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!