Thursday, June 26, 2008

Veronica Lake References

Some Veronica Lake trivia: The actress with the iconic “peek-a-boo” wave of blonde hair cascading over her right eye made such a hit with the public in the early 1940s that she instantly became a part of popular culture.

She is referenced in “The Major and the Minor” (1942) when a flock of teenaged girls in party dresses all copy her hairstyle.

“Best Foot Forward” (1943) features the song called “The Three B’s” in which Nancy Walker, exclaiming the joys of “boogie-woogie” music, belts out the line, “It’s got a kick like mountain licker/and it’s as slick and hard to take as Veronica Lake,” as she covers her eye with her palm to imitate Miss Lake’s hidden eye.

In “Shadow of a Doubt,” also in that same year of 1943, little Edna May Wonacott, saying her bedtime prayers, includes Captain Midnight, Veronica Lake, and the President of the United States among those on whom she beseeches God to cast His blessings.

Miss Lake parodies herself in “Star Spangled Rhythm” (1942) in the song “A Sweater, A Sarong, and a Peek-a-Boo Bang.”

Decades later, after the height of Veronica Lake’s career had passed, she evidently had not slipped from her iconic place in popular culture. The denizens of Bullwinkle’s hometown, Frostbite Falls, Minnesota named a body of water “Veronica Lake”. This, you will remember, became the site of the adventure of the Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam.

Any others?


Bob Turnbull said...

The most recent one is likely Kim Basinger's role in "L.A. Confidential". As one of a number of prostitutes who dress like movie stars, she had the whole peek-a-boo hair thing going in her Lake style.

And if I'm not mistaken, I think Jessica Rabbit in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was also partially inspired by Veronica (again with the hair thing).

I also want to say that there were some nods to her in Looney Tunes, but I can't think of any offhand. Likely one of those shorts where Bugs either played a female rabbit or was enticed by one...

Jacqueline T Lynch said...

Hi, Bob. Thanks for your input. Yes, I remember "LA Confidential's" nod to Lake. I'm not sure about the Looney Tunes. I know there was one "Super Snooper" (1952) with Daffy Duck as a private investigator, but I believe the female duck suspect was supposed to refer to Gene Tierney.

Yeah, I think Jessica Rabbit had the hair thing going for her.

I'm just amazed at the references to her in popular culture at the time she was making films. The stars who had been around for a while, like Gable, I could understand. But she came out of nowhere and, had McDonald's been around, she would have become a Happy Meal overnight.

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