Margaret Perry over at http://thegreatkh.blogspot.co.uk/ has given me a Liebster Award! YAY! :D The Liebster is given to up-and-coming blogs of 200 followers or less. If you are reading this, Margaret, thank you so much for the honor! So, if you receive a Liebster Award, you must share eleven facts about yourself, answer eleven questions from the blogger who awarded you, and award eleven bloggers of your choice! Here we go:
Eleven Facts About Moi:
1. All of my fingers are double-jointed. I’m like some sort of weird finger contortionist.
2. I’m a voracious reader. My all-time favorite book is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.
3. I think peacocks are the most beautiful, fabulous animals in the entire world.
4. My biggest goal is to travel the world. I hope to study abroad for winter intercession next year in either England, France, or Australia!
5. I’ve always loved cartoons, and I still do! My favorites were (and still are) Tom and Jerry, Merrie Melodies, Mickey Mouse, and Looney Tunes. I also love the classic Disney films.
6. I confess I have a strange fascination with the occult and the unknown. I love learning about that stuff.
7. The things I notice first in a guy are his eyes (I love light-colored eyes, blue being my favorite) and his smile.
8. I was originally left-handed, but I was forced to switch to right.
9. My favorite fruit is the clementine, which is quite unfortunate since they’re in season only during the winter :(
10. My favorite band is Queen. Queen has gotten me through a lot of difficulties!
11. All my clothes have to: 1) have a vintage flair 2) have at least a dash of sparkle. My latest purchase was a black velvet dress with a gold glitter star pattern from Topshop. It sparkles more than the sun or the stars. Best shopping decision I’ve ever made!
If you could matchmake two of your favorite stars, who would be your OTP?
Hmmm…so many possibilities come to mind! But I think my OTP (one true pair) would be Myrna Loy and William Powell. Every time I watch them in a film I find myself begging them to get married and have babies already. Or Jean Harlow and Clark Gable, those two make sparks on the screen!
What classic movie would you like to see remade?
None. Modern remakes have a funny way of messing up beloved originals.
What is your favorite film genre, and what are your three favorite films in that genre?
My favorite film genre is the screwball comedy! My favorite screwballs are It Happened One Night, Arsenic and Old Lace, and To Be Or Not To Be.
You have the opportunity to share one classic film with a theatre full of your friends. Which film do you choose?
Gone with the Wind, most definitely!
What one actor/actress do you love so much, you would see a film simply because they are in it?
Clark Gable! I’ve sat through some really shitty films (LIKE THE PAINTED DESERT) just to look at Gabe’s perfect face.
What/who is your favorite animal character from a movie?
I love Asta from The Thin Man series. That dog is such a boss.
What years do you consider to define the era of “classic movies”?
This is a great, hotly disputed question, and as Margaret implies, the answer varies from person to person. I personally consider the classic movie era to be from around 1905-ish to 1960.
Astaire or Kelly? Audrey or Katherine? Bette or Joan? Olivia de Havilland or Joan Fontaine? Buster Keaton or Charlie Chaplin?
Astaire or Kelly: love them both with all my heart and soul, but I think I will go with Kelly here. It was a close shave, though!
Audrey or Katharine: Easy. Kate the Great of course! I might get crucified for this, but I CAN’T STAND Audrey Hepburn. The most overrated actress who ever lived, if you ask me.
Bette or Joan: I love Bette, but Joan wins this. Sorry Bette, but Joan is my homeslice for life.
Olivia de Havilland or Joan Fontaine: Livvy is my fave sister. She’s an amazing talent and a delight to watch on the screen. From what I’ve seen of Joan Fontaine’s work, she seems a lot more…forced…than her sister. Just look at the faces she makes in Rebecca and you’ll see what I mean.
Who is your favorite Barrymore?
My fave Barrymore is definitely Lionel. He’s like an old cuddly teddy bear! Who seriously knows how to act.
What is your favorite silent movie? Who is your favorite silent movie star?
Oh geez, this is a toughie. I’m gonna bend the rules here and give two favorite silent movies: Metropolis and The Cabinet of Doctor Caligari. I’m gonna bend the rules again with my favorite silent stars: Clara Bow and Rudolph Valentino.
If you could spend one day with your favorite star, who would it be and what would you do?
I’d spend the day with the lovely Clark Gable and we would tour Hollywood together and visit all of his favorite places there :)
Now I shall award eleven of my favorite blogs (that meet the qualifications) for a Liebster Award! You guys have to list eleven facts about yourself, answer the eleven questions I give you, and award eleven other blogs with the Award! Congratulations to:
All Good Things http://poohtiger-allgoodthings.blogspot.com/
Classicfilmboy’s Movie Paradise http://www.classicfilmboy.com/
Dear Old Hollywood http://dearoldhollywood.blogspot.com/
Deep Glamour http://deepglamour.net/
Critica Retro http://criticaretro.blogspot.com/
Gone with the Wind Fansite http://gwtwfansite.weebly.com/
Marlene Dietrich Collection http://marlene-dietrichcollection.blogspot.fr/
The Hollywood Revue http://hollywoodrevue.wordpress.com/
Alexander’s Sanctuary http://alexandersanctuary.wordpress.com/
The Kitty Packard Pictorial http://kittypackard.com/
Old Hollywood Glamour http://oldhollywoodglamour.blogspot.com/
1. If you could have a dinner party with seven classic film stars, who would they be?
2. Who is your favorite classic movie director?
3. Who is your favorite most-underrated actor?
4. Have you ever watched a film in which you had NO IDEA what was going on?
5. Who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer?
6. Who is an actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different one?
7. Do you mix up any classic movie actors/actresses.
8. Favorite movie musical?
9. Have you hated an actor/actress whom you now love?
10. What is your favorite performance that was overlooked by an Oscar?
11. What is your most-quoted film?
And if you don’t have a blog and just want to answer the questions, please feel free to do so in the comments! X
Hello all! This might be my last post for a little while…as you might have heard, Hurricane Sandy might ravage the Eastern coast starting from tonight and until Tuesday. We’re gonna get the works here: gale-force winds, torrential rains, flooding, and power outages for up to a week. Even the MTA has completely shut down. Since when has the Northeast become Hurricane Central? Anyway, stock up, stay inside, and stay safe for these next several days!
Now, on with the post!
I have a very multi-varied taste in music. I listen to pretty much anything save for country music and “Call Me Maybe”-style pop music, which I DESPISE. I don’t even know how “Gangnam Style” goes, nor do I really want to know.
My favorite genres of music are jazz, big band, and swing. However, my all-time favorite band doesn’t come from that time period at all. I’m talking about Queen.
In case you live under a rock and don’t know: Queen was an amazingly awesome and fabulous British rock band that was formed in 1971. The members of Queen were John Deacon (guitar and bass), Roger Taylor (drums), Brian May (guitar), and last but definitely not least, Freddie Mercury (vocals, piano). The band is responsible for all those amazing songs you know and love, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Killer Queen,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Are the Champions,” and many, many more. The band fell apart after Mercury’s life was cut short at age 45 from pneumonia brought upon by AIDS. However, Mercury’s death did not spell the end for Queen. Queen has spent more time on Billboard’s Hot 200 List more than any other band in history (even more than the stupid fuckin overrated Beatles) and is widely considered the greatest band that ever existed. Ever. Fuck Justin Beiber and Taylor Swift, Queen still sells millions of more albums today (over 3o0 million to be exact). Who DOESN’T love Queen!? And if you are terrible, horrible, and evil enough to dislike this band, then I don’t want to know you ever. And neither does anyone else on this planet.
See this man right here? Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest loves of my life. You might be thinking, “but he was hairy and he had those crazy teeth and he was gay!” But those things don’t even matter. This man is awesomesauce as fuck. He is one of the few human beings that is universally respected. Even by the Internet, and the Internet rarely respects anyone. Freddie transcends all our worldly conceptions of what is “good” and “perfect.” He pretty much redefined music and blew the world’s collective mind with his genius. Freddie Mercury is The Rock God.
Now you must be thinking, “What in the world does Queen have to do with classic film?” Trust me, it has a lot to do with it. I relate everything to classic film. I don’t know if this is true, but I think that Freddie Mercury was in fact a classic movie fan. Freddie had plenty of creative license in the band. He was very focused and a dedicated worker, writing all of the Queen hits we know and love, designing the famous Queen logo (he was a talented artist, something not widely known about him), writing and arranging the music of each song, and envisioning Queen’s music videos. If you study Queen’s ouvre, you will notice a lot of classic film references. Here are some of my favorites:
“Under Pressure” (1981)
“Under Pressure” is one of my favorite Queen songs. Come tough times and exam times (I can’t think of a more fitting song than this one when I’m having midterms and finals) this is the song I blast. A collaboration with David Bowie, this song is about our culture that is willing to overthrow political machines and the pressure that has come about all over the world due to the fast-paced, workaholic lives we lead. The cure to all this? Love. “Under Pressure”‘s music video contained neither Freddie Mercury nor David Bowie because both were on tour. However, it contained lots of classic film references:
Queen seemed to be particularly fascinated by the silent horror films of the 1920s. From top to bottom we have John Barrymore’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from 1920, Nosferatu (1922), and Fredric March’s Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde from 1931 (which isn’t a silent movie). The monsters show up in the beginning of the music video to symbolize the evil and corruption in the world.
I may be wrong, but I believe this scene is from the Russian silent film Battleship Potemkin (1925), which is most famous for that scene in which a man gets his glasses smashed…creaming his eye in the process.
The next classic movie reference we see in the “Under Pressure” music video is the famous sequence from Nosferatu is which Nosferatu appears to a terrified Hutter during the night. (Fun fact that everyone from my generation knows: The first of these three photos from the film also appears in an episode of Spongebob. Just sayin’).
My favorite lines from “Under Pressure” are: “‘Cause love’s such an old-fashioned world/And love dares you to care for the people on the edge of the night/And love dares you to change our way of caring about ourselves/This is our last dance/This is our last dance/This is ourselves.” Such beautiful lyrics! To show that love conquers all, the music video then has a montage of silent movie kisses…none of which I can identify :’( If you recognize any of the kisses above, please tell me!
Watch the music video for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a01QQZyl-_I
Radio GaGa (1984)
“Radio Gaga” is also chock-full of classic film references. It’s also my favorite Queen music video. The song, which is about television’s takeover of radio and a critique of the subsequent commercialization of radio (something we unfortunately still have today), references two major radio events: Orson Welles’ famous (or infamous) broadcast of War of the Worlds (“You gave them all those old-time stars/Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars”) and Winston Churchill’s “This was Their Finest Hour” speech from 1940 (“You’ve yet to have your finest hour”)
However, the biggest and most obvious classic movie reference in the “Radio GaGa” music video is to Metropolis (1927), Fritz Lang’s classic futuristic film. In order to use clips from the film, Queen had to buy the rights to the film from the Communist government of East Germany. In exchange for the film rights, Queen allowed their hit “Love Kills” to be used in the Giorgio Mororder restoration of the film.
The music video opens with establishing shots from Metropolis:
There were also several scenes in which the band looked like as though they were in the film itself. The picture is grainy black and white, and they drive around the Metropolis in a futuristic little car controlled by a lever.
