Saturday, September 04, 2010

Because I have not been feeling all that well---out of sorts, you know----I always find watching movies relaxing to me and it takes me out of myself---Especially, old films. In particular, the films that Turner Classic Movies shows. Sept 1st, there were/was a whole slew of old films early in the day that were great great fun to watch...I'm sure many people couldn't and wouldn't care less about these pictures, and in truth, I might not have either, had I not grown up in the 1930's and '40's, when the Movie Studios made hundreds of films a year. In theatres....there were "double features" when you went to the movies and you could go in at any time of the day or night that you wanted to, and you could stay all day and into the night, if you wanted to, too, for whatever it cost when you went in---which was really cheap....Maybe $.25 or at most $.50....It was GREAT!
The three films I watched on Wednesday, (with some interruptions, of course,) I had never seen before....Most of them would be considered the "second feature" or "B-Movie" as they were called, in those double feature days.....The three that I got involved with were "Irene",(1940) with Anna Neagle, Ray Milland, Alan Marshal, and Mae Robson, Roland Young, Billie Burke and Arthur Treacher. Many of you won't know any of these names, but some of you will---these last four were the 'cream of the crop' character actors of the day....."Irene" is in Black & White, of course, but then suddenly in the middle of the picture, it goes into the most BEAUTIFUL Technicolor.....I loved the period 'sets'...Very Art Deco....Very 1930's....And the clothes were stunning. It didn't hurt that it was about a Dress Designers Shop.....! Anna Neagle got to sing and Ray Milland was so very young and dashing, too....And they got to dance together in a very wonderful stylized-not-quite-dancing-with-the-stars kind of way.....! I enjoyed every minute of it---at least, what I saw of it......

Next, was a film called "Married And In Love",(1940) with Alan Marshal, again, (TCM does that quite often---show a series of films with certain actors, one after another...). In the TCM 'Now Playing' Guide, it says about this film: Illicit lovers plot to desert their spouses and marry each other. I couldn't have said it better, myself, The picture also starred Helen Vinson, an actress who's career got derailed because she gave it up when she married...This picture was Directed by John Farrow, Mia Farrrow's father. The year it was released was 1940. The clothes for Helen Vinson were exquisite.....So very sheek. It was one of those 'second feature' movies, too, and only 60 minutes long. It wasn't fabulous, though the clothes were, but it wasn't horrible either. But seeing Helen Vinson's costumes made the whole thing for me. Back-in-the-day, they had so many great Designers working in films.....The third film,"Bride By Mistake",(1944) starred Laraine Day, a very good actress who had a wonderful career, and guess who? Yes, Alan Marshal, once again. He was a very good looking man in the Laurence Olivier mold---in fact, he was Australian. This film also starred Marsha Hunt, (Who was in "Irene", too), and Edgar Buchanan and Allan Joslyn---two wonderful character actors who had very long and fine careers in films.....
Marsha Hunt was a beautiful woman and still is---at 91...And had a lovely career at Paramount and then later at MGM. Her career got derailed by the 'Black List'. Such a shameful time in this country's history. I have written about that time from the point of view of people I know and knew who were Black Listed. So many lives destroyed. Like I said, shameful, shameful, shameful....
You can read that post by clicking on the previous paragraph if you are so inclined.....Turner Classic Movies, by the way, is one of the great cable channel's I couldn't live without. They show so many fabulous "classic" films all day and night---24 hours a day. And No Commercials, ever, ever, ever.....! They honor film history in such a wonderful and important way. I love that channel. I mean, where else can you see "A Place In The Sun", "Gone With The Wind", "The Wizard Of Oz", "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington", etc., etc., etc., just to name a few of the great great films of all time, and see those three films I mentioned at the beginning, as well......Today for instance, Saturday, they are showing "Rebel Without A Cause", "Birdman Of Alcatraz", "It's A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", and "The Graduate"....And then, right after that a rarely shown film called "A Cold Wind In August". This is an important film in many ways, not the least of which is that it co-starred a very young and exciting actor named Scott Marlowe. Scott was a long time good friend starting in the early 1960's.....This was his "breakthrough" film....and quite a breakthrough it was....You can bet I will be watching because I haven't seen the picture in many years. Unfortunately......Scott is gone having had a rather sad ending in 2001 (Above: With dear Hanna, at a Birthday Party of mine---both gone now...)...But here is the treasure of film: This performance of Scott's will live forever and one can see him at the height of his beauty and talent for as long as 'film' survives and thrives, and thanks to TCM, it will and it does, big-time.....Thank You Turner Classic Movies for enriching my life in such a meaningful way.

