CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Top Performers in tourney play

As the tourney draws nearer to it's Sunday start, I thought I would list the records of the top actresses who seem to thrive on competition and do extremely well. Bear in mind that two of the women on this list are not eligible to compete in the tourney due to their winning it in previous years. That would be Irene Dunne and Ginger Rogers. But they can still compete in my occasional match play matches that I have through-out the year. By the way these records include not just tourney wins but also match play competition results too. Let's begin at number one with...

1. GRACE KELLY (13-2) wow! Grace has racked up an incredible 13 wins in tourney and match play. Making it to the final four in the previous two Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourneys and winning the Favorite Leading Lady in A Hitchcock film tourney. She has been an incredible presence in these events and a force to be reckoned with. She seems to own the 50's era in which she competes in. We shall see if see can win the whole thing this year.

2. NATALIE WOOD (10-2) Another two time Final Four finalist is reigning 60's era champion, Natalie Wood. She has won the 60's era of the tourney two years in a row and like Grace, looks to break beyond the Final Four and win the whole thing.

3. IRENE DUNNE (8-1) When Irene won the inaugural tourney in 2011, she shocked a lot of people. Me included. Ranked a lowly 10th seed, she had a magical Cinderella run and won the whole thing. She returned in 2012 before I made the rule of past champions not being eligible to compete in future tourneys and lost in the second round, her only loss so far.

4. CAROLE LOMBARD (8-3) Oh my....Carole has come ever so close to winning this thing. In 2011 she lost the 30's final to eventual champion Irene Dunne and last year made it to the same point before losing to eventual champion Ginger Rogers. Well with those two ladies out of the picture maybe my girl can break through and claim the crown for herself.

5. GINGER ROGERS (7-1) What a complete turnaround from two tourneys. In 2011 Ginger got knocked out in the very first round. Then in 2012 she wins the whole thing. WOW!

6. INGRID BERGMAN (7-3) A mainstay in the tourney Ingrid has excelled and came close to being in the championship match in 2011. She lost to Vivien Leigh in a rousing back and forth match that still ranks as one of the best in tourney play.

7. VIVIEN LEIGH (6-2) Came close to winning the first tourney but loss to eventual champion Irene Dunne in the final. A true class act.

8. BETTE DAVIS (6-2) Bette has such had a quiet tourney run so far, you think she would have like only 2 or 3 wins. But she has racked up a tidy six wins and is always in the mix. She hopes to make a final four appearance this year.

9. DEBBIE REYNOLDS (6-2) The plucky Debbie has been very formidable in tourney play. Considering she is competing in the 50's era with Grace Kelly, she has done pretty good. 

10. JUDY GARLAND (5-1) Impressive Judy Garland. Missed the first tourney selection altogether and was one win away from being in the championship match last year. She is definitely one not to be underestimated.


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

New Tourney Banner

My good friend Desiree, who is handling the 40's era of our Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney, made this snazzy cool banner for my blog header pic. I think she did a great job. You may be wondering why these four select women. Well these are my final four pics: Carole Lombard (30's), Ann Sheridan (40's), Elizabeth Taylor (50's) and Romy Schneider (60's). We'll see how it goes.Would love to see everyone else final four picks too. Here's the link to the entire list of all 128 actresses competing...

Miriam Hopkins crushes Mary Astor in play-in match

 After a close start Miriam Hopkins poured it on and whooped Mary Astor 91-28. Technically there are still 12 more hours to go but I am putting the mercy rule in effect and declaring Miriam the winner. It was an impressive win for Miriam, marking her very first victory in tournament play to even her record at 1-1. That's the good news. And it secured her the eight and final spot in the pre-codes category in the 30's era bracket of the Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. The bad news is that she will face top seed Barbara Stanwyck, who destroyed Miriam last year 82-16 in round one. But Miriam gets to savor this victory until then. Thanks to all those who voted and got the word out. The full tourney begins Sunday morning.
And the winner...Miriam Hopkins!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A word from Mr. Bogart

I have enlisted the aid of Humphrey Bogart for the 3rd Annual Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney. He will make sure everything is fair, no drama between the women competing and that there is no tampering taking place. For the last two years there have been at least one match where the voting in the polls were suspect. Don't know if it was the blogger site itself or some person or persons who manipulated the voting but Mr. Bogart is here to ask keep things fair. This is all in fun and whoever wins..wins. I'm sure no one wants to get on Bogie's bad side.

