Saturday, January 22, 2022

Cinema Wedding Gowns: Rob Roy the Highland Rogue (1953)

This month's Royal Film Performance post was on the Walt Disney film, Rob Roy the Highland Rogue (1953). In it, Glynis Johns wears a lovely wedding dress. I thought it would be fun to feature it today.

Set in 18th century Scotland, the dress features a silhouette similar to Colonial/Revolutionary War style gowns, with the 3/4 sleeves edged in ruffles and the low neckline. 

It is made of heavy ivory satin and ends just above the ankles.

The skirt is flat in front and pleated on the sides and back.

The waist is tight and seems to have some sort of belt. Notice the way the ruffles on the sleeve are attached.

The neckline is just barely off the shoulders and features an interesting wrap-like design, withplisse fabric attached behind and covering the bust. It makes a soft "V" shaped neckline. A tartan (probably her family's clan, as it is different from the MacGregor tartan) is attached at the right shoulder with a brooch and falling behind her is then caught up over her left arm.

A closer look at the sleeves, double heart brooch, white shoes and stockings, and what looks like a veil. In a promotional photo she is wearing a wreath of ivy in her hair.

Saturday, January 15, 2022

Bette's Hats & Reviews: Three on a Match (1932)

Bette's twelfth picture - and eighth of 1932 - was, according to her autobiography, a “dull 'B' picture called Three on a Match. My school friend Joan Blondell, Ann Dvorak and I were the unlucky trio, and Mervyn Leroy was my next unsympathetic director. He kept talking of what a great dramatic star Joan was to become and I was glad for her; but his pointed references and indifference to me hardly encouraged me in my daily work ... I had daydreams about the Director with Vision who would see what I knew I had” (The Lonely Life, 135-136).

That's not quite how Leroy remembered it, at least, that's not what he told The New Movie Magazine (June 1933):

Joan is a swell girl to direct [...] You ought to see her garden [...] Joan does all the work herself. Bette is a peach too. She isn't the actress Joan is; not yet. She'll take a lot of directing. But she can take it. That kind usually goes a long way. And what a figure! Did you notice those beach scenes? (see the end of the post)

Miss Davis' role is but that of an added starter and superfluous other than to fully interpret the picture's title. The three girls lighting cigarettes from one match indicates that one of them must go. [...] Studio apparently realized a weakness as evidenced by the inclusion of Miss Davis, who has nothing to do. 

~ Variety 

Bette Davis was ravishing in appearance, but had very little to do.
~ Hollywood Filmograph

I love Bette's bathing suit in the film. You can see a few more screenshots on my blog Facebook page (including some great hats on the other girls).


Davis, Bette. The Lonely Life: An Autobiography. G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1962.
Ringgold, Gene. Bette Davis: Her Films and Career. Citadel Press. 1966, 1985. 
The New Movie Magazine, June 1933.

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

Royal Film Performance Series: Rob Roy the Highland Rogue (1953)

For the 8th Annual Royal Film Performance, a live-action Walt Disney picture was chosen. You can't go wrong with Walt Disney, right? Well... you can if the movie portrays the British suppressing the Scottish Highlanders and forcing them to obey unjust laws and pay double taxes with the intent of taking away their land in the future and stripping the name away of the clan MacGregor. And that's exactly what happens in Disney's Rob Roy the Highland Rogue, starring Richard Todd in the title role. 

The only sympathetic figure on the side of the British is a Highlander himself, the Duke of Argyll (James Robertson Justice), a kinsman of Rob Roy's mother from the Campbell clan. and the King, George I, is not even English but German, needing an interpreter. Not to mention he looks like this...

Reading about the Highland Rogue's latest exploits.

In the last moments of the film however, the King pardons Rob Roy - after he comes to the London court to give himself up and prevent further fighting - leading Rob Roy to praise the King as a great ruler.

Rob Roy (Richard Todd) and his wife, Helen Mary (Glynis Johns)

The Royal Film Performance took place at the Leicester Square Odean Theatre on Oct. 26, 1953 (less than a month later, the newly crowned Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip would leave on a six-month tour of the Commonwealth, not returning to England until May 1954). There were 19 stars in attendance, among them several from the cast of the film, including Richard Todd, Glynis Johns, James Robertson Justice, and Finlay Currie (Justice and Currie both in kilts); other British stars such as Jack Hawkins, Kay Kendell, Kenneth More, Alec Guiness, and Moira Shearer; and eight from Hollywood, including Gary Cooper (who was spending time abroad for tax reasons), Jeanne Crain, Dennis O'Keefe, and studio head Adolph Zukor. 

