CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Monday, November 30, 2009

Classic Movie Goddess Of The Week - Virgina Mayo

It was good fortune that I decided for the movie goddess of the week to be Virgina Mayo. It also happens to be her birthday today and TCM is airing several of her movies for part of the day.

Born Virgina Clara Jones on November 30, 1920 in St. Louis, MO, the daughter of a newspaper reporter and his wife. The family had a rich heritage in the St. Louis area: her great-great-great-grandfather served in the American Revolution and later founded the city of East Saint Louis, Illinois, located right across the Mississippi River from its namesake. Virginia was interested in show business from an early age. Her aunt operated a dance studio and Virginia began taking lessons at the age of six. After graduating from high school in 1937, she became a member of the St. Louis Municipal Opera before she was signed to a contract by Samuel Goldwyn after being spotted by an MGM talent scout during a Broadway revue.

David O. Selznick gave her a screen test, but decided she wouldn't fit into films. Goldwyn, however, believed that her talent as an actress was there and cast her in a small role in 1943's Jack London (1943). She later had a walk-on part in Follies Girl (1943) that same year. Believing there was more to her than her obvious ravishing beauty, producers thought it was time to give her bigger and better roles. In 1944 she was cast as Princess Margaret in The Princess and the Pirate (1944), with Bob Hope and a year later appeared as Ellen Shavley in Wonder Man (1945). Her popularity increasing with every appearance, Virginia was cast in two more films in 1946, The Kid from Brooklyn (1946), with Danny Kaye, and The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), with Dana Andrews, and received good notices as Andrews' avaricious, unfaithful wife. Her roles may have been coming in slow, but with each one her popularity with audiences rose. She finally struck paydirt in 1947 with a plum assignment in the well-received The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947) as Rosalind van Hoorn. That same year she married Michael D. O'Shea and would remain with him until his death in 1973 (the union produced a daughter, Mary Catherine, in 1953). She got some of the best reviews of her career in James Cagney's return to the gangster genre, White Heat (1949), as Verna, the scheming, cheating wife of homicidal killer Cody Jarrett (Cagney). The striking beauty had still more plum roles in the 1950s. Parts in Backfire (1950), She's Working Her Way Through College (1952) and South Sea Woman (1953) all showed she was still a force to be reckoned with. As the decade ended, Virginia's career began to slow down. She had four roles in the 1960s and four more in the following decade. Her last role was as Janet Wilson in 1990's Evil Spirits (1990). She died on January 17, 2005.

So enjoy the pics and facts about Virgina all week long as she is the classic movie goddess of the week.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy 50th Anniversary to the Films of 1959

It just occurred to me that while watching Some Like It Hot, which came out in 1959, is celebrating 50 years. So I then realized how many great films came out during 1959 and was amazed. It really was a very good year and I thought about posting about some of them through-out the month of December. Just look at some of the films that came out 50 years ago:

Anatomy Of A Murder
Some Like It Hot
North By Northwest
The Diary Of Ann Frank
Imitation Of Life
Rio Bravo
Pillow Talk
A Summer Place
The Nun's Story
On The Beach
Sleeping Beauty
Suddenly, Last Summer
Operation Petticoat
Look Back In Anger
Room At The Top

Impressive list. Of course 1939 is still the dream year of all time, but 1959 deserves a special nod too. So to start it off, I will choose Some Like It Hot, since I just watched it.

Very funny comedy with everyone involved at the top of their game. Ace director Billy Wilder leads Marilyn Monroe, Tony Curtis, and Jack Lemmon through this delightful funny romp set during the Prohibition era. Curtis and Lemmon posing as women to get away from the mob, end up joining Monroe's all girl band. Complications ensue. Doesn't get much better than this. Easily one of the best comedies ever made. Curtis and Lemmon make a great team and Monroe is super as Sugar Kane the singer who stays in trouble. Also notable is George Raft as head of the mob trying to catch the two guys who are witnesses to a murder.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Classic Movie Goddess Of The Week - Lana Turner Part 3

Here is my list of what I think are Lana's best films and her best work. As TCM would call them, the essentials.

ZIEGFELD GIRL (1941) Lana gives a terrific performance that actually overshadows co-stars Judy Garland and Hedy Lamarr. Not an easy feat.

