Aug 31, 2011

Classic Links

Here’s the promotional photo for Doris Day’s new album, and a little more about how the tracks were brought out from storage-- Alt Film Guide

I didn’t know Walt Disney had a tragedy like this in his life. This is such a sad story— Mental Floss

The Spy in Black (1939) an early Michael Powell thriller-- The Movie Projector

Bela Lugosi’s former castle has been sold. I didn’t even know he had a castle, but it’s appropriate-- IMDB

Aug 29, 2011

Classic Links

R.I.P. child star Sybil Jason-- Alt Film Guide

Watching The Hurricane (1937) during a hurricane— The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World

Monty of All Good Things is hosting a musicals tournament! Check it out— Singin’ and Dancing Back in Time

Scarlett Johanssen dresses up as classic movie icons. The Buster Keaton shots are weird!-- Old Hollywood Glamour

A fascinating review of The Light in the Piazza (1962)— Who Can Turn the World Off With Her Smile

Aug 28, 2011

Quote of the Week

There is something elemental about Bette, a demon within her which threatens to break out and eat everybody, beginning with their ears. The studio was afraid of her.

-John Huston

Image Source

Aug 26, 2011

Classic Links

I’m curious to see Michelle Williams’ take on Marilyn Monroe— On the Marquee

A nice obituary of John Howard Davies— The Guardian

Leatrice Joy Fountain shares memories of her parents, Leatrice Joy and John Gilbert and the exciting experiences she had and people she met as a contract player in old Hollywood-- The Lady Eve’s Reel Life

A interesting Q&A with Joan Blondell’s biographer— Alt Film Guide

Aug 24, 2011

Classic Links

R.I.P. John Howard Davies, who worked both behind and in front of the camera. He is probably best known for playing the title role in the 1948 version of Oliver TwistIMDB

This clever post compares how different classic actors looked movie aged vs truly aged-- A Person in the Dark

I think this is the only pic I’ve seen of Audrey Hepburn being come-hither sexy! She makes it look so classy too-- Classicfilmboy’s Movie Paradise

I’m pretty sure that Gog (1954) didn’t entertain me as much as this review of it did. I might have even fallen asleep when I watched it.-- Cinema OCD

Aug 22, 2011

Classic Links

This is a good review of London After Midnight (1927), a Lon Chaney movie that has been reconstructed with stills. As noted here, it’s a lot like watching a comic book-- Recently Viewed Movies

I can never get enough of Bette Davis singing. She knew how to blast her way through a song. Here’s a thorough review of all the ways she shared her golden throat with her public-- Put the Blame on Mame

A review of The Narrow Corner (1933) with Douglas Fairbanks Jr., one of the lesser-known Somerset Maugham adaptations-- Immortal Ephemera

Another blogathon! Pussy Goes Grrr is putting on the Juxtaposition Blogathon from September 12-16 -- Pussy Goes Grrr

Thank you to Bette, Clara and the Flick Chick for the Liebster and Irresistably Sweet blog awards. I think they’ve pretty much made the rounds by now, but I did want to say how much I appreciate your support! I will continue to promote my fellow bloggers via the Classic Links.

Aug 21, 2011

Quote of the Week

If you become a star, you don't change, everyone else does.

-Kirk Douglas

Image Source

Aug 19, 2011

Classic Links

I’m excited that Doris Day will be releasing a new album. It doesn’t surprise me, because she seems to have stayed incredibly active and healthy-- Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings

Check out Day’s recorded message to her fans on her official website. She sounds wonderful. She’s planning to be in the spotlight more often now, and it’s all because of her desire to raise money to help animals. (I just happened to get a disc with Storm Warning (1951) in the mail today. It was really weird hearing her voice right after seeing that movie. Those of you who have seen it know what I mean!)— Doris Day

This lucky woman has made contact with both Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine. She’s collected some amazing memorabilia as well-- Olivia and Joan: Sisters of the Silver Screen

A lovely tribute to the voiceover. I’m a fan of them if they are approached throughtfully-- The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

