Archive for the Category »Old Movie Stars «
My inspiration for choosing which state to cover next in this series was Joan Bennett, who starred in a few movies I’ve watched recently including, Secret Beyond the Door (1947) earlier this week. She was born in the state of New Jersey so that is the state I’m covering today.
A few of the actors and actresses from the state of New Jersey are:
Born: July 11, 1892 in Elizabeth, NJ
Died: December 17, 1962 (age 70)
Known for the Movies: Lost Horizon, The Hurricane, Make Way for Tomorrow, Stagecoach, Only Angels Have Wings, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Gone With the Wind, The Dark Mirror, It’s a Wonderful Life, High Noon
My Favorite Thomas Mitchell Movie: It’s a Wonderful Life
Interesting Facts About Thomas Mitchell:
- A very versatile performer, Thomas Mitchell worked on Broadway in various capacities for almost 20 years before starting his very successful film career. He then worked extensively on television in the 1950′s and early 1960′s.
- When he won the Tony Award for his performance in the musical Hazel Flagg in 1953, he became the first actor to win the “triple crown” of acting awards. He had previously won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his performance in the movie Stagecoach (1939) and an Emmy for his performance as Father Devlin in The Good of His Soul on “The Ford Television Theatre” in 1953. Thomas Mitchell is the second actor I’ve featured in this series to have won the triple crown. Melvyn Douglas from my post about the state of Georgia also accomplished the feat in 1967.
- In what is often considered the greatest year of movies, 1939, he starred in three of the films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture, Stagecoach, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and Gone With the Wind. Continue reading »
I’m spending this summer day inside due to the unseasonably cool and cloudy weather we’re having here, so I thought this would be a good time to follow up my top 10 favorite actresses list with the list of my favorite actors.
As promised, Jimmy Stewart is firmly planted in the top spot. And as with my actresses list, after number one these are not necessarily in an exact order because I love them all so much, but it’s pretty close.
My top 10 favorite classic movie actors are:
- Jimmy Stewart
- Cary Grant
- James Cagney
- Gene Kelly
- Joseph Cotten
- William Powell
- Robert Taylor
- Claude Rains
- Tyrone Power
- Clark Gable
Honorable mention: Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy. I didn’t do an honorable mention for actresses, but I just had to for actors. Leaving Humphrey Bogart and Spencer Tracy off my list almost felt like a crime, but I simply ran out of spots.
Who is your favorite classic movie actor? Your top 10?
Has your favorite classic movie actor or actress changed over time or has the same person been occupying your top spot for as long as you can remember? For a long time now, I’ve considered Bette Davis my favorite actress, but there have been a few times recently when I’ve questioned whether or not Barbara Stanwyck really occupies my top spot instead.
One of those times was when I was looking over Barbara’s impressive filmography trying to decide which movie I would write about for the upcoming Barbara Stanwyck blogathon being hosted by Aubyn at The Girl With the White Parasol.
Even though the event isn’t until next month, there are already tons of great bloggers who have signed up to write about Barbara Stanwyck and her movies. I will be covering the comedy Ball of Fire (1941), which also stars Gary Cooper. Make sure to mark your calendars for July 16-22 and check out all the great posts. I love so many of her movies that it should make for a fun read!
Getting back to the matter of who’s my favorite actress, obviously it doesn’t really matter. They are both great actresses and have their own unique qualities, but the question did give me the idea to put together a top 10 list of my favorite classic movie actresses, oddly enough something I’ve never really taken the time to do before in all my years of being a classic movie fan.
As you can see, I decided to keep Bette number one, but Barbara is definitely a close second. The other actresses are not necessarily in the exact order, but I did try to rank them as best I could.
My top 10 favorite classic movie actresses are:
- Bette Davis
- Barbara Stanwyck
- Ingrid Bergman
- Myrna Loy
- Loretta Young
- Gene Tierney
- Claire Trevor
- Irene Dunne
- Norma Shearer
- Katharine Hepburn
I’ll follow up with a list of my favorite actors some time soon, but spoiler alert: don’t expect anyone other than Jimmy Stewart to be in the top spot!
