CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Jean Arthur bids farewell as my Classic Movie Goddess for the month

Just wanted to say what a wonderful time I had posting about Jean Arthur as my classic movie goddess for the month. Thanks to everyone that stopped by and left comments. On to next month with Rita Hayworth. Below are some pics of Jean in cowboy gear having some fun. 

Cinematic World Tour heads to Scotland for Local Hero (1983)

Karin aka Whistlingypsy has crafted another wonderful vacation post at her blog. Her first post she did was for the film, Rome Adventure (1962), which I finally saw for the first time about two weeks ago. Which reminds me I still need to do that review. I know Irene is waiting patiently for it. Anyway, Karin's new trip centers on the 1983 film Local Hero, starring Peter Riegert and Burt Lancaster. I remember viewing this as a teenager many times when it aired on HBO. It's a really good film and makes great use of Scotland. Karin also talks about Houston, where the film has some scenes too. She injects the post with her own personal reflections and does a really wonderful job. So please go to her blog to check it out here:  distant-voicesandflickering-shadows


The lovely Constance

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Another pic of Bette at the beach....kinda surprised she did so many
beach photos...glad she did though...quite the beauty

Monday, June 25, 2012

At The Beach: DORIS DAY

Doris enjoying a day at the beach....

From Jean Arthur to Rita Hayworth

When I make out the schedule for my classic movie goddesses it is very random. No particular order. As everyone knows Jean was my goddess for June and coming in July will be Rita Hayworth. While researching for facts I came across some things that links the two of them together and wanted to share them right quick. Firstly, they both happen to share the same birthday of October 17. Different years but the same day. And since Jean started making movies much earlier than Rita, she was a star first. But when her popularity started to wane, she was replaced by Rita as Columbia Picture's top female star. So that's the connection to these two wonderful leading ladies. I love how some things lead to something else. Hope everyone has a fantastic start to this new week!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Perennial aqua girl Esther in her element

The Morning Movie - SHANE (1953)

I am watching one of my all time favorite westerns, Shane, as I make breakfast. A terrific film with Alan Ladd as the gunfighter who becomes entangled with some homesteaders and their battle with a cattle baron. Top notch stuff and featuring Jean Arthur's last film performance. And to this day, Shane fires one of the loudest guns in film history. That thing sounds like a canon. Every time I hear it, I'm like....dang!

Friday, June 22, 2012


Welcome to AGT Rita....

The summer heats up big time in July on All Good Things as my classic movie goddess will be Rita Hayworth. Oh yes, Gilda herself will grace my blog for the entire month of July with pics, facts, and reviews of some of her films. My guest of the month will be Rachel, who writes the wonderful blog The Girl With The White Parasol. She will chime with her favorite stars and films and whatever else she fancies. I will finally get around to posting the next edition of my Monties. The year is 1946 and I hope to have my selections chosen and ready to post before the month is over. I will continue with my At The Beach photo series as well as my new series, My Childhood Crushes. So please stop by to visit and see if we can keep All Good Things blazing hot! Oh and two more stars will be inducted into my all of fame.

My love of classic films is beyond measure


Summer Lovin' - ANNE SHIRLEY

Anne dazzling us at the pool in this white summer dress!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My Childhood Crushes #4 - Shelley Fabares

I was around 13 or so when Nick and Nite was re-airing the classic 50's sitcom, The Donna Reed Show. And while Donna Reed was the star and she was awesome, I was tuning in to watch the actress who played her daughter Mary. It was Shelley Fabares and she very cute. And funny. I remember her constant arguments with her brother Jeff (played by Carl Petersen) always had me laughing. Checking her age on IMDB it appears Shelley was the same age as me when she started on The Donna Reed Show. So we could have dated...well in my dreams anyway.

Around the same time, the sitcom One Day At A Time was airing and she had a role on it as Francine Webster. She was about 25 years older but I was still the same age. That's the screwy thing about syndication right. Anyway I still had a major crush on her. And flash forward to the 90's and we have her in another sitcom..this one called Coach. Still crushing on her big time.

