Thursday, December 31, 2009


A toast to all our classic movie friends: Let this coming year be better than all the others. Promise yourself to do some of the things you've always wanted to do but couldn't find the time. Happy New Year!! From all of us here at Noir and Chick Flicks.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

JENNIFER JONES (March 2, 1919 – December 17, 2009).

Born Phylis Lee Isley in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her parents Flora Mae and Phillip Ross Isley toured the Midwest in a traveling tent show . Jones went on to Monte Cassino Junior College in Tulsa and Northwestern University, where she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority before moving on to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City in (1938). She married Robert walker January 2, 1939. Isley performed in two small roles, first in a (1939) John Wayne's New Frontier, and a serial Dick Tracy's G-Men. In these two films, she was billed as 'Phyllis Isley'. She failed a screen test for Paramount Pictures and decided to change her name and return to New York City. Where she became a five-time Academy Award nominee, Jones won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance in The Song of Bernadette (1943). Jennifer Jones, performed in 27 films, her career spanned over 35 years.

 List of my top 5 Jennifer Jones films:
A Farewell to Arms (1957)
The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit (1956)
Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
Madame Bovary (1949)
Duel in the Sun (1946)


Beat the Devil (1953) film directed by John Huston Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley and Peter Lorre. . It was co-authored by Huston and Truman Capote, loosely based on a novel of the same name by British journalist Claud Cockburn. This movie was supposed to be a spoof of The Maltese Falcon.

In a Italian port, four crooks, Petersen, Julius O'Hara, Maj. Jack Ross and Ravello, who Billy Dannreuther had been helping them to purchase uranium-rich land in British East Africa, are arrested by police.

Six months earlier, Billy, an American, his Italian wife Maria and his partners are traveling a steamer to Africa. The ship, develops engine trouble and their trip is delayed. Billy meets a wealthy English couple, Harry and Gwendolen Chelm, who are traveling on the same ship to take over a coffee plantation they have inherited.

Billy meets with Petersen, they start to wonder that Billy's friend may make another deal if they do not arrive on time. After accusing Ross of the murder of a British Colonial officer, Billy promises his friend will not turn on them.

After hearing Gwendolen tell Billy that the plantation Harry is inheriting is rich in uranium, O'Hara tells the others. O'Hara, is concerned that Billy will double cross them. Petersen thinks it is best that they both fly to Africa. Trying to change Peterson's mind about going, Billy says that their early arrival will be suspicious, Petersen does not agree and he and Billy leave for the nearest airport. On their way to the airport, the taxi breaks down, and they accidentally push it over a cliff into the sea. Thinking Billy and Petersen died in the accident, Harry breaks the news to Maria and Gwendolen. To every ones surprise, Billy and Petersen are alive. When the ship is ready to sail, Petersen receives a cable from London that claims that the Chelm's are not rich, as they claimed to be. While on the ship the engine breaks down and Harry, an ex-Royal Marines officer, tries to fix it but, after the engine explodes, the captain takes Harry prisoner. Billy, worries that the other men will kill Harry to keep him quiet.

Will this interesting group of character's escape with their lives?

What I enjoyed about this movie besides the wonderful cast of characters, is the several surprising twists and turns with a little comic suspense mixed in.

Fun Fact:

This was the fifth and last movie that Humphrey Bogart made with Peter Lorre. The other four were, The Maltese Falcon (1941), Casablanca (1942), All through the Night (1942) and Passage to Marseille (1944).

In 1950 Howard Hughes invited Lollobrigida to make Hollywood films, but she refused, preferring to work in Europe. Despite this, her performance in Italian films: Bread, Love and Dreams and Woman of Rome, and in French films: Fanfan la Tulipe and Beauties of the Night, brought her to the attention of Hollywood. She made her first American film, Beat the Devil, in 1953 with Humphrey Bogart and Jennifer Jones.

