Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My Adventure Today

First of all, I'm back! I'm done with school (for this year), and I spent my first week of summer vacation totally vegged. Now I'm ready to get back to work! Today, that meant a little day trip up to Oklahoma City, followed by a drive to nearby El Reno, Oklahoma. More about El Reno tomorrow.
My first destination was Memorial Park Cemetery in OKC, because I had found this little girl on findagrave.com:

What an incredible testament to Ginger's star power in 1940, what I consider the peak of her career. Unfortunately, little Ginger died when she was four, and her little brother died on the same day:

I'm going to search some records to see if I can find what happened to them. Their mother is also next to them, but she passed in December of last year.

Tomorrow...something even more Ginger-related! Who would have thought that all this stuff could have come out of Central Oklahoma?!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Tornado!!!

A Tornado just went over me. Seriously.

This one, to be exact. Obviously, I'm ok. No major damage, but it threw some cars near where I was (at work). I babysit for a family who lives half a mile from Lake Thunderbird, and the twister separated the marina from the dock. It's in the middle of the lake now. Growing up in Oklahoma, this is far from my first tornado, but they rarely hit my hometown. They frequently hit central Oklahoma, which is where I am now for school. It's a whole new ball game now.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A return to film blogging

I have really slacked off this semester on this blog. I wish I could say that I'm sorry, but it's what had to happen. I was working 2 jobs, had an internship at the OKC Museum of Art, and 14 hours of school. What little free time I had was spent completely vegged in front of the TV. I have been watching the same dozen films at bedtime, because they are a comfort to me. The only new movies I have seen recently were in class. I haven't even watched most of the movies from GingerMarch, and here we are, May 1st! I hope you understand.

A couple of days ago, I realized that I had not posted a true review or analysis of a film on this blog in several months. Now that we are coming up on the first anniversary of my entrance into the blogosphere.

In my next year of blogging, I promise a return to my roots. The early stages of this blog served as great practice and experience, especially since my Writing About Film course completely failed me. I found an instructional book about Film Writing the other day at Goodwill, and I plan on designing an independent course for myself based on it.
Have some patience in me, and I promise to improve.

-Maggie

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Let's continue

I'm feeling a lot better about everything, so let's continue.
Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fiction book
Day 15 — A collection
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy


Oy, I don't really know. There isn't really a quote that defines my life or anything. I guess pretty much anything John Waters says is pretty accurately my favorite quote. He heard another woman say this on the street:
She's needy, she's nasty, she's a bitch. But that's who she is!
I like it quite a lot.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Just a thought...

You guys may be "Gingerologists", but I'm a GINGINEER!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

hiatus

Sorry, but I've got to take a viref hiatus. I came down with a stomach bug today, and in a very (pardon my french) bullshit move, I was consequently fired from my job. I need a few days to figure out what I'm going to do for the next three weeks.
-Maggie

Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 4: Your favorite book



Day 01 — Your favorite song

Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fiction book
Day 15 — A collection
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy


This will probably shock you guys, but once again, I will be giving you multiple answers.
Fiction: Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. The best book I read in high school, and the only one which I actually completely read (I definitely sparknoted Crime and Punishment, Jane Eyre, Madame Bovary, and Invisible Man). It is awesome, funny, and scarily relevant, given the fact that it was written in the 20s, yet a disturbing amount of technology mentioned in the book is at least partially developed. To reduce it to one word: Clever.
Autobiography: Of course, Ginger: My Story. Chock-full of detail you don't see in other bios or autobios, especially compared to Katharine Hepburn. I recommend reading it and listening to the (abridged) audiobook read by Ginger. It feels like she's really talking to you.
I also really enjoyed Born Standing Up by Steve Martin, one of my favorite comedians. I chose the audiobook route on this one, because Steve Martin has that uncanny ability to capture tone so perfectly that you can be simultaneously laughing your ass off and crying your eyes out.
Reference: The RKO Story by Rick Jewell. Duh, it covers all of the A-Budget pictures made by RKO with a nice but not overbearing amount of detail. It stays on my coffee..ottoman (it's not exactly a table) always.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 3: Your favorite television program


Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fiction book
Day 15 — A collection
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

My favorite TV show is, without a doubt, 30 Rock on NBC. It tells the story of Liz Lemon (Tina Fey), her boss Jack Donaghy (Alec Baldwin), and the cast of TGS with Tracy Jordan. The show was originally based on Tina Fey's experience as head writer of SNL, but it has since grown into its own entity, and it's sublime. In fact, I can attribute some of my stress-related acne in the past month to the fact that new episodes of 30 Rock have been sporadic. What I love the most about this show is the resemblance between Liz Lemon and myself. I think Tina Fey has installed surveillance in my apartment or something. She must have seen me drinking white wine straight out of the 3-liter jugs I buy it in.
(Did you catch the To Kill a Mockingbird reference in that one?)

You can watch 30 Rock Thursday nights on NBC at 9:30 Eastern, right after The Office. You can also watch the first 3 seasons on Netflix, and get caught up on most of this season on Hulu. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Day 2-your favorite movie

Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fiction book
Day 15 — A collection
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

Asking Maggie what her favorite movie is is like asking a parent which is her favorite child. Here are a few of my favorites, but it really depends on my mood.

