I first read Lana Turner’s 1982 memoir—one of the very best celebrity memoirs, alongside Swanson on Swanson—when I was 13. But while she’s most unsparing about her personal fiascoes (like when her daughter stabbed her gangster lover to death), she misleading spent a lot of time discussing the “spectacular fall” she performed at the end of Ziegfeld Girl, her first A picture.
A little backstory: As a child, I was obsessed with staircases. If I had a previous life, I was probably a showgirl. I loved dramatically descending stairs, always centered and without clutching a banister. It was… odd. Anyway, Lana devoted about six paragraphs to the scene in which she, as drunk showgirl Sheila, fell down a staircase while fantasizing she was again a star. Obviously, I couldn’t wait to see this, combining as it did two of my favorite things: stairs and fainting.
Imagine my surprise when I finally saw the movie, and this is all it was:
THAT IS IN NO WAY SPECTACULAR.