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 bought....no 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 anymore...my 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.

18 comments:

Ginger Ingenue said...

Ha. What a wonderful read! And you don't lie to your mother: how sweet. :)

And yes, I was wondering, about halfway through, if you had any books of the brothers. Of course I knew you'd have something on Cagney...I guess just the Dead End Kids get left out, huh? ;)

I LOVE the poster for HARD TO GET!!

I love all your pictures you have framed...

Can I come to your house, and treat it like a library??

I'll bring cupcakes... ;)

Raquelle said...

Umm you don't have a classic film library. You have a CLASSIC FILM MUSEUM! Holy cow. And of course you have the best bookshelves ever! Can I hire you to build some for us? I put together my bookshelves but they are Target/IKEA quality.

I loved seeing all the Clara Bow pictures and the LIFE magazine covers. And I really need to check out Ragman's Son. That's cool that you have some signed pieces too.

I'm so glad you posted this. You have an amazing and very admirable collection and it's nice for you devoted readers to get to see it. :-)

Artman2112 said...

well thank you Ginger! i actually have 2 books on the Bros, the Scrapbook and Why a Duck, but i really need a 'films of' book or something that gives a good overview of their body of work. is there a book on the dead end kids? i bet it would be interesting! the revelation i had last night though as i was typing up all these titles is i have NO book on Abbott and Costello, my fave comedy team of all....this saddnes me greatly and i must make amends after i get my Warren William book!

btw you can come to my house and treat it like anything you want, no cupcakes needed, just dont break anything or i'll sick my pewfy attack cat on you!

but if you insist, yes please bring cupacake....they are my only weakness!

Raquelle - you are not the first person to tell me my place is like a museum but i do love hearing it! i'm glad you ejoyed the post, especially as you were the catalyst for it! i have many more signed pictures to show, actually i have many that still need to be framd and hung up! (not enough hours in the day!) yes please do yourself a favor and get Ragman's Son! i now you like Kirk Douglas and of all the auto bios I've read his was by far the best written and most absorbing. i think your admiration will quadruple after you read it, what a story he tells!

thanks to you both for your comments!

Flapper Flickers + Silent Stanzas said...

THIS IS WHAT HEAVEN LOOKS LIKE.

Artman2112 said...

haha thanks Jennifer!

KC said...

This is so beautiful. My film library is wedged in an Ikea bookshelf in the basement. I feel like I ought to at least spiff that up a bit after seeing these amazing pics. You have an artist's eye for display. Thanks for sharing.

Karen said...

All I can say is WOW. Well, that's not all I can say. What an stunningly beautiful display. I have a lot of books, photos, and lobby cards, but never in my wildest dreams could I showcase them like this! Even the rug is appropriately gorgeous. I feel like putting pictures of your house in my house!

Artman2112 said...

thanks KC, glad you enjoyed the post!

Karen - wow what a nice thing to say! wouldnt that be funny to have pictures of someone elses house in your own house haha! i'm just curious, but why cant you showcase your collection?

Karen said...

Unfortunately, I only have two rooms in my house where I could put my stuff on display -- one is currently devoted to The Pirates of the Caribbean (during a Johnny Depp obsession several years back, I converted my library and filled it with all things POTC!), and the other is my family room, which has classic posters and lobby cards on the walls, but there is absolutely no space for bookcases. Boo. You have inspired me, though. One day, I will have a room that, at the very least, comes close to hinting, in a vague sort of way, at what you have! :o )

Artman2112 said...

karen - haha you better work fast cuz in a few yars my room will be so far beyond where it is now, you cant even imagine! i have HUGE plans for this main room that will make the Grand Hotel look like Ma and Pa Kettles house!

btw Johnny Depp is awesome but i cant watch those Pirate films, Fughedaboudit, heheh.

Andressa C. said...

I want to live there!

Kristina D said...

wow, Thanks to Karen at shadows&satin(I see her comments here too) for tipping me off to this post, and your blog in general. Thanks for posting this awe-inspiring setup! (also inspired me to get mine on my blog.) Love how neat and comfy and welcoming yours all looks, indeed like a museum, a relaxing lounge/library. a collection should, IMO, also be some kind of getaway place where "tending" to the stuff is therapeutic, not a chore. So nice! looking forward to following your expansion plans!
Best!

Artman2112 said...

Andressa - haha, you';ll have to help with the dusting!

Hi Kristina - thanks for your comments! i like your idea of the getaway place, my plan is to make the entire house a getaway place so yeah stuff everywhere...need more stuff tho haha can you give me a link to your film library post? i'd love to see it!

VĂ­ctor said...

I've just discovered your blog... amazing content! Thanks for sharing so many images and so much info

Kristina D said...

whoops, sorry here's my collection http://hqofk.wordpress.com/extras/stuff/ the password is swordfish! drop in anytime, there are always beverages waiting for all my movie nut friends. working my way thru your blog--you've made some awesome additions since this post! wow... also I have to get my act together on being a Citadel book completist, I see a few on your shelf that i didn't even know existed!
Cheers & best!

Artman2112 said...

thanks Victor glad you enjoy the place!

Kristina - thanks for the link holy crap, you got a lot of stuff, haha! i left a comment. the Citadel series were awesome, before the net and IMDB they were the go-to books for easy to find info. i'm not a completist but there are a few i would still be happy to stumble upon and add to the shelves!

Patti said...

Wow, what an awesome collection you have!! That is many years and thousands of dollars worth of amazing memoribilia. I bet your friends love taking in a movie at your house. Surrounded by all those posters and pictures, one could almost pretend they are in another era.

I am impressed by all the Life magazines. My parents used to get Life (in the 60's), and they saved a few issues through the years. I used to love looking at them.

By the way, my son is a woodworker as well. He hasn't made shelves as you have, but he makes guitars and ukuleles.

Thanks for sharing your awesome collection!

Artman2112 said...

haha yes indeed, i've been collecting this stuff for most of my life! Life mags are actually very easy to find and not at all expensive for the most part. they are a lot of fun to look at but they smell funny. i'm sure your sons skills with wood far outclass mine if he is making guitars and such. my shelves are real basic, but they are very sturdy! thanks for commenting!