Lollobrigida, performed in The World's Most Beautiful Woman(1955). She also performed in the circus drama, Trapeze(1956) with Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis, The Hunchback of Notre Dame with Anthony Quinn. In 1959 she co-starred with Frank Sinatra in Never So Few and with Yul Brynner in Solomon and Sheba.

She performed in the romantic comedy Come September(1961), with Rock Hudson, Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin. The same year she performed with Ernest Borgnine and Anthony Franciosa in the drama, Go Naked in the World. In 1964 she co-starred with Sean Connery in the thriller, Woman of Straw. She co-starred with Rock Hudson again in 1965's Strange Bedfellows and appeared alongside Alec Guinness in 1966's Hotel Paradiso. In 1968 she starred in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell with Shelley Winters, Phil Silvers, and Telly Savalas. Lollobrigida co-starred with Bob Hope in the comedy The Private Navy of Sgt. O'Farrell.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Davies was born Marion Cecilia Douras on January 3, 1897 in Brooklyn, New York, the youngest of five children born to Bernard J. Douras a lawyer and judge and Rose Reilly. The sisters changed their name to Davies, which one of them saw on a realtor's sign in the neighborhood. Having a British name really helped Marion's carrer. Marion was signed on as a Ziegfeld girl in the Ziegfeld Follies of (1916).

After making her screen debut in (1916) modeling gowns by Lady Duff-Gordon, she performed in her first feature film in Runaway Romany(1917). It was a film written by Marion and directed by her brother-in-law, Broadway producer George W. Lederer. The following year she starred in three films, The Burden of Proof, Beatrice Fairfax, and Cecilia of the Pink Roses. Playing light comedic roles. Cecilia of the Pink Roses in (1918) was her first film backed by Hearst. During the next 10 years she appeared in 29 films, an average of almost three films a year.

FUN FACTS: Wikipedia.

Portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in The Cat's Meow (2001), by Melanie Griffith in RKO 281 (1999) (TV), by Virginia Madsen in The Hearst and Davies Affair (1985) (TV) and by Heather McNair in Chaplin (1992)

The character of Susan Alexander Kane played by Dorothy Comingore in Citizen Kane (1941) was based on her. She liked to do puzzles and this hobby was incorporated into the character.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Marion Davies "The Red Mill" (1927)

"The Red Mill" (1927) is a silent romantic comedy that stars Marion Davies, Owen Moore, and Louise Fazenda. Directed by William Goodrich, alias Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle, this film is a Cinderella story based loosely on a Victor Herbert and Henry Blossom stage operetta.

The story begins with Tina, played by Marion Davies, a Dutch girl who works as a maid of the Red Mill Tavern, cleaning the floor by skating around with scrub brushes attached to her feet. Her villainous boss makes her work from dawn til dusk and goes around with a whip. Tina's only friend is Ignatz, a little white mouse who lives inside her wooden shoe. One day Tina sees Dennis, played by Owen Moore, ice skating, and she is attracted to him. Tina ventures out to find Dennis surrounded by female admirers, but she manages to meet him. They are soon skating together while Tina swoons on his shoulder. Unfortunately, she learns that Dennis is an Irish prince betrothed to the Burgomaster's daughter. On the other hand, the Burgomaster's daughter Gretchen, played by Louise Fazenda, does not want to marry Dennis because she is in love with a peasant. Tina comes up with the idea that they should exchange clothes so Gretchen can sneak out and meet her secret love. Meanwhile Tina dresses as Gretchen and goes after Dennis, which leads to all sorts of trouble. Will the Dutch maid get her Irish prince? "The Red Mill" had been an enormous success on Broadway and an ideal film adaptation for Marion Davies. The reviews of the day praised the details of the set imitating a small Dutch village, with the tavern, a canal, and a large windmill.

