CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

There never was a woman like Gilda.....

I hadn't seen Gilda in at least 15 years, so I was definitely estatic that TCM was showing it on Tuesday. And it still rocks 54 years later. Rita Hayworth is just amazing in the title role. She is totally mesmerizing in what would be her signature role. You know the film The Shawshank Redemption that features Rita as a major plot point. The scene where Gilda's husband brings in Johnny Farrell and asks is she decent, and Gilda says yeah and does that thing with her hair. And they screen it for the prisoners on a daily basis and that scene is where they all just go nuts. Yeah, I was the same way, and since I recorded Gilda on my DVD recorder, I was able to play and rewind that scene at least 5 times. It's that good. On my list of favorite screen performances of all time, this one by Rita makes the cut easily. She displayed a light touch and handled the dramatic scenes very well. She even got to sing and dance a couple of times. And even gets to play a guitar. And Glenn Ford doesn't get enough credit for his solid turn as Johnny Farrell. His character is in a tough spot as Gilda is his ex and now married to his new boss. Ford brings all his considerable acting ability to the screen for this one as he gets to act flippant, brave, serious, and heart broken. He and Hayworth make a dynamite pair. Gilda is an amazing film with two great performances and deserves it's spot in the annals of great film noirs. Show stopping scenes beside the aforementioned hair flipping scene by Hayworth is her sensational rendition of Put the blame on Mame. And the  tense confrontation between the two ex lovers. Backed by a wonderful music score and gorgeous cinematography plus the beauty that is Rita Hayworth. I'm tempted to watch Gilda once again.

Be My Guest

Starting a monthly feature where I ask a friend and fellow blogger to discuss their favorite things. Next month I have asked Kori of Blonde Episodes to kick things off because she recently asked me to post on her blog. For June I hope to have my co-blogger and good friend Dawn if she accepts it. I will provide some questions and you as the guest can respond with your answers. Hopefully it won't be a one time thing either, for that month the guest can comment on anything they fancy and would love to discuss your favorite films in depth ala TCM's Essentials.

Happy Birthday Ann-Margret

The fabulous and sensational Ann-Margret from Sweden (1941-present)

This Swedish-born actress and singer has remained one of the most famous sex symbols and actresses since the early 1960s, and has continued her career through the following decades. Born in Sweden on April 28, 1941, she came to America at age 6. She studied at Northwestern University and left for Las Vegas to pursue a career as a singer. She was discovered by George Burns and soon afterward got both a record deal at RCA and a film contract at 20th Century Fox. In 1961, her single "I Just Don't Understand" charted in the Top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100 Charts. Her acting debut followed the same year as Bette Davis' daughter in Frank Capra's Pocketful of Miracles (1961). She appeared in the musical State Fair (1962) a year later before her breakthrough the following year.

With Bye Bye Birdie (1963) and Viva Las Vegas (1964) opposite Elvis Presley, she became a Top 10 Box Office star, teen idol and even Golden Globe winning actress. She was marketed as Hollywood's hottest young star and in the years to come got awarded the infamous nickname "sex kitten." Some of her pictures, like The Cincinnati Kid (1965) with Steve McQueen, were hits. While others such as Bus Riley's Back in Town (1965) and Murderers' Row (1966), were ripped apart by critics. She couldn't escape being typecast because of her great looks. By the late 1960s, her career stalled, and she turned to foreign films and television for new projects. She returned and was back in the public image with Hollywood films like C.C. and Company (1970), Las Vegas sing-and-dance shows and her own television specials.

She finally overcame her image when she co-starred with Jack Nicholson in Carnal Knowledge (1971), receiving an Academy Award nomination and succeeding in changing her image from sex kitten to respected actress. A near-fatal accident at a Lake Tahoe show in 1972 only momentarily stopped her career. She made a recovery and was again Oscar-nominated in for her performance in Tommy (1975), the rock opera film of the British rock band The Who. Her film career continued successfully into the late '70s with starring roles in films like Magic (1978). She wowed the critics with her performances in Who Will Love My Children? (1983) (TV) and the remake of A Streetcar Named Desire (1984) (TV) (TV), the first of many projects to earn her Emmy nominations.

