Wednesday, September 24, 2014

I'm Back!

Long time no see! I've decided to revive this blog as I really want to start reviewing classic films and feature essays on my favorite old hollywood stars and films. It's been a couple of years since I've posted so thanks for sticking around. Can't wait to chat with you all again. I should have a new layout and post up in no time.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

RIP My Darling Elizabeth

When my Mother woke me up yesterday to tell me Elizabeth had passed I was in a state of shock. I got up, turned on the tv and they were talking about her on the Today show and I just broke down. Elizabeth is one of my favorite classic film actresses. And one of my favorite people. I may have only been a big fan of hers for a year but in that year I have grown to love her as much as I do others like Bette Davis or Katharine Hepburn. While I am devastated it is comforting to know she is reunited with her friends and with Mike Todd and Richard Burton. Debbie Reynolds told People magazine that she visited Elizabeth a few weeks ago in the hospital and that she was in alot of pain. I hope now she is resting peacefully. She led a long, full life, and has been through it all. The world has lost a great human being though. I love you Elizabeth. RIP my dear.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Tailwagger's Party Hosted by Bette Davis

In 1938 a party was held by President of the Tailwagger's, a charity that raises money for stray dogs, Bette Davis at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Many stars that Bette never socialized were in attendance. I've always loved photos from this party for one reason or another. Photos of Norma Shearer working the room and having a good time can be seen. She spent a great deal of the time with Jimmy Stewart. Co-star Henry Fonda was there playing musical chairs. And Gary Cooper attended but stayed at his table for the most part. A surprising guest was Miriam Hopkins who Bette had a dislike for and vice versa. They were photographed chatting, smiling, and actually walking hand in hand at one point. Bette said of the party 'I was president of the Tailwaggers, and we gave a big party in 1939 at the Beverly Hills Hotel to raise money for the dogs. People were there that I usually don’t socialize with—Norma Shearer, Mary Pickford, and even that bitch Miriam Hopkins. It was a fabulous evening.'

Raffle tickets were being sold, the winner walked about with a cute dog. This party was the first time Bette met Howard Hughes. He purchased quite a few tickets from Bette. 'I was wearing a low cut, pink lace gown and when Howard was introduced to me he looked right into my eyes and not my bosom. I won’t say there was magic, but there was warmth. He bought scads of raffle tickets from me and asked for a date. He was so debonair and handsome that I was flattered.'

Hughes and Bette went on to have an affair, Bette was married to Ham Nelson at the time but at this point she was 'not getting along with him and was bored' So she saw Hughes. There affair took place at 'odd hours of the night' Bette later in life said that her husband came about knowing of their affair and actually put a tape recorder under the bed.

It looks like it was an interesting and fun party. I wish I could have been there!
(all photos edited by me, please credit if taking)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Celebrating Jean Harlow Centenary

March 3, 2011 marks the 100th birthday of my all time favorite original platinum blonde Jean Harlow. TCM is celebrating by making Harlow their Star of the Month for March featuring some of her best films. The film I am excited to rewatch would have to be Saratoga since it has probably been five years since I have seen it last. But it is also sad considering that was her last film. Like Carole Lombard and others Jean was gone way too soon.

On a happier note during her life Jean was a gorgeous, sweet, carefree spirit. On screen she was known for wearing lavish satin gowns designed by Adrian but off screen she preferred slacks and sweaters, saying her off screen style was 'far from elaborate'. Jean was known to her friends and co stars as Baby or The Baby from childhood. According to Carole Lombard her husband Clark Gable referred to Jean as 'one of the guys.' So she was very different from her on screen presence.

The great love of her short lived life was actor William Powell. William gave her a eighty five carat sapphire ring which Jean was hoping was an engagement ring. Powell said nothing to confirm this. She wore it on her right hand and rarely took it off. She can be seen wearing in in the film Personal Property(1937). Powell was disinclined to marry Harlow stating 'No man can cope being married to the world's sex sympbol...I don't want in my declining years to married to a girl men kill themselves over'

Powell's constant co-star Myrna Loy recalls a story in her book Being and Becoming about a weekend trip her, Jean, and Bill took: A San Francisco hotel manager, confusing fantasy with reality, registered William and Myrna Powell in one room when it was actually Harlow and Powell who were to stay together. In the 1930's, with the press looking over their shoulders, they couldn't be obvious with their affair. Powell had to move to a tiny downstairs room while Myrna and Jean shared the more luxurious upstairs room. "Bill complained bitterly, let me tell you., angling to get upstairs," remembered Loy. "The mix-up brought me one of my most cherished friendships. You would have thought Jean and I were in boarding school we had so much fun. We'd stay up half the night talking and sipping gin, sometimes laughing, sometimes discussing more serious things. Jean was always cheerful, full of fun, but she also happened to be a sensitive woman with a great deal of self-respect. All that other stuff --that was put on. She just happened to be a good actress who created a lively characterization that exuded sex appeal."

