Monday, May 22, 2017

Cinema Wedding Gowns: The Barbarian (1933)

Today's gown comes from a Pre-code Myrna Loy film, The Barbarian (1933). After being paired with William Powell in The Thin Man (1934), Loy usually played the role of the "perfect wife." But before that she played her fair share of vamps and exotic women. In this film she plays an American tourist who is kidnapped by an Arab Prince (Ramon Novarro).

This promotional photo shows off the lovely wedding bouquet. Notice the pleated hanging cuffs on the sleeves.

The gown, designed by Adrian, is full length satin with a cowl neckline, long fitted sleeves with hanging pleated cuffs, and a short train. Panels in the skirt allow for movement (I wanted to include a gif of Loy walking around but the video was too long).

These two photos show the skirt in movement and the unique sleeves.

When your future mother-in-law keeps trying to straighten the hat your veil is attached to but you want it at a stylish angle.
The cathedral length veil is made of tulle attached to a small round hat edged with small buds. They can be seen clearly in the promotional photos below.

Doesn't Loy make a stunning bride?
The full movie can be viewed on YouTube by clicking here. The wedding dress scene is at the end, starting at 1:15:30.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

National Classic Movie Day: Five Stars Blogathon

Asking a serious Classic Movie fan to name the five movie stars they love the most is a serious question indeed. But that is exactly what the Classic Film and TV CafĂ© is asking for this years' National Classic Movie Day Blogathon. With such previous hard-hitting questions as your favorite film and what five movies you would take with you on a deserted island, this question is also not an easy one to answer.

I could very easily rattle off my top favorite stars: John Wayne, William Powell, Cary Grant, Olivia de Havilland, and Myrna Loy, all movie stars whose films I love the most. But that's not quite what this blogathon is about. This blogathon is about the movie stars we LOVE. That is the key word here. And so, here are the five movie stars that I LOVE the most. I may not love all of their films, but there is something about each and every one of these stars that makes me love them above all the rest.

Judy Garland

My first idol. For a lot of Classic Movie Fans, it was The Wizard of Oz that started it all. While I don't know exactly what Classic Movie I saw first, growing up on John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, and live-action Disney films for the 60s, I do know that I have always loved Judy Garland as Dorothy. While it was mainly the red shoes, I loved the magic of the film and most of all, the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I have always tried to emulate her singing style and nothing makes me happier than belting out "The Trolley Song" or "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" as I'm driving somewhere. Judy is also the only one who can make me cry when she gets that catch in her voice. I wish so badly that I could go back in time and protect her from the people who made her life miserable and tell her just how amazing she was and how much she is loved by so many people.

Favorite Films: Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940), and Girl Crazy (1943).

Other posts on Judy: The Clock (1945) & "Are you a good witch...". Also, look for my post on my Wizard of Oz collection in June for the Judy Garland Blogathon.

William Powell

While I have always enjoyed Classic Movies - I didn't watch anything else growing up - it was William Powell who made me obsessed with them. A few months before I started this blog, and shortly after I finished college, I re-watched the Thin Man movies. For some reason they hadn't really affected me when I watched them in my teens, but this time I couldn't get over the amazing chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy. Over the next year, I watched as many of Powell's films as I could, some on YouTube and several on TCM on his birthday. He was brilliant in every single one of them. By watching his films I discovered more great stars which led me to discover even more great stars. He was also one of the reasons I ended up starting a blog, so that I could share my discoveries with others.

Favorite Films: All of them, but especially the ones with Loy. Also Mister Roberts (1955).

Other Posts on Bill: The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937); Libeled Lady (1936); Woody Van Dyke and the Creation of Our Favorite On-Screen Married Couple; Kisses of Nick and Nora; The William Powell Oscar Snubs; Top Ten William Powell Movies

Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard was another re-discovery. I had seen her in My Man Godfrey when I was a teen, but her zany character was a little to much for me to handle. But in the course of watching Powell's films I gave this one a re-watch and enjoyed it much better. I wish I could remember what films of hers I saw next but all I remember is that I quickly came to love this beautiful blond who wasn't afraid to act silly. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and To Be or Not to Be were early favorites. I was devastated when I learned of her untimely death in a plane crash in 1942 and if there was one thing in history I could change that would be it.

Favorite Films: No Man of Her Own (1932), In Name Only (1939), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941), and To Be or Not to Be (1942).

