CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Stars Doing a Little Light Reading...

Here are some photos of classic movie stars doing a little light reading...
Clark thinking "since I got the part, maybe I need to find out more about Rhett Butler"

Marilyn taking it easy

Vivian Vance having a good time reading the funnies

Olivia is like "Huh? I don't get this at all."

Jean Harlow looking happy

Joan reading to her little dog...cute.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Poll Results - Favorite Barbara Stanwyck Christmas movie

It was a close vote but Christmas in Connecticut edged out Remember the Night as favorite Barbara Stanwyck Christmas movie. Connecticut received 10 votes while Night received 7 votes. Thanks to all those that voted.

All Good Things in January

Here is a preview of what I will be doing on my blog in the month of January. The classic movie goddess will be the lovely Jeanne Crain, who I feel never got the attention she deserved. I will do the usual posts about her life and films with facts and photos. My guest blogger will be my friend and co-worker Mariah Meyer, who just adores Irene Dunne, among her many favorite classic actors and actresses. I can't wait to read her responses to my questions. I will post my top 10 favorite movies of 2010, which despite the slew of negative critiques, wasn't too bad of a year. And finally, I will start a new series that will compare a classic movie actor/actress with their modern counterpart. To kick of the first one will be Jimmy Stewart and Tom Hanks, which I think most people will understand that comparison. So here's to another great year on All Good Things, and I hope everyone will keep checking it out.

Happy Birthday Denzel Washington (1954 - present)

Happy Birthday to my favorite modern actor, Denzel Washington. He has performed in some of the best films of the modern cinema including Remember The Titans (2000) which is my favorite Denzel movie, Crimson Tide (1995), Glory (1989-Oscar), A Soldier's Story (1984), Courage Under Fire (1996), Man On Fire (2004), Training Day (2001-Oscar), The Hurricane (1999) and many more. Not to mention his TV days on the hospital drama St. Elsewhere during the 80's.

Monday, December 27, 2010

My Favorite Barbara Stanwyck Movies - Classic Movie Goddess of the Month

As the month of December comes to a close, now is the time for me to list my favorite Barbara Stanwyck films, or essentials if you will, that showcase Babs at her very best. I have enjoyed posting about Barbara all month long as she has been on my favorite classic movie goddesses. So without delay, here we go.

CHRISTMAS IN CONNECTICUT (1945) This is not only my favorite Babs movie, but my favorite Christmas movie as well. She is awesome as Elizabeth Lane, a food columnist who is no Martha Stewart, but a fake. She is asked by her magazine's owner to entertain a returning soldier with a home cooked meal and to show off her home-making abilities. This is a great comedic showcase for Stanwyck and she doesn't disappoint. Plus she looks stunning in every scene.
Henry Fonda and Barbara Stanwyck
THE LADY EVE (1941) One of Preston Sturges best screwball comedies ever. Barb is perfect as a glamorous cardshark who sets her sights on wealthy Henry Fonda. Mistaken identity and comical situations ensue. Great stuff.
Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray
DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944) Babs is hot to trot as sexy housewife Phyllis Dietrichson, who ensnares insurance agent Fred MacMurray into murdering her husband. Terrific film noir and Stanwyck gets to show that she still knows how to make these potboiler of a movie, like she used to do back in the 30's. Solid direction by Billy Wilder.

