Monday, January 28, 2019

The 90 Years of Jean Simmons Blogathon has Arrived!!!

I can't believe the  90 Years of Jean Simmons Blogathon is already here! This is my first blogathon of the New Year, hosting and participating-wise. I can't wait to delve into all the wonderful posts on one of my all-time, but sadly often overlooked, favorite actresses (here's a short post I wrote about how I discovered her) and I'm so thankful that Virginie from The Wonderful World of Cinema invited me (She just announced a blogathon honoring another Jean -  Jean Harlow - so be sure to go sign up for that!)!

The Posts!

Screenshot by Maddy

Maddy Loves Her Classic Movies kicks things off with Footsteps in the Fog (1955).

Widescreen World follows Simmons to the final frontier where she appeared in Star Trek TNG: The Drumhead.

Screenshot by Brittaney

The Story Enthusiast chose one of Simmons' more obscure films, All the Way Home (1957).

Mikes Take on the Movies shares a lovely selection of Simmons' Movie Posters and Lobby Cards

MovieRob shares his take on the Gothic Drama Footsteps in the Fog (1955).

Caftan Woman writes about when Jean Simmons Visits Cabot Cove.

The Stop Button has to wait for Simmons smile in The Happy Ending (1969).

Taking Up Room gives us the fascinating back story to Elmer Gantry (1960).

Silver Screenings finds Simmons' performance a study in acting in Side-Stepping Burt Lancaster's Shadow.

Realweegiemidget Reviews discovers a twist or two in the thriller Dominique (1979).

Silver Scenes reviews Simmons' segment in the anthology film Trio (1950).

And their second post on a personal favorite The Egyptian (1954).

The Midnite Drive-In gives us the low-down on a less famous version of The Blue Lagoon (1949).

My lovely co-host The Wonderful World of Cinema shares her tribute to Jean Simmons.

Hamlette's Soliloquy covers a film that lives up to it's BIG name, The Big Country (1958).

Movie Rob shares his second post on The Happy Ending (1969).

Critica Retro explores the main themes in Hilda Crane (1956).

Poppity Talks Classic Film reminisces about Affair with a Stranger (1953).

18 Cinema Lane shares some of Simmons' voice work in the animated film Howl's Moving Castle (2004).

Pale Writer takes a look at the classic Guys and Dolls (1955).

A big thank you to everyone who participated!

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018 Movie Stats

This year I watched 230 new-to-me movies and 44 movies that were rewatches.
New to me: 230 (215 pre-1970, 15 post-1970)
Rewatches: 44 (34 pre-1970, 10 post-1970)
Total: 274 (249 pre-1970, 25 post-1970)

Where I watched them:
TCM: 207 (10 rewatches)
Library: 21 (5 rewatches)
Personal DVD: 33 + 3 VHS (27 rewatches)
YouTube: 3
Netflix or Amazon Prime: 4 (all post-1970)
Other (TV, website, Redbox): 3
Theater: 0

Here are my top ten movie discoveries:


2/4: Roughly Speaking (1945) - Rosalind Russell & Jack Carson
2/7: Battleground (1949) - Van Johnson, Ricardo Montalban, etc.
2/20: Mystery Street (1950) - Ricardo Montalban, Elsa Lanchester
3/1: Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Robert Donat & Greer Garson
4/23: The Smallest Show on Earth (1957) - Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers, Peter Sellers, Margaret Rutherford
5/10: Sabotage Agent (1943) - Robert Donat & Valerie Hobson, Glynis Johns (Originally The Adventures of Tartu)
9/17: Summertime (1955) - Katharine Hepburn & Rossano Brazzi
10/29: The Ghost Goes West (1936) - Robert Donat
12/3: The Divorce of Lady X (1938) - Merle Oberon & Laurence Olivier
12/6: His Kind of Woman (1951) - Robert Mitchum & Jane Russell, Raymond Burr

Last year I should have included Act of Violence (1949) and Period of Adjustment (1962) in my top ten, both of which I had watched near the end of the year. I guess I couldn't kick anything off of my list.


