Monday, October 31, 2011

She had you there, unc!

So. It's Halloween. I confess that I'm not a huge fan of the holiday. Simply because witches, bats, spiders, and whatever is supposed to be scary isn't quite my thing. But, I absolutely love costumes! Since that's my favorite part of the holiday, here's a costume scene for your enjoyment:

By the way, fun story about this scene. Apparently, Myrna Loy originally was supposed to wear the dress that Jeanette MacDonald wears in the scene. When Myrna Loy came out look gorgeous (I mean, come on, it's Myrna Loy), Jeanette MacDonald got all nervous and demanded that she wear the dress instead! (This is why I don't like Jeanette MacDonald) So, Myrna Loy had to run down to the wardrobe department at the very last second to grab a dress. Well, turns out, she decided to go with a black one and then wear a white wig and, boy, does she look stunning in it! Myrna's friend, Lou MacFarlane said in Myrna's autobiography Being and Becoming (it's a marvelous book - I highly recommend it!), "She walked back on the set in that black dress and a powdered wig, and you didn't see anyone else in the scene. You see, all the others wore pastels--whites, pinks, things like that.[...] So if Myrna had worn the pink dress that MacDonald appropriated, she might never had made such an impact and become a star. Who knows?" I love that story. Yet another reason to absolutely love Myrna Loy.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Well, I can't imagine... any pleasanter journey, ma'am, than walking through life with you beside me.

I love this photo! I also love the line that I quoted in the title. To be honest, I omitted a small part of it (thus the ellipses). But, I love the way they're holding hands. If Errol Flynn were holding my hand like that, I'd definitely be running my fingers through my hair too!

Friday, October 28, 2011

"Oh, father, we could buy the other half of the blanket!"

Last week's quote: "What stop for did you, hey!" is from the song "Come Up To My Place" from On The Town. The song was written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green and was performed in the film by Betty Garrett and Frank Sinatra.

This week's quote is: "Oh, father, we could buy the other half of the blanket!"

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Backup dancers? Holy cats!

So, there's this backup dancer that I've noticed in a lot of musicals. At first I noticed him because he was cute. Then I noticed him because I recognized him. Now, I look for him when I watch a musical because he's in so many! Seriously, here's a list of the ones I can remember at the top of my head:

- The Merry Andrew
- Hit the Deck
- Hello Dolly
- Guys and Dolls
- It's Always Fair Weather
- Mary Poppins
- The Thin Man Goes Home
- Summer Stock
- The Band Wagon
- The Music Man

He's probably in more but I've just forgotten or I haven't noticed him yet. Seriously, he's in everything! Because he's in so many musicals, he must have been a really fantastic dancer. I mean, I can tell he was fantastic; I've watched him. But, it's crazy to think of how much talent was in the musicals back then. No one even knows his name (I do, because I've researched: Bert May). Because I've noticed this random backup dancer, I've felt this sort of loyalty to cheer for him. I get pretty excited when I find him. It's like Where's Waldo. I'm linking to a movie clip with each of the titles above. Check them out and see if you can find him too!

Ok. Now, I know you may not feel like going through all of those links and trying to find him, so I'll help you out a bit (for some reason I went backwards. Don't ask me why):
- in The Music Man, he's the first guy in line with the glasses in the greenish shirt.
- in The Band Wagon, he's in the yellow turtleneck
- in Summer Stock, he's the guy who does the totally wacky leg thingy around the 2 minute mark
- in The Thin Man Goes Home, he's the sailor who dances with Nora
- in Mary Poppins, he's in that first group of 3 sweeps and he's the one on the far right
- in It's Always Fair Weather, he's Jasper (hehe)
- in Guys and Dolls, he's the guy in red who keeps losing. he gets his own solo bit.
- in Hello Dolly, he's Danny
- in Hit the Deck, he's wearing a lighter blue shirt and he has lighter hair. he's also really thin
- in the Merry Andrew, he's the guy in yellow

So, there you have it. I'm kind of obsessed with him. I don't know why. Do any of you have a random backup dancer you like? Have you seen this guy in anything else? I'm pretty sure I'm his one-girl fan club, so I'd like to see as much of his work as possible!

Monday, October 24, 2011

It suits her zodiac

I absolutely love my investment of the That's Entertainment! boxed set. No, I don't watch the movies very much. I didn't really expect to. But, I have so many wonderful musical numbers at my fingertips whenever I want them. Like these little gems. The second one is an outtake. Oh, how I love Volume 3 for all of the outtakes! If you haven't seen the That's Entertainment trilogy and you're a fan of musicals - you must check them out. They're well worth the watch. And you'd be surprised by how many movies you'll discover you absolutely need to see!

P.S. I love her dress in the outtake scene (which is the second one). In a less exaggerated and costume-y version, I'm pretty sure I'd love to wear it. It's so cute!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Happiness is blooming all around her

In case you haven't guessed it, this month's photo theme is candid photos. Now, for another of my favorites: Julie Andrews and Dick van Dyke. He's so cute! I love the way he laughs! I also love the fact that I can see the calendar in the background. I don't know why, but it just makes the whole picture seem so every-day-esque.

