Sidney Poitier: 90th Birthday Blogathon

Oh! Canada Entry 2: Megan Follows

Niagara (1953)- Oh! Canada Blogathon

O Canada Banner

For the Oh! Canada blogathon (hosted by Speak Easy and Silver Screenings), I decided to write about two “Canadian” related topics. The first is my love for the 1953 color film noir, Niagara and the second will be about my love for Canadian actress Megan Follows (AKA Anne Shirley!, it will be written written within the next few days!!).

But for my first entry, I couldn’t pass up the chance to write about one of my all time favorite film noirs, Niagara (1953) (Yes, you’ve guessed it! It takes place at the famous Canadian landmark! 😉 )starring Joseph Cotten and Marilyn Monroe in her break out role.

For those who may not recall, back in 2015, I wanted to view Niagara so badly, it turned out to be the film that made me get a blu ray player, as the DVD is out of print. I had been wanting to get a Blu-Ray player for some time, and Niagara was the film to push me to do it! It totally paid off too, as Niagara is  lush and just a visually stunning movie- and the beautiful Canadian backdrop is just to die for!

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Niagara for many is considered to be one of the two great “color noirs”, with Leave Her to Heaven (1945) being the other. In fact, this film was one of the last movies ever to use three strip Technicolor, which as we know, was unusual for film noirs. For many, Niagara is not be a hard boiled “traditional” noir with a PI/DI, a flashback, and the black and white shadowy cinematography, but it still lures you in like one of them. It still has a femme fatale, murder, betrayal, ill fated love, and jealousy – however, its all paced and scripted in a manner that doesn’t make you blurt out, “Film Noir!” I personally find it surprising this movie considered a great “film noir”, but for some reason, it works:

Image result for niagara 1953Marilyn Monroe plays the role of Rose Loomis, and her husband, George, is played by Joseph Cotten. At the start of the film, they are vacationing in Niagara Falls and soon they are joined by another couple, Polly and Ray Cutler (Jean Peters and Max Showalter). As with many noirs, Rose and George’s marriage is in trouble- and Rose has a secret lover. Polly then becomes caught up in the mess when the next day while touring the Falls, she sees Rose and her lover, Patrick- kissing.

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Jean Peters

As you can probably infer by now, Rose is planning to murder George and throw his body into the Falls with the song “Kiss” being played on the bells as the secret signal once to the job is done. It all goes wrong, however, when Patrick is the one who turns up dead, and not George. 

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Overall, I think Marilyn is just gorgeous in this film, and it proves her abilities as an actress, as she really isn’t a dumb blonde. She’s alluring and scheming- and yes- her murder plan may have gone wrong- but it takes a cunning individual to craft such a plan in the first place. The supporting roles are also played by a great cast- with Jean Peters being totally under-rated! And of course I can’t forget Mr. Joseph Cotten- as we get to see him in technicolor!!!

 

     

       Mr.  Joseph Cotten- Still handsome- and in COLOR!!! (DVDBEAVER- pic credit)

Overall, Niagara is just one of those great films from the 1950s- It’s dated in just the right places (fashion, in particular!) and like I mentioned earlier, it lures you into watching. I say its one of my favorite Marilyn performances and while it may not be on the “top tens” lists of 50’s films (or film noirs, etc)- its really a hidden gem that more people should watch!

 

 

 

 

 

In Name Only 1939 Carole Lombard Blogathon

Hello all you fabulous readers and fellow bloggers! I cant think of a better way to start of 2017 than with a blogathon honoring my favorite -and yours too- blonde from Indiana, Miss Carole Lombard! For me, Carole will always have a special place in my heart- for she was the most brave and outspoken dame out there! She’s inspiring and I am so glad she’s clearly loved by those who discover her today!

For this blogathon hosted by Phyllis Loves Classic Movies and In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood, I chose to write about one of Carole’s few dramatic turns in the 1939 classic In Name Only– which also stars Cary Grant, and co stars Kay Francis and Charles Coburn.