The wonderful ice skating scenes put Davies in a skating race, during which, when a dog chases a white mouse, she grabs hold of the dog and is pulled along at top speed. These scenes are largely successful because of the astounding comedic abilities of Davies. It is generally assumed today that Davies had no talent and that she survived in films only because she was the mistress of newspaper tycoon, William Randolph Hearst, who formed Cosmopolitan Pictures exclusively to produce starring roles for her. On the contrary, Davies had a charming personality that came across on film, and she was a magnificent comedienne that was very popular with audiences. She also received good reviews on her own from rival publications. Davies went all out in her comedic scenes in "The Red Mill" and she took the idea that she was playing an unglamorous maid very seriously. One of the funniest scenes in the film shows Davies with no makeup as she covers up her face with a mud massage which magically comes off to reveal her now fully made up beautiful face. Handsome Owen Moore and lively Louise Fazenda give great performances, but this is definitely a Marion Davies film. The exciting finale is a mixture of laughter and fright. "The Red Mill" is a silent gem that showcases Marion Davies from slapstick to heartbreak to horror.

* It is interesting to note that Marion Davies was instrumental in getting Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle to direct "The Red Mill." Arbuckle was forced to use the pseudonym, William Goodrich, due to his rape/murder trial just a few years earlier.

CLARA BOW: Fun Facts

Clara Gordon Bow (July 29, 1905 – September 27, 1965) Rose to stardom in the silent film era of the (1920s). She won a photo beauty contest which started a movie career of 56 films. She reached the top as the "It Girl" in (1927). She married cowboy star Rex Bell at age 26 and retired from the screen at age 28.

She worked at a hot dog stand on Coney Island as a teenager, run by a man named Nathan Handwerker, who later founded Nathan's Franks.

Pictured on one of ten 29¢ US commemorative postage stamps celebrating stars of the silent screen, issued 27 April 1994. Designed by caricaturist Al Hirschfeld, this set of stamps also honored Rudolph Valentino, Charles Chaplin, Lon Chaney, John Gilbert, Zasu Pitts, Harold Lloyd, Theda Bara, Buster Keaton, and the Keystone Kops.

Mother of actor Rex Bell Jr.

Sunday, December 27, 2009


Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon performed in three films together:

PHFFFT! (1954). Romantic/comedy. Cast: Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and featuring Jack Carson. written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson. After receiving their divorce papers, Nina and Robert promise that they will remain friends, no matter what. The mambo scene between Judy and Jack, is the best scene in the film..

BELL BOOK CANDLE (1958) Romantic/ comedy directed by Richard Quine based on the hit Broadway play by John Van Druten.. Cast: Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, James Stewart and Elsa Lanchester Modern day witch likes her neighbor but does not like his fiancee, so she puts a spell on him to love her instead. Only to fall in love with him.

Please click here for past movie review.

THE NOTORIOUS LAND LADY(1962).  Comedy/mystery. Cast: Kim Novak, Jack Lemmon, and Fred Astaire. An American diplomat in London rents a room from a woman accused of murder.


This week showing on Noir and Chick Flicks at the movies. (Located on the sidebar): THE MAN WHO KNEW TOO MUCH (1934) Cast: Nova Pilbeam, Peter Loure, Leslie Banks and Edna Best. While traveling in Switzerland, the child of a wealthy couple is kidnapped. She is held to make sure that her father does not to go to the authorities with what he knows about a assassination. The parents plan to begin the search for their daughter on their own. Director: Alfred Hitchcock..


PHFFFT! (1954) Cast: Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak. Posted review Saturday, December 26, 2009.

BELL BOOK CANDLE (1958) Cast: Jack Lemmon and Kim Novak. Look for review on sidebar.

