Saturday, March 11, 2017

ANNOUNCING the Favorite Director Blogathon!

A few weeks ago, Quiggy from The Midnite Drive-In graciously asked me if I would like to co-host a blogathon with him on Favorite Directors. As is apparent by all the blogathon banners running down the right side of my blog, I love blogathons, so of course I said yes.

As everyone knows, directors are essential to a successful film. A film director "controls a film's artistic and dramatic aspects, and visualizes the script while guiding the technical crew and actors in the fulfillment of that vision. The director has a key role in choosing the cast members, production design, and the creative aspects of filmmaking." Without a good director, a film may die before it's finished or never achieve the success it might have.

There are many directors from the Golden Age of Hollywood who have become iconic and whose faces are instantly recognizable. Then there are the directors who's films are loved by many but who are only known by name. And lastly there are the ones who are never given the acclaim they deserve. That is what this blogathon is for, to honor all directors.

Here are a few simple rules:

1. Directors from the early days of film up until 1990 are fine. You can choose a single film that particularly showcases the style of that director or cover an entire career. When you've made your choice, please let me or Quiggy know in the comments below. Be sure to include the link to your blog so I can add it easily to the roster.

2. No duplicates of movies. However, if someone has chosen Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho you can still pick another film he directed or his career as a whole.

3. Since this blogathon is taking place over Memorial Day weekend, early admissions will be accepted. If you will be out of town simply publish your post ahead of time and leave the link to it in the comments below. It will be added at the appropriate time.

4. Take one of the banners below and share it on your blog to spread the word!

5. And lastly, have fun!!


Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: The film collaborations of Frank Capra and Robert Risken

The Midnite Drive-In:  John Carpenter's Big Trouble in Little China (1986)

Caftan Woman: William Wyler's Hell's Heroes (1929) and The Big Country (1958)

Christina Wehner: William Wellman

Cinematic Scribblings: YasujirĂ´ Ozu's Late Spring

Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Billy Wilder's The Apartment (1960)

Champagne for Lunch: Mervin LeRoy

Classic Movie Treasures: John Ford's The Quiet Man (1952)

Hamlette's Soliloquy: John Ford's The Searchers (1956)

Whimsically Classic: Billy Wilder's The Major and the Minor (1942)

Critica Retro: Orson Welles's Othello (1952)

Cinema Cities: Overview of Billy Wilder's Films

Charlene's (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews: Ingmar Bergman's Through A Glass Darkly (1961)

Realweedgiemidget Reviews: Ed Wood

Angelman's Place: Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby (1968)

John V's Eclectic Avenue: Jacques Tourneur's  Out of the Past  and Curse of the Demon

Because We Have the Stars: Billy Wilder' Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Friday, March 3, 2017

The John Garfield: The Original Rebel Blogathon is here!!!!

I am so excited that the day for John Garfield: The Original Rebel Blogathon has finally arrived!! I can't wait to read all the Garfield love! Since I saw him in Four Daughters (1938) I've been mesmerized by this man and I hope that some of you have discovered or rediscovered just how amazing he is!!

Normally I have a new post for each day of the blogathon but since there are less entries on this one I will be putting them all below.

Day 1:

Silver Screenings starts us off with the brilliant post Why We Need John Garfield in a Cary Grant Movie.

Why sure it's brilliant! You think it would be anything else?

My post from last years The Great Imaginary Film Blogathon on a fictional, 1940s version of Conspiracy Theory starring John Garfield and Maureen O'Hara.

Oh, the movie that could have been...

Caftan Woman show's us Garfield's world in The Breaking Point (1950)

We all look at Garfield like this ;)

Taking Up Room takes a fresh look at Air Force (1943) with Into the Wild Blue Yonder.

That look you get when you think you're listening to Orson Welles.

Reelweedgiemidget  Reviews tells us about Garfields' shocking final film, He Ran All the Way (1951).

Day 2:

Old Hollywood Films starts off the day with her review of the melodrama Humoresque (1946).

