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  • mistermuse 1:54 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , movies, , ,   

    HOLLYWOOD’S GOLDEN AGE: MORE “BAD” ACTORS 

    In my previous post dealing with “bad” actors, we looked to the stars before turning to the character actors….but Hollywood’s Golden Age produced so many great bad character actors that only ONE such showing would be an injustice. So, before making my getaway from these characters, I’ll need to do more than one more post.

    Let’s begin this post with a name mentioned in my last post, PETER LORRE. Here he is, along with two accomplices, committing an act so unconstrained, it’s almost unbelievable:

    OK, that wasn’t exactly the typical Lorre performance you expected. But if you’ve seen CASABLANCA and THE MALTESE FALCON (and what classic movie fan hasn’t?), you’ve seen the classic Peter Lorre. So let’s put a wrap on that bird with this:

    Next, we turn to Lorre’s frequent “partner in crime” movies, SYDNEY GREENSTREET:

    We close this segment with a name you may not remember, but who could forget that character:

    TO BE CONTINUED….

     

     

     
    • moorezart 2:23 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Rivergirl 3:33 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Love it!
      Casablanca is one of my all time favorites. Did you know Ronald Reagan was originally slated to play Rick? I can’t even wrap my mind around that.

      Liked by 5 people

      • mistermuse 4:47 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I vaguely recall that about Ronald Reagan. The only worse casting I can imagine would be Donald Trump to play Abraham Lincoln.

        Liked by 3 people

    • Elizabeth 5:13 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Can’t remember if I have already shared this. Every exam period the movie theater in Cambridge had a Bogart film festival. So I saw all of those films several times over. I loved Greenstreet and Lorre too. Of course I always imagined it was me that Bogie was looking at.

      Liked by 3 people

    • calmkate 5:44 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      With all these men their expressive eyes are the winners!
      Thanks for expanding my knowledge 🙂

      Liked by 3 people

      • mistermuse 6:41 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Kate, you might say “The eyes have it with these guys? (as opposed to Trump, who tries to pull the wool over our eyes).

        Liked by 1 person

        • calmkate 6:43 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          he can only do that with absolute morons, any one with brains can see the psychopath for what he is …

          Liked by 3 people

    • Carmen 7:38 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Well, that was a great blast from the past!

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 8:10 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Carmen. On that note of tribute, I’ll share with you a bit of trivia which I’m not sharing with anyone else: the first clip’s “Sweet Siberia” song (and entire score of SILK STOCKINGS) was composed by none other than Cole Porter. I’m only telling you that because I GET A KICK OUT OF YOU.

        Like

        • Carmen 8:59 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink

          I’ll consider that my birthday present. . . And yes, it’s sweet 62! 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 9:21 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Been there, done that. But Happy Birthday anyway, Carmen, despite the envy you make me feel!

      Like

    • davidbruceblog 9:28 pm on November 4, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on davidbruceblog #2.

      Liked by 2 people

    • masercot 6:58 am on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I loved Lorre in the Mr. Moto movies. I’m interested in “yellow-face” in old movies. There are bad cases of it, such as the Charlie Chan series; however, Lorre and Karloff portrayed Asian detectives in a very straightforward way. Lorre’s Moto was a nice mix of ethics and ruthlessness. He was essentially Raymond Reddington on The Blacklist…

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:08 pm on November 5, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I didn’t see much of Mr.Moto when I was young, probably because the Charlie Chan series was on TV frequently and I became a big Chan fan (as I got older, not so much). My favorite in the “sleuth” genre was Sherlock Holmes, played so well by Basil Rathbone. I think some of the Homes films still hold up fairly well today.

        Like

    • smbabbitt 1:18 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Cook appeared in some marvelous films, and outlived most of the actors whose roles required them to insult or torment him. And deserves to be especially remembered for the memorable drumming scene in PHANTOM LADY.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:03 pm on November 6, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Some actors’ character portrayals are so one-of-a-kind that you never forget them. Cook was certainly one such actor. Here’s the scene you mentioned (actual drumming dubbed by jazz drummer Dave Coleman):

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:06 am on October 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , Margaret Hamilton, Marjorie Main, movies, , 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 12:02 am on October 13, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: actors and actresses, , , , , , movies, 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 September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Greta Garbo, , I want to be alone, Jo Stafford, Joel McCrea, movies, Paul Tillich, , Sullivan's Travels, The Lone Ranger, Tonto,   

    I WANT TO BE ALONE 

    “Language has created the word loneliness to express the pain of being alone, and the word solitude to express the glory of being alone. –Paul Tillich, philosopher/theologian

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

    Sept. 18 (1905) is the birthday of famed “I want to be alone” actress (and real-life recluse) Greta Garbo, who (unlike many movie stars) valued solitude over the celebrity spotlight:

    Now, dear reader, you may not have a problem with “I want to be alone” — but, as Joel McCrae asked Veronica Lake (40 seconds into this film clip)….

