Cinema: The Girl in White Gloves

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Almost every morning, a slim figure in a polo coat, leading a small black poodle on a leash, emerges from one of Manhattan's cliff houses on East 66th Street. The doorman gives her a cheery "Good Morning, Miss Kelly." But outside, no head turns. For in her low-heeled shoes and horn-rimmed spectacles, Actress Grace Kelly is all but indistinguishable from any other well-scrubbed young woman of the station-wagon set, armored in good manners, a cool expression, and the secure knowledge that whatever happens, Daddy can pay.

A few blocks away, Grace Kelly's name is emblazoned on two first-run Broadway houses, and the same face, without spectacles, makes husbands sigh and wives think enviously that they might look that way too, if only they could afford a really good hairdo. In Hollywood, producers fight over her, directors beg for her, writers compose special scripts for her. In an industry where the girls can be roughly divided into young beauties and aging actresses, Grace Kelly is something special: a young (25) beauty who can act.

A year ago, Grace Patricia Kelly was only a promising newcomer (generally thought to be English), who lost Clark Gable to Ava Gardner in Mogambo. Currently she is the acknowledged "hottest property" in Hollywood. In Manhattan this year, the New York Film Critics pronounced her acting in The Country Girl "the outstanding performance of 1954."

Can't Touch Her. Grace Kelly, with the lovely blonde hair, chiseled features, blue eyes and an accent that is obviously refined, is a startling change from the run of smoky film sirens and bumptious cuties. Said one Hollywood observer: "Most of these dames just suggest Kinsey statistics. But if a guy in a movie theater starts mooning about Grace, there could be nothing squalid about it; his wife would have to be made to understand that it was something fine—and bigger than all of them. Her peculiar talent, you might say, is that she inspires licit passion." From the day in 1951 when she walked into Director Fred Zinnemann's office wearing prim white gloves ("Nobody came to see me before wearing white gloves"), the well-bred Miss Grace Kelly of Philadelphia has baffled Hollywood. She is a rich girl who has struck it rich. She was not discovered behind a soda fountain or at a drive-in. She is a star who was never a starlet, who never worked up from B pictures, never posed for cheesecake, was never elected, with a pressagent's help, Miss Antiaircraft Battery C. She did not gush or twitter or desperately pull wires for a chance to get in the movies. Twice she turned down good Hollywood contracts. When she finally signed on the line, she forced mighty M-G-M itself to grant her special terms.

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