In Name Only is significant for a few reasons- first, its from 1939, second- it has a rare on- screen pairing of two legends- Lombard and Grant, and three- the role Carole was playing was one all too familiar to her- as she was playing the woman desperately in love with a married man , Alec (Grant), trying to divorce his awful wife (Kay Francis).

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In the end,  art imitates life (or is it the other way around?) and Carole and Cary’s characters do get together, just as Carole and Clark did in real life- a happy ending for both couples in both scenerios!

 

The Second Annual Classic Quotes Blogathon

Hello to all of you! As we wrap up 2016, I’d like to say I’ve been doing the “film blogging” thing for a little over a year now, and may I say it’s certainly the most wonderful hobby. I’ve learned so much from all of you and every blogathon I do is super fun!

As suggested by Silver Screenings  at the end of last year’s blogathon, I’ve decided to bring back my Classic Quote Blogathon! It will run from April 7- 9 2017. In this blogathon we are celebrating the classic sayings or phrases that have made it into our everyday lingo. From Clark Gable’s “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn” to Margaret Hamilton’s “I’ll get you my pretty; and you little dog too” these phrases have been parodied twice over and still remain as classic as the day they were said

Here are the rules for participating- This year I’m loosening the rules a bit!

  • Pick a quote from  a movie that has made its way into pop culture and since its release has went on to become relevant to everyday life.
  • If you’re not sure what to pick, head on over to the AFI top 100 quotes page. Unlike last year, YOUR QUOTE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE FROM THIS LIST. For even more inspiration here is the list of the 400 AFI nominated quotes YOU can come up with one not on any list, but just make sure it’s famous!!!
  • Here’s some suggestions of what to include in your post: 1- The speaker (actor and the character they portray) 2-The film it is from 3-Who the quote is directed to 4- anything significant surrounding the quote (i.e. maybe it almost got edited out, or maybe it was improvised by an actor or director) 5- the legacy it gives (why do we love this quote in the modern day when it was said by someone years and years ago?!) Don’t be afraid to throw in your own 2 cents and make it your own!
  • PLEASE, No duplicates, there’s many quotes out there! YOU MAY DO THE SAME MOVIE AS SOMEONE, JUST A DIFFERENT QUOTE!!!
  • Have fun!

Please submit your blog name and quotes in the comments section, DM me or tweet me on Twitter ( @flapperdame16 ), or you can email me at countessemily16@gmail.com.

THE ROSTER So Far:

The Flapper Dame- TBA!

Back to the Golden Days– “Frankly My Dear, I don’t give a damn”- Gone with the Wind (1939)

The Lonely Critic-“Well Nobody’s Perfect” Some Like it Hot (1959)

Realweegiemidget- You make me want to be a better man.” – As Good as it Gets (1997)

The Wonderful World of Cinema-“Made it, Ma! Top of the world!”- White Heat (1949)

Movies Silently-“Kiss me, my fool” – A Fool There Was (1915)

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies– Are you a good witch or a bad witch?”- The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Midnite Drive In– “Go ahead make my day’ Dirty Harry

Criteria Retro– “The Stuff that Dreams are made of”- The Maltese Falcon (1941)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood- “Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain’t heard nothin’ yet!” –The Jazz Singer ( 1927 )

Champagne For Lunch– “The moon’s reaching for me.” Sabrina (1954) AND “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops.” Arsenic and Old Lace (1941)

CaryGrant Won’t Eat  You- When I’m good, I’m very good, but when I’m bad, I’m better. ” – I’m No Angel (1933)

 

 

Here are some fabulous banners to use! AND HAVE FUN!!! 🙂

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Agnes Moorehead Blogathon: Magnificent Obsession (1954)

For my contribution for the Agnes Moorehead Blogathon, I signed up to write about one of the best melodramas from the 1950s, Magnificent Obsession.

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Although Agnes Moorehead plays a supporting role in this film as Jane Wyman’s friend/ nurse, Nancy, her role is an important one- for without her, Jane’s character Helen, would be totally lost and left to navigate on her own.

