The William Holden Centenary- Third Golden Boy Blogathon

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2018 is proving to be a great year for classic film fans- and this year is extra special as one certain gentlemen and Golden Boy is turning the big 1-0-0 this year- Ladies and Gents- Yes Mr. William Franklin Beedle Jr – aka Hollywood’s Golden Boy William Holden- is hitting the big milestone on April 17.
To celebrate Bill’s big event, The Wonderful World of Cinema has invited both myself and Love Letters to Classic Hollywood to join her in her annual Golden Boy Blogathon which will run from April 15-17. I am hosting April 16. The rules are as follows:
  • Choose a Topic relating to Mr. Holden!
  • No more than TWO (2) entries per person
  • Duplicates are allowed- but no more than 2 people repeating a topic
  • Have fun and celebrate this wonderful man and gifted actor (who still is better than ever at three digits)
You can signup with myself, Ginnie (The Wonderful World of Cinema) or Michaela (Love letters to Classic Hollywood). LET’S SHOW THE WORLD WE STILL LOVE AND REMEMBER THE GOLDEN BOY and MAKE THIS THE BEST 100 Birthday tribute EVER!!
Grab a fab badge designed by the talented Michaela and Let’s Go!
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PS- If you are a TCM junkie you’d be pleased to know that Miss Stefanie Powers (Bill’s partner at the time of his death) is currently recording segments with Ben Mankieweicz that will air in April- hmm??- Well yes- you’ve guessed it- Bill will probably be April Star of the Month- which is super exciting- as it will allow fans to catch up and be introduced to some of his most famous and even lesser known roles. I for one am hoping The World of Suzie Wong (1960) will be aired and discussed!

PPS- If you are interested click on this link to make a donation to the William Holden Wildlife Foundation fund. Set up by Stefanie Powers in  1982, it honors Bill’s wish of protecting wildlife and his memory. I plan on making a small donation in April for his birthday!


The King Of Hollywood Blogathon- Red Dust and Jean Harlow

2018 is here and I for one cannot think of a better way than to kick of the year than by writing about the King of Hollywood (click banner for host site). I can already tell that 2018 is gonna be a great year- especially for classic Hollywood fans like us because of so many awesome events (*cough*cough*- William Holden Centenary) Anyways back to the King!


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My ultimate favorite pic of Mr Gable!

Clark Gable is someone who in my view is not overrated- I think he’s a wonderful and humble man who never thought of himself as a star. He was so down to earth and someone who seemed like he would be a great friend to chat with. And of course I can’t mention the man without his great lady, Carole Lombard- to me they are the definition of true love!

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But getting back to the friend label- Clark Gable is a man I would want as my best friend- and that’s just what Jean Harlow had in him- a great friend and brother.


Their first real movie Clark and Jean were in, Red Dust (1932) (they made The Secret Six-1931 but had no scenes together)  first came to my attention through the OTHER movie Gable was in, Mogambo (1953) in which as most of us know; Gable played the same part (different character name yes- but same part). I saw Mogambo first thanks to Grace Kelly and I really didn’t understand why people were calling referring to Gable as “past his prime”. I thought he looked good with a bit of graying temples and looked distinguished.  It wasn’t until a few years later when I finally saw Red Dust- and watching it didn’t alter my opinion- Gable looked good younger, in black and white, and later when his hair was black and white- I think we can appreciate Gable at both stages of his life- he’s just that swell!

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Red Dust tells the tale of a love triangle- with plantation manager Clark, prostitute (!?) Jean, and married woman Mary Astor – set on a rubber plantation in French Indochina. The details of the story aren’t really important but let’s be frank– or rather- fred– its Clark and Jean playing opposite each other!

While I love Mogambo and Grace Kelly and think she’s the greatest- I do believe I have to give Jean Harlow the best Gable co-star award. The chemistry she brings to her scenes with Gable in Red Dust is electric- you are just waiting for them to clap back at each other with that sharp and witty pre code dialogue. It’s peculiar to think but Clark and Jean are the type of stars you root for to be together on screen, but off screen you just love their friendship. You can certainly get a glimpse of their friendship in any movie they did together- but I declare its Red Dust in where it’s the most evident because it is a pre-code- they were more free to be- such as with their body language- the scene in which Clark and Jean sit on the bed together!!!

Related image             Image result for jean and clark red dust rain barrelAnd let’s not forget that rain barrel scene– which of course Jean absolutely nailed despite dealing with the shocking death of husband Paul Bern. To me that scene personifies what a professional she was. Behind the scenes I  have no doubt that Clark was the rock for Jean during this incident- and then their friendship just took off from there.

