Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Great Films Not on DVD: January

The holiday season is quickly coming to a close. I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you a happy new year! This is always a sad time of year for me because there is so much build up for it and then it is all over in a moment. Unfortunately, I didn't get as much movie watching in as I would've hoped. I was stuck watching made-for-tv Christmas movies on Lifetime and the Hallmark Channel with my mother (a bit of a holiday tradition). They are a good way of putting me in the Christmas spirit, but watching too many of them makes me want to vomit up all the cheesiness. I was just sad that I didn't get to watch my favorite Christmas Eve movie, Meet Me in St. Louis. However, I did have the chance to see a few movies I had never seen including Remember the Night, Platinum Blonde, Good News, and A Guy Named Joe.
As the year comes to a close, I wanted to point out a few films that will be on TCM in January. You may have seen them or at least heard of them, if not, check them out. They are all waiting patiently to be put on DVD for many more people to enjoy.

The Devil and Miss Jones (1941)
Airs January 11
Starring Jean Arthur, Robert Cummings, and Charles Coburn.

This one ranks high on my overall wishlist of films that need to be put on DVD. Wealthy businessman J.P. Merrick (Coburn) goes undercover as a shoe salesman at his own department store to find out which workers are trying to unionize.

Theodora Goes Wild (1936)
Airs January 1
Starring Irene Dunne and Melvyn Douglas

Theodora (Dunne) stirs up controversy in her conservative town when she writes a steamy romance novel using a pseudonym. Her secret doesn't stay hidden for long once a nosy illustrator tracks her down and helps free her from her small town life. A lesser known screwball comedy that's worth seeing.

Bombshell (1933)
Airs January 10
Starring Jean Harlow, Lee Tracy, and Frank Morgan

Movie star Lola Burns (Harlow) becomes sick of maintaining her image and tries to escape Hollywood in search of a normal life. Unfortunately for her, but fortunately for us, her sneaky publicist Space does whatever he can to bring her back, comedy ensues.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is the 21st of December which means that I am a whole year older today! I don't feel any different yet, it feels like any other day. My birthday is simply a stepping stone to Christmas which is only a few days away : ) No exciting plans, just having dinner with my family because most of my friends live hours away, if not a few states away.

I'm always curious to see what famous people share my birthday so I checked it out on IMDb. It turns out, I share my birthday with a rather strange group of people.

Jane Fonda
Phil Donahue
Frank Zappa
Samuel L. Jackson
Andy Dick
Kiefer Sutherland
Joseph Stalin (this one always makes me cringe...)

Luckily there were only a few famous people I recognized that died on my birthday.

F. Scott Fitzgerald
George S. Patton

And then I became curious about what important historical events happened on December 21 as well...

1620 - The Mayflower arrived at Plymouth Rock
1913 - The first crossword puzzle was published
1968 - Apollo 8 was launched, the first manned mission to the moon

The rest of the events were either boring or really depressing so I left those ones out : )

So there you have it, December 21st in a nutshell! Now can you guess how old I am?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

20 Favorite Actresses Meme

Well, now that my finals are over I guess I get to join in on the fun because Nicole tagged me for this one. It was defintely not easy cutting my list down to only 20 actresses so I did my best! They are not ranked at all except for Ginger Rogers because she is my all time favorite.

Ginger Rogers

Vivien Leigh

Eleanor Parker

Priscilla Lane

Gene Tierney

Audrey Hepburn

Olivia de Havilland
Betty Hutton

Judy Garland

Rita Hayworth

Myrna Loy

Carole Lombard

Jean Arthur

Barbara Stanwyck

Teresa Wright

Doris Day

Bette Davis

Irene Dunne

Joan Fontaine

Jean Simmons

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fun With Photos

So I recently heard about this site called Faceinhole.com (http://www.faceinhole.com/) where you can take any photo you have and stick any of the faces in it into another photo. I needed a little stress release so I had a little fun with photos of classic Hollywood stars. Enjoy!
Presenting the new face of Armani.....
Cary Grant

Nancy Drew (Bonita Granville).....or shall I say Agent Drew, is all grown up and still fighting crime. Her weapons of choice: a handgun and killer go-go boots.
Tom Cruise has lost that "loving feeling" for me so he's been replaced by Robert Mitchum. Looks like he's ready to join Top Gun.