IMITATION OF LIFE (1959) The scene where she lets her housekeeper's daughter have an earful after said daughter is being disrespectful towards her mom. I was like Go Lana, tell that brat off.

THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE (1946) Woo-hoo. Lana is positively electrifying with her platinum blonde hair and always dressed in white as a wife who teams with a drifter to knock off her husband.

PEYTON PLACE (1957) Classic soaper that benefits from the presence of Ms. Turner.

THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL (1952) One of Lana's best ensemble films ever, co-starring Kirk Douglas, Gloria Grahame, and Dick Powell. Lana gives a solid performance as an actress passed over by the next hot new thing.

So those are Lana's best films in my opinion and the ones you have to watch to understand how talented she really was.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Top 5's with James Bond

The SyFy Channel is having a marathon of Bond films on Thursday and Friday. So I thought now would be a good time to write a blog about my personal favorites of the long running series broken down into different categories with my top 5 picks in each of them. So here we go:

1. Sean Connery - this was actually a close call. I grew up watching Bond when Roger Moore was playing him and recently I loved when Pierce Brosnan took over. But I had to go with Sean...he did start it after all.
2. Pierce Brosnan
3. Roger Moore
4. Daniel Craig - is off to a good start but he needs to lighten up just a bit
5. Timonty Dalton - not as bad as everyone remembers.

1. Goldeneye (1995) Brosnan's first Bond film and it's awesome. Made Bond more of an action hero to compete with the current stars of action films today, and it works.
2. Goldfinger (1964) This is the one where most people remember when the series started to really click. The cool opening scene, Connery very relaxed in the role now, a dastardly villian, the gadgets, and the unusually named Bond girl of Pussy Galore.
3. For Your Eyes Only (1981) Roger Moore toned down the jokes and played Bond with a serious edge. This is one of my all time favorites and I watched it like a million times growing up.
4. Casino Royale (2006) Bond remade with Daniel Craig taking over the role and knocks it right out of the park. Very entertaining entry.
5. From Russia With Love (1963) Rosa Klebb. Red Grant. Tatiana Romanova. The thrilling train fight and boat chase scenes. Nuff said.

1. Nobody Does It Better (Carly Simon) From The Spy Who Loved Me, so good it should be the theme song for the entire series.
2. Live and Let Die (Paul McCartney) Hell yeah. Paul rocks it like no other.
3. Diamonds Are Forever (Shirley Bassey) This woman could belt out a song with very strong vocals.
4. For Your Eyes Only (Sheena Easton) Catchy song.
5. Dance Into The Fire (Duran Duran) Probably one of the few good things about Roger Moore's last Bond film, A View To A Kill.

1. Auric Goldfinger - Goldfinger. Classic Bond villian that set the standard for others to follow.
2. Scaramanga - The Man With The Golden Gun. As played by horror vet Christopher Lee.
3. Blofeld - Appeared in several Bond films, each time by a different actor. The best to me was Donald Pleasance in 1967's You Oonly Live Twice. But Charles Gray in 1971's Diamonds Are Forever is pretty good too.
4. Max Zorin - A View To A Kill. Psychotic bad guy, played by Christopher Walken.
5. Elektra King - The World Is Not Enough. First main villian played by a female and actress Sophie Marceau is fabulous.

1. Xenia Onatopp (Famke Janssen) - GoldenEye. Delicious and sexy henchwoman that loves to kill and thrill.
2. Jaws (Richard Kiel) The only bad guy to play in more than one Bond film. More than a worthy enough adversary for Mr. Bond.
3. Red Grant (Robert Shaw) - From Russia With Love. The ultimate Cold War soldier who fights Bond memorably in a small train compartment.
4. Fiona Volpe (Luciana Paluzzi) - Thunderball. More woman than any man could handle even James Bond. She also has one of the best quotes in the entire series: "But of course, I forgot your ego, Mr. Bond. James Bond, the one where he has to make love to a woman, and she starts to hear heavenly choirs singing. She repents, and turns to the side of right and virtue... but not this one!"
5. Oddjob (Harold Sakata) - Goldfinger. He may be mute, but he makes quite an impression, especially on James.

