Tagged: Ginger Rogers Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Star Is Born, , , , Ginger Rogers, , , , musicals, ,   


    Just as all good things must come to an end, so too must all bad things (even Trump’s evil rule will run out of recourse¬†eventually — e.g., the fat lady’s last aria at the opera seems to go on forever; will it end short of becoming a hoarse opera?). What it all a-mounts to is….

    Meanwhile, back at the ranch , we bid happy trails to “bad” actors not named Trump, and end our HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE series with a roundup of some of the era’s great song & dance stars, starting with this incomparable pair whose magic outlasted their time:

    When it comes to high-energy dancing, no one outshined Gene Kelly. Here he is in THE PIRATE (1948), clowning around with the fabulous Nicholas Brothers:

    I do have one regret about this retrospective: so many musical stars, so little time and wherewithal for them all. Perhaps, as time goes by, I will use a favorite star’s birthday as an occasion to do an occasional post.

    In closing (speaking of when A STAR IS BORN), if ever someone was born to be one, it’s this star-crossed girl/woman with whom we bring down the curtain on this series:

    • calmkate 4:07 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a joyful collection of viewing, thanks Mr M!

      But Ginger and Fred are just sheer magic … no couple have ever created the ease and charm that they exuded on screen! My forever heros ūüôā

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 10:54 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It didn’t hurt (quoting from A SMITHSONIAN SALUTE TO THE AMERICAN MUSICAL) that “Astaire and Rogers worked with the finest composers of their day. Of their ten films together, one featured music by Cole Porter, two by Jerome Kern, one by George and Ira Gershwin, and three by Irvine Berlin.” Throw in great directors and supporting casts, and it’s no wonder there was movie magic!

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 6:15 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink

          that would certainly help and their stage settings add to the majesty but they had class and talent by the ton!

          Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger 9:27 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Have you seen the new movie Judy? I liked it very much. It focuses on the final months of her life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:01 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Haven’t seen it, but saw snippets and an interview with the star on TV. Thanks for your comment.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:51 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      This has been a great series and you should be congratulated for putting it all together.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:28 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, Ashley….and I even managed to cast a few aspersions at Trump in the bargain.


    • Rosaliene Bacchus 3:39 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I could watch Fred & Ginger and Gene Kelly dance all day long! They brought joy to my tumultous young life.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 6:34 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        To bring joy to a “tumultuous young life” — as Ira Gershwin wrote and Gene Kelly sang (in AN AMERICAN IN PARIS), “Who could ask for anything more?”

        Liked by 2 people

    • Rivergirl 8:52 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The Nicholas Brothers! That goes back…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:31 pm on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        They go way back, but they lived long — especially the older brother, who died in 2006 at age 91.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mlrover 8:53 am on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Ginger spoke in an interview about that particular dance. Fred insisted on perfection, and as usual, doing it in one take. She said that by the time this scene was done as he liked it there was blood in her shoes. She also said, as she had before and would again, that she got paid less and did everything he did in heels and backward.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:28 pm on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Fred was indeed a perfectionist. Quoting from the book I mentioned in my earlier reply to calmkate, “the roller skating sequence in SHALL WE DANCE, for example, was shot 30 times, and the Never Gonna Dance number from SWING TIME was done in forty-eight takes.” As for Ginger, “I had plenty of input in our routines and got to be known as the ‘button finder’….the one who puts the last word or finishing touch on a scene.” So I don’t blame her for complaining “that she got paid less.”

        Although Ginger “did everything he did in heels and backward,” the one thing she didn’t do as well was sing. Irving Berlin said, “I’d rather have Fred Astaire introduce one of my songs than any other singer I know — not because he has a great voice, but because his delivery and diction are so good that he can put over a song like nobody else.”

        Liked by 2 people

        • David Thompson 9:00 pm on December 6, 2019 Permalink

          I grew up, will h my mother’s influence ..with this era. I am richer for the experience.


    • Elizabeth 1:40 pm on November 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I loved this series. Thanks for all the time and thoughtfulness you put into it.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 12:22 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Amazing tributes, all, but the one for Judy Garland is amazing. To see all those films in one clip is a little mind-blowing. She was certainly prolific!

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 1:50 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m glad you singled out the Garland clip for special mention — it was an unexpected find, and probably my favorite in this series.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:12 pm on December 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the Like, David Thompson. I tried to check out your blog, but when I click the link, I get a blank screen. Before I approve your comment, kindly advise if your blog is not operational for some reason.


