Tuesday, July 3, 2012


Andy Griffith, best known for his two TV series The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, died today at age 86. For all you classic movie lovers, you may remember his stellar performance in Elia Kazan's, A Face in the Crowd. Besides being an actor, Griffith was a writer, producer, and to some, quite the comedian. I hope Andy finds his Mayberry somewhere out there.

Friday, March 23, 2012

The Entertainer (1960)

The Entertainer is classified as a "kitchen sink" drama. A specialized form of movie-making that the British excelled at in the late 50's and early 60's. Giving the viewer a look into the sometimes mundane and negatively fueled lives of the working class Briton, these dramas provide a heavy dose of realism. I'm very drawn to these types of films, namely because of two actors that actually made their film debut in The Entertainer, Alan Bates and Albert Finney. Though mostly negative in nature, usually with an angry young man or sullen girl at the forefront, they bring a refreshing break from most of the classic film made up to that time. Most especially anything made in the Hollywood dream factory.

The Entertainer is no exception in it's bleak outcome, however, I found it quite worth the watch as Laurence Olivier really outdoes himself as Archie Rice a tired, old vaudevillian actor struggling to create his ultimate dream show amidst family turmoil and his inability to make all the ends meet. Plagued by debt, an emotional gin-swilling wife, a father who still outshines him in fame and a selfishness that consumes and destroys almost everyone he meets, Archie Rice should be hated. Yet, Olivier manages to keep a warm element of humanity at the forefront of his Archie character. Despite his deadened eyes and his abnormal reactions to such events as his youngest son's death, there is a humor and helplessness in his demeanor that allows you to relate to him on an emotional level. Because of this, you understand why his family sticks by him no matter how bad he gets.
The best scene in the movie would rival any Shakespearean soliloquy Olivier gave in his career. When almost all has failed him and he faces certain ruin, he admits to his daughter Jean (Joan Plowright) that he's dead inside and has been for quite some time. The only thing he knows and finds acceptable to do is keep on keeping on.

Tonight on TCM!
Get your Bronte sisters on!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Table Talk

Alexis Smith and John Emery

Charles Boyer and Adolfe Manjou

Errol Flynn, Flo Hall and Bruce Cabot

Frances Dee and Joel McCrea with Barbara Stanwyck Robert Taylor

Cary Grant and Ava Gardner

Gary Merrill and Bette Davis

Joan Bennett and James Dunn

Lana Turner and Bob Topping with Joan Fontaine and Bill Dozier

Otto Preminger, Liza Minnelli and Ken Howard

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stars! They're just like us!

They eat sandwiches!

They set the table!

They change nappies!

They raid the fridge!

They surf! Kowabunga, Crawford!
They take piggyback rides!

They watch the tellie!

Friday, February 24, 2012

What's the good news?

Not sure what Keel, Cooper, Flynn,a nd Hudson are reading up on but my news is that my workload has finally shifted and I have more time for blogging! Yay!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

William Powell's Beverly Hills home

William Powell's house, built adjacent to the Beverly Hills estate of automobile tycoon E. L. Cord, was designed by J. E. Dolena. It was a neoclassical pavilion built on a wooded lot that featured twin tennis courts with galleries for spectators. Jean Harlow helped decorate it, and, despite its rigorously traditional appearance, it was wired for all kinds of electric gadgetry. Alarm bells warned the arrival of visitors, all doors could be operated with foot switches, and all major rooms were equipped with bars, one of which could be transformed into a grill at the touch of a button, a spit rising from the floor and charcoal burners emerging from a closet. Living there seems to have had all the charm of living inside a pinball machine, as Powell explained to the readers of Picturegoer:

I built a house of dream that turned out to be a house of devilish gadgets. The secret panels and disappearing doors never worked right. I'd push one button to go into the parlor and I'd find myself in the kitchen or garden. There were thirty-two rooms in that house and in every one something unexpected was happening. I've been haunted by weird nightmare memories ever since. 
                                                          -Gone Hollywood by Christopher Finch and Linda Rosenkrantz

Tonight on TCM!
Last night to enjoy a William Powell line-up. It's sure to not disappoint!