TCM is changing its previously scheduled programming for Thursday, January 7th in order to honor the late Jennifer Jones. Playing on TCM: (Wed. Dec.30th) and Thur. Jan.7th. BEAT THE DEVIL (1953). Check local listings to confirm show times. Cast: Humphrey Bogart, Jennifer Jones, Gina Lollobrigida, Robert Morley and Peter Lorre. Noir and Chick Flicks, is winding down our Birthday Tribute to Humphrey Bogart and combing our Jennifer Jones special event. I will write a movie review. :)

I'm working on a Gene Tierney movie review. Please keep an eye on Noir and Chick Flicks movie page :)

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! From all of us here at Noir and Chick Flicks.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

PHFFFT! (1954)

Phffft! (1954) Romantic/ comedy starring Judy Holliday, Jack Lemmon, Kim Novak and featuring Jack Carson. Written by George Axelrod and directed by Mark Robson, and was the second film with Holliday and Lemmon that year. (It Should Happen to You).

The story begins when television writer Nina Tracy, asks her lawyer husband Robert, for a divorce after 8 years of marriage. Robert thinks it might be a good idea, agrees. Nina wants to divorce Robert, because he has never taken her job seriously. After the divorce is final, Nina is hoping Robert is lonely. Instead, Robert is excited about his new found freedom and moving in with his best friend, womanizer, Charlie Nelson.

Robert and Charlie, talk about when Robert and Nina first met: Just after World War II, Charlie and Robert are lieutenants in the Navy. Charlie, in public relations, asks Robert to handle an NBC radio reporter interview and passes Nina off on him. Robert wants to impress her so tells her that he saved the Navy $75,000. Later, Robert goes over to her tiny little apartment to help Nina with her taxes. After dinner, Robert asks Nina where she sleeps, and she presses a button to show him her bed, which shoots out of the wall. When Robert is discharged from the Navy he finds a position as an associate in a prestigious law firm and Nina receives a promotion to radio writer, Robert asks Nina if she would like to file a joint tax return, they soon marry.

Back to the the present, Nina goes back home to New York City to live with her mother Edith, who takes her to a fancy restaurant, where they run into Robert and Charlie. Nina and Robert have too many martinis and glare at each other all throughout the evening.

The following week, Rick Vidal, the co-star in Nina's TV show, asks her to dinner, which she accepts. At the nightclub, Nina refuses to dance with Rick, admitting that she never learned to dance. Later that evening, she finds herself back at Rick's apartment, where the romance quickly turns into a plea to make him the star of the show.

Charlie arranges a date for Robert with Janis. At dinner, Robert realizes he has nothing in common with Janis, he takes her back to Charlie's, but not ready for a new relationship, asks her to leave.

Both trying to move on with their lives.. Nina begins taking French lessons, only to have the instructor accuse her of being a recent divorcee trying to make changes in her life. Robert enrolls in an art class, but is asked to leave because of his lack of talent.

Charlie talks Robert into changing his lifestyle, Robert goes out and buys a sporty convertible and Italian clothing. Grows a mustache and takes dance classes. Unknown to Robert, Nina has the same idea, taking private dance lessons, new clothes and remodeling the house.

My favorite scene of the movie is when, one evening at a nightclub, Robert and Nina, are surprised to run into each other on the dance floor. When a mambo is played, they try to out dance the other and end up dancing together, with everyone looking on. It is obvious that the past is not dead.

Will Robert and Nina ever find each other again?

Fun Fact: The title "Phffft" comes from Walter Winchell's column which was famous during the 50s. When a celebrity couple divorced, Winchell would describe the break-up as "phffft".

I enjoyed the on screen chemistry between Judy Holliday and Jack Lemmon. This movie tells the story how you can live with somebody that gets on your nerves and in your heart at the same time. Jack Carson plays his usual bad boy part as Lemmon's friend. Kim Novak was wonderful as a Marilin Monroe type personality.

Jack Carson (27 October 1910 – 2 January 1963), was one of the most popular character actors during the 'golden age of Hollywood', with a film career spanning the 1930s, '40s and '50s. Best known for his performances in the films: Mildred Pierce (1945) and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958), which proved he could also perform in dramatic roles. He was also cast opposite Myrna Loy and William Powell in, Love Crazy. Carson's trademark was the wisecracking know it all .

