Friday, August 31, 2012

The Pride Of The Yankees

The Pride Of The Yankees
Released Date: March 5, 1943
Director: Sam Wood
Actors: Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright, Babe Ruth, Walter Brennan, Dan Duryea, Elsa Janssen, Ludwig Stossel, Virginia Gilmore, and Bill Dickey

     "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth!" Lou Gehrig said these words on Tuesday, July 4th, 1939 to millions of fans. It was to be his retirement speech, his farewell. He was loved by so many young boys across America. As a matter of fact, as seen in this film, a young boy at the beginning of Lou Gehrig's career was visited by this great athlete at the hospital. The boy had been severely injured and looked as if he may not walk again. The boy asked Lou Gehrig to hit three home runs in the game that night, Gehrig said he would try awful hard but that it was difficult, he could promise one, but three? He may have been able to hit a lot of home runs, and usually was able to hit at least one a game. Lou Gehrig asked the boy to do him a favor as well, to one day walk out of the hospital. Gehrig hit the three home runs, and boy did end up walking again. For the young boy was at the farewell speech that day and threw down his crutches to show Lou Gehrig that he was able to walk on his own two feet without any problems.

     Henry Louis 'Lou' Gehrig (Gary Cooper) was born a baseball player. Playing all through his childhood, his play buddies even called him "Iron Horse." This movie is based on the amazing Yankees baseball player. We see him begin his career, we watch his amazing mother as she supported his career choice. We watch as Lou Gehrig took a wife, Eleanor Twitchell Gehrig (Teresa Wright), and we watch as she struggles with knowing her husbands fate and trying to hide that fact. Babe Ruth, actually played Babe Ruth in this movie. Lou Gehrig was actually left handed and played that way, and Gary Cooper, who was not a fan of baseball, therefor did not really know how to play, was able to play left handed, even though he was right. This movie is very sweet. I cried while watching this movie, and felt that Gary Cooper, Teresa Wright and the rest of the cast and crew did an amazing job.

     Gary Cooper is actually in the baseball hall of fame along with Teresa Wright. The year Teresa Wright died (2005) she was honored at a baseball game when they showed all the players that died that year. She did a great performance.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monkey Business

Monkey Business 
Released Date: November 7, 1952
Director: Howard Hawks
Actors: Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Hugh Marlowe, Henri Letondal, and Robert Cornthwaite

     I would have to say, that even though Ginger Rogers is older in this movie, she only looks older. Meaning, that there is a scene where she has to act younger, and she does, without any problems. And so does Cary Grant. But Ms. Rogers also shows us an amazing part where she puts a half full water glass on her forehead and  she maneuvers herself to a sitting down position and then to a laying down one as well. It is very cool.

     Dr. Barnaby Fulton (Cary Grant) is a scientist and is trying to find a formula to make people younger. Which he is trying to make into a pill form for a chemical company. A monkey that is used to see if the experiment works, gets out of his cage and makes the concoction himself. And it works. Dr. Barnaby tries it on himself and becomes a teenager again. Miss Lois Laurel (Marilyn Monroe) is Dr. Fulton's secretary and gets to "take a ride" with Dr. Fulton while in a teenager frame of mind. Then Dr. Barnaby has his wife come in and try the potion herself. Mrs. Edwina Fulton (Ginger Rogers) becomes even younger because she takes double the dose. And gets a man that is in love with her, to feel that Edwina will divorce her husband which means Hank Entwhistle (Hugh Marlowe) a chance. Does that happen? Or will the couple stay together? Watch and see. This movie is very funny and will have you laughing all the way through. 

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Made For Each Other

Made For Each Other
Released Date: February 10, 1939
Director: John Cromwell
Actors: Carole Lombard, James Stewart, Charles Coburn, Lucile Watson, Eddie Quillan, and Alma Kruger

     Carole Lombard was an amazing and well loved actress back in the early era of Hollywood. She was well known for her comedic roles, and even got Alfred Hitchcock to make his one and only comedy movie, Mr and Mrs. Smith. Carole Lombard was born as Jane Alice Peters on October 6, 1908 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Her parents divorced soon after her birth. Carole decided, while in high school to become an actress. She even left school to become one. She was married to famous actors William Powell and also till her death, Gone With The Wind star, Clark Gable. Carole, her mother and 20 others died on January 16, 1942 from a plane crash. The plane crashed in a mountain in the State of Nevada. Carole was only 33. Ms. Lombard was very big with war relief efforts, and was at a war bond rally when after, she was in the plane that ended her life so early. Sad and heart broken, her husband at the time, Clark Gable joined the Army to be in the War. He joined, he said, for his wife.

