Sunday, July 1, 2018

The Dark Mirror (1946)

 
Twins! One who loves, and one who loves to kill!

That's one of the taglines used for The Dark Mirror starring Olivia de Havilland, Lew Ayres, and Thomas Mitchell. The film was, to me, reminiscent of Gaslight (1944), where Charles Boyer slowly drives his wife, Ingrid Bergman, to insanity. In this case however, one twin is slowly driving the other twin crazy. I found this film particularly intriguing as one is not used to seeing the sweet Olivia de Havilland acting so evil and ruthless.

The ink blot test plays a big part in the film.

She plays twins Terry and Ruth Collins. One of them murdered someone. Both have perfect alibis. One is psycho. The other is slowly being made psycho. There are several scenes involving psychology, as the film was made in a time where psychoanalysis was a new field. There are several scenes involving the Rorschach ink blot test and it is even used in the opening credits. The twins are told this is for a twin personality study, but really they are trying to determine which one is the killer.

Terry and Ruth wear lots of personalized jewelry to help others tell them apart. The pieces from the film, which were created by Joseff of Hollywood, were auctioned off last year and can be seen in the catalog pages below.




Meanwhile, the evil twin (Terry) is driving the good twin (Ruth) out of her mind slowly. She plays music on a record during the night and pretends not to hear it or remind her of things that one of them said that she doesn't remember. This causes the Ruth to start to lose her grip and wonder if  she maybe didn't commit the murder after all. She also begins to rely on sleeping pills to get a good night's rest, taking more than she needs at her sister's suggestion.


Ayres plays Dr. Scott Elliot. While conducting the tests on the twins, he falls in love with Ruth. After he has completed the tests, he knows which one is the killer and sets a trap. He invites Terry up to his apartment to tell her something "important" (the identity of the killer). He makes Terry believe that he thinks she is Ruth. When Terry comes to his apartment, he confronts her and tells her that he knows she's Terry and that she did it. She still tries to blame it on Ruth. They are interrupted by a call that Ruth has committed suicide. They rush to the apartment and Scott goes into the bedroom to confirm the death. Terry, thinking that Ruth is dead, now pretends that she is Ruth and that she was trying to help cover up Terry's crime. As she talks, she becomes more and more into her lie. Suddenly, the real Ruth's reflection appears in the mirror. Terry throws an object at the mirror and completely breaks down. After she is taken away, Scott explains why the had to pretend she was dead and comforts her.


You can watch the full movie here on YouTube.

This post is for The Third Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon hosted by myself and In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood. Please check out the other posts and come back next year to celebrate the lovely Olivia!

The Third Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon is Here!!!


It's here!! The Third Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon is here!!! It's smaller than the previous two celebrations but that doesn't make it any less special. Crystal and I are excited to be hosting this event again and can't wait to read all the entries celebrating the amazing and beautiful Dame Olivia!!!

THE POSTS

"I do hope people don't think I'm really like this..."

The Wonderful World of Cinema kicks things off with The Snake Pit (1948).

"I wonder if there will be a remake of this...?"

The Stop Button gives us an analysis of what does and doesn't work in My Cousin Rachel (1952).

"Don't be so angry, Bette. There's an annual blogathon for you too!"

Musings of a Classic Film Addict discovers In This Our Life (1942).

"So wait.. which one of us is real?"

I cover Olivia's duel role in The Dark Mirror (1946).

"I don't always make TV movies, but when I do I still look fabulous."

Realweegiemidget Reviews takes a look at one of Olivia's TV Movies, Murder is Easy (1982).

"I'm no angel?"

The Dream Book Blog finds Olivia to be no angel as famous author Charlotte Bronte in Devotion (1946).

"Next years' blogathon seems so far away!"

Caftan Woman sees Olivia de Havilland come full circle from her early Westerns in The Proud Rebel (1958).

"Just because you don't get the guy doesn't mean you can't look fabulous!"

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society looks at The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939) from a historical and code perspective.

"I just love blogathons, don't you?"

Taking Up Room discovers a different side of  Olivia in It's Love I'm After (1937).

"Hello? 2018?"

Critica Retro finds Hold Back the Dawn (1941) to be a timely film.

"I'm not always window dressing!"

Movies Meet Their Match finds a deeper meaning in Santa Fe Trail (1940).

