Apr 26, 2010

Monday Serenade: Bea Arthur and Rock Hudson Sniff, Swig and Puff

It has been a year since Bea Arthur left us. Let's remember the great lady with a song about drugs and alcohol! Arthur may not have been a big movie star, but she had her moments (she's the only thing in Mame (1974) that I found remotely entertaining). Rock Hudson adds Hollywood mojo to their duet of Sniff, Swig, Puff on Arthur's 1980 television special.

Apr 25, 2010

Quote of the Week

Black and white are the most ravishing colors of all in film.

-Penelope Gilliatt (English writer)

Apr 20, 2010

TV Tuesday: Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire for Western Airlines

How have I never heard of this commercial? What a find! Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are charming in this 1985 ad for Western Airlines, though it is a shame they don't dance. I love how Astaire always wore those fancy scarves around his neck; he had such a relaxed, but sophisticated style. And check out those shoes!

Apr 19, 2010

Monday Serenade: Pre-code Chorus Girls

I love this rendition of Who's Your Little Who-Zis? from the pre-code drama, Night World (1932). The chorus girls carelessly prance through their routine as if they are working on an assembly line. They know they're not on Broadway, and they're not going to work any harder than their pay grade. Still, it's a lively number, and the sassy between-lyrics chatter of Mae Clarke and company gives it extra zing.

Apr 18, 2010

Quote of the Week

On the stage you try to act real. On the screen you try to be real.

-Shirley MacLaine

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Apr 17, 2010

Saturday Newsreel: Hollywood on Parade (1933)

This is actually just part of the Hollywood on Parade newsreel. A doorman scrambles to get movie star autographs for a star-struck little boy. The glamorous stars--all decked out for a costume party--include Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Jeanette Macdonald,George Raft, Jean Harlow, and Miriam Hopkins.

Apr 12, 2010

Monday Serenade: The Boswell Sisters

Martha, Connie and Vet Boswell sing Crazy People in this clip from The Big Broadcast (1932). Billed as The Boswell Sisters, the family act from New Orleans was primarily a 1930s radio sensation, though they did appear in a few Hollywood musicals and short features. Though the trio’s style was wild, with unpredictable changes in key and tempo, they were always sharply in-sync. In performance, they often even moved in unison, as if they were a single body. Connie, who was wheelchair-bound due to a childhood bout with Polio, would change her name to Connee, and go on to a successful solo career career. Her style was a major influence on Ella Fitzgerald.

Check out Bozzies.com for more information about the Boswell Sisters

Apr 11, 2010

Quote of the Week

This is not a tough job. You read a script. If you like the part and the money is O.K., you do it. Then you remember your lines. You show up on time. You do what the director tells you to do. When you finish, you rest and then go on to the next part. That's it.

-Robert Mitchum

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Apr 6, 2010

Is Doris Day Actually 86?

I received this e-mail from Jazz musician Jim Martinez this morning. I thought you all would find it interesting:

"Found out on 4/3/10 that Doris is only 86 years old, not 88. Her mother lied about her age so she could join the Big Bands at 16...said she was 18. :-) We did three tribute concerts to her in Carmel and we even spoke to Doris on the phone Saturday afternoon! But she was actually born in 1924, not 1922."

I wouldn't be surprised if this were true. She was certainly not the first young woman to lie about her age in order to get a job in show business!

Check out the tribute concert site here.

Apr 5, 2010

Monday Serenade: Bette Davis Sings on a Quiz Show

Behold--the glorious horror of Bette Davis singing Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte on a 1965 episode of the quiz show, I've Got a Secret. Love her. A perfect way to celebrate the birthday of the gutsy, unique actress who sparked my interest in classic Hollywood--and who I still deeply admire.

Apr 4, 2010

Quote of the Week

In those days, young stars, male and female, were all virgins until married, and if divorced, they returned magically to that condition.

-Shelley Winters

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Apr 3, 2010

Happy Birthday to Doris Day

Happy 88th Birthday to Doris Day! I hope that you are happy and enjoying your special day.

The clip is Ms. Day being charming while accepting her Cecil B. De Mille award at the 1989 Golden Globe ceremony. I love that brief shot of Robert Mitchum in the crowd. (There's a 10 second ad before the clip starts.)