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Showing posts from 2014

Who's 99 today?

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This guy! Ol' Blue Eyes. The Voice. The Chairman of the Board. Every bobbysoxer's dream.
Dear Frank has been my favorite singer for a good while now. His voice is absolutely magnificent. I love closing my eyes while listening to him sing--it gives me such a good feeling, like I'm sinking in the best way possible. His tone, his phrasing, his smoothness, it's all gorgeous.
Aside from his singing, though, Frank was an amazing actor. I wish he got more credit for his films. I mean, think about it. Here was this handsome guy who had a beautiful voice that gave him a music career that would've been enough to launch him to iconic status. But then he got the acting bug, and despite what some people say, he took it seriously. Why else would he have fought so hard to play Maggio? Why would he have tried his hand at directing? Anyway, the bottom line is the guy was damn talented.

I have no title.

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It's pathetic, but it's true. I couldn't think of a good title, so I gave up. I'm such a good role model. Anyway, on to the post...

Christmas is the best. I love everything about it, from the tree decorating to the cold weather to the buying of presents. In a way, I feel bad for Thanksgiving because right after Halloween everyone jumps ahead to Christmas and bypasses Thanksgiving—but who can blame people? Two days after Halloween, I was sitting on the floor decorating my little tree while listening to Christmas music. And yes, the holiday film viewing has begun. Oh boy, has it begun.
I watch more and more every year, but I still feel like it hasn’t been enough. However, there are a few that I wish had a bigger following during the holiday season. Remember the Night is one such film that I just discovered. Written by Preston Sturges, you would think it’s going to be a wacky comedy, but it’s more of a sentimental drama (in the best possible sense) that boasts the first pai…

When will the collecting cease? (Never.)

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I love having an apartment. It's great to have a kitchen and a bathroom of my own, especially after last year's dorm life, where I was awakened to the sad fact that girls can be just as gross as guys when it comes to maintaining bathrooms. The best part about an apartment, though, is decorating it. As you've seen from the first part of my "Antiques and Projects" series, I enjoy collecting furniture, decorations, and whatnot. My biggest weakness has to be covering my wall spaces. There's just so much room and my walls are white, so I need to liven things up. I thought I'd share with you all what movie craziness I have on my walls right now.
Recently I've become obsessed with lobby cards. It's weird since it always drives me nuts that they almost never get the colors correct (Jane Fonda and Rod Taylor's robes are blue!). Anyway, finding these were easier than I thought they would be. The ones for Lover Come Back and Sunday in New York are origina…

Shaking off Illness.

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For the past week, I’ve had a cold. It doesn’t happen very often, but oddly I actually enjoy being sick. It allows me to lay around in PJs, drink hot tea, and skip class so I can watch movies all day get better. (I could do this while I’m healthy, too, but my parents would not be pleased.) Whenever I’m sick, I have a few staples in my routine, as I’m sure we all do. Usually I’ll lay on the living room couch with my dog and watch TV as I drift in and out of sleep, and my mom supplies me with the requisite tissues, Sprite or orange juice, and soup. Unfortunately, I had to be sick in my college apartment, so no couch (I only have two wingback chairs), no adorable dog, and no caretaker. It sucked, but I did have my movies, which we all know makes it a little bit sunnier. Below is my personal list of films that get me through all the stuffed noses, pathetic coughing, and scratchy throats:
Any Fred and Ginger. It would be silly to assume that these two could solve all the world’s problems wi…

Busy Bee.

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Hello, all!

The picture of Ginger above really has nothing to do with this post, I just like it a lot. School is keeping me rather busy--who knew college could be so time-consuming? I actually have one week coming up that is full of craziness: an essay is due, a group presentation has to be given, and there are three midterms. And one is a math exam...on a Saturday...at 8 am. Safe to say my brain will be mush.

