Thursday, February 1, 2024

CMBA Profile: Jay's Classic Movie Blog

 


Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we are featuring Jay Jacobson, who writes at Jay's Classic Movie Blog. 

1. Why do you blog?

That’s simple.To share, enlighten, and hopefully excite people about classic films. I grew up loving movies and eventually earned a university degree in film directing. In addition to production, I studied film theory and history, and worked and studied as an actor for decades. Over the years, people who know me would often ask me to suggest a classic film for them to watch. With the coming of COVID I thought it would be great to make a website suggesting a film a week to introduce people to classic cinema. My first posts were a bit more basic, but they quickly became more detailed, and now, in addition to introducing people to actors, directors, producers, writers, cinematographers and such, I also add pertinent historical information about the movie industry and possibly the world if it affected the film. My biggest joy is hearing that someone discovered a new favorite actor or film, or a new found love of “old movies” from my blog.

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

In addition to movies and acting, I also love music and am a singer-songwriter and have released five CDs thus far. I also love travel and have visited nearly forty countries so far.

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

That’s a tough one because I love and want to share so many movies. But here goes…

“All About Eve” 1950
You can’t beat this film’s sensational script or its performances making it a great introduction to classic movies. When I’ve shown it to people who resist “black and white” movies, they are always shocked at how good it is, and can’t wait to see more. It is the first film on my blog.

“Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans” 1927
Not simply because it is one of the greatest films ever made, I’d pick this because so many people are automatically opposed to seeing silent films (which is a shame), and this one gloriously shows the visual poetry, emotion, and how enthrallingly entertaining great silent films are. This film is bound to blow anyone away. It is extraordinary.

“Bringing Up Baby” 1938
Who doesn’t love a comedy?! And screwball comedies like this can only be found during the studio era. It's got Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant, May Robson, Barry Fitzgerald, and even Asta (the dog from "The Thin Man" movies). And event though I’ve seen it countless times, I still laugh with the same gusto every time I watch it. How can you beat that?!

“Bicycle Thieves” 1948
Great movies make us feel and few are as emotionally impactful as this one. A watershed film that influenced every film that came after it and it still remains among the greatest films ever made even from an entertainment point of view, its raw realism and heart continue to pack one heck of a wallop.

"Gone with the Wind” 1939
Though there are definite issues regarding its depiction of Blacks and the antebellum South (which I’d address in the intro and/or after the film), this is a certified landmark in sophisticated storytelling that remains topnotch entertainment. The artistry of its performances, direction, cinematography, music, costumes, etc., create a monumentally vibrant and alive movie. It’s a must see film and remains a favorite.

“Singin’ in the Rain” 1950
A perfect film if there ever was one. The colors, songs, humor, Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, and a comical but somewhat true depiction of the coming of sound to movies all make this one of the most enjoyable films ever made. I showed it to someone once who’d never seen a classic movie musical. He loved it and exclaimed, “I’ve never seen anything like that”.

“Hud” 1963
A profound character study that is gorgeously filmed, skillfully acted, and deceptively complex. Not your typical choice perhaps, but an all around fantastic film. It’s also a great example of how adult themes, movie star power, and cinematic artistry can create art that is also great moviegoing entertainment.

Very hard to make this list, and by doing so I reluctantly left out noir, Hitchcock, sci-fi, and so many great, great films….

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

A film I love that doesn’t quite get the recognition I feel it deserves is “The Misfits”, 1961. People know it because of Marilyn Monroe, but it’s rarely talked about as a “great” film or a true classic. That might be because of its enigmatic style, but that’s what I love about it. The gritty, mesmerizing performances by Monroe, Montgomery Clift, Clark Gable, Thelma Ritter, and Eli Wallach, the way the story bleeds into reality, and the film's insightful dialogue by Arthur Miller make this haunting movie continually captivating. It is a film I can watch over and over and over and still discover new things.

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

While starting out as an actor, I fell into a very successful career as a graphic designer. I worked for ad agencies, direct mail, movie studios, pharmaceutical companies, and many other places. One of my jobs was creating all the exhibit boards used by the prosecution for the O.J. Simpson trial.