Taking Up Room shares her second post, this time exploring the afterlife and Waiting for Judgement with Between Two Worlds (1944).

Garfield really knows how to capture an audiences attention!

Finding Franchot tell us about Garfield and Tone's Group Theatre experience and friendship.

Crimson Kimono reviews the often overlooked film but perfect pairing of actor and actress in The Fallen Sparrow (1943).

Cary Grant Won't Eat You talks Garfield as sexy con-man in Nobody Lives Forever (1946).

Day 3:

Mike's Take on the Movies covers the explosive performance of Garfield in He Ran All the Way (1951).

So explosive the window shattered!

Taking Up Room shares her third and final post on the true story of A Highly Ordinary Life in Pride of the Marines (1945).

Critica Retro chronicles Garfield's rise as a violinist in Humoresque (1946).

Me when I spot John Garfield in a movie.

The Flapper Dame tells us how Garfield elevates a classic noir plot in The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946).

Musings of a Classic Film Addict gives us her analysis of Between Two Worlds (1944).

Lifesdailylessonsblog writes a wonderful tribute and life story on Hollywood's Forgotten Hero.

Back to Golden Days wraps things up with John Garfield and the Hollywood Blacklist.

Keep checking back for more great posts!

And don't forget to join the fun blogathon I am co-hosting with Love Letters to Old Hollywood!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Movies I Watched in February

This month I continued on my Chris Pine-athon as well as watched a few more recent movies that I never got around to seeing (I like to wait until the library orders it so I can watch it free). Here are the movies I watched in February in order of release year (films with an * have been viewed previously):
  1. Merrily We Live (1938) - Constance Bennett, Brian Aherne, Billie Burke, Bonita Granville
  2. Blues in the Night (1941) - Priscilla Lane, Jack Carson, Elia Kazan
  3. The Sea Wolf (1941) - Edward G. Robinson, Ida Lupino, John Garfield 
  4. Madame Bovary (1949) - Jennifer Jones, Van Heflin, Louis Jourdan
  5. Painting the Clouds with Sunshine (1951) - Dennis Morgan, Virginia Mayo, S.Z. Sakall
  6. The Silver Chalice (1954) - Virginia Mayo, Paul Newman, Pier Angeli 
  7. Ransom! (1956) - Glenn Ford & Donna Reed, Leslie Nielsen 
  8. The Big Country (1958) - Gregory Peck, Jean Simmons, Charlton Heston, Burl Ives
  9. *The Pink Panther (1964) - Peter Sellers, David Niven, Capuchine, Robert Wagner
  10. Luv (1967) - Jack Lemmon, Peter Falk
  11. Wait Until Dark (1967) - Audrey Hepburn
  12. Ice Station Zebra (1968) - Rock Hudson, Ernest Borgnine
  13. U-571 (2000) - Mathew McConaughey, Bill Paxton
  14. Man On Fire (2004) - Denzel Washington, Dakota Fanning
  15. Dream House (2011) - Daniel Craig & Rachel Weisz
  16. Z for Zachariah (2015) - Margot Robbie, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Chris Pine
  17. The Huntsman: Winter's War (201) - Charlize Theron, Emily Blunt, Chris Hemsworth
  18. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) - Henry Cavill, Ben Affleck, Amy Adams, Gal Gadot (I probably would have stopped this partway through but I wanted to see Gadot as Wonder Woman because her stand-alone movie comes out this June... co-starring Chris Pine ;) Watch the trailer here - it's set during WWI.)
Favorite Film of the Month: Hands down Merrily We Live (thanks to Caftan Woman's post!). I laughed so much! You can currently watch a (blurry) copy of the movie on YouTube.

Least Favorite: Actually there were quite a few films this month that didn't really impress me, either because they were just too long (Madame Bovary, The Big Country, Ice Station Zebra, Batman v Superman), or not my kind of movie (Blues in the Night, Luv). I haven't had a month this bad in a long time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

ANNOUNCING The Favorite Film and TV Homes Blogathon!!!!