1. Melina Havelock (Carole Bouquet) in For Your Eyes Only. There is just something about this beauty who had smarts and looks and was deadly with a crossbow.
2. Tracy Di Vicenzo (Diana Rigg) in On Her Majesty's Secret Service. The former Mrs. Emma Peel became Mrs. James Bond for one film. No other actress could have pulled that part off I don't think.
3. Pam Bouvier (Carey Lowell) in Licence To Kill. Carey brought a gritty new feel as a Bond girl who could handle herself in a fight, chase, or argument. Plus she could fly anything being a pilot
4. Pussy Galore (Honor Blackman)in Goldfinger. To be able to pull off this character with a name like that, Honor should have received some type of award.
5. Solitaire (Jane Seymour)in Live and Let Die. The lovely Jane was quite good in one of her first roles.

1. Goldeneye (1995) Awesome action in Russia at a weapons facility with Bond doing his thing.
2. For Your Eyes Only (1981) Riding inside a helicopter is what most people do, not James Bond..he has to dangle outside the door miles up in the air while his enemy Blofeld remote controls the copter to make it crash. Very cool.
3. Casino Royale (2006) Simple but effective introduction of Daniel Craig to the series. He makes two kills in the space of minutes. One is quite clean and efficient, the other one is quite nasty with a brawl in a men's bathroom.
4. From Russia With Love (1963) Red Grant's training exercise to dispatch Bond will throw you off because you don't realize it's just an exercise.
5. Moonraker (1979) Over the top but still exciting as Bond free falls from a plane without a parachute and also has to contend with Jaws. Classic.

1. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) Bond in the Lotus being pursued by the bad guys via cars, motorcycle, helicopter, and undersea divers. Doesn't get any better than that.
2. Quantum Of Solace (2008) Thrilling opening chase scene has Bond eluding the bad guys coming down a mountainside.
3. For Your Eyes Only (1981) Bond on skis being chased by other skiers and bikers. Cool.
4. Licence To Kill (1989) The truck chase finale has to be seen to be believed with Bond using a semi as his own personal Tonka toy.
5. Live and Let Die (1973) Probably the most exciting boat chase you will ever see.

1. Octopussy (1983) Stunning women from all around the world for this one.
2. Moonraker (1979)
3. From Russia With Love (1963)Rosa Klebb aside, there are quite the few lovelies in this one.
4. On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1969)Several stunning women all gather in Switzerland much to the delight of Bond.
5. Dr. No (1962) The first Bond movie features several stunning women including Ursula Andress, Eunice Gayson, and Zena Marshall

1. From Russia With Love (1963) Bond and Red Grant go at in a small train compartment. Very brutal and well done.
2. The Living Daylights (1987) One of the best fights not to feature Bond. Instead it's another British agent fighting an assassin in the kitchen.
3. Goldeneye (1995) Bond vs his onetime friend an fellow agent Alex.
4. Casino Royale (2006) Bond fights some bad guys in a fancy hotel. Very exciting.
5. The Man With The Golden Gun (1974) Not the best Bond movie but it does have a good fight scene with Bond against the baddies while trying to romance an exotic belly dancer. Only Bond could do something like that.

I believe that will wrap it up for now but as the credits all say I will return.
Oh one more category..
1. Q (Desmond Llewelyn) The weapon master. His banter with 007 is always good for a laugh.
2. M (Judi Dench) The best of all of Bond's bosses. Judi rocks.
3. Miss Moneypenny (Lois Maxwell) Forever in love with James.
4. Felix Leiter (David Hedison) Bond's CIA counterpart has been played by so many different actors but Hedison is the only one who played him twice.
5. Charles Robinson (Colin Salmon)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Photo Of The Day: Three lovely ladies...

Paulette Goddard, Dorothy Lamour, & Veronica Lake from Star Spangled Rhythm (1943)

Classic Movie Goddess of the week - Lana Turner Part 2

Here are some little facts and trivia about Lana:

Height: 5"4
Nickname: The Sweater Girl
Married 8 times, twice to Stephen Crane
One daughter: Cheryl Crane (fathered by Steve Crane).

Her auburn hair was bleached for Idiot's Delight (1939). She was withdrawn from the film, but the fact that she had become a blonde not only changed her screen image but gave her such an outgoing, swinging personality that Hollywood called her the Nightclub Queen.

In the movie Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1941) with Spencer Tracy and Ingrid Bergman she was originally supposed to play the part of Ivy, the tart, and Bergman was supposed to play the innocent girl engaged to Tracy but Bergman wanted Turner's part and so the roles were switched.