The last movie I decided to watch because of pics I saw of the costumes was Nazimova’s Salome (1923). Based on these shots, I am willing to give it another try with La Siren Des Tropiques (1927). I think that I have sufficiently recovered-- Flapper Doodle

I love these gorgeous paintings inspired by Hitchcock flicks Pictures

Turns out the ending of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) might not be accurate-- NPR

Aug 17, 2011

Classic Links

Alice Faye’s dress in this post is crazy! I wonder if all those faces weirded her out?— Time Machine to the Twenties

This is a nice tribute to Joanne Woodward. I can’t believe she made ten movies with Paul Newman— Noir and Chick Flicks

It was about time someone set things straight about the Mid-Atlantic accent in classic flicks— Self-Styled Siren

Fritz Lang’s Die Nibelungen (1924) sounds fascinating. From the look of the stills, it seems it is at least stunning to view-- Classic Movie Ramblings

This glowing review makes me want to see a Place in the Sun (1951) again-- Edward Copeland on Film

Aug 15, 2011

Classic Links

A great introduction to Cantinflas, known as the Mexican Chaplin, and who the Little Tramp himself admired-- NPR

This is a touching tribute to Hitchcock’s better half, the modest and quietly confident Alma Reville— Alfred Hitchcock Geek

What’s up with blogathons multiplying like bunny rabbits these days? I don’t have a theory, but I like it. I’ve been neglecting to do my part in promoting these events, so here’s every upcoming blogathon of which I’m aware. If you know of any more, I’d love to hear about them:

Nicholas Ray, 9/5-9/8-- Cinema Viewfinder
Margaret Lockwood, 9/15-- A Shroud of Thoughts
Fashion in Film, 9/24-- Hollywood Revue
The Dick van Dyke Show, 10/3-- Thrilling Days of Yesteryear
Carole Lombard, 10/6-10/9-- Carole and Co

Aug 14, 2011

Quote of the Week

You know, I'm not afraid to die, but I just wish it didn't have to be.

-Basil Rathbone

Image Source

Aug 12, 2011

Classic Links

There are so many zingers here. Classic stars really knew how to insult each other-- Movie Morlocks/TCM

Another great blogathon idea, and there are so many good ones lately. This one is honoring Nicholas Ray over Labor Day weekend-- Cinema Viewfinder

I love this gallery, of Ella Raines washing her pup because it demonstrates why she is so appealing. She’s got the looks and charisma of a movie star, but she could be your best friend-- Noir and Chick Flicks

Marilyn Monroe and Bing Crosby sing Lazy so differently that it almost doesn’t seem like the same song-- Flying Down to Hollywood

I like the Siren’s take on Harriet Craig (1950). There’s a lot more to Craig than a need to control, and her point about wasted intelligence is spot on-- Self-Styled Siren

Aug 10, 2011

Classic Links

There aren’t many critics today who would dismiss Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo the way it was in this 1958 review-- The Guardian

The Murder Man (1935), with Spencer Tracy and Virginia Bruce-- And. . .Scene

Laura sent Jimmy Stewart a Christmas Card. See what she got in return-- Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

This isn’t specifically classic movie-related, but I had to share this interesting post about ebooks and why so many authors are embracing them-- Another Old Movie Blog

Mythical Monkey, thank you for giving the Liebster award to Classic Movies. It’s wonderful to be appreciated for something that I enjoy doing so much. Picking five blogs would be like deciding which child to keep! I like to look at my links as a similar sort of recognition that is intended to build traffic for others. I hope that will suffice-- A Mythical Monkey Writes About the Movies

Aug 8, 2011

Classic Links

Some items from the estate of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. are going to be auctioned this fall. Here are some of the pieces, including a comfy looking red leather chair-- Noir Girl

Check out this monster post about Nicholas Ray. Good stuff— Edward Copeland on Film

A meeting with Mary Badham, who played Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)--  Icebox Movies

This is a sweet story about Alfred Hitchcock and Veronica Cartwright, the child actress who was Cathy Brenner in The Birds (1963)-- IMDB

A viewing of The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) in a cathedral-- The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

If you haven’t had a chance, check out the posts from the Lucille Ball blogathon on Saturday-- True Classics

