Thursday, September 29, 2011

You're Almost As Cute As Your Best Friend.

I thought we could use some adorable with a touch of fur while I'm getting another bio post ready. I think I've put Gene Kelly on the back burner for those of you waiting on that one. (Blame my aversion to musicals).  Hmmmm, I wonder if I could use that excuse for other things I put off in daily life?  "Hey, sorry I'm running late for dinner, it's those darn musicals" No, okay it's just Gene who's getting shunned for musicals.

Hopefully you'll enjoy a few more of our fabulous stars posing with their cuddly friends.

I'm not sure what Jean Simmons is wearing but since it covers her head to toe perhaps it's to keep her from being bitten or she's been workin on a chain gang part time.

Clark Gable and his little terrier. Who says manly men have to have giant dogs?

Martha Raye with a very popular breed of dog during the late 30's and early 40's. Cute as a button!

Marilyn Monroe who obviously doesn't understand that if your pet is over 10 lbs it's okay to have it sit on the floor at your feet. Then there's the dog who appears to be thinking :"I can't believe I'm actually being held by Marilyn Monroe, I hope my friends see this...Stay calm and don't make her look stupid...Oh, boy I hope she takes me home, she smells like roses."

Raymond McKee who also went to the same pet classes as Marilyn on how to hold your pet.  Either that or the dog is photographed mid flip so in that case carry on.

When your doggie's hair looks in better condition than yours and it's a CHOW you might need a hot oil treatment Joan Crawford!

Even Jayne Mansfield's chihuahua can't believe her unflattering dress. (And just because it's see through doesn't make it better boys). Oh, and I guess we're to believe that she's beating an egg in that tiny bowl the size of a tea cup without making a mess. 

I would comment about Sophia Loren's muppet bangs but who would actually notice in that negligee. Her little doggie looks very comfy too close to such beauty.

I wonder if Norma Talmadge just asked the photographer "Does this dog make me look fat?"

I don't have a pet myself but I do have a 'lil brother', my parents dog, Bob Barker. I asked my mom why he was named that and she said it's because he was spayed and neutered. Well, okay then, that makes sense.  He's also the slowest and oldest land animal in the world.  Introducing Bob Barker.

Thanks for stopping by and come back soon.

Monday, September 19, 2011

CMBA Guilty Pleasures Blogathon Entry: King Kong (colorized) 1933

I think we all have a few films that come to mind whenever we think of Guilty Pleasures. There are plenty for me that have been made during the last twenty years but keeping with the theme of this blog I chose one that was not only ground breaking but a film that would inspire many film makers behind Thrillers, Fantasy and Sci-Fi even today.  For it's time King Kong really is a masterpiece with it's cinematography and the visuals, the special effects were insanely bold, clever for that time given what studios had to work with and had put on celluloid before Kong. We can thank Merian Cooper for his vision and James Creelan for taking Coopers story and giving it life, one that has stood the test of time.

Anyone who enjoys old cinema has seen the original King Kong so I won't go into the plot, but the reason I chose this film for this particular Blogathon was due to the colorized version of it.  I've seen the black and white version a few times but after seeing it colorized, I can honestly say that it took Kong to another level. Sure the colorization is non existent in certain scenes, not that realistic in others but you start to notice detail, backgrounds, certain shots come to life that I never noticed with the B&W version.  I've always preferred to watch a film as it was shot without manipulation or changes, the way the director intended it to be seen.  BUT, on rare occasions it's fun to go back and look with fresh eyes, a new perspective when some clever soul has provided us with a new opportunity to appreciate one of our guilty pleasures.  I hope you'll enjoy my photo review, my take on the colorized version.

Fay Wray as Ann Darrow
Bruce Cabot as John Driscoll
Robert Armstrong as Carl Denham
Frank Reicher as Captain Englehorn
King Kong as himself
Directors: Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Shoedsack

We open to a beautiful night in a New York Harbor.

Outside of a large ship we get a glimpse of a scruffy little fella who seems intrigued by the fact that there's explosives being loaded on board.

The Captain get's his first glimpse of the cargo. Gas bombs which were brought on board by this little weasel in the suit. Our film director who seems pretty comfortable lighting pipes next to explosives. 

As scruffy fella chats with a guy in the movie industry we get our first look at colorization that ends right at the ship.  I hope they aren't short on color already, were only three scenes in.

Cecille B. DeShill is letting everyone in on his plans.  He's chartered this ship to take him to an undisclosed location where he plans on shooting his next picture.  The only problem is he doesn't have a leading lady or a script, or enough sense to stop offering up cigars in a room of explosives. 