  • mistermuse 12:57 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: awards, draining the swamp, Dumbo, , Ginger Rogers, , , keister, Mike Pence, , , , , Sarah Huckabee Sanders, , , WASP   


    Friends, I am proud,¬†humbled¬†and honored to tell you that I (will) be nominated for the Kiester Award¬†for blogging (over, above and beyond the call of duty, no less). Yes, friends, I foresee that you will see fit, after reading this, not¬†only¬†to get off (or on)¬†your kiester, as the case-ster may be,¬†to nominate me….but¬†also to¬†kick yourself in the kiester for not doing¬†so before.¬†So, though your awakening may be in arrears, it¬†is appreciated.

    But I’m conflicted, friends.¬†It’s not that I’m¬†ungrateful for the¬†Kiester that you¬†are aching¬†to bestow upon me; however, there are others much more deserving. I would therefore caution you to control yourselves, because¬†worthy as I may be,¬†it’s only right (wing) that¬†you should nominate¬†someone with¬†far superior qualities, such as:

    THE¬†DONALD¬†— aka The Orange (T)error. America’s bully boy¬†and wall nut¬†who¬†is able to¬†leap (t)all Republicans in a single bound and make them kiss his ass in a single tweet. Drains swamps by filling them in with b.s. Loves everyone (who loves him), but¬†retains Godfather complex¬†(for those who don’t).

    THE MIKESTER — aka¬†Straightarrow Mike. Joined to The Donald at the hip while being the least hip VP in American hipstery.¬†Even a¬†dog couldn’t be more loyal.¬†Leading contender for the Cardboard Poodle award.

    THE MITCH-ELAINE MAN — aka Monotone Mitch.¬†The Blue Grass State’s gift horse¬†to the U.S. Senate. Was once caught smiling, and vowed never to smile again.¬†Doesn’t parrot The Donald as much¬†as¬†The Mikester, but¬†is nonetheless for the birds. Married to Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation in the horse’s ass administration.

    THE HUCKABEE WASP — aka Sarah the married¬†Spinstirrer. White House Press Secretary and daughter of¬†White Anglo-Saxon Protestant Christian Minister and¬†former Arkansas governor, Mike Huckabee. Read her lips. She may not be a dummy, but¬†The Donald’s got her back (or¬†is it the other way around?).

    DUMBO THE UGLY¬†ELEPHANT — aka The GOP. It’s¬†the body¬†the Republican Party has become since The Donald took¬†power,¬†as¬†Ronald Reagan turned over in his grave. Who knew Ronnie’s reign as President¬†would¬†one day¬†turn out to be, not only¬†The Good Old Days of fond memory, but the elephant in the room, the ghost of civility past?

    In closing, friends, a few of you may think I misspelled Keister, but in my dictionary, Kiester is also acceptable. Spelling can be like pronunciation:

    • Carmen 1:25 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      All this time I thought it was Christer ‚ÄĒ as in, Holy Christer. . . I‚Äôve got a few of them around here today. . And it‚Äôs raining. . . ūüė¶

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:25 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        According to the Urban Dictionary, Christer is a popular name among religious fanatics, TV ministers and do-gooders, so I’m guessing you’ve had a drought and you invited them to pray for rain. Saints be praised, you had a conversion, and this is your reward! Now all you have to worry about is the coming flood! ūüė¶

        Liked by 1 person

        • Carmen 6:25 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink

          I was referring to my grandchildren. . . big grin. ..

          Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 2:39 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Assholes all, Sr Muse. A spot-on analysis.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:40 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Ricardo. There’s lots more where they came from, but I can only fit so many a-holes on one po(s)t.

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 3:34 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply


      Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 3:38 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      “The Orange (T)error. America‚Äôs bully boy and wall nut who is able to leap (t)all Republicans in a single bound” is a hoot. The Stump is so disgusting that some ask who we’d have to laugh at when he’s gone. He’s become so revolting he’s just sad (and dangerous) while making our country a laughingstock in the eyes of the rest of the world. The majority of the Republican Party isn’t much better. Clever posting and loved the Astair/Rogers clip, one that was done in more than one take. Rare for them. Astair usually insisted on single, seamless takes.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:52 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. I think the reason Astaire/Rogers seldom needed multiple takes was that he was such a stickler for rehearsing over and over again until they achieved perfection (or as close to it as humanly possible) that by the time it came to shoot a scene, one take was all that was necessary.

        Liked by 2 people

        • mlrover 4:43 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink

          I thought I heard Rogers talking about the one take thing, but it was long ago so I could have it mixed up.

          Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 6:36 pm on August 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Fortunately I don’t know most of these nominees but I sincerely appreciate your wordsmith skills in aptly describing them … so I feel compelled to give my vote to the queen

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:29 am on August 10, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Just for the record, the other nominees (besides Trump) are Mike Pence, President in charge of Vice; Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader in charge of blocking Supreme Court nominees of Democrat Presidents and confirming Supreme Court nominees of Republican Presidents; Sarah Huckabee Sanders, White House Press Secretary in charge of explaining what Trump means by what he says and tweets; and the GOP, the political party in charge of sitting on their assumptions while their President runs the country like a raving egomaniac.