1. Stage Door. I think it will always be my all-time favorite.

2. The Awful Truth. Probably the best comedy ever made. Irene's giggle is so infectious!

3. The Philadelphia Story. Seamless plot, hilarious, wonderful job by all of the actors, and the perfect ending. That's what I like about all three of these movies. They're seamless: not a slow second, they flow perfectly. Perhaps it's because all three came from the stage.
There are no good embeddable videos for this movie, so you'll just have to go and watch it all. There.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A few things

First, I wanted to let you guys know that you should check out your local library for star biographis on tape. The autobiographies are often read by the actor, and they're great. I'm listening to Katharine Hepburn's "Me" (what else?) right now, and it's fascinating. I don't think she's actually reading anything (I haven't read the book in about a year), it just sounds like a one-sided conversation (which is probably the most you could ever get out of Kate). Anyway, it's a great thing if you do a lot of driving, it takes me 2 or 3 days to finish each book.

Also, I've decided to copy Kate Gabrielle and do this 30-day daily post/quiz thing. I've been really bad about blogging regularly, and hopefully this will get me back on track. So here goes:
Day 01 — Your favorite song
Day 02 — Your favorite movie
Day 03 — Your favorite television program
Day 04 — Your favorite book
Day 05 — Your favorite quote
Day 06 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 07 — A photo that makes you happy
Day 08 — A photo that makes you angry/sad
Day 09 — A photo you took
Day 10 — A photo of you taken over ten years ago
Day 11 — A photo of you taken recently
Day 12 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 13 — A fictional book
Day 14 — A non-fiction book
Day 15 — A collection
Day 16 — A song that makes you cry (or nearly)
Day 17 — An art piece (painting, drawing, sculpture, etc.)
Day 18 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 19 — A talent of yours
Day 20 — A hobby of yours
Day 21 — A recipe
Day 22 — A website
Day 23 — A YouTube video
Day 24 — Whatever tickles your fancy
Day 25 — Your day, in great detail
Day 26 — Your week, in great detail
Day 27 — This month, in great detail
Day 28 — This year, in great detail
Day 29 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days
Day 30 — Whatever tickles your fancy

My favorite song. That's a tough one. I think I'm going to present my favorite songs within a few genres, because I can't compare classical to jazz or rock.
1. Rhapsody in Blue: I can, and often do, listen to this piece multiple times a day. This piece gives me goosebumps, even on the hottest Oklahoma summer days. Here is Gershwin playing it the piano solo. My favorite version is the Chicago Symphony with James Levine, but Gershwin's playing is sentimental.
When my Uncle heard that I love Rhapsody so much, he gave me a CD with this piece. The Cuban Overture premiered at the Hollywood Bowl in 1936. I also visualize Fred and Ginger dancing to it when I hear it, and I often find myself dancing to it as well. I always see complete stories in Gershwin's compositions. They almost always involve someone arriving in a place, being enveloped in the culture, missing home, then reveling in the location once more . You can even hear a transposed reference to Rhapsody in Blue in the middle of An American in Paris, which describes how much he misses New York.

Here's a much more modern song by Husband-and-wife band Mates of State. I love them. I saw them last summer in Tulsa, and I hope they come back this year. I can't get enough!

Finally, another Gershwin song, probably my favorite standard. Without the intro, it's a great song. With the intro (which you will hear in this version), it tears your heart out and stomps all over it, but in a good way.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Le Tour de Ginger

On the Thursday of my week in LA, I was fortunate enough to have Lauren accompany on an adventure I christened "Le Tour de Ginger". We began the trip with a long drive up to 1605 Gilcrest Drive...aka la casa Rogers:

What they don't tell you is that it's on the side of a MOUNTAIN! We went up several switchback roadsd to get there, and they are very narrow and sharp. I can see why she didn't serve alcohol at her parties. Her house is the second to last on the road, so the view is great. Ginger said in her autobiography that on a clear day you could see Catalina Island.
There's about a 5-foot white picket fence around the property now, so this is really the best view of the front. It was really bright that day (as I assume it is every day in LA), and I forgot to fiddle with the settings on my camera. Being in such a daze as I was, I didn't even think to look at how the came out.

The driveway and side entrance.

Front gate. It's where the top bush is in the first picture.


This may look like the worst photo ever taken, but if you've ever seen a picture of Ginger playing tennis, then you might be more excited:

See the gate right behind her left elbow? That's the gate in the picture! The gate around the tennis court is still up, even though (in my humble opinion) it's about the ugliest thing ever. Pretty much every picture you will see of Ginger playing tennis has this gate in it somewhere:

I peeked through that large crack in the fence on the right of my picture, and I could see everything! The pool is still sparkling with blue tile, the tennis court is no longer clay, but what can you do, and the pool house still has all of its crazy decorations:
Ginger Rogers
Lauren and I almost summoned up the courage to knock on the door. Almost. Maybe next time.

