CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Sunday, September 30, 2012

A new tournament to kickstart October!

After a lackluster month blogging for September in which I wrote only 10 posts, by far my lowest output since starting my blog nearly three years ago. I needed something to get me going again. So why not a of my favorite things that has been a regular feature on my blogs. So what would be the theme of said tournament? Since it's October, a month all about scary things, why not focus on Alfred Hitchcock. Specifically the leading ladies of Hitchcock. Last year I did a tourney spotlighting Hitch's films which was won by Rear Window. This tourney will focus on the top 16 actresses of his films. And I know most people are probably figuring Grace Kelly should win hands down, but there have been upsets before in my other tourneys of the past. Remember Gloria Grahame knocking off heavily favored Marilyn Monroe? Huge upset. As a favorite sports saying goes, that's why we play the game. I am still working on the list of contenders but I do have the top four selected. My selection process is basing the women's record in Hitch's films: most recognition, an Oscar win or nomination, most appearances, etc. And I will be concentrating on leading ladies so such outstanding supporting work such as Judith Anderson in Rebecca will not be eligible. I may do a tourney focusing on supporting players next year maybe. Anyway here are the top 4 seeds of the tourney. 

1 GRACE KELLY - She appeared in three Hitch films: Rear Window, Dial 'M' For Murder and To Catch A Thief. One of Hitch's frequent leading ladies. While she never won an Oscar for playing one of his ladies, she made quite an impression on audiences and critics. Her Lisa Fremont in Rear Window is my all time favorite Hitchcock character.

2 JOAN FONTAINE - The only actress to win an Oscar in a Hitchcock film. The only person as a matter of fact, including actors. Yes Cary Grant nor Jimmy Stewart never won an Oscar for their multiple appearances in a Hitchcock film. Joan was nominated for both Rebecca and Suspicion in consecutive years of 1940 and 1941 and won for the latter.

3 INGRID BERGMAN - Top notch actress who graced audiences with her appearances in three Hitch films: Notorious, Spellbound and Under Capricorn. More than worthy enough in being a top seed in this tourney.

4 KIM NOVAK - Many consider Hitch's Vertigo his masterpiece and the actress in that film is none other than Kim Novak. It is considered to be one of her best roles.

So there you have the top four actresses who have earned the right to be the top seeds. I will have the complete list done before the week is out as the tourney will begin Sunday, October 7th. Hope everyone will drop by to take part in this tournament.

Even Hitch is excited about the tourney...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Happy Birthday Romy Schneider (1938-1982)

Austrian actress Romy Schneider has quickly become one of my favorite actresses in the few movies I have seen of hers. Recently in Good Neighbor Sam, co-starring Jack Lemmon and What's New Pussycat with Peter Sellers and Peter O'Toole. Up to number three on my favorite actress list. September 23rd marks her birthday, or what would have been her birthday. She died from cardiac arrest at the age of 43. Me and my best friend Irene Palfy have had many a conversation about her. She is an awesome actress indeed! Happy Birthday Romy! We still have all the wonderful films you did to enjoy.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Personal Quotes by Joan Crawford

Every month when I choose my classic movie goddess, one of the things I like to do is list some of her favorite personal quotes as supplied by IMDB. So here we go with Miss Joan letting it all go...and the first one is a doozy!

I need sex for a clear complexion, but I'd rather do it for love.

[In The Women (1939)] Norma Shearer made me change my costume sixteen times because every one was prettier than hers. I love to play bitches and she helped me in this part.

Love is fire. But whether it is going to warm your hearth or burn down your house, you can never tell.

Nobody can imitate me. You can always see impersonations of Katharine Hepburn and Marilyn Monroe. But not me. Because I've always drawn on myself only.
I think the most important thing a woman can have -- next to talent, of course, is -- her hairdresser.
You have to be self-reliant and strong to survive in this town. Otherwise you will be destroyed.

Recently I heard a 'wise guy' story that I had a party at my home for twenty-five men. It's an interesting story, but I don't know twenty-five men I'd want to invite to a party.
Send me flowers while I'm alive. They won't do me a damn bit of good after I'm dead.
Not that anyone cares, but there's a right and wrong way to clean a house.