My favorite part of the music video is when Freddie Mercury recreates the famous clock scene in which a worker is driven to exhaustion from moving the clock hands around all day long. But of course, Freddie’s clock is big and golden and not the weird one that goes up to ten and he NEVER gets tired. He makes something as silly as moving the hands of a clock look awesome. I especially love how the rest of Queen is standing there like a boss while Freddie works the clock. Also, Freddie’s ass looks divine in those black leather pants.
Next we have the super-famous scene in which The Inventor creates an evil robot replica of the film’s heroine, Maria.
Freddie helps to contribute to the destruction of the Metropolis by breaking a building in half just by lifting his arms and looking triumphant. Which is actually something very plausible for someone whose awesomeness is as high as Freddie’s. What a boss.
Watch the music video for yourself here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t63_HRwdAgk
Other Classic Film References Used By Queen
Two of Queen’s albums: “A Night at the Opera” and “A Day at the Races” are named after two Marx Brothers films from 1935 and 1937, respectively. Love those films and love those albums!
The artwork for Queen’s 1977 album “News of the World” also seems to be inspired by Metropolis or vintage sci-fi in general. The story goes that Roger Taylor had an issue of Astounding Science Fiction depicting a robot holding a dead man. This cover inspired the band to have the image revised to contain the robot holding the “dead” bodies of the four band members.
So why are you still sitting here reading this? Go listen to some Queen! :)
One of the wonderful things about classic films is that almost all of the actors were drool-worthy. Tall, dark, and handsome with amazing bodies. Like most girls, I love it when a man has muscle. And thankfully, Hollywood understood my obsession with the brawny and had most of its actors pose for “beefcake pictures”: photography devoted to shirtless men. Women took “cheesecake” photos, which were swimsuit photos. But today is all about the guys as I show you some of my favorite beefcake photos.
Cary Grant and Randolph Scott
Does this count as a “beefcake” photo? Whatevs, Cary and Randolph have nice, lean muscles. If you’ve seen My Favorite Wife, you’ll know that Randolph Scott had a bod to rival Johnny Weissmuller’s. And nice legs, Cary!
Perfection. My copy of A Streetcar Named Desire has this image on the cover.
This is one of the earliest photos of Gabe that I’ve seen. And one of my favorites. And one of the most drool-worthy pics of all time. Gable haters say he was flabby, but this photo proves he was RIPPED. Dear God, those beefy dimpled shoulders…
Coop may have been as thin as a rail, but that didn’t mean he didn’t have muscle! This picture proves that he didn’t have the body of an overgrown child, but had some nice, well-developed arms. He also had a nice smattering of chest hair, an added bonus.
Gorgeous!!! He may have been a womanizer and a hellraiser, but with a body like that, who can blame him? Errol is like some long-lost Greek god. They just don’t come that way anymore. Now excuse me while I put my face in the freezer to cool off my blushing cheeks.
Cags may be an unlikely choice for a post like this, but being an athlete and dancer, he did have a great body. Cags wins the award for Most Underrated Beautiful Bod. You can’t see it in this picture, but he also had these adorable freckles on his shoulders. Which is a big plus in my world.
Last but definitely not least is this perfect specimen of humanity known as Valentino. He was PERFECT. I bet all those rumors about him being effeminate were started by ugly, jealous men. Because let’s face it, he’s gorgeous. And a BIG bonus…his swim trunks leave very little to the imagination. And I’m sure we all like what we see.
Until next time, my loves!
Let’s start off this post this way: I’m a nineteen year-old girl. My best friend is also a nineteen year-old girl (we’re only born nine days apart, how awesome is that?). What else do nineteen year-old best friends do? First and foremost we gossip. A lot. About friends, family, people we hate, boys we like, and boys who like us. We also shop. Just two days ago, we went to the Columbus Circle Mall, where I spent $50 on new makeup and $100 on a Father’s Day gift for my dad (HE BETTER BE HAPPY WITH IT). And lastly, we talk about our dream man. The man that is perfect in our eyes, but probably doesn’t exist or is so unattainable and impossible to get. She lusts after the likes of Michael Fassbender and Gerard Butler while I lust after the likes of Clark Gable, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, and Errol Flynn. I don’t have a classic movie buddy. Sadly, I’ve never met anyone younger than 80 who loves the classics, so whenever I discuss my dream man with my friend, it’s a very…one-sided conversation. So, I’ll share my dream man with you guys, people who actually understand what I’ll be talking about!
- I love light-colored eyes in a man, blue eyes being my particular favorite. My dream man would have beautiful blue eyes like Gabe or Coop. They would be bright and hypnotizing…just look at Coop’s!!!
- I am also incredibly attracted by a man’s smile, especially when he has a wide, genuine, dimpled smile that shows his nice teeth (I also insist on nice teeth, white and straight. No crooked teeth, yellowed teeth, or gaps. Bad teeth scare me). Franchot Tone has a gorgeous smile when he shows his teeth. Also Clark Gable (his dimples just make me swoon) and Errol Flynn have great smiles that make my heart melt.
- I love dark features (with the exception of eyes, as I mentioned above). I love dark hair, dark lashes and eyebrows, and skin that can tan. I wouldn’t mind myself an Italian hunk like Rudy Valentino and I ESPECIALLY wouldn’t mind Cary Grant!
- I love foreign accents. To me, there is something so attractive about a man from another place. He can teach me a lot about his place of origin, from the mannerisms to the slang and cuss words. I love traveling and I’m fascinated by other places, and what better way to learn than from a wonderful foreign man while being hypnotized by his exotic accent? Rudy Valentino had a sexy Italian accent, Cary Grant had his distinctive mid-Atlantic accent, and Desi Arnaz had a cute Spanish accent (which Lucille Ball so lovingly imitated in I Love Lucy).
- I love a man with grace and poise. No klutzes for moi! I especially love a man who can show off some fancy footwork. A dancer is always fun, passionate, and exciting, like Fred Astaire or that gorgeous hunk named Gene Kelly! Donald O’Connor also gets me weak in the knees, even though he’s blond and I don’t usually go for blonds (actually, one of my exes was blond. He had green eyes and was drop-dead hilarious so that made up for it. There are exceptions to every rule!).
- I ADORE a funny man! Especially a funny man who doesn’t constantly brag about how funny he is. A man who is NATURALLY funny! What girl doesn’t want a man who can cheer her up on a bad day, is well-liked for his great personality, and can charm her, her friends, and her family off their feet? Hence why I am attracted to men who aren’t known for good looks, like Chaplin, Keaton, and the Marx Brothers (yes, to me, each one of them is cute in their own way!). A funny man is definitely on the top of my list of good qualities in a man!
- I love a man who is honest. This is more important to me than anything else. A liar=a douchebag. And trust me, I’ve dealt with so many liars as of late, and it is not pretty! I tend to share a lot of myself with someone I love, and I would like for them to honestly share themselves with me too. I don’t judge anyone, and as long as a man is honest, he holds my love and respect (and my respect doesn’t come easily). I’ve been told that I naturally never trust, and well, it’s because I’ve been lied to a lot, and for no good reason. At least when the classic movie actors were having affairs, they were dead honest about it! And sometimes, when talking about themselves, they would probably give a little too much information! I adore that. Clark Gable once said a very beautiful quote about Carole Lombard: “You can trust that little screwball with your life or your hopes or your weaknesses, and she wouldn’t even know how to think about letting you down.” Someday, I want a man who can be that honest with me. Honesty is sexy.
- Nothing gets me like a man with great wit! Intelligence and humor rolled into one? Excellent! My heart beats like a drum when I meet a man who has a way with words, who shares my sarcasm, and who owns an acid tongue. Men like William Powell and Laurence Olivier can sure make me swoon!
- What girl doesn’t love a man with a naughty side? It’s exciting to have someone who’s a bit of a bad boy with you (and only you!). Men like Errol Flynn are practically irresistible.
- I like to draw, so having a man who is also a fellow artist would be just divine. It doesn’t even have to be fine art, but also music or of course, acting. Gary Cooper was especially a gifted fine artist (he originally came to Hollywood to become an illustrator!) and wouldn’t it be just so romantic to sit for hours together and draw pictures of whatever captures our fancies? Coop was pretty damn good, and I will be featuring some of his works in a future post!
- I love a man with a manly phyisique. Clark Gable, to me, has the perfect male body. He’s burly and tough, not too thin, and not fat either. He’s all big muscle, and he’s also tall (6’1″. Height is important for a tall 5’5″ girl like me). Cary and Errol Flynn were also around the same height, but Coop beats them all at 6’3″. However, Coop’s body is a bit too thin for my taste. I want a man who is strong, can hold me safe in his arms, and who wouldn’t blow away in a strong wind! Therefore Gabe has the perfect body for me.
- I love me an outdoorsman. I love to run through the grass, jump in the surf, climb trees, and play with animals, so a man who loves these things is quite important to me! Nobody fits the bill quite like Clark Gable.
- I also really really really REALLY want a man who loves classic movies just as much as I do! Actually, I don’t want one. I NEED ONE. Sadly, I’ve never met a boy who really loves classic movies. But when I do, I know he’s a keeper, because that means they have good taste, which is a rare thing these days! I want to be with someone who can laugh at Chaplin and Keaton with me, sit on the edge of the seat while watching a Hitchcock movie with me, cry during GWTW with me, and discuss every film we watch together. Oh, and of course, it would be nice if he put up with me when I swoon over all the handsome actors! When I find that special man, I think it will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship ;)
- Last, but definitely not least, I love men who are confident in their masculinity. He exudes every masculine characteristic without even trying. Because it’s an innate quality that he constantly exudes. A real man doesn’t need to publicly speak about his masculinity. Have you ever seen Gabe or Coop or Cary or Errol or Rudy Valentino or William Powell talking about and bragging about what it means to be a man? Do you ever see a real man lording it over everyone else about how “masculine” he is compared to others? Of course not? A REAL man doesn’t have to constantly talk about his masculinity, he’s too busy SHOWING IT with his actions! And this isn’t something that only comes from me. Every single female I know thinks this and agrees with this. And every classic movie actor is a real man <3
So basically, my dream man would know how to have fun, would enjoy a day out or a day cuddling at home, respects me like I respect him, is always honest with me, is smart, funny, and artistic. He is strong, kind, caring, and confident yet humble. The relationship that I always look up to and wish to have is Gable and Lombard’s. It was truly beautiful and reading about it never fails to bring a tear of joy and sadness to my eyes. Both were so proud and happy to love each other. I’ve yet to find the “Pa” to my “Ma” but I will someday!
Sometimes, when scouring the Internet for images related to classic films and actors, you find lots of random, fun things. Here are some of the gems that you can find when looking up images of some classic movie stars:
Here’s Marion Davies using an odd contraption called the Bentograph. It was supposed analyze the human character. Director Monte Bell gives Marion part of her analysis: “Full forehead; benevolent, creative, learned and happiest when in company of the intellectual. Nose; pretentious, ambitious, sensitive, aims high and demands social and artistic recognition”.
Cary Grant, Sally Eilers, Hal Roach, and Elizabeth Jenns English make for an interesting band!
Ida Lupino visits Harry Fink, bottle collector who used to lend out his collection to film studios so they can be used as props!
Is it me, or does Lana Turner slightly resemble Joan Blondell in this photo?
