Below is an excerpt, written by Brett L. Abrams, where he talks about his new book, HOLLYWOOD BOHEMIANS: TRANSGRESSIVE SEXUALITY and the SELLING of the MOVIELAND DREAM
They appeared in silhouette, as Pacific Ocean waves crested behind them. [Randolph] Scott touched his lit cigarette against the cigarette dangling from [Cary] Grant’s mouth.
The presentation of two men smoking together appeared frequently in fiction during the era.
However, these scenes occurred in bars, saloons, and other “masculine” spaces rather than in a space that the culture viewed as romantic.
The interaction between the two men did not present them as a pair, isolated from everyone around them.
One man rarely lit the other man’s cigarette, and certainly did not lean forward to light a cigarette as it dangled from the other man’s mouth.
The image of a male and female couple lighting cigarettes within a beautiful night scene at home appeared most frequently in cigarette advertising since the mid–1920s. These images linked smoking cigarettes to romance.
Scott and Grant appeared within that similar type of romantic setting.
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