Sunday, July 29, 2012

Small danger of fruit frost

I had several pictures of bathing beauties in the running for this final week in July. Maybe I should continue the theme for August - what do you think?

In the end, I decided on this one because I think she has to be one of the most unbelievably gorgeous women that ever lived: Gloria DeHaven.

from Doctor Macro
On the one hand, if you go searching for classic beauties in bathing suits, your search will be pretty easy. On the other hand, a lot of the photos were just excuses to show off nice bodies and so there's very little work in the lighting and setup that I love so much in old glamor photos. I also have a small opposition to colored photos - this isn't a sweeping and all-consuming fact; but I do love black and white photos better, typically.

P.S. The line in my title has always confused me. Is Marilyn saying that there is a danger of fruit frost, but it's small, or is she saying it's so hot there's no danger of something like fruit frost. I'd guess the latter but it's supposed to be in a weather report, which doesn't seem like the right place for sarcasm. Or maybe I'm the only one confused here.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sun-tanned, wind-blown...

okay, well, not really wind-blown, but you get the picture. The perfect Grace Kelly in a picture from High Society.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

My heart won't let my feet do things they should do

Another comparison post! I really love these! I'm afraid that I'll eventually run out of songs but when that happens, I guess I'll just think of something else to write about! Plus, after I've written a post, I'll often discover another version of the song, so that's always an option too.

Anyway, the song for today's discussion is "I Won't Dance" by Jerome Kern. Now, the obvious choice is to, yet again, compare Roberta and Lovely to Look At, which are actually the same story, so that's almost cheating. But I do like comparing remakes. And this song happens to be pretty popular in other movies too. Take a look:

from Roberta (1935), we have Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers:

then there's Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) with Lucille Bremer and, of all people, Van Johnson:

then, of course, there's Lovely to Look At (1952), with Marge and Gower Champion. I'm sure I've said this before but I do think it's a pity that this movie was a remake simply because the Champions were fantastic dancers in their own right. Obviously no one can compare to Fred and Ginger but they had their own style and spark. I really do enjoy watching them a great deal.

Now, we come to the contemporary portion of our discussion. There are several movies post-1980's that use this song. Love's Labor's Lost, Warm Springs, (both which have Kenneth Branagh, oddly enough). I wanted to show you the former one here but it's not on YouTube, so you'll have to take my word for it that it's pretty cute. The second one is a TV movie that I'd never heard of but looks way too sad for me to actually watch so I won't bother putting it in here. Now, what I will post here is a movie that I don't really have any interest in watching all the way through, but I find this dance sequence quite intriguing. Take a look:

Despite the fact that Gene Kelly never (to my knowledge) sang this song, I think it's fascinating how much this scene pays homage to him. Running through the taxi cab and dancing with trashcan lids are both used in It's Always Fair Weather and then, of course, rolling over a couch is totally Singin' in the Rain-ish. He even jumps up on a lamppost! It makes me wonder how many other musicals they're referring to throughout the scene.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Her anatomy makes the mercury rise to 93

I thought of doing the famous photo shoot with the red and white polka dot umbrella, but decided to go with this cute black and white shot from Monkey Business instead. Although, any picture of her is pretty much perfect. She's so cute!

found on Doctor Macro

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

They asked me how I knew my true love was true

Two "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" posts in a week might be a little much but I really do love this song. I know I'm not alone in this because there are multiple versions of it. Here are just a few examples:

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers performing it in Roberta (1935)

Gower Champion and Cyd Charisse in Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)

Marge and Gower Champion in Lovely to Look At (1952)

I'd never say one is better than the other. I like them all, really. It's just cool to see so many interpretations of this beautiful song, don't you think? And each from a different decade.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

When your heart's on fire, you must realize...

I'm beginning to really love Kathryn Grayson's version of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" from Lovely to Look At. It's so beautiful.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Gee, gee, gee...

It seems that photographers loved to take photos of Cyd Charisse at odd angles and interesting poses, but this one of her in a bathing suit is simply sweet and lovely. She was often cast in femme fatale type roles, like her performances in the "Broadway Melody ballet" from Singin' in the Rain, the "Girl Hunt ballet" from The Band Wagon, and the "Frankie and Johnny" number in Meet Me In Las Vegas, so this picture is a refreshing change. Cyd Charisse seems way too nice to have actually been much of a femme fatale, don't you think?

