Sunday, 24 October 2010

Amanda's Cinema Survey - Autumn of 2010

Amanda of A Noodle In A Haystack is doing her fabolous Cinema Survey again. This time I am going to participate.

So, here are her questions and of course my answers -which are always not static. ( -ask me again in 5 min.!):

1. What is your favorite movie starring William Powell and Myrna Loy, excluding all of The Thin Man films?

2. Name a screen team that appeared in only one film together but are still noteworthy for how well they complimented each other.

Harold Russell and Cathy O'Donnell in THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIFES (1946)

3. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers' best film together?

I haven't yet seen all of their films but of them I do know I like TOP HAT (1935) the most.

4. Your favorite actor named "Robert"?

Robert Mitchum

5. An actor/actress who, when you see one of their movies, you always wish that someone else was in his/her role?

Tom Hanks - first name that came into my mind. I can't stand him. Sorry.

6. An actor/actress that someone close to you really loves that you can't stand or vice versa?

One of my best friends loves Tom Hanks - sorry, but: NO!
Vice Versa: My mother can't stand Marilyn Monroe. Why, Mommie? WHYYYY??

7. An actor/actress that you both agree on completely?

That best friend and I completely agree about Danny Kaye.

8. Complete this sentence: Virginia O'Brien is to Ethel Merman as...

...Buster Keaton is to Charlie Chaplin - I love them all!

9. What is your favorite film starring Ray Milland?

- though I love Ray Milland very much in almost every film..
10. You had to have seen this one coming: what is your favorite movie of the 1960s?


11. An actor/actress that you would take out of one film and put into a different movie that was released the same year?

Though I like the film I'd like to see Olivia de Havilland as Cathy in WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939).

12. Who was your favorite of Robert Montgomery's leading ladies?

I think, Bette Davis.. I haven't seen much films with him yet..

13. You think it would have been a disaster if what movie starred the actor/actress who was originally asked to star in it?

Gene Tierney (I love her - no question of that) wouldn't fit that perfect as THAT LADY IN ERMINE (1948) as Betty Grable did..

14. An actor/actress who you will watch in any or almost any movie?

Just one?? Gee, Linda Darnell..

15. Your favorite Leslie Howard film and role?

THE PETRIFIED FOREST (1936) = Alan Squier

16. You have been asked to host a marathon of four Barbara Stanwyck films. Which ones do you choose?

In no particular order:
SORRY, WRONG NUMBER (1948) and of course: THE PURCHASE PRICE (1932) but: don't you think that four films are way to insufficient??

17. What is, in your mind, the nearest to perfect comedy you have ever seen? Why?

In my opinion "Perfect comedy" means that you can watch it with different people and they all like it. So SOME LIKE IT HOT (1959) is my answer here - because of Jack Lemmon's hilarious performance and so many great bad guys.

18. You will brook no criticism of what film?


19. Who is your favorite Irish actress?

Maureen O'Sullivan - the only cause for me to watch TARZAN..

20. Your favorite 1940s movie starring Ginger Rogers?


21. Do you enjoy silent movies?


22. What is your favorite Bette Davis film?
I like so many of her films that I can't pick just one. Sorry.

23. Your favorite onscreen Hollywood couple?

Doris Day and Jack Carson

24. This one is for the girls, but, of course, the guys are welcome to answer, too: who is your favorite Hollywood costume designer?

Irene and Edith Head

25. To even things out a bit, here's something the boys will enjoy: what is your favorite tough action film?

? DIE HARD (1988) ?- I love Alan Rickman..

26. You are currently gaining a greater appreciation for which actor(s)/actress(es)?

Currently none.

27. Franchot Tone: yes or no?


28. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are underrated?

Bela Lugosi

29. Which actors and/or actresses do you think are overrated?

Clark Gable - sorry, but I can't really connect to him..

30. Favorite actor?
Only one?? Okay: Vincent Price!

31. Favorite actress?

Tough again.. Judy Holliday.

32. Of those listed, who is the coolest: Paul Newman, Robert Redford, Steve McQueen, or Patrick Stewart?

Dean Martin. For he is not on this range I choose Steve McQueen.

33. What is your favorite movie from each of these genres:

That is a mean, mean, MEAN question - so my answers are my "this minute answers":



Film noir:
LAURA (1944)

42nd STREET (1933)



That was fun - thank you Amanda!!

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Some news for me..

I have just read that Kim Novak is diagnosed with breast cancer! I am pretty startled!!
Her prospects are good - but even though I am appalled!!!

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Wahahaha! First Award for this blog!! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH!