    So, when you stop and drink about it (unless you take Joel McCrea’s question literally), there’s no reason why you can’t be….

    After all, even the Lone Ranger wasn’t really a Lone Ranger (heaven forbid that his faithful Indian companion Tonto was just along for the ride)….

    That’s all for now, boys and girls. Hi ho Silver, away!

     

     

     
    • calmkate 1:37 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      lol mentioned some of my favourites here, about to enjoy your clips!

      Liked by 1 person

    • masercot 6:10 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Jay Silverheels was a funny guy in interviews. They asked him how he was able to memorize his lines because they made so many shows and he replied that all he had to know was “Mmm, What we do now, Kemosabe?”

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:42 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        That IS funny! Thanks for that very interesting aside — it leads me to want to know more about Jay Silverheels/Tonto pronto.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ashley 6:36 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      “How can I be alone if you’re with me?” Good question! Answers please on a postcard to….

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:50 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Good question indeed — but it leads to another: How do I answer on a postcard to ….? Seriously, though, in a certain sense, we’re never alone. Our demons are always with us.

        Liked by 1 person

    • JosieHolford 7:00 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      That is a really useful distinction between loneliness and solitude.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:55 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        I agree, Josie — but useful, perhaps, only to a reflective person. I can’t imagine someone like Donald Trump giving it a second thought (or even a first thought).

        Like

    • Mary Lou Rigdon (@RigdonML) 9:18 am on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I get fklempt every time I see that opening just as I did when a girl, sitting on the linoleum floor in front of the TV. I didn’t care much for the program, all the shooting and fighting. I just wanted to look at Silver. Years later, when my family moved to LA, I got to see Traveler and often rode my horse in the places where westerns filmed stock footage. Strange how life turns out.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:23 pm on September 18, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Strange indeed. I loved westerns as a boy. Now, with few exceptions (such as RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY), I consider them to be mostly the same old same old.

        Like

      • mistermuse 9:26 am on September 23, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        My apologies for not letting you know that the link you sent didn’t work and I deleted it. I shouldn’t have done that without informing you. If you want to try sending it again, perhaps we’ll get a better result. Again, my sincere apologies.

        Like

    • magickmermaid 7:24 pm on September 20, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      hehe My mother used to ask me if I thought I was Greta Garbo because I was always saying ‘I want to be left alone’. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:31 am on September 21, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It sounds like this Duke Ellington classic could’ve been your theme song, mm:

        P.S. I’d originally intended to use this clip in my post after the Paul Tillich quote, but decided against it…..now, thanks to your comment, I have the opportunity to use it after all!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 6:27 pm on September 28, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Jo Stafford: What a voice! How come she doesn’t get much fan love these days? She seems to be almost unknown.

      Liked by 1 person

    • barkinginthedark 1:34 am on October 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Great memories…Great quote via Paul Tillich…All in all Trigger was my favorite. continue…

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 2:23 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , movies, , Remember The Night, Shirley MacLaine,   

    MAC 

    No, this isn’t a post about the Apple of your eye(s), computer-wise — nor is this a post about a Mac big enough to contribute to a heart attack (calories/cholesterol-wise). This is about a guy who’s the apple of my eye, versatile actor-wise:

    Today being MacMurray‘s birthday (August 30, 1908), I thought I’d honor the memory of perhaps the most underrated movie star of Hollywood’s Golden Era, starting with the above clip and continuing with the trailer for one of the most underrated films of his era:

    Next, when it comes to film noir, it doesn’t get any better than this all-time classic with a powerhouse cast (including MacMurray, who was reluctant to play the role), director (Billy Wilder), and screenwriter (Raymond Chandler), from the James M. Cain novel:

    Speaking of “Double” and classic films, how about two Macs (including Shirley MacLaine) in one of my all-time favorites….

    We end with this from near the start of Fred’s career (before becoming an actor):

     

     
    • Rosaliene Bacchus 2:50 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Never saw any of these Hollywood classics. Will check them out when the opportunity arises.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 3:30 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        It may be hard to find REMEMBER THE NIGHT (the full 1940 movie) online for free, but it does appear occasionally on TCM. It’s such a good film that it’s well worth paying for it if necessary.

