Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It's not that I don't like your charms but I'm liable to like 'em too much!

After my whole Gloria de Haven-related post, I decided to continue the theme in a 100 movies post. Yes! The 100 movies list is back!

#31 Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)

The film tells the story of two vaudeville actresses, Patsy and Jean Deyo (June Allyson and Gloria de Haven) who hold canteens in their apartment for servicemen. When a secret admirer, "Somebody," starts sending Jean orchids and, later, buys her the deed to an abandoned warehouse, Patsy sets out to discover his identity. Complications arise, however, when the two sisters fall in love with the same guy, a sailor named Johnny (Van Johnson).

In typical '40's musical fashion, this film is chock-full of songs, most of which have nothing whatever to do with the plot. There's a host of great actors making cameo appearances, which is a lot of fun: Jose Iturbi, Gracie Allen, Lena Horne, Harry James, and Xavier Cugat to name just a few.

This movie is tons of fun. There are lots of great lines and great songs. It's hard to find, unfortunately. I got ridiculously excited when I discovered it was offered in the WB Archives collection. I highly recommend it.

Friday, August 27, 2010

"Quiet, Bud!"

Quote of the week!

Okay so this one is really short but I'll give you a hint by way of this question: what is your favorite Disney quote?

Please feel free to respond to this post either by naming the movie or quoting your favorite Disney quote - or both!

You know, I rather see myself in tweeds for this number.

Spotlight on a costume! So, after all of these lists of 50 gorgeous people that I've been seeing lately, my sister and I were discussing who we thought were particularly beautiful and we thought it odd that Gloria de Haven never seems to be mentioned. In my opinion, she's absolutely stunning. I find myself loving her movies even though she often plays spoiled, bratty little sisters. She's so beautiful, though, she can get away with it.

Anyway, all of this lead up is to say that I decided to use a Gloria de Haven outfit for my spotlight today. I was trying to find something summery and Summer Stock seemed like a good place to look. I'd remembered a certain gingham dress. What caught my eye, however, is this totally cute little number that Gloria wears in the rehearsal scene.

I would love to wear this kind of outfit. How cute is that? The trouble is, mostly, that I don't really own shorts. I don't like shorts. They always seem to be too short or too awkward for me. I love these old-fashioned shorts that are sexy without being short shorts. And I think it helps to have a scarf as a belt. So cute. I love that she's wearing heels with this outfit. It's so wacky but it works! Well, I think it's wacky, probably because I never wear heels. Anyway, what do you think of this outfit?

Friday, August 20, 2010

There's something wild about you, child, that's so contagious.

Okay. So let me start off with the disclaimer that I realize this is very terrible what I am about to do. I have missed so dreadfully many birthdays (Ginger Rogers, Barbara Stanwyck, Fred Astaire to name just a small few) and yet here I am, about to celebrate the birthday of a non-classic, contemporary, and less well known actor. But there you have it, I'll do it anyway.

The fact is, I do like contemporary films as well as classic films and my favorite genres in contemporary films are a) family films and b) period films. Well, there's this one actor that I discovered in category a and then went on to find out that he'd made films in category b and, well, there was no hope for it... I fell in love. But, really, can you blame me?

Happy Birthday Ben Barnes! He turns 29 today. He was in The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and Easy Virtue. He is/was in other things too, of course, but those are the films of his that I have seen. I'm not sure if I'd like his other stuff. I'm a very picky fan. If I don't think I'll like a movie, I won't see it, no matter how obsessively, ridiculously in love with an actor I am. I'm pretty stinking excited about The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, which is expected to come out in December. Can't wait!

And I know I've posted about this clip several times but I'm going to go ahead and post it again because it's one of those clips that makes me happy every time I watch it. And I have to add, on an unrelated note, that I absolutely adore the costumes, the sets, and the hairstyles in this movie (Easy Virtue). I also adore the music and Ben Barnes sings several times in the movie and they even feature him in a couple of songs in the soundtrack. Yay! So, what can beat a beautiful man singing Cole Porter songs?

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

How could ignorance be compared to bliss?

First of all, a big 'Well done!' to Mel for correctly guessing my quote of the week last week! It was from The Thin Man Goes Home. Hooray!