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 2:37 am on August 10, 2018 Permalink

          oh he is a ridiculous dictator .. does what he wishes and still has support … from over here it looks like your whole country has gone insane ūüė¶

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Ginger Rogers, , , mental block, , On A Clear Day,   


    Normally, when I write a post, I think about what I want to say — the body of the post — and¬†at some point¬†during¬†this labor of love¬†(after¬†considerable cogitation), a title is born. With my last post, the title¬†came first and I¬†then had to work¬†to¬†shape¬†the body¬†(after considerable consternation) in¬†language of the what-have-I-gotten-myself-into¬†kind. Believe me, friends — it’s a pain in the brain¬†to be boxed in by a title, so¬†with this post,¬†I decided to leave the title BLANK. I feel better already.

    But,¬†now that I have¬†a blank canvas,¬†one would think I should be able to¬†paint a word picture;¬†yet¬†it’s like I can’t see the¬†blog for the fog.¬†Have I become¬†color¬†blind?

    So it’s just the time of day,¬†a mere¬†matter of mind over time. Tomorrow the fog will¬†clear and¬†this¬†will seem like a black and white¬†dream….

    And you know what they¬†say about a clear day….

    • calmkate 2:51 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Being a huge fan of Fred and Gingers … loved their set and her dress was dreamy!
      Anthony has won me … thanks heaps for this colourful Blank post ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:35 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I’m a big fan of Fred and Ginger too, but for me, the outstanding ‘find’ among the 3 clips was “The No-Color Time of the Day.” I’ve also been a big fan of Peggy Lee for a long time, but somehow I’d never heard her (or anyone) sing that great song before. I probably missed it because, the year she recorded it (1960) was the year I was drafted into the army. Also, Rock ‘n’ Roll had taken over pop culture by then, and a wistful song like “No-Color Time” had little chance of becoming a hit.

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 4:31 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink

          hadn’t realised that you were a Vietnam Vet … guessed you missed lots of things for those two years!

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 6:16 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink

          Kate, I was in the Army 1960–62, so I’m actually a pre-Vietnam vet. Not that I’m complaining–as far as wars are concerned, service between, rather than during, was fine with me.


    • scifihammy 7:53 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      haha Interesting how you construct your posts. ūüôā
      I often have an idea for a post and think of the title before I start writing. Sometimes I struggle for the right title. Now I know I can should put BLANK! ūüėÄ
      Really like the Fred and Ginger clip. They were so elegant together. ūüôā

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:52 am on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Although I sometimes think of a title before I start writing, when that happens I almost always have some idea of what I’m going to write. The previous post was a case of thinking of (and ‘falling in love’ with) the title before I had a clue what to write. So, being “boxed in by the title” led to the post being a bit more bawdy than it might otherwise have been.

        Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 12:56 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Drawing a blank when staring at an empty computer screen is common. But I wouldn’t recommend titling many posts “Blank.” The more alarming the titles of my posts, the more hits they get, although the percentage of people who just read the title and promptly take offense probably approaches 50%.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 3:38 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Such is life in the blog city, Ricardo. I don’t understand how anyone could object to the gentle tweaks you employ in your posts and titles. As for my titles, maybe you’re right. As a step in the direction you suggest, for my next post, I’m thinking of titling it BLANKETY-BLANK. If someone takes offence at my upping the ante, I will gently suggest that they go BLANK themselves.


    • Yeah, Another Blogger 4:20 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Like you, I’d never heard of The No Color Time Of The Day before.
      How’d you come upon it?
      It’s nice song. I’m a sucker for songs in waltz time.

      Neil S.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:25 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Neil, I hadn’t heard it before I stumbled upon it while searching for another ‘color’ song on Google (see my 8:35 am reply to calmkate’s first comment for more info).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 4:58 pm on July 13, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      In the movies the actors fire blanks. You can always fill in the blanks. The subject on an email can be blank and you can still send it. And, you can be a tabular rosa or a blank page. Maybe like nothing, sometimes blank, can be a real cool hand.

      Liked by 3 people

    • renxkyoko 5:45 am on July 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I love watching Fred Astaire dance. I wonder if he had children who inherited his dancing talent.

      Liked by 3 people

    • renxkyoko 5:46 am on July 16, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, and I always end my post with the title, because I just write what comes to mind.

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 1:26 pm on July 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not so much on Fred Astaire, but I love Ginger Rogers… even wrote an essay about her. I think she was a pretty swell dancer; but, her comedy was even better.

