Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Birthday to Me!

A few sultry lovelies to help me celebrate me Boithday!

One of my all-time faves, Ann Sheridan - "The Oomph Girl"

A publicity shot of Ava Gardner for "The Killers". Ava and Ann Sheridan were similiar in that they were both farm girls who won beauty contests, got brought to Hollywood, started out as just extremely fine window dressing but grew to become fine actresses as well.

Jean Peters

The eternally awesome Haji!

Ok now I get drunk, smoke peace pipe, shoot Buffallo....

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Steve McQueen...

The "King of Cool" woulda been 80 today, March 24th... a few pics from 3 of his best films.

"The Great Escape" - ALWAYS on my list of fave films!

"Hell is for Heroes" - Steve is living intensity in this damn good WWII actioner directed by Don "Dirt Harry" Seigel.

"Bullitt" - possibly THE quintessential McQueen role. And man oh man, that car chase!

My 1/18th scale Ertl die cast replica of the 1968 Mustang Fastback Steve drove in "Bullitt".

Monday, March 22, 2010

"I Really Shouldn't but...."

That's what my grandmother says whenever she's dishing out some fatty sweet desert for herself...(but she still eats it of course!)

I said the same thing when I bid on the item below...

This just arrived this afternoon, a vintage Lobby Card (11"x14") for Clara Bow's 1928 film "Three Week Ends". Sort of a momentous occasion for me... my first piece of Clara Bow movie paperware, my first pre-1930 movie paperware AND my first silent film paperware as well. My earliest Lobby Cards up to now were from 1933.

The condition of this card is simply amazing! To think this piece of paper is 82 years old and has nary a pinhole or fold in it and the colors are still bright is quite extraordinary! The price was higher than I've ever paid for a lobby Card before but well below what I thought it would end out at. I figured for sure this would end up in at least the $300 range but in truth I was the only bidder and it went for less than half that!

Suffice it to say this is going in a frame within the next 5 minutes!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Guess Who......

A few more vintage Clara Bow items arrived this week...

A 5" x 7", not sure the year.

"I needed no reminder of the "It" girl or who she is. I hope you'll note the tense used here. You happen to have given a vitality, a beauty and an excitement to our industry that no one has ever duplicated" - Rod Serling, from a letter he wrote to Clara responding to HER fan letter to him!

A vintage postard

"I never met Marilyn Monroe, but if I had, I would have tried very hard to help her. A sex symbol is a heavy load to carry when one is tired, hurt and bewildered" - Clara Bow

Another vintage postcard

"You brush off Clara Bow for some old nothing like Brooks. The more I think of it the madder I get. You writing about some old fucks and not even mentioning Clara Bow's name. - Louise Brooks writing to Kevin Brownlow about the lack of ANY mention of Clara in his 1968 book on silent films called "The Parade Gone By"

I saved the best postcard for last... I LOVE this pic!

Monday, March 15, 2010

"No Limit" - 1931

Tonight I watched another Clara Bow film I had never seen before, 1931's "No Limit", the 2nd to last film she made at Paramount.

As was often the case, the leading man was bland, bland, bland! This time it was Norman Foster, who has been in some decent films like Under 18 and Skyscraper Souls and went on to direct some interesting pictures as well, Journey Into Fear, Rachel and the Stranger and Woman on the Run being the ones I've seen, but he's hardly able to hold his own with Clara. The way Paramount continually cast such weak males opposite their most popular star is perplexing.

Let's see, oh yeah the plot... Clara plays an usherette at a theater, being awkwardly wooed by shy, clumsy and inarticulate Stuart Erwin (did he ever play any other kind of man?) who just inherited a Rolls Royce and huge Park Ave Apartment from his recently dead uncle. OK he's leaving on a boat and asks Clara to watch the place for him...well turns out it was a gambling joint when his uncle was alive and so everyone thinks its "Open for Business" again. She ends up hooking up with a millionaire played by Norman Foster, who at first just wants to get Clara in the sack (go figure?) but of course falls for her, they get married, then she discovers he's a big time Jewel thief! She ends up nearly going to the big house for his biggest crime (stealing some huge ass diamonds from Thelma Todd) but he comes to the police station posing as her lawyer and turns himself and all the diamonds over to the police. When he gets out of jail early for good behavior Clara is of course ready to take him back!

I'll take that light and sweet one...


An early scene in the film takes place in an automat. Those places were nifty, lots of chrome and glass! These pics are all recent net finds.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy! Happy! Clara! Clara!

The Aura of the "IT" Girl is now in MY house!

This arrived yesterday, a vintage Clara Bow autograph, dated by her 1939, signed "Clara Bow Bell" (Mrs. Rex Bell she was at the time). To say I'm happy to have this in my posession is putting it extremly mildly! I was actually a bit overwhelmed when I opened the package yesterday!

Of course I have to post at least ONE pic and I thought this one appropo as this was the first picture of her that I ever saw. It's actually a tear out from an oversize movie star book that was falling apart but filled with great pictures printed on heavy paper suitable for display! It was given to me many years ago by my good friend Mr Door Tree. To this day her gaze in this pic totally mesmerizes me.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"The Wildcat" (1921)

In keeping with my goal to watch at least one film a week that I've never seen before, last night I watched Ernst Lubitsch's totally wacky 1921 silent film "The Wildcat" starring Pola Negri. Rather than try to even explain how insane this film is I took a few screen shots. Check the crazy German Art Deco sets and bizarre "iris" shapes used to frame out some of the scenes!

The story is almost completely inconsequential. Military guy falls for mountain girl (Negri), military guy is supposed to marry military commanders daughter blah, blah, its all just an excuse for non-stop wackiness!

The mountain people!

Pola Negri taking a bath in the snow!

The military commander watching his troops.

Check those stairs!

The sets and costumes made me think a bit of Windsor McKay's "Little Nemo"! If you havent seen this before and are in the mood for something totally insane check this one out!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another Quickie with Clara Bow...

Three more vintage Clara Bow items found their way to my house this week!

A nice 5" x 7" promo photo, circa 1926-27 I estimate.

An unused postcard, not sure what country... it says "Postkaart" on the back, jah jah! The prices on all these were ridiculously low.

Another postcard, this one from a small town in France (Remulak maybe? Meps! Meps!). Unused and in really excellent condition. The image is a 1928 publicity shot for "Red Hair", Clara's only color film that, like all her other releases of 1928, is now considered lost. I can only imagine how awesome she must have looked in 2 strip-technicolor *sigh*

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Diary of a Stripper.... part II

Things can get pretty ugly when stripping....

Did some more work on my desk project this week. Upon examination of the construction of the desk I decided to unscrew the top so I could turn it over, which makes cleaning the old paint and varnish off WAY easier than trying to scrape into corners and stuff like that. You can see that under the desk in the middle it looks as though someone had used it to sharpen their pencil point or perhaps they were just scribbling?

Of course then it hits me that a lot of the other pieces would be easier to strip and clean up if they were removed too, sooooooo I started dismantling one half of the casing.

This is kinda fun but also nerve-wracking because I dont want to break anything! Luckily the glue is pretty dried out and brittle so most of the joints are coming apart fairly easy. I'm leaving half of it together and will work on the other half until it's clean, sanded and all re-assembled, then I'll do the other half. This is so I wont forget how it all goes together!

All the little pieces labeled so they go back in their correct locations!

The little apron pieces along the bottom of the sides are in pretty rough shape. I may try to make new ones instead of fixing these. Only 3 of them had nails which leads me to conclude that originally they were all glued on but over the years 3 had come loose and someone toe-nailed them to keep them in place.

A Lana Turner pic so Joe wont be angry with me.

To be continued...

Monday, March 1, 2010

I Hate Goodbye's....

Especially to an old friend...

Our family kitty had to be put down today. She would've been 20 years old this summer!

She was always a skinny little thing!

She was all black until one year she got some sort of infection on her leg and when her fur grew back, it was white in that spot, kind of an L shape. I always said it stood for "lazy"

Her eyes were never really open all the way! She was part siamese so her voice was quite scratchy!

Stoopi - 1990-2010


I'm seriously thinking I may have to change the name of this blog to:

"Art, Movies, Wood, What not and Clara Bow"

I just finished watching "Hoop-La" which Clara made for Fox in 1933. It had been a year since her last film "Call Her Savage" and though she didnt really think "Hoop-La" would be any good, she agreed to do it so she could wind up her 2 picture commitment to them. The pic above is from one of her dancing scenes as "Snake Hips"! Clara spends a good deal of the film barely dressed which could be one of the reasons why it did very good business in its original release. "Hoop-la" is a fast paced, kinda seedy little film about carnvial people. Preston Foster and James Gleason head a solid supporting cast but as is usually the case, it's Clara's film all the way.

She looked different in the 2 films she did at Fox. A bit harder edged maybe, more mature but still undeniably "Clara Bow". She was paid the then staggering sum of $250,000 for the 2 pictures she made there. Clara had finally become one of the highest paid stars in Hollywood!

Sadly, "Hoop-la" was also the last film she ever made. She was 26 years old.

"There should have been more" - film critic and self professed "Hoop-la" fan, Leonard Maltin