He's headed out into the night to find his starlet. In that coat and with that attitude he'd have better luck bringing one of those dart guns. 

First stop for talent, a food stand where we see a girl stealing peaches.  (No need for colorizing the background, it's just can goods) I'm assuming if you're near sided this version is right up your alley.

Look, it's late and I'm hoping you've acted before because you really are pretty and I think you're just tall enough for the leading man I have in mind. Do you have any fur allergies?

She said yes! Get the car before she changes her mind and this scene go's competely grey.

Cecille B.S.: I don't know why you wanted six different beverages and no food. If I wanted a super thin actress I would have hired Ann Dvorak.  Ann: I'm just trying to re-hydrate and save room for that crate of peaches you promised me. 

Ann: I don't have any family or anything really.  Cecille B.S: Oh, what a shame! Well can I take you clothes shopping then escort you to a ship full of explosives which may or may not ever return? Are you sure you have no family that will be looking for you?

Poor Ann, she accidentally get's slapped by Slim. He's rough around the edges and a bit awkward around women.

Slim: Where have you been? A: Oh, just down below trying on costumes and covering my facial bruise with makeup. 

Of all the leading men I get this guy! His profile isn't all that bad really, and with enough sea air and the probability of us all getting scurvy I guess romance doesn't matter all that much anyway.  I can't prove it but I think he also took that crate of peaches I was promised. 

Kong doesn't look quite as menacing or large in color.

Slim isn't too keen on all of these secret plans, not having any idea where they're headed.  I'd really like to see him deck this creep but I have a feeling he's going to need to save his energy.

We're headed to an island inhabited only by natives.  I bought a map from a Norwegian guy while filming documentaries.  He claims the island holds a lot of mysteries and it's a prime location for a movie shoot. 

The crew doesn't look too happy that they are headed to an island where nobody survives other than the natives who live behind a giant wall that's protecting them from a beast.

We get our first glimpse of Ann in her Beauty and the Beast costume. 

Oh Ann, I hope your costume has some poison darts sewn into the brassiere.

Or, maybe there's a leather strap you can attach to your thigh to hold a hand gun. So beautiful and so naive.

The crew seems to enjoy her dress. She must have come right out of a convent and happened upon that fruit stand because nobody is this unaware of how odd everyone and everything is.  

Ann's practicing her screams and her scared face.  I think he made a good choice in having her work on both.  

Slim doesn't like the fact that she's being used and put in harms way for Cecille B's art.  

The ship has drifted off into a black and white patch or the colorization crew has taken their lunch break.

Skull Island

Ann's been informed that she'll be going to shore for a few scenes on the beach. 

Everything seems to be going okay so far. I do wonder how the one guy happened to get saddled with carrying the crate of bombs on his back though.

CB: Just sit her down anywhere...she's not Garbo, you don't have to carry her around but please don't slap her anymore either. We only had room for one stick of cover up.

They get their first look at the giant wall which could just be holding back angry bees or maybe they just like building really tall things. I'm trying to stay optimistic.

There's chanting off in the distance.

We get our first glimpse of a tribal ceremony with some pretty awesome costumes. Waiting on Dietrich to walk out in her blonde Afro. 

CB wants to get some of it on tape so when their bones and belongings are found in a few years he'll become somebody. 

They've been discovered which seems to please Ann. I think she secretly wants to see Slim get a beat down.

Kong likes blondes so it looks like they're more than welcome to stick around. 

The tribal chief is all for trading two of his ladies for the blonde.  ACK! Slim keeps standing in really bad lighting.  You couldn't get Gary Cooper for Fay?

Ann: Do you mind if we stand right here where the lighting is good?  

I love you and I'll be right here by your side to protect you always Ann!

Well, Slim you are the only somewhat attractive man around and you haven't traded me to anyone or been abusive other than that one time when I walked into your fist.  I was holding out hope that Cooper was behind that gigantic wall but sadly I think it's just angry bees.

 There's something about this guy I don't care for.  You just don't head lock someone to seal the deal.

 You really should have waited on door #2 but at least he'll protect you. 

 Wait, I think your love interest has run off and failed to protect you little lady.

 And just like that without getting to practice her screams Ann has been kidnapped.

 While this dummy sleeps one off just a few feet away. The natives are pretty quiet for wearing all of those beads....and arriving in a rickety old canoe.

