Tagged: Hollywood’s Golden Age Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on November 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: A Star Is Born, , , , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , musicals, ,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: END OF THE TRAIL 

    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 🙂

      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.

        Like

    • 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.

          Like

    • 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.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:03 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Bela Lugosi, , Bram Stoker, , Dracula, , , Hollywood's Golden Age, horror movies, Lon Chaney Jr., Phantom of the Opera, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, The Invisible Man, The Wolf Man, , Vlad the Impaler   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: NOT JUST BAD, BUT HORROR-ABLE ACTORS 

    November 8 is an especially appropriate day to unveil this post. Why? Because it’s the birthday of both VLAD DRACUL and BRAM STOKER, author of DRACULA, the famous horror novel “inspired” by the lore of Vlad Dracul — badder known as Vlad the Impaler (for badder details, click links below — the second of which is not for the squeamish):

    https://www.onthisday.com/people/vlad-the-impaler

    The Terrifying True Story Of Vlad The Impaler — History’s Real Dracula

    This sets the stage for the first of our “horror-able” actors: BELA LUGOSI, one of movie history’s most iconic character actors, who played Count Dracula in the classic DRACULA film released in February 1931. Here is the trailer:

    As if unleashing one monster on the public in 1931 wasn’t enough, November brought….

    Frankenstein’s monster was of course played by the equally “horror-able” and iconic character actor, November-born Boris Karloff:

    Next we have The Wolf Man, Lon Chaney Jr. (son of the legendary silent film star who played Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the phantom in The Phantom of the Opera, and other leading roles in early classics)….

    For our closer, the Price is right….Vincent Price, that is. Although most of Price’s horror-able roles came after Hollywood’s Golden Age, he wasn’t entirely invisible during it (or was he?):

    That’s The End for now, but never fear. We, too, shall return….

     
    • obbverse 2:29 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Dracula… no es-cape.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:22 pm on November 9, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Like Dracula, like Trump.
        But at least the former offers escapism from the latter.

        Like

    • calmkate 6:28 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a horror-able collection of bad actors and C grade movies … good to watch for a laugh 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 7:44 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never felt that Lon Cheney wanted to be in movies. He was kind of clumsy as an actor. But, he was also kind of love-able, so he gets a pass from me. I did enjoy his interaction with Lou Costello in Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. I think one of his best roles was in Spider Baby…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:41 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You mean Jr, of course. He. probably wouldn’t have become an actor if his father, Lon Chaney, hadn’t been one — and a famous one, too — in the silent era.

        Like

    • scifihammy 8:16 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to love watching these old horror movies on late night TV as a kid, with my brother. Classics! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:05 am on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Oh, I used to loooove those when I was young! Now? Pure camp. Delightful.

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 1:01 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not a horror film fan but for some reason I really liked these! Maybe because the acting was so over the top that I found them funny 🙂
      I enjoyed your Bad Actors series!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, mm. I think we appreciate them more as adults because we don’t take them seriously….or should I say, we can take them seriously as “camp” classics.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 1:21 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great fun. These had me laughing, again!

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:20 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I cannot imagine how scary these all were compared to Freddy Krueger and our government today!đŸ˜±

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:26 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Trump and his administration are certainly scarier than any horror movie. At least we don’t have to watch Freddie Krueger, but you can’t turn on the news on TV or read a newspaper without being confronted by the hideous orange monster.

        Liked by 1 person

        • America On Coffee 12:55 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Pray for Trump, Congress and our Judicial branch.🙏

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 1:38 am on November 9, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I can’t think of anything more futile than praying for Trump. I think we both know he is what he is — it’s “baked in” — and he isn’t going to change. Far be it from me, however, to discourage anyone else from wasting their time praying for a man who’s the very personification of a lost cause.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 5:51 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think those old horror films were a lot less horror filled than more recent ones. Maybe it’s just because blood looks less dreadful in black and white.

      Like

    • mistermuse 8:32 pm on November 8, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I think much of the horror in old horror films was suggested or implied compared to how graphic (made more so by Technicolor) horror films are today.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:09 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Edward Everett Horton, , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , Mantan Moreland, , , S. Z. Sakall, Way Out West,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: WHAT A CHARACTER (ACTOR)! 

    “Nobody needs a mink coat but the mink.” –S. Z. “Cuddles” Sakall, character actor (Feb. 2, 1883-Feb. 12, 1955)

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

    There have been so many great male character actors in Hollywood Golden Age history that, for this post, I’m going to narrow the field to comedic character actors….and even then, I’ll probably leave out some of your favorites. Of course, if you don’t have any old comedy film favorites, you’re probably not an old comedy film fan, so you’re excused (even though that’s no excuse….actually, you should be ashamed of yourself).