We thank Jay for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit Jay's Classic Movie Blog. 

Monday, January 1, 2024

CMBA Profile: OUTSPOKEN & FRECKLED

 

Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we are featuring Kellee Pratt, who writes at Outspoken & Freckled. 

1. Why do you blog?

Likely like everyone else in the CMBA, I love classic film and I truly enjoy enjoy writing, as well. I love where researching a film, its cast and crew, and the background history leads me. A fascinating pursuit each time and I hope that my enthusiasm comes through in my writing. As a result, I've become part of a wonderful community of fellow classic film bloggers of whom many are dear friends. 

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

My passion for old movies has lead me to a career in teaching others. Many years ago, I began teaching through a city program where I live (... in the small college town of Lawrence, Kansas, the home of a few universities including my alma mater, the University of Kansas). My educational background is in public speaking so in addition to my series of classes, I have other speaking and teaching engagements- at community lunch-and-learns, at the local history museum, and this spring I will be teaching a series on Censorship in Early Hollywood through the Osher Institute at the University of Kansas.  

One of my other passions is gardening. There's so much to learn in the vast topic of gardening. So I decided to expand my knowledge by becoming a Master Gardener through my county's extension office. I completed my basic training this month and I will continue my education and volunteer hours every year going forward. I have a special interest in native plants, especially pollinator plants, and in supporting wildlife and biodiversity. I am registered nationally as a Monarch Waystation and I am certified as a Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation. Additionally, I'm an amateur birder. I love to watch a variety of birds flock to my feeders and trees in my yard- including hummingbirds, woodpeckers, owls, hawks and so many more. 

Otherwise, I am drawn to architecture, history, politics, social causes, interior design/home improvement projects, tennis, cooking/baking, and college basketball (Rock Chalk, Jayhawk!) I am fiercely loyal to my friends and family. My immediate family includes my husband, our 4 grown kids, and our 2 dogs and kitty.   

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

This question is difficult because I have very eclectic taste in film. It depends upon the day and my mood. It's also like asking which is my favorite child. (My husband would whisper, "oh just admit that it's Murphy.") I do have a special fondness for Film Noirs, Pre-Codes, and Comedies. But really, I love every genre and subgenre. Here are some long-standing favorites, in no particular order.

THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937)

Cary Grant is my favorite actor and, in my personal opinion, Irene Dunne was his ideal co-lead actress of his comedy films. This was their best film together and I wish they had made even more than only three.

GOLD DIGGERS OF 1933 (1933)

Every time I watch this, I escape into another world of song, dance, humor, and fantastic spectacle. The creativity of costumes and choreography is breathtaking. Incredible cast, and what a pulse on the Great Depression. You feel your worries melt away entranced by each musical number; undoubtedly that was true for movie goers of this time, too. If only until reality hits after the closing credits.    

METROPOLIS (1927)

Talk about a mind-blowing feast for the eyes. The visual effects and story-telling are outstanding. Not just for a silent film, but for any film. I'm so lucky to live in an area where there are great opportunities for silent film with live music (yes, right here in Kansas), as such I've screened my share of some silent film gems. There's good reason that this film is likely in the top three of silent films that most people who are less experienced with silents. It's not just mainstream, it's a masterpiece.   

THE GREAT RACE (1965)

This film is a nod to classic comedy in every way. The opening credits tell us it's Blake Edwards' tribute to Laurel and Hardy. No, this is not a biopic of their lives. But you'll find a lot of slapstick- by a hilarious duo of Jack Lemmon and Peter Falk. In addition to humor, you'll find adventure, swashbuckling, romance (with yummy Tony Curtis and drop-dead gorgeous Natalie Wood), and even a pie fight so grand in scale that it does bear tribute to a particular Laurel and Hardy gag- yet in technicolor.  

MURDER, MY SWEET (1944)

I know what you're thinking. Why not OUT OF THE PAST, DOUBLE INDEMNITY, or some grittier Warner Brothers B noir? From high-brow to low-brow, I love so many. MMS has all the right ingredients for a memorable noir. But there's also something so cheeky about it, too. It's those unforgettable "Philip Marlowe" lines, delivered by Dick Powell. He dives right into those bottomless black pools. 

