My June 3rd Birthday Buddies!

Here are some clips from a few cinematic stars who share the same birthday as me – TODAY!

Paulette Goddard

Here’s a clickie from The Women (1939): http://youtu.be/gTC0YusJFTY

Modern Times (1936)

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Josephine Baker

Zouzou (1934)

Princess Tam-Tam (1935)

This is a BBC-produced documentary on the life Josephine Baker, Josephine Baker: First Black Superstar. Take your time, it runs an hour long.

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Tony Curtis

Some Like it Hot (1959)


The Defiant Ones (1958)

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Marilyn’s Greatest Hits (IMO)

Today marks the 87th anniversary of Marilyn Monroe’s birth. Monroe is principally remembered and known as an icon, a sex symbol whose image remains ageless – a paragon of movie star forever frozen in time.

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Lest we forget that she was also an actress who in spite of the circus that would accompany her throughout her life, by all accounts wanted to be taken seriously as an actress. The following are a list of films that I rank among her best performances (sorted by date released).

  • All About Eve (1950): a small yet memorable role.
  • Don’t Bother to Knock  (1952): check out my previous post.
  • Seven Year Itch (1955): it is a signature performance with many unforgettable scenes that played perfectly well with Monroe’s image (the first of her collaborations with co-writer/director Billy Wilder).
  • Bus Stop (1956): this film provided me with the opportunity to see her true acting range.
  • Some Like It Hot (1959): this film is so well executed; this screwball comedy is elevated by Billy Wilder’s writing and bolstered by the performances of all the cast.

You may be wondering – why isn’t a film like The Misfits or Gentlemen Prefer Blondes on the list? Well, the answer is simple – I HAVE NOT SEEN THEM. Yeah I know that is a sacrilege, but frankly there are not enough hours in the day for me to see all (I wish there were) …

Anyway, what are some of your favorite Marilyn Monroe films? Please share 🙂

 

Happy Birthday Olivia!

HAPPY 94TH BIRTHDAY MS. DE HAVILLAND!

Happy 19th IMDB!

Only to 2 years and you will able to drink!

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Happy Birthday to Me! A 24-Hour Movie Marathon

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In honor of my birthday this month I decided to put together a dream 24-hour program schedule for myself. Here are the movies in no particular order since they are ALL fantastic!

Film Title Year Released Total Running Time
Empire Strikes Back 1980 124
Bend it Like Beckham 2002 112
Vertigo 1958 128
Wimbledon 2004 98
To Catch a Thief 1955 106
A Room With a View 1985 117
Pride and Prejudice 1995 300
Persuasion 1995 107
Cinema Paradiso 1988 124
From this Day Forward 1946 95
Love and Basketball 2000 124
Grand Total
1435

Which leaves 5 minutes for sleep!

Happy Belated Birthday Bill Holden!

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William Holden as Sefton in "Stalag 17" (1953)

April 17th (Friday) marked William Holden’s 91st birthday.  As someone who is admittedly a fan but also admitting to not seeing films such as The Wild Bunch (1969) and Network (1976) to their completion, here in no particular order are a list of what I feel are some notable Holden performances:

Picnic (1955) – the Cinemascope/Technicolor combination makes this film feel like a big sweeping epic.  Which is strange since is hails from a stage show, which  in general tend to be more confined. It just looks like a “big” picture. While I do not think that this is the best of Holden’s performances, I still enjoyed the picture.  A great part of my reservation stems from the fact that while Holden’s Hal Carter is a bit world-weary (much list the actor in real life) there is an immaturity in Hal that Holden does not seem to be able to capture.  It truly is a compliment to the fact that by this time in his life Holden himself appeared to be a man who “got it” and would not live under such delusions.

Sunset Boulevard (1950) – one of his finer performances.  As much as we are taken in by the bravura performance of Gloria Swanson’s Norma Desmond, Holden performance is a perfect foil with its nonchalant indifference to the glare of Hollywood.  No wonder he received his first Oscar nomination!

Apartment for Peggy (1947) – this such a cute movie especially for slow afternoon.  Truly diverting and pleasure to watch.

Our Town (1940) – I watched this movie again the other night on late-night public television.  I think this film is especially noted for a fine turn from pre-WWII Holden.  When referencing his performance, the New York Times’ Bosley Crowther in his June 14, 1940 review stated, “William Holden plays the boy with a clean and refreshing youthfulness.”  Among the awards bestowed upon this film: “10 Best Films” – 1940 New York Times; “10 Best Films” – 1940 Film Daily; Best Acting – 1940 National Board of Review (Martha Scott and William Holden).  In addition it was nominated in the following categories:  1940 Oscars – Best Actress (Martha Scott); Best Black and White Art Direction (Lewis Rachmil); Best Score and Original Score (Aaron Copland); Best Picture; Best Sound (Thomas T. Moulton); 1940 National Board of Review for Best Picture.

Stalag 17 (1953) – my personal fave and by sheer coincidence Holden’s Award-winning performance as Sefton, a cynical, self-serving POW who ends up being our hero by film’s end.

For those who are interested in learning about the life of William Holden the actor and the man, I recommend Bob Thomas’ Golden Boy:  the Untold Story of William Holden is a very good biography.  It tells the story straight without too many salacious details.