        Liked by 1 person

    • GP Cox 3:15 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was always one of my favorites. A real down-to-earth kind a guy – but talented too.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 3:46 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Agreed. He was so believable in a wide variety of roles that he didn’t seem to be acting, compared to guys who essentially played themselves and were very good at it, like John Wayne (not to be critical, because no one “played himself” better, but he was no Fred MacMurray).

        Liked by 2 people

        • GP Cox 7:14 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink

          John Wayne (no disrespect intended), I’m afraid did not play himself – he avoided war and confrontation in real life.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 9:00 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink

          Although my previous comment put “played himself” in quotation marks (to indicate that that was the impression, if not the reality, he gave), perhaps “played his own persona” would’ve been more accurate. In any case, he obviously lacked the wide-ranging acting talent of Fred MacMurray.

          Like

    • Elizabeth 4:29 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      I will love him always as the absent minded professor of my childhood.

      Liked by 1 person

    • calmkate 8:50 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Fred had charm and talent by the truck load … maybe I need to find these old classics, thanks for the reminder! Particularly liked that tribute to him by his ‘son’ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:10 pm on August 30, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        You can’t go wrong with any of those three old classics, Kate, but unless you’re a film noir fan, DOUBLE INDEMNITY is probably the one you could put last on your list. In my opinion, the other two are ‘must-sees’ for ANY mature film fan.

        Liked by 1 person

    • mlrover 6:12 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Wasn’t he in The Egg and I with C. Colbert? That movie made a star out of Marjorie Maine.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:58 am on August 31, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Yes, he was. Marjorie Main was well known before The Egg and I (in supporting roles). For example, remember her in MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS and THE HARVEY GIRLS? Her film career dates back to the early 1930s, but I don’t think she became The Star in any film until the MA AND PA KETTLE series from 1949 to 1957.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mlrover 1:17 pm on September 2, 2019 Permalink

          My favorite line of hers from the E&I is at the table when she tells one of her horde of kids something and the answers back that it isn’t his name. She comes back with “Whoever you are, do it.” That’s paraphrasing but I still laugh remembering it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 3:50 pm on September 2, 2019 Permalink

          I haven’t seen the E& I in decades, so I tried to find a clip of the scene you describe. The best I could come up with is this trailer which includes part of that scene:

          Like

    • mlrover 8:58 am on September 3, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks!!! I always admired Colbert’s energy on the screen. She often had a tension that mesmerized. And those big eyes. You must have enjoyed Fred in My Three Sons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Silver Screenings 6:22 pm on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      He was one of the best, Fred was. Comedy or drama – and singing, too!

      Loved this tribute to one of my favourite actors. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 10:53 pm on September 15, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of Fred and comedy, check out the clip from MURDER HE SAYS in the comments section of my Sept. 11 post NO NEWS IS GOOD NEWS — it’s LOL funny!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thom Hickey 4:22 pm on October 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks

      Great to see such a fine and under valued actor celebrated here.

      Regards Thom

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:38 pm on October 11, 2019 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Thom. I should do more posts on undervalued actors and actresses from Hollywood’s Golden Age. Problem is, almost no one knows who they are anymore!

        Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 12:32 pm on October 12, 2019 Permalink | Reply

      You talked me into it, Thom. It’s time to get my act(ors) together and do it! Perhaps I’ll even do a series of posts about them. Stay tuned.

      Like

  • mistermuse 4:00 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Burt Reynolds, , , , movies, , , TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD   

    THREE FOR THE SHOW 

    It’s not every day that it’s the birthday of three ‘giants’ of Hollywood’s Golden Age, but this is such a day: Bette Davis, born April 5, 1908; Gregory Peck, born April 5, 1916; and Spencer Tracy, born April 5, 1900.

    This post will not go into biographical detail. The lives of these legends can easily be Googled by anyone who’s interested. Instead, I will focus on something about each of them which I (and, hopefully, you) find particularly interesting or appealing.