Anne Shirley, Carol Stone, Rosina Lawrence, Lana Turner, Vicki Lester and Natalie Draper drink soda out of a pumpkin.
Another “handie” (Stewart could perform over 300!): China clipper
Why am I loving Laurence Olivier’s mismatched outfit?
That’s all! I made it quite long to make up for all the days I haven’t blogged. Hope this was fun and entertaining!
I’ve recently realized that I’ve never really written about music. Yet, music was such a major part of the golden age. My taste is quite wide and varied. I have almost every genre of music on my iPod, except country (no offense to those who like it, but NO, just no, to it all) . I love classical music (my fave is Tchaikovsky), show tunes (Les Miserables, The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked…)foreign music (especially French and Italian), pop/dance music (Michael Jackson <3), and last but DEFINITELY not least, vintage music! I have more of this genre than any other on my iPod, and since this is a golden age blog, I will concentrate on the golden age songs that I’m playing at a constant loop nowadays:
Adelaide by Frank Sinatra
Any song that comes out of Frank Sinatra’s mouth is instant gold. From the 1955 film Guys and Dolls, this song has a lilting rhythm and is really fun to sing to. It also makes me wish my name was Adelaide since it sounds so nice when sung. Now can someone help me with the Nathan Detroit/Sky Masterson debate? I’ll never be able to choose one over the other!
All I Do Is Dream Of You by Debbie Reynolds and Chorus
This is the first of many Singin’ In The Rain songs that I’m listening to right now. I got the film on DVD for my birthday in April so I’m always watching it. This song is fast and fun, and very 20s (the decade in which this film takes places, duh).
Anything You Can Do by Bing Crosby, The Andrews Sisters, and Dick Haymes
This song is so much FUN. There are five people singing in it, and they’re all making unusual sounds and voices, so it’s a great exercise in harmonizing. It’s pretty witty to boot. You can totally let out your inner goofball with this one.
Babalu by Desi Arnaz
This song is entirely in Spanish, but who cares? It’s so much fun! Between the sultry beat of the conga drum and screaming “BABALU! BAAAABAAALUUUU!” on the top of your lungs, who needs to understand the language?
Beautiful Girl by Jimmy Thompson
All songs from Singin’ In The Rain are absolutely fantastic. But this romantic number is about fashion (the fashion show in this song is epic). I like fashion. It teaches that beauty is not based on looks alone. As Thompson sings: “A beautiful girl is like a great work of art. She’s stylish. She’s chic. And she also is smart.” If we all had this guy in our lives to serenade us with this song, life would be bliss, wouldn’t it ladies?
Because of You by Gloria DeHaven
This song is so lovely and romantic, and brings out that inner dreamer in me (which I always try to suppress!) “Beautiful Girl” plus “Because of You”, is a formula for a lasting relationship.
Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen by The Andrews Sisters
Everyone loves the Andrews Sisters. In my opinion, this is one of their best. It’s a clever, modern, jazzy love song. The kind of thing that expresses feeling while being fun to dance to.
Blue Moon by the Casa Loma Orchestra
If you’ve seen the film Manhattan Melodrama, you’re probably familiar with the song “The Bad In Every Man”. Unfortunately, I can’t find an mp3 with these lyrics, so I’ve settled with “Blue Moon”, which has the same music and rhythm, but different lyrics. This song is now a great jazz standard, covered by everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Elvis Presley.
Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by The Andrews Sisters
Yes, the Andrews strike again. Probably their most famous song, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” is a gem of the swing/big band era. And everyone loves to sing along and dance to it! If my sister’s airhead Jersey Shore-loving friends know this one, you should too.
By A Waterfall by Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell, and chorus, choreographed by Busby Berkeley
This is the song I’m obsessed with the most. I listen to it on a constant loop! Another lovey-dovey romantic song, it’s so whimsical, dreamlike, and so…1930s, a decade marked by escapism. Busby Berkeley’s over-the-top, delightfully unrealistic stage numbers (with their signature dash of pre-code) were the ultimate in escapism. The song by itself is wonderful, but when you watch the full number in the 1933 film Footlight Parade, it borders on the fantastic.
The Charleston by Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra
It’s the CHARLESTON!!! What’s NOT to love?
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief by Betty Hutton
Not only is this a good, incredibly fun song, but Betty Hutton makes it okay to sing, scream, and screech on the top of your lungs. Because she does too, and she was a famous singer, right? So when you sing “NO, NO, NO, IT COULDN’T BE TRUEEEEE..” you should feel good about yourself.
Egyptian Ella by Fats Waller
The most important event of the 1920s was the discovery of King Tut’s tomb in Egypt. This sparked an Egypt craze in the 1920s (strong lip and eye makeup, jewel tones, beaded, ornately styled clothing). Everyone wanted to look exotic (for example, stars like Theda Bara and Clara Bow), and this song definitely cashed in on the craze, but in the most hilarious way possible. It’s about a dancer named Ella who becomes so fat, she loses her job. So she goes to Egypt to become a bellydancer, because they like their ladies hefty there. I’ve been to Egypt, and it’s 100% true!
El Relicario by Rudolph Valentino
Unfortunately, we will never hear Rudolph Valentino’s voice on-screen. Fortunately, he recorded two (very rare) songs: Pale Hands I Loved (Kashmiri Love Song) and El Relicario. I’ve obsessed over Pale Hands I Loved for so long now, it’s time to rave over this one. I must say, Valentino has a sexy, deep voice. And the way he fumbles a little on the Spanish is simply adorable!
Fit As A Fiddle (And Ready For Love) by Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor
Another Singin’ in the Rain gem! This one is not as well-known, unfortunately. It’s excellent, and shows great chemistry between Kelly and O’Connor (who is seriously now the love of my life). The song is reminiscent of vaudeville and dance halls, and Kelly and O’Connor make dancing look a lot easier than it is(my sister tried one of the moves from this song for two seconds and almost faceplanted).
How Could Red Riding Hood? by the Hot Rhythm Orchestra
Oh those naughty twenties! Messing around with our childhood! Nothing was innocent in the Jazz Age, not even fairy tales, apparently, since this song actually suspects that Little Red Riding Hood was a prostitute! But seriously, it’s a good, jazzy song.
I’ll Sing You A Thousand Love Songs by Eddy Duchin and his Orchestra
I’m back to the slow, romantic ballads. Along with “Because of You” and “By A Waterfall”, this is one of the tops. Featured in the 1936 musical Cain and Mabel, it’s sappy and sweet, with a lot of heart.
I’m Sitting On Top Of The World by Al Jolson
Al Jolson is amazing. Although this song is short, it’s fun, jazzy, and makes you get up and dance like a crazy person. You’d feel like you were on top of the world after this one!
It’s Winter Again By Hal Kemp and His Orchestra feat. Skinny Ennis
I heard this on a commercial about a cruise line and it was so good I had to desperately search the internet to find it. And I love the winter. Enough said.
It’s A Good Day by Peggy Lee
The ultimate in happy, upbeat, optimistic music. It can make any crap day feel like new. And who doesn’t love the line: “I said to the sun, good morning sun!”
Ja So Bin Ich by Marlene Dietrich
We all know Marlene Dietrich was an accomplished actress, but not many know of her prolific singing career. She had a wonderful, husky voice, and even though half her songs are in German, it really doesn’t matter. They were good!
Je Cherche Apres Titine by Charlie Chaplin
This sweet, funny, wonderfully ridiculous ditty from Modern Times (1936) was the first time Charlie Chaplin spoke on-screen. And WHAT a talkie debut! The song is entirely in gibberish, borrowing and tweaking here and there from various languages such as French, Italian, etc. Although it’s comedy gold, it has a deeper message, the Little Tramp is international, he’s an everyman that represents humanity.
La Mer by Charles Trenet
This song was sent to me by a friend. I loved it. I sent it to another friend, who never got back to me on it, even though I worked hard translating all the lyrics, so I’m supposing he hated it ;) But what does he know? This song, (entirely in French), is beautiful. It’s romantic, summery, and very expressionistic. And what gal in her right mind doesn’t like a sexy French guy crooning in her ear?
The Lady Is A Tramp by Lena Horne
This is my theme song :D every single word in this song describes me perfectly. It’s my personality in a nutshell. Except for the “Hate California” part. Other than that, I’d like to imagine Lena sang this for me!
Ma, She’s Making Eyes At Me by Kay Kyser
This song is fun and hilarious. From Kay Kyser’s opening wail (“MAAAAAAA! SHE’S MAKING EYES AT ME!”) to the jazzy music, I never get tired of this one. And the fact that Kyser comes off as a big baby in this song!
Music, Maestro, Please by Kay Kyser feat. Ginny Simms
With the summer time comes summer love, right? Well, what happens when your summer fling heads for splitsville? You gotta forget about him, that’s what! And that’s the lesson of this song. The music is lilting and romantic, and Simms’ voice is husky and full of emotion. When the going gets tough…music, maestro, please!
My Baby Just Cares For Me by Ted Weems and His Orchestra
This 1930 tune is simply fun and jazzy, and the lyrics are easy to memorize. It’s basically about a guy singing about his dream girl, who wants nothing but him. In some versions, there is a line about Clark Gable’s smile, but alas, it’s not in the version. Gable or no Gable, this is a good song.
My Dancing Lady by Joe Venuti’s Orchestra
This was the theme song to the 1933 film Dancing Lady, a musical that combined the team of Gable, Crawford, and Tone with Ted Healy and his Stooges, and marked Fred Astaire’s film debut. Sounds crazy, huh? This is a cute song that reminds me of all the antics that took place in this film!
Nice Work If You Can Get It by Fred Astaire
All of Fred Astaire’s songs are fun. But this one gets particularly jazzy in the end and it’s fun to dance like a crazy person then! Also, like the rest of Astaire’s work, this can get stuck in your head forever.
Pass That Peace Pipe by Bing Crosby
I first heard this song on I Love Lucy (sung by Desi Arnaz, Vivian Vance, and William Frawley) and I scrambled to find an mp3 version of it. Thankfully, I found an equally good version by Bing Crosby. I can’t stress how fun this song is, from the Native American style music to listing all the tribe names.
Puttin’ On The Ritz by Clark Gable
This song is 56 seconds of pure hilarity. You need to watch the entire clip from Idiot’s Delight to get the full experience. Even though Clark really can’t sing, I adore his deep, manly voice. And even though he can’t really dance, I replay this scene over and over again like someone who’s hypnotized. This song is an experience, let’s leave it at that!
Reckless by Jean Harlow
Jean Harlow is one of those people whose singing voice sounds a heck of a lot like their speaking voice. Since Jean Harlow’s speaking voice is amazing (she may be from Missouri, but her accent sounds distinctly New York), no complaints! The beginning part of the song is all her, but in the second half, when the real singing kicks in, she is dubbed over by someone else. Oh well, at least we get to hear her sing for a little. This song’s first line also gets stuck in your head forever (“I wanna live, love, learn a lot. I’ll light my candle and I’ll burn a lot!”) and also taught me to say “I wanna go places and look life in the face” whenever people ask me what I want to be when I grow up. It’s the ultimate vintage rebellion song.
‘S Wonderful by Gene Kelly
Who could dislike this song, and the hot French guy that sings with Gene Kelly in it? It’s amazing! ‘S wonderful! Okay, that was corny.