If you are a new Jean Harlow fan or perhaps would like to see more of her films, I would suggest tuning into TCM this month and catching the films Libeled Lady, Bombshell, Red-Headed Woman, Saratoga, heck see them all!

With that a very happy 100th birthday to my favorite witty, sassy, and smart platinum blonde. ♥

Friday, October 15, 2010

Katharine Hepburn: Dressed for Stage & Screen

(from left to right: Long Day's Journey Into Night, Without Love(stage), Adam's Rib)

Kent State in Kent, Ohio is having a year long exhibit called Katharine Hepburn Dressed for Stage and Screen which features 35 mannequined costumes and a wealth of movie posters, playbills and even a box of Hepburn's makeup it runs through Sept. 4, 2011 at the museum, after which it may travel.

Without Love Stage production, costume is featured in first photo in the middle.

Katharine Hepburn is my favorite actress along side Bette Davis. This would be a treat, to put it mildly to visit. Seeing her costumes in color would be amazing. Some of the costumes they are featuring come from The Philadelphia Story stage play, her Chanel costumes from Coco, the beautiful finale dress she wears in Stage Door, and of course her famous pants that she was known for.

I am seriously considering going to this, I have to! It's like the ultimate Kate Hepburn Costume exhibit ever. Since it is running for a year there is a possibility I could go. *keeping fingers crossed*

Monday, October 4, 2010

Happy Birthday Buster Keaton!

Since I made a post about Buster not too long ago I will keep this short. Because there will be more posts about him in the future I am sure. lol He is without a doubt my all time favorite male silent film star. I watch his films over and over and am still amazed at his work. How he didn't kill himself in those films or break his neck, oh wait he did the latter, I will never know. But that's why they call him Buster.

I've put together a list of films to see if you are a new Buster Keaton fan or maybe have always been wanting to see his films but haven't yet. You can't miss with any of these great classic silents.

1. The Cameraman (Buster with his co star Josephine)

My favorite Buster film is The Cameraman. This was the first film he made at his move to MGM, which was the downfall of his career due to MGM not letting him do what he wanted to do with his films, so it is a surprise how great it is, it is by far is best MGM film. A really great one to check out.

2. The General

This is usually the film people name as Buster's all time greatest film, and one of the greatest silents ever made. It also happens to have a scene that was the most expensive shot in all silent film history as well. This film is based on a true story. Buster had a great love for trains, I always think of him when I see one, which is why trains are in just about every single one of his films, this is based on a train called The General. The General was just released on Blu Ray and if you love the film and have a Blu Ray player I highly recommend purchasing it since it was restored from an original negative so the picture quality is astounding. This is the essential Buster silent.

3. Sherlock Jr.

I was going to choose Steamboat Bill Jr, which is another must see, but I will go with this since I love it so. He plays a theatre janitor with dreams of being a detective. He finally gets a chance to practice his detective skills he learned from a book when he is framed for stealing a pocket watch. It 's a fun film.

Other films that I haven't mentioned worth checking out include Seven Chances, The Navigator, Steamboat Bill Jr, anything really! His films are basically all on dvd and can be rented through Netflix! Luckily Kino has been re-releasing his films on Blu Ray. As I mentioned The General is out, Steamboat Bill Jr, and in November Sherlock Jr/Three Ages is being released.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Swanson Assignment

Gloria Swanson is my favorite silent film star and one of my top three favorite stars of all time. I just adore her. She was classy, fashionable, and just overall amazing. I came across an article a while back that I found really interesting. LIFE magazine wanted to do a portrait sitting with her during the time Sunset Boulevard came out. Swanson arrived in a nervous, exhausted state but it resulted in one of the most famous, fabulous shoots she ever did.

(after Gloria was crying)

(first attempt, Gloria in the park)

Gloria was sent to do a portrait sitting for LIFE magazine. She began to cry and photographer asked her why. The nervous Gloria said she was tired and that she was being pushed, pulled, manipulated in every direction, etc by the publicity department for Sunset Boulevard. The photographer suggested that they take a walk in the park so she could calm down and collect her thoughts. And it worked. When they went back to the studio they randomly changed her wardrobe to long black leather gloves with a strapless gown which in result made her look twenty years younger than the makeup and outfit she had previously for the shoot. And in ten minutes the shoot was over with the photos he had needed, the famous leather black glove shoot.

(final result)