Sinbad the Sailor Lobby Card
I have an obsession with lobby cards and movie posters that defies description – I love them with everything I’ve got. The Sinbad the Sailor Lobby Card pictured above is especially beautiful, isn’t it?
LOVE the colors!
As I’ve said, often, on the Old Hollywood blog, one of the things I love most about my obsession with classic movies and television is the fact that I’m always accumulating new favorites. Naturally, my love for my old favorites never diminishes… new favorites simply join the ranks.
A case in point: I have always loved Ginger Rogers (how could you possibly not?). My first Ginger Rogers film was The Major and the Minor (link to the dvd on Amazon) and I loved her, Ray Milland, and the film. Still do. However, she didn’t jump into the upper list of favorites quite yet.
Next up, I saw the WONDERFUL musical Top Hat (link to the dvd on Amazon). She danced her way up my list of favorites, but didn’t quite crack the top 12.
Then, as someone as obsessed with collecting and reading old Hollywood biographies and autobiographies as she is with watching the movies, I ordered her autobiography, Ginger: My Story (link to the book on Amazon). After reading this fascinating book, I realized that this wasn’t just a remarkable actress and star… this was a remarkable woman.
She has been one of my favorites since. Truth be told, I come to love her more with each passing film.
Versatility? Are you kidding me?!?! The woman was as funny as anyone in comedies (seriously… she hangs with Lucille Ball!), was phenomenal in dramas, and worked magic in musicals like few ever hoped to.
In fact, when I think of the word “versatile,” as it relates to the entertainment industry, Ginger Rogers and Judy Garland are the first names to come to mind.
If you tend to only think of musicals when you think of Ginger Rogers, I hope you’ll branch out into her other films. There is nothing WHATSOEVER wrong with being a musical star – in fact, it’s one of my favorite genres, so I think it’s outstanding! However, to only think of this wonderful actress as a dancer or as “Fred Astaire’s partner” is almost criminal. There was so much more to this lovely actress.
So. Much. More!
Ava Gardner, Mogambo
Ava Gardner, in my opinion, was the best thing about the movie Mogambo (1953).
Like… by a long shot.
She was beautiful, feisty, fun, and (by comparison), the rest of the film and cast (in my opinion) just kind of seemed like wet blankets.
Funny thing is, I see and hear from A LOT of people who really liked the film. That’s why, about a month ago, I rewatched it (it was the third chance I’d given to this movie!), just to be sure I wasn’t missing something.
While I didn’t come away liking it any better than the first two times, I did come away with the reason I don’t like the film and, shockingly enough, it’s because of one of my favorite actresses… Ava Gardner!
Nor for reasons you may thing – she was perfect. In every way. Which is part of the problem…
Don’t get me wrong – I love Grace Kelly and Clark Gable. Just not in this film. Each of the three times I’ve watched, I’ve thought of about a dozen actors that would have (at that time) been better in Gable’s role. I hate to say it, because he is one of my favorite actors… but I think he was too old for this particular role.
My profuse apologies to anyone who loves this film… my opinions don’t make me right – they’re simply my opinions. And since my mom always told me to speak my mind… that’s what I tend to do.
Just ask my family!
You know the really unfortunate thing??? I collect ALL of Ava Gardner’s films so… at some point… I’m going to have to buy this film that I don’t at all like! Oh well… she’s worth it.
Ava Gardner, Mogambo
Leslie Caron and Gene Kelly in One of My Favorite Films, An American in Paris
On this, my Old Hollywood Blog, on my cat blog, food blog, and tea blog…. as well as on the Hollywood Yesterday Twitter…. I have fallen behind. Behind in my daily pictures, behind in my updates, behind in my daily tweets.
Given that I work entirely from home as a web publisher, falling behind isn’t something that happens very often. I mean, even when I had the flu with a side of bronchitis last year, I stayed on top of things. I didn’t look too lovely sitting at my computer in a bathrobe, uncombed hair, no makeup, and holding tissues up to my nose… but I was here!
This is just somehow different. I find myself so preoccupied thinking and praying for all those who have been affected by the Coronavirus – which is, of course, all of us. I’ll be honest, it’s tough to think, “Okay, which Leslie Caron picture will I tweet today” or “Which recipe will I add to the food blog,” or EVEN “What cat toy do I want to spotlight on my cat blog…” when so many people are suffering around the world in one form or another.
But then I remembered a time a while back when I was going through a very, very low point in my life. One of my daughters had a very high risk pregnancy and she wasn’t doing very well. The precious baby boy was born very early and had to be in the NICU for days that felt like months.
Each night I would come home from the hospital, completely wrung out from worry about my daughter and grandbaby and the first thing I would do….. okay, third, feeding the cats and putting on my pajamas came first. In that order – anyone with cats understands…. the THIRD thing I would do would be to fall into my favorite chair in the den and check Old Hollywood Twitter. I had a best friend who was on Old Hollywood Twitter at that time (Bonnie) and I would go to her Twitter page as fast as my fingers would take me and lose myself in the beauty of the photos and the happiness and comfort of the memories they brought back.
