CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A message from Jean Harlow...

Dear Monty,

 I have a previous engagement of a golf charity event tomorrow. But afterwards, I will be right over to All Good Things.


What a girl....Thanks Jean!
It's gonna be great having you
as the classic movie goddess for the month!

A big thank you to Lauren Bacall for being this month's Classic Movie Goddess

It's time for us to say good-bye to Lauren Bacall who made a fabulous classic movie goddess this month. I had a great time writing about her all month long and wished she could have stayed longer. But alas, she has to make way for Jean Harlow, who is arriving shortly. But I will probably have Ms. Bacall back for a return engagement if she is ok with that.
I think Lauren is a little shocked her time as Classic Movie Goddess is over...
well I'm sure she will have a good time with Bogie and Marilyn

Birthday Roll Call: January 31st

Today marks birthdays for several notable actresses. So time for a birthday roll call.

JEAN SIMMONS (Jan 31, 1929 - Jan 22, 2010)

Notable films: Black Narcissus, Elmer Gantry, Spartacus, Guys and Dolls, The Grass Is Greener

SUZANNE PLESHETTE (Jan 31, 1937 - Jan 19, 2008)

Notable work: The Birds, Nevada Smith, The Bob Newhart Show, 40 Pounds of Trouble

TALLULAH BANKHEAD (Jan 31, 1902 - December 12, 1968)

Notable work: Lifeboat, A Royal Scandal, Tarnished Lady, My Sin, Devil and the Deep

DANIELA BIANCHI (Jan 31, 1942 - present)

Notable work: From Russia With Love, Always on Sunday, The Last Chance)

JOANNE DRU (Jan 31, 1922 - September 10, 1996)

Notable work: Red River, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon, All The King's Men

Monday, January 30, 2012

Classic Stars Match Play #18 - The "It" Girl CLARA BOW vs The "Oomph" Girl ANN SHERIDAN

For the next match play, two very well known actresses, who each had popular nicknames, will battle for victory. Clara Bow, known as The "It" Girl will face Ann Sheridan, who was given the name The "Oomph" Girl. Both women also had some other common traits. Clara Bow's birth name was actually Clara. Ann's birth name was also Clara. Both never won Academy Awards. In fact neither ever received a nomination, which is a crime. So here are the ladies stats as we get ready for an exciting match.

Clara is thinking..."Ann Sheridan? Boy is this gonna be tough!"

Name: Clara Gordon Bow
Birth Date: July 29, 1905 (Brooklyn, New York)
Height: 5' 3"
Academy Awards: none
Monties: 1 nomination (Best Actress: Wings - 1927)
My favorite Clara film: The Wild Party (1929)
Match play record: 0-1 (lost to Irene Dunne in the 30's era of the 2011 Favorite Classic Actress


Ann showing off her patriotic colors

Name: Clara Lou Sheridan
Birth Date: February 21, 1915 (Denton, Texas)
Height: 5' 5"
Academy Awards: none
Monties: 3 nominations, 1 win (Best Actress: Edge of Darkness - 1943)
My favorite Ann film: I Was A Male War Bride (1949)
Match play record: 0-1 (lost to Vivien Leigh in the 40's era of the 2011 Favorite Classic
Actress Tournament)

The match begins immediately and will run through Saturday, Februry 4th at 8pm EST.
Good luck to both women.

Ann is being supported by her friends which include Gail Patrick, Wendy Barrie and others

While Clara shows off her moves to the fellas

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Danny Kaye edges past Jerry Lewis 10-8 in match play

This was one of the closest match plays yet. In fact this match was tied between Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis 7-7 until the last two hours. Kaye's fans came through as he edged Lewis by 2 votes. Danny notches his first match play win and evens his record at 1-1. Lewis drops to 0-2 as he has yet to claim a win. Thanks to all those who voted and a new match will be up tomorrow.

Danny is quite happy after his match play victory

Good Sunday Afternoon from Joan Blondell

Just a photo of Joan wishing everyone a great Sunday. She is apparently at the beach....

Can you believe this year marks the 50th anniversary of James Bond?

When a film or series reaches a milestone such as 25 or 50 years, that is reason for a celebration. Well the James Bond film series will hit 50 years come May 8th, marking the original release of the first Bond film, Dr. No. The 23rd film, Skyfall will debut later on this year with Daniel Craig returning as the superspy for the third time. I am kind of surprised that this anniversary has been kept under the radar so far. I know it's only January, but this is pretty big news. How many film series have gone this long and are still running. Very impressive! Well I intend to do something about it. Here on All Good Things, expect Bond posts all year long. About the actors who played Bond to the films and anything else I can think of. Should make for a grand time. 50 years. Well done James, well done.

