Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Top Ten Comedy Favorites

Recently in a post I wrote that I would share my top twenty favorite films. Well, after thinking about it and trying to narrow down the twenty, I decided to make this into a three part series. Today I am sharing my top ten favorite comedies. Later this week I will also post my top ten favorite dramas, and top ten favorite musicals. It is so hard to narrow everything down to ten, but I have to put a limit on here somewhere. So, here is my list for top ten favorite comedies!

1. The Thin Man Series (1934-1947)

2. It Happened One Night (1934)

3. The Awful Truth (1937)

4. The Women (1939)

5. Some Like It Hot (1959)

6. The Philadelphia Story (1940)

7. Dinner At Eight (1933)

8. Midnight (1939)

9. My Man Godfrey (1936)

10. Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Jean Harlow at her best!

This picture is my favorite of Jean Harlow. I think that it is completely awesome! This was taken as a publicity shot for the movie “Dinner at Eight”, made in 1933. I think that she looked her best in this movie. They painted her bedroom in this film different shades of white, to match and compliment her platinum hair.

Jean Harlow is my favorite actress of all time. I hope that more of her movies are released soon! Tonight I'm planning to watch "Hold Your Man". A great Jean Harlow movie costarring Clark Gable. What a Pair!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Andrews Sisters

The Andrews Sisters were definitely not movie stars. They really weren’t ever regular characters in movies either. When The Andrews Sisters were in movies, they always played themselves. Entertaining the troops in World War II was their primary goal in each movie. They’d usually start on screen with a song, then we’d see them here and there singing or just being Patty, Maxine, and Laverne.

Patty was generally the one to have most of the lines. None of the three were really “actors”, but they all had great presence on screen. Of course out of all of their songs on film, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” from “Buck Privates” was the most popular, and still the one best known today.

My Dad loved The Andrews Sisters. I’m sure that he was their biggest fan ever, I’m not exaggerating! Growing up I heard them all the time. The only film of theirs that I remember ever watching as a child was “Private Buckaroos“. They sang many songs in this movie, the most well known was “Don’t Sit Under the Apple tree”.

I mostly just want to write about the great movie stars in classic film in this blog, but I can’t ignore the ones who made such a big impact in music, that also made cameos in movies. The Andrews Sisters are one of these groups who I believe made a great impact in music and film in World War II, and helped greatly with the overall morale of the public.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Claudette Colbert Collection

I am really excited about the new Claudette Colbert collecton! This is definetly a must have for my DVD collection.

The Claudette Colbert Collection is coming to DVD on November 3. In this set are six of Claudette's wonderful movies. These movies are...

"Three Cornered Moon" - 1933
"Maid of Salem" - 1937
"I Met Him in Paris" - 1937
"Bluebeard's Eighth Wife" - 1938
"No Time for Love" 1943
"The Egg and I" - 1947

The only film already available on DVD is "The Egg and I", and it is in the Ma and Pa Kettle Collection Volume 1.

You can pre-order this collection today from Amazon for $36.99. It is so wonderful that they decided to put out this set of one of my favorite actresses of all time! Now, how about a Jean Harlow collection???? I've been waiting a long time for that one. Rumor is, it will come out in 2011 for Jean Harlow's 100th birthday. I sure hope so!!!

Here is a link to pre-order...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Stanford Theatre

In Palo Alto California there is a wonderful theater called “The Stanford Theatre”. I absolutely love this theater! All that they show are old movies. It was built in 1925 and has been renovated to its original grandeur. Every movie begins with or is followed by someone playing their Wurlitzer Organ. They occasionally show silent films, when they do the organ accompanies the movie, it's so wonderful! My husband and I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 5 ½ years and went to the Stanford Theatre all the time. One thing that is so wonderful about it is that they always show a double feature. It is $7.00 to get in, and you get two movies! Their schedule usually changes bi-weekly so you can stop by a couple of times a week and see many different films. I really miss going to the Stanford Theatre and wish that there were more theaters like this around the country. If you live near Palo Alto, please give yourself a treat and visit this theater! Here is the link…

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"The Star Machine"

One of the best books on old Hollywood that I have ever read is “The Star Machine”, written by Jeanine Basinger. This book goes into great detail on how the studios used to create stars. The process described in this book was fascinating! Jeanine Basinger writes about many different stars and how they were formed by the studio system and what they eventually became, whether they were what the studio wanted or not. It is a rather long book, it runs 553 pages, but worth every bit of it. I highly recommend this book! Jeanine Basinger is a leading expert on classic film, and she really excels in writing on the studio system. I also recommend "Silent Stars",also written by Jeanine Basinger. If you want to know how everything worked in the major studios during the golden age of cinema, pick up this book at your local bookstore today!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

I Love Tyrone Power!!!

What can I say? I love, love, love Tyrone Power! I shouldn’t even have to write anything here, just put up several pictures, they speak for themselves.

