Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year Everyone!

Ann Miller is ready to bring in the New Year.

Here at My Love of Old Hollywood I am ready for 2012 and more fun posts. Wishing everyone a prosperous, healthy and love filled 2012 with lots of Classic Films on your viewing list.  Thank you everyone who has visited my blog throughout the year and a warm welcome to all of my new blog followers.  You're the reason I churn out these posts and I'll do my best to keep them entertaining going forward. 

Shirley Temple is here to let everyone know she'll be back for more co-hosting but for now she's ready to ring in the New Year with the rest of us.

See you in 2012. 
Love and laughter,

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Happy Holidays!

Elizabeth Taylor wishes everyone a warm and Merry Christmas!

Clara Bow has built herself an Igloo for the holidays. I hope she doesn't catch herself a cold.

Bette Davis is festive with her stuffed dogs.

Deanna Durbin is glowing in her holiday fur!

Marlene Dietrich is busy flocking her trees.

Greer Garson has even brought Holiday balloons to the party.

Shirley Temple is adorable with her Christmas scooter.

Bob Hope makes an adorable Santa with his furry sidekick.

Esther Williams is counting the days until Christmas.

Janet Leigh makes a very pretty Santa's helper.

Sonja Henie is going to ski her way into Christmas.

Wait for Arlene Dahl, Sonja!

Joan Crawford is out delivering gifts.

Olivia de Havilland is in the holiday spirit.

Dorothy Malone has found a snowman to snuggle up to.

Elizabeth Taylor is back to show off her wonderful tree. It looks like she has lot's of wonderful gifts to open.

However you celebrate the holidays, may your days be joyful while surrounded by the ones you love. 
Please share how you'll be spending Christmas as well as any great Holiday films you'll be viewing.  I plan to watch Christmas In Connecticut for the first time as well as The Cabin in the Cotton.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Dueling Divas Blogathon: Just A Friendly Competition?

Lara at Backlots is hosting the very clever Blogathon, Dueling Divas from Dec. 20th-23rd so I hope everyone will visit her blog for links to all of those participating.  Here is my contribution. Thanks Lara!

With so many stories about Joan Crawford and Bette Davis's long standing feud I thought it would be fun to poke a bit of fun at it, perhaps get to the bottom of it or even get those two stirred up again for no reason.
Are you ready to get this resolved Bette?

Not especially Joan, but I'll go along with it as long as you play fair and stay on your side of the room!

Bette: How far back are we willing to go to determine that I'm the bigger and better Diva? I was walking and talking quite clearly at 18 months of age!

Joan: I leaped out of the womb tap dancing so I guess that's settled!

Okay ladies, let's move ahead to the beginning of your careers otherwise we'll be here for days. 

Bette: Before we go to Hollywood I would like to add that I actually kept my real name which is Ruth Elizabeth Davis on my birth certificate. Bette is short for Elizabeth! What say you Lucille Fay Le Sueur? I won't hit below the belt and bring up that you shaved two years off of your age when you got to Hollywood.

Joan: Well, I'm special enough that Louis B. Mayer ran a contest in fan magazines to choose my stage name! Joan Crawford was a special gift to me and you can't take that away.

Bette: Mayer thought your name sounded like Le Sewer so don't forget to include that! 

Can we get into your films, early career so we can get to the bottom of things?

Joan: I was dancing and singing on Broadway by the time I was 18.  I had amazing musicality unlike Bette who looked like a radish in a back brace after a bottle of gin while trying to dance!

Bette: I made my way to Broadway at 19! Of course I was off finishing my education before that time. 

Joan: My education came from the real world! And I remember your first Broadway performance, specifically that George Cukor wasn't all that impressed. Perhaps a little more ballet and less Charles Dickens would have been helpful to you but I'm not judging!

Bette: Oh, Joan! I could bring up the time you starred in "nude films" early on which there's proof of all over the interwebs but I'm a lady. Of course I would never look at something that distasteful and crude but I have heard that you were shall we say "Rubenesque" in your early days.  Perhaps you should have tried some of those 'ice treatments' on your derriere! 

Joan: I thought this conversation was about Divas and not showing what an old prude you are? And by the way, those nude photos are considered art and quite valuable now so I hear. Eat your heart out Bette!

Bette: I came to Hollywood in 1930 for a screen test for Universal Studios where I was given a part in my first film "The Bad Sister" This led to a long contract with the studio. 

Joan: Bette forgot to add that she failed her first screen test but moving along! I arrived in Hollywood at the end of 1924 where I was offered a contract by MGM. My first film there was "Pretty Ladies"  And might I add that I was selected as a WAMPAS Baby in 1925. 