Tea Anyone?... Louise Brooks and her sister June

Louise Brooks and her younger sister June enjoying some tea in their garden

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Lauren welcomes Jean...

Almost time for Jean Harlow's appearance next month as my classic movie goddess and here's Lauren Bacall to greet her.....

Lauren: Hello everyone. I'm here to introduce Jean as next month's classic movie goddess and to also thank Monty for having me here this month. It was a great experience and I enjoyed every minute of it. I know you will too Jean.

Jean: Thank you Lauren. I'm sure I will. I've been waiting forever for Monty to ask me to be his guest and he finally did. These next few days of waiting are gonna kill me.

Lauren: You'll make it Jean. And I can't wait to see how your month goes. I know mine was fantastic.

Jean: Thanks Lauren. And thanks Monty. Come on February!

Groucho Marx crushes W.C. Fields 14-4 in match play

It seems W.C. Fields was no match for Groucho Marx. This contest was over on day one as Groucho rolled over W.C. 14-4. Which gives Groucho his first win in his first match play. This was also W.C.'s first match play event. Now we wait on the match between Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis to conclude my funny men match play week in honor of CMBA's comedy classics blogaton.

Groucho gets a celebratory hug from Thelma Todd on his recent victory

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Drama Filled Thursdays (BETTE DAVIS)

Been awhile since I did a post on dramas for Thursdays. I decided to choose a singular star and focus on her top dramatic films. And who better than the grand diva herself, Bette Davis. Now if you have read my previous Drama Filled Thursdays posts, you know I set the list at only 5 films. We all know Bette had lots of strong dramas in her stellar career. So it was very hard choosing my five favorite of hers. But choose I did. So here we go. And in no particular order.

Without a doubt my favorite Davis film. She is marvelous as broadway diva Margo Channing, who is competing with the young ingenue Eve Harrington (Anne Baxter). Watch and let Bette show you how it's done...Acting 101. She was robbed of an Oscar that night, I tell ya.


Is the last great film did by the wonderful Bette. She and Lillian Gish are magnificent as two elderly sisters living in their family cottage home on the coast of Maine. Bette is Libby, who is blind and maybe senile. Lillian is Sarah and she takes care of her. This is truly a beautiful and amazing film. It's great to watch veteran actors still make such moving films. In addition to Davis and Gish, this film also stars Ann Sothern, Vincent Price and Harry Carey, Jr.

 For some reason I love this melodramatic soap fest. Call it my guilty pleasure. Bette is Kit Marlowe, a famous writer who is best friends with Millie (the wonderfully over the top Miriam Hopkins). Friendship soon turns into a bitter rivalry. Famous scene has Kit shaking the crap out of Millie and then saying succinctly...Sorry. Classic.


  Easily one of Bette's most engaging performances and one of the best films from Hollywood's golden year of 1939. Bette plays Judith Traherne, a wealthy Long Island society girl who is having a ball with her lifestyle. Well fun and games come to an abrupt end when she finds out she has a brain tumor. Her secretary and friend Ann (played by Geraldine Fitzgerald in an understated but moving performance) and other friend Alex (Ronald Reagan) convince Judith to see a brain specialist, Dr. Frederick Steele (George Brent) who informs Judith that the tumor will cause her to die within the year. Through the course of the year Judith falls in love with Frederick and accepts his marriage proposal but can't go through with it because she thinks the doctor is being sympathetic to her illness. Humphrey Bogart is on hand as an Irish horse trainer who tries to make Judith fall in love with him. When he realizes that will never happen, he convinces Judith to be with the doctor. Dark Victory is one serious melodrama with an excellent performance by Bette. This is easily one of her top 5 film performances ever. 

 Excellent drama set at the turn of the century with Bette ruling as Regina Giddens, a woman who will go to great lengths for money and power in a family of cheats and liars. Regina though is on another level as she is the type of character that you love to hate. She is sharp and on point the whole time and I thought Bette's performance was the best of 1941, hence her winning a Montie.

Other choice Bette dramas include The Letter, Jezebel, The Petrified Forest and In This Our Life.

My love of classic films is beyond measure


Happy Birthday Joan Leslie (1925 - present)

Actress Joan Leslie celebrates her 87th birthday today. The underrated actress is one of our classic film stars that is still alive today. So a really big Happy Birthday to Joan. Star of such films as Yankee Doodle Dandy, High Sierra,  Sergeant York and Cinderella Jones.

Joan doing a little dance in celebration of her birthday

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Classic Stars Match Play #17 - Danny Kaye vs Jerry Lewis

Welcome back to the second match focusing on film comedians this week. As W.C. Fields and Groucho Marx began their battle on Monday, let's get going with Danny Kaye and Jerry Lewis. The match begins today and will run thru Sunday 2 pm EST. Good luck to both gentlemen.