BABY FACE (1933)

A Pre-Code essential. There's no subtlety in Barbara Stanwyck as Lily Powers' intentions. Just like there's no subtlety in the bleak world she must navigate. She is a rags-to-riches survivor. A feminist powerhouse. 

HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY (1941)

But Kellee, you always rattle on and on about how THE QUIET MAN is a Maureen O'Hara favorite for you and served as your Irish family's unofficial manual growing up to describe your heritage and ancestral homeland. What gives? True, true. But like I said, depends upon the day and mood. Today, I'm thinking of this beautiful film. From the performances, to the cinematography, to the storytelling itself, this is indeed a uniquely beautiful film. Did it 'rob' great films like CITIZEN KANE, SERGEANT YORK, and THE MALTESE FALCON for Best Picture Oscar? I love those incredible films, but the Academy got this right.  

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

If you're discussing most people within our community of classic film bloggers and fans, I find it difficult to name one that most are not already well aware. We have some incredibly astute fans in our community! But if I expand that 'most people' to mainstream film viewers, I can think of several Noirs and Pre-Codes that are off the beaten path. One that comes to mind is FINISHING SCHOOL (1934). On the surface, it's a coming-of-age story about boarding school girls trying to fit in, break rules, and explore their blooming sexuality. Frances Dee couldn't be more adorable. But WOWZA, there are some Pre-Code moments that literally pack a punch. I love it because the jaw-dropping scenes are so unexpected, especially from angelic-faced Dee. I saw it first at TCM Film Festival years ago, so I love the memories of that initial screening experience, too. 

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

Another tough question. I'm such a broadcaster, an over-sharer, that I'm straining to think of anything someone wouldn't already know about me (that isn't too personal, or private). Here's a couple of tidbits about me, anyway. 1) I love decorating the house for the holidays, but especially for Christmas. I have 4 Christmas trees that I leave up year-round, including a retro pink one in our bathroom that matches the original 1956 pink tub. The real tree is up from Thanksgiving to almost the 2nd week of January. 2) I grew up in a very colorful childhood in Taos, NM. My beautiful, hippie mother befriended many celebrities and artists that would visit or lived in Taos during that time, including - Dennis Hopper, Dean Stockwell, Michael Martin Murphey, and Neil Young. For a time, we lived with another family - another mom with 2 kids, similar ages as us. They had a big house and were British. They had recently moved to Taos from London and later moved to LA, where they had big dreams for the daughter's acting career. The daughter, who was a couple years younger than me, her name- Olivia d'Abo. You may know her from "The Wonder Years" and other films/TV. Her mom- Maggie London, was a hugely successful model for Vidal Sassoon in the swinging sixties London. She had uncredited acting roles in A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (dancing with Ringo Starr), and in 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (she speaks the first line in the film, in the elevator of the space station.) Maggie's husband at the time, composer/singer Mike d'Abo, was busy during the 60s and 70s as a popular British rock singer in bands like Manfred Mann. Mike's first cousin is Maryam d'Abo, a 'Bond girl' in THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS. Olivia's brother Ben, who also lived with us and was slightly older than Olivia, was very sweet and loved to dance around pretending to be Rod Stewart. 

We thank Kellee for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit OUTSPOKEN & FRECKLED. 



 

 

Friday, December 1, 2023

CMBA Profile: SHADOWS and SATIN

 


Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we're featuring Karen Hannsberry, who writes at SHADOWS AND SATIN.  

CMBA: Why do you blog? 

Karen: I have a pretty simple answer to that one - because I love to write and because I love classic movies. Blogging was made for me - it gives me the chance, on any given day, to write to my heart's content about whatever I want to explore and discuss.  

CMBA: Besides classic movie blogging, what are some of your other passions?  

Karen: I'm passionate about the film noir newsletter, The Dark Pages, that I started almost 20 years ago. It may not make me rich, but it's a true labor of love. Also, I'm passionate about my collections- I have many: classic movie magazines, old radios, clocks, shot glasses, refrigerator magnets, dolls, ashtrays, autographed photos, classic movie lobby cards, and books that were made into classic films. 