A huge thank you to all who helped celebrate and to Crystal for once again co-hosting this event with me!!! I hope to see you all again next year!!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Movies I Watched in June


We canceled our Netflix this month so I spent a lot of time finishing up some tv shows and documentaries. I also finished a film series this month, the Andy Hardy series! And watched a movie from this year!! *gasp!* I rarely watch a film the same year it's released lol.
  1. Harold Lloyd shorts (1917-1919) - Harold Lloyd & Bebe Daniels, Snub Pollard
  2. A Woman's Face (1938 - Swedish) - Ingrid Bergman
  3. Father Takes a Wife (1941) - Adolph Menjou & Gloria Swanson 
  4. Moon Over Miami (1941) - Betty Grable & Don Ameche, Robert Cummings & Carole Landis
  5. Bathing Beauty (1944) - Esther Williams & Red Skelton 
  6. Uncertain Glory (1944) - Errol Flynn, Faye Emerson 
  7. Three Strangers (1946) - Geraldine FitzGerald, Sydney Greenstreet, Peter Lorre
  8. Fiesta (1947) - Esther Williams, Ricardo Montalbon, Mary Astor
  9. The Clay Pigeon (1949) - Bill Williams & Barbara Hale
  10. Callaway Went Thataway (1951) - Howard Keel, Fred MacMurrey, Dorothy McGuire 
  11. Anastasia (1956) - Ingrid Bergman & Yul Brenner, Helen Hayes
  12. Andy Hardy Comes Home (1958) - Mickey Rooney, Faye Holden, Sara Haden, Cecilia Parker
  13. A Global Affair (1964) - Bob Hope
  14. The Double Man (1967) - Yul Brenner
  15. The Devil’s Brigade (1968) - William Holden, Cliff Robertson 
  16. Tomb Raider (2018) - Alicia Vikander 
This is Bob Hope (2017)
Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (2017)

 
Bill Williams and Barbara Hale in The Clay Pigeon. They were married in real life.

Monday, June 25, 2018

ANNOUNCING The Fred MacMurray Blogathon!!!


Fred MacMurray had one of the most diverse film careers in Hollywood. Screwball in the 30s, Noir and War films in the 40s, Westerns in the 50s, Disney and Television in the 60s, the man did it all. He also had an impressive list of leading ladies: Carole Lombard, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Hepburn, Claudette Colbert, Jean Arthur, and Madeleine Carroll to name a few. For quite some time I've been wanting to host a blogathon celebrating his incredible career and this year I've finally decided to do it.

The Blogathon will start on August 30th, our honoree's birthday, and conclude on September 1. Topics may cover any aspect of his career. Since MacMurray has such a huge amount of credits to his name I'm asking for no duplicates. You can view his filmography here.

Once you've decided on a topic, please drop a comment below with your choice, blog title, and blog link. Share one of these banners on your site and you're done!

I can't wait to see what everyone chooses and I look forward to celebrating this truly versatile yet underappreciated actor with you all!

 

ROSTER:

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: Life Story & A Millionaire for Christie (1951)
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: Fred MacMurray and Carole Lombard
Caftan Woman: There’s Always Tomorrow (1955)
Widescreen World: Too Many Husbands (1940)
Love Letters to Old Hollywood: Murder, He Says (1945)
Realweegiemidget Reviews: The Apartment (1960)
Hamlette’s Soliloquy: Good Day for a Hanging (1959)
Back to Golden Days: The Collaborations of Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert
Critica Retro: The Collaborations of Fred MacMurray and Billy Wilder
The Midnite Drive-In: The Caine Mutiny (1954)
The Flapper Dame: The Princess Comes Across (1936)
Silver Screenings: Callaway Went Thataway (1951)
The Story Enthusiast: The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

ANNOUNCING The Third Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon!!!


Okay, so I know I am announcing this way late but I couldn't motivate myself to make banners and then I had a funeral to sing at, a cold, and a heat rash. But I'm all good now and happy to announce that once again Crystal of In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood and I are hosting the Third Annual Olivia de Havilland Blogathon.

RULES:

Drop us a comment letting us know which movie or topic you want (no duplicates please) and the link to your blog. It would also be great if you could display one of the banners of your blog to help advertise. That's it! Check out the roster below to see which topics have already been claimed.

