Victorious Secret

This is turning into “advances for women” week on Trail Baboon.  On Wednesday, we opened the door for female Neanderthals to take their rightful place in 1960’s love songs, and now we discover modern human women will have the opportunity to take (and give)  live fire on the battlefield.

I’ve never been in the military, so I can’t pretend to know anything about the possible effects of allowing women to have combat roles.  As a rule, I run from conflict. My only fistfight happened in fourth grade, and it was against a girl.

Naturally, she beat me up.

In my (too late to help now!) defense, I have to say that we were 9 years old, and you know how kids develop. She had me beat on height, weight and reach.  And I also suspect she had me on the killer instinct, which I still lack today.

That’s why I look forward to living in a society where women are permitted to freely express their kick-ass side. Maybe after a few decades of well-documented front line bravery by America’s women in uniform, my unfortunate childhood pummeling will seem less like a wimpy case of gender betrayal, and more like a typical rite of passage.

We’re in for years of discussion about who benefits and who loses in this new arrangement.  It’s hard to measure the value of dignity, service and respect against the steep costs sure to be exacted by the battlefield.  Who knows how this will play out?  But I’m pretty sure the only guaranteed winners in all this are Hollywood’s female stars, by virtue of the sudden increase in potential movie roles.

And you KNOW there will be movies.

Here’s the cast list from one of the all-time classics, when it comes to war movies: The Sands of Iwo Jima.

John Wayne … Sgt. John M. Stryker
John Agar … Pfc. Peter Conway
Adele Mara … Allison Bromley
Forrest Tucker … Pfc. Al Thomas
Wally Cassell … Pfc. Benny Regazzi
James Brown … Pfc. Charlie Bass
Richard Webb … Pfc. ‘Handsome’ Dan Shipley
Arthur Franz … Cpl. Robert Dunne / Narrator
Julie Bishop … Mary
James Holden … Pfc. Soames
Peter Coe … Pfc. George Hellenpolis
Richard Jaeckel … Pfc. Frank Flynn
William Murphy … Pfc. Eddie Flynn (as Bill Murphy)
George Tyne … fc. Harris
Hal Baylor … Pvt. ‘Sky’ Choynski (as Hal Fieberling)

Notice there are 13 men and 2 women.  But with females now in the real trenches, movie soldier possibilities for young, middle aged and even “mature” female actors just improved.   Do you doubt that Meryl Streep would have been amazing in the Jack Nicholson role in “A Few Good Men”?  If so, then “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

Speaking of brutal truths, when the glamorous leading lady roles begin to disappear after age 35,  smearing some mud and fake blood on your face and crawling underneath some barbed wire will compensate for a lot of wrinkled skin.  So it’s a career-extender! An explosive future for America’s female actors begins today!

Nominate a Hollywood star to become the female John Wayne, or give us your  title and/or plot synopsis for the first classic women-friendly Army film.    

90 thoughts on “Victorious Secret”

  1. There was G.I. Jane with Demi Moore. That was a pretty good movie about women in combat. Other than that…none come straight to mind. I’ll have to think on it later. I’m home sick again, and now with a toothache. Ugh. When it rains, it pours.

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      1. “She was Xena: a mighty princess, forged in the heat of battle. Her courage will change the world!”

        I wasn’t a fan. Nope, not at all.

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    1. next week it will be a hangnail watch alanna its a matter of degree. if youre well enough to type you can do your job even if it hurts . its gonna hurt anyway may as well get some work done.

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        1. yes i know. my kids feel the same way. stay home is not a easy pill around here. its ok to feel like crap but life doesnt stop. just how i roll

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      1. Yep, cows still gotta be milked. Although there was only once or twice I had to stop and throw up while I was milking. Generally it’s ‘mind over matter’ and you buckle down and do what’s gotta be done.

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      2. I mostly stay home to not get everyone else sick. I hate when people come into the office and spread their germs around. That’s how I got sick in the first place! It drives me nuts. We get plenty of sick leave, so there is no reason why you shouldn’t take the time to get well.

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        1. Oh Alanna, You are right too. Different circumstances. You gotta take care of yourself. But if / when you’re the only one, then you do what you have to.
          I hope you feel better soon Alanna!

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        2. I also stay home when I’m under the weather. In addition to not wanting to spread my germs around, I learned a lesson years ago that you don’t do good work when you’re sick. I was in my first year at my current company and feeling overwhelmed by work so dragged myself in on a Friday with a really bad cold, sinus infection, migraine, etc. As the next couple of weeks played out, it turned out that almost every thing I had done that day had errors/problems. Luckily none were job-threatening, but sobering enough that I always stay home now if I’m sick!