Play-In Match Day 2 Update: Miriam Hopkins lead increases

After day 2 of the play-in match between Mary Astor and Miriam Hopkins to decide who grabs the final spot in the Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tournament, Hopkins has exploded to lead by the count of 31-14. After day one, Hopkins led 9-8, so apparently word got out and her fans showed up in force. Still not too late for Astor fans to turn this around as this match goes on till tomorrow evening.
Miriam has her game face on

Monday, February 25, 2013

Play-In match update

After day one, the play in match between Mary Astor and Miriam Hopkins is a close affair with Hopkins leading by the score 9-8. The winner gets the 8th and final spot in the pre-code babes category of the 30's era bracket in the Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tournament. Voting continues on the sidebar to the right through Wednesday.

Sunday, February 24, 2013


March Madness returns in the form of my 3rd annual Favorite Classic Movie Actress tourney with another 128 actresses competing to see who's the favorite actress of them all. Joining me once again to help me put on this mammoth event is John of Mythical Monkey, Desiree of Rosalind Russell and with us for the first time Kristen of Journeys in Classic Film. The fun begins Sunday, March 3rd. That will pretty much dominate my blog for most of the month but I will have time for my guest of the month. My good friend from Facebook, Valarie Joyce will be stopping by to spread a little sunshine from LaLa land. And I might have a few more surprises if I have time. So please stop by and spend a little time here at All Good Things.

Play-In Match underway between Mary Astor and Miriam Hopkins

A quick post to let everyone know that the play-in match between Mary Astor and Miriam Hopkins in the pre-codes category of the 30's era bracket is underway. Winner will claim the 8th and final spot in that category. Voting ends Wednesday evening and the poll is on the sidebar on the right. 

AKA Brigid O'Shaughnessy, Princess Centimilla
AKA Lily, Becky Sharp, Martha Dobie

Las Vegas oddsmakers have placed Mary as a slight favorite at
1 and 1/2 votes....let's see if Miriam will take that
lying down...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stats for Mary Astor/Miriam Hopkins play-in match

For tomorrow's play in match between Mary Astor and Miriam Hopkins, I thought I would do a post about their stats and history here on All Good Things. I set it up just like when I do my match play matches. Voting starts Sunday morning and runs through Wednesday evening 5 pm EST for what is sure to be an exciting match.

Mary getting some final touches before her match with
Miriam Hopkins

Name: Lucille Vasconcellos Langhanke
Birth Date: May 3, 1906 (Quincy, Illinois)
Height: 5' 6"
Academy Awards: one (Best Supporting Actress: The Great Lie - 1942)
Monties: 2 nominations (Best Supporting Actress: Red Dust - 1932 and The Maltese Falcon - 1941)
My favorite Mary film: Red Dust (1932)
Match play record: 0-1 (lost to Claudette Colbert in the 30's era of the 2012 Favorite Classic Actress Tournament 73-25...ouch)


Miriam is doing the same thing..but doing it personally herself...

Name: Ellen Miriam Hopkins
Birth Date: October 18, 1902 (Savannah, Georgia...woo hoo..from my home state)
Height: 5' 2"
Academy Awards: one nomination (Best Actress: Becky Sharp - 1935)
Monties: 2 nominations, one win (Best Actress: Becky Sharp - 1935) 
My favorite Miriam film: These Three (1936)
Match play record: 0-1 (lost to Barbara Stanwyck in the 30's era of the 2012 Favorite Classic Actress Tournament 82-16...dang!)

So one thing will be for certain after these two outstanding actresses will pick up her first victory in match play/tourney. Good luck to ya both Mary and Miriam.


It's doesn't get any better than this...

Friday, February 22, 2013

Play-In match for 30's era: Tough Broads/Pre-Code Babes

March Madness officially begins Sunday, March 3rd but there will be one play-in match in the 30's era bracket in the Tough Broads/Pre-Code Babes category. Miriam Hopkins and Mary Astor will face each other to see who grabs the 8th seed spot in this exciting category. The match will begin Sunday morning and run through Wednesday night. Winner earns a trip to the Favorite Classic Movie Actress tourney. Think of this match as an appetizer to the main course. Good luck to both women.




