Friday, October 31, 2014

Classic Horror Trailers Part Two

As promised, here are even more classic horror film trailers to get you in the mood for Halloween!













Thursday, October 30, 2014

Classic Horror Trailers

As we approach Halloween tomorrow, let's take a look at the trailers for some the classic horror films that we've all come to know and love. If by chance you haven't seen some of these, perhaps the trailers will give you a glimpse of what you're missing out on!












Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Mickey Rooney

Born Joseph Yule, Jr. on this date in 1920

Was considered for the role of Archie Bunker in "All in the Family"

Married eight times

Was considered for "Summer Stock" (1950) before Gene Kelly eventually won the lead

Holds the record for longest film career at 89 years.

Has four stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Served in World War II, eventually reaching the rank of Sergeant

Starred in fifteen "Andy Hardy" films for MGM

Was the voice of Santa Claus in four Rankin/Bass stop motion Christmas specials

Interred at Hollywood Forever cemetery

Friday, June 13, 2014

RIP Carla Laemmle

RIP Carla Laemmle, who's passed away at the age of 104. The niece of Universal Studios founder Carl Laemmle, Carla lived a very unique life. While living on the Universal Studios lot, she was able to have a first hand look at many of the films being made there and ended up playing one of the ballerinas in the classic The Phantom of the Opera with Lon Chaney, and she also spoke the first line in a sound horror film when she appeared in Dracula. I met her last year and heard her speak before a screening of Dracula at the 2012 TCM Film Fest. She was a sweet lady and always had a smile on her face.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Hattie McDaniel

Born on this date in 1892 in Wichita, Kansas

The first African American to win an Academy Award, winning Best Supporting Actress for her role as "Mammy" in Gone With The Wind

Wanted to be buried in Hollywood Forever Cemetery, but was denied because of her race and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery instead. A cenotaph was dedicated to her in Hollywood Forever in 1999 on October 26th, the anniversary of her death.

Unable to attend the Atlanta premiere of Gone With The Wind because of segregation in the south, but attended the Hollywood premiere of the film

Has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one for radio and one for film

Upon her death, she left her Oscar to Howard University, but it was lost in the sixties during the race riots and has never been found.

Often opened up her own home to African American actors who couldn't find decent accommodations in Hollywood because of their race.

Actively participated in USO shows during World War II

Appears on a US postage stamp released in 2006 as part of the Black Heritage series.

Her father was a former slave, who also fought in the Civil War.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Jimmy Stewart

Born on this date in 1908 in Indiana, Pennsylvania

His museum in his hometown was dedicated on his birthday in 1995

Never took acting lessons, instead relying more on actually working

Turned down the lead in "On Golden Pond", a role that Henry Fonda went on to win the Oscar for.

Wanted to play the role of Roger Thornhill in North by Northwest, but Hitchcock wanted to use Cary Grant.

His favorite type of films were Westerns, and greatly dislike war films because of their usually inaccurate portrayals of war.

Inducted to the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in 1972.

Enlisted in the service before the US entered World War II and eventually reached the rank of Brigadier General

It's a Wonderful Life was his first film in five years, after taking that time off for his service in the Army

Spoke before Congress in 1988, along with Burt Lancaster, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, and Martin Scorcese, against Ted Turner's attempts to colorize classic black and white films.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Gary Cooper

Died on this date in 1961, only six days after his 60th birthday

Had several affairs with high profile actresses including Clara Bow, Lupe Velez, Marlene Dietrich, Grace Kelly, Tallulah Bankhead, and Patricia Neal.

The only actor that Alvin York would allow to play him in the film based on his life

Inducted to the Hall of Great Western Performers of the National Cowboy and Heritage Museum in 1966

Won an Oscar for his roles in Sergeant York and High Noon

Turned down the role of Rhett Butler in Gone With The Wind, The Ringo Kid in Stagecoach, and Norman Maine in A Star is Born

Founded his own production company with Samuel Goldwyn, International Pictures, in 1944. He sold it to Universal in 1946 and they changed the name to Universal-International.

Had a full face lift in 1958, which many people said left him looking very different from before.

Originally buried at Holy Cross cemetery in Los Angeles, his widow had his body moved and reburied under a three ton boulder in 1974 in Southampton, New York 

Was close friends with Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, Bing Crosby, and James Stewart

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Happy Mother's Day!

In no particular order, let's take a look at some of film's most memorable mothers, in honor of Mother's Day.