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        3. Nurses agree with you too, Alanna! It’s good to stay home and suffer alone when you’re sick so that viruses aren’t spread. You’ll have a lot to catch up on when you get back, but your coworkers should be grateful you chose to stay home. Get plenty of rest and drink lots of fluids.

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    Clyde is right, Victorious Secret is an inspired title, Dale. Your killer instinct exists in the verbal word-smithing world!

    This is a very fun concept to play with–who will play me in my biographic movie or when my sister’s memoir is made into a film is a favorite fantasy. (Tom Hanks always plays my dad!)

    Daryl Hannah could replicate John Wayne’s size.

    Meryl Streep could do anything–she has already proved that.

    Glen Close has demonstrated in “Damages” that she can be frightenly intimidating and could convince me of her intention to kill me.

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  3. Because I’m older than dirt, I remember actresses who flourished before many of our baboons were born. A wonderful actress who worked at a time Hollywood discounted her because of her gender and her ethnicity was Katy Jurado. You can tell from her roles (bad as they were) that she was one strong damn woman. You guys might possibly remember her from High Noon.

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        1. I watched Katy (odd first name for her, ins’t it?) for awhile yesterday afternoon on TCM in Badlanders with her then husband Ernest Borgnine.

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        2. didnt know who she was (still dont) but researched her :
          Maria Cristina Estella Marcella Jurado de Garcia
          came form wealthy parents who family 6 generations earlier owned what is now the state of texas.
          poor ernie, he must have had his hands full.

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        3. tim, the Katy Jurado role you should check out is her bit in High Noon. Katy is the large, dark whore who loves Gary Cooper and will not abandon him even when he is about to be killed. She presents a remarkable contrast with pretty, prissy Grace Kelly, who won’t stand by her man in his most critical hour of need. The Katy Jurado character is making a statement about the way life isn’t always neat and yet we should cling ferociously to what is most important.

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    1. Betty Davis was pretty scary at times. Carol Burnett would get the enemy laughing and humiliate them with helpless giggling. Barbara Stanwyck would have been a natural, too.

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      1. I would not want Barbara Stanwyck mad at me.

        IIRC, she did quite well with a gun when necessary in The Big Valley-loved that show in after school syndication.

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  4. Good morning. My idea of a good war film featuring women soldiers would be one where the women soldiers take the lead in rebelling against fighting in an unjust war. Michelle Williams might be a good one to take a lead in a film like this. I saw her recently in the film Wendy and Lucy where she was convincing in the lead role of a story about a young homeless woman. I think she would be good as a war resisting woman soldier.

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  5. Sarah Michelle Gellar (Buffy from the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV series) has already proven that she can kick a** and take names – she has matured a bit, so might well be good for the “run through the trenches with mud on your face” sorts of roles. Another though is Sigourney Weaver – she already fought big scary aliens with nasty teeth, so human combatants seem wimpy by comparison.

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  6. Although I really like Tommy Lee Jones, Helen Mirren would mightly kick butt in any of his roles. She’s already played a tough chief detective, so playing a general or colonel wouldn’t be that much of a stretch. Not a war film, but I’d love to see her as Agent Kay in an all-female version of “Men in Black”!

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  7. kill bill was wonderful and i think umma thurman did an excellent job in being john wayne. angelina jolie is john wayne in real life. thats what having john voit as a dad will do to you. susan sarandon since she stopped her cheese cake stuff is a strong woman who can do it. i agree oprah would be a good choice and glen close as well as meryl streep , i think maureen o hara and barbara stanwyck did a nice job of strong in the old days and maybe barbara streisand today although i dont think the duke and babs will be spending alot of time together in the hereafter reminiscing about the shoots they thought were their best back on the big screen. mariska hargitay does a nice job on tv and would be a good candatate.
    i think the strong woman concept is part of the new awareness we live in today. when i was a kid the commercials were of madge putting her clients hands in dish soap to get their manicure and telling them they could soften themselves while they were home doing their families dishes. today we have the wife planning her families trip around the world while paying her bills online on her way to the theater to watch her daughter perform with the metropolitan after her voice classes came to fruition. woman’s roles have changed. theare john wayne. wouldnt it be fun to see john wayne in a woody allen movie as the big gay gallute who has hidden behind his size all these years.

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        1. not fishing a bit, knew that one, but I thought she was a far more interesting character as the series progressed and that name faded from usage.