    In previous posts, I included clips of two film stars singing — Jimmy Stewart and Alan Ladd — who few knew ever sang in a movie. To those unlikely vocalists, I add the Oscar-winning actress BETTE DAVIS, whose fourth & final husband, Gary Merrill, once said, “whatever Bette would have chosen to do in life, she would have had to be the top or she couldn’t have endured it.” I think you will find this WWII-era vocal more than endurable:

    In his 1979 book THE WORLD’S GREAT MOVIE STARS AND THEIR FILMS, Ken Wlaschin says GREGORY PECK “has been the Great Liberal of the American cinema for more than 30 years because he usually conveys conflicts in social values, forced to act in a manner disturbing to his inner morality.” He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Atticus Finch in To Kill A Mockingbird. Here he is with Audrey Hepburn in a scene from one of my favorite Peck films, Roman Holiday:

    Last but not priest (overlooking his role as Father Flanagan in Boys’ Town — pardon the pun), we have “the actors’ actor,” Spencer Tracy. I’ve covered Tracy before (in my 6/5/17 post as the star of Bad Day at Black Rock); for this post, I’ll go with this retrospective:

    For me, the most memorable moment from that clip is his answer to this Burt Reynolds question:

    “Mr. Tracy, you’re so good at everything. Is there anything you’re not good at?”

    “Life.”

     

     
    • Don Frankel 5:35 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse this is fortuitous as what was I watching on TCM last night? An old movie I never saw, 20,000 years at Sing Sing. Who’s in it? Spencer Tracy and a very young and very skinny, with her hair dyed blond, Bette Davis. It’s a great old movie and here’s the Trailer.

      Liked by 2 people

    • mistermuse 6:32 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I missed that one, Don, but it’ll probably be on again and I’ll try to catch it next time. Judging by the trailer, Tracy gives a very Cagney-like performance.

      Speaking of TCM, there’s a whole bunch of goodies on tomorrow, starting with Hitchcock at 8:30 a.m. and continuing through to Leo McCarey’s very funny RUGGLES OF RED GAP in the evening.

      Like

    • Don Frankel 8:47 pm on April 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Right you are Muse. Tracy did everything but cry “Ma’s dead!”

      Thanks for the heads up but I have a guest this weekend and she’s a lot younger. They don’t watch the old black and white movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Garfield Hug 1:25 am on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Good share as I have heard of these screen giant icons! Now I must try and watch their movies.

      Liked by 1 person

    • America On Coffee 5:30 pm on April 6, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent.

      Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:01 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Andy Razaf, , , , Jimmy Van Heusen, , , movies, , , ,   

    A com-POSE-r BY ANY OTHER NAME…. (Part 1 of 2) 

    Tomorrow, Feb. 15, is the birthday of one of America’s greatest composers of popular songs, Hyman Arluck. Hyman WHO, you ask? Never heard of him? If you’re a fan of America’s Golden Age of Popular Music, this song of his is probably one of your favorites:

    ….not to mention this one:

    You say you thought those songs were composed by HAROLD ARLEN?
    From what I hear, no doubt they was….
    because…because…because…because…
    of the wonderful whiz he was.
    But before a wonderful whiz he was, he was Hyman Arluck, so born on Feb. 15, 1905. If you were fooled, you should be grateful because, as Arlen (nee Arluck) notes in another of his songs, it’s….

    Speaking of which, I thought it might be fun (for me, anyway) to fool around with a selection of birth names of other great Golden Age songwriters (each of them listed with one of their most popular songs), followed by a list of their noms de plume in scrambled order. Unless you Arluck-y, you’ll probably be unable to correctly pair more than 70% of the names (but at least half are guessable even if you don’t know them):

    a. Israel Baline (HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN?)
    b. Benjamin Anzelwitz (SWEET GEORGIA BROWN)
    c. C. K. Dober (BARNEY GOOGLE)
    d. Vladimir Dukelsky (APRIL IN PARIS)
    e. Charles N. Daniels (CHLOE)
    f. Albert Gumm (TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME)
    g. Johnny Kluczko (RACING WITH THE MOON)
    h. Edward Chester Babcock (LOVE AND MARRIAGE)
    i. Andrea Razafkeriefo (MEMORIES OF YOU)
    j. William Samuel Rosenberg (I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING)

    1. Albert Von Tilzer
    2. Irving Berlin
    3. Ben Bernie
    4. Con Conrad
    5. Vernon Duke
    6. Neil Moret
    7. Billy Rose
    8. Andy Razaf
    9. Jimmy Van Heusen
    10. Johnny Watson

    In Part 2, I’ll post the answers plus clips of a few of the above songs. Meanwhile, if you’d like to hear one of the songs in particular, comments are open — please make a request. I’ve got a feeling I’m filling it.

     

     
    • Superduque777 12:08 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Liked by 1 person

    • scifihammy 7:09 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thank you for the Over the Rainbow clip. I never tire of hearing Judy Garland sing it. 🙂
      I’m rubbish at guessing the real names!
      But I’d like to hear April in Paris Thank you 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 8:57 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      I knew Israel Baline was Irving Berlin as a relative of one of my relatives was his accountant. Sometimes I got some really great seats at the Music Box Theater. Then I knew who Edward Chester Babcock was as he worked with and was a close friend of Sinatra. I could guess who Billy Rose was as the names are pretty similar but then I had a lot of fun looking up the other ones.