Campaigned for Franklin Delano Roosevelt in the 1944 presidential election.

Was considered for the role of Maggie Pollitt in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), which was eventually given to Elizabeth Taylor.

She was a true American hybrid, with a mixture of Scottish, Irish, Dutch and English ancestry.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Buckle up for high speed fun and adventure in STAR TREK

Saw it opening night on IMAX and it was freakin' AWESOME! Suffice to say Star Trek is the best movie I have seen in awhile. And the audience I saw it was cheering and screaming and laughing the entire movie.

Just saw it for a second time and it was even better hence the higher rating. Trek is one of my top 5 favorites now.

Just recently bought the new DVD and Trek still rocks.......

Alright here is my review of this new classic: Star Trek is the most fun I've had at the movies in a long time. This reboot of the classic series is a wonder to behold and it does not disappoint. And what's cool about this film is that is very accessible to non-Trek fans but at the same time will please Trekkies everywhere. This is the perfect summertime movie that delivers everything the previews promised and then some. Detailing the beginning journey for the intrepid crew of the starship Enterprise, this film explains a lot of history about the characters we have come to know and love for over 40 years, but with a few welcome tweaks. How James Kirk was born on his father's ship amid a raging space battle. And his rebellious upbringing against authority before enlisting in Starfleet. And Spock's childhood is explored as he is constantly harassed by fellow classmates for being half human. Flash forward a few years the duo will meet aboard the Enterprise, which is led by Captain Pike. Along the way we are introduced to the stunning Uhura (played by Zoe Zaldana), Sulu (John Cho) who uses a frigggin' collapsible samurai sword in a battle with some bad guys, Chekov, and the irascible Leonard McCoy (played by Karl Urban). We learned how McCoy gets the nickname Bones and how he despises his ex-wife. Urban kills the part. We don't meet Scotty (Simon Pegg) until halfway into the movie but when he comes aboard it is a very funny scene. As for the two leads Chris Pine is very good as Kirk, and he doesn't play him as William Shatner did. He makes Kirk cocky and horny but also very smart. Of course he is quick to fight too. And Pine just makes Kirk so likable that you can't help but root for the guy to win. But its Zachary Quinto who delivers the most as Spock. He brings a new level of intensity to the part that makes Spock seem dare I say it bad ass. As for the villian which I must regrettably say is the weak link in the movie. As the Romulan Nero, Eric Bana is somewhat wasted. Still this new update rocks with eye popping SFX, cool battle scenes, humor, drama, sexual innuendo, conflict, and a strong return by the original Spock, Mr. Nimoy thanks to a nifty time travel plot. There may be some die hard Treks fans that will take offense to some of the liberties taken by director J.J. Abrams, but I am not one of them. I think he did a helluva job and hope he comes back for the sequel. Trust me Star Trek is solid entertainment. I would not steer anybody wrong about this one. One of my favorite films now. And I don't think any other film coming out this summer or the year for that matter is gonna touch it. Oh, one more thing, when the Enterprise goes to warp's sent shivers down my OH YEAH!!

Classic Movie Goddess Of The Week - Lana Turner

Decided to kick off my new weekly blog on classic movie goddesses with Lana Turner after having watched her in Ziegfeld Girl (1941) the other day. She gave an amazing performance and stole the movie from Judy Garland and Hedy Lamarr, not exactly pushovers. But I do believe Lana to have been a very underrated actress, that most critics judged her by her stunning looks and not her acting ability. Don't get me wrong, Lana is very easy on the eyes but she was much more than that. She gave several strong performances most notably in Imitation of Life (1958), The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946), Peyton Place (1957) and the a fore mentioned Ziegfeld Girl.

Lana was born Julia Jean Mildred Frances Turner on February 8, 1921 in Wallace, Idaho. She didn't have the easiest of childhoods as her father was murdered when she was eight, which prompted her family to move to California. As legend states, she was discovered at Currie's Drug Store by a talent agent, who brought Lana before director Mervyn LeRoy, who cast her in a small role as a murder victim in his 1937 film They Won't Forget. Publicists quickly dubbed her "the sweater girl" and the rest is history.