The lovely and just awesome Michelle from Everything has a simpler meaning - please check out her blog - it is great!!! And: SHE IS A FAN OF THE MOST HANDSOME AND ALTOGETHER GORGEOUS: VINCENT PRICE!!! (Guess on which male actor I have the crush of my life.. One hint: He is big, bad, handsome and has a great sense of humour!!) Err, where was I? ...Vincent Price always distracts me..

Ah, yes: Michelle has awarded this humble blog with this award:

THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MICHELLE!! These are for you:

And: Thanks again!!

Friday, 8 October 2010

"Charlie... You're not talking... - You're nibbling!"

In 1955 a succesfull play by Robert Paul Smith and Max Shulman - addapted for the screen by Julius Epstein and directed by Charles Walters - was brought to the screen in Eastmancolor: THE TENDER TRAP.

In a nutshell:

New York, mid-1950ies: Charlie Y. Reader (Frank Sinatra) - a theatrical agent - lives a happy life for a bachelor: numerous women(Lola Albright, Carolyn Jones, Jarma Lewis) clean his home, care for his meals and do other things for him, which a bachelor of 35 years would like. (you get the picture - don't you?) A special friend of him among this ladies is Sylvia Crewes (Celeste Holm), a sophisticated classical musician and no love interest of Charlie - though she is interested.

Then Charlie's childhood friend Joe McCall (David Wayne) visits him. Joe is a married father of three children and tired of marital life - and Charlie vice versa envies his friend a bit for his calm lifestyle incl. wife and children.

At an audition Charlie meets the actrice Julie Gillies (Debbie Reynolds) - and is at once interested in her. But Julie has definite plans for her future: She wants to get married - and though she doesn't know her future husband yet, she has a strict shedule: The wedding date is already set and at first sight Charlie is not the man she would like to take part in her plans.

While Charlie and Julie get acquainted to each other, Sylvia and Joe spend time together and Joe starts to develop romantic feelings. More problems ahead, when Julie decides that Charlie could be the man she was waiting for and Charlie is not (yet) ready to give up his female-filled life.

Watch out for:

  • A blonde Carolyn Jones as dog-sitting Helen - and watch the TV program carefully: There you can spot Esther Williams - quite tempting.


  • Lola Albrigth - who was a hat model and a showgirl in EASTER PARADE (1948) and one of Manuela's (Judy Garland) friends in THE PIRATE (1948) - played the part of Poppy Matson, whose familyname is boworred of Max Shulman's agent Harold Matson, while the surname of Joe McCall is borrowed of Robert Paul Smith's representative, Monica McCall.
  • Carolyn Jones is best known as Morticia Addams in TV series THE ADDAMS FAMILY (1964-1966).
  • THE TENDER TRAP shares some staff with HIGH SOCIETY (1956): Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm and director Charles Walters.
  • The costumes were designed by Helen Rose.
  • The German DVD release has a 16 rating..
  • There is another film called THE TENDER TRAP: It is a 1974 documentary about carnivorous plants - narrated by Vincent Price!!! I would love to see that one!

    My favourite feature:

    Charlie's apartment is great!

    My favourite character:

    I love David Wayne - so this is no real question. .

    Celebrate the celluloid:

  • You could eat whitefish and/or

  • "rare Wisconsin cheese" and drink

  • scotch,

  • martini and/or

  • coffee.

Scene to see:

The restaurant scene - well, I would have start to watch the whole part in the restaurant beginning with Sylvia, Charlie and Joe talking and Julie joining them later - but this is pretty close to what I would have recommended:

Window shopping:

Celeste Holm's wedding costume is my favourite.

Quotes corner:

"When a man comes in and pays $15 for a tie - is it too much to expect a stinking tie to tie?"

A cute film. My favourite part - besides the restaurant scene - is when Charlie tries to get a date with one of "his" girls and all of them have other men! I think that is because in the beginning when all this girls are cleaning and caring it seems like he is putting on them and in the end he is the one who is left.

This film exaggerates satirically the chliché of the bachelor's and the bachelorette's dreams. David Wayne has again some sharp-tongued lines, which I like - and I love when Frank Sinatra - after a hard battle - forgoes to tie his tie.

Though it is in the mean part a comedy there are some not so cheery parts. And for the fans of 1950ies design: Julie visits a furniture exhibition! The scene is not very long, but all we will get in this film.

And of course - you'll get the opportunity to hear Frank Sinatra singing the song which was nominated for an Acadamy Award - this opening reminds me that I am going to need glasses:

I like opening credits..

Goodbye - I'll go and watch another movie - or this one again?

"Who was the girl in the turkish shoes? Because I think I am engaged to her."