I’m always interested in seeing how diverse the tastes and opinions of classic movie fans are, so please don’t hesitate to share your favorite actress in the comments section below! Or if you feel like taking the time, go ahead and list your entire top 10!
For this week’s Saturday State Post, I decided to highlight some actors and actresses from my neighbor to the west, Minnesota since I recently watched a few movies with two of the actors on this list, Lew Ayres in Remember? (1939) and The Unfaithful (1947) and Warren William in The Case of the Howling Dog (1934).
A few of the actors and actresses from the state of Minnesota are:
Born: December 2, 1894 in Aitkin, MN
Died: September 24, 1948 (age 53)
Married once – to his wife Helen for 25 years before his death in 1948
Known for the Movies: Three on a Match, Employees Entrance, Gold Diggers of 1933, Lady for a Day, Imitation of Life, Satan Met a Lady, The Wolf Man
My Favorite Warren William Movie: Three on a Match
Interesting Facts About Warren William:
- He was the first actor to portray the character of defense attorney Perry Mason on the big screen, the first time was in the movie The Case of the Howling Dog (1934) which I recently watched on TCM. He played the character in a total of four movies.
- He is sometimes referred to as “The King of Pre-Codes” because of his frequent portrayal of amoral, ruthless, and heartless businessmen in movies made in the early 1930s before the advent of the Production Code.
- He was an amateur inventor who created items such as a lawn vacuum, a recreational vehicle, a rolling picnic table, and custom barbecue grills, receiving patents for a few of his inventions.
- If you would like to learn more about Warren William, be sure to check out Cliff’s blog devoted solely to the actor! Continue reading »
I think I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog that I lost both of my parents in recent years. I don’t mention it to elicit sympathy, it’s just that they were such a huge influence on my life and did so much to shape the person that I am today, that I can’t help but reminisce about them on occasion. I often get nostalgic for the past because I have so many great memories of spending time with them that I will always cherish.
One of the things I did a lot of growing up as an extremely shy kid without much of a social life was watch tv with my parents, especially my mom since my dad was often either at work or sleeping in preparation for his next work shift.
I can still picture the two of us sitting on the living room couch together watching one of our many favorite shows, which included (in no particular order and boy, am I dating myself!) Dallas, Falcon Crest, Matlock, Murder She Wrote, The Incredible Hulk, Knots Landing, Amen, Highway to Heaven, Remington Steele, Diagnosis Murder . . . Well, I could probably keep going, but let’s just leave it at that impressive list.
Usually when the nostalgia really kicks in I’ll get really sad and wish I was back sitting on that couch watching tv with my mom. Sometimes I’ll actually go ahead and watch one of the shows to relive some of my memories, something I did recently with another show that I often watched with her when I was a teenager, the soap opera Days of Our Lives. I’ve long since stopped watching it regularly, but one time I will watch it is around Christmas time when they sometimes include flashbacks to older episodes. Continue reading »
This post is an entry in the Gene Kelly Centennial Blogathon, hosted by the Classic Movie Blog Association. Please visit the CMBA site to read all the other great entries.
I was fortunate to become a member of the CMBA earlier this year, and when I discovered they were hosting a blogathon honoring Gene Kelly, I jumped at the chance to participate.
I mean who wouldn’t want a ready made excuse to watch another Gene Kelly movie? Well okay, I guess people who don’t know or like Gene Kelly. But thankfully that’s not me. I love him as an actor, and he is my favorite dancer. I truly could watch him dance all day long!
When I saw that all of the Gene Kelly movies I was interested in covering had already been spoken for, I chose to watch the movie Deep in My Heart (1954) just because I had never seen it before. Excited to see Gene in something new, I was disappointed to say the least when I checked out the DVD from the library and realized that he is only in the movie for a whopping 2 minutes!
So I admit, I struggled with what to do for this post since it is meant to honor Gene Kelly, and to devote the whole post to a movie he barely appeared in didn’t seem to make a lot of sense. Yes, I know I could have picked a different movie, but as long as I had it in my possession and didn’t have much time to find something else, I decided to stick with it, especially when I discovered all the talented actors, dancers, and singers that star in the movie.
So I decided to write the following review of the movie and then follow it up with a list of some of my favorite Gene Kelly dance partners. Continue reading »