The Star Studded Couple Blogathon- The Profane Angel and Mr Charles:

This entry is for the Star Studded Couples Blogathon hosted by a cool gal Phyllis, at the blog Phyllis Loves Classic Movies. Please click the Banner to find out more!

My entry is about a possible lesser known, but still super awesome star couple (who happen to be two of my personal favorite stars), William Powell and Carole Lombard- The Profane Angel and Mr. Charles. And before you double take and look at the banner- yes I know that’s Clark and Carole- but believe me, Bill Powell wouldn’t be jealous- he and Clark were pals! And Carole- why, I’d think she’d get a kick out of it!

Carole Lombard and William Powell were married for only a short while (1931-1933), but their marriage was definitely one for the ages. They first met on the set of their first movie, Man of the World (1931), although, for Carole, she already felt she knew Powell, for she had been a fan of his and was immediately attracted to his good looks, screen persona, and not to mention, his dry but awesome sense of humor.

It wasn’t long after they met, the two entered a relationship. Many were shocked they were going together, as there were multiple differences between them.  Carole was carefree, 22, and foul mouthed (in the most classy and lady like manner of course!) while Bill was 16 years older, intellectual and sophisticated. Nevertheless, Carole defended their love stating it was the perfect “see saw” relationship.

The two were married shortly after filming their second film, Ladies Man (1931).

During the course of the marriage, Carole’s popularity increased considerably thanks to her new husband. Most of her roles were not breakout hits, but it was during this time she made No Man of her Own (1932) with Clark Gable. For the record there were no romantic feelings between the two whatsoever, and any flirting between the two was just that- platonic flirting.

For Bill, he was still about two years away from the first Thin Man, but during this time he starred in the now famous pre-codes- Jewel Robbery, One Way Passage,  and Lawyer Man (all 1932)

Despite having a good relationship with each other, in August 1933, the two decided to divorce after 26 months as man and wife. Carole initially blamed the split on their careers, but later then claimed her and Bill were “two completely different people”.

In the years to come, Carole and Bill remained a part of each others lives and even though they each found someone else- Bill was the partner of Jean Harlow until her death and later married Diana Lewis in 1940 (which of whom he remained with until his death) and Carole married Clark Gable-  they were always on the best of terms, for they truly were lifelong friends from then on. They went to horse races, danced at night clubs, and once even double dated (Jean and Bill, Clark and Carole). Although many speculated the two would get back together, Carole and Bill just enjoyed each other’s company.

They even had enough class to star opposite each other in the classic and landmark screwball comedy My Man Godfrey (1936) (seriously, who doesn’t love this film?), for Bill insisted Carole be his leading lady- NOW THAT’S CLASS EVERYONE!!!!!

IN the end, Bill and Carole defined a new way of partnership. They may have only been married for a little over two years, but they proved that marriage and divorce can’t break up a good friendship. Two very classy people indeed!!!

Pictures from wikipedia, pintrest, and IMDB. 

 

Advertisements

Announcing: The Royalty on Film Blogathon

CLICK HERE TO GO TO READ ENTRIES 

Hello All! Since my first blogathon was a great success I am very proud to announce I have decided to  host another!  For those of you who don’t already know, despite being American I am a bonafide Royalist and absolutely love the British Royal Family. Deciding to combine my two great loves, Royalty and Film, the theme for this blogathon will be “Royalty on Film” starting on the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation- June 2 and ending on June 5

Interested? Keep reading !!!

The Rules are:

  1. The Royalty you choose to write up about can be real- an actor portraying a real life figure OR it can be fictional/ fantastical- like in Roman Holiday or The Swan
  2. No documentaries allowed! This is a fictional portrayal of royalty
  3. Animated cartoons are allowed- I would love to see some Disney Princess entries!
  4. Biopics about royalty are allowed as are silent pictures!!
  5. No Duplicates Please!

Submit entries any time between the dates of June 2- 5 2016 and you can do so by commenting on the page, by twitter, or by email.