Video Footage of the Stars and Royals

This second video is virtually the same with slightly extended views of the starts arriving

source                                                                     source
Finlay Currie in a kilt and Jeanne Crain in a gown of oyster white satin taffeta with an encrusted bodice of seed pearls and diamentes.

The queen and Princess Margaret arriving. Caption reads: "Her Majesty wor a tiered, crinoline-type evening dress of lavender organza, tied with a big bow in the back. She wore a diamond tiara, a diamond and emerald necklace, and a diamond bracelet. Princess Margaret also wore a tiered dress and a diamond necklace."

More on Margarets' gown: "Dressed in a shimmering white cascade frock, Princess Margaret was outstanding among the brilliantly dressed women who attended last week's Royal performance."

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find as many articles about the event or any movie star memories. Here is one article:

Lastly, you can watch the full movie here

An article about the history of the Royal Film Performance, using a sketch of an image from the 1953 event, appeared in an issue of The Girls Annual (images from Etsy and Ebay).

It's too much to type up. It basically differentiates between the Royal Film Performance and a Royal Premiere (the difference being the RFP is for the Cinematograph Trade Benevolent Fund) and talks about some other films seen by the Royal family as well as their interest in filming the places they visit.

Friday, January 7, 2022

2021 Movie Stats

In the year 2021 I watched 262 new-to-me movies and 74 movies that were rewatches for a total of 336.

New to me: 262 (216 pre-1970, 45 post-1970)
Rewatches: 74 (51 pre-1970, 23 post-1970)
Total: 336 (267 pre-1970, 68 post-1970)

Where I watched them: 

TCM: 232 (38 rewatches)
Library (DVD & Apps): 7 (2 rewatches)
Personal DVD: 38 (27 rewatches)
YouTube & OK: 10 (1 rewatch)
Paid Streaming Services: 31 (2 rewatches) 
TV & Free Streaming Services: 12 (2 rewatches)
Theater: 0

          Other: 6

Here are my top ten five movie discoveries:

1/29 Woman Chases Man (1937) - Miriam Hopkins & Joel McCrea (I own on DVD)
Anne of Windy Poplars (1940) - Anne Shirley (downloaded off YT - not on DVD)
8/17 Roughshod (1949) - Robert Sterling & Gloria Grahame, Claude Jarman Jr. (brother bought on DVD - hard to find)
12/11 Midnight Run (1988) - Robert De Niro & (brother bought on DVD)
8/8 Jungle Cruise (2021) - Emily Blunt & Dwayne Johnson (got on blu-ray for Christmas)

Classics I finally watched: 

          The Gay Divorcee (1934) - Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

          Destry Rides Again (1939) - Marlene Dietrich & James Stewart

          The Mark of Zorro (1940) - Tyrone Power & Linda Darnell

          The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) - Roger Livesy & Deborah Kerr, Anton Walbrook

Leave Her to Heaven (1945) - Gene Tierney & Corel Wilde, Jeanne Crain 

          Late Spring (1949-Japan) - Setsuka Hara
Born Yesterday (1950) - Judy Holliday & William Holden
          Marty (1955) - Ernest Borgnine

Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - Charles Laughton, Tyrone Power, Marlene Dietrich 

          The Mummy (1959) - Christopher Lee

          The Magnificent Seven (1960) - Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charlson Bronson
The Misfits (1961) - Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Montgomery Clift
West Side Story (1961) - Natalie Wood & Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno
Dr. No (1962) - Sean Connery
Dear Heart (1964) - Glenn Ford & Geraldine

          Goldfinger (1965) - Sean Connery

          Battle of the Bulge (1965) - Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Robert Ryan

          In the Heat of the Night (1967) - Sidney Poitier

          Murder on the Orient Express (1974) - everybody lol
The Towering Inferno (1974) - Paul Newman, Steve McQueen
All the President's Men (1976) - Robert Redford, Dustin Hoffman

          Anne of Green Gables (1985) - Megan Followes

          Pretty Woman (1990) - Richard Gere & Julia Roberts


Number of movies per decade:

