Sunday, November 3, 2019

Remembering Gary Loggins of Cracked Rear Viewer

CMBA remembers and honors member Gary Loggins whose blog was Cracked Rear Viewer. Gary, who passed away unexpectedly early in October, was passionate about horror, B-movies and pre-code films and blogged about his movie love with enthusiasm. He also enjoyed classic rock music, concerts and New England sports teams and his career involved working with and helping the homeless. Gary's CMBA blogger profile was published last January, click here to learn more about him and his very special blog. For those who would like to pay further tribute to Gary, memorial donations should be made to

Rest in peace, Gary. 

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

CMBA 10th Anniversary/Fall Blogathon

Welcome the CMBA's 10th Anniversary Blogathon! This blogathon is special! Ten years of the CMBA bringing classic film bloggers together to share and learn. Before we move on to this year's event, it seems fitting to provide a short history of the CMBA.

Rick Armstrong of the Classic Film and TV Café founded the Classic Movie Blog Association (CMBA) on October 31, 2009. Rick's goal was to form a nonprofit organization of classic movie bloggers to promote classic movies, support its bloggers, establish quality standards, and recognize classic movie blogging excellence. Rick set up a website and designed the CMBA logo the same day. On November 1st, he invited Rupert Alistair of Classic Movies Digest to become the CMBA's second member. 

Rupert was intrigued, but also had questions. In his first e-mails, he asked:  "How did this entity come about? What is the criteria for involvement? Regular posts to the site? How are votes for new members gathered?" Rupert's questions led Rick to write the CMBA Charter, which contained the provision that, unlike most blogging associations, the CMBA's current members would vote on accepting new members and elect a Board of Governors to manage the organization. The CMBA's first members approved the CMBA Charter on November 22, 2009.

  • In February 2010, the CMBA hosted its first blogathon, a celebration of Black History Month. Official CMBA blogathons continue to be hosted twice a year.
  • By June 2010, the group consisted of 21 members, enough to elect a Board of Governors.
  • In September 2010, the CMBA ended its first year by inaugurating the CiMBA Awards to recognize its members' best blog posts of the year. These awards of excellence continue to be given annually, though they are now simply known as the CMBA Awards.

Over the past 10 years, members have come and gone (life does sometimes get in the way of blogging), but the CMBA has endured and matured into a thriving organization with a social media presence and the respect of the world of classic film and its fans. Today, as the CMBA celebrates its 10th anniversary year with close to 90 members and counting, the future continues to be both promising and exciting for this group of impassioned classic movie bloggers.

Appropriately, this year's Fall Blogathon theme is Anniversaries. We have a great group of contributors joining in to celebrate. Links are posted below to all participating blogs.

The Contributors 

October 15th (Tuesday)
Caftan Woman: Stray Dog 70th Anniversary 
A Person in the Dark: "The Stars"  57 Years of Fascination
Critica Retro: The Spanish  Flu Pandemic and  how it affected the Film Industry - 100 Years
Make Mine Film Noir: Double Indemnity: Film Noir After Seventy-Five Years
Silver Screen Modes: 95th Anniversary of MGM
Stars and Letters: Dark Victory (80th Anniversary

October 16th (Wednesday)
The Movie Night Group: The Canterville Ghost (75 Yrs)
Screen Dreams: 100th Anniversary of United Artists
Classic Film and TV Cafe: The Wild Bunch  (50th Anniversary)
Silver Screenings: All The King's Men (70th Anniversary)
4 Star Films: The Third Man (1949) 

October 17th (Thursday)
Old Hollywood Films: Ben-Hur (1959) 
Shadows and Satin: Top Five Film Noirs of 70 Years Ago
Once Upon A Screen:  85 Years of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers 
Twenty Four Frames:  Easy Rider and The New Hollywood (1969)

October 18th (Friday)
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  1939 Turns Eighty
Lady Eve's Reel Life:  Bridging Old Hollywood and New: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Congratulations to the 2019 CMBA Award Winners!