I have never seen a Douglas Sirk film before (or a Jane Wyman one, either) so I was very excited to do this blogathon! Personally, I was extremely keen to view this film in particular, as the creator of the Australian television show A Place To Call Home took heavy inspiration from this movie for the show. Looking back, I feel the creator did a superb job taking both cinematic elements and dramatic elements and incorporating them into his melodramatic 1950s period drama. (Seriously check it out! Its a great TV show! If you love the 1950s and period pieces- go watch it!!! Non spoiler description here)

For those who may be unfamiliar, the 1954 version of Magnificent Obsession is a remake (I myself have yet to see the 1935 original version with Irene Dunne), yet it is has surpassed the original in terms of popularity. Its theme and feel are very similar to that of An Affair to Remember (1957; which itself is a remake of 1939’s Love Affair). With lush technicolor scenes, dramatic plot twists, and plenty of romantic moments, Magnificent Obsession provides exactly what the name suggests.

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The story is kind of a crazy one, you see, Rock Hudson’s character, Bob, gets into a speedboat accident- and then has to be resuscitated, but in a turn of events, the Doctor, Dr. Phillips, who saved him- dies. The Doctor’s widow, Helen then is left on her own, while Bob who is hated by everyone for causing Dr. Phillip’s death. In an effort to get to know Helen better, Bob tries to befriend her, but she rejects his advances. But- in another turn of events, by rejecting Bob, Helen then is run over and blinded by a passing car. Bob, then commits his life to medicine to become a doctor and by doing so, falls in love with Helen.

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The lovely Miss Moorehead comes into play as Nancy Ashford, who is Helen’s friend and Nurse. Because Helen is blind, Nancy sort of acts as her eyes, doing simple things for Helen, such as writing letters, keeping her company ,and even being a travel companion.  I just thought Nancy was a wonderful friend- so patient and kind to Helen- the exact caretaker I would want in a bad situation.

The group of Hudson, Wyman, and Moorehead, and director Douglas Sirk was so successful that all of them reunited a year later to make All That Heaven Allows, with Hudson and Wyman again as love interests. (I have not yet seen it, so I’m not sure what role Moorehead plays).

In short, I can’t wait to add this movie to my collection once it becomes available on Blu-Ray (COME ON CRITERION!!!). Its just one of those feel good movies you can watch on a rainy (or snowy!) day. It transports you to another world and now, I wanna go out and buy these sunglasses!

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Source- The Criterion Collection

There’s certainly nothing quite like Magnificent Obsession– go out and watch it today!

*Available on DVD from the Criterion Collection

Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Hello All! This is my entry for the one and only Cary Grant Blogathon Hosted by my good friend over at Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Before I begin just a few things 1-Happy Noirvember! I hope you all are enjoying/ enjoyed it! (Best new watch for me was Detour 1945) 2- I want all of you to know that while I may not reply to all of your comments, I do read every single one, and I can’t thank you enough for them- seriously they mean a lot to me! 

With that done, without further ado, I now give you my entry! Only Angels Have Wings is one of those films from Hollywood’s Golden Year, 1939, and the second of three movies for Cary that year.

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For me, Only Angels was the second Cary Grant drama film I ever watched, with the first being Penny Serenade (1941). In fact, I did see a snippit of the this film even before I knew who Cary Grant was- it was when I was 13, at my Grandfather’s place- he had the TV on TCM, and I heard Cary’s character calling out over the radio- that was my first encounter with Cary Grant- too bad it took three more years for me to fully embrace his awesomeness!!!

Three years later, this film was one of the first of his that I saw, like I mentioned, but I will admit I didn’t really want to watch it at first- I was so enamored with Cary making me laugh, I didn’t know if I could handle him doing a full on drama (as Penny Serenade is technically a melodrama)- but boy was I wrong!!

One of the best things about Only Angels is that the picture is a different Cary Grant picture and in the best way possible. I don’t wanna say Cary isn’t the focus, but at the same time, I do. I think the picture really belongs to Jean Arthur, and even scene stealer Rita Hayworth.