Thursday, February 21, 2013

Fabulous Films Of The 1940's Blogathon: Mr. And Mrs. Smith (1941)

For my contribution to the Fabulous Films of the 1940's Blogathon I chose the only comedy Alfred Hitchcock, the master of suspense, did, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, starring my all time favorite actress Carole Lombard. This is my favorite film of hers by the way. Screwball comedies are my favorite type of films and this one fits quite nicely into that category. Well a bit. While not a full blown screwball comedy, it is quite fun and often hilarious nonetheless. 

David looking worried at the film's beginning

The film is set in bustling New York and begins with a married couple of three years named David and Ann Smith (great pairing of Robert Montgomery and Carole Lombard) who tend to bicker and have these huge arguments from time to time when they are not speaking to one another. Such is the case at the film's beginning as the pair have been sequestered in their lavish apartment home while their staff shuttles them food and drink. This latest misunderstanding has been going on for three days and David's office, a law firm where his pal Jeff (a solid Gene Raymond) keeps calling to see has a truce been made. As Jeff sends over some critical papers for David to sign, the pair finally makes up and end up having breakfast together.

Ann and David make up after this three day session

But Ann asks a question which prompts an answer from David that doesn't exactly make her happy. She asks David if he had it to do it all over again would he. And he puts in honestly and bluntly, no he would not. He would not marry her and would remain single. Remember this key moment as it will become the focal point for the rest of the film.

But not for long because over breakfast Ann asks that pivotal question

While at work, David receives a guest in the form of Mr. Deever (Charles Halton) from Ann's hometown of Idaho comes a calling saying that the Smith's, along with several other hundreds of couples are not technically married, through some municipal and state jurisdictional matter at the time. David takes the news quite nicely but when Mr. Deever stops by their home to share the same news with Ann and Ann's mother, it doesn't have the same effect.

At dinner David tries to get the cat to have some soup...

David calls up and tells Ann they are going to the restaurant where he proposed to her and Ann believes it's where he will pop the question again. But alas things don't go that way and Ann begins to squirm as the night draws to a close. Meanwhile David is having the time of his life. Back home for a little champagne Ann finally snaps and throws a tantrum asking if and when David was going to ever marry her again. David tries to explain that he was just waiting for the right moment and before you know he is spending the night at The Beefeater's Club, a luxurious hotel where men go who are having domestic troubles. It's there he meets the seen it all Chuck (played by the always wonderful Jack Carson), who is a frequent regular at the hotel.

Mr. Deever drops by to share some news...

David tries to woo back Ann over the course of the rest of the film but Ann is steadfast in holding her ground. Saying she doesn't want to remarry David and instead finds a job and actually starts dating Jeff, much to David's chagrin. In fact the date Ann and Jeff goes on leads to a hilarious seen after Jeff catches cold and Ann tries to nurse him back to health with some liquor. At first Jeff is good to go but then it hits him like a ton of bricks and Gene Raymond gives a masterful drunken little scene. 

The gorgeous Carole Lombard

For the first hour, this film is golden. It does start to sag during the final half hour just a bit as Ann and Jeff take a getaway vacation to Lake Placid, in which David follows. But it rebounds right back during the closing scenes to make this a wonderful film. Like I said it is my favorite of Carole, and that's saying something, considering her resume which includes To Be Or Not To Be, Twentieth Century and My Man Godfrey. It's just something about this premise of a couple who truly love each other despite all their fighting and bickering. It's classic Hollywood star power in Carole and Robert with solid supporting turns. If you have never seen it, you have to check it out at least once.

Carole does quite a lot of finger pointing in this film

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

2013 Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tournament: Una Merkel

30's era competitor Una Merkel is getting ready to make her first appearance
in the favorite classic movie actress tourney...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Gloria Grahame talks about her huge upset win in the first tourney

Here is my second fantasy (mock) interview with an actress who has competed in my favorite classic movie actress tourneys. It's where I get to sit down and have a chat with the women if they were actually here in the studio. A few days ago I chatted with Vivien Leigh. Today it is Gloria Grahame. If you recall Gloria scored one of the biggest upsets in tourney history when she defeated Marilyn Monroe in the opening round of the 1950's era bracket in the 2011 tourney edition. Monroe was seeded second while Gloria was 15th and it was expected that MM would waltz into the semi-finals at least. Here Gloria sheds some light on that magical moment for her.

Gloria scored one of the biggest upsets in tourney play
when she defeated Marilyn Monroe

Me: So Miss Grahame, how did it feel to upset Marilyn in that first round?

Miss Grahame: Monty, it was absolutely unbelievable! I was in complete shock. I couldn't believe it.

Me: walk me through what happened.

Gloria: Well, I had friends over during this event and we kept checking the numbers and it was early that first day but I was leading. And I thought oh..well this won't last. Marilyn is just toying with me. She is gonna wake up and just zoom past me. But after the first day of voting wrapped up, I was still ahead by 2 votes I believe.

Me: Yeah, I just checked the numbers and you was leading 13-11. It definitely sent waves through the tourney and I think it got Marilyn's attention for sure.

Gloria: Yes. But then after day two I was still leading and I just kept saying to myself she is gonna take the lead and it will be over. I would congratulate her for her gutsy win and I would go home.

Me: Except that it didn't play out like that did it? Describe the moment when I posted the final results for that match. What was it like?

Gloria: Once again, I had friends over that night and we was sitting around, having drinks and some dessert when you posted the final score. I won by like 5 votes if I recall. Everybody just screamed and cheered like I had been elected president or something. I couldn't believe it. I kept waiting for you to post a message about an error in the voting and the match would have to be restarted but that never happened.

Gloria was dressed to kill on the night of her big win

Me: Yeah that would happen in another match later on. But yours was for real. You took down Monroe. And I don't know if you knew this, but you led the entire way. Marilyn never got closer than those 2 votes on day one.

Gloria: Oh I did not know that. My goodness. It was an incredible moment for me I can tell ya. Of course I promptly lost to Debbie Reynolds the following week but I was still in heaven from my first win.

Me: Oh I bet you were. Well I want to thank you Miss Grahame for stopping by and sharing your thoughts on that memorable moment.

Gloria: Oh thank you Monty for having me. Good luck with this year's tourney.

Me: Same to you Miss Grahame. ladies and gentlemen..Miss Gloria Grahame.

The crowd erupts and we fade to black. I will return in a few days with another chat with a different actress.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Top Movie Cops: Dave Bannion (The Big Heat)

Tough cop Dave Bannion about to start some s@^t!
Name: Dave Bannion
Occupation: Detective Sergeant
First appearance: The Big Heat (1953)
Number of films: 1
Enemies: Mike Lagana (head crime boss); Vince Stone (Lagana's right hand man)
Family and friends: Katie (wife); Joyce (daughter); Debby Marsh (Stone's girlfriend); 

Not backing down to Vince all!

SPOILER case you haven't seen this film, do not read any further.

History: Homicide Detective Dave Bannion butts heads with the crime syndicate in his town when he investigates the death of fellow police officer Tom Duncan. When Bannion refuses to back down, his family is targeted and his wife becomes a casualty. Bannion goes on the warpath to bring down head crime boss Lagana and his goon Vince Stone. Bannion gets unlikely help from Stone's girlfriend. Bannion is seen as a duty bound cop and becomes even more frustrated when local politics play into his repeated obstacles preventing him from taking down Lagana. But he never gives up. Never!
With his daughter Joyce
Meeting the hot to trot Debby

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Ginger's record setting run in last year's tourney

Last year's Favorite Classic Movie Actress Tourney winner Ginger Rogers set some unbelievable scoring records as she just ran wild with some amazing victories. In fact her closest win was her very first match with Joan Blondell with the margin of victory being only 28 votes. After that, word got out and Ginger's fanbase showed up like no other. Here are the numbers Ginger set last year and that I think may not be broken for awhile.

Ginger just dominated last year's tourney like no one else...

Most votes by an actress in a match: Ginger's 264 votes against Irene Dunne in round 2
Most combined votes in a match: that same match with Irene which yielded a staggering 478 votes
Most votes by an actress in a tourney: Ginger netted a total of 1053 votes over the course of 7 matches

Defeated Joan Blondell 58-30
Hattie McDaniel 85-42
Irene Dunne 264-214
Greta Garbo 177-78
Carole Lombard 141-94
Grace Kelly 184-56
Natalie Wood 144-25

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Vivien Leigh talks March Madness

With less than a month away before my annual Favorite Classic Movie Actress tourney begins, I thought a recap of last year's tournament would be in order. But instead of doing the usual post about it I thought it would be cool to do a series of posts about me conducting interviews with some of the women who competed. You know, if they were really alive and how they would respond to my questions. I thought I would begin with Vivien Leigh who had two very different tourney runs. Back in 2011 for the inaugural Favorite Actress tourney, she made it to the championship match against eventual winner Irene Dunne. So for 2012 she was naturally expected to do quite well. Didn't turn out that way as she got edged out by Gene Tierney in the second round. So here she is..Miss Vivien Leigh, having a little chat with me.