Here are some suggestions! If you have a film in mind that’s not on the list don’t fret , just name it in your comment below  🙂  You can also sign up by contacting me on Twitter ( @flapperdame16 ) or emailing me at countessemily16@gmail.com

If you are interested in some Post 1970 films:

  • Elizabeth (1997)
  • Mrs Brown  (1998)
  • The Queen (2006)
  • Elizabeth- The Golden Age (2007)
  • The Young Victoria (2009)
  • The King’s Speech (2010)
  • A Royal Night Out (2015)
  • Cinderella (2015)

Stumped? Here are some great suggestions  

  • Cleopatra (1917)
  • The Swan (1925)
  • One Romantic Night (1930)
  • Queen Christina (1933)
  • The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)
  • Thirty Day Princess (1934)
  • Cleopatra (1934)
  • The Princess comes across (1936)
  • Mary of Scotland (1936)
  • Snow White and the seven dwarfs (1937)
  • Fire Over England (1937)
  • Marie Antoinette (1938)
  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
  • The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)
  • Cinderella (1950)
  • Roman Holiday (1953)
  • The Virgin Queen (1955)
  • War and peace (1956)
  • Anastasia (1956)
  • The Swan (1956)
  • The King and I (1956)
  • The Prince and the Showgirl (1957)
  • Sleeping Beauty (1959)
  • Cleopatra (1963)
  • The Lion in Winter (1968)

THE ROSTER 

Here are the Fabulous Banners! And Have Fun

audreycarole

cate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

disneygrace

 

 

 

 

 

A Kiss is Just a Kiss Blogathon: Astaire and Rogers-Swing Time (1936) and Carefree (1938)

Happy Valentine’s Day weekend! Welcome to the You Must Remember This…A Kiss Is Just a Kiss blogathon!

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! To celebrate today’s post is for Second Sight Cinema’s A Kiss is Just a Kiss Blogathon!

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire are of of the most famous on screen couples in all of history. You could even consider them to be one of the most famous dance duos in all of history.

However, when it came to on screen kisses they were famous for not having any. By the time they had made their 6th film Swing Time (1936) the grand total of kisses between the two was a round zero. True, one could argue there was a kiss in their fourth film Top Hat (1935) but according to Ginger it was more of a “quick peck” and not a real kiss. When asked why there was never a kiss between them, Ginger always blamed it on the director, “Ask March Sandrich or Bill Seiter”, she’d say. In reality, it was actually Fred, and his wife Phyllis, who insisted on no screen kisses, as he always considered his dancing to be the romance and love between his and Ginger’s characters. With Swing Time all that was about to change- sort of- with the famous “Door” kiss.

swing-time.jpg
Ginger on a Mission!

The scene starts off with Ginger’s character Penny walking down to Lucky’s (Fred) dressing room with the intent on planting one on him. Nervously knocking on the door Lucky tells her to come in, and after failing twice to kiss him- she chickens out!

swing-time1
“It’s Nice”
the painted kiss
They Kissed?! Right??

Using her dress (one of my favorite dresses in the history of cinema!!!) as an excuse, Penny awkwardly asks Lucky what he thinks of it. After responding “nice” to everything Penny asks him about, (including her hair, shoes, and cape) Lucky goes in for it- only to be cut off by the door opening! However- by the time the camera cuts back to Fred and Ginger, Fred has lipstick all over his lips! Certianly they had kissed, right?! Well not exactly- according to Miss Rogers, Fred had his kiss “painted” on by the makeup crew. (click here to watch this awesome scene

For Fred and Ginger fans however it seemed to do the trick- and it left them wanting even more, which they got in the duo’s 8th film Carefree (1938)

Carefree by all accounts is the least “musical” Fred and Ginger picture- it only has 4 songs and Ginger really steals the spotlight with her character’s crazy antics. It also is famous for the first real lip to lip kiss of Fred and Ginger in the number “I Used to Be Colorblind”. 

finally
Finally!

Seen in a dream like setting, “I used to be Colorblind” has a unique backstory. For one it was originally supposed to be shot in color; two, it was slowed down and filmed in slow motion to add to its dream like nature; and three it finally contained the kiss audiences had been waiting 8 pictures and five years to see. According to Ginger in her autobiography, the actual shooting of the kiss was just another “peck” but when played back the slow motion made it made it seem as if it were a full fledged kiss. She also stated that Phyllis Astaire was not on set at the time of shooting. Click here to watch!

