Swimmers, take your marks... Esther Williams never set out to be a movie star. She was a champion swimmer who dreamed of competing in the Olympics. When the 1940 games were cancelled, she got a job working as a floor model at I. Magnin's Los Angeles store, and then landed a gig with Billy Rose's … Continue reading Come On In, the Water’s Fine
Good evening (again)... Hitchcock had a long time to develop his trademark style. Before the taut mysteries and thrillers we all know and love, he accumulated a sizeable and assorted filmography. One of these was his 1928 British film, Champagne. It's so unlike what we think of as traditional Hitch that if anyone misses the opening … Continue reading Is That You, Hitch?
Hello, friends. I'm your Vitameativiggivat Girl... The name, Lucille Ball, is synonymous with dramatic film noir...oh, wait, no, it isn't. Duh. 😉 Lucille Ball was a comedienne in the best sense, but like most up-and-coming actors, she did her share of roles outside of what she's now famous for. Ergo, Lucille Ball made some dramatic … Continue reading Hardboiled Lucy
Good to see you, Miss Barbara... I have kind of a love-argh thing with Preston Sturges. I know he's revered among film buffs, but sometimes he bugs me. Not always, though. Sullivan's Travels excellently captures a time when men rode the rails to wherever the jobs were. Hail the Conquering Hero is a rollicking tale of … Continue reading Crooked But Never Common
*Sound of book opening...* Disney certainly used to love the classics. One of the best of their old-school features in my opinion is 1949's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, which combines not one, but two classics: Kenneth Grahame's novel, The Wind In the Willows and Washington Irving's short story, The Legend of Sleepy Hollow. The film … Continue reading Ichabod and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Hello again, Mr. Donat... I was going to review The Magic Box for Maddy's 'thon, but Amazon un-Primed it, so it's getting saved for later. Plan B was 1943's The Adventures of Tartu, an intriguing though very rough-around-the-edges tale of espionage and near-romance. I had no idea what to expect going in, but I figured I'd give Tartu a … Continue reading A Tartu By Any Other Name
In 1960, To Kill A Mockingbird released, and movie audiences beheld something unique in film history, although they wouldn't have known it then: The last few minutes of the movie are one of two brief times Gregory Peck and Robert Duvall would share a screen. It was Robert Duvall's first movie. As Boo Radley, he … Continue reading Announcing the Atticus and Boo Blogathon!
Ms. de Havilland is back... In the nineteen-fifties, Olivia de Havilland was married and living in Paris with her husband and two children, but she still made films now and then. In 1958 she starred in The Proud Rebel opposite Alan Ladd. A somewhat gentle story for a western, the film follows a Confederate veteran as … Continue reading Proud Olivia
Mr. Rathbone, I presume... Basil Rathbone had the forceful act down pat. If he wanted to, he could take or throw a punch, hold his own with a sword, or bore a hole in his opponent with his eyes. In the 1935 film, Anna Karenina, where Rathbone played Alexei Alexandrovitch Karenin, the rejected husband of the … Continue reading Shorter Basil
Are you prepared? The seventies were a weird time in Hollywood. Studios were operating on tighter budgets, so the high output of a couple of decades earlier was unheard of. Instead, studios opted for fewer films with big ensemble casts and higher octane production values, and one of these was 1974's The Towering Inferno. Like … Continue reading The Tower By the Bay
So. It's been quite a weekend, guys. Other than the current stuff we've all been going through and which I'm not going to elaborate on, the wind knocked out my wifi on Friday afternoon. Then we got the wifi back only to have the wind knock the power out on Saturday. Fortunately these were only … Continue reading Broadway Bound 2020: Curtain Call
The Broadway Melody of 1936 made a star out of Eleanor Powell, and in 1937 she was at it again with The Broadway Melody of 1938, which, unfortunately, was a flaccid follow-up to its predecessor. This time Powell is the daughter of a horse rancher who wants to break into show business, and once again Robert … Continue reading Broadway Plays the Ponies
Day Three is upon us--can you believe it? Days One and Two can be found here if anyone has missed them. All right, time for today's entries... MovieRob kicks things off with a Broadway triple-header: Hair, The Browning Version, and Jesus Christ, Superstar. The Midnite Drive-In has a review of the Shoah drama, Bent. Vitaphone Dreamer gets that … Continue reading Broadway Bound 2020: Day Three
In 1929, The Broadway Melody officially opened the era of the MGM musical. In 1935, The Broadway Melody of 1936 kicked things up a notch or five. It also is credited by some as the movie that saved MGM. Starring Eleanor Powell and Robert Taylor, The Broadway Melody of 1936 is at once typical and eye-popping. It's bigger, sparklier, and … Continue reading Back To Broadway
Day Two, everyone. We had a great time yesterday (find Day One's posts here), and now we've got more to come. So, here we go... 18 Cinema Lane starts us off with the famous tale of romance-by-proxy, Cyrano de Bergerac. Crítica Retrô goes full Capra with a review of the much-loved You Can't Take It With You. Dubsism gets … Continue reading Broadway Bound 2020: Day Two