Sunday, October 1, 2023


Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we're featuring Aurora who is currently serving on the CMBA board and writes at Once Upon A Screen ( ).  

1. Why do you blog? 

I froze when I saw this question. It seems complicated. There are several reasons why I blog. For one, it is an escape. When I sit down to concentrate on the details of a movie, nothing else exists. Even a simple pictorial tribute to an actor or era takes me to another place and time. This is valuable to me. Blogging has also brought me to a great community I thoroughly enjoy, that I learn from and share with. Through the years I have also found the hunger to learn about all things classic Hollywood only increases. Blogging lends itself to terrific discoveries at every turn. The more I learn, the more I want to know. 

2. Besides classic film blogging, what are some of your other passions? 

Well, I love to watch movies but that is the case with every CMBA member. It may be worth noting that aside from classic movies, I am a documentary nut. True crime documentaries are favorites, but I enjoy all topics if they are well done. Latin music would also be top of the list. I love dancing to Latin music with the music from the 1970s, the Fania days, being my favorite to dance to. American standards, many of which I was introduced to through movies, are also favorites. I recently discovered 1940s Junction on Sirius FM and it has become my favorite driving music. I should not mention that I daydream when I drive, but I do, and those daydreams are usually me on the arm of a handsome man dancing to one of the classic big bands in a legendary nightclub. 

3. If you could program a perfect day of classic movies for TCM, what would be the seven films on your schedule?

Wow, this is not easy. To be honest, my list would change by the day depending on my mood. There are so many movies I can watch repeatedly. At this writing, the following would do quite nicely although it would be difficult to tie them all to one theme. 

OUT of the PAST (1947)

4. What is a classic movie that you love, but most people don't know about -- and what do you love about it? 

My immediate answer is all movies featuring or starring Betty Grable. I know she is not remembered with the respect she should be as a top box office star for a decade. However, since I have already blogged about how much I adore Grable, my chosen movie for this endeavor is Preston Sturges' HAIL the CONQUERING HERO (1944.) I can't say whether this has been widely seen, but it seems to be less popular, and less regarded, as other movies directed by Sturges. For me it is one of his best. I came to it at a Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and left the theatre on a high. Since then, I have watched it several times. 

HAIL the CONQUERING HERO has a supremely entertaining cast, including Eddie Bracken, Ella Raines, William Demarest, Raymond Walburn, Franklin Pangborn, and Elizabeth Patterson. The story is about a small-town young man, William Lafayette Pershing Truesmith (Bracken), who longs to be a military hero like his Marine father, Hinky Dinky Truesmith, who died in WW1. Unfortunately, Woodrow only lasted a month in the Marines because of his chronic hay fever so he sets forth pretending to be a Marine and the results are delightful. An emotional, brilliant satire, HAIL the CONQUERING HERO puts the genius of writer/director Sturges on display, and it charms and captivates on several levels. 

5. What is something most people don't know about you? 

This could really be a number of things because I'm not a fan of talking about myself. After thinking about it for a bit, I decided to spice things up with an odd thing about me-- I have a fear of cotton. I mean, I do not run from a room if cotton finds itself there too, but I have an adverse reaction in certain cotton situations. 

The fear of cotton (primarily cotton balls) is known as sidonglobophobia, and it can be debilitating. Some people cannot even walk by cotton balls, or they avoid cotton swabs. My fear is not on the level. I use Q-tips every day after a shower. What I cannot do, however, is touch the cotton part of the tip. Opening medicine or vitamin bottles is extremely unpleasant because of the cotton often stuffed at the top. To deal with this challenging task, I have to remove the cotton with a scissor or tweezers to avoid getting close to it or the awful ripping apart of the cotton. I have goosebumps just thinking of it. It is also difficult when I have blood drawn and a cotton ball is applied to the needle puncture. Against my skin! Not fun. And when I remove nail polish, often removed using cotton, I use paper towels. While I do not suffer from severe symptoms many may suffer due to this or any other phobia, I know for sure cotton is not my friend. I will always avoid touching it. That is aside from my cotton towels, robes, and clothes. Those I enjoy. 

We thank Aurora for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit Once Upon A Screen ( ).   


  1. Neat interview! Really enjoyed it! :)

  2. Welcome Aurora, I stopped by your site, very cool. Good luck and stay away from cotton! Michael R