Thursday, December 24, 2009


I have really enjoyed the Humphrey Bogart birthday tribute this month. I saw several "New to me movies". One movie that I really enjoyed was KNOCK ON ANY DOOR (1949)..Wonderful to see Humphrey Bogart play a lawyer instead of a guy who needs one.:)

It is a crime/ noir /drama directed by Nicholas Ray. Cast: Humphrey Bogart and John Derek the film and was based on the novel of the same name by Willard Motley.
The story begins, When handsome Nick Romano is arrested for the murder of a policeman during a robbery, he asks lawyer Andrew Morton ,(who also grew up in the slums), to help defend him. Andy agrees under protest to take his case after Nick says that he is innocent and, even though a bartender was an eye witness. Nick's friends, confirm his alibi.

In Andy's opening speech at the trial, he shares with the jury, Nick's background. Andy first met Nick six years ago after his father went to jail for killing someone in self-defense. Unfortunately, Nick's father dies in jail of a heart attack before his case goes trial.. Now the family hits hard times and have to move into a bad neighborhood. Nick gets involved with some of the other boys and is arrested for stealing a car and is sentenced to a reform school, where his friend dies of pneumonia after being punished.

Back on the streets, Nick falls in love with Emma, a poor but good girl who lives with her alcoholic aunt.

Nick is arrested again, and social worker Adele Patterson comes to Andy for help . Andy comes to see Nick, but Nick, has a chip on his shoulder. He steals money from Andy which angers him.

Nick and Emma soon marry, Andy helps him find a job, Nick's quick temper and unfortunate background cause him to be fired from one job after another. After he lost his paycheck gambling, hoping to buy his wife some jewelry, Emma tells him that she is pregnant. Nick is drunk and angry, demands that she give the baby away. He tells her,"live fast, die young and have a good-looking corpse."

Will Nick ever be able to change his life around?
Click to view movie clips.

Fun Facts:
This was the first film made by Humphrey Bogart's independent production company, Santana. He chose Nicholas Ray to direct because he admired his work in the film They Live by Night (1948).

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

To: Classic Movie Fans.

Tom's blog (MOTION PICTURE GEMS), is his online journal of classic films that he considers gems. Here you'll find reviews of movies from the early days of cinema to 1985. There's also trivia and fun facts about the films. And one of the first to become friends with Noir and Chick Flicks :) AWESOME Blog Tom !!
Click to enter Tom's awesome website.


The very handsome Gary Cooper was born on the Montana ranch of his wealthy father. Which may explain how Cooper was able to combine the ruggedness with the poise of a gentleman. Injured in an car accident while attending Wesleyan College. He rehabilitated on his fathers ranch, learning to perfect his riding skills that you would see later in his Western films.

Not doing to well making a living as political cartooner, Cooper friends thought he might do well working as a cowboy extra. (1926) Agent Nan Collins, thought she could get work for Cooper. She was successful getting Cooper his first role in "The Winning of Barbara Worth". Clara Bow, was his first Hollywood love and was cast in a couple of her films.

Worked as a Yellowstone Park guide for several seasons before becoming an actor.

Pictured on one of four 25¢ US commemorative postage stamps issued 23 March (1990) honoring classic films released in (1939). The stamp featured Cooper as character Beau Geste (1939). The other films honored were Stagecoach (1939), The Wizard of Oz (1939), and Gone with the Wind(1939).

He loved dogs, he owned boxers, Dobermans,Great Danes and Sealyhams.(Breed of terrier dog)

He kept in shape with boxing, hiking, horseback riding, tennis, golf, archery, skiing, fishing, scuba diving .

Appeared in 107 movies, he starred in 82. He also starred in 14 silent movies.

He starred in a couple of movies that were based on novels written by Ernest Hemingway: A Farewell to Arms (1932) and For Whom the Bell Tolls(1943).

He turned down both Stagecoach (1939) and Gone with the Wind (1939).

He also turned down The Big Trail (1930), Stagecoach (1939) and Red River(1948). All of these were played by John Wayne.