    Leaving that aside, let’s move on, starting with the author of the above quote….a quote which probably didn’t go over too well with most of the Hollywood glamour girls he knew — speaking of which, did you know that Sakall was born in, and is strictly from, Hungary (btw, he was also in Casablanca). Here’s more scuttlebutt about Cuddles but…it’s not a lot:

    Next, Laurel & Hardy fans will remember the trademark ‘double-take’ look of this gent, who appeared in many of their films, including here in one of their best, WAY OUT WEST:

    Remember double features (two films for the price of one in movie houses of the 1930s-50s)? Here’s a double feature of two great comedic actors for the price of one in a scene from SHALL WE DANCE, one of three Astaire-Rogers movies in which they appeared together:

    If you’re a fan of Charlie Chan movies, you may recall the pop-eyed comic who played Chan’s chauffeur in over a dozen films, as well as parts in Preston Sturges’ THE PALM BEACH STORY (1942), CABIN IN THE SKY (1943), CHIP OFF THE OLD BLOCK (1944), and many others. Here he is in a scene from THE SCARLET CLUE (1945):

    In closing, I’ll mention several other great comedic character actors I could’ve/should’ve profiled here, but I have to stop somewhere: William Demarest, Edgar Kennedy, Frank Morgan, Franklin Pangborn, Erik Rhodes, Victor Moore, and many more. Thank you, one and all, for bringing character to comedy.

     
    • masercot 4:38 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fine examples! Might I add Tom Kennedy?

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:50 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I remember the name but couldn’t place the face until I checked — how could I have forgotten? I saw him in many a Marx Brothers, W.C. Fields, Laurel & Hardy and Three Stooges movie. My bad!

        Liked by 2 people

        • masercot 8:59 am on October 24, 2019 Permalink

          It was a time when any big Irishman could find work in the movies… My favorite line of his? “I feel a poem coming on”

          Liked by 1 person

    • Elizabeth 4:28 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I never knew the names of any of these actors, though I remember all of their appearances. I loved the banter in the last clip. That comedic timing is priceless.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:00 pm on October 24, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I believe that that banter came straight out of an old vaudeville skit which Mantan Moreland probably performed many times previously. An oldie but goody!

      Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:37 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      These posts are treats. Thanks for curating these lists and choosing such fab videos to share with us.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:20 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for your comments, SS. I very much enjoyed doing this series of posts, time-consuming though it was to do the work of putting them together.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Silver Screenings 10:29 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink

          Oh yes, I can imagine the hours spent in this series. The end result is fabulous: A tour through classic Hollywood.

          Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 11:18 am on December 7, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Memorable picks! Love them all!!đŸ’•â€ïž

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:06 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, , , Wicked Witch,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GRAMMAR GIRLS 

    Speaking of distinctive actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, we turn from glamour girls (in my previous post) to a group of gals who made up in individuality what they lacked in allure. There were perhaps no actresses more unique and unforgettable in any category than the so-called character actors. Bring up such names as Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, and Margaret Dumont (apart from their photos) to any classic film buff, and there’d be no problem matching which name belongs with which (or witch) face; same with their immediately recognizable voices. In a manner of speaking, they were vocal gold.

    BTW, I have something in common with That Hamilton Woman. Like my wife, she was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and was once a teacher….but unlike my wife, she was unlike my wife (and vice versa….or is it verse vica).

    Character actresses may not be leading ladies, but there’s one who was always the Main attraction :

    My last post started with a birthday girl; this post ends with one….and what a one: Margaret Dumont (born Oct. 20, 1882), the gloriously inimitable foil of Groucho in nine of the Marx Brothers’ thirteen films, as typified by the following story.

    In a play in which she played Mrs. Rittenhouse (and which was later made into an early Marx Brothers film), the brothers abandoned the script during one performance and began improvising scene after scene….from here, I quote from the book THE MARX BROTHERS AT THE MOVIES:

    After some time she decided to take her chances and enter in the middle of it all. At that moment, Chico and Harpo simply walked off the stage, leaving the great dowager face-to-face with Groucho. So Groucho, with his characteristic speed of mind, gestured to a nearby divan. “Ah, Mrs. Rittenhouse,” he proclaimed. “Won’t you…er…lie down?” It had gotten a laugh on Broadway, so the brothers simply took it with them when they traveled to the Astoria studio [to make movies].

    There’s a scene in my favorite Marx Brothers movie, DUCK SOUP, in which Dumont’s character addresses Groucho’s character, Rufus T. Firefly, President of Fredonia, as “Your Excellency!”…to which he replies, “You’re not so bad yourself.”
    To which I can but add, You Bet Your Life!