After we slid back down the mountain, we got on the highway, destined for Chatsworth, which is Northeast of LA. Here is what we saw:


What no one ever told me, is that Walter (Lela's dad) is buried just above them. Here is a picture of Walter, Lela, and Ginger on the set of the Major and the Minor (so cute!):

That's all for know. I'll post some pictures of me at the grave tomorrow. Ta Ta!

Major Breakthrough: or the new meaning of my life.


First of all, I am so sorry for not blogging for the past couple of weeks. I haven't even had the opportunity to tell you guys stories about my trip. I was planning on doing that today, until I came across this photograph:
You're thinking "wait a second, that's the I Used to Be Color Blind dress. Why is she standing next to giant mushrooms? What the hell is going on? This doesn't happen in Carefree!" Well, leave it to your super sleuth friend Maggie to explain everything.
Here is a scene written on the 24th of June, 1938:

Amanda is still asleep. Her bedroom has been turned in to a MACABRE FOREST, the flowers, mushrooms, etc. of which are gigantic.

The crying of a hoot-owl awakens her. As she gets to her feet and walks away wonderingly, we see the FULL SIZE FOREST. The thunderous breaking of a twig stops her. She looks off-to see Dr. Flagg, who comes toward her. He is a giant of a man, but normal in proportion to the rest of the Forest. He looks like a typical, crazy scientist; there is a mad light in his eyes. In one hand he carries a large magnifying glass. Around his neck is a stethoscope and, under his other arm, he carries a large velvet box.

His eyes open with interest, and he utters a menacing sound as he clumps his way toward Amanda.

Amanda, frightened, runs from him, until she is finally forced to stop by the edge of a black abyss.

Dr. Flagg grins horribly as he picks her up in his hand. He opens the velvet case, and we see a number of girls, pinned like butterflies, squirming in the box.

From his coat lapel he removes a large pin, and is about to make a specimen of Amanda when she leaps off the palm of his hand, swings from the stethoscope which hangs round his neck and, like a trapeze artiste, lands on his shoulder-to deliver a violent kick at Dr. Flagg’s chin.

When he turns to her, she kisses him on the lips; then jumps on to a giant mushroom, to laugh up at him.

A peculiar look comes into Dr. Flagg’s eyes: it’s love-in a gigantic way-and, as the result of the kiss-which makes all things equal-he becomes her size.

Now, hand in hand, they wander through the Forest until they come to the gorgeous romantic castle, surrounded by lily-pads the size of dance floors and, in the distance, a rainbow-

Whereupon Dr. Flagg sings “Color Blind”, at the conclusion of which they do their dance, utilizing slow motion, and the Dunning process. The dance concludes with Dr. Flagg kissing Amanda. The scene dissolves back into

Amanda’s Bedroom-as she embraces her pillow.


First of all: Yes, it's really weird. I literally laughed as I was looking at this in the reading room at UCLA. According to the budget and production notes, there were women hired for the dream sequence, and costumes were budgeted. I figured it had been scrapped before filming, because it would have been quite a technical feat, especially if they were still considering Technicolor for the dream sequence (unfortunately, I still don't know when that idea was abandoned).

This picture confirms that the set was constructed, and at least part of this scene must have been filmed. If a final shooting script existed (or survived-the last complete script at UCLA is from January of 38), then maybe I could figure out how much of it they shot based on Argyle Nelson's daily reports. Unfortunately, that part will remain a mystery, unless I can get my hands on that missing footage. This is what I'm going to focus on until I find it, or find documentation that it was destroyed. It's got to be somewhere. If anyone has any ideas of where to look, please share. I'm planning on contacting Ginger's assistant Roberta, perhaps Fred's daughter, and maybe even the Sandrich family. I have a feeling Turner will not be any help, even though it could very well be in his hands.

We'll see, and I will keep you updated!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Karen at Bobbins and Bombshells was nice enough to give me the "You're going place, baby" blog award. Adorable!

*Choose the award logo you like the best. Include it in your post.
*Pass the award on to 10 bloggers that inspire you in that post with links. (I'm pulling a Millie and changing the rule to 5! cue evil laugh)
*Of course, let them know!
*And don't forget to link back to who your received the award from. Oh, that would be me!
My inspiring 5 are.....
Millie at ClassicForever. Always creative and interesting posts.
Ivan at Thrilling Days of Yesteryear. If not only for that header image (including Franklin Pangborn!)
Sally at Flying Down to Hollywood. What detail, especially in the dancer countdown.
Nicole at Vintage Film Nerd. Reviewing a film every day takes a lot of work!
Rupert at Classic Movies Digest. He provides us with a great variety of posts, something I think all of us film bloggeurs need a little more of.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fangirl on the loose!
























































70 years before...


Tomorrow I will return with a chronicle of Le Tour de Ginger, which included a harrowing trip up a huge hill to 1605 Gilcrest Drive, and much farther north to Chatsworth.

Monday, March 22, 2010

My return and subsequent 21st birthday!


We poured in to snowy and icy Oklahoma early yesterday morning, and the ice made us even more depressed about leaving sunny L.A.
This week is going to be crazy because I will be trying to finish this paper about Carefree, but I will try to come back as often as I can and post little tidbits about Carefree that you will find interesting. I copied some scenes from old script drafts word for word, but I'm pretty sure they are copyright protected, so I can't share them in their entirety. Here's the tidbit for today, from the production files, which logged Ginger's daily punctuality (lol):
July 5th: call time 9 AM, arrived 10:10 AM. Also an hour late from lunch. What was going on that day?