      I’ve always thought that Somewhere Over The Rainbow is one of the finest examples of blending words and music you can ever find.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 9:55 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Glad you enjoyed it, Don. Unbeknownst to me, your comment came in while I was in the middle of replying to scifihammy’s comment, so my Billy Rose example had already been guessed by you. I guess great minds really do think alike (at least, I prefer that explanation over coincidence, How About You?).

        Like

    • mistermuse 9:21 am on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks, scifihammy — I’ll be glad to play “April In Paris”….maybe even before April in Paris (like in my next post). 🙂

      As for guessing at matching the songwriters’ names, what I meant by “half are guessable even if you don’t know them” is best shown by this example: the real name of the writer of I’VE GOT A FEELING I’M FALLING, William Rosenberg, can be deduced from its similarity to his professional name, Billy Rose. Thus, j. is 7. There are several other instances whereby a match can be made by comparing the first and/or last names in the first list with those in the second list.

      Like

    • moorezart 9:52 pm on February 14, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 1:07 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Many thanks, moorezart. I wonder if a reblog by any other name would smell as sweet? A thorny question indeed. 😩

        Like

    • Don Frankel 7:53 am on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      That’s a great song by Morris Hyman Kushner but I had to go look that up. When I did I found out that he also wrote the musicals ‘On a Clear Day’ and ‘Finian’s Rainbow’ in addition to a lot of other great songs. I also found out he discovered Francis Gumm.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 12:57 pm on February 15, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        HOW ABOUT YOU? was indeed composed by Morris Hyman Kushner (aka Burton Lane), with lyrics by Ralph Freed (aka Ralph Freed). I wonder if Francis Gumm (aka Judy Garland) was related to Albert Gumm, composer of TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME? I’ll have to check that out.

        Like

    • arekhill1 1:21 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Let’s make this about me. I’ve never changed my birth name. One of my many shitty career moves, probably.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 10:24 pm on February 24, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Maybe it’s not too late, Ricardo — which, by the way, suggests a name you could change to and gain instant fame: Ricardo Montalban Jr. After all, the original Ricardo Montalban had good luck with it until he died, but that could happen to anyone.

      Like

  • mistermuse 1:02 am on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: By the Sea, , , , La Mer, movies, , , ,   

    MER-SEA 

    In comments to a Jan.2 Peach of a post titled Fallen Angel, I included links to BEYOND THE SEA and LA MER (English and French versions of the same song). Diana Peach’s preternatural post & both song links can be found here: https://mythsofthemirror.com/

    I bring this up because that song is just one of several ‘beautiful’ sea songs I recall, and I thought I’d take a stroll down memory lane — or should I say, memory beach. I invite you to join me….that is, if you don’t mind getting sand — as I don’t mind getting….

    And now let us start our stroll:

    Of course, there is more than one way to see the sea — you can join the Navy:

    You say the Navy’s not your cup of sea? Then let us end our stroll like Mr. Bean, oblivious to all else, bidding glorious adieu to….

    Mer-sea beaucoup.

     
    • Don Frankel 11:00 am on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Muse there are other great sea songs like ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’, ‘C C Ryder’ and ‘Good Night Irene’ that has the line “I’ll see you in my dreams”. But that’s enough out of me. I’ll see you later.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 12:08 pm on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Don, “I’ll see you in my dreams” is actually a song in itself, written in 1924, pre-dating “Good Night Irene.” It was one of lyricist Gus Kahn’s biggest hits — so much so that it served as the title of the hokey 1951 biopic directed by Michael Curtiz, starring Danny Thomas as Gus Kahn. Here is the Mills Brothers’ version:

        Like

    • Carmen 1:27 pm on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

      Mornin’ mistermuse,
      Of course you must realize that I live on the sea bound coast. . .
      The first video mentioned the sand on Havana beaches – gorgeous! We’ve been to several around Cuba and they are, indeed, as good as the lady sings about. 🙂
      Lovely song selections!
      (and you were worried I’d unleash a sea of slights)

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:05 pm on January 5, 2018 Permalink | Reply

        Good afternoon, Carmen. Not only do I remember that you live on the sea bound coast, but I think I mentioned in a comment a few years ago that I’ve been in your lovely neck of the woods (and coast) on vacation….when it was slightly warmer, of course.