Aug 7, 2011

Quote of the Week

Isn't there any other part of the matzo you can eat?
(after having matzo ball soup for three meals in a row)

 -Marilyn Monroe

 Image Source

Aug 5, 2011

Classic Links

I really enjoyed this clip about the making of King Kong (1933). I never thought about how much Kong’s relative size changes in that flick-- NPR

These Elizabeth Taylor quotes perfectly reflect her no-nonsense attitude-- Cinema Style

A convincing argument for handling anyone who would call a movie from 1986 a classic-- Movie Morlocks/TCM

Bobby Driscoll in The Window (1945), and a bit about his sad life story-- Blogdanovich

This is a fantastic interview with a silent movie accompanist. He shares some interesting information about his preparation techinques and improvisation-- Out of the Past

Part of an early Alfred Hitchcock film thought to be lost has been found in New Zealand. Not a film he directed, but wrote and edited-- Alt Film Guide

Aug 4, 2011

Q&A: David Greenstreet of

Every since I first started renting from ClassicFlix about a year ago, I’ve been curious to learn more about the service and the people behind it. Recently, I finally decided to contact the company directly and get some answers to my burning questions.

For those of you who haven’t heard of ClassicFlix, it is a DVD mail rental service in the United States that focuses only on classic movies and television (essentially pre-1970). While I do find it easier to browse a specialized selection, the thing that I love most about this company is the huge number of Manufacture on Demand (MOD) discs they offer exclusively for rental. I’m not a huge DVD collector (gasp—I know), but there are so many MOD titles that I really want to see. It has been fantastic to be able to rent all these movies that have been otherwise inaccessible to me over the years.

I was hesitant to feature these answers on the blog, because I am aware that it seems like a big old ad. Full disclosure: it isn’t. I also can’t be held responsible for your own experience with ClassicFlix, though I have been very happy myself. I’m just a fan of this growing company. I like that it was a venture started with the same love of the classics that a lot of us share.

So here they are, the answers to the questions I asked co-founder and owner of ClassicFlix, David Greenstreet:

What inspired you to start ClassicFlix?

After awakening to the joys of classic film in the 90’s (I’m 42), I found and watched every classic I could find at local video stores. When Netflix came along, I thought it was a great idea because selection was broader and searching for titles, actors, etc. became easier. However, I soon ran through most of what I wanted to watch at Netflix and knew there was so much more out there to be seen that they didn’t offer. Additionally, navigation of their site made it difficult to find what I was looking for as it displayed many “classics” from the 70’s upward that I just didn’t care to view. So my wife and I started ClassicFlix as a specifically tailored website for classic film fans.

How many titles do you currently offer?

Over 8,000

How has the rise of MOD titles changed your business? Which studios’ MOD discs do you currently offer?

We currently carry close to 1,000 MOD titles from all lines (Warner Archive, TCM Vault, Sony Screen Classics, Universal Vault and MGM MODs) and it has changed our business dramatically. MODs now make up the vast majority of classic films releases. While it has attracted more members for us, it has also increased acquisition cost dramatically as over 70% of our acquisitions are for MOD titles. The rise of the Blu-Ray format has also not mitigated our acquisition per DVD cost. However, we wouldn’t have it any other way as we couldn’t claim the mantle of THE Classic Movie Rental Site if we didn’t.

I’ve always been curious, how many discs do you lose a year due to breakage? Those mailing envelopes seem so vulnerable.

If I told you our breakage percentage, you probably wouldn’t believe it. It is very high when compared to the kid-glove treatment that Netflix gets. However, the breakage percentage, along with the high acquisition costs is built in to the cost of membership. It makes it no more joyful to see one broken disc, but it’s just a part of doing business.

What is your most popular rental disc of all time?

The recently released Night Flight is our most popular of all time. Other titles that have been locked up in the vault are popular too like Stranger on the Third Floor and While the City Sleeps.

What are your future plans for ClassicFlix?

A complete re-design is coming and should be completed in the fall. It will allow for more interactivity, have reviews, articles and have some great new features. Streaming is coming down the road too. Although we don’t have a firm timetable.

