Old Hollywood Halloween: jump on the ‘Bandwagon’

The difficult thing about being a classic film lover at Halloween is no one knows who you are supposed to be.

Some of you might remember my Carmen Miranda costume from last Halloween. Several of my friends thought I was Chiquita Banana and I tried to correct them-Carmen Miranda was spoofed so many times by Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck that surely they would know.

This year I decided to be Cyd Charisse in the “Girl Hunt” number from “The Band Wagon” (1953). I knew most people might now know who I was so I said “someone from an old musical” and elaborate if they liked classic film.

I guess this is a rather odd choice for a Halloween costume, but I had an old red sequined dance costume that would be prefect. All I had to do was go to Hobby Lobby, buy some similar colored material and sew it on. For not having a full length mirror as a reference, I was pretty pleased.  I can’t wait to see the photos of any other classic film costumes!!

Halloween 2011: Cyd Charisse from the "Girl Hunt" number in "Band Wagon"

Happy Halloween!!

P.S) I apologize for my blogging absence, still no internet in my apartment so using my work computer and free Wi-Fi at McDonalds. I miss reading everybody’s blogs!

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Comet Over Hollywood is flitterin’

A few weeks ago I posted that I finally had found a reporter job.  Well this past week I also finally found an apartment in the North Carolina town where the job is located- I’ve had a heck of a time finding a place to live. 

Today I am moving (or flitterin’ as they say in “Summer Magic”)  three hours away from my home in South Carolina and will start my new job on Thursday.  

I wanted to let all of you know that I won’t have internet access until Friday when it is installed. Not a big deal I guess but it might get kinda lonely without it those first few days!

Until Friday I just wanted to let you know that I won’t really be on Twitter, no blog updates or updates to the Facebook page.  When I have internet I will finally have my Hedy Lamarr book review of “Ecstasy and Me” posted. 

The lack of internet will give me a chance to catch up on some movies and write some blog posts (via Word) that I’ve been meaning to work on.

Have a great week!

-Jessica

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Classic movies in Music Videos: Backstreet’s Back

We have October’s installment of classic film referenced or shown in music videos.

This month I’m spot lighting the 1997 Backstreet Boy’s video “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back).

Now before you stop reading I’ll admit this one is a bit of a stretch. However the information on the music video says the video “plays a parody on every horror film genre in the same light as Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller.’”

The boy band gets stranded in a haunted house and each one dances around like a different monster in the video:

- Brain is a werewolf-think Lon Chaney Jr. in ‘The Wolf Man” (1941)

-Howie is Dracula-maybe he was channeling his inner Bela Lugosi

-Nick is a mummy-possibly referencing the 1932 film The Mummy

-Erik is dressed as the Phatom of the Opera- I’d like to think he was thinking of Lon Chaney or Claude Rains

-Kevin is Two-Faced which is supposed to be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde- Frederic March or Spencer Tracey anyone?

It’s highly possible the Backstreet Boys are not familiar with any of the classic films I mentioned above but those are the films I thought of while watching the video-probably because classic film is pretty much on my mind all the time.

Hopefully you just don’t ban Comet Over Hollywood if you were more of an N’Sync fan!

This is also just a cheesy little video just in time for Halloween.  And hey, maybe it will remind you of your youth (I was in third grade when this came out).  Enjoy!

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10 ways to survive the end of the world, Mad Max style

Supposedly the world is supposed to end on October 21.  So we can all be ready for this event, I wanted to share the knowledge I’ve learned from the three Mad Max films which showed me exactly what post-apocalyptic life will be like.

Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (1981)

10. Wear leather. I’m not sure why this is necessary, but everyone wears leather in all of the films so it must have a purpose. Besides you look really cool.

9.  Don’t talk much.  In the post apocalyptic world, your enemies will most likely out-weigh your friends, so don’t talk much. In all of Mad Max 2: Road Warrior (1981) , Max only said 16 lines and was still alive by the end of the movie.

8.  Have a dog.  A dog is a better companion than a human when you don’t know who to trust. Plus you can save lots of time and share food, as Max shows when he eats Dinki-Do dog food. (Road Warrior)

7.  Avoid Tina Turner. Tina Turner has great legs and is a fantastic recording artist, but I wouldn’t want her around when the world ended. She wears heavy and expensive chain-mail dresses, tries to be the leader and makes you cage fight when you disagree with her. (Mad Max Beyond the Thunderdome)

6.  When running from maniacs on motorcycles, don’t run down the middle of the road.  Max’s wife and child prove this in Mad Max (1979) that running down the middle of the road from crazed bikers only makes you an easier target.  Though I’m not sure if running in the grass would’ve helped or not.

5. Only do favors in exchange for gas/petrol. “I only came for the gasoline” is said twice by Max (out of his 16 lines) in “Road Warrior.” When resources are slim, don’t do anything for free.