Friday, 1 October 2010

"Sudden death sells papers."

In the 1950ies Fritz Lang made three movies, which would become known as his newspaper noir trio. The first one is based on a story by Vera Caspary: THE BLUE GARDENIA.

In a nutshell:

On her birthday Norah Larkin (Anne Baxter) receives a letter from her boyfriend, who is positioned in Korea: he has met another woman and is in love with her.
When playboy Harry Prebbles (Raymond Burr) calls to invite Norah's roommate Chrytal (Ann Sothern) Norah accepts in lieu of Chrystal and meets him in the Blue Gardenia Club. Harry manages that she gets drunk and when she goes with him into his appartment he tries to rape her. She defends herself with a poker.
On the next morning at home she can't remember anything - meanwhile Harry Prebble is found death - next to him Norah's shoes, her handkerchief and the blue gardenia she was gifted from him. For headlines journalist Casey Mayo (Richard Conte) tries to find the "Blue Gardenia Murderess" - and falls for Norah.

Watch out for:

  • Nat King Cole's cameo as a barsinger - singing the title song BLUE GARDENIA - and George Reeves as Police Cap. Sam Haynes.


  • Norah's roommate Sally (Jeff Donnell - her real name was Jean Marie Donnell) likes to read Mickey Mallet-thrillers - this is a parody of Mickey Spillane novels, which are as horrible as the Mickey Mallet novels which are described in this film.
  • On a magazine cover (COLLIER'S WEEKLY) at the magazine booth you can spot Rosemary Clooney.
  • George Reeves starred as Superman in the tv series ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN (1952 -1958) and he has also a part in GONE WITH THE WIND (1939, -> Stuart Tarleton).
  • Neslon Riddle did the arrangements for the song BLUE GARDENIA.
  • The German title is GARDENIA - EINE FRAU WILL VERGESSEN (lit. = "Gardenia - A Woman Wants To Forget"), which is quite funny because the heroine of this film tries to remember..
  • The French title is LA FEMME AU GARDÉNIA (lit. = The Woman With Gardenia).
  • The two other newspaper noirs by Fritz Lang are WHILE THE CITY SLEEPS (1956) and BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT (also 1956).
  • PRELUDE and LIEBESTOD from TRISTAN & ISOLDE by Richard Wagner.

Celebrate the celluloid:
  • You could wear a blue gardenia,
  • drink Polynesian Pearl Divers (rum, pineapple juice and ice - I figured it out myself so it might be not accurate - but I do know that Pearl Divers are usually mixed with rum - and pineapple juice and ice are mentioned by Raymond Burr as Harry Prebble..) or
  • coffee - and also you can
  • eat a hamburger.
My favourite feature:

The Blue Gardenia Club - it so glamourous: Imagine going out and Nat King Cole sings in the backround..

My favourite characters:

I like Norah's roommates Chrystal and Sally - but maybe Chrystal the most for she has the wittiest lines..

Scene to see:

The Blue Gardenia club scenes - esp. Nat King Cole singing.

Window shopping:

Norah's black taffeta dress, Chrystal's pyjamas and the big basket-chairs from the Blue Gardenia Club.

Quotes corner:

"Come on, Chrystal, I made another mistake."

There are some analogies to Vera Caspary's LAURA: The housekeeper is destroys some of the evidences and that working girl theme, which I do love most in Vera Caspary's stories. I also like the flat the three women are living in - but I would go berserk, if I hadn't a room of my own.
Anne Baxter is one of my favourite actresses and I do like Ann Sothern, too - so that's why I wanted to see this film. And I really enjoyed it!
There are some people who say that the scene in which Harry tries to rape Norah is not convincing for Raymond Burr was homosexual - but I don't agree with this opinion. I do not think that the sexual orientation (resp. political or wathever else orientation) matters. It is no argument for not being convinced by a performance. If anyone thinks that a homosexual actor is not convincing in this kind of perfomance because of his orientation, I guess a real rapist would be more convincing.?
Then I know people who say that this scene is much too tame - I think, you have to get the meaning of a scene. If you want to see real violation you maybe should watch another kind of movie or a really creepy documentation. - It is Hollywood for God's sake! What also means: You got to do a little bit of the thinking by yourself. ;")
Sorry, that was just something that I had to say. Speaking of convincing: When Richard Conte tips the ashtray over - it makes me laugh because he does it sooo low-key..
And now my pretty civilised résumé:
BLUE GARDENIA is a great picture and you should watch it, even if you are allergic to gardenias.

Goodbye - I'll go and watch another movie - or this one again?

"Honey, if a girl kills every man who gets fresh with her - how much male population you'd think would be left?"