The Skeleton Dance (1929)



HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Classic Links

Marion Davies and her crazy costume parties— And. . .Scene

A great analysis of Nosteratu (1922)-- Riku Writes

Review: Song of the Thin Man (1947)— Hollywood Dreamland

Part II of one of my favorite series: monsters really like carrying chicks— Retrospace

Like the Ramones? How about the Joans? (Crawford that is)— The Chicagoist

Classic Links

Now Universal is doing a Manufactured on Demand program. Woo hoo!— ClassicFlix Blog

Happy 91st Birthday Baby Peggy!— Filmphiles

Sometimes a bedpost is just a bedpost?— David Bordwell

Review: Waxworks (1924)— Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Review: The Innocents (1961)— Classic Movies Digest

Glorious Dolores Costello— The Kitty Packard Pictorial

Six of those blasted remakes compared to the original classics-- AMC

John Huston’s stunning Irish manor on the market— About.com

Spooky Silents

This Halloween season, I thought I’d explore the dark side of silent movies in the hopes of finding some new favorites. I was most impressed by this trio of moody, stylish flicks. These aren’t your typical boogieman movies, but rather dramas with horrific elements and an atmosphere of suspense.



The Unknown (1927)
There was a formula for Lon Chaney’s movies just as much as there was for Esther Williams’ (how’s that for a comparison?). He tended to play downbeat, down-on-their-luck characters who had some sort of mental or physical (or both) deformity, and who never, ever got the girl, often because he would sacrifice his life to save her. This horrific tale flips some of those conventions by throwing in a few surprises. Chaney is an armless knife-thrower who is in love with a girl (a nearly unrecognizable Joan Crawford in an early starring role) whose father owns the traveling carnival for which he performs. He hopes to win her, because she is repulsed by the feel of a man’s arms around her, but his plans are complicated by a burly body builder. Chaney will do anything to get Crawford, and his determination feeds most of the horror, but he is at his most unsettling when he reacts to the news that his sacrifices will not help him to fulfill his dreams. It is a startling, raw moment. Chaney might have been legendary for his elaborate disguises and make-up, but here is proof he didn’t need them to turn in a gut-wrenching performance.

The Man Who Laughs (1928)
This period flick is an unusual combination of horror, drama and romance. Conrad Veidt stars as a traveling performer whose face has been carved into a ghastly, permanent grin. Though the set-up sounds gruesome, this can be a surprisingly tender movie, with warm relationships and many upbeat moments. At first Veidt seems to be portraying a Lon Chaney character, but while he has similar struggles, he is not nearly as tragic. However, there is also plenty of horror. The early scenes are particularly chilling, with glimpses of hanging skeletons swaying in the wind, and the description of the shudder-inducing act that causes Veidt’s deformity.



Faust (1926)
Emil Jannings is such an amusing, clever devil in this horror fantasy that you may find you don’t give two figs for Gösta Ekman as the hapless Faust. His simultaneously amusing and frightening performance is enough to make the movie a classic, but its special effects make it revolutionary. With clever use of light, fire and perspectives, director F.W. Murnau creates an astonishing world of magic and dread.

Classic Links

A good overview of the new Columbia Film Noir collection— Audiophile Audition

Review: Blithe Spirit (1945)— Classic Maiden

Carole Lombard cheesecake (very stylish suits!)— Glamour Splash

Love this pic of Jack Lemmon— Classic Forever

Classic Links

A review of one of Mary Pickford’s best movies: Sparrows (1926)-- Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

A fun trio of classic actresses dressed as witches— And. . .Scene

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Third Man remake is a cuckoo-clock idea-- The Guardian

A fine list of movies for the Halloween season— Riku Writes

I love the Audrey picture in this gallery of magazine covers— Old Hollywood Glamour

TV Tuesday: Fred Astaire on What's My Line?



I can't get enough of these guest appearances from What's My Line? Here's a playful Fred Astaire in 1955. I love that shot of his long, graceful hand as he signs in on the chalkboard. He was so humble in all his personal appearances; it's almost as if he didn't realize what a huge star he was.

