Apr 18, 2012

Guest Classic Links: Laura of Who Can Turn The World Off With Her Smile

I found Laura’s blog when I participated in a movie monster blogathon last year. I liked her style right away. It was the banner that sucked me in. It’s perfect! As one who is clearly not inspired when it comes to naming things, I could admire her for the juxtaposition of that image and title alone, but she also writes clever, thoughtful posts about everything from Amy Irving to the Simpsons. I like Laura’s take on classic movies, because she really digs into her subjects. She elevates the lesser-known (like Frances Dee and The Light in the Piazza) and isn’t afraid to poke away at the weaknesses in critical favorites. Thank you for agreeing to be a guest linker Laura!


 As a long-time fan who's found many of her favorite sites through KC's classic links, I was flattered as could be that she asked me to fill in today! Hopefully I won't prove too poor a substitute. I considered winning your favor by linking to a map that led to treasure troves full of gold and silk, but the only such maps I could find are those treasure map dinner plates you fill in with crayons they give kids at diners. So you'll have to settle for some fabulous movie sites instead. Not a bad trade. Many thanks to KC for allowing me to clutter your screen with some favorite links of mine! And off we go!

You know those movies that just narrowly miss being train wrecks? And as such, you can't quite look away from the wreck's intriguing mix of near greatness and near disaster? Rachel, who's not only one of my all-time favorite classic bloggers but a wonderful and witty writer, explores the common phenomenon in this in-depth and bitingly funny piece on 'Fascination Films'.--The Girl With the White Parasol

Vulnavia Morbius is a wonderfully original writer, taking up the cause of many under-appreciated and forgotten films, from any genre or decade. Here she celebrates and analyzes a much-maligned yet revolutionary silent comedienne, Marion Davies, and her 1928 movie Show People, directed by King Vidor. Davies could have been a contender, up there with Lombard and Arthur as one of the archetypal screwball gals, if it weren't for a certain chap in her life refusing to let her take the occasional pie in the face. And then there was that young firebrand Orson Welles who made a certain 1941 film that maybe tampered with her reputation a bit, to Welles's regret.--Krell Laboratories 

I've got rather eclectic tastes. On the one hand, I'll eat up anything classic, from the sprawling gowns Vivien Leigh wore in That Hamilton Woman to Cab Calloway scatting up a storm in the old Max Fleischer shorts. Yet I can also be a bit of a comic book geek. Well, let me qualify that: usually only if it has to do with Batman. And I love it when my fandoms collide. So as a little nod to the few camps of both Art Deco and Batman fans, here's artist Ted Naifeh's Russell Patterson-inspired redesigns of the Batman heroes and rogues in 1920's get-up.--Project: Rooftop 

Followed this link from Roger Ebert's Twitter feed, and a stranger, more fascinating backstory to a movie I've never read. Have you heard of Bernie, the dark comedy coming out soon with Shirley MacLaine and Jack Black? It's about a nice Southern boy who befriends a cantankerous, borderline evil old lady, only to snap one day. Here's the incredible true story...from the evil old lady's nephew. Hopefully this will work for those without a Times account, it does for me.--The New York Times 

If anyone can convince you to go see an old obscure epic based on her words alone, it would be the Self-Styled Siren. Hers was the first film site outside of IMDb I started following, and it wouldn't be a lie to say her fabulousness was part of what inspired me to start my own wee blog. Here she writes about Blanche Fury, a 1948 gothic melodrama starring Valerie Hobson and Stewart Granger. I'd never heard of it before, but you better believe what I'm watching this weekend.--Self-Styled Siren

And now for something spookier. I'm a bit of a Hammer Horror and old-school gothic junkie, and no one gives me a better fix than the wry and enthusiastic Matthew Conian at Carfax Abbey. Here's a fascinatingly twisted tale: apparently Highgate Cemetery, a notorious London burial place and setting of such films as Christopher Lee's Taste the Blood of Dracula, once was also home to a frenzy of rumors than an actual blood-sucker haunted its premises. Some crazed frauds and hysterical publicity stunts later, the rumor still grows despite lack of, well, any substantial proof. Here's the whole story, meticulously researched--Carfax Abbey


  1. Thanks for being my guest Laura! You've given me a lot to read. Funny you should mention Matthew Conian, because he will be guest linking next week!

  2. OMG. Jack Black and Shirley MacLaine. I'm laughing already.

  3. Thank you for having me, KC! And for your lovely words in the intro. That's so funny about Matthew, I had the schedule you sent us but totally forgot he was taking part! Excellent choice, I must say.

    Thingy, doesn't the thought of the two of them together in a movie just blow your mind? That's almost enough to get me to the theater, and then that article just finishes the job for me.