Tyrone Edmund Power Jr. was born in Cincinnati Ohio on May 5, 1913. His father was an actor on stage and eventually on screen. Tyrone did not grow up around his father. Towards the end of his fathers life, he spent some time around him learning the art of acting. Tyrone soon started work as an actor on Broadway. He trained under Katherine Cornell, and started getting offers from Hollywood. He didn’t feel his was ready to tackle Hollywood yet, so he waited a little while before accepting an offer at 20th Century Fox. His first film with this studio was “Girls' Dormitory”. His part is very small and we don’t see him until the very end of the movie. He walks in a door and says, “Marie”! Right away you know that he is a star! It is said that Hedda Hopper watched “Girls' Dormitory” through a second time just to see the name of this beautiful man in the end credits. 20th Century Fox soon threw Tyrone into several movies, capitalizing in his image as a young playboy, and later as swashbuckling hero. He is best known for his films “The Mark of Zorro”, “The Razor’s Edge”, and “Witness for the Prosecution”. He was married three times to actresses Annabella, Linda Christian, and Deborah Ann Minardos. Tyrone also had three children, Romina, Taryn, and Tyrone IV. On November 15, 1958 Tyrone Power suffered a heart attack on the set of a movie. Shortly thereafter, he died. He was only forty five years old. He is remembered every year on the anniversary of his death at the Hollywood Forever cemetery.

Tyrone Power is one of the greatest and best looking actors to ever be on the silver screen. In my opinion, very few can even slightly reach the level he is on. What a man!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Seattle and Carole Lombard

In early July, Goddess of Laughter: The Comedies of Carole Lombard began at the Seattle Art Museum. Every week on Thursday evening they showed one of Carole’s wonderful films. Those screened were “Twentieth Century”, “Hands Across the Table”, “The Princess Comes Across”, “My Man Godfrey”, “True Confession”, and lastly “Nothing Sacred”, which my husband and I were able to see tonight. For various reasons we were unable to attend the other five movies, which made me so extremely sad. Even though I own all of these films, it is so wonderful to be able to see them on the big screen! I hope that in the near future we can see other actors given a festival like this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

My Favorite Film

Every once and a while a try to make a list of my top twenty favorite movies. They occasionally change, mostly because I often watch classic movies that I haven’t seen before. Some of these eventually become one of my favorites. In a later post I will write down my current top twenty movie list. Today I want to share with you the movie that is number one on that list.

“Singin’ in the Rain” is by far my favorite movie. I believe that this movie has everything that makes a great classic. The 1950’s in general isn’t my favorite era in films, but the story line in this movie is set in the 1920’s during the transition from silent to sound in film. I find this time period to be fascinating! Arthur Freed wrote most of the songs used in this movie back when early sound movies were being made. These songs I believe are some of the best ever written. The clothes are the typical fashion of the 1920’s. There is so much excitement from the beginning to the end of this film. It just never slows down! The comedy of “Singin’ in the Rain” is priceless, especially the “Make ‘em Laugh” song performed by Donald O’Conner. Gene Kelly stars in the role of Don Lockwood. He is of course one of the greatest dancers ever in film. His performance of “Singin’ in the Rain” is one of the most well know scenes in film history, and one of the best! I can’t take my eyes off of him as he sings and dances to this song.

I have watched this movie too many times to count. There have been days where I have watched it over and over again! “Singin’ in the Rain” is thus my favorite movie of all time. Which classic film is your all time favorite, and why?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Dance, Fools, Dance

Last night my husband and I watched "Dance, Fools, Dance", a pre-code era film starring Joan Crawford and Clark Gable made in 1931. This is a movie that I have wanted to see for a long time. I was able to reserve it at our library, and was very happy to see it there this past Saturday. I am so happy that there are so many films available in our library system!

What a delight it was to watch this film! First of all, the pairing of Joan Crawford and Clark Gable is one of the best things that MGM did. This was the first of their pairing and they would continue to do so in eight more films. They also had quite a steamy affair for what she said lasted on and off until his death. They had such wonderful chemistry on screen and I can't wait to see their other films (I have only seen four).

The story was wonderful too. Joan Crawford plays Bonnie Jordon, a carefree socialite. After the stock market crash of '29 her father dies and leaves Bonnie and her brother Rodney penniless. They are forced to go out into the world to find work, which she is willing to do but Rodney is hesitant. Soon Bonnie finds work as a newspaper reporter and Rodney starts working for gangster Jake Luva, played by Clark Gable. Eventually Bonnie goes undercover as a dancer in the Jake Luva club to get a story about a murdered newspaper reporter. She finds herself in a difficult situation when she discovers that her brother is involved in the crime.

I highly recommend this entertaining film. It's so hard for me to resist any pre-code era film, they're so exiting and lots of fun. When you mix in Clark Gable and Joan Crawford, you get a movie worth seeing again and again!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Welcome to the Silver Screen Stars blog! This is something that I have thought about doing for quite a while, and I hope that all who stop by will enjoy it.

My name is Mary and I am a classic film fanatic. I absolutely love everything that has to do with old movies. I enjoy movies made in the 1920's - early 1960's, though my favorite era has to be the 1930's. There are so many actors and actresses that I love that I really wouldn't know where to begin in naming them all! I have to say Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Tyrone Power, Claudette Colbert, and Cary Grant rank right up at the top.

So please stop by often and feel free to leave comments. I look forward to getting to know all of you!