Shanghai Lil by James Cagney and Ruby Keeler
One of my favorite Busby Berkeley numbers, from Footlight Parade (1933) when you watch the clip (specifically the opium den scene) you sometimes have to make sure you aren’t seeing things! And James Cagney singing and dancing, and doing it much better than Ruby Keeler? An instant favorite!
Sunday by Jean Goldkette and His Orchestra
Why do I have a photo of a flapper here? In my opinion, Sunday is the ultimate 1920s song. It has jazzy music, Charleston-worthy moments, chorus girls with high-pitched, child-like voices that were favored at the time, and even a couple of de-oop! de-oop’s!
Teacher’s Pet by Doris Day
This song has a fun rhythm and a good beat. but I hope hope HOPE Doris Day was singing about an all-adult situation here…
Verlaine by Charles Trenet
This song sounds SO romantic, from the slow music to the sexy French the guy says in the middle of the song. But actually, it’s really sad. And that’s when I pretend to stop understanding enough French to translate the song and imagine that I’m dancing with some handsome man to it. Doesn’t Trenet look a bit like Franchot Tone on this album cover?
The Waters of the Minnetonka by Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball
This song is from one of my all-time favorite I Love Lucy episodes: The Indian Show (also the episode where I first heard “Pass That Peace Pipe”) This song is hilarious. It’s for the bad singers, the loudmouths, the noisemakers. It’s for people like you and me.
Whatever It Is, I’m Against It by Groucho Marx (and a line sung by Zeppo Marx)
Marx Brothers=hysterical. First of all, Groucho is like, the best dancer ever. He can twist his knees, flap his hands like a bird, dance on tables, and wave his arms like he’s in the middle of a riveting version of “The Battle Hymn of the Republic”. He also has an average singing voice that can go a little high-pitched at times. And he (and the rest of his brothers, including Harpo) also had that traditional New York accent. The way this song ends is PRICELESS.
Whatever Lola Wants by Sarah Vaughan
This is the ultimate femme fatale song. A song that is enough to make a man kinda fear for his life. With Vaughan’s smoky, cool voice and that (kinda creepy) male chorus, it’s become a very popular song, and was recently featured in a commercial.
Why Am I So Romantic? by Harpo Marx
It’s no secret that Harpo Marx is my favorite Marx brother. He’s cute, funny, and incredibly talented. He’s my go-to man when I’m feeling angry, sad, sick, or nervous. There’s nothing his beautiful harp music can’t cure!
You Are My Lucky Star by Debbie Reynolds
The last Singin’ in the Rain one, I promise! This song is slow, sweet, sappy, and downright romantic. Favorite line: “You’re my Fairbanks, my Moreno, Rod La Rocque, and Valentino”.
You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me by Maurice Chevalier
French men are, and always will be, my greatest weakness. This song by Maurice Chevalier (famously spoofed by the Marx Brothers in Monkey Business) does nothing to quell that desire within me. If I were alive then and he serenaded me with that ditty, can someone say, “shotgun wedding”?
42nd Street by Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell
The ultimate Busby Berkeley number from the ultimate Busby Berkeley musical, 42nd street has it all: a colossal, realistic set, daring lyrics, outrageous costumes, fun tap dancing, the lovely Ruby Keeler and goofy Dick Powell, a metropolitan feel, and even a fake rape and a fake murder. They don’t make musicals like this anymore! Although 42nd street has long since been cleaned up of crime and seediness by former mayor Rudy Giuliani, it’s fun to look back at this piece of Old New York (and when you walk the city streets today and look around you, remnants of Old New York are everywhere, mixed in with the ultramodern glass skyscrapers), and honestly, New York is still pretty much the same. It’s loud, restless, noisy, with people milling about doing what they have to do so help you God, the homeless and the fabulously wealthy sharing the same pavement, cars loudly honking their horns, …it’s all very distinctly American, and what an exhilarating place to be!
In a previous post discussing my tour of Paramount Studios in Hollywood, I mentioned that I bought a book called “Hollywood Poolside” by Frans Evenhuis and Robert Landau.
This book is full of fun, beautiful portraits of golden age stars lounging around the pool, and how these waterside images affected American ideas of wealth and status. Need I mention to all my fellow fashionistas, it’s a great way to see the evolution of swimsuit styles? This book has inspired this post, which not only shows stars by the pool, but shows them rocking their stylish swimsuits anywhere, and is in a way a tribute to the pin-up.
Jane Russell models a cute 50s style powder blue one piece on the diving board.
Ginger Rogers models a 1940s style halter bikini
Jean Harlow modeling the popular black Jantzen one-piece of the 1930s. It had a very demure front, but a revealing back, adding a subtle sex appeal. One of the most popular swimsuits amongst Hollywood’s elite in the 1930s.
Joan Crawford spices up her white one-piece with strappy heels, ca. 1930s
Rita Hayworth in a nautical-themed pin-up shot.
Virginia Bruce models a demure skirt ensemble, ca. 1930s
Grace Bradley in a flattering one piece and chic cape-style coverup, 1936
Una Merkel (cheesy pose!) models a black one-piece and some cute sandals, 1934
A very early photo of Rita Hayworth (socks and sneakers with a swimsuit?), 1938
Marilyn Monroe is very famous for her swimsuit pin-up photos. August 3, 1951
A beautiful candid shot of Monroe laughing, July 1, 1952
Merle Oberon models a cute suit on a diving board, 1939
Who else rocked a swimsuit (and synchronized swimming) better than Esther Williams? January 21, 1948
Although strictly for modeling, Ginger Rogers’ coin suit from Gold Diggers of 1933 is the height of swimming couture!
Yay! A man! Maurice Chevalier (my newest crush) sports a popular men’s swimsuit from the 1930s (men wore it without the shirt as well).
Marilyn Monroe in a cheescake pin-up, July 2, 1953
Grace Kelly and her family on vacation, 1954
Marilyn Monroe in a bikini, May 26, 1952
Claudette Colbert looks adorable in this patterned swimsuit! With Gary Cooper in Bluebeard’s Eighth Wife (1938)
Marilyn and a chihuahua, May 17, 1950
The famous shot of Elizabeth Taylor on the set of Suddenly, Last Summer (1959)
Liz in an adorable polka-dot one piece, July 4, 1956
Ellen Drew, Susan Hayward, and Betty Grable, 1939
Ava Gardner in a…straw bikini? Yep! ca. 1950s
Jane Russell’s bikini looks like an optical illusion! 1950s
Elizabeth Taylor (only 17 years old here) and (hairy) fiance William D. Pawley Jr. relax poolside, August 25, 1949
What’s more fashionable: Marilyn’s swimsuit or heels? January 25, 1952
Marilyn having fun on the beach, ca. 1950s
Maurice Chevalier with an unknown actress in Innocents of Paris (1929). Her polka dot suit is tres chic!
Ann Rutherford sunbathing in a cute swimsuit, 1937
Ann Blyth (in a fashionable swimsuit) and Farley Granger in Our Very Own (1950)
Esther Williams teaches Mickey Rooney a thing or two in Andy Hardy’s Double Life (1942)
William Holden rocks patterned trunks in a scene from the greatest Hollywood-themed film, Sunset Boulevard (1950)
Esther Williams in a sequined swimsuit in Million Dollar Mermaid, 1952
Marilyn Monroe in Some Like It Hot (1959)
In a barely there swimsuit in Something’s Got To Give
Rita Hayworth playing cards on the beach (with herself?) ca. 1940s
Cary Grant and Grace Kelly lounge on the beach in To Catch A Thief (1955)
Cary Grant relaxes in some sporty summer clothing poolside
One of the famous Cary Grant and Randolph Scott portraits, ca. 1930s
Cary Grant checks out Marilyn Monroe, ca. 1950s
Clark Gable and Joan Crawford in the pool in Chained (1934)
Ida Lupino lounges around in a bikini and wedges
A lovely one-piece worn by Virginia Grey
Yvonne deCarlo wears a bikini in this pin-up photo
Evelyn Keyes in a sporty black one-piece
Very stylish, Johnny Mack Brown!
Ann Rutherford in a fashionable one-piece
(Blonde) Evelyn Keyes hangs out on the diving board
I must say, my favorite swimsuit pictures are Bette Davis’. There is something so effortless about the way she wears them!
Dorothy Lamour in a cute skirt ensemble
Paulette Goddard models a darling white one-piece!
Here’s a cute style, modeled by Rita Hayworth
Loving Ann Baxter’s suit!
The always-cute Joan Blondell in an adorable swimsuit
Betty Grable in a striped bikini
Sonja Henie, not on ice!
Ann Francis’ swimsuit is CUTE!
Scratch that. THIS is the cutest swimsuit ever created! Modeled by Dorothy Sebastian
Una Merkel in a conventional 1930s one-piece
Paulette Goddard in a wraparound swimsuit
Lookin’ good, Alan Ladd!
Joan Crawford is goddess-like in this white one-piece
Thank goodness Cyd Charisse is modeling a simple black suit here!
Cyd Charisse in a cute halter bikini
A very young Lana Turner in a diving board pin-up
Elizabeth Taylor’s swimsuit is to die for!
Jane Russell in a ruffly one-piece
Ann Blyth modeling an interesting one-strap suit
Ann Harding is 30s chic!
An early Ida Lupino in a patterned one-piece
Another classy Ida Lupino photo
Ava Gardner is gorgeous in this beachfront photo
Ramon Novarro is mighty, mighty fine…
An early Ronald Reagan in a lifeguard suit!
Mamie Van Doren in a pastel pink one-piece
Here she is again in a patterned one piece
LOVE Ann Sheridan’s bikini here!
Betty Hutton in a swimsuit, carrying an umbrella (?)
Jean Harlow in a low-cut swimsuit? Every man’s dream!
Jean Harlow working on her swimsuit body
This I LOVE. It’s glittery!
This one is adorable too!
Jean always looked fashionable
Fooling around in a standard 30s swimsuit
Joan Crawford and Dorothy Sebastian accessorize their swimsuits with cool headscarves, 1925
Joan looks gorgeous in this publicity shot, 1926
Famous photo of Joan with husband Douglas Fairbanks Jr, August 22, 1929
I simply adore this swimsuit!
Joan and Doug im 1931. The men’s swimsuits make me laugh
Joan with Franchot Tone in Dancing Lady (1933). The black fringe is so chic!
Multitasking sunbathing with answering fan mail
I love Joan’s 1940s swimsuits. Here’s my favorite
This one is HILARIOUS. Gloria Swanson in the 1920s
Jane Powell in an itty bitty bikini
Debbie Reynolds goes for a demure look here
But vamps it up here!
Pulling off a classic pin-up pose
A young Doris Day. Love the bikini, not digging the sandals
Bette Davis is so cute here!
Bette Davis in a swimsuit, and Joan Blondell modeling the beach pajama, a 1930s casual beachwear trend
Mary Astor and Manuel de Campo in Hawaii
Tyrone Power always looked good in those tiny swimsuits!
Tony Curtis brings in some much-needed hairy man leg
Oh my God. Rudolph Valentino is SEXY.
Gary Cooper in one of those things…
A (not so good) photo of Johnny Weissmuller and George O’Brein
LMAO who can guess what’s wrong with the above photo of Philip Reed?