     
    • calmkate 3:46 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      great history lesson, thanks!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:12 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Kate. The title of the post is admittedly a bit of a stretch, but I couldn’t resist the play on words with HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS (the previous post).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 9:10 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I recognized ‘the witch with the green face’ (one of our daughters always referred to her that way) but the other two were unknowns to me… Well, until I read the post! 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:13 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Carmen, did you have to remind me how much older I am than you because Marjorie Main and Margaret Dumont were known to me, and unknown to you!!! Nonetheless, I forgive you, so here’s a short clip to give you a better idea of why I dig Dumont (note the “You’re not so bad yourself” remark at the end of the clip which relates to the end of my post):

        Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 9:33 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A Marx Brothers movie without Dumont is a sad thing indeed…

      I did a piece on Kathleen Freeman, speaking of character actresses. She’s definitely one of my favorites…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:31 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, masercot. I didn’t realize, until I checked, that Kathleen Freeman played (uncredited) the part of diction coach Phoebe Dinsmore in one of my fav musicals, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN. Here’s a clip:

        Liked by 2 people

    • Elizabeth 5:52 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Watching Groucho is one of my favorite childhood memories. I just loved when that duck came down. Great clips.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:16 pm on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Elizabeth. I’m glad you made the connection between the last four words of my post and the name of Groucho’s TV show. I watched it often back in the day.

        Liked by 2 people

    • mlrover 7:59 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      What a wonderful post! I loved all of these ladies and especially the vocal coach clip. Jean Hagen should have gotten an Oscar for the Lamont role.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 8:30 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Absolutely! What a “character!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • magickmermaid 11:53 am on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I love the old b&w films. Especially the Marx Bros. Margaret Dumont was priceless!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 5:55 pm on October 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        The Marx Bros. without Margaret Dumont is like a comedian without a Trump card — except that Dumont is aces and Trump is a jack(ass).

        Liked by 2 people

    • Silver Screenings 11:30 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wonderful tributes to all these women. I’m so pleased to see these women made the list, especially Marjorie Main. She is one of my all-time faves.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:11 am on November 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Marjorie appeared in over 80 films, including some of my favorites, such as MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS, THE HARVEY GIRLS, and FRIENDLY PERSUASION. Truly a wonderful character actress.

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Betty Grable, CABIN IN THE SKY, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, , , , glamour girls, , Hollywood's Golden Age, Lana Turner, , , Rita Hayworth, sex goddess, ,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: THE GLAMOUR GIRLS 

    A glamour girl is one who looks good enough to eat and dresses with taste. –Evan Esar

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

    In my “preview of coming attractions” post of Oct. 13, the subject of Hollywood glamour girls (in general) and Rita Hayworth (in particular) came up in an exchange of comments. October 17 being Rita’s birthday, it seems the appropriate day to do the appropriate post, focusing not only on Rita, but on several other becoming attractions who fill the bill by becomingly filling their dresses.

    My glamour girl choices here are both limited and subjective, due not only to length-of-post considerations, but the implicit broadness of the term, e.g.: is, or is not, glamour girl of a piece with sex goddess? For the arbitrary purposes of this opus, I’ve drawn a distinction between the two by disqualifying actresses considered to be ‘pure’ sex symbols, such as Jayne Mansfield, Jane Russell. and (perhaps unfairly) Marilyn Monroe. They (and European sex symbols like Brigitte Bardot) may “look good enough to eat,” but dressing with taste was hardly their strong suit.

    With that model of suitability out of the way, here are the glamour girls I think stand out as epitomizing Hollywood’s Golden Age by virtue of such disparate criteria as a touch of class, sex appeal more than skin deep, talent, and even pin-up popularity with WWII GIs.

    Let’s start with the birthday girl, Rita Hayworth, who said “I like having my picture taken and being a glamorous person. I never really thought of myself as a sex goddess.”:

    https://www.thevintagenews.com/2018/10/31/rita-hayworth/

    My next choice is the actress called the most beautiful woman in the world in her day:

    Next, the actress called the last major star to come out of the Hollywood studio system:

    With apologies to the likes of Veronica Lake, Lana Turner, and Betty Grable, I will close with this glamorous actress who, but for the overriding racism of the period, could and should have been a major Hollywood star (seen here in a scene with Eddie “Rochester” Anderson and Ethel Waters from CABIN IN THE SKY (1943):

     

     
    • calmkate 1:32 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      she is hot … sounds like racism has increased over there from what we hear … white cops killing black girls in their own bedroom, they are trigger crazy!

      Liked by 2 people

    • America On Coffee 1:48 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Glamour has certainly changed, right? And with that change came other big impacts.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Ashley 4:39 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Brilliant!

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 5:10 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You must’ve forgot Myrna Loy… the sexiest of all the glamour girls and one of the longest lasting (from the twenties to the fifties).

