Tuesday, October 24, 2006
I read a bit of trivia recently about Lady in the Lake that cleared up a mystery for me--why Bob addressed the camera at the start and the finish of the film and faded with a kiss, especially since he was such an admirer of John Ford, who disliked kiss and fades. L. B. Mayer made him add the prologue and epilogue because preview audiences were confused and also mad that they saw so little of Bob on screen. They also wanted to see him kiss Audrey Totter, thus he gave in and added the conventional ending. He and Audrey thought the kiss was so corny that when they shot the scene, they couldn’t stop giggling, chalking up numerous retakes.
At another point during production Bob and L. B. Mayer were in the projection room watching rushes of Lady in the Lake when a close-up of Audrey came on. Suddenly Mayer sat up and jabbed Bob in the ribs and said “Why does her hair look like that?” Bob explained that in the previous scene, which hadn’t been shot yet, she’s awakened in the middle of the night, to which Mayer replied, "I don’t care if she’s coming out of the toilet, her hair can’t look like that. A Metro star must look her best, even asleep.''