Here's another appearance Astaire made on the show in 1958:

New Releases

Jungle Siren (1942), with Buster Crabbe and “burlesque legend” Ann Corio

The Best Arbuckle Keaton Collection: with shorts from 1917-1921, including The Butcher Boy, Coney Island, Out West, His Wedding Night, The Garage

Death in the Garden (1956), directed by Luis Buñuel

African American musicals: Ten Minutes to Live (1932), Miracle in Harlem (1948)

The Sam Fuller Collection: It Happened in Hollywood (1937), Adventure in Sahara (1938), Power of the Press (1943), Shockproof (1949), Scandal Sheet (1952) The Crimson Kimono (1959), Underworld U.S.A. (1961)

Criterion Collection: Z (1969)

I found all of this information in the new releases section of Movies Unlimited

Classic Links

I keep forgetting to post this wonderful David Thomson tribute to Orson Welles— The Guardian

Classic cartoon: Parade of the Award Nominees-- Motion Picture Gems

A tribute to the musicals Danny Kaye and Virginia Mayo did for Samuel Goldwyn— Kitty Packard Pictorial

A great collection of old movie magazine ads— Allure

Review: Drums Along the Mohawk (1939)— Silver Screen Stars

I love this pic of Merian C. Cooper— Just a Cineast

Monday Serenade: Hollywood Party!


Singer and Broadway performer Frances Williams makes a rare movie appearance, singing the catchy title song from Hollywood Party (1934). I love the stylish Art Deco sets, the lively pre-code sauciness of the chorus girls (is sauciness a word?), and the racy “getting ready” vignettes. This one will be running through your head all day.

Quote of the Week



The only reason they come to see me is that I know that life is great -- and they know I know it.

-Clark Gable

Image Source

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Minnie The Moocher (1932)



I thought this spooky, stylish Betty Boop cartoon would be a perfect start to the week leading up to Halloween. The smooth-stepping ghost walrus got his moves from a rotoscoped film of Cab Calloway dancing. This is Calloway's first film appearance and one of three Betty Boop cartoons to which he contributed.

Classic Links

Stars and their cars (Errol Flynn’s car definitely suits his reputation)— And Scene

An interview with a charming group of Munchkins from The Wizard of Oz (1939) (wow, these guys outlived everyone in the cast!)— Newsweek

A review of This Above All (1942) starring Joan Fontaine— Motion Picture Gems

The mysterious fifth Marx Brother— A Mythical Monkey Writes About the Movies

Classic Links

A toast to Audrey Hepburn (there are some nice memories from her coworkers here)— LA Times

I love this clip of the MGM stars eating luncheon in celebration of the studio’s 25th anniversary. The stargazing starts at 1:30— Joan Crawford Deluxe Suite

The bizarre, but fascinating 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)-- Green Cine

A hilarious trio of actresses with “angry face”— And Scene

One of my favorite Audrey pics— Classic Forever

Four with Joan Fontaine



Today Ms. Joan Fontaine turns 92 years old. In celebration, here is a selection of her movies that, for good or ill, has always fascinated me:

Jane Eyre (1944)
I’ve always felt that Fontaine should have received more praise for her work in this gothic romance. It is miraculous that she was able to pull off such a complex, but subdued performance opposite supremely hammy Orson Welles as Edward Rochester (I found him amusing, but I can see how his bluster might turn some against the movie). They’re an odd pair, but Fontaine makes up for that with her delicate portrayal of a heroine who is strong and wise, but also painfully vulnerable.

September Affair (1950)
I’ve always found it interesting that though I tend to see Joan Fontaine as a romantic heroine, she has rarely had great chemistry with her male leads. That’s why it is such a pleasure to see the cozy affection she enjoys with Joseph Cotten in this low-key drama. Their bond is the best element of a simple story about a couple who decide to grab an opportunity escape the world together.