      BTW, if I draw a blank on what to write about, sometimes I use a random word generator to get my brain moving around. Doesn’t always work, but it has from time to time…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 10:27 pm on July 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        If you love Ginger Rogers, you should watch (if you haven’t already) one of her lesser-known films titled THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR. In addition to be a great film, it has the distinction of being the first movie directed by Billy Wilder, and the only movie (to my knowledge) in which Ginger’s mother appeared (near the end of the film, in a short but important role).

        Liked by 1 person

        • masercot 9:09 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink

          I’ve seen it a few times. She is wonderful at playing a youngster, a sexy young woman and a mature mother. Jerry Lewis remade that movie in the fifties with Dean Martin. Not as good but there is a fantastic dance routine that has to be seen to be believed…

          Have you seen Monkey Business with Rogers and Cary Grant?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:46 am on July 18, 2018 Permalink

          I’ve seen Monkey Business, but so long ago that I don’t remember it well. I think it shows up on TCM occasionally, so I’ll keep an eye open for it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • masercot 12:00 pm on July 18, 2018 Permalink

          She dances in it, almost as an afterthought, but she is so GOOD at it.

          Liked by 1 person

    • da-AL 7:18 pm on July 17, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      you’ve fashioned a kaleidascope for us ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Alexander Graham Bell, , , , Don Ameche, , Ginger Rogers, Grace Kelly, , , , Lily Tomlin, Rosalind Russell, , telephone switchboards,   


    “I’m very thankful that my first name was not Imma.”EMMA NUTT

    • * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    Who was Imma — I mean¬†Emma¬†— Nutt….and why do we celebrate her day today? Imma glad you ask-a that question.¬†For¬†the answer in a Nuttshell, click here:

    Emma Nutt, The World’s 1st Woman Telephone Operator

    Hello, Central? (I’d explain what Central was, but it’s¬†less than¬†central to our conversation.)

    I’m calling because, as you can tell from¬†Emma’s hiring by A.¬†Bell, it¬†was soon¬†clear to him that¬†this was¬†both¬†a Nutt job and a switch for the better. But back in those simpler times, being a telephone operator wasn’t all that¬†simple:

    Even a switchboard manned by a male¬†in a military school wasn’t¬†off the hook¬†when it came to¬†complications (sorry about¬†the¬†clipped picture in¬†this clip, but unfortunately I can’t¬†find this scene in¬†full screen¬†(it’s from¬†a Billy Wilder film¬†starring Ginger Rogers):

    Telephones have played a major¬†part in many movies. Here are more of my ‘phoney’ favorites from yesteryear, starting with the one that started it all:

    THE STORY OF ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL* (1939), starring Don Ameche as Bell
    BELLS ARE RINGING (1960), starring Judy Holliday and Dean Martin
    DIAL M FOR MURDER (1954), starring Ray Milland and Grace Kelly
    SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948), starring Barbara Stanwyck and Burt Lancaster
    HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940), starring Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell

    *If you ever pay a call on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, don’t miss the outstanding ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL MUSEUM at Baddeck. It’s¬†a ringleader¬†among museums!

    Of course, telephones weren’t¬†featured only¬†in classic films. Remember this TV¬†skit?

    And now I’m going to GET SMART and quit while I’m ahead….and¬†Agent 86¬†is afoot:



    • Garfield Hug 12:08 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lol! That is name I don’t want either!ūüėāūüėāHilarious readūüĎć

      Liked by 2 people

    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 1:02 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      My father had a Top Secret security clearance level from the time he was a young man working on his Ph.D. (advised by Einstein & Land). After working in the missile program for much of his career, his last job in the Air Force was Congressional Liaison.

      He loved to tell the story of the time he and his best friend Miles (a NASA bigwig at the time) both took off their shoes at the same time, held them to their respective ears (a la Get Smart) and said, sotto voce, “Can’t talk now, I’m with Congress,” put their shoes back on and tried to keep neutral faces until the startled Representatives nearby walked away quickly.

      Loved this post – for more than that reason, one-ringy-dingy.
      (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
      ADD/EFD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
      “It takes a village to educate a world!”

      Liked by 4 people

    • scifihammy 2:47 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Hilarious clips and Yes – The old switchboard was amazing! ūüôā

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:37 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks. BTW, that’s Rosalind Russell in the AUNTIE MAME clip — the same gal who co-starred with Cary Grant in HIS GIRL FRIDAY (last film on my movie list).

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:58 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply


      Least we forget these guys, the first users of the cell phone.


