Monday, June 30, 2014

Barbara Stanwyck: Steel - True

I have read a lot of biographies of the classics. Alfred Hitchcock, James Stewart, Cary Grant, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, and many more. But I must say, Victoria Wilson's book: A Life of Barbara Stanwyck Steel - True 1907-1940 is possibly the best one I've read. Besides giving a great in depth story on Stanwyck, she also talks about the history of movie making, and a lot of American History at that time. It is really cool. I'd recommend this book to any Stanwyck fan, but also any classic movie fan. It is so good. I really can't think of the right words to describe this book, but I can tell you, I cannot wait to read the next part of Stanwyck's life. She truly is a classic and an amazing woman.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Katharine Hepburn

     I have always been a huge fan of the stronger actresses, like Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Carole Lombard and this post subject, Katharine Hepburn. I can't imagine life without our heroes. Our family members, our friends, and our actors/actresses. The reason I speak of them is because 11 years ago today, Miss Hepburn died. 

     She had great childhood, her father was a doctor, and her mother was women's rights activist. So she came from a smart family. She lived in Connecticut, and had sisters and a brother. She was a tomboy, always. And wasn't afraid to admit it. When she was very young, she found her brother, who was her hero and best friend, dead. He had hung himself. For many years, she believed in her heart, that it was an accident. Telling people that her father had taught them how to hang themselves without killing themselves. In my opinion, I believe she told herself this story to help herself along. I cannot imagine the pain she went through, and to have been so young.

     As an adult, thankfully, she turned to acting. She played sports like a pro. Tennis, basketball, swimming, and golf. She golfed real well. And you can see her talent of golf in the movies Bringing Up Baby and Pat and Mike. Pat and Mike also stars the love of her life, Spencer Tracy. I can't imagine a more talented couple. The two of them stared in a lot of great movies together, and their love shows in all of them. They were together twenty-four years, which was until his death. She could never watch the last movie they made, which was also his last because she thought it would be too hard to get through. 

     In her older age, she wrote a biography titled "Me," she was a four time Oscar winner, twelve time Oscar nominator and was also the number one woman in AFI's pick of best actresses. Pretty cool huh? These are the movies I recommend with her as the star:

Little Women (1933)
Stage Door
Bringing Up Baby
The Philadelphia Story
Woman of the Year
Adams Rib
African Queen
Pat and Mike
Desk Set
Suddenly Last Summer

Enjoy! I did.


Friday, June 27, 2014

Gentleman's Agreement

Gentleman's Agreement
Released Date: February 1948
Director: Elia Kazan
Actors: Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, John Garfield, Celeste Holm, Ann Revere, June Havoc, Albert Dekker, and Jane Wyatt

     I have been on a huge Gregory Peck kick recently, and I'm enjoying every minute of it. He was tall, handsome, caring, strong... In other words, perfection. He played good guys, and maybe once or twice, a bad guy. Every role he played in though, he gave it his all. I just saw this for the first time, and I was blown away. Some movies are really great, some good, some are okay and some just plain old stink. This one was really great. I don't think I've come across a movie that I did not like with Gregory Peck. I would recommend this one to everyone.

     Philip Green (Gregory Peck) is a writer. And his new assignment is the issue of prejudice against religions. Mainly, the prejudice against Jews. Back when Jews weren't allowed in certain restaurants, hotels, even bars. But Philip is willing to dig deep into the issue. He is not Jewish but he figures that he could ask a good friend, that happens to be Jewish, what it is like for him everyday. His friend is Dave Goldman (John Garfield), but he is in the military and it is hard to get a hold of him. So what does Philip do? He pretends to be Jewish. He gets kicked out of restaurants, and hotels, and even gets in a fight with his main girl, Kathy (Dorothy McGuire). But can his friendships and love interest keep strong during this tough time? Watch this amazing movie about a man who was willing to sacrifice his reputation, and even gets into a few fights. You won't be upset you saw this amazing movie, I know I loved it :)

Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Long, Long Trailer

The Long, Long Trailer
Released Date: February 18, 1954
Director: Vincent Minnelli
Actors: Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Marjorie Main, Keenan Wynn, Gladys Hurlbut, Moroni Olsen, Bert Freed, Madge Blake, Walter Baldwin, Oliver Blake and Perry Sheehan

     During the hype of I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz decided to make a movie about love and marriage. The difficult side of marriage. They really are a cute couple and seem to be happy. But did you know that the reason they decided to make I Love Lucy in the first place was because they were not having such a great marriage? They were falling apart, and the two decided to rekindle their relationship by making one of, if not the greatest show of all time. You may notice some familiar faces, besides Lucy and Desi that is. I did not think I was going to like this movie, let alone love it. But I was happily surprised. I missed Fred and Ethel but after the first ten minutes, I forgot all about the couples TV show. Talent, it's the only word best describing the pair.

     This movie starts off with the husband, Nicky (Desi Arnaz) in the rain searching for his wife. He ends up on a trailer park, and inside the main office. There is another man in there explaining that his wife was interested in buying a trailer. Nicky's trailer. And Nicky's wife, Tracy (Lucille Ball) is selling their trailer without her husband's knowledge. Nicky then starts to talk about how wonderful having a trailer is at first, and horrible it is later. We begin his story in flashbacks. Nicky and Tracy are talking about marriage, and how Tracy would love to have a trailer. Nicky is in the business where he has to move around a lot. So why not a trailer? Then the search for a trailer begins. And soon they are the proud owner of a HUGE trailer. Everything is going great, until they start moving from one side of the country to another. But can their marriage survive ALL the fighting and mishaps? It is a bunch of laughs. Lucy and Desi are a great team, in I Love Lucy and their own movies.

Happy Fathers Day...

Here are some of my favorite Classic Movie Fathers...

Lou Costello:

Paul Newman:

Alfred Hitchcock:

James Stewart: