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PRINT February 1991

SMART WOMEN, YOUNGER CHOICES

SPEAK, SPEAK. THEY ALWAYS wanted me to speak. Buzzing that microphone around my head on DeMille’s set like a mosquito trying to suck my blood. Fine. Now I’ll speak.

They think it was out of vanity that I refused to make talkies. But why should I mouth someone else’s words? I wasn’t such a fool as to fall into their trap. Women weren’t allowed to speak; why pretend otherwise?

Things are a little different in the older-women movies they’re making now—and somewhat the same. One thing is they’re pretty timid with these age differences. I mean I was 50 in Sunset Boulevard; Bill Holden—sorry, I mean Joe Gillis—was meant to be not even 30 yet. So now big deal—the women are what, fifteen, sixteen years older than the men? As Barbara Hershey’s Julia says in Tune In Tomorrow. . ., “Call the vice squad!,” which they virtually do, because even at the end, having resolved their personal difficulties,

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