Thursday, March 31, 2011

Isn't it romantic?

I passed a lovely hour and a half this morning watching Love Me Tonight (1932) while waiting for the internet to get fixed. I enjoyed it and will definitely look into more of the Jeanette MacDonald/Maurice Chevalier team-ups. Jeanette MacDonald is not my favorite actress ever - not that I dislike her, really, but she doesn't really do much for me. But I do like Maurice Chevalier. I like his persona. And I think they made a good pair, at least from the two movies I've seen of them (this one and The Merry Widow (1934)). By the way, does anyone else think of this scene when they think of Chevalier? I've been humming that song all day!

I've been intrigued by this movie and wanting to see it for a while, primarily because of this picture:

I kept imagining the scene to be similar to this one in Once Upon a Honeymoon (1942). It wasn't. It was more like this

but that's okay too!

I've been introduced to Chevalier through films like In Search of the Castaways and Gigi so it always surprises me a little bit to see him in romantic roles. I like him in romantic roles because, to me, he's rather ordinary looking and I like it when leads look like they could be normal people. I also think it's funny, the idea of women going crazy over him just because he's French. It's amazing how powerful the accent is, oui?

Which brings me to a poll, do you prefer Maurice Chevalier as a leading lad or as a character actor? His is probably one of the most graceful transitions in movie history, which is one of the reasons I like him so much. It can't be easy to switch from a romantic interest to a quirky side character but he did it very successfully. But my favorite part about the movie was not Maurice Chevalier - my favorite part was Myra Loy.

I'm currently reading Ms. Loy's autobiography so she's on my mind. So, imagine my surprise when I see her name in the credits! And was she a delight! I already love her as Nora Charles - her various roles as wisecracking, sexy, elegant leading ladies are notable, to say the least. But, while the one time Queen of Hollywood shone in the spotlight, she really seems to revel in the supporting role. Myrna Loy always seems to be having fun, but in here she has no restrictions as the perfect wife. I love it! I only wish she were in it more often.

Do you know of any other movies where Myrna Loy gets to steal the show from the leads because I'd love to see it!

Photos taken from here, here, here, and here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Goodbye, Elizabeth Taylor.

27 February 1932 – 23 March 2011

We lost a Hollywood legend today. She was a real beauty and a real talent.

Goodbye, Elizabeth Taylor. We'll miss you.

Pardon me, I was using the subjunctive instead of the past tense. We're way past tents; we're living in bungalows now.

Yowza! I'm so bad at this whole keeping on track thing. Yeesh. Ah well. To tie up a forgotten loose end:

the results of the Marx brothers poll have been up for a while, but in case you missed them (goodness knows I did!) - Groucho won with 46% percent (6) of the votes, Harpo came in second with 30% (4), Chico with 15% (2), and Zeppo 7% (1). Wow. So, Groucho won by a significant amount. I can't say I'm surprised as he is the most quoted of the Marx brothers. (ie the title of my post)

Right, so moving on... I completely and utterly missed last week's posts. Yes, both of them. It's a bit depressing. Can I make up for it now by posting a few really awesome photos? You'll love these; I'm sure of it (well, I hope of it, anyway).

I have no idea how these types of photos are even taken but I'd love to learn. I assume it takes gobs of nice equipment or else a very good understanding of lighting. At any rate, I think you'll get the pattern here:

I found it here

Sorry! I don't know where I found this one!

I found it here

How amazing are those photos? I was actually going to post a fourth but then I realized that the background wasn't black which was kind of the theme, so I'll just save it for later. I hope everyone is doing well!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Professor, I don't mean maybe

Fashion Friday! Yay! I rewatched My Sister Eileen (1955) the other day and rekindled my love for the dresses in that film. Both Betty Garrett and Janet Leigh sport some super cute outfits, but my favorite is the one that Janet Leigh wears on her night out with her sister and her two suitors:

Unfortunately, you really can't see it very well in the video but it's a pretty vivid pink dress with a sheer layer on top. I love that! I love the cap sleeves, I love the sheer, I love the bright but subdued color. I think I shall have to work on acquiring one like it. Not that I have anywhere to wear it... but still!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A little more of your amor

Today is my video post day but I wanted to discuss something as well as post a couple of videos for your viewing pleasure. This past week I've watched some very interesting movies that have got me thinking - Gene Kelly: Anatomy of a Dancer and Latin Lovers. Now, goodness knows I would love to have a Fred Astaire, a Donald O'Connor, or a Danny Kaye of my very own. But, there's definitely something very valid to be said about having a man like Gene Kelly or Ricardo Montalban leading you in dance. I watch something like this:

or the jazz sequence in "Broadway Melody" and I can't take my eyes off of their strong arms, their manly physique. You can see them leading the girls. I watch this and yearn most pitifully for a dance partner like that.

What manly men do you dream of dancing with?

P.S. Latin Lovers was very odd and had a really wackadoo plotline and I would most certainly not want a machismo latin lover telling me what to do (not even Ricardo Montalban... okay maybe I'd make an exception) but despite these sentiments, I do get a great deal of enjoyment out of seeing bits like this throughout the film (my favorite part starts at about the 2 minute mark).

Saturday, March 5, 2011

"Can I be frank?"

I'm so sorry I stumped the panel!!! Completely not intentional, I assure you. The quote: "peanuts, care for?" is from It Should Happen To You. I just think it's funny the way she says it, which is why I always think of it.

Now, for this month's quote. [P.S. I plan to eventually go back to a quote of the week - baby steps] I thought I'd change it up this time and do a fill in the blank version. So, this is really more dialogue than a quote. But, if you can fill in the blank, then I'll know you know the movie. Okay. Here we go:

"Can I be frank?"
"Is that your name?"
"No, it's ____."
"All right. Be Frank."

To be dreadfully honest, I'm not entirely sure if that last statement is frank with "F" or "f". Ah well. You get the idea.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

All this has happened before...

Time for movie #36 in my movie count-up!

Peter Pan (1953)

This is my favorite animated Disney film. I'm totally a Peter Pan fan-girl, and a bit of a purist. Ironically, I'm not a purist in terms of the book too terribly much, as the animated film does not follow the book entirely accurately. But I am a purist in other ridiculous ways in that I staunchly avoid the Tinker Bell movies because I hate that they completely changed her personality, I strongly disliked Return to Never Land, and I'm not too crazy about the new "Jake and the Never Land Pirates" show on Disney Jr. But enough about my Peter Pan puritanism.

A couple of interesting bits of trivia for you: in accordance with tradition, Hans Conried voices both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook; this was the last animated Disney film in which all nine members of the Nine Old Men worked together on it as directing animators. Neat, huh?

I love everything about this movie. I love the way it opens, the way it ends. I love the hero, the girl, the villain, the supporting characters, the music, the animation. Here is the opening sequence. Every time I merely start the film, I get all excited about how magical it is...

Something that fascinates me is that everyone has a completely different favorite Disney film. I know this may seem obvious but I find it intriguing. These are the movies we grew up with. These are the movies we associate with childhood, magic, romance. I told my friend that htis was my favorite and she said it never even makes it on her radar; she often forgets about it. Her favorite is Hercules, which I have watched maybe twice - I often forget about that one. While Mary Poppins is probably my all-time favorite Disney movie, I don't really consider it an animated film, which makes this my favorite animated film. What about you? What's your favorite animated Disney film?