Larry checks out Vivien
Larry and Viv at the beach
Johnny Weissmuller and his brother in identical swimsuits
Paulette Goddard in a black one-piece. Nice background!
Jeanette MacDonald is cool in a white one-piece, sunglasses, and a headscarf
Jeanette MacDonald enjoying the beach
Errol Flynn…what a hottie
Susan Hayward, a beautiful, popular pin-up
Susan Hayward flirts with the camera
A fun bikini modeled by Susan Hayward
Olivia de Havilland looking lovely, as usual (LOVE her shoes!)
Olivia de Havilland goes for more natural scenery
Rocking a patterned bikini
Ginger Rogers caught off-guard at the beach
Loving Ginger Rogers’ swimsuit!
Loving this one, too!
Fellow Brooklyn dame Barbara Stanwyck rocks a bikini!
Gene Tierney in an amazing leopard print suit
Myrna Loy lounging poolside in that backless swimsuit I spoke about earlier
Dolores Del Rio in a one-strap bikini
A pin-up era Lucille Ball modeling a gorgeous strapless one-piece
A very young (and still brunette) Lucille Ball in a cute patterned swimsuit and a killer hat!
Esther Williams in a simple black one-piece. She has her own (ADORABLE!) swimsuit line today.
Wearing a tie-front bikini
The always gorgeous Norma Shearer lounging poolside
The lovely and talented Ruby Keeler
Al Jolson with his wife, Ruby Keeler. Nice rubber swim cap!
Claudette Colbert looks glamorous in this one-piece
And even more glamorous in this vintage bathing costume! With actor John Payne
Joan Blondell models an early version of those cutout swimsuits so popular today
Claudette getting some sun, sand, and surf
Here’s a rare one: Greta Garbo!
Greer Garson looking statuesque in a metallic swimsuit
Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster, either before or after that famous scene from “From Here To Eternity”
A colorized photo of Carole Lombard in a glamorous swimsuit and heels
Leggy Lombard was a great pin-up
In a shiny one-piece
Joan Fontaine and Joseph Cotten in September Affair (1950)
Kirk Douglas and Brigitte Bardot on the beach
Color photo of Betty Grable in a yellow bikini (with a polka dot pillow)
Ava Gardner in a pinstripe one-piece
In a black tie-up bikini
And in a polka dot bandeau bikini
Humphrey Bogart looking cool in swim trunks and flippers
Hedy Lamarr in a gorgeous one-piece
Veronica Lake in a black tie-front bikini
Maureen O’Sullivan in a knit one-piece and cute sandals
Maureen O’Hara in one of my favorite designs: the skirt ensemble
Grace Kelly in an elegant black one-piece
That thing on Gene Tierney’s swimsuit is a cover-up…I hope
I love this swimsuit that Grace Kelly wore in High Society!
Kelly looking great in a white ensemble
Yep, Dick Powell was the Jantzen guy at some point
Why, Rock Hudson? Whyyyy???
The most famous, greatest swimsuit photo of all: Betty Grable’s leggy 1940s pin-up shot, quite popular with American World War II soldiers.
All classic film fans are well-aware of the Debbie Reynolds auction, which took place on June 18th. Debbie Reynolds had been collecting Hollywood memorabilia for manydecades, in hopes of building a museum. Unfortunately, her dream never came true and the bills hiked up, and she soon found it necessary to sell her treasures. Many of the 587 costumes and props unfortunately went to Saudi Arabia and Japan (I apologize in advance for any offense this may cause, but I found that shameful. I’m a firm believer in countries keeping their own history. Things that are purely American should remain in America). If I had money, I would’ve bought at least one of the priceless pieces! Of course, Marilyn Monroe items were the highest-selling (the white subway dress was sold for the most money in the auction) and Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady” took second. Here’s some of the highlights of the auction and what they were sold for (I know I’m reporting about this a little late, but it took me awhile to find the photos and figures):
Rudolph Valentino’s costume from “Blood and Sand”: $210,000 + $48,300 buyer’s premium
Harold Lloyd’s personal suit and hat: $4000+$920 buyer’s premium
A lock of Mary Pickford’s hair: $3500+$850 buyer’s premium
Charlie Chaplin’s “Tramp” bowler hat: $110,000+$25,300 buyer’s premium
Laurel and Hardy’s suits: $16000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Carole Lombard’s gown from “No Man of Her Own”: $11000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Claudette Colbert’s gown from “Cleopatra” (the most beautiful costume in the auction, in my opinion): $40,000+$9200 buyer’s premium
Harpo Marx’s hat and wig: $45,000+$10,350 buyer’s premium
Charles Laughton’s uniform from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $42,500+$9775 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s vest and breeches from “Mutiny on the Bounty”: $30,000+$6900 buyer’s premium
Leslie Howard’s costume from “Romeo and Juliet”: $$20,000+$4600 buyer’s premium
Katharine Hepburn’s costume from “Mary of Scotland”: $35000+$8050 buyer’s premium
Norma Shearer’s costume from “Marie Antoinette”: $8000+$1840 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s blue test dress from “The Wizard of Oz”: $910,000+$209,300 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s Arabian-style test ruby slippers (never used in the film) from “The Wizard of Oz”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Clark Gable’s personal robe worn while filming “Gone with the Wind”: $10,000+$2300 buyer’s premium
Olivia de Havilland’s costume from “The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex”: $5000+$1,150 buyer’s premium
Gary Cooper’s uniform from “Sergeant York”: $55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
James Cagney’s jockey shirt from “Yankee Doodle Dandy”: $27500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Claude Rains’ uniform from “Casablanca”: $$55,000+$12,650 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s riding costume from “National Velvet”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Judy Garland’s gown from “Meet Me In St. Louis”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s headpiece from “Caesar and Cleopatra”: $250+$977.50 buyer’s premium
Joan Crawford’s waitress uniform from “Mildred Pierce”: $22,500+$5175 buyer’s premium
Ingrid Bergman’s suit of armor from “Joan of Arc”: $50,000+$11,500 buyer’s premium
Hedy Lamarr’s gorgeous costume from “Samson and Delilah”: $12000+$2760 buyer’s premium
William Powell’s suit from “Dancing in the Dark”: $2250+$517.50 buyer’s premium
Errol Flynn’s costume from “The Adventures of Don Juan”: $13000+2990 buyer’s premium
Vivien Leigh’s robe from “A Streetcar Named Desire”: $18000+$4140 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s peacock dress from “An American in Paris”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ dress from “Singin’ In The Rain”: $15,000+$3450 buyer’s premium
Debbie Reynolds’ ‘Good Mornin’ flapper dress from “Singin’ In the Rain”: $27,5000+$6325 buyer’s premium
Gene Kelly’s uniform from “Anchors Aweigh”: $27,500+$6325 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s red sequin gown from “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes”: $1,200,000+$276,000 buyer’s premium
Red MG TD used by Marilyn Monroe and Cary Grant in “Monkey Business”: $210,000+$48,300 buyer’s premium
Lucille Ball’s shirt, blouse, and coat from “The Long, Long Trailer”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “River of No Return”: $510,000+$117,300 buyer’s premium
Marilyn Monroe’s costume from “There’s No Business Like Show Business”: $500,000+$115,000 buyer’s premium
Marlon Brando’s costume from “Desiree”: $60,000+$13,800 buyer’s premium
Perhaps the most-recognized costume in film history…Marilyn Monroe’s white “subway” dress from “The Seven Year Itch”: $4,600,000+$1,058,000 buyer’s premium
Grace Kelly’s dress from “To Catch a Thief”: $450,000+$103,500 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s gown from “Raintree County”: $16,000+$3680 buyer’s premium
Leslie Caron’s schoolgirl costume from “Gigi”: $65000+$14950 buyer’s premium
Charlton Heston’s tunic from “Ben-Hur”: $320,000+$73,600 buyer’s premium
Elizabeth Taylor’s headdress from “Cleopatra”: $100,000+$23,000 buyer’s premium
Richard Burton’s tunic from “Cleopatra”: $85,000+$19,550 buyer’s premium
Bette Davis’ bloodstained dress from “Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte”: $11,000+$2530 buyer’s premium
Audrey Hepburn’s Ascot dress from “My Fair Lady”: $3,700,000+$851,000 buyer’s premium.
That’s all, folks! If you want to see the rest of the items featured in the auction, you can still download the catalogue for free in the Profiles In History website.
The next day we paid a visit to Paramount Pictures, located in Melrose. The tour was pretty much the same as Warner Bros. Studios all do the same thing, so the actual places we were taken to (exterior sets, an interior set of a show, etc), were the same, but the history was different. And that’s what matters, after all!
Famous stars that worked at Paramount: Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, Gloria Swanson, Rudolph Valentino, Clara Bow, Miriam Hopkins, Mae West, Marlene Dietrich, Gary Cooper, Claudette Colbert, Carole Lombard, the Marx Brothers, Dorothy Lamour, Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Paulette Goddard, Alan Ladd, Betty Hutton, Veronica Lake, Lucille Ball, and Desi Arnaz.
Like Warner Bros, we waited for the tour to begin in the gift shop. Unlike Warner Bros, the gift shop was awesome! My family stocked up on Paramount sweats, and I bought myself a book, Hollywood Poolside (which has inspired a future post, so keep your eyes peeled for it!). While skimming through a book about haunted Hollywood (which I regret not buying, since Paramount is the most haunted studio), I got countless compliments on my hair and outfit from the Paramount staff. Thanks! Now why didn’t they give me a job as an extra or something?
The Paramount tour was wonderful, and touched upon a decent amount of history. This studio also gets my vote for most visually beautiful. The architecture is fancy, and the studio is practically littered with manicured lawns, bushes, and flowerbeds.
The tour guide, a short, cute blonde girl named Alyssa, was easily the best we had from all the studios we toured. She was friendly, informative, and quite knowledgeable in the studios’ history. She was quite ecstatic when she saw that my sister was wearing an I Love Lucy t-shirt (smooth move, Baby!), since the studio is steeped in Lucille Ball history. The rest of the tour group itself? Not so great. It was my family and another family: a bimbo brunette teenager with red highlights, jean shorts, and a belly shirt, another bimbo peroxide blonde teenager wearing the same, and their poor, poor father. Since the tour revolved around Lucille Ball thanks to my sister, they were quite clueless 95% of the time. HAHA! The only other complaint I had was the stupid walkie-talkie thing we had to wear so the tour guide can communicate with us easily. The headphone took me about ten minutes to put on, and my sister and I couldn’t make any snarky comments about the other family because the tour guide hears every. single. thing. you. say. through. the. headset.
First we stopped by this glass booth thing with lots of artifacts from Paramount’s history. Alyssa explained Paramount’s history in a nutshell, from its founding in 1912 as Famous Players (making it the oldest film studio in America) up until today. At one point she was talking about nickelodeons, and in an attempt to get some audience interaction, she asked if anyone knew what it was. The bimbos were staring off into space. Before they could say that it’s a tv channel, I explained that it was a small machine that when you insert a nickel, you could view a short film. She said that was the first time a person got that question right in years. Unfortunately, that was the scariest thing that happened to me in America’s most haunted film studio…
Some things in the glass case:
One day, every single Paramount star was in the commissary at one time, and a smart person took the opportunity to get them to sign a menu. If you click it, you can spot the signatures of Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Lucille Ball, Anthony Quinn, Jerry Lewis, Cornel Wilde, Dean Martin, Elvis Presley, Cecil B. DeMille, Nat King Cole, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Charlton Heston, and Dorothy Lamour, among others.
