Friday, October 10, 2014

Fashion Friday - Dracula

Not many people think about the fashion involved in horror films.  I personally think the fashion is an integral part of these gems.  They set the mood for the wonderful scenes in the film.  Who doesn't look at the suave Bela Lugosi and think Dracula?  There is conflicting information about who created the iconic look, but Bela Lugosi is largely credited with popularizing the tuxedo and cape look.  While actor Raymond Huntley apparently was the first to use this look in the 1924 London stage adaptation, not many people know it [1].

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fashion Friday - Lucky Lucy

Elois Jenssen black and pink gown costume sketch for Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy (Desilu, 1951-1957)

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Creepy Short - Time Out for Trouble (1961)

Shorts are one of my favorite types of film.  They can provide a great musical or dance number, be funny like a Joe McDoakes short, or teach us things.  But in the guise of teaching us, sometimes films can be just darn creepy.  This is a perfect example of an informative film gone horribly creepy.  The premise of the film is to teach us how to be calm and not hurt ourselves through the carelessness that comes from anger or distraction.  While actually having a good lesson and good tips to alleviate these problems, all I could think about was that our clocks are possessed and secretly are plotting our death.

Warner Archive Wednesday - The Swan (1956)

The Swan (1956) [1]
The Swan (1956) - Grace Kelly (Princess Alexandra), Alec Guinness (Prince Albert), Louis Jourdan (Dr. Nicholas Agi), Agnes Moorehead (Queen Maria Dominika), Jessie Royce Landis (Princess Beatrix), Brian Aherne (Father Carl Hyacinth), Leo G. Carroll (Caesar), Estelle Winwood (Symphorosa), Van Dyke Parks (George), Christopher Cook (Arsene).  Directed by Charles Vidor. Studio - MGM.

Fun Fact: This film was released the same day Grace Kelly became a real princess - April 18, 1956, the day she married Prince Ranier of Monoco [2].

Fun Fact: Many thought this would be Grace Kelly's "swan song".  She would star in only 1 film after this, High Society, released July 17, 1956 [3].

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Awesome Ebay - Inscribed Photo Circa 1936

1936 Ebay Item
There are a lot of cool items for sale on Ebay, and this is definitely one of them.  It looks like it was from a fun event and has signatures from many people I adore.  The hefty price tag of $9,999.00 clearly makes it a clear impossibility for purchase.  I can't even afford my groceries or to fix my car, so this definitely is not going to be in my collection.  But it's just so cool, I had to feature it.  The item is from the collection of Saul Goodman (1919-2003), apparently a businessman who loved getting cool photographs and having celebrities sign them.  Because of the rarity of the photographs and rarity of some of the autographs, the prices for items from his collection are insanely expensive.  This is clearly not an exception.  But it is exceptional.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Warner Archive Wednesday - The Unsuspected (1947)

The Unsuspected (1947) - Claude Rains (Victor Grandson), Joan Caulfield (Matilda Frazier), Audrey Totter (Althea Keane), Constance Bennett (Jane Moynihan), Hurd Hatfield (Oliver Keane), Ted North (Steven Francis Howard), Fred Clark (Richard Donovan)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Feed Sack Fashion

One printed, plain weave cotton feed sack, unstitched wtih band paper label.
Print is a purple ground with a pattern of mandolins with green and orange accents.
Label reads "PILLSBURY'S BEST/XXXX/FEEDS." "100 LBS." Circa 1940s.; MNHS

My Marilyn in a Potato Sack Post got me thinking about I adore feed cloth.  It's beautiful and usable.  Our industrious ancestors used this cloth not only to fold the life giving flour, but for a multitude of cloth articles in the home including towels, rags, clothing, toys, blankets, aprons, and a multitude of other amazing things.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marilyn and Miller

     Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller by taken by Sam Shaw in 1957.  Monroe and Miller were married from 1956 to 1961.  Here are some gorgeous pictures of "The Egghead and the Hourglass". 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Week in Review

Films of the Week

  • Another Man's Poison (1951)- Bette Davis (Janet Frobisher), Gary Merrill (George Bates), Emlyn Williams (Dr. Henderson), Anthony Steele (Larry Stevens), Barbara Murray (Chris Dale)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Another Man's Poison (1951)