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

Karen: This was a lot harder than I thought it would be- I wanted to include a silent movie, a western, a musical, a Pre-Code, and a film noir- plus movies featuring my favorite three actresses: Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, and Barbara Stanwyck. So here goes ...

The Gunfighter (1950) 

I'm fond of a lot of westerns, but I love The Gunfighter the best. It's such a good story, with memorable performances from all of the cast, especially Gregory Peck and Helen Westcott. And a great ending. 

Night Nurse (1931)

This film filled the bill for both a Pre-Code and a Stanwyck movie - and it's one of my favorites for both. Plus, it's one of the few films from that era where a crime goes unpunished, and I love that!

Sunrise: A Tale of Two Humans (1927)

Sunrise is one of the only silent films that I've seen more than once. It's that good. 

Sunset Blvd. (1950)

Sunset Blvd. is the focus film for the Dark Pages newsletter's 'giant issue' for December 2023, and I've been immersed in it for the last several weeks, loving it more every time I see it. 

Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

I'm not a huge fan of musicals as a rule, but the ones that I love, I REALLY love. And I REALLY love Bye Bye Birdie. The songs, the dance numbers, the color, Ann Margret, Paul Lynde ... the list goes on and on. It's a real feel-good movie.

Queen Bee (1955)

It's not my favorite Joan Crawford movie, but I selected Queen Bee for my Crawford pick because I saw it a few years ago at the TCM film festival, and it was just so much fun. 

All This, and Heaven Too (1940)

This is my Bette Davis pick. There were so many good ones to choose from, but I wanted to select one that's not mentioned very often but deserves to be seen. 

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

Karen: That's easy - Young and Willing (1943), starring William Holden, Susan Hayward, and Eddie Bracken. It's a silly little comedy but I've always loved it. It cracks me up every time I watch it. For years, I never met anyone who'd even heard of it, but now it's on YouTube, so I hope more people will begin to check it out. 

CMBA: What is something that most people don't know about you? 

Karen: I have an Etsy store called Kim and Karen's Patio, where I sell all kinds of vintage items, including cookbooks, glassware, albums, salt and pepper shakers, classic movie magazines, sheet music, framed magazine ads, vases, serving dishes - I even have an antique ice cream scoop and a 1935 Shirley Temple Photo Flip Book. You never know what might turn up!

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We thank Karen for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit SHADOWS and SATIN. 





 



 




















Monday, November 6, 2023

The CMBA Presents the 2023 Fall Blogathon: Blogathon & the Beast

 


 The Classic Movie Blog Association is over the moon to present the 2023 CMBA Fall Blogathon: Blogathon & the Beast. The blogathon, for CMBA members only, runs Nov. 6-10th, 2023, and focuses on iconic characters who are caught in a struggle with their primal inclinations and those who challenge social norms.

The entries submitted by our CMBA members can be accessed below  please stop by their blogs to read and comment on these offerings. Enjoy!

Monday, November 6, 2023 

A Person in the Dark — Leave Her to Heaven: The Beast Inside the Beauty

Cary Grant Won't Eat You — Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo

Real Weegie Midget Reviews — Purple Noon (Plein Soleil) (1960)

Silver Screenings — The Bad Seed (1956)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 

Poppity Talks Classic Film — Character analysis: Wally Fay in Mildred Pierce

Film Fanatic — Scarface (1983)

Cinematic Scribblings — The Bad Sleep Well

The Silver Screen Affair — Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity 

Filmland Follies — Airborne Adventuress: Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Whimsically Classic — Queen Christina (1933)

Box Office Poisons - Queen Yllana of Queen of Outer Space

Outspoken & Freckled - Angel Face (1952)

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Another Old Movie Blog — Criss Cross (1949)

Crítica Retrô — The Divorcee (1930)

The Last Drive In — Dietrich and Anna May Wong in Shanghai Express (1932)

Classic Film And TV Corner - Elsa Bannister In The Lady From Shanghai (1948) 

