This post is an entry in the Universal Backlot Blogathon, hosted by Kristen at her blog Journeys in Classic Film. Please visit her site to read all the other great entries and let her know she’s doing a great job on hosting her very first blogathon!
“Black and white is more beautiful than color in my eyes.”
No, that’s not a quote from an actress, director, or fashion designer . . . it’s just a quote from me that I use as part of my Twitter bio. I have no idea if that’s corny or not, but it just came to me one day and I really liked it, so I’ve been using it ever since.
I’m referring to movies of course, and for me that quote applies probably about 95% of the time. I’ve come to love black and white movies so much that I just prefer them over color now.
But every once in a while I’ll watch an old movie in color that will be an exception to that rule. Such was the case recently when I watched All That Heaven Allows (1955), starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson.
When I first started watching the movie, I was struck by how beautiful and vivid the colors were. I was also happy when I realized it was set in a small, scenic New England town for the same reasons I discussed in my review of the movie The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry.
All That Heaven Allows was directed by Douglas Sirk, and if you’ve ever read any discussions about this movie or any of his so called “melodramas” such as Magnificent Obsession (1954), Written on the Wind (1956), or Imitation of Life (1959), you know there is much debate about the quality of those movies. Some think they are nothing but corny, overly sentimental soap operas while others believe they are great movies that provide important social commentary on life in the 1950’s. Continue reading →
Ahhh, it feels so good to be back writing for my blog again! I’ve been taking a bit of an unplanned break from blogging lately so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything. My writing skills have gotten a bit rusty so I thought I’d start with something simple just to get myself going again.
I’m basically going to list some of the movies I’ve watched recently and include some random thoughts and/or resource links related to each movie.
In no particular viewing order, here are a few of the movies I’ve watched recently:
Princess O’Rourke (1943)
- I couldn’t believe it when I realized it, but it took me over half the movie to recognize Jane Wyman! I think it was because I’m so used to seeing her with bangs (like the picture on the left below) but instead her hair looked more like the picture on the right.
- Jack Carson was someone I never really cared for in the past, but I really liked him in this movie! I suspect that I was unfairly overlooking his talent, and I look forward to watching more of his movies.
- This was a charming comedy that I think fans of co-stars Olivia DeHavilland, Robert Cummings, Jack Carson, Jane Wyman, or Charles Coburn would really enjoy. The DVD is currently available for purchase from the Warner Archive.
Continue reading →
In honor of Jean Harlow’s 100th birthday, which was celebrated by her many fans earlier this month, this week’s actors by state post features classic movies actors from Missouri, Jean’s home state. Coincidentally, a few of the other stars on this list were also born in the same year as Jean, so there are more centennial birthday celebrations to come in 2011.
Born: March 3, 1911 in Kansas City, MO
Died: June 7, 1937 (age 26)
Married three times
Known for the Movies: Hell’s Angels, Platinum Blonde, Red Dust, Bombshell, Libeled Lady
My Favorite Jean Harlow Movie: Platinum Blonde
Interesting Facts About Jean Harlow:
- In May 1937, she became the first actress to appear on the cover of Life Magazine.
- She was the godmother of famous mobster Bugsy Siegel’s daughter Millicent.
- She was one of the inspirations for Batman creator Bob Kane’s character of Catwoman. Continue reading →