Another Man's Poison (1951) - Bette Davis (Janet Frobisher), Gary Merrill (George Bates), Emlyn Williams (Dr. Henderson), Anthony Steele (Larry Stevens), Barbara Murray (Chris Dale)

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Marilyn and Jane Immortalized

Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell immortalizing their hand and foot prints in front of Graumann's Chinese Theater, June 26, 1953.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Week in Review

Films of the Week

  • They Wanted to Marry (1937) - Betty Furness (Sheila), Gordon Jones (Jim), E.E. Clive (Styles), Patsy Parsons (Patsy), Henry Kolker (Mr. Hunter)

The Haunted Palace (1963)

The Haunted Palace (1963) - Vincent Price (Charles Dexter Ward/Joseph Curwen), Debra Paget (Ann Ward), Lon Chaney Jr. (Simon Orne)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

Woman in the Window (1944) and Scarlet Street (1946)

Woman in the Window (1944) - Edward G. Robinson (Professor Richard Wanley), Joan Bennett (Alice Reed), Raymond Massey (Frank Lalor, District Attorney), Edmund Breon (Dr. Michael Barkstane), Dan Duryea

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Vintage Inspiration - The Dinah Shore Show

As you all know, I love vintage films and television.  Lately I have been obsessed with the vintage shows on JLTV.  One of them is the Dinah Shore Show.  Dinah Shore was a fantastic singer who had several variety shows.  Lately JLTV has been playing the Dinah Shore Chevy Show (1957-1963).  It's a variety show which usually has a comic, a dance act, a singer, a musician, and of course, Dinah sings some lovely songs.  One of the cool things about it is I find out about some lovely acts I did not know about.  And frankly, some are next to impossible to find out about.  A recent episode I watched was the April 24, 1960 episode.  Some of the cool acts that day were:

Saturday, June 14, 2014

They Wanted to Marry (1937)

They Wanted to Marry (1937) - Betty Furness (Sheila), Gordon Jones (Jim), E.E. Clive (Styles), Patsy Parsons (Patsy), Henry Kolker (Mr. Hunter).  Gordon Jones plays Jim, a newspaper photographer whose not supposed to take pictures of Shela's dad.  He is the least photographed man and hates photographers.  One day Jim decides to crash a party at his home and naturally, gets in trouble.  But while hiding, he meets the glamorous Sheila, played by Betty Furness.  They fall in love, but the fact Jim is a photographer prohibits him from being able to court Sheila.  

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fashion Friday - Scattered Sketches

Female Costume Sketch (Black and White Gown)

I saved these female costume sketches on my computer and I'm not sure exactly what they are from.  They are obviously stunning, whomever sketched them.  From the look, I'm thinking they are 1950's or 1960's.  Do you agree?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • The Ex-Mrs. Bradford (1936) - William Powell (Dr. Lawrence Bradford), Jean Arthur (Paula Bradford), James Gleason (Inspector Corrigan), Stokes (Eric Blore), Robert Armstrong (Nick Martel), Lila Lee (Miss Prentiss).  Mr. and Mrs. Bradford are divorced because Paula, a mystery writer, kept involving them in mysteries and he couldn't concentrate on his medical practice.  But mystery follows them, when a jockey drops dead at the track and a huge bundle of bills end up in the doctor's hands.  

Friday, June 6, 2014

To Beat the Band (1935)

To Beat the Band (1935) - Hugh Herbert (Hugo Twist), Helen Broderick (Mrs. Freda McCrary), Roger Pryor (Larry Barry), Fred Keating (Fred Carson), Eric Blore (Hawkins), Phyllis Brooks (Rowena), Evelyn Poe (Barbara Shelley)  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Marilyn Monday - Beautiful Birthday Belle

Marilyn Monroe in Amagansett, Long Island by Sam Shaw; May 1957

Today is Marilyn Monroe's birthday (June 1, 1926), so it seemed logical to do another Marilyn Monday.  These fun, sunny pictures also happen to feature fashion that is on trend again, specifically the crop top. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sons O' Guns (1936)

Sons O'Guns (1936) - Joe E. Brown (Jimmy Canfield), Joan Blondell (Yvonne), Beverly Roberts (Mary Harper), Eric Blore (Hobson), Craig Reynolds (Lt. Burton).  Jimmy Canfield has a sweetheart, Mary, whose father won't let them marry because Jimmy won't fight in the war, World War I, that is.  So he pretends to enlist by joining in one of the parades of soldiers, but he ends up getting roped into service.  