        Glad you enjoyed the song selections. I think the last one (from the film MR. BEAN’S HOLIDAY) is a visual delight, as well as an auditory one.

        As for your last sentence, I wasn’t worried in the slightest. 😩

        Like

        • Carmen 5:48 pm on January 5, 2018 Permalink

          Well, I am sorry to have mist you. . . 😉 (and excuse my foggy memory)

          Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Diamond Lil, , Henry Fonda, , , movies, , ,   

    EAST IS EAST AND WEST IS BEST? 

    Hat-check girl in Mae West’s first film: “Goodness, what beautiful diamonds.”
    Mae West: “Goodness had nothing to do with it, dearie.”

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

    Some actors and actresses (and I don’t mean this pejoratively) basically play themselves in their films, while others are so believable and natural in varied roles and genres, they completely inhabit whatever given character they portray. An example of the latter, going back to Hollywood’s Golden Age, is Henry Fonda (if you think he played only serious parts, you haven’t seen the classic 1941 comedy, THE LADY EVE, in which he co-starred with Barbara Stanwyck — another of the most versatile players of that era).

    Mae West was of the first category, very much the Diamond Lil character she created. Today being her birthday (8/17/1893), it’s her day to sparkle:

    It has been said that “Mae West literally constituted a one-woman genre.” Basically playing herself, she was one of the country’s biggest box office draws in the 1930s, despite being almost 40 years old when offered her first movie contract (by Paramount) in 1932. Previously, she’d appeared in a number of rather risquĂ© plays, including Diamond Lil and her first starring role on Broadway (appropriately titled Sex), which she wrote, produced and directed. As with all the plays she wrote and performed in, there was much controversy and publicity, and it was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling.

    Her first film (see opening quote) was NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, making such an impression that co-star George Raft reportedly said, “She stole everything but the cameras.” Her next film, SHE DONE HIM WRONG (1933), featured Cary Grant in one of his first major roles, and was nominated for a Best Picture Academy Award. It was such a big moneymaker that it saved Paramount from bankruptcy in the midst of the Great Depression.

    West went on to make six more movies in the 1930s, but in 1934, the Production Code began to be strictly enforced, and censors doubled down on her double-entendres. By today’s standards, such censorship seems ludicrous, but those were moralistic times, and after her last ‘naughty’ picture for Paramount in 1937, they thought it best to terminate her contract if they knew what’s good for them. She did manage to make one more hit movie, co-starring with W. C. Fields in My Little Chickadee for Universal Pictures in 1940.

    Unbawdied and unbowed, when asked about puritanical attempts to impede her career, West wisecracked, “I believe in censorship. I made a fortune out of it.” Not for nothing was one of her nicknames “The Statue of Libido.” She died in 1980 at the age of 87.

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

    Coincidentally, August 17 is also the birthday of my mother, who passed away 17 years ago. Happy Birthday, Mom — YOU WERE THE BEST.

     
    • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 12:25 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Happy Birthday to one of my favorites – and risque she was. In the elevator, a man said to her (as she was nearest the console), “Ballroom, please.” Her reply? “Oh, I didn’t know I was crowding you.”

      I’m sure your mother was a great deal more appropriate, but I’ll bet she was just as memorable. Raise a birthday toast to her for me.

      FUN post!
      xx,
      mgh
      (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 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:50 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That’s a great quote, Madelyn — I hadn’t heard it before…. And thank you for the “memorable” thoughts concerning my mother: much deserved by her and appreciated by me.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC 4:53 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Have you heard the one about her climbing a staircase lined with young men in one of her films? She never lifted her eyes above their belts and, at one point she paused and said, “Oh, a new one!” Outrageous always.

          You are most welcome, btw, for my comment about your mother. After all, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
          xx,
          mgh

          Liked by 1 person

    • The Muscleheaded Blog 12:42 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Outstanding tribute to Mae !

      Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 7:47 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Too bad she never made a movie with Groucho Marx. They wouldn’t have needed a script.

      Liked by 2 people

      • mistermuse 11:18 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        That would’ve been one hell of a movie, Don. Throw in Dorothy Parker (even though she never acted), and we wouldn’t have been able to ‘keep up’ with the double-entendres.

        Like

      • literaryeyes 9:31 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        She wrote her own material. I bet grouch did too. Geniuses like that are rare these days.

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 11:44 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink

          I can appreciate why you might think Groucho wrote his own stuff. However, having read several books on the Marx Brothers, the fact is that Groucho didn’t write the scripts for their movies; the Marx’s were so zany and hard to hold to script that their ad libs/antics usually took precedence over what was written for them (even though very good writers, such as George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind, worked on their films).