After looking at the case, the tour guide told us to turn around. Right behind us, looming large in the giant green Hollywood Hills, was the Hollywood Sign! Of course, everyone took the opportunity for some great family photos, with the sign perfectly behind us. Now, onto the tour!
Lucy Park. Lucille Ball’s office was located right across from this park. According to the tour guide, she was such a workaholic that she would pose photos here with her family, pretending that she was spending quality time with them at home, in the backyard, while she was actually at work!
The Bronson Gates, AKA Paramount’s original gates. Back in the 30s, people would line up by the hundreds outside the gate, hoping for a job as an extra for the day. Today, if you touch the Bronson Gates, you’ll have good luck, so of course, everyone patted it (especially me). The Bronson Gates no longer function as the main entrance of Paramount. It’s now…
The soundstage visit: as I explained before, studio tours usually take you on one soundstage to see the interior set of a show. Our tour guide spoke a lot about “Glee” (which is equally bad, or even worse, than a tour guide who was obsessed with “Chuck”) but thankfully we didn’t see the set of “Glee” (apparently it’s that important and highly secretive…whatever). So instead we were taken through the set of “Big Time Rush”, one of the dumbest, most annoying shows on television. So once again, Baby and I could only dream of the greats that have walked through this soundstage before us (Paramount, unlike Warner Bros, does not have plaques outside the doors of its soundstages saying which great films were made there, so my sister and I could only hope and imagine). Remember those bimbos that were with us? Now it was my time to be quiet and clueless and THEIR time to shine! All what I heard was “Ehmagawd! It looks so different on the like, tv!” and “I’ll like, never watch this show the same way ah-gain!” When asked by the tour guide to give a summary of the show: “Umm…it’s about these guys…” Their father stood away from them the entire time. He was that embarrassed. We also got to see an actual shoot (from far away of course) of this show called “Supah Ninjas” (yeah, I’ve never heard of it either). Since I didn’t know the show, let alone the teenage actors, I started once again to daydream of a REAL film shoot…
Anyway, after Paramount, we visited Petersen’s Automotive Museum. The only reason I wanted to visit here was not only that I LOVE vintage cars, but because I read somewhere that cars formerly belonging to Clark Gable, Lucille Ball, and Jean Harlow were on display there. Imagine my disappointment when I found out their Hollywood cars section changes every so often, and I came when it wasn’t Gable, Ball, or Harlow season (well, I didn’t mind about Harlow so much since I did see her Packard at the Hollywood Museum). So, enjoy these hot rods:
Hope you enjoyed! More to come soon!
Since I love history and Hollywood, I was excited beyond belief to visit the Hollywood Museum, located at the former Max Factor building. I’ve heard beforehand that the museum is chock-full of rare artifacts and collectibles…and boy was that an understatement! If you ever visit this museum (which you totally SHOULD!) I recommend you take two or three days to see it, so you can fully view and appreciate everything it contains. Obviously, this was one of my favorite parts of the vacation.
The entrance to the museum, which has the scariest Marilyn Monroe statue of all time waiting there. “Hooray for Hollywood” from the film Hollywood Hotel was playing on a constant loop there, which meant that I was whistling along on a constant loop as well!
The people who work there are very nice. They complimented me endlessly on my hair and makeup (yay!) A lot of people complimented my style in Hollywood in general. Hollywood people are a lot nicer than New York people for sure! Anyway, The entire first floor is intact from the Max Factor days, and is now a tribute to the master behind our favorite faces and hairstyles. So, they still got the pink lobby (which has a ton of stuff to look at as well), and you know that Max Factor’s makeup was created based on hair color, right? (he would create a line for redheads, another for brunettes, blondes, etc) Well, he actually had rooms for the hair colors as well, where he would treat the actresses. Today, each room features a famous actress well-known for having that hair color. The room “For Redheads Only” features Lucille Ball and Rita Hayworth, and even some Joan Crawford. “For Blondes Only” features mostly Marilyn Monroe. “For Brunettes Only” features mostly Judy Garland.
In the pink lobby:
Another pair of Joan’s eyelashes, and what I suppose is the stuff she would use to apply them. I think the black thing is mascara, which was dry at that time and quite different from what we have today.
In the Redhead Room:
In the Brunette Room:
In the Blonde Room:
Randomness inside the museum (second and third floors):
Then there was a “portrait room”, full of nothing but glamour photos and shots of vintage Hollywood. That room on its own would take hours! Here’s some highlights:
More bits of vintage Hollywood awesomeness:
I’ve mentioned in a previous post that I saw the Harlow at 100 exhibit at this museum. Here are the photos from it:
A souvenir program from the premiere
A menu from the MGM commissary signed by all the major stars of the time: Jean, Robert Taylor, Franchot Tone, William Powell, Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, Robert Montgomery, and Myrna Loy, among others
Beyond the Harlow exhibit:
More vintage film equipment:
The entire basement of the museum was replicated to look like the prison from Silence of the Lambs. Since my family and I were the only people in the museum that day, it was 364237623 times creepier than it should’ve been:
Us seniors got our yearbooks last Wednesday, and since then, it’s been nothing but yearbook MANIA. Everyone is scrambling for signatures, passing the book around to friends, running after teachers with pens in hand, allotting valuable page space among people (empty front and back pages for close friends, divide these pages among the close friends, everyone else can sign by their photo in the book, so on and so forth). Of course, there’s also the frustration of what to write and where to begin writing. There’s also the dread of someone you really don’t know well asking you to sign their book, and you’d have to end up writing some weak, obviously fake, generic message to them (“I’m glad we got to know each other! Good luck in college!”). An ex-friend of mine (she’s a SEVERE NUTCASE and as soon as I found out, I dumped her faster than a hot potato, and you have no idea how much I was made to look like the bitch after that!) asked me to sign her yearbook. To my inner satisfaction, I was probably the second person to sign. I told her to be happy in life (she’s faking being depressed about everything. Sorry for the amount of parentheses in this post).
But what if I was lucky enough to go to school with Classic Hollywood? What would they have to say to me? Look no further!
Hooray for having big beaver teeth like me girl! Go us!
Clark knocked me up so take THAT!
So…wanna go out for dinner at a five-star restaurant tonight? Just kidding! And please stop laughing hysterically at me when I trip/fall on my butt/make pigeon-like motions with my head/get constantly confused and baffled by what’s going on around me.
DAAAAAAAHHHHHHH-LIIIIINNNNGGGG! Best in luck with everything you do dahling, but dahling, you ain’t ever gonna be better than me dahling!
Your dahling friend,
Tallu (DAHLING) (DUH)
You’re butt-ugly! What else can I say, being a blonde bitch?
So…wanna go out for dinner at a five-star restaurant tonight? You get full access to my schnozz!
THE HIIIIILLLLLLLSSS ARRRRRRREEEEE ALLLIIIIIIVVVVVEEEE WITH THE SOUND OF MUUUUUUSSSIIICCC! Please stop calling me “Judy” Andrews. MY NAME’S FRIGGIN JULIE, GET WITH IT GIRL!
With Kindest Regards,
I’m so glad we are friends! I’m not the only cheapskate who badly plays an instrument!
From Your Pal,
Admire the profile! Wanna go out for a drink? Don’t worry about getting a fake ID!
Thank you for tormenting me with duck jokes you meanie!
Robert “Quack” Young
I AM THE FUNNIEST MARX BROTHER! Just wait and see!
I am in love with our friendship! Who else says “MONEY!” instead of “CHEESE!” when we take pictures??
I’m glad you are one of the few who appreciate my brand of humor and acknowledges my talent…even though you often say I look like a turtle.
BABALU! BAAAABAAALLLUUUU! Keep on Babalu-ing, amiga!
~~Desiderio (I know you have an obsession with my full name)
Congratulations to the Queen of Sheba! You, like me, can throw a swell left!
YOU NEED SOME PIANO LESSONS STAT.
We’re two of a kind! But I’m the prettier, thinner one!
Your accent, loud voice, fast way of speaking, sprinkling of your speech with disgusting swearwords, and tendency to make rude noises while conversing are shameful to the integrity of the English Language. I, a mere child, can speak with better diction than you ever will in your entire lifetime. Please try to make an effort to see me sometime this summer so I can attempt to alleviate your situation.
Mr. Freddie Bartholomew
So we share birthdays! How about I eradicate you off the face of the earth so I can be the only one eh?
You’re just jealous of my mumbling voice and brooding persona, so stop making fun of it! And you have to admit, I was cool as Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls!
HOW MANY TIMES MUST I TELL YOU I DO NOT LOOK CONSTIPATED THROUGHOUT GWTW! I hope you will become blinded by my shiny golden locks!
So you think you have big eyes huh?
Thank you for always hoping that someday I will get the girl over Clark Gable.
Voules-vouz le taximeter?
I AM NOT EVIL.
I hope you someday find your very own pale hands by the Shalimar. Stop making fun of my thick Italian accent and my incredibly long name. I know it’s sexy, but please contain yourself.
The only time you ever showed any promise in dance is when you badly needed to use the restroom.
I’m very happy for you really I am.
Aww, I dunno what to say…ummm…aw gawsh!
Sir Laurence Olivier
Aww baby, you should be sittin’ on top of the world!
Al (which rhymes. New song!)
Gentlemen prefer blondes!
I thoroughly enjoy terrorizing everyone with our caustic remarks!
Why do all of your tights look strangely like mine?
Errol Flynn (aka In Like Flynn…please stop randomly saying that)
I’VE NEVER SEEN SUCH A BEAUTIFUL BUBBLE SINCE I WAS A CHILD! You can imitate my voice so well it even creeps ME out!
PS: I LIKE MONEY!
Please excuse me while I count my cocoanuts
Louis B Mayer:
There’s room for only one tyrant around here!
Fellow Brooklyn dames!!!
Please remove this monstrosity of a yearbook away from me! By the way, I still can’t get rid of the botanical freak from Life With Father.
Please stop playing with my nose and calling me Myrna Boy! I’m not a boy!
I did NOT steal my cable-knit sweaters from Clark Gable!!!
We have so many inside jokes! From, “a little bit of laryngitis baby” to “I got the gobloots from the booshoo bird?” I never fail to bust your lungs!
Come up and see me sometime! Oh wait, you’re a girl, not a sexy muscleman.
You’ll be “singin’ in the rain” at your prom tomorrow!
Every time you sing “42nd Street” I have a brain aneurysm
Love, Ruby K.
Stop offering me your retainer!
Women should be obscene and not heard.
May I have my name back?
The Real Carole
Here’s NOT looking at you, kid
Great balls of fire! Stop fancying yourself as Scarlett O’Hara! And there are SOME non GWTW movies in which I don’t die!
Please tell them to stop comparing Kate Middleton to me.
You are a very nice girl. Now stop stalking me and get a life.
I got a lot of wonderful presents on my birthday, from a heartfelt letter that reached me at exactly midnight to makeup from Chanel. To top it all off, I got an email that day from Janet L. Hoffman of The Hollywood Heritage Museum informing me about the Rudolph Valentino Birthday Tribute that will take place at the museum May 11. She asked me to spread the word, so heeere I go!
