The Great Barbara Stanwyck

I'm wild about so many actresses from Hollywood's Golden Age, but Barbara Stanwyck is just pin-curled head and epauletted shoulders above the rest.

Fair Finley begins the Wilfair series dressed as Ms. Stanwyck, complete with snood and shoulder pads and seamed stockings. It's part of her parents' policy -- they want to make The Wilfair Hotel more atmospheric -- but Fair feels decidedly mixed.

I chose this costume as Fair's first outfit for a few reasons -- a main reason being my affection for this actress -- but mainly because Barbara Stanwyck epitomizes strength and take-no-guff and moxie. All things our young hotelier desires but hasn't yet seized. It's a bit of a statement, or a Statement, if you prefer. She's wearing the clothes of someone famously strong. So Fair's costume, in other words, is really very much a costume, in all meanings of the word.

The gif below was making the rounds on Valentine's Day. It's perfect.

It's not from "Double Indemnity," but I can't not speak of my devotion to that film before signing off. There are 90 different great things about it. Number 39? Ms. Stanwyck flaunts an anklet that about drives me through the Spanish-tiled roof of her 1920s noir-perfect mansion. You can see it when she walks down the stairs, plotting Bad Things.

It's probably just about the most famous anklet in movie history.

Also? Billy Wilder was the director and co-writer. I've spoken about my love for Mr. Wilder's "The Apartment" in this space. So much good film goodness.

Now, the greatest gif probably anywhere on the internet, now or in the future...


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