Monday, October 2, 2017

Movies I Watched in September


This month a wonderful thing happened. My tv provider - Spectrum - was finally added to WatchTCM!!!! Which means I no longer have to dvr every movie I want to watch on TCM and can discover movies that I would have originally passed over!

Another awesome discover was scans of Old Hollywood Photoplay magazines! I've made a separate page for them at the top of my blog where I linking them in chronological order. Check it out!
  1. The Beast of the City (1932) - Walter Huston, Jean Harlow
  2. Brief Moment (1933) - Carole Lombard
  3. The Gay Bride (1934) - Carole Lombard & Chester Morris
  4. Love, Honor and Behave (1938) - Wayne Morris & Priscilla Lane
  5. Topper Returns (1941) - Roland Young, Carole Landis, Joan Blondell, Billie Burke, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson
  6. Out of the Fog (1941) - John Garfield & Ida Lupino, Thomas Mitchell
  7. The Mysterious Doctor (1943) - John Loder, Eleanor Parker
  8. Dead Men Walk (1943) - George Zucco
  9. The Unsuspected (1947) - Claude Rains, Audrey Totter, Constance Bennett
  10. The Sin of Harold Diddlebock (1947) - Harold Lloyd 
  11. State of the Union (1948) - Spencer Tracy & Katharine Hepburn, Angela Lansbury, Van Johnson, Adolph Menjeu 
  12. At Sword's Point (1951) - Maureen O'Hara
  13. Escape from Fort Bravo (1953) - William Holden & Eleanor Parker
  14. Code Two (1953) - Ralph Meeker, Keenan Wynn
  15. It Should Happen to You (1953) - Judy Holliday & Jack Lemmon, Peter Lawford
  16. Phffft! (1954) - Judy Holliday & Jack Lemmon, Jack Carson, Kim Novak
  17. Miracle in the Rain (1956) - Jane Wyman & Van Johnson
  18. A Hole in the Head (1959) - Frank Sinatra, Edward G. Robinson, Thelma Ritter, Eleanor Parker, Carolyn Jones
  19. The Scapegoat (1959) - Alec Guinness 
  20. Murder She Said (1961) - Margaret Rutherford (based on 4:50 From Paddington, which I've read)
  21. Cairo (1963) - George Sanders
  22. Spencer's Mountain (1963) - Henry Fonda & Maureen O'Hara, James MacArthur
  23. *Ride the Wild Surf (1964) - Fabian, Tab Hunter, Shelley Fabares
  24. The Nanny (1965) - Bette Davis
  25. Walk Don't Run (1966) - Cary Grant, Jim Hutton, Samantha Eggar
  26. Titanic (1997) - Kate Winslet & Leonardo DiCaprio (first time watching!)
  27. The Cobbler (2014) - Adam Sandler, Dustin Hoffman
  28. Beauty and the Beast (2017) - Emma Watson & Dan Stevens (better than I expected)
Least Favorite Film: I did not like The Nanny at all. When a movie starts with kids chanting or singing, I probably won't like it. Those kind of movies creep me out. I also *gasp* did not like Out of the Fog. If you've followed me for a while you might know I'm kind of obsessed with John Garfield - I hosted a blogathon in his honor this year - but I sincerely hated him in this film. That just goes to show you what a fantastic actor he is, to make ME hate HIM!

Favorite Film: Hands down It Should Happen to You (1953) followed closely by Phffft! (1954). Walk Don't Run ended up better than I thought. It doesn't compare to the original of course but I still enjoyed it and wouldn't mind owning it on DVD (and btw, Cary Grant is more physically appealing at 62 then Jim Hutton is at 32). I also enjoyed The Unsuspected, Topper Returns, and Miracle in the Rain (which made me cry).

Lombard in The Gay Bride (1934). I took way too many screenshots from this movie.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Two Guys From Texas (1948)

 
Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson, Warner Brother's answer to the Bing Crosby/Bob Hope "Road" movies of Paramount, made fifteen films together. The two were good friends in real life making their on-screen friendships very authentic and a joy to watch (check out my posts on Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson by clicking on their names).
 