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Behind the scenes (Credit- to

Clark was the only one not to refer to Jean as “the baby” instead opting to call her “sis”. I think she was his best leading lady and they would have made even more films beyond Saratoga 1937 had she not died.

Personally, I still need to watch China Seas (1935) but I think Red Dust will forever remain the best pairing between the two. I for one would love to have a friendship like that of Clark and Jean’s- it’s really their type of friendship that lacks in today’s modern world and I say we all can learn by example from it.

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Grace Kelly- Why I just Adore her!


Its that time of year again everyone!! Its time to celebrate the Wonderful Grace Kelly- with a Wonderful Blogaton hosted by my fellow Grace enthusiast at The Wonderful World of Cinema- First off Ginnie, as always, thanks for hosting to honor our amazing Gracie!!

This year- I’ve decided to do a personal post about why I just love Grace Kelly- as an actress, princess and as a person. To the wider world of classic Hollywood- Grace is a small snippet. She only made 11 movies and was in films only from 1951-1956. She doesn’t have longevity in the business nor did she have a wide ‘acting career’- However Grace had Talent. Style. Class- all things that most actors either had to A- fake or B- had to work a long time to achieve- Grace had all of that and more straight from the get go. The fact she was a top star, worked with some of the most dazzling leading men, was directed by the master of suspense, and won an Oscar- all within a mere 5 years is amazing and unbelievable- I mean who else worked with all of these handsome men- Cary Grant, Jimmy Stewart, Gary Cooper, Clark Gable, and William Holden? Someone like Bette Davis was in tinsel town for decades and never even worked with all of them!!

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As an actress Grace was great in all her roles even if the picture was forgettable (a laGreen Fire) she wasn’t- she gave her best with what she had- and she had a natural ability to make the audience interested in her character and what she was doing.Image result for grace kelly

I often wonder what would have happened if Grace continued her career- what would have Marnie been like with her in the lead? Or The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) – would Kim Novak still been cast in Vertigo? Would we have seen Grace in more comedic roles? I’m not sure what would have happened in any of these situations- but one thing’s for sure is that Grace did leave Hollywood at the peak of her popularity- and had she stayed -I believe she would have kept favor with the audience-  maybe yes she would have had a flop or two- but I think she would have remained popular and positive in people’s minds. I even think she could have been a great broadway star given that theater was her first love- perhaps a Tony could have been in her future.Image result for grace kelly i want to be remembered as a kind

On the other hand- I do believe Grace was the most marvelous princess. She cared so much about her new adopted country yet she never lost touch with her American roots- she pushed Monaco into the 20th century and put it on the map for the world to see. She was really the first Cinderella story before Diana and before Kate.  I only do wish she would have found a real way to return to her love of acting while still maintaining her image of Princess Grace.

Maybe the best part of what remained in her life in Monaco was her ever constant style- to me Grace seemed like one to never follow fads- she knew what she liked, and she knew what types of clothes worked for her and she stuck with it- and for that – she never looks dated. On a personal level- I believe that is the ultimate secret to being a fashion icon- and that is what I go by when I put together outfits or go clothes shopping.Image result for grace kelly

Today Grace has been gone for 35 years- yet I think she’s more well known now more than ever. To me Grace Kelly’s style and mannerisms are what the world  lacks today. In my own life I don’t try to ‘Be’ Grace Kelly- that’s impossible- but what I do try to do is follow her example- and remember what it means to be classy like her.

In her final interview Grace expressed her wish to be remembered as “a kind and loving person” and I think that’s just how she remains in the hearts and minds of people today. I certainly see her that way and I think you all do too!

Happy Birthday Dear Grace! You may be gone, but you are never forgotten! 

Test Pilot- Three GREAT Stars IN an OK Film

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For this here Blogathon (hosted by My Good Friend In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood) celebrating the perfect reel-real couple of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, I chose to write about one of Spencer Tracy’s films from 1938 Test Pilot.

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This choice for me is a bit of a different one. Usually I write about how much I adore a film- and everything about it- but I want to expand my reflections of film- even writing about ones I find OK or average. Even my choice of focusing on a Spencer Tracy performance is atypical for me- as he’s not a “favorite” of mine- but at the same time- I admire him and his craft.

Honestly- Its been a while since I’ve seen Test Pilot– and even more honest- it’s an OK film that I don’t even want to own for my personal collection- but it’s worth watching anyway because of the cast- no other film has had such a great trio of great actors- Clark Gable, Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy??? It’s just what MGM wanted you to bank on back in 1938-but unlike most films that can rely on star power AND a great script- this film sadly relies more on star power—and its all thanks to the  1938 poll in which Clark was crowned King and Myrna named the Queen of the Screen.