There was a saying around MGM: "Norma Shearer got the productions, Greta Garbo supplied the art, and Joan Crawford made the money to pay for both".
If you've earned a position, be proud of it. Don't hide it. I want to be recognized. When I hear people say, "Joan Crawford!" I turn around and say, "Hi! How are you?"
If you're going to be a star, you have to look like a star, and I never go out unless I look like Joan Crawford the movie star. If you want to see the girl next door, go next door.

I'll say one thing...Joan definitely told it like it was!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Be My Guest: Jessica Ellen Rowe

So I know I have been slacking of late here on my blog but thanks to friend Jessica Ellen, who hails from Australia and who I met on Facebook, she graciously accepted my invite to be my guest this month, to put be back on track. Which is perfect since she is one of the biggest Joan Crawford fans I know, and Joanie is my classic movie goddess for the month. So here's Jess to get this party started....Oh and here's a link to Jessica's awesome Tumblr page:

1. What made you start blogging?
Jessica: Well I’m not really a blogger per say, but I do have a tumblr page on which I post Classic Hollywood photos and do a lot of reblogging. There are such amazing photos being posted every day by other Classic Hollywood fans, it’s hard not to become addicted. I’ve spent many a glorious hour drooling over black and white (and Technicolor!).

Me: Yes, your Tumblr page is awesome and your page is what made me start one of my own. So thank you for that Jess!

2. Who are your favorite classic film stars? Name as many as you want
Jessica: Oh gosh, never give me free reign like that Monty! You have been warned!
Bette Davis is my favourite actress of all time (the greatest of them all!) but coming a close and equal second are Joan Crawford, Katharine Hepburn and my current obsession, Lucille Ball.
I also adore Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, Greer Garson, Deborah Kerr, Greta Garbo, Miriam Hopkins, Irene Dunne, Myrna Loy, Jean Arthur, Jean Harlow, Ginger Rogers, Norma Shearer, Lana Turner, Olivia de Havilland, Jeanette MacDonald and Claudette Colbert.
As for male stars, I love Jimmy Stewart, Clark Gable, Robert Montgomery, Melvyn Douglas, John Barrymore, Fred Astaire, Cary Grant and William Powell.
But I’m SURE I'm missing people.

Me: what an awesome selection of faves!

3. What are some of your favorite films?
Jessica: ‘Sunset Boulevard’ (1950) is my all time favourite. I saw it first on the big screen in one of my very first film classes at university back in 2007. It blew my mind and it’s never been topped since. Although films that have come close are ‘All About Eve’ (1950) and ‘Humoresque’ (1946). And I also have a very strong bond with ‘The Women’ (1939).
My guilty pleasure favourite films are ‘Torch Song’ (1953) and ‘Mame’ (1974) but you can’t really call that last one a classic film, I know.

Me: I love Sunset Boulevard!

4. Describe your first classic movie experience. Like where and a cinema, on TV, etc..
Goodness, I’ve told this story a thousand times when asked this question, haha! I think it was some time in either 2004 or 2005 when I was in my last years of high school. It was late at night, past midnight, and everyone had gone to bed but my Mother who stayed up to watch TV. I’d just gotten to sleep when I heard this roaring laughter coming from the lounge room. I had no idea WHAT my Mum was watching but with such intense laughter I HAD to find out! So I got up out of bed and stumbled sleepily into the living room, plonked myself into the arm chair beside the couch where my Mum was sitting and began to watch with her. It was an old, crackly black and white film being screened on ABC (Australia) in which a man and a woman were standing on a golf course arguing profusely over true ownership of a golf ball. From then on, I couldn’t stop laughing and to this day, nothing has made me laugh so hard as ‘Bringing Up Baby’ (1938) starring Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn! Such amazing comic timing and ridiculous yet extremely witty and intelligent situational humour! Comedy doesn’t get much better than that!

Me: Ahhhh what a cool story. And Baby is my second favorite film of all time!

