Friday, March 25, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thanks to Monty over at All Good Things for rewarding my blog with the Stylish Blogger Award! 

No one ever forgets their first anything... and I can assure you that I will never forget Sarah for giving me my first blog award! Please go and check out her fantastic blog over at  And Scene. Her blog is one of my favorites!

According to the rules of the award, I have to post a link to Sarah's wonderful blog and reveal seven facts about myself then I pass the award along to seven other stylish bloggers:

1. I have a Cary Grant paper doll that sits on my desk at work. Right now he is in a stylish outfit from The Philadelphia Story

2. I have a super sweet dog (1/2 basset hound 1/2 Lab) named Sawyer and a sassy cat named Myrna (yup named her after THAT Myrna!)

3. I watch the movie Gidget an unhealthy amount of times whenever I happen to be sick. 

4. Calvin and Hobbs is my favorite comic strip.

5. Like most, I collect old movies and the goal is to own every Robert Montgomery film I can possibly get my hands on. Its a work in progress :)

6. I sing show-tunes in the shower. " A medley of old favorites...." Quick! Name that Movie!

7.  Finally, (who knew 7 facts could be so draining!) I love Shakespeare. Much Ado is the play I read most often.
Here are my picks for the Stylish Blogger Award: 
1. Classic Montgomery
2. Rosalind Russell
3. Silents & Talkies
4. A Noodle in a Haystack
5. Black and White: Cinema and Chocolate
6. Classic Film & TV Cafe
7. Hollywood Heyday
If you haven't checked these out... please do! They are all such wonderful blogs!

There you have it! Yay for blog awards! They are such a great way to be introduced to new bloggers in the community!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bye, Liz

Elizabeth Taylor 1932-2011

You will be missed but not forgotten...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

TCM Star of the Month- Jean Harlow

Jean Harlow is getting the much deserved TCM star treatment all month, and I couldn't be more pleased! Harlow was gorgeous, spunky and from everything I've read and researched, she seemed to be a genuinely sweet, gentle girl. Her death at the age of 26 at the peak of stardom is tragic. Her career was only just beginning, and us fans can only imagine the movies she would have made had she not left us so soon.

My Harlow picks this month:

1. Red Headed Woman-  Harlow plays a conniving, wickedly fun gold digger who sets her sights on more than just one man. Watch out Chester Morris! Tuesday March 8th at 8 pm est.

2. Bombshell- A famous actress gets taken advantage of by her friends and family. Surprise, its a comedy! I wrote a post on this film last year after seeing it on the big screen at Cinecon. Loved it! Tuesday March 15th at 9:30 pm est.

3. Libeled Lady- This screwball comedy is one of my all time favorites. It stars Harlow, Spencer Tracy, Myrna Loy and William Powell. This cast had amazing chemistry, and the movie is hysterical. My favorite part is when Powell is learning how to fish and hooks Harlow in the rear. (The two were a couple in real life and were engaged to be married when Harlow passed away.) Tuesday March 15th at 11:15 pm est.

4. Personal Property- This was based on the play Man in Possession (and is actually the second film adaptation of it. The first one starred Robert Montgomery and Irene Purcell. Read about it here.) This was the last film completed by Harlow and co-starred Robert Taylor. While checking the time for this film on TCM's website, I read something really interesting. Harlow wore her engagement ring from William Powell all through the filming of this movie. I am going to be looking for it! Tuesday March 15th at 2:45 am est.

5. The Secret Six- I have never seen this one. It is the first film pairing of Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. The two of them were always so wonderful together. Should be a real treat! Tuesday March 22 at 2:30 am est.

Make sure to double check TCM for any schedule changes or updates. Also you can check out the other Harlow films being shown. This is just a small sampling of all that TCM is offering on our favorite bombshell!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

One Year Blogging

While working on this draft, I received a letter that began with the line "We regret to inform you..." needless to say, this post didn't get up on the day for which it was originally intended. Instead I had a couple glasses of wine and watched an old movie. Its interesting that in these dark moments, we cling to what we know for comfort and reassurance.... So... Here is the post that was supposed to go up a couple of days ago:

I have been stuck on what to post. March 1st is my one year blog-aversary and I have had no idea how to recognize the date... I didn't want to let the date pass without at least acknowledging it so I went back and looked at my blogs this past year. I tend to be a perfectionist, so re-reading some of my old posts was both painful and insightful. My first post mentioned that my favorite films are pre-codes, but that only scratched the surface of my absolute adoration for movies made before July 1934.

I decided to dig a little deeper into why pre-code films are so near and dear to my heart. I re watched some of my favorite pre-codes to see what exactly drew me in... Here's what I decided:

I like pre-codes because of the dominating female characters within them. The women in these movies are strong, dynamic, intensely human and fix their eyes on who they want to be as apposed to what society says they should be. I like them because they aren't stoic and silent, instead they are dramatic and emotional. Barbara Stanwyck in Baby Face is a great example of all of these characteristics. She was born into filth, working in a hole in the wall bar, being pimped out to nasty men by her own father, she still has the desire and the gumption to  set her eyes on a higher prize. Granted, she doesn't care who she uses and abuses to reach her stars, sleeping her way to the top of an office building, breaking hearts (like a young John Wayne's) along the way. If her character had been a man, people would have said that she was ambitious but because she is a woman, she is seen as harsh and heartless. But Stanwyck also gives allows herself to change. After being exposed to real true love, she opens herself up to honest vulnerability and takes the her first real leap into a new life. Her character is strong in her resolve throughout the film, and Stanwyck never feels fake or contrived.

Another thing I like about pre-codes is Norma Shearer. This woman was a force to be reckoned with. Her post codes are a mixed bag, but her early stuff is breathtaking. She played women who weren't afraid to live life like men. She almost always reverts back to womanly affection in the end, but with the realization that making choices like a man has its own set of complications and consequences.  You can always see how her characters evolve from the first frame of the film to the last. The Divorcee is probably one of her most famous pre-codes. I love her in this one. Poor Chester Morris is no match for the fury of Norma. I like her best when she underplays a scene. She gets that wonderful dead look stare when she realizes that her life has been forever altered by her husband's indiscretion. Shearer was ambitious, brave and determined in her resolve to be a film star, and when you watch her pre-codes you can understand why she was at the top of her class. 

Pre-code films are wonderful because they are un-predictable in so many ways. The ending isn't always happy, the characters don't fit into any one particular mold (Cagney in Public Enemy may be a gangster, but his qualities are all shades of gray and never black and white) and the violence and sex seem so much more shocking when they happen during a black and white movie. Old movies (according to some) are boring, lame and old hat, but nothing proves those opinions more wrong than a delicious, scandalous pre-code.