Bette: Good for you Joan! It's fascinating that MGM would choose 30 year old 'babies'.

Joan: I was NOT 30! I was uhmmmm 20 or 22. With a wonderful figure that I worked tirelessly at maintaining. We all can't have a figure of a pubescent boy and a constant frown that resembles a kid sucking on limes. 

Bette: Oh, really? Weren't you a bleach blonde at one time?  You just couldn't stand that I have naturally blonde locks that shine like a ray of light! And I hear that you started that whole shoulder pad trend to draw attention away from your growing hips and turkey neck. 

Joan: Shoulder pads were fabulous and they even came back again in the 80's! A trend I started and I looked gorgeous in. What fashion trend did you ever start?

Bette: I didn't need to start a trend! I have Bette Davis eyes in case you haven't heard...Don't you ever listen to the radio?  Oh, silly me, of course you do! You listen for Pepsi Cola ads!  I'm a Coca Cola fan myself.  "Clink" There goes another Pepsi ad...drop another nickel into Joan's coin purse!

Okay, perhaps we could retract the claws a bit and focus on your careers, why you were feuding. 

Joan: Our feud started over a man of course. My man! I was quietly engaged to the delightful Franchot Tone and he was loaned out to Universal to star in a film with our little wallflower Bette. Oh, he felt sorry for her as she made her advances but when we realized that she had fallen head over heels in love with Franchot, we had to tell her that he was taken, betrothed to me!  Of course Bette was embarrassed, humiliated. This started our first feud but it certainly wasn't because of me.  

Bette: First of all, I'm impressed that Joan can keep track of all of her many husbands and love affairs. Secondly, I was just a girl, an innocent girl when I worked with Franchot in "Dangerous".  Any romantic advances were not started by me!

Joan: If by innocent you mean she was married to her first of four husbands at the time. We all know that Bette was known for falling in love with her co-stars. I mean really Bette!  There was a lot more going on during "All About Eve" than trying to get poor Ann Baxter to stand in bad lighting and all of the distractions to forget her lines.  How is that delightful Gary Merrill anyway?

Bette: Joan was married four times as well! It would have been double that if a few of her lovers hadn't managed to escape. From what I hear it wasn't just those poor children that were strapped down and locked in at night! Oh, have I gone too far?

This is getting a bit uncomfortable! Let's talk about your many awards ladies. You're both accomplished stars with a long line of successful films on your resume.

Bette: I was nominated for an Academy Award five years in a row! 1939-1943. A wonderful honor and a tie for most consecutive Oscar nods, which I share with the lovely Greer Garson.  I was nominated for 10 Oscars during my career and I won two! Sure you've heard of the little films titled "Dangerous" AND "Jezebel" Joan.  Oscar also got it's name because of me! Oscar is my first husbands middle name.  

Joan: Of course Oscar got it's name from Harmon Nelson. Both cold an sterile! I won an Oscar for "Mildred Pierce". At least it was for a role where I wasn't playing a desperate floozy or trying to sleep with my co-star!

Bette: That's rich Joan! Should we talk about your being mentioned as 'the other woman' during two Hollywood divorces? Home wrecker!

Joan: Only if we can call up Miriam Hopkins and ask her how it felt when you were sleeping with and trying to steal her husband.

Let's talk about the 1963 Academy Awards. What happened there that stirred up your long running feud?  

Bette: Joan made such a spectacle of herself that year! It all started while we were filming "Whatever Happened to Baby Jane" the previous year if you want to know the truth. Joan was impossible to work with. Always late, often sick, throwing her weight around!  She literally threw her weight around! Adding rocks to her pockets to make it hard on me to drag her old body around was just juvenile behavior.  And the scene she made over not being nominated for Baby Jane...Openly campaigning for Ann Bancroft just to hurt my chances to win again. 

Joan: Bette, always so innocent! Agging the producer of Baby Jane on to put Coca Cola machines in certain scenes just to get back at me for my entrepreneurial successes.  I can't help that Ann Bancroft couldn't attend the Academy Awards in 1963! She asked me to accept the award for her and I did. Of course I knew she would win that year.  Who in the world would vote for an aging actress who ran around dressed like a 5 year old lunatic just to find work?  You were an absolute fright in Baby Jane and if I had bigger pockets I would have loaded them with bowling balls!

Bette: If I was such a nightmare to work with then why did you throw such a fit when you were replaced with the lovely Olivia de Havilland for "Hush, Hush....Sweet Charlotte"?