After starring in a string of forgettable films throughout the 80s, she had one of the biggest commercial successes of her career with Grumpy Old Men (1993) as the object of desire for Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau, and it's equally successful sequel, Grumpier Old Men (1995) with Sophia Loren. Ann-Margret has also performed with such notable leading men as Al Pacino, John Wayne, Anthony Hopkins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Gene Hackman, Vince Vaughn, and John Travolta, vintage actresses such as Julie Andrews and Janet Leigh, as well as contemporary female stars like Jennifer Aniston and Cameron Diaz. She continues to act in the 1990s and 2000s, with lead roles in TV and independent films, and supporting roles in Hollywood mainstream pictures such as Any Given Sunday (1999), Taxi (2004/I), The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006), and The Break-Up (2006).

Since 1967 she has been married to Roger Smith, and is the stepmother of his three children. Ann-Margaret is considered iconic and legendary, remaining one of Hollywood's top sex symbols and one of the most famous women in America.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Saturday, April 24, 2010

All Good Things In May

Ah, the weather has turned for the better and it's just a great time of the year. I hope everyone has enjoyed All Good Things this month, I think it was one of my best months. May promises to be another great month. My classic movie goddess of the month will be none other than the legendary Bette Davis. Bette has always been one of my favorites and I will post the usual stuff of reviews, photos, and the essentials of this great actress.

I will continue with my birthday tributes, iconic film images, and anything else that catches my fancy for the month of May. Maybe a spotlight or two on lesser known stars. And some cross-overs from the other blogs I contribute to like Screwball Cinema, Chick Flick Musicals, and Noir and Chick Flicks.

What a way to start the summer with All Good Things in May......

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Good Morning from Esther Williams

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Detective Story (1951)

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One day in a New York City police precinct where all kinds of people intersect. Kirk Douglas is the tough detective who is dealing with a case involving an abortionist. It also has a shoplifter, two dangerous burglars, and an embezzler. A taut in your face crime drama that features a strong performance by Mr. Douglas and another good one by Eleanor Parker who plays his wife. One of the best of the detective movies from the 1950's. Wonderfully directed by William Wyler.

Detective McLeod: "Take a couple of drop dead pills".

Monday, April 19, 2010

Lord Of The Rings: One film series to rule them all...

Just got done with a Lord of the Rings movie marathon and those films are still majestic and impressive. I watched the special extended versions which added about 45 minutes to each film. They were long to begin with but to be able to watch in your home at your own leisure greatly helps. My personal favorite is the very first one, Fellowship, but I love the other two as well. Fellowship set up the story wonderfully and introduced us to the wonder that is Middle Earth. We meet all the assorted characters of hobbits, wizards, elfin princesses, dwarves, warriors, orcs, and tons more. The interaction between the hobbits and everyone else looked great and very real. The talented direction by Peter Jackson was phenomenal. The cast were equally impressive from Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey to Viggo Mortensen as Aragon, Elijah Wood as Frodo, Sean Astin as Sam, Orlando Bloom as Legolas, Sean Bean as Boromir, Christopher Lee as Saruman....just the entire cast rocked. The visual effects were quite simply some of the best ever captured on film. I truly love the fellowship when they had to battle the creatures in the caves before meeting the fire breathing monster that was just awesome. The final battle at the end of this film will also get your blood pumping as our heroes try to protect Frodo from being captured by the orcs, minions of Sauron.

The stage was set for part two, The Two Towers and that film did not disappoint. Everyone will remember the battle at Helms Deep, a masterful 45 minute siege that is unrelenting and very exciting. But there was also more characters that were introduced into the series including King Theoden (played by Bernard Hill, who if you remember was the captain in Titanic), Brad Dourif as Wormtongue and the burst on the screen magnificence of Miranda Otto as Eowyn. From the time she appears onscreen, she held my full attention because of her character's desire to take up arms to protect her kingdom and family. She and Legolas were my favorite characters of the entire series, which is saying a lot considering how many characters wind up involved in this massive trilogy. Otto gives probably the performance of her life in Return of the King. But back to Two Towers, more history is explained and we are introduced fully to the character of Gollum, a CGI rendered creation that is truly amazing. Actor Andy Serkis supplied the voice and all his movements and actions were captured with state of the art technology. But all that would be moot if you didn't become invested in the character of Gollum and thanks to Serkis's amazing performance, you did. To praise him any less would do his performance a huge injustice. It is his story that really drives the Lord of the rings at this point from here on end. On how he suffered with the ring and then how we suffered even more without it. How he is always at conflict with himself on to either help Frodo or kill him.