So, since I have all this madness to prepare for, I thought I'd just drop in real quick and post something before I get slammed. I'm not feeling especially creative right now, so I'll just do an "update" like I did back in March and talk about what's going on in my life movie-wise. (See The Apartment nod I did there?)

Let's see...as I told you lovely people before, I have a cinema class and so far it's not too shabby. I finally got to see Metropolis (so cool), and all of our screenings are on the big screen at the IU Cinema. We have to do our first…

Sadness.

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I got some very bittersweet news the other day…my family decided to get the Hopper DVR device. Without sounding too much like a commercial, it basically will let us record more shows simultaneously so we won’t have to sacrifice watching things we really enjoy for other things we really enjoy. Now, at my house, I’m clearly the #1 DVR user. I have TCM and I’m human, okay? (I also understand its “intricacies” much more than my parents do.) So I was happy that we were finally getting the Hopper—I mean, it has two freaking terrabytes of storage. TCM all day, every day!
But then my mom told me the worst part…everything that’s currently on our DVR will be erased when the new device is installed. EVERYTHING. Years of accumulating this oddball film here and this fantastic movie there will all be gone come Tuesday. I’m kinda sorta devastated. Sure, some of the movies play on TCM all the time, no big deal. But what about The Happy Time? It’s a little-known movie starring Charles Boyer and Louis J…

"Take the picture! Take the picture!"

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Yes, it's true. I've changed my background again. But I also got ambitious and switched up the fonts, so take that, laziness. I'm really happy with this format, so I think it's safe to say that I'll be keeping this one for much longer than the previous ones. Now, on to the post!
As you can imagine, I've accumulated quite a few photos of classic actors and actresses. If I'm not looking for something for the blog, I'm looking for a background for my computer or my phone, or I'm just bored at work and I decide to hit up Google Images for whatever strikes my fancy.
In lieu of an actual post, I thought I'd just show you all these fantastic photos I found of my favorites behind cameras. We usually see them in front of a camera, so it's nice to see the tables turned in a sense. I hope you all enjoy these as much I do.
My bonnie Kate. I believe this was during the shooting of The African Queen.

Has Ingrid Bergman ever looked more beautiful?

"I'm glad I found you, you wonderful you": Antiques and Projects, Part 1

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As you can imagine, being a classic film fan, I love buying antiques and practically anything related to Old Hollywood, even things with the smallest association. Call me an old lady (my sister frequently does), but I find old furniture and other items pretty great. They hold up 100 times better than modern stuff, they have history, and they just look better than what’s being produced now—much like classic movies!

Getting an apartment for college this year unleashed the antiquing beast in me. All summer, I was collecting and buying, from something small like a biscuit tin to something bigger like a roll-top desk. I even scored my grandma’s Amana microwave from 1983, complete with a door that opens down like an oven’s and real 1980s air that blasts from the vent while it’s operating. (I can practically feel your jealous gazes.)

Happy Anniversary to me!

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Today is the day: my one-year anniversary for Love Letters to Old Hollywood. I’m glad I’ve been able to keep this venture up, especially since when it comes to actually writing a piece out instead of outlining it, I tend to get lazy and push it off for as long as I can. (This is why I don’t publish posts nearly as much as I’d like to.) I really enjoy having a classic movie blog—but I’m not so sure anyone else does. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s like shouting into a void here. I started this blog so I would have people to discuss my passion with, and so far, no takers. I want to make it to many more anniversaries, but if it is all going to be me giving and no one taking, I may have to call it quits. It just isn’t any fun. Sorry for bringing the party down, but when you’re a super shy person like me, sharing ideas and thoughts about my deepest love in life and not getting a response feels an awful lot like rejection. Anyway, on to other things…
Tomorrow is my first day as a…

Betty.