Danny doing his pre-routine match play dance.....

Name: David Daniel Kaminski
Birth Date: January 18, 1913 (Brooklyn, New York City)
Height: 5' 11"
Academy Awards: Honorary Award (1955)
Monties: none so far, but I haven't reached his peak period yet
My favorite Danny film: Wonder Man and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
Match play record: 0-1 (had the unfortunate luck of facing William Holden in the first round of the
50's ear of the favorite classic actor tournament 2011 and got crushed 41-5..ouch)


I'm coming for you Danny, my boy...

Name: Joseph Levitch
Birth Date: March 16, 1926 (Newark, New Jersey)
Height: 6'
Academy Awards: Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award (2009)
Monties: none so far

My favorite Jerry film: The Ladies Man (1961)
Match play record: 0-1 (Lost to Robert Redford in the first round of the 60's era of
the favorite classic actor tournament 2011)

CMBA Comedy Classics Blogathon: His Girl Friday (1940)

I saw it for the first time when I was 12 years old and it immediately struck me as the best movie I had seen in my young life at the time. It would keep with me over the years and stay as my favorite movie, withstanding the new releases with all their hi tech fancy stuff like the Star Wars movies, Indiana Jones, and others. For me, there is nothing better than His Girl Friday and watching Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell play off each other.

Cary Grant is never better as newspaper editor Walter Burns, who is about to lose his ace reporter and ex-wife Hildy Johnson (a superb performance by Rosalind Russell) to marriage to an insurance man (Ralph Bellamy). Just so happens a major news story breaks as convicted murderer Earl Williams, who is about to be put to death, escapes from custody. Walter convinces Hildy to take this last job assignment and he will sign a nice big check for an insurance policy for the soon to be wed couple. During her investigation, Hildy manages to track down Williams and tries to keep him safe from the police and the mayor. A wonderful mix of comedy and some drama make this my all time favorite film. Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell make a terrific dream team. The one liners fly fast and furious, expertly handled by the entire cast. Great direction by the legendary Howard Hawks.

You couldn't ask for a better screwball film. I have probably seen His Girl Friday like 40 some times and it is still fresh and funny the 40th time as it was the first time. One of the films that even if you own it, you will stop whatever you doing to watch it when it airs on TV. I know I do. Turn off my cell phone, don't want to be disturbed by anyone or anything. It's that great of a film.

A sampling of the fast paced dialogue that has amazed me for all these many years:

Walter Burns: Sorta wish you hadn't done that, Hildy.
Hildy Johnson: Done what?
Walter Burns: Divorced me. Makes a fella lose all faith in himself. Gives him a... almost gives him a feeling he wasn't wanted.
Hildy Johnson: Oh, now look, junior... that's what divorces are FOR!

Wilson, reporter: Any dope on how he escaped?
McCue, reporter: Maybe the sheriff let him out so Williams could vote for him.

Hildy Johnson: [speaking to Walter on the phone] Now, get this, you double-crossing chimpanzee: There ain't going to be any interview and there ain't going to be any story. And that certified check of yours is leaving with me in twenty minutes. I wouldn't cover the burning of Rome for you if they were just lighting it up. If I ever lay my two eyes on you again, I'm gonna walk right up to you and hammer on that monkeyed skull of yours 'til it rings like a Chinese gong!

Louis: What's the matter, Hildy?
Hildy Johnson: Don't give me that innocent stuff! What did you pull on Mr. Baldwin THIS time?
Louis: Who, me?
Hildy Johnson: Yes, you and that albino of yours!
Louis: You talkin' about Evangeline?
Hildy Johnson: None other
Louis: She ain't no albino.
Hildy Johnson: She'll do 'till one comes along!
Louis: She was born right here in this country!

So to wrap this blog up let me just say that His Girl Friday is THE movie for me. Cary Grant's other classic movie, Bringing Up Baby is a close second, but His Girl Friday holds that special place in my heart. To all classic movie lovers out there, if by some small chance you have never seen this movie, take time to watch it somewhere, somehow and I promise you will not regret it.

This post is part of the Comedy Classics Blogathon sponsored by the Classic Movie Blog Association. The event runs January 22-27. For a complete list of participants and to learn more,
click here: Classic Movie Blog Association

Monday, January 23, 2012

Made In Dagenham (2010) is a top notch drama...Highly Recommended!

Everyone who visits my blog, know every now and then I will talk about newer films. Last night I had the good fortune to watch Made in Dagenham on cable. It is a great film and it is based on a true story, which makes it all that much better.