          Like

    • moorezart 8:25 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Reblogged this on From 1 Blogger 2 Another.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:26 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        I re-thank you for another public service (or disservice, depending upon one’s point of view) on my behalf. Remind me to give you a raise if you keep this up. 😩

        Like

        • moorezart 12:07 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          LOL – I find what you do most engaging. I simply can’t help myself. Even as a child I couldn’t help sharing with my friends whatever treasure I had found in my Cracker Jack’s Box.

          Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 10:01 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          I remember Cracker Jacks well — I think they’ve been around even longer than I have, if that’s possible (not that I liked them all that much). I vaguely recall a time or two, as a boy, buying a box just for the “treasure” and throwing away the Cracker Jacks. Too bad I don’t still have the treasures — I could take them on Antiques Roadshow and find out if they’re worth thousands today. One never knows, do one?

          Like

    • Carmen 8:38 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if she was the inspiration for the, “Did you get your ears lowered?” comment. I use it regularly at school and get lots of blank stares in response – from High School folk. 🙂 Once in awhile I get, “Hey! My grandparents say that!” (which gives me pause, as you would think)

      Nice post, mister, from the East ‘girl’! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 11:31 am on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        For those who aren’t familiar — make that ACQUAINTED — with Carmen, she lives on EAST-HER ISLAND, hence the last sentence of her comment. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Ricardo 12:17 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Fulsome praise for the filthy-minded, Sr. Muse. We hear it so infrequently. Muchas gracias.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Carmen 2:00 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “Fulsome praise for the filthy-minded” – excellent – ha, ha! 🙂 (the mister is hesitant in replying; he’s having a hard time with a rejoinder, methinks)

        Liked by 1 person

        • mistermuse 2:24 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Carmen, contrary to unpopular belief, I don’t sit in front of my computer for hours at a time (except when I fall asleep) waiting for comments to pop up that I can shoot down….though I will admit that in the hours after I post, I wish I didn’t have to get up from my chair to go to the john every 15 minutes (just kidding, of course — and now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go see a man about a horse). 😩

          Like

        • Carmen 2:29 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink

          Ha, ha! Well, I’ve been making Barbie clothes for several days so every time the computer dings I welcome the interruption. 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 2:32 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        No problem, Ricardo. I’d say more, but I’m having female problems (not that Carmen isn’t well worth it — haha).

        Liked by 1 person

    • restlessjo 2:38 pm on August 17, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Queen of the one-liners 🙂 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 4:42 pm on August 18, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Speaking of which, here’s one of her quotes: “I’ve no time for broads who want to rule the world alone — without men, who’d do up the zipper on the back of your dress?” 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

    • literaryeyes 9:29 pm on August 24, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I’m a Mae West fan and have been known to binge on her movies. In one she does a naughty dance that was so naughty they filmed her from the waist up! Seriously, she was a pioneer in promoting women as sexy AND intelligent. She put gays and transvestites in her plays. She didn’t do it just to shock, she did it because she believed in respect for people no matter what their sexuality or gender orientation, and especially for women.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 4:56 pm on August 25, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Although I own a number of biographies/autobiographies of Hollywood Golden Age movie stars, I’ve never read one by or about Mae West, so I didn’t know some of what you describe. Thanks for the info.

      Like

    • MĂ©l@nie 3:43 pm on August 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Salvador Dali was also fascinated by her… she was a FREE woman – une avant-gardiste!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:02 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Indeed! Mae was both a woman of her time (1920s-early 1930s) and too much woman for highly puritanical times (from 1934 on, when rigid censorship curtailed, and subsequently ended, her freedom to make the movies she wanted to make).

        Like

    • scifihammy 3:02 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Mae West was an amazing woman! As I’m sure was your Mother too. Always nice to remember our loved ones on special days.

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 5:09 pm on August 30, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you. Personality-wise, my mother was as much the opposite of Mae as East is from West, but as they say, variety is the spice of life. Life would be very dull if everyone were the same!

        Liked by 1 person

  • mistermuse 12:00 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , Golden Age films, , , , , , movies, Shop Around the Corner, , summertime, Van Johnson   

    SUMMER SHORTS 

    Tomorrow is the first official day of smelly armpits season (unless, of course, you live in the southern hemisphere of earth — or in any hemisphere of Ur-anus, where, they say, it stinks the year round). To greet the season, I’m saluting summer with a look back at several good old summer films (and I mean films that actually have “summer” in the title).