More To Come.......

Update: 'The Mister' is doing Beautifully, once again.....that tiny set back lasted one day and he is now continuing on the road to health.....

Links to this post:


had this to say:

I recognize some of those names -- Ray Milland who I also saw on stage in "Witness for the Prosecution" many years ago. I also recall Lorraine Day.

Do you remember Sylvia Sidney? Good actress I thought. Had pleasure of meeting her briefly once years ago -- quiet unassuming pleasant little lady.

Coincidentally, I, too have been on a movie watching jag, but it's a different channel with a weird combination of a few good movies, some that feature early films of actors who later became recognized names including some you've identified as friends in earlier posts. Have been some really really poor films, surprisingly to me including one really poor one with a small part by an old friend of mine long ago deceased. I tell myself these considerably less than great films are okay 'cause how else can those in the movie business get experience, but ..... *smile*

Hope you're feeling better soon.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 2:08:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh how I love TCM !!! I am so glad that channel exists! I was a big fan of American Movie Classics when they did the same thing, "show old movies" then they expanded and showed "newer" ones also..oh well I still watch it somewhat.
Too funny Naomi.. I knew most all the names you mentioned! ACK! lol I love the old b&w movies and as you said the clothing was fabulous back then!!
...ah yes, I do remember paying twenty-five cents to go into a movie!.. a double feature AND a cartoon! I even think I remember newsreels!... here's something else.. you could stay in the theater and watch it a second time if you wanted to!! Of course, now I can't even imagine what they would charge for a double feature!!
I think the reason the old actors were so good was because they made so many movies and casted them in so many different sorts of rolls.. they really learned their craft!

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 4:22:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

First, I hope you're feeling better! I was out in L.A. for my son's wedding and thought, I should get in touch with Naomi! Reading your blog has made me feel as if I've known you forever. :) I clicked on the link and read your post on the blacklist and it confirmed what I'd read before: it was a knee jerk reaction by politicians out for the basest of gains - power. I totally agree with your assessment about the possibility of it happening again on a level far more extensive than just the entertainment industry. It's as if we're all extras in a remake of "A Face In the Crowd" I worry for the state of our nation.

On a lighter note, your mention of the Coronet Theater reminded me of our daughter's time there (much later) as a member of the Serendipity Children's Theater Company. See why I think I already know you? *LOL* Be well and take care. xoxoxxo

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 6:42:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I too, love TCM. It is a wonderful channel that honors some of the finest actors, directors, writers and films ever made. It always makes me feel good to watch that channel too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 7:24:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Big fan of TCM also. I do remember those double feature days that included cartoons, newsreels (I really loved those)previews and a corny serial. We really got our moneys worth didn't we?

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 10:05:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

The first photo or two of the movies you posted i think i recognized.. my mom is into really old movies.. i watched some of them with her. i like the movie channel you mentioned.. its great when we have cable and have time to watch it. ihave been really busy lately and its not going to get any easier next week..

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 11:38:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I'm an old movie fan, too, and have been on a jag warching old movies like The Maltese Falcon and anything with Hitchcock. And yeah, there will never be another Cary Grant!!!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 12:16:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love to watch old movies, too. There is something special about so many of them-- they are long enough for a story to truly develop; the costuming is elegant.
I think that our rights have been eroded over the past 9 years---sometimes we don't even know it has happened, it has been so subtle, and other times it has been overt.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 4:33:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I like some of the old movies too, but I have to confess that I'm not familiar with the ones you mentioned. That's probably because I was only a teeny adorable baby in the mid 1940s and even when I was a teenager the only movie theatre (we called it cinema in UK) was a long way from where I lived.
I am glad that Sweetie is feeling better, but now it's YOU who are under the weather, Naomi! Maybe you need to try some of that nasty medecine that Sweetie hates so much! It has certainly perked him up, perhaps it would do the same for you! :-)
Keep smiling!