Born to Be Bad (1950)
This swift little drama isn’t very good: the stars deserve much better material and the plot alternates between unbelievable and ridiculous, but I keep going back to it. Yes Fontaine has a goofy hairdo, and she is sometimes unbearably coy, but it is fascinating to see her go against type to play a bad girl whose bag of tricks isn’t quite deep enough to make her a true femme fatale. The interaction between delicate Fontaine and blunt Robert Ryan has a ragged energy that adds a jolt to the drama. I also wonder if there’s a bit of the real Fontaine in this calculating woman; I have a hard time believing she was as angelic as she claimed in her autobiography.

Letter from an Unknown Woman (1948)
Fontaine is at her most effective in this bittersweet romance about a woman obsessed with a philandering pianist. As she takes her character from a dreamy childhood crush to a more adult longing, Fontaine demonstrates the destructive effect of consuming passion with painful precision. The production itself is also top notch, with lush settings, a strong script and Louis Jourdan as the perfect romantic cad.

Image Source

Classic Links

This is bizarre (but not a huge surprise): the stage boards from James Dean’s high school are for sale— IMDB

John Carradine sings— Retrospace

Felix the Cat frolics with the stars in Hollywood— Motion Picture Gems

A scan of a movie magazine w/ Barbara Stanwyck— Classic Maiden

New Releases

There's lots of interesting titles coming out this week. I found this information on Movies Unlimited:

The Judy Garland Show—Holiday Special

Summer Storm (1944) [Linda Darnell]

The William Castle Film Collection: Homicidal (1961), Mr. Sardonicus (1961), Zotz! (1962), The Old Dark House (1963), The Tingler, 13 Ghosts (1960), 13 Frightened Girls!, Strait-Jacket (1964)

23 Paces to Baker Street (1956) [Van Johnson]

An American Tragedy (1931) [Sylvia Sidney]

An Ideal Husband (1948) [Constance Collier, Paulette Goddard, Glynis Johns, C. Aubrey Smith]

Back Street (1941) [Margaret Sullavan, Charles Boyer]

Condemned (1929) [Ann Harding, Ronald Colman]
Fanny By Gaslight (1944) [James Mason, Stewart Granger]

Sherlock Holmes: The Archives Collection (three-disc collection)[this is a compilation of different Holmes movies (many of them shorts), from the silent days through the popular Rathbone series]

Warners Archives:
Big Boy (19310) [Al Jolson]
Conspirator (1949) [Elizabeth Taylor]
Cynthia (1947) [Elizabeth Taylor]
Go Into Your Dance (1934) [Ruby Keeler, Al Jolson]
It’s a Big Country (1951) [Gary Cooper, Van Johnson, Nancy Davis, Gene Kelly, Janet Leigh, and Fredric March]
Love is Better Than Ever (1952) [Elizabeth Taylor]
Rhapsody (1954) [Elizabeth Taylor]
Say it With Songs (1929) [Al Jolson]
The Singing Fool (1928) [Al Jolson]
The Singing Kid (1936) [Al Jolson]
The Story of Mankind (1957) [Vincent Price, Ronald Colman]
The Story of Three Loves (1953) [James Mason, Leslie Caron, Pier Angeli]
Weekend at the Waldorf (1945) [Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers]



Classic Links

A mural of a punk Hitchcock in his hometown— The Guardian (via About.com)

This castle from Nosferatu is my favorite so far in the amazing horror movie house series on this blog— She Blogged By Night

The Hollywood Canine Canteen (classic movie stars as cartoon dogs)— Motion Picture Gems

The forgotten starlet series: Betty Field— Classic Hollywood Nerd

The short, sweet life of Olive Thomas— A Mythical Monkey Writes About the Movies

A great intro. to the Tammy movies— Noodle in a Haystack

TV Tuesday: Marilyn Monroe for Royal Triton



Leave it to Marilyn Monroe to make an oil commercial seductive. Here she is early in her career, flirting with a crowd of admiring men and getting an oil change.