However Cary’s character, Geoff Carter, is important (as always), as without him, there is no development- he’s the guy who keeps everyone moving forward- he consoles Jean Arthur when  Joe is killed, catches Thomas Mitchell’s character’s, Kid, bad eyesight, and all in all is a great guy to have on hand (I mean he is Cary Grant!!!)

Another aspect that makes this film just wonderful is the direction of Howard Hawks- who literally could direct anything- film noir, musical, screwball comedy, adventure, drama, comedy, western- he seriously did it all , with them all being enjoyable. And while Cary Grant may have been the favorite of Mr. Alfred Hitchcock, Cary’s favorite director was said to be Hawks. If any other director would have been at the head of this project, I personally feel it would have turned out as wonderful as it did.

Image result for only angels have wings airplane scenesLastly, what makes this film is the aviation scenes and attitudes that are depicted. Flying in airplanes was the fascination for people in the 1920s and 30s- and yes so many films have depicted pilots, it this film is probably one of the best , if not THE best from the era. And- To those who watch today and say “that’s cheesy”- please just remember- this was without computer and green screen CGI- no animation whatsoever, yet it looks great!

On the whole, Only Angels Have Wings is a delightful picture, it’s a bit long, but that’s OK- I love Cary Grant and I love him with Jean Arthur (she’s soo underrated!). It’s just one of those movies that offers a real escape from everyday life- go out to the South American coast with Mr Cary Grant? SIGN. ME .UP.

To wrap up, I’m just gonna leave you with this really awesome picture of Cary and Jean- man I wish I was her! (For those who have seen the movie- I just adore the ending scene, and so did Ms. Arthur- for years later she recalled “I loved sinking my head into Cary Grant’s chest”. ) SIGGHHH! 

 

 

 

2nd Grace Kelly Blogathon

Character Costume Blogathon

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A lot of you who read my blog may know that I love Grace Kelly– as not only is she a princess and an old Hollywood actress, but she is also lovely, wonderful, classy, elegant, serene, and one of the most magnificent ladies ever to walk the earth. For every great lady, there is a designer for whom they act as a muse to. For Grace Kelly, that designer was none other than the talented and gifted Edith Head. So when it came time to do a Blogathon hosted by Christina (over at her awesome blog) about character costumes, I had to participate to write about Grace and Edith!!

Yes, Edith Head dressed practically everyone in Hollywood during her amazing and impressive career, but to me, Grace and Edith together is the definition of “designer and client.” They go together just like The Duchess of Cambridge and Alexander McQueen or Audrey Hepburn and Herbert de Givenchy.

Although Grace wore her most famous outfit (her wedding dress!) by the MGM designer Helen Rose no one knew how to dress Grace better than Edith.  Ms. Head designed the wardrobe for Grace in two of her Hitchcock films (which were her best performances!) as well as The Country Girl and The Bridges at Toko-Ri.

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In Rear Window, Grace’s character Lisa Carol Freemont wears this amazing black and white chiffon number- and even today, its stylish- the heels, the A-Line skirt, and the top and bottom design that is made to look like two separate pieces- it’s absolutely timeless.

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Another outfit I just adore to death is the Black dress in Rear Window– again timeless, and it may not be flashy but it doesn’t need to be! It’s simple, yet extremely stylish- its my definition of a little black dress.

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And finally my other favorite from Rear Window is the printed dress Grace wears while examining Thorwald’s apartment. It’s an unusual dress Edith designed as she normally chose not to use prints for fear of the print becoming aged as people looked back on it, but yet again, Edith proved her eye for style, for it hasn’t aged a day- it’s fabulous!!!

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In To Catch a Thief, Edith perfectly matched Grace’s (well Frances Stevens!) eyes in this wonderful blue gown. However, the real eye catching winner in my view was definitely the white ensemble (I do realize the gold ball gown is the favorite of many but I believe it’s this white one that does it for me!)

Aide from the movies, Edith also designed some wonderful personal outfits for Grace including her legendary teal Oscar dress, as well as her suit she wore when departing for her honeymoon.

