Monday, May 20, 2013

Gone With the Wind Costumes

Sketch of Scarlett's Bedroom Dress

Gone With the Wind has to be one of my favorite films of all time.  It's the first classic film I remember viewing, aside from The Wizard of Oz.  I remember when it was on local TV once a year and I would stay up with my mom and sister, we would make a huge batch of popcorn, pull out the couch-bed and stay up watching it.  A treat, mixed in with all the years of hardship.  I'm convinced it's why I love classic films today.

Scarlett's Infamous Curtain Dress
And not only that, I fell in love with the book.  Beginning in sixth grade, I decided I was going to read Gone With the Wind.  It was daunting, but I loved it.  From then on, I made a point of reading it once a year.  I haven't done it lately, but for a good ten years I did it.

Scarlett's Red Dress
So I am so pleased that these beautiful costumes have been preserved.  They are so gorgeous.  I would love to see them in person some day.  My favorite is the red dress, but who can beat the iconic Curtain Dress?  

Scarlett's Wedding Dress

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dean Martin Mocked

Dean Martin Roast; 1958

George Jessel roasting Dean Martin, with Jack Benny joining in the laughter at the Friar's Club Roast of Dean Martin in 1958.  How I wish I would have been there, or there was a recording of it.  It looks like they are having a fabulous time, and I could use a good laugh these days.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Curtis Cavorting with his Crew

Life Magazine; 1958

Dean Martin, Tony Curtis, and Milton Berle playing cards with their unidentified cronies.  I imagine this happened a lot during Hollywood's Golden Age.  It must have been really fun.  I would have loved to be a fly on the wall.  What these guys must have talked about!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Milton messing with his Mates

Clowning Around 1958

Milton Berle, Tony Curtis, Dean Martin, and an unidentified man clowning around in 1958.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Modern Guide to Health - 1947

Leslie Learns

Leslie Howard; 1941

Leslie Howard in a classic pose in his home Stowe Maries in Dorking, Surrey.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Leslie Lets Us In His Lair

Leslie Howard; 1941

Leslie Howard lived in Dorking, Surrey in a 16th Century Farm House named Stowe Maries.  He thought he had bought a "white elephant", but it seems like an amazing home to me.  He and his wife Ruth would entertain many celebrities there including Bette Davis and Ingrid Bergman.  According to a fascinating story on the UK Telegraph, his wife Ruth even novel way of keeping him away from his glamorous female guests.

Leslie Howard; 1941

If this isn't the way I expect an Englishman to look, I don't know what is!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Cecile Irons it Out

Cecile Aubry; 1949

Cecile Aubry on the set of The Black Rose in 1949.  Below she is ironing one of her costumes for filming.  I have to say I love her shoes in the photo below.  How cute are they?

Cecile Aubry; 1949
Apparently Cecile preferred other careers, for she left movies to become a children's author and a producer and a secret marriage to the son of a pasha.  How exciting!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Paintings of the Stars - Charlton Heston and Nathanial Benchley

Charlton Heston; 1963
I think everyone still knows who Charlton Heston is, and I can't think of anything new to add to that conversation.  I do love this photograph.  Chuck obviously had no problem showing how cool he was.

Nathaniel Benchley
Frankly, I had no idea when I saved this photo of Nathaniel Benchley who he was, but when I researched him, I found about a million reasons I adore him and didn't know it:

A Ghost Named Fred

He wrote some fabulous kids books like A Ghost Named Fred and Oscar Otter

Robert Benchley

His dad was Robert Benchley, noted humorist, actor, and about a dozen other things.  He was a great comedian and definitely fun in any film appearance.  Benchley's "How to" shorts are classics.

Jaws

His son, Peter Benchley, wrote Jaws, which is a pop culture icon.  Freaky as all get out, but some great acting.



RIP Deanna Durbin

Deanna Durbin; 1940

I have been lax in remembering Deanna Durbin.  She was a delightful film star with a glorious voice, the likes of which we will never see again.  She wanted a life of privacy, and I was glad she was able to enjoy that, even thou I wish she had given interviews later in life - selfish on my part - but she earned that privacy.  As a somewhat notorious person myself, I empathize and appreciate her wishes.  I hope she was finally able to live the life she wanted.  She hated the studio system and the persona they created for her.  I would have loved knowing the REAL Deanna Durbin.

Deanna Durbin; 1940

While I like to think of all the greats on some glorious movie set in the sky, each loss reminds me that there are fewer and fewer greats left.  It's quite distressing that most people I admire are no longer here.  And it's not just the movie machine, there just are such few films and actors I find timeless and worth seeing at all, let alone more than once.  I wish I had the opportunity to tell them how much I appreciate their work and talent.  Even though they won't see it, I keep this blog as a tribute to them.  To see a view into the life of Deanna Durbin, check out my views into her home in the 1940s:  Part 1 and Part 2.  We'll miss you!

Happy Birthday Alice Faye and Tyrone Power

Alexander's Ragtime Band; 1938

Happy Birthday to two of my favorite stars of all time:  Alice Faye (5 May 1915 - 9 May 1998) and  Tyrone Power (5 May 1914 - 15 November 1958).

Alice Faye; Phil Harris; 1949

I adore Alice in everything, but my favorite Alice performance is as herself on her radio show The Phil Harris-Alice Faye Show.  I have a dress that is allegedly Alice's (it says A. Faye in it from Western Costume) but I have yet to find a photo or film of a dress even close to what I have.  I'm tempted to think it's not really hers. 

Tyrone Power; Marlene Dietrich; Witness for the Prosecution; 1957

And who doesn't adore Tyrone Power?  Handsome as all get out, and a fantastic actor.  My favorite performance of his happens to be his last on screen performance in Witness for the Prosecution with the fabulous Marlene Dietrich.  He played the character so that he was both incredibly lovable - and incredibly evil at the same time.  I've always marveled at how you can love and hate someone at the same time.  And what a twist!  I definitely recommend the film to anyone who hasn't seen it.

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