Day 273 of Colourisation Project – February 4
Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.
Born this day, 4 February 1918, Ida Lupino, an English-American film actress, screenwriter, director and producer, left an indelible imprint and legacy for future women in film through her groundbreaking work as a pioneering female filmmaker in Hollywood’s patriarchal movie industry.
In a career spanning forty-eight-years, she resisted type casting and played all types; a vengeful Cockney prostitute in The Light That Failed (1939), a crazed wife in They Drive by Night (1940), a loyal girlfriend in High Sierra (1941), an escaped convict in The Sea Wolf (1941), a steely murderer in Ladies in Retirement (1941), a depraved warden in Women’s Prison (1955), a sob-sister columnist in While the City Sleeps (1956) and the world-weary mother of a rodeo star in Junior Bonner (1972).
Though the camera loved her, Lupino caused waves in the early 1950s with her directorial trailblazing in a film industry not accustomed to having women behind the camera. She co-wrote and co-produced many of her own films and directed several successful low-budget movies that tackled controversial, provocative and sensitive social issues such as illegitimacy in Not Wanted (1949), rape in Outrage (1950) bigamy in The Bigamist (1953) and the true story of a psychopathic murderer in The Hitch-Hiker (1953), which made her the first woman to direct a film noir.
Film historian Richard Koszarski noted in his 1976 book, Hollywood Directors:
Her films display the obsessions and consistencies of a true auteur…. In her films The Bigamist and The Hitch-Hiker Lupino was able to reduce the male to the same sort of dangerous, irrational force that women represented in most male-directed examples of Hollywood film noir.
She also appeared in numerous television programmes and directed more than 100 TV episodes, of many long-running shows, including The Untouchables, Have Gun, Will Travel, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, The Fugitive, The Twilight Zone, Thriller, Bewitched and Daniel Boone.
A multi-talented woman, Lupino also wrote short stories and children’s books as well as composed music including the Aladdin Suite which was performed by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra in 1937.
Lupino died from a stroke while undergoing treatment for colon cancer in Los Angeles on 3 August 1995, at the age of 77.
Lupino has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her contributions to film and TV at 1724 Vine Street and 6821 Hollywood Boulevard.
Today’s little treat is a video clip of a sultry Lupino showing off her musical talents performing ‘One For My Baby’ from the 1948 film Road House. As the lady at the end of the clip says “she does more without a voice than anybody I’ve ever heard.”
“The beautiful thing about Warner Brothers when I was there was, I only worked with great people, actors, directors, producers. But when I left, nobody said goodbye.” Ida Lupino