Thursday, August 30, 2012

Muppet Rugs and RIP Jerry Nelson

Muppet Latch Hook Kits; McCall's; 1980

I simply adore the Muppets, the 1970s/1980s Muppets.  While the recent film was decent, as a whole, the past decade has seen them become quite lame.  I have enjoyed their recent resurgence into popular culture: from award shows to wrestling events, the Muppets have been everywhere.  

Count von Count and Jerry Nelson

Unfortunately with Jerry Nelson's August 23rd, 2012 passing, we will again be faced with a set of wrong-sounding Muppets.  Ever since Jim Henson's passing, the Muppets just haven't been the same.  Kermit still sounds odd to me.  RIP Jerry.  You brought me and many others hours and hours of joy.  Even though his parts have been recast, I will miss Jerry's genius when performing Count von Count, Floyd Petter, Robin the Frog, Gobo Fraggle, Crazy Harry, Camilla the Chicken, Lew Zealand, and Statler.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

From Sketch to Costume - Delilah

Edith Head's Sketch
Edith Head created "The Peacock Costume" for Hedy Lamarr to wear in 1949's Samson and Delilah.   

Gorgeous Hedy Lamarr in the Costume
Edith Head and crew won the Academy Award for Best Costume Design, Color

The Peacock Costume today
The gorgeous dress was sold in 2011 for $12,000.00
Peacock detail up close
Unfortunately, parts of the dress have disintegrated and have been replaced with material to simulate the feel of the original dress.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Greta Garbo, Spy

Mata Hari; 1931

Today, I thought I would be treated to some wonderful films on TCM because it was Lionel Barrymore day.  Anyone who has experienced TCM's Summer Under the Stars programming knows that it can be a real treat - or a real dud.

Lionel Barrymore and Greta Garbo

Since Lionel is one of my favorite stars, I was expecting some real gems.  As a whole I wasn't disappointed. Mata Hari (1931) by MGM was not one of the gems.  I've always wanted to see this picture because I've heard the film was fantastic, the costumes looked great, and I find the real Mata Hari's story intriguing.  I should have known not too keep my hopes up, since it was a Garbo film.  Barrymore and Novarro were fantastic, as were several of the minor characters as well.  But Garbo again proved why she is on my Least Favorite Actresses list.

The REAL Mata Hari

When I think Mata Hari, I think of someone who has to be charismatic enough to have everyone in the palm of their hands - someone who causes men to lose their loyalty and honor.  Garbo, as usual, was cold as a fish.  Everyone seemed drawn to that coldness, which frankly is incomprehensible to me.  Perhaps it is my peasant stock, but I saw no reason why anyone would want to know her, let alone poor out government secrets to her.

Greta Garbo in the Death Scene

Naturally, she was fantastic at being stoic on the way to the death scene.  This she did wonderfully well.  As a viewer, I cared more about how her death affected Alexis, Ramon Navarro's character.  So on the whole, everyone but Garbo was wonderful in this take on Mata Hari's life.  If someone can explain the appeal of Greta to me I would be grateful, because for the life of me, I find her cold and emotionless.  I just don't feel any kind of connection to her when I see her films.  It's like watching a beautiful statue walk around - beautiful, but distant.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Weird Wednesday - "Frigidine" Your Face

Modern Mechanics; January 1929

This beauty treatment looks quite scary!  I think I will stick with staying the way I am or with plain old witch hazel, which works just as well.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Josanne Tames Marlon

Josanne Mariani; 1954 

"Marlon Brando
Is one of the few actors who can get by on talent alone and, whether or not you like him as a personality, he falls in the category of genius as far as acting is concerned.  We never found Marlon hard to take as a human being, either.  He’s hypersensitive, which accounts for his great talent; but once he trusts you, there’ll be no trouble from him.  Seems like half the eligible girls in Hollywood claim to have dated him just before his engagement to Josanne Mariani was announced.  But his big moment while making his last picture Desiree was Joanne herself, who was secretly in Hollywood and a mystery girl on the movie set."

