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The Happiness and Sadness of Hollywood Stars

(2009-10-25 09:35:01)
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The Happiness and Sadness of Hollywood Stars  好莱坞影星的快乐和悲伤


Hollywood suggests glamour, a place where the young star-struck teenagers could, with a bit of luck, fulfill their dreams. Hollywood suggests luxurious houses with vast palm-fringed swimming pools. Cocktail bars and furnishings fit for a millionaire. And the big movie stars were millionaires. Many spent their fortunes on yachts, Rolls Royces and diamonds. A few of them lost their glamour quite suddenly and were left with nothing but emptiness and colossal debts.

好莱坞让人想起一种魅力,在这个地方那些追星的年轻人,如果运气好的话,可以实现他们的梦想。好莱坞还让人联想起由棕榈树围绕的大游泳池,鸡尾酒会和适合百万富翁的家具陈设。那些成了百万富翁的大明星把他们的大量财产花费在游艇,劳斯莱斯,和珠宝上。但是少数影星很快就失去了魅力,除了空虚和巨大的债务,他们什么也带不走。

 

Movies were first made in Hollywood before World War Ⅰ. The constant sunshine and mild climate of southern California made it an ideal site for shooting motion pictures. Hollywood's fame and fortune reached its peak in the 1930s and 1940s, the golden days of the black and white movies. Most of the famous motion picture corporations of those days, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Columbia and Warner Brothers are still very much in business and great stars like Greta Garbo, Marlene Dietrich, Charlie Chaplin, Gary Cooper, and many others besides, have become immortal.

好莱坞拍摄的早期电影是在一战前。加利福尼亚南部一直柔和的阳光和温和的气候,对于拍摄那些动作场面来说是一个理想的地方。在二十世纪三十年代至四十年代,好莱坞的名声和财产都达到了顶峰,那是黑白电影的金色时光。那时很有名的几家动作电影公司,如米高峰,哥伦比亚,华纳兄弟影视公司至今还存在。一些伟大的影星,如葛丽泰,玛莲娜.迪特里西,查尔斯.卓别林,加里.库珀还有其他很多也都成了不朽的人物。

 

In those days Hollywood was like a magnet, drawing ambitious young men and women from all over the world. Most of them had only their good looks to recommend them and had no acting experience—or ability—whatsoever. Occasionally they got jobs, if they were lucky enough to be noticed. Gray Cooper was one of the few who was noticed. He started as a stunt rider, and from there rose to be one of the great stars of the early Westerns. Many of the girls got jobs in cafes or gas stations, and as they served their customers they tossed their heads and swung their hips, hoping to attract the attention of some important person connected with the movies. Most of them hoped in vain.

在那个时候,好莱坞好比是一块磁铁,吸引来自世界各地的雄心壮志的青年男男女女。他们中有好多只是长得漂亮,但并没有实际的表演经验或是表演能力,或是什么都没有。偶尔,如果他们很幸运地被注意到了,也能找到工作,加里.库珀是很幸运被注意到的其中一个。他首先出演一个特技骑师,然后就一发不可收拾地成为早期西方的名演员之一。在很多女孩儿在咖啡馆或是加油站找到了工作,当她们招待客人的时候,会甩甩头发或是扭屁股,以期引起某些与电影有关系的重要人物的注意。但是,大多数这些希望都是徒劳的。

 

As for the stars themselves, they were held on a tight rein by the studio chiefs who could make or break all but the stars with really big appeal. The stars were "persuaded" to sign seven-year contracts, during which time the studios built up their images. Under their contracts the stars did not have their right to choose their parts. Their studios decided everything.
那么,那些影星自己又怎么样呢?他们被电影公司头目给紧紧地束缚住了。那些头目能决定影星的命运,除了那些真正确实有感染力的。影星们被“说服”签了七年的合约,在这七年之中,由公司来建立他们的形象。根据合约条款,影星无权选择自己的角色。一切事物都由公司来决定。

 

No country in the world has developed so expertly the skill of advertising as the Americans. They advertise everything, from ice cream to candidates for the Presidency. The Hollywood studios, by means of advertising, turned starlets into superstars. Many studio chiefs were tyrants, determined to get their own way at all costs, no matter how unscrupulous the means.

世界上没有任何一个国家能超过美国做广告的熟练技术。他们为一切事物做广告,从冰淇淋到总统选举的候选人。好莱坞电影公司通过广告形式,把一些初涉影坛的演员包装成超级明星。很多电影公司的头目都是“暴君”,不管付出多大代价,不管方法多么不道德,他们总是为所欲为。

 

Stars were often typecast and if he or she appealed to the public as a lover, then he or she always played the part of a lover. A star who was a hit as a cowboy or a bad guy, got the same kind of role again and again. There was little arguing, "you're the perfect dumb blond, baby, and that's how you're going to stay," they would say. They even tried to interfere in their stars' private lives: "No, sugar! You just can't marry Mel Billigan. He's too intellectual. He'd destroy your image." Only when they ceased to be stars did some of them discover that they were also good actors! Movie stars like Bette Davis, Katherine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy and James Mason gave distinguished performances in character parts as well as leading roles.

公司通常按类型为演员分配角色,如果他或她演情人最能吸引大众,那么他或她总是会演情人的角色。如果一个演员演牛仔或是坏人很受欢迎的话,那么他会一次又一次地以这种角色出现,可能会有一点点争议。他们会说:“你演金发的,哑巴孩子再合适不过了,所以你就要这么演下去。”他们甚至会干涉演员的私生活。“不要吃糖!你不能嫁给梅.比利根。他太有才智了。他会破坏你的形象!”。所以只有当他们停止不再当演员的时候,他们才会发现他们确实是太棒的演员了。一些影星,像贝蒂.戴维斯,凯瑟琳.赫本,斯宾塞.特雷西和詹姆斯.梅森,他们不但个人有卓著的表演才能同时也是一个卓著的领导。

 

Hollywood is no longer the heart of the world's motion picture industry. Most movies today are filmed on location, that is to say, in the cities, in the countryside and in any part of the world that the script demands. The Hollywood studios are still standing, but most of them have been leased to television networks. About 80% of all American TV entertainment comes from Hollywood.

现在,好莱坞已不再是动作电影行业的中心了。今天,很多电影在外景场地拍摄,也就是说,根据剧本需要,可能是在某城市,某村庄,可能是世界任何一个地方。有些好莱坞电影公司依然存在,但他们大多数已改为出租电视风格。美国有80%的电视娱乐节目来自于好莱坞。

 

Yet Hollywood has not lost all its glamour. Movie stars still live there, or in neighboring Beverley Hills, and so do many of the famous and wealthy people who have made their homes in southern California.

然而,好莱坞的魅力依然没有消失。还有许多影星住在那儿,或是在临近的贝弗利小山,其他好多成了名的,离得富有的影星在另利福尼亚南部安了家。

 

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