Saturday, October 31, 2015

Recommended Films to Watch on TCM in November

Here is a list of films I will either be watching or recommend. The one's with * I highly recommend.

Remembering Maureen O'Hara Schedule

Halloween in Hollywood

Frances Dee, 1931
Shirley Temple
Jane Withers, 1936

Carole Lombard

Myrna Loy

Jean Arthur
The Three Stooges

Paulette Goddard

Clifton Webb, Marlene Dietrich, & Elizabeth Allan at Basil Rathbone's Halloween party

Esther Williams

Ruth Roman
Debbie Reynolds
Janet Leigh
Ava Gardner

Jane Russell
Doris Day

Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis

Gloria Swanson
Alfred Hitchcock
Basil Rathbone, Peter Lorre, Boris Karloff, & Vincent Price

Suzanne Pleshette

Deborah Walley
Shirley MacLaine, Artists and Models (1955)
All images found via Pinterest. Check out last year's post here.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

So Goes My Love (1946)

Watching So Goes My Love (1946) for an old favorite actress - Myrna Loy, introduced me to a new favorite actor - Don Ameche.

So Goes My Love is about a country girl (Loy) who goes to the city to find and marry a rich man (whether she loves him or not) and ends up marrying a poor, eccentric inventor (Ameche). With her by his side however, he becomes successful and she gets the rich husband, the big house, AND love.

Though Loy's performance is flawless as always, it is Ameche who really steals the film. His solemn-faced delivery paired with ridiculous actions made this film a lot of fun to watch. My favorite scene is near the beginning: Ameche and Loy are riding the streetcar (their characters have not yet been introduced). As they are passing a church where a wedding has just clearly taken place, Ameche jumps off the streetcar, runs over to join the wedding crowd, throws rice on the newlyweds, and runs to jump back on the streetcar - all without changing his facial expression. When Loy queries, "Friends of yours?" he replies, "No, I just like weddings." (correct me if I quoted this wrong, I don't own this movie so I couldn't double-check).

Another favorite scene is when Loy arrives at her cousins house and meets her friends. They ask her why she is here and she replies that she has come to the city to find a rich husband. One of the woman says to her teenage daughter "Shocking! Daughter, cover your ears!"

Then there's this hilarious scene when Ameche informs Loy he is definitely NOT the man for her.

This is the only clip on YouTube unfortunately.

The scene at the party, with Ameche shaking his head at Loy to let her know which of her dancing partners don't fit her requirements, and the wedding scene are also hilarious. I could go on and on but you should really just watch it for yourself. You can also read the full plot synopsis on the TCM website here.


The Universal International backlot was used for the wagon ride scene. The two houses used in the film were constructed on stage 12. In 1950, the stock units from the sound stage sets were reconstructed on the new colonial street. The "Maxim house" was used in the movie " One Desire" (1955) and the "Allison Home" used in the movie "Harvey" (1950) In 1964 Universal studios tour guides called the sets the "Munster House" (Maxim house) and the "Harvey house" . Today the sets are located on Wisteria Lane - 4349 Wisteria Lane (Allison Home) - 4351 Wisteria Lane (Maxim house). ~ source

Pictures throughout the post used with permission by Dennis Dickens Universal Stonecutter. You can see lots of other great photos here and on his Pinterest Board. He also has several other boards devoted to Universal Studios and their films.

Don Ameche and Myrna Loy died only eight days apart: Ameche on Dec. 6, 1993 and Loy on Dec. 14, 1993.

Bobby Driscoll, who plays Percy, later did the voice for Disney's Peter Pan (1953). Wish I would have known that when I watched it...

While looking for information for this post I discovered So Goes My Love is a fanciful biopic of  inventor Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) - which explains the odd ending. He invented the first portable, automatic machine gun, and held patents on the mousetrap and hair-curling irons (which is in the film-see clip above). In 1867 he married Jane Budden. His son, Hiram Percy (1869-1936), was an automotive pioneer and co-founder of ARRL (American Radio Relay League). Hiram and Jane also had two daughters: Florence and Adelaide. ~ source

The film is based on the book A Genius in the Family by Maxim's son, Percy. The description on Amazon reads: "This book contains Hiram Percy Maxim's memories of growing up with his brilliant but eccentric father, Hiram Stephens Maxim, scientist, engineer and inventor of the famous Maxim gun. Sometimes poignant and often very funny, these anecdotes are delightfully told and give a fascinating picture of 19th Century life in one extraordinary American family." It can be purchased on Amazon for $19.99. There is also a copy on Thriftbooks (a fantastic site for used books) for $3.59 with free shipping on orders over $10.