Which leads to the final thrilling chapter, Return of the King, in which Aragon takes center stage to lead the forces of good against evil in the throw down battle of all time. Viggo steps up and shows all his acting ability and then some in some tender and emotional scenes that he shares with the love of his life, the elfin princess Arwen (played by Liv Tyler) and then the heroic battle scenes he engages in. His speech to rally the troops for the final battle is very inspiring...."there will come a day when men shall fall before the forces of evil, but not this day!" I was ready to jump into battle myself. Also the burden that Frodo has carried for 3 films reaches it's stunning conclusion. As he and Sam have dealt with capture, a perilous journey, Gollum, and everything you could possibly think of to reach their destination. Wood and Astin are very good in their scenes together, being as they are apart from everyone else in the series. I have to mention also the other two hobbits Merry and Pippin who provide not only the comic relief but end becoming valiant heroes themselves. And also Gimli the master dwarf (played by John Rhys-Davies) who is always in contest with Legolas and they provide ample humor and derring do. Return of the King delivers on everything that has been building since the first film and then some. The heroes epic battle at Gondor involves flying creatures, enormous elephants, giant trolls, and scores of other creatures and warriors. And when Eowyn stands face to face with the Witch King was awesome. When the Witch King says "no man can kill me", Eowyn strikes him down and says "I'm no man!" I was like hell yeah. If that scene didn't make you want to cheer, then you must not have a pulse. So after viewing this epic series for the 4th time, it is still immeasurably enjoyable. I believe it to be my favorite film series of all time. The craftmanship involved in this undertaking and all the talented people involved turned out three of the most astonishing films you will ever see.

A ( for the entire series)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Thin Man movie series

After the Thin Man

Since Myrna Loy is my classic movie goddess of the month and The Thin Man series is one of my favorite film series of all time, I decided to post brief reviews of all 6 wonderful films.

THE THIN MAN (1934) The one that started it all and the very best one, just slightly ahead of After the Thin Man. We are introduced to the fun loving couple Nick and Nora Charles at a bar and we're off. William Powell is Nick, a recently retired private detective who adores his wife Nora (Loy), his very rich wife. Well when a missing person case falls into his lap, Nick reluctanly takes the job, much to the delight of Nora. The wisecracks fly fast and furious, and we are introduced to some of the most unsavory characters that we would not want to meet in real life. Powell and Loy are the perfect couple and play off each other extremely well. And let's not forget their dog, Asta, who is a born scene stealer. They would pair up for 5 more Thin Man films and 13 films in all. I think this one is their very best.

AFTER THE THIN MAN (1936) Delightful follow-up that picks up immediately after the events of the original Thin Man movie. Returning from New York by train to their home in San Francisco, the couple don't have a minute to relax before they are summoned for dinner at Nora's snobby family. A case involving Nora's cousin, who husband has disappeared and then found later murdered. Nora's cousin is the prime suspect and Nick must use all his skills to prove otherwise. A rare sequel that is just as good as it's predecessor. Powell and Loy remain excellent as usual and look for an early performance by Jimmy Stewart. One that is a little off beat for him. This film is a lot longer than the previous Thin Man film, but it never drags.

ANOTHER THIN MAN (1939) The Charles' are back in New York with Asta and a new arrival: Nicky Jr. They are invited by Colonel MacFey to spend the weekend at his house in Long Island as he desperately wants Charles to help him out. It seems he has been receiving threats from Phil Church, a very shady character. When McFey is killed Church seems to be the obvious suspect but Nick suspects there is something far more complicated going on. McFey's housekeeper, daughter and various hangers-on may all have had an interest in seeking the old man's demise. Another solid entry in the series, while not on par with the first two films, but still very entertaining.

THE SHADOW OF THE THIN MAN (1941) Fun and games and murder at the horse track as Nick and Nora become involved with a dead jockey, organized crime, and corruption. Look for Donna Reed in an early role. I enjoyed this one a little more than Another Thin Man, as it is a lot more fun. Usually series start to falter when they reach their fourth entry, but The Thin Man series was getting it second wind.

THE THIN MAN GOES HOME (1944) Nick and Nora head to Nick's hometown of Sycamore Springs to spend some time with his parents. His father, a prominent local physician, was always a bit disappointed with Nick's choice of profession in particular and his lifestyle in general. With Nick's arrival however the towns folk, including several of the local criminal element, are convinced that he must be there on a case despite his protestations that he's just there for rest and relaxation. When someone is shot dead on his doorstep however, Nick finds himself working on a case whether he wants to or not. A solid entry.

