I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Arrow Studios wardrobe department for a job well-done!
Found a ton of Clara Bow pics on the net tonight. This one from "My Lady of Whims" gives a better view of the costume Clara "wears" for the masquerade party scene.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank the Arrow Studios wardrobe department for a job well-done!
Monday, February 22, 2010
This weekend I watched 2 more Clara Bow silents I had never seen before and so I will gladly use that as an excuse to plaster her all over my blog again!
Last night I watched "My Lady of Whims" a film she did on loan out to Arrow Studio in 1925, just one of 14 films she made in that year alone! Her leading man was Donald Keith who would also star with her in "The Plastic Age". The film is as almost totally devoid of anything resembling a plot or story and leading man Keith is as bland as bland bland bland, but Clara is so dazzlingly gorgeous and once again literally bouncing off the walls with youthful energy that who even cares about all that other stuff! I've always loved this pic of her and never knew where it was from, but it's the costume party scene, which is indeed the high point of the picture! This same pic appears on the cover of a new Peter Kobel book on silent movies I just recently got called, appropriately enough, "Silent Movies".
"If Clara Bow ever makes the picture she can make, then you will see how great screen acting can be". - Joseph Von Sternberg
The other film I watched was "Free to Love", another from 1925 and yet another teaming her with bland Donald Keith (I cant get away from that guy!) The film was pretty much a straight drama with some seedy underworld types and Clara did get to play a different woman than her usual flapper character so it was fun to see that but the film as a whole is pretty shoddy. Apparently it was shot in 2 weeks and believe me it showed.
"A temperment that responded like a great violin. Touch her and she answered with genius" - Victor Fleming
Clara's biggest movie of 1925 was the aforementioned "The Plastic Age" and the success of that film was what got her and Schulberg (and that blasted Donald Keith!) over to Paramount where within the next 2 years she would become the biggest box office star in Hollywood. She was 22 years old at the time!
"She was the biggest star, the biggest moneymaker in Hollywood - above Garbo, above them all. I was fascinated with her". - Louise Brooks
I started thumbing through David Stenn's bio of Clara, "Runnin' Wild", about a week ago but ended up starting at the beginning and reading the whole thing for a second time. I'm about half through it now. Good book, a fascinating and ultimately, sad story of an enormously gifted, wholly unpretentious but scared little girl who just wanted to be loved.
"She could cry at the drop of a hat and you'd believe her!
A beautiful actress, just beautiful" - prop man William Kaplan
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Bet my hit counter goes way up tonight....
My asshole aunt gave me this neat old desk when she moved a few months back. She bought it from a used furniture store and slapped a coat of white latex paint on it as soon as she got it home. OK rule number one- latex paint is NOT the proper finishing material for furniture... it NEVER fully dries and even if you do a good prep job any objects left on it for any appreciable amount of time will either stick to it or lift the paint when you pick them up!
Despite the mess she made with the paint and the pulls I felt the desk was worth saving and after peeling some paint away I was convinced it was made of walnut, one of my favorite woods! I'm sure you can imagine my excitement!
Monday, February 15, 2010
Tonight I watched "Hula", a fun little Clara Bow silent from 1927 directed by Victor Fleming that I had never seen before.
Clara, as "Hula Calhoun", was the whole show and her co-stars could have been cardboard cutouts and it wouldnt have made much difference! Forget plot or story (apparently the writers did!) and just sit back and enjoy 63 minutes of the "It" girl bouncing off the walls, that's whatI did! Clara's first scene had her bathing nude in a river but the highlight was her doing a sexy Hula dance...hard to say if it was a "Charleston-ized" Hula or "Hula-ized" Charleston but it makes no difference, Clara pulled it off with style and vigor....yeah, lots of vigor!The print on the DVD I have is pretty shabby but so far as I know it's the only one available right now. I feel lucky that it's available at all really! By the end of 1927 Clara had made over 35 films in 5 years and many are lost. Even worse is NONE of her movies from 1928 exist, which sadly includes her only color film "Red Hair". The pic above is a net find.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
I'm trying to make it a goal to watch 1 or 2 films a week that I've never seen before. I figure to blog about the ones I feel strong enough about to make the effort!
Last night I watched "Tol'able David" starring Richard Barthelmess.
"Tol'able David" was directed by the great Henry King in 1921. King later directed films like "Jesse James", "The Black Swan" and "Captain from Castille" with Tyrone Power, as well as 3 awesome Gregory Peck films "Twelve O'Clock High", "The Gunfighter" and "The Bravados". Henry King made a lot of money for 20th Century Fox studio throughout the 40's and 50's and was certainly one of Darryl F Zanuck's "Golden Boys"! "Tol'able David" was all shot on location in Virginia and King got an incredibly eboulient and physically believable performance from 26 year-old Richard Barthelmess as the young David. Some of it is quite hilarious and Richard is literally bouncing all over the place with youthful energy! (so was his dog!) The whole film paints a very vivid portrait of that period of Americana.
The film takes a dark turn when 3 extremely nasty hillbilly dudes (one of them played to the hilt by the always excellent Ernest Torrence) enter the scene and make life for David, his family and his friends quite unpleasant. This shot is from the climactic brawl between Richard Barthelmess and Ernest Torrence and it really is incredibly intense!! I dont want to give away any more plot details so I'll just say that this film gets added to my "Essential Richard Barthelmess" list and I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys his work, silent films or just a damn good movie in general!