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 5:33:00 PM PDT 

Blogger srp
had this to say:

We got the upgraded package on our cable specifically to get Turner Classic Movies. My mom and dad tend to surf with the changer and these old movies are almost the only thing that will and can keep their attention for long. They really enjoy all the classics from a time where a good story could be told with great acting and dialogue and without all the profanity that adds nothing to today's films. Today they watched The Birdman of Alcatraz all the way through.

Glad Sweetie is doing better and hope you feel better soon too.

Saturday, September 4, 2010 at 5:38:00 PM PDT 

Anonymous Kevin R.
had this to say:

I disagree 100% with seeking out communists in Hollywood as being shameful. Hollywood had, and continues to have, a great influence over the lives of American citizens. The men in charge were right to worry about the spread of communism via the "Hollywood machine." Look all around and you can see Hollywood's --ever growing--influence in our everyday lives. It made perfect sense.
Communism went against everything America stood for. It was a scary time and we didn't know what Russia was up to.
Since then, many Russian documents have been declassified, and it turns out they had many more spies here than our govt. was aware of.
People in Hollywood have a resposibility to the country that allows many of them to make millions and millions and millions of dollars. Even those on the lower rung of the ladder make 10 to 20 times what the average American earns.
It is an enormous and powerful machine that will continue to have an ever increasing role in the lives of people worldwide.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 6:45:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Hi Naomi,
First of all I hope you are felling better and also I am so glad that lovely Sweet is doing well!

I like seeing TCM too.
I have on my tv a channel named Cult Movies and they schedule many cult films too.

Have a lovely weekend with your dear friend Sweetie.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 7:07:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Forgive me Kevin, but it is more than naive of you to think that "Hollywood" was the culprit back in 1947...Hollywood was the Scapegoat. And The BLACKLIST was deeply shameful because it had nothing to do with the "truth" of anything! RUSSIA was our friend during the The Second World War which had ended two years before 1947, in 1945. "Russian Relief" was a huge thing we all contributed to during that time and that our country urged us to work for---I mean, the whole entire country. Even as a young person, I was confused by how suddenly, after The War, Russia was NOW our Enemy.

Joe McCarthey and all his cohorts were out for power, just the way any number of people are today. What was shameful and always will be was the FEAR that overtook this country. And the fallout from this FEAR was thousands of ruined lives that were destroyed for no good or honest reason.
You truly do not know of what you speak, my dear Kevin.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 8:05:00 AM PDT 

Anonymous Kevin R.
had this to say:

Actually, Joe McCarthy had nothing to do with HUAC. HUAC was the committee that looked into communism in Hollywood, and was The House of Representatives. HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) blacklisted the original "Hollywood Ten."
Senator Joseph McCarthy--from the Senate--looked into communism within the U.S. govt.
My point is that Hollywood has great influence on people and that is why the House was worried about communists using it to get to Americans.
However, we should never talk politics. I'm sorry I did.
Let me end with saying that I, too, love TCM. It is truly my favorite tv station, and the only reason I keep Time Warner Cable.
Glad to hear Sweetie is doing better.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 9:28:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

Yes, I know that Kevin. I am very familiar with HUAC. I LIVED all through that period. But HUAC paved the way for McCarthey and his ilk. Make no mistake about that.
I know what your point is, But Hollywood did not destroy Democracy. Condemning Hollywood is and was a ROUSE. And in the end, HUAC was discredited along with many of the Committee, as was Joe McCarty, later.
I usually do not post about politics as I am sure you are well aware, but when you know people who were destroyed by The Black Lis and Red Channals which was totally unfair and was based on lies and innuendo's, one cannot be silent. We can agree to disagree, but in all honesty, Kevin, I do not understand how anypne cannot see that this was ALL Bogus and it hurt so very many people for no good reason, and, accomplished absolutely NOTHING! Yes---It got publicity---And that was the whole point.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 10:46:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

You must have lost so many wonderful people in your life Naomi. I'm just so pleased that you have so many beautiful memories.