     Young lawyer John Horace Mason (James Stewart) meets his young wife to be Jane Mason (Carole Lombard) and marries early on in their relationship. Well, they only knew each other for a day.... Jane's family disapproves and John's thinking is that when he moves up in his job, then his in-laws would approve and love him too. The first year of marriage, they say, is the toughest. Learning more about each other that you would not get from dating. And seeing how things work out with one another's family too. They also have money issues. They end up having a baby, a son, who ends up getting pneumonia. And the only way to save their son is by having a serum flown from Salt Lake City to New York. But all the planes are grounded due to bad weather... Yes, they do learn that they are Made For Each Other, but do they last? Are things too difficult to handle? And are they problems they face with in-laws make for a divorce? Find out by watching this movie made early on in Hollywood. 1939... we are almost at the 100 year anniversary. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Young Frankenstein

Young Frankenstein
Released Date: December 15, 1974
Director: Mel Brooks
Actors: Gene Wilder, Peter Boyle, Marty Feldman, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Kenneth Mars, Richard Haydn, and Madeline Kahn

     According to film fact historians, the filmmakers used the same props as the original Frankenstein movie.  Mel Brooks, the director, made the wolf howling sounds at some points of the picture. The facts also said that Mel Brooks and all the cast had so much fun doing the movie, that they were all upset when it ended. Mel Brooks even added more to the movie to make it last a little longer. Also, this was Gene Wilder's favorite movie of his own. My own opinion as well is that this is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I laughed a lot and hard. Mel Brooks is one of a kind.

     We follow Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (Gene Wilder) who is a lecturer at a med school in America. He is also engaged to a very uptight woman by the name of Elizabeth (Madeline Kahn). Frederick finds out that his grandfather is the famous scientist, Dr. Frankenstein and that he has inherited his family's estate.  He travels to Transylvania and meets with the new and sexy lab assistant Ings (Teri Garr), and the wide eyed servant Igor (Marty Feldman).  He also meets with Frau Blucher (Cloris Leachman) who, for some reason, upsets the horses when her name is said out loud.  The gang finds Dr. Frankenstein's old laboratory and his notes for reanimating a corpse so, they decide to dig up a newly dead criminal and now all they need is a highly intelligent brain.  Igor accidently steals the brain of someone named  Abby Normal and things go quickly from bad to worse.  To find out what happens you will have to watch this amazing movie.  You may be able to catch it on TV, but, I would recommend watching the unedited version, you will not be disappointed.

The Navigator

The Navigator
Released Date: October 13, 1924
Directors: Donald Crisp, and Buster Keaton
Actors: Buster Keaton, Kathryn McGuire, and Frederick Vroom

     This was a silent film, and done by the great actor of the silent era, Buster Keaton. Keaton began his idea for this picture when he found a ship that was suppose to be torn down and thrown away. A lot of actors back in the silent era did not want to step into the sound movies because they had so much experience with silent and was not use to talking for their acting. But Buster had so much experience with the stage, he was very eager to start anew with sound moving pictures. Keaton suffered with drinking issues that started due to having so many flops with movies. He ended up dying after playing cards one night with his wife. Keaton also suffered with cancer. Even though he had a tough adult life, he made a huge impact in movie history. And one man to be honored and watched. He made a lot of comedies. So sit back and enjoy one after another. His movies are very short and also very entertaining.

     We follow, in this film, a man named Rollo (Buster Keaton). Whom is in love with a woman named Betsy (Kathryn McGuire). Before proposing, Rollo buys his love a cruise to Honolulu. He proposes and gets denied. Sad and unsure of the future, he decides to aboard the cruise alone. Rollo ends up aboard Betsy's father's ship that is suppose to be cut loose from the dock the next day. Meanwhile, Betsy is looking for her father, she goes on his ship that Rollo is also on. The ship gets cut away. Will they realize that the ship has been cut off and they are no longer able to set foot on dry land? Will they find each others company on this HUGE ship? There is only one way to find out ;) Check this movie out, I promise you no regrets. 