All of my pictures are on my facebook. You're welcome to friend me (just let me know you're from here), or here is a link for the public album.

Also, today is my 21st birthday! Not much excitement so far because I'm watching some kids who are particularly talkative, but later tonight my friends are taking me out for sushi and drinks.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Top Hat and Roberta at the Egyptian Theater

Well, I saw Top Hat and Roberta tonight at Grauman's historic Egyptian Theater in Hollywood. It was a surreal experience, to watch these movies only blocks away from 780 Gower street, where they were shot.
The applause at the beginning of Top Hat brought me to tears, and I had trouble maintaining my composure through the rest of the double-feature. Everyone clapped after each musical number! It was great being in a room with tons of other people who loved these films, and I was really happy that two of my friends accompanied me and enjoyed them as well.
Tomorrow, I'm off to UCLA to start my research on Carefree! I will be handling the actual documents, including script drafts and production papers. I can't wait!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Today is the day!


My friend Paige and I are leaving at 12 for Los Angeles. See you on the other side!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sandra Bullock: The Ginger Connection


Sandra Bullock's Best Actress win is already considered by many to be undeserved. I see a strong connection to the 1941 Oscar ceremony, when none other but Ginger Rogers was awarded her little gold man for Kitty Foyle.
Both Rogers and Bullock underwent surprising transformations in their persona before their respective wins. As we all know, Ginger began as a wise-cracking chorine, then she became an art deco ingenue and a screwball comedy queen. Then in 1939, the hair went dark and two films, Primrose Path and Kitty Foyle, both about poor youmg women working through adversity, surprised the academy enough to earn her an Oscar. But her win is not enough. What makes Ginger's win so special is that she beat the following legends of the screen:
Martha Scott in Our Town
Joan Fontaine in Rebecca
Bette Davis in The Letter
and Katharine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story

Those four nominated performances are some of the best in Hollywood history, not just in the filmography of 1940. Many people call this award a major upset, and I can see their point. Kitty Foyle is a pretty forgettable film for someone who isn't a Ginger maniac.

Similarly, The Blindside will probably not be remembered as a hallmark of filmmaking in 70 years. I haven't seen it, but from what I hear it was a good film that certainly made a lot of money (just like Kitty Foyle).
The important thing to learn from these two awards given 70 years apart is that the Academy often looks at the arc of a career or a persona. They saw that Sandra Bullock brought something new out of herself that we did not see in Hope Floats, Practical Magic, or even this year in All About Steve. They see when a performance is special, not just an actor, and I like that. Gabourey Sidibe will win an Oscar, and if not she will be remembered as the woman who always should have won. The same goes with Carey Mulligan. They are both at the beginning of their careers and have nothing but stars to come. They will be the Katharine, the Bette of their time. Give Ginger her chance to shine!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

ugh.

I think my illness is relapsing. I felt ok today thanks to the wonder that is Dayquial, then after an evening nap, I woke up feeling about 2% alive.

There is one positive thing that has come out of my illness: I broke my film record. You may remember if you are a long-term follower that I attending an all-night horror film festival over the summer, in which we watched 5 films between 10:00 pm and 8:00 am.
Monday, I watched eight films. That's right, eight. It started at about 2:00 am when I couldn't sleep because I can't breathe very well, and continued between naps until about 11:00 pm.
1. The Princess Diaries: I know, but I actually like this movie for some reason. It makes me feel good.
2. The Awful Truth: I watch this at bedtime about 3-4 times a week, but this time I didn't fall asleep, like I usually do about when Lucy and Daniel sing "Home on the Range". that led me to..
3. My Favorite Wife: another bedtime favorite. I don't like watching movies that are new to me at bedtime because I always fall asleep.
4. Once Upon a Honeymoon: another bedtime staple that I watched completely. It's still weird, but I like it.
5. Blonde Venus: The only film that was new to me. I had to watch it for my Films of the 30s course (don't et me started on how much I dislike that class). It's the first film we have watched in the class that I have mostly liked, but I don't think it will make it in to my regular viewing rotation.
6. Louis CK: Chewed Up: I also love stand-up comedy, and the way this guy makes fun of his kids leaves me rolling on the floor.
7. Bringing Up Baby: this one usually knocks me out, and I slept through the middle, but actively watched the beginning and end. Then I thought about watching it again with the commentary, but I flipped the DVD over and watched....
8. The Philadelphia Story. Fantastic.

Apparently Cary Grat is the best medicine, or so I hoped.

That was my monday! Sometimes being sick isn't so bad, except for the fact that I wouldn't mind dying right now...
Back to bed!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Illness and the numbers four

I am sorry for the delays in my blogging, but I have been sick. Two weeks ago I had stomach flu, and now I either have tonsillitis, step throat, or a sinus infection. Either way, I really need to build up my immune system, because I know the kids I take care of are carrying tons of germs.
Also, I got in a very minor wreck yesterday, just enough to piss me off. I had just backed out of my parking space when the lady across from me backed out right in to my rear bumper. Now I have a lovely dent just above my right rear tire.