In their final two films The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) and The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), there some kisses, with the former being noted for the famous “kiss in the dark” . However, in the end, Fred and Ginger created movie magic- if not with their kisses most certainly for their dances. 

Citations

Rogers, G. (1991). Ginger: My story. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

 

Try it,You’ll Like It- The Thin Man

image

Hello Classic (and even non classic) Film fans! This post is an entry for the “Try It, You’ll Like It” Blogathon (click here for more) hosted by Movies Silently and Sister Celluloid, as a way of introducing “gateway” films to people who don’t like classic film or for those who are new to the classic film world, a way to learn about “essential” classics.

My contribution for this Blogathon will be 1934’s famous MGM film The Thin Man starring William Powell and Myrna Loy; directed by Woody Van Dyke.

image

The Thin Man like many other movies is based off the popular book of the same name by Dashiell Hammett. William Powell plays the martini drinking and retired detective Mr. Nick Charles, and Myrna Loy plays his ever-so-clever socialite wife and wealthy heiress, Mrs. Nora Charles. The Charles’ also have wonderful and lovable white haired terrier named Asta (Skippy). In the original novel, the characters are slightly different, as novel Nick Charles is “fat” (not so with Mr. Powell), and the son of a Greek immigrant, while novel Asta is a female schnauzer.

image

The plot of this movie is still as fresh today as it was in 1934, and unlike the characters, it closely follows that of the novel: Nick Charles is a retired detective who is ready to settle down with his wife Nora. Travelling from their home in San Francisco to spend the Christmas season in New York, it isn’t long before Nick (at Nora’s urging) gets drawn back into the world of murder and mystery when his friend, inventor Clyde Wynant (it’s this character who is the titular “thin man”), mysteriously vanishes.

Filming The Thin Man created a very relaxed environment for all involved, and it was shot in just 12 days thanks to “One-Take Woody” as director. While the murder mystery is intriguing, everyone knows the real reason as to why The Thin Man is so appealing: the undeniable chemistry between Myrna Loy and William Powell. It was their second picture together after Manhattan Melodrama(1934), and they would go on to make 5 more Thin Man films, and also 6 other non-Thin Man films. Myrna Loy even made a cameo in Powell’s The Senator was Indiscreet. In the end, the pair made 14 movies together (including Myrna’s cameo) – a record that still stands to this day when it comes to screen pairings. On working with Ms. Loy, Mr. Powell remarked,

When we did a scene together, we forgot about technique, camera angles, and microphones. We weren’t acting. We were just two people in perfect harmony.”

For those who are not familiar with the picture, here is just a sample of the wonderful dialogue between the two. For those who are familiar, let’s just re-visit the reasons why we love Nick and Nora:

Nora Charles: Nick? Nicky?

Nick Charles: What?

Nora Charles: You asleep?

Nick Charles: Yes!

Nora Charles: Good. I want to talk to you.

and even

image

Nora Charles: Pretty girl.

Nick Charles: Yes. She’s a very nice type.

Nora Charles: You got types?

Nick Charles: Only you, darling. Lanky brunettes with wicked jaws.

And one of my favorites

Nora Charles: Take care of yourself

Nick Charles: Why, sure I will.

Nora Charles: Don’t say it like that! Say it as if you meant it!

Nick Charles: Well, I do believe the little woman cares.

Nora Charles: I don’t care! It’s just that I’m used to you, that’s all.

Even if you’re not interested in watching the other five films, (which you will be after watching the first, as it’s inevitable not to watch the others), The Thin Man remains one of the most popular and well beloved classics from the 30s. TCM will be airing all 6 films on New Year’s Eve (starting at 8pm EST), so if you’ve got time, sit down with a martini (or three) and tune in!!!!

Gene Tierney- 95th Birthday Blogathon- Oleg Cassini

image

Hello Classic film fans (and fashionistas!) This entry is part of the Gene Tierney 95th birthday Blogathon. I chose to write about an important man in Ms. Tierney’s life, her first husband, Oleg Cassini. I didn’t know too much about Mr. Cassini, so I really enjoyed researching and writing this post.