 Hmmm, Skull Island is all lit up with torches being marched to the wall.

 They've found some tribal beads which can mean only one thing?  They've been invited to a party, bring your appetite and some dancin feet if you've got em.

This is the crew getting organized. Ann's in big trouble.

 It's time to open the big doors.  (I love the scenes with the doors for some reason, especially in color)

 Poor Ann, she still has no idea what's going on and thinks she's actually been summoned by Cooper....or bees. 

 A couple of gongs later and we hear some rustling in the jungle off in the distance.

 I've always found Kong kind of cute for a flesh eating monster.

 It's sad that Ann never got to her 2nd acting lesson which included pretty faces and pretending to already be dead just in case you get tied up and sacrificed. 

 It's hard to believe most of the models for Kong were just several inches high. 

 Kong grateful for sacrifice

 I think we're going to need bigger bombs!

 The crew has decided to go in guns a blazin to rescue Ann.  Once they've figured out the fancy door lock of course. 

 I love some of the crazy colorization which looks like trees into grass, which flows into trees on occasion. Very tricky to navigate when you're running in the dark carrying bombs. It's like a circus fun house...except you're being chased by stuff.

 They're trying to figure out how to track Kong which seems a bit odd since he most likely clears a path the size of Idaho.

 Thanks for giving these dolts some obvious help.

They stop short of a prehistoric animal  which I doubt they knew existed. I'm surprised Cecille B.S. hasn't whipped out his camera and a boom or two.  

 After a few shots he goes down which creates a new problem since he's blocking the path.

 Obviously a prehistoric opossum since he was clearly playing dead until they get right up on him.

 They've got some raft building to do while our two stars stand on it. Quite funny since the water is just a foot deep. 

 If you like dinosaurs this film has plenty that eat people

 then climb onto dry land.....

 and eat more people IN COLOR! I'm beginning to wonder what happened to bomb guy.

 The few crew members that have managed to get deep into the jungle get picked off one by one by Kong. 

 In case you were wondering what happened to our Casanova, he's managed to climb into a cave just out of Kong's reach. At this point I don't even care if he gets eaten.

 He's aware that Kong's up above so he really should just climb down.

 Okay, probably not a good idea either. The director really wanted to make sure the audience of 1933 stayed on the edge of it's seat. 

 We check in with Ann who's wandered into A Midsummer Night's Dream

 If the nymph's were all taken out by giant dinosaurs wearing matching outfits. 

 Although disturbing, this is my favorite scene of the colorized version with Kong and Tyrano having it out.

 There's Kong back flipping Tyro

 Bulldozing Tyro...At this point I have no dog in this fight since they're all depraved.

 There's some head locking which knocks Ann out of her perch.

 Kong's riding Tyro now which is kind of fun.

 Until this happens! The sound effects are brutal with the grinding of bone and the twisting of the neck while Kong grunts and Ann screams in the distance.  

 This all makes me a bit queasy as Kong finishes him off by pulling his flaccid jaw open and closed.

 Oh, it's this guy! Is there really anyone who wasn't hoping he was a casualty by now? Oddly, he looks a bit fatter...hmmm, I think we've solved the mystery of the missing peaches.

 He's spotted by Slim who's also surprised he made it. Slim is determined to save Ann but he sends CBS back to the beach to get more help and wait for his signal while trying not to get eaten by natives.

 He comes across a giant crow eating Tyrano. Well, okay I think it's a giant crow but things are beginning to get a bit blurry. Not the special effects as much as my eyes.

 CBS fills everyone on the beach in that the rest of the crew is dead but Ann is doing a fabulous acting job...he's just kicking himself that he didn't get a miniature camera strapped to her via a helmet.

 Kong has carried Ann to his cave where there's obviously a mirror, lip stain and a brush.

 Slim follows right behind but he's stopped in his tracks again. The rubber and paper mache budget for this film must have been huge.

 We haven't had any giant serpents yet so lets throw one of those into the mix.

I don't really want to root for Kong at this point but he really has worked pretty hard for his girl. 

 He's managed to get Ann out onto the top of the cave where the air must be pretty thin.

 After everything that Ann has gone through she finally faints. I have no idea what took her so long.  

 Wake up now Fay Wray! Surely you don't think you'll get famous for just lying in a gorilla hand.

 Slim manages to draw attention to himself by touching the one loose boulder in the cave.

 Of course Ann pays the price by being swept away by a Pterodactyl.  The writer really does have a sense of humor and the need to show off the prop departments ability to make every Prehistoric animal known to man.