The ballot has closed, the votes have been counted and the results of the 2019 CMBA Awards confirmed. And  the winners of this year's awards for excellence in blogging are:

Best Classic Film Review/Drama: Thoughts on the Son of the Sheik (1926) by Silent-ology
Best Classic Film Review/Comedy or Musical: His Girl Friday (1940) by Cinema Essentials
Best Profile: The Activism of Myrna Loy by Backlots
Best Classic Film Article: Irving Berlin at the Oscars by Caftan Woman
Best Classic Film series: Sheik Month by Silent-ology
Best Classic Film Event: The Vive la France! Blogathon hosted by Lady Eve's Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes

In addition, this year the CMBA Board of Governors has chosen to present a special award to the group's founding member and first Board Chair, Rick Armstrong of The Classic Film & TV Cafe. Rick founded the CMBA 10 years ago this month, on October 31, 2009. He developed the group's organizational structure as well as its charter and was instrumental in launching CMBA activities that continue today, including our annual blogathons and the CMBA Awards. To this day Rick continues to support and advise the Board whenever asked. And so, on this our 10th anniversary year, the Board is honoring Rick Armstrong with a special 2019 Board of Governors Award in recognition and appreciation of his efforts on behalf of the Classic Movie Blog Association and classic film blogging.

Congratulations, 2019 award winners and many thanks to all members who participated in the CMBA Awards this year. Well done!

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

CMBA Profile:: Cinematic Scribblings

CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Erin Graybill who blogs at Cinematic Scribblings. Erin's blog focuses on European and Japanese cinema.

What sparked your interest in classic film?

When I was about eight, I was obsessed with Shirley Temple; I can't recall how that actually started, but AMC used to air one of her movies every Sunday around 11 AM, and I would always watch them. Around that time, I was also really into Martin and Lewis movies, and I remember watching a lot of Laurel and Hardy on AMC as well. After that, I was less into classic films for a while, but at some point in my teens my family came across Bringing Up Baby on TV -- I'm sure it was TCM -- and I loved it. From there, and especially in college, where I had easy access to the library's collection, I really delved into classic films.

I noticed you have written much about Francois Truffaut. What is it about his films that attract you?

Writing about Stolen Kisses (1968), he said, "When I started making movies I had the idea that there were things that were funny and others that were sad, so I would put funny things and sad things in my films. Then I tried to switch abruptly from something sad to something comical. In the course of making Stolen Kisses I came to feel that the best of all were the kind of situations that were funny and sad at once." That appeals to me, and so does his observation that "with me, one film out of two is romantic -- the other one tries to destroy this romanticism," although I think it's more complicated than that; the romanticism and anti-romanticism often seem to coexist in his films. Also, his love of cinema is infectious.

What other directors do you admire?

Yasujirô Ozu is probably my favorite director. I also love Federico Fellini, Michael Powell (particularly his work with Emeric Pressburger), Satyajit Ray... I could go on and on, but those are the directors at the top of my list, along with Truffaut.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

I don't know that I have a particular favorite genre, to be honest. I feel like I watch dramas and comedies in equal measure, and I don't really seek out or focus on more specific genres like westerns or sci-fi or musicals, although I hope I'm open to them.

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?

"Hate" is a very strong word, but there have certainly been times when I've been disappointed or just failed to see what the big deal was about one film or another. I remember being let down -- not as amused as I hoped to be, I guess -- by Sullivan's Travels, for which I had very high expectations; that's one I should revisit and reevaluate. Sansho the Bailiff is another example (not that I was looking to be amused there). I'm never as blown away by Mizoguchi as other people seem to be, especially by his period pieces, which seem to get most of the attention and praise. (I do like his more contemporary films, Street of Shame above all, but also Osaka Elegy and Sisters of the Gion.) Blowup comes to mind as well. It was my first Antonioni and it left me a bit cold, but several years later, once I saw more of his movies -- many of which I like a lot -- I thought that I would be able to appreciate it more, being better attuned to his style and themes and so on and not expecting a typical "Swinging London" movie (whatever that would be). It didn't work -- same reaction the second time around.

What do you find is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

I really enjoy working out my thoughts on a given film and then hearing what other people think about it, and I appreciate the sense of community among classic film bloggers.

What movies would you recommend to someone who “hates” classic films?