Friday, October 21, 2011

"What stop for did you hey?"

Last week's quote: "We'll show 'em a thing or three!" is said by Groucho in Animal Crackers but it's also said by Ginger Rogers in Flying Down to Rio.

This week's quote is: "What stop for did you hey?"

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Won't go to Harlem in ermine and pearls

Have you ever found a dress that looked like one from an old movie... and didn't buy it? I have.

There's one style that pops up often in old films and every time it does, I say, "I love that!" But when I find a dress on Modcloth or ShopRuche that has a similar style, I don't buy it because I don't think I can pull it off. Here's the style:

Sheer fabric over a dress with a sweetheart cut. I love it! Here is one of my absolute, all-time favorite versions of this style:

Lena Horne's dress also has another of my favorite things: a different colored petticoat or slip (I'm not sure of the difference between the two). It makes the dress even more eye-catching! Isn't it gorgeous?! Another example is this little number from White Christmas.

But... as much as I love it on film, when I see dresses like these in shops, I think, "meh. Sheer fabric looks weird" and then I don't buy it. Why is it that in movies, the sheer fabric is sexy and elegant but nowadays, I'm afraid people will think I'm strange for wearing it? And why do I care what people think anyway?

And another thing! Why is it that in old movies, the dresses have capped sleeves or something, but nowadays, they're sleeveless?

It's not the same, somehow. Will I ever live out my dream of wearing Lena's dress?

The dresses pictured above, by the way, can be found here, here, and here.

Do any of you have similar problems with old movie styles?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

You wonderful you

So, today happens to be the birthday of one of my very best friends in the whole world - Emma Wallace!! Hooray!! Happy Birthday!!!

She recently celebrated her birthday on her podcast, do stop by and take a listen. I think you'll find it very fun!

Since one of Emma's favorite movie stars is Gene Kelly, I'm going to post one of the happiest Gene Kelly dances. Enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Do you like hats?

Here's another movie that I want to see: Lovely to Look At. Actually, like The Affairs of Dobie Gillis, I caught the end of it on TCM. I know it won't quite hold a candle to Roberta but it doesn't have to. It just has to be a good movie with some really great scenes. Actually, it just has to have some really great scenes and I'll be sold. Actually, it already has some really great scenes and I'm already sold so can I please just see this movie?

Here's one of the reasons I want to see it:

There's a very good chance I've already posted this scene but I don't really care. It's so good!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A lucky star's above

I love this photo of Ginger Rogers talking to George Gershwin. I had a tough time finding it, let me tell you. It was one of those photos I could picture in my mind's eye but I couldn't find it anywhere and was beginning to think I'd dreamt it! I finally remembered that I had it in a collection of photos that came with the Fred and Ginger boxed set so I scanned and voila! It's such a cute photo. And, in my opinion, Ginger is totally flirting with George (can you blame her?).

In her autobiography, Ginger: My Story, Ginger Rogers talks about going to a soiree at the Gershwins' and how George told her he'd written "But Not For Me" for her. How amazing would that be?

Friday, October 14, 2011

"We'll show 'em a thing or three!"

Last week's quote: "When the moon is in the sky, tell me what am I to do?" was sung by Dick Powell in 42nd Street. It was written by Al Dubin and Harry Warren.

This week's quote: "We'll show 'em a thing or three!" is actually from two movies! (I know. I'm doing it again. I can't help it!) Bonus points if you get both!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

and I'm not making fun with you.

Today, I'm doing another fashion inspiration post - but with a new spin! As you've probably noticed, I rarely post photos of myself on this blog. While I like getting my photo taken, I get very self-conscious about it, so I tend to do it in moderation.

But, today I picked out an outfit that I was rather proud of. I'd modeled it after the outfit Lise wears in An American in Paris during the "Our Love Is Here to Stay" scene. Her outfit is pretty simple but some of the pieces are hard to track down nowadays. The outfit is a tuxedo shirt with a bowtie, a vest, a skirt, and ballet flats. I did roughly the same outfit, with a tuxedo shirt (sans bowtie), vest, a skirt, and ballet flats. I've found it very difficult to track down a nice fitted vest like the one Leslie Caron wears here. For some reason, they seem to be out of style at the moment. Her skirt is, in all honesty, a dancing skirt, and I don't have one of the same fabric to match the vest. But who's nitpicking?

The middle photo is from Doctor Macro. To see the dance scene go here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

There's them that does and them that don't

I really want to see this movie! The Affairs of Dobie Gillis. I caught the end of it on TCM the other day so now I know how it ends... but I'd like to see the whole thing! I mean, it's got Bob Fosse and Bobby Van together in a movie! That's just magical!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Why, oh why, and wherefore?

Ok. I love this photo. It's a weird photo and no one really looks all that glamorous in it, but that's why I love it. They look like normal people just hanging out. In reality, it's Debbie Reynolds, Russ Tamblyn, Vic Damone (I told you I was obsessed), and Tony Martin hanging out on the set of Hit the Deck. But when I see it, I think of all those silly photos I used to take of my friends in high school. It makes me want to jump back in time to this moment, so I can walk in and just hang out with them. Although, to be honest, I have no idea what Vic Damone is doing with Debbie Reynolds' head...