Anyway, here are number 4...a very appropriate pair:
The original "tall, dark and handsome". Known as "The King", Clark Gable was at his best playing the suave and sneaky man. What I like best about him was his ability to deliver any line through a smile, in effect, "killing 'em with kindness". He is one of the only people who could insult you, and make you enjoy every minute of it! Despite his big ears and crooked teeth, his voice and the way he carried himself remains very appealing. It also helps that he played one of the most desireed characters ever created, Rhett Butler.
Favorite Roles: Rhett in Gone with the Wind, Peter in It Happened One Night

Apparently, this song brought the usually tough Gable to tears when it was premiered at his birthday party.

Appropriately, my #4 actress is the love of Gable's life, the Profane Angel herself, the wonderful Carole Lombard. She had a wonderful gift for comedy both on screen and in real life. I just finished a great book called "Gable and Lombard" that chronicles their lives and their relationship, and I burst out laughing at each story of Carole's practical jokes. I would have loved to have spent time with her and attend some of her "fun parties". One of my favorite stories of one of her pranks is her arrival to a party celebrating someone's release from mental care. Appropriately, Carole arrived in an ambulance, and was wheeled in on a stretcher, wearing a straitjacket. Her spirit is infectious, and even though she died for too early, she left us with hundreds of reasons to smile.
On a side-note, Carole's beaded gown from No Man of Her Own will be one of the many costumes on display at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art's exhibit Sketch to Screen.
Favorite Roles: Irene in My Man Godfrey, Connie in No Man of Her Own, Hazel in Nothing Sacred

3:51 is the funniest part. (obviously, spoilers if you haven't seen the movie)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

FIIIIVE GOLDEN RINGS!!!

First of all, let us all congratulate Ferdy and The Siren for their magnificent management of the For the Love of Film blogathon. They raised a little over $10,000 which was their goal! It was iffy at first, but I am so proud to say that they made it. This amount of money will preserve one 3-reel film (that's feature length!). Hopefully we can find out what film is preserved with the money they raised. I am sorry to say that I was not able to contribute a second entry as I had originally planned, but I came down with a pretty nasty stomach bug, then I went out of town last weekend, so I never got to it. I guess I'll have to save it for next time.

Second, I recently installed a blog tracker, and I'm totally hooked to it. I can't believe that I am getting hits from Germany, Australia, Canada, and even South Africa! If you are an international visitor, please let me know. It's exciting to think that anyone is reading my blog, especially someone that far away.

And finally before i get to Actors number 5, My L.A. trip is officially officially on! It was tentative until my friend replied and said that we can stay with her, so now it is definitely going to happen. My best friend Paige is coming with me, and in addition to research I am going to do departmental visits at the UCLA school of Moving Image Archive studies and Critical Studies at USC. Plus all of the fun sightseeing! You have no idea how excited I am, especially since this semester is super busy and is driving me nuts. The only thing that sucks about my L.A. trip is that my 21st birthday is the day after I return, so no drinking (in bars, at least) while I'm there. boo.

Anyway, my #5 favorite actor is...Joseph Cotten! This is mostly because he is so dreamy (apparently I have a thing for butt chins...), but he was also a damn good actor.

Favorite roles: Zach in I'll Be Seeing You, Jed in Citizen Kane

(apparently I like posting What's My Line videos. They're just so fun!)

Number 5 is also Doris Day. Even on the worst day, she can make me smile. I like her persona on screen and off, and the two are very different. I recommend reading her biography, because she frankly discusses things you would never expect to hear from someone like Jan Morrow. She is also an extremely talented singer, definitely one of my favorite voices. I am going to go on video overkill here and bog you down with a few, because she really is a complex woman. Also, if you are as passionate about the rescue of animals as Doris and I are, please consider donating to her Animal Rescue Foundation.
Favorite roles: Jan in Pillow Talk, Lucy in Storm Warning, Cathy in That Touch of Mink


Monday, February 15, 2010

Les Six

If you are a fan of 20th century French classical music, you will understand that title. hehe. I love making jokes that no one understands.

Honestly, I can't remember the order, and the list I made was deleted. I remember the actress list, but I can't remember the boys after #2. Sad I know, but I guess I don't pay as much attention to actors, or I tend to watch movies starring the same people.

Ralph Bellamy: He is the king of whiny guys who don't get the girl. Even though he is sort of a cutie, he just doesn't have the skills that Cary Grant or Fred Astaire have. He was just like a puppy: really dumb, but too cute to leave behind.
Favorite Roles: Dan Leeson in The Awful Truth, Stephen in Carefree


Bette Davis: Talk about opposites. I love Bette in every stage of her career that I have seen. When she was young, she was harsh and a little overdone. Then by about 1938, she was perfect. Even in old age she knocked our socks off in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? Alongside her rival Joan Crawford. I actually saw in a film about her that the reason Joan hated her so much was because Bette slept with her fiance, and many others as well. I haven't seen the movies she did when she was really old, but apparently she was a hoot.
Favorite Roles: Charlotte Vale in Now, Voyager, Jane in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Julie in Jezebel, Margot in All About Eve


My entry for the blogathon!