THE SONG OF THE THIN MAN (1947) The final Thin Man movie is a light comedy mystery that lets Nick and Nora bow out gracefully. Nick and Nora Charles are attending a charity benefit aboard a gambling ship. The festive atmosphere conceals many tensions among those connected with the ship, with most of the friction centering around Tommy Drake, its unpopular, spiteful band-leader. When he is murdered later that night, suspicion falls on Phil Brant, who had argued with Drake earlier in the evening. When Phil and his wife seek help from Nick and Nora, Nick refuses to get involved. But when shots are fired outside his own apartment, Nick begins to investigate, and he soon finds himself in a confusing case with numerous suspects. Look for Gloria Grahame and Dean Stockwell as a teen Nick Jr.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Police Corruption Movies - A thrilling genre

Been watching a lot of cop movies lately and a few of them were about cops of questionable integrity. So I decided on making a list of the best corrupt cop movies I have seen. Because they are some of the best films you will watch. Most will follow the template of a rogue cop or detective who does all kinds of bad things in the name of justice. It takes for his partner to get killed or some other emotional type event for him to realize that what he has been doing is wrong. Or in some cases, he will just go out in a blaze of glory. There have been several types of these films which usually feature a stellar performance by the lead (i.e Denzel Washington in Training Day and Kurt Russell in Dark Blue). So I fashioned this Top Ten list of the best of the dirty cops genre. Enjoy and feel free to chime in with some of your own choices.

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LA CONFIDENTIAL (1997) Based on author James Ellroy's tale of  police corruption in 1950's Los Angeles. Featuring a terrific cast of Russell Crowe, Kevin Spacey, Guy Pearce, James Cromwell, Danny DeVito and Kim Basinger in her Oscar winning role. The story begins with a brutal shooting at all night diner and three detectives go about solving the case and find a conspiracy that leads all the way to the top. Engaging thriller packed with powerhouse performances.

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TRAINING DAY (2001) Denzel Washington goes all out in his first bad guy role as veteran LA police officer Alonzo Harris, who takes rookie Jake Hoyt (Ethan Hawke) for a wild ride on Hoyt's first day on the job as a member of Harris's narcotics team. You are so used to seeing Denzel playing the good guys over and over, and his performance as Alonzo is positively stunning. He is truly despicable and is so corrupt that in one scene he forces Jake to smoke some PCP at gunpoint. One of the better dirty cop thrillers. Denzel even won an Oscar for his effort.

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DARK BLUE (2003) Two years after Training Day was a hit film, actor Kurt Russell goes the bad guy way as  LA Detective Eldon Perry, who is into so much dirt, he can't even see straight anymore. He is a full blown alcoholic with a straying wife and newbie partner. He begins to questions his values when his boss sets him up to be killed, by the bad guys he is chasing. All amid the Rodney King trial verdicts. So the whole city is on the brink of turmoil as is Perry, who is battling some inner demons. Kurt Russell gives an electrifying performance. He is so evil, that a fellow female officer calls him an evil mother@%*^! right to his face. Russell has a big scene at the end that lets him get everything off his chest. I would have at least nominated Russell for his performance here.

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THE DEPARTED (2007) A star studded cast that brings out the best performances in all. Leonardo DiCaprio is Boston police officer Billy Costigan who goes undercover in Irish mafia head Frank Costello (played by Jack Nicholson) gang. But he has a counterpoint in fellow officer Colin Sullivan (Matt Damon) who is on the take for Costello. There are plenty of twists and turns and policemen and gangsters who are not what they seem.

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SERPICO (1973) Al Pacino shines as real life NY cop Frank Serpico who brings to light the police corruption that has run rampant in New York for years. An early take on the now popular genre handles the story with true dramatic overtones and very little action. But it's the performance by Pacino that drives this tense thriller.

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BLACK RAIN (1989) Michael Douglas is NY cop Nick Conklin, who is under investigation by Internal Affairs for allegations of being on the take. But when a high profile murder happens on his turf, committed by a  Japanese criminal, Nick and his partner Charlie (played by Andy Garcia) are asked to escort the criminal back to Japan for trial. You never see Conklin doing anything "dirty" but the movie constantly reminds you thanks to police reports and such that he is definitely not on the up and up. Douglas is good in this role, one of his best.

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INTERNAL AFFAIRS (1990) Andy Garcia is front and center this time as LA Internal Affairs agent Ray Avilla, who is investigating highly decorated officer Dennis Peck (a riveting Richard Gere). Peck is amoral and slightly unhinged and has his hands into all kinds of corruption, shady dealings and even murder. A good psychological thriller with two solid performances by Garcia and Gere.

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STREET KINGS (2008) LA again, noticing a pattern here, provides the backdrop for 18 year veteran office Tom Ludlow (Keanu Reeves) who does all the dirty work asked of him by his captain (Forest Whitaker). Things get hot when Ludlow's ex partner is gunned down by criminals and a cover-up is set in motion. Ludlow's conscience gets the better of him and goes about trying to bring the killers to justice. One of the latest corrupt cops movies to come out recently and it is very good and very similar to Dark Blue and Training Day. It should be..the writer of those two films is the director, David Ayer.

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PRINCE OF THE CITY (1981) Treat Williams is an unethical NY cop who is asked to turn expose police corruption by turning state evidence against his superiors. Top notch drama from veteran Sidney Lumet. And a solid, star making performance by Williams.

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COP LAND (1997) Slyvester Stallone is actually credible as a small town sheriff in a small New Jersey community that has to deal with corrupt New York cops who are using his town for illegal activities. Co-starring an impressive cast of Robert De Niro, Harvey Kietel, and Ray Liotta.

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Day Off...

I am off work today, so I decided to watch some of my classic movies on DVD. The trouble is there are so many choices and so little time. I'm definitely watching Send Me No Flowers, my favorite Doris Day movie. And I promised my friend Dawn, a review of it when I do.  And my other potential choices include The Awful Truth, The Lady Vanishes, and The Seven Year Itch. I think...I may change my mind later on. But I am off to watch Doris and Rock for now. Hopefully I will do a post of my fun filled movie watching day.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Classic Movie Goddess Of The Month - Myrna Loy Part 2

These are what I would consider the essential Myrna Loy films that showcase her at her very best.

THE THIN MAN SERIES (1934-1947) Perfect chemistry with William Powell as the two portray the unflappable Nick and Nora Charles, sleuthing spouses. Their witty banter amid murders is pure Hollywood magic.

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946) Myrna gives her best dramatic performance ever as the wife struggling to keep her family together, post WW2. How she was not even nominated that year for an Oscar is a mystery.

LIBELED LADY (1936) One of the early screwball comedies that pairs Loy with Powell again (they made a total of 14 films together). Also on board are Spencer Tracy and Jean Harlow. A very entertaining movie.

THE BACHELOR & THE BOBBY-SOXER (1947) Loy's first pairing with Cary Grant is delicious fun. As Judge Margaret Stone, Loy has to act stern and disciplined but she still manages to have a good time.

MR. BLANDINGS BUILDS HIS DREAM HOUSE (1948) Another wonderful team up with Grant that features Loy in one of the best scenes in film history. She tries to describe to a painter of her new home what colors to use. It makes perfect sense to Loy, but to the painter it's confusing, and to the audience it's too funny.

Why Cary Grant is my favorite actor of all time

I was about 12 years old when I saw my first Cary Grant film. It happen to be His Girl Friday and it would become my favorite movie of all time, along with Cary being my favorite actor. That movie and Cary himself basically started my love of classic movies, which still carry on to this day. Most of the films I saw from then with Cary were mostly his screwball comedies like Bringing Up Baby, My Favorite Wife, The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic & Old Lace, The Awful Truth, The Bachelor & The Bobby-Soxer, Topper, Holiday, and others. So I always viewed Cary in these roles and nothing else. Which was fine, but then I saw him in a dramatic movie - Penny Serenade and it blew me away. I knew Cary had the screwball comedy down pat, but I didn't know he could pull off drama too. After seeing that, I immediately had to see more and more of his films. Thank god, AMC at the time were playing loads of his films on a monthly basis. And what I didn't see on TV, I was able to find at the local library on VHS. His non screwball films showed Cary in a new light for me and made him even more so my favorite actor of all time. Gunga Din, Only Angels Have Wings, None But The Lonely Heart, In Name Only, and more. Cary showed me the range of a truly versatile actor.

His next phase for me would be his films that he did with Alfred Hitchcock: Suspicion, Notorious, To Catch A Thief, and North By Northwest. All good films and presented Cary in an all new way. As a man on edge or maybe a murderer. Man there wasn't anything Cary couldn't do. His performances always seemed so effortless, so relaxed and easy. Very charming and well spoken, and sharply dressed. He was the epitome of a screen legend. I found his best partnership was to be with Howard Hawks as they collaborated on such classics as His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Only Angels Have Wings, and I Was A Male War Bride. And I thought his best onscreen partner was the wonderful Irene Dunne, who paired with Cary for The Awful Truth, My Favorite Wife, and Penny Serenade. Cary's career spanned 4 decades and over 70 films. And I have seen about 40 of them. So I still got some watching to do, because I want to see every film he ever did.

I regularly watch several Grant films every chance I get. His Girl Friday is seen by me at least twice a year, and it still entertains me for the 100th time like it was my first. His character Walter Burns is in my opinion, not only his best role, but one of the best roles in film history. I could go on and on for days talking about Cary and all his films. Could watch a marathon of his movies and never get bored. He will always be my favorite actor. There is no disputing that, and I know I'm not the only one in the world who will second that.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Spiritual Celebration: photos of Carole Lombard

 Thanks to Vincent Paterno at Live Journal for these wonderful Carole Lombard pics I've chosen to post to celebrate Easter.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Classic Movie Goddess Of The Month - Myrna Loy Part 1

Myrna Williams, later to become Myrna Loy, was born on August 2, 1905 in Radersburg, Montana. Her father was the youngest person ever elected to the Montana State legislature. Later on her family moved to Helena where she spent her youth. At the age of 13, Myrna's father died of influenza and the rest of the family moved to Los Angeles. She was educated in L.A. and the Westlake School for Girls where she caught the acting bug. She started at the age of 15 when she appeared in local stage productions in order to help support her family. Some of the stage plays were held in the now famous Grauman's Theater in Hollywood. Mrs. Rudolph Valentino happened to be in the audience one night who managed to pull some strings to get Myrna some parts in the motion picture industry. Her first film was a small part in the production of What Price Beauty? (1925). Later she appeared the same year in Pretty Ladies (1925) along with Joan Crawford. She was one of the few stars that would start in the silent movies and make a successful transition into the sound era. In the silent films, Myrna would appear as an exotic femme fatale. Later in the sound era, she would become a refined, wholesome character. Unable to land a contract with MGM, she continued to appear in small, bit roles, nothing that one could really call acting. In 1926, Myrna appeared in the Warner Brothers film called Satan in Sables (1925) which, at long last, landed her a contract. Her first appearance as a contract player was The Caveman (1926) where she played a maid. Although she was typecast over and over again as a vamp, Myrna continued to stay busy with small parts. Finally, in 1927, she received star billing in Bitter Apples (1927). The excitement was short lived as she returned to the usual smaller roles afterward. Myrna would take any role that would give her exposure and showcase the talent she felt was being wasted. It seemed that she would play one vamp after another. She wanted something better. Finally her contract ran out with warner and she signed with MGM where she got two meaty roles. One was in the The Prizefighter and the Lady (1933), and the other as Nora Charles in The Thin Man (1934) with William Powell. Most agreed that the Thin Man series would never have been successful without Myrna. Her witty perception of situations gave her the image that one could not pull a fast one over on the no-nonsense Mrs. Charles. After The Thin Man (1934), Myrna would appear in five more in the series. Myrna was a big box-office draw. She was popular enough that, in 1936, she was named Queen of the Movies and Clark Gable the king in a nationwide poll of movie goers. Her popularity was at its zenith. She continued to make films through the 40s and 50s but the roles were fewer and fewer. By the 1960's the parts had all but dried up as producers and directors looked elsewhere for talent. In 1960 she appeared in Midnight Lace (1960) and was not in another until 1969 in The April Fools (1969). The 1970s found her in TV movies, not theatrical productions. Her last film was in 1981 called Summer Solstice (1981) (TV). By the time Myrna passed away, on December 14, 1993, at the age of 88, she had appeared in a phenomenal 129 motion pictures. She was buried in Helena, Montana.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Results of March poll....and the winner is The Wizard of Oz

Last month's poll posed the question if not for Gone With The Wind, what other film nominated in 1939 would you choose. The overwhelming choice was The Wizard Of Oz with a whopping 68% of the votes. Vying for second place was Dark Victory and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington with 12% each. Wuthering Heights and Goodbye Mr. Chips were next with 4% each. And no votes for the remaining films of Love Affair, Stagecoach, Of Mice and Men and Ninotchka. So congratulations to The Wizard of Oz and thanks to all those who voted. I will have a new poll up and running in a few days.


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