      BTW, I saw Lena Horne live in Dallas, TX. As good as she is in your clip, she was even better just standing at a microphone…

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 7:54 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I never looked at Myrna as being in that category — she had much more than a “touch” of class and was too unique and good of an actress. To be thought of as primarily a glamour girl would be doing her a disservice, in my opinion.

        As for Lena, I never saw her in person, but she certainly was dynamic in her TV appearances later in her career. In 1943, when CABIN IN THE SKY was made (Vincente Minnelli’s directorial debut, btw), TV was still waiting in the wings, and movies (along with radio) were king, with CABIN being one of the few all-black cast films produced by a major studio.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 8:11 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Good group. Would be interesting to see who you think would be considered glamorous today…

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:37 am on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Sorry, Rg, but I’ll have to plead ignorance — I’m not into today’s celebrity scene and wouldn’t know one “glamorous” gal from another. Chalk it up to the generation crap….er, gap.

        Liked by 1 person

    • moorezart 2:34 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Carmen 3:52 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’ve just finished reading Gone With the Wind . . .Vivien Leigh sprang immediately to mind when I read the blog post title. Loved those clips mister muse! I always learn something.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 4:20 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I never even thought of her, Carmen — probably because she wasn’t thought of as the typical Hollywood type of glamour girl. She certainly was beautiful, though. Anyway, I’m glad you’re “always learn something” here. Maybe I’ll tell my wife and try to make her jealous.

        On second thought, I’d better leave well enough alone.

        Like

        • Carmen 6:51 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink

          You know what they say about teaching a teacher. .. 😉

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 8:04 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink

          They also say: Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach. For some reason, my wife (a retired teacher) never cared for that one.

          Like

    • America On Coffee 4:06 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      …and Hedy Lamarr was one of the quiet tops! 💕

      Liked by 3 people

    • Richard A Cahill 5:21 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The world does not lack for beautiful women, Sr. Muse, then and now. But the photography is better now. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ1XM9LwS64

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 9:24 pm on October 17, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        The photography is certainly slicker now, but I don’t know that it makes beautiful women look more beautiful, Ricardo. To my mind, most commercials (like that clip) promoting a product with beautiful women (often with pouty, supposedly sexy facial expressions) are more of a turn-off than a turn-on, and I’m not buying what they’re selling (at least, not in that venue).

        Like

    • mlrover 10:13 am on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      The sad irony is that superficial beauty distracted from the talent and intelligence of many Hollywood “glamour” personalities. They were exploited and used. It was no wonder that Lamarr became bitter at the end. I have no sympathy for Weinstein. So many before him got away with it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:18 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        In those days, only ‘strong’ female stars like Katherine Hepburn could fight off exploitation. Of course, it didn’t hurt that she wasn’t the “glamour girl” type to begin with. Nonetheless, she had the box office clout to be her own woman, and she knew it.

        Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:21 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Lena Horne certainly should have been a bigger star. She was beautiful, she could sing, and she could act. (I love her in Cabin in the Sky!) She truly was glamourous.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: actors and actresses, , , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , Norma Desmond, screen immortals, , The Little Tramp, the silver screen   

    MAY AULD ACQUAINTANCE NOT BE FORGOT 

    On August 30, I did a post (titled “MAC”) about the late great actor Fred MacMurray. In recent comments to the MAC post, faithful reader Thom Hickey and I opined that I should publish more posts on actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age, even though most of them are now little remembered, long forgotten, or unheard of. To the point, how many of these once-upon-a-time familiar film faces and names are familiar to you?

    I know not who you know not (above), but I’ve spent some of my happiest hours being entertained (and often drawn in) by such silver screen sorcerers/sorceresses working their magic on my imagination. Watching that clip, it seemed almost unfathomable that nearly all those ‘reel-life’ characters I knew almost as well as I knew real-life family and friends, have gone over THE END. Rapt in their world, how was I to know immortals were mortal?

    So, you can take this as a preview of coming attractions featuring close-ups of some of my favorite stars and character actors from the days when the likes of Charlie Chaplin was The Little Tramp….

    ….and Gloria Swanson was Norma Desmond….

    Are you ready for your close-ups?

     

     

     

     

     
    • America On Coffee 12:17 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful. I believe the featured actress is Barbara Stanwyck. I love her.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 12:58 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Likewise. Not only was she one of the most versatile actresses in screen history, but one of the most professional and well thought of.

        Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 2:20 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      what a trip down memory lane … know most of them, but a few I’ve not seen or heard of … I must be younger than you 😉
      Had not realised Charlie was such a good-looker, he always acted the clown so I had no idea!