Photo from Doctor Macro

Friday, July 6, 2012

You salt your beets and I'll salt mine.

This month is apparently THE month to go see old movies in theaters! At least around here, it is. Which is quite refreshing, let me tell you, because I have long been lamenting that no one around me shows old movies in theaters. I'm so glad to be proven wrong! A theater near me shows a whole bunch of movies, some older than others, during the summer lineup and this summer is proving to be a pretty good selection. Last night, I got to go see Hello Dolly! (1969).

I almost didn't go. I had plans with several girls who were all going to see it with me. I got all excited and offered to drive and we could all carpool down together. I cleaned up my car and thought about what music I'd play on the drive. I was pretty excited! Well, day of, I couldn't get a hold of anybody. The movie started at 7. I got off of work at 5:30. I was texting and tweeting people all day to try and find out who was going. As the negative responses trickled in, I realized that it was going to be a Me Party. I thought of going home instead. I decided to go anyway, just in case it was fun, and I had bought the ticket already anyway. This was no small decision for me as I didn't know where I was going and I have a horrible sense of direction and get lost all the time. Plus, I only had a quarter of a tank of gas. Yikes! When I finally got there, I didn't know where anything was or what the normal mode of operation was. I felt all self-conscious and lost and foolish.

It was so worth it! It was fun! The theater was full of people. The venue was a community theater so I think most of the people who were there were patrons and participants in the theater. They all seemed to know each other. But, the crowd was awesome. It was like I was seeing the film for the first time, even though I grew up watching it. Truth to tell, it had been years since I'd seen it so it kind of was like watching it anew. I got so many more of the jokes this time around! But it was so great to have a whole theater laughing at jokes I'd laughed at for years and have everyone applaud the scenes I love best. It was incredible. A truly remarkable experience. It was what I've always hoped and wished what watching old movies in theaters would be like - everyone falling in love with those great movies all over again!

The same theater will be showing To Catch a Thief and Night at the Opera. You can bet I'll be going to those too!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A show that is really a show sends you out with a kind of a glow

And you say as you go on your way...

I saw That's Entertainment (1974) last night. Cinemark showed it as part of their classic film selections for the summer. It was pretty incredible. Going into it, I wasn't sure what to expect. When I saw Casablanca in theaters as part of the Fathom events, it was sold out - and I went to the encore performance! I wholly anticipate Singin' in the Rain to be sold out as well. So, I assumed That's Entertainment would be somewhere up there in popularity.

Well, the audience was myself, my mom, and an older gentleman who sat one seat away from us. That was it! We had a private showing! It was pretty funny. I was disappointed by the turnout but the small audience certainly had its perks. My mom was able to sing along and no one was there to mind. I constantly nudged her saying helpful things like, "I love this part!" and "this is one of my favorite songs ever!" and "this part is so good" and "my favorite part is coming up... yup. That's it." Yeah. I was worried that we'd bothered our co-viewer but, according to my mom, he was making his own commentary, so it's okay.

But. Let me tell you. It was so incredible watching that movie on the big screen! If I had been alive to see all of those great films when they came into theaters originally, I think I would have been a fan of more of them than I already am. For instance, Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire's rendition of "Begin the Beguine" has never been a favorite of mine, simply because I'm not a big Eleanor Powell fan. But seeing it larger than life like that was simply incredible. I could see all of the expressions, all of the moves. The humor was so much funnier, everything was sexier, more moving, more exciting. Just more.

After we left the theater, my mom asked if there was another showing immediately after. I'm pretty sure if there had been, we would have turned around and watched it again!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Here a Lee, there a Lee

Okay. So I admit I'm post-dating this. I'm completely missed out yesterday by not posting something in celebration of July 4th. 1776 is a musical that I really, really enjoy. For some reason, I feel rather embarrassed for my love of it. It just seems too nerdy to be allowed. A musical about the Declaration of Independence? I eat it up. It's so funny! It's so silly! The characters are all so unique and fun. And the songs are fantastic! Here is one of my personal favorites:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The temperature's rising

Happy July everybody! I thought it would be an appropriate theme for July to have some lovely ladies enjoying the summer weather! Here's the one and only Ginger Rogers. I wish I could tell you where I found the picture. I'm really bad at that.