As far as envy goes, I think it’s safe to admit that people have always admired the interior of fancy hollywood homes; fancy pools, luscious living spaces, ridiculous decor, crazy things that only ‘Hollywood people’ can have all make up the spectacle, but almost never do ordinary people actually get an intimate glimpse on the inside.
However with the 1950 film noir Sunset Blvd, we do! Yes- we get to see the inside of one of the most insane mansions in Tinsel town- and it belongs to Miss Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) (yes- she was a star, remember, in all of the Max Von Mayerling directed silents?) To tell us about the house, I have a first hand account of the memories of Joe Gillis’ (William Holden), a screenwriter who saw all the details of Miss Desmond’s now famous residence.Miss Desmond’s residence is located on Sunset Blvd, and according to Mr Joe Gillis he describes her home as ‘a great big white elephant of a place.‘
Mr Gillis spend a lot of time in the company of Norma’s house- much more than he ever imagined- and admits that while Miss Desmond’s place may be one that”crazy movie people built in the crazy 20s” on the outside, on the inside it’s “run down and deserted” going as far to say the house was ‘neglected’ with an ‘unhappy look’ with the place “crumbling apart in slow motion” .
On the onset, yes- Norma has it all, complete with a projector and home theater, a tennis court with “faded markings and a sagging net”, and ‘of course a pool- as who doesn’t!
Inside, Miss Desmond is quite the decorator- making sure you would never forget its *her* house
It’s complete with insane things- like her bed!
And of course what tour of Desmond’s house would be complete without the legendary staircase, with Norma’s infamous announcement that “she’s ready for her close-up.”
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!!!
It’s that time of year again- time to celebrate the Golden Boy of Hollywood’s birthday!- and there’s no better way to do so that with a post for my good friend Ginnie’s Golden Boy Blogathon. (BTW- My Mr. Golden Holden would have been 99 this year- BEST. LOOKING. 99 YEAR-OLD-EVER.)
My entry this year is for one of Bill Holden’s lesser known but still really awesome film, Apartment for Peggy (directed by George Seaton, who also directed Bill in The Country Girl) from 1948. Yes- a pre-Sunset Blvd. Bill, and in color too!
I’ve got to say, I must give my mother credit for getting me to watch this film, because I had no idea this was even part of Bill’s filmography. It was my mom who saw it on the TCM line up and insisted we watch it together- and yes- she was correct as it turned out to be a wonderful film!
In Apartment for Peggy Bill plays Jason, a young GI studying chemistry in college. He is married to Peggy, played by the under-rated Jeanne Crain. Co-starring in the movie is Edmund Gwenn, who plays a professor who loans out his attic turned “apartment for Peggy”. It’s almost fate of how Jason and Peggy meet the Professor and how much they need each other, Jason and Peggy need a place to stay, and the Professor in his old age is lonely and need of company. It’s a perfect match when Peggy arranges for her and Jason to stay in the attic of the Professor’s house. And of course along the way the three of them form an adorable friendship!!!
If you’ve ever wanted to make the most of small space you’ve got- just watch the scene of when Jason and Peggy present their apartment to the professor- it’s impressive!! There’s enough room for the two of them, company and even a cute little dog!!!! 🙂
What I love most about this film, is that while it may be not as well known, it still tells a great story of how young Americans lived after World War 2. It gives a great look at how the GI bill helped returning soldiers academically, but how they still struggled financially. The film still holds truth of how hard it is to get going as a young adult, and I think some people forget that. It’s no easier to get started today than it was in 1948.
Personally, I love the color element of the film, as it’s a rare for a movie of this type to be in color- it’s not a musical or epic- it’s just a little post war melodrama
As for Mr. Holden, yes, it’s true that he plays second fiddle to Jeanne Crain, but the scenes that he is a part of, he certainly is the scene stealer!!! Hes charming, sweet and just so good to look at- ahh young Bill!
Let’s take a glance, shall we??
MR HOLDEN SO YOUNG and adorable!! (hugs him through the screen!)
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’.
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.
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!!!
So it may be the last day of Phyllis Loves Classic Movies’ John 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!!