One of my favorite films of theirs is Two Guys From Texas (1948), a follow-up to the successful Two Guys From Milwaukee (1946). Not only is their off-screen friendship evident on-screen, but it also features some great songs, including one that shows off Jack Carson's rich baritone. It's also set in Texas, which is the subject of The Midnite Drive-In's latest blogathon, of which this post is part of (it also gives me a chance to share several clips I recorded from the film).

Trailer

The film starts with sing and dance partners Steve Carroll (Morgan) and Danny Foster (Carson) on a road trip to California. While driving through the wide spaces of Texas (aka the WB Studios and Thunderbird Ranch in Palm Springs, CA) they run out of gas - not before they sing a song though.

Video from my YouTube Channel. Sorry about the quality. I recorded it with my iPad.
 
Watching this song, "There's Music in the Land," it is easy to imagine that this is something Morgan and Carson did in real life, not just in the movies. Their camaraderie is undeniable. This little clip was just after the song but I didn't want to record the song again so it's only a few seconds.
 
Video from my YouTube Channel.
 
Anyway, they run out of gas and hitch a ride to a nearby Dude Ranch. There they meet an old friend of theirs, Maggie Reed (Penny Edwards). When their car is stolen, Reed helps them get a job doing their act at the ranch. The owner, the very pretty Joan Winston (Dorothy Malone) is none to keen on the two but they are completely broke and doing their act is a way to get free room and board. It also gives Morgan and Carson a chance to sing several songs. Carson singing "I Never Met a Texan" is a highlight.
 
Video from my YouTube Channel.
 
Both of boys also take an instant liking to Joan, who has an "understanding" with the sheriff, who incidentally never seems to be out looking for the stolen car. Joan, somewhat reluctantly, becomes attracted to Steve, causing Danny to seek the advice of Dr. Straeger (Fred Clark), a guest at the ranch. Danny reveals a recurring dream he has. Enter a ridiculous cartoon sequence (Bugs Bunny's first appearance in a feature film!) where Danny is a shepherd who always loses his sheep to a wolf that just happens to look like Steve. This has in turn created a real-life fear of animals. The scene is too funny not to watch, as the caricatures are spot on.
 
 
The Doctor (later revealed to be a veterinarian) advises Danny to steal a girl away from Steve, which Danny does that very evening. Joan, who is trying to decide between Steve and Tex, willingly uses Danny to get out of an awkward situation, and even kisses him. It is in this scene Carson finally gets to sing a song straight, without trying to be funny (though he still pulls a few faces). I knew he could carry a tune but wow!! "Hankerin' " is my favorite song from the film.
 
Video from my YouTube Channel.
 
The next morning, Danny finds he is no longer afraid of animals, just in time for the annual rodeo. While at the rodeo, the two guys who stole Steve and Danny's car, use it for a quick getaway after robbing the rodeo ticket booth. Tex is more than happy to throw them in jail, especially Steve. The boys escape and put on a disguise. Back at the ranch they overhear the bad guys (they work at the ranch) planning another robbery. Steve and Danny go back to the rodeo and set up a trap in order to catch the crooks and clear their names. In the course of their plan, Danny's fake beard falls off and while running from Tex he ends up joining and winning the bucking bronco contest.
 
 
 
The film ends with the bad guys getting caught and Steve and Joan deciding to get married. Their friend Maggie decides to marry Tex. What about Danny you ask? Throughout the film he is followed by an old Indian squaw who he thinks wants to marry him but turns out she wants him to marry her very beautiful daughter. So everyone is happy.
 


 
A few more photos...
 
 
 
 

 
 


 
Two Guys From Texas is airing on TCM
October 27th at 3:15pm ET.
 
This post is part of The Texas Blogathon hosted by The Midnite Drive-In. Be sure to check out the other posts celebrating the wide-open spaces of Texas (or the studio backlot, whatever).
 
I can't get over the awesome banners (made by Hamlette's Soliloquy)!
I just had to use the one with John Wayne in Rio Grande (1950)

Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Duo Double Feature Blogathon Day 3!


Yesterday's blogathon entries can be found over on The Flapper Dame's blog. The entries for Day 1 can be found here.