Don't you just love these recent photos of our beloved Olivia?


ROSTER:

Phyllis Loves Classic MoviesThe Dark Mirror (1946)
In the Good Old Days of Classic Hollywood: The Heiress (1949) & TBD
Realweegiemidget Reviews: Murder Is Easy (1982)
The Stop Button: My Cousin Rachel (1952)
Caftan Woman: The Proud Rebel (1958)
Movies Meet Their Match: Santa Fe Trail (1940)
The Dream Book Blog: Devotion (1946)
The Wonderful World Of CinemaThe Snake Pit (1948)
Old Hollywood Films:  The Charge of the Light Brigade (1936)
Critica RetroHold Back the Dawn (1941)
Taking Up RoomIt’s Love I’m After (1937)
Musings of a Classic Film Addict: In This Our Life (1942) & possible recipe post
Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939)

Thanks for joining!!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Movies I Watched in May


This month was another light movie month. I've started watching Our Miss Brooks on Decades TV, which is five episodes a week.

* means a rewatch
  1. Blonde Venus (1932) - Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Cary Grant, Dickie Moore
  2. Angel (1937) - Marlene Dietrich, Melvyn Douglas, Herbert Marshall 
  3. Having Wonderful Time (1938) - Ginger Rogers & Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Eve Arden, Jack Carson
  4. Four Wives (1939) - Lane sisters, Claude Rains, Eddie Albert
  5. Secret Enemies (1942) - Craig Stevens, Faye Emerson
  6. Andy Hardy Leads a Double Life (1942) - Mickey Rooney, Lewis Stone, Ann Rutherford, Esther Williams
  7. Ladies Day (1943) - Eddie Albert & Lupe Velez, Patsy Kelly
  8. Sabotage Agent (1943) - Robert Donat, Glynis Johns (also known as The Adventures of Tartu)
  9. My Reputation (1944/46) - Barbara Stanwyck & George Brent, Eve Arden
  10. Mildred Pierce (1945) - Joan Crawford, Anne Blyth, Jack Carson, Eve Arden
  11. Whiplash (1948) - Dane Clark & Alexis Smith, Zachary Scott, Eve Arden, S.Z. Sakall
  12. The Winslow Boy (1948) - Robert Donat
  13. To Please a Lady (1950) - Clark Gable & Barbara Stanwyck, Adolph Menjou 
  14. *Battle Cry (1955) - Van Heflin, James Whitmore, Aldo Ray, Nancy Olson, Tab Hunter, Dorothy Malone, Anne Francis
  15. The Inn of Sixth Happiness (1958) - Ingrid Bergman, Robert Donat
  16. Cash McCall (1960) - James Garner & Natalie Wood, Dean Jagger
  17. Murder at the Gallop (1963) - Margaret Rutherford, Flora Robson
  18. Murder Ahoy! (1964) - Margaret Rutherford
  19. *Support Your Local Sheriff (1969) - James Garner
  20. Volunteers (1985) - Tom Hanks, John Candy, Rita Wilson
Least Favorite Movie: I'm going to go the unpopular way and say Mildred Pierce. Don't get me wrong, the performances were top notch but I just didn't like the story. Veda made me angry and I like movies to leave me in a good mood. Cash McCall was kind of bland.

Favorite Movie: Sabotage Agent was really good. I'm trying to watch all of Robert Donat's movies, as he only made 19. Also Glynis Johns, a fave of mine, was absolutely amazing in it. I highly recommend it. It's on YouTube I believe.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

The Many Weddings of Lucy & Desi


Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were the ultimate Dynamic Duo. Married in real life, they perfectly complemented each other. Not only were they paired in the classic and groundbreaking TV show I Love Lucy, they also shared the screen in two movies (they met on the set of Too Many Girls in 1940 but don't share the screen much). And in both of those films, The Long, Long Trailer (1953) and Forever, Darling (1956), their characters were married.

Searching for wedding pictures of Lucy and Desi on the internet is not an easy task as every on-screen wedding can be, and usually is, labeled as their REAL wedding. The couple actually eloped on November 30th, 1940, just six months after they met. In 1949 they renewed their vows, which we have photos of.