What are your favorite movies?

Too many to count. But if I had to name one, it would be Casablanca. It may be cliché, but it holds special place in my heart as it triggered my awakening when I went to a 50th anniversary screening at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto. It opened my eyes to a world wonderful films that I didn’t know existed.

In no particular order, other favorites come to mind: Arsenic and Old Lace, To Be or Not to Be, It’s Love I’m After, Hobson’s Choice, Brute Force, Shadow of a Doubt, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Mr. Skeffington, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Ace in the Hole and many, many more.

Aug 3, 2011

Classic Links

The final posters of the sci-fi countdown, including number one. It’s a surprise, but I like it-- Where Danger Lives

I think I’ve already posted about this, but wow Katharine Hepburn’s estate is being sold for 28 million?-- IMDB

Maybe the makers of Frances (1982) didn’t get Ms. Farmer, but Jessica Lange did-- Sunset Gun

The Torch (1950) with Paulette Goddard-- Mondo 70

Aug 2, 2011

The Ida Lupino Blogathon: Search for Beauty (1934)

This post is my entry in the Ida Lupino Blogathon. Check out the other entries here at Ida Lupino

Search for Beauty (1934) was Ida Lupino’s first Hollywood movie, but it wasn’t meant to be. Paramount had planned to give Lupino a big build up in the title role of its all-star production of Alice in Wonderland. When the young starlet arrived from the United Kingdom, the studio realized she was much too sophisticated for the part of young Alice.

The movie she did make could hardly have been more different. Its plot fits well into the pre-code era. Search for Beauty is about a trio of con artists who convince a pair of Olympic athletes to edit their health and exercise magazine, which is actually a front for a racier mag with juicy stories and photos. Lupino is one of the athletes, and it isn’t a great role. She’s there to be cute and earnest, and she is.

Lupino’s look in this flick is a starlet version of Jean Harlow. You almost can’t recognize her under the platinum curls and the plucked, eternally astonished eyebrows. She still speaks with a British accent on screen which makes her foreign in more ways than one. When I first saw her in the role I thought "Who is this?"

Though Lupino had enough spunk for the pre-code age, it didn’t give her the means to demonstrate what made her special. She came upon that in the forties, when her voice began to get smoky, and she restored her naturally dark hair color. Her wistful, but steely persona fit the somber mood of the film noirs that sprouted during the era.

Fortunately, Ida knew how to take care of herself. For a while she was homesick, and despaired of ever finding a decent part, but by the end of the decade, she had established herself as a powerful leading lady.

In 1939, she was something more than the damsel in distress in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Then she stole a script for The Light That Failed and insisted upon an audition, which won her the juicy part of Bessie, a streetwalker. Finally she blew everyone away with an intense, crazed performance in They Drive by Night (1940).

I’ve often wondered what would have happened to Lupino if her role in Search for Beauty had been a blueprint for her career, rather than a starting point. Would she have been that charming, but dull starlet until she faded away? I tend to think she would have. Ida Lupino was a smart gal, and she became the artist we love today because she was determined to make her own opportunities. That makes me love her even more.

Here are a couple more of my posts about Lupino:

Guest post about Ida on Silents and Talkies

A Tribute in Song: Ida Lupino by Carla Bley

Image Source: Classic Film Scans

Aug 1, 2011

Classic Links

I love this list of classic tough guy names. Dixon Steele is my favorite. What a great idea for a post— The Girl With the White Parasol

There are some gorgeous pieces in this gallery inspired by the plush apartment in Auntie Mame (1958)— Cinema Style

Pics of classic stars dining. The shot of Angela Lansbury eating a burger while dressed as royalty is hilarious-- And. . .Scene

I always thought Charles Laughton was Deanna Durbin’s best screen partner. You almost forget she’s supposed to be falling in love with another guy. Here’s a good review of one of the two movies they made together: It Started With Eve (1941)-- The Amazing Deanna Durbin

It has been years since I first saw Eyes Without a Face (1960), and I still haven’t recovered-- Criterion Reflections