Then I’d venture into other Twitter accounts with the same type of tweets.
They brought me comfort, happiness, peace, and momentary deliverance from worry and feelings of helplessness.
When I remembered that time, I realized I have to fight through this wall of numbness and do my part… just in case there is someone out there who I can help the way Bonnie and others helped me.
Some may say, “Pictures and things like that are certainly SMALL things!” and they may be right. But, as someone who leaned on these “small things,” I can tell you this… sometimes it’s the small things that will break your fall.
So, with all of that said, I will not miss a “daily picture” on the blog from here on out and will tweet my favorites as well as your favorites on Hollywood Yesterday Twitter like my life depends on it!
The only things that may slow me down are awfully, awfully adorable things.. they’re the grandbaby I talked about above (he’s a very healthy, happy, and ridiculously adorable and busy two year old now!) and his baby brother (a very healthy, happy, and ridiculously adorable and busy six month old!).
God bless you and your loved ones, do everything you have to do to stay safe and healthy. Please stay well and know that we will all get through this.
~ Love, Joi (“Joy“)
P.S. If you’re looking for a “feel good” movie, check out An American in Paris with Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron. Love him, love her, love them, love the movie!
Shortest review ever, but there you have it.
Fay Wray: King Kong Promotional Photo
Some stars have become so associated with particular roles or films that far too often, the rest of their work is overlooked. While it can be frustrating when you are a fan of the star to see the general public unaware of just how well-rounded their career was – we have to remind ourselves that it is actually very flattering.
For a role and/or film to be so ingrained in the public’s mind and heart, speaks volumes about all who were involved in the production.
Fay Wray’s performance in King Kong (1933) won (and wins more each year!) her legions of fans. We feel her fear and other emotions as we watch her go through her ordeal!
Her beauty – especially in contrast to the “beast” – jumps off the screen at you. So, as a Fay Wray fan… when someone hears the name and says, “King Kong!,” I’ve vowed to stop listing her other films and simply talk about how mesmerizing she was in a difficult role. Very difficult, if you think about it! She had to react to a monster that wasn’t even there.
Speaking of the wonderful actress, have you seen her daughter, Victoria Riskin’s biography? It’s called Fay Wray and Robert Riskin: A Hollywood Memoir (Amazon Link) and it is excellent. I’m working on the book review for Hollywood Yesterday and hope to have it up within the next few weeks.
Before reading the biography (Victoria is an excellent author, by the way), I knew Fay Wray and Robert Riskin were very likable, classy individuals but… after reading the book… I’m even more of a fan of each. I highly recommend it.
I’m not sure why but I am enthralled by this Greta Garbo publicity photo for Conquest (1937). There’s something so regal and beautiful about it, yet incredibly vulnerable at the same time. Garbo could convey many emotions and (much like Joan Crawford and Barbara Stanwyck), she could convey more than one at the same time.
If you’ve never seen Conquest (Amazon DVD link), I highly recommend it. There’s nothing quite like seeing an actor or actress in one of their most powerful roles.
Amanda Blake, Miss Kitty (Gunsmoke)
My parents and I had a weeknight routine that lasted for what seems like my entire childhood (all the way through high school and into college). We would go to our favorite diner or the Dairy Queen near our house and order takeout. Then we’d bring it home and feed our faces while we watched our beloved “friends” in Dodge City. Miss Kitty, Matt Dillon, Festus (0r Chester), Doc Adams, Sam, and Newly were always there for us and… with chili dog in hand… we were always there for them!
Every weeknight from 10:30-11:30 pm like clockwork.
I have no idea, today, how I was ever able to sleep with a chili dog (or hamburger), onion rings, and a Coke on my stomach (I’d be in serious pain now if I tried it!), but it was never anything but bliss.
I am still as in love with the show, today, as I was then and I love to think of my mom and dad gathered around a Heavenly television catching episodes whenever possible.
The Gunsmoke (link to dvds on Amazon) cast was phenomenal – the people in charge of casting were on top of their game… not just the excellent regulars, but the guest stars as well. Every role was always filled to perfection.
Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole: How to Steal a Million
One of the cutest, funnest movies I’ve ever seen (and loved) is How to Steal a Million starring the incomparable stars Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole. They are so vibrant and colorful in this wonderful film that I wish everyone in the world would watch it all together in a giant movie-watching party.
What a party it’d be… and we’d all be better off for it!
(Continued Below the Greatness….)
Audrey Hepburn and Peter O’Toole
How to Steal a Million also stars Hugh Griffith, Charles Boyer, and Eli Wallach. It was directed by the wonderful William Wyler who also directed Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday.
If you’ve never seen How to Steal a Million (Amazon dvd link) – or you’ve seen it but it’s been a while… you have to watch this exceptional film as soon as possible. For the entire duration of the film, all will be right in your world.