Thursday, August 9, 2012

A Hitchcock movie Quiz.

Okay, I thought it would be really cool to make up a movie quiz on my favorite director's movies. See if you know the answers. :) You can answer if you would like.

1. What was Tippi Hedren's first movie with Hitchcock?
A: Marnie
B: The Birds

2. What was Joseph Cotten and Teresa's name on Shadow of a Doubt?
A: Kelly
B. Chris
C. Charlie
D. Danny

3. What was Hitchcock's first American movie?
A. Rebecca
B. Shadow of a Doubt
C. Marnie
D. Strangers on a Train

4. From this list, what did Hitchcock NOT make/do?
A. Make a black and white film
B. Make a Color Film
C. Make a 3-D movie
D. Talk in his movies

5. What was a rule to see Psycho make by Hitchcock himself?
A. Do not talk during the movie
B. Do not give away the ending to friends, and don't show up late to it
C. No children allowed
D. All of the above

6. Out of this list, what movie is Black and White?
A. Marnie
B. Shadow of a Doubt
C. To Catch a Thief 
D. Dial "M" for Murder

7. How many Hitchcock films was Farley Granger in?
A. 2
B. 1
C. 3
D. 4

8. How many Hitchcock movies were Patricia Hitchcock in?
A. 4
B. 2
C. 3
D. 9

9. What was Hitchcock's last movie made?
A. Family Plot
B. Topaz
C. Marnie
D. Frenzie

10. Alfred Hitchcock made a Comedy?
A. False
B. True

11. What was Tony Wendice's job in Dial "M" for Murder?
A. Tennis Player
B. Writer
C. Actor
D. Sells Sports Equipment

12. What was Rope's tagline?
A. Let's eat on our dead guest's grave!
B. Sitting around familiar death!
C. The guest who's dead on time.
D. Time to dine and die.

13. What Came First?
A. Vertigo
B. Psycho

14. What was the Confession in I Confess?
A. Stealing
B. Stealing and Kidnapping
C. Murder
D. Stealing and Murder

15. What was Henry Fonda's Character suspected of in The Wrong Man?
A. Rape
B. Kidnapping
C. Robbery
D. Murder

16. Which actress never worked with Hitchcock from this list?
A. Bette Davis
B. Grace Kelly
C. Vera Miles
D. Katharine Hepburn

17. What was the teacher's name in The Birds?
A. Michele Brenner
B. Annie Daniels
C. Annie Hayworth
D. Annie Brenner

18. In North By Northwest, what did the "O" stand for in Roger O. Thornhill?
A. Oswald
B. Oscar
C. Othello
D. Nothing

19. What was stolen in To Catch a Thief?
A. Jewels
B. Money
C. Children
D. Cars

20. Why was L. B. Jefferies stuck at home in Rear Window?
A. Lost his job
B. Broken leg
C. Cold
D. Wedding

21. Rope is based on a true story.
A. True
B. False

22. Tippi Hedren named her daughter after her role in The Birds?
A. False
B. True

23. Gregory Peck was which Hitchcock film:
A. Spellbound
B. A and C
C. The Paradine Case
D. To Catch a Thief 

24. How many movie was Teresa Wright in with Hitchcock?
A. 1
B. 5
C. 2
D. 4

25. Hitchcock wanted to divorce his wife.
A. True
B. False

26. Grace Kelly wanted to be in another Hitchcock film but her husband said no.
A. True
B. False

27. Strangers on a Train was set where?
A. Washington State
B. California
C. Texas
D. Washington D.C.

Monday, August 6, 2012


Released Date: December 28, 1945
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
Actors: Ingrid Bergman, Gregory Peck, Michael Checkhov, Leo G. Carroll, Rhonda Fleming, John Emery, Norman Lloyd, and Bill Goodwin

     A little fact to give you outside of this movie is, is that Alfred Hitchcock was knighted one year before his death. And I'm guessing that you never hear him being called Sir Alfred Hitchcock because of that fact. But a little fact about the film is that this is one of the first Hollywood pictures to deal with psychoanalysis. The dream sequence in this movie is designed by the artist, Salvador Dali. He was a huge artist around this time and wanted a certain amount of money for each sequence. Because Alfred Hitchcock wanted to work with him so badly, he agreed to that amount. The expense was costing a pretty penny, but totally worth it. There is snow falling in this movie, and they used cornflakes for snowfall. That is also how you get the crunch sound while the actor on screen is walking.

