Jun 29, 2011

Classic Links

There are some interesting stories in this article about Zsa Zsa Gabor’s old Hollywood mansion, including crazy stuff about former owner Howard Hughes-- The Guardian

Laura wrote a nice tribute to recently departed actress Elaine Stewart. I remember being impressed by her presence in The Adventures of Haji Baba and wondering why she wasn’t in more movies.-- Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

Don’t forget to enter Raquelle’s fourth anniversary contest! The prize is a copy of Jennifer Grant’s beautiful tribute to her father, Cary Grant. You have until Thursday June 30th at Midnight EST!-- Out of the Past

This is a nice review of Quality Street (1927) with Marion Davies-- Noir and Chick Flicks

Jun 28, 2011

The Time I Saw Peter Falk in Person

When the news broke of Peter Falk’s passing, I remembered that I’d seen him in person many years ago.

I was thirteen years old and I was with my family in Hollywood. We were on a big California vacation. I was about a year into my classic Hollywood obsession and was very impressed by the footprints in front of Grauman’s Chinese Theater.

We somehow came upon the premiere of the Dan Akroyd-starring version of Dragnet one night. There was a huge crowd gathered around the red carpet, and the stars were starting to leave the building. I remember very little about who I saw, except for some of the cast of the sitcom Head of the Class. (I couldn’t believe how big their heads were. Now I think that might be a TV star thing.)

The only other star I remember seeing is Peter Falk. Everyone else had glided out of that theater with heads held up straight and big gleaming grins. Falk didn’t glide, he ambled. He had a sort of left-to-right gait that fit nicely with his friendly grin.

My mom said something about how rumpled he looked, and I remember being annoyed by that. He struck me as so likeable that I wanted to defend him. I thought “comfortable” was a better term. Falk looked at ease in his own skin. I didn’t know at the time that he had a glass eye, but I noticed the droop on that side. It made him look like he was constantly winking, which added to his appeal.

Of all the things from that night that I can no longer remember, I haven't forgotten one moment of his walk down the red carpet. His warm, friendly demeanor made me love him instantly, and while I couldn’t put it into words at the time, I began to understand the sort of charisma that made an actor a star.

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Jun 27, 2011

Commenting Problems

I haven't been able to respond to comments on Classic Movies for the past few days. Everytime I try, I get sent back to the Blogger sign-in page. If I don't respond to you, it isn't for lack of trying! If anyone else has had this problem here or on another blog, I'd be curious to know, especially if you have found a way to fix it. I'm horrible at tech issues!

Classic Links

Check out the Queer Blogathon. There's already a lot of posts to read here. Looks like it’s going to be something special-- Garbo Laughs

Here’s an interesting post about Cukor, Gable and Gone with the Wind by the blogathon hostess-- Garbo Laughs

A new Rock Hudson documentary is at the Berlin Film Festival. It looks well-researched. I hope we get a chance to see it-- Alt Film Guide

I love the way Holden is looking at Hepburn in that top pic-- The Silver Screen Affair

A manuscript of Chaplin’s first attempt at making a talkie has been discovered-- Criterion Cast

Jun 26, 2011

Jun 24, 2011

Classic Links

Leonard Maltin remembers the days of big movie promotions-- Movie Crazy

Warren Beatty is making a movie about Howard Hughes. Hmmm— /Film

I love the description of Lon Chaney’s face in this post about The Unholy Three (1925)-- Silent Volume

This is a fantastic bio of William Haines-- Garbo Laughs

Chester Morris and Robert Montgomery, love this pic-- Classic Montgomery

A Marilyn Monroe exhibit I would see if it were not thousands of miles away!-- Movietone News

I’m glad to see the version of The Letter (1929) with Jeanne Eagels is going to be on DVD-- Classicflix

Jun 20, 2011

Classic Links

This review captures the spirit of Jennifer Grant’s lovely book about her father Cary Grant-- Out of the Past

Dean Stockwell remembers being a child actor opposite Errol Flynn-- The Sheila Variations

A good wrap up of the Debbie Reynold memorabilia auction-- Alt Film Guide

More about Marilyn Monroe’s most famous dress— The Guardian

A chat with Michael York NPR

Jun 19, 2011

What Would Audrey Have Thought About that $4 Million Bid?

Thanks to a link from Clara of Via Margutta 51, I managed to catch part of the Debbie Reynolds movie memorabilia auction last night. It was a fascinating, if sad event and it was interesting to see what collectors where willing to pay for random things like Charlton Heston’s rags from the prison scene in Planet of the Apes (thousands of dollars for what looks like a torn burlap bag?).

I missed most of the really big items, like Marilyn Monroe’s white dress from The Seven Year Itch, but I did see the auction of Audrey Hepburn’s white lace dress from the race scene in My Fair Lady. I expected the gown to make a lot of money, but I was stunned to see the figure rise to nearly four million dollars. At first, I found that high bid exciting. I thought it was nice to see a piece of movie history valued that much. I also felt happy that Debbie Reynolds would be making some much needed money off the piece to pay off her debt. Then I thought of Audrey Hepburn.

What would Audrey have thought about that multi-million dollar bid? She saw so much poverty and suffering in her work as a UNICEF ambassador. Part of the reason the plight of these people touched her so deeply, was that she had suffered herself during World War II, and it was that kind of aid that helped to save her life.

Four million dollars could save a lot of lives. Would it have bothered Audrey that it went towards a bit of fabric and ribbon made valuable simply because she wore it so charmingly?

