Comedy · Musical

How to Squander Hollywood Talent

We might as well get the Unpleasantness out of the way. The Unpleasantness is in the musical comedy, You’ll Never Get Rich (1941), a film about a New York musical stage director (Fred Astaire) who receives a draft notice from the U.S. Army. This notice couldn’t come at a Better Time; it’s the answer to… Continue reading How to Squander Hollywood Talent

Thriller

When Blackmailers Go Soft

True Story: We (as in, yours truly) used to work for a finance company, where we collected delinquent loan payments. The stories we heard! When people do not want to pay, they talk. Some have tales of Heroic Deeds, while others try to negotiate an alternate deal. (One person offered to write a customer survey… Continue reading When Blackmailers Go Soft

Excitement

Forgotten Filmcast Episode 116: Strike Up the Band

Originally posted on Forgotten Films:
On this episode of the Forgotten Filmcast, Todd is joined by Ruth Kerr from Silver Screenings to look at Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland in the 1940 Busby Berkeley musical Strike Up the Band. Download the Show: iTunes Podomatic Your Listen Show Notes: Silver Screenings Ruth at Twitter Movies Discussed:…

Drama · Thriller

Marlene Dietrich, Queen of Light(ing)

“We’re in China now, sir, where time and life have no value.” These few words define the parameters of Shanghai Express (1932), a film about a Dangerous Time And Place where characters have little control over anything, namely rail travel from Peking to Shanghai. The word express in the film title is a bit of sneering irony;… Continue reading Marlene Dietrich, Queen of Light(ing)

Drama

The Visual Poetry of Director John Ford

Director John Ford was famous, in part, for his westerns. Indeed, he made John Wayne a superstar in 1939’s Stagecoach, and his filmography includes The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Fort Apache and My Darling Clementine. He won four Oscars for directing (a record, last time we checked), and was the first director to win two… Continue reading The Visual Poetry of Director John Ford

With Thanks

Look! Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs

Feedspot has just released a list of the Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs on the web. The list was compiled by Feedspot’s internet gurus, who analyzed search and social metrics. “This is the most comprehensive list of Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs on the internet,” says Feedspot founder, Anuj Agarwal. “These websites…are actively working to educate, inspire, and… Continue reading Look! Top 30 Classic Movie Blogs

Book Reviews

What We Read on our Summer Holiday (#ClassicFilmReading)

Every year, the fab Raquel at Out of the Past issues a Summer Reading Challenge, the goal of which is to read six books related to classic film. (See details HERE.) Turns out we have a gazillion unread books on Old Hollywood. Thanks to Raquel, we’ve cleared up some of our reading backlog – and became… Continue reading What We Read on our Summer Holiday (#ClassicFilmReading)

Comedy · Drama

Fred MacMurray’s Study in Ego

When it started making talking pictures, Hollywood intensified its plundering of Broadway. No, really. Hollywood, pressed for dialogue and actors that studios felt were trained to deliver it, began luring Talent to California with promises of sunshine, opportunity and Money. Although Broadway has long been a place where Hollywood shops for ideas, the advent of… Continue reading Fred MacMurray’s Study in Ego

Adventure · Excitement

A Night at the Movies: 1917 Version

If we had a time travel machine, we’d take you on a random weekend in New York City in 1917. We could shop for a clothing fad that’s all the rage, called the Trench Coat. Then we could visit Coney Island to ride the new “Top” roller coaster. And in the evening? Why, the movies,… Continue reading A Night at the Movies: 1917 Version

Comedy · Drama

Mary Pickford, Hollywood Tycoon

This is Mary Pickford. She’s 25 years old in the above photo, taken on the set of the comedy-drama Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1917). She plays a poor teenage girl from the country, sent to the City to live with two sour aunts. Yes, we know – she doesn’t look like a teenager. She’s also… Continue reading Mary Pickford, Hollywood Tycoon