Classic Links



RIP Tony Curtis

It was great to see Tony Curtis living out his final years. He was the friendly artist--often in a white sweater, shorts and a cowboy hat--active, content and open to the many questions of his fans. I think I will remember him as much for those graceful years as I will for his Hollywood heyday. I found lots of great links paying tribute to this fascinating man:

IMDB obituary— IMDB

Some tributes from friends and family— The Guardian

Another nice tribute-- The Sheila Variations

This is a great gallery of Curtis pics— The Kitty Packard Pictorial

Here’s an almost amusingly diverse collection of clips from Curtis’ career-- The Guardian

Tony Curtis of the underpass!-- Flickr (via Dlisted)

Tony had a great blog in his later years— Motion Picture Gems

And then of course there’s the TCM marathon. The schedule is at the end of this lovely tribute-- Movie Morlocks/TCM

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Another passing, Academy Award-nominated Joe Mantell, 94— IMDB

Kim Novak is going to do a three-part interview on TCM— TCM Image Source

Classic Links

RIP Gloria Stuart— The Guardian

Locals remember the filming of The Misfits (1961)— Las Vegas Review-Journal

Living free in Daisies (1966)— Lolita's Classics

Silent crime flick Underworld (1927)— Mondo 70

Classic Links

This is a sweet story about Ann Rutherford befriending a young fan and aspiring film historian— Ohio.com

I love hearing about big audiences lining up to watch classic movies. This particular crowd laughed through a Laurel and Hardy flick— The News

I think Peter Bogdanovich is the only blogger who can start several reviews with a memory about hanging out with the star, director, etc. Here he writes about Stagecoach (1939) and meeting John Wayne— Blogdanovich

Buster Keaton beefcake? I suppose he would have to be in great shape to do all those stunts-- Asleep in New York

Quote of the Week


The world never puts a price on you higher than the one you put on yourself.

-Sonja Henie

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Classic Links

It sounds like Mickey Rooney had a wonderful 90th birthday celebration— IMDB

Seeing Cleopatra (1934) at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood— Laura's Miscellaneous Musings

A lovely tribute to the Film Foundation, in celebration of its 20th anniversary, and a call for support— The Kitty Packard Pictorial

The first Native American movie director? This is an amazing article— The Guardian

Having just watched Mothra Vs. Godzilla, I think I will have to continue with this DVD double feature of Gamera Vs. Guiron and Gamera Vs. Jiger—those are some funky looking monsters— The Criterion Cast

The John Wayne quiz— The Telegraph

Classic Birthdays



Walter Pidgeon (1897-1984)
Mickey Rooney (90)
Romy Schneider (1938-1982)

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Classic Links

Ah, I love Bonita Granville— Immortal Ephemera

Lee Marvin: a real tough guy— Cinematical

Lionel Rogosin and the Bowery in the movies— Walking Off the Big Apple

I’m looking forward to the posts for this Katharine Hepburn event— LAMB

Classic Birthdays



Erich von Stroheim (1885-1957)
Paul Muni (1895-1967)
Anna Karina (70)

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Classic Birthdays



Gail Russell (1924-1961)
John Bunny (1863-1915)

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Classic Links

This is a great recent interview with Olivia de Havilland— Bloomberg

The continuing sibling rivalry between Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine-- Olivia and Joan: Sisters of the Silver Screen

A talk with Catherine Deneuve— NY Times Blog

Godard donates money to help pay for the legal costs of a man found guilty of illegally downloading mp3s-- Criterion Cast

Great spy camp: Secret Agent Super Dragon (1966)-- Movie Morlocks/TCM

Classic Birthdays



Sophia Loren (76)
Victor Sjöström (1879-1960)

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Quote of the Week


Nobody can forsee what will please the critics. Every artistic activity is, and always will be, a poker game.

-Marlene Dietrich

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Classic Birthdays



Ben Turpin (1869-1940)
Frances Farmer (1913-1970)
Ricardo Cortez (1899-1977)

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Classic Birthdays



Greta Garbo (1905-1990)
Rossano Brazzi (1915-1994)
Eddie “Rochester” Anderson (1905-1977)

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Classic Links

King Kong: The Musical. Wow, what the heck? That might actually be pretty good— IMDB

At age 80, Tippi Hedren is still working hard to fund her Roar Foundation— Alfred Hitchcock Geek

David Thomson writes about Claude Chabrol— The Guardian

Marilyn Monroe’s house sells for $3.85 million-- LA Times

Book Review: Jack and the Jungle Lion


Jack and the Jungle Lion
Stephen Jared
2010

A dim-witted matinee idol, a drunken pilot and a gorgeous movie animal trainer with two young wards crash-land in the Amazon jungle. With nothing but determination to survive, the group battles enormous snakes, angry natives and their own weaknesses in their quest to return to civilization. Will they make it out alive? Will the movie star woo the feisty trainer? Will everyone end up happy in the end?