Fortunately Mr Poitier is still with us, and he is celebrating his 90th birthday- a rare event for anyone! Happy Birthday, Mr Poitier!
I admit I’m not really familiar with any of Poitier’s films but Ginnie is my friend and has great taste in actors, so I gave this blogathon a go. In deciding to do this blogthon, I then watched my first Poitier film, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).
Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner is of course the very final film Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy did together and Tracy’s last ever film. It also features Katharine Houghton (Hepburn’s real life niece) as their daughter. Sidney plays the fiance to Houghton.
The plot revolves around the engagement of Joey (Houghton) and John (Poitier) and them breaking the news to their parents. The differences in their race causes tensions for both sides, and its a bit of a rocky road before all can sit down for a nice dinner.
This movie may be “dated” in the fact it came out 50 years ago now, but its message remains the same, and continues to inspire a whole new generation, reminding them that love is the most powerful force of all.
I honestly wasn’t interested in seeing this film at first- however, it was very good- and not as ‘political’ as I originally believed it to be. Its a human story of acceptance and overlooking stereotype- ultimately believing in people as individuals instead of as part of a certain ‘group’.
What I liked most about the plot is that it was a very simple plot– parents meet the parents and have dinner- and instead the complications in the movie come from the characters- Spencer Tracy’s character Matt, as well as the parents of Sidney’s character are the ones who have the most trouble coming round to the idea of their children’s engagement and marriage. Even Sidney’s character John is a bit nervous! Katharine Hepburn’s character, Christina is yes, at first shocked, but in true Katharine Hepburn fashion, she ends up being the first supporter of the pending union between the two.
Another aspect of this movie that was done very well were the portrayals of such characters. I think Kate and Spence are always so well matched in their roles opposite one another- but this picture gave them a chance to play an older married couple, and for stars of their status, that type of role was a rare thing back then. It was nice to see them be in an already established relationship without having to get together or find their way back to one another- it was lovely just seeing them be together on screen- and no doubt it gave us a glimpse of their real life relationship.
Tracy and Hepburn aside, the real stars, however were Houghton and Poitier. They were playing roles that were considered “appalling” for 1967- but as shocking as those roles might have been, I believe they also gave hope and courage to people in similar situations.
Their portrayals even inspire people in today’s world to be mindful and respectful of all types of people from all types of backgrounds- for its not where you come from, it’s about who you are as a human being and where you are going in life that matters.
I enjoyed Sidney’s scenes with Spencer Tracy- when they were outside on the Patio- just the two of them- It was really interesting not only because its these two actors in the scene- but because its so real, the emotion they are conveying- its a bit awkward and a bit tense- but at the same time, its very real and believable.
Spencer Tracy’s speech towards the end of the film also stood out (I know, that’s the cliche thing to bring up about this movie- but it really is powerful) as not only is it about Joey and John’s marriage- it was also a tribute to Katharine Hepburn as well- and from what I know- it was the only time he ever really told her what she truly meant to him- both on or off screen; the tears in her eyes are all 100% real.
In the end, I think I would like to watch more of Sidney Poitier’s movies- I’m gonna have to read posts about No Way Out– I’ve been wanting to see that one! This movie was a real gateway to being introduced to him and his work- and I think its a fantastic way to get into it.
And of course again, Happy Birthday to Mr Sidney Poitier- I’m glad he’s a living legend!
For my second entry for the Oh! Canada Blogathon, I had to write up a piece on my favorite Canadian actress, Megan Follows (that’s pronounced Mee-gan).
Known for playing not one but two iconic roles (Anne Shirley in the 1985 Anne of Green Gables + the sequels and Queen Catherine de Medici in the CW’s Reign) Megan has earned her status as a Canadian legend. Born in Toronto on March 4, 1968 Megan Elizabeth Laura Diana Follows is the youngest of four children, and comes from a showbiz family; her recently deceased father, Ted Follows was a director and actor, and her mother, Dawn Greenhalgh is an actress. All of Megan’s siblings are also involved in the entertainment industry.Megan’s early career started like many, doing commercials and bit parts, but the role that sky rocketed her to stardom came at age 16 when she won the role (and I mean won, beating out 3,000 other girls) of Anne Shirley in Kevin Sullivan’s 1985 CBC mini series. The choice of Megan for the role was initially not a certain one, as some worried she might look ‘too old’ to play the 12 year old Anne.