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 8:38 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        ….and yet, that “Remembrance of Classic Hollywood Actors and Actresses” barely began a thoroughgoing trip down that memory lane. For example, what classic movie buff wouldn’t recall the likes of Buster Keaton, Lon Chaney, Boris Karloff, The Marx Brothers, Errol Flynn, Charles Laughton, Walter Huston, and so many more. In upcoming posts, I hope to take us a little farther down the road.

        Liked by 3 people

        • calmkate 9:32 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          yea, I’m looking forward to it … and please don’t forget Charles Bronson 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

    • Rivergirl 9:09 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love classic Hollywood. Such glamour!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:57 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Rg. I’ll be sure to include one or more of those Hollywood “glamour girls” in an upcoming post (I’m sure you would qualify if not for the Hollywood part).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Rivergirl 4:01 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          I always had a soft spot for Rita…

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 6:07 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink

          Did you know that Fred Astaire said Rita Hayworth (not Ginger Rogers) was his favorite dancing partner? She is probably not best remembered for her dancing, but was in fact a superb dancer and starred in two musicals with Astaire.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 10:05 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A wonderful post. The “Remembrance” video had me smiling, and with tears in my eyes!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:00 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I know what you mean, Ashley. It’s sad to think that so many of those who gave us so much joy are gone.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ashley 5:17 am on October 14, 2019 Permalink

          Of course, I am constantly reminded of these old movies since my mother told me where my name came from; I always thought it was something to do with Ash trees (ash trees surrounded by a meadow-a ley) but it turns out that Mum’s favourite film was Gone With the Wind! Thank goodness I wasn’t called Rhett!

          Liked by 2 people

        • mistermuse 4:07 pm on October 14, 2019 Permalink

          If you had been called Rhett, you could always claim the BULER did it (ha ha).

          Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 11:37 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      A lovely trip down memory lane. 🙂 I wonder how many of today’s actors will be as well-remembered?

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 12:12 pm on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Shakespeare (in HAMLET) said, “I shall not look upon his like again.” That’s how I view yesterday’s actors compared with today’s, scifi.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mlrover 8:56 am on October 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Just saw a clip about Audie Murphy. If only people looked up to true heroes like him instead of sports stars. But a man like Audie is so rare. The pain in his eyes from his lifelong struggle with PTSD is haunting. And all through it, he continued to serve. Loved him best in the film The Unforgiven.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:12 pm on October 16, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to say I haven’t seen The Unforgiven, as (with a few exceptions) I’m not a big fan of westerns. However, I should have made this one of the exceptions, as I notice The Unforgiven was directed by John Huston and has a great cast. My bad.

          Like

    • Don Ostertag 4:29 pm on October 14, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      One of the little granddaughters asked why I always watched movies with the color turned off.

      Liked by 4 people

    • D. Wallace Peach 4:31 pm on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I used to watch Barbara Stanwick in Big Valley. Remember that show? She was the matriarch. Gloria and Charlie not as much, but I remember them. Fun clips.

      Liked by 3 people

    • mistermuse 5:26 pm on October 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I didn’t watch Big Valley, but I’ve seen many of her movies — some of them (such as THE LADY EVE and REMEMBER THE NIGHT) multiple times. Truly a wonderful actress!

      Like

    • Thom Hickey 3:37 pm on October 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Looking forward to an extensive series!

      Regards Thom

      Liked by 2 people

    • Cheryl Wright 12:17 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Watching the video In Remembrance brought back memories of when I used to watch old movies with my grandmother. She also got me into watching soap operas…lol

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:34 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Watching soap operas is one habit I never got into….but I did watch many a ‘horse opera’ (western) when I was a kid. Oddly enough, I’ve never heard a fat lady sing in a horse opera, but I have heard many a horselaugh when the fat lady sings in The Marx Brothers At The Opera.

        Like

    • Susi Bocks 10:15 pm on October 22, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m not from that era but I was fortunate to have a step-father who exposed us to a lot of the generations we weren’t a part of. Lovely! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:38 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I’m so old, I’m a part of many generations (but ‘apart’ from today’s).

        Liked by 1 person

        • Susi Bocks 11:21 am on October 23, 2019 Permalink

          Sorry to hear that?

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 12:30 pm on October 23, 2019 Permalink

          To clarify, I simply feel that so much of today’s politics and culture are so beyond the pale and so debased, that this generation has become increasingly foreign to the values and ideals we should stand for.

          Like

    • Silver Screenings 8:34 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I’m very much looking forward to this series. At some point this weekend, I’m going to settle down with a cup o’ tea and binge read you.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:02 pm on November 16, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Enjoy the multi-post series, SS. You’ll know it’s over when the fat lady sings.