I'm slowly getting back into gear. I've finally caught up on reading everyone's blog posts. Hooray! Let's hope it lasts! I've decided to hold off on the 100 movies list for a little bit. I'm still hoping for a job that offers me a slightly more regular schedule. Last night, I worked until 10:30 and then had to get up this morning at 6 in order to be at work by 7:45. Yipes! I realize this isn't the worst possible schedule. In fact, I'm sure I've had worse myself. Just the same, I don't like it. I hate getting up early but I'm willing to do it if I get off early and can have my evenings free to do things: write, read, comment on blogs, write posts, watch movies, dance. I would love to get back into playing the piano. But, let's face it. That will never happen with the schedule I have now. At any rate, it's a work in progress. Hopefully I'll be able to get it all straightened out soon. In the meantime, I'm going to concentrate on 1 post a week, just until things calm down a bit more for me. The segment posts are the most fun and they offer more variety. So, here is a spotlight on a musical number:

"The Sadder But Wiser Girl" from The Music Man (1962).
(Sorry the clip is un-embeddable so I'm linking to it instead) I have memories of skipping this song when I was younger because my dad didn't approve of it. I'm not actually sure if it was true although it sounds about right. At any rate, I'm so glad I finally stopped skipping it and started listening. This song is delightful! It's so fun and funny. The words are clever and the tune is catchy. This Robert Preston at his finest (although, to be fair, the whole musical is incredible so it's kind of hard to say). About half of the songs in the movie are my favorites but this one is one of them. Have you ever found yourself going into a default mode? A default song that you get stuck in your head, a default scene that you think of all the time? Well, this song is my default whistle. If I get in the mood to whistle, I whistle the little bit that Robert Preston whistles after he says, "from what I heard..." which I know is part of the refrain. But still. This song is one of my defaults. What's your default?

I hope you enjoy it. If you have never seen this movie, go see it! It's so much fun!!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"I feel it here, inside."

Thank you so much for commenting on my last blog post! I now know that Ginger's autobiography comes highly recommended. I will definitely try to get to that one very, very soon.

More exciting news, although not at all movie-related. I just joined the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators! So exciting! I can't wait to start going to critique groups and conferences and stuff. Woohoo!

Oh, and I threw in a quote of the week last week but I think I threw it in a little too invisibly and either no one caught it or no one recognized it. The quote ("Reading's good for you sometimes") was from Three Little Words.

So, new quote of the week!

"I feel it here, inside."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

"Reading's good for you sometimes."

This post is going to double up as a (belated) quote of the week post and also as a question. So, first, can anyone guess where this quote is from?

"Reading's good for you sometimes."

And now, the question. My to-read list is very long but I've been working through it more or less steadily. My two favorite genres are kid lit and movie history. In the latter category, I have less titles to choose from because I don't have much of an idea of what's out there. I've read TCM's three books on leads: Leading Men, Leading Ladies, and Leading Couples. I just finished Arlene Croce's The Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers Book. Now, I'm curious as to what to read next. On my to-read list (and, incidentally, to-buy list) are the autobiographies of Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire, and Errol Flynn, as well as The Thin Man Movies: Murder Over Cocktails by Charles Tranberg. I wanted to ask a few questions from you guys. First, have you read any of the titles in my to-read list? If so, are they good reads? Second, what else would you recommend? Is Fred Astaire and the Fine Art of Pinache any good? Let me know! I'm currently in a reading frame of mind and am looking for more good picks.

P.S. I really appreciate your well-wishes on my job hunt!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Perfect! You can be Queen of the Fairies!

Spotlight on a scene! I've decided to get back into the groove of things slowly. I'm going to attempt to write a once a week. If I try to get back into the swing of things in one full swing then I'll keep putting it off. So, bits and pieces. In the meantime, a segment post.

These scene is from the 1981 movie Chariots of Fire. I've always lumped this movie into the old movies category despite its late date just because it has an older feel to it. This probably has to do with the fact that the film is set in the 1920's (the costumes are amazing). I was introduced to this film in a religious context, but don't let that throw you if you're not a religious type. It's a very enjoyable movie with or without the religion. It tells the true story of two British athletes during the 1924 Olympics, one Jewish and the other Christian, and how one must run as a fight against Antisemitism and the other runs to make a statement about Christianity. It really is very good. (By the way, the picture below is not of the two main characters but one of the main characters - Harold Abrahams on the left, and one of the supporting characters, Lord Andrew Lindsay on the right.)

Anyway, I wanted to show this scene because this is one of the first scenes I think of when I think of this movie. When I went to college I was very disappointed that club rush was not exactly like this because this looks incredibly fun - people standing around singing, music playing, people yelling in heated debate - so much fun! When I went to club rush, it was just people standing around offering candy if you signed up for their club and they just put up photos of past events - not as much fun. Also, the scene immediately afterward, the college dash, is incredibly enjoyable as well (Lord Andrew Lindsay is my favorite!). So enjoy! The scene actually starts at 4:10 in case you want to skip straight to the scene.

P.S. When I went to England, I spent a day in Cambridge and spent a good portion of the day looking for Gonville and Caius College. People kept saying, "Oh, you mean King's?" "No! Caius! You know, like Chariots of Fire." Sadly, the college was closed when I finally found it. More's the pity. Ah well. Some day.