It wasn't until years later that I caught some of her movies that she made, particularly movies of the 60's. Such as Ride The Wild Surf (1964) and couple of Elvis Presley movies, Spinout (1966) and Clambake (1967). Either in movies or TV, Shelley Fabares was a major crush of mine during my teen years.

My Favorite Jean Arthur Films - Part 2 (Dramas and Westerns)

I wrote about my favorite comedies Jean did on a recent post. As promised here are my fave dramas and westerns she did. And like I said in that post, there are tons of silents she did that I had never even heard of, much less seen. So this list focuses on all the ones I have seen and loved. Here we go...

THE PLAINSMAN (1936) Cecil DeMille is out of his usual element in this western with Jean as Calamity Jane and Gary Cooper as Wild Bill Hickok. Forget the historical inaccuracies and just enjoy this rip roaring western. Jean is pretty good as Calamity Jane..hysterical and stubborn.

ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS (1939) One terrific movie. Directed by Howard Hawks and starring Jean, Cary Grant and Rita Hayworth. About a small air service ran by Grant where the pilots take lots of risks delivering their cargo over the Andes Mountains. Jean is cast as Bonnie Lee, a piano playing entertainer, which is a nice change of pace for her. Rita Hayworth plays a wife of a pilot who is a bit shaky. Top notch entertainment.

ARIZONA (1940) Epic film in every sense of the word. Jean plays Phoebe Titus, a hard charging woman who faces all kinds of problems in the Arizona territory of the 1860's. Co-starring William Holden. I have only seen this film once but in that one viewing it left a big impact on me. Good stuff.

SHANE (1953) Jean's last film she ever did and fittingly it is a Western. This classic film co-stars Alan Ladd as the laconic gunfighter who past catches up with him as he becomes embroiled in a conflict between homesteaders and a ruthless cattle baron. Jean is the wife of Van Helfin, the Starretts, who little boy Joey (Brandon deWilde) immediately takes a liking to Shane. Shane is one of my all time favorite films. A classic tale of good vs evil. And Jean is ever so gracious in her final film

My love of classic movies is beyond measure


The Morning Movie: AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936)

 Easy there Nora....

No better way to start my morning than watching Nick and Nora do their thing. In that rarity of sequels being just as good as the original, After The Thin Man is a pure delight. William Powell and Myrna Loy are perfect as Nick and Nora, again. And how about a young Jimmy Stewart in one of his first roles. I love The Thin Man movies! I will be quoting this film all day long..and probably no one will understand what I'm saying. Ah, well I will know.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Childhood Crushes #3 - Yvonne Craig

Ok so I love comic books and growing up the 60's tv series Batman was then in repeats during the 80's. And being a teen I thought it was a good and fun show. Not really adhering to the comic book Batman but still plain good fun. As I would get older, I would resent the show a little and wait for a Batman done right. But in the meantime I had the lovely Yvonne Craig as Batgirl to look at. And she always made the impact on me, and I'm sure thousands of boys everywhere else. And probably to girls as well since now they had this girl to look up to, who was kicking butt alongside Batman and Robin. Yvonne is the definition of cute. Always had a crush on her.

A rare breed in a girl you reads comic books...they were few
and between when I was growing up!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A new contest courtesy of Kristen

My friend Kristen of Journeys in Classic Film has a contest going over on her blog and wanted me to spread the word. She is giving away two books and all you have to do is email her to have a chance. Here is the link to it and good luck:

One of the books that Kristen is giving away for her contest


Ava playing around in the sand

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Favorite Jean Arthur Films - Part One (Comedies)

So I usually list the essential films of the classic movie goddess for each and every month. The problem I ran into with Jean is that she did so many wonderful films and I didn't know what to include. So instead of the essential films you have to see, I decided to post my favorite Jean films. And like I said there are so many of them, I had to break the list down into parts. Let's begin with comedies, where she was one of the best screwball queens of the 30' my opinion. Patti, we will get to dramas and westerns in the next part ok. So here are my fave comedy films starring Jean in no particular order. Please note there are tons of films Jean did during the silent era that I have yet to see. A good 30 or so films. Yeah, Jean was quite busy.