Friday, November 10, 2023

Spellbound With Beth Ann — Valkoinen PeuraThe White Reindeer (1952)

Once Upon a Screen — Robert Walker as Bruno Antony in Strangers on a Train

Silver Screen Classics — La Belle Et La Bete (1946)

A Vintage Nerd  — Kansas City Bomber (1972)

Speakeasy — Creature Feature "Beast" movies, Ranked

Shadows and Satin — The Beasts of Joan Crawford Noirs

Watching Forever --  Kay Francis in In Name Only (1939)

Second Sight Cinema — Joan Crawford in Humoresque (1946)

Silver Scenes - Irene from Cat People (1942)

The Everyday Cinephile -  The Beast Within: The Hands of Orlac (1924) & Mad Love (1935)

 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

CMBA Profile: THE LAST DRIVE IN

 


Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we're featuring Jo Gabriel, who writes at THE LAST DRIVE IN. 

1. Why do you blog?

My mother, who was deeply involved in the theater, played a pivotal role in nurturing my passion for culture and classic film. She introduced me to the captivating allure of Bette Davis' expressive eyes and the undeniable sensuality of Ava Gardner. Our home was filled with the melodies of show tunes that she'd belt out without hesitation, and I can still vividly recall her unabashed admiration for John Garfield and Gene Kelly.

As I embarked on my personal journey to uncover the intricate details of specific actors, directors, cinematographers, genres, and more, I found myself tumbling down a rabbit hole much like Alice's descent into the well. I became fully immersed in the convergence of the subjects I was exploring, opening myself up to a world that I've come to regard as one of the most fulfilling aspects of being a classic film and television enthusiast. It delights me to offer my unique interpretations, and over time, I've evolved to approach things with a more discerning eye, moving away from my earlier cheeky perspective.

I like to think of my blog as a place where individuals can discover intriguing tidbits or revisit cherished clips related to their favorite topics or even stumble upon new ones that pique their interest. One of the most rewarding aspects of my deep-rooted passion for classic films and television is the desire to share my self-discoveries with like-minded enthusiasts. The blogging community has not only provided me with a platform for this purpose but has also led to the formation of some remarkable friendships along the way – truly exceptional individuals whom I may never have crossed paths with otherwise.

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

I am an internationally recognized singer/songwriter who although self taught on piano since I was 8 years old, is often assumed to be classically trained. 

Up until the time I became seriously ill there wasn’t a day that I wasn’t sitting at my piano writing music. For me composing, playing and singing my own work is akin to meditating. It was a great release for me. That is why my love of classic film has truly been a godsend, being taken out of my physical struggles with pain and delivering me to wonderful places that I used to go when I was either playing piano in my living room for my family of cats or out in New York City performing live for a dedicated fan base. 

Which leads me to my other passion. Cats… My life long partner Wendy and I have spent a good part of two decades rescuing cats - doing TNR, rehoming kittens and adult strays or just plain failed fostering them. Living among cats is perhaps one of the most extraordinary experiences of my life. They have taught me many sacred lessons - some so simple and some as complex as they tend to be and are consistently underestimated about. I’ll always be grateful for their love, loyalty and humor. 

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

A day of Val Lewton. I’m forever moved by the visual poetry of his work, with an internal human evil that plays on our collective psyches. The films are vaguely supernatural awakened by the ambiguity of each films shadow play. All 9 pictures could be considered horror/noir. The supernatural exigency is never confirmed but left suggestive in our minds. Three of the collective works feature Boris Karloff who had stated that after his immortal relationship with the Frankenstein’s monster, Lewton not only saved his life (career) but ‘restored his soul.’ 