That probably depends on the individual person and the sorts of modern films that they enjoy. I don't know that there's a one-size-fits-all answer.

Do you have interests in any other arts that you can share?

Literature -- I love to read, and my dream is to write novels. I also enjoy going to art museums and listening to music.

Friday, August 30, 2019

New CMBA EBook: Femme/Homme Fatales of Film Noir

The latest CMBA eBook, Femme/Homme Fatales of Film Noir, compiled by Annette Bochenek, is now available at Smashwords for free! It is also available at Amazon for .99 cents with proceeds going to Film Preservation.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019


Hello Everyone,

It's still summer, but the fall season is coming soon and with it comes the CMBA Fall Blogathon. This year is special as we celebrate the organization’s 10th anniversary! The CMBA is the brainchild of founding father Rick Armstrong (thank you, Rick!). In celebration, our subject this time around is anniversaries. Anniversaries of all kinds: Wedding, job, film directors, film anniversaries, for example, the twenty-fifth anniversary of Pulp Fiction (in five-year increments only 15, 20, 25, 30, etc.). Another example would be the anniversary of acting teams: Gable and Lombard, Laurel and Hardy, etc. (any anniversary year is acceptable). Be creative. If you’re not sure, ask!

Just a few rules. Only one film, acting team, director, etc. If a film is taken or an acting team you will be notified to make another selection.  

Join us for The Anniversary Blogathon. The dates are Oct. 15th through Oct 18th

Provide me with your selection and the date that you would like. Date selected may be subject to change if we need to balance out the activity.

The Contributors So Far...

October 15th (Tuesday)
Caftan Woman: Stray Dog 70th Anniversary 
A Person in the Dark: "The Stars"  57 Years of Fascination
Critica Retro: The Spanish  Flu Pandemic and  how it affected the Film Industry - 100 Years
Make Mine Film Noir: Double Indemnity: Film Noir After Seventy-Five Years
Silver Screen Modes: 95th Anniversary of MGM
Stars and Letters: Dark Victory (80th Anniversary)

October 16th (Wednesday)
The Movie Night Group: The Canterville Ghost (75 Yrs)  
Twenty Four Frames:  Easy Rider and The New Hollywood (1969)
Screen Dreams: 100th Anniversary of United Artists
Classic Film and TV Cafe: The Wild Bunch  (50th Anniversay)
Silver Screenings: All THe King's Men (70th Anniversary)
4 Star Films: The Third Man (1949)

October 17th (Thursday)
Old Hollywood Films: Ben-Hur (1959) 
Shadows and Satin: Top Five Film Noirs of 70 Years Ago
Once Upon A Screen: The Gay Divorcee 85th Anniversary 
Backlots: Anniversary of Rita Hayworth's Birth 
Cinematic Scribblings: Little Women (1994) 25th Anniversary

October 18th (Friday)
In The Good Old Days of  Classic Hollywood:  140 Years of Ethel Barrymore: An Enduring Legacy
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films:  4 Films Celebrating 40 Years
Strictly Vintage Hollywood: The Eyes of Youth (1919) 100th Anniversary
Hometowns to Hollywood: Glorifying the American Girl (1929)

Friday, August 2, 2019

CMBA Profile: Anybody Got A Match?

CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Alex WIndley whose home base is the Anybody Got a Match? blog. Alex covers a wide variety of genres but admittedly favors musicals and... well I let the lady speak for herself.

What sparked your interest in classic film?

Well, in high school, my English professor offered a Film Appreciation class where she showed us all the classic films. From Casablanca, to Singin In the Rain, I slowly developed an interest for the golden age of Hollywood.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

Oof. That’s a tough one, personally, I absolutely adore musicals and the occasional film noir when I’m feeling angsty!

I very much like your categories, particularly Musings and My Obsession With. They both look like a combination of your love of film, history and personal musings. How did you come up with this concept?

Musings was an idea I had when I wanted to write about Paul Newman’s character in Cool Hand Luke but didn’t necessarily want to review the movie. It’s great to share your classic movie thoughts that you have lingering in your heart. My Obsession is exactly what the title says, I’ll thank Audrey Hepburn for that one! Ha-ha.

