Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My B-Day, woo hoo!!!

Yup, another year older, another year wiser, ummmm, well the first part is certain, dont know about the second part! A few of my fave Hollywood Goddesses to celebrate!

Ahhhhhh, Suzie . . . there will be a full-blown tribute to this gorgeous red-haired lady in the near future. This was scanned from a small promotional postcard.

Sherilyn Fenn, a more contemporary goddess but a goddess just the same! Very possibly this pic was taken by George Hurrell, but I'm not certain of that. She has incredibly striking eyes no matter who takes the picture!

A rather intense Hurrell portrait of Joan Crawford! George took the finest pictures of Joan, some truly amazing examples of studio still photography.

"Gilda, are you decent?"

Another really nice shot of Lana!

One of my favorite early pics of Janet Leigh. What a beauty!

I think this pic says all anyone needs to know about Joan Blondell's onscreen persona! I'd sure love to think it matched her offscreen one as well! Joan is a gem of an actress, totally competent in drama or comedy, had style to burn and looks to match it and is just plain FUN to see in a film! And she made a LOT of them so she shows up all over the place, especially in the 30's. A biography finally came out about her and I really want to get it as I'm sure her life was quite interesting! I did read her novel though, "Center Door Fancy", a few years ago, very good book!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Movie Alphabet - part I

I saw this thing a while back on "Blog Cabins: Movie reviews" about "Name a fave film for each letter of the Alphabet" and so I thought that could be fun and then I thought I would take it a step further and post my list but with pics for each of the films listed scanned from stills, lobby cards, books or magazines in my collection. So I'll list 4 or 5 at a time until it's done, probably with other blog posts mixed in between so no one gets too bored. Some choices were no-brainer's other's were tough, anyway here goes . . .

A - "Angels with Dirty Faces"(1938)

My all-time fave Cagney film! This one had me enthralled as a 3 or 4 year old kid, sitting in front of the TV completely and utterly oblivious to any and all things going on around me, totally mesmerized by Cagney's "Rocky Sullivan"! Almost 40 years later and it still has the same effect on me! This was one of the "no-brainers" I mentioned!

Rocky in the Death House on his way to the Chair! Will he turn "Yellow"? This is one of those instances where every aspect of a film; direction, writing, casting, acting, cinematography, music, etc, meshed perfectly.

Cagney with frequent co-stars Ann Sheridan and Pat O'Brien. Cagney and O'Brien made several very enjoyable films together but this easily stands at the top of the list for me.

B - "Bride of Frankenstein" (1935)

"Yes, I want friend . . . like me!"

Karloff in between takes. Arguably the greatest monster movie ever made and certainly one of the most unique! And what a performace by Karloff! Btw, they used to use the same kind of board for Jean Harlow over at MGM because sometimes her dresses were so tight she could not sit down between takes while wearing them!

A great shot of Elsa Lanchester as the "Bride"! I would nominate her and husband Charles Laughton as possibly the most bizarre Hollywood couple ever!

"Do you like gin?... it is my only weakness!"

One of my fave lines, spoken in inimitable fashion by the utterly outrageous Ernest Thesinger as "Dr Pretorious", here in a neat pic with director James Whale.

C - "Captain Blood" (1935)

A great publicity shot of Flynn and Olivia. Neither were Warner Bros. first choices to appear in this film but afterwards there was no looking back for either of them. I rate this as one of the greatest action-adventure-romance films ever made. Pure escapist entertainment and great fun!

Even at this very early point in her film career Olivia gave honest, 3-dimensional characterizations. She continued to excel at that in the years that followed without resorting to scenery-chewing histrionics and became, in my opinion, one of the finest actresses that ever worked in Hollywood. And she sure was beautiful *sigh*!

D - "Diary of a Lost Girl" (1929)

Louise Brooks in what appears to be a wardrobe test pic. This is my fave of her films and also one of my fave silent films as well. Totally bizarre and filled with reprehensible examples of humanity (or more precisely, a lack of!) and through it all Brooksie mezmerises with her black helmet haircut, flawless face, imperious neck and unsettling mix of innocence and candor.

Louise Brooks, the Kansas farmgirl who wanted to be a dancer and became one, who never wanted to be in films but did anyway, who went to Germany and became an actress, who then became a has-been, then a streetwalker, then a recluse, then a writer and then finally, a legend!

Apparently Louise never considered herself an "actress" until she worked with director G.W. Pabst. He treated her with respect and guided her through 2 remarkable performances, first in "Pandoras Box" in 1928 and then this film. It didnt hurt that Pabst fell for her and according to Louise she gave "the greatest sexual performance of my life" during the one time she spent the night with him!