The event kicks off at 7:30 pm at the Hollywood Heritage Museum (2100 N. Highland Ave., Hollywood), and features Donna Hill, author of Rudolph Valentino, The Silent Idol: His Life In Photographs. Hill’s book features many rare photographs of the silent screen idol, some of which have not been seen since the 1920s, or have not been released publicly until now. They include candids of Valentino at home, traveling, and on sets of his films. Hill will present a slideshow of these images, including some that did not make the final cut for the book.There will also be an exhibit of rare Valentino artifacts from the collection of Valentino collector Tracy Terhune. Also, there will be screenings of Blood and Sand and Rudolph Valentino and His 88 American Beauties.
Doors will open at 7 Pm. Parking is free, and tickets for members are $5.00 each. For non-members, it’s $10 each. Tickets can be purchased online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/166400 and for more information visit http://www.hollywoodheritage.org.
If you would like any more contact info in order to find out more on this event, leave a comment and I will give you whatever you need.
And now for your viewing pleasure, here’s a taste of the exhibit from Donna Hill herself:
Ain’t he just gorgeous? Here are some other upcoming events at the Museum:
On April 13 (short notice I know, I apologize), the Museum will be holding a birthday tribute to Charlie Chaplin at 7:30 PM. There will be a screening of the documentary The Gentleman Tramp, introduced by its director, Richard Patterson. the documentary presents a wonderful perception of Chaplin through film excerpts, newsreels, and home movies that cover Chaplin’s entire life and career. Patterson actually knew Chaplin personally, and filmed him at his Vevey, Switzerland home in the 70s. There will also be a surprise film screening and rare artifacts on display.
Hope you will be able to make it to one (or both!) of these wonderful events! Don’t give up on the chance to convene with fellow fans!
Yes people, exams (for now, anyway) are officially over! The exam that I was supposed to take today was cancelled due to the wonderful weather we’re having, and trust me, now that I’m back and better than ever, I’m NOT complaining!
However, during this hiatus I’ve finally figured out why I was not meant to live during the Golden Age of Hollywood.
I would’ve been a menace.
The fear of all the actors.
The sound of my name would fill them all with horror and dread.
They’d end up hiring about a zillion bodyguards. Why?
Because I’d run after them all!
So today I’m revealing the movie portion of the most exclusive club in the world…my dead boyfriends club! These men are smart, talented, funny, and very, very attractive. Without much further ado, here’s the men who, if I lived during Hollywood’s Golden Age, I would’ve forced them to have me on their arm at one point:
Cary Grant is nothing short of amazing. He’s whip-smart, witty, and drop-dead hilarious. he also has that Mid-Atlantic accent that practically makes me weak in the knees. I’ve never met a Cary Grant movie I didn’t like, which is a great testament to his charisma and charm. He was extremely talented, with a career that spanned over thirty years. If Cary is still enormously popular today, you know the man is cool! And check out those looks: they’re scary good. He’s the dream man: tall, dark, and handsome. Extra points for buff body, smoldering stare, and the “stupid hole in his chin” (as Myrna Loy said in my favorite Grant film, Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House).
Carole Lombard married this guy. And you know Carole Lombard chose nothing but the best! William Powell is a dream. He’s so sophisticated, and he gives off this suave, urbane, man of the world aura that makes him seem a little high and mighty. Which I love. I have a weakness for a man who gives himself airs, and William Powell is it! Underneath that smooth exterior, Powell is down-to-earth, a little klutzy, and can make you laugh to TEARS. It’s a darn shame Powell isn’t more remembered as a comedian. And don’t tell me he isn’t handsome! He probably has the nicest eyes in Hollywood!
Franchot Tone is magic. He can take a mediocre film and make it the most damn memorable thing ever. For example, take the film Love On The Run, wich starred Joan Crawford (whom he was married to at the time) and Clark Gable. The film was destined to be another Crawford vehicle with Gable getting her in the end, but the genius decision to cast Franchot Tone as Gable’s sidekick/frenemy makes it one of the funniest films ever, which I watch again and again and gain. Tone and Gable made a wonderful team, and played off each other very well. Unfortunately they only made three films together. Tone, an amazing, multi-talented actor is sadly overlooked today, and that, more than anything else, is a darn shame. He can do anything, from comedy to war to period films. Oh, and did I mention that when Franchot Tone smiles showing his teeth, it is the nicest smile ever? I repeat EVER.
Ah, the exotic Valentino. Tall, dark, and handsome, he gave American women something different when he became famous, and boy did they love it. And I, ninety years later, am no exception to the rule. Valentino is talented (I don’t think anyone but him can really pull off the romantic Eastern dramas like he did) and terribly attractive. He gets points for the buff bod, but to me Valentino’s best features are his gorgeous dimpled smile and his husky Italian accent. Even if Valentino was not stunning in any other way, that accent would be enough to make me like him. I also love Valentino’s name (Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Piero Gugliemi di Valentina d’Antoguolla). I’m still working on memorizing it. Another added bonus: Valentino was a crazy-good chef. A man who can cook? A man who can cook GOOD? I’m all his!
Errol Flynn didn’t specialize in swashbucklers for nothing. He knew how to give a girl a good time. Errol Flynn is the bad boy every girl secretly loves. he was reckless, overly-confident, and too handsome for his own good. However, that’s Errol Flynn’s charm: the glint in his eye, that megawatt smile, and the dimpled cheeks (I do have a weakness for dimples, don’t I?). He also has the amazing power to put a little comedy in his sweeping adventure films. My personal favorite of his, The Adventures of Don Juan, is so funny. And a man who can pull off the tights look is a true man indeed!
Gene Kelly is so damn cool. No other word to describe him. The man was a true triple threat (too bad that word is now reserved to mediocre teenagers like Zac Frickin Efron today). He can sing, act, and dance like it was NOBODY’S BUSINESS. And a klutzy girl like me needs a man who can teach her a step or two! he was a perfectionist, a hard worker, and an innovator. In other words, he’s perfect! He’s also incredibly muscular, which is not a bad thing at all. Only con: he’s too short for me (he’s 5’6″, I’m 5’5″, so if I married him, I’d have to wear flats for the rest of my life).
Desi was a main character in the most hilarious, wacky TV show of a ll time: I Love Lucy. To be able to stand out next to Lucille Ball the way Arnaz did is maybe the world’s greatest feat. Arnaz obviously had acting and comedic chops, but he also has a sultry singing voice and crazy conga drum skills. Come on, every girl loves a man who can serenade her and not make a fool of himself while doing it! Other than being a fan of Babalu, I’m also a fan of Arnaz’s accent (which helped him create some of the most memorable I Love Lucy moments), his name (Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III) and his thick dark hair, which he always pushed to the front of his head in a pouf.
Spencer Tracy was not known for being the most good-looking of actors, but that hardly matters since he’s the king of amazing awesomeness. Tracy could make you laugh to high heavens, cry like a baby, and can just plain shut you up with awe at the amount of talent the man had. He was one of the greatest, most accomplished actors and he knew it. No actor pulled in the audience as much as Tracy did. He also had nice auburn colored hair and kind expressive eyes, which is great, of course.
Cags is the perfect image of the angry little Irishman. He had fiery red hair, snappy blue eyes, a strong personality, and a quick temper. What’s not to love? He was also very talented, and was able to perform a variety of roles, from murderous gangster to a Busby Berkeley hoofer. He also had a great New York accent, even better is that he made it sound kinda classy. If I married Cagney, I know we would have a lot of fun just venting out to each other. Con: with two hot tempers in the house, one of us will have our head snapped off sooner or later.
Honestly, there is no other reason for Al Jolson being here than because I love him so much. He just gives me the giggles for no reason at all. It’s just that every time I look at Al Jolson I laugh. Other than that, his famous singing voice is funny yet unique, and his songs are so good they get stuck in my head for a good couple of days. I can do a pretty mean imitation of his voice, I ought to record myself and put the video up here sometime. Jean and I also have a treasure trove of Jolson jokes that are pretty damn hilarious. I love Al Jolson. I just do.
Leslie Howard always thought of himself as a ladies’ man, so why not give him what he wants? He’s another guy that gives me the giggles, ever since I saw him as puppy dog Ashley Wilkes in Gone with the Wind. I feel pretty bad that that’s the role Howard is remembered for, when he did lots of other great films. Howard is more of a mellow type, and has a calming air to him. I also never really like blonde guys, so total plus for Leslie there! I also love the above picture of him so much, because I like it when Golden Age Men look like geeks.
Louis B Mayer
Here’s perhaps the most ridiculous man on the list. However, there are good reasons for every girl to appreciate LB. He’s rich, he’s powerful, he’s fearsome, and he made himself something out of nothing. F Scott Fitzgerald wrote The Great Gatsby as a criticism against the American Dream, but Louis B PROVED YOU WRONG SO TAKE THAT FITZGERALD! He kind of reminds me of Napoleon: the most important guy in the land but yet only standing at like, five feet tall. I love short men who are (or make themselves) important.
Why do I love Laurence Olivier? He’s so damn serious it’s side-splitting! I’m not really sure if I ever saw this man crack a smile in my life, ands it’s also pretty obvious he finds himself a prestigious and accomplished actor (which he is, no doubt about it. He is considered to be the greatest English-speaking actor of all time). You might find someone that serious pretty unlovable, but trust me, if you see how unintentionally funny it actually is, you will grow a soft spot for Olivier. He also has some of the best quotes ever spoken in Hollywood. Although he’s no slapstick comedian, Olivier is very sharp and witty. Every girl loves a man who is a bit of a project, and I’m pretty sure that making Laurence Olivier laugh is quite the adventure!
The Marx Brothers
Can you tell me what’s NOT to love about these zany brothers? I’m absolutely obsessed with them! The only way they could get better is if they were one big crazy man, but that’s okay, if I lived back in the day, I would’ve taken them to Utah and married them all! Groucho is the wit of the group. I’m pretty infamous for my sarcastic barbs amongst my friends and family, so I can imagine Groucho and me being the most fearsome people in the whole entire world, because between us, nothing will escape our acid tongues. I also love his unique style. For Pete’s sake, I went to school dressed up as him a couple of weeks ago! Chico is the amazing bumbling musician who can play (read: shoot) the piano for me all day. I also love his exotic”Italian” accent and his hats, which would be stolen by me on a daily basis. And last, but DEFINITELY not least, is the wonderful Harpo, my personal favorite Marx brother, who will never fail to crack me up, from the unusual things in his pocket to his pink hair to that crazy gooky face. However, Harpo is adorable, and has a surprisingly well-toned body. Although he never spoke in any of his films, he has probably the nicest voice from all the brothers; rich and deep, just like an announcer or a narrator. He also plays harp like THE ANGELS. No matter how stinky a day could possibly get, count Harpo’s music to soothe you down.
Another unusual addition, but Jack Benny is oh-so-funny! Just check him out in To Be Or Not To Be, with Carole Lombard (which is coming on this afternoon at 12:30, folks! Keep your eyes peeled for a review!) Jack Benny is perfect as the man who thinks he’s sitting on top of the world, and when it all comes crashing down around him, it’s a scream! He also has one of the most recognizable Hollywood voices (which Jean imitates to perfection. One day, I will record her and put it up here too). And besides, everyone loves jack Benny, so why shouldn’t I?