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , , Robert Mitchum   

    MORE “WHO KNEW THEY COULD SING?” STARS 

    My last post included a clip of Bette Davis singing — adding to previous clips of Golden Age Hollywood stars Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd, who few knew could sing. But wait! There’s more! Thanks to the magic of the silver screen, I’ve uncovered more black & white clips of bygone Hollywood heartthrobs who sang like nobody’s business, and I’ve made it my business to offer the first of these hidden gems to you for a song (and dance):

    Thank you, Fred Astaire (alias Clark Gable). Next, we have another hunk from OUT OF THE PAST, Robert Mitchum, whose very next picture, RACHEL AND THE STRANGER (1948), includes this scene with co-stars Loretta Young and William Holden:

    We bring down the curtain on this triple feature with that devil-may-care swashbuckler and fun-hero of such films as CAPTAIN BLOOD, THE ADVENTURES OF ROBIN HOOD, and THE SEA HAWK, Errol Flynn:

    What’s that you say — you didn’t get your bloody money’s worth?  Well, that’s a laugh. You should thank your lucky stars for what you jolly well get!

     

     

     
    • Mandy 12:13 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      This is so cool. Thank you!

      Liked by 4 people

    • scifihammy 8:06 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Marvellous! Thank you so much 🙂
      I think actors were more talented back then (no special effects etc) – makes me wonder who can sing well these days?

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 10:02 am on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        In my search for these clips, I came across a number of clips of present-day actors/actresses who sing….but singing different songs, and of course in a different style. It’s mainly a generational thing, but I just wish today’s generation realized that if they lived back in the day, they’d be as much a part of that generation’s music as they now are of contemporary music (and vice versa). There is NOW now, and there is NOW then — nobody should think their NOW is the only NOW that matters.

        Liked by 1 person

        • scifihammy 12:31 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink

          True. 🙂 But I still think that Generally they don’t sing well these days. eg Tho I enjoyed Moulin Rouge, neither of the leads could sing well!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 4:13 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink

          Just to be clear, there is little I like about today’s music (especially hip-hop and rap), but as long as I don’t have to listen to it and it’s not misogynistic or hate-spewing, let the young enjoy it. They will anyway, regardless of what we old fogies think!

          Like

    • Don Frankel 1:47 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Looking this up it seems Errol Flynn sings and dances in quite a few movies. Clark Gable? This seems to be his one and only and Robert Mitchum that’s something I never heard or thought of. But here’s a guy who also seems to have sung in a few movies and who’d a’ thunk it? I picked this clip as I remembered it from when I saw the movie as a little kid.

      Liked by 4 people

      • mistermuse 3:50 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        I forgot about that one, Don, even though I saw the movie back in the 50s. Here’s another song (from MAN WITHOUT A STAR) that Douglas sings well:

        Like

    • arekhill1 1:56 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      The only thing you’d ever want me to sing are your praises, Sr. Muse.

      Liked by 4 people

    • moorezart 4:26 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 4 people

    • da-AL 7:57 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      who knew indeed! how fun 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 11:10 pm on April 8, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Another happy customer! Thank you! 🙂

      Like

    • Silver Screenings 11:08 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      ROBERT MITCHUM?! WHO KNEW!

      Errol Flynn in “Thank Your Lucky Stars” never gets old, does it? He’s fabulous.

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 11:49 am on April 9, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Right you are! As you probably know, the Bette Davis clip in my previous post is also from “Thank Your Lucky Stars.” I also might as well take this opportunity to wonder if you (or anyone else) caught the “OUT OF THE PAST” double-meaning with reference to Robert Mitchum’s “very next picture, RACHEL AND THE STRANGER.” OUT OF THE PAST was literally the title of Mitchum’s last picture before RACHEL AND THE STRANGER.

        Like

    • restlessjo 4:45 pm on April 11, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Old Clark was quite light on his feet too, wasn’t he? 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

    • dunelight 6:53 pm on April 30, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Robert Mitchum had a beautiful voice, (I own a copy of Thunder Road.) I can’t recall listening to Loretta Young.

      The big surprise for me was Clark Gable. I think it was TCM, I was watching Idiot’s Delight and almost fell out of my chair when Clark Gable started singing and dancing, he was singing and moving well and chock full of that Gable charm.

      For those who were surprised, here is Thunder Road. Epic ballad from my childhood.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 1:50 am on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for the comment and the clip. I saw Idiot’s Delight years ago, so I knew about Gable….but I’ve never seen Thunder Road, so this is the first time I’ve heard Mitchum sing the song (I read that he wrote it too).

        Like

    • MG WELLS 12:56 pm on May 1, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks for sharing this. Enjoy the day, MG.

