Monday, March 27, 2023
HomeEntertainmentKim Novak: 'Miss Freezer', Vertigo, The Rise and Fall

Kim Novak: ‘Miss Freezer’, Vertigo, The Rise and Fall


- Advertisement -

Kim Novak may have made some compromises with the movie industry, but she never cowed the Hollywood bosses

Sex symbol, star, fierce heroine, unbound spirit, with an indomitable character, who reached the top almost in the first place and fell into the unknown in record time, seeing the true face of Hollywood, the big producers, but also a circuit that confirms the existence of building and destroying careers, reveling in the destruction of those who do not submit.

- Advertisement -

Kim Novak she may have made some compromises with the film industry, but she never quite got over the Hollywood bosses, their sleazy attitudes, their habitual practice of treating starlets or up-and-coming actresses as free-spirited girls, ready and grateful to do them pleasures in bed or even in their luxurious offices, even in front of others, as rewards of their bigotry. It may be that today even certain words or an unseemly movement constitute criminal and morally hellish behaviors, but in those days sexual abuse, abusive behavior was considered a natural progression for the promotion of an actress and especially if she was young or even underage…

Turning 90 (February 13, 1933), Kim Novak probably doesn’t want to remember much of her short film career, which saw her through difficult times, culminating in the brutal behavior of Columbia boss Harry Cohn, who gave her the role of her life in “Vertigo” and then did everything he could to wipe her off the face of the earth.

- Advertisement -

“Miss Freezer”

Marilyn Pauline Novak was born in Chicago and was the second daughter of a family of immigrants from the Czech Republic, who lived during the financial crash and her father was forced by a history teacher to become a carrier. Graduating from college, this summer Novak will be modeling a freezer promotion as “Miss Freezer”!

Her success as a model will lead her to Los Angeles and the film mecca, from which she will steal some unimportant movies. But these were enough for an agent to discover her and send her to Columbia, with a long-term contract. There she will have her first contact with the boss of the company, Harry Cohn, who wanted to change her last name, to a catchier one, but she… penned it.

Opposite Rita and Marilyn

Her distinctive beauty and talent would convince Columbia executives that she could be the successor to Rita Hayworth, whose star had begun to dim in the mid-’50s and rival the sex symbol and star of the 20th Century-Fox Marilyn Monroe. In her first two major roles, in a film noir with Fred McMurray and a romantic comedy with Jack Lemmon, she would receive favorable reviews and the films would do well at the box office, and the following year, in 1955, she would star in crime drama “5 Against the House,” opposite Brian Keith, pushing her stock higher. She will also play a signature role opposite Frank Sinatra in the classic drama The Man with the Golden Hand, followed breathlessly by the excellent comedy Pick Nick, making a great pairing with William Holden.

Vertigo time

Her successful run, accompanied by other interesting roles, would lead her to star in ‘Vertigo’, considered by many to be the greatest film of all time and alternating with ‘Citizen Kane’ in the top spot on critics and apparently professional lists. of the cinema, a frenzy that borders on the absurd, but certainly a masterpiece film that is a milestone for cinema.

But the film, and how it came to make Novak a star and an actress who passes into the realm of legend, was not just a happy coincidence of meeting the genius Hitchcock and the enormous Jimmy Stewart, but also the rest of the great cast. It is a film full of paradoxes, the most important of which is the rise of an actress to stardom, who if she hadn’t starred in it, today would still be a nice actress, out of the dozens that have passed through Hollywood.

From Grace and Vera to Kim

First of all, the dual leading role originally went to Hitch’s beloved Grace Kelly, but that was left in his dream, since she had married Rainier and was now Princess Grace of Monaco. The “meter”‘s second choice was Vera Miles, but she went and got pregnant without asking him! Thus, Novak came almost as an emergency solution, while Hitchcock never accepted her, declaring years later that she was a failed choice. Contrary to the American criticism – the European side deified the film – Novak was impressive and many agree with the opinion of Guillermo del Toro, as well as other directors that “the film was so good precisely because of Kim Novak, giving the film, accessibility, warmth and a tragic air”. Also, it should be mentioned, because it has something to do with Novak’s career afterwards, that the film did poorly at the US box office and Europe had to come to do justice to Hitchcock and the end result.

However, Kim Novak didn’t have much of a problem with the whimsical – self-indulgent – Hitchcock, stating that he “never made me feel inferior”, but rather felt the English director’s disdain for the actors and realized this when she asked him something about the motivations of the characters in the film, to which Hitchcock replied “don’t look too hard, it’s just a film”.

On the sidelines

Vertigo in the late 1950s was adored by critics in France, became one of the iconic works of cinema, and with it rose to stardom the incomparable performance of Kim Novak. But it was also the film that would make her captive to a myth, which she could never overcome, and with the silencing of the Hollywood bosses she will be sent to the unknown and before she even reaches her maturity she will be on the sidelines, with scattered appearances . In fact, in an attempt to revive her career, in 1991 and after she had practically retired from the 70s, her film career would be definitively completed, as her participation in the stylish thriller of the talented and particularly rising Mike Figgis “Liebestraum” , will be accompanied by another traumatic experience. Figgis will insult her and make her feel so uncomfortable that she decides to retire to her farm in Oregon, along with her new interests, photography and painting, horses and nature.

The last slap from the entertainment world will be in 2014, when in a rare public appearance at the Oscars, she will be criticized for the plastic surgery, which was really unsuccessful, that she had done on her face, while Donald Trump, with her brutality that distinguishes him, he will comment on twitter “h Kim should sue her plastic surgeon”, confirming once again that Hollywood and the entertainment industry only respects external appearance and enjoy killing horses when they get old…


- Advertisement -

Related articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Stay Connected


Latest posts