      Liked by 3 people

    • linnetmoss 6:16 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant! Cell phones figure largely in Liam Neeson’s “Taken” thrillers, but they cannot compare to the oldies ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:58 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of oldies, I’ll take this occasion to refer back to the “Hello Central” in my post with this clip of a song which was a big hit during WWI when American troops were fighting and dying on the battlefields of Europe:

        Liked by 2 people

        • linnetmoss 3:53 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink

          Wow, I know who Al Jolson is but that one is new to me!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 4:32 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink

          Al Jolson’s singing could be a bit over-dramatic, but he knew how to put over a song in those days. He recorded HELLO CENTRAL in 1918 near the beginning of his fame as “The World’s Greatest Entertainer” (a title now apparently assumed by our humble President).


    • First Night Design 7:30 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      They don’t make ’em like they used to! Lovely to be reminded of the great Lily Tomlin in Rowan & Martin – joyous memories of that particular series of sketches.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:03 pm on September 8, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry that I inadvertently overlooked your comment until today. As I mentioned in a Sept. 5 reply to BroadBlogs, Lily’s birthday was Sept 1 and I overlooked that as well when I wrote this post….sure signs that age is creeping up on me. Take my advice and don’t get old! ūüôā


    • Ricardo 11:57 am on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Whenever somebody on Facebook posts “Name something that you remember that doesn’t happen anymore” I put down “Waiting for somebody to get off the phone so you can use it.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • literaryeyes 8:41 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Remember party lines? You’d pick up the phone and hear your neighbor talking to someone else, say sorry, hang up, and wait?

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:48 am on September 6, 2017 Permalink

          There were a number of movies in the 1930s & 40s in which party line (or crossed line) scenes with overheard conversations played a part in the plot (SORRY, WRONG NUMBER, listed in my post, was one of them). I personally experienced only a few times picking up the phone and hearing someone on the line….but then, I never was a ‘frequent try-er’ when it came to conversing on the telephone! ūüôā


    • mistermuse 2:26 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Coincidentally, yesterday I was looking for quotes I might use in this post and came across this oldie: “If you think the art of conversation is dead, you have probably never stood around waiting outside a public phone booth.” –Evan Esar

      Liked by 2 people

    • BroadBlogs 3:27 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You have a mind that is great at putting things together!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:42 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, but I’m not sure my wife would agree. Every time something goes haywire on the computer, I have to ask her to fix the problem! ūüė¶


    • restlessjo 5:02 pm on September 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I worked on the Continental Exchange, just off Fleet St., many long years ago and that first scenario looks alarmingly familiar. Many thanks for your kind visit. ūüôā ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • thefirstdark 3:19 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on ReBirth: The Pursuit of Porsha.

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 8:23 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      EMMA NUTT — can’t believe that’s a real name. And the perfect quote: ‚ÄúI‚Äôm very thankful that my first name was not Imma.‚ÄĚ

      Interesting that telephones are featured so much in movies. Something about “the space between” and trying to connect in an imperfect world?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:00 pm on September 5, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed. Lily Tomlin practically made a “calling” out of her many telephone company skits like the one in my post. BTW, when I published this post on 9/1, I didn’t realize that 9/1 is her birthday. Belated Happy Birthday, Lily!


    • Maria H. 5:24 pm on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I loved all the puns! Old telephones are before my time, but I cannot imagine having to connect all those different people to each other! It looks really complicated.

      Thank you for stopping by and liking my book review for Dark Matter by Blake Crouch. I just posted a new review on another science fiction book, so stop by again if you are interested.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:33 pm on September 7, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Switchboard operators in those days must have had a lot of influence because they all had connections (if you still love all my puns after that one, I can only assume that you’re a glutton for punishment)! ūüė¶

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , Ginger Rogers, , , , , Pick Yourself Up, Swing Time   


    dogs,¬†Slang. The feet: My dogs are killing me!¬† fantasy, n.¬†¬†A play of the mind; imagination; fancy; a picture existing only in the mind. –World Book Dictionary

    A footnote to¬†the World Book definition of¬†fantasy: it is personified, in my view,¬†by¬†one man — fittingly so, because¬†beyond his¬†pictures he still¬†dances in¬†the mind,¬†as¬†timeless as imagination….no less real than the Hollywood¬†from which such flights of fancy emanated and stars were born. That ethe-real¬†man is Fred Astaire, the pictures were his movies,¬†and this day is his birthday (May 10, 1899).

    Astaire’s¬†“dogs” may have been what carried him across the dance floor with Ginger Rogers in his arms, but it was his persona that took us with him. I like to think that what Santa Claus embodied¬†for children, Fred Astaire embodied¬†for my parent’s generation as teenagers/young adults, epitomizing¬†easy grace and the¬†allure of dreams¬†more enticing than any toy that¬†Santa could promise.¬† No other hoofer in film history even comes¬†close to capturing his magic….which is why he survives his and¬†my parent’s generation, just as any great artist lives on in what he or she creates.