5. What films upon first viewing did you not like, then later on when re-watching them, loved them?
Jessica: Eeeek! I’m having trouble answering this one because I don’t often re-watch films I didn’t like the first time. Actually ‘Double Indemnity’ (1944) seems to come to mind. I think, the first time I watched it, I may have been a little too ignorant to the workings of Classic film and the Film Noir movement. But I was ‘forced’ to watch it again in my Film Noir class a couple of years ago and really thoroughly enjoyed it. A very impressive film.
And actually ‘Mildred Pierce’ (1945) I didn’t think much of at first either. But again, I think I was too ignorant to appreciate it back then and have since written on it several times. There’s so much more to it than I thought!

Me: I see...I have from a few people they didn't care for Double Indemnity but I like it.

6. Describe the perfect way for you to watch a classic film.
Jessica: That’s easy! It sounds corny, but I love being snuggled up on the couch in the middle of the day, poring rain outside, with a blanket and a bowl of pop corn.

Me: Sweet! Sounds great to me!

7. How many friends, family member or co-workers share your love of classic films?
Jessica: My Nana has always adored them and is just ecstatic that I love them too. She still finds it wonderful that someone so young (I’m 24) can love “the oldies” so much. Says it brings back her childhood and it makes me happy that I can make HER happy that way.
My friends like Classic films but only because I’ve introduced them to the fact that they’re not all crackly and poppy with bad over exposure and jumping film. One of my best friends even thanked me for showing her that a lot of them have been beautifully restored and that they would have originally been stunning to watch. She thought they must have always been crackly! The horror!!
And lastly the person I think adores Classic film the most that I know is my thesis supervisor. He is so enthusiastic and got really excited the first time I met him that someone actually wanted to study classic film and not just be a filmmaker or writer like all the rest. I love his passion.

Me: I have a few friends that are into the classics but not too many of my family members or co-workers do.

8. What is your favorite time period: the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's?
Jessica: The 1940s is most definitely my favourite decade. I believe black and white was at it’s most beautiful then and even Technicolor was at it’s most glorious. But I also love it for the fashion. I adore vintage fashion and the 1940s was such a glamorous decade for women with both feminine and masculine elements in their clothing. I love 1950s fashion too but the 40s had a bit of a rebellious side to it that the 50s did not. After the war, the 50s stressed the feminine mystique and the importance of soft, obedient femininity. I can be a bit of a feminist sometimes.

Me: Mine is the 30's but the 40's was amazing as well!

9. What are some of your favorite film quotes?
Jessica: “And by the way… there’s a name for you ladies but it isn’t used in high society; outside of a kennel” – Crystal Allen (Joan Crawford) in ‘The Women’ (1939)
“All the religions of the world rolled into one and we’re gods and goddesses” – Margo Channing (Bette Davis) in ‘All About Eve’ (1950)
Now it isn't that I don't like you, Susan, because, after all, in moments of quiet, I'm strangely drawn toward you, but - well, there haven't been any quiet moments” – David Huxley (Cary Grant) in ‘Bringin Up Baby’ (1938)
“One can feel nostalgia for places one has never seen” – Queen Christina (Greta Garbo) in ‘Queen Christina’ (1933)
“I AM big! It’s the PICTURES that got SMALL!” – Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ (1950)
And oh so many more!

Me: Some good choices there Jess! Can't go wrong with The Women!

10. What classic films have you yet to see for one reason or another?
Jessica: A whole lot! I’m very close to owning 1000 Classic films on DVD but there are so many in my collection that I haven’t watched. Too many to even begin to name!

Me: Haha..sounds like me. I stopped counting once I got to 800 and that was about 5 years ago. So if I had to guess I am close to 1100 now.

11. What is your favorite genre?
Jessica: Those wonderfully emotionally intense films that cross women’s melodrama with Film Noir. I love to feel completely emotionally drained after a film; preferably due to a good cry. The best feeling!