4. Befriend a guy who has a plane or a feral child with a boomerang. Pick your friends wisely, especially if they have something to offer. In Road Warrior, Max makes friends with a man who builds an airplane and can easily escape and a feral child who takes out more bad guys than adults. (Road Warrior)

3. Don’t go on a vacation with your wife and child when your life is in danger. Your best friend was just killed by cop haters and they are after you because you killed their leader. The most logical thing to do is…go on vacation? No. You won’t even be able to relax because they are constantly chasing you and your family, stealing your baby and then running over your wife. Just stay home. (Mad Max 1979)

2. Have a fast car and utilize its speed.  Not only is it fun to drive around in the Interceptor but it comes in handy when chasing down people as well as running away.  You can even make your own:

1.  Avoid large groups of children who think you are a mythical spaceman savior. Things were going pretty well for Max until he was banished from civilization and found by a bunch of ‘lost boy’ like kids. They had water and fed him, but think he is a god who would take them to the pre-apocalyptic world. They also only get him into more trouble when they go out searching for this world and are discovered by…Tina Turner (Thunderdome).

I hope this has thoroughly prepared you for the end of the world this week or in the next 500 years.

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My second favorite Day

LIFE 1943

She lights up the screen in every film and her last name is Day. I don’t mean Doris Day, but today’s birthday girl, Laraine Day.

Today would have been Miss Day’s 91 birthday (she passed away on November 10, 2007) and since she is one of my favorite actresses, I wanted to spotlight her talents.

There are a few actresses that I get excited about when I see they are in a movie like Marsha Hunt and Vera Miles.  I always feel like though they may not have a huge role, they really add something to the film.  Laraine Day is one of those actresses.

Laraine was the leading lady to some of Hollywood’s top leading men: John Wayne in “Tycoon” (1947) and “The High and the Mighty” (1954), Cary Grant in “Mr. Lucky” (1943) and Gary Cooper in “Dr. Wassell” (1944) not to mention Robert Mitchum, Lew Ayres, Herbert Marshall and Joel McCrea- several of who were personal friends.

Laraine started out in small westerns like “Arizona Legion” (1939) and “Painted Desert” (1938) opposite silent star George O’Brien. I’ve seen these movies recently and they aren’t anything special.  Laraine is miscast as haughty young women. If I wasn’t watching the movies for her, I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to her.

Laraine Day and Lew Ayres as Nurse Mary Lamont and Dr. Kildare

But in 1939, the magic year for movies and several actors, Laraine was in two of MGM’s most popular series films: Dr. Kildare and Tarzan.

Her role in “Tarzan Finds a Son” is only about five minutes long but is memorable, Day and her husband die in a plane crash in the jungle and only their baby survives. The baby is adopted by Jane and Tarzan and named ‘Boy.’

Laraine makes more of a splash with Lew Ayres in “Calling Dr. Kildare” and “The Secret of Dr. Kildare” (both filmed in 1939) as lovely but occasionally snarky Nurse Mary Lamont.  In “Calling” Nurse Lamont is new to the hospital and tries to open young Kildare’s eyes to the conniving Lana Turner.  In “Secret” romance begins to blossom between Kildare and Lamont which continues until Laraine Day wanted off the series and her character was unhappily written out of the plot in 1941.

Laraine Day in the 1940s

During and after the Dr. Kildare series, Laraine Day made several entertaining films such as “And One was Beautiful” (1940), “Keep Your Powder Dry” (1940), “Kathleen” (1941) (with Shirley Temple) and “The Locket” (1946).  All great films, but  largely forgotten today.

Though she was in several high budget films with big stars her talent and fresh faced beauty seemed to be over looked.  According to her New York Times obit, Laraine Day was once asked what was most memorable about her experiences at MGM she said, “I guess getting paid, because I never got a part that would have done anything for me.”

Day was offered the female lead in “It’s a Wonderful Life” but turned it down since she was working on “The Locket.” The role went to Donna Reed (who also had a hard time getting good parts at MGM).  I wonder how that might have helped Laraine’s career.  Day was also promised the lead in Robert Taylor’s first film back from the military, “Undercurrent” (1946), but it was given to Katherine Hepburn. After this, Day didn’t return to MGM, according to IMDB.

Leo Durocher visiting Laraine Day on the set of "Tycoon" in 1947

These days, most people remember Laraine Day more for her marriage to baseball manager Leo Durocher from 1947 to 1960. They even appeared together in a TV segment on “Screen Directors Playhouse” with Jeannette MacDonald.

She wrote a book about being a “baseball wife” and was dubbed “The First Lady of Baseball” though she once told an interviewer that she never liked baseball.

I love Laraine Day, because  she brought something special to the picture even if she wasn’t the lead actress. For example in “I Take this Woman” (1940) I wanted to pay more attention to and learn more about Laraine than Hedy Lamarr and Spencer Tracy.

Laraine was beautiful and her smile and acting seemed sincere. Others had