For the Catholic Church service, Lucy wore a blue satin dress with a full skirt and portrait neckline, which she paired with a chic white flowered hat, ruffled gloves, and strappy peep-toed heels. Desi looked sharp in a white suit.


In season 1 of I Love Lucy, Lucy and Desi had their first on-screen wedding. In "The Marriage License," which aired on April 7, 1952, Lucy finds a misspelling on her marriage license and believes her marriage to Ricky (Arnaz) isn't legal. Lucy makes Ricky recreate his proposal and the two get married at their hotel (which indecently was the Byram River Beagle Club in Greenwich, Connecticut where Lucy and Desi had been married in 1940). You can watch the full episode here.

 

Lucy wore a full skirted dress with spaghetti straps, a lovely tulle veil attatched to a floral headpiece, multi-strand pearl choker, and satin peep-toe heels with an ankle strap.


For The Long, Long Trailer (1953) Lucy wore an exquisite lace gown designed by Helen Rose. It had a strapless bodice with a lace overlay featuring a high stand-up collar and long sleeves. A lace apron-like skirt fell over a full skirt. A flowered headpiece worn on the back of the head held the long tulle veil.

 


In Forever, Darling (1956) Lucy wore a similar dress with a more elaborate veil, this one designed by  Eloise Jenssen. The headpiece has lace and flowers that frame the face closely and the dress has a dramatic pleated skirt.


The sketch by Jenssen shows a different veil. To see more photos check out my more in-depth post.
 
Lastly, here are some wedding anniversary photos that could be mistaken for wedding photos.


This post is for the Dynamic Duos in Classic Film Blogathon hosted by Once Upon a Screen and Classic Movie Hub. Be sure to check out all of the other Dynamic Duos!


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Movies I Watched in April


I didn't watch a ton of movies this month (I've been watching Cheers) but the ones I did watch were pretty much all winners.

* means a rewatch
  1. The Telegraph Trail (1933) - John Wayne & Marceline Day, Frank McHugh
  2. Back in Circulation (1937) - Pat O'Brien & Joan Blondell
  3. *The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938) - Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland, Alan Hale, Claude Rains, Basil Rathbone
  4. The Girl of the Golden West (1938) - Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy, Walter Pidgeon, Buddy Ebson 
  5. There Goes My Heart (1938) - Fredric March & Virginia Bruce, Patsy Kelly
  6. Wonder Man (1945) - Danny Kaye & Vera-Ellen, Virginia Mayo, S.Z. Sakall
  7. Till the End of Time (1946) - Dorothy McGuire, Robert Mitchum, Guy Madison
  8. Rachel and the Stranger (1948) - Loretta Young, William Holden, Robert Mitchum
  9. Take Me Out to the Ball Game (1949) - Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams
  10. Force of Arms (1951) - William Holden & Nancy Olsen
  11. The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) - Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford
  12. The Girl Most Likely (1958) - Jane Powell, Cliff Robertson
  13. *Period of Adjustment (1962) - Jane Fonda & Jim Hutton, Anthony Franciosa (rewatched it with my brothers)
  14. Hour of the Gun (1967) - James Garner, Jason Robards, Robert Ryan
  15. *Ghost (1990) - Patrick Swayze & Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg, Tony Goldwyn
  16. *The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) - Jim Caviezel, Guy Pierce, Dagmara Dominczyk, Ricahrd Harris, Luis Guzman, Henry Cavill ♥
Least Favorite Movie: None.

Favorite Movie: Hands down The Smallest Show on Earth. If you've never seen it drop everything and get your hands on a copy!! I also really enjoyed the three new-to-me Holden movies I watched as well as There Goes My Heart and Back in Circulation. So basically I loved almost all the movies I watched this month ;)

Monday, April 16, 2018

TCM Presents: Mad About Musicals!


It's that time of year again when TCM announces it's next free online class. We've had Film Noir, we've had Slapstick, we've had Hitchcock, and now we're getting Musicals! (still waiting for one on Screwball...)

