and can dish it out as well as you can. You're not easy to get next to, but when you find the right partner, you're caring and loyal to a fault. A big fault. But you take it on the chin and move on, nursing your pain inside and maintaining your armor...until the next dame walks in. Or possibly the same dame, and of all the gin joints in all the world, it had to be yours. Co-stars include Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall, hot chicks with problems.

As much as I would love to star in a movie with Ingrid Bergman and Lauren Bacall, it still hasn't happened yet and I wouldn't say I'm very fond of "hot chicks with problems" haha!
I never expected to get Bogie on that test, but I never expected to get anyone because I never really related to a male star. I would say I do have some Bogie in me, as far as we're both free-spirited and authentic, but I certainly have a more lighthearted and positive approach to life. 

Well, I always used to say that I'm Tracy Lord and Rick Blaine's love child, and those are the characters most like the actors that played them, so I guess the results are pretty accurate... 

I'm really curious to see what you guys got! Let me know in the comments!

So long,

Saturday, 12 January 2013

Audrey Hepburn and why I wouldn't want to be an icon

This is the most well-known picture of Audrey Hepburn. 

I don't think it looks very much like her, except for the eyes. I don't know if it's because she barely ever made that face, or if that cigarette holder seemed too fancy for her or if the photo has been tampered with. Probably a combination thereof. This photo is the symbol of the dehumanization and misconstruction Audrey has gone through in the last 20 years. And she hasn't been the only one. 

Icons are unreal images created from individuals who embodied an abstract ideal, an element or a sentiment. Audrey Hepburn embodied elegance. Marilyn Monroe embodied sex. Lucille Ball embodied laughter. But, since no human being is single-faceted, these women obviously have other sides to their personalities and their lives. However, those sides are more often than not, overlooked in favor of the preservation of the iconic image. This is the problem that I'm here to discuss. 

This post will be mostly focused on Audrey, because I've already written about Marilyn and because despite Lucy's enormous fanbase and undoubted iconic status, she has not been completely stripped of the best part of her like Audrey has. 

The pictures you saw above are of what these women embody. The pictures below are of who they were.

Lucille: shy, laughing, serious and nervous. 
I absolutely adore this set. I think it shows most of Lucy's facets and certainly the ones that weren't remembered. First and foremost, she looks adult in all these pictures, as opposed to the child-like character that Lucy Ricardo became. Lucille was mature, intelligent and professional. In the first picture, Lucy is shy. No one really describes a comedian of such standing as shy, but what Lucy was was very much used to show business. She was an experienced professional who knew what she had to do and how to do it. But in any interview, her endearing shyness comes off clearly. On the second picture, she is laughing. Lucy was not a funny person by default, but she was always surrounded by funny people. She was above all, an optimist. She had faith and that gave her all the happiness she needed. On the third picture, she is serious. Lucy was a tough boss, intolerant to unprofessionalism and with hands of steel to handle her production company. She was proud, firm and smart. And on the last one, she is nervous. Lucy had twenty years of failure in Hollywood behind her back. Her talent was not recognized immediately. It led her to question it for the rest of her life and gave her a humility that most performers with her level of achievement (if there are that many) lack. Mostly, what Lucy Ball had and Lucy Ricardo erased from history can in one word be described as depth.

Norma Jeane Baker, an innocent child catapulted into adulthood and stardom
What happened to Marilyn was the opposite of what happened to Lucy. While Lucy was portrayed as childish and innocent but was actually mature and serious, Marilyn was portrayed as adult and erotic, but was actually experiencing the infantile emotions she should've felt in her robbed childhood. Most people are not familiar with Marilyn's struggle with foster homes, an unknown father and a mentally unstable family. Audiences of the time were so busy sexualizing her image that they never stopped to think about the fact that she married at 16 to escape yet another foster home, and used to dodge her husband's attempts to maintain physical contact because of her extreme shyness and sexual innocence. Marilyn fought a lifelong battle with her own mind and her own history and all Hollywood did to help her was turn her into an erotic object and underestimate her feelings. I am not the least bit surprised that she became addicted to drugs and possibly overdosed or committed suicide at age 36.