Film Preservation is something near and dear to my heart. I am even thinking of pursuing it as a career, but I'm not totally sure i'm cut out for it. Either way, I will support it for the rest of my life, because it literally pains me to see bad prints of films in wide circulation. The most recent one I can think of was Love Affair. There were huge scratches, dark spots, and brightness inconsistencies throughout the whole movie, and this was on TCM!

Right now the kid I am babysitting is watching Cars for about the billionth time. I too was an obsessive repeater: particularly Home Alone and The Addams Family. The advance of home video technology, and now DVDs, Blu-Rays and now digital copies ensure that no film will be lost again, even the terrible ones, because they are all distributed and archived in multiple formats. Many peoplewho see our work as less than urgent argue that "these were pretty bad films anyway, so who cares if they're lost?". Well if you don't mind, I'm going to go ahead and destroy all copies of From Justin to Kelly, since it wasn't very good anyway.

So what does a lost film like The Awful Truth (1929) and From Justin to Kelly have in common? They both paint an important picture in Hollywood history: one of how a single story can evolve in to several subsequent versions, and the other a commentary on pop-culture status. Who cares if The Awful Truth is terrible? I want to see it!

There are important lost films as well. Two early Hitchcock films are gone: one feature-length and one short. Fanny Foley Herself may not sound too intriguing, but it is a feature-length all-technicolor film from 1931! I'm sure you have all heard by now, but a more complete version of Metropolis was discovered a couple of years ago, and it was screened this weekend in Berlin. Expect a DVD in April.

This brings me to an important website that I just happened upon: Lost Films is an effort to catalogue and fin as many lost films as possible. They also post caps of unidentified films, in the hope that at least an actor can be identified. Please check it out and try to do some identification!

That's all for now, but expect me to come back this week to talk about preservation and the public domain, a growing problem.

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the independent, nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. They work directly with archives to rescue endangered films that will not survive without public support.

The NFPF will give away 4 DVD sets as thank-you gifts to blogathon donors chosen in a random drawing: Treasures III: Social Issues in American Film, 1900-1934 and Treasures IV: American Avant Garde Film, 1947-1986.

If this post has inspired you, please consider donating to the National Film Preservation Foundation in honor or memory of your favorite film director or star.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another blogging award!


Meredith over at the wonderfully-titled Or Maybe Eisenstein Should Just Relax just bestowed upon me the Kreativ Blogger Award! It makes me feel validated to get these awards, like you guys care about what I'm writing almost as much as I do.

Rules
1. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. Done, because I am obedient, unlike my predecessors...
2. Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
3. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
4. Nominate 7 other bloggers, and post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
5. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they have been nominated.

Here Goes!
1. I am super tall, and I'm still not totally comfortable with it. I'm 6'1 1/2", and I think I may be still growing, because I grew about 3/4" inch last year. I'm ready
to be done!
2. I used to be really in to dog shows, but I haven't been to one in abou
t 6 months. For a long time, I wanted to own and show a Great Dane. Now that I'm living in a 350 square foot apartment, I'm glad I didn't take that plunge.
3. I do a lot of embroidery. It's turning in to a profitable hobby, since many of my friends have commissioned projects from me. Here are a couple of examples (and
if you want to order something, just let me know!)

4. I really like stand-up comedy. Eventually I would like to have a go at it myself, but that will take a long time, because...
5. I have a pretty bad case of performance anxiety. This was not a problem at all while I was active in community theatre, but as soon as my Music studies began here at OU, I started throwing up on a regular basis. I would get sick before each and every voice lesson, and it got old really fast. Last semester, I was advised to drop my music studies when I found a degree plan where I could continue studying film without my two years of music theory, piano, and voice lessons going in the garbage. Now that I'm done with classical performance, there is such a tremendous weight off my shoulders, plus I appreciate classical music so much more because I'm not being forced to perfom stuff I don't like.
6. I come from a family of race car drivers. Both grandpas, my Dad, and my Uncles race cars. My cousins also race motorcycles professionally. I've been going to the racetrack since I was just a wee one, and I'm so used to the loud noise that I can sleep through it, no problem.
7. Speaking of sleep, it's probably my second favorite thing in the world (I'm sure you can guess the first...haha) Every morning when I wake up I think "That was great! I can't wait for bed!" Buying an electric blanket only made it more difficult to get up in the morning. I sleep like a log, even through storms, which we get frequently here in Tornado Alley! The big ones like this usually don't come near me, but I bet one this big would wake me up.
Anyway, I am sure you are thoroughly bored. Here are the seven to whom I am passing the torch:
SassyGinger at My World Through the Lens of a Camera: she needs more followers!
Maria at Let Yourself Go: Her drawings are RIDICULOUS!!!
Huey at Gingerology: gotta support my fellow scientist!
Classic Movie Blog: I love the Classic Links and Daily Birthday posts!
Jenny the Nipper at Cinema OCD: She is doing what I hope to be doing!
Spiffy: Inspiring me to be a better vintage vixen.
Amy Jeanne at It'll Take the Snap Out of your Garters!: a great vintage sewing blog. I can't wait to learn how to sew, then I am going to EAT UP vintage dress patterns.

