Slipping Away; Holden On

In “Julie and Julia”, Julie’s mother warns her: “You have a full-time job, you have a husband, and now you’re gonna get sick from blogging”.  I won’t blame having a cold on blogging, but today I don’t have much of an attention span.  But—I will prevail…sort of.  This morning I woke up feeling bloody awful.  How infuriating, I went through the entire winter without so much as a sniffle, and suddenly spring breaks, and I am knocked flat with a bug.  I remedied my unhealthiness with a piping hot bath, more sleep, several oranges, and a black & white movie.  All tucked up under a blanket, watching “Sabrina”, my mind, as always, wanders to a variety of places.


As I half-watched the movie, I remembered a morbid catch-phrase my mother and I had developed.  For years I lived in bachelor apartments alone, which was a concern to my mother, as if I could apparently slip and fall, and not be found for days.  She’d call and ask whether I had “pulled a William Holden”.  Holden was one of Audrey Hepburn’s love interests in “Sabrina” (and her lover in real life, until his admittance of having had a vasectomy put Hepburn off).  They reunited ten years later, in 1964 for “Paris When it Sizzles”.


Hepburn was a style icon, a big star and married to Mel Ferrer.  Holden was in decline…at least physically.  From all accounts, his drinking got out of hand because of her presence.  He made some embarrassing attempts to rekindle their romance.  Which included, but was not limited to–trying to drunkenly climb into her balcony hotel one night.  In 1981, Holden, a long time alcoholic, slipped on a rug and fell at home, cracking his head on a bedside table.  He apparently just laid there, not doing anything to help himself, and then just bled to death, and was found four days later.  That my friends is known as: ‘pulling a William Holden’.

holden hepburn

After “Sabrina” and subsequent research about Hepburn, Holden and Humphrey Bogart (who was rumoured to have disliked Audrey, and was a genuine prick to all those around him) I was feeling unable to do much else but continue resting on the couch.


I searched Netflix for another film; I came across “Valley of the Dolls”, a film I had never seen, but had heard a lot about.  And I soon learned why it was voted one of the “Fifty Worst Films” of all times.  It stars Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, and Sharon Tate, about a bunch of gals trying to make it in Hollywood, who inevitably succumb to the lure of booze and barbiturates or “dolls”, as they are referred to in the film.


The movie is so bad, but not a “good-bad” kind of movie, it’s just bad…which suits me fine because I’m not really paying attention.  The film has inspired the mother of all internet research webs: from “Valley of the Dolls” to Sharon Tate to Charles Manson, to the Manson murders to “Helter Skelter” to Roman Polanski, then back to “Valley of the Dolls”, and Jacqueline Susann, (the book’s author), which lead to Judy Garland (meant to star in “V of the D”, but was then fired, because of her own ‘doll troubles’).

a Mark Robson Valley of the Dolls Patty Duke VALLEY_DOLLS_D1-1(1)

Garland died in 1969, (the same year as Sharon Tate’s murder), and was found on the bathroom floor by her fifth husband, twelve days after her 47th birthday.  It’s all so tragic, how people destroy their lives, they don’t mean to, sometimes they just…slip, and can never get up again.  The film has ended, I’m not feeling any better, and this blog has taken a terribly grim turn.  But I can certifiably say I’m doing better than the gals in that god-awful movie …but it makes me want to lay off the cold meds nonetheless.

Judy Garland dramatic photoImages Courtesy of Google


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