Lana would work with some of the biggest stars early and often such as Clark Gable, Spencer Tracy, and Kirk Douglas. She was one of the top box-office draws during the 40's. And amid all the marriages and scandals, not to mention the killing of her abusive lover Johnny Stompanato by her own daughter in self defense, her clout at the movies gained even more into the 50's. She scored big hits with 1952's The Bad and the Beautiful, 1957's Peyton Place, and the seminal tearjerker Imitation of Life (1958) which provided Lana with one of her strongest roles ever.

Lana would finish out her career on TV with a plum role on the nighttime soap Falcon Crest. She died on June 29, 1995 of throat cancer at the age of 74. Throughout the week I will post tons of pics of Lana and more information about her personal life and a list of her essential films to see, in my opinion. So just sit back and enjoy the daily posts on one of Hollywood's great Movie Goddesses.

New weekly blog

Once a week I will post pics and little known facts and essential films to see, in my opinion of a classic movie actress, those that achieved the status of movie goddess. I chose Lana Turner as the one to kick things off with. I will post as much info and personal insight of each actress chosen. Just something I want to add to my ever increasing list of things to do on my blog. Hope everyone enjoys them.

New poll started

Before I get to the new poll for the week, just a quick recap of last week's poll. I asked the question who was your favorite female dancer in the movies and out of 8 votes, Ginger Rogers grabbed 4 of the votes. Each other person: Cyd Charisse, Eleanor Powell, Ann Miller, and Ruby Keeler each received 1 vote. Thanks to all those that voted.

Now onto the new poll which poses the question: who is favorite movie pairing? I tried to include as many as I could since there were several worthy movie pairings, so if anyone got slighted, my apologies. Anyway feel free to drop by and make a selection.

Photo Of The Day

A casual Grace Kelly

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ziegfeld Girl is solid entertainment

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Star loaded 1941 film Ziegfeld Girl is an enjoyable film. It stars Jimmy Stewart, Judy Garland, Hedy Lamarr, and Lana Turner. Like I said star loaded. The film centers on three different girls who become Ziegfeld girls, which they hope mean fame and money. Judy is Susan Gallagher, one half of a musical variety act with her old school dad (played by the fabulous Charles Winniger) that play at very small locales just to earn some money. Well Susan gets the call that the great Mr. Ziegfeld is looking for new girls and she is all happy for her and her dad. But Ziegfeld just wants Susan and not dad. So tension arises from that situation but good old dad doesn't stand in her way. Susan becomes a Ziegfeld girl and her dad carries on the show by himself. Hedy plays Sandra Kotler, a married woman whose violinist husband Franz is struggling to make a name for himself. At the audition for acts for The Ziegfeld show, Franz is overlooked but Sandra is picked to be a ZG, much to Franz's displeasure. They end up separated for awhile and Sandra becomes close with the show's male vocalist Frank (played by Tony Martin). And finally there is elevator girl Sheila Regan (Lana Turner) who has a boyfriend trucker named Gill (Jimmy Stewart with a thick Brooklyn accent). Sheila is the type of girl from the wrong side of the tracks with a hard working family. Once she gets picked, she makes the biggest transformation of all the girls. She lets the fame and money go to her head and breaks up with Gill and starts romancing a much older and richer man. All the girls personal issues play out against the backdrop of the Ziegfeld musical shows. Judy Garland gets to belt out a few good numbers. But its actually Charles Winniger who has the best musical number: a song and dance number with an old vaudeville partner that leaves the audience amazed. Hedy Lamarr is pretty good here in one of her first musicals. Her scenes with Franz are excellent. Jimmy Stewart is good as Gill, a nice change of pace from playing the good guys..he ends up in jail for bootlegging after being dumped by Sheila. His Brooklyn accent is thick, but somehow he loses it by midway through the film. The standout in this film is Lana Turner as Sheila. Whoever may have question Ms. Turner's acting ability will be put in check by her performance here. It deserved some type of award for her hard take on this girl who becomes her own worst enemy. Towards the end, Sheila will have hit rock bottom and Turner nails it with a riveting performance. Ms. Turner may have been known for her beauty, but here she proves she can act with the best of them. There is also solid support from veterans Edward Everett Horton, Fay Holden and Eve Arden. Typical Eve gets in several good zingers. So, Ziegfeld Girl is a marvelous film, not really a straight forward musical, more of a drama that has a few musical numbers in it with solid performances by a talented cast. And one knockout performance by Lana Turner. I enjoyed every minute of it.