So Goes My Love airs on TCM January 20, 2016 at 11:30am
It is also available on DVD at Amazon ($14.99) and in the TCM Shop ($17.99).
This post is part of the Universal Blogathon hosted by Silver Scenes. Be sure and check out all of the other great posts on films and stars from Universal Studios.

Also, look for my post of films to watch on TCM in November this evening!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Remembering Maureen O'Hara

Photograph by Erin Finn, Hollywood Glamour.

I was deeply saddened to learn that Maureen O'Hara passed away this morning in Idaho at the age of 95. I knew this day would come one day but I had hoped it wouldn't come for a few years more. Almost one year after receiving an honorary Oscar, that fiery red-haired Irish woman, the "Queen of Technicolor," has left this world forever. However, she will never be forgotten and will live on in her films, in the films she made with John Wayne, and in the Christmas classic Miracle on 34th Street.

With two of her sisters: Margot (left) and Florrie.

She was born Maureen FitzSimons in Ranelagh, Dublin, Ireland on 17 Aug 1920. She was the second child in a family of six. As a child she excelled at sports, which enabled her to perform the majority of her own stunts in her films. When she was 14 she was accepted to the Abbey Theater where she studied operatic singing in addition to acting.

With her brother, James. You may recognize him as Fr. Paul in The Quiet Man.
Her brother, Charles, was also in the film as the man who gives the toast at the wedding.

Her big debut into film, after playing in two small roles under her own name, and for the first time as Maureen O'Hara, was in Alfred Hitchcock's Jamaica Inn (1939) alongside Charles Laughton, who discovered her. The Irish beauty was only 19 years old. Her next film was also with Laughton, the famous Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939). Maureen played the gypsy girl, Esmeralda.

After starring in three more films (A Bill of Divorcement; Dance Girl, Dance; and They Met in Argentina), Maureen began her long friendship with director John Ford in How Green Was My Valley (1941). She played the tragic character Angharad, the older sister of Roddy McDowell and daughter of Donald Crisp, who marries a man she doesn't love but who can afford to take her away from the horrors of a mining town.

Her next film, To the Shores of Tripoli (1942), was her first with actor John Payne, whom she would star again with in Sentimental Journey (1946) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947).

Sentimental Journey

That same year, Maureen took on the role of Lady Margaret Denby in the swashbuckling pirate film The Black Swan (1942). She took roles in several other historical films, including Against All Flags (1952) with Errol Flynn.


Miracle on 34th Street is probably the film most well known because of it's status of Christmas Classic (Maureen was the last cast member alive). Maureen plays Doris Walker, an employee of Macy's in charge of the famous annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. At the last minute she has to hire a new Santa Claus, who insists that he really is Kris Kringle. John Payne is the dashing young lawyer who takes Kris's case when Kris is sent to an institution. It's one of my favorite holiday movies and a "can't miss."

With Natalie Wood.

Rio Grande (1950) brought Maureen O'Hara and John Wayne together for the first time. This was followed by The Quiet Man (1952) - set and filmed in Maureen's beloved Ireland, The Wings of Eagles (1957), McLintock! (1963), and Big Jake (1971).

What girl doesn't want to be kissed like that?

Other well known films include The Parent Trap (1961) alongside Haley Mills and Brian Keith, Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation (1962) and The Rare Breed (1966) with James Stewart, and Spencer's Mountain (1963) with Henry Fonda.

With her daughter, Bronwyn. The other lady is clearly related as well (one of her sisters?).

Maureen retired from the movies in 1971 but returned from 1991 to 2000 making one film and three TV movies. (For a complete list of Maureen's films, click here.)

The thing Maureen O'Hara was the most proud of was being Irish and she loved that she was the most well known Irish woman in the world.

The Hollywood Reporter Article
Hail and Farewell to Maureen O'Hara - Cowboys & Indians Magazine
Maureen O'Hara's Secret to her Longevity
Funeral Held for Irish Actress Maureen O'Hara at Arlington National Cemetery

All images found via Pinterest