1 Cat People
2 I walked with a zombie
3 The Seventh Victim
4 Bedlam
5 Isle of the Dead
6 The Ghost Ship
7 The Body Snatcher

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

The Queen of Spades 1949 directed by Thorold Dickinson, and based on Alexander Puschkin’s novella of the same name is a beautifully macabre and haunting film which stars Anton Walbrook, as the outsider Herman a duplicitous Russian captain who secretly resents yet yearns for the same wealth as his fellow officers. He sets up an elaborate plan to steal the secrets possessed by an unpleasant old Countess (Edith Evans) who has struck up a bargain with the devil so that she may never lose at cards in trade for her immortal soul. Under the guise of wooing her hand maid, Herman uses Yvonne Mitchell to gain access to the miserable old woman, then murders her only to be haunted by her spirit. Jack Clayton was the associate producer on the film and odd camera angles by cinematographer Otto Heller (The Ladykillers 1955, Peeping Tom 1960) create a striking sense of grandeur and unease reminiscent of silent German expressionist movement. Both Walbrook and Evans are equally chilling in their roles of two people - one diabolical and the other dour who have lost their souls to darkness.


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

I’m a solitary practitioner of Wicca and green magic - which translates to - I observe the natural world and its many glorious details and miracles that go unseen by a lot of people. Unlike many patriarchal based religions - the Earth is my deity… as fruity & hippy as that sounds!

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We thank Jo for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit THE LAST DRIVE IN! 







Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The Fall 2023 CMBA Blogathon: Blogathon & the Beast

It’s almost here! Time for the CMBA Fall Blogathon! This year’s theme is “Blogathon & The Beast:’’ 

King Kong, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Cody Jarrett, Night of the Hunter’s Harry Powell, Shelley Winters as Bloody Mama, or Bonnie & Clyde. All iconic characters who are caught in a struggle with their primal inclinations.

The blogathon ‘beast' does not have to be a literal “beast,” or a menacing, or criminal character, although it can be! It also could be a complex protagonist who challenges social norms, such as the quintessential film noir anti-hero, the pre-Code heroine, Dietrich's enigmatic Shanghai Lily, Pacino's determined Serpico, the indomitable characters from Seven Samurai, or the outrageously zany Tasmanian devil from Warner Brothers' roster. 

If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time! Please use this form to submit your topic choice, blog name, and preferred date for posting, if any. 

Because there is such a variety of topics to choose from, we won't be accepting duplicates. Topic selections will be accepted in order of receipt.

To promote the blogathon on your blog, take your pick from any of the banners at the bottom of this post. 

We’re really looking forward to another great blogathon! 

Monday, November 6, 2023 

A Person in the Dark — Leave Her to Heaven: The Beast Inside the Beauty

Cary Grant Won't Eat You — Jimmy Stewart in Vertigo

Real Weegie Midget Reviews — Purple Noon (Plein Soleil) (1960)

Silver Screenings — The Bad Seed (1956)

Tuesday, November 7, 2023 

Poppity Talks Classic Film — Character analysis: Wally Fay in Mildred Pierce

Film Fanatic — Scarface (1983)

Cinematic Scribblings — The Bad Sleep Well

The Silver Screen Affair — Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson in Double Indemnity 

Filmland Follies — Airborne Adventuress: Katharine Hepburn in Christopher Strong

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Second Sight Cinema — Joan Crawford in Humoresque (1946)

Silent Cinema School — London After Midnight (1927)

Whimsically Classic — Queen Christina (1933)

Box Office Poisons - Queen Yllana of Queen of Outer Space

Outspoken & Freckled - Angel Face (1952)

Thursday, November 9, 2023

Another Old Movie Blog — Criss Cross (1949)

Crítica Retrô — The Divorcee (1930)

The Last Drive In — Dietrich and Anna May Wong in Shanghai Express (1932)

Classic Film And TV Corner - Elsa Bannister In The Lady From Shanghai (1948)

Friday, November 10, 2023

Spellbound With Beth Ann — Valkoinen PeuraThe White Reindeer (1952)

Once Upon a Screen — Robert Walker as Bruno Antony in Strangers on a Train

Silver Screen Classics — La Belle Et La Bete (1946)

A Vintage Nerd  — Kansas City Bomber (1972)

Speakeasy — Creature Feature "Beast" movies, Ranked

Shadows and Satin — The Beasts of Joan Crawford Noirs 

Watching Forever - Kay Francis in In Name Only (1939)

 
















 

Sunday, October 1, 2023

CMBA Profile: ONCE UPON A SCREEN


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 ( https://aurorasginjoint.com/ ).  



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. 