Classic Links

Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca: rows, rivalries and a movie classic— Telegraph

I love these behind the scenes camera shots-- And Scene

Hollywood gossip, April 9, 1932— Hollywood Heyday

Fun creature feature quote quiz— AMC

Nice Arline Judge profile— Allure

Tips on collecting vintage movie posters— LA Times

Must-see classic Mexican movies— IMDB

Monday Serenade: Carmen Miranda

Since Carmen Miranda singing South American Way was such a happy way to start the musical Down Argentine Way (1940), I thought it would be the perfect way to start the week.

Quote of the Week



I have bursts of being a lady, but it doesn't last long.

-Shelley Winters

Image Source

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Mickey's Gala Premiere (1935)



Movie stars often made "cameos" in classic cartoons, but I don't think I've ever seen quite so many greats as there are in this cartoon. Here are the ones I could pick out:

Wallace Beery, Marie Dressler, Lionel Barrymore, Ethel Barrymore, John Barrymore, Stan Laurel, Oliver Hardy, The Marx Brothers, Maurice Chevalier, Eddie Cantor, Jimmy Durante, Harold Lloyd, Clark Gable, Edward G. Robinson, Adolph Menjou, Mae West, Charlie Chaplin, George Arliss, Greta Garbo, Gloria Swanson, Woolsey and Wheeler, Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, Fredric March, Buster Keaton, Joe E. Brown, Douglas Fairbanks, Will Rogers, and William Powell.

After all that work putting names to faces, I found a more extensive list of the names on Wikipedia. So was the singing trio at the beginning Joan Crawford, Jean Harlow and Constance Bennett?

Classic Links

Lovely Linda Darnell pics—
Dreaming in Black and White

A rare hour-long interview with Alfred Hitchcock—
/Film

I love these star-studded vintage cartoons—
Motion Picture Gems

Tired of Barbie? Try a Joan Crawford doll—
Joan Crawford Deluxe Suite

More about the Joan Crawford dolls. There’s also an Ava Gardner collection, and it doesn’t look anything like her!—
Tonner Dolls

Review: The Rage of Paris (1938)—
Noir Chick Flicks

Paris seen through the eyes of a classic movie fan—
Classic Maiden

Even if you don’t like Wheeler and Woolsey, this is a good read—
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Powerful Angela Lansbury




As Angela Lansbury is turning 84 tomorrow, I thought it a good time to give her a little attention--because while she seems to be universally adored, there hardly ever seems to be much discussion about her accomplished movie career.

I usually like to pick a handful of titles when I pay tribute to an actor, but I found that impossible to do with Lansbury. For one, I feel that all her performances have something to distinguish them--no matter what the quality of the movie (I call this the “James Cagney Syndrome”). Even among her very early films, there are so many great performances to admire: her youthful haughtiness in Gaslight and National Velvet (both 1944), her charming freshness in The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), the lush romance of her queen in The Three Musketeers (1948), her saucy showgirl/hostess in The Harvey Girls (1946)--and check out her flirty specialty number in Til the Clouds Roll By (1946):



I’m going to sidle away from her Academy Award-nominated roles, including her iconic steely mother in The Manchurian Candidate (1962), and focus on two widely different characters she tackled within a year of each other:

The Private Affairs of Bel Ami (1947)
It is heartbreaking to see Lansbury’s charming single mother fall prey to eternal cad George Sanders in this dark period drama. Quite often, the good girls can lose audience interest to more vibrant and less apologetic villains. This is not the case with Lansbury. Though she is all decency and kindness, her warmth is entrancing; the whole drama is infused with her spirit. As the only pure adult in a landscape of bitterness, she lifts the movie from total blackness. She also makes you want to give Sanders a strong kick to the rear.

State of the Union (1948)
Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are as sharply attuned to each other as ever in this political drama, but even playing against such mighty leads, Lansbury has a strong presence, whether or not she is onscreen. Her portrayal of a woman desperate to elevate her lover, and herself, into the White House is almost entirely uncompromising in its coldness. In those moments when she is onscreen, she is riveting. Impeccably dressed and coiffed, often still and observant—she is always ready to pounce. Even when her back is to the camera, she radiates power—you can sense the tension within her. However, in her first scene, she rescues her character from one-note villainy with a show of emotion that efficiently explains her ruthless behavior. That powerful moment changes the meaning of all that follows.

