Friday, February 24, 2012

Warren William, Marion Marsh, William Powell and the DESK!

I must assume anyone who's been following this blog knows by now that I am on a full-blown Warren William kick! In the last 2 months I've watched over 20 of his films, most of them I had never seen before! I must also assume that at least a few of you know I have been developing a major obsession with all things Art Deco as well! As a consequence I am more and more keying into the set design and art direction of films from the 20's and 30's, especially the absolutely stunning work of Anton Grot over at Warner Bros. Well, during a recent revisit of the hilarious Warren William/Marion Marsh film "Beauty and the Boss" (1932), I was totally blown away by William's amazing Art Deco office, but especially of his DESK!!!

So a while back I was watching "High Pressure" (1932) with the most awesome William Powell and what do I see, but that magnificent Desk again! This time with a lovely stylized female nude in the front center area and what looks like decorative metal along all the rounded edges not just the top. We can also see much of the same set was used for both films.

Then last week I am revisiting another excellent Warren William/Marion Marsh picture "Under Eighteen" (1931) that I saw only once several years ago, and lo and behold my beloved desk is there again!!! Isnt it lovely? And I imagine it was quite sturdy and lots of fun to try to move around!

Meanwhile I have been on the lookout at ebay for Warren William memorabilia and wouldnt ya know it, I find up for auction a Lobby Card for "Beauty and the Boss" that features both stars AND the DESK!!! Talk about positive Juju!! Well, I figured this being pre-code and all I would have to shell out some bucks for it but to my most wonderful surprise I was the only bidder!
This lovely card now resides in my first piece of Warren William memorabilia woo hoo!!!!! I now have a strong sudden urge to ruthlessly take over a corporation, manipulate the stock market, have an affair with a showgirl, seduce an innocent young clothing store model, lie, cheat, steal and even murder, all while wearing a bejeweled turban and shouting "SMASH OR BE SMASHED!!!!!
Good times! Good times!
I also have a huge future project in my build a replica of that incredible desk! I have NO idea how its put together, what materials were used and what color and type of finish it had....mere trivialties that should only take a decade or so to unravel the mysteries of....

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Its all a Conspiracy.... take away what little fun I get in life.... my blog was reported for Copyright infringement - specifically my post "A to Z Lovelies, the "C's". The email I received from blogger with links to the site where I can read the complaint was absolutely no help at all so I dont know which specific images were being complained about but I do know I am now past giving a shit and have taken all the lovelies posts down and from now will post nothing but my own scans and/or pics of my own stuff and thats it. The funny thing is they coulda just posted a comment and asked me to take down the pics in question and I would have and they coulda saved themsleves the trouble of filing a DMCA report.

End of rant

Sunday, February 19, 2012

My Classic Film Library...

Raquelle over at Out of the Past did a post showcasing her classic film library and mentioned how she'd like to see the collections of her blogger friends as well. I have been wanting to share some more pictures of my place for a while now so I thought this was a good time to do it! And it gets my lazy ass to dust my bookshelves too...

Most of my film books are kept in my living room area. At the very left of the picture you can see my TV and at the right you can just see the corner of my couch.

For anyone who actually pays attention to what I do here you might recognize some of the vintage postcards, photos etc, that I've posted...I do not buy stuff and shove it in a drawer never to see the light of day again, I love having this stuff around me! The shelves are all made by me and VERY sturdy!

Ok left side top shelf is a mix of Movie, TV, some fiction and a couple philosophy books. I can think of no better example of my ecclectness than the fact that "Aristotle's Ethics" sits right next to a book on F-Troop! I've had that Chaplin bio since i was about 10 years old. Other books there include a Pulp Fiction screenplay, overview of the Godfather Trilogy, books on Scorsese, Nicholas Ray, Film Noir, Hitchcock, Gene Tierney's autobio "Self-Portrait", The Addams Family and Mister Ed. Right side top is my Ayn Rand collection, my psychology books by Nathaniel Branden and Nietzsche's "Will to Power". Second row far left is "501 must-See movies", books on Murnau, Hawks, another Scorsese Book, "The Archers" - the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, among others. Second row middle is Ava Gradner's auto bio "My Story", a bio on Burt Lancaster called "Against Type", Charlton Hestons "In the Arena", "Natalie" by Lana Wood, another book on film noir, David Stenn's bio on Clara Bow "Runnin' Wild" (great book, but so heartbreaking), "Climbing the Mountain" by Kirk Douglas, "The Lady, The Legend, The Truth" by Lana Tuner, "More Than a Woman" bio on Bette Davis, and Barry Paris' amazing bio on Louise Brooks. Second row far right is "Blue Angel" about Marlene Dietrich, a Vivien Leigh bio, "Exiles in Hollywood", paperback edition of Stenns Clara bio (diff cover), the one and only book ever written about Eleanor Parker- "Woman of 1,000 Faces", another book on Dietrich and Richard Schickel's interviews with Martin Scorsese (highly recommended!)

top shelf right, my very recently aquired vintage still of Patricia Ellis in a vintage Art Deco reverse glass painted frame that I've had for over a year just waiting for the right picture to go in it! Thats Ann Sheridan on the cover of Life mag, 1939.

