Showing posts from October, 2020

The Women of 1937's Stage Door

  A sharp-witted comedy-drama with a mostly female cast, Gregory La Cava's  Stage Door tells the story of a group of aspiring actresses who live in the New York boardinghouse the Footlights Club as they struggle to make ends meet. Perhaps the most famous aspect of this film is the cast, which includes Adolphe Menjou, Jack Carson, Franklin Pangborn, and such fantastic actresses as Ginger Rogers, Katharine Hepburn, Eve Arden, Lucille Ball, and more. Brimming with electric one-liners, touching tragedy, and superb performances, Stage Door is a lovingly complex illustration of female friendship and ambition. Instead of doing a straight-forward review, I decided to try something a little different. Since this film is so well known for the illustrious women who star in it, the following is my personal ranking of the ladies of the Footlights Club. I tried to focus more on the characters than the actresses, but it is pretty remarkable how closely some of the women resemble who they are po

The Third Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn Blogathon is here!

It feels like years since Crystal and I have announced this blogathon! Between the weirdness of the world right now and my job being so overwhelming, it seems odd to say that it is now time for the Third Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn Blogathon. Crystal and I can't wait to celebrate this iconic couple with our wonderful participants, so let's get this party started! Realweegiemidget Reviews |  Guess Who's Coming to Dinner  (1967) Widescreen World | Love Among the Ruins (1975) Poppity Talks Classic Film | Sylvia Scarlett (1935) Thoughts from the Music(al) Man | Father of the Bride (1950) Love Letters to Old Hollywood | Stage Door (1937) 18 Cinema Lane |  The Sea of Grass  (1947) KN Winiarski Writes |  Bringing Up Baby  (1938) Taking Up Room |  Adam's Rib  (1949) Poppity Talks Classic Film |  Mannequin  (1937) Goosepimply All Over |  Desk Set  (1957) Pure Entertainment Preservation Society |  Mary of Scotland  (1936) Here's Booking at You, Kid |  Holiday  (193

In Memoriam: Tommy Rall (1929-2020)

  Tommy Rall was a man who defied gravity. Whether executing impossibly fast twirls, nimbly leaping through the air, or doing a series of stunningly intricate tap steps, Rall proved to be one of the best dancers Hollywood would ever see. And yet he never became the star he deserved to be. On October 6,  at the age of 90, Rall died of congestive heart failure while recovering from heart surgery. An irreplaceable talent from the Golden Age of Hollywood, I’ve been in love with his work ever since he took my breath away in Kiss Me, Kate many years ago. Although his filmography is small, the impact of Rall’s dancing is so momentous that I was frustrated to discover that no obituaries had yet been written for him.* This really didn’t sit right with me, so I wanted to offer my own tribute to the man whose artistry has never failed to make me giggle with delight. (Yes, giggle .) Born with a crossed eye, Rall’s mother realized her four-year-old son would have difficulty with reading and enroll

"Goodnight, Mister... Darling": Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea's Perfect Love Scene

When it comes to the romantic comedy, classic Hollywood has everybody beat. If you haven't seen a rom-com from the 1930s, 1940s, or 1950s, you're denying yourself one of life's greatest joys. There are many I could recommend, but for my money, the gold standard may just be George Stevens's The More the Merrier (1943). The film is unique in that its premise should render it completely outdated — it takes place during the Washington, D.C. housing shortage in WWII — yet it feels fresh, vibrant, and exciting. When Connie Milligan (Jean Arthur) decides to rent out half of her apartment, she winds up with eccentric Benjamin Dingle (Charles Coburn) as her roommate. Having taken a liking to Connie, Dingle takes it upon himself to play matchmaker for her by renting out half of his half to Joe Carter (Joel McCrea), a handsome young man who will soon be going overseas on a secret military assignment. Joe and Connie are clearly meant to be, but it takes an awful lot of scheming on