EASY LIVING (1937) Writer Preston Sturges and director Mitchell Leisen team up for this hilarious farce about Mary Smith (Jean), a editor for a boy's magazine, who winds up with a mink coat by accident and thru confusion and mistaken identity, she is thought to be the mistress of Wall Street tycoon J.B. Ball (played by the great Edward Arnold). Enter Ball's son (Ray Milland) who becomes attracted to Mary. One of the premiere screwball comedies of all time. 

THE EX-MRS. BRADFORD (1936) Some people kind of view this one as a lightweight version of The Thin Man, since it co-stars William Powell. The only difference is him and Jean are exes but still have a penchant for solving mysteries. I think this film is very underrated and more than holds its own as a splendid comedy/mystery that would make The Thin Man proud.

MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN (1936) Jean's first film with Frank Capra and her first pairing with Gary Cooper, if I'm not mistaken. And the pair definitely have some chemistry as Longfellow Deeds (Cooper), a simple man from Vermont who inherits a fortune. Jean is cast as reporter Babe Bennett, who aims to get the story on Deeds one way or another. A wonderful film.

YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU (1938) For her second outing with Frank Capra, but this time Jean's co-star is Jimmy Stewart. Different actor, same result in another great comedy which I believe features Jean's finest performance. As the lovely Alice Sycamore, she falls for her boss Tony Kirby (Stewart) and is swept off her feet when he proposes. The catch...Tony has to meet her wild and crazy family. I love Jean in this film. She is most definitely has her "A" game for this one.

MR. SMITH GOES TO WASHINGTON (1939) Another comedy/drama that teamed Frank Capra with Jean for the third time. And marked Jean's second pairing with Jimmy Stewart. An iconic film from that great golden year of 1939.

TOO MANY HUSBANDS (1940) This was one of the first movies I recall seeing Jean in and it is a delight.  Maybe not as well known and regarded as her other comedies but I'll take this over a lot of the comedies Hollywood cranks out now. Maybe I like it so much because it bears a similar plot to My Favorite Wife with Irene Dunne and Cary Grant, also released the same year. In Husbands, Bill Cardew (played by Fred MacMurray) is declared dead after missing for a long period of time. His widow, Vicky (played by Jean) re-marries Bill's longtime friend Henry (Melvyn Douglas). When Bill shows up alive, the fun begins. 

THE DEVIL AND MISS JONES (1941) Classic comedy with department store owner J.P. Merrick (the wonderful Charles Coburn) going undercover at his store to find out which employees are organizing a union. Unbeknownst to him, the two employees he are meet, Mary (Jean Arthur) and Joe (Robert Cummings) are said organizers. Dare I say, one of the best comedies ever made. Yeah I dare say.

THE TALK OF THE TOWN (1942) Loaded with star power in Jean, Cary Grant and Ronald Colman, this film mixes screwball comedy with stirring drama expertly. Joe, an escaped prisoner (Grant) hides out at the home of his childhood sweetheart Nora Shelley (Jean), who just by chance has rented a room to law professor Michael Lightcap (Colman). How this film manages to be comedic one moment, then deadly serious the next is truly amazing. The trio of stars all give terrific performances.

THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943) During the WW2 housing shortage, resilient Connie Milligan (Arthur) shares an apartment with two men through some confusion and false pretenses. Mainly by the antics of flustery old  Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn re-teaming with Jean) who lies under the pretense of not stating his sex. He then finagles young engineer Joe Carter (hey it's Joel McCrea) to join in and tries to play cupid for Connie and Joe. Fun galore!

A FOREIGN AFFAIR (1948) And lastly comes this terrific and wicked cynical comedy by Billy Wilder which casts a seasoned Jean as Congresswoman Phoebe Frost, who visits Berlin to investigate GI morals. Co-starring the legendary Marlene Dietrich, this is one gem of a movie.

Up next will be my second part of favorite Jean films, focusing on dramas and westerns.

My love of classic movies is beyond measure



So beautiful!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Jean Arthur: some facts and trivia

Here are some facts and trivia about Jean, provided by IMDB.