1910s: 0 (0 rewatches)
1920s: 3 (0 rewatches)
1930s: 69 (16 rewatches)
1940s: 103 (21 rewatches)
1950s: 45 (6 rewatches)
1960s: 47 (8 rewatches)
1970s: 7 (0 rewatches)
1980s: 13 (5 rewatches)
1990s: 20 (6 rewatches)
2000s: 17 (7 rewatches)
2010s: 7 (5 rewatches)
2020s: 4 (0 rewatches)

Number of movies per month:

January: 45 (10 rewatches)
February: 31 (6 rewatches)
March: 22 (5 rewatch)
April: 25 (6 rewatches)
May: 16 (5 rewatches)
June: 17 (4 rewatches)
July: 36 (6 rewatches)
August: 32 (9 rewatches) 
September: 20 (1 rewatch)
October: 29 (3 rewatches)
November: 28 (5 rewatches)
December: 35 (12 rewatches)

Number of Foreign Language Films: 10

Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars:

Robert Young - 16 films
Elvis Presley - 15 films
Lucille Ball (TCM SOTM) - 12 films

Robert Taylor, Ingrid Bergman (TCM SOTM), Tom Conway (The Falcon series) - 8 films

William Powell (all rewatches), James Stewart, Barbara Stanwyck, Jeanette MacDonald - 7 films

Jack Carson, Eve Arden - 6 films

Joan Crawford, Lew Ayres, Nelson Eddy, Miriam Hopkins, Maureen O'Hara, Ruth Hussey, Sydney Greenstreet, Steve McQueen, Robert Redford, Denzel Washington, Julia Roberts - 5 films

Stars I discovered/grew to love/admire: Robert Sterling and Steve McQueen

*To see last year's stats, click here.

Did you keep track of the movies you watched in 2021? Was there a star or movie you discovered that you can't live without now? Let me know in the comments! Also, no matter how hard I try there are always discrepancies in my numbers... It NEVER adds up perfectly! 

Friday, December 31, 2021

Movies I Watched in December

Follow the Fleet (1936)

This month I finally watched No Time To Die (2021). I really liked the moment at Vesper Lynd's grave where they played her theme in the background and the part near the end where Bond turns and fires a shot down a circular tunnel, mimicking the famous shot in the opening credits of every Bond film.

I also finally watched the Pride and Prejudice (1995) mini-series! It was very good. Colin Firth reminded me of Laurence Olivier but conveyed his emotions to the viewer better - but then again, he had more screen time to do so. I like the Greer Garson one and hated the Kiera Knightly version (I probably need to give it a second chance).

I read My Husband, My Friend by Steve McQueen's first wife, Neile McQueen Toffel. I skimmed some of the chapters on the disintegration of their marriage. 

And ICYMI, I finally wrote a post on getting to see the White Christmas (1954) costumes back in January. Here is Part I. Part II has been delayed until next month. 