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  8. I don’t know what she is doing now, but a think Jane Curtin would make a very fine tight-jawed CO.

    Come to think of it, a great (anti) war movie could have been made with her and the late, great Gilda Radner. I’m thinking of Kelly’s Heroes here.

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  9. I’m thinking the other characteristic necessary for war is cool, steely detachment (not that I’m a fan of war movies… in fact, in any given list of 50 war movies, I might have seen 1 of them). In the cool, steely detachment category I nominate Lauren Bacall and Grace Kelly. Oh, and Elizabeth Taylor.

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  10. the problem with my list is there is no one from the last 10 years on it they all come from 20 or 30 years ago, the talent today seems to be pretty generic and short lived . best actress oscan nominations? old lady and little kid i never heard of, hunger games young lady getting her first real acting job, an army movie and a disaster film. they are all vehicles not actresses. we are in an age of fluff on screen and the only consoluation is that there are 200 channels of special proramming that can cater to every taste and talent. movies never heard of with actress i never heard of make an impression more than the stuff in the theaters. ( i did see and love les miz by the way but ann hathaway is no john wayne)
    women on the front line? i dont know thats anything to celebrate. politicians kids on the front line. that would be something to celebrate. put them up there to protect the country their parents are helping to make great by staging war on the infidels. lets get a list of all the politicians. who has children and how many served their country. compare that to the list of who vetoed to send out country to war and lets discuss who should be on the front line. there should be some priority here and i for one would like to have my kid standing right next to the republican senator from whereevers kid in the midst of the rockets red glare. homosexual austrailian aborigines, and wheel chair soldiers front and center you have been overloked too long

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  11. We could always have Ethel Merman go out to the front lines singing (well, not really since she’s dead)… THAT would scare some folks…

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  12. Shirley Maclaine, Michelle Pfeiffer and Charlize Theron strike me as actresses who could strike fear in anyone’s heart, and lest we despair that younger actresses have gone soft on us, let’s not forget Hailee Steinfeld from “True Grit,” one of the young talents that I think we’ll se much more of. Then there’s whats her name, Lindsay Lohan, who seems well on her way to self-destruct, lot’s of talent going yo waste, in my opinion. Oh, and Louise Fletcher could match “Hot Lips” any day. Susan Sarandon would be no slouch either if she put her mind to it.

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    1. I am not a huge fan (except for Beetlejuice), but I suspect Winona Ryder would do well in a war film.

      Oh! and how could we forget Carrie Fisher?!?!?!?!? That woman can wield a blaster with the best of them!

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  13. im working on the screen paly in my head right now with the girls traveling cross country with the challanges that meet them along the way. guys trying to heave their way are given a rude awakening as the dukettes show those pilgrims how its gonna be. (hard to type with a voice infelction isnt it) you better stop runnin or youre dead where you sit. says marlene detrich

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    1. yeah bu they were only kind of john wayne. now we give em hats and horses and susan sarandon can stay but geena davis was kinda weak. i was trying this morning to think of all the current people who could play but i know none so we can do it with the greats. jane russel and maureen o hara as the leaders, billie burke and aurdey hepburn as the girls in the wagon train that need looking after. the strong arms on the train riding shotgun in case of trouble would be oprah meryl, glen close,liz taylor, ethyl merman and umma thurman, kellys heros on horseback.
      we need bad guys so i think jack elam should head it up with mel gibson and nick nolte as the wild eyed crazies in the group. mel gibson sneaks into the covered wagon while everyone is asleep to attack poor audry and billie but finds oprah there with her double barrel shotgun to string him up over the campfire and leave him for the buzzards. there ought to be a scene trying to cross the river bt the current is too strong and somebody dies. lets have it be ethyl and nick but the rest of the group continues on to turn in the bad guys for reward money and start the home for wayward cowgirls . im thinking jane russel would look good in an eye patch

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  14. I was just reading that Janis Joplin would have been 70 on January 19th. Wow… I can’t imagine her at that age, but I wonder how tough she would have been?

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  15. Fabulous list of strong, talented actresses. I would add Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett. They are both highly versatile and profoundly wonderful actresses. But after seeing Judi Dench in the latest Bond movie, she is my choice for brigader general. Totally steely cold and down to business, especially when Bond shows up 4 months after being shot, falling 150 ft into a river and presumed dead. Dame Dench as M snaps, “Where have you been?” A classic moment. Later in the movie when they’re discussing Bond’s family history, she remarks, “Orphans always make the best recruits.”

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