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Friday, November 20, 2009

12 Angry Men - It doesn't get any better than this

The definition of a classic film. First, let me give you the role call of this stellar cast. Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Jack Warden, Martin Balsam and a few others. This riveting drama takes place in a juror chamber as 12 men decide the verdict on a murder case. All the evidence seems to point to the young teen being guilty but Henry Fonda rises and states a reasonable doubt and begins to sway the others decisions. At times humorous, but mostly deadly serious. Fonda gives a casual but intense performance. Cobb is off the scale as Fonda's main rival. His final speech as to why the teen is guilty is ACTING 101. And the others also give solid performances. Even if you don't care for B&W movies, I urge you to see this film. It's one of the best ever made.

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Juror #8: It's always difficult to keep personal prejudice out of a thing like this. And wherever you run into it, prejudice always obscures the truth. I don't really know what the truth is. I don't suppose anybody will ever really know. Nine of us now seem to feel that the defendant is innocent, but we're just gambling on probabilities - we may be wrong. We may be trying to let a guilty man go free, I don't know. Nobody really can. But we have a reasonable doubt, and that's something that's very valuable in our system. No jury can declare a man guilty unless it's SURE. We nine can't understand how you three are still so sure. Maybe you can tell us.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thirteen - My 13 Favorite Movies

For this week's Thursday Thirteen, I decided to make a list of my 13 favorite movies.

1. HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940) Without a doubt my favorite movie of all time, starring my favorite actor Cary Grant. I actually just wrote a review of this film last week, so you can check that out whenever you get time.

2.Bringing Up Baby (1938) Another Grant film and another comedy classic. Co-starring the always great Katherine Hepburn and a leopard named Baby.

3. Star Trek (2009) The new updated Trek film is awesome. And it makes the list effortlessly. Can't wait for the second one.

4. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) My favorite of all the Star Wars films. I thought this was wonderfully done that had one hell of a cliff hanger.

5. The Thin Man (1934) Nick & Nora Charles first film and it's a doozy. Superbly acted by William Powell and Myrna Loy, this is the start of a wonderful series.

6. Aliens (1986) Superior sequel to the first Alien film, which is a classic in its own right. Sigourney Weaver owns this movie from the very start.

7. The Lady Vanishes (1938) My favorite Alfred Hitchcock film of all time. That statement alone speaks volumes about this entertaining little mystery/comedy.

8. Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958) Elizabeth Taylor just melts the screen in this riveting drama.

9. Arsenic & Old Lace (1944) The third Cary Grant film to make the list..are you sensing a pattern here? Wickedly fun black comedy.

10. The Big Sleep (1946) Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall work their magic in this excellent murder mystery.

11. Remember The Titans (2000) I love this movie. It's inspiring and entertaining as all get out. Terrific performance by Denzel Washington.

12. A Few Good Men (1992) The scene where Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson go at it is worth the price of admission alone.

13. Dead Again (1991) Great homage to the Hitchcock films of old, expertly directed by Kenneth Branagh and starring him, Emma Thompson, Andy Garcia, and a caustic Robin Williams.

Happy Birthday To The Ladies

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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Spotlight on Hope Lange

A very talented and underrated actress that I first remember seeing in the film adaption of the best selling book Peyton Place (1957)as Selena Cross, the young woman who is in constant conflict with her step-father. Lange was so good, the Academy nominated her for Best Supporting Actress. It was a shame that she didn't win for her performance. Hope was born on November 28, 1931 in Redding Ridge, Connecticut. She actually had did one role of Kraft Televison Theater before getting the plum part of Elma Duckworth in the 1956 film Bus Stop headlining Marilyn Monroe. It's on this film she met her future husband Don Murray. As a matter of the fact, the two were wed within less than a year after meeting on the set of Bus Stop. Their marriage only lasted 5 years but did produce 2 children. Hope would marry two more times. One to director Alan J. Pakula and finally to Charles Hollerith, and would remain with Charles until her death in 2003 after being married to him for 23 years. Hope had a solid career, nothing spectacular, but nothing to be disappointed with either. She starred in the films The Young Lions (1958) with Dean Martin, Marlon Brando, and Montgomery Clift. The Best Of Everything (1959) with Joan Crawford and Martha Hyer. I have seen that film and it was actually pretty good. She also paired up with Bette Davis and Glenn Ford for the whimsical Pocketful of Miracles (1961). Hope then turned to TV for the most part and that's where she would find her greatest success. Starring in the beloved fantasy comedy, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir which lasted three seasons (1968-1970). She would land on another show very quickly when Dick Van Dyke relaunched his show called The New Dick Van Dyke Show (1971-1974)which produced 72 shows. Hope enjoyed one of her biggest hits ever with 1974's Death Wish, starring with Charles Bronson. She would keep herself quite busy in the 80's guesting on several TV shows like The Love Boat, Murder She Wrote, and Hotel. She would continue to make films too such as Blue Velvet (1986), Clear and Present Danger (1994) with Harrison Ford and Just Cause (1995) with Sean Connery. I enjoyed Hope performances in the film and TV roles I have seen her in and I wish she would have achieved even bigger success. Regardless she left her mark on the entertainment world and I hope I have piqued some interest in followers of my blog to watch some of her past work.