Well there ya go! Keep them coming!

Lucky Seven!


My number sevens have also appeared in a film together, and it was his first!
Fred Astaire should teach every man how to romance a woman. He is the greatest dancer in film history, and introduced to us some of the greatest standards of the American Songbook.
Favorite Roles: Lucky in Swing Time, Huck in Roberta.
This song means so much more with the intro. For some reason, very few people do it.

Joan Crawford was an enigmatic actress whose mystery made her attractive to everyone. Her career went through several evolutions, beginning as a silent siren and ending in B-movies. Although I have never seen any of her silent films, the stills I have seen are stunning. What I like most about Joan Crawford may be surprising to you: I think she looks terribly sweet. Yes, I know about Mommie Dearest, and I don't think it's true (why else would Christina wait to publish the book until after she died?). At least Bette Davis' daughter BD released her knock-off book while Bette was still alive to refute it. Actors are notoriously controlling, but I highly doubt that it was anywhere near as bad as Christina made it out to be. Even if she was a little crazy off screen, her films are fantastic and arouse great sympathy, especially in her mid-40s women's films. Oh yes, and she liked to slap people.
Favorite Roles: Mildred in Mildred Pierce, Blanche in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?
Unfortunately, embedding for these videos is not available, so you will have to open these links in a new tab.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sopYeFeWhhg&feature=related

You should also go back and look at the video I posted for Jack Carson. She's the real star of that video, taking a cameo in a late 40s musical to make fun of her persona. Hilarious.

Monday, February 8, 2010

My LA Trip Intenerary

My trip is just a little more than a month away! Here is a tentative list of things I plan on visiting:

1. 1605 Gilcrest Drive: Obviously, Ginger's big house in Beverly Hills. After doing some googling tonight, I discovered that the current resident, Tobey Cotsen donated $12,500 to Democratic Presidential candidates in 2008. Hilarious. Ginger would be soooooo pissed.

2. Oakwood Memorial Park: to see Ginger, Fred, and Gloria Grahame's graves.
3. Grauman's Chinese Theater
4. Forest Lawn cemetery: there are so many people I want to see here, so time is obviously an issue. I would hate to drage my friends through a cemetery for a whole day just to see random film composers.
They have: 2 of the Andrews Sisters, Lucille Ball, L. Frank Baum, Joan Blondell, Eric Blore, George Cukor, Michael Curtiz, Jane Darwell, Edith Head, Edward Everett Horton, Gus Kahn (lyricist for many standards including It Had to be You and Dream a Little Dream), Mervyn LeRoy, Ernst Lubitsch, Alfred Newman (composer of many Hitchcock films), Maria Ouspenskaya, Dick Powell, Max Steiner, Jimmy Stewart, Dimitri Tiompkin, William Wyler. Phew!
5. Museum of Contemporary Art: something I love almost as much as film is contemporary art.
6. My dear friend Paige has agreed to come with me, and we are going to try to get tickets for Chelsea Lately, one of our favorite shows!!
Please please please suggest more things! And if you will be in LA the 3rd week of March, let me know!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Eight


My number eight male is William Powell, the debonair comedian with an admirable love of martinis. Equally admirable is his brief marriage to Carole Lombard. I would have loved to see them in an uncensored setting.
Favorite roles: Godfrey in My Man Godfrey, Nick Charles in The Thin Man series
Coincidentally, my number eight actress appeared in My Man Godfrey and Love Crazy with Powell. Gail Patrick is a terribly underrated character actress who never made it big, even though she definitely had the talent. She makes Bianca in My Favorite Wife (also known as My Favorite Movie) a sympathetic character, doing much better than the easily-hated Bianca played by Polly Bergen in the remake.
I've always thought that Gail looks a lot like Snow White, and since she was on the RKO lot in 1937 and in a very famous movie the year before, I wonder if she served as some inspiration. I also love her voice, it's so much lower than a lot of her ingenue counterparts, and very distinctive.
Favorite Roles: Linda in Stage Door, Bianca in My Favorite Wife

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Numbers 9

9. Jack Carson: He is great in almost everything I've seen him in. The Groom Wore Spurs is the exception. He played a wide variety of minor men, from the suave Connors in Carefree to the overexcited Mr. Milbank in Stage Door. He also did a great job in the late 40s musicals with his girlfriend (at the time) Doris Day.
Try not to watch this video without laughing so hard you cry (I did!)


9. Ann Miller: One of the greatest female tap dancers of all time. She is second in my book to Eleanor Powell. But she is a much better singer and actress than Powell. Plus she could hold her own with a mega star like Ginger at the tender age of 14!


Favorite Roles: Ann "String Bean" in Stage Door, Claire in On the Town

Something I Made!

It's not that impressive, just a screencap. I couldn't help it when I saw this last night:
I may have to print this off and stick it inside my notebook so I will smile during the classes that I intensely dislike.
How about some Ginger Trivia?
1. What color(s) is the "Yam" dress in Carefree?
2. Ginger turned down two films that eventually went to Olivia DeHaviland-both films have great legacies now. What are they?