What is you “go to” film when you need something to lift up your spirits?

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers hands down. It was the first classic movie I bought on DVD and I just adore it whenever it comes on TCM.

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?

Hmm, ok let’s see. Well, to be fair, I really don’t like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Due to the strict code film makers had to abide by, a lot of the original content from the book didn’t make it into the movie. I also feel the same way about Rebel Without a Cause and James Dean for that matter.

What makes a film "classic" in your opinion? Do you have a favorite period?

It must have been made before 1965, after 1965 I don’t really consider it to be a part of the Golden Age. As for my favorite period I really enjoy the late 40s early 50s when it comes to film. It’s a very interesting era in terms of film!

Many “classic” film lovers do not like modern day movies. What are your thoughts and where do you stand?

I think it’s hit or miss really. I enjoy documentaries a ton, and there’s a lot of modern films that I would consider my favorites. I think you must compartmentalize ‘modern films’ and ‘classic films.’ I separate them, so it doesn’t cross over too much.

Do you have interest in any other arts that you can share?

Yes! I do love watching soccer and photography. I’m also an avid foodie, although I’m lactose intolerant ha-ha.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

Vive la France! Blogathon | August 25

Bonne Fête Nationale! It is Bastille Day, France’s more-or-less equivalent of our Independence Day. Could there be a better time to announce the upcoming blogathon, Vive la France!, to be hosted by CMBA members Lady Eve’s Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes? We think not. 

The Details

Sunday, August 25

All day and into the night


  • Classic films made in France, classic films made in Hollywood (or elsewhere, if you like) that are set in France (fully or partially).
  • Profiles of the stars of French films (like Jean Gabin, Danielle Darrieux, Alain Delon, Catherine Deneuve, Jeanne Moreau, etc.) and profiles of French-born stars who had significant Hollywood careers (like Charles Boyer, Claudette Colbert, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan, Simone Signoret, etc.).
  • Articles and profiles on significant French writers, directors, producers, and the same for French-born Hollywood behind-the-camera folk.
  • Basically, the focus is France and French, with broad application. Any questions, contact us as listed below – we are open to suggestion.

1) No duplicate posts on films or on profiles of individuals.
2) It’s OK to post on different films by the same star or profile subject.
3) This is an open blogathon, CMBA membership is not required.

Please RSVP by comment here or email to or For updated information on blogathon status/progress, please visit Lady Eve's Reel Life and Silver Screen Modes.

Banners below, feel free to copy.

Tuesday, July 2, 2019

CMBA Profile: The Old Hollywood Garden

CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with London based Carol Saint-Martin's The Old Hollywood Garden. The title says it all. Carol focuses on the Hollywood of old taking fascinating looks at screenwriters, comedy, film noir and much more. Carol recently published an article in the online Noir City Magazine on character actor Neville Brand, and also began a Facebook page for London based film bloggers. 

What sparked your interest in classic film?

Honesty, it was Madonna's song Vogue! There's that rap in the middle where she talks about all those movie stars and so I decided to look them up. Then my first classic film was Gilda, which is still one of my favorites to this day.

What film genre(s) do you favor?

My favorite is film noir, followed by screwball comedy and Pre-Code.

What is you “go to” film when you need something to lift up your spirits?

Hum, there are a few, but I'd say Some Like it Hot and The Philadelphia Story.

Name three films that most classic film fans love, but you hate, and if you can tell us why?

Not a big fan of His Girl Friday (I know, I know!), and the thing is, I can't really put my fnger on it, but I've been meaning to watch it again because I really want to change my mind about it. Street Scene hasn't aged very well, I don't think, but I don't hate it necessarily. And Kiss of Death is just a little too slow, but I do love Richard Widmark's performance!

What makes a film "classic" in your opinion?

I think there's a distinction between classic and from the Golden Age of Hollywood. A film can be a classic even if it was made in the 80s or 90s, but I just use the word 'old' when talking about classic films to make it easier to differentiate. But strictly speaking, I'd say if people are still watching it years after its release and it's still widely beloved for the most part, that's a classic.

Your article on the low-budget film Detour is particularly fascinating.  You seem to have a love for noir. Can you tell some of your other favorite noir films and stars?