Joan Crawford as Mildred Pierce in Mildred Pierce (1945)

Beulah Bondi as Mrs. Bailey in It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Angela Lansbury as Mrs. Iselin in The Manchurian Candidate (1962)

Mrs. Bates in Psycho (1960)

Margaret Wycherly as "Ma" Jarrett in White Heat (1949)

Bambi's mom in Bambi (1942)

Barbara Stanwyck as Stella Dallas in Stella Dallas (1937)

Mary Astor as Marmee in Little Women (1949)

Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp in The Sound of Music (1965)

Myrna Loy as Mrs. Lillian Gilbreth in Cheaper By the Dozen (1950)

Katherine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter (1968)

Great Garbo as Anna Karenina in Anna Karenina (1935)

Rosalind Russell as as Rose Hovick in Gypsy (1962)

Leopoldine Konstantine as Madame Sebastian in Notorious (1946)

Katherine Hepburn as Violet Venable in Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Classic Film Gifts - The Glamour Girl

Ah! The glamour of old Hollywood! It was a time and place where everyone woke in the morning looking perfectly made up for the day, and people dressed up even if they were just going to the store. No pajamas at the airport for them! Here are some of my favorite items, reminiscent of the glamorous ladies from the classic era.

What glamour girl doesn't love perfume? One of the most classic fragrances, Marilyn Monroe said Chanel No. 5 was the only thing she wore to bed. Of course this fragrance isn't for everyone. Other great fragrances to try:
Femme by Rochas, worn by Mae West
Jicky by Guerlain, worn by Brigitte Bardot
Joy by Jean Patou, worn by Josephine Baker
Mitsouko by Guerlain, worn by Jean Harlow
Youth Dew by Estee Lauder, worn by Joan Crawford
Shalimar by Guerlain, worn by Rita Hayworth

Whatever the personality, there's a fragrance for every glamour girl!

Of course no glamour girl is complete without jewelry! I came across The Hollywood Collection by accident one day, and was immediately intrigued that all of the designs are based on jewelry worn by classic actresses either in their everyday life or in the films they made. And it's all affordable! They always have a weekly special, like this reproduction at right of a ring owned by Jean Harlow.
I've bought four pieces from them so far and have been extremely pleased with the quality.

Sleep like Audrey Hepburn with this homemade sleep mask similar to the one worn by Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's. You can find these in several stores on Etsy, or if you're feeling particularly creative you could even try your hand at making your own. Really great, detailed instructions can be found on sites like Oh Lovely Lolo or White Tee Black Dress 

There are soooo many great places to find vintage inspired fashion and you can find something for any occasion. Modcloth allows you to shop by decade and you can find a wide range of items from casual to formal and you can even find great vintage inspired swimwear. Speaking of swimwear, my favorite right now is The Marilyn from Pin Up Girl Clothing. I wore it on the Turner Classic Movies cruise and got so many compliments! They have it in a variety of colors and it's so comfortable. Other sites to check out include:

Check out your local second hand shops too for some great finds!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Orson Welles

Born on this date in 1915

Wanted, and was considered for the role of Don Vito Corleone, but Marlon Brando was already cast

Founded The Mercury Theatre in 1937 with John Houseman; their first production was a modernized version of Julius Caesar

Was the voice of Lamont Cranston in the radio version of The Shadow 

Nominated for an Oscar for his first screen performance, Citizen Kane

Interviewed with Merv Griffin and died just a few hours later

A body double was used for several long shots of Welles in The Third Man because he arrived two weeks late for filming

Considered John Ford the greatest American director

Used most of his own money to finance his projects

Once ate 18 hot dogs in one sitting at Pink's Hot Dogs in Los Angeles

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Alfred Hitchcock

Died on this date in 1980 of renal failure

Some of the famous films he turned down directing duties on include Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Sleuth, Rosemary's Baby, The Exorcist, The Bad Seed, Jane Eyre, Anastasia, and Wait Until Dark.

Never won a Best Director Oscar competitively, but was presented with the Irving G. Thalberg award in 1968. He gave the shortest speech in Oscar history by saying "thank you" and walking off.

Has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame; one for film and one for television.

Became a naturalized US citizen in 1956.

Shadow of a Doubt was his favorite film that he directed.

Had a lifelong fear of the police after his father had him locked up for ten minutes in a jail when he was a boy to show him what happened to people who did bad things.

Appeared in small cameos in most of his films.

In order to make Psycho, he deferred his usual pay of $250,000 and chose only to take 60% of the film's profits, which ended up being $15 million.

Always used what he called a "MacGuffin" in his films, which is something that is extremely important to the characters in the film and moves the plot, but has very little meaning to the audience.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Lionel Atwill

Died on this day in 1946 from pneumonia

Known for having wild sex parties, he was sentenced to five years probation in 1943 for perjury in the investigation of alleged orgies at his home. He later applied for and was granted termination of his sentence and it was expunged from his record.

Appeared in five of the eight "Frankenstein" films produced by Universal studios from 1931 to 1948.

Famous form playing Inspector Krogh in Son of Frankenstein (1939). His portrayal was later spoofed by Kenneth Mars in Young Frankenstein (1974).

Died while filming Lost City of the Jungle. A double was used to help complete his remaining scenes.

Starred in two early two-strip Technicolor films: Doctor X and Mystery at the Wax Museum, both with Fay Wray.