Hope Lange's Essentials:

PEYTON PLACE (1957)as Selena Cross
THE BEST OF EVERYTHING (1959) as Caroline Bender
POCKETFUL OF MIRACLES (1961) as Queenie Martin
THE GHOST AND MRS. MUIR (1968-1970) as Carolyn Muir
DEATH WISH (1974) as Joanna Kersey

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Photo Of The Day

William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick & Nora Charles having fun in THE THIN MAN (1934)


TCM is showing four of Claudia's movies tonight starting at 8pm. It begins with the classic western Once Upon A Time In The West (1969) co-starring Charles Bronson and a very mean Henry Fonda. Next up is the Federico Fellini's 1963 masterpiece 8 and 1/2 co-starring Marcello Mastroianni. Then comes the comedy Don't Make Waves (1967) with Tony Curtis and Sharon Tate. And finally to wrap things up is the military flick Lost Command (1966) with Anthony Quinn and George Segal. If you have time, try to check out at least one of her films. She brought a fiery and commanding presence to the screen.
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Monday, November 16, 2009

Malin Akerman is having a very good year...

Swedish actress Malin Akerman has quietly amassed a sensational year at the box office. Back in March she starred in the heavily hyped comic book adaptation Watchmen which topped $100 million in the U.S. Then came June's romantic comedy The Proposal with head-liner Sandra Bullock. That film blew the doors off everyone's expectations to the tune of $162 million. And finally October's comedy Couples Retreat, co-starring Vince Vaughn, which is still playing in theaters, just hit the $100 million dollar mark. So the blonde beauty is a perfect 3 for 3 this year. Kudos to her. And she has every right to be as happy as she is in the pic below.

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Currently watching.....

FATHER GOOSE with Cary Grant and Leslie Caron

New poll started

Before I go into details about the new poll, let me update everyone on last week's poll. The topic was what was Grace Kelly's best film role. Her role as Lisa Fremont in Rear Window easily was the winner. It received 5 out of the 7 votes. One vote went to her role in Dial M For Murder and one went to her role in High Noon. Thanks to everyone who voted.

Now on to this week's poll. Since I have Eleanor Powell as my star of the month, my question ties into her. Who is your favorite female dancer in the movie musicals. The choices are besides Ms. Powell, Ginger Rogers, Cyd Charisse, Ann Miller, and Ruby Keeler. So make your pic and let's see who's the favorite.

Modern Film Favorite-The Proposal is accepted

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Hilarious comedy and Sandra Bullock's best film in years. She plays a high maintenance book editor who is on the verge of being deported back to her homeland of Canada. So she quickly forces her assistant Andrew (played by Ryan Reynolds) to marry her. Well when an immigration officer finds out, he wants to make sure this is for real, so the duo ends up going to Andrew's home in Alaska to prepare for their wedding. Of course his family is in shock and all kinds of hilarity ensues. It reminded me of those old Cary Grant films from the 40's with a dash of more sex talk. Bullock and Reynolds make a great team and have wonderful chemistry together. A solid supporting cast which includes Mary Steenburgen, Malin Akerman, craig T. Nelson and the always funny Betty White as Andrew's grandma. The Proposal is a great romantic comedy that everyone will enjoy. Trust me when Sandra busts out some dance moves to DJ Rob Base It Takes Two you will be hooked.
Margaret Tate: I am not getting in that boat!
Andrew Paxton: Fine, see you in three days.
Margaret Tate: You know I can't swim!
Andrew Paxton: Hence... the *boat*.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Petula Clark-Happy Birthday and some history

A few interesting facts to go along with a Happy Birthday to Petula Clark:

She has sold more than 70 million records worldwide, making her the best-selling British female vocalist in history.