Here’s more information about the auction:

NBC Philadelphia(via @viam51 on Twitter)
LA Times

I hope it was a relief for Debbie Reynolds to get some of that weight off her shoulders. I’m grateful to her for going to so much effort to preserve these important pieces of movie history. Despite what I have written about Audrey and her dress, I do appreciate that there are so many who value these pieces, for whatever reason, and who will continue to preserve them.

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Quote of the Week

Success is a two-bladed golden sword; it knights one and stabs one at the same time.

-Mae West

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Jun 17, 2011

Classic Links

Sign a petition to bring the 1957 TV version of Mayerling with Audrey Hepburn and Mel Ferrer to DVD (there’s a short clip of the show here as well)-- Fabulous Audrey Hepburn

1929: studios start charging for signed photographs. In response to fan requests, the stars send postcards in which they apologize profusely for the policy change (while listing the prices for photos). Cliff has some screenshots of these interesting little cards, complete with star signatures (at least the autographs are free)— Immortal Ephemera

Lost footage of Rio Rita (1929) found on YouTube-- All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!

It has finally truly hit me how sad it is that Debbie Reynolds’ costume collection will never have its own museum. What a fascinating and unique destination this would have been for classic movie fans-- Alt Film Guide

Jun 15, 2011

Classic Links

I’ve never heard of Little Man,What Now (1934) with Margaret Sullavan. Can't go wrong with Borzage directing-- Motion Picture Gems

I didn’t know John Wayne’s grandson was acting in big Hollywood flicks-- IMDB

Another great review of the 1945 Dillinger-- Another Old Movie Blog

I can’t figure out what it is that makes Natalie Wood seem more effortlessly stylish than anyone else-- If Charlie Parker Was a Gunslinger. . .

Everything about Zsa Zsa Gabor’s current situation makes me sad-- IMDB

Jun 13, 2011

Classic Links

The many noses of Orson Welles— Movie Morlocks/TCM

If you are interested in Hulu’s Criterion Collection channel, this is a nice regular feature that can help you to weed through all the new titles— Criterion Cast

This is so cool. It’s a mini exhibit with Theda Bara’s costume from Cleopatra— The Silver Screen Affair

Dyan Cannon is writing a memoir of her time with Cary Grant. I hope it is as beautiful as the one her daughter wrote.— Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

Jun 12, 2011

Quote of the Week

D.W. Griffith. . .didn’t have time to see pictures. He was too busy making them.

-Lillian Gish

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Jun 10, 2011

Classic Links

This is a beautifully written essay about the 1964 yakuza flick Pale Flower. I particularly like the comparisons she drew with Odds Against Tomorrow (1959)-- Movie Morlocks/TCM

There has been speculation over the relationship between Cary Grant and Randolph Scott. I like the way this post doesn’t necessarily scold people for being curious, but also leaves the answers to those involved-- Garbo Laughs

Pics of gorgeous people in tuxs, including the two people who wore them best: Cary Grant and Marlene Dietrich-- She Blogged By Night

Oh Skidoo (1968), you are a lovely, acid-soaked, Groucho-lovin’ mess. I’m so glad this is now on DVD-- Acidemic

This isn't classic movie related, but I can't ignore this amazing post on the talented and elegant French yeye singer Francoise Hardy. If you don’t know her, this is a great introduction-- Classic Forever

Greg gives a fine lesson in film ratios. It’s important to understand this, because it does have a huge effect on how a movie appears and thus affects us-- Cinema Styles

Jun 8, 2011

Classic Links

Peter O’Toole gives great interviews. Here he talks about making The Stunt Man (1980)— EW

Here’s an interesting scan of a Rock Hudson article from 1958 that speculates about his love life— Garbo Laughs

Leonard Maltin reviews the new Night Flight (1933) DVD— Movie Crazy

A review of the biting 1945 version of Dillinger with Lawrence Tierney. I like this bitter little flick— Persblanc's Classic B-Movie Reviews

Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear has a TV emergency and you can help!— She Blogged By Night

Jun 6, 2011

Classic Links

More information about the Debbie Reynolds costume collection auction, including some great photos— Cinema Style

This photo re-enactment of scenes from Vertigo (1958) is carefully composed and sort of bizarre. I am in awe of how perfectly they emulated the greenish lighting from the scene where Scotty sees the transformed Judy-- Alfred Hitchcock Geek

Some especially juicy gossip from 1932. I wonder what was too hot about that Helen Morgan flick?— Hollywood Heyday

Jane Russell as Montana Belle (1948)— Mondo 70

This is the second glowing review I’ve read of Hot Enough For June (1964). I’m so curious about it now-- Out of the Past

Jun 5, 2011

Quote of the Week

Hollywood is a place where they place you under contract instead of observation.

-Walter Winchell

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Jun 3, 2011

Classic Links

This is a beautiful tribute to Marilyn Monroe. I especially like that she mentioned Monroe’s skill as a singer. I think she could sell a song as well as Astaire-- Sunset Gun

The idea of a movie about the Taylor/Burton love affair is interesting, especially with a movie fan like Scorsese directing, but I wonder who on earth could play those two?-- /Film

Woo hoo! Time for Monty’s classic movie actor tournament! This is going to be fun-- All Good Things

Java shares a little more about the auction of Debbie Reynolds legendary memorabilia collection-- Java's Journey

This is such a lovely blog. The themes for the galleries are often enchanting. This one is pics of actresses holding up the hems of their skirts-- Pictures