The Posts


Sat In Your Lap starts off the day with the two films starring duo Cary Grant and Jean Arthur: Only Angels Have Wings and Talk of the Town (two posts).


My wonderful co-host, The Flapper Dame takes a look at the lovely friendship between duo Natalie Wood and Robert Redford.


Thoughts All Sorts takes on a double dose of handsome with Paul Newman and Robert Redford.


Pure Entertainment Preservation Society examines the special magic of duo James Cagney and Doris Day.


Moon in Gemini reviews two films that were made close together but are complete opposites starring duo James Stewart and Kim Novak.


Dbmoviesblog takes a look at opposites attracting in duo Julia Roberts and Richard Gere.


Anybody Got a Match? looks at the real-life failed romance between duo Cary Grant and Sophia Loren


I want to thank Emily for asking me to co-host this unique blogathon with her! I also want to thank all the participants. Without you there is no blogathon!

I watched Titanic for the very first time this week.

Friday, September 22, 2017

The Duo Double Feature Blogathon Day 1!


It's Day 1 of The Duo Double Feature Blogathon hosted by myself and The Flapper Dame! I can't wait to read all of the wonderful posts on the film pairs that only made two films together.

THE POSTS


Words Seem Out of Place discusses two completely different films that showcase duo Michelle Pfeiffer and Al Pacino.


Maddy Loves Her Classic Films and she also loves the two films starring duo William Holden and Audrey Hepburn!


Realweegiemidget Reviews explores the magical chemistry between duo Renee Zellweger and Ewan McGregor.


Caftan Woman discussed the long-in-coming pairing of duo Susan Hayward and Tyrone Power.


Taking Up Room has a good time with the twinkling duo Don Ameche and Betty Grable.


Film Noir Archive brings us Noir's hottest duo, Robert Mitchum and Jane Russell.

The Flapper Dame is hosting Day 2 so head
over there to check out more great duos!
Day 3 can be found here!

Friday, September 15, 2017

ANNOUNCING The Eve Arden Blogathon!


Eve Arden is the best friend everyone wants. With her quick wit and sarcastic wise-cracking humor, she always has something to say. I've recently watched several films of Arden's, whether she's a supporting player or one of the main characters, and decided to hold a little blogathon in her honor.

The two-day event will take place on Nov. 11 and 12 (the anniversary of her death). If you want to participate, leave a comment below with your choice and a link to your blog and grab a banner to display. Eve Arden has a lengthy filmography covering both movies and television and even radio so I'm allowing only two posts on the same topic. Feel free to write about something other than her onscreen work if you wish, as those sorts of posts are always fun.

As you can see below, I've chosen to write about Arden's Miss Brooks character, focusing mainly on the film. If you want to write a more in depth post about the radio or television series or a specific episode that is perfectly fine.


ROSTER:

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: Arden's "Miss Brook's" character from radio to television to the film

The Story Enthusiast: The Voice of the Turtle (1947)

Caftan Woman: The Doughgirls (1944)

Hamlette's Soliloquy: No, No Nanette (1940)

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: Mildred Pierce (1945)

Realweedgiemidget Reviews: Grease (1978)

Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Cover Girl (1944)

The Midnite Drive-In: Grease (1978) & Grease 2 (1982)

Critica Retro: Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

The Wonderful World of Cinema: My Reputation (1946)

Friday, September 1, 2017

Movies I Watched in August


Well August was certainly a busy month for me movie wise! There were so many great movies airing for TCM's Summer Under the Stars. I was most excited for the days devoted to Eleanor Parker and Dennis Morgan. I also was able to get even more acquainted with Greer Garson and watch my first real Esther Williams swimming movie (I'd only seen The Hoodlum Saint and Easy to Wed) on Ricardo Montalban day. What days were you the most excited for/watched the most movies on? Did one of the features stars become a new favorite?