This one is dedicated to Ginger Ingenue, even if your new crush is Cornel Wilde. I have to say, Dana Andrews looks pretty good here...

I know this is a bit of a travesty but.....here is Marilyn Monroe as Paris Hilton.

And last but not least....Frida Crawford: Unibrow yes, wire hangers no.

If you're feeling bored, try it out! Feel free to post your favorite creations.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Afterlife: Hollywood Style

Anybody that has experienced Dead Week in college knows that it’s a busy time. Technically, it’s not supposed to be called Dead Week anymore due to the rather depressing origin of the phrase. Anyways, in celebration of this rather crazy week, I have compiled a list of films that show Golden Age Hollywood’s portrayal of the afterlife.

Topper (1937)
I don’t know about the rest of you, but I wouldn’t mind dealing with the antics of the ghosts of Cary Grant and Constance Bennett. Absolutely hilarious! The sequels Topper Takes a Trip (1938) and Topper Returns (1941) are decent, but not as good as the original.

Here Comes Mr. Jordan (1941)
If I was taken up to heaven before I was supposed to, I would definitely not find it comedic. However, if the person that accidentally takes me up is Edward Everett Horton, I’d be able to forgive him for his little mistake.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947)
Being haunted by the ghost of a rugged sea captain? Pretty awesome. Falling in love with that ghost? Kind of complicated.

Heaven Can Wait (1943)
Why do people in the movies always have to die before they learn to appreciate what they had? Don Ameche is married to Gene Tierney in the movie, the most beautiful movie star ever!

Between Two Worlds (1944)
This little gem focuses on a group of people (including John Garfield, Paul Henreid, and Eleanor Parker) who die during an air raid and end up on a ship that will lead some to Heaven and some to Hell.

I Married a Witch (1942)
You’d think that after being around for almost 300 years, a witch would learn the proper way to use a love potion!
Carousel (1956)
One of the darker Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, but its absolutely fantastic. What would you do if you had one day on Earth?
A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Encouraging a romance between your best friend and your ex-girlfriend after you die? Not awkward at all.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Great Films Not on DVD

I am a huge fan of TCM, which has helped feed my film addiction over the past several years. I am also a bit addicted to IMDB and reading all of the trivia about different movies and movie stars. After watching a movie, I immediately check IMDB to see if its on dvd and I am frequently disappointed. Although there are many classic films on dvd already, there are still so many amazing films that aren't. I decided to check TCM's schedule for the month of December and compiled a short list of my favorite films that aren't on dvd.

Bachelor Mother (1939) Starring Ginger Rogers and David Niven
Airs December 6 and 23
After making sure a baby left on the steps of an orphanage is okay, shopgirl Polly Parrish (Rogers) is mistakenly thought to be its mother. Nobody believes her when she says she isn't the mother and comedy ensues involving the son of her boss. This excellent movie showcases Ginger's comedic non-dancing side and her ability to make great films without Fred's help. If you like it, try the 1956 remake Bundle of Joy starring Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher. It airs December 14 and 24 on TCM.

Love With the Proper Stranger(1963) Starring Natalie Wood
and Steve McQueen
Airs December 17
When salesgirl Angie Rossini (Wood) finds out she's pregnant, she tracks down the man with whom she had a one night stand. Complications arise as the two try to solve the problem and fall in love. I won't say anymore except for the fact that this film is terrific and I have no idea why its not on dvd yet!

The Farmer's Daughter(1947) Starring Loretta Young
and Joseph Cotten
Airs December 23
Swedish farmgirl Katie Holstrom finds a job as a maid to a powerful congressman and his mother. When another congressman dies, Katie unexpectedly finds herself running for office and falling in love. This is one of Young's greatest films and she won an oscar for her role.