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Once Grace left for Monaco, the two did stay close as evidenced by this picture below (thanks to Grace and family Tumblr, left and Oscars.org, right) Image result for edith head grace and family tumblr

Thanks for Oscars.org there is also this darling note from Grace to Edith!

Has there ever been a more charming friendship between an actress and designer? I think not!

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The Lovely/ Sunshine Award

Reader and Bloggers, I’ve been given both the Lovely and Sunshine Awards! These are similar to the liebster, but different in name, so I’ll write up about them- But not again in the future- these awards are super cute and sweet, but also chain like, so I’ll accept them once. Thank You to Ginnie (one of my best blogger friends!) from The Wonderful World of Cinema for the Sunshine Award and to Nicole (who also runs a great blog!!) at An Ode to Dust for the Lovely Award.

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Ginnie’s Questions

1-Except for the USA… which country do you think makes the most interesting and worthy movies? A- Britain, hands down! Lots of great productions!

2. If your life had to be like a movie, which movie would you choose? A- Not sure- maybe The Thin Man (1934)- I’d be married to a cheeky, and good looking detective and have fun solving murder mysteries. 

3. Which movie star inspires you the most? It doesn’t necessarily have to be your favourite. A- Jean Arthur- I think she was great because she was shy but you would never know.

4. What is your favourite catastrophe movie of the 70s (the golden decade of catastrophe movies)? A: I haven’t seen any, I can’t answer fairly. 

5. To you, who is the most iconic actress of all times and the most iconic actor of all times? A: John Wayne and Marilyn Monroe I think are the most iconic. 

6. Is there a book you would like to see a movie adaptation of? Who would star in it? A-The Impersonator by Mary Miley (go read this book!!). I don’t have a specific lead actress in mind or a lead actor, but I wanna see this be adapted. 

7. You think Audrey Hepburn made her best movies with Billy Wilder, William Wyler or Stanley Donen? I chose the movie directors with whom she made more that just one film. A- Man!! This one’s hard- I love Charade but I love Roman Holiday and also Sabrina. I’m just gonna go with Wilder. 

8. If you had the chance to own all the costumes of one movie, which one would it be? A-Rear Window. 

9. What do you think was the prettiest Oscar dress? A- Grace Kelly!

10. The ugliest? A-Toss up Loretta Young and Halle Berry

11. If you could go back in time, what would you change from the movie history? But you can choose only ONE thing (it can be a movie ending you didn’t like, prevent the premature death of one of your favourite actors, choose another actress for Scarlett O’Hara, anything!) I know, hard choice. A: Ginnie! Ahh Too hard! But I have to go with preventing the premature death of my favorite, Carole Lombard- she was taken so young and so tragically, all in the line of helping sell war bonds. 

1- Although I knew of Anne of Green Gables since childhood, I just now discovered how awesome the story is, as in how powerful and inspiring it is. I’m appreciating for the first time how lovable the writing, plot, and characters are. For the record- MEGAN FOLLOWS and JONATHAN CROMBIE (RIP) ARE THE DEFINITIVE ANNE AND GILBERT- any others and all remakes of the novel are inferior.

2- It has its flaws (aka season 2), but Reign (2013) is one of my favorite TV shows.

3- I basically only watch costume drama TV shows- the only one (s) I watch that isn’t is Full/ Fuller House.

4- I’m a scrapbooker. I collect articles and put them in binders- my on going collection is for Kate, Duchess of Cambridge.

5- I still don’t have a clear idea on what I am to pursue in my life- I only know what I don’t want.

6- Some of my favorite historical people- Queen Victoria, Queen Elizabeth I, King Henry VIII, Queen Catherine de Medici, Mary Queen of Scots

7- Some Favorite fictional people- Nick and Nora Charles, The Hon. Miss Phryne Fisher, DI Jack Robinson, Dr. Lucien Blake, Dorothy Gale, Anne Shirley, The Dowager Countess of Grantham.

Thanks again! and I hope you learned something new about me!