GOLDEN BOY (1939) This is more of a showcase for newcomer William Holden as a young man torned between boxing and music. But Babs is pretty good too as the woman he falls for. More of a drama than a boxing film, Golden Boy introduces the world to Holden and shows Stanwyck how easy it is for her to display her legendary acting talents.
Stella Dallas
STELLA DALLAS (1937) When you think of supreme tearjerkers, a few come to mind like Dark Victory and Imitation Of Life. Add Stella Dallas to that list as Babs gives an Oscar nominated performance as a mother who sacrifices everything for her daughter. Babs should have won the Oscar that year.
Margaret Lindsay, Donald Cook and Barbara Stanwyck
BABY FACE (1933) Babs is a young woman uses her body and her sexuality to help her climb the social ladder, but soon begins to wonder if her new status will ever bring her happiness. One of Stanwyck's earliest roles and it's a showstopper. And Baby Face was one of the more racier films released during this time period with Babs at her most sexiest.
Ball of Fire
BALL OF FIRE (1941) Babs is a hoot as singer Sugarpuss O'Shea who hides out with Professor Bertram Potts (Gary Cooper) and his colleagues from her mobster boyfriend. Another great role for Babs as she gets to sing and dance and just be awesome.
The Strange Love of Martha Ivers
THE STRANGE LOVE OF MARTHA IVERS (1946) One of my personal favorites and one of the best casts in film history with Babs leading the way as ruthless Martha Ivers who pretty much runs the town she lives in with her husband (introducing Kirk Douglas). The problem arises when her ex-boyfriend (Van Heflin) shows up to stir things up. That is when he's not romancing Lizabeth Scott. Martha Ivers is a great film that not too many people have seen. You have to check it out if you're one of them.
Barbara Stanwyck in Sorry, Wrong Number
SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948) One of Babs later roles shows her portraying an invalid woman who overhears what she thinks is a plot to murder her. Babs is riveting in this exciting thriller, co-starring Burt Lancaster.

REMEMBER THE NIGHT (1940) Another Christmas classic with Babs as shoplifter Lee Leander, who falls in love with her prosecutor (Fred MacMurray) while bonding over the Christmas holidays. Just compare Stanwyck and MacMurray 4 years later when they teamed up again for Double Indemnity. Talk about range.

So, there you have it, ten of Babs best and my favorites. Honorable mentions to Meet John Doe (1941), Union Pacific (1939), The Mad Miss Manton (1938), and Executive Suite (1954) with her and William Holden reuniting after Golden Boy.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If It's Tuesday, Then It Must Be Grace Kelly - Style Notes

Here are notable facts about Grace's fashion style:

Grace's wedding gown was paid for by MGM and was the most expensive garment ever made by Oscar winning designer Helen Rose, complete with 125-year old lace from a French museum, twenty-five yards of silk taffeta, one hundred yards of silk net, and thousands of seed pearls sewn into the veil and headdress.

Grace had fashioned her blue-blood persona long before the studios got hold of her. She spent hours a day perfecting her voice until her nasal tone was replaced by an elegant, almost British inflection.

After seeing the large diamond engagement rings flaunted by her fellow stars, Prince Rainier called Cartier to upgrade Grace's would-be eternity band of rubies and diamonds to a twelve-carat diamond flanked by two baguettes. She wore the ring in her final film, High Society (1956).

While pregnant with Princess Caroline, Grace often used her Hermes bag to shield her belly from prying paparazzi. The company nicknamed that purse "The Kelly bag".

Facts by TCM Leading Ladies.

Classic Hollywood's Loving Couples

Here are some great photos of Hollywood's most famous married couples from the golden age.

Clark Gable & Carole Lombard

Paul Newman & Joanne Woodward

Barbara Stanwyck & Robert Taylor

Lana Turner & Lex Barker

Natalie Wood & Robert Wagner

Janet Leigh & Tony Curtis

Audrey Hepburn & Mel Ferrer

Mickey Rooney & Ava Gardner

Stanwyck may headline Golden Boy, but it's William Holden who shines the most.

Golden Boy
Another golden film from that golden year of 1939 is Golden Boy, starring Barbara Stanwyck (my classic movie goddess of the month) and introducing William Holden in his first major starring role as boxer/violinst Joe Bonaparte. And what a performance Holden gives. He is truly electrifying as the hot tempered but music loving Joe who is torned between boxing, which he is really good at, and playing the violin, which he is even better at. Enter Tom Moody (played by Adolphe Menjou) as his boxing promoter, who decides to put Joe into a fight when his regular fighter is injured during a practice bout with Joe ironically enough. Moody is not really game to do it, until his long suffering girlfriend Lorna Moon (Stanwyck) convinces him otherwise. Lorna sees Joe as her meal ticket to win some fights and make Tom some money, so he can finally divorce his wife and marry her. The plan is going well until Joe's father gets wind and doesn't like the fact that Joe has all but given up on music. The father is played by Lee J. Cobb, who gives a strong performance as well.

