Put the Blame On Mame

Here's Mr. Ford... Our guest of honor sure had a way of landing some interesting roles, and one of the most iconic films he did by far was 1946's Gilda. It might be more iconic for Rita Hayworth than Glenn Ford, but it's a tossup as to who makes the bigger impression. The film was tumoultous … Continue reading Put the Blame On Mame

Stage To Screen: Our Town

Our Town is a perennial favorite for a lot of people all over the world. It's always being produced somewhere. Its setting, the fictional town of Grover's Corners, New Hampshire, even has its own website. This 1938 Pulitzer Prize winner follows the story of Emily Webb and George Gibbs, next door neighbors and childhood friends who … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Our Town

Queen of the Jukebox

There's a lot of weird, obscure stuff on streaming media, and Amazon seems to be a particular gold mine. I don't know how I found the 1944 film, Swing Hostess, but somehow I did. Or it found me. Who knows. Either way, it's been sitting on my Prime list for months, waving at me with its … Continue reading Queen of the Jukebox

Esther’s New Suit

Hello, Miss Esther... One of the fun things about Esther Williams' movies is seeing all the ways MGM devised to get her into the water, and so far I think my favorite is the 1949 film, Neptune's Daughter. It's not only a fun movie, but it's the point in Esther's career in which she started … Continue reading Esther’s New Suit

Less Phantom, More Opera

Surprise blogathon time... From the 1925 Lon Chaney classic to the beloved Andrew Lloyd Webber leviathan of a musical, The Phantom of the Opera is a perennial showstopper with its soaring music, swinging chandelier, and all-around creepiness. Sandwiched among the many onscreen iterations is the 1943 version starring Claude Rains as the Phantom with Nelson … Continue reading Less Phantom, More Opera

Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

We're back on Broadway, people. Eleanor's back. George Murphy's back. Fred Astaire's back...oh, wait. This was his first and only Melody, although he did dance on the real Broadway, so there's that. After the rather confusing and lackluster Broadway Melody of 1938, MGM went for a less-is-more approach with what became the final film in the Broadway Melody series, The Broadway … Continue reading Keep It Simple, Sweetheart

Brave Walter Mitty

I'll see you in my dreams... I remember reading "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" in the eighth grade because my lit teacher, Mz. Howell was a big James Thurber fan (Yes, she spelled her "Ms." with a "Z." She was a fun lady.). Anyway, the story was originally published in the March 18, 1939 … Continue reading Brave Walter Mitty

Page To Screen: The Song of Bernadette

1943's The Song Of Bernadette turned Jennifer Jones into an Oscar winner. She was twenty-five at the time and it was her first starring role. How this film came about is a story in and of itself, of course. A Czech Jew named Franz Werfel, who was fleeing the Nazis, sheltered for a time in … Continue reading Page To Screen: The Song of Bernadette

Morocco Bound

On the road again... Few Golden Age comedy teams have worn better than Bing Crosby and Bob Hope. Bob was the zany comic. Bing was the suave crooner who always got the girl. Whenever these guys were together they played off each other, they trolled each other, and they had a ball. Thankfully for those … Continue reading Morocco Bound

And Then There Was Agatha Christie

Building a mystery... One of the first Agatha Christie films I ever saw was 1945's And Then There Were None. It's got an all-star cast and an effective bait-and-switch structure that I would hate to spoil, so it's probably best to just dive right in without much of a build-up. Here we go... The movie opens … Continue reading And Then There Was Agatha Christie

Stage To Screen: Girl Crazy

Amazing as their music is, a lot of George and Ira Gershwin's musicals aren't presented today in their original forms, and while Girl Crazy is no different, it has stayed more intact than the vast majority of its mates, at least in terms of its music. Girl Crazy marked the debut of such classics as "I Got … Continue reading Stage To Screen: Girl Crazy

I Shall Return

One of the Second World War's most iconic images is that of General Douglas MacArthur wading through the surf at Leyte in his long-promised return to the Philippines. While that incident has famously been called "staged," it was and it wasn't. MacArthur's landing craft was unable to take him right up to the beach because … Continue reading I Shall Return

Somewhere Over the Film Noir

Betty Grable and Carole Landis don't really come to mind when one thinks of film noir. They're fun and nice and pretty and hardly the type for dark and stormy nights, but dark and stormy is exactly what they get in 1941's I Wake Up Screaming, a murder mystery based on the Steve Fisher novel, Hot Spot. Well, … Continue reading Somewhere Over the Film Noir

It’s All About People

It's a great day for the Irish... We all know 2020 was a strange year, not only because it felt like the hits just kept on coming, but how we relate to each other was turned on its head. Certain salespeople would have us believe that being apart is no problem. Just get on Zoom … Continue reading It’s All About People

The Lady In the Tutti-Frutti Hat

Taking Up Room's first blogathon of 2021... Carmen Miranda's star rose very quickly in the United States, and it didn't take long for Twentieth Century Fox to play that up in a big way. The most overt example of was 1943's The Gang's All Here. The film appears to be an homage to the Good Neighbor … Continue reading The Lady In the Tutti-Frutti Hat