Please leave a comment on our guestbook

You are in the scripts section

Return to Index of Scripts

The Best Legs in Hollywood

September 17, 1946

In last night’s paper there was a Hollywood dispatch which, while it probably won’t condition the course of world events it might conceivably shake up the dice box of conversation in the next few days.

Paulette Goddard named the ten motion picture actors who, in her opinion have the best legs. Miss Goddard has two excellent qualifications as a judge in this category. I understand that if she were to play a role in shorts she could have a tattoo painted on her chin and the picture would be well into the third reel before anyone in the audience would notice it. She comes out with the diatribe that any time the issue of shapely legs is on the agenda only the gals are recognized as candidates for honors. But now what with an epidemic of costume plays, the male stars of Hollywood have been appearing in Shakespearen tights and tropical shorts and it’s about time for public recognition, of the fact that men, too, have legs. My personal preference would have been for Paulette Goddard to have skipped the whole thing. But you can’t blame her for steering the discussion straight down to the foundation props. An author likes to talk about books and a fellow in the upper brackets likes to talk about salaries.

Miss Goddard names her choices in the following order. At the top of the list is Bob Hope who made his bid in long silk stockings in “Monsieur Beaucaire.” Second is Cornel Wilde as the bandit of Sherwood Forrest. Then comes Gary Cooper who fills out a pair of 18th century tights in “Unconquered.” In fourth place is Miss Goddard’s husband Burgess Meredith. Then Ray Milland whose legs were visible in “Kitty.” Van Johnson who trotted around in swim trunks in “Bathing Beauty.” Danny Kaye in boxing trunks in “The Kid From Brooklyn.” Bing Crosby in knee length tyrolean trousers in “The Emperor Waltz.” Bill Eythe for legging it through “A Royal Scandal.” Errol Flynn as Gentlemen Jim and Johnny Weissmuller as Tarzan.

Well I guess she knows. I always thought that a man’s legs, to qualify as satisfactory, had only to measure up to specifications namely (a) that there be two of them if possible and (b) that they succeed in supporting his weight without buckling; and c) that they keep decently out of sight.

No one has ever been able to think of a reasonable justification for knees. They’re just an unfortunate incident and the less attention focused on them the better.