Charlie is adorable. He was so small and cute it breaks my heart! Every time I watch a Chaplin film I seriously want to get in there just to give him the biggest hug of his life. However, this little guy was a movie tyrant! Without a doubt the most talented comedian who ever lived, Chaplin took his craft seriously, and turned comedy into an art form that no one else could really perfect but him. He was an enormously successful independent in a time when actors were owned and controlled by movie studios, which is a feat by itself. Chaplin was also British, which means ACCENT! He also has luxurious dark curls and the most beautiful blue eyes (or so I’ve read from those who were lucky enough to meet him). He’s like a man trapped in a cute little boy!
AND LAST BUT DEFINITELY NOT LEAST…DRUMROLL PLEASE…
You’re probably all sick and tired of me harping on the man, but come on! He is a hunk of burning LOVE everyone! (I can’t belive I just typed that) Clark Gable is the perfect man, the man who every woman dreams of. Notice that I kept repeating the word MAN. Because Clark Gable is THE MAN OF ALL MEN. Looking at all the young “sexy” actors of today, none of them can even hold a candle to Gable, in looks, talent, whatever. Gable’s raw, bold persona practically exploded the screen in his heyday, and people today still can’t get enough of him. He’s unique, to say the least. No one did anything quite like him, from speaking to dressing. He was something all his own, and no matter how hard other actors tried to beat him at his game, his charisma, spark, and personality made him win in the end. Audiences, male and female, all felt that they related to him, as though he was an average,e everyday Joe, a friend. Gable, ex-Ohio farmboy, was always one of the people, and he never tried to break away from that. He was extremely smart and professional, and he treated everyone equally, from the electricians on set to Louis B Mayer himself. Gable treated everyone with respect and was cordial to all. Even his marriages were based on an equal realtionship (look at his marriage to Carole Lombard). He was extremely popular, down-to-earth, lovable, and beloved. He also possessed devilishly good looks, which are simply incomparable. No matter how hard he tired to blend in with the crowd, he was always noticed. His tall, heavily muscled figure, thick dark hair, and sparkling blue eyes were a devastating combination, and his slow, sweet, lovely smile with their dimples is practically unequalled. Gable is King, and always will be, and we are proud to be celebrating his birthday next month!
Well, that’s all folks. I love how this is the longest post I’ve ever written on my blog!
Happy New Year everyone!
To celebrate, I’m going to look back on my 2010 classic movie escapades. Get ready for An Elegant Obsession’s Annual Classic Movie Yearbook!
Best Movie: Gone with the Wind (1939). This film won ten Academy Awards in 1939, and it deserved every single one!
Worst Movie: Apologies to The Painted Desert (1931), but it was the stinkiest Western ever created. It even has the stinkiest film poster ever created:
Best Female Performance: TIE! Rosalind Russell in The Women (1939) was witty, charismatic, funny, and engaging. Vivien Leigh in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) was complex, emotional, and heartbreaking.
Best Male Performance: TIE AGAIN! Spencer Tracy in Captains Courageous (1937) was simply amazing. William Powell in The Thin Man (1934) was smooth, suave, and urbane.
Best Villain: Ray Milland in Dial M for Murder (1954). That guy was an evil CREEP.
Best Female Comedic Performance: Carole Lombard in To Be Or Not To Be (1942). She made me laugh to tears.
Best Male Comedic Performance: the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup (1933), Horse Feathers (1932), and Monkey Business (1931). Laugh out loud HILARIOUS!
Best Romantic Screen Team: Clark Gable and Jean Harlow. Platinum blonde stunner with an acid tongue and jug-eared, burly ex-lumberjack? Their chemistry and spark is inimitable.
Best Hero/Sidekick Team: Clark Gable and Franchot Tone. They complimented and played off each other so well, it’s a darn shame they only made three movies together
Best Dressed: Joan Crawford. She always looks her best
Best Kiss: Clark Gable and Mary Astor in Red Dust (1932). Considered to be one of the best classic movie kisses
Best Line: “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again!” fills me up with tears every time
Best Newcomer: I recently discovered Rudolph Valentino, and he has quickly become one of my favorites
Most LOL-worthy Moment: TIE! William Powell cooing in Myrna Loy’s face in I Love You Again (1940) and Norma Shearer’s Jungle Red Nails in The Women (1939)
Hope you enjoyed our first annual Classic Movie Yearbook! Look forward to a new year full films, fun, and a whole lot of insight and sarcasm! As Frank Sinatra said in his song, The Best Is Yet To Come: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”
Merry Christmas from the Dames and everyone at classic Hollywood!
Happy holidays everyone! Hope you enjoyed my pathetic computer art!
I discovered the awesomeness of Rudy Valentino fairly recently. It all began this summer, when Jean and I became obsessed with his version of the song Pale Hands I Loved, one of the most beautiful love songs ever written. Too bad I couldn’t understand a word he was singing due to his unbelievably thick Italian accent. Anyway, Rudy shot up to become one of my favorite actors in a very short time. Here’s some of my favorite portraits (or sorta-kinda portraits) of him:
Valentino’s costume for this film is INSANE. And his profile looks like the head of a coin. However, before I get mauled by Jean, the ORIGINAL head of a coin is Spencer Tracy.Valentino in this white sweater cracks me up. However, it is so fantastic that he’s in a fencing uniform!
And you know what?
I loved it!
Rudolph Valentino is officially cool again! In my mind, he is no longer the funny-looking guy with the really long name (Rodolfo Alfonso Raffaello Piero Filiberto Gugliemi di Valentina d’Antaguolla, anyone?). He’s actually quite talented!
The film, about the family of an Argentine patriarch and their struggles in Europe during World War I, was Valentino’s first feature. Before that, he performed in short B-films and when the going got tough, he would work a night job as a taxi dancer. To showcase his dance talents, director Rex Ingram added a scene featuring Valentino doing the tango (it wasn’t in the novel by Vincente Blasco Ibanez). This became the most famous scene in the film (and one of the most iconic silent film scenes), and let me tell you, Valentino’s got some hoofer chops! Wait, what?
Well, Valentino picked a tour de force for his first film! It has it all, from turbulent romance, bitter animosity, war scenes, and special effects, and artistic camera techniques. However, that’s the stuff all other movie bloggers talk about. Let me mention the things that stood out to me.
If you’ve watched TCM (which I’m sure you have), you know that they show the film’s rating before they play the film. Four Horsemen was given a G rating. And I do not know how the HELL that happened. There were some pretty risqué scenes around here, including three nude women and a scene in which German soldiers dance on a table in drag. Now THAT’S some stuff I would want my little kids to watch! Worst of all? Wallace Beery taking a bath! AAAAAAAAH!!!!
Four Horsemen also invented disco about 50 years before people knew what it was. The film was “tinted”. I would say that it was DRENCHED. The colors really held your attention and got the mood across (you gotta love silent film techniques, totally different from talkies) , but boy were they were BLINDING! Here are some examples:
Here’s the title card of the film. Make’s you kinda hope and think it would be a very early Technicolor (even though I knew from before that it wasn’t). However, the beginning of the film is tinted to look like true color.
Scenario between me and a friend:
F: “What did you do while you were absent on Tuesday?”
Me: “I saw a movie”
F: “What was it?”
Me: “You wouldn’t know it, no matter how much I explain”
F: “Oh it was one of the black and white ones you watch?”
Me: “No. This time, it was friggin’ PURPLE.”
Four Horsemen also contains a powerful, grim message: that the Biblical Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse would come if man continued to hate and destroy. However, it seemed a little out-of-place in an otherwise normal melodrama. And the scenes depicting this were borderline scary (the message was revealed by some crazy neighbor dude of Valentino’s. That guy by himself was creepy enough!) Those horsemen (you can see a little of that scene in the red and green screencaps) probably inspired Carl Laemmle for some his Universal horror films, I swear.
Best of all? Valentino’s “Ohh crap!” faces. Every time the guy gets into trouble, he gets this look on his face that makes me laugh loud enough to wake up the neighbors. He also gets the look on his face when something bad is about to happen, or when he’s told something disturbing. However, in that case, it’s usually followed by a mushy-looking sad face.
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse was the most successful silent film in history! I think that, more than anything else, speaks for itself!
And Valentino: Who is very very scared, dazed, and confused
Now Here’s Some Stars Gettin’ Their Groove On (Mostly At Marion Davies’ Costume Parties):
All in all, happy Halloween from Classic Hollywood!
Hollywood faced a crippling blow on August 23, 1926. The Great Lover, Rudolph Valentino, was dead at age 31. His official cause of death was peritonitis and a ruptured appendix. Valentino wasn’t called “The Great Lover” for nothing. He was idolized by millions of women and was the most popular star of the Silent Film Era. His funeral was a circus, with hundreds of thousands of women storming the funeral home where his body lay in repose , and several suicides occurring the same day. Valentino was the first screen heartthrob, and was considered to be the ideal male of the 1920s. He is considered to be a legend today.
Immediately after Valentino’s death, rumors and stories began to circulate. These are some of the famous legends surrounding the death of Valentino:
1) Since 1926, a “Lady In Black” would visit Valentino’s tomb and lay a fresh bouquet of flowers there every week. No one ever knew who she was or her connections to Valentino. Eerily enough, the weekly bouquet still appears to this day.
2)Creepier than the Lady in Black is the legend of Valentino’s Cursed Ring. Valentino bought the silver ring from a jewelry store, despite the owner telling him that it bought bad luck to all its former owners. he wore it when filming The Young Rajah, which flopped so badly he didn’t appear in another film for two years. Freaked out that the story was true, Valentino put the ring away and didn’t wear it again…until he went to promote The Son of the Sheik in New York six years later. Within two weeks, Valentino fell ill and died.
The ring was then passed on to actress Pola Negri, who was dating Valentino when he died. Immediately, her health failed and almost ended her career. She then passed the ring to a singer named Russ Columbo, who was a dead ringer for Valentino. Columbo died in a mysterious shooting accident that raises questions to this day. Columbo’s cousin then gave the ring to Columbo’s friend, Joe Casino. Casino, knowing the backstory of the ring, did not wear it. However, he threw caution to the wind one day, decided to wear it, and was run over by a truck. A young actor named Jack Dunn, while performing a screentest for a film on Valentino’s life ,wore the ring. Ten days later, he was dead from a rare blood disease at 21 years old. Is the ring actually cursed, or was this a series of horrible coincidences?
In a seance, Valentino’s ex-wife, Natacha Rambova, claimed that he told her he “refused to believe he was dead”. Valentino’s ghost did not lie. He is the most spotted ghost in Hollywood up to this day. He haunts many places, including his Beverly Hills mansion, Falcon’s Lair, where he wanders through the rooms and the corridors, pats an imaginary horse in the stable, and stares out of windows at the people below. He also made appearances at Valentino Place, which used to be a former speakeasy that he attended regularly. Valentino seems to appear more to women,and there was one freaky occurrence when he so amorously appeared in a woman’s bed! Valentino has also been seen pacing the veranda of his former beach house at Oxnard, and he haunts his former suite at the Santa Maria Inn, where guests feel a weight on the bed and hear creepy knocking from within the walls. He has also been seen walking through the gates of Paramount Studios, and walking through the walls!
Maybe we haven’t lost The Great Lover after all…