Eric Blore, Joe E. Brown and Beverly Roberts

Sent to France, Jimmy falls in love with French barmaid Yvonne, played by the delightful Joan Blondell.  While Blondell's accent is not great (I wish she never tried), her charm is infectious.  The films turns into a bit of vaudeville as skits are interspersed to highlight Brown's vaudeville talent such as a French cafe scene where Brown is interested in a clearly cross dressing guy which turns into a very obvious dummy chucked through a window.  I'm not sure if this was supposed to be that way because they were on the front with only men and little money, or if it was really bad production.  I'm hoping the first is the case.  Eric Blore is delightful in this film.  Usually playing a butler or the equivalent, he is perfect in his dual occupation as Canfield's former butler turned Army Colonel.  I understand Joe E. Brown's comedy, but I just find it o.k. - not bad, but not funny either.  You can see it a mile away.  

Beverly Roberts, Joe E. Brown and Joan Blondell

The ending was odd.  The entire German army gave up because they were tired and just joined up with Canfield for beer and girls.  Naturally because Canfield brings all of these German soldiers for surrender, he becomes a hero.  Odd ending, but keeping with the Canfield character.  On the whole, this film was just o.k.  Forgettable film, except for the fun performance of Eric Blore.  I enjoyed Joan Blondell, but it is not her best performance.  5 out of 10 Bobs.  

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Mr. Sardonicus (1961)

Mr. Sardonicus (1961) - Ronald Lewis (Sir Robert Cargrave), Audrey Dalton (Baroness Audrey Sardonicus), Guy Rolfe (Baron Sardonicus/Marek Toleslawski), Oskar Homolka (Krull).  I adore William Castle films.  They are horror cheesiness with fabulous acting.  The stories seem ridiculous, but their fun.  The wonderful acting makes what could be an unmemorable flop, a gem.  The story in this film reminds me of a horror story I heard on an old radio show like Hermit's Cave or Light's Out.  Guy Rolfe plays Marek, a poor country man with a wife who craves money.  Marek's father plays the lottery to try to gain a fortune.  Naturally, they never win.  Low and behold, one day they do win the lottery.  The only problem is that Marek's father died and is buried with the winning ticket.  While Marek is sad but content with this, his wife forces Marek to dig up his father's body to get the ticket.  Since the film takes place in what seems to be Eastern Europe, Hungary I think, the peasants are suspicious about such ventures.  The second Marek opens his father's grave he is so startled that his face is forever frozen in a freakish smile. 

Enter Ronald Lewis as Sir Robert Cargrave.  He was in love Audrey, but her father would not let them marry because he was a nobody.  Audrey's father marries off to the mysterious Baron Sardonicus.  It turns out that the Baron is Marek.  He bought a title and his first wife killed herself because of his freakish face.  Now known as Baron Sardonicus, he purchased a title and castle and know has Audrey as a new bride.  She won't go near him because of his face.  Sir Robert Cargrave, recently knighted, is known for his work with paralyzed individuals.  The Baron asks him to come to his castle, hoping he will be able to unfreeze his face.  If he won't, the Baron threatens to destroy Audrey's face.

The Baron has a rough life, but for some reason, he know kidnaps village girls.  I'm pretty sure he murders them, even if the film never explicitly says so.  Life may be tough, but why take his horrors out on beautiful people?  Apparently he gets thrills from torturing those who are lovely.

A fun side character is the Baron's lackey Krull, played by Oskar Homolka.  Krull will literally do anything the Baron says, from torture people to make dinner.  At one point in their relationship, Krull refused to carry out the Baron's orders and lost an eye for it.  I'm thinking Krull's life was tough enough, but the Baron had to go and blind him?  I still can't figure out why Krull would stay, let alone seem to have no problem hurting innocents.  For some reason, he does feel bad about hurting Baroness Audrey because of her loveliness.  Why is Audrey's loveliness more important than the others?  Krull is one of the characters who you never are quite sure what they will do and where his loyalty lies.