 Take him down Kong! I'm ready for you to find your way to NY the quickest way possible.

 They manage to escape down the side of the cave which would go a lot quicker if Ann actually helped instead of putting Slim in a choke hold.

 Kong starts to pull them both back up which must be really exhausting for Slim since he's being choked.  He's got a lot of stamina for a skinny guy. I don't think Coop could have pulled all this off.

 They fall into deep water which Slim has to navigate while saving Ann again as she sinks like a stone.  There's a lot more take than give in this relationship.

 The guys are waiting patiently at the gates for a signal. Bomb guy are you awake, on strike, did you walk off somewhere and detonate yourself on purpose?

 Of course Ann's still being carried after such an exhausting day of fainting, sitting in tree stumps, lying under tree stumps, screaming and being rescued. If she doesn't have scurvy I'll be surprised.

 Kong can be heard approaching the gates which would be a queue for me to be picked up and carried out to sea.

 They do their best to keep the gates closed.

 Awww! Poor Kong, he's defeated every Prehistoric animal in the jungle which didn't even get him a proper goodbye.

 Even with the native's help Kong is just too strong.  Those doors have probably kept that beast back for 1,000's of years until those crazy American's brought that blonde hussy. 

 Kong feasts on a rubber doll, Oops I mean a native.  (Okay, some things do look more realistic in B&W)

 He moves on to stomping a few into the ground which is pretty gross even though I know they're made of rubber.

 After a gas bomb Kong goes down. Where in the heck was the bomb guy this entire time?  

 Ever persistent, Cecille B.S. decides they need to drag Kong's fat butt all the way to NY so they can get rich by showing him off. Ya know, I think there are times that you really should be content with telling your stories and showing off a few pictures of your vacations.  Telling people about Skull Island won't help anyone really.

 Or you can go the other way and make a Broadway show out of your adventure. 

 This old bag demands special treatment and a promise she'll see adorable monkey's and tigers.  Isn't that available at Coney Island?

 These two are engaged and riding that big furry gravy train to the end.  It's a bit hypocritical to wear fur doll face.

Just look at all of these pretty little nouveau riche faces. I hope they see the show of their lifetime.

 The curtain opens to baby boy

 Who's been waxed, coiffed and he's even had his teeth cleaned.

 Oh, look at those pretty little faces, scared to death and running for their lives. You just couldn't be happy seeing the Ziegfeld Follies again could ya?

 There's always the slow kid in every group!

 Get your fat butt up there and get your girl.

 There's siren's going off, buildings crashing, people screaming yet somehow this one is managing to sleep through everything. I'll have what she had.

Slim: Ann, remember how I told you that I would protect you and never leave you again? I really mean it this time.  

Well, Ann's been kidnapped again but on a lighter note she has her 'scared face' down...I think she's ready for Broadway if this film ends up on the cutting room floor.

 C.B.S: You really should stop telling Ann that you'll never leave her again. Slim: You really should go #$#@@ and #%@#!

 These poor saps on the train have no idea that they're a few feet away from a really bad night. 

He really does just like tearing up stuff like my brother used to with his hot wheels.  And who are these nosy ladies hanging out the window? I think this is how the term 'rubber neckers' came about.

The creepy radio announcer informs the room that Ann is being carried up the Empire State Building. Lionel Atwill is that you?

 Here comes the cavalry.

 Kong looks pretty tiny here.

 WOW! New York used to have a lot more available real estate. 

 Stop accepting acting jobs from strange men Ann! I hope that free peach was worth it.  

 The kid has some amazing balance.

 He's got a bit of fight in him left as he bats down one plane before taking a direct hit.

 These guys certainly are determined! Obviously they weren't informed of what happened to the Pterodactyl.

 It's too bad that he was dragged all the way to New York for things to end this way.  Be sure and land on C.B.S when you fall.

 Good luck getting down on your own! I hope you learned a lesson. If you had gone to jail for peach theft you would have been out on the streets within 30 days OR you could have just gone to bed hungry.

 Awww! Slim really does love this girl even if they've spent 90% of the film apart.

 Kong has been taken down...for now!

This really was a long photo review so I apologize for that and thanks to anyone who made it all the way to the end.  There's so much trivia about King Kong and of course with the two really good sequels then I did a really long write up on Fay Wray awhile back with some interesting trivia relating to her role as Fay Wray then her relationship years later with Peter Jackson if you care to read it now or another time you can find it HERE

Off to read today's Blogathon posts,