Thank you so much!! My all-time favorite is Double Indemnity, then Laura, The Big Combo, Out of the Past, Sunset Boulevard, The Killers, The Asphalt Jungle, Where the Sidewalk Ends, T-Men, among many others. As for stars, I love Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Gloria Grahame, Robert Mitchum, Barbara Stanwyck, Dennis O'Keefe, Lizabeth Scott, Charles McGraw... and so many more!

You have written various articles on screen writers. How important do you think the screenplay to a movie?

It's where it all starts! There's no movie without the screenplay. The screenwriter is literally the person who comes up with it in the first place.

Do you have interest in any other arts that you can share?

I love music, television, theatre, writing and literature.

Monday, June 3, 2019

CMBA Profile: Vitaphone Dreamer

CMBA profiles one member every month. This month's interview is with Meredith's Riggs Vitaphone Dreamer.

If you love musicals, if your love movie fashions there is plenty for you to see. But wait, there's more! Vitagraph Dreamer, while focusing on the classuc era, covers films from just about every decade. It's a must stop on the film blog highway.

What sparked your interest in classic film?

I grew up watching a lot of classic films as child, especially musicals like Meet Me in St. Louis (my favorite film to this day), The Sound of MusicOklahoma!Singin' in the Rain, and Fiddler on the Roof. Sometime in my elementary school years, I pretty much stopped watching old movies; for some reason I just kind of lost interest. But when I took a film class in high school, we watched a lot of old movies and by the time we got around to watching Singin' in the Rain, I was smitten. I've never lost that love; it only grows.

What makes a film a "classic" in your opinion?

At this point, I think a classic film is one that was released in the early '70s or earlier.

What classic film(s) do you recommend to people who say they hate old movies?

Fortunately, I don't think I've had anyone tell me that they hate old movies, but I'm used to being met with indifference toward watching them. I like to recommend classic films to some of my friends who haven't seen many of them. I've actually introduced several to Gold Diggers of 1933 and have received mostly really positive reactions. It might be an odd choice to show someone who hasn't delved into the really old stuff, but I get excited about exposing them to Busy Berkeley's amazing musical numbers and the witty dialogue, which is full of Pre-Code greatness. (I really get a kick out of seeing their reactions to the "Shadow Waltz" number when the violins light up.) I also enjoy showing people Meet Me in St. Louis and have shown a couple of non-cinephile friends The Women, which they really enjoyed.

Why should people care about classic film?

I think people should care about classic film because a lot of the films that were made in the early and mid 20th century were entertaining in a way that most films aren't anymore. Film also makes up a huge part of culture worldwide, and has for over a century, and we can learn so much about various eras in history by watching old movies.

What is the most rewarding thing about blogging?

The most rewarding thing about blogging, for me, is having the ability to write and publish anything I want and share it with a potentially large crowd. Something that gives me a great amount of joy is interacting with people who comment on my blog posts. For example, I actually met a man who was an extra in a lot great films, including The Apartment and East of Eden. We ended up corresponding by email for a brief period beginning in 2015; he sadly passed away in early 2016. Now I make sure to spot him in the films he appeared in.

What challenges do you face with your blog, and how do you overcome them?

Consistency is my biggest challenge. I can't tell you how many posts I've started that end up in my draft folder for eons. I'm working on that, though. It's tough to write a lot when you've constantly got a full schedule, but it's possible. I just have to find quiet time. 

What advice would you give to a new blogger?

I would say this: Write about what you're passionate about...subjects that you're excited to share with others. People will love reading what you're passionate about the most. Also, unless you dislike socializing on social media, try to make friends and connections with people in the online classic film community. There are a lot of classic film buffs on Twitter and Facebook, etc. who are active and great to engage with.  

What is one blog post that you would like to share on your profile – and why?

This one. I spent a good amount of time digging for as much information as I could find for this post; there's not a lot of information about Robert Williams out there, but there was enough to make a tiny biographical post. I fortunately learned more about a man who intrigues me and I wanted to share my findings with people who read my blog. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

CMBA Profile: Make Mine Film Noir Redux

If this interview is familiar, that's because I somehow (Sticky Fingers?) deleted the original post while posting about our Spring Blogathon.  Therefore, this month I am reposting Marianne L'Abbate's Make Mine Film Noir. The interview is worth a second look especially if you are into Film Noir.