Honorable Mention: The Story of Three Loves, Summer and Smoke,
and The African Queen

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Hollywood Rumble

Have you wondered what would happen if you put two movie characters into a ring and let them fight it out? Who would win? Here are some of my choices for some good fights and who I think would be victorious:

Crystal Allen (The Women) vs. Lillian "Lil" Legendre (Red-Headed Woman)

In this battle of the home-wrecking gold diggers, Miss Allen would put up a pretty great battle. However, Lil's feistiness and flirtation would deliver a one-two punch, ending the fight...until the two are backstage.

Regina Giddens (The Little Foxes) vs. Joan Crawford (Mommie Dearest)

Crazy Mom vs. Crazy Mom. They are both a bit unstable and don't follow the rules so this could be an interesting one. I'll give this one to Mommie Dearest unless Mrs. Giddens pulls out a wire hanger, then I'd give her the win.

Phyllis Dietrichson (Double Indemnity) vs. Cora Smith (The Postman Always Rings Twice)

Murderous wives anyone?? They would probably come up with a strategy to win but would make their unsuspecting lovers do the dirty work. So, it's pretty much Fred MacMurray vs. John Garfield now. My money is on MacMurray, Phyllis would go nuts if he lost.

Gregory Anton (Gaslight) vs. Johnnie (Suspicion)

These two make marriage exciting....or frightening...take your pick. Johnnie would probably win by giving good old Greg a glowing glass of milk (wow...that's a tongue twister) unless they drive each other insane first. I declare that the winner of this fight is....paranoia.

Bonnie and Clyde (Bonnie and Clyde) vs. Annie and Bart (Gun Crazy)

This fight would be a real shootout. I think it would come down to who's got the fastest guns. In that case, Annie and Bart would win. Have you seen the sharpshooting scene? Those two can't miss!

Norma Desmond (Sunset Blvd.) vs. Mrs. Danvers (Rebecca)

Why would I put these two in the ring together? Because I have never seen two people master the art of the crazy face as well as these two, plus they are both living in the past. I don't think I can really call a winner on this one. Who do you think would win?

Let me know who you think would win these fights. Are there any other characters that need to duke it out?

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Back to Reality

Well, Monday marked the end of Thanksgiving break for me and a return to reality. It's a stressful time of year: presentations to give, papers to write, and final exams to study for. I have so many things I could be doing, but I'm writing my blog instead. Obviously, I've got my priorities in order.

I gave one of my presentations today, a fifteen minute speech about film noir (with many photos and movie clips, of course : ) It was to receive honors credit for my class so everybody else's presentations were much shorter. The other topics were some comic book guy, Stephen King, and Marlon Brando (ahh...I enjoyed that one) Anyways, I'm pretty sure I put about half of the class asleep with mine, especially during a clip of Glenn Ford from Gilda. I didn't really care though, at least I found it interesting!

It got me thinking about what my favorite film noirs are and what ones I really want to see. So, here they are:


The Postman Always Rings Twice
Gun Crazy
Night of the Hunter
The Third Man
Double Indemnity
Sunset Boulevard
Out of the Past
Leave Her to Heaven

Want to See:

Angel Face
They Live By Night
The Killers
White Heat
Kiss Me Deadly
Touch of Evil
Where the Sidewalk Ends

Any suggestions??

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Who's Cary Grant?

Last week, I sat down to play an amusing game of Apples to Apples with a few of my roommates. We always play by putting down the most hilarious red cards that don't even match the green adjective cards. The word was repulsive. I don't exactly remember what I put down, but I remember seeing that someone had put down the Cary Grant card. Nobody laughed: it was a lame card (definitely not like putting down Helen Keller when the word is visionary). The girl who put it down laughed and said "I have no idea who that is!" I simply couldn't believe it because 1) Cary Grant=HOT and 2) Who doesn't know who Cary Grant is? I can understand people not knowing who Carole Lombard or William Powell are. But Cary Grant! It just goes to show how little my generation cares about classic films and why I feel I need to write this blog....because there are still people out there keeping the memory of Cary Grant alive.