     This picture follows Dr. Constance Peterson (Ingrid Bergman) who works at the Green Manors mental hospital in Vermont. The Dr. is very interested in her work and loves working and learning under the head of the institution, Dr. Murchison (Leo G. Carroll). They get a call that they will be getting a Dr. in that also wrote a psychoanalysis research book. They expect someone older and when Dr. Edwards (Gregory Peck) arrives, they are very shocked about how young the Dr. is. Dr. Peterson is very intrigued by his good looks. They go out one day, on a little date for a picnic during their lunch break. They soon fall in love, but Dr. Peterson learns that Dr. Edwards has fears of his own. He also blames himself for something he obviously did not do. He is afraid of snow and needs help fast. Will Dr. Peterson rid him of this terrible guilt complex? Is he the famous author of the psychoanalysis research book that he claims is his own?

     Ingrid Bergman said she learned a lot from this wonderful director. One day on set she said to Hitch about playing a certain part: "I don't feel like that, I don't think I can give you that kind of emotion" and Hitchcock brilliantly said "Fake it!!" She never forgot that and remembered it for the rest of her acting career. 

Libeled Lady

Libeled Lady
Released Date: October 9, 1936
Director: Jack Conway
Actors: Jean Harlow, William Powell, Myrna Loy, Spencer Tracy, Walter Connolly, Charley Grapewin, and Cora Witherspoon

     Jean Harlow was an amazing woman/actress. She was known as playing the dumb blonde, when in reality, she was a very smart woman. She died rather young to issues with uremic poisoning, she ended up passing away on on June 7, 1937. Rather soon after this movie was made. Also during the filming, she ended up getting sunburn poisoning as well. She was dating William Powell during the filming of this picture. Who had made 14 films prior to this one in which he ended up with Myrna Loy at the end. Jean Harlow wanted to be that gal to win him over, but the studio thought she would be the wrong actress for that part.

     Connie Allenbury (Myrna Loy) was in hot pursuit to file a lawsuit against Warren Haggerty (Spencer Tracy) and his newspapers for having spread a filthy rumor that she broke up a marriage. Haggerty was suppose to marry his long time girlfriend Gladys (Jean Harlow) but he now has a different approach to marriage. He now wants Gladys to get married but to his old pal Bill Chandler (William Powell). The scheme is to get Bill Chandler and Connie Allenbury smitten and Gladys is to walk in on them. Which will break up Gladys and Bill Chandler. And that would mean that the newspapers are right all along. Will that work? Watch as this twister film becomes tangled up in a world wind romance. This movie is a lot of fun. And Jean Harlow is amazing in it! It is rather sad that her film career was cut so short. She would have made it big. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Meet Me In St. Louis

Meet Me In St. Louis
Released Year: 1944
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Actors: Judy Garland, Margaret O'Brien, Mary Astor, Lucille Bremer, Leon Ames, Tom Drake, Marjorie Main, Harry Davenport, June Lockhart, Henry H. Daniels Jr., Joan Carroll, Hugh Marlowe, and Robert Sully

     You notice Vincente Minnelli and Judy Garland are both a part of this picture? Well this movie is where they met, fell in love and soon after, they married. Judy Garland played a teenager in this film but was 21 when filming began. Miss. Garland was not a fan of playing parts of people she was not close to in age, or at least she said she was not happy about playing a teenager while being 20 and above. This movie has the song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". But did you know that before Judy Garland made the writers change the lyrics around, the song went like this: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, it may be your last?" But because Judy Garland refused to sing that line to Margaret O'Brien, they changed it. Which the newer version is way better.

