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I’d Like To See Them Marry—

Clark Gable speaking. “Baby, will you marry me?”

Paulette Goddard replying. “Why, of course, Sugar.”

Fantastic? Not especially. Anything can happen in the Hollywood Love Department. And it usually does, for better or worse.

With this in mind, I’ve dreamed up a few marital combinations of my own—some for the sake of the fireworks that would result and, for good measure, a few that I believe would result in idylls.

To go back to Clark Gable and Paulette Goddard; I can just see them in a cottage for two, a very big cottage for two. They’ll need plenty of elbow room. For marriage is more than making love or laughing at the same jokes. You just have to share a few more likes in common.

Clark likes to hunt big game. So does Paulette, but hers is a different kind of game, the game that glitters in a jeweler’s window. Paulette is a girl who insists on visible proof of appreciation, if it isn’t a diamond bracelet, she’ll settle for annuities or Old Masters. Clark’s generosity usually stops short at a bunch of hand-picked roses, or two dozen pairs of nylons.

Paulette sleeps all morning, except when she’s working. I believe she would shoot Clark with one of his prize guns if he ever awakened her at four a.m. for a spot of duck hunting.

Janet Leigh might be Mrs. Arthur Loew Jr., by the time you read this. If she isn’t, I have another perfect man for her—Roddy McDowall. They are both gentle people, both utterly nice. A marriage between them couldn’t fail to be successful.

At the time of writing, Ginger Rogers is swooning for Greg Bautzer. And vice versa, maybe. It’s hard to tell with Greg–he’s a top lawyer and can keep a secret with his eyes as well as his tongue. But Ginger, bless her optimistic heart, is blooming like a well-watered rose in the sunshine of Mr. Bautzer’s companionship. Ginger is a determined woman. And if she wants to marry Greg, she will. But if she’s as sensible as I think she is, she won’t. Because this is what could happen.

“Of course,” says Ginger lovingly but firmly, “we’ll live in my house.” “No,” says Greg lovingly but firmly, “We’ll live in my house. “But,” protests Ginger, with a cute pout, “my husbands always live in my house. It’s so beautiful and my lovely soda fountain . . .” “Yeah,” says Greg, “the soda fountain, it’s lovely, if you like ice cream. I don’t.” Greg wouldn’t say what I’m going to say now, because he’s a gentleman and he never discusses one woman with another. But the chief reason he and Joan Crawford did not marry was because she, too, wanted him to live in her house.

So we had better leave the house an open question. And continue to Act Two. “We must give a big party,” Ginger tells Greg. “Well, not too big,” says Greg, who prefers small groups “Not too big,” agrees Ginger. She invites fifty people. Ginger, like Greg, is a perfectionist. Her small party is going to be the best small party of the year. With her mother’s help, every place card and every nut is in its proper place by 6:30 p.m. She calls Greg at his office.

“Mr. Bautzer is in conference,” she is told by his charming secretary. “This is important,” snaps Ginger. After a brief delay, Greg says, “Hi.” Ginger says, “We’re ready for you at home darling, will you leave right away?” “Not right away,” says Greg. “When I finish the meeting.” At eight o’clock, the guests have all arrived. At 8:30, Greg dashes in, showers and changes his clothes in five minutes flat. But not as flat as Ginger’s collapsed smile when the guests have gone and she wants to know why in blazes Greg prefers his work to her happiness. Curtain—literally.

When Joan Crawford loves, she loves very deeply. And I believe that if she married a wealthy man who was not in the picture business and he wanted her to give up her career, she wouldn’t hesitate. But heaven help the actor who expects his career to be project number one when he marries Joan. If Stewart Granger married her, for instance. What happens when two immovable ambitious movie stars get together under the same roof? Paging the atom bomb!

Stewart would never get further than, “In my last picture I . . .” because Joan’s first person singular would be on third base already. But maybe they could make a home-run, because Joan wouldn’t listen when Stewart was talking about himself and he would automatically turn off his hearing when Joanie was spouting about herself. If they could just learn to synchronize, it’s not impossible that they could live monologically happily ever afterwards.