Was considered for the role of Richard Sherman in The Seven Year Itch (1955).

James Stewart was his closest friend.

Was considered for Robert Mitchum's role in The Night of the Hunter (1955).

Pictured on a 44¢ USA commemorative postage stamp in the Legends of Hollywood series, issued September 10, (2009).

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"The Winning of Barbara Worth" (1926) is a silent western that stars Ronald Colman, Gary Cooper, and Vilma Banky. Directed by Henry King and based on the novel by Harold Bell Wright, this film is one of the great epic westerns of the silent era. The story begins with a wife burying her husband in the desert as her little girl looks on. Another wagon arrives soon after and the girl, Barbara, is saved from the terrible dust storm. However, it is too late for the mother. A man named Jefferson Worth rescues the little orphan and she becomes his adopted daughter. Fifteen years later, Barbara Worth, played by Vilma Banky, is now a young beautiful woman living with her father in the small desert town of Rubio City. Mr. Worth's dream is to bring water to the desert through irrigation. Rich land developer, James Greenfield, plans to fulfill everyone's dream by making the barren land into a paradise.

Engineer Willard Holmes, played by Ronald Colman, is hired by Greenfield to help bring water to the desert. Unfortunately, trouble lies ahead. Barbara is loved by her childhood sweetheart, Abe Lee, played by Gary Cooper. Willard falls for Barbara and a bitter rivalry develops between him and Abe. Since both men are exceedingly handsome, who will win the heart of Barbara Worth? In the meantime, Greenfield fires all the workers before the dam is properly reinforced, and in protest Worth has his men establish a new town on a mesa. However, he finds he cannot meet his payroll because of Greenfield's blockade. When the people realize they cannot be paid, they want to burn down the town. They are ready to lynch Worth and his daughter, Barbara. From that point on it is a race against time as Willard and Abe try to get the payroll to the townspeople. The climax of the film involves the breaking of the dam and the flooding of the entire area. The ending is very surprising. Although it was a landmark film in its own right, "The Winning of Barbara Worth" is best known for launching Gary Cooper's career. This film gave western stuntman and bit player Cooper his first featured role. Cooper's good looks and natural style of acting were immediately noticed by audiences and critics alike. An outstanding performance was given by Gary Cooper as well as Ronald Colman and Vilma Banky. The cinematography is breathtaking with beautiful use of light and shadow. The images of wagons and people and horses moving against a background of yellow-tinted desert looks stunning. The special effects were impressive for its time especially the flooding of the Colorado River. "The Winning of Barbara Worth" is not only a high quality production by Samuel Goldwyn, but it also blends romance and drama into an engrossing western epic.
* It is interesting to note that "The Winning of Barbara Worth" was filmed in the Black Rock Desert, Nevada.

POLL: Favorite Humphrey Bogart leading lady.

Humphrey Bogart had some wonderful leading ladies.

Here are the results of : Which is your favorite Humphrey Bogart leading lady poll?

Lauren Bacall came in with 44% of the votes.

Ingrid Bergman came in with 33% of the votes.

Mary Astor, Katharine Hepburn and Lisabeth Scott, each received 1% of the votes.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall met when she was 19 and he was 45. They met on the set of the film To Have and Have Not in (1944). Bogart and Bacall were married on a farm in Lucas, Ohio on May 21, 1945.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall made four films together :To Have and Have Not (1944), based on the Hemingway novel. (1946)The Big Sleep. Bogart played private detective Philip Marlow in the film. (1947), Dark Passage. Their last film together was (1948) Key Largo.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall had two children together, Steven Humphrey Bogart was born in 1949, Steven was named after Bogart's character in To Have and Have Not. Daughter Leslie Howard Bogart was born in 1952, named after British actor Leslie Howard. Who discovered Humphrey Bogart.

In early 1956, Humphrey Bogart, a heavy smoker, was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Humphrey Bogart died on January 14, 1957 at 57.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

DEAD RECKONING (1947): My Favorite Bogart Film.