Audrey with the children to whom she dedicated her life and to whom she left most of her earthly posessions
Audrey was one of the very few people in the world whose outer beauty caused an even greater beauty inside to be all but forgotten. She stood for goodness. That is the unbearably simple truth of it: Audrey was a good person. consistently. There was no meanness about her. She almost never acted as to hurt others, always to help. Angel, saint, compassionate, all these words apply, but they complicate what is actually very simple - and mind you, achievable - she was a good person. That goodness was the key to her personality. It allowed her to rise above unspeakable tragedy in her past, it allowed her to keep fighting. It allowed her to have hope, and that allowed her to have strength, and thus a chain of wonderful characteristics unraveled. In the sung words of Fred Astaire, in one of her best movies, Funny Face: “You fill the air with smiles.” Audrey was all about goodness and positiveness. What i find irresistible about her is a certain sadness in her eyes, that her son Sean very well described in his book "An Elegant Spirit". That sadness was deeply personal. It was her personal tragedies that scarred her forever, but, her goodness of spirit allowed her to overlook that and keep that ever present smile on her face. She made others happy to make herself happy, and thus living for others, she lived on herself.

Then why is this the only legacy she seems to have left?

What I find is that lately Audrey divides opinions: Half the people out there (mostly teenage girls and misinformed fashion-lovers) say they love her with all their hearts and cry every year on January 20th, but simply because of her contribution to fashion, glamour and elegance. Audrey was, indeed, a very beautiful, very elegant, and very well-carried woman, but trust me, this is the least important thing about her. Her legacy should be the difference she made in the lives of all the children she helped, of the Audrey Hepburn's Children's Fund, of what she represented in the life of her own kids, the courage with which she faced down cancer, in how hard she fought for love and how much she cherished it when she had it.

This is actually surprisingly well-colorized!

The other half seems to resent her because she is so famous for "no reason". She was not the strongest of actresses, not nearly the strongest of singers, hence the constant criticism of her allegedly undeserved fame. But Audrey is more than worthy of the fame she has and her example could do the world a lot of good if only it was as world-renowned as her fashion sense.

Audrey was my first favorite actress and I still have three pictures of her in my bedroom to remind me to be compassionate and kind to those who weren't as fortunate as I was. This is the legacy she left me

Now, I don't want y'all to confuse embodiment with typecasting. Typecasting is an actor focusing, voluntarily or otherwise, in a certain type of character. Many actors were typecast without having their personalities erased, namely Clark Gable, Katharine Hepburn and many others. Embodiment, or the making of icons, obligatorily pertains to a dehumanization, an oblivion of one's personality in favor of preserving an image that if not unreal, is shallow at best. Lucille Ball is thought of as a goofy, sweet, child-like persona, when her reality was very far off. Katharine Hepburn is known as a very private, independent and proud actress, who happened to usually play powerful and/or intimidating women. Her typecast didn't erase her personality, it helped perpetualize it.

What a shame that so many amazing human beings who had so much to offer have been stripped of some of their quality in favor of a shallow and deceptive image. I urge you fans to join me in attempting to keep their reality alive and try to fight against these unrealistic stereotypes.

So long,

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Top 10 Advantages of Technicolor

Hello my pals and gals! Since time has been short for me lately, I decided to do a lighthearted post on why we, black-and-white film lovers, should also open up our hearts to Technicolor! Hope you enjoy it, and I'll be giving you some more "profound" posts soon! Pinky promise!

1. When you want to introduce the classics to a friend who's never seen an old movie before, starting with a color picture softens the shock. I introduced the classics to my parents through "Guess Who's Coming To Dinner", and I found that, since it was in color, they didn't think about the film's age and focused on the story. Bingo!