Montgomery Clift lives like a man who makes fifty dollars a week. His most recent home was a one-room-walk- up apartment, for which he paid $40 a month. If Joan Fontaine married Monty she would have to live with him in the East. That’s the way he is. I can just see Joan giving one of her haut monde parties in Monty’s walk-up with the plaster from the ceiling falling into the champagne glasses of her high society friends. I doubt if even the gayest among them would appreciate such a literal method of getting plastered!

Monty saves every cent he can, because he wants to be sure, he once told me, that if anything happened to his $100,000-a-picture career, he wouldn’t have to cut down on his way of living. I don’t know how much, if anything, Joan saves of her similar high bracket salary But, she certainly spends with a free non-Cliftian hand. Furs, jewels, gowns, lots of servants, Joan loves these material possessions.

Little Ann Blyth is a home girl plus. She’s a good cook and very good to the uncle and aunt with whom she lives. Peter Lawford is also great to the people he lives with. But that is the only thing he and Annie have in common. It certainly would be a strange mating if Pete married Miss Blyth. First of all, he’d teach her to be more sophisticated. Peter once told me he only likes girls who know their way around in public. He used the word “barrel house,” in explaining his admiration for Hedy Lamarr. I still don’t know what he means. But one thing is sure, the softly appealing Ann is not “barrel house.”

Farley Granger, tagged Hollywood’s number one eligible bachelor, is twenty- four. Joan Evans is only fifteen but she’s big and strong in body and mind. She’s completely normal and completely hep. No complexes here to worry Farley who is on the sensitive side without being a neurotic. Farley is young enough in his way of living to prefer ice cream to iced champagne. Joan is old enough in her attitude to discuss books and problems of the day with Farley, who doesn’t concern himself too much with either. As for their love-making routine, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If you saw those close-ups in “Roseanna McCoy,” you’ll know what I mean.

Kirk Douglas and Deanna Durbin? Sounds like a strange combination. But, think it over and, you’ll see why I think they are as matchable as ham and eggs. Both have pleasant exteriors. Both are relentlessly ambitious. You never really know what Kirk’s thinking. Ditto for Deanna. Once upon a time, Deanna liked night clubs. So did Kirk. Now, they’d rather stay home. So why not together?

Can you see Elizabeth Taylor and Lew Ayres as Mr. and Mrs.? I can’t either. But this is Hollywood where make-believe is the most real commodity. Lew is solemn and serious beyond his forty years. Elizabeth is carefree, gay and younger than the sweet seventeen she is. Mix ’em together and you’d have Lew breathlessly buying simply oodles of new clothes. And ecstatically swooning and swaying on the dance floor. And Lizzie, a frown or her brow, wading through volumes on philosophy in Lew’s library. If Elizabeth were looking for kindness, instead of excitement, Lew would not be so incongruously dull.

Ava Gardner and Howard Duff have been on the verge of matrimony so often, I’m going to give them the shove that leads them to the altar. The question is, will they quarrel as much when married, as they do when dating? I don’t think they will. Because, the cause of the quarrels would be gone, I hope. Ava has never allowed Howard to be too sure of her. And Howard squawks. As Mrs. Duff, she’d be sitting pretty, as long as she didn’t boss Howard too much. The Sam Spade of the air seems mild and easy to push around in real life. But I don’t think he would stand for tough tactics from a wife.

And that goes double for Errol Flynn. On second thought, I’d like to see Ava married to Mr. Flynn. They deserve each other from a “looks” point of view—both tall, both handsome, and both born knowing the score about love. They’d enjoy their mutual complete honesty about everything—love, work and play. Also, Ava, by courtesy of Artie Shaw, is now well educated and well read. Errol could major any time in history and literature. All that remains is for him to get an M.A.—for Marriage.

I would like to have seen Audrey Totter marry Brian Donlevy. They would have blended like beer and pretzels. The fly in the ointment, to mix metaphors, was that Audrey wanted to see other males while Brian was making up his mind to marry her. He didn’t like it. And Audrey didn’t like him for not liking it. Too bad.

How’s this for a perfect mating, Greta Garbo who wants to be alone and Paul Douglas who wants to be a lone wolf!



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