National Classic Movie Day 2017: 5 Stars Blogathon

HAPPY NATIONAL CLASSIC MOVIE DAY EVERYONE! First off let me say, running my own blog and sharing new films and learning about films and actors from hollywood’s golden era is one of the great joys in my life- and I’m very happy to do it alongside all of you who watch, read, and write with me! (click here for the blogathon list to read other bloggers favorite stars!)

And again I’d like to say THANKS A MILLION to all of you who do read and I DO READ EVERY SINGLE COMMENT and APPRECIATE THEM ALL!!!!

This post is probably one of the most difficult ones to write as I’m only limited to 5 stars!!?? Hard, but, do-able and all of you have done it to so, so can I!!

In NO order whatsoever, I present five favorite stars!

1- Grace Kelly

Image result for grace kelly Yes I know some may not consider her the “best” actress or even consider her to be “important” in Hollywood- But she is one of my favorites!! Rear Window (1954) and to Catch a Thief (1955) are some of my favorite movies! She was serene even before she bore the title of HSH  (Her Serene Highness) and she’s completely the ultimate Hitchcock Blonde.

2- Carole Lombard

Image result for carole lombard I wish I could be more like her in terms of being free spirited!! She’s a patriot and I feel her career was just getting started- she would have been amazing in so many roles if not for her untimely death- but nothing can diminish the fact she is and always will be fascinating and amazing! My favorite movie of hers My Man Godfrey (1936) with the runner up being No Man of Her Own (1932)  !

3- Cary Grant-

Image result for Cary grant notorious WHO DOESN’T ADORE HIM! To me he’s the ultimate leading man! Today, I just got his daughter’s Memoir and I’m excited to read it! There’s so many great films with him but the ones that stand out to me are The Awful Truth (1937), Notorious (1946), Penny Serenade (1941) , Charade (1963) and To Catch a Thief (1955).

 

4- William Powell

Image result for william powell thin man He’s the definition of dapper and the consummate 1930s example of style. Mr Powell is one of the stars that I came to adore after watching many of his movies- once you watch one you can’t stop- and I didn’t know about him right away- he’s a hidden gem that once you know about him- he’s forever a part of your life! Favorite movies of his- Mister Roberts (1955), All of The Thin Man Films, of course My Man Godfrey, and a hidden gem of a flick The Ex-Mrs Bradford (1936).

..And number 5- I have to say John Wayne- he was the first leading man I knew about in the “Old Movies” due to my Grandfather’s admiration of him. Its sad that I didn’t become a real fan of his until my later teen years- but now that I have seen some of his movies (and plan on viewing more!) I can say that Yes I am a real fan of his based my own opinions. I know why my Grandfather liked him so much now that I have viewed some of his movies and I always think of him whenever I watch one. My favorite movies of the Duke’s so far are- The Quiet Man (1952), The Searchers (1956) ,Big Jake (1971) and The Shootist (1976)

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So there’s my five!!! But I can’t leave this post without mentioning “Five Runners up”- Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Myrna Loy, Clark Gable, and Gene Tierney.

Happy National Classic Movie Day, again to everyone and I hope you got to watch either an old favorite or a new to you movie! and Remember- Stay Classic!

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Norma Demond’s Mansion in Sunset Blvd (1950)

Unfortunately, Mr Gillis is no longer here with us to tell us more about the house, but that can’t stop you from forming your own opinions! Make sure to (re-) watch Sunset Blvd and pay extra attention to Miss Desmond’s crazy mansion!!!

Golden Boy Blogaton- Apartment For Peggy

Chemistry never looked more interesting!

WIth Ms Crain; they are so fabulous together!!!

This film is a rarity, but to me its a hidden gem- it’s so cute! and rarely on TV- so the next time it’s on TCM WATCH IT!!!!!!!!!!  Please!!!!!

As for you Mr Holden, as this, today , the date of this post, would have been your 99th birthday, I have this to say: You’re one of my favorite actors, and while not everyone may know who you are, to me you’ll always have a place in my heart, and in my life. Your movies are timeless, and I understand why the late Mr Robert Osborne considered you his favorite- like he said you spoke “always an honest word” when you were on screen. Happy Birthday, and as always, I bet you’re still good lookin’.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

So it may be the last day of Phyllis Loves Classic MoviesJohn Garfield blogathon, but I’ve still got a write up to do and articles to read! When Phyllis announced this Blogathon, I didn’t really know much about John Garfield, other than the fact he was in well, a movie star!!!

And it’s really bad but other than The Postman Always Rings Twice, the only other movie I’ve seen with him is Destination Tokyo with Cary Grant. I’m hoping to change this however, after reading all of your articles!!!

I chose to write about The Postman because it’s just a great movie- and the first time I saw it, I really didn’t think much of it- but then I re-watched it and thought, WOW- OK this is a really great movie! And now every time I see it, it just gets better and better. For me, like the title says, I had to give it two chances until I really took to it.

For those who haven’t seen The Postman Always Rings Twice, you probably already know the plot if you have seen any other film noir- It’s about two star crossed lovers, Cora (Lana Turner) and Frank (John Garfield) who can’t be together due to the fact that  Cora is married to a dull and boring older man, Nick. And yes, you’ve guessed it- upon seeing each other Cora and Frank fall madly in love and soon scheme together to murder Nick. I don’t even have to go on for you to guess the ending.

