Jun 29, 2010

TV Tuesday: Lana Turner and Jane Wyman on Falcon Crest

Lana Turner and Jane Wyman have it out in this juicy scene from a 1982 episode of Falcon Crest. I miss nighttime soaps like this one. It makes sense to me that so many classic Hollywood stars appeared in them, because these shows were the closest you could get to a 1940s-50s style production in the 1980s. I mean, people dressed for dinner, they acted larger than life and there was lots of melodrama; that's pure old school Hollywood.

I think the only way a show like this could survive today would be as a parody. And I'd take that just to see this kind of crazy glamour on television again!

You can watch the full episode (and nineteen more) here at WB online.

Jun 28, 2010

Monday Serenade: Famous Sisters in 1929

A gaggle of famous sisters sing and dance in the Meet My Sister number from the 1929 musical revue Show of Shows.

Here are the sisters by pair:

Sally O'Neil and Molly O'Day (Irish sisters)
Sally Blane and Loretta Young (French sisters)
Dolores Costello and Helene Costello (Mexican sisters)
Marion Byron and Ann Sothern (Italian sisters)
Ada Mae Vaughn and Alberta Vaughn (English sisters)
Viola Dana and Shirley Mason (Dutch sisters)

Apparently all of them are real sisters except for Marion Byron and Ann Sothern!

Jun 27, 2010

Quote of the Week

Movies are at the same time huge and beside the point.

-David R. Slavitt

Jun 22, 2010

TV Tuesday: Jane Russell for Lustre-Creme

As Jane Russell turned 89 yesterday, I thought I'd share this Lustre-Creme ad she filmed in 1954. The ad also promotes her appearance in The Big Rainbow, but there must have been a name change, because when I looked up the title on IMDB, I was directed to Underwater! (1955). It doesn't look like a good movie. Has anyone seen it?

Jun 21, 2010

Monday Serenade: Jane Powell in The Girl Most Likely (1958)

I adore Jane Powell. Everything about her twinkles, from her trilling voice to her friendly eyes (though they did often have a slightly melancholy look to them). Here she sings I Don't Know What I Want in the 1958 musical The Girl Most Likely.

Jun 20, 2010

Quote of the Week

The only time a woman really suceeds in changing a man is when he's a baby.

-Natalie Wood

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Jun 14, 2010

Monday Serenade: Eddie Cantor in Whoopee! (1930)

I was so accustomed to the Nina Simone version of My Baby Just Cares for Me, that it stunned me when I first saw Eddie Cantor singing the tune in Whoopee! (1930). Cantor's performance has a lot of zing, and it's so charming. I definitely have room for both versions in my affections.

Jun 13, 2010

Quote of the Week

A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.

-John Barrymore

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Jun 8, 2010

TV Tuesday: Bing Crosby for Ford

Man would I love to know who wrote the script for this Ford Thunderbird commercial with Bing Crosby. He extols the virtues of this "horseless carriage" with space in the trunk for a "four huntin' dogs, a brace of decoys and a case of. . .well, it's pretty roomy" and praises the "telescopic twist" of the adjustable steering wheel which can create more space "the high caloric figure". Bada-bing bada-boom eh?

Jun 7, 2010

Monday Serenade: Vesta the Tap Dancing Xylophonist (1938)

Thank heaven for vaudeville and the old English musical halls. I mean what else could give birth to a tap dancing xylophonist who does the splits without missing a note? I've haven't been able to learn anything else about this Vesta gal; have any of you ever heard of her? I'm curious to know her story.

Jun 6, 2010

Quote of the Week

A kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.

-Ingrid Bergman

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Jun 5, 2010

Saturday Newsreel: Marilyn Monroe

This is a fascinating collection of Marilyn Monroe newsreels. Among the topics covered: her roles in Bus Stop (1956) and The Prince and the Showgirl (1957), her marriage to Arthur Miller and her legendary presidential serenade. The thing I find most striking about these clips is Monroe's sense of humor; sometimes she practically speaks in sound bites! (I particularly like the crack about "growing" in "inches of something".)

Jun 1, 2010

TV Tuesday: Groucho Marx on the Jack Benny Program

Groucho does a spoof of You Bet Your Life on this 1955 episode of The Jack Benny Program. Jack's sporting quite the hairdo in this one! That's prolific television actress Irene Tedrow standing next to Benny.