What sparked your interest in classic film?
My mother’s influence likely sparked my interest in classic film. Two of our local television stations showed a weekday afternoon movie every day of the school week, and my mother would watch them the way some people watched soaps. I soon picked up the habit, too. When I got to high school, I would get up in the middle of the night if I knew that a Gene Kelly movie would be showing in the early morning hours on television. One of the reasons that I don’t have cable is because I would do the same thing today if I had movies to watch twenty-four hours a day!

Your blog specializes in Film Noir. What attracted you to the dark world of noir?
I always say that film noir shows you what not to do. Noir provides a way to experience a situation vicariously so that you can avoid inviting it into your own life. And I guess it is a mixture of horror and fascination without any of the repercussions.

I remember seeing Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte on television on a school day afternoon. It is Bruce Dern’s first film, and his hand is chopped off in the family gazebo one night during Charlotte’s debut into genteel Southern society, during her debutante ball. I remember that scene to this day, so maybe that started my fascination with the darker side of films.

Can you tell us a few of your favorite film noirs and others?
It’s so hard to pick favorites. One film I can see again and again is The Dark Corner, with Lucille Ball and Mark Stevens. It has the right mix of pessimism and humor. And it also happens to be the first film, my first post, in my blog. Too Late for Tears, starring Lizabeth Scott and Dan Duryea, is another good one. I’m partial to it because it reminds me of those school afternoons when I was probably watching it on television instead of doing my homework. Born to Kill, starring Lawrence Tierney and Claire Trevor, is one of the best examples of a film that describes what not to do. Both Tierney and Trevor give ferocious performances in that film.

I also love most Gene Kelly musicals and Jack Lemmon movies. I still laugh when I see The Odd Couple and The Out-of-Towners.

How do you explain noir to someone unfamiliar with that cinematically stylish world and what film(s) would you recommend?
I think part of the reason that people may find film noir intimidating is that describing it as a genre is open to so much debate. As a genre or category, it has a lot of fuzzy edges, and many fans are passionate (dare I say, opinionated!) about what constitutes film noir. It is one of the reasons that I am not a huge fan of categories, although they can be helpful for discussion.

For people who want to learn about film noir, it may help to read some pulp and detective novels from the 1930s and 1940s because so many films noir are based on them. And one can always jump right in and see as many films as possible. Once you start defining film noir for yourself and have seen films that you enjoy, I think you start feeling comfortable with the genre.

For those who have never seen a film noir, I would suggest starting with detective films. People cannot go wrong with films based on those pulp and detective novels published in the 1930s and 1940s. Examples of authors of these novels are James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett. Movies based on their work include Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice, based on Cain’s work, and The Maltese Falcon, based on Hammett’s novel.

I noticed you read and review the world of noir/hard-boiled literature (David Goodis, Dorothy Hughes, James M. Cain). Which came first for you, film or books, and what authors are favorites?
My love of books came first. My mother said that I went to school in the second grade one day and came home that afternoon reading. I remember what it was like to realize that the letters on the blackboard and on the page represented something.

Dashiell Hammett is a favorite noir author. So is Dorothy Hughes, specifically her novel In a Lonely Place. The film based on it, starring Humphry Bogart and Gloria Grahame, is very different from the book, and both are excellent. Steve Fisher wrote the book I Wake up Screaming, on which the film starring Victor Mature and Betty Grable is based; both the book and the film are favorites of mine. Fisher has many film and book credits, but he is probably the least known of the writers I mention here.

More modern favorites are William Faulkner, Louise Erdrich, Michael Ondaatje, and Isabel Allende. Ondaatje’s latest novel, Warlight, is worth a look. I want to read it again.

What other film genre(s) do you favor?
Romantic comedies. They seem like the exact opposite genre compared to film noir, and maybe that’s why I enjoy them. A romantic comedy that’s offbeat enough to have some “noir-ish tendencies” is Lars and the Real Girl. I am a big fan of the Bridget Jones movies. I hope a fourth one is in the works.