Other Posts on Carole: Carole Lombard Models Chic Summer Fashions; Sinners in the Sun (1932); Carole Lombard's Childhood Home; Carole Lombard's Star Sapphires

Lauren Bacall

I discovered Bacall through a special feature on my You've Got Mail (1998) dvd titled "You've Got Chemistry." Not only did it re-introduce me to Powell and Loy, it also introduced me to two couples I didn't know: Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland and Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall (the other couples featured were Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney and of course Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Bogie I knew but Bacall was new to me. When I saw the clips from To Have and Have Not (1944) I knew this was a film I had to see. I quickly acquired the four films Bogie and Bacall made together from my library and not long after bought the boxed set. For quite some time To Have... was my favorite movie. I read Bacall's autobiography (which I highly recommend) and wrote a post about her amazing eyebrows (seriously, what I wouldn't give to have them). I was so sad when, not long after I had discovered her, she passed away. It was then that I wrote one of my best blog posts, a full year before I started this blog dedicated especially to my newfound passion of Classic Movies (I liked it so much I used it again for the Lauren Bacall Blogathon two years later).

Favorite Films: To Have and Have Not (1944) and Key Largo (1948).

Other Posts on Lauren: Blood Alley (1955); Frank Sinatra and Lauren Bacall


Whenever compiling a list of favorites, the most difficult choice is always the last one because you realize how many persons or things you are having to leave off. Do I pick lifetime favorites John Wayne or Cary Grant? Actors I've had major crushes on like Paul Newman, Aldo Ray, Cliff Robertson, Michael Callan? Ones I've discovered more recently like Olivia de Havilland, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire? If this wasn't Classic Movie Day I'd just make things easy and pick Chris Pine, but since it is my final choice is going to be...

Simone Simon

If you've seen Cat People (1942) you will understand this choice. If you haven't... go watch it. How could I not love her? She is so adorable it's impossible not to love her. I can't even put into words why I love her so much ♥♥♥

Favorite Films: I've only seen four and out of all of them the only one that really good is Cat People (1942).

Post on Simone: Simone Simon ~ The Fetching Feline

Final Note

When listing actors or actresses whose movies I couldn't live without the list is mostly actors, so it's funny that it's mostly actresses that I have the most devotion to. I guess it's because I admire these women so much and wish I could be like them. It is these women who inspire me by their strength and beauty to work toward my goals in life. And it is William Powell that I use as a standard in judging men, which explains why I'm still single... ;)

Finally, go check out the other posts and see what five stars other bloggers have chosen! Maybe you'll discover some new ones!

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Cinema Wedding Gowns: They Died With Their Boots On (1942)

I certainly never meant to take a three month break from my Cinema Wedding Gown feature! The reason is, in a nutshell, is that the movie I was going to do had a lot of screenshots and I couldn't decide which ones to use! It is still sitting in my drafts. However, this time of year is when weddings are abundant so I had to start this up again.

This month's first wedding gown is from one of my favorite films, They Died with Their Boots On (1942) starring one of my favorite on-screen couples: Errol Flynn and Olivia de Havilland.
You can read about the film here.

The film is based on the life of General George Custer and his wife Libbie. While not always historically accurate, the casting of Errol and Olivia could not have been more perfect. After watching the film last year, I read a collection of their letters that they wrote to one another throughout their life and it was very easy to imagine the words being read by these two actors. They truly captured the essence of Custer and Libbie.

De Havilland's gown in the wedding scene, which shows the couple exiting the church after the ceremony, is in keeping with the style of the post-Civil War era. Designed by Milo Anderson, it features a full skirt with an unusual design going down the front, long tapered sleeves, and an off-the shoulder neckline.

This photo shows the design on the skirt much better (I couldn't find it without words all over it). It almost looks like corn to me.

The veil is train length with a shorter piece that most likely went over the face at the beginning of the ceremony. It is a little hard to tell just what exactly the veil is attached to. Notice the glittering earrings.

Don't they make a handsome couple?

ANNOUNCING The Second Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon + Errol Flynn!!!

Crystal from In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and I are excited to announce that the Olivia de Havilland Blogathon is back! And this time we've added Errol Flynn!!

Last year we hosted the Olivia de Havilland Centenary Blogathon in honor of Miss de Havilland's 100th birthday. As she is still with us, and since last years was so successful, we've decided to bring it back. Errol Flynn, Olivia's most famous co-star, celebrates his birthday June 20 so we decided to add him to this annual event (he would be 108).

The blogathon will run from July 1st to July 3 with a wrap-up day on the 4th. I will be hosting day's 1 and 3. Crystal will be hosting day 2 and the wrap-up day.

Here are the rules:

1. Choose any film or topic pertaining to either or both Olivia or Errol. Up to TWO Duplicates of their films is allowed, so if you see that only one blogger is writing about, say, The Adventures of Robin Hood, you are free to write about it also. Also, feel free to write more than one post! There's a lot of films and interesting topics between these two stars!