She turned down leading roles in the films Paradise, Hawaiian Style (1966), Valley of the Dolls (1967), Airport (1970) and The Poseidon Adventure (1972).

In 1968 Clark and singer Harry Belafonte were singing a duet on her show when she touched Belafonte's arm. A representative for the show's sponsor, Chrysler Corp., saw it and ordered the director to have them re-tape the duet and not to have Clark touch his arm, the rationale being that viewers in the South would be outraged to see a white woman touching a black man, and the South was a big market for Chrysler's cars. Clark redid the scene, but when she found out the reason why, she and her husband - the show's producer - stormed into the control booth, ordered the director to destroy the second take and keep the original one. As expected, when the show was aired a few weeks later, many stations in the South wouldn't show it, and Chrysler received many letters from outraged Southerners saying they would never buy a Chrysler product again because of the company's sponsorship of the show.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy Birthdays

Several birthdays today including:



DICK POWELL (Known films: 42ND STREET, FOOTLIGHT PARADE, MURDER MY SWEET, and the GOLD DIGGERS film series with co-star Ruby Keeler- pic below)


Friday, November 13, 2009

A Little Movie Trivia....

So while at work today I came across an old movie magazine called Empire's Greatest Action Films. It's about 5 years old and it was in one of my desk's drawers. So while on break I flipped through it and landed on the 4 page write up on Raiders of the Lost Ark, which is one of my all time favorite films. And what caught my attention was a section called little known trivia, so I started reading it. Of course everyone knows that Tom Selleck was the original choice to play Indy, but couldn't break free from his Magnum P.I. show. And that Harrison Ford was sick as a dog when they filmed that scene with the guy twirling his sword in the middle of the street, when Indy just shoots him. The one fact I didn't know was the scene where Indy and Marion are trapped in the snake pit and snakes are everywhere. Well during one take, Karen Allen (Marion) thought there was gonna be fake snakes thrown at her or near her, but Spielberg surprised her with the real deal. So she freaked out. He wanted to get a realistic reaction out of her and boy did he ever. So I thought that was pretty interesting. You don't know what part it is in the movie because she is screaming and jumping all over the place anyway and there are tons of snakes in this scene too. Just thought it was interesting and I never knew that before. In case some of my followers don't know I met the lovely Ms. Allen at Dragon Con Atlanta this year back in September. And she was super nice and was positively radiant. I was able to get a picture with her that day which is below.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Grace Kelly

To a wonderful actress and lovely woman...

And don't forget that TCM is showing three of her films tonight, starting at 8pm:
Dial M For Murder, Rear Window, and her Oscar winning turn in The Country Girl

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Currently watching.....

Eleanor Powell as Clare Bennett (yes, name checking the girl from the TV show Heroes) in

Top Actors/Actresses For The Week

Just messing around and thought I would have a weekly list of actors and actresses that were on my mind or whatever for each and every week. Be it by watching them on TCM, my DVDS, online searching, reading some books on them..whatever the case may be to see which ones I was thinking of and watching the most. I will update it every week and it will be on my sidebar. I will kick it off right here with this post and rank them from 10 to 1. Since I'm late putting this list out, let's just say this counts for the week ending Sunday, Nov 8th. I will post a new ranking every Monday.


Without a doubt Grace Kelly is tops for the week thanks to her being the star of the month over on TCM. Plus she is one of my favorite actresses of all time. My star of the month is Eleanor Powell and she is at number 5. That may change, because I will be watching several of her movies through the rest of the week.

Happy Veterans Day Photos

In celebration of Veterans Day here are some photos of classic films showing the All American Spirit. Enjoy.

Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, and Veronica Lake in SO PROUDLY WE HAIL (1943)

Veronica Lake in SO PROUDLY WE HAIL (1943)

The women of YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)

Esther Williams and Van Johnson in THE THRILL OF A ROMANCE (1945)


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