Her Crowning Glory (September 12, 1911)

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Her Crowning Glory
 

Released on September 12, 1911: Widower Mortimer proposes to his daughter's new governess because of her long chestnut hair.

Produced by Vitagraph Co. of America

Directed by Laurence Trimble

The Actors: John Bunny (Mortimer Bunny), Flora Finch (the governess), Helene Costello (Helen the child), Kate Price (Amelia, Mortimer's sister), Mae Costello (Helen's nurse), Edith Halleran (the maid)

 

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It's All About the Hair

When I was a very young fellow with raging hormones the sexiest woman in America (in my humble opinion), was Farrah Fawcett. I can still remember watching an episode of Charlie's Angels where the three girls swam through a swamp at night and emerging from the murky waters on the other side were all three Angels . . . with perfectly quaffed hair and not a drop of water had touched it to muss the fluffy, curly locks. Ahhhh . . . the magic of television! Ahhh . . . . the stupidity of men! Ladies, I cannot explain it, and there is a good chance that I am very much unlike every other man in the world, but today, many decades after my infatuation with Farrah Fawcett and her long curly hair, I will still look at a group of women and declare that the one with the long flowing locks of hair is the most beautiful, and the one with the short hair, or with her hair tucked tightly into a pony tail or otherwise constricted is the least beautiful. My all-time picture of beauty in a woman is shoulder length hair or longer, possibly curled in a 'flip' with long bangs reaching to the eyebrows. Gives me shivers just to think about it. Well, there is at least one other man in the world that values long hair on a girl as a thing of beauty, and that would be one of the first funny men of motion pictures, John Bunny. In 1911 as motion pictures were just beginning he was already an old fat man, but he could act in front of a camera like few could in those very early years . . . what actors learned later as 'method' acting, he did without thinking. Anyway, in this comedy short he is a wealthy widower with a young daughter, and his sister convinces him that he should have a governess for little Helen that might discipline her, so his sister hires Flora Finch to be that governess. Now, the girl has a 'nurse' played by her real life mother Mae Costello, and there is a household maid, but now he needs a governess for the little girl in additions. Well, when Flora Finch arrives and takes off her hat, revealing long chestnut curly hair, John Bunny immediately is in love. He soon asks her to marry him, but before the wedding day Helen's nurse convinces little Helen to cut Flora's hair off, and when John sees the short haired Flora the wedding is off and she is fired . . . her only value to him was her hair . . . now, I'd say that this was very shallow thinking on his part and you would probably agree . . . the thing is . . . I think a lot of men even today would see this as a perfectly normal reaction . . . I'm not sure that most of us guys have evolved far enough to appreciate the inner beauty without first being attracted to the outer beauty . . . and long ample hair is one of the things that puts a sparkle in our eye . . . I know . . . it is not terribly intelligent on our part . . . and kinda sad in some ways to realize how dumb guys can be . . . but it is what it is. Pop a big bowl of white kernel popcorn with lots of warm melted butter on it and enjoy a hairy short story from over a hundred years ago.

Edith Halleran and Flora Finch
Edith Halleran and Flora Finch
John Bunny watches as Flora Finch removes her hat
John Bunny watches as Flora Finch removes her hat
Flora Finch and Mae Costello
Flora Finch and Mae Costello
Flora Finch cuddles to John Bunny
Flora Finch cuddles to John Bunny
Flora Finch lets down her long chestnut hair
Flora Finch lets down her long chestnut blonde hair
Helen Costello studies with Flora Finch
Helen Costello studies with Flora Finch
Helene Costello, John Bunny and Flora Finch
Helene Costello, John Bunny and Flora Finch
Helene Costello, John Bunny and Mae Costello
Helene Costello, John Bunny and Mae Costello
Helene Costello and Mae Costello
Helene Costello and Mae Costello
Helene Costello
Helene Costello
Helene Costello cuts Flora Finch's hair
Helene Costello cuts Flora Finch's hair while she sleeps
Helene Costello
Helene Costello
John Bunny, Helene Costello and Kate Price
John Bunny, Helene Costello and Kate Price
John Bunny comforts Flora Finch
John Bunny comforts Flora Finch
John Bunny proposes to Flora Finch
John Bunny proposes to Flora Finch
Mae Costello, John Bunny and Helene Costello
Mae Costello, John Bunny and Helene Costello