2. Once you have made your selection(s), leave a comment below or over on Crystal's blog. Please be sure to include the name and link to your blog (so I don't have to look it up). I'd also appreciate it if you choose a film to please include the year of it's release.

3. Lastly, grab a banner and spread the word! We had over 40 participants last year. Let's see if we can top it in honor of these two iconic and beloved stars!


Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: My Journey with Olivia & Never Say Goodbye (1946)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: Olivia de Havilland and Bette Davis

The Dream Book Blog: The Heiress (1949)

Musings of a Classic Film Addict: Dodge City (1939)

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Dodge City (1939)

Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Cry Wolf (1947)

Charlene’s (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews: The Snake Pit (1948)

Realweegiemidget Reviews: The Swarm (1978)

Pop Culture Reverie: Light in the Piazza (1962)

Old Hollywood Films: Captain Blood (1935)

Life with Books and Movies: To Each His Own (1946)

Monday, May 8, 2017

Franchot Tone's Country Home in "Dangerous" (1935)

Dangerous (1935), starring Franchot Tone and the indomitable Bette Davis, is known for two things: giving Bette Davis her first of two Oscars and laying the groundwork for a famous Feud between Davis and Joan Crawford (if you haven't watched the FX series I recommend it. I hated the first few minutes and did not like Catherine Zeta-Jones portrayal of my beloved Olivia de Havilland, but overall it was pretty darn good). But that's not why I'm here.

In the film, Davis plays an alcoholic actress that Tone, a longtime fan of her work, attempts to rehabilitate. He takes her to his house in the country for an extended stay and while they have a bumpy start, they eventually fall in love with one another. But, being Bette Davis, the road to romance is never easy and people get hurt along the way.

It's not difficult to imagine a beautiful home like this being able to bring peace to someone. It has expansive grounds, it's own pond, and a lovely house with stone accents and lots of interesting architectural features. I could happily settle down here! It looks very restful, as Tone and Davis discuss in one scene:
Tone: Restful here, isn't it?
Davis: The whole countryside seems to have found peace.
Tone: A person could find peace too.
Davis: No, you'll only find that in yourself and when you do, you might as well be dead.
Tone: Dead?
Davis: "Rest In Peace" is for tombstones.
Tone: And for the living?
Davis: Desire. To want something. To obtain that desire and live up to every moment of it. And then go on leaving yesterday behind. On and on. Higher and higher.
 Only Bette Davis would say a line like that. Anyway, lets take a little tour of the house, shall we?

Here is the entry way. The door opens to a raised stone foyer with stairs leading to the bedrooms and a coat closet.

In this view you can see a curved stone seat with a comfy cushion on top.

 As we follow Bette into the room, we see a lovely brick fireplace with a large mantle and paneling around it. Wingback chairs are arranged cozily in front of it.

Going in further, another built-in bookcase is revealed as well as a floral print couch and lovely carved trim around the top of the walls. Rugs are scattered throughout the room.

A table behind the couch and a curved light stone wall give the feeling of a separate room in this open floor plan. The kitchen (and Tone) is just visible through the door, but we'll get there later.

Check out the flowered fabric on that chair! I wonder what color it was? And note the hutch on the right.

 This shot shows the room as it looks when it's empty.

 Here's a better view of the fireplace. Note the stone hearth and the little built in cupboard. Very cozy!

Here we can see the print on the couch. A mirror to the left reflects the stone wall.

Here's a better look at the mirror.
Now let's see what's past the kitchen door.

Another bookcase is built into the stone wall.

 A large curved window is revealed.

It makes for a very cozy and intimate eating area. I would love to eat breakfast there!

Bette prefers to drink. A piano is situated behind her. Check out the stitching on the lampshade.

Back to the kitchen. Here is what we glimpse through the door. A small table, gingham curtains, paneled walls, and a tiled floor is really all we get to see.
This movie still shows the kitchen clearer, showing another window and side table.
In this view we get to see side table with a metal top, perfect for whipping up recipes.

In this view we see a large sink, a cute paned window, and cabinets with pretty woodwork on the side.

A quick glimpse upstairs and our tour will be over. The hallway is wide and is filled with chairs and side tables. Directly across from the top of the stairs is the room is which Miss Davis is deposited.

The door is paneled in keeping with the country look.

 To the right of the door is a small fireplace (how I would love to have a fireplace in my room!).

 Here we catch a glimpse of a small window and comfy window seat.

Davis doesn't really want to leave her room and I don't blame her.

One last view of the room (Bette's a little hungover). Looks like a picture from The Birds on the wall behind her ;)

Bette seems to approve of the house. Did you like it?

This post is part of The Favorite Film and TV Home Blogathon I am co-hosting with Love Letter's to Old Hollywood. Be sure to check out all of the other awesome houses that have been featured so far!