Image Source

Classic Links

Ooh—new monthly podcasts from TCM. Interviews with classic stars!—
Out of the Past

Achievements in the use of sound: 1927-1931 (fascinating stuff)—
A Mythical Monkey Writes About the Movies

Is that Mustache Really Necessary?—
Silents and Talkies

Ageless Joel McCrea—
Classic Hollywood Nerd

I love this pic of Danny Kaye offering Ingrid Bergman a light—
Flickr

Elia Kazan’s Man on a Tightrope (1953)—
The Epoch Times

Crypt above Marilyn Monroe back up for auction (here we go again. . .)—
AP

An 83-year-old shoe saleslady and former Hollywood bit player (great story)—
Courier Press

The Douglas Fairbanks Museum donation drive—
The Douglas Fairbanks Museum

Classic Links

Sun Valley Serenade (1941): a good musical with a great Dorothy Dandridge/ Nicholas Brothers number—
Silver Screen Stars

Day three of the Billy Wilder event—good fun—
LAMB

A review of Freaks (1932)—
Classic Film and TV Cafe

This has nothing to do with movies, except that Roger Ebert posted it on his Twitter this morning (yes, I’m stretching). It made me laugh though, so I had to share—
Rain City Story

Classic Links

More great Billy Wilder posts—
LAMB

Some terrific Al Hirschfeld sketches of classic stars (I love the Cary Grant pics)—
And Scene

Leave it to a burlesque stripper to perfectly emulate Jean Harlow’s hair style (it looks like it took so much work!)—
Vintage Starlet

April 8, 1932 in Hollywood—
Hollywood Heyday

A nice little tribute to Grable. It reminds you of what a kind person she was—
Kitty Larue Revue

I love this list. What a great idea. It’s like counting your pop culture blessings (and I give him props for including his wife)—
Riku Writes

TV Tuesday: Grouch Marx and Rock Hudson for DeSoto



I felt almost uncomfortable watching Groucho "Mr. Anarchy" Marx making such an earnest pitch in this DeSoto commercial. I kept waiting for the punchline. However, it did make me realize how much I like to hear him speak, no matter what he is saying.

On the other hand, while Rock Hudson has the looks of a born pitchman, he delivers his lines with a lot less enthusiasm. Doesn't he seem bored? (I wish they still made cars with that snazzy "sports swivel seat"):

New Releases

I didn’t have time to find full release information for the new DVD titles this week, but so many of them looked interesting that I had to share. There’s more detailed information on these titles at Movies Unlimited.

College Holiday (1938)
Bowery Champs (1944)
Block Busters (1944)
False Faces (1932)
G.I. Honeymoon (1945)
Glamour Boy (1941)
Hit the Hay (1945)
Honeychile (1951)
Horace Takes Over (1942)
M (1951)
Ruth Etting and Lillian Roth short subjects— Roseland (1930), Melody in May (1936), Masks and Memories (1934)
Scattergood Baines (1941)
Scattergood Survives a Murder (1942)
Secrets of Scotland Yard (1944)
Silent Sweethearts of the Silver Screen short comedies-- Her Bridal Night-Mare (1920), Campus Carmen (1928), As Luck Would Have It
So Evil My Love (1948)
So You Won’t Talk (1940)
Spotlight Scandals (1943)
Swingtime Johnny (1943)
The Bride Comes Home (1935)
The Kid From Cleveland (1949)
The Lady Wants Mink (1953)
The Meanest Man in the World (1943)
The More Laurel or Hardy Collection—includes: Something in Her Eye (1915), A Warm Reception (1916), The Chief Cook (1917), The Noon Whistle (1923), Huns and Hyphens (1918), The Weak-End Party (1922), No Place Like Jail (1918)
The Nickel-Hopper (1926)
The Speed Spook (1924)
The Talk of Hollywood (1929)
And Sudden Death (1936)
Armored Car Robbery (1950)
Blazing Six-Shooters (1940)
Child in the House (1956)
Crime Without Passion (1934)
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1912/1913)
Ellery Queen and the Perfect Crime (1941)
Ladies in Retirement (1941)
Philo Vance’s Secret Mission (1947)
Swiss Family Robinson (1940)
The Fatal Witness (1945)
The Torture of Silence (Mater Dolorosa) (1917
Thursday’s Child (1943)
Waterloo Road (1945)

