I come to you with another Very Great Thing from The JAM Project!
Imagine my delight when I was going through the collection of film and found something we didn’t even know existed! The discovery was a 1955 screen test that Jeanette did for NBC. There is no date, other than 1955, on the box, but it is labeled in Jeanette’s handwriting, so that’s super fun as well. My assumption is that this is some sort of test for Prima Donna, which aired February 1, 1956; an episode of Screen Directors Playhouse that was written (real awkwardly) by Gene Raymond. NBC aired Screen Directors Playhouse, so this checks out on that level. I could certainly be wrong, but this came to us with no context and I’ve never read anything else about it — had never heard of it before it was in my hands. If someone knows something that I don’t about the purpose for this screen test, I’d be happy to learn about it.
The screen test is silent and in black and white, which is funny because Jeanette wrote on the box “Color Test B&W” ……….thank you for that, Miss MacDonald. ‘Preciate ya.
Maybe it was shot in color and they gave her a black and white version of it? Eh? Anyway, we have the black and white one that belonged to her.
Guys, she is SO GORGEOUS. So, so, so, so incandescently beautiful at age fifty-two. This, this is a star. Also, I LOVE her hair. Love it. I’ve done my best lip-reading and made a transcript, which I will include below (which is certainly not infallible, of course, but she’s chattering away in typical MacFashion, so it’s only natural to want to translate). It’s not perfect, but it does, I think, get across the jist of what she’s saying.
Enjoy her. ❤
Here is my rough transcript of what she’s saying:
:07 Okay gentlemen – are you looking at me? Am I pretty? …Come on. [THIS IS MY FAVORITE PART. YES. YOU ARE PRETTY. YOU ARE SO PRETTY. YOU ARE THE PRETTIEST ONE. WHAT IS AIR.]
:17 Ah and go to this side – see what happens
:25 Oh, you want me to look like this … sad … alright.
:33 There, is that so good? That’s good.
:40 Way up here…
:45 Alright (smiling)
:48 Oh no, that wouldn’t be good. (adjusting fur and looking down) There. This is as far down as I go.
1:02 Really? That’s good. Well that’s what I [don’t know this part] to.
1:14 Well if you’re ready, this is a fast [don’t know this word], he said. But anyway when I’m looking into the camera – that side – [there’s a phrase here that I haven’t got yet] But I always want to look straight to the audience (gesturing) which would be there. Then the [one word I don’t have] there…see?
1:35 Oh now with my singing which would usually be up there, you see – or there
1:59 [I’ve got nothing. Working on it. She’s cute.]
2:02 Now, for every second afterwards I’m singing to the camera because I think that [something about the audience and being selfish]. So… [don’t know the last phrase].
Ohhhhhhhh, Jeanette. ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤
I want to conclude by thanking everyone who has helped to make these digital transfers possible. This is an expensive process and you are directly responsible for helping us accomplish the goal of sharing these treasures. I’d specifically like to thank Di, Annette, Margaret, Leslie, Brenda, Sandra, Melissa, Tracy, Christy and Philip. I hope I am not leaving anyone out!! Your support is so appreciated by the The JAM Project!