Tuesday, January 24, 2006

fashionably historic

I like history. My wife likes fashion. Sometimes that results in a skirmish over the remote control that sends both cats scurrying for cover resembling the expulsion of the French Acadians from Nova Scotia after the British captured Fort Beauséjour.

Now and again, movies and television programs come along that appeal to us both. Most recently, I discovered a true gem entitled Fashion Horizons- a 20-minute film that documents a trip of four trendy Hollywood starlets as they tour 1940s Albuquerque, New Mexico and Phoenix, Arizona.

The movie includes some interesting footage shot at the original Albuquerque airport and the luxurious Alvarado Hotel where the jet-setting hipsters freshen up before bopping over to Isleta Casino only to be disappointed to discover that Indian gaming had yet to gain a foothold in the Rio Grande Valley. Viewers should be cautioned to not allow the political incorrectness of the early 1940s present in the film to take away from the tender moment shared between Margaret Hayes and child author Louise Albieta (I am a Pueblo Indian Girl).

Other (long-deceased) Paramont Pictures beauties in the film include Virginia Dale, Esther Fernandez, Mary Martin and Martha O’Driscoll. Also noteworthy is a flyover of Acoma Pueblo in a TWA Stratoliner as the gals make their way to the Valley of the Sun. I was impressed how the director managed to cram the feel of an entire lazy Phoenix afternoon into the second half of the short. Admittedly missing the significance of the fashion show at the Camelback Inn, all I learned from that portion of the movie is that “Smoking is cool.”

The trip concludes with a flyover of the Grand Canyon when it becomes obvious that narrator Wendell Niles has assumed full control over the plane’s liquor cart.

Not convinced? DOWNLOAD Fashion Horizons and see for yourself.

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