[Source: Movieland;  February 1955]

Monday, August 6, 2012

Missing Marilyn - 50th Anniversary of Our Loss

Marilyn Walking Off Into the Distance; 1958

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the loss of Marilyn Monroe.  She is a true icon in popular culture and film.  

Marilyn Monroe Press Conference; 1962

In my humble opinion, I find her a wonderful actress, far deeper than the image associated with her.  

Marilyn Monroe Press Conference; 1962

My favorite Marilyn Monroe performances are in Niagara, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Some Like It Hot, and How to Marry a Millionaire.

Marilyn Monroe Press Conference; 1962

Such a troubled life for a wonderful personality.  I read a fabulous essay today published a few weeks after her death by Ayn Rand.

Marilyn Monroe Press Conference; 1962

While I did not have the troubled childhood she had, I can empathize with many of Monroe's hurts which Rand clearly articulated.

Air Force Officer's Club; 1953

So on this sad anniversary, let's drink a toast to the goodness of Marilyn - her joy, her acting talent, her intellect, her beauty, and her undying spirit.  We miss you!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Jeff Still Loves His Wife

Husband and Wife - Jeffrey Hunter and Barbara Rush; at Home; 1953

Jef Hunter
Has been carrying a torch for Barbara Rush, who seems determined to go through with a divorce.  But that tall, dark and handsome guy on whom she has her eye isn’t in the mood for marriage.  He happens to be Rock Hudson, whose chief interest is his career.  Jeff is not exactly weeping in his beer though at least as long as Debra Paget is around.

[Source: Movieland; February 1955]

Jeffrey Hunter; Barbara Rush; Rock Hudson
Jeffrey Hunter (born Henry Herman “Hank” McKinnies, November 25, 1926 – May 27, 1969) and Barbara Rush were married from December 1, 1950 until March 29, 1955.  They would have one son together, Chris.  Hunter and Debra Paget would star in two films together, Fourteen Hours and Princess of the Nile.  I'm not sure there was ever a relationship between the two, but they would have made a handsome couple.  I'm 100% sure Barbara and Rock didn't happen, as we have more info than those living in the 1950s would have.  I've always thought Jeffrey Hunter was a strikingly handsome man - almost too beautiful to be true.  Tragically he died from a cerebral hemorrhage from injuries received on the set at the young age of 42.  

Jeffrey Hunter and Debra Paget in Fourteen Hours

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Sunburning with the Stars - Dusty Anderson

Dusty Anderson; Physical Culture; June 1946
Dusty Anderson, born Ruth Anderson on December 17, 1918 in Toledo, Ohio was active in films from 1944 - 1951 before retiring to become a painter.  As far as I can tell, the Boston Blackie film references was either never made or renamed.  While she only has 10 credits, Dusty was a very popular WWII pinup.  The lovely Ms. Anderson is still with us at the time of this post.

Dusty Anderson on TCM:
Tonight and Every Night - August 8, 2012 - 2:30 PM est
Down to Earth - August 8, 2012 - 10 PM est
Cover Girl - August 23, 2012 - 8 PM est
Tonight and Every Night - September 10, 2012 - 8 PM est

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Weird Wednesday - Max Factor's Machine

Modern Mechanix; January 1935

Another example of how we will go to extremes to become "perfect".  Thank goodness I never have had the "pleasure" of being put in one of these gems.

Sunburning with the Stars - Peggy Stewart

Peggy Stewart; Physical Culture; June 1946
Lovely Peggy Stewart, born June 5, 1923 in Palm Beach, Florida.  While known mostly for her work in B-Westerns, Ms. Stewart is acting to this very day - most recently in the 2012 Adam Sandler film, That's My Boy.  I think that is fantastic!  Who knew when she took an acting class for a lark, that Ms. Stewart would have a career that has lasted for a steady 75 years+?

Peggy Stewart on TCM
Fifth Avenue Girl - August 12, 2012 - 9:15 AM est
Fifth Avenue Girl - September 22, 2012 - 7:30 AM est


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