What film(s) considered a classic do you absolutely hate?
This is the toughest question, even tougher than picking favorite films and authors. But I have to confess that I have never really liked Out of the Past, starring Robert Mitchum and Jane Greer. It is considered a quintessential film noir, maybe the quintessential film noir, but I have never liked the ending. In general, though, I like films so much that I can almost always find something good in a film, even Out of the Past; after all, Robert Mitchum is worth watching in that film. . . . I may have to get back to you on this question.

What is the most rewarding thing for you about blogging?
Blogging about film is a way to delve into films a little more deeply, to enjoy them a little bit more. When I write about a film that I think I don’t like all that much, I find myself liking it, sometimes quite a bit, by the time I am finished writing about it. I like working with language. I can’t think of a better way to spend my time than writing about a topic I enjoy as much as film. What’s not to like! Hearing from other film fans who are inspired to see a film after reading one of my posts is always satisfying, too.

Thank you, by the way, for giving me this chance to talk about classic film and film noir.

Thursday, April 11, 2019

CMBA Spring Blogathon

The CMBA Spring Blogathon is a wrap and the lineup of members who participated this time around was outstanding.

This year we took a look at the world of Femmes and Hommes Fatale of Film Noir. Attractive, seductive and deadly-dangerous women and men who bring disastrous consequences to the hapless saps with whom they come into contact, especially those they...seduce. Think Jane Greer in Out of the Past, Alain Delon in Purple Noon or Gloria Grahame in just about anything.

Here are links, by date of posting, to contributing bloggers:

April 16th (Tuesday)
Caftan Woman: Stanton Carlisle in Nightmare Alley 
The Movie Night Group: Claude Rains in The Unsuspected
Make Mine Film Noir: Marilyn Monroe in Don't Bother to Knock
Silver Screen Modes: Ava Gardner in The Killers
The Old Hollywood Garden: Steve Cochran in Private Hell 36
Cary Grant Won't Eat You: Gloria Grahame in In A Lonely Place 

 April 17th (Wednesday)
Hometowns to Hollywood: Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven
Silver Screenings: John Bromfield in The Big Bluff
Critica Retro: Jean Harlow in The Beast of the City
Second Sight Cinema: Dennis O'Keefe in Raw Deal
Anybody Got a Match?: Rita Haywoth in Gilda
Stardust and Shadows: Marie Windsor in The Narrow Margin
Poppity Talks Classic Film: Zachary Scott and Lucille Bremer in Ruthless
Silent-ology: The Musketeers of Pig Alley 

April 18th (Thursday)
A Person in the Dark: Lily Tomlin in The Late Show
Classic Film and TV Cafe: Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy 
Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Rita Hayworth in The Lady From Shanghai
Cinematic Scribblings: Jean Seberg in Breathless
Old Hollywood Films: Jack Palace and Gloria Grahame in Sudden Fear
Film Noir Archive: Linda Darnell in Fallen Angel
Another Old Movie Blog: Alan Ladd in The Blue Dahlia

April 19th (Friday) 
Twenty Four Frames: Barbara Stanwyck in Double Indemnity
Once Upon A Screen: Gloria Grahame in The Big Heat.
Shadows and Satin: Lawrence Tierney in Born to Kill
Pale Writer: Dirk Bogarde in Cast a Dark Shadow
Classic Film Observations and Obsessions: Lana Turner in Johnny Eager 

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

CMBA Profile: Stardust and Shadows

CMBA profiles one or two members every month. This edition features Terry Sherwood who blogs at Stardust and Shadows.

Celebrating six years, Terry Sherwood's Stardust and Shadows is filled with film reviews, book reviews and more. He grew up on movies, thanks to his film loving Dad. As a kid, like many, he loved horror movies, and still does, but his blog much more: westerns, noir, and more. Terry has a second blog, Nitrate Visions, and also host two Youtube podcast shows. But instead of me telling you, let's here from Terry.

What sparked your interest in classic film? 