Classic Links

One of the great Ida Lupino flicks: The Man I Love (1947)—
Self-Styled Siren

I’ve been enjoying the Stanley Donen saga on this blog—
Out of the Past

Lots of great posts about director Billy Wilder—
LAMB

Buried treasures: 99 River Street (1953)—
Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

Why would someone lie about seeing a classic movie?—
About.com

A tribute to Pepper the Cat, the first feline movie star—
FilmPhiles

Quote of the Week



Nothing here is permanent. Once photographed, life here is ended.

-David O. Selznick

Image Source

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Feline Follies (1919)



I love silent cartoons, with their cheeky title cards and herky-jerky animation. This is the story of Tom Cat (an early version of Felix the Cat), who frolicks with his girlfriend while mice ransack his mistress' kitchen. The dark ending is a bit of a shock after four minutes of light-hearted fun!

Classic Links



Two great posts about Joan Crawford—
Self-Styled Siren
Little Round-Headed Boy

The flapper bob revolution—
All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!

This is a great gallery of Elizabeth Taylor photos, but it gives me the creeps, because it feels like an obituary—
ABC News

Elizabeth Taylor tweets her recovery from surgery—
The Guardian

Lovely Helen Burgess—
Classic Hollywood Nerd

Image Source

1940s Breakdancing?



I have to agree with the person who posted this clip on YouTube; the dance moves in this scene look a lot like modern breakdancing.

Classic Links

Those old Hollywood gossip columnists—
Kelowna

Great Carole Lombard pics—
Silents and Talkies

More movies for your inner leftist—
Riku Writes

Great pic of Lilyan Tashmen with a very intricate hairdo—
Art Deco

10 residents of the Motion Picture Country House (I’m so sad that this place is closing)—
Mental Floss

Batman Window Cameos

One of the most famous images from the 1960s Batman show is of the Dark, Groovy Knight and his Boy Wonder slowly climbing up the outside of a building, trading cheesy lines as they prepare to surprise the villain of the week. On several episodes, a celebrity would pop out of a mid-building window for a quick chat. The cameos were about an even mix of television and movie stars. Here are a few of the appearances made by
stars who also made their mark in the movies:

Jerry Lewis made the first cameo in season one:



Sammy Davis Jr. popped up in season two:



Andy Devine, the character actor with the unmistakable voice, made an appearance as Santa Claus:



This is my favorite cameo. Edward G. Robinson, an art collector in real life, discusses artists with Batman and Robin and takes a jab at Andy Warhol and pop art:

Classic Links



New book--Bette Davis: Larger Than Life (produced in conjunction with her estate)—
TCM

New book—Morbid Curiosity: The Disturbing Demises of the Famous and Infamous (this is supposed to be a “funny” book about death) –
TCM

Elizabeth Taylor to undergo heart operation—
The Guardian

About Gene Eliza Tierney---
Nothin' I Wish to be Ownin'

Image Source

More Warner Archives Titles

Another great crop of titles now available from Warner Archives (I'm so excited about the pre-codes!):

The Barbarian (1933) - Myrna Loy, Ramon Novarro

The Bribe (1949) - Robert Taylor, Ava Gardner, Charles Laughton, Vincent Price, John Hodiak

Comrade X (1940) - Clark Gable, Hedy Lamarr, Oskar Homolka, Felix Bressart, Eve Arden

Every Girl Should Be Married (1948) - Cary Grant, Betsy Drake, Franchot Tone, Diana Lynn, Alan Mowbray

Our Miss Brooks (1956) - Eve Arden

Penthouse (1933) - Myrna Loy, Warner Baxter, Charles Butterworth, Mae Clarke

Perfect Strangers (1950) - Ginger Rogers, Dennis Morgan, Thelma Ritter

Pretty Baby (1950) - Dennis Morgan, Betsy Drake, Zachary Scott, Edmund Gwenn, William Frawley

The Subject Was Roses (1968) - Patricia Neal, Jack Albertson, Martin Sheen

Ten Thousand Bedrooms (1957) - Dean Martin, Anna Maria Alberghetti, Eva Bartok, Walter Slezak, Paul Henreid

Top Secret Affair (1957) - Susan Hayward, Kirk Douglas, Paul Stewart, Jim Backus

Classic Links

Why do barbers love photos of Marlon Brando?—
The Guardian

B-day gal Carole Lombard is so glamorous in this pic!—
Art Deco

Of course, I can’t forget it is Janet Gaynor’s b-day as well—
Silver Screen Stars

I love the haunted house series on this blog—
She Blogged by Night

Tuesday Weld in I’ll Take Sweden (1965)—
Out of the Past

Interesting review of the new Elizabeth Taylor bio—
Times Online

Unforgettable classic cartoons—
Matinee at the Bijou

Movies for your inner leftist—
Riku Writes

Nice, short bio of Charles Coburn (This blog has a great musical soundtrack. Check it out!)—
Midnite at Sunset and Vine

Happy Birthday to the Profane Angel



I can think of no better way of celebrating birthday gal Carole Lombard than with a profanity-laced blooper reel from one of my favorite movies: My Man Godfrey (1936). Here's to the Profane Angel!

TV Tuesday: Bette Davis on the Dick Cavett Show



This is probably my favorite talk show interview ever: Bette Davis on The Dick Cavett Show in 1971. I feel like I've been yakking about it a lot lately, so I figured I might as well post one of my favorite parts--when Davis talks about kissing on screen, including a particularly devastating early experience helping other actors screen test their kissing skills. Davis and Cavett are a marvelous pair: the grand, but candid Hollywood legend and the starstruck, but eloquent boy from Nebraska.

Classic New Releases

Warner Home Video/ TCM Spotlight Collection Woo hoo! The second volume of the Esther Williams Collection is now available! The titles are: Fiesta, Easy to Love, Million Dollar Mermaid, Pagan Love Song, Thrill of a Romance, This Time For Keeps

Warner Home Video Karloff and Lugosi Horror Classics: The Walking Dead, You'll Find Out, Helen Parrish. AKA: Here Come the Boogie Men, Zombies on Broadway, Frankenstein 1970

Universal Studios The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Volume 1--One Night in the Tropics, Buck Privates, In the Navy, Hold That Ghost!, Keep 'Em Flying, Ride 'Em Cowboy, Pardon My Sarong, Who Done It?

The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Volume 2-- Hit the Ice, In Society, Here Come the Co-Eds, The Naughty Nineties, Little Giant, The Time of Their Lives, Buck Privates Come Home, The Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap

The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Volume 3-- Abbott and Costello Go to Mars, Abbott and Costello in the Foreign Legion, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man, Abbott and Costello Meet the Killer, Boris Karloff, Comin' Round the Mountain, Lost in Alaska, Mexican Hayride

The Best of Bud Abbott and Lou Costello: Volume 4-- Abbott and Costello Meet Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Abbott and Costello Meet the Keystone Kops, Abbott and Costello Meet the Mummy, The World of Abbott and Costello

Kino International Classic Educational Shorts Volume 1: How to be a Man (1949-1970) and Classic Educational Shorts Volume 2: How to be a Woman (1948-1982)

Classic Links



Audrey Hepburn outfits to be auctioned—
Press Trust of India

A fabulous profile of determined Hollywood pioneer Mary Pickford—
Silents and Talkies

A pic of young Bette Davis, before the fire in her belly translated to the silver screen—
Art Deco

