CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One more thing...

Just one more thing...

31 Stars in 31 Days kicks off tomorrow with my first star, Cary Grant. I will write my post about him and what movie I watch the following day. But I wanted to let everyone know that I will be trying to watch some of each individual star's lesser known films. So for tomorrow I probably won't watch His Girl Friday or Bringing Up Baby, as they ware so well known. I will go through my collection and see what rarely seen movies I have of all my stars. Now for the weekend stars, I will watch more films, so naturally a few of them will be some of their more known films. But I wanted to expand my horizon so to speak and concentrate on some rarely talked about films. The fun begins tomorrow.

Summer Lovin' - ANNE SHIRLEY

Anne soaking in the rays by the pool

Monday, July 30, 2012

Schedule change for 31 Stars in 31 Days

Are you sure Ginger won't mind the move Monty?

Nothing too alarming but I just saw that August 5th marks the 50th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe's tragic death. So I will be honoring her on that day by watching some of her films. I traded her day with Ginger Rogers, who now will be showcased on Saturday, August 25th.

Note for my 31 Stars in 31 Days schedule

Since my little event has each of the three stars pictured above scheduled 
for a certain day, it's a safe bet to say that I'll be watching 
The Great Race at some point and time

Just wanted to mention one little thing about my upcoming 31 Stars in 31 Days schedule. I'm still going to do it but just to be clear, it will be one day behind. I will watch the movie of the particular star the day of but won't write about it until the following day. So I can critique it properly. Say for instance Cary Grant is my star for Wednesday August 1st, I will watch a film of his that night then post about it on August 2nd. I will follow that pattern for the entire month. So my girl Carole Lombard, who is slated for August 31st, will be my final write-up on September 1st. Just wanted to let everyone know that in advance. 

My love of classic films is beyond measure
(in any language)

Summer Lovin' - RITA HAYWORTH

Star of the month Rita about to go for a dip in the pool

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Keira Knightley is at it again with another period piece with ANNA KARENINA

One of my occasional series I write is called From The Past To Now where I compare a modern star with their classic counterpart. One such pairing was Vivien Leigh and Keira Knightley. The main reason was because they each have done a fair amount of period films. Vivien did five films of those nature while Keira had done eight. Add one more to that list. Her upcoming film, Anna Karenina, which by coincidence is the role that Leigh also played once as well. So another reason to compare the two actresses. Look at my original post here to read more about the similarities of these two women. And the new Anna Karenina opens worldwide November 9th.

Joan Crawford night on TCM

TCM is honoring Joan Crawford tonight with five of her films. Specifically five of her films from the 60's, which happen to be my second favorite decade ever! They start the night off with the certifiable masterpiece Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962) co-starring her long time rival Bette Davis. It's a battle of the divas, grand guignol style. It starts at 8pm EST. Followed immediately by I Saw What You Did (1965) which I have never seen about teenagers who do a prank call that turns deadly. Showing next is The Caretakers (1963) co-starring Robert Stack and Polly Bergen and set in a mental hospital. Another one I haven't seen. The last film is Strait-Jacket (1964) which I have seen before and let's Joan have a field day as a recently released mental patient/axe murderer. The night concludes with a TCM original documentary entitled Joan Crawford: The Ultimate Movie Star. So looks like I will be spending a night with Joan. I know this would make my friend Jessica from Australia quite happy. On second thought I think their TCM schedule might be a little different. Oh well I know I will enjoy me some Joan. Just passing along the word to everyone  else.

My love of classic films is beyond measure


Rita Hayworth shines in The Strawberry Blonde (1941) alongside James Cagney and Olivia de Havilland

The Strawberry Blonde and Biff on a date

Since Rita Hayworth is my classic movie goddess of the month, I decided to watch some of  her movies. Top of the list, the wonderful period comedy from 1941 The Strawberry Blonde, co-starring James Cagney, Olivia de Havilland and Jack Carson. Talk about some star power. Rita is Virginia Brush, the Strawberry Blonde, who is every guy's dream. She has so many callers coming to date her, it borders on the ridiculous.  Biff Grimes (played by James Cagney) is the dentist of their small town who takes a fancy to her, so when his best bud Hugo (played by the always reliable Jack Carson) sets up a double date with Virginia and her friend Amy (Olivia de Havilland) who is a brash suffragette, the fireworks begin. Amy doesn't hold back on her ideas which include doing everything a man can do, like smoking and swearing. And she believes there is nothing wrong with winking at men so they can pick her up. She has the most delightful wink too.