Wore her natural brunette hair color throughout the silent film portion of her career, then began bleaching her hair blonde shortly after she started making talkies.

Department of Strange Coincidences: Jean Arthur's former spouse, producer Frank Ross, next married the actress Joan Caulfield. On the very day following Caulfield's death on 18 June 1991, Arthur died.

 After retiring from films she taught Drama at Vassar.

Was a leading contender for the coveted role of Scarlett O'Hara in Gone With The Wind (1939).

Director George Stevens famously called her "one of the greatest comediennes the screen has ever seen" while Frank Capra credited her as "my favorite actress".

On the completion of her Columbia contract in 1944, she reportedly ran through the studio's streets, shouting "I'm free, I'm free!".

 Allegedly took her stage name from two of her greatest heroes: Joan of Arc (Jeanne d'Arc) and King Arthur.

 Gary Cooper was her favorite leading man.

Even though Jean and James Stewart never bonded off-screen, Jimmy called Jean "the finest actress I ever worked with. No one had her humor, her timing".

She was teaching at Vassar at the same time that Meryl Streep was studying there in her junior year. Upon seeing the young drama major rehearsing August Strindberg's play "Miss Julie", Arthur remarked it was "just like watching a movie star".

 My love of classic movies is beyond measure


Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fun Summer Movies: THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH (1955)

Summer Release Date: 3 June 1955. Starring Marilyn Monroe, Tom Ewell, Evelyn Keyes, Sonny Tufts, Marguerite Chapman, Oskar Homolka, Carolyn Jones.Written by Billy Wilder and George Axelrod. Directed by Billy Wilder.

The Seven Year Itch is my favorite Marilyn Monroe movie. Mind you not my favorite role of hers. That would be Lorelei Lee in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. But here in The Seven Year Itch, she is just as good, giving the classic Marilyn performance...breathy voice, the bemused facial expressions, the child like mannerisms..all done to perfection. It helps she has such a great co-star in Tom Ewell as the hapless Richard Sherman, a married man who fancies himself the object of desire by every woman he meets. He constantly daydreams about having secret rendezvous with all kinds of women. So when Marilyn, simply known as The Girl, and who lives above him in the same apartment building, meets him, let the fun begin.

Richard and The Girl trying to keep cool

Budgeted at $1.8 million and filmed on location in New York City, The Seven Year Itch proved to be a massive hit, one of Monroe's biggest. It made over $12 million in the United States alone. Filled with iconic moments such as Marilyn in the perfect white summer dress standing over a subway grate with the wind gusting up to blow her dress, much to her and Richard's delight. Directed by ace Billy Wilder, The Seven Year Itch is a perfect fun summer movie. And check out the great quotes..particularly by Marilyn. Notice her fondness of the word "elegant".

A stairway to nowhere! I think that's just elegant.
I think it's wonderful that you're married! I think it's just elegant! 
 I think it's just elegant to have an imagination. I just have no imagination at all. I have lots of other things, but I have no imagination.
When it gets hot like this, you know what I do? I keep my undies in the icebox! 

I wonder......

Notable Facts:

After seeing Walter Matthau's screen-test performance in the part of Richard Sherman, Billy Wilder believed he had found his lead man. However, 20th Century-Fox was unwilling to take the risk on a newcomer. That's when Wilder next turned his sights on the actor who had originated the role on Broadway, Tom Ewell.

Amazingly, Marilyn Monroe's very narrow spike heels don't get stuck or break in the subway grating that she stands on it in the movie's most famous scene, although this was a universal problem, at the time, for the countless women wearing that very popular style heel in New York City in that era. 

 The iconic scene

 The movie premiere was on June 1st, 1955 which happened to be Marilyn's 29th birthday.

 Marilyn's iconic white dress set a record when it was auctioned for $4.6 million in June 2011 (rising to $5.5 million after taxes and fees were included), quintupling the previous record for a movie costume ($923,000 for Audrey Hepburn's "little black dress" from Breakfast at Tiffany's). 

 My love of classic movies is beyond measure



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