      Liked by 2 people

  • mistermuse 12:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , , , Narcissus, , ,   

    RHYMES AT RANDOM 

    In a comment to my last post (CERF’S UP), I raised the possibility of re-publishing several of my poetic baubles from THE RANDOM HOUSE TREASURY OF LIGHT VERSE. Generous soul that I am, suppose I add a bonus of bangles and beads to the baubles….for man does not live by words alone, but with the inspiration of Blyth spirit beautifully begetting beguiling music, without which our Kismet (fate) would be drab indeed:

    Yes, my friends, I have rhymes — or, conversely, should I say….

    And now, having strung my lead-in out this far / I wish upon a wishing star / to make appear my Random rhymes / from the pages of bygone times. / These rhymes abode in poems four / nothing less and nothing more / but not having used up all my string / I’ll save one of the poems for my next post-ing:

    LOVER BOY

    Narcissus was too perfect for sex or pelf —
    He longed only to gaze in love at himself….
    The moral of which is that, even in myths,
    Too much reflection may be your nemesis.

    THE BOOK OF WISDOM

    Thou shalt not commit adultery;
    Nor shalt thou covet thy neighbor’s spouse.
    Shouldst thou succumbeth to temptation,
    Thou shalt not do it in thy neighbor’s house.

    CONCEIVABLY, THE COMPLEAT HISTORY OF HUMAN SEX

    Adam and Eve,
    I believe,
    Were the start of it.

    Everyone since,
    I’m convinced,
    Played a part in it.

    NOTE: Ann Blyth, who played Marsinah (daughter of The Poet, played by Howard Keel) in the film version of Kismet, is one of the last surviving stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

     

     

     
    • calmkate 1:14 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      nice poetry, thanks 🙂
      the shortest poem I know
      FLEAS
      Adam had ’em

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:02 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Adam must have been quite the dog
      For fleas to go for him whole hog.
      😩

      Like

    • linnetmoss 7:16 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Haha! I had to look up “pelf” to see if it meant what I thought 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:01 am on May 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I came across the word many years ago, but I don’t remember where — probably in something written by someone like Noel Coward. For the benefit of those who don’t know Coward, he was a sophisticated English playwright and composer, and “pelf” means money or riches.

        Liked by 2 people

    • Ricardo 2:08 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Was trying to figure out which of my childhood cartoon characters was fond of saying “Gadzooks,” so I Googled it and came upon its etymology instead: “Dictionary references date gadzooks as far back as the late 1600s as a shortening of “by God’s hooks,” a reference to the nails on Christ’s cross.”

      Suffering succotash, as Sylvester the cat, one of my ‘gadzooks’ suspects, was also prone to saying.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:42 am on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I seen to recall a long-ago cartoon character saying “Gadzooks” too, Ricardo, but I had no better luck than you with a quick Google search. If any bounders or blighters out there remember who it was, please speak up or forever hold your Gadzooks.

        Like

    • RMW 2:54 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Now I have to dust off my Kismet DVD from the back of the cabinet and pop it in my machine. I’ve been revisiting my musicals collection recently… that one will be next.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:49 pm on May 31, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I selected the two KISMET songs for this post based on how well they suited my purposes. I think the best songs in the show (or at least the ones I like best) are NOT SINCE NINEVEH, NIGHT OF MY NIGHTS, and THE OLIVE TREE. The only one that became a big hit was STRANGER IN PARADISE.

        Enjoy your DVD!

        Like

        • RMW 12:28 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          Night of my Nights.. as sung by Richard Kiley, not the Damone movie version!

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 5:12 pm on June 7, 2017 Permalink

          You apparently have the original Broadway cast (including Kiley) on your DVD — I have the same on an LP album. Both Kiley and Damone sing the song well, but Kiley was also a distinguished actor, whereas Damone was strictly a pop singer whose acting left something to be desired, in my opinion.

          Liked by 1 person

    • intrepid8 11:21 pm on June 1, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You like Poetry. Have you ever read Pablo Neruda’s by any chance?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:10 am on June 2, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I have come across a poem or two of Neruda’s, but have not specifically sought his work out because my talent and tastes lead me in the direction of humorous and light verse, such as that of Edward Lear, Ogden Nash, Lewis Carroll and, of course, that “greatest of all humorists, Anonymous.” That doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate serious poetry if it’s right down my alley, but my alley is relatively confined.

        Thank you for your comment.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 2:19 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Muse I was thinking this music is really beautiful. Like some wonderful fate, like kismet. Then I realized it is Kismet.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:46 pm on June 3, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Kismet has a storied history, Don. It was first produced on stage in New York in 1911 and on film in 1930 and again in 1942 starring Ronald Colman and Marlene Dietrich. The 1950s Broadway and Hollywood versions (starring Alfred Drake and Howard Keel, respectively) contain one of my all-time favorite musical scores.

        Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on May 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , , Pick Yourself Up, Swing Time   

    A MAN AND HIS ‘DOGS’ 

    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. 🙂 Always a pleasure to watch these two together and the ease with which Fred Astaire sings and dances 🙂

      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.

