Saturday, April 8, 2017

"Are you a Good Witch or a Bad Witch": The Annual Classic Quotes Blogathon

Movie Quotes. For some of us, especially Classic Movie Bloggers, they are a part of everyday life. Those of us who are movie fans can often summon up the perfect quote for any occasion. Not everyone may realize that it's a movie quote and they may even give you an odd look until you explain that it's from a movie. But we same them anyway and always feel a little proud of ourselves for integrating our love of film into a normal conversation (or what was normal until you opened your mouth).

Sometimes a quote has become so much a part of the culture that people say it without realizing what it's from. And sometimes it's just so quotable that people say it whether it goes with the conversation or not. This is the premise behind The Flapper Dames Annual Classic Quotes Blogathon, to celebrate and share these beloved and famous quotes.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) is endlessly quotable. Pretty much every time a storm is coming someone in my family begins to shout out "Dorothy! Dorothy!" as they put things away so they won't get wet or blown away. "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too" is another one that sometimes makes it into the conversation, or "There's no place like home" (which is of course more effective if you actually own a pair of ruby slippers).

Another quote from the film, while not normally used in a conversation, is still worth mentioning for a reason I will explain to you:

Are you a Good Witch? Or a Bad Witch?

We all remember this scene. Glinda, played to perfection by the one and only Billie Burke, comes floating down to Munchkinland in her pink bubble and, upon seeing Dorothy, asks her this question. To Dorothy the question makes no sense, but to Glinda it is the only question to ask, as there are no humans in Munchkinland.

After Dorothy replies that she's actually a girl and says that witches are old and ugly, Glinda tells her with a smile:

Only bad witches are ugly.

Didn't you just ask Dorothy if she was a good witch or a BAD witch???

She basically just called Dorothy ugly...

Be sure to check out all of the other posts on the
iconic quotes we all love from Classic Movies!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Doris Day and James Garner: Their Films and Friendship

Doris was everybody's darling and I wish I could have done fifty more pictures with her. 
~ James Garner

Doris Day (whose birthday is April 3rd) and James Garner (whose birthday is April 7th) made only two films together in 1963, but they remained friends until Garner's death in 2014. The films, The Thrill of It All and Move Over, Darling, are not as famous as Day's film pairings with Rock Hudson, but they were extremely successful at the box-office due to the wonderful on-screen chemistry between Day and Garner. This chemistry stemmed from their off-screen friendship and respect for the other's abilities as an actor.

In their autobiographies, both Day and Garner had only nice things to say about each other, despite the fact that Garner (accidently) broke Day's ribs during the filming of Move Over, Darling.
Jim and I worked together only twice, in Move Over, Darling and The Thrill of It All. He's so good at what he does... I felt married. We didn't see each other much over the following years, but we've stayed friends because we talk on the phone regularly. I don't know how, because Jim hates the telephone. I usually have to call him. "Can't you pick up a phone?" I say, but he just grumbles.
We had fun. He's a marvelous actor. He's very real when he talks to you. He's so funny and so nice, I just love him. Even though he broke two of my ribs. Jim, if we don't speak for a while, I forgive you for breaking my ribs. Both of them. Don't give it another thought.
~ Doris Day, The Garner Files
Doris didn't play sexy, she didn't act sexy, she was sexy. And then she could take a sexy scene and make you laugh. Which is better in the bedroom than a lot of things. And Doris was a joy to work with. Everything she did seemed effortless. She's so sweet and so professional - she made everyone around her look good.
~ James Garner, The Garner Files

Garner was also known to say that Doris had the "best tush in Hollywood." In an essay included in Day autobiography, Garner goes on in depth about his love and admiration for her, as well as her "girl next door" image:
I think Doris is a very sexy lady who doesn't know how sexy she is. That's an integral part of her charm... I don't think she could have had the success she's had if she didn't have this sexy whirlpool frothing around underneath her All-American-girl exterior.
I remember the first time I saw her on screen. I was just a regular moviegoer then, hadn't turned to acting yet, and here was this new girl, Doris Day, on a train with Dennis Morgan and Jack Carson [It's a Great Feeling (1949)], singing a song, and I looked at her and said to myself, "Oh, God, ain't that beautiful, and listen to that voice!"
I've had to play love scenes with a lot of screen ladies, but of all the women I've had to be intimate with on the screen, I'd rate two as sexiest by far - Doris and Julie Andrews, both of them notorious girls next door. Playing a love scene with either of them is duck soup because they communicate something sexy which means I also let myself go somewhat and that really makes a love scene work.
One other thing about acting with Doris - she was the Fred Astaire of comedy. You know the way Astaire used to change partners but the dancing was always uniformly spectacular because Astaire just did his thing and anybody who danced with him was swept up by it. Well, same thing about Doris. Whether is was Rock Hudson or Rod Taylor or me or whoever - we all looked good... I used to come to the set with a preconceived notion of how I was going to play a particular scene, but when I saw what Doris was doing in the scene, her tempo, her feel for the scene, 99.9 percent of the time I'd toss my pre-conception away and play it with her. Making a movie with Doris was a piece of cake - a sexy ride on her coattails all the way.

