Sunday, March 22, 2009

Asides - Magic Mirror

Once upon a time a queen sat at a window sewing, and while looking out at the snow, she pricked her finger with the sewing needle, and three drops of blood fell upon the snow. And the red looked pretty upon the white snow, and she thought to herself, “Would that I had a child as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood of the window-frame.”

Soon after she had a daughter who was as white as snow, red as blood, and with hair as black as ebony. She was named Snow-White. Sadly, the Queen soon died. After a year had passed the King took another wife. She was beautiful, but proud and haughty, and could not bear that anyone else should surpass her in beauty. She had a wonderful magic looking glass, and when she stood in front of it and looked at herself in it, and said— “Looking-glass, Looking-glass, on the wall, Who in this land is the fairest of all?” The looking-glass answered— “Thou, O Queen, art the fairest of all!” Then she was satisfied, for she knew that the looking-glass spoke the truth.

But Snow-White was growing up, and the next time the queen consulted the looking glass, Snow-White was named fairest of them all. The Queen was shocked, and turned yellow and green with envy. From that hour, whenever she looked at Snow-White, her heart heaved in her breast, she hated the girl so much.

And so the story goes...

If you saw my previous post, you will have heard the queen in the marvelous Fleischer Brothers version of Snow White sing "Magic mirror in my hand, who's the fairest in the land. Here are some actresses, each with mirror in hand, who also would no doubt make the queen turn yellow and green with envy.

Double-click the images for a larger view.

Kay Francis

Joan Crawford - New Movie Magazine, January 1931
If I was the mirror, I wouldn't dare argue.

Katherine Hepburn

Jeanette MacDonald - New Movie Magazine, January 1931

Miriam Hopkins

Anita Page - Motion Picture Magazine, August 1931

A Mirror is where you find it.
Jean Harlow

Ann Sheridan

The chorus line has to make do with shared reflectors.
The queen would still not be amused.


Anonymous said...

Norma Shearer in "Empty hands" (1924) :

Operator_99 said...

Anonymous, Thanks for the link with Norma. I have several other images of actresses with full mirror's and should do a post like that. This time I wanted to keep it to hand mirrors to tie in with the Boop animation.

{Tara} said...

Great post! I have recently been reading a lot about the trope of the girl and the mirror throughout the Victorian period, in poetry and paintings particularly...lovely images!

Anonymous said...

Judy Garland: