CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Photos of Natalie Wood

Here is my final post on Natalie Wood, my classic movie goddess of the month. Here are some of my favorite Natalie Wood photos.

RIP Tony Curtis (1925-2010)

One of my favorite actors, Tony Curtis has passed away at the age of 85. He had a cardiac arrest in his home on Wednesday night, according to his daughter Jamie Lee Curtis. He will be missed greatly. My favorite movies of his inlcude Some Like It Hot, Operation Petticoat, The Defiant Ones, The Great Race, Sex and the Single Girl, and The Rat Race. Extremely underrated as an actor because of his good looks and effortless appeal, Tony proved he can handle the dramatic roles as well as his comedy roles. Just check him out in The Defiant Ones and The Boston Strangler.

Happy Birthday Deborah Kerr (1921-2007)

Happy Birthday to Deborah Kerr. Most notable films include From Here To Eternity, An Affair To Remember, Black Narcissus, Tea & Sympathy, The Proud and The Profane, The Chalk Garden, and The Innocents. And a major oversight on the Academy's part, Ms. Kerr never won an Oscar. She was nominated six times but never won the coveted award.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Personal Quotes by Natalie Wood

You get tough in this business, until you get big enough to hire people to get tough for you. Then you can sit back and be a lady.

[in 1961] In so many ways I think it's a bore to be sorry you were a child actor - so many people feel sorry for you automatically. At the time I wasn't aware of the things I missed, so why should I think of them in retrospect? Everybody misses something or other.

I felt a little funny when we were going to do the bed scene, all four of us, in Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969). I'm open to suggestions, I'm no prude, but four is a crowd in my book. Fortunately, Dyan Cannon was there. The thought of another woman being in there in the bed helped get me through it. It's not like it sounds. It's just that I don't think I could have done it if it had been me and three men.

[on being a child actor] I spent practically all my time in the company of adults. I was very withdrawn, very shy, I did what I was told and I tried not to disappoint anybody. I knew I had a duty to perform, and I was trained to follow orders.

[shortly before her death] You know what I want? I want yesterday.

[on dating Elvis Presley] Elvis was so square, we'd go . . . for hot fudge sundaes. He didn't drink, he didn't swear, he didn't even smoke. It was like having the date that I never had in high school.

[In 1981] I've always been terrified, still am, of water -- dark water or sea water, or river water or whatever.

[On Marilyn Monroe] When you look at Marilyn on the screen you don't want anything bad to happen to her. You really care that she should be all right...happy.

All Good Things In October

I kick off October on All Good Things with a different approach for my classic movie goddess of the month. I will focus on the lovely women who made films for the Hammer Films studio. I will choose one actress a week and post reviews of the films I have seen of her and photos. I just finished reading the book called Hammer Glamour and it was all about the women of Hammer films, and it featured over 50 actresses. So this will be a long running series every October. I know my friend Matthew Coniam over at Carfax Abbey will be intrigued by this idea as he has a terrific blog that you must check out. Anyway, the actresses will be random so I don't know what four will be done first. Also I will list my Top 10 Favorite Hitchcock films. My guest blogger will be my friend KC. And I hope to post a review of a classic horror film each day. So I will be quite busy blogging next month. Hope you can check it out.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Natalie Wood - Classic Movie Goddess of the Month Part 3 (My Favorite Natalie Films)

Here are my favorite Natalie Wood films in no particular order.

LOVE WITH THE PROPER STRANGER (1963) A mix of comedy and drama with Natalie as a young woman who considers an abortion after becoming pregnant by an irresponsible jazz musician, played by Steve McQueen. One of Natalie's trademark films from the 60's.

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET (1947) Of course this holiday classic was gonna be on my list. How could it not. Natalie as the young girl who believes that a department store Santa is the real Santa. A classic.

THE GREAT RACE (1965) Epic comedy in the style of It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with Natalie teaming up with Tony Curtis to win the auto race to end all auto races. They have to match wits with  the nefarious Professor Fate, played by Jack Lemmon. Funny as can be.

THE SEARCHERS (1956) Terrific western with Natalie as John Wayne's niece Debbie being abducted by Indians. Natalie doesn't get too many talking scenes but this is one of the best films she ever appeared in.

THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED (1965) Pairing with golden boy Robert Redford for this drama with Natalie playing the town flirt who falls in love with Redford's character.

REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE (1955) Of course this is more notable for James Dean, but Natalie is there too and does quite a good job.

SEX AND THE SINGLE GIRL (1964) This was the first movie that Natalie and Tony Curtis made and it's a typical 60's romantic comedy that works mainly because of Natalie and Tony make such a great team.

BOB & CAROL & TED & ALICE (1969) Another 60's sex comedy that was one of the first R-rated films to come out. And it's a very funny film. And I must also add that Natalie is a knock-out.

INSIDE DAISY CLOVER (1965) Another solid film with Natalie as a tomboy dreaming of stardom in Hollywood of the 1930's. A great performance by Natalie.

GYPSY (1962) Powerhouse acting from Natalie as Gypsy Rose Lee, the stage actress who battles with her mother (played by Rosalind Russell). Sit back and enjoy the fireworks.
So there you have it, ten of my favorite Natalie Wood films. Many of you may ask where is West Side Story. And I must say that I'm not a fan of that movie. I did think Rita Moreno was awesome in it, but that's about it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Happy Birthday Margaret Lockwood (1916-1990)

Happy Birthday to British actress Margaret Lockwood, who I loved immensely in Hitchock's 1938 classic, The Lady Vanishes. Also notable in such films such as Night Train To Munich (1940), The Wicked Lady (1945) and Cast A Dark Shadow (1955).

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Be My Guest - Sarah (from And...Scene) Part 2

Here is part 2 of my conversation with Sarah.

Monty: What is your absolute favorite movie?
 Sarah: This is a hard one as I am not given to absolutes but I’ll say, for sentimental reasons, The Quiet Man. I could watch it over and over.
 Monty: I love that movie Sarah. Excellent choice.

Monty: Describe the perfect way for you to watch a classic movie.
 Sarah: Alone, in my living room, preferably on a rainy day. 
 Monty: I agree with. If it's raining on the week-end and everyone else is mad because outdoor plans are ruined, I'm quite content with watching classic movies in my living room.

Monty: What is your favorite time period and why: the 20's, the 30's, the 40's, the 50's or the 60's?
 Sarah: Definitely the 30’s! Movie making was advancing with the advent of talkies and the Hayes Code hadn’t taken full effect. Subjects such as divorce, sex before marriage, and a woman’s independence were box office draws and actresses such as Tallulah Bankhead, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Blondell, Norma Shearer, and Miriam Hopkins (to name a very few) thought nothing of traipsing across the screen in silken negligees spouting witty dialogue and cleverly getting their own way. And what’s a 30’s film with out a cocktail shaker? Martini anyone?
 Monty: The 30's is my favorite period as well mainly because that's when screwball comedies flourished. And I love you answer as well. 

Monty: Any current stars catch your fancy, if so who are they?
Sarah: Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe. They make extremely fine actors down under! 
Monty: Great picks...I love both Cate and Russell. Cate played Katherine Hepburn wonderfully in The Aviator.

Monty: What is your favorite movie quote?
 Sarah: "There's a name for you ladies, but it isn't used in high society - outside of a kennel" -- St. Joan Crawford from The Women.
Monty: One of my favorite movies and one of the best lines ever. Joan Crawford was awesome in that movie.

Monty: If you could be any movie character, who would it be and why?
Sarah: Without a doubt, I would love to be Nora Charles from The Thin Man series. She was witty, courageous, and best of all, had the love a wonderful husband. Together they made a hilarious and entertaining team. 
Monty: Yes...I think I would love to be Nick. They are perfect. 
 So that concludes my Q&A with Sarah for this month. I enjoyed having her as my guest this month. And really enjoyed her answers. And I am more than willing to return the favor Sarah, if you ever want to interview me on your blog. 

Gone With The Wind on TCM tonight at 8pm

Just a reminder, the monumental classic film, Gone With The Wind airs tonight on TCM at 8pm, in honor of star of the month Vivien Leigh. Since GWTW is one of the few must have films that I don't own on DVD, I watch it every time TCM plays it. You can never get tired of watching this great movie. Well I know I can't.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Peyton Place (1957) is top notch soap opera melodrama at it's best...

One of the most definitive melodramatic tear jerker movies ever made. Based on the best-selling novel by Grace Metalious about scandalous activity in a small New Hapshire town. There are several inter-related stories that come together in a riveting courtroom climax. One story features Lana Turner as a possessive single mother who tells her naive daughter (played by Diane Varsi) that her father died when she was 2 years old. Which is a lie because the father is already married to another woman. Another plot line has a daughter (Hope Lange) fending off the unwanted sexual advances of her drunken step-father (Arthur Kennedy). And finally the third connecting plot has the town tramp (a sexy Terry Moore) loving the son of the most powerful man in town. These three storylines make up the bulk of the film and what's amazing is how one event will lead into the next.
Peyton Place does start off slow but once the secrets come flying out, who Nellie! As for the performances, Turner may headline this production, but she kind of phones in her performance. Not that's she is bad, but she just seems ordinary. I can't believe this was her only Oscar nominated role.  In my opinion she was far better in that other soap tearjerker, Imitation Of Life. Kennedy is great as the drunken step father. He's hysterically funny one minute, then cruel and vicious the next. Lange is unbelievably powerful as Selena, his step-daughter. She's quiet,composed and acts so good it doesn't seem like she's acting. Varsi is ok as Turner's daughter. It's to her credit that she can say the film's corniest lines with a straight face. Lee Phillips is solid as the town doctor who gives a memorable speech at the film's climax that sums up everything nicely. And Terry Moore is quite fetching as the bad girl who makes good. What's so good about her performance is that she convinces us that she's not really a bad girl, but a girl who knows what she wants.

Hope Lange

Diane Varsi

Terry Moore

Peyton Place is one of the best films of it's kind. Ranks right up there with Imitation of Life and Stella Dallas as supreme tear jerkers. Plus having a cast of beautiful women doesn't hurt the film at all.

No Time For Posting...

Sorry to all my followers that I haven't been posting much of late. I haven't made a new post since the September 7th. Been super busy at work and just don't have the personal time like I used to. In the middle of a stretch of 12 consecutive days of work. Can you say burnout. I'm at work now on this beautiful Sunday morning. The pic below of Cary captures by mood perfectly. Hopefully this schedule will end soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Vivien Leigh on TCM today

Just a quick reminder that Tuesdays this month on TCM are showing Vivien Leigh films. Among the films scheduled for tonight of the 7th include Dark Journey, Sidewalks of London, Storm in a Teaccup and A Yank at Eaton. I just watched Waterloo Bridge today from a recording a few months ago and now I'm all about watching as many Leigh movies as possible. She is much more than just Scarlett O'Hara. Enjoy the photos of her below.

Vivien Leigh in the heart-breaking WATERLOO BRIDGE (1940)

Vivien Leigh is the featured star on TCM this month. And every Tuesday they will be playing some of her movies. Well, I just watched a film of hers that I had never seen before called Waterloo Bridge and it is an excellent film. Waterloo was the first film Ms. Leigh made after the hugely successful Gone With The Wind. And most people were wondering how could she ever follow-up her performance as Scarlett O'Hara from that film. I mean Scarlett O'Hara is one of the most known characters in the world and Leigh was phenomenal. How could she do anything that would come close to matching that amazing performance. Well, just behold her in Waterloo Bridge as English ballet dancer Myra Lester and she is simply wonderful. Set in England during World War 1, Myra is part of a ballet company that is run by the tyrannical Madame Olga, who is so strict on her girls, that you think they were training for combat. Anyway one fateful night Myra meets Captain Roy Cronin (the always charming Robert Taylor and it's love at first sight. They meet on the Waterloo Bridge.

After a whirlwind romance Roy is called to the front line right before he and Myra are to be married. Once that happens Madame Olga kicks Myra from the ballet company for missing a performance. Myra's best friend Kitty (a sassy Virgina Field) sticks up for her and gets lets go as well. So these two young women are now broke and jobless trying to survive. What makes matters worse, Myra reads the newspaper one day and thinks Roy was killed in combat. Of course it's not true, but she thinks it is. Actually he's been captured by the Germans. So Myra ends up joining her friend Kitty as a street-walker/ prostitute. Myra believing she has lost the love of her life just drifts and drifts, not caring about relationships anymore.

Then one fateful day at Waterloo Station, Myra is there looking to pick out a returning soldier, when Roy comes home and both are shocked to see one another. It's been over a year since they last saw each other. They quickly embrace and plan to get married once again. Of course Roy wants Myra to meet his family in Scotland and Myra accepts and goes with him. But she is torn as to when to tell Roy about her dark past. She eventually confides to Roy's mother, Lady Margaret (a terrific Lucile Watson) and leaves Roy the next morning saying she can't marry him.

Racing home to London, Roy is frantic to find Myra and goes to find Kitty who finally tells him the secret life she and Myra have been leading. He is shocked but still wants to find her. They scour the whole city and can't find her. Myra is actually at the Waterloo Bridge, sad and lonely, wishing things had went another way. I won't ruin the ending for those who have never seen this film, but let's just say it's very emotional. I thought Vivien Leigh was magnificent as Myra. Her performance is more subdued than her Scarlett role, but it is just as good and award worthy. She goes from happy to confused to sad to quirky to dramatic, all in one film with such ease. I would have easily given her another Best Actress award for her performance here. She is just amazing to watch and I now see more than just as Scarlett O'Hara. And she just looks so beautiful. The scene where she is standing by the church doors waiting on Roy and the pastor is worth the price of admission alone. She looks directly at the camera and you're hypnotized by her beauty. I can't wait to see more of her films this month on TCM because now I am hooked on Vivien.

As for the supporting cast, Taylor is charming and romantic as usual. Virgina Field as Kitty gets most of the best lines in the film. Lucile Watson is quite good as Lady Margaret. And Maria Ouspenskaya is unbelievably stern as Madame Olga. Waterloo Bridge is now one of my favorite films of all time. A heart-breaking film, but also an amazing film. One of the best.

Monday, September 6, 2010

For The Ladies.....

I feel I may have been unfair to classic leading men by not posting as much about them, other than my favorite Cary Grant. Well here are some photos of the top classic leading men of the golden era. Enjoy ladies.
















And to all the actors I missed, I will be posting more and hopefully get them the next time around.


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