OK ,as I said this is my favorite Bogart film for so many reasons. But instead of going on about them , since the film is running on TCM this Wednesday what I'd like to do is have your reaction to the film in form of a discussion after the showing.
With the Holidays come up fast I'd say lets have the discussion on January 3rd Time TBA if you are so inclined .
This film is one you really want to go into "cold" .
I really want your thoughts on John Cromwell's direction and the interaction of Boggie and Lizabeth Scott.


I want to wish everyone Happy Holiday's. :)

This weeks feature on: NOIR CHICK FLICKS AT THE MOVIES : Sitting on the Moon (1936) a wonderful performance for stars Roger Pryor and Grace Bradley, cast as songwriter Danny West and fading movie star Polly Blair. Look for review on the CHICK FLICKS musical page. I replaced This weeks at the movies, with the Christmas classic cartoon: Rudolph, The Red Nose Raindeer.

Monty and I are planning a Doris Day discussion on the film IT"S A GREAT FEELING. Please check the CHICK FLICKS Doris Day page for times. We hope to see you there. :)


DEAD RECKONING (1947) CAST: Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. Wed, Dec. 23rd. Check local listings to confirm show times. Look for PAUL2 (author) movie review. :)

TCM SPECIAL EVENT: SHERLOCK HOMES. Fri, Dec, 25th. Check side bar to view featured films.

Merry Christmas.:)

Mary Pickford: Fun Facts

Helped her cousins who lived in Ontario, serve hot dogs from their little hot dog stand on the beach. During her summer vacations during World War I.

Turned down the role of Norma Desmond in Sunset Blvd.

Became a US citizen with her marriage to Douglas Fairbanks.

She was the first movie actress to receive a percentage of a film's earnings

Mary Pickford and her husband Douglas Fairbanks were the first stars to officially place their hand and footprints in the cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater (April 30, 1927).

Was named #24 on The American Film Institute 50 Greatest Screen Legends

Was Joan Crawford's mother-in-law, while she was married to Douglas Fairbanks, Jr.

Friday, December 18, 2009

"My Best Girl" (1927) Mary Pickford

"My Best Girl" (1927) is a silent romantic comedy that stars the legendary Mary Pickford and Charles "Buddy" Rogers. Directed by Sam Taylor, this film is actually a Cinderella story set in the Roaring Twenties. The story begins with Maggie Johnson, played by Mary Pickford, working as a stock room clerk in Merrill's Department Store. She is first seen as nothing but a pair of feet in worn shoes and dark stockings.

As she hurries down the store aisle overburdened with pots and pans, she drops one, picks it up, drops another, picks it up, until finally she puts her foot in one of the pans to slide it along. One day, while covering a salesclerk's station, Maggie encounters Joe Grant, played by Charles "Buddy" Rogers, a new co-worker with a charming smile. The two are mutually attracted, and Joe is happily assigned to be Maggie's stockroom ward. What Maggie does not know is that Joe Grant is really Joe Merrill, the son of the millionaire store owner, working in disguise to learn the business from the ground up. Joe is engaged to an upper-class girl named Millicent, but she does not interest him as much as Maggie does. The two co-workers eat lunch together and sometimes sit in a large crate in the stockroom. When Joe and Maggie fall in love, he takes her to his mansion for dinner, telling her that the slogan of the boss is "We are all one happy family" and they're sure to be welcome. Winking to let his butler in on things, Joe escorts Maggie to the dinner table where they pretend to be "Mr. and Mrs." When Joe's parents come home unexpectedly, Maggie hides under the dining room table. Joe remains standing to meet the Merrills. Hearing their conversation, Maggie finally realizes that she has been romancing the son of the store owner. At this point, Maggie runs back to her eccentric family on Goat Hill which includes her clumsy father, tearful mother, and depraved sister. Is Maggie and Joe's love affair over? "My Best Girl" was Mary Pickford's final silent film. Pickford 's film debut in 1909 began her rapid rise in the industry, as audiences responded to "the Little Girl with the Golden Curls." By 1912, she was known as "the Queen of the Movies." Pickford was actually the most popular female movie star in the world when she joined Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, and Charles Chaplin in 1919 to form United Artists. In 1927, she became one of the founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Often known simply as "America's Sweetheart," she was the first female superstar and a shrewd businesswoman who took charge of her career. "My Best Girl" is one of Pickford's finest performances. Rogers and Pickford had great chemistry and their love scenes together are magical. There are plenty of comical moments in the film and the cast is so delightful. The final scene is both funny and heartbreaking. "My Best Girl" is not only one of Hollywood's greatest romantic comedies, but it is also a nice glimpse of city life during the 1920's.
* It is interesting to note that Mary Pickford married her handsome co-star from "My Best Girl," Charles "Buddy" Rogers, in 1937. Their marriage lasted for forty-two years, until her death.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Heidi, is a novel about the life of a young girl who lives with her grandfather, in the Swiss Alps. It was written in (1880) by Swiss author Johanna Spyri. Two sequels, Heidi Grows Up and Heidi's Children, were not written by Spyri, but by her English translator, Charles Tritten.

