25 Classic Movies That are Turning 75 in 2015

Broadway Melody of 1940

I got the idea for this post from a pin I saw the other day on Pinterest for 15 films that are turning 30 in 2015. After reading that post, I thought I’d do a classic film version of my own.

I just randomly chose 75 years as the time period and when I looked backed at the films that were released in 1940, I realized it was a very good year for movies, which included several of my personal favorites.

Speaking of Pinterest, if you ever pin to or visit that site I’d love for you to come follow me there. Also let me know if you have an account and I will follow your boards as well. I don’t pin often, but I do stop by on occasion when I find a cool or inspiring picture to share.

Below are 25 movies that will be turning 75 years old in 2015. I put an * next to those that I have seen before, two if the film is a favorite of mine. As you can see, I still have quite a few good movies left to watch for the first time. (hiding my head in shame that I’ve yet to see The Grapes of Wrath) Continue reading →

Edgewater Beach Hotel Chicago: A Magnet for Hollywood Celebrities

FH030002

I have a fascination with hotels that started at a very young age. Growing up, we didn’t have the money to take expensive trips to places like Disneyland, but my sisters and I were perfectly happy going on smaller trips to places nearby. Often times we would just stay at a hotel to enjoy all its amenities, which for us kids meant mostly the swimming pool!

I grew to love staying in hotels during our trips, and my favorite hotel which we stayed at several times was the Leilani Hotel in Brookfield, Wisconsin.

Sadly it is no longer there and it’s hard to find information about it, but I did find an article that shows an illustrated picture of the hotel’s layout, which was quite unique. The article mentions that Frank Sinatra may have even entertained there at one time, which would have been cool to see.

Anyway, to this day I love staying in hotels, looking at pictures of hotels, and reading about hotels old and new. So when I read an article about the former Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago and found out it had strong ties to the classic film community, I was intrigued!

I immediately headed to eBay to see if I could find a postcard of the hotel, which I love to do on occasion when the inspiration strikes. I purchased the following postcard, which shows an actual picture of the hotel, but there were many illustrated postcards that I thought were really cool and would like to buy someday.

Edgewater Beach Hotel Chicago

In researching the history of the hotel, I discovered that it was once an extremely popular destination for classic movie stars, which I never would have guessed about a hotel in Chicago, far from the bright lights of Hollywood. The more I read about it, the more I wish I were alive when it was in its heydey, just like I do when I hear about the Copa Room in the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas. Well, it did still exist for a few decades after I was born, but the exciting days of the Rat Pack performing there were over.

Here are few facts about the history of The Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago:

  • Built in 1916 and designed by famed architects Benjamin H. Marshall and Charles E. Fox, the hotel was built in the form of a Maltese Cross so that as many rooms as possible would have a view of Lake Michigan.
  • The hotel boasted a 1,200 foot private beach where guests could sunbathe during the day and dance at night. It also had its own barbershop, beauty parlor, drugstore, liquor store, photographer’s studio, and gift shop along with many other amenities. Continue reading →

Bette or Barbara? Who IS My Favorite Classic Movie Actress?!

Barbara Stanwyck Blogathon

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!

Bette Davis

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:

  1. Bette Davis
  2. Barbara Stanwyck
  3. Ingrid Bergman
  4. Myrna Loy
  5. Loretta Young
  6. Gene Tierney
  7. Claire Trevor
  8. Irene Dunne
  9. Norma Shearer
  10. 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!

Saturday State Post: Classic Movie Actors from Massachusetts

In this week’s actors by state post, I looked to the eastern United States for the first time by the choosing the state of Massachusetts. Today’s list contains two co-stars of the 1962 movie Days of Wine and Roses along with two actresses who achieved notable firsts for women in the film industry.

Bette Davis

Born:  April 15, 1908 in Lowell, MA

Died:  October 6, 1989 (age 81)

Married four times including once to her All About Eve co-star Gary Merrill

Known for the Movies:  Of Human Bondage, Jezebel, Now Voyager, All About Eve

 

Interesting Facts About Bette Davis:

  • She was nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row from 1939-1943, a record she shares with Greer Garson.
  • She was the first female president of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the first female to be awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute.
  • Along with John Garfield and Jules Stein, she was instrumental in creating the Hollywood Canteen, a club that offered food and entertainment to U.S. service men and women. In later years Bette commented, “There are few accomplishments in my life that I am sincerely proud of. The Hollywood Canteen is one of them.” Continue reading →