Lupe Vélez — Unlucky at Love (but Lupe is Lucky at Life) (1932) 🇺🇸

July 26, 2022

Suppose Aladdin were to appear to you suddenly and tell you to make a wish— just one wish — and you could have it.

Would you wish for beauty, wealth, fame? Or would you be willing to relinquish all these things for just one hour of love — real, honest-to-goodness love with all the sincerity and devotion the magic gift holds?

by Virginia Maxwell

We were chatting about these things one evening, a group of over-the-er-r-cocktail friends, when Lupe Vélez breezed into the party, fresh from a triumphant conquest of Broadway in her Ziegfeld stardom.

“Ha, ha. ha — eet ees to laugh when you talk so,” Lupe jeered. “There ees no girl living who would not give up everything for love. It is grand, magnificent! — but where can you find it?”

“Lucky at life, unlucky at love.” someone reminded her. This consolation didn’t satisfy the glamorous and seductive little Mexican firefly. Lupe wants life, luck and love, and makes no bones about telling the world she expects to get it even after the disappointments in love Lupe has suffered.

Somehow, Lupe has been terribly lucky at life. In love she has had more miserable hours of silent suffering than most people know about. Lupe used to sit home and cry over a man, not so long ago — but she doesn’t cry now. She says in her own piquant way:

“I will not cry more for any man. I am out to have one grand good time, to enjoy life, to enjoy the success which life has given me, and to forget all the bad things which have happened to Lupe.”

While she was saying this, John Gilbert was in his New York hotel but a few steps away. Suddenly she recalled something important, and she dashed toward a secluded telephone to get a number.

Lupe didn’t say whom she was going to call. From current rumors around Broadway, however, it was more than likely she did not call John Gilbert. For the wise boys around town have been trying to cheer up Gilbert lately and help him forget what he learned about women from women.

Lupe Velez,  even though luxury as she now knows it is a new thrill, would gladly exchange all the softness of life for love. She comes from just an average family in Mexico, perhaps a little less affluent than most Mexican families with some money. For it is Lupe’s lament that her education was sadly neglected. She says that is why she is looking for her ideal man, an “intellectual” type.

She has not found that type for a husband yet. It is one of the cards which were stacked against her from the beginning. Not long ago Lupe was madly in love with Gary Cooper. Gary, being a college man, seemed just about perfect.

For several years Hollywood was prepared to hear the wedding bells ring out for this charming couple. Everywhere one heard “Lupe and Gary” mentioned as if they were girl-and-boy friends of inseparable attachment. Then suddenly one day Lupe announced it was all off. Gary was leaving Hollywood for New York. Lupe came to New York a little later, to find that Gary was squiring one of the blue bloods to all smart affairs. A countess, if you please.

Then came the next card in the pack which seems stacked for life’s success but not for love. Her “Cuban Love Song” picture was a big hit.

John Gilbert and Ina Claire finally severed the marital ties, and Jack was free once again. Gilbert came to New York. Lupe came to New York. Just prior to Lupe’s arrival, Gary Cooper sailed from New York for Europe. John Gilbert sailed for Europe soon after. And Lupe sailed to Europe also — no one quite being able to guess whether she went to be near Gary, to make him jealous by being seen around with her devoted Jack Gilbert or just what. Anyway, Lupe came back. She was still Miss Velez. Gary went on a long jaunt into the wild places of Africa and spots similar. When he returned recently he went immediately to Hollywood.

Then came Novarro! Kindred souls or the call of the blood or whatever scenario writers might like to make it out, Lupe and Ramon had a liking for each other.

When Ramon was in New York some one asked him about this reputed infatuation. He shrugged and said: “I have always been so busy trying to be successful that I have had no time for women. Women are too distracting.”

So Lupe came to New York again to forget. A round of gay parties amid gay people helped a little. Like dancing with tears in her eyes, Lupe was taking these love taps “on the chin” like a good little soldier when — presto! Lupe Velez was chosen to be star of Flo Ziegfeld’s musical show, “Hot-Cha.”

Lupe is packing ‘em into the Ziegfeld Theater every night. New York is simply crazy about her.

Hot-cha, eet ees life — and you simply can’t have everything!


Photo: Irving Chidnoff


Collection: The New Movie Magazine, July 1932