2. An abundance of redheads. 

3. Splashy musicals

4. Because of Lucille Ball. Just look at her!

5. For history lovers like me: To see the past happening in color in front of you adds a breathtaking touch of reality. 
1937. Before your own very eyes. Yup.

6. Gone With The Wind.

7. Because how else would we know if the movie posters are accurate?

8. The amazing vintage fashion

9. Let's face it: It points to the evolution of filmmaking technology!

10. These eyes

And one reason to hate it:
Greta Garbo was never in it!

So long,

Thursday, 3 January 2013

So Proudly We Hail (1943)

Hello, my pals and gals, and happy 2013!
First things first, I'm sure y'all noticed the radical change on my blog's layout. I decided to start fresh the new year, with a whole new theme. All the cute little flapper graphics I used are property of Kate Gabrielle, this amazing talented artist I found lately. Her stuff is beautiful and the good news is she prints them out on all kinds of things and then sells them at her Etsy shop. Do check it out!

Now onto the first post of the year, a movie review: So Proudly We Hail! 

This review does contain spoilers. My bad.

This movie stars Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard and Veronica Lake as three female nurses on the front line of battle in World War Two. They, along with about ten other women, go through the hardships of war together and manage to find love even in the midst of death. 
The movie was directed by Mark Sandrich, and it was released in 1943. I watched it recommended by a friend who is a fan of Veronica Lake's work, and talked about her great performance in this film. I looked for pictures or screenshots and my favorite one was this. Because of this photo, I obviously expected a much different movie than I got, but in the end, I was happy with the surprise. The plot can be divided in three parts, one for each main character:

Part 1: Janet

Janet was played by Claudette Colbert, and she was the chief of the girls' unity. She was in charge of not only keeping the nurses in line and making sure the work is done smoothly, but also of keeping up the general morale and not letting the atmosphere, despite everything, get too gloomy. She was very good at her job and she performed it with a professional distance, never getting too involved emotionally. That is, until she met John Summers, played by George Reeves, a wounded Lieutenant, sent to her unity. They instantly fall in love  and face all sorts of obstacles to be together. Her love for John begins a series of events that will ultimately reveal a more emotional side of Janet, and her relationship to the other girls will also be further explored. Colbert's performance is, naturally, very good. 

Part 2: Joan 

Joan is a young army nurse who is a part of Janet's unit. She's always smiling and keeping up the morale and she specializes in caring for wounded children. During the movie, she meets Kansas, an equally goofy soldier played by Sonny Tufts and they become good friends. As the war carries on and the losses increase, they associate to try to keep their spirits up and help each other through the hardships. They develop a sweet romance, almost childlike, but the underlying friendship is clearly what keeps them together. My favorite scene is when their site is bombed and they have to move, but Kansas insists on being a hero and remaining there. Joan okays his decision, but not before she can kiss him goodbye. She asks him to close his eyes, but instead of a kiss, she knocks him out with a rock to the head. She then places him on a boat and rows away from the bombed area, thus saving his life. The chemistry between the two actors was so good that they even starred in a second picture together, "I Love A Soldier", which I have yet to see. 

Part 3: Olivia

Olivia is an amazing character, played by Veronica Lake in the best performance of her career. She is a troubled military nurse, that joins the team after surviving the attack on Pearl Harbor. She presents herself as a grumpy young woman, not interested in making any friends, but the girls are quick to find out that she has a scar in her past: Her fiancée was killed while fighting the Japanese troops. She begins to warm up to the rest of the girls, and just over halfway through the movie, sacrifices herself to save the rest of the unit. The scene took me completely by surprise, I was still under the impression it would be a feel-good movie, but after Olivia's suicide, I realized it was a serious and an emotional flick. She takes off her helmet before she walks to her death, revealing her peek-a-boo hairstyle - it represented her womanhood and how she was doing this as a human being and not as a soldier. 

I absolutely recommend it to anyone who has a strong heart. It is a heavy  movie, with many scenes that take place amid war, but it sends a beautiful message and it's a marvelous document of that fascinating era. 4.5/5.

So long,