Heads turn as Virginia walks by

Anyway Biff prefers Virginia but Hugo always manages to steal her away. Biff does manage one date with Virginia which turns out to be great but weeks later she winds up marrying Hugo. Biff and Amy end up marrying but Biff still carries a torch for Virginia. Flash forward a few years where Biff is struggling and Virigina convinces Hugo to give him a job. Which is fine until some documents get signed that shouldn't have and Biff has to take the fall. And he resents Hugo even more. They will meet years later on when Hugo needs emergency surgery on his tooth and Biff relishes the opportunity. Let's just say it's a painful extraction for Hugo.

Biff caught between two girls

I love this movie. All four leads are great, especially Cagney and De havilland. They really make this movie but also get wonderful support from Carson and Hayworth. So nice seeing Hayworth in a comedy, where I think she could have been a top screen comedienne had she did more of them. Also co-stars Alan Hale as Biff's dad and George Reeves (TV's Superman) as a Yale student who gets into a brawl with Biff. Good stuff!

Amy and Biff

Summer Lovin'- SHIRLEY JONES

Shirley looking lovely by the pool in polka dot

Thursday, July 26, 2012

31 Stars in 31 Days Schedule

As I stated in an earlier post, my theme next month will be 31 stars in 31 days. Something akin to TCM's Summer Under the Stars. I have chosen 31 stars and plan to watch at least one film representing that person. The lucky 8 stars who fall on a week-end will have several films watched by me. I will also post some pics and comments about the star for that particular day. Here is my list of stars for next month. I don't have an idea what films I will watch yet and probably won't until the day of. Please stop by to see if I am watching and talking about some of your favorite stars as well.

Wed August 1st - CARY GRANT
Thurs August 2nd - AVA GARDNER
Fri August 3rd - ERROL FLYNN
Sat August 4th - FRANK SINATRA
Sun August 5th - MARILYN MONROE
Mon August 6th - JACK CARSON
Tue August 7th - GRACE KELLY
Wed August 8th - CLARK GABLE
Thurs August 9th - JAMES STEWART
Fri August 10th - DEAN MARTIN
Sat August 11th - BETTE DAVIS
Sun August 12th - SIDNEY POITIER
Mon August 13th - HUMPHREY BOGART
Tue August 14th - WILLIAM HOLDEN
Wed August 15th - JEAN ARTHUR
Thurs August 16th - VIVIEN LEIGH
Fri August 17th - TONY CURTIS
Sat August 18th - JACK LEMMON
Sun August 19th - NATALIE WOOD
Mon August 20th - FRED ASTAIRE
Tue August 21st - JEAN HARLOW
Thurs August 23rd - JANE FONDA
Fri August 24th - ROSALIND RUSSELL
Sat August 25th - GINGER ROGERS
Sun August 26th - ELIZABETH TAYLOR
Mon August 27th - GENE KELLY

Tue August 28th - ANN SHERIDAN
Wed August 29th - JOEL MCCREA
Thurs August 30th - ROMY SCHNEIDER
Fri August 31st - CAROLE LOMBARD

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Cinematic World Tour: BARCELONA (1994)

Next stop on our cinematic world tour...Barcelona. One of my favorite modern films set in gorgeous Barcelona where the views are just spectacular. The story centers on cousins who are so very different trying to meet the women of their dreams. Ted (played by Taylor Nichols) is a salesman who works in the Barcelona office for a U.S. corporation. He's a little uptight and stuffy. His cousin Fred, a Naval officer (played by Chris Eigeman) comes to visit him and is a lot more loose. And he takes it upon himself to find Ted a suitable mate, which leads to some outrageous situations. Especially since Fred likes to tell every woman they come across that his cousin is into the Marquis de Sade and wearing leather underwear, the kind that is very, very tight. You should see the reaction the women have when he tells them that. Their eyes get very wide and immediately go downward. One of the girls is played by Mira Sorvino, probably the most known person in this entire film who plays sexually charged Marta. She hooks up with Fred. While Ted meets the girl of his dreams in the form of.the lovely and the wonderfully named Montserrat Raventos (played by Tushka Bergen), a free spirited Spaniard who dreams of moving to America. 

Ted, Montserrat, Fred and Marta having drinks

So the pair embark on a whirlwind romance with some ups and downs all played out in the scenic city of Barcelona. I mean really...this place is gorgeous. I envy the people who live there. I would love to go for a visit there sometime. Now this film is very engaging as the characters discuss and debate relationships, politics, family,...pretty much everything. In the capable hands of director Whit Stillman, it never bogs down though. The characters are all interesting and having it set in Barcelona is a major plus. So if you have never seen this wonderful film, please track it down and watch it. You won't be disappointed. It is highly recommended.