The happy and beautiful Vivien Leigh

Me: First off, Miss Leigh, thank you for coming on here to chat a little. I have tremendous respect for you and think you are one of the greatest actresses of all time.

Vivien Leigh: Why thank you Monty. So glad to be here, on your wonderful blog. I want to thank you and all the bloggers who keep classic film alive with your stories and events.

Me: Speaking of events, you know it's almost time for my annual favorite classic movie tourney. And I wanted to talk to you about your thoughts on your past experiences in them.

Miss Leigh: Oh to!

Me: Back in 2011, for the very first one I did, you did extremely well. I mean you made it all the way to the final match. What did you think about that whole experience?

Miss Leigh: It was kind of unreal to be quite honest. I never expected to make it that far. Coming from the era you had me in..the 40's. I think everyone pretty much assumed either Bette or Kate Hepburn would win. But after I kept winning match after match and week after week, it still never occurred to me that I could still be around competing.

Me: and compete you did. All the way to the last match with Irene Dunne. Now Irene had just an amazing Cinderella run through the tourney up to this point but you were seeded 4th and the oddsmakers had you a 7 point favorite over her. Your thoughts on that...

Miss Leigh: What's that sports saying you Americans always say Monty..that's why you play the game. It was a very tough match and I give all the praise and congrats to Irene who just would not give up. I was honored to be in the final match with her.

A very determined Vivien is ready to compete for
a third time

Me: Yeah it was a very unexpected tourney win by Irene that still a lot of fans can't believed happened. So now on to last year's tourney, where you had the pre-tourney ranking of #2 and everyone was wagering you would take the crown that year. But you had that unexpected 2nd round loss to Gene Tierney..

Miss Leigh: was very heart-breaking to lose so early. But also at the same time, such a relief. Because I have to tell everyone that competing week in and week out can be quite stressful. So while it was very disappointing, it was quite calm for me afterwards.

Me: I can understand your viewpoint on that Miss Leigh. I wish you much success in this year's tourney and I want to thank you again for stopping by to chat with me and all your fans and followers.

Vivien: Thank you Monty. Thank you everyone.

Me: Miss Vivien Leigh everybody!

A thundering applause echoes from the studio audience. I will be back with another actress in a few days for another casual chat.
She may not have won the tourney but you can't
take away her Best Actress Oscar!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Top Movie Cops: Frank Bullitt

Lt. Frank Bullitt, SFPD

Name: Frank Bullitt
Occupation: Police Lieutenant, San Francisco Police
First appearance: Bullitt (1968)
Number of films: 1
Enemies: Politician Walter Chalmers, The Organization
Friends: Cathy (girlfriend); Sergeant Delgetti, Detective Stanton, Captain Bennet (his boss)
Having a chat with the weaselly Chalmers

History: Super cool police detective Frank Bullitt is personally asked by the smarmy DA Chalmers to guard witness Johnny Ross, a Chicago mobster is who to turn evidence against the Organization at a hearing on organized crime. Things get botched and Ross is killed by two lethal hitmen. Bullitt is told to let the case go but gets approval from his captain to dig deeper to find out what's going on. He also has to contend with his live in girlfriend Cathy, who wonders, if she can be in a relationship with a cop. Bullitt is the kind of cop who doesn't take no for an anwser. He's not cocky but believes in justice and doing the right thing. If you are a friend, he will go beyond the call of duty to help you. But cross him, oh out. 
Frank is all about business when on duty

But he will make time for his lovely lady, Cathy

And let's not forget his bad ass 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2 + 2 Fastback. The one he engages in with for one of the best onscreen car chases you will ever see. Too bad this character was never afforded a sequel or two.

Oh yeah..burning rubber in pursuit of the bad guys


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