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Now- I’m not criticizing the performances- Myrna is great, Gable is great, and Spencer- although playing usual second fiddle to Gable (in their second of three films together)- is great, the script and plot is just terrible- its slow and at times a bit random.

However, the actors playing off each other- that is genuine and it translates to the audience- you care about what’s going to happen because its Myrna, because it’s Clark and because it’s Spence. All three actors had a marvelous time behind the scenes- and it’s been reported that it was a favorite of both Clark’s and Myrna’s. If this film were cast with subpar actors- it would have been another forgotten B-list film that you would catch on TCM and just decide to give a shot because well, why not.

Image result for spencer tracy test pilotSpencer Tracy in this film I feel is very believable in his role of Gunner- you can relate to and believe in his friendship with Clark’s character- but at the same time- you can see the slight jealously there is between them – and that’s just what happened off screen. Luckily for us, (and both Clark and Spencer), today we can look back and appreciate the friendship that did develop between the two- it’s unlikely a friendship but a really cool one too! I confess to not seeing too many of Spencer movies outside of his Katharine co-starring films, but I do say it is one of his best non Katharine Hepburn performances (along with Boys Town, of course)

I will also say the flying sequences for the time were quite impressive. The producers even secured the backing of the US Air Corps and had real life- but uncredited- Test Pilot Sammy Wroath do the sequences. Talk about authenticity!


IN the end, Test Pilot film may not be “AMAZING” but its an important piece of Hollywood history. Fans of all three actors should watch- as it’s a great excuse to watch them in their prime- and together on screen!!

Robert Redford and Natalie Wood- Double Duos Blogathon


For my own co-hosted blogathon- I decided to go with a paring I recently discovered – Natalie Wood and Robert Redford- while I have always admired Natalie- Never really have I delved into her films- until now that is!

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I decided to do this pairing after seeing Redford’s beautiful tribute video he narrated for TCM- I hadn’t known they met in high school or that they even made movies together- but the way Bob spoke of Natalie made me immediately want to watch Inside Daisy Clover– which aired on TCM a few days after the tribute video.

Inside Daisy Clover (1965) tells the story of Daisy Clover and her journey into 1930s Hollywood. Natalie plays Daisy- and Mr. Redford plays her leading man/fellow movie star- the “Prince Of Darkness” Wade Lewis. It should be noted this film was the start of Redford’s movie career, as according to him although he had broadway success, ‘Natalie selected an unknown to be her leading man”.

For Natalie and Bob- this film really gave them the chance to become real friends- as when they met in high school, it wasn’t a happy first meeting. As Redford recalled- he was on duty as school assembly guard when a girl, (Natalie) came running to to his door, late for the assembly, begging him to let her in. Redford, wanting to be ‘cool’ said she wasn’t allowed to go through his door and she would have to go around to the door that accommodated her last name. Natalie, ever so clever, then called him an ‘asshole’ and gracefully went around to her proper door.

It’s amazing that 10 years later they played opposite each other- and also became the best of friends. If you want real proof of it, while on set Natalie and Bob planned a surprise birthday for reserved and shy producer Alan Pakula- complete with a stripper!

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Despite the fact Daisy Clover isn’t the best in terms of plot (yes- it’s got a good setup and a cast of Roddy McDowell, Christopher Plummer, and Ruth Gordon- but sadly in my eyes, it falls somewhat flat)- I like it-It’s worth watching just to see Wood and Redford together- their characters go through a rocky relationship but the camaraderie and closeness of them is always present. On screen Natalie and Bob have this unspoken bond that can’t be faked- it takes real friendship to create their characters’ feelings- it’s just wonderful.

I personally adore the scene of them on the boat together- Daisy is new to Hollywood and trying to cope emotionally with the stress but all it takes is Wade to come walking in for her to feel calm again. Wade’s carefree attitude is the perfect match for Daisy’s high strung personality!!

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The Wood-Redford reunion film- This Property is Condemned was released in 1966 (honestly I haven’t seen it yet- But it’s airing on TCM Nov 10 2017- and as a consolation- I will be writing a companion post to this post on on my thoughts of it). I can tell you this about it- It co-stars Mary Badham (Scout- in To Kill a Mockingbird) and is based off the one act play by Tennessee Williams; it also was the first time Redford worked with director Sydney Pollack.

From what I have read from other people, it seems to me that this film is the stronger of the two they did together- Natalie’s husband Robert Wagner has even said this was his favorite performance of hers.

