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CMBA Blogathon: Film Passion 101: The Philadelphia Story

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This post is part of the Film Passion 101 Blogathon, hosted by the Classic Movie Blog Association. Be sure to head over there and read all the other great posts!

I have a bad habit of saying I don’t like things when I haven’t even given them a try. I’m sure that habit has caused me to miss out on some great things in life, and I really should learn to break it. Well, except maybe when it comes to beets it would have been wiser to stick to the stubborn “I don’t like them even though I’ve never tried them” declaration that I made for so long. Beets really are gross! :-)

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On a serious note, that habit did almost cause me to miss out on something that I now love dearly and that has had a profound impact on my life, watching classic or “old” movies. For the longest time I insisted that I didn’t like old black and white movies when I had never even tried watching one. I just knew they would be boring, outdated, and corny and I wouldn’t like them. There wasn’t much anyone was going to say or do to get me to watch them. Or so I thought!

Unlike many of the other participants in this blogathon, I wasn’t exposed to old movies very much when I was growing up. My dad watched things like Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy (thanks for the reminder, Ruth!), and maybe a western here and there, and I have vague memories of my mom watching Gone With the Wind at some point, but that’s about it. Of course I did watch The Wizard of Oz quite a few times as a kid, but I honestly thought at the time that it was a current movie, not an old classic. Continue reading »

The Best Oldies to Watch When You Need Cheering Up

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Are there any movies you like to watch when you’re feeling happy, sad, bored, etc.? For me, it’s rarely my emotions that determine the movie I watch, although sometimes the time of year or even the weather can play a part. I mean, who doesn’t love to watch a good mystery when it’s storming outside?! Well, I do anyway! :-)

But when Frances stopped by my Facebook page and suggested I create a list of the best oldies to watch when you need cheering up, I thought it was a great idea. Even though I don’t usually pick a movie for that reason, I figured it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few titles handy just in case I’m ever in need of some good cheer myself.

So after going through the list of all the classic movies that I have seen so far, I came up with the following movies that I think would put a smile on just about anyone’s face. (To learn more about each movie, click on the title which will bring you to its summary page on IMBd.com)

Laughter is the Best Medicine – Classic Comedies

It Happened One Night Hitchhiking Scene

It Happened One Night (1934) One of the first classic movies I ever watched, the hitchhiking scene with Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert showed me early on that old movies can be just as laugh out loud funny as current movies. I never would have believed that before I discovered my love for classic film.

The Thin Man (1934) and the entire “Thin Man” series. This movie is just so much fun. I love the mix of comedy and mystery, and the wonderful chemistry between its two stars William Powell and Myrna Loy make them one of classic film’s greatest on-screen couples. Continue reading »

My Top 10 Favorite Classic Movie Actors

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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:

  1. Jimmy Stewart
  2. Cary Grant
  3. James Cagney
  4. Gene Kelly
  5. Joseph Cotten
  6. William Powell
  7. Robert Taylor
  8. Claude Rains
  9. Tyrone Power
  10. 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?

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Summer Under the Stars Blogathon: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

This post is a contribution to the Summer Under the Stars blogathon being hosted all month by Jill at Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence and Michael at Scribehard on Film. Please be sure to visit their sites and check out all the great entries submitted so far! Today, Turner Classic Movies will be airing Katharine Hepburn movies all day, including the movie I am discussing here, Bringing Up Baby (1938).

 

 

Are you ever hesitant or even a bit embarrassed to admit that you don’t like a classic movie that just about every classic film fan on the planet seems to love?

I know we all have different tastes and shouldn’t have to apologize for our honest thoughts and feelings about a movie, but when discussing popular classic movies, I usually keep it pretty quiet that I’m not a huge fan of Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, and a few other movies that are loved by so many in the classic film community.

An example of one of those other movies is the classic screwball comedy, Bringing Up Baby (1938) starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant.

I’ve told the story a few times about how The Philadelphia Story (1940), also starring Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant, was instrumental in me becoming a classic film fan. I loved both of their performances in that movie, and also really enjoyed another comedy they starred in together, Holiday (1938).

So when I watched Bringing Up Baby a short time later, I was a bit surprised that I didn’t really like it that much. I was also very surprised to find out that so many classic movie fans love it, list it as one of their favorite movies of all time, and even consider it one of, if not the funniest movie ever made. Ever since then I’ve been meaning to watch it again to try to find out what I was missing, and I finally did this week for the blogathon. Continue reading »

My Favorite Movies Set on Ocean Liners Part II

 
In my last post, I highlighted some of my favorite 1930′s and 40′s movies that were set (at least partially) on ocean liners, one of my favorite movie settings. This post covers a few of my favorites from the 1950′s.

Royal Wedding
Year of Release: 1951
Directed by: Stanley Donen

Royal Wedding is a musical comedy starring Fred Astaire and Jane Powell as a brother and sister dance pair who take their Broadway show to London around the time of the 1947 royal wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip. It features two of Fred’s more well known dance routines, one where he dances on the walls and ceiling and one where he dances with a coat rack, which much to the chagrin of classic film fans, was turned into a tacky commercial for Dirt Devil a few years back. This was my first time watching Jane Powell in a movie, and I really enjoyed her performance. Continue reading »

George Cukor: Not Just a “Woman’s Director”

When I thought of writing about my favorite old movie director, the first thing I thought to do was decide between Frank Capra and Alfred Hitchcock.  I love so many of the movies they’ve directed that they are usually the first names that come to mind when thinking about my favorites.  But after deciding to take a look at a few other popular directors, I realized that George Cukor could also be considered a serious candidate. When looking at the list of films directed by George Cukor, I was reminded that he had directed many of my favorites including Holiday, Gaslight, and the film that originally helped me discover my love of old movies, The Philadelphia Story.

George Cukor with Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn on the set of The Philadelphia Story

Continue reading »