      Like

      • 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.”

        Like

    • 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.” 😉

      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?

      Like

    • 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).

      Like

    • 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. 🙂

      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. 😀

      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. 🙂

        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. 😩

      Like

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Anthony Perkins, Arsenic and Old Lace, , Hollywood's Golden Age, , , Notorious, poison, Pretty Poison, , , ,   

    PICK YOUR POISON 

    I thought I had put poison to bed in my last post, but no. Past encounters of the poisonous kind were reawakened in me, and brought back memories such as this:

    Yes, poison has played a part in numerous movies, though seldom as humorously as in the THE COURT JESTER (1958), starring Danny Kaye (above) and Basil Rathbone (of Sherlock Holmes fame), among others.  Rathbone here plays, not the famed sleuth, but a 12th-century English villain, and displays his considerable fencing skills in a hilarious joust versus Kaye. I jest not — it’s just a jolly good show.

    Several “poison” films even have “POISON” in the title, including PRETTY POISON (1968), a little-known but beautifully-executed cult classic starring Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins (the same Anthony Perkins who starred in a certain Hitchcock thriller eight years earlier which set the stage for many gratuitous mad slasher movies to come):

    “Pretty Poison,” the movie that got the violence and madness of the late ’60s right

    If you’re a real film noir buff, you know D.O.A. (1950) is one of the best films of that genre, starring Edmond O’Brien as a walking dead man (doomed by a slow-acting poison), hell-bent on finding out before he doth die who poisoned him and why. This one will keep you in suspenders from beginning to enders.

    Another of my fondly-remembered murder mystery films from Hollywood’s Golden Age is Agatha Christie’s AND THEN THERE WERE NONE (1945), wherein the characters are murdered one by one (the first by poison), ending with the murderer committing suicide by drinking poisoned whiskey (there have been three re-makes, all titled TEN LITTLE INDIANS, but none rated as highly as the original).

    And then there is the animated Disney/grim Brothers Grimm classic SNOW WHITE AND THE SEVEN DWARFS (1937) in which a poisoned apple from the evil queen puts Snow White soundly to sleep until Prince Charming rouses her with a smooch….much as mistermuse does with missusmuse, even though she tells him that’s what alarm clocks are for (great kidder, that gal). Whatever. The fairy tale is timeless:

    You can probably think of a number of other films in which poison plays prominently in the plot, such as ARSENIC AND OLD LACE (1944).  NOTORIOUS (1946) and, of course, ROMEO AND JULIET (1936), but all good things must come to a dead end, and so I close with one of my wife’s favorite quotes (originally attributed to Kin Hubbard):
    When you consider what a chance women have to poison their husbands, it’s a wonder more of it isn’t done.”

    She’s just kidding, of course?

     

     

     
    • MĂ©l@nie 3:38 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      @”She’s just kidding, of course?” – I do hope so… 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:30 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Now that you mention it, my schnapps has tasted a bit funny lately. 😩

      Like

    • linnetmoss 6:32 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Love the “pellet routine.” One of the all time greats!

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:06 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Absolutely! I also love the extremely funny swordfight between Kaye and Rathbone in which Kaye is alternately a novice and an expert between blows to his head. A great movie!

        Liked by 1 person

    • carmen 7:40 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      This reminds me of an old joke.

      Woman says to annoying man, “If you were my husband, I’d put arsenic in your coffee!”

      Man replies, “If you were my wife, I’d drink it!”

      😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:11 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you for reminding me of that “oldie but goody,” which suggests an alternate title for this post: PARDON MY POISON!

        Like

    • arekhill1 10:24 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      I admire you, Sr. Muse, for having the courage to wake your wife with a kiss. I’ve found it advisable to leave the girl alone until she is good and ready to get up on her own, lest I become the victim of a poison plot myself. And just to be on the safe side, I always make the coffee.

      Like

      • mistermuse 11:09 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        You are a wise man, Ricardo. Why risk making “Good to the last drop” literally true.

        Like

    • Don Frankel 10:51 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      That is one of the great bits of all time. I think the Flagon with the Dragon comes into play too. Carmen beat me to the punch here but I heard that response “I’d drink it.” attributed to Winston Churchill.

      Like

      • mistermuse 11:22 am on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

        I hadn’t heard it attributed to Churchill, but it’s worth checking out. It sounds more like something Groucho would’ve said.

        Like

    • mistermuse 4:30 pm on February 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Don, I have checked it out, and you’re right – Churchill made that response after Lady Astor told him, “If you were my husband, I’d poison your tea.”

      Like

    • hooklineandinkwell 6:38 am on February 15, 2016 Permalink | Reply

      Such a great look at poison through film.

      Liked by 1 person

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