I'm glad to hear Sweetie continues to improve, but I'm sad to read that you feel out of sorts. Get well soon. xxx

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 3:27:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

It's so nice how a good movie or book can transport you.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 6:05:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Oh dear, I MISS TCM! We had the channel back in AZ, but don't pay the extra for it here in MS...I need to check out how much it would cost because it is soooo worth the money, it's like having a private theatre and I have seen movies that I wouldn't have rented (if they can be rented) because I couldn't have known that I'd be interested in them, and, gosh darn, I hate to waste money on rentals that turn out to be 'not my style'! Also I really enjoy the beginning commentary by Mr. Osgood; he'll often point out something small that might be missed.

Thank you for sharing your history with us,'s very enjoyable to hear your take on the Hollywood that you lived with...and are still living with, through your dear friends.

I'm glad that the TCM movies are helping you get through the day. They've helped me during times of down-ness. I Hope very much that things start looking up; really glad that The King is doing well!

Haven't been blogging lately, myself, energy levels low.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 6:26:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

There is always something that I learned from you Naomi, you have taught me never to take things for granted and yes, now many people in our generation appreciates classic movies but I've grown up during the time when my Dad shared alot of his past with me so in a way, I know how you feel.

It is because of you that life is more enriching, honestly from the bottom of my heart :D

You take care my dear friend.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 7:20:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I am glad Sweetie is feeling better. I am sure stress over him has impacted your own health. I hope you are both feeling yourselves soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 7:21:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I remember all but 2-3 of those actors you named, Naomi. Ray Milland was a favorite of mine.

As you know, mr. kenju would have very quiet days when I am working if it weren't for TCM!!

I hope you will be feeling better soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 8:12:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

LOVE Turner classic movies. I don't care if a film is new or not. If it gets my time- I want it to be GOOD.

Sunday, September 5, 2010 at 10:40:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

I love old movies! The costumes are always an attraction for me, but also, the lighting in some of these movies is just exquisite! It's like the lighting people were painting the sets with different levels and angles of lights. They set the mood of the film rather nicely.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 6:05:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

It was you who introduced me to this channel and inspired me to watch movies like "The Red Shoes" and "Some Like it Hot." I would love to catch "Rebel Without a Cause," and I've just received "The Red Violin" on Netflix, which I hear is excellent.

Thanks for your reviews, my friend. Old films have such an appeal to them and I can't believe they only cost a quarter or $.50 back in the day for all those movies!

I'm so happy to hear that Sweetie is back to his old self again. I think he enjoys those old films, as well. :)

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 5:28:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Yes, we are lucky, every generation, to have TMC. I lived with a small movie house a block away when I was a child in small town Indiana, seems for a dollar my mother and I had movie and popcorn. Who could read every book in the library? Yet, not so many years ago one could have seen every movie. Now, there will always be a surprise awaiting. Glad to hear Sweetie is hanging in there. You two hang together.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 6:17:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

We love love love TCM! I love the hosts' discussions before and after the films, too. And although you don't get many chilly rainy days there, TCM is the very best way to spend a chilly rainy afternoon.

Monday, September 6, 2010 at 10:35:00 PM PDT 

had this to say:

Just stopped by to read add'l comments after mine and my query about Sylvia Sidney.

I would just like to ditto all your comments, Naomi, about Joe McCarthy and that whole disgraceful situation which, I, too, lived through. Your point about fear is so true and should be a lesson the people of our country remember less we repeat the same mistake, which is worrisome to me today in other matters.

Thursday, September 9, 2010 at 12:05:00 AM PDT 

had this to say:

I appreciate TCM, though my one quibble was the "colorization" fad of some time back. One doesn't mess with art that way, in my view.


Sunday, September 12, 2010 at 12:16:00 PM PDT 

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