♥ ♥ ♥

The two films that Day made with Garner are very similar to the films she made with Rock Hudson. The main difference is that in both of them they are already married with children at the beginning of the film (Day's character is only married to Hudson's character in their third and final film together, Send Me Know Flowers, made the year after her films with Garner).

In The Thrill of It All (1963), Day plays a normal housewife who is offered a job as the spokesperson of a soap company after she is overheard telling a story about how their soap, Happy Soap, saved her life. Her doctor husband (Garner) is less than thrilled when she signs a one-year contract that keeps her away from the home and her wifely duties. Here's a good synopsis of the film.

In Move Over, Darling (1963), a remake of the 1940 Cary Grant/Irene Dunne classic My Favorite Wife, Day plays a wife who has been lost at sea for five years and been declared legally dead. Upon arriving home, she discovers that her husband, Garner, has remarried just that morning. She heads to the hotel where he is going to be staying with his new wife (which happens to be the same hotel THEY stayed at on THIER honeymoon) to try to stop him before he makes the marriage "official." You can read more about the two films in the post I wrote for my Remakes blogathon.

I highly recommend both films. Not only are they fun to watch but Day and Garner are very convincing as a married couple and evenly matched as comedians.
If Doris Day was the national symbol for the All-American girl, then Jim was her male counterpart - somewhere between a steelworker and a Saturday afternoon football hero.
~  Raymond Strait.

~ Sources ~

Considering Doris Day. Tom Santopietro. 2007.
Doris Day: Her Own Story. Doris Day and A. E. Hotchner. 1975.
The Garner Files: A Memoir. James Garner and Jon Winokur. 2011.
James Garner: A Biography. Raymond Strait. 1985.
This post is part of The Doris Day Blogathon hosted by Love Letters to Old Hollywood in honor of Day's birthday on April 3rd. Be sure to read all of the other posts celebrating this icon of Classic Hollywood!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Movies I Watched in March

This month I watched quite a few films I've already seen (films with an *), including Mister Roberts (1955) which I've wanted to watch again for some time. I also watched several newer films that I've been wanting to see.
  1. Arsene Lupin (1932) - John Barrymore, Lionel Barrymore, Karen Morley
  2. Bureau of Missing Persons (1933) - Pat O'Brien & Bette Davis
  3. Mama Steps Out (1937) - Alice Brady, Dennis Morgan (as Stanley Morner)
  4. Maisie (1939) - Ann Sothern & Robert Young
  5. Mademoiselle Fifi (1944) - Simone Simon
  6. The Time, the Place and the Girl (1946) - Dennis Morgan & Jack Carson, Martha Vickers, Janis Paige, S.Z. Sakall, Alan Hale
  7. A Double Life (1947) - Ronald Colman
  8. Too Young to Kiss (1951) - June Allyson & Van Johnson, Gig Young
  9. When in Rome (1952) - Van Johnson, Paul Douglas
  10. *Mister Roberts (1955) - Henry Fonda, William Powell, Jack Lemmon, James Cagney
  11. The Virgin Queen (1955) - Bette Davis, Richard Todd, Joan Collins
  12. Sea Wife (1957) - Richard Burton & Joan Collins (post coming soon)
  13. *The Wackiest Ship in the Army (1960) - Jack Lemmon, Ricky Nelson, John Lund
  14. The V.I.P.s (1963) - Richard Burton & Elizabeth Taylor, Louis Jourdan, Rod Taylor & Maggie Smith, Margaret Rutherford, Orson Welles
  15. From Russia with Love (1963) - Sean Connery, Pedro Armandariz (my first classic Bond film)
  16. *Ocean's Eleven (2001) - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Andy Garcia, Matt Damon
  17. *Ocean's Twelve (2004) - George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Damon
  18. *The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) - Anne Hathaway, Julie Andrews, Chris Pine
  19. *The Devil Wears Prada (2006) - Anne Hathaway, Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt
  20. *The Young Victoria (2009) - Emily Blunt & Rupert Friend
  21. Unstoppable (2010) - Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Rosario
  22. People Like Us (2012) - Chris Pine, Elizabeth Banks, Olivia Wilde
  23. Horrible Bosses 2 (2014) - Don't judge me, I only watched it because it happened to be on TV, meaning it was a "clean" version, and it has Chris Pine in it
  24. The Light Between Oceans (2016) - Michael Fassbender & Alicia Vikander, Rachel Weisz
  25. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children (2016) - Eva Green
  26. Mission Impossible 5: Rogue Nation (2016) - Tom Cruise, Simon Pegg, Jeremy Renner

Least Favorite: Mama Steps Out (1937)

Favorite (new to me) Film: When in Rome (1952) - also Unstoppable (2010) & Sea Wife (1957). If you follow my Facebook page I shared some screenshots of  Rome from When in Rome.

Paul Douglas (a con-man masquerading as a priest in Rome during the 1950 Holy Door)
and Van Johnson (as an actual priest) hiding in the Coliseum. This film was surprisingly
touching and very accurate in it's portrayal of the Catholic faith.

My 300th post!!