Although the plot of Postman may seem a bit cookie cutter, the film stands out due to the actors as both Lana and our rebel-with-a-cause John Garfield play their roles to absolute perfection. They light up the screen together and I think many of us wish they could have done another film together.

As much as Ms. Turner really is the star- John Garfield is just fabulous. I paid more attention to him this time around and I can definitely say I have a new appreciation for him.

Another thing I noticed this time around is the recurring element of “the second time’s a charm”. SPOILER: Two attempts to kill Nick, Two attempts at a romance, Two times Frank is under suspicion for murder, and in the end, two major deaths.

I also noticed that for Garfield, this was a real chance for him to shine as a “leading man” in a romantic way. For once he isn’t the action man, or the tough guy, in Postman he’s just a guy- no special trait or anything- a drifter, yet he’s still intriguing because he’s John Garfield.

So if anything else is to be gained in re-watching Postman its two things- never doubt the outcome of a second chance, and two- John Garfield is a cool guy.

We don’t judge you, Cora

If you can, pick up the blu-ray copy- as it has a full length documentary on John Garfield’s life and career narrated by his daughter Julie- it’s fascinating!!

PICTURE CREDIT- dvdbeaver

 

 

Sidney Poitier: 90th Birthday Blogathon

Oh! Canada Entry 2: Megan Follows

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!

 

2nd Grace Kelly Blogathon

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!

 

The Searchers: Meeting Lana Wood

Hello readers! This is a very special post as on September 15 2016 at the Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge IL. I met Lana Wood at a 60th anniversary screening of The Searchers. My lovely Father escorted me for the night- as he was so generous to take a day off work so I could go! Thanks again, Daddy! (also thanks for the pictures!)

It was surely a night to remember, and I’m so glad to share my experience with all of you!

But before I go any further, I’d like to dedicate this post to the man who introduced me to John Wayne and his movies when I was 9, my late grandfather, Mr. Joseph Kasper. Although he couldn’t accompany me to the screening last night, I just know how thrilled he would have been for me and how excited he would have been to see John Wayne on the big screen. The Duke was my Grandfather’s favorite movie star and he always used to say, “I like John Wayne because he reminds me of me”. I know my Grandfather was with me in spirit last night, and for that I couldn’t be happier.

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Photo by Emily Graziano

The screening of The Searchers took place at the glorious art deco Pickwick Theater in Park Ridge IL. It was built in 1928 and in 1975 was officially declared a historic building. Its name “Pickwick” was chosen by the then Park Ridge Mayor, William Malone, for the character of Samuel Pickwick from Charles Dickens’ novel The Pickwick Papers.

The night kicked of with pre- show at 6:30 with music by Jay Warren. Ms. Lana Wood arrived shortly after signing autographs before and after the screening.

Autographs were $20, however all proceeds were to help homeless dogs and cats at no kill shelters! A generous donation on Ms. Wood’s behalf.

I was lucky enough to get Lana’s autograph before the screening and get a picture with her as well!

When I got to the front there were about ten pictures to choose from (ranging from Searchers stills to Diamonds are Forever Plenty O’Toole candids). I asked the man sitting next to Lana which one would be best and he suggested the picture of Lana and Natalie together, as it was a studio picture taken to promote the movie. Ms. Wood then chimed in exclaiming, “Oh yes this one! Its the two Debbies together!”. With that, I took their advice.

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Photo By Emily Graziano

Lana also graciously signed the inside of my Searchers’ blu-ray sleeve, to which the man beside her said was a “good idea” that I brought it.

I also had the pleasure to tell Lana how wonderful it was for me to meet her and that this was my first time viewing The Searchers. I explained I never had met a celebrity before and I told her how honored I was to meet a real movie star. Ms. Wood was ever so generous saying she was “glad” I came out. I also asked her of how she liked Chicago, with her response being “Oh, I love it!”

But the coolest part was when we took this picture together (which my Dad took for me!) I stood next her her and she exclaimed “Finally! someone I’m taller than!” It felt so surreal- but it was so amazing- I felt like I was dreaming!

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At seven o’clock she began her Q and A session. She talked of her memories of Sean Connery and being the bond girl, John Wayne, her sister Natalie, and of course her recollection of making The Searchers.

She recalled the dust storms and how, when she would take a bath the storms made the water come out orange at first. She talked about Patrick Wayne and how both she and Natalie just “adored” him. Ms Wood furthermore revealed her favorite film of Natalie’s: Splendor in the Grass because Natalie was brave enough to take off her cuff that hid her protruding wrist bone. Lana explained Natalie wanted to “bare it all” for this film.

I myself got to ask Lana a question which was “What was your favorite role of your career?” She happily remarked it was a “lesser known mini series {QB VII} with Anthony Hopkins“. She even “parted ways” with her agent as they believed she was too good for the small role and if she took the role, they didn’t want to represent her. But she said the most important part was the character and in the end she was even nominated for an Emmy.

Lana talked for about 40-ish minutes before the film played, with it starting at about 7:40.

I was just in awe of the movie, especially on the big screen- seeing John Wayne in his signature role in a cinema setting was just too cool. It was certainly something I’ll never forget and all other viewings of The Searchers from here on out will never amount to the glory it was last night.

I hope in the future I will be able to go to more events such as this! It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m just thankful I didn’t pass it up. I’ll always remember the magical evening and I no longer wonder why The Searchers is considered the best, for it 100% is the best of the best.

*All PICTURES EXCEPT OTHERWISE NOTED TAKEN BY TOM GRAZIANO