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"Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete: if you're alive, it isn't."
It was Tuesday night, and I was finally going to watch Murder by Death, a comedy spoof on classic detective mysteries that had an abundance of talent in the cast. I had only gotten a few minutes into the film when my mom called me back to her room and told me: “Lauren Bacall died.”
I was stunned. I quickly went back to the deserted living room and promptly sobbed for 20 minutes. I was at a loss. One of my favorite actresses—hell, one of my favorite people—was gone. She was tough and vibrant and gorgeous and amazing. Despite her age of 89, I honestly thought she’d be around for so many more years. She represented more than that edgy broad who wiggled into Humphrey Bogart’s life and filled the air with the sound of her husky voice. She was one of the last living legends, a true connection to the Golden Age of Hollywood. She made the movies she starred in seem brighter and ye…

Happy 115th, Hitch!

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I’m feeling a lot of mixed emotions today. Yesterday, the incredible Lauren Bacall passed away, but today is Alfred Hitchcock’s 115th birthday. I wanted to write a post for both occasions and after trying to figure out a fitting way to honor both icons, I decided that today I would post about Hitch (albeit a little late in the day) and later this week, I’ll post my tribute to Betty. That’ll give me some more time to pull my thoughts together—after James Garner, Robin Williams, and now Betty, I’m feeling a little shaky. I hope you guys understand my decision. In no way am I brushing aside Ms. Bacall; I just want to celebrate Hitch for a few minutes.
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As you all probably know, Hitchcock is my absolute favorite director. To Catch a Thief did a multitude of things for me (as talked about before), and I’ve seen almost every film the Master has made. It’s amazing to me that during the studio days, this incredibly creativ…

Getting to Know You--I Mean, Me. Not You. Me. Or Both?

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Don't panic. I've changed the background, the colors...and pretty much nothing else because I have no clue how most of this stuff works. I realized I have had this blog for almost a year now (whaaaat?) and I’ve had a lot of fun with it. It’s been a great outlet for me to gush about films and every day I’m thinking about some new post idea or I’ll be watching a movie and suddenly decide to take notes for a review. Although you wonderful readers out there haven’t been as vocal as I’d like (I like discussing things…you like reading things…let’s get together), I’m not just going to shut down this whole enterprise and become disheartened. Mostly because the ghost of Kate Hepburn would kick me and tell me to stop being such a sap. So, in honor of my upcoming one-year anniversary, I thought I’d tell you all some things about me (all classic film-related, of course).
1. I love coffee table books. They’re big. They’re gorgeous. I could just stare at them all day. It saddens me that brand…

Forgotten Classic: The Glass Slipper (1955)

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It’s time for the second installment of my “Forgotten Classic” series. This time I’ll be talking about the absolutely enchanting The Glass Slipper (1955). Directed by Charles Walters, this film is an interesting take on the Cinderella fairytale, with Leslie Caron as Ella, Michael Wilding as Prince Charles, Keenan Wynn as Charles’s valet Kovin, Elsa Lanchester as Ella’s stepmother, and Estelle Winwood as the fairy godmother character, Mrs. Toquet.
We all know the basic Cinderella story, but I’ll provide a summary of the movie anyway. Ella is an orphan taken in by Widow Sonder and her two daughters, Serafina and Birdina. Ella is an angry and very lonely girl, or as the narrator puts it: “It was the old story of the rejected becoming all the more rejected because they behaved badly because they’d been rejected—one of those circles.” One day in her secret spot away from town, Ella meets Mrs. Toquet, an eccentric lady who is gossiped about because she lives by herself in the woods and likes…

Le 14 julliet

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Being the Francophile I am, every year on July 14th, I try to celebrate Bastille Day. I know I’m American, but I feel a special affinity with France, so it’s fun to make some crepes and pop in a few films that are somehow associated with the country. Usually, I’ll watch a musical. The most obvious choice? An American in Paris, bien sûr. What better way to celebrate the romantic France than to watch the joyous dancing and singing of Gene Kelly as he falls for Leslie Caron? Director Vincente Minnelli and Kelly were both Francophiles, and boy, does it show in this film.
Another great Minnelli-Caron musical to watch is Gigi. The main cast is almost entirely made up of French natives (Caron, Maurice Chevalier, Louis Jourdan), and since it was actually filmed in their home country, you get to see some great locations. If you want a third Leslie Caron choice, you can do no wrong with the marvelously underrated Daddy Long Legs. Sure, a good chunk of it takes place in the U.S., but the story co…

Richard Haydn: "Whooo are yooou?"