Classics I finally watched:
The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - Joel McCrea & Fay Wray
Wuthering Heights (1939) - Laurence Olivier & Merle Oberon, David Niven, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Flora Robson
    Goodbye, Mr. Chips (1939) - Robert Donat & Greer Garson
    Mildred Pierce (1945) - Joan Crawford, Anne Blyth, Jack Carson, Eve Arden

    The Red Shoes (1948) - Moira Shearer, Anton Walbrook

    From Here to Eternity (1953) - Montgomery Clift & Donna Reed, Burt Lancaster & Deborah Kerr, Frank Sinatra

    Mon Oncle (1958 - French) - Jacques Tati 

    South Pacific (1958) - Rossano Brazzi & Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Juanita Hall

    Oceans 11 (1960) - Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, Angie Dickinson 

    Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) - Harrison Ford & Karen Allen

    Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) - Harrison Ford
Number of movies per decade:

1920s: 1 + Shorts
1930s: 62 (6 rewatches)
1940s: 94 (12 rewatches)
1950s: 67 (12 rewatches)
1960s: 24 (4 rewatches)
1970s: 0 (0 rewatches)
1980s: 7 (3 rewatches)
1990s: 6 (3 rewatches)
2000s: 4 (4 rewatches)
2010s: 8 (0 rewatches)

Number of movies per month:

January: 40 (4 rewatches)
February: 29 (3 rewatches)
March: 33 (3 rewatches)
April: 16 (4 rewatches)
May: 20 (2 rewatches)
June: 16 (0 rewatches)
July: 18 (0 rewatches)
August: 24 (2 rewatches)
September: 17 (3 rewatches)
October: 17 (9 rewatches)
November: 19 (5 rewatches)
December: 25 (9 rewatches)

Most Watched (Leading) Movie Stars:

Robert Ryan - 16 films
Deborah Kerr - 8 films
Clark Gable - 8 films
Charles Boyer - 8 films
Joan Crawford - 7 films
Joel McCrea - 7 films

Robert Donat, Marlene Dietrich, Herbert Marshall, Esther Williams, Jack Carson - 6 films

Rossano Brazzi, Jean Simmons, Eve Arden, Myrna Loy, Ingrid Bergman, Ginger Rogers, Van Johnson, Marsha Hunt, Frank Morgan - 5 films

Stars I discovered/grew to love/admire:

Robert Donat
Deborah Kerr
Glynis Johns
Rossano Brazzi
Really discovered these three at the end of last year (had seen Kerr and Johns in other movies previously). Don't really know why I left Johns off of last years list.
Had seen Brazzi in several movies before but was unimpressed until this year
when I watched South Pacific which started a major (ongoing) crush.

*To see last years stats click here.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Movies I Watched in December

