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
Production Code Time... The onscreen and offscreen partnership of Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn is the stuff of legend, and it all started with the 1942 film, Woman of the Year. The story of two rival columnists, it's a classic battle of the sexes. Tess Harding (Katharine Hepburn) is an international affairs columnist for the New York Chronicle. … Continue reading At the Very Beginning
Surprise blogathon time... One of Jean Harlow's most striking features was her platinum blonde hair, of course. It wasn't natural; Howard Hughes thought a bottle job would kickstart ash-blonde Harlow's career. He wasn't wrong. Harlow quickly became a sensation. Her new image got an additional boost when she starred in the 1931 vehicle, titled...what else? Platinum Blonde. The … Continue reading Do Blondes Have More Fun?
When the Yuletide season rolls around, indulging in Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is almost as much of a tradition as putting up the tree or hanging stockings. First published on December 19, 1843 as a stand-alone novel, it followed Dickens' relative flop, Martin Chuzzlewit. Chapman and Hall, Dickens' publisher, thought he was losing his touch, so Dickens paid … Continue reading Page To Screen: A Christmas Carol
As I've said before, with many of their bigger stars and directors overseas, Hollywood studios had to get creative as to what kinds of films they made. Actors and actresses who normally played character or supporting roles were commonly moved into lead parts, and one example of this is the 1943 film, Salute To the Marines. Featuring … Continue reading Semper Fidelis
Filmmakers have always seemed to love using amnesia as a plot device. There's nothing like a fish being in water and out of it at the same time. One example of this is the 1943 film, Random Harvest, starring Ronald Colman and Greer Garson. It's a movie that genteely declares itself a "prestige picture," with an important … Continue reading Try To Remember