Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Peak in Eleanor Powell's Steamer Trunk

Eleanor Powell's Steamer Trunk

Shipping Address:
Eleanor Powell
1012 Cove Way
Beverly Hills, California

I tied to map the address, and it does not appear that the number exists on Cove Way anymore.  The number must have been changed at some point after she lived there.  The address did exist as of 1956 when her husband at the time Glenn Ford registered to vote.

The contents as far as I can tell include:
Three-pane mirror
Hat box
Satchel labeled "Rosin Box"
Box of portable lights possibly
From the labels remaining, I could only read that she had one drawer of hose

What other treasures would have been in this steamer trunk?  I'm thinking some fabulous costumes and tap shoes.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Weird Wednesday - Stimulating Beauty Mask

Modern Mechanix June 1933

Doesn't sound that a comfortable way to stay young.  I would be too claustrophobic to put up with this beauty treatment.  

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day, John Wayne, and Sands of Iwo Jima

A big "Thank You" to all our vets on this Memorial Day.  Thanks for your courage, sacrifice, and service.

Recreation of the Flag raising
Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) depicts the epic battle for Iwo Jima during World War II.  The three survivors who helped raise the real flag on Mount Suribachi were used to recreate the scene in the film (along with John Wayne, of course).  The real flag was used as well, on loan from the marines.

After this film, John Wayne was asked to leave his footprints outside Graumann's Chinese Theater.  Sand from Iwo Jima was added to the cement.

Over 2,000 marines were used in the filming.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

At Home With the Masons

James Mason and wife Pamela at their Hertfordshire home 1946

James Mason has one of the best voices of all time.  And it is not just the English accent.  My favorite James Mason roles are his Hitchcock roles as Philip Vandamm in North by Northwest and Warren Barrow in the Alfred Hitchcock Hour television episode Captive Audience.  

James, Pamela, and daughter Portland 1948
James and his wife Pamela were married from 1941 - 1964.  They had two children together.  Their daughter Portland was named after Fred Allen's wife Portland Hoffa.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Sonja Henie Enjoys the Outdoors

Sonja Henie at Home

For some reason I find Sonja Henie simply delightful.  Her films are just fun and I enjoy any time I happen to catch one of them.  Fox Movie Channel occasionally plays, but at the 5am time slot.  Thank goodness for DVR!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Film of the Week - Come and Get It (1936)

I have been thrilled with May's TCM Star of the Month, Joel McCrea.  His voice was wonderful, and I definitely enjoy his acting.  Frankly, I've been spoiled watching such gems as Foreign Correspondent, which I've avoided because I always thought it would be too political.  Instead I found it to be an intense, yet wonderful wartime thriller  Hitchcock can do no wrong!

Joel McCrea, Edward Arnold, and Frances Farmer

Come and Get It (1936) had all the ingredients for a wonderful film:  a great Edna Ferber story, Joel McCrea and Edward Arnold, and the magnificent director Howard Hawks.

Walter Brennan - the scene stealer

The film was nominated for two Oscars: Walter Brennan for Best Supporting Actor and Edward Curtis for Film Editing.  Brennan earned the only Oscar for this film.

"Do you like my matted hair and poor acting?"

The film was supposed to be about how the robber barons destroyed the country.  Instead it turned out to be a love triangle between a married father (Arnold) and his son (McCrea) for the attentions of the daughter of a singer Edward Arnold's character loved as a youth but did not marry because she had no money.

Finally, a good costume

The plot was terrible.  I had a very difficult time trying to find sympathy for any of the characters.  Walter Brennan's character Swan, who definitely deserved his Oscar.

I'd be upset if I was in this film, too

Several problems plagued the film including Howard Hawks and producer Sam Goldwyn not agreeing on the actors to star in the film, Sam Goldwyn hating the rough cut of the film and hiring director William Wyler to replace Hawks and basically redo the film, the the acting loved by some and panned by others.

Pretty, but that's about it

The main issue I had from the film was the wretched acting of Frances Farmer.  I found her quite unconvincing and her voice annoying.  She played two roles in this film, the original singer (Lotta Morgan) who caught the eye of Arnold's character as a youth, and the singer's daughter (Lotta Bostrom) whom Arnold and McCrea both love.  Everything I have read says Farmer was such a fantastic actress, but I was stunned by the very poor acting I saw.  Perhaps my expectations were way too high.  Farmer's acting as Morgan was painful - bad costume; bad acting.  As Lotta Bostrom, she was a bit better, but the character was poorly created by Farmer and the script writers.  Perhaps someone knows a film Frances made with a stunning performance.  Based solely on this film I felt Frances Farmer's acting talent was incredibly overrated.

Frances and her mom Lillian

I wanted to like Frances Farmer's performance so badly.  I have been intrigued by her story ever since I saw Frances (1982) on TCM late one night last summer.  It was such a disturbing and heartbreaking tale, that I set about investigating her.  Sad the say, the film greatly fictionalized her life to the point that it is almost unrecognizable. Jessica Lange gave one of the best performances I've seen in modern films.  I'm not generally a fan of Lange, but her performance blew me away.  To find out what really happened in Farmer's life, I would read Jeffrey Kauffman's wonderful website Frances Farmer Shedding Light on Shadowland.

You'd have to pay me a LOT of money to Come and Get It

So, here's the short review: misplaced plot, poorly acted feminine lead, and disjointed.  The only saving grace is Walter Brennan.  Watch Brennan and fast forward through the rest - unless you feel like pitying the other poor fools in this mess.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Ginger's Other Half

A Day in the Life of Ginger Rogers' Kitty Foyle

These photos feature model Carol Lorell in famous Kitty Foyle outfits and poses

I was unable to find any other information about Carol Lorell except she was apparently a well-known working model who continued modeling even after becoming a mother.

[Source: March 25, 1940 Life Magazine]


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