Gary Cooper and Lauren Bacall
Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal
Gary Cooper and Lauren Bacall
Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal
Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine
When people talk about their favorite Hitchcock movies, I’m always surprised that one of my personal favorites, Suspicion (1941) isn’t often mentioned. Joan Fontaine and Cary Grant make this such an extraordinary and suspenseful movie to watch, I’m shocked it isn’t on everyone’s list of favorites!
Joan Fontaine (very deservedly) won a Best Actress Oscar for her role in this movie.
Cary Grant and Joan Fontaine
Barbara Stanwyck and Paul Douglas
I’ve seen nearly all of Barbara Stanwyck’s films at least once and one that always grabs me by the lapels is Clash by Night (1952, directed by Fritz Lang). The storyline is gritty and spellbinding and the performances are just as gritty and spellbinding. Then again, when an outstanding director meets an outstanding cast, this is pretty much what you’d expect.
The cast includes Barbara Stanwyck, Paul Douglas, Robert Ryan, Marilyn Monroe, and J Carrol Naish. Each gives a “filmography highlight” type of performance and, while I’d be hesitant to single any of them out – I do have to mention Paul Douglas’ phenomenal performance and Marilyn Monroe’s ability to hang with the more seasoned stars SO early in her career. The beautiful actress was haunted by insecurities when it came to acting, so knowing all she had to personally overcome to step in front of a camera always impresses the daylights out of me (so, how Kentuckian… on a scale of one to bless their hearts was that saying?!?!).
Another performance that also impresses me (but in no way surprises me) is Barbara Stanwyck’s. I’m used to greatness by the legendary actress, but she filmed this role under a great of stress – she was going through a divorce at this time, yet remained completely focused on her work and, as always, highly professional.
Director Fritz Lane would say of her: “She’s fantastic, unbelievable, and I liked her tremendously. When Marilyn missed her lines—which she did constantly—Barbara never said a word.” (I hasten to add that this was extremely early in Marilyn’s career AND she was, again, greatly incombered by insecurities.)
Marilyn Monroe, Clash By Night
Gregory Peck leads a ridiculously talented cast in the 1969 film Mackenna’s Gold, directed by J. Lee Thompson. The cast also includes Omar Sharif, Telly Savalas, Camilla Sparv, Keenan Wynn, Julie Newmar, Edward G. Robinson, Raymond Massey, Lee J. Cobb, Burgess Meredith, and Eli Wallach.
Clint Eastwood was one of the first actors considered for Gregory Peck’s role but he had a commitment to make another western, Hang ’em High.
Apparently Gregory Peck enjoyed making the film with Edward G. Robinson and enjoyed his company on the set. The two talked about religion, politics, acting, and the fine arts.
Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison
I don’t just love My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison… I ADORE My Fair Lady with Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison. Every word spoken, every note hit, every thread of every costume, every… oh, you get the idea. I’m completely infatuated with it and with the performance of each star.
The wonderful George Cukor directed this iconic musical. The cast also includes Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Jeremy Brett, and Gladys Cooper.
If it’s been a while since you’ve watched this absolute masterpiece, I hope you’ll revisit it soon. It’s even better than you remember.
Stage Door (1937, directed by Gregory La Cava) is one of the all-time great films. The cast is BEYOND perfection and includes Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Lucille Ball, Eve Arden (practically steals the whole movie!), Adolphe Menjou, and Gail Patrick.
If you’ve never seen this outstanding movie, I hope you’ll see it as soon as possible – every single minute is fast-paced, flawless, and mesmerizing. While there is a great deal of humor (the dialogue is fast, furious, and fantastic), it will also break your heart at one point. Phenomenal movie.
Kathrine Hepburn, Ginger Rogers, Eve Arden, Pamela Blake, and Andrea Leeds
The talented and charismatic James Dean was only 24 when he died in 1955. TWENTY FOUR! Anytime I think of how young he was, it feels like a kick in the gut. No one should die that young, with their entire life ahead of them.