  1. *No Man of Her Own (1932) - Clark Gable & Carole Lombard 
  2. The Count of the Old Town (1935-Swedish) - Ingrid Bergman, Edvin Adolphson, Sigurd Wallén
  3. Swedenhielms (1935-Swedish) - Gosta Ekman, Hakan Westergren, Ingrid Bergman, Tutta Rolf
  4. Follow the Fleet (1936) - Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott & Harriet Hilliard, Lucille Ball
  5. Dollar (1938-Swedish) - Ingrid Bergman, Tutta Rolf, Hakan Westergren, Edvin Adolphson
  6. The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939) - Joan Crawford, James Stewart, Lew Ayres, Lewis Stone 
  7. Dance, Girl, Dance (1940) - Maureen O’Hara, Louis Hayward, Lucille Ball 
  8. *Remember the Night (1940) - Fred MacMurray & Barbara Stanwyck, Beulah Bondi
  9. Adam Had Four Sons (1941) - Ingrid Bergman, Warner Baxter, Fay Ray, Susan Hayward 
  10. Washington Melodrama (1941) - Frank Morgan, Ann Rutherford, Kent Taylor, Dan Dailey Jr., Virginia Grey
  11. Wing and a Prayer (1944) - Don Ameche, Dana Andrews, Charles Bickford
  12. *Conflict (1945) - Humphrey Bogart & Alexis Smith, Sydney Greenstreet 
  13. Leave Her to Heaven (1945) - Gene Tierney & Cornel Wilde, Jeanne Crane, Daryl Hickman
  14. *My Reputation (1946) - Barbara Stanwyck & George Brent, Eve Arden
  15. Christmas Eve (1947) - George Brent & Joan Blondell, George Raft, Randolph Scott 
  16. *The Bishop’s Wife (1947) - Cary Grant, Loretta Young, David Niven, Gladys Cooper, James Gleason, Elsa Lanchester
  17. *That Way with Women (1947) - Sydney Greenstreet, Dane Clark & Martha Vickers
  18. A Date with Judy (1948) - Jane Powell, Wallace Beery, Elizabeth Taylor, Carmen Miranda, Robert Stack, Xavier Cugat
  19. The Big Punch (1948) - Wayne Morris, Gordon MacRae 
  20. Malaya (1949) - James Stewart, Spencer Tracy, Lionel Barrymore, John Hodiak, Sydney Greenstreet, Gilbert Roland
  21. Scandal at Scourie (1953) - Greer Garson & Walter Pidgeon, Donna Cocaran, Agnes Moorehead
  22. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes 
  23. The Warriors (1955) - Errol Flynn, Peter Finch, Joanne Dru
  24. Elena and Her Men (1956-French) - Ingrid Bergman, Mel Ferrer
  25. Witness for the Prosecution (1957) - Charles Laughton, Marlene Dietrich, Tyrone Power, Elsa Lanchester
  26. Another Time, Another Place (1958) - Lana Turner, Barry Sullivan, Glynis Johns, Sean Connery
  27. *The War Lover (1962) - Steve McQueen, Robert Wagner 
  28. Midnight Run (1988) - Robert De Niro, Charles Grodin 
  29. *National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) - Chevy Chase & Beverly D’Angelo, Randy Quaid
  30. *Home Alone (1990) - Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy, John Heard
  31. Crimson Tide (1995) - Denzel Washington, Gene Hackman
  32. One Special Night (1999) - James Garner & Julie Andrews
  33. *Elf (2003) - Will Farrell, Zoey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner
  34. *Spectre (2015) - Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Christopher Waltz
  35. No Time To Die (2021) - Daniel Craig, Lea Seydoux, Rami Malek, Lashana Lynch, Christopher Waltz, Naomie Harris
Steve McQueen: Man on the Edge (1988)
Image Makers: The Adventures of America’s Pioneer Cinematographers (2019) 

Least Favorite Film: The storyline of Leave Her to Heaven (1945) was pretty awful. It was visually stunning though! The costumes! The sets! The outdoor locations! A couple movies were a little weak but not worth mentioning - I've seen worse.

Favorite Movie: Everyone needs to watch Midnight Run (1988). It was so good!!! The Big Punch was interesting. I also enjoyed the Swedish Ingrid Bergman films.

Favorite Quote: Barbara Stanwyck getting a telemarketing call in My Reputation (1946).

There will be a slight change in the monthly Recycled Costume Roundups for 2022. Every three months there will be a QUARTERLY roundup of recycles I have spotted while watching movies. The first one will be at the end of March. At the end of the OTHER months, I will be taking a look at the sumptuous Adrian-designed costumes from Marie Antoinette (1938) and sharing what films they have been recycled in, starting in January.

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

Part I: Seeing the Costumes from "White Christmas" (1954)!

This panaramic shot makes the room look huge but it was probably around 1000 sq. ft.

Last January, the costumes from White Christmas (1954) that are housed at the Rosemary Clooney house in Kentucky made their way to a museum near me. Me, my mom, and my two brothers went to see them. We have watched the movie as a family every year at Christmas time for as long as I can remember. Before that, my mom watched it with HER family whenever it came on television. A few years ago we all went to see the film on the big screen as well. I also made my own soundtrack cd (I get so angry thinking about the stupidity and stubbornness of those who didn't allow Clooney to record an official soundtrack with Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Trudy Stevens, who provided the singing voice for Vera-Ellen). It is one of our favorite movies. It also has my favorite movie costumes of all time, designed by the wonderful Edith Head. If I had the money (and the figure), I would have replicas made of several of the gorgeous dresses worn throughout the picture AND build a replica of Columbia Inn

We had the room to ourselves for over and hour, so I was able to take as many photos as a wanted (over 300) and then just go around the room and really drink it all in. I have to admit, I almost burst into tears when we first walked in. It was such an amazing experience, and one I will never forget.

I guess I will just "start at the door" and take you around the room with me :) Before you start, you can start my White Christmas playlist on YouTube.