Lots of the usual Christmas rewatches (*) this month and a few new ones. Also FINALLY watched The Most Dangerous Game. I put it on my list every time TCM shows it but never actually watch it.
  1. Private Lives (1931) - Robert Montgomery & Norma Shearer, Reginald Denny, Una Merkel
  2. Penguin Pool Murder (1932) - Edna May Oliver & James Gleason
  3. The Most Dangerous Game (1932) - Joel McCrea & Fay Wray
  4. In Person (1935) - Ginger Rogers & George Brent
  5. Page Miss Glory (1935) - Marion Davies, Patsy Kelly, Pat O'Brien, Dick Powell, Mary Astor, Frank McHugh
  6. Three Godfathers (1936) - Lewis Stone, Chester Morris, Walter Brennan 
  7. The Divorce of Lady X (1938) - Merle Oberon & Laurence Olivier, Ralph Richardson & Binnie Barnes
  8. Woman Against Woman (1938) - Herbert Marshall, Mary Astor, Virginia Bruce
  9. *Hard to Get (1938) - Dick Powell & Olivia de Havilland, Charles Winniger, Bonita Granville
  10. *Remember the Night (1940) - Fred MacMurray & Barbara Stanwyck, Beulah Bondi
  11. *Christmas in Connecticut (1945) - Barbara Stanwyck & Dennis Morgan, S.Z. Sakall
  12. *It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - James Stewart & Donna Reed, Thomas Mitchell, Lionel Barrymore, Ward Bond, Beulah Bondi
  13. *Miracle on 34th Street (1947) - Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara & John Payne, Natalie Wood, Thelma Ritter
  14. His Kind of Woman (1951) - Robert Mitchum & Jane Russell, Vincent Price, Raymond Burr
  15. You Never Can Tell (1951) - Dick Powell, Peggy Dow, Joyce Holden, Charles Drake
  16. O. Henry's Full House (1952) - Charles Laughton, Anne Baxter, Jean Peters, Jeanne Crain & Farley Granger
  17. *White Christmas (1954) - Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, Rosemary Clooney, Vera-Ellen, Dean Jagger, Mary Wickes
  18. The Cobweb (1955) - Richard Widmark, Lauren Bacall, John Kerr, Gloria Graham
  19. Signpost to Murder (1965) - Joanne Woodward & Stuart Whitman
  20. Lady L (1966) - Sophia Loren & Paul Newman, David Niven - dir. Peter Ustinov 
  21. *Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) - Alan Young
  22. *Home Alone (1990) - Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Catherine O'Hara, John Candy
  23. Almost Heroes (1998) - Chris Farley & Matthew Perry
  24. *Elf (2003) - Will Ferrell, Zooey Deschanel, James Caan, Bob Newhart, Ed Asner
Least Favorite Film: Almost Heroes had the potential to be a hilarious movie but missed the mark.

Favorite Film: Olivier was absolutely hilarious in The Divorce of Lady X. I had only seen him in serious roles (Wuthering Heights, Fire Over England, Rebecca, and Pride and Prejudice). Three Godfathers was heartbreaking but beautiful. You Never Can Tell was a delightful film! And His Kind of Woman was sizzling!

Look for my End-of-Year Stats tomorrow!

Stars We Lost in 2018

This post is always as sad one to write as I remember favorite actors and actresses from Classic Movies and Television who have passed away. Sometimes it's a shock all over again as, being so alive on the screen, I've forgotten they're gone.

Jan. 5 - First Rose-Marie at the end of December and then Jerry Van Dyke. Not a good time for Dick Van Dyke (thankfully still with us - looking forward to seeing him in Mary Poppins Returns).

Jan. 19 - I'm still upset the Academy left Dorothy Malone out of their Remember video at the Oscars. It's incredible sad that an Oscar winner can be forgotten so easily...!

Jan. 22 - Connie Sawyer (age 105)

Feb. 9 - Losing John Gavin was a sad one from me. I've had a crush on him ever since seeing Tammy Tell Me True. He gets a lot of flak for his "wooden acting" but I've always enjoyed him in whatever movie he shows up in. He is probably best known as Janet Leigh's boyfriend in Psycho (1960).

Feb. 22 - Nanette Fabray

March 10 - I didn't even know that Hubert de Givenchy had still been alive! He is known by all classic movie fans for the many incredibly chic costumes he designed for Audrey Hepburn. And after the British Royal Wedding in May the designer house that bears his name is finding a new audience.

April 27 - Kristen Nelson (wife of Ricky Nelson)

May 20 - Patricia Morrison

May 21 - Clint Walker

June 1 - William Phipps (voice of Prince Charming in Cinderella) - article

July 8 - Tab Hunter

Aug. 1 - Mary Carlisle

Aug. 26 - Neil Simon (writer)

Sept. 4 - Bill Daily (I Dream of Jeannie)

Sept. 6 - Oh man, Burt Reynolds was a tough one. I absolutely love Smokey and the Bandit and even got to see it on the big screen last year! It was so much fun to watch with an audience and I'm glad he was still alive when I did see it.