Fashionistas and classic movie goers alike know Oleg Cassini as an iconic designer whose clients were just as famous as he was. But to Gene Tierney, he was more than just a designer; he was just simply her husband.

image

The story of Oleg Cassini and Gene Tierney’s relationship is equal parts joy and sorrow- from the Romeo and Juliet beginnings and the thrilling elopement to heartbreak and inevitable divorce. It all started when the pair met- Oleg was 27, working as a costume designer at paramount, and Gene was 20, and a new actress at 20th Century Fox. For Gene, she was absolutely smitten and it wasn’t too long after they met when the talk of marriage came up. As much as Gene was keen to marry Oleg, her parents were not convinced, as they disapproved of Oleg being Russian- Italian, an immigrant, and a divorcee. Mr. and Mrs. Tierney also accused Oleg of being a fortune hunter. Fox studios were also not supportive of the relationship, as they forced Gene to go on arranged “dates” with other studio players.

Defying her parents and the studio, Gene and Oleg flew to Las Vegas and on June 1, 1941 the pair eloped. Gene used the alias of her latest film role, Belle Starr and gave her name as “Gene Eliza Taylor Tierney” when signing the registration. Instead of wedding rings, the pair exchanged Gene’s earrings. Their marital bliss would be short lived however, for once Gene’s father learned of her elopement; he cut her off from his cooperation, Bel- Tier- which was linked to her contract and income. Meanwhile Oleg was fired from Paramount.

image

In 1942, while Gene was on the rise in Hollywood, Oleg enlisted in the US Calvary corps and gave up his title of Count to become an American citizen. The following year Oleg was discharged and moved to New York where he opened his salon. By this point, Gene’s career was really taking off and during the filming of Heaven Can Wait, she discovered she was pregnant. However, once again Gene’s happiness would be short lived, as in June of that year while at the Hollywood Canteen greeting US servicemen, she caught German Measles from a fan who snuck of out quarantine. Gene was terribly concerned, and although doctors assured her both she and the child would be fine, on October 15 1943, she gave birth prematurely to Antoinette “Daria” Cassini. At birth, Daria only weighed 3 pounds two ounces and required an entire blood transfusion. It wasn’t long afterwards that it was discovered she was partially deaf, blind with cataracts, and severely mentally disabled. It only got worse when in 1944, when Gene came face to face with the same fan and it was confessed the fan “just had to meet her”. Gene was heartbroken over the fact it was her stardom that was responsible for the fan sneaking out. Daria’s condition along with Gene’s own depression put a strain on her and Oleg’s marriage and in October of 1946, the pair separated.

During the separation both Gene and Oleg were linked with others. Gene was romantically involved with the future President Kennedy (whom she met of the set of Dragonwyck), Prince Aly Kahn (Rita Hayworth’s ex-husband), Tyrone Power (her frequent co-star), Kirk Douglas, and Howard Hughes- who despite her rejections, made sure Daria received the best medical care; the pair then remained good friends. Oleg on the other hand was linked to Anita Ekberg, Linda Evans, Jill St. John, and various models.

Though the two were separated Gene and Oleg did remain in contact with each other and two years later in 1948 the pair reconciled. The couple’s second daughter, Christina Cassini, was born later that November. Oleg continued to work in Hollywood, working on costumes for some of Gene’s films and even made a cameo appearance in her 1950 film Where the Sidewalk Ends. By 1952, relations between Gene and Oleg were once again strained, as Gene was by now a household name in Hollywood. They divorced for good on February 28 1952.

In 1960, Gene eventually married Texas oilman Howard Lee, Hedy Lamaar’s former husband. The two remained together until Howard’s death in 1981. While Oleg never remarried, he had an on/off relationship with Grace Kelly, eventually resulting in a failed engagement when Grace broke it off to marry Prince Rainier of Monaco.

In the end, Oleg and Gene remained a part of each other’s lives until her death in 1991. Looking back on his time with Gene, Oleg later said “Gene is the luckiest, unlucky girl in the world; all of her dreams came true, at a cost”.

Mr. Cassini died in 2006, while Daria passed in 2010. Christina Cassini died earlier this year in April at the age of 66 in Paris.