    It’s unthinkable that there’s no unstinkable way of sweating as I wrack my brain composing a fulsome introduction to each movie, so I’ll make do with a minimum of b.s. (background setting) preceding each clip….then sum(mer) it all up with bonus b.s. at post’s end.

    First we have SUMMERTIME (1955), starring Katherine Hepburn as a spinster vacationing in Venice. After meeting and being attracted to shop owner Rossano Brazzi in his antiques store, they unexpectedly encounter each other again in this scene:

    Next: IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME (1949) starring Judy Garland & Van Johnson as lonelyhearts pen pals in a musical remake of THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER (1940), directed by Ernst Lubitsch and starring Jimmy Stewart. Here is the trailer:

    Last we have SUMMER AND SMOKE (1961), a film adaptation of a Tennessee Williams play, neither of which I have seen, but which I include here because its title serves as a “Perfect!” lead-in to this anecdote told by the late actor Tony Randall (and which relates back to the first of our films):

    David Lean, one of the world’s finest directors, is a meticulous and fastidious craftsman, compulsive and uncompromising about getting things exactly the way he wants them. There is a scene in Summertime in which the [female] owner of a Venetian pensione arranges a tryst with a young American guest at night on the terrace of the pensione. Lean put the couple in two high-backed wicker chairs that completely envelope them,  placed with their backs to the camera so that all the lens could see were her left hand holding his right hand and puffs of white smoke from their cigarettes curling above the backs of the chairs. The brief scene, which could have been shot with any two people sitting in the chairs and the voices of the couple dubbed in later, took an entire night and a carton of cigarettes to film. Lean made the two actors do it over and over. Just as dawn was about to break, Lean finally got a shot that satisfied him.
    “Perfect! Perfect!” Lean exclaimed enthusiastically. “The puffs were perfect!”

    It seems we’ve come to the end  — but where, you might ask, is the promised “bonus b.s.”? Will you settle for the bonus without the b.s.? Here is the trailer for the aforementioned THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, directed by that master of “the Lubitsch touch” of happy memory to Golden Age film buffs:

     

     

     
    • Ricardo 12:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Apropos of nearly nothing, I noticed the other day that “Wet Hot American Summer” was available on Netflix, Sr. Muse. If that doesn’t make you want to subscribe, whatever will?

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 7:39 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        “Wet Hot American Summer’ sounds too cerebral for my tastes, Ricardo, but thanks anyway for the heads up.

        Like

    • linnetmoss 6:55 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I do love “The Shop Around the Corner”! When I hear about “Summertime,” I always think of the story that Hepburn fell into a Venetian canal and got a terrible ear infection. It may be a beautiful city, but the water is icky!

      Liked by 2 people

    • calmkate 7:27 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I remember that cane chair smoking scene well 🙂
      need to work on your bs …

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:32 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Linnet, I appreciate your comment. Perhaps I should should have noted in my post that SUMMERTIME was filmed on location in Venice. Here is the scene in which Hepburn falls into the canal:

      Like

    • Garfield Hug 7:51 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Lol!! “Season of smelly armpits!!” 😂😂

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 8:11 am on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Perhaps you’ve heard of the old phrase, “It’s the pits!” — it originally referred to stinky armpits, then came to metaphorically mean anything that stinks. And that’s my trivia lesson for today!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Don Frankel 5:37 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      We can’t have summer without..

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:39 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Don. For those who may wonder who is the singer with the beautiful soprano voice, her name is Harolyn (not a typo) Blackwell.

        Like

    • D. Wallace Peach 6:32 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      I haven’t seen any of your Summertime movies. I liked Hepburn as a kid and should pick that one up. I fell into a canal in Holland, so I can relate. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • mistermuse 6:51 pm on June 20, 2017 Permalink | Reply

        Diana, no doubt your fall into the canal in Holland was no Dutch treat (except perhaps to a few juvenile bystanders who may have thought it was funny), but I’m sure you will find Kathryn Hepburn and SUMMERTIME to be a treat. Enjoy!

        Liked by 1 person

    • BroadBlogs 1:09 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      And from what I’m reading about climate change we could have smelly armpits a lot longer. Unfortunately accompanied by widespread heat alerts and drought in the west.

      Liked by 1 person

    • mistermuse 7:28 am on June 23, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      You’re right — climate change is the pits!

      Like

    • RMW 12:53 pm on June 28, 2017 Permalink | Reply

      Summertime is one of my all-time favorite movies (I do have quite a few on my list). The romance between Hepburn and Brazzi left so much to the imagination, making it even more “romantic.” I can’t imagine either actor being willing to bare it all in front of the camera! Thank heavens…

      Liked by 1 person

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