     This well loved musical is based around the Smith Family in St. Louis around the famous world wide fair. The first part of this movie is based around summer, a year before the big fair. All is well, with Tootie Smith (Margaret O'Brien) on the ice truck with her dear old friend and one of her sick dolls, who is about to die of four fatal diseases. While at home Esther (Judy Garland) is convinced that her sister Rose (Lucille Bremer) is about to get a call long distance from New York to get proposed to. Which makes Esther ask the family maid Katie (Marjorie Main) to serve dinner an hour earlier. Rose, sadly, does not get asked in her hand of marriage, and because Mr. Smith refused to eat dinner early, the whole family was sitting at the dinner table listening to the whole conversation. Esther finds herself falling for the boy next door too, after meeting at a party thrown by the Smith kids, John Truett (Tom Drake), whom is the boy next door, also finds himself falling for Esther too. Mr. Smith comes home one day and tells the family that his work is going to move him to New York. Around Christmas which also means that they will not be living in St. Louis for the fair. Everyone is so distraught and nobody wants to move except the father. The movie takes us through Halloween, and unto Christmas. Will the family move? Will Esther and John stay together? Will Rose get proposed to by the end of this picture? Find out by watching this famous movie. And one you will not soon forget. 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein

Bud Abbott and Lou Costello Meet Frankenstein
Released Date: June 15, 1948
Director: Charles Barton
Actors: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Lon Chaney Jr., Bela Lugosi, Glenn Strange, Lenore Aubert, Jane Randolph, Frank Ferguson, and Charles Bradstreet

     You will notice while watching this film that Costello is wearing a bracelet. The bracelet has engraved, his son's name that died. His son drowned one day at the families home pool. They are not certain how the boy got into the pool. He was in his own play pin outside, and it was not that close to the pool. The boy was too young to walk and he could not have gotten himself out of the play pin. The only person at the home was supposedly the house keeper. The mother, Lou's wife was not at the house, but out shopping. Suspicious, yes?

     Wilbur (Lou Costello) and Chick (Bud Abbott) work at a package delivery company. Then then discover that they have two large packages for the McDougol's House of Horrors. The packages contain remains of Dracula (Bela Lugosi) and Frankenstein (Glenn Strange). Wilbur and Chick take the two packages over to the house of horrors. Which makes Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) fly from London to stop Dracula and Frankenstein's awake. Dracula and Frankenstein become alive in front of Chick but poor old Chick is not believed, for the two monsters become like stone whenever someone looks at them. McDougol (Frank Ferguson) comes to his house of horrors, only to discover that the two monsters are not in their rightful place. When Chick tries to tell them that the two monsters got out themselves, McDougol, who brought along an officer, believes that they stole the two remains and throws the two in jail overnight. The two men, Wilbur and Chick are invited to a party. Where the two monsters will attend. Will everyone realize that Wilbur was telling the truth? Or will Wilbur lose his brain for Dracula's Frankenstein? Find out during the film. And laugh out loud as Abbott and Costello run around and run into walls. Costello is one funny man and it is amazing how Abbott has to have a straight face. It is said that Costello was paid less than Abbott, and that was because of how hard Abbott had to work on not laughing. 

Tippi Hedren

     One of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest talents is taking someone unknown and making them a somebody in the acting world. Grace Kelly was not that famous before him, and I'm pretty sure that goes for a lot of actors and actress' from back then. But another person that comes to mind is Tippi Hedren.

     Tippi Hedren was born as Nathalie Hedren on January 19, 1930. She was a huge animal lover, even in the beginning of life. Now as an adult, she has her own Zoo, if you will. She holds wild animals that need help due to some illness or disability. She was born in a hospital in New Ulm, Minnesota. Her nickname was Tupsa, which means cute or adorable girl, and that is how Tippi came to be. She has been known as Tippi her whole life. One day, while she got off of a streetcar near her home, a woman gave her a business card and told her to go to a department store because this woman believed her to be a successful model. She did so, and then blossomed into a magazine type front page model. Tippi soon found herself in front of a camera, and was in commercials. Then appearing in TV shows, such as The Aldrich Family. Then she met her husband Peter Griffith, after marriage she gave birth to Melanie Griffith. This was before The Birds. Everyone thought that her daughter was named after her role in The Birds, when in fact, they finalized Tippi's name in the movie after her daughter. So the rumor is reversed. The Griffith's did end up divorcing later on. 