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On the set of Downhill Racer

No matter what though- the bulk of Natalie and Bob’s friendship happened off screen- In 1969- Natalie married Richard Gregson (who was both her and Redford’s agent)- with Bob as best man. She then took a short break from filming movies- but that didn’t stop her from working behind the camera- as she did on the Redford film Downhill Racer (1969)– she typed scripts, was a costume consultant, and even appeared incognito as a crowd extra in certain scenes.

Natalie even made a small cameo as herself in 1972’s The Candidate– as a favor to Redford.

In the end- according to Redford- Natalie and he sadly lost touch- but he never forgot the boost she gave his career and the fond friendship they had. For Mr. Redford, Natalie taught him how to handle the emotion of being a star- and he never has forgotten it.

Take a look at the TCM tribute video to get a glimpse at this wonderful and enduring friendship

And then watch this clip of Redford reminiscing about Downhill Racer– he talks about Natalie and her encouragement when it opened to bad reviews.

Personally – I think all people should have a friendship in their life similar to Natalie and Robert’s- a mutual respect and having great care for one another is a beautiful thing.

Its interesting to think about what could have been with these two- they almost made Barefoot in the Park (1967) together; Redford was an early contender to appear in Bob&Carol&Ted&Alice (1969); and Natalie was almost cast in Mary Tyler Moore’s role in Ordinary People (1980).  On my view, would have loved to see them in more pictures- and certainly in stronger movies with better scripts.

Alas, even if the films aren’t the best- I think the bigger lesson can be seen in the friendship they shared.

Reel Infatuation Blogathon- Paul Verrall in Born Yesterday 1950

A Star is Born 1954- Judy Garland Blogathon

judy blogathon banner 1Hello everyone and may I say it’s delightful to be back for the Judy Garland blogathon.

When I heard this was happening I jumped at the chance to watch A Star is Born (1954) which of course  most of us know is one of Judy’s greatest performances.

For me, watching this movie has been a long time coming, as Judy has always been a favorite of mine; she’s my childhood idol. The only thing I regret is I didn’t start watching more of her movies until recently, as an adult- never when I was younger; but it’s better late than never!

A Star is Born is of course a remake of the 1937 Mitzi Gaynor/ Fredric March film. I have not seen the original yet- but I plan to watch it, as well as the 1976 version too (my Mom has seen the latter one). This 1954 version is the same story as all of the versions but what makes it unique is that this is a musical- which of course works so well to showcase Judy’s talents.
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The story is a typical Hollywood story- while Judy’s character, Esther Blodgett “Vicki Lester” rises and shines, her fellow actor and love interest (later husband) Norman Maine (James Mason) downward spirals and falls hard.

Overall, the film is a bit of a sad story, but a very real and human story, that holds its value in today’s world. It may be being remade again for the fourth time- but I believe that this particular version will forever be the most remembered and celebrated version. When viewing the film, I quickly learned part of its footage is missing due to the fact its original length was trimmed down in previews. Today- its been restored to the best of its abilities. In certain instances there are still images, accompanied with the audio track to fill in where the footage was deleted- its interesting to see what was cut- as the cut footage was somewhat important to understanding the story- its sad no one will ever see the original footage, as it would have been cool to see it all in full.
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In my view, Judy shines in her role and its as if she was born for the part- she plays it so believably- whether she’s singing and performing, or happily in love, or crying- shes always authentic; never ever fake. When watching it, my mom brought up the fact she’s just such a real actor and when she cries (or has an emotional moment) – you feel for her.
Image result for judy garland and james masonBut what makes this particular role so believable is that many experiences that happen to Ester also happened to Judy- the name change, working the bit parts, the hard efforts of landing a big break, the emotional struggles of being a star- and sometimes, it hits all too hard knowing that Norman Maine’s struggles were basically her struggles in real life.

But all emotional and real life parallels aside, this film gave Judy two of her most wonderful performances- the opening Gotta Have Me Go With You” number and of course my personal (and probably yours too) favorite The Man That Got Away. There’s of course a few other numbers- but these two stand out to me on a major level.

Related image“Gotta Have Me Go With You” is standard Garland- its showy without being over the top- it’s very catchy and easy to sing along with- its a wonderful way to start of this movie and it has become on of my favorite musical numbers of hers.

“The Man That Got Away”, on the other hand is top tier, brilliance- its powerful; emotional; and so amazing that you want to go back and re-watch it due to its strong presence- I had seen the clip before I watched this film, but watching it in context within the film makes it all that much more moving. I really cant describe it any other way- other than its just sheer perfection.