While I love that he left us the films he did, I can’t help but think about the films he would have made and the performances he would have given if he had not been taken from us.
His last film was Giant, which came out in 1956. These photos were taken behind the scenes while he was making Giant and, I think, they show his love for life and for living it on his own terms.
James Dean and Adorable Friends
If you’re even remotely familiar with me, you know all about my HUGE obsession with old Hollywood books (biographies, memoirs, cookbooks, autobiographies, poems..). I spend some of my happiest moments curled up with one of these prized possessions.
The one pictured here is one of my favorites. Not just because it was written by one of my absolute favorite actors but also because the poetry is breathtakingly wonderful.
“I’m sure I never said to myself: ‘Now, Jim–why don’t you sit down and write a poem.’ It’s still a mystery to me, but I think probably it’s something that happened by accident–like a lot of things have happened in my life.”
So begins this delightful collection of poetry by America’s best-loved actor, Jimmy Stewart. Interspersed with vivid recollections and charming illustrations, the poems document a life that isn’t too different from yours or mine.
Jimmy Stewart won the hearts of generations of movie viewers with a confused innocence and stammering delivery that made his acting seem genuine and effortless. Somehow he managed to make the boy next door into a national hero. Now, in Jimmy Stewart and His Poems, the consummate Everyman shares tales from his everyday life.
From fishing trips and dog stories to a hilarious account of a photo safari where the camera was lost to a hungry hyena, the poems are related in Jimmy Stewart’s inimitable voice and are enlivened with charming illustrations.
The book confirms what we all expected–that the real Jimmy Stewart is every bit as endearing as the film characters he’s portrayed. Jimmy Stewart and His Poems is a perfect gift, one that fans will treasure as much as Jimmy Stewart’s timeless performances.
I love to read and reread his wonderful poetry – it’s an insight into just how special this legend truly was.
You can find Jimmy Stewart and His Poems on Amazon. It’d make a great gift idea for any James Stewart fan in your life… just be sure to grab a copy for yourself!
While I love Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra, my personal favorite actress to play the role is Claudette Colbert. There was just something extra special about her performance – as much in the way she carried herself as anything.
Cleopatra (1934) was directed by the extraordinary Cecil B. DeMille and starred Warren William as Julius Caesar, Henry Wilcoxon as Marc Anthony, and Claudette Colbert (of course) as an especially regal and radiant Cleopatra.
You can find the wonderful 1934 Cleopatra on dvd (Amazon link).
Joan Crawford, Rita Hayworth, John Carroll
Not only do I absolutely ADORE Joan Crawford movies (the movies are almost always extraordinary and she always is), I’m also infatuated with the star quality this lady had. She didn’t just accept being a star, she embraced it. She, for me, defines being a star, so I really love when I read things (like the quote below) that reaffirm my suspicions:
“She was a nice person, but a real movie star. She even brought her own music to the set [of Susan and God (1940)]–a whole entourage, a violinist and a pianist to play her favorite songs, to get her into the proper mood for the scenes.” ~ Fredric March
Some people read things like this and decide they like an actor or actress a “little less” because of it. Not me! I read that Joan Crawford brought in live musicians to set her mood and I fall even further under her spell.
Fredric March co-starred with Joan Crawford in the 1940 comedy-drama Susan and God. The movie also starred Rita Hayworth, Ruth Hussey, Nigel Bruce, John Carroll, Bruce Cabot, Rita Quigley, and Rose Hobart. After reading Fredric March’s quote, I’m eager to watch the movie all over again!
You can find Susan and God on dvd (Amazon link).
Another personal absolute favorite of mine is Barbara Stanwyck. Not only was she beautiful and outrageously talented, she was exceptionally bright, charismatic, and colorful. This growing collection of Barbara Stanwyck Quotes will give you an idea of just how colorful she was!
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)
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…
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