The doctor naturally helps the Baron because of his love of Audrey.  He creates a "cure" allegedly using an altered form of poison.  But all the doctor uses to cure him is himself.  He scares his face back to life.  It turns out that fear is what caused his face to become stuck to begin with.  The Baron releases Audrey from their marriage and starts what he believes is a new chapter on his life.  Unfortunately, he can't open his mouth.  How can you speak or eat without opening your mouth?  You can't.

Because it's a William Castle film, it must have some sort of gimmick.  The gimmick for this one is voting for the ending.  Viewers were given a "thumbs up/thumbs down" sign they could use to vote for the fate of poor Mr. Sardonicus.  Did you want him cured or did you want him to suffer?  Spoiler - There really was no choice.  The only ending they filmed was the suffering one.  Part of me loved the ending.  Krull was able to get his revenge by chowing down in front of a closed mouthed Sardonicus.  Some how even though Krull was his minion, one who chose to stay there by the way, he becomes the good guy.  So he had revenge for his eye, but he would willingly torture people.  I just can't get over that.  

It was deliciously fun for Krull to get revenge, but I also felt bad for poor Sardonicus.  He lived with ugliness and had to teach himself to speak and eat again.  He had to figure out a way to live again and interact with people.  I struggle with this every day, so I could feel that pain in him.  He wears a creepy mask to cover his ugliness.  When the mask came off it was a shock, as expected.  But the mask wasn't that much better either.

In the end, I would give this fun horror romp 8 out of 10 Bobs, enjoyable for its creepy plot, great acting, and wonderful cheesiness.  


Friday, May 23, 2014

Fashion Friday - Smart Suits

Model Dorian Leigh wearing softly tailored suit by Adele Simpson with long gloves, hat and flower at neck; 1950

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • Cabinet of Caligari (1962) - Glynis Johns (Jane Lindstrom), Dan O'Herlihy (Caligari/Paul), Richard Davalos (Mark Lindstrom), Lawrence Dobkin (Dr. Frank David).  2 out of 10 bobs.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Saturday Soccer

Marilyn Monroe at Ebbets Field for a soccer match between the U.S. National team and Israeli club Hapoel Tel-Aviv on Israel’s ninth Independence Day, by Sam Shaw (1912-99), dated 5-12-57

Friday, May 16, 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Cabinet of Caligari (1962)

Cabinet of Caligari (1962) - Glynis Johns (Jane Lindstrom), Dan O'Herlihy (Caligari/Paul), Lawrence Dobkin (Dr. Frank David), Constance Ford (Christine), Richard Davalos (Mark).  Jane Lindstrom's car breaks down in front of a creepy place run by Dr. Caligari.  For some reason, Caligari won't let her escape.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Week in Review

Films I've Viewed

  • The Bribe (1949) - Robert Taylor (Rigby), Ava Gardner (Elizabeth Hintten), Charles Laughton (J.J. Bealer), Vincent Price (Carwood), John Hodiak (Tigwell "Tug" Hintten).  Taylor plays a cop, sent to find a group of people smuggling airplane motors and selling them illegally.  Ava is a down on her luck singer in a seedy nightclub, torn between her attraction to Rigby and her devotion to her shady, dying husband.  Elizabeth's husband is part of the gang, so if he does anything it will hurt her.  Robert Taylor is divine.  One of my favorite leading men.  Ava played the sultry singer well.  I don't think she was worth the trouble, but then, Ava is not one of my favorite actresses.  Charles Laughton and Vincent Price were fabulous as the bad guys.  Their portrayals were worth the film alone.  Well worth the view.

Scarlet Pages (1930)

Scarlet Pages (1930) - Elsie Ferguson (Mary Bancroft), John Halliday (John Remington), Marian Nixon (Nora Mason), Grant Withers (Bob Lawrence), Daisy Belmore (Mrs. Kennedy).  Nightclub dancer Nora is accused of killing her father.  Star woman lawyer Mary Bancroft believes that Nora killed her father solely to protect her mother who was abused.  District attorney Remington is the opposing lawyer, determined to get his man, or girl in this case.  Then the film gets complicated.  

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vintage Inspiration - Fabulous Fay

Portrait of Fay Wray from King Kong by Ernest A. Bachrach

Fay Wray looks particularly beautiful while waiting for her closeup on the set of King Kong, one of the classics of all time.  I wonder what she is looking at - a bevy of admirers . . . a potential beau . . . a colossal Kong.  I love photographs of stars on the set, and this one is quite stunning.

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?

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"?


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