    In my favorite scene from my favorite Astaire-Rogers film (SWING TIME, 1936), professional dancer Astaire comes to New York and, after a chance street¬†encounter with Rogers doesn’t go well, he¬†follows her to the dance studio where she is an instructor. Pretending to be a novice, he botches the dance lesson. She insults him and is fired. As she is leaving the studio….

    Of course, many elements must come together to produce movie magic, and SWING TIME had the good fortune to combine the¬†talents of the stars with those of¬†a great director (George Stevens), a fine supporting cast (including Eric Blore, seen in the above clip), and one of the best¬†composer/lyricist teams of the Golden Age (Jerome Kern and Dorothy Fields). In addition to the ‘dance¬†lesson’ song PICK YOURSELF UP, their¬†outstanding score includes A FINE ROMANCE, NEVER GONNA DANCE, and¬†this love song:

    On this May 10 celebration,¬†let’s end appropriately¬†with this:





    • scifihammy 4:58 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Movie magic indeed. ūüôā Always a pleasure to watch these two together and the ease with which Fred Astaire sings and dances ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 6:18 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You know I’ve heard and more than once that song writers wanted Fred Astaire to sing their songs. Not Sinatra as he might change the lyrics on them or any of the other big time singers of the era but Astaire. If you listen to the respect and the tenderness with which he handles the words it makes sense.


      • mistermuse 7:42 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Exactly right, Don. To quote from one of my Astaire record album covers: “In creating these songs, it almost seemed as if five of the undisputed masters in the field–Irving Berlin, Ira and George Gershwin, Dorothy Fields and Jerome Kern–were stimulated by their assignments to out-do themselves in the quality of their work. And the reason was undoubtedly Fred Astaire himself. What songwriters loved about him was that, despite his admitted vocal limitations, he brought to each song a personal involvement that never distorted either the meaning or the melody.”


    • Midwestern Plant Girl 6:35 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I always loved the quote, “Ginger Rogers did everything the great Fred Astaire did backwards and in high heels.” ūüėČ

      Liked by 1 person

    • arekhill1 9:14 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I ask you, Sr. Muse, in your capacity as a semi-official curator of proclaimed national and world-wide days, should Astaire’s birthday be celebrated as White Guys Who Can Dance Day?


    • mistermuse 9:37 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds good to me. I’d also proclaim Oct. 2o and March 17 as Black Guys Who Could Dance Like No White Guys Did And Become Legendary Day (the birthdays of the fabulous Nicholas Brothers, Fayard and Harold).


    • Cynthia Jobin 12:17 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      The kind of art that Astaire personified is one (of only a few, mind you) reason I wouldn’t mind returning to that era…

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 1:40 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      My sentiments exactly, Cynthia. But at least we still have Turner Classic Movies to go to whenever it’s worthwhile returning to that era, such as today when TCM is running a number of old Astaire films, such as CAREFREE at three P.M. Eastern Daylight Savings Time (SWING TIME was on this morning).

      Liked by 1 person

    • Cynthia Jobin 1:51 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That’s our cable channel 42 here in Maine….ROYAL WEDDING is on now…thanks for the tip!

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 2:24 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      You’re more than welcome. ROYAL WEDDING (for me) doesn’t have the magic of the Astaire-Rogers films (or even DAMSEL IN DISTRESS with Astaire-Joan Fontaine, which was on earlier), but it’s still worth a view or two. ūüôā

      Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 5:01 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That man is sure light on his feet!

      If someone made a list comparing slang for dogs and cats, wonder what we would find?

      Liked by 1 person

    • D. Wallace Peach 6:21 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Awesome scenes. When my daughter was about 4 years old she LOVED these old movies. We would snuggle on the couch and watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Gene Kelly, and the rest. Great dancing and so much romance. ūüėÄ

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:55 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        It’s good to expose children to what was good about the good old days, so that they realize there’s a lot more to life than just the current culture. The more expansive their upbringing, the more well-rounded they will be when they’re on their own. ūüôā

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 6:37 pm on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      If you’re a lucky dog , BroadBlogs, what you find would be the cat’s meow, otherwise you’re barking up the wrong tree. That’s a short list, but if I made it longer, it would be so bad, we might fight like cats and dogs. ūüė¶


  • mistermuse 9:51 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Ginger Rogers, , , Jack Lemon, , , Sabrina, , Stalag 17, ,   


    Fans of Hollywood’s Golden Age movies will recognize the above title as one of the classic¬†last lines in¬†film history, said by Joe E. Brown to¬†Jack Lemmon at the end of Billy Wilder’s SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959). Today being Wilder’s birthday (June 22, 1906), and me being¬†in the middle of a biography of Wilder¬†by the same title, I thought I’d offer my own¬†brief tribute to one of the great directors of all time, to be followed at a later date by a review of the book when I’ve finished reading it. Seeing as how I’ve owned the book for over a year and am not yet halfway through it, don’t expect the follow-up anytime soon. I may be retired, but I still can never seem to¬†find time to catch up on my reading. Hey, nobody’s perfect.