Offered in collaboration with Ball State University and offered on the online platform Canvas, these classes give everyone a chance to major in MOVIE! And the great thing is it's free! And, you only have to spend as much time on it as you have available. The readings and lectures are easy to keep up with and the quizzes are just right - not to hard, not to easy. You can get as involved as you want: message boards, movies, and games all make for a fun learning experience. I know, I've taken them all :)

This years class is going to be a little different in that it is being taught by Vanessa Theme Ament instead of our beloved Richard Edwards. I'm sure she will do a fantastic job though :)

The class runs from June 3rd through July 1st and covers musicals from the 30s to the 70s. You do not need TCM for the course. Many musicals are readily available on dvd and at your local library!

Here is the course syllabus on the sign-up page:

WEEK 1: Introduction / Musicals of the 1920s & 1930s

  • The beginnings of sound technology and the first film musicals in the 1920s and 1930s: The Great Ziegfeld, Top Hat, Broadway Melody, and other films
  • Important musicals that set the standard for the decade: The Great Depression
  • The transition from Broadway to Hollywood
  • New stars in musicals, directors, editors, and other creatives that influenced the decade: Ernst Lubitsch, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and others
  • Key song numbers that typify the movie musical in the 1930s

WEEK 2: Musicals of the 1940s

  • The changing terrain of the 1940s movie musical surrounding WWII: Yankee Doodle Dandy, On the Town, Meet Me in St. Louis, and other films
  • Performers who developed during the 1940s, choreographers who direct and musicians who produce: Busby Berkeley, Ester Williams, Red Skelton, Judy Garland and others
  • Studios, stars, and stories for wartime America: the transition to nationalism
  • Pre-recording, post-sound, and location scenes
  • The emerging films of diversity: Cabin in the Sky, Showboat, and other films
  

WEEK 3: Musicals of the 1950s

  • The high times of the 1950s and the Blacklist: The Bandwagon, An American in Paris, High Society, and other films
  • The development of camera, sound, and exhibition
  • Glamour and the expanded role of design
  • The broadening of the composer, producer, and editor
  • Key figures who expand their scope: Gene Kelly, Vincente Minnelli, Elvis Presley, and others
  

WEEK 4: Conclusion / Musicals of the 1960s and 1970s

  • The disruption of the studios: independent film influences
  • Turbulence in the country and cultural challenges: Tommy, Cabaret and other films
  • Changing musical tastes, youth, and historical films: Funny Girl, 1776, My Fair Lady, and other films
  • The British Invasion: The Beatles and A Hard Day’s Night
  • Directors, stars, and producers who transitioned into the 1960s

Hope to see you all in "class"!! ;)

"The Trolley Song," Meet Me in St. Louis (1944).

The Pilgrim (1923)


The Pilgrim (1923) - written, directed, and produced by Charlie Chaplin - was Chaplin's last "short" before going into feature length films. In it, Chaplin plays an escaped convict who disguises himself as a minister and is mistaken for the new parson in a small Texas town. He is brought to the church where, in my favorite scene, he acts out the story of David and Goliath. You can watch it below:

 
After that he is brought to the house where he will stay. On his way there he is recognized by his cell mate who follows him and invites himself to tea. While there, the landlady tries to pay her next mortgage bill to the deacon, who refuses to accept the payment on the Sabbath. Chaplin's friend proceeds to steal the money and Chaplin chases after him, recovering the money and returning it to the landlady's pretty daughter. He is then recognized as a convict and arrested. On his way back to jail the sheriff lets Chaplin escape into Mexico, where he has no jurisdiction.
 
 
An interesting note from an article on TCM: "Also notable in the cast is Chaplin's brother Sydney who appears in three roles as the eloping man, the train conductor and the father of the "slapping boy." The "slapping boy" is played by three-and-a-half-year old Dean Reisner and son of The Pilgrim's assistant director Charles Reisner (who also plays the pickpocket). Dean would grow up to become a leading screenwriter in Hollywood, penning the "do you feel lucky, punk" scene for Dirty Harry (1971)."
 
 
This little film was great fun to watch. Being so short it's hard to write about, so I hope this short post will encourage you to watch the film for yourself, which is linked for you below:
 

This post is part of The Charlie Chaplin Blogathon hosted by Little Bits of Classics and Christina Wehner. Be sure to check out all of the other posts!

 
“All images from Chaplin films made from 1918 onwards, Copyright © Roy Export S.A.S. Charles Chaplin and the Little Tramp are trademarks and/or service marks of Bubbles Inc. S.A. and/or Roy Export.”