Me: Cool

12. If you threw a movie theme party, describe how you would do it. The costumes, decorations, food, etc.
Jessica: Hmmmm… Everyone would have to come as they’re favourite actor, actress or film character (I would come as Lucille Ball!) and there would be film based games like charades, ‘name that quote’ and pictionary (Oh yeah, I’m cool). Then perhaps a film screening if we’re not all too hyped up to sit around and ignore each other for two hours. Oh and the food would be based on party food that was eaten during in the Golden Age. What that would be though, I have no idea. I just thought it sounded inventive, heehee!

Me: Sounds fantastic! I would come as Cary Grant.

13. What are some films that are widely loved that you couldn't care less about?
Jessica: Please don’t hurt me…
‘Breakfast at Tiffany’s’ (1961)
‘West Side Story’ (1961)
And anything with Judy Garland (except ‘The Wizard of Oz’)… sorry folks!

Me: Oh you just named two films I can't stand either...Tiffany's and West Side Story!

14. Who’s the biggest film fanatic that you know? Besides yourself of course.
Jessica: One of my best friends, Emily. She especially loves Asian cinema and in particular horror and anime which I can get into occasionally too. We used to have horror movies nights were we’d go to the video store and hire out whole bunch of whatever looked like horror films (no matter how cheesy the cover!) and watch for hours and hours at night. We’d go from a really top notch horror film and being genuinely terrified, to a ridiculously low budget horror with blood so bright it HAD to be made of tomato sauce! Really fun nights. She does enjoy a good Classic too.

Me: I love watching horror movies. Every October that is all I watch. Emily sounds cool!

15. And finally who are some of your favorite film characters?
Norma Desmond from ‘Sunset Boulevard’, Margo Channing from ‘All About Eve’, Crystal Allen from ‘The Women’, Helen Wright from ‘Humoresque’, Susan Vance form ‘Bringing Up Baby’, Julia from ‘Julia Misbehaves’ (1948), Nick and Nora from ‘The Thin Man’ films, Terry McKay played by both Irene Dunne and Deborah Kerr in ‘Love Affair’ (1939) and ‘An Affair to Remember’ (1957) and lots more!
Oh, and I know it’s not technically film but can I add Lucy Ricardo (Lucille Ball) from the ‘I Love Lucy’ (1951-57) series? I just adore her with all my heart!

Thanks Monty!! =) xx

Me: Oh some good choices once again Jess. Oh and thank you for be my guest this month and getting me and my blog back on track. And I hope everyone enjoyed having Jessica drop by this month. Please remember to check out her amazing tumblr page. 

My love of classic films is beyond measure


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My 5 Favorite Boris Karloff Films

So I was recently challenged by my best friend and blogger extraordinaire Irene Palfy to name some of my favorite things I like about Boris Karloff. I decided on listing my five favorite films of his. In return, I get to give Irene a challenge later on that she will get to post about on her blog, And Then They Start To Sparkle. So here we go, my top five fave Karloff films beginning at no 5.

5.) THE MUMMY (1932) - Fresh off the success of Frankenstein in which Karloff played the scientist's monster, he would tackle another monster the following year as Imhotep in The Mummy. A wickedly good yarn.

4.) THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY (1947) - A change of pace for Karloff as he co-stars with madcap Danny Kaye in this fanciful yarn about a day dreaming pulp fiction writer with an over-bearing mother. Karloff lends his sinister presence. 

3.) THIS OLD DARK HOUSE (1932) - Star studded cast of Karloff, Charles Laughton, Melvyn Douglas, Raymond Massey and Gloria Stuart about a group of travelers who must spend the night in one creepy old house one dark and stormy night. Home to one of the most dysfunctional families you will ever see with Karloff cast as the manservant Morgan who gets drunk and gets this party started frightfully. Good atmospheric movie!

2.) FRANKENSTEIN (1931) - The film that made Karloff a household name and it's a terrific suspense/horror film that lets Karloff do his thing.

1.) BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN (1935) - But it is the sequel that is even better in my opinion that is my favorite Boris film. Helped immeasurably by the amazing Elsa Lanchester as the title character.

So there you have it, my top 5 fave Boris Karloff films. And now I will challenge Miss Palfy with a little thing of my soon as I think of one. Stay tuned!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

At The Beach: Mamie Van Doren

I wrap up my at the beach/summer lovin photo series for the summer with the stunningly beautiful and sexy Mamie Van Doren. Hope everyone had a great summer and here's to an even better fall.
Top of the world!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some facts about Miss Joan....