In the end, I’m very glad I watched this film- I felt it got a bit slow at times- but its just so memorable of a story that I’ll certainly be watching it again the future, it must have been so fascinating to have seen in back in 1954~ with the big build up of Judy’s return to the screen- she really gave it her all. While Judy’s star story may not have ended on the best note- its certain today- her star shines brighter than ever- and it will forever remain that way.

“I’m Mad As Hell and Not Gonna Take This Anymore”- Network 1976


So a lot of you who do read my blog might know that I love William Holden- but what you may not know is how hesitant I initially was to watch Network. At first I said- “No Way”- I don’t wanna watch a movie where Bill is “Old”; I’m not a big fan of Faye Dunaway, and I’m not really into movies from the 70s because they are so different from the ones I do like from the 30s 40s and 50s.

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However- being in the film blogging community and following the TCMParty on twitter, I started to change my tune. I read a wonderful post that my friend Ginnie wrote up on her blog and I just started hearing these wonderful sentiments from, well everyone about the movie itself. So finally I cracked and said, “Well- William Holden is in this movie and it is iconic– I’ll just watch it for credit and the fact of being able to say- ‘Yes, I’ve seen that one.” ”

Getting to the part of me actually viewing the movie- When watching it- I had no idea of how amazing the plot, characters and iconic catchphrase of “I’m as Mad as Hell and I’m not gonna take this anymore” could be- I was so in awe of everything- and now I get it- I get it why Network is just such a fun movie to watch.

To me the only thing that dates Network is the technology  and the physical looks of the actors who are a part of the picture. Everything else is just as accurate today as it was back then. Especially for the “Mad as Hell statement”- I understand why Howard Beale (Peter Finch) isn’t gonna take it anymore- as who should?

Yes- his Mad as Hell spiel starts off as a statement to express why he’s mad at the station and his situation- but that’s not really the focus-  Beale then shifts his statement to why he’s just Mad! Mad as Hell! – and he shouldn’t have to put up with this- and as a matter of fact, either should you!

I think what makes this statement iconic is that no one had ever taken this risk of verbally expressing such strong feelings before in a film. I think maybe films such as Rebel Without a Cause (1955) and The Graduate (1967) were some of the first films to express angst or similar feeling in terms of actions, but it was all very symbolic and reading between the lines- whereas in this film the angst and anger, annoyance even in this statement is Bold and direct in terms of understanding.

Take a look at Howard Beale’s speech below

It just gets more and more accurate every time I watch it. And- the film in general gets funnier every time as well.

In short- I watched for Bill Holden , but I stayed for the funniness, accuracy, and overall just interesting and deeply layered plotline of the film.


For my own blogathon, I couldn’t think of any other way to wrap it up on! Be sure to check out other posts as they trickle in- and remember- sometimes It’s OK to be MAD AS HELL!!

THANKS SO MUCH EVERYONE FOR WRITING, READING AND PARTICIPATING!!!! See you round for the next one, soon I hope!!!


The Second Annual Classic Quotes Blogathon is Here!

Its arrived- the second annual classic quotes blogathon!


Because this blogthon coincides with the TCMFF, I will be accepting posts all though next week, as there is not a silly school-like deadline to meet- this is “fun” learning!

I will be updating posts as they come in- so feel free to come back and look around to read about all the iconic and perfectly delivered quotes from some of your favorite films!

The Entries!

Charlene takes a break from Feuding by telling what Bette Davis actually said in All About Eve!


Phyllis knows how  to decipher a Good Witch from a bad one in the Wizard of Oz.

Movies Silently Proves to us that you can quote (or kiss!) someone without saying a word.

Amanda tells us all about how The Man Who Shot liberty Valance properly prints a legend

Realweggiemidget tells us what inspired Jack Nicholson to “be a better man” in As Good as It Gets

Cary Grant Won’t Eat You tells us how being bad is better for Mae West in I’m No Angel. 

Le explains why the Maltese Falcon is “the stuff dreams are made of.”

Simoa calmly tells us why the Brewster family is practically insane in Arsenic and Old Lace. 


The Midnite drive in tells us how Clint Eastwood makes their day

Catia gives us why Clark Gable had a right not to give a damn in Gone With the Wind. 

Kayla tells us about Claude Rains is shocked in Casablanca. 

Simoa tells us about why the moon is reaching for Audrey Hepburn in Sabrina.



And I have my own post up- FINALLY!- But just don’t be “Mad as Hell” for mine being late! 🙂


Sidney Poitier: 90th Birthday Blogathon