Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Help Support a Great Cause!

Right now, the creative juices aren’t flowing. I’m feeling uninspired and can’t think of anything to write about. So, this post is quite a bit off topic for my blog, but its something that is very important to me. Currently, I belong to an organization on my campus that supports St. Jude Research Hospital. We organize several fundraisers during the year and send all of our money to them. If you are not familiar with St. Jude, here is an explanation from their website:

"St. Jude is unlike any other pediatric treatment and research facility. Discoveries made here have completely changed how the world treats children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. With research and patient care under one roof, St. Jude is where some of today's most gifted researchers are able to do science more quickly.
St. Jude researchers are published and cited more often in high impact publications than any other private pediatric oncology research institution in America. St. Jude is a place where many doctors send some of their sickest patients and toughest cases. A place where cutting-edge research and revolutionary discoveries happen every day. We've built America's second-largest health-care charity so the science never stops.

All patients accepted for treatment at St. Jude are treated without regard to the family's ability to pay.”

Every little bit counts. With the economy in its current state, the need for donations is even greater. Even if you can’t give, just check out their website and learn about the wonderful work they are doing.

Ways to Donate

Although this really has nothing to do with classic films, I thought you guys would enjoy it more than the eight page paper on the femme fatale in film noir that I wrote last year. I was really close to posting the entire thing, that’s how desperate I was for something to post!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Sidekick: Ralph Bellamy

I admit it: I’ve been slacking. All of the procrastinating I’ve been doing this semester finally came back and bit me in the butt. Last week, I thought my brain was going to completely shut down on me. I won’t go into all the details because it makes me stressed out just thinking about all of it. However, my biggest regret was that I had almost no time to work on my blog and I hated it. Luckily, I’m back and ready to go!

A few weeks go, I had a poll that asked you which character actor you would like to learn more about. It was rather close for awhile, but dependable Ralph Bellamy pulled ahead and won. Lucky for him there was no Cary Grant to compete against.

Ralph Rexford Bellamy was born in Chicago on June 17, 1904 to Charles Rexford Bellamy and Lilla Louise Smith. After high school, he traveled around the country putting on Shakespearean plays. However, he found his true calling on the silver screen in 1931, which marked the beginning of a career that lasted for over sixty years. At the height of his career, Bellamy was stuck playing the simple dope that always lost the girl, most likely to the suave Cary Grant. Although he never got the girl in the movies, he had no problem in real life. He was married four times, the last of which lasted from 1949 until his death in 1991. Later in his career, he found fame once again by playing Franklin Roosevelt on Broadway, the silver screen, and on television. His final film appearance was in 1990’s Pretty Woman.

Recommended Films:
Hands Across the Table (1935)
The Awful Truth (1937)
His Girl Friday (1940)
Sunrise at Campobello (1960)
Rosemary’s Baby (1968)
Trading Places (1983)
Pretty Woman (1990)

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Better Late Than Never....My 20 Favorite Actors!

Ok, I know I’m a bit behind the pack with this, but I have been suffering from a very serious disease that can strike any person at any age. This disease is known as Procrastination. I have been dealing with it for most of my life, but it has been acting up quite a bit lately. Thankfully, I am beginning to get better. Since I have conquered Procrastination for now, I thought my little blog here needed to have a facelift to reflect my accomplishment. Let me know what you think about it!

Drum roll please…..and now without further ado, here is the list of my 20 Favorite Actors and the crowd roars....
William Powell
Van Johnson

Tony Curtis

Paul Newman

Laurence Olivier

Jimmy Stewart

Jack Lemmon

Gregory Peck
Cary Grant

Gene Kelly

Gary Cooper

Fred Astaire

Fred MacMurray

Frank Sinatra

Dana Andrews

Robert Cummings

Joseph Cotten
James Cagney

Marlon Brando

No, Marlon, this award is not for you. You weren't even a contender.

On another note, I would like to thank Kate Gabrielle and Millie for bestowing the great honor of the Superior Scribbler Award on me and my blog. It made me all warm and fuzzy to think that people actually liked my blog enough to give it an award!! I don’t know what I would do without all of you wonderful bloggers out there. For that reason, I think that every single one of you deserves the award as well. Knowing that I’m not alone in my love of classic film is reward enough for me.
(20 actors tag courtesy of Nicole)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Great Films Not on DVD: February

My Sister Eileen (1942)
Starring Rosalind Russell, Brian Aherne, and Janet Blair
Airs February 3 on TCM
Midwestern sisters Ruth and Eileen Sherwood move to New York to pursue their dreams. Instead, they meet a bunch of crazy characters and fall in love. It was remade in 1955 as a movie musical starring Janet Leigh.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (1945)
Starring Dorothy McGuire, Peggy Ann Garner, and James Dunn
Airs February 8 on TCM
Based on Betty Smith’s novel, young Francie Nolan (Garner) comes of age in turn of the century Brooklyn. James Dunn won an Oscar for his role as Johnny Nolan, Francie’s alcoholic father.

If there is only one movie that you watch this month, please make it this one. It’s been a few years since I saw it, but it made a really strong impression on me. I will be the first person in line when it finally comes out on DVD due to the fact that it almost brought me to tears (I rarely cry during movies). If you’re not particularly fond of any of the main actors, you’ll at least appreciate Joan Blondell as Francie’s aunt Sissy.

A Guy Named Joe (1943)
Starring Spencer Tracy, Irene Dunne, and Van Johnson
Airs February 13 on TCM
Reckless fighter pilot Pete Sandidge (Tracy) dies during his final mission in World War II. He comes back as the guardian angel of a young pilot named Ted (Johnson) who ends up falling for his old girlfriend Dorinda (Dunne).

Interesting fact: This movie is rumored to be Steven Spielberg’s favorite. He remade it in 1989 as Always, starring Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and Audrey Hepburn (in her last film appearance).

Red Dust (1932)
Starring Clark Gable and Jean Harlow
Not airing this month : (
When I learned this wasn’t on dvd, I was completely shocked….a movie that contains both Harlow and Gable has been neglected? I’ve wanted to see this movie since I went through my Pre-Code phase last summer so I guess I’ll have to wait until TCM airs it again. Special thanks to Nik for bringing the lack of a dvd to my attention.