Not listed below as I didn't watch the entire movie but I also watched the first 30 or so minutes of the (definitely!) French film La Ronde (1950) for the segment with Simone Simon.
  1. Today We Live (1933) - Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Franchot Tone, Robert Young
  2. The Unguarded Hour (1936) - Franchot Tone & Loretta Young, Roland Young, Lewis Stone
  3. The Sisters (1938) - Bette Davis & Errol Flynn
  4. The Mad Miss Manton (1938) - Barbara Stanwyck & Henry Fonda
  5. Remember? (1939) - Robert Taylor & Greer Garson, Lew Ayres, Billie Burke
  6. Wings for the Eagle (1942) - Dennis Morgan, Ann Sheridan, Jack Carson
  7. What a Woman! (1943) - Rosalind Russell & Brian Aherne
  8. The Desert Song (1943) - Dennis Morgan
  9. *The Very Thought of You (1944) - Dennis Morgan & Eleanor Parker, Dane Clark & Faye Emerson
  10. Shine on Harvest Moon (1944) - Dennis Morgan & Ann Sheridan, Jack Carson
  11. Cover Girl (1944) - Rita Hayworth & Gene Kelly, Eve Arden
  12. The Locket (1946) - Larraine Day, Brian Aherne, Robert Mitchum
  13. The Late George Apley (1947) - Ronald Colman
  14. On an Island with You (1948) - Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalban, Peter Lawford, Jimmy Durante
  15. Three Husbands (1950) - Eve Arden
  16. The Law and the Lady (1951) - Greer Garson, Fernando Lamas, Marjorie Main
  17. Niagara (1953) - Marilyn Monroe & Joseph Cotten, Jean Peters
  18. Jeopardy (1953) - Barbara Stanwyck & Ralph Meeker
  19. Her Twelve Men (1954) - Greer Garson & Robert Ryan, Tim Considine
  20. Valley of the Kings (1954) - Robert Taylor & Eleanor Parker
  21. Many Rivers to Cross (1955) - Robert Taylor & Eleanor Parker
  22. *Lilies of the Field (1963) - Sidney Poitier
  23. Shenandoah (1965) - James Stewart, Doug McClure, Patrick Wayne, Katharine Ross, Glenn Corbett
  24. Do Not Disturb (1965) - Doris Day & Rod Taylor
  25. The Liquidator (1966) - Rod Taylor & Jill St. John
  26. The Undefeated (1969) - John Wayne, Rock Hudson
  27. Mrs. Brown (1997) - Judi Dench, Billy Connolly
  28. Allied (2016) - Brad Pitt & Marion Cotillard, Jared Harris
  29. Moana (2016) - Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson
Least Favorite: Today We Live should have been called "Today We Die." Also, what was up with Joan holding a roach?!? Gross!!! Many Rivers to Cross was somewhat painful to watch because Taylor and Parker are putting on backwoods accents... (I loved the Victor McLaglen and James Arness storylines though so worth a watch). Three Husbands wasn't very good either, despite a story and screenplay by Vera Caspery, you know, the one who wrote the novel Laura?

Favorite Movie of the Month: Niagara was all kinds of amazing. Valley of the Kings was pretty exciting too, even with the clich├ęs.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Her Twelve Men (1954)

Image from TCM

Today is Greer Garson day on TCM's Summer Under the Stars. Garson is one of the actresses I've been wanting to get to know better for some time so I was excited to see that she was getting a whole day of films this month. I watched two of them this morning (and am recording another three). One of the films I watched this morning was Her Twelve Men (1954) co-starring Robert Ryan of Film Noir fame. One of the reasons I wanted to watch it is because in it Garson plays a teacher. As someone with a degree in Educational Studies who has been doing part-time teaching for three years it sounded like something I would enjoy, and I did!


The film begins with Miss Stewart (Garson) on a plane to the prestigious all boys boarding school The Oaks, where she will be the first female teacher. A recent widow, she has to find something to do with her life and having previously enjoyed teaching for a short time after college is returning to that field. Upon arrival she is met with disapproval by fellow teacher Joe Hargrave (Robert Ryan), who thinks a woman teacher has no place there. Miss Stewart, or as the boys refer to her "Sir," goes through the usual boyish pranks (frog in the bed, etc.) but learns quickly from these experiences how to handle the boys in a way they will grow to respect her and, over the course of the school year, proves Hargrave wrong  and wins the hearts of her lonely boys she is put in charge of.
 