A Modern Musketeer DVD review (I love the title cards)—
The Douglas Fairbanks Museum

Classic Hollywood stuntwoman dies at 92—
UPI

Great pics of Cary Grant through the years—
Classic Hollywood Nerd

Image Source

Classic Links

Veronica Lake and the peek-a-boo bang—
FilmPhiles

Style icons we classic movie fans can appreciate—
Perpetual Flapper

Part two of that great Joan Crawford find from last week—
Allure

I love these old movie mag write-ups! Here’s April 7, 1932—
Hollywood Heyday

A lovely gallery of Gina Lollobrigida pics—
Classic Forever

Quote of the Week



My passions were all gathered together like fingers that made a fist. Drive is considered aggression today; I knew it then as purpose.

--Bette Davis

Image Source

Saturday Morning Cartoon: Dizzy Dishes (1930)



Here's Betty Boop in her first appearance: as a glamorous dog singing in a caberet. I definitely prefer the hoop earrings to the floppy ears.

Classic Links

I’ve never seen this amazing pic of Joan Fontaine and Olivia de Havilland together in 1942 (Wow--you can actually see the tension between them)—
Film Noir Photos

Flappers and the Halloween fringe dress myth—
Perpetual Flapper

This looks like fun: the 31 days of Halloween at Classic Film and TV Café—
Classic Film and TV Café

A Tony Curtis Interview—
Courant

Villainous Classic Stars on Batman

Though Batman may be the last word to come to mind when you think of classic Hollywood movie stars, the goofy, groovy show of the 1960s was a Mecca for seasoned silver screen performers. Here the old-time movie stars could cut loose and camp it up as outrageous and colorful villains. Burgess Meredith, Cesar Romero and Frank Gorshin (as The Penguin, The Joker and The Riddler respectively) were the usual suspects; their long careers were effectively overshadowed by their regular appearances on the series. But there was much more evil in the television Bat universe. Here are some of the most memorable guest appearances:

Roddy McDowall as Bookworm

Clad from head to toe in creaky brown leather, McDowall makes reading the basis of a career in evil:



George Sanders as Mr. Freeze

Sanders was elegantly goofy as one of three Mr. Freezes on the series (Eli Wallach and director Otto Preminger also played the role):



Ida Lupino as Dr. Cassandra

Lupino teamed up with then-husband Howard Duff (who was also her husband on the show) to play the clever thief Dr. Cassandra. In this wild episode near the end of the series, she releases a host of super criminals from prison including: Romero, Meredith, Gorshin, Julie Newmar as Catwoman, and Vincent Price as Egghead. Here Lupino zings Batgirl with a sharp comeback:



Shelley Winters as Ma Parker

The often over-the-top Winters is a perfect fit for Batman villainy. Unlike many of these guest stars, her performance doesn't seem like much of a departure for her:



Vincent Price as Egghead

Price made multiple appearances as the chrome-domed, cowardly Egghead. Here he captures Batgirl:



Tallulah Bankhead as Black Widow

With her theatrical, gravelly voice and outrageous manner, Bankhead was the perfect Batman villain. She was also the campiest star on a show that was all about camp. Watch her spit out her lines with gusto, like Cruella Deville brought to life:



In addition to these memorable stars, there were also guest appearances by Michael Rennie, Anne Baxter, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Joan Collins, Van Johnson and even silent movie actor Francis X. Bushman. What a shame they never hired Joan Crawford or Bette Davis; those two would have been fantastic!

Next week: same bat time. Same bat channel. The less villainous classic star appearances on Batman.

Classic Links



Mr. Bogart defends his own (this vintage article is sort of bizarre)—
The Guardian

Leslie Caron says Warren Beatty told her she was too old to play Bonnie to his Clyde (She was five years older than him, and he was her lover at the time. How charming.)—
IMDB

Roger Ebert’s Great Movies: The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) (I just re-watched this movie, and I remembered how well Ebert described it in this review.)—
Chicago Sun Times

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