Thursday, February 11, 2010
1. Sherlock jr. (1924)
2. Metropolis (1927)
3. Flesh and the Devil (1926)
4. Wings (1927)
5. Pandora’s Box (1929)
6. Diary of a Lost Girl (1929)
7. A Free Soul (1931)
8. The Public Enemy (1931)
9. Little Caesar (1931)
10. Red Dust (1932)
11. Kongo (1932)
12. Scarface (1932)
13. I am a Fugitive from a Chain Gang (1932)
14. Grand Hotel (1932)
15. Footlight Parade (1933)
16. King Kong (1933)
17. Twentieth Century (1934)
18. The 39 Steps (1935)
19. Captain Blood (1935)
20. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
21. Dodsworth (1936)
22. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
23. Angels with Dirty Faces (1938)
24. Stagecoach (1939)
25. Torrid Zone (1940)
26. Foreign Correspondent (1940)
27. Little Foxes (1941)
28. High Sierra (1941)
29. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
30. Gentleman Jim (1942)
31. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
32. Shadow of a Doubt (1943)
33. Sahara (1943)
34. To Have and Have Not (1944)
35. Pride of the Marines (1945)
36. Notorious (1946)
37. The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)
38. Humoresque (1946)
39. Out of the Past (1947)
40. The Snake Pit (1948)
41. Force of Evil (1948)
42. Red River (1948)
43. Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
44. The Fountainhead (1949)
45. White Heat (1949)
46. Champion (1949)
47. Caged (1950)
48. All About Eve (1950)
49. Detective Story (1951)
50. Strangers on a Train (1951)
51. The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
52. Shane (1953)
53. The Big Heat (1953)
54. Pickup on South Street (1953)
55. On the Waterfront (1954)
56. The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)
57. Rear Window (1954)
58. Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
59. The Searchers (1956)
60. Lust for Life (1956)
61. Paths of Glory (1957)
62. Vertigo (1958)
63. The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958)
64. Rio Bravo (1959)
65. North by Northwest (1959)
66. Psycho (1960)
67. Spartacus (1960)
68. One, Two, Three (1961)
69. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962)
70. Lonely are the Brave (1962)
71. Shock Corridor (1963)
72. The Great Escape (1963)
73. A Fistful of Dollars (1964)
74. For a few Dollars More (1965)
75. The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
76. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
77. The Wild Bunch (1969)
78. The Getaway (1972)
79. High Plains Drifter (1973)
80. Taxi Driver (1976)
81. Star Wars (1977)
82. The Deer Hunter (1978)
83. Raging Bull (1980)
84. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
85. The Road Warrior (1981)
86. Star Trek II (1982)
87. Return of the Jedi (1983)
88. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
89. Aliens (1986)
90. The Abyss (1989)
91. Reservoir Dogs (1991)
92. T-2 (1991)
93. Goodfellas (1991)
94. Unforgiven (1992)
95. The Piano (1993)
96. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
97. Leon a.k.a. The Professional (1994)
98. Pulp Fiction (1994)
99. Heat (1995)
100. Pitch Black (2000)
101. Kill Bill 1&2 (2003-2004)
102. Spiderman II (2004)
103. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
104. 300 (2006)
105. Inglourious Basterds (2009)
No doubt I left out some important ones that I'll think of later and go DOH!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Gotta love that look on her face! Most vintage Clara Bow stuff is pretty expensive but this closed out at only $11! If only that signature was real *sigh*
Vintage late 1920's Clara Bow and Anita Page 5x7's
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Richard Barthelmess... certainly not a household name these days but in his heyday during the silent period he was a huge star. Born in 1895, after graduating from Trinity College in Hartford CT. , he made his film debut in 1916.
A small tribute to a fine actor...
Barthelmess flanked by the Gish sisters.... Lilian once said he had "The most beautiful face of any man who ever went before the cameras". He and Lilian were to star in another Griffith masterpiece in 1920. . .
A shot from the intense climax of Griffith's "Way Down East". That HAD to be a tough film to make for all involved! I think anyone who's seen it will agree, no method actor of today has ANYTHING on Lillian Gish!
When Barthelemess moved into the sound era he played tougher, more hard edged characters. He starred in Howard Hawks' first talking film "Dawn Patrol", a.k.a. "Flight Commander", a first-rate WWI picture that was remade almost scene-for-scene with Errol Flynn in 1938. In fact some of the arial battle footage from Hawks' film was reused for the Flynn version. The scene above is with co-star Neil Hamilton, best known for his much later role as Commissioner Gordon on the Batman TV series.
A scene from 1929's "Drag", an early talkie directed by Frank Lloyd. I dont even know if this film exists anymore. Barthelmess made another film with Howard Hawks in 1939, the classic "Only Angels Have Wings" with Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Rita Hayworth and Thomas Mitchell. I could not find a single picture of Richard Barthelmess from that film in any of my books!
Essential Richard Barthelmess:
"Heroes for Sale" - 1933
Several of his early talking films have just been released by Warner Home video but I have yet to see some of them so I cant say if they are "essential" Richard Barthelmess or not. I'm looking forward to seeing them regardless!