I’m not going to spoil anything for you by saying upfront that the guy does get the girl—it is beside the point. I enjoyed the ride that got me to that happy ending. Jack and the Jungle Lion tells a well-worn story, but the characters really pop. I reveled in the warmth, excitement, and earnest energy of this lively adventure-romance.

There are lots of winks and nods to classic Hollywood throughout the story, and Jared evokes lots of familiar "types" from the era. The book itself has the crackle and snap of a thirties comedy. There’s also plenty of the cliff-hanging action of a Saturday morning serial. However, the plot made me think of more recent action throwbacks such as the Indiana Jones series and Romancing the Stone.

At 115 pages, Jack and the Jungle Lion was a brisk read. I became fond of the characters—and I hope to see them in further adventures.


Stephen Jared is an actor and writer. I recognized him immediately from a series of commercials he’d done for Jack in the Box (remember “Phil in the Box”?). He appears to be equally devoted to each profession—with regular appearances on commercials and television shows and writing projects from screenplays and articles to a children’s adventure story.

Check out some of Stephen’s articles here. This guy loves classic Hollywood.

For more information on the book, check out the official site for Jack and the Jungle Lion.

Classic Birthdays



Lauren Bacall (86)
George Chakiris (76)
Anne Francis (80)

Classic Links

The Sony MOD program launches with an impressive list of titles— ClassicFlix Blog

Mickey Rooney and his A-list pals— CNN Entertainment

I love this essay about Forbidden Planet (1956)— Cinematical

The 1910 version of The Wizard of OzFilm Ab Initio

Josh Brolin calls Megan Fox the “new Hepburn”, as in Katharine Hepburn. Say wha’?— IMDB

Great Quotes: Tough Dames and Femme Fatales



I’ve wanted to do another favorite quote post for some time, and this clip from the film noir 99 River Street (1953) finally inspired me to get it together.

This marvelously tense scene is equally frightening and sensual. Evelyn Keyes tries to seduce a dangerous-looking man—and she doesn’t seem to be at all concerned by the murderous look in his eyes. She is confident that she has power over him, a sentiment she makes clear with this suggestively cooed closing line:

I don’t believe in sometime. With me, it’s now or never.

Tough noir dames and femme fatales always have the best lines. In this particular flick, Keyes is actually a decent gal just posing as a dangerous lady so that she can help the leading man, but she’s pretty darn convincing.

Here’s a few more that I’m fond of:

Bart, I've been kicked around all my life, and from now on, I'm gonna start kicking back.
-Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy AKA Deadly is the Female (1950)

You're not strong or weak enough.
-Marie Windsor in Force of Evil (1948)

I don't go to church. Kneeling bags my nylons.
-Jan Sterling in Ace in the Hole (1951)

It isn't fair. I never had anybody but you. Not a real husband. Not even a man. Just a bad joke without a punch line.
-Marie Windsor in The Killing (1956)

Say who do you think you're talking to - a hick? Listen Mister, I been around, and I know a wrong guy when I see one. What'd you do, kiss him with a wrench?
-Ann Savage in Detour (1945)

You shouldn't kiss a girl when you're wearing that gun... leaves a bruise
-Claire Trevor in Murder, My Sweet (1945)

. . . the lie was in the way I said it, not at all in what I said. It's my own fault if you can't believe me now.
-Mary Astor in The Maltese Falcon (1941)

Classic Links

RIP Kevin McCarthy—
Edward Copeland on Film
A Shroud of Thoughts

RIP Claude Chabrol— The Guardian

I love this Chabrol gallery. It shows how lively and hardworking he was right up to the end of his life— The Guardian

Here’s a 1970 interview Roger Ebert had with Chabrol— Roger Ebert

A documentary filmmaker has found five hours of personal Leslie Howard film footage— The Guardian

Peter Bogdanovich has started a classic movie blog. It has the best blog name ever-- Blogdanovich

A chance to ask Joan Crawford’s grandson a few questions— Skeins of Thought

Quote of the Week


First, I'm trying to prove to myself that I'm a person. Then maybe I'll convince myself that I'm an actress.

-Marilyn Monroe

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Classic Birthdays



Dickie Moore (85)
Maurice Chevalier (1888-1972)

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Classic Links

Olivia deHavilland has been award Knight of the Legion of Honor by French President Nicholas Sarkozy-- Laura's Miscellaneous Musings
Olivia and Joan: Sisters of the Silver Screen
NPR

Tippi Hedren’s animal sanctuary gets its own brand of coffee— IMDB

A post with a detailed description of Jackie Cooper’s television show Hennessey—and on the week I posted about his autobiography and the show!— Observations on Film Art

Classic Chops on the LAMB (does anyone know what I’m talking about here?)— LAMB

Classic Links

Phyllis Brooks and Cary Grant— The Sheila Variations

Rent Katharine Hepburn’s New York apartment for only $275,000 a month!-- Zillow blog

So now Godard is now going to accept his Oscar in person? I don’t know why I care—not like I’ll be able to see the Governors Awards Ceremony— IMDB

Classic movies on the radio— Java's Journey

Desert Nights (1929)—John Gilbert’s final silent movie— Noir and Chick Flicks

Four Things I Learned from Jackie Cooper’s Autobiography


I recently got a screaming deal on a copy of Please Don’t Shoot My Dog: The Autobiography of Jackie Cooper. Though I had only seen him in The Champ (1931) and a few Little Rascals shorts, I’d always wanted to learn more about Cooper. I knew that he had built a successful, lasting career in Hollywood—both in front of and behind the camera--and I hoped that meant that he had a happier story to tell than the typical child star.