Golden Boy is top notch entertainment fro yesteryear. And even though it's story is about boxing, it doesn't concentrate solely on it. In fact you only see one boxing match at the end of the film, that's a pretty good one. For most of the film, the drama comes from the characters and the situations they are put in. Look out for smooth Joseph Calleia as mobster Eddie Fuselli who wants a piece of Joe to make him some money. Golden Boy gets a magnificent performance by Holden. It would be 20 more years later before he would deliver a performance that matches this one. I'm talking about Stalag 17 in case you were wondering. But here, Holden is very powerful as Joe, as he is always on a slow simmer, ready to boil over. He does calm down though when in the presence of Lorna. Stanwyck is perfect as usual, with her Lorna being the girl who has seen it all and pretty much as given up on finding real love. Her heart has been hardened due to her dealings with crooked promoters, gangsters, and married men. So when she finally meets Joe, her outlook on life begins to change. Her chemistry with Holden is amazing, as she petitioned the studio to choose Holden for this part and the rest is history. Golden Boy is one of the greatest films I  have ever seen. It doesn't get any better than this and it's cool to see a star in the making with Holden's truly amazing performance. This is why he is one of my favorite actors,  because of his intensity and laid back demeanor. Golden Boy is in a class all by itself.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Happy Birthday Jennifer Beals

Jennifer Beals

Happy Birthday to actress Jennifer Beals, who unbelievably turns 47 today. The actress who broke out in 1983's Flashdance never really achieved success afterward until recently on the hit Showtime series, The L Word which ran for six seasons from 2004 thru 2009. Jennifer recently appeared opposite Denzel Washington in 2010's sci-fi film The Book Of Eli. It appears she has taken care of herself and looks terrific. She could easily pass for someone in their early 30's. Good clean living. Anyway Happy Birthday Jennifer.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Favorite Modern Actresses Spotlight: Joan Allen

Just watched an entertaining special on TCM as host Elvis Mitchell interviewed actress Joan Allen. Known to most audiences today for the films The Bourne Supremacy, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Notebook, Face/Off, Pleasantville, The Ice Storm, Nixon, and The Upside Of Anger. She is defintely one of my favorites and her interview was fun and insightful. She spoke on all the directors she worked with. She noted that action maestro John Woo valued her input while making the action flick Face/Off. And it surprised her because she didn't think he cared anything about the small quiet scenes that she had to do, but he did. Or the time she was asked by an interviewer was she intimidated when working with Daniel Day Lewis on the film adaptation of The Crucible. Joan's response was that she compared working with highly respected actors and directors like tennis. It raised your game to be equal to those around her. So that you fed on one another and everyone just clicks. Joan was asked who were her idols growing up and she stated Katherine Hepburn and Donna Reed. She was also asked what kind of films does she like. Joan said she loves all kinds except horrors. She can't take the blood and the scares. About the only scary movie she could handle was Nicole Kidman's The Others. She do remember watching Carrie with her young daughter recently but even that kind of made her jumpy and her daughter had to comfort her. Joan had all these little stories to tell and she came across as genuine and very open. The interview only lasted 30 minutes, but it could have easily went on for another hour. If I interviewed her, we would probably talk all night long. She is awesome.  Just wanted to share that little bit with everyone. Below are my favorite Joan Allen films.

FACE/OFF (1997)

Happy Birthday Lee Remick (1935 - 1991)

Lee Remick

Happy Birthday to a personal favorite of mine, Lee Remick. The talented Lee appeared in such note-worthy films such as Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Days of Wines and Roses (1962), Baby, The Rain Must Fall (1965), The Detective (1968) and The Omen (1976).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Be My Guest - Anastasia (Lily Lemontree)

My friend Anastasia of the wonderful and stylish blog Lily Lemontree has graciously accepted to be my guest this month and I have her answers ready to post. And if you have never checked out her blog, you must do so. Here's the link: So here we go with Anastasia's guest appearance.