His third wife, Henrietta Louise Cromwell Brook MacArthur, was previously married to Douglas MacArthur.

His first son, John Arthur Atwill, was killed in action during WWII.

Studied architecture before becoming an actor.

Nickname was "Pinky" because of the reddish coloring of his hair. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy 20th Anniversary Turner Classic Movies!

Twenty years ago today, Turner Classic Movies went on the air for the first time with a screening of Gone With the Wind. The network was so small at first that it wasn't even carried in all parts of the country, including Atlanta where the network is based out of. But, as Claude Rains says in Lawrence of Arabia, "big things have small beginnings", and in the past twenty years TCM has grown to be one of the most beloved and popular networks with a fiercely loyal fan base. In addition to the network, the TCM brand and community has become so large and popular that they now have an annual film fest and separate cruise where fans can have the opportunity to gather with fellow classic film lovers to meet each other and get an opportunity to celebrate the love of film with hosts Robert Osborne, Ben Mankiewicz, and in some cases the people involved in the making of the films being screened. Each year, these events seem to only get bigger with more and more people coming to discover a love of classic film.

Just yesterday, TCM wrapped it's fifth annual film festival in Hollywood where fans had the opportunity to see some of their favorite films as well as hear some of those film's stars speak about their work.
Jerry Lewis was on hand to speak about his career before a screening of his film The Nutty Professor, and was also honored earlier in the day when he placed his signature and hand prints in cement at a ceremony outside of the TCL Chinese Theatre, perhaps better known as Grauman's Chinese Theatre; an honor that was long overdue for the comedy legend.

On Sunday, Margaret O'Brien was on hand to talk about Mickey Rooney at a screening and last minute tribute for the actor who had passed away just a week before.
You couldn't help but be moved by all of the stories and kind words that she had to say about the late actor; from working with him as a child on the MGM lot to their most recent work together in the yet to be released film The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It was a beautiful tribute for a giant talent that will be sorely missed.

For me, the highlight of the festival was the "Ask Robert" session, where fans got to sit down and ask TCM host Robert Osborne questions about his life and career. The big surprise came when Alex Trebek walked out on stage and it turned in to a sort of "This Is Your Life" tribute where members of Robert's family came out on stage along with TCM co-host Ben Mankiewicz, former "The Essentials" co-host Alec Baldwin, Eva Marie Saint, Robert Wagner, and many others all to honor and thank Robert for the times they've spent with him and for making TCM feel like a family for the past twenty years. 

TCM has meant a great deal to me over the years for a lot of reasons. I've loved classic films from as far back as I can remember, and to have a place that I know I can regularly go to enjoy these films on a regular basis makes me feel like I'm at home whenever I turn on the station. TCM is even responsible for bringing me together with my boyfriend, who I met on TCM's second annual cruise almost a year and a half ago. For each of us to finally be with a person who also loves classic films is something we didn't expect but are both very grateful for, and it's all because of TCM.

Happy Anniversary TCM! Twenty years is only the beginning!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Mary Pickford

Formed United Artists with Douglas Fairbanks, Charlie Chaplin, and D.W. Griffith.

One of the 36 founding members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Turned down the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd.

The first star to officially place their hand in cement in front of Grauman's Chinese Theatre, along with then husband Douglas Fairbanks.

Won a Best Actress Oscar for her first talking film, Coquette.

Born in Canada, she became known as America's sweetheart because of the wholesome roles she often played.

Founder of the Motion Picture Relief Fund.

The first movie star to form her own production company, Mary Pickford Film Corporation.

Made front page news in 1928 when she cut off her trademark curls into a short bob.

Did not become a US citizen until her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks in 1920.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Trivia Tuesday: Happy Birthday Lon Chaney!

Born in 1883 to deaf/mute parents

Only made one talking picture before his death, a remake of The Unholy Three, a silent film he made in 1925

Signed a legal affidavit declaring that all of the voices he performed in the talking version of The Unholy Three were his voice.

Was the favorite to play Count Dracula in Universal's Dracula, but became terminally ill from lung cancer and died of a throat hemorrhage before production ever began.

His ability to transform himself physically and with makeup earned him the nickname "The Man of a Thousand Faces"

His grave in the Great Mausoleum at Forest lawn Cemetery (Glendale) remains unmarked to this day.

Because his performance in Tell It To The Marines was so convincing, he became the first actor to be granted honorary membership in the Marine Corps. Upon his death, it was arranged for a military chaplain and honor guard to be present at his funeral.

Famous for his various makeup creations, Tell It To the Marines was Chaney's only film in which he wore no makeup at all.

He could only wear the harness he wore to keep his legs behind his back in The Penalty for ten minutes at a time because it was so painful. 

The makeup Chaney created for his role in The Phantom of the Opera was so horrific, it was kept out of any publicity leading up to the premiere for added shock value when it was revealed during the film.