    Even the greatest directors made some films that weren’t so hot, and Wilder made a few such, but few directors and screenwriters have made more movies that bear repeated viewings (which is my standard for greatness) than Billy Wilder. Here is¬†my Top Ten list of¬†favorite Wilder films:

    THE MAJOR AND THE MINOR (1942), starring Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland
    DOUBLE INDEMNITY (1944), starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck and Edward G. Robinson
    THE LOST WEEKEND (1945), starring Ray Milland
    SUNSET BOULEVARD (1950), starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson and Erich von Stroheim
    STALAG 17 (1953), starring William Holden

    SABRINA (1954), starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn and William Holden
    WITNESS FOR THE PROSECUTION (1957), starring Marlene Dietrich, Charles Laughton and Tyrone Power
    SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959), starring Jack Lemmon, Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe
    THE APARTMENT (1960), starring Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine and Fred MacMurray
    ONE, TWO, THREE (1961), starring James Cagney

    When Wilder died March 27, 2002, he took his wit to his grave. His headstone reads:


    ¬†¬†¬†¬† I’M A WRITER
             BUT THEN

    • Michaeline Montezinos 10:08 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      mistermuse you may not believe me but I have watched every single one of the movies on your favorite Billy Wider list. Not only that but I am guilty of watching them more than once. I finally had to stop since my husband had enough of “my hobby.” But some day when I am old and gray, and find myself sitting next to someone dressed as an elf, I will have the old folk’s nursing home television on The Dish, and watch Wilder’s movies as much as I wish!
      This based not only on a fantasy. But after my December knee replacement surgery in 2008, we had “Santa” and his reindeer helpers plus a funny looking elf present a lovely Christmas show. The newly stitched up patients as well as the residents enjoyed it immensely. ūüôā


      • Michaeline Montezinos 10:17 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Today is also my youngest daughter’s birthday. She is an Angel of Mercy and that is her vocation. (No, she did not become a Nun but at times I wish I had joined the convent when I was a young girl.)
        Best wishes to you, my darling, Michelle, who cares for her patients with compassion, and efficiency. Love you, Mama Michaeline XOXO


    • mistermuse 10:37 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday to your daughter, and continued happy Billy Wilder watching to you, Michaeline.


      • Michaeline Montezinos 11:42 pm on June 22, 2015 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you so very much, mister muse. I am so glad we can communicate with each other. I am not complaining bu I have not yet made a lady friend here in St. Pete’s. Oh yes, the hair salon stylist and the waitresses at the various eateries we visit know me as well as my new Nurse Practioner. I think I may…and don’t let this upset you, my dear friend…become a member of the nearby Reform Judaic Temple. One great thing about places of worship is if they have a good following of nice women, I can usually find a friend or two. Maybe one that likes Billy Wilder films and playing Scrabble and of course, going out to eat. What retiree in Florida cooks at home any more? Oh, yes, my dear husband, Dave.
        Toodles, mistermuse, looking forward to your next posting. ūüôā


    • arekhill1 8:39 am on June 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      I salute you, Sr. Muse, for still trying to catch up on your reading, no matter how far behind you are. I long ago abandoned any hope of it. Now I have to scramble just to keep up with my writing.


    • mistermuse 9:57 am on June 23, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      When it comes to reading, I feel like the perfect example of the Lewis Carroll quote, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” And yet I keep adding more books to my Father’s Day, Birthday and Christmas wish lists.


    • Don Frankel 5:37 am on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      A lot of great movies here and this one is certainly not the best but the last 15 minutes or so of One, Two, Three are just hysterical. Cagney at his best. “Schlemmer you’re back in the SS. Smaller Salary!”


    • mistermuse 6:34 am on June 24, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right, Don. Cagney’s talent certainly wasn’t limited to being the classic tough guy of Hollywood’s Golden Age, He was also great at comedy, such as in ONE, TWO, THREE and MISTER ROBERTS, and at dancing, as in Cagney’s own personal favorite performance in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY.