To the left when we entered there was a large sign about the film and exhibition:

To the right of the entry was the first costume: Rosemary Clooney's red robe she wore in the scene at the club before she and Vera-Ellen perform their Sisters number in front of "Wallace and Davis" (Crosby and Kaye). It also appears later in the film at the Inn when she can't sleep and sings Count Your Blessings.

Photo by my brother.

I was struck by how small the robe is! The tie on the belt is not original. It was so hard to resist reaching out and touching it!

It looked pretty fragile and was very faded looking.

Next to the robe was the outfit worn by George Chakiris in the Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me number. Hollywood Comet recently interviewed him. You can read about his experience working with Clooney here. 

The shirt is not original.

My brother would probably kill me if he knew I was sharing these lol. 
He unintentionally wore the perfect shirt.

Next there was a glass case containing the gloves Clooney wore during this number and Vera-Ellen's hat worn when they first arrive at the inn.

It was difficult to photograph the hat through the glass.

The back of the hat.

In the corner there was a display with some of the original chairs from the Inn and a pretend cake, as well as several movie posters.

Photo taken by my brother

Photo taken by my OTHER brother (the one shown above).

At one time there were gold accents painted on the chairs. You can barely make out a harvest/pumpkin design. My mom actually found an identical style chair on Etsy. It's a "Hitchcock" chair. 

Detail of the gold accents on the legs.

The next wall held three military uniforms worn by Dean Jagger (left), Bing Crosby (center), and Danny Kaye (right). 

Replica backdrop from the beginning of the film.

There was no sign for this, but it doesn't look like the music box in the film.

Photo taken by my other brother.

Dean Jagger as General Waverly

Two-Star General (photo by my brother)

Sleeve detail on Jagger's uniform.

Bing Crosby as Bob Wallace

Bob's uniform jacket

A little closer. It was kind of hard to photograph these with the being up on a step (and me being 5'3").

Photo by my brother

Danny Kaye's uniform (photo by my brother - I managed to forget to take a full shot of this one).

Kaye's jacket. His shoulders were very broad!

The backs of the jackets. 

In the next corner were the "Cast Party" dresses worn by Vera-Ellen, Rosemary Clooney, and Mary Wickes. 

Photo by my brother.

Here is Mary Wickes dress (as the housekeeper Emma). This calls for champagne!

Wickes' necklace was the only piece of jewelry in the exhibit. I had hoped there would be some of the fabulous earrings we only glimpse on-screen.

You can see the texture of the fabric.

Clooney's green velvet dress. It's in surprising great shape!

Bust: 36 | Waist: 23
Do you SEE THOSE MEASUREMENTS?!? Poor Rosemary always looks rather large next to Vera-Ellen but that's because she had a 19 INCH waist. 19!!

The dress was about one foot away from my hand. My hand span here is seven inches.

Judy's cast party dress is the most delicate in the collection (aside from maybe the feather fan). It was positioned in the corner so that it too far away to reach. I had to borrow my brother's long arm for some of the photos ;)

The best shot of the beaded embroidery I could get. If I didn't look so bad in cream, I'd buy a turtleneck and try to replicate this pattern.

Photo by my brother. Note the dart.

Bugle beads and pearls. Also taken by my brother.

Check out the drape detailing!

We couldn't see the back of this costume. Wish they would have put a mirror behind it!

A closer look at the fabric. You can see the shadow of my hand and phone. I had to really lean for this. 

Against the far wall was a giant sleigh (I guess the one at the end of the movie when it starts snowing) that is usually in storage, as there is no room to display it at the Rosemary Clooney house. Next to it are REPLICAS of the red gowns worn at the end of the film. They were pretty good but nowhere near the sumptuous quality of the originals (that definitely isn't real fur). 

The best spot for photographs (the backdrop is blurry, not my photo). For scale, the bottom of the white bar holding the sign is almost exactly six feet off the ground.

Note the gold eagle head for the reins to go through.

Replica of Clooney's gown.

The original costume had large sparkling beaded snowflakes.

Replica of Vera-Ellen's gown.

They also had these amazing Barbie-size dolls by Tonner wearing the iconic red gowns. 

Her little hair piece ♥

PART II will have the "Sisters" dresses and costumes from the "Mandy" number!!
It will be posted next week :)

Merry Christmas everybody!!!
And may all your Christmas' be white!

My mom as Betty and me as Judy. We were the only ones in the room so we took our masks off really quick. They didn't have it lit very well, unfortunately. I put my face in further than I wanted to.