The story begins when, Heidi, a 5 year old orphan girl is taken by her Aunt Dete, to live with her grandfather, Adolph Kramer, who has lived alone in the Alpine mountains for years. Although, at first Kramer does not speak to her, he gradually grows to love her.

When Pastor Schultz comes for a visit, he says Heidi should be going to school. Grandfather, sends the pastor away, but after remembering the story of the prodigal son, the grandfather takes Heidi to church where they are welcomed with open arms.

Things are going well until Heidi's eighth birthday, Aunt Dete shows up and and takes her to Frankfurt to be the companion/friend of invalid Klara Sesemann. When Heidi arrives, Fraulein Rottenmeier thinks that Heidi is not a proper companion and demands the Aunt to take her back to the Alpine mountains. Klara, really wants her to stay and Fraulein Rottenmeier agrees that Heidi can stay the only the night. Klara promises her that if she is still homesick when her father returns for Christmas in two weeks, she will ask him to take Heidi back to her Grandfather. Grandfather heartsick, begins to walk the hundred mile journey to Frankfurt.

On Christmas Eve, Klara's, Christmas gift to her father is that she can stand and walk with Heidi's help. Sesemann, knowing grandfather's mean personality from Dete, does not think it a good idea to send her back and no longer trusting Fraulein Rottenmeier, fires her.

Later... on Christmas Eve, Grandfather is arrested for disturbing the peace while looking for Heidi. A few minutes later he makes a break for it, just in time to save Heidi from Fraulein Rottenmeier, who is trying to sell her to the gypsies. When the police catch up with grandfather, Fraulein Rottenmeier says that he stole "her" child, will the the police captain believe her..

Cast: Shirley Temple, Jean Hersholt (grandfather)

Heidi, is one of my favorite Christmas movies, that I love to watch while decorating the Christmas tree...Melts my heart every time I watch it.

fun facts:

The movie was filmed during the summer.

The Alpine scenes were filmed at Lake Arrowhead, California.

Mary Nash (August 15, 1884 – December 3, 1976). She was a famous stage actress before moving to Hollywood in 1934. She performed in the films: College Scandal (1936) and Charlie Chan in Panama (1940) Mary Nash's most sympathetic role was in the film, Easy Living (1937). Nash, is best known for two films where she performed with Shirley Temple, first as Fraulein Rottenmeier in Heidi (1937) and then as Miss Minchin in, The Little Princess (1939). She also was well known as Katharine Hepburn's socialite mother in both stage and movie productions of, The Philadelphia Story (1940). She played a supporting role in the 1936 Academy Award-winning film, Come and Get It and a featured role in, In the Meantime, Darling in 1944.