Joan: I had digestive troubles during that time, truly ill and I was unfairly mistreated by you and the studio! It's obvious that our feud was always sparked back up by you Bette.

Well ladies, I don't know that we've actually resolved anything but it's certainly been entertaining to have you both back and speaking again.  Is there any chance that we can call a truce since it's the holidays?

Bette: Well, Joan always did love the holidays! The one time of the year when she dragged her children out, threw them in their fancy, matching clothes for their obligatory family photo ops. 

Joan: My children were loved dearly and they never wanted for a thing! I would be happy to call a truce, to show Bette that I've always been the bigger person.  Merry Christmas Bette!

Bette: Merry Christmas Mommy Deare.. I mean Joan!  You really were an icon and a beautiful woman. 

Joan: Thank you Bette! You were quite talented and fabulous yourself. Now go wrap yourself in tinsel and a giant bow!

Thank you everyone for joining me and don't forget to read the other Blogathon posts which can be found via Backlots blog.  Also, for the record, I adore Bette and Joan equally. I'll be doing full bio's on both stars in the future.

I'll see you back here for my Christmas post.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Milliners Invade Hollywood: Part Two

I'm back for Part Two and Shirley is here, although she's got a bit of an attitude this evening. (I think somebody pinned her curls too tight!) So if you're ready let's have another look at our glamorous stars, sporting fabulous head wear.

Shirley, what do you think of Marion Davies? Shirley: I haven't seen anything that weird since pretending to run through the Alps in "Heidi"....Has she lost her suspenders?

Ann Baxter looks just wonderful! Do you like this hat Shirley?  Shirley: "My grandmother has three of these! One on each end table and she keeps the other one on her toaster." Your grandmother has very expensive taste in doilies.

Shirley, isn't Clara Bow adorable in her big floppy hat? Shirley: "I wore that hat last week! I would ask for it back but my mother won't let me go near Ms. Bow. What does Harlot mean?"  Uhmm, it's another name for a red head but I wouldn't go around using that word.

Jean Harlow looks just beautiful as always! Shirely: "I'm not allowed to go around her either!"  Well, I don't want to know why. Shirley: "Of course you do! It's because she doesn't wear under garments.  I think she should dye her hair red too" 

Maureen O'Hara looks just lovely. Shirley: "I like her and she's a nice Harlot!" I'm pretty sure you mean 'red head' but let's move along.

Mae West is looking very fashionable in her black felt. Shirley: "She is a big lady and she likes lots of boys! They visit her dressing room a lot to play board games." ...Well, that's nice and you're very observant Shirley!

Loretta Young wears her fur well!  Shirley: My mother says that Loretta is like a nun but then she always giggles! (I'm going to get hate mail!)

Ann Sheridan looks very sweet this week!  Shirley: "She's a nice lady but she looks sleepy. What are bedroom eyes?"  It's how your face looks before noon..No more questions please!

That's our hats for today. Off to take inquisitive Shirley for a little walk.  See you next time and thanks for joining us!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Six Degrees of Separation: Round 4

We are now on round four of Classic Film: Six Degrees of Separation with the round starting out with Becky of starting the round with Charlie Chaplin and Grace Kelly. And here we are back to me and my star is Peter Finch who was chosen by our friend at

I will choose Peter Finch in "The Flight of the Phoenix" (1965) with James Stewart and pass it along to Michael at

So that everyone can focus on their holidays/special posts we will resume Six Degrees after the New Year. So we will see you back for the game then when Michael picks the next two stars (assuming he can connect Grace to Jimmy that is) : )

Thanks everyone who has played so far and followed along. We'll see you back in January for more fun.


Friday, December 9, 2011

The Academy Awards: 1935

It's time to continue with the Academy Awards! Next up is the 1935 ceremony in all it's glory, so if you're
ready lets take a look at the winners, losers and snubs.

Winner: Mutiny On the Bounty, Nominees: Alice Adams, The Broadway Melody of 1936, Captain Blood, David Copperfield, The Informer, The Lives of Bengal Lancer, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Les Miserables, Naughty Marietta, Ruggles of Red Gap and Top Hat

Winner: Victor McLaglen in "The Informer", Nominees: Charles Laughton, Clark Gable and Franchot Tone all in "Mutiny On the Bounty", Paul Muni was a write-in for "Black Fury"

Winner: Bette Davis in "Dangerous", Nominees: Elisabeth Bergner in "Escape Me Never", Claudette Colbert in "Private Worlds", Katharine Hepburn in "Alice Adams", Miriam Hopkins in "Becky Sharp" and Merle Oberon in "The Dark Angel"

You did it Bette! You deserve to smile.