Have you ever watched a movie and found yourself looking at the house instead of listening to the dialogue?

Do you find yourself taking screenshots of living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms in a movie, and trying to NOT get the actor in the shot?

Do you ever find yourself trying to draw a floor plan of a movie or television home you would like to live in?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this Blogathon is for you!!!

For quite some time now, I have been wanting to host a blogathon dedicated to those film and TV homes that we know almost as well as our own. When I saw Love Letter's To Hollywood's post on The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer with all of its screenshots of Myrna Loy and Shirley Temple's house in the film, I knew I had found the perfect co-host.

The fun will begin on May 5, 2017 and run through May 7, with a wrap-up day for late entries. I will be hosting Days 1 and 3 and Michaela will host Days 2 and the wrap-up day.

Here are the rules Michaela and I came up with:

1. Films must be pre-1970 and television shows pre-1975 (must have started its first season before then). Both houses and apartments are acceptable.

2. NO DUPLICATES! There are plenty of gorgeous homes and apartments to go around. We can't have everyone choosing Bringing Up Baby or Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House!

3. Please try to include screenshots of the house or apartment you have chosen (if anyone needs help figuring out how to take a screenshot, please let me know).

4. Let me know what movie you would like to do in the comments below or over at Michaela's blog Love Letter's To Hollywood. Make sure you include the link to your blog so I don't have to hunt for it!

5. Take one of the awesome banners Michaela made and share it on your blog. And lastly, have fun!!!

The Roster:

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: Maureen O'Hara's apartment in Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Mansion from The Addams Family & Gene Tierney's apartment in Laura (1944)

Hamlette's Soliloquy: Gene Kelly's apartment in An American in Paris (1951)

An Ode to Dust: The Beatles' flat from Help! (1965)

The Flapper Dame: Norma Desmond's mansion in Sunset Boulevard (1950)

Elizabeth Grace Foley: The Browns' cottage in National Velvet (1944)

Bewitched with Classic TV: The Cleaver's house from season 1 & 2 of Leave it to Beaver

In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: The Drayton home in Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) & TBA

Caftan Woman: Ray Milland and Grace Kelly's flat in Dial M for Murder (1954)

Realweegiemidget Reviews: The Von Trapps home from The Sound of Music (1965)

Silver Screenings: Apartment from How to Marry a Millionaire (1953)

Taking Up Room: The Banks' house in Father of the Bride (1951)

The Midnite Drive-In: The Village from the British TV/ Patrick McGoohan series The Prisoner

Critica Retro: Buster Keaton's houses in The Scarecrow (1918) and The Electric House (1922)

Champagne for Lunch: The Smith family home in Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

Charlene's (Mostly) Classic Movie Reviews: Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1947)

Whimsically Classic: The Brady Bunch's house & Brian Keith's Monterey, CA ranch in The Parent Trap (1961)

Old Hollywood Films: Xanadu from Citizen Kane (1941)

Monday, February 20, 2017

Timeline of Award Winning Costumes Part 2: 1961-1977

Piero Gherardi and actress Ann Jeffreys accepting for Irene Sharaff (who was in Rome working on Cleopatra) with their Oscars at the 1962 Academy Awards (with presenters Dina Merrill and Eddie Albert).

The category for Costume Design at the Academy Awards came rather late - 1949 (for movies released in 1948). The Awards had already been going on for 20 years without any recognition to the talented people who designed the clothes that women and men alike coveted and that transported the viewer to another time and place, or at least, away from their dreary existence as the films of the 1930s did or from violence and war in the 1940s.

Naturally, every costume designer in Hollywood was delighted when a category just for them was announced. Since the Awards were so well established by then, and the suspense that the use of the Envelope brought, it made it all the more exciting.