3. Family on both sides created innovative things. What did Walter Owens and/or Dr. John Sappington develop?

4. For which film was Ginger nominated for a Best Actress Golden Globe?

5. How many times does the word "beguiling" appear in The Major and the Minor?

I will post answers in the comments!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Top 10 Actors and Actresses

To copy Hollywood Dreamland, I too am going to do a count down of my favorite actors and actresses. I know this is really supposed to be 20, but I honestly can't think of 20. Isn't that sad? Proof that I need to branch out more. Anyway, so begins the count down:

10. Franklin Pangborn: How can you resist? He is one of the few actors that makes me squeal when I discover that he is in a movie I'm watching. He rarely had a large enough part to garner a screen credit in his whopping 224 films, yet he is one of the best-remembered character actors among us classic film freaks. He often tackled gay stereotypes in pre-code and code-era films along with other character actors like Edward Everett Horton.
Favorite Roles: Harcourt in Stage Door, Herbert in Professional Sweetheart


10. Spring Byington: WHy not make it a character actor day? Spring Byington was a fantastic actresses who handled dizzy women perfectly. My mom particularly loves my impression of Spring as Rebecca Perry in Theadora Goes Wild, which is also my favorite role of hers. Other favorites are as Marmee in Little Women (1933) and Mary Sunshine in Roxie Hart.

(her part starts at 2:20)


Number 9 tomorrow!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Let's talk again

about how this is DEFINITELY NOT GINGER!

This frustrates me to no end. It comes up all the damn time, and it's so obvious that it's not her. I mean, look at those boobs. Ginger's were fairly small (but proportional to her body), and these are huuuuuge. Face is wrong,eyebrows are totally wrong, everything is wrong.

Don't even get me started about how this is from Holiday Inn.
Both of these are currently being sold on allposters.com, and the latter is even the cover of a Fred and Ginger cd that is available on Amazon. Can you believe they pay people to research this shit?!?!

Hey, it worked!

This is the first time that my pincurls have turned out well. I was trying to recreate Ginger's pageboy style that she wears through most of Stage Door, specifically this scene:

That scene also features my favorite line: "What do we do about the sign?" "Just leave it there."

Anyway, after a basic set of pin curls that I pinned at thelowest possible point on my hairline, here is the result:

I was so excited, I puton makeup and my favorite vintage dress for some pictures~

Snowed in again!

Once again, Oklahoma has been hit with an ice storm. Luckily, my neighbors agreed to let me share their internet signal if I pay half the bill, so I have internet at home again! My cabin fever has inspired me to do some pretty weird things, like clean. There were boxes in my bedroom that had never been unpacked from when I moved in September. Now things are looking much more spiffy!
I am also trying a vintage hairstyle. I sloppily put up some pin curls about half an hour ago. Last time they were super frizzy. We'll see what happens.
Later, I'm going to start an entry that will probably be really long called "Why Stage Door is the best movie ever". Ok, I'm not going to argue that it is actually the best movie ever made (even though it happens to be my favorite), but I am going to bring up some nuances I've seen in my 100+ viewings of the film, plus some things I've read.
I discovered this week in my films of the '30s class (which has a really disappointing line up of films) that I really don't like early 30s films. I think this may come from my musical training and the way my professor has been pushing me to write about film music. Most of these films have little or no music at all, which is why I usually yawn through anything prior to King Kong, which features a fantastic and revolutionary Max Steiner score. I suppose being in these courses that disappoint me only make me want to do better when I am in their shoes in a few years.
Well, I still have a few things to pick up in my room, then I need to tackle the living room and kitchen. Bye Bye for now!

Monday, January 25, 2010

A modern thing that I LOVE: The Mockumentary

The mockumentary sub-genre would probably get the biggest credit for the development of my kooky sense of humor.
While most people consider 1984 and This is Spinal Tap the birth of the mockumentary, there are television shows that experimented with the style in the 50s (according to wikipedia-I've never seen any of them). Woody Allen's Take the Money and Run (1969), a fake documentary about a serial criminal on the run.

playing cello in the marching band.
Christopher Guest is the hero of mockumentary lore, combining his brilliant skills with Eugene Levy and a fabulous cast of improv veterans. After Spinal Tap, which was mostly written and partially improvised, the first completely improvised film Guest did was Waiting for Guffman, the story of a small Missouri town and their quest to put on a musical. As a former actor in community theater, this movie is practically 100% true. In fact, if it had not featured established stars, I would have taken it for fact.
The next improv-mockumentary was Best in Show, about the frantic world of Dog Shows. Again, I have been involved with Dog Shows for a couple of years, and this movie is also 100% accurate about show people. Here are some of the best moments:

Guest has also made A Mighty Wind and For Your Consideration, about Folk Music and Filmmaking respectively.
A mockumentary that, although not improvised, deserves more attention is Drop Dead Gorgeous. I first saw this movie soon after it was released, when I was about 10. This film definitely formed a large part of my sense of humor, and contributed to my mastery of the Minnesota accent.


Of course, the mockumentary has now made its way in to Television, with The Office and Parks and Recreation.
I hope you appreciate this sub-genre of comedy as much as I do!