Who couldn’t use more of that right now?
I absolutely adore Leslie Caron. She’s like a breath of fresh spring air every time she’s onscreen. I’m working my way through her filmography and have fallen head over heels with everything I’ve seen her in.
My most recent fall was for the adorable, fun, and wonderful Lili (1953). The movie co-stars Mel Ferrer, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Kurt Kasznar.
Leslie Caron was 22 years old when she played the 16 year old Lili. She portrays the young girl to perfection – bringing both naivety and youthful enthusiasm to the character. You want to protectively put your arms around her the entire time.
Due to the success of Lili, Gallico expanded the story into a novella.
Marilyn Monroe, Behind the Scenes of The Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe is primarily remembered as a great beauty icon (and as beautiful as she was, it’s certainly understandable!). However, she was also a very good actress – better, in fact, than she ever gave herself credit for. Her roles were not the type that called for a “Greta Garbo” or “Barbara Stanwyck” performance – they called for a “Marilyn Monroe” performance and she hit it out of the park every single time.
So many people watch stars and compare them to other actors or actresses. For example, they’ll watch Elvis and say, “He’s no Henry Fonda!” or “He isn’t the actor James Stewart was!”
My answers are always the same….
No. He wasn’t Henry Fonda. He was Elvis.
No. He wasn’t the actor James Stewart was. He didn’t have to be!
I hear the same thing with John Wayne – almost weekly. But here’s the thing. Are Elvis and John Wayne as remembered today as Henry Fonda and James Stewart.
Of course they are!
Is Marilyn Monroe as remembered today as well as Greta Garbo and Barbara Stanwyck?
Each star had their own types of roles and their own types of screen images – they knew what the public wanted from them and (this may upset their critics, but so be it)… they gave the public what they wanted just as well as ANY star did.
Marilyn’s roles were perfect for her and she was perfect for them. I may be in the minority, here, but that doesn’t scare me in the least, so I’ll just say it – I believe she could have handled “deeper” roles that were given to other actresses. I believe that if she had been given one that she completely felt challenged by, she would have stepped up to the plate.
That’s just my opinion, but my confidence in her talent is unwavering.
There’s nothing quite like watching a movie from the Golden Age of Hollywood. Whether it’s a Musical, Western, Comedy, Romance, Film Noir, or Drama – if it’s on, I’m not too far away… with popcorn and raspberry tea in hand and a couple of cats nearby.
Below are a few Old Hollywood movie reviews I’ve done on the blog. There are, as you’d imagine, a lot more to come. – Joi (“Joy”)
We’re in the Money (Joan Blondell, Glenda Farrell)
The Naked Spur (James Stewart, Janet Leigh)
The Prince and the Showgirl (Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier)
The White Sister (Helen Hayes, Clark Gable)
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Howard Keel, Jane Powell, Russ Tamblyn, Julie Newmar)
Rio Bravo (John Wayne, Dean Martin, Angie Dickinson, Ricky Nelson, Walter Brennan)
El Dorado (John Wayne, Robert Mitchum, James Caan, Charlene Holt, Michele Carey)
Rio Grande (John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara)
Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein (What is it With Me and These Movies??)
The Stooge (Jerry Lewis’ favorite Lewis and Martin Movie… for good reason.)
Critic’s Choice (Hilarious movie starring Bob Hope and Lucille Ball)
To Please a Lady (Clark Gable and Barbara Stanwyck team up in a fast track movie)
Grand Hotel (Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore)
Hearts Divided (Marion Davies, Dick Powell)
The Quiet Man (John Wayne, Maureen O’Hara, Barry Fitzgerald)
Steps in Time (Fred Astaire)
Enchantment (Audrey Hepburn)
Find out just how much I (truly) Love Lucy in the Lucille Ball category. I’m warning you, I call it an obsession for a very good reason…
Another personal absolute favorite of mine is Barbara Stanwyck. Not only was she beautiful and outrageously talented, she was exceptionally bright and colorful. This growing collection of Barbara Stanwyck Quotes will give you an idea of just how colorful she was!
Aside from pictures of books I review, I do not claim to have taken any of the pictures on this website, nor do I own the pictures – the ones of the stars or the affiliate (product) pictures. Other, far more talented photographers than me have the credit for the beautiful photos you see. If you would like credit for a photograph or would like one removed, please e-mail me.
Movie posters and promotional photos are used in the belief that they qualify for the Fair Use law. Fair use is a doctrine in the law of the United States that permits limited use of copyrighted material without having to first acquire permission from the copyright holder. Fair use is one of the limitations to copyright intended to balance the interests of copyright holders with the public interest in the wider distribution and use of creative works by allowing as a defense to copyright infringement claims certain limited uses that might otherwise be considered infringement.
When you click through an affiliate (product, book, dvds..) link, I earn a small portion of the money you spend IF you purchase anything. This does not cost you any extra money, of course. This is how I am able to work from home and support my cats! – Joi