    • thefirstdark 6:54 pm on June 27, 2015 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on The Darkness in the Light.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 8:25 pm on December 18, 2013 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Buster Bailey, , Cootie Williams, , , Fletcher Henderson, , George Stevens, Ginger Rogers, J.C.Higginbotham, , , Red Allen, Rex Stewart, Sid Catlett   


    Today¬†I’d like to pay tribute to two giants of jazz and film born on this date: Fletcher Henderson, jazz immortal, born Dec. 18, 1898, and George Stevens, master film director, born Dec. 18, 1904. Though gone from the scene for decades, both have¬†left¬†records of¬†creative achievement¬†in their respective fields which¬†have stood the test of time¬†for mortals who appreciate such things.

    FLETCHER HENDERSON, nicknamed “Smack” for his habit of smacking his lips, was a trailblazing jazz arranger and leader of outstanding big bands for two decades. At¬†various times from 1924 to 1935, his band included such jazz greats as Louis Armstrong, Rex Stewart, Cootie Williams, Red Allen, Buster Bailey, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster,¬†Sid Catlett¬†and J. C. Higginbotham.¬†In early 1935 he broke up his band¬†and began arranging for the¬†fledgling Benny Goodman Orchestra,¬†launching the new and exciting¬†sound of the swing era which would define American popular music until¬†WWII. Although he put together another band in 1936 and had one hit record, within a few years¬†Henderson had disbanded in the face of heavy competition. Thereafter he worked primarily as an arranger between¬†short stints leading big bands. He suffered a major stroke in 1n 1950 and died¬†Dec. 29, 1952. According to jazz critic Stanley Dance, Henderson’s was the¬†first big jazz band and set the standard for many to come. Here is a typical Fletcher Henderson swinger:


    GEORGE STEVENS, though you may not remember his name, directed some of the best movies you have seen, if you are a classic-film fan. These include (in chronological order):

    ALICE ADAMS (1935), starring Katherine Hepburn and Fred MacMurray.
    SWING TIME (1936), the best (in my opinion) of the Astair-Rogers musicals, with outstanding Jerome Kern-Dorothy Fields songs, including the Oscar-winning “The Way You Look Tonight.”
    A DAMSEL IN DISTRESS (1937), the first Astaire musical without Ginger Rogers, nonetheless notable for its George Gershwin score (his last before his premature death that same year). Joan Fontaine co-stars as the English¬†“damsel in distress.”
    GUNGA DIN (1939), starring Cary Grant and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.

    WOMAN OF THE YEAR (1942), starring Spencer Tracy and Katherine Hepburn in their first picture together. Oscar-winning screenplay by Ring Lardner Jr. and Michael Kanin.
    THE TALK OF THE TOWN (1942), starring Cary Grant, Ronald Colman and Jean Arthur.
    THE MORE THE MERRIER (1943), starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. Stevens was Academy Award nominee for Best Director.

    A PLACE IN THE SUN (1951), starring Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift. Academy Award winner for Best Director.
    SHANE (1953), one of the all-time great Westerns, starring Alan Ladd, Jean Arthur and Jack Palance.
    GIANT (1956), starring Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean. Academy Award winner for Best Director.
    THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK (1959). Film version of well-known true story of Jewish refugees hiding in WWII Amsterdam. I can especially relate to this film, having actually been decades ago in the building (now a museum) where Anne hid with her family and others and wrote her diary.

    Here is a clip from Stevens’¬†A¬†DAMSEL IN DISTRESS, in which Fred Astaire is doing his best to¬†escape detection¬†behind the chorus during a function at the castle¬†where damsel¬†Joan Fontaine resides:


    THE END of our post (but not of our inheritance)

    • Michaeline Montezinos 8:21 pm on January 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I was more interested in the movies you selected that were directed by George Stevens than the music, sorry. I have watched each and every one of these films many times and they are some of my favorites, I used to watch a lot of television during my recovery periods after my joint replacements. Of course, I had to go out for the physical therapy but it was a pleasure when my husband set up the old Samsung in my room. I appreciate the Barbra Striesand movies more now although they tend to be more like musicals, Just saw THE WAY WE WERE with Robert Redford last night while I was puttering around. I did not have the opportunity to visit the room where Anne Frank stayed in Amsterdam as you did but I did get a copy of her book from the library. I cried after I finished it.


    • mistermuse 10:28 pm on January 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I love almost all of the George Stevens’ movies listed in this post, but the one I’ve seen the most and could still see again and again is SWING TIME. I just checked a youtube clip of the “Pick yourself up, dust yourself off” scene where Fred dances Ginger around the dance studio floor to show her boss how much she has taught him – it has had an amazing 5,722,000+ views, so obviously I’m not alone in my admiration. I first saw this about 60 years ago in an “art theater” before it began appearing on TV, and I’ll never forget the audience spontaneously & loudly applauding at the end of that scene — something almost unheard of in those days. .


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