     Alfred Hitchcock thought Tippi was beautiful. He had seen her on TV and wanted that woman to be found for a picture he wanted to film. Alfred found her, and had her go in for a meeting one day. Mrs. Hitchcock coached Tippi from scenes from Rebecca, Notorious, and To Catch a Thief. Hitchcock said that movies did not have classic beauty anymore, and seemed to vanish after Grace Kelly. Hitch had Edith Head design clothes for Tippi and her private life too. The way Tippi was asked to be in The Birds: Hitchcock had her meet him, Mrs. Hitchcock and a man named Lew Wasserman at Chasen's. A famous restaurant in Hollywood. Lew gave her a small gift, which was a gold and pearl pin with three birds that have taken flight. Then they announced that they wanted her to play the part of Melanie Daniels. She was amazed and excited. 

     Tippi did not have any history in movies or acting for that matter. But Hitchcock could do anything. Even turn a regular woman, with no experience into a top actress. The was his gift. And that made him one of the best directors ever. After filming started, Hitchcock felt that he did not need to coach anyone in the movie. He felt that everyone knew what they were doing. But he did, after a while, become strangely fixed on Miss. Hedren. Everyone on the set noticed. Even the co-actors. Like Rod Taylor for example. He said that Hitch seemed domineering. Hitchcock did not want anyone touching Hedren, nobody was allowed to be with her at the end of the day. Only Hedren was allowed in her dressing room. He even did not allow her own daughter to see her at the studio. Her own daughter!!! She was to go in and out of the studio alone. Hitchcock became obsessed. Hitchcock would even study her. Stare at his beautiful star. He made sure to listen in to her conversations on set. He would send her flowers, wine, gifts and he even wrote her notes like a boy would do in school to get a girls attention. He controlled what she ate, drank and wore. He stalked her, and she even made a comment one day that she at one point only wanted to go home to her daughter.  

     At the end of one week, Alma went up to Tippi, knowing what Hedren was going through, said: "Oh, Tippi, dear, I am so sorry you have to go through all this - I am so sorry." But it was also known that Mrs. Hitchcock was very protective of her husband. At one point too, Hitchcock, angry that Tippi did not want to sleep with him, had her get thrown real birds on the set. One even scratched up her lower eyelid. She kept crying and saying that she could no longer do this. The bird event when scratched happened on a Friday. The Doctor that saw her told her to stay in bed for a week. But Hitchcock demanded that she was needed for that Monday coming up. The doctor said to him "are you crazy, are you trying to kill her?" 

     Hitchcock had made Tippi's life difficult. Saying that he would ruin her career. She ended up in one more Hitchcock film. Marnie. Again, everyone noticed the tension and humiliation that Hedren had to go through. Sean Connery noticed and also Diane Baker. Tippi wanted her own life, and was unable to do so because she was stuck and Hitchcock made sure of it. Luckily this was her last film with him. She was very unhappy during this last movie with him. He tried to kiss her. And Diane Baker even stood up for her. One day, Hitchcock pulled Ms. Baker to the side. And was talking very rudely about Ms. Hedren, and right in front of her dressing room trailer. Ms. Baker then later, told him that she had enough of his rudeness towards Tippi and then asked the director what he said behind her back. Hitchcock did the same thing he did during The Birds, which was that Sean Connery, who was Tippi's husband in the movie, he was not to touch Tippi either. 

     Diane Baker also had a lot of issues with Alfred Hitchcock as well. He had always tried to talk about sex with her, and even told her that he had not had sex with his wife in a long time. But even though they had a difficult time with the great director. They still can say that they came up on top. Tippi being in two of Hitchcock's greatest and Diane Baker being in one. That was something they can be proud of. Now Tippi is doing well with her daughter, and living in California. With her true love, the wildlife. I have said this in the past, but I got to meet Tippi Hedren. And I must say, she is an amazing woman. Tiny and beautiful still today. And a beautiful smile as well.