Tallulah Bankhead Lifeboat
Tallulah Bankhead was a pretty decent sized star in her day. She was the most interesting character in Alfred Hitchcock’s film Lifeboat. It was a very brave film to make. The entire film took place on a lifeboat. Somehow he made it work and work well. Only Hitchcock could have achieved something like that. Tallulah’s character was the most memorable one in the film. She was a complex character. On the surface she was posh and conceited, but she was fair minded, practical and even caring. She was probably the strongest character in the movie in terms of perseverance.
She started the movie with her hair up. She did not look much like that. She looked like a rich middle aged sort of woman. Later, however, when her hair came down, she looked absolutely gorgeous. She was sassy and sexy as well in an understated sort of way. She also got quite down and dirty in the film. It was not glamorous in any sort of way. The shoot was gruelling and claustrophobic. It was not an easy shoot by any means, but she did amazingly well. She was definitely someone who not afraid to get her hands dirty, so to speak.
Tallulah was a down to earth person, but could be a bit vain as well. Hitchcock and some of the other men on the production found her quite attractive as well. They decided that they would play a prank upon her. During the shooting, many times, the actors’ clothing and hair had to be covered in water in order to make them look wet for various scenes. This was done using watering cans. This was something that the actors got used to. Half of their shooting days began this way. On this occasion, however, things would be very different. This time, instead of there being water in Tallulah’s watering can, it was going to be something very different, a mess surprise. She really would not be expecting this to happen. It was not the sort of thing that would normally happen on a Hollywood set on those days, so was going to be completely surprised by what was going to occur.
She sat down and got herself ready to have the water poured over her from the watering can, as she had done many times in the past during the shooting of the film. She closed her eyes and braced herself, as the water in the cans was usually freezing cold.
When she felt what was coming down on her, she felt that there was something different about the substance that was coming down upon her than usual. It felt really strange. It was much thicker than just water. When she opened her eyes she realised that what was covering her was a green, jelly like substance. She would learn later that what had been done was done simply by dropping a powder into the water. This formed this messy substance. When she opened her eyes she saw what it really was.
By this time, she was already half covered in the sloppy goo. It covered the top of her head and was all over her army green blazer and skirt. She screamed,” What the hell are you doing? What is this crap all over me?” They just laughed at her and continued to pour the slimy mess all over her head. It covered her hair and shoulders and tumbled down her face. It was very uneven as well. It was thin and watery in some sections and lumpy in other sections.
When that watering can was empty, a second one was passed. This one had a dessert pudding powder inside of it. It was a pink colour. It was a similar uneven consistency as the last substance was. They shook it on her, allowing it to awkwardly dump over her head and body. She just frowned and crossed her arms as it dumped onto her head. Large lumps stuck to the top of her head and chest. She sighed. She did not look that amused by the situation at all.
When they stopped pouring it upon her, she stood up and shook her head. “Are you quite finished? Look at me, I am a mess. I will need to clean off now, won’t I?” The men looked at each other. One had a pie concealed behind his back. He took it in his hand and smashed it into her face. The other two took her by the arms. “This will clean you off,” they said. They then pushed her off the boat into the water behind. It was not a real ocean of course, it was just a pool made to look like one. She fell into the water with a splash. The men laughed and dusted their hands off.
The water did a decent job, washing most of the mess off of her. When she came up to the surface she laughed. “I bet you guys have wanted to do that to me for ages. I can’t say I blame you. If I was you, I would probably want to throw me overboard as well. Being stuck on a boat with me for days might have that effect upon people.”