The women on a typical work day

Set in 1968 Dagenham, England at the Ford auto factory, which employs thousands of male workers and 187 female machinists, who are vastly underpaid. The women mainly assemble the car seat upholstery but do so in poor working conditions. It's get so hot in their work area that they have to strip down to their bras to compensate. A running gag is that every time a male comes into their area they scream "MAN!" and promptly put their tops back on.

Rita with her all so lovely smile

Rita (played by Sally Hawkins in a terrific performance...and I think I love her) is asked by the shop steward (a sly and understanding Bob Hoskins) to lead the women to ask for equal pay or they will go on strike. Rita is bolstered by her good friend Connie (Geraldine James in a deep and moving performance) who is a veteran worker; Brenda (Andrea Riseborough) who is all sass; and Sandra, the hot to trot blonde of the group (played by Jamie Winstone).

The always happy Albert

The girls meet resistance in their union leader Monty, who is a piece of crap. I booed and hissed every time he was onscreen as he states that he is working for the betterment of the women, but behind their backs, he is secretly negotiating with the top brass of Ford to undermine the ladies efforts. I wished that me and him didn't have to share the same name. So if you watch this film, try not to think of me as this Monty, please!

Rough day for Sandra

At first the executives don't think these women will go the distance, but days turn into weeks then into months and then production is shut down and now the male workers are out of work as well. Which brings a considerable amount of tension between wives and husbands and boyfriends and girlfriends. Also adding to the predicament is Lisa Hopkins (hey it's Rosamund Pike...who proves once again that she is more than a pretty face) as the wife of one of the executives. She is all for the women and hates the way her husband treats her as having no voice in the matter. Well when an American executive from Ford comes to get a handle on the situation she lets loose why she thinks Ford is no good when it comes to treating their employees. It's a seminal moment for Lisa and the film in whole.

Lisa greeting dinner her dress

Also getting involved is Secretary of State Barbara Castle (Miranda Richardson, all red-headed and fiery) who is conflicted because her boss, the Prime Minister doesn't want to make waves with the US auto giant, and the women who value her trust. Castle ends up meeting several of the women for a little tea function that turns kind of tense as Rita will not back down. Castle does sway to the women's side and politely tells the US auto executive to take his proposed offer and shove it. It's a moment that will have everyone cheer, women and men.

Brenda leading the strike and looking fabulous while doing it

History will show that through the efforts of Rita O'Grady, that the equal pay act was passed in 1970 in England and followed suit around the world in other countries. And that Ford changed it's practices to become much fairer to either of the sexes.

The women meeting Secretary of State Barbara Castle

The performances are all brilliant led by Sally Hawkins as Rita. She comes across as very shy at first and quite unsure of  herself. But once she jumps into the fray she doesn't back down. Ever. Great support from Hoskins, Richardson, James, and Pike. And impressive performances by the relative newcomers Winstone and Riseborough. The look of the 60's is perfectly captured through the clothes and the music. And while it is a drama, there is plenty of humor too. As the situation gets dire, the women still find a way to laugh and stick together. Made in Dagenham is one of the best films I have ever seen. If you have never seen it or even heard of it, please track it down and watch it. You won't be disappointed. Highly recommended. Also look for Andrew Lincoln of Love Actually and The Walking Dead in a bit part as a mean school-teacher.


Classic Stars Match Play #16 - W.C. Fields vs Groucho Marx..let the fun begin

Since the CMBA is hosting a comedy blogathon this week, which I am contributing to, I might add, I thought it would be cool to have a match tied in with that event. In fact I'm in such a good mood, I think I will have two comedic matches taking place. This is the first one. W.C. against Groucho. The match begins immediately and will end Friday at 5 pm EST. I will start another match on Wednesday.

Say how does this match play thing work again?

Name: William Claude Dukenfield
Birth Date: January 29, 1880 (Darby, Pennsylvania)
Height: 5' 9"
Academy Awards: none
Monties: 1 nominations (It's a Gift - 1934 )
My favorite W.C. film: It's A Gift
Match Play record: 0-0 (this is W.C.'s first match play)


Tell W.C. to give me a few minutes..and I'll be right there

Name: Julius Henry Marx
Birth Date: October 2, 1890 (New York City, New York)
Height: 5' 7 1/2"
Academy Awards: Honorary Award (1974)
Monties: none so far....
My favorite Groucho film: A Night at the Opera and Duck Soup
Match play record: 0-0 (this is Groucho's first match play as well)

Jane, I'm going be tied up for the rest of the week so
I need for you to place a few bets for me, my dear..

Ladies, if you will kindly take your seats, me and Groucho
will get this thing going...


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