There were many touching scenes in the film as Garson handles homesickness and heartache, making "Her Twelve Men" feel loved and special when they don't receive the attention they need from their parents. One boy's parents are too busy running around Europe to write their son so she writes him letters pretending they are from his parents. It definitely tugs at the heart strings.

David Stollery, Richard Haydn, and Garson

Partway during the semester a new boy is dropped off at the school (Tim Considine). Richard Jr. is the son of a busy oil man whose wife died shortly after his birth. Richard has a chip on his shoulder, scoffing at everything in the school and getting all the boys in his class in trouble when he sets off the sprinklers in the dorm. The rest of the boys freeze him out and Richard falls out of the bedroom window and fractures his leg as a result. Garson accompanies him back to his house while his leg heals. Richard gets to know his father better as a result and Garson gets a hint of a marriage proposal (prompting a rather funny conversation where the headmaster, played by Richard Haydn, suggests that Garson might soon be sending her sons to the school, even though Garson was nearly 50 at the time of filming).

Considine being introduced to the other boys (he's from Texas).

Tim Considine is best known for being one of the original Mouseketeers with Annette Funicello, starring in Disney's Spin and Marty series (with David Stollery who plays Jeff in Her Twelve Men) and the Hardy Boys serials with Tommy Kirk as well as other Disney films. But he is probably best known as the oldest son in the popular and long running My Three Sons starring Fred MacMurray and William Frawley. Considine also appeared in another film with Garson, Sunrise at Campobello (1960). In it Garson plays Eleanor Roosevelt and Considine her son. The film chronicles FDR's life from when he contracts polio up to his running for President of the United States.


Another familiar television face is a young James Arness as the gym teacher. His part is rather small, simply as another love interest to show Garson's effect on the staff.

Greer Garson played hostess at her lovely Bel Air home to the twelve youngsters who played with her the  film “Her Twelve Men.” From left to right are George Folsey, Peter Votiren, Dale Hartleben and Tim Marxer. 2/5/1954
This was Garson's final film for MGM. She did a few more movies, including one for Disney, as well as several television appearances as a guest star or made-for-tv movies. Robert Ryan was only a third of the way through his career. The film was not well received by critics or its audience but I enjoyed it. If you missed Her Twelve Men (1954) this morning or don't have access to TCM, you can watch the entire film (in two parts) here.


This post is part of the annual month-long 2017 TCM Summer Under the Stars Blogathon hosted by Journeys in Classic Films.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Cinema Wedding Gowns: My Cousin Rachel (1953)

 
Last month My Cousin Rachel starring Rachel Weisz premiered in theaters. While I'm normally against remakes, when it's based on a book rather than a remake of an original movie script - especially a period piece - I'm fine with it. In such cases the films can be vastly different, especially when one was made during the days of the Hays Code and no CGI. I have not seen Weisz's version yet, but I thought it would be fun to take a look at Olivia de Havilland's version of Rachel for this month's first Cinema Wedding Gown.
 
 
The wedding scene occurs in a delirious dream of Richard Burton's while he is extremely ill. The enigmatic Rachel (de Havilland) cares for him during this time and when he gets better he insists that they are married and she insists it was a dream. Either way, de Havilland is absolutely gorgeous in her wedding gown, which can be seen in the promotional photos below. Displayed proximately is a family necklace, which is one of the reasons Rachel is not trusted. Is the family fortune all she wants (she's the widow of Burton's brother)?

 
I wanted to take screenshots of the scene but it's not on youtube and the movie isn't being shown on TCM anytime soon. Below is an image that shows (almost) the full-length dress as well as the sketch by costumer Dorothy Jeakins.

 
The gown is made of heavy cream satin, off the shoulders, and with flared three quarter length sleeves. There is lace appliqued on the front of the bodice, which has panels and is pointed in the front where it is attached to a full gathered skirt that just touches the floor. A floor length piece of exquisite lace is pinned to the back of her head. The sketch shows a different veil perched on the crown of the head with a piece over the face. You will notice the necklace is also different.