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The other day, I finally got around to a film I had been wanting to see for a while: George Sidney’s Jupiter’s Darling (1955), starring Howard Keel, George Sanders, Marge and Gower Champion, and Esther Williams in her last role for her home studio of MGM. I won’t go into the movie and what I thought about it (I’d really like to view it a second time before passing judgment), mainly because that’s not what this post is about, much as I admired Esther’s costumes and Howard Keel’s legs. No, the instant the film’s narrative started, I heard a very distinctive voice, one I had heard before but couldn’t place. It came from a character who narrated the first few minutes of the movie, and then recurred randomly throughout as Howard Keel’s character’s historian, a parody of orators such as Plato and Homer. I hurriedly went to Jupiter’s Wikipedia page to look at the cast, and found that the historian was played by Richard Haydn. Now guys, I’m sure at this point that some of you are either a) go…

More Birthdays Than I Know What to Do With

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I don’t know if any of you are aware, but May is absolutely filled to the brim with the birthdays of old Hollywood icons! I took one look at my calendar page and about had a heart attack. I’ve already missed a few and I apologize for that, but hopefully the rest of this post makes up for it.
May 3rd: Bing Crosby One of my favorite singers and a great actor, too. Le Bing is the personification of cool, calm, and relaxed, which makes it all the more heartbreaking and profound when you see a performance like THE COUNTRY GIRL.
May 4th: Audrey Hepburn What more can be said about Audrey? To me, she’s fantastic in everything she does: dancing, singing, acting, wearing clothes, you name it. She can do no wrong, I don’t care what people say.
May 7th: Gary Cooper This man…ugh, don’t even get me started. One look from him makes me melt. You’ll never want to watch MR. DEEDS GOES TO TOWN with me—I become far too annoying with my adoration of the gorgeous Mr. Cooper.
May 10th: Fred Astaire I think you all …

While I was out...

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Hello again!

For a few days now, I kept saying myself “You’ve got to post something new, Michaela. It’s been quite a while since you wrote something.” Then I look and it hadn’t even been a month. Ah, me…

Anyway, since I was in the posting mood (is that a thing?), I figured I better go ahead and do something about it. I’ve been pretty busy these past few weeks, mainly because my first year at college will be over by next Friday. Because of that, my creativity is at low tide so I think I’ll just tell you guys about what’s been going on old movie-wise in my life since my last write-up.

Sadly, on April 6th, Mickey Rooney passed away. It still depresses me. He’s been a personal favorite of mine for a while now, and putting him with Judy Garland was one of the smartest things MGM ever did. They were the best of friends, and Judy being as dear to me as she is, I always felt gratitude towards Mickey for supporting her and giving her love during her tumultuous life. I’m sure I don’t need to tell …

An American in Paris: A Case of the Doubles

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I’ve seen Vincente Minnelli’s classic multiple times, so I was surprised to notice during one viewing that there was a lot of pairing being done. It sounds a little weird, I know. Maybe it’s just coincidental and I’m making too big a deal out of it, but it sparked my interest and to be honest, it lets me type up a somewhat lazy post. Anyway, read my list below and decide for yourself.

1.Milo buys two of Jerry’s paintings.

2.Jerry and Lisa each lead two lives: one with each other, and one with other people.

3.Adam, Jerry, and Henri are introduced twice in the beginning—the first time is a fake-out, while the second time isn’t.
4.Jerry has two women in his life: Milo and Lisa.

5.Lisa has two men in her life: Henri and Jerry.
6.Two languages are dominant, French and English. Just look at the title—American/Paris, English/French.