The scenes of Louise at the "Home for Wayward Girls" are utterly bizarre and totally unforgettable, the "orgasm scene" will change your life as you know it! Two books I highly recommend as essential reading for anyone interested in old Hollywood are "Lulu in Hollywood" by Louise Brooks and the bio of Louise written by Barry Paris. Both are fascinating reading!

Friday, March 13, 2009

They Had Legs . . .

And they knew how to use them!
Some more stills from my collection.

A Warner's publicity still of an incredibly sultry-looking Ann Sheridan, aka "The Oomph Girl"! I think Ann is one of the most underappreciated actresses of her era. She had style to burn and made any film she appeared in better just by being in it! Some films that really showcase her talents are "Juke Girl", "It All Came True", "City for Conquest" and "Torrid Zone", where she nearly stole the show from all including James Cagney and Pat O'Brien!

Barbara Stanwyck in a publicity still for William Wellman's classic "Lady of Burlesque". Babs also made "So Big", "The Purchase Price" and "Great Man's Lady" with Wellman

BB!!! I've only seen 2 of her films, "Dear Brigitte" with Jimmy Stewart and "The Legend of Frenchie King" with Claudia Cardinale, which was pretty much laughably bad but well-worth seeing anyway!

Carole Landis. What a shame she died so young.

Beautiful Cyd Charrise had one of the most incredible pair of stems in Hollywood history, and brother could that woman dance! She's unquestionably my fave female dancer of all time. The term "body language" was probably invented by someone watching her! I was very sad when i heard she passed away last year.

A great shot of Gloria Grahame

Amazing Grace . . . *sigh*

Ida Lupino in a publicty shot for Warner's excellent drama "The Man I Love". Ides was yet another one of those actresses who had started at another studio but really found her niche at Warner Bros.

A silly publicity still of beautiful Jane Greer.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Chatter Cat . . .

My little kitty, Mathilda, is insane, I just want that perfectly clear! We have lots of fun games we play but her favorite by far is the laser pointer! She just LOVES chasing that stupid red dot around, but when I bring it out, she does this weird, insane 'chattering' thing! I've never seen another cat do this and during laser fun is the ONLY time she does it!!! So now I have her conditioned to the point that if I imitate her chattering thing, she KNOWS I am getting the red dot out and she goes and gets into a crouching position and sometimes even starts her nutty chattering before the laser is even out yet!

please excuse the terrible camera work . . . it's hard to play laser pointer guy and camera guy at the same time!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Yup, More Flynn!

The last of my Errol Flynn tribute. All these Flynn pics were scanned from stills, original and repro, from my own collection.

Flynn with Ann Sheridan in Lewis Milestones riveting "Edge of Darkness". Certainly one of the most intense and serious films either one of those great stars ever appeared in.

Flynn Shaking down Ward Bond for some info about a murder in "Dodge City". On the left is Guinn "Big Boy" Williams and on the right is, of course, Alan Hale.

Another still from "Desperate Journey". Once again Alan Hale has a hilarious expression on his face!

A hilarious scene from "They Died with Their Boots On", the last film Flynn and Oliva appeared together in and the only one where their characters got married. Warner's take on the story of General Custer is practically worthless as history but is a damn entertaining film! Sidney Greenstreet's appearance in the film is worth his weight in gold (and that's a LOT!)

Flynn once again with Ann Sheridan in the western "Silver River".

Flynn with S.Z. "Cuddles" Sakall and Alexis Smith in "Montana", a film i have yet to see!

Monday, March 2, 2009

More Flynn . . .

A few more stills from the films of the dashing, devil-may-care Mr Flynn!

A great shot from "Captain Blood"!

Olivia . . .*sigh*

Olivia deHavilland with Flynn on her left and Warner's saphead go-to-guy Patrick Knowles on her right in a publicity still for "Charge of the Light Brigade". This was one of 3 films where Olivia ends up with Patrick Knowles at the end of the film, bleh!! Flynn gives a first-rate performance in this film and the final battle scene is incredible!

Flynn at his best in "The Adventures of Robin Hood", undoubtedly the role he is most associated with. Hands down this should have won the Best Picture Oscar in 1938! Interesting to note that co-Star Olivia deHavilland appeared in four technicolor films during 1938-39. This one, two other Flynn films and the fourth of course being "Gone with the Wind". I wonder if any other actress had appeared in that many color films during the 1930's?

There's Flynn with that Saphead again!

Flynn with another Warner's lovely, Brenda Marshall, in the "Sea Hawk". I dont rate this quite as high as "Captain Blood" but it's still a fine film with great production values, a terrific cast, excellent battle scenes, a rousing score and of course, Alan Hale!