The women of Barcelona...enough said!

Tour guides getting ready for a busy day

The vehicles of Barcelona


A casual Grace

Monday, July 23, 2012

Rita Hayworth in AFFECTIONATELY YOURS (1941) is wonderful as a girl named Irene..

Reporter Ricky Mayberry (Dennis Morgan) is married to Sue (Merle Oberon) but is a ladies man, with a girl in every port. At the beginning of the film Ricky is covering a story in Libson and romancing rival reporter Irene Malcolm (a gorgeous Rita Hayworth) when he gets a telegram that Sue has divorced him and is planning to remarry Owen Wright (Ralph Bellamy, a mainstay in these type of comedies). Ricky immediately flies back to New York to win Sue back. Irene tags along to find out the truth. This is a lightweight but enjoyable comedy. Dennis Morgan is a suitable leading man. It's refreshing to see the usual dramatic Oberon in this type of movie. She has a knack for light comedies. It's too bad she didn't make a lot more. Rita Hayworth is very good as Irene. Not only beautiful to look at, but very funny. And in one hilarious dinner scene, she gets to put on a very British accent that she nails perfectly. Ralph Bellamy gets his best scenes when he trades barbs with Morgan. And a surprise with Hattie McDaniel and Butterfly McQueen from Gone with the Wind appearing as Oberon's servants. McDaniel gets in her trademark line "But I don't like it!" several times during the film. All in all, I enjoyed this film and recommend it to anyone looking for a few good laughs.


Janet about to do a little surfing

Sunday, July 22, 2012


For next month, I am doing another new series. This one will be called 31 Stars in 31 Days, in homage to TCM's Summer Under The Stars. I will choose one star a day and watch one of their respective films. If the star falls on a weekend I will watch more than one as I will be off work and hopefully have more time. I will also list some facts and post some photos of said star for that particular day. So Joan Blondell, who was the scheduled goddess for the month will now be rescheduled for January of next year. Sorry Joan. But I wanted to try this series and if it works, it will become a yearly event. I will have the list of the chosen stars and list of films by the end of this month. Also next month I will induct two more people into my Hall Of Fame. And try to get my next year of the Monties done as well. The year is 1947. My guest for the month will be my good friend and co-worker Debbie if she has the time. She recently left the place I work at to start a new job. So I more than understand if she is a little busy. Regardless August poses to be one of my biggest months. Please drop by to visit for a bit if you can.  And as you can tell my the photo to the left, one of the chosen will be none other than the legendary Bette Davis!


Carole holding on and having fun

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My Childhood Crushes #6 - Catherine Mary Stewart

As Gwen in Weekend at Bernie's (1989)

I recently bought the 1984 film The Last Starfighter on blu-ray and it has brought back tons of memories. One of my favorite movies from my childhood and it's still an awesome movie. And it features my next childhood crush..Canadian born Catherine Mary Stewart. Now I can't remember exactly what I first saw her in. She appeared on the popular soap Days of Our Lives in 1982 playing the pivotal character of Kayla Brady. I think I kind of remember her from that, but not really because another actress took over that role the following year and became super popular. She had two movies in 1984 which I both saw and immediately fell in love. As Maggie in The Last Starfighter and Regina in Night of the Comet, both sci-fi films. She was around 24 at the time, a full ten years older than me, but I wasn't thinking about our age differences. Just wanted this lovely girl to be my girlfriend. No one rocked the big feathered look of the 80's better than Catherine!

As Maggie in The Last Starfighter (1984)

As Regina in Night of the Comet (1984)

As Bunny in Mischief (1985)

She would also appear in the 1985 teen comedy Mischief and 1989's Weekend at Bernies and then a host of TV movies and spots on regular TV series, but by then she was already one of my favorites. The beautiful and very talented Catherine Mary Stewart.

Pics of Catherine today...

Monday, July 16, 2012

Personal Quotes by Rita Hayworth

Here are some personal quotes by Miss Hayworth:

Every man I have ever known has fallen in love with Gilda and awakened with me.

All I wanted was just what everybody else wants, you know, to be loved.

I think all women have a certain elegance about them which is destroyed when they take off their clothes.
The fun of acting is to become someone else.
No one can be Gilda 24 hours a day.
Increasingly, stars are recruited from the ranks of professional models, with the result that today's starlets are better dressed and better groomed than ever before, though it is doubtful if they are better actresses.

2012 Cinematic World Tour: Persepolis courtesy of Wide Screen World

Here's another entry by Rich over at Wide Screen World for our Cinematic World Tour, who chose the film Persepolis as his destination. Check out the link here:


Romy about to take a little boat ride...
and I guess you guys are thinking..Monty wasn't kidding
when he said he would be posting about Romy more...first
post of a new week and BAM! it's her..

