Shelley Winters was a great character actress who portrayed a drab factory girl in A Place in the Sun and a sex starved mother in Lolita. She wasn’t particularly beautiful but her love life was steamier than most other sex symbols of her time.
“Yvonne De Carlo told me that Mr Erroll Flynn was giving a small dinner party and asked if I wanted to go so I put on my red satin you-know-what-shoes and drove out to his place in Hollywood Hills. The butler handed me a double martini in a silver goblet and Yvonne and I were introduced to Mr Clark Gable and another couple.
We ate at a glass top table in an outdoor dining room surrounded by flowers and birds, and there were real gardenias floating in the pool. While we were having Irish coffee a doctor arrived and all three men left the dinner table. I heard each of them yell “Ouch” and one by one they returned buttoning their shirts and rubbing their right shoulders.
After the second “ouch” I excused myself and sneaked down the hall so I could peek in the room where the doctor was. I saw Mr Flynn with his shirt off and the doctor cutting a little flap of skin on the back of his shoulder, inserting a capsule, then stitching it back up. It seemed very weird and to this day no doctor has ever been able to offer an explanation for what I saw.
Before we headed into the screening room to watch a movie, Yvonne invited me to go to the ladies room with her. “Which one do you want?” she asked. I hesitated and she said “I think Erroll really likes you so I’ll sacrifice myself and take Gable” and that’s how we decided.
As the lights went out Mr Flynn put his arm around me and I swooned like a Victorian heroine. I couldn’t tell you what the film was about but half way though watching it something shiny caught my eye. Mr Flynn must have pressed a button because a 12 foot panel slid back to reveal a raised platform with a huge satin covered bed with the top sheet turned back, ready. Around the bed were books, telephones, a bar, an icebox, a radio and a phonograph. On the ceiling was a mirror which also slid back to reveal the moon and stars through a flowering magnolia tree.
seduction den found here
When the movie ended everyone got up to leave but Mr Flynn’s arm kept me pinned to the seat. Maybe I wasn’t trying too hard to escape. He said to the others “Don’t worry about Shelley, I’ll see she gets home.”
“Remember she has to be at work at 6:30 on Monday morning” said Yvonne. I wondered what the hell she was talking about, it was only Friday night. In those days when the film industry considered a scene censorable, the camera would pan to such things as the fireplace or waves on a beach or fireworks in the sky.
So… cut to:
A fire ROARING in a fireplace
Waves POUNDING on a beach
Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, WITH CANNONS
By the way I WAS late for work on Monday…….