Oh boy, this part of the shelf is loaded, mostly with the Citadel "Films Of" series with some other stuff squeezed in somehow. The Citadel books are excellent references, listing every film the subject appeared in chronologically as well as reviews from the time of release. Its always interesting to see how a film fared critically in its day and how it has stood (or not stood) the test of time. Anyway, on the top left we have Bogie, Brando, Cagney, Davis, DeHavilland, DeNiro, Dietrich, Kirk Douglas, Eastwood, Fields, Flynn, Henry Fonda, John Ford (western and non-western), Holden, March, McQueen, then some of the hardcover editions: Cooper, Crawford, Gable, Garbo, John Garfield, Jean Harlow, 2 Laurel and Hardy books and The Films of Susan Hayward. Top right side we have more hardcovers: Karloff, Laughton, Anthony Quinn, Eddie G, Stanwyck, then softbound: Newman, Tracy, Turner, The Duke, Great Adventure Films, Classics of the Silent Screen, Films of the 40's, Films of WW II, Making of King Kong (excellent book!), The Bad Guys, a book on Stagecoach, another on Psycho, Hitchcock/Truffaut (Highest recommendation!) The John Wayne Scrapbook, Robert Wise on his films, Great Britsh Films, Great Romantic Films and "A Singular Man" - another bio on Burt Lancaster. Bottom left its bios on Bogie, Wiliam Wyler, Billy Wilder, Hitchcock/Selznick (great book!) Henry Fonda's auto bio, bio's on Ava, Raoul Walsh, Dalton Trumbo (a fascinating read!), Brando, "City Boys' - a book on WB sawed-off stable of tough guys Bogie, Cagney, Eddie G, and John Garfeild, bio on Mervyn LeRoy, another Wyler, and a bio on Frank Capra. Bottom right its: "Elsa Lanchester - Herself", "Memo" about David O. Selnick, the fanatical memo writer (fascinating!) , auto bios from Gloria Swanson and Myrna Loy, bios on Carrol Baker, another Brando, "Ragman's Son" by Kirk Douglas (the Champion of auto bios, you will NOT want to put it down!), bios on Rita Hayworth and Ingrid Bergman.

Geraldine Fitzgerald on the cover of Life on the left and Grace Kelly on the right.

Top row left is a book on classic film lobby cards, The Honeymooners, "Warrior Within" - The Philosophy of Bruce Lee, a book on Flynn, "Bulls, Balls, Bicycles and Actors" by the great character actor Charles Bickford (awesome read, what a pistol that guy was!) another Bergman bio and 2 books by Rush's drummer Neil Peart. Top row middle is: "The Barrymores", Elia Kazans autobio "A Life", "Citizen Welles", "One Man Tango" by Antony Quinn, "This-n-That" by Bette Davis, "A Short Time for Insanity" by William Wellman (great book!), "Actor: The Life and career of Paul Muni" (finally read this a few months ago, great book about a fascinating artist!), a bio on Ann Sheridan, "Psycho" by Janet Leigh (signed!), "Center Door Fancy" a novel by Joan Blondell (I enjoyed it!), "Last Tango in Brooklyn" by Kirk Douglas, a book on Garbo and "Songs My Mother Taught Me" by Marlon Brando. A few more film books on the bottom row but mostly just my EC Library, I still need The Haunt of Fear and Crime Suspenstories, waaaaaaah!

The low shelf units are mostly my old VHS collection which I have been slowly burning onto DVD...very slowly... but for books, lying horizontally there are coffee table books "Hollywood Legends", "Hurrell's Hollywood", "James Dean: Tribute to a Rebel" and "Garbo" - this last one is just incredible, page after page of stills from Garbo's own collection all printed beautifully! In the middle is a series on the studios - so far I have MGM, RKO, Paramount and Warner Bros., then a book on Silent Films, another book on WB studio, a beautiful HC book on Louise Brooks, The Gangster film Encyclopedia and a book on films of the 1940's. On the left lying horizontally are some of my Art Deco books and a book on Pulps.

The other half of the low video shelf, on the right lying horizontally there's yet another Garbo book and the rest of my Art Deco books, in the middle is "Life goes to the Movies', a beautiful hardcover book on Scorsese's "Age of Innocence", "The Star Wars Poster Book", a book on Tiffany Jewelry, "Grace" by Howel Conant, "Leading ladies", another Hitchcock book, "Craven Images", another Bette Davis book some misc film books, another Bogart book and "Charlton Heston's Hollywood"

Last one! This shelf is behind my couch, top shelf is mostly paperbacks, very few film related, the middle left is my weight lifting books, the center is several misc books on film plus "The Marx Bros Scrapbook" (Ginger you can breathe easy now, YES I have a book on the Bros!), "Chaplin's Films", "The Fox Girls", 2 more books on The Honeymooners, a book on the Dick Van Dyke Show, on animation genius Tex Avery, Brando, Arnold, "From Scarface to Scarlet", "The Best of Buster", "Why a Duck", another book on Orson Welles and "A Fine Mess", the middle row right side is filled with Bruce Hershensons excellent series of film poster books. I dont have them all but this is the lions share, plus there's a few more misc film books on the end. Ok I am done! I actually did a count and it's just over 200 film and film-related books in this house now, ack! I knew there was a bunch but really, sheesh!

a couple more pics cuz its my blog and I wanna...