The series was so successful that an equally successful sequel (based on Anne books 2 and 3) was released in 1987. In 2000, the final installment was filmed and shown on TV- and its alright, but not up to par with its predecessors.
Adorable Much?? (with Jonathon Crombie)
After Anne, Megan remained busy by appearing in numerous roles on various tv shows and movies as well as feature films and theatre. Some highlights include Canadian shows Under The Piano , Heartland and TV movie Hockey Night. In the States she made guest appearances on ER, Law and Order and CSI to name a few.
Personally, Megan married Christopher Porter in 1991 (divorced 1996) and has two children, Lyla Anne and Russell.
Early 2013 saw Megan on stage in a production of Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad. During its run, Jonathan Crombie surprised her one night by coming to see her performance. They went out for a drink together after the show, but this would be the final meeting between the two friends before his untimely death in April 2015.
In fall 2013, fans everywhere rejoiced to learn Megan was returning to the small screen as Queen Catherine de Medici on The CW’s Reign (which may be American, but it is filmed in Canada and has appearances of numerous Canadian actors)
Reign (currently in its final season) follows the extremely fictional story of Mary Queen of Scots – starting with her time in the French court. Megan’s role is not only the Queen (later Dowager Queen and Regent) of France, but also the mother in law to Mary. Personally, Catherine is my favorite character on the show; she’s a bit of an ‘Evil Queen’, the master of poison and super funny. Nothing can get past her, but her real quest is the struggle to hold onto power as a woman in the 16th century. Absolutely nothing- and I mean nothing- can stand in her way, her family and Mary included.
Truth be told, Catherine is a bit tough to like at first, but she quickly grows on you.
After Reign, I’m not sure what Megan will do next. I hope to be able to see her on screen again soon, but only time will tell where we will see her next.
The one thing that’s for certain is that I like many other fans, will definitely be watching!
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, Niagaraand 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!
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:
Marilyn 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.
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.
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!
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!
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).
In 2013, when I first saw the movie, at first I was invested to see Cary and Carole in it, but after watching, I realized the movie was so much more than that. This role allowed Carole to really showcase her abilities as an actress. In her role as Julie, she emotes true emotion- from love, to loss, to fear, to even slight jealously- its all there. I couldn’t imagine someone else playing this part other than Carole and even if she didn’t- I still believe we fans would connect this movie with her, as she went through the situation in real life (well, minus the little daughter- sort of!).
Clark and Carole- LOVE!! Clark and Rhea-Um, Smile?
For those who may be unfamiliar with the real life situation I’m mentioning- in real life, Carole was the woman caught up in a drawn out divorce between Clark Gable and his second wife, Rhea Langham. From what I know, Rhea was just as terrible as Maida (Francis) was in the film. What I find a little ironic however, is that even if Carole had played the wife, and not the lover in the film, I think some of us would have rooted for her- just because its Carole and we adore her! When we watch the movie today, we can only imagine for ourselves how in real life, Carole and Clark’s waiting and perseverance paid off. How much of their personal life was put into the movie? Its almost as if Hollywood knew what they were exposing when they wrote this film.
One can only imagine the meeting between Carole and Rhea in real life, I don’t think it would be exactly like this film still!
Especially in the modern day, I think its sad this film isn’t more well known – its from 1939 after all with two great stars!! Its even more sad to think that most people discover Carole as “Clark Gable’s wife”-when she’s blatantly a star in her own right.
On an opinion note, I find this film to be the only drama of Carole’s that I like- 1940’s Vigil in the Night is good- but I don’t quite “love it” the way I do this film and 1939’s Made for Each Other (which I do love!) is more of a “melodrama”. There’s something just so insightful in this film, to see both Carole and Cary playing against type- Cary isn’t one to be in a loveless marriage on screen- and Carole usually plays the fabulous screwball gal who keeps the man on his toes!
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!
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!!!
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 email@example.com.
THE ROSTER So Far:
The Flapper Dame- I’m as Mad as Hell, and I’m not gonna take this anymore!- Network (1976)