My Father was a huge fan when he was growing up. He once told me that when he was young he made a movie studio out of little card board boxes, cut faces from fan magazines and put them onto figures that he moved around. He would take me to film in the movies houses later one; the first film I remember seeing was with him was BILLY BUDD. Got interested in Theatre for  what reason I have no idea. Got myself a Degree in Theatre Arts.   Read Flynn’s book that  my father gave to me MY WICKED WICKED WAYS many times which triggered more  reading   acquiring  and other  things in those pre-internet days. 

You are a big horror film fan. Correct me if I am wrong, but you love for the horror genre spans more than just movies but also books and comics. Was the horror genre your introduction to the world of pop culture? 

Yes it was.  I was and still am a ‘Monster Kid”.  Big fan of TV shows like THE MUNSTERS.  I still have my issues of FAMOUS MONSTERS OF FILM LAND magazine.  I also read graphic story magazines such as CREEPY, EERIE and MONSTERS UNLIMITED which had funny captions by Stan Lee when I could find them.  I went to local triple bills at Rialto theatre on Saturday afternoons when I was allowed to those of Hammer Studios and Amicus releases.  Then came our version of SHOCK THEATER on local TV which was called HORROR HOUSE which ran the Universal films, Inner Sanctums etc. I would record the soundtrack on cassette and listen to them over and over. I read Edgar Poe, and other authors not really getting an appreciation or  understanding  What really got me was  Ballantine Books comic paperback adaptation of  DRACULA which I read till it fell apart.  I also had an LP record which I still have   AN EVENING WITH BORIS KARLOFF AND HIS FRIENDS which had  audio excerpts and  narration. Outside of Horror genre.  I was around for  the Adam West/ Burt Ward Batman series. Lot of influences not  knowing why. 

Your blog is much more than horror films. Can you tell us what other film genres you favor and write about? 

Honestly it’s whatever moves me to write and strikes me as interesting. STARDUST AND SHADOWS is about many things in film mostly it’s about the wonder of a good story, strong acting and being human.  Try to give things a different spin in a conversational style.  Genre wise:  we go to Film Noir, Westerns,  Pre-code film,  those ‘Women’s Pictures,” even  youth exploitation for the sheer fun, longer  articles on people like  Warren William, Max Factor,  Jeffery Lynn. I also try to show Canadians in  Classic Hollywood like Norma Shearer, Walter  Pidgeon,  and Yvonne De Carlo when I can, so many of them, and  I am Canadian. 

What makes a “classic” film in your opinion? 

A Classic film to me is timeless feeling that an individual has when watching something that many reoccur in your mind. 

You have a second blog dedicated to the world of horror (Nitrate Visions).  Can you tell us a little about that? 

NITRATE VISIONS is the companion site to STARDUST AND SHADOWS on the Horror or  as I prefer to say  the Nightmare genre.   It contains short reviews which I call SILVER BULLETS covering some  film of  today and yesterday that interest me.  I also get quite a few  screeners  from Indie film makers mostly from Europe which seem  more open for  review.  NITRATE VISIONS also has literary reviews mostly small press from the genre which I receive as active member of worldwide recognized organization HORROR WRITERS ASSOCIATION. 

You also host a Youtube podcast series. Can you tell us about that? 

There are actually two shows on Youtube.

SINISTER INCLINATIONS is a Horror Youtube series with James Saito and myself in which we  talk very informally and  totally off the cuff  about what  we  watched, read or think about the  genre. We do have guests that we interview like film people, Ghost hunters, musicians in the  Horror  rock and roll scene.   It is not scripted except  who is  coming on  or  a particular film  both James and  I watched  and  will speak on.    We also make fun of ourselves quite a bit yet punctuate it with some challenging remarks.
SINISTER INQUISTIONS is the companion show which features video interviews with film makers or anyone that we record from Zoom or Skype. Chat about them, their work  career,  recent  work etc. in more in depth format  Gives them a boost and  we   make contacts. 

What challenges do you face with your blog and how do you overcome them? 

Every film, book, comic that I review, comment on I view so its finding the time so I set up an informal schedule on days off  sometimes three a  night into early morn.  Writing is best for me in early evening.  I also am a musician and have a full time job plus a home life.  I am so lucky for support, help and understanding from my family.  This isn’t work.  Its magic time.