A new month means a new classic movie goddess..and for September it is the legendary Joan Crawford. While I have enjoyed several of Joan's films over the years, especially The Women, she has never really been a huge favorite of mine. Until recently that is. She has moved into my top 50 classic actresses of all time and my friend Jessica,who happens to be my guest this month, absolutely adores her. So expect all kinds of Joan Crawford goodness this month. Beginning with some facts and trivia about her, provided by IMDB.

Born: March 23, 1905, San Antonio, Texas
Birth name: Lucille Fay LaSueur
Died May 10th, 1977, New York City (heart attack)

Height: 5'5"

Entered Stephens College, a posh university for women in Columbia, Missouri in 1922, however she left before her first academic year was over as she felt she was not academically prepared for university.
Worked as an elevator operator at Harzfeld's Department Store in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Each time Crawford married, she changed the name of her Brentwood estate and installed all new toilet seats.
Interred at Ferncliff Cemetery, Hartsdale, New York, USA.

Was asked to take over Carole Lombard's role in They All Kissed The Bride (1942) after Lombard died in a air crash returning from a war bond tour. Crawford then donated all of her salary to the Red Cross, who found Lombard's body, and promptly fired her agent for taking his usual 10%.
She was so dedicated to her fans that she always personally responded to her fan mail by typing them responses on blue paper and autographing it. A great deal of her spare time and weekends were spent doing this.
She had a cleanliness obsession. She used to wash her hands every ten minutes and follow guests around her house wiping everything they touched, especially doorknobs and pieces from her china set. She would never smoke a cigarette unless she opened the pack herself, and would never use another cigarette out of that pack if someone else had touched it.

Her cleanliness obsession lead her to prefer showers to tubs, as she abhorred sitting in her own bathwater.

"Joan Arden" was chosen as the young star's screen name after a write-in contest was held in the pages of "Movie Weekly" magazine, but a bit player came forward and said she was already using it. Mrs. Marie M. Tisdale, a crippled woman living in Albany, New York, won $500 for submitting the runner-up name "Joan Crawford".
She disliked her 'new' name and initially encouraged others to pronounce it Jo-Anne Crawford. In private, she liked to be referred to as Billie.
Because Joan was bullied and shunned at Stephens College by the other students due to her poor homelife, she answered every single piece of fanmail she received in her lifetime except those from former classmates at Stephens.
She was voted the 47th Greatest Movie Star of all time by Entertainment Weekly.

My Movie Dreams: A new series

Some of my friends know that my dreams can be very cinematic. As I usually tell them all about them. And they are some doozies. Usually placing me in certain scenes from certain movies or with certain actors/actresses. I thought I would start sharing some of those with all of my followers. And I can remember most of the dreams like they were yesterday. So here is dream #1.

It begins with me chasing some bad guy at night through this crowded mall. I am a cop. And my partner is Robert De Niro. Yes..Robert De Niro. So we're chasing this guy all over the place with our guns drawn and wearing our badges around our necks on chains. Look pretty cool might I add. We're closing in on him when we run into my aunt at the food courtyard. And she starts talking to me. Monty, where have you been? Have you seen your momma lately? Who are you seeing now? Just grilling me with all these questions and De Niro jumps in and says "Excuse us ma'am, but this is police business and we're in pursuit of a known felon. We need to get going." Sounding all cop like. Then my aunt comes back with "Now hold on there Bobby...I know your momma taught you better manners than that."

My mouth hit the floor and I said "This is Mr. De Niro. You don't call him Bobby. What's wrong with you?"
She came back at me "Quiet Monty..grown folks are talking here".

And then the dream kind of fades out. Lasted only for a few minutes but I thought it was pretty cool. Expect many more of my cinematic dreams to follow here on my blog. Thanks for listening!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Monday, September 3, 2012


Don't ask why Steed and Peel have a bear throw rug at the was the 60's..nuff said!


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