 

Grace Kelly Blogathon: Mogambo

10308589_1004757939539321_7144825682462818483_n

This entry is part of “The Wonderful Grace Kelly Blogathon” hosted by Virginie at “The Wonderful World of Cinema”. I would personally like to thank her for allowing me to participate at such short notice. This is officially my first blogathon- I entered at the last minute- its Grace Kelly, my favorite actress so I couldn’t let it pass me by!  For me, Mogambo was the second Grace Kelly picture I saw, and I watched for the first time on my 17th Birthday.

image
(Photo-Wikipedia)

Mogambo… what is Mogambo? According to the trailer, Mogambo means “The Greatest”. And maybe that’s because MGM really had the “greatest” elements going for the film- Technicolor, location shoot, and the “greatest” actor in all of Hollywood, the king of himself, Mr. Clark Gable. Of course, MGM also had the “greatest” source material for the picture, as Mogambo was to be a remake of their own 1932 Jean Harlow pre-code Red Dust (which also had Gable as the leading man- Only Gable can replace Gable folks, even if its twenty years later!)

Like its predecessor, Mogambo was to have the same plot- two women (one married, one single) vying for the affections of Clark Gable in an exotic location- but instead of taking place on an Indochina rubber plantation, Mogambo was to be set in the African jungle. To cast the female leads, MGM turned to some of Gable’s former co-stars: Ava Gardner, who had previously worked with Gable on both The Hucksters and Lone Star; and Gene Tierney, his leading lady from Never Let Me Go. With Gable, Gardner, Tierney and veteran western/ action director John Ford all attached, Mogambo was set to be a smash even before it hit the big screen.

So how does the wonderful Grace Kelly fit in of this? It actually turned out to be a twist of fate, as right before filming began, Gene Tierney dropped out due to illness. Needing to find a new actress for the part, John Ford went to MGM executives and showed them Grace’s 1950 screen test from the film Taxi. Of her test, Ford said Ms. Kelly had “Breeding, Quality and Class” (I agree Mr. Ford, I agree!!!)

At the time Grace only had two films to her name, (14 Hours and High Noon) but MGM execs clearly agreed with Ford when they offered her the role of Linda Nordley (the married woman; Donald Sinden played her husband), as well as the traditional 7 year studio contract. Grace accepted, but careful as ever, signed on the conditions that A– she was able to live in New York and B– every two years she could get time off to work in the theater.

Filming took place from Fall 1952- Winter 1953. During the duration of the shoot, Grace naturally got along with all her co-stars (she found a life-long friend in Ava Gardner; with Clark, while on location, she joined him on hunting trips ) and even impressed everyone at dinner one night by ordering in Swahili! On the downside, behind the scenes, there were also some problems- Frank Sinatra and Ava’s deteriorating marriage (and her abortion during a filming break), Ford’s nasty treatment to all the stars, and of course the allegedaffair” between Gable and Grace.

In the end, however, Grace’s hard work prevailed, as was she was nominated both for a Golden Globe and an Oscar with both noms in the category of Best Supporting Actress. I think Grace gave a good performance and her character proves glamour can exist even in the most un-glamourous of places. Her scenes with Gable and Gardner are well acted and it’s easy to believe she’s falling for Gable, even though she’s a married woman. The costumes are also wonderful as Helen Rose made Grace to be “Safari Chic”.

Today, Mogambo may not be regarded as a “classic” classic, however, it still is a fan favorite and is considered by many to be John Ford’s most under rated work.  I think Grace herself summed it up well as to why we still watch the film today, when she later said,“Mogambo had three things that interested me-John Ford, Clark Gable, and a trip to Africa.”

image

(photo- DVD Beaver)

What I like about Mogambo is even though it’s a re-make- it’s a good one that’s worth watching. It’s different to Red Dust and is not a shot by shot, word for word re-make. The film also has nice parallel between Grace and Mr. Gable, in regards to their careers- his last real success and a breakout performance for her. My favorite scene has to be the lake scene with Clark, Grace, and their embrace- it’s just so pretty and it’s really the moment Grace’s character falls for Clark’s (seriously who can blame Grace!!)

After all everyone, with talent like that Mogambo truly is “The Greatest”!

Sources

Spoto, Donald.  High Society: The Life of Grace Kelly.  1st Ed.  New York: Harmony Books, 2009.  Print.

MOGAMBO 1953 Available on DVD