While Cooper did have the inevitable difficulties associated with working young and dealing with the pressures of stardom, not to mention some nasty family troubles, his story is for the most part an even balance between the bitter and the sweet. Having a handful of good mentors and a loving, intelligent mother did much to point him in the right direction.

Since I’d always envisioned a little boy whenever I thought of Cooper, I was surprised to read about some of the big boy things he was up to after his initial rise to fame. Here are the tidbits I found most interesting about his post-childhood life:

1. He had quite a way with the ladies.
For some reason, the former star of Skippy was irresistible to women. I had no idea that this book with the weepy child on the front would be so racy. From a slightly older neighbor across the street who gave him “lessons” as a tween, to a secret, bizarre affair with Joan Crawford when he was seventeen—this guy had no trouble sowing his oats. This is not to say he was a womanizer, he counts his girlfriends and wives as the most significant friendships in his life. Judy Garland was his first love, and he enjoyed a close, but chaste teenage romance with fellow former child actor Bonita Granville.

2. and 3. He was the star of two successful television comedies,
The People's Choice and Hennesey—though he didn’t care much for either of them. Cooper didn’t ever seem to hurt for work, but he had high standards for himself, and struggled to find meaningful projects. He was particularly chagrined to play second fiddle to a wisecracking Bassett Hound in The People’s Choice (I don’t think it was that bad. The dog wasn’t even in every scene.):

 

Hennesey was a Navy comedy--which was appropriate for Cooper because he'd worn the uniform for real during the war. I couldn't find a clip but here’s a slideshow with scenes from the show and pictures of its stars—the jaunty tune is the theme song:

 

4. He was an accomplished drum player.
Cooper enjoyed the escape of playing music, and he dabbled in drumming for years. During World War II, he played in a USO band and as a civilian, he was deemed worthy enough to jam with several nightclub combos. Here he accompanies singer/dancer Dagmar in a 1953 episode of the explosively popular Buick-Berle Show:

 

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Classic Links

Despite the title, this is not so much an article about Machete (2010) as it is an interesting essay about why we like the movies we like (rather than the ones we think we should like)-- Cinematical

An interesting post about Michelangelo Antonioni’s Red Desert (1964)—his first color movie-- Criterion Cast

A great review of the uneven, but strangely fascinating, Shock Corridor (1963)— Thrilling Days of Yesteryear

The composer who loved movie stars.— All Talking! All Singing! All Dancing!

Quote of the Week



Hiring someone to write your autobiography is like hiring someone to take a bath for you.

-Mae West

(Who wrote her own highly entertaining, less-than-truthful autobiography Goodness Had Nothing to Do With It)

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Classic Links

RIP child actress Cammie King, who played Rhett and Scarlett’s daughter in Gone With the Wind (1939)-- Alt Film Guide

When I saw this gallery of stars in summer dresses, I immediately thought “ah, how refreshing.” Lovely, effortless glamour— All Good Things

More guest posts from Silents and Talkies:
Cliff of Warren-William.com writes about Warren William
In case you missed it yesterday—my post about Ida Lupino

The complete list of links from the John Huston blog-a-thon (I’m sorry I never got around to writing about Tentacles (1977) for this—I’m not kidding)— Icebox Movies

Elena and Her Men (1956)—Ingrid Bergman gets to have a little fun-- Criterion Reflections

A review of the Elizabeth Taylor/Richard Burton bio Furious Love. I don’t know if I’m going to bother with this one— TCM

Guest Post: Silents and Talkies


Come check out my guest post at Silents and Talkies. I have to admit that I mostly wanted to do this to see what lovely picture Kate Gabrielle would come up with to accompany it!

Joan Fontaine on What's My Line?--1973

I've never seen the 1970s version of What's My Line. Joan Fontaine is adorable as the mystery guest. She actually has the panel believing she's a man for quite a while!

Classic Links

The BFI now has streaming films available online. It sounds like they have a great selection. I can’t wait to check this out.— Skeins of Thought

A film historian gets an honorary Oscar—beautiful— Huffington Post

Before Redbox there was The Movie Machine—for a little while— /Film

Yay—Hollywood Heyday is back with more vintage gossip— Hollywood Heyday

Scene-stealer James Cagney— Riku Writes

Fan donations save the Gone With the Wind (1939) dresses-- IMDB

Kate is having guest week at Silents and Talkies. Lots of great posts:
Amanda of Noodle in a Haystack writes about The Big Country (1958)
Monty of All Good Things writes about Ann Sheridan
Matthew of Movietone News writes about Roland Young
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