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Romy Schneider is moving up my favorite actresses list...very, very fast

Austrian actress Romy Schneider has quickly become one of my favorite actresses. She was resting comfortably in the lower 30's of my favorite 50 classic actresses list. Well after much discussion with Irene Palfy about her and watching Romy's film Good Neighbor Sam, she has moved all the way up to number 7. I plan to watch as many of Romy's films as I can get my hands on. I have What's New Pussycat? on the way as I ordered it from Amazon. So expect lots of posts on here about the wonderful Romy!

Summer Lovin'- SHARON TATE

The beauty that was Sharon the pool in Valley of the Dolls,
so awesome in that movie!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

VALLEY OF THE DOLLS (1967) is a pure delight

For this evening's movie I watched Valley of the Dolls (1967), a recent purchase from good old Amazon. I hadn't seen Dolls in over 15 years so it was like a new experience to me. And I know that most movie watchers regard it as trashy and campy. Me? I think it's awesome. And it's not like this film is not surrounded with a crazy amount of talent. Patty Duke...Oscar winner. Director Mark Robson, who has helmed such films as Peyton Place, The Inn Of Sixth Happiness, Von Ryan's Express, The Harder They Fall and My Foolish Heart to name just a few. Mega film composer John Williams (Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Superman, Jaws). Another Oscar winner in Lee Grant. Rising star Sharon Tate, before her untimely death. The film debut of Richard Dreyfuss. And veteran film star Susan Hayward in one of her final roles. Add all that up and you have an insane amount of talent for a supposedly trash film. I for one never for an instance felt that it was anything less than a stellar drama that had me hooked from the opening title credits with the theme song performed by Dionne Warwick.

Wide eyed Anne on her way to New York

Based on Jacqueline Susann's real life experiences of being an actress from the late 30's to the late 50's who turned into quite the writer. The story focuses on three different young women all aiming to make it big in show business. Small town girl Anne Welles (played by Barbara Parkins) fresh out of college heads to New York and Broadway hoping to land an exciting job and a sophisticated man. She starts out as a secretary for a theatrical attorney. She will soon meet up with the other two young women of this film. One Miss Neely O'Hara (Patty Duke not holding back one bit as the star waiting in the wings of veteran Helen Lawson, played by Susan Hayward). And then there's Jennifer North (Sharon Tate) who knows where her talents lie...her body measurements. These three path's intersect all through-out the movie and it's quite a ride. 

Neely in a quieter moment
Neely in a not so quiet moment

Once Neely makes it big time, she becomes hooked on booze and pills..the pills are called dolls. And she goes thru the wringer, lashing out at everyone, suffering thru two failed marriages and spending time in a sanitarium. Anne ends up falling for agent Lyon Burke (played by David Burke) who is afraid to commit to her and ends up leaving and coming back to her several times after messing around with other women. Jennifer meets and weds nightclub singer Tony Polar (played by Tony Scotti) who lives under the domineering rule of his older sister Miriam (played by Lee Grant). Tony winds up with a heredity disease that leaves him crippled and Jennifer must make French art films (i.e nudie pics) to pay for his treatment). It's ironic that Neely winds up at the same place Tony is at and they get together for a rousing number of Come Live With Me that used to Tony's trademark song that he performed at nightclubs. It's one hell of an emotional scene.
Tony and Jennifer

Like I said, I know most people write this film off as campy but if it is camp, then it is grade A camp. While all three leads give good performances with Patty Duke raging and ripping through everybody, I thought Sharon Tate comes off the best. Her frequent conversations with her mother over the phone involving money are really good. And her final scene shows the potential Sharon had to become a major actress if not for her tragic real life death. I argue that scene will convince anyone that Sharon could really act and was not just a pretty face. Barbara Parkins is really good too as she may not get the flashy part like Duke, but she has an emotional scene towards the end of the film that is heart-breaking and powerful.

Old school Helen Lawson

So if anyone has never seen this film and stayed away because of all the negative talk toward I suggest you try watching it now and you will be pleasantly surprised how good it really is. Filled with tons of memorable lines such as:

Jennifer: French subtitles across a bare bottom does not make it an art film.

Neely: Boobies, boobies, boobies. Nothin' but boobies. Who needs 'em? 

Anne: Neely, you know it's bad to take liquor with those pills. 
Neely: They work faster.

Neely: I have to get up at five o'clock in the morning and SPARKLE, Neely, SPARKLE!" 

Jennifer all to herself


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