Sunday, April 27, 2014

Shout Out and Saints

Paul Thompson's Birthday; 1955; MNHS

Thanks to all my readers on reaching 300 Followers!  I am so grateful to everyone who follows me.  This blog gives me a great outlet.  Having virtually no in person contact, it's nice to have a format to express my thoughts.  Granted, most of my visitors are looking only for photographs and I only receive a few non-robotic comments a month, I still find the exercise worthwhile.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

I Married a Woman (1956)

I Married a Woman (1956) - George Gobel (Marshall "Mickey" Briggs), Diana Dors (Janice Blake Briggs), Adolphe Menjou (Frederick W. Sutton), Jessie Royce Landis (Mrs. Blake).  I've always read about how funny and popular George Gobel was in the 1950's.  Having never seen anything he was in, I never really understood.  

Once I saw this film, I immediately understood Gobel's appeal.  George plays Marshall "Mickey" Briggs, an ad executive from Sutton Advertising charged with coming up with a new ad campaign for Luxumberg Beer in two days.  In addition to speed, it must be family friendly.  The increased work time causes problems in his marriage to former Miss Luxumberg Janice, played by the lovely Diana Dors.

I simply loved the acting in this film.  Everyone seemed perfect for their roles.  Gobel as the frustrated, lovable husband.  Dors, my blond bombshell of choice, as his neglected wife Janice.  Landis as the ever suffering mother in law.  And the delightful Adolphe Menjou as the scheming, yet sort of realistic, boss.

What was odd about the film was the mini John Wayne film within a film.  At one point Mickey and his wife go to a John Wayne film.  She thinks he treats his ladies with diamonds and fancy trips, so Janice gets the idea that she isn't being treated fairly.  It's also similar to the fashion show segment in The Women (1939) in the sense that the fake John Wayne film is in color, while the rest of the film is black and white.  This part was definitely unnecessary.  The film would have been fine without it.  I'm not sure if Wayne needed a paycheck or if executives needed a bigger star somehow involved in the film.

I found the film absolutely delightful.  Funny, well acted, good dialogue, I loved it.  Oh why won't someone put this gem on DVD?

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - Tyrone Power (as Leonard Vole), Marlene Dietrich (as Christine Vole), Charles Laughton (as Sir Wilfrid Robarts), Elsa Lanchester (as Miss Plimsoll), John Williams (as Mr. Brogan-Moore), Henry Daniell (as Mr. Mayhew), Ian Wolfe (as Mr. Carter), Torin Thatcher (as Mr. Myers), Francis Compton (as the Judge), Una O'Connor (as Janet McKenzie), Norma Varden (as Emily French), Ruta Lee (as Diana).  This is one of my all-time favorite films.  The fabulous Tyrone Power plays Leonard Vole, an inventor accused of murdering a lonely old woman.  The woman changes her will and leaves Vole all her money, giving him a motive.  Marlene Dietrich plays his wife Christine, a cabaret singer who marries Vole to get out of war torn Germany.  Dietrich is fantastic as Christine.  This role was tailor made for her talents.  She gets to do everything I think of when I think of a Dietrich role: dramatic acting, fabulous singing, and a strong woman with vulnerability.  Tyrone Power plays Vole amazingly well: sympathetic at the beginning with a fantastic turn at the end (I won't spoil it for you).  To bad it was his last role, but an amazing performance to go out on.  Charles Laughton was charming as the tough, but teddy bear lawyer Sir Wilfred.  Great in the courtroom scenes, but even better playing off the relationship with Nurse Plimsoll, played by his wife Elsa Lanchester.  Clear chemistry, yet in a fun Bickerson relationship.  The cast was amazing.  Everyone had a wonderful performance and was perfectly cast.  Great choice of director.  Billy Wilder did a fantastic job.  And of course, the story is good.  Anything based off an Agatha Christie story is suspenseful, well written, with great characters and wonderful pacing.  A fantastic film.  A definite must for any classic film watcher.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Fashion Friday - Darling Dorian

Composite of model Dorian Leigh wearing dress & jacket design by Traina-Norell; 1950

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Vintage Inspiration - Classy Clara

Clara Bow from Call Her Savage (1932) by Harold Dean Carsey

Clara Bow is a fun spitfire of a character.  Adorable and full of life, she is a film icon.  She is probably best known for her role as Betty Lou in 1927's "It", a great film.  

Clara Bow from Her Wedding Night (1930) by Eugene Robert Richee

These are just some fun photographs which show the essence of Bow: Fun, flirty, and Full of Life

Clara Bow from The Wild Party (1929) by Eugene Robert Richee

Isn't she just "It"?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vintage Inspiration - Sally on Saturday

Sally Eillers models Vera West fashion

Vera West was a costume designer with over 300 credits to her name.  Some of the well-known films she designed for were:  Shadow of a Doubt, the Sherlock Holmes film series with Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce, W.C. Fields films like The Bank Dick, Destry Rides Again, and horror film classics like The Wolf Man, The Mummy, and Dracula.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Week in Review

Films I've Watched

  • Lady Vanishes (1938) - Margaret Lockwood (as Iris), Michael Redgrave (as Gilbert), Paul Lukas (as Dr. Hartz), Dame May Whitty (as Miss Froy).  Having seen the recent PBS Masterpiece adaptation, I was curious about what I think is the first adaptation of the title.  An added bonus was the fabulous Dame May Whitty, whom is fabulous in every film I've seen her in.  The plot is basically this: Iris meets Miss Foy, a governess going back to England, on a train.  She disappears, and Iris is determined to find her but no one on the train has seen her.  Soon, it seems to Iris that everyone thinks she is crazy.  Luckily, things work out in the end.  Directed by Alfred Hitchcock, I wouldn't necessarily consider this in his style or the style he developed but it definitely is an enjoyable film.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Fitness Friday - Moving with Mitzi

I definitely need to exercise more, so today for Fitness Friday, I thought I'd look to the lovely Mitzi Gaynor's 1962 spread from Life Magazine for inspiration.


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