1. Name your top 5 favorite classic movies actors.

Doris DayJames GarnerJoan CrawfordThe great Cary Grant
Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine
Anastasia: Doris Day, James Garner, Joan Crawford, Cary Grant, Jack Lemmon
Monty: You have made a life long friend by choosing Cary Grant, Anastasia. And James Garner is the first time out of all my guests that he was chosen. But he is one of my favorites as well.

2. Name at least 5 of your favorite films.
Rear Window
Anastasia: Rear Window, Arsenic and Old Lace, What Ever Happened To Baby Jane, Pillowtalk, My Favorite Wife, Mildred Pierce, Yours, Mine and Ours
Monty: I see a few Cary Grant films. Excellent.

3. Describe your first classic movie experience.

Anastasia: When I was a young girl, I loved watching the Gidget movies. Grant it, back then, they wouldn’t have been considered ‘classics’ for a few more decades but I adored Sandra Dee and all the summertime mischief her, Moondoggie and the Big Kahuna got themselves into. I still dream of spending the summer as blond haired, blue-eyed surfer girl!
Monty: I used to watch the Gidget tv series with Sally Field before I knew of the movies, but I enjoyed them as well.

4. Describe the perfect way for you to watch a classic movie.
 Anastasia: With little ones at home, I don’t get a lot of opportunities to sit down and really enjoy a film, classic or otherwise but I always insist on enjoying whatever movie I am watching free of interruptions. I love to become absorbed in a movie, a little difficult when ‘Mommy’ is being beckoned! When I can find the time, a hot cup of coffee in hand and no disturbances (by husband or children) for the duration of the movie, is all I require!
Monty: I see. Since we don't have children, I have a lot more free time. But things can get busy from time to time for me as well.

5. What is your favorite classic movie decade: the 20's, 30's, 40's, 50's or 60's?
Paul Henreid, Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart
Anastasia: Now this is a hard one for me since I love different things about each decade in film but if I had to pick one, I would have to say the 40’s stand out for me. The actors starring in movies in this period are some of my all-time favourites and the sets are outstanding. I find the 40’s a very glamorous time period in Hollywood and that really seems to come out in the films of that era
Monty: Good choice. I prefer the 30's, but the 40's would be my second choice.

6. Name a few of your favorite modern movie actors/actresses.
Sandra BullockJuliette BinocheMichelle WilliamsColin Firth
Ewan McGregor
Anastasia: Sandra Bullock, Juliette Binoche, Michelle Williams, Colin Firth, Ewan McGregor
Monty: Yes to Sandra. She is my favorite modern actress.

7. What is your favorite movie quote? can be more than one.
Stroheim and Swanson
Anastasia: “You see, this is my life, it always will be. There's nothing else… just us and the cameras and those wonderful people out there in the dark. All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up." -Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard.

Fasten your seatbelts, it's going to be a bumpy night." –Bette Davis in All About Eve

Monty: Good choices. I love both films, especially All About Eve.

8. What is your favorite classic movie series?
Beach Blanket Bingo
Anastasia: Laugh if you will but I could watch the Beach Blanket Bingo movies with Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon about a million times and I would still find them amusing and entertaining. I love the light heartedness of the stories and of course the dancing if just fab!
Monty: I grew up watching the Beach Blanket Bingo movies on this local cable station every summer. They are good fun movies I agree.

9. What stars, besides your favorites would you have love to have met in person?
Bette Davis in JezebelLucille BallVincent PriceGrace Kelly
Anastasia: Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Vincent Price, Grace Kelly
Monty: Ah, Grace and Bette. Yes!

10. And finally, if you could be one movie character, who would it be and why?
Rear Window
Anastasia: I have always loved Grace Kelly’s role as Lisa Freemont in Rear Window. Smart and witty, exciting career in the fashion world, society gal, elegant, well-mannered, gorgeous and if all that wasn’t enough, she has the most divine wardrobe I have ever seen!
Monty: I believe Lisa Fremont to be Grace's best role. She was never better. Good choice Anastasia.

So that concludes Anastasia's guest stint this month on my blog. I hope everyone enjoyed having her be here, I know I did. And don't forget to check out her wonderful blog, Lily Lemontree some time. Merry Christmas to everyone this holiday season.


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