Friday, October 7, 2011

"When the moon is in the sky, tell me what am I to do?"

So, once again I need to congratulate everyone who has correctly guessed the quotes from the past couple of months. So, let's have a round of applause to:

- Amanda Cooper who got: "The way of all flesh, Junior. The way of all flesh..."
- terryhogan who got: "If you like chicken, grab a wing."
- MC and Audrey who got: "We got a lot of votes from the farmers with a picture of a prize heifer."
- amz and emma wallace got: "Think of my life-long sorrow... if you caught pneumonia and died."
- DKoren and Meredith got: "It was written by a Latin, a gondolier who sat in his home out in Brooklyn and gazed at the stars."
- Amanda Cooper, emma wallace, AND Meredith all got: "When I find out what that means, I'll come back with a crushing reply."
- Wendymoon and erin got: "How could ignorance be compared to bliss?"
- Millie got: "In the question, you're the 'why.'"
- Irene Palfry got: "In other words, Miss Jane, you have a bad cold... and a headache."
- Matthew Conlam got: "Did someone call me schnorer?"

Last week's quote: "Testing the air... I like it but it doesn't like me" was from The Philadelphia Story.

This week's quote is: "When the moon is in the sky, tell me what am I to do?"

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Thank heaven...

My willing suspension of disbelief goes pretty far. I'm willing to believe all sorts of things when I settle down for a movie, a book, or a play. However, there is one thing that I've always had trouble with wrapping my mind around comfortably: men falling in love with girls. Not women. Girls. For example:
- Man knows girl growing up. One day realizes girl is becoming a woman. Decides he is attracted to said woman. Gut reaction is to make her his mistress (seriously?). Oh wait. They marry instead.
- Man meets girl. Thinks she's cute. Sees her in a corset. Decides to marry her.
- Man meets girl. Sends her to college. Meets her years later. Falls in love with her, even though she is his niece's best friend. (although, to be fair, I'm also weirded out by a girl falling in love with her best friend's uncle)

Here's my problem. It's not just Hollywood. Fairy tales and legends have been doing it for ages. A girl turns 16 and suddenly she's ready for marriage and happily ever after. Generally speaking, the character in question is cast or drawn to be considerably older than the suggested age, thus allowing the audience the ability to accept this. But I don't like it. I don't think that, at 16, a girl is ready to get married and have kids and raise a family.

And, I think here's the reason why I feel odd about this situation (bear with me, I'm switching gears a bit here...)

Basically, girls living in poverty are often married by the age of 14, getting pregnant and having children by the age of 15 (in case you didn't watch the video I just posted). When you think about it with real people, not characters, not fairy tale princesses, and not movie actresses, it's a horrifying thought.

Fortunately (again, for those who didn't watch the movie - or even if you did), there is a solution! (Yay! Solution!) It's an amazing campaign called The Girl Effect. If we invest in girls living in poverty, invest in their future and in their education - they can change the world. Simply by helping them to wrench themselves out of the vicious cycle of poverty, we can fight poverty, hunger, and the spread of diseases.

I'm blogging about this topic, in part, because of emma wallace, who told me about The Girl Effect and about the blogging campaign. The blogging campaign is an event taking place this week. If you have a blog then you can take part by blogging about The Girl Effect this week (October 4-11) so we can raise awareness of this solution. (I put it in bold because I want to make sure you can see it. I'm a compulsive skimmer, myself. I often skip the important bits). Even if you just have a facebook or a twitter account, it would be amazing if you could share this information (I love raising awareness of a solution as opposed to a problem. It's much happier news to spread).

Here are some links to help you research the topic, should you feel so inclined:
-emma wallace is writing her own post on the subject.
-if you want to write your own post, here is the link to the blogging campaign.
-if you don't want to read anyone else's opinion on it or don't want to write about your opinion on it and/or already have, you can go straight to the source.

The photo used at the top of the post is from Doctor Macro.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Come where the so well beloved is waiting

So, I, uh (ahem) have been a little obsessed lately with Vic Damone. Actually, with two of his movies, Kismet and Hit the Deck. And Vic Damone. I don't know why. I don't know why I fall into any of my obsessions. It's always a little inexplicable and, it seems, a little unstoppable. In any case, I'm just going to enjoy it while it lasts. The following scene is a song that I have not been able to stop listening to. Every time it comes on, I play it again. To the point where I've finally added it twice on my playlist so that I don't have to keep replaying it. As the uploader says this is "a rather wonderful movie sequence." It's so incredibly over-the-top and completely unnecessary. But it's so much fun! My favorite parts are the dancing girls that keep weaving throughout the parade. And, by the way, can you imagine being Marsinah (the girl on the receiving end of this whole thing) and having this insane parade coming towards you - and all you're expecting is this cute gardener to show up? Crazy! So, here it is. Just click on the picture to get to the video.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

to show that I was dancin' by...

This photo, I'm pretty sure, can't quite handle all of the awesome it contains. Or maybe I can't. Can you imagine being a fly on the wall for this conversation?