ABBOTT and COSTELLO MEET FRANKENSTEIN (1948) 
OUT of the PAST (1947)
HIS GIRL FRIDAY (1940)
THE AWFUL TRUTH (1937)
THE LADY EVE (1941)
THE HUNCHBACK of NOTRE DAME (1939)
THE LETTER (1940)

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. 

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






Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Announcing the Fall 2023 CMBA Blogathon: Blogathon & the Beast


It's almost time for the CMBA Fall Blogathon!

King Kong, Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Cody Jarrett, Night of the Hunter’s Harry Powell, Shelley Winters as Bloody Mama, or Bonnie & Clyde. All iconic characters who are caught in a struggle with their primal inclinations.

That is the topic of CMBA’s fall blogathon, Blogathon and the Beast!

 The blogathon ‘beast' does not have to be a literal “beast,” or a menacing, or criminal character, although it can be! It also could be a complex protagonist who challenges social norms, such as the quintessential film noir anti-hero, the pre-Code heroine, Dietrich's enigmatic Shanghai Lily, Pacino's determined Serpico, the indomitable characters from Seven Samurai, or the outrageously zany Tasmanian devil from Warner Brothers' roster. 

This subject delves into the complexity of free will and natural instincts inherent in a wide variety of characters, whether cast as malevolent antagonists or tough protagonists. 

“Blogathon and the Beast” embraces a broad spectrum of characters who defy societal constraints or the natural order of things. Let your imagination roam free and embrace the diversity of this intriguing theme!

The blogathon, for CMBA members only, will run November 6-10, 2023. Please use this form to submit your topic choice, blog name, and preferred date for posting, if any. Because there is such a variety of topics to choose from, we won't be accepting duplicates. Topic selections will be accepted in order of receipt.

To promote the blogathon on your blog, take your pick from any of the banners at the bottom of this post.

We look forward to another great blogathon!















Friday, September 1, 2023

CMBA Profile: FILMYCKS

 


Each month, the CMBA profiles a classic movie blog written by one of our members. This month, we're featuring Michael Roberts, who writes at FILMYCKS. 

1. Why do you blog?

Firstly, I like the challenge of distilling my thoughts on the films I love into an essay form, as it’s a great way to improve your writing. As a bonus if I can convey my interest to others to promote those films I write about, it might just light a spark for them. There’s such a world of pleasure and information to be found there and it’s a passion of mine to champion quality films from any era, but especially classic film.

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

I’m a musician, so music has always been a huge part of my world and who I am. I’m a Beatle tragic, so they got me interested in playing and I’ve played in bands and produced and written songs all my adult life. Currently playing and singing in a piano bar in Hobart and writing novels for eBooks. I’ve published 5 eBooks so far, 4 on songwriting and one on The Beatles on Film, but I’m expanding and updating that one currently.

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

I’d probably program something in sequence based on year of release.
I’d start with a Von Sternberg-Dietrich collab and go from there, but the seven would change based on the mood I’m in. Today’s mood?
Shanghai Express
Only Angels Have Wings
The Grapes of Wrath
Out Of The Past
The Furies
Some Like It Hot
The Sweet Smell of Success
- A hard-edged lot with a Wilder comedy for a little relief!

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

A Powell and Pressburger gem called Gone To Earth. It was made in 1950 and released in the US as The Wild Heart. It was a struggle due to David Selznick, who produced and demanded his new wife, Jennifer Jones star in it. Nonetheless, Jones is lovely, as is the rest of a great cast and the film is brilliant. It has the strangeness of Michael Powell’s askew Englishness and the unsettling darkness of a tragic folk tale that beautifully essays man’s struggle between the ethereal and the corporeal via the love triangle device of Mary Webb’s source novel.

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

Mmm... I’m an open book, so nothing interesting to speak of. Unless you count arriving at Roswell on a spaceship, being the shooter on the Grassy Knoll, filming the fake moon landing with Stanley Kubrick and inventing Crypto currency (because there’s a sucker born every minute) then I’m struggling to come up with anything!

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We thank Michael for participating in our Q&A profile and encourage you to visit FILMYCKS.