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My Classic Movie Travel Dreams – What’s on Your List?

I’ve been talking a good game the last few years about how I’m going to start doing more traveling, with most of my desired destinations being places somehow related to classic movies or old movie stars and singers. But for various reasons I have not lived up to that talk and pretty soon I’m going to have to start putting my money where my mouth is or I’ll never end up going anywhere.

Hollywood SignOne of my biggest travel goals is to visit the Turner Classic Movies Film Festival held in California every spring. Ever since I first saw that some of my fellow classic movie bloggers were going to the festival a few years ago, I’ve been saying, “next year I am definitely going!” only to have it not come to pass for one reason or another. I’m not going to lie, the last few years I have really struggled with jealousy as I read all the blog posts and tweets written by those attending the event and this year is no different.

But instead of letting envy get the best of me, I decided to focus on all the things I have to be grateful for (which are many!) and to use those feelings as motivation to figure out ways to make my travel dreams come true.

Over the years I’ve compiled quite the list of classic movie related places I’d like to visit someday and following are just a few of them. My hope for this blog is that one day I will be able to post about visiting most if not all of these places.

  1. The Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pennsylvania
  2. The Clark Gable Birth Home and Museum and Clark Gable Bed & Breakfast in Cadiz, Ohio
  3. The Ava Gardner Museum in Smithfield, North Carolina
  4. The Rosemary Clooney House in Augusta, Kentucky
  5. The Kate –  A museum inside the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center in Old Saybrook, Connecticut
  6. Malabar Farm in Lucas, Ohio
  7. The Hollywood Museum in Hollywood, California
  8. Gene Autry Oklahoma Museum – Gene Autry, Oklahoma (this would be in honor of my mom who loved Gene and other singing cowboys) :-)
  9. Warner Brothers Studio Tour in Burbank, California
  10. Vienna Walking Tour – In the Footsteps of The Third Man in Vienna, Austria
  11. The Cypress Inn (co-owned by Doris Day) in Carmel, California
  12. The Waldorf-Astoria Hotel and The Surrey Hotel in New York City – several celebrities stayed or lived in these hotels and Cole Porter’s piano is displayed at the Waldorf-Astoria
  13. Las Vegas – although The Sands Hotel is no longer there, an article in USA Today suggests several ways we can still “experience the Rat Pack in Las Vegas”
  14. Los Angeles Union Station – “one of the last grand train depots in America” and a filming location for the William Holden movie Union Station (1950)
  15. Various restaurants frequented by old movie stars including Sardi’s in New York City, Café La Maze Steakhouse in National City, California and Dominick’s in West Hollywood, California
  16. Francis Ford Coppola Winery in Geyserville, California – I don’t drink wine but still think it would be a beautiful place to visit and I’d like to explore the onsite movie gallery

So, what’s on your list of travel dreams, classic movie related or otherwise? If you’ve been to any of the places I mentioned above, I’d love to hear the story of your visit in the comments below!

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Little Women 1933 vs. 1949 . . . and Dumb & Dumber (1994)?

Little Women 1994I am disappointed in myself regarding two things; 1) That I’ve never read “Little Women,” the classic novel by Louisa May Alcott about four sisters growing up in New England during the Civil War and 2) That back in 1994 (was that really over 20 years ago already?!) I was faced with the decision to go see one of two movies with my three sisters, Little Women or Dumb and Dumber, and while two of my sisters chose the former, my other sister and I chose the latter.

What was I thinking? I love comedies because I love to laugh, but disgusting “bathroom humor” is just not for me and that movie had plenty of it. You can bet that if I had that choice to make over again, I would have gone to see Little Women instead, especially since, come on, four sisters watching a movie about four sisters? What could be more fitting than that? :-)

I have yet to watch the 1994 movie, but I have now watched both the 1933 and 1949 versions. Thanks to my love of listening to podcasts I recently discovered a wonderful interview with actress Margaret O’Brien through the Warner Archive Collection Podcast. In the interview Margaret talked about what a great time she had filming Little Women (1949) with co-stars June Allyson, Elizabeth Taylor, and Janet Leigh, and it inspired me to watch both of the older films. I wasn’t necessarily watching them both to compare the two, but I was curious to see if I would like one more than the other. Keep in mind that my opinions are somewhat skewed because I wasn’t familiar with the story not having read the book, but I did indeed have a definite preference of the two. Read More…

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Fun Ways to Learn About the History of Fashion in Film

Grace Kelly Jimmy Stewart

If you’re like me and you like to learn about your favorite topics in a variety of ways such as reading blogs or articles, listening to audio recordings, or watching videos, and you are also interested in the topic of fashion in film, then I have some great resources to share with you.

I’ve been following the blog GlamAmor for a while now, and have really admired both the incredible knowledge and style of its creator, fashion expert Kimberly Truhler. Kimberly has been studying film and costume design history for more than 20 years and along with being a teacher and frequent guest presenter around Southern California, has acted as an expert for Turner Classic Movies and Elle Canada among others.

She has a real passion for preserving the history of fashion in film, sharing how costume design from the past continues to influence fashion today, and making sure the costume designers receive the credit they deserve for their important contributions to the world of fashion. Be sure to check out her blog if you’d like to learn more about these fascinating topics.

She is also currently in the process of conducting a 6-part webinar series called The Style Essentials: History of Fashion in Film, which is an online version of a course she teaches. Each webinar covers a different decade in film from the 1920s through the 1970s, and includes stills from movies and images from today’s fashion accompanied by discussions about film history, costumes, and their designers. Read More…

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CMBA Blogathon: Film Passion 101: The Philadelphia Story

FilmPassionBlogathon2

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! :-)

_Theater for Twitter

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. Read More…

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The Best Oldies to Watch When You Need Cheering Up

Sunshine

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. Read More…

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