Last year I covered the years 1949 - 1960. You can view that post here. This year, once again for the Fifth Annual 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon hosted by Paula's Cinema Club, Once Upon A Screen, and Outspoken & Freckled, I bring you the years 1961 - 1977.

      *I have not seen all of these films so if you see a costume that doesn't belong, please let me know.

1961 (the 33rd Academy Awards Ceremony)

From 1961 to 1967, the Academy would continue to give a Costume Award in the two categories of color and black and white. The Oscar for the best black and white costume went to Edith Head and Edward Stevenson for the 1960 film The Facts of Life starring Lucille Ball and Bob Hope (remember, the awards ceremony were held in February of 1961 and honored films from the previous year). Edith Head wouldn't win another award until 1974. It would be her last win (two more nominations in 1976 and 1978).



Spartacus, costumed by Arlington Valles and Bill Thomas and with Kirk Douglas leading the star-studded cast, would win the color category. The winner of color costumes almost always came from a period film or musical, while the black and white category was usually a contemporary film.



The winner in the black and white category the following year went to Piero Gherardi for the Italian film La Dolce Vita starring Anita Ekberg. It was his first Oscar.


When your sunglasses are on point ;)
The color award went to Irene Sharaff for the now classic West Side Story starring Natalie Wood. It was Sharaff's third of five wins (10 more nominations).



It was the macabre costumes of What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? that took the Oscar the following year in the black and white category. Famously starring Hollywood rivals Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, Norma Koch created the costumes of the iconic film.

The color category winner was Mary Wills in The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm.

Barbara Eden & Yvette Mimieux


It was another foreign film in the black and white category that won at the 36th Academy Awards with Piero Gherardi winning his second Oscar for 8½.


As had been the case two years earlier, Irene Sharaff also won another Oscar, along with Renie Conley and Vittorio Nino Novarese for Cleopatra starring real-life lovers Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton.



It was Dorothy Jeakins for The Night of the Iguana that won black and white the next year. The film starred Richard Burton, Ava Gardner, and Deborah Kerr.

Beating out Mary Poppins and the 85+ costumes (for Shirley MacLaine alone) in What a Way to Go!, the winner in the color category was My Fair Lady. Nearly everyone knows and loves the costumes to this iconic film. They were designed by famed photographer Cecil Beaton (photographed many many movie stars as well as famous people like Queen Elizabeth II and other members of the Royal Family), who also won and Oscar for his costumes in Gigi a few years earlier.

Cecil Beaton and Hepburn

I love Mrs. Higgins hat ♥


Darling, starring Julie Christie and with costumes by Julie Harris won black and white.

Phyllis Dalton won the color award for her costumes in Doctor Zhivago, which takes place in Russia (we're talking lots of fur coats) and stars Omar Sharif, Julie Christie, and silent star Charlie Chaplin's daughter Geraldine.



The black and white film Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? brought Irene Sharaff yet another Oscar. It would be her fifth and final win with three more nominations.

A Man for All Seasons with costumes by Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge won the color category.


The 1968 Academy Awards, honoring films made in 1967, was the first year that the color and black and white categories were combined. This meant that there were less nominations, down from 10 to 5. The winner at the 40th Academy Awards was John Truscott for Camelot, beating out the classic costumes in Bonnie and Clyde and the eye-catching costumes of Thoroughly Modern Millie. The film starred Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave as King Arthur and Guinevere.

Truscott with the wedding gown
The cape had hundreds of bleached pumpkin seeds sewn on like pearls. The dress was covered by crocheted lace.

Final Notes:

I am going to stop here merely because as the sixties came to a close, the last costume designers of the Golden period of Hollywood were nearing retirement. Edith Head would win her final Oscar for The Sting at the 1974 Awards and be nominated twice more for The Man Who Would Be King (1975) and two years later for Airport '77 (Star Wars with costumes by John Mollo won). That same year would also give Irene Sharaff her final nomination for The Other Side of Midnight (1977).

You can view the Costume Design winners for every year of the Academy Awards here.