Arduous and Chatty Brows -Day 6


ImageI love old movies and this is yet another thing that my husband sighs deeply about.  If I have the remote and come across one I can see him out of the corner of my eye kind of tense waiting to see if I pause.  “Oh, I just love this movie!!  Have you seen it???”, I say this knowing that he has not but we must complete the ritual.  A resigned “No” followed by a gleeful “Well, we should watch it!! You will really enjoy it!!”(the antagonizer that makes up most of me does it just to screw with him). He is lucky that older movies are much shorter than movies of today are, so he should really just thank me movies of Although, I have made him sit through “Out of Africa” more than once and that puppy is 3 hours of pure fantastic, he knows that I will always cry at the end so he has to comfort me because I am not a crier and it totally creeps him out ( he is a good sport).But black and white movies are really where I think that they got it right.  They didn’t have a lot to work with back then, so you had to have some good acting to pull it off.  The music needs to set the mood, and if there is suspense you need not only the music but you need the lighting to be perfect.  “The Wolfman” (1941) may seem innocent compared to now, but man all that darkness and fog?  It can get to you.  Or “Dracula” (1931) with Bela Lugosi? His face alone is disturbing and talk about some famous eyebrow work, that man was a genius.  Bette Davis in “Of Human Bondage” (1934) she was as cold as ice, seriously a bitch of all bitches and it oozed off of her.  The central theme here is that you had to have people that could really emote because you didn’t have much in the way of special effects to distract the audience.

So go back further, to silent films.  Think of Charlie Chaplin movies, now he was a funny chap on his own but a lot of his gags would not have worked out so well if you didn’t have those exaggerated eyebrows wagging at you. The women of the silent film era started plucking away and creating thin arched eyebrows.  Their eyebrows essentially need to talk for them.  Men went fuller and started using liner generously, maybe to emote manliness you needed substantial eyebrows??  And women went dainty and thin.  Greta Garbo eyebrow reshaping is said to have launched her career by making her eyes more striking and allowing her face to portray emotion better.  While I have managed to pull off triple eyebrow I am not sure I could get away with super thin and what I like to call the Diva Arch (Joan Crawford, say thank you).  So even if the thought makes you feel tired (as it does my poor husband) I suggest that you take the time to watch a silent movie.  The average length is about 30 minutes and you can watch just how much work those brows do!!

Best Eyebrows of This Era

Clara Bow


Theda Bara






Harold Lloyd



Lillian Gish   



Rudolph Valentino



Mary Pickford


Charlie Chaplin



Greta Garbo – before and after brows


Gloria Swanson (super diva arch)



Buster Keaton



Laurence Olivier





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