Old Movies Nostalgia

The Orson Welles Centenary: Studying His Life and Career

Orson Welles in Citizen Kane

Ever since I wrote about Orson Welles’ portrayal of Harry Lime in the movie The Third Man (1949) for the Great Villain Blogathon last year, I’ve had the intention of studying both his life and career in more depth. For some reason, he has always been someone who greatly intrigues me, probably in part because of the many discussions I’ve heard regarding the movie Citizen Kane (1941).

You know the ones, the debate over whether or not Citizen Kane is the greatest movie ever made or if Orson Welles was a genius who should be revered. I guess you could say I’m somewhat neutral in the debate about the movie itself. I’ve seen it a few times and really enjoyed it and appreciate many aspects of it.

It’s not necessarily a personal favorite and I don’t feel qualified to say whether it’s the greatest ever, but I don’t really have anything bad to say about it either. I do appreciate the important part it plays in the history of filmmaking and plan to watch it several more times in the future. How I feel about the genius of Orson Welles is yet to be determined as I further my research. Read More…

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Stories from a Podcast: Julie Garfield Remembers Her Father, John Garfield

 

John Garfield

Yesterday was the 102nd anniversary of the birth of one of my favorite actors, John Garfield, who I just don’t feel gets enough attention or recognition. At least I don’t hear his name mentioned as often as I do many other classic movie actors. I have been meaning to share more “stories from a podcast” ever since I posted one last year about James Garner, so I thought this would be a perfect time to do that since I know of one that involves John Garfield.

In an interview from a June 2014 episode of the Warner Archive Podcast, John’s daughter Julie shared some of her memories of her father with host George Feltenstein. When asked what it’s like when people find out who her father was, she expressed that she really wishes more people would remember her father, a sentiment I know many of his fans share.

John Garfield Joan Crawford Humoresque (1946)

In one story I found interesting, Julie talked about one of the things that made her father stand apart from his peers, that he looked his fellow actors and actresses directly in the eye when doing a scene. She mentioned that on the set of the movie Humoresque (1946) Joan Crawford initially felt uncomfortable with it, at one point complaining, “why does he keep looking at me in the eyes?”

She eventually got used to it, and thanks in part to Garfield’s unique method of acting, turned in one of the best performances of her career. Humoresque is probably my favorite of the John Garfield movies I have seen so far, and I would encourage you to watch it if you haven’t already. Now you have something to look for as you do. :-)

That was just one of many stories and memories she shared about her father’s life and career. Most importantly, she remembered him as a great dad and a great man who loved his country and remained faithful to his friends. You can hear the interview in its entirety on the Warner Archive Tumblr page or you can download the whole podcast and listen to that and additional episodes through iTunes, which I highly recommend.

I think John Garfield’s fans would agree with George when he said, “For a man who had such a heartbreakingly short life, he left a boundless, amazing film legacy.” I look forward to enjoying more of those films in the future, and I hope you will join me in becoming more familiar with his work.

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If you are interested in learning more about John Garfield, the DVD and Blu-ray versions of his movie The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) contain the documentary “The John Garfield Story,” which was narrated by Julie Garfield and includes an introduction by film historian Richard Jewell. I’ve watched it myself and it’s definitely worth viewing if you are a fan of John Garfield.

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The Madeleine Carroll Blogathon: Madeleine’s Most Frequent Movie Collaborations

Madeleine Carroll Blogathon

This post is part of the Madeleine Carroll Blogathon and Birthday Bash being hosted by Dorian at Tales of the Easily Distracted and Ruth from Silver Screenings.

I was originally going to review Honeymoon in Bali (1939) for this post but decided to go a different route instead. I did watch the movie and even though I found it to be pleasant with enjoyable performances by Madeleine Carroll and Fred MacMurray, the movie didn’t really inspire me to write a review.

I guess you could say the Washington Post summed up my thoughts when in a review on October 5, 1939 they exclaimed, “‘Honeymoon in Bali’ Is Delightfully Easy To Take!” I also realized that another blogger was writing about the movie for this blogathon so to learn more about the movie I will instead direct you to the post by Joey at Wolffian Classics Movie Digest.

Honeymoon in Bali (1939)

In becoming more familiar with the movies of Madeleine Carroll, I discovered that not only did she make four other movies with Fred MacMurray, there were also a few other people in the movie industry that she worked with multiple times. So I thought I would explore a few of those collaborations in more detail. Read More…

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How Being a Chicago Cubs Fan Led to a Love of Old Time Radio

Baseball

One thing that surprises a lot of people about me when they find out is that I am a huge sports nut. I love watching sports both live and on tv, and I am more knowledgeable about sports than a lot of guys I know. Thanks to my dad, I have been a Chicago Cubs fan since I was five years old and a Green Bay Packer fan since about seven or eight.

I watched a ton of games with my dad over the years including my first Cubs game at Wrigley Field when I was 6 years old. I also used to love to sit in our backyard with him on warm summer days and listen to Cubs games on his small transistor radio. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be able to go back to those days especially now that he is gone. Read More…

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Honoring the Legacy of Paul Newman on the Anniversary of His Birth

Paul Newman

If he were still alive, Paul Newman would have turned 90 years old today. As a way to honor his memory on the date of his birth, I thought I’d tell the story of how he went from being just another famous name I heard of while growing up to now being one of my favorite actors. I will also share with you a way that you can join his daughter Clea in honoring his legacy through something that Paul Newman was well known for – giving back.

Paul Newman is one of those names I heard quite often in my pre-old movie loving days but didn’t really know much about because I hadn’t seen any of his movies. Well, except for The Towering Inferno (1974) when I was very young, but I think I was too disturbed by that movie as a little girl to even give much thought as to who was in it. It’s interesting now to realize that I was watching some of my future favorites; Fred Astaire, William Holden and Paul Newman, and I had no idea they’d become a big part of my love for old movies many years down the road.

Whenever I heard the name Paul Newman, I would usually associate it with his blue eyes or maybe with Robert Redford because of the two movies they made together and their shared reputation as heartthrobs, but that was about it. Even after I became a huge fan of old movies, I didn’t watch much of his work because I preferred black and white movies from the ’30s and ’40s, and his film career did not begin until 1954. Read More…

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