Vintage one Sheet posters for "Never Say Good-Bye" and "Hard to Get", which was my first ever poster from the 1930's and its in awesome condition! Below them are some Lobby Cards and vintage signed pics of Patricia Ellis, Dick powell and Joan Leslie

My trusty old RCA 35" TV, going strong over 20 years now! Ditto for the TV shelf that I made for it! To the left of the TV is my recently aquired Olivia DeHavilland signed pic, inscribed to director Mervyn LeRoy. Above the TV are vintage one Sheet posters for "Blackwell's Island" (1938), a 1940's re-issue for "Devil Dogs of the Air" and a later 1930's reissue for "Bordertown", that last one being the most expensive poster I ever I wont tell you how much. That shot of Grace Kelly is the only picture I've ever had in that spot in the TV shelf. yes my xmas tree is still up, and no the top half doesnt light up meh gave me a new box of lights to string it with but I didnt feel like it so I just stuck the box in the tree so if she asked me "Did you put those lights on the tree yet? i could say "YES!" and not be lying.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Party Time with Joe E. Brown, Patricia Ellis, Ann Sheridan and...Jack Benny?

Some vintage items recently added to my ever-growing collection...

5" x 7" photo signed by Joe E Brown, personalized to "Mae"... maybe it was actress Mae Clarke? Joe might be best known for his hilarious performance in Billy Wilder's "Some Like it Hot" but he was a cash cow for Warner Bros in the early to mid 1930's, churing out about 20 silly, fast moving B-comedies during that time. These films co-starred Olivia DeHavilland (twice), Joan Bennett, Alice White, Ginger Rogers (twice), Patricia Ellis (thrice), Ann Dvorak, Thelma Todd (twice), Eric Blore and Bela Lugosi to name a few! In those films Joe did it all..singing, dancing, acrobatics, many kinds of sports, was a tractor SUPER-salesman, invented firebombs and an unsinkable bathing suit, and in one case even got to do Shakespeare!

And speaking of.... 8" x 10" promotional still of Patricia Ellis in all her blonde winsomeness, taken by the great Elmer Fryer. Now THAT is a dress!!!

On the backside of this Pat Ellis still there is a small typewritten blurb that says: "SATIN AND SEQUINS. PATRICIA ELLIS wears this daring gown in the Warner Bros comedy BROADWAY JOE. The high wasted skirt is of black sequins moulded to the figure (blogger edit: no shit!) and showing a brief fan shaped train. The backless brassiere style upper half is made with a halter neckline set with an enormous jeweled clip fashioned in a double crescent design."

I find this interesting because Patricia actually wore this dress in "Bright Lights" with Joe E and Ann Dvorak..."Broadway Joe" must have been the original working title for the film. I have found this to be a fairly common occurence with vintage stills, either the titles were different OR in the case of another Pat Ellis still I have seen, she was announced as "next appearing in Howard Hawks' "Tiger Shark" with Edward G Robinson", which she did not (tho i wish she did, she would have been much better than rather colorless Zita Johann who did co-star in it), so sometimes we can see clues to how films underwent changes before and/or after cameras rolled.

Lastly is a Lobby Card from the hilarious Jack Benny/Ann Sheridan film "George Washington Slept Here"! I gotta say I am quite happy to have a piece of paperware from this fun and silly film! Warner Bros had a weird policy of sometiems printing their Lobby cards on linen textured paper. I have a few others like this as well. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to why they did it!

and now that I have crossed Joe E. Browns name off my list, henceforth begins my mystic quest for a vintage autographed picture of Warren William....

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Frank Frazetta...

February 9th, 1928 - May 10th, 2010

Friday, February 3, 2012

My Reputation is Secure...

I recently acquired 2 more vintage Lobby Cards featuring my go-to gal of 1930's B-Films, Patricia Ellis
Scene card for 1937's "Rhythmn in the Clouds" co-starring Warren Hull. I found a dvd copy of this film off ebay last month for about a two-fiddy. Silly film, some good scenes, very low budget but Pat looked great! Too much singing tho!
Scene card for 1939's "Backdoor to Heaven" featuring the always excellent Wallace Ford in a rare starring role. A downbeat film but nicely done, well worth a look.
I'm running out of wall space....guess I'll need to build some more walls!
Will resume the lovelies posts momentarily...