Winner: John Ford for "The Informer", Nominees: Michael Cortiz for "Captain Blood", Henry Hathaway for "The Lives of Bengal Lancer" and Frank Lloyd for "Mutiny On the Bounty"

1935 Oscar Snubs and Omissions:
Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire for their performance is "Top Hat"
Busby Berkeley for not being nominated under Best Dance Director for "Top Hat" (more on Busby a bit later)
Alfred Hitchcock for Directing "Thirty-Nine Steps"
James Whale for Directing "Bride of Frankenstein"
the Marx Brothers for "Night at the Opera"
Elsa Lancaster and Boris Karloff for "Bride of Frankenstein"
Paul Muni in "Bordertown"
"Dante's Inferno"
Joseph von Sternberg for Directing "The Devil is a Woman"
The Musicals "Roberta" and Reckless" omitted as well as their casts
Shirley Temple for "The Little Rebel" and "Curly Top"

My Honorable Mentions:

"Bride of Frankenstein" with James Whale Directing, Elsa Lancaster and Boris Karloff in one of our most iconic horror films.

Top Hat's two stars, Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire dancing their way into our hearts with Busby Berkeley showcasing his massive talent.

"David Copperfield" and it's outstanding cast, Freddie Bartholomew, W.C. Fields, Lionel Barrymore, Elsa Lancaster and Elizabeth Allan. George Cukor for Directing. 

"Anna Karenina" with Greta Garbo, Fredric March and Basil Rathbone being ignored for their performances. Director Clarence Brown also snubbed.

Oscar Trivia and Fun Facts:
The 1935 ceremony was held at the Bitmore Hotel in Los Angeles in March of 1936. The host for the ceremony was Frank Capra.

This would be the first year that the statuette would be publicly referred to as "Oscar".

This was the first year that the category "Best Dance Direction" was introduced. Three years later with much lobbying the category would be removed.  1935 was the perfect year for Busby Berkeley to win and Oscar in this category for "Top Hat" and for his choreography for two dance numbers for "Gold Diggers of 1935" but sadly it wasn't meant to be.  The statuette went to David Gould for "Broadway Melody of 1936.  Busby Berkeley would never receive and Academy Award which is a shame.

Dudley Nichols won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Informer" but he refused to accept the award due to union disagreements. The first time an Oscar would be declined but not the last! (Hello Marlon Brando). "The Informer" was nominated for six awards and it won four. Also Best Music Scoring. It should be noted that Nichols did claim his Oscar three years later once the union disputes were resolved.

Walt Disney would win his fourth consecutive Oscar in the Short Subject category for the cartoon "Three Orphan Kittens".

A Special Award was given to Director D.W. Griffith for his pioneering efforts pre-Academy Award Films.

Lullaby of Broadway won Best Song for the film "Gold Diggers of 1935".

Even though Claudette Colbert and Katharine Hepburn were nominated for Oscars for outstanding performances they had won an Oscar previously so Bette Davis was given the award to make up for her slight the previous year for her performance in "Of Human Bondage".  (She was a write-in the previous year and her snub created a lot of controversy in the acting community).

John Ford received his first Oscar for Directing "The Informer", this would be his first of four Academy Award wins. Ironically he would never win for a Western.

Charles Laughton was the second actor to appear in three Best Picture nominated films the same year. Claudette was the first in 1934.

This would be the first year that a studio would campaign with press ads with MGM going all out for a win with "Ah, Wilderness!". The film received zero nominations.

This would be the second and last year that write-ins were allowed. Paul Muni, a write-in for Best Actor and Hal Mohr for Cinematography for "A Midsummer Night's Dream" (the only time a write-in would win an Oscar)

Thanks for joining me for my Oscar series and stay tuned as we approach the holidays for more fun posts. Please enjoy a quick montage of all of the winners for 1935 below.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

A Quick Note!

We have just started our third round of the Classic Film: Six Degrees of Separation game and it's going strong. I wanted to take a moment to thank everyone who's signed on to play and are continuing with the fun. We've had a great first two rounds and I hope to see other CMBA members throw a logo up and get in on the action. If you do decide to join in just shoot me an email so I can add your blog to the list of players. If you haven't had the chance to follow the first two rounds to see how they played out I hope you will visit everyone's blogs that participated.

Also, a quick thank you to my new followers and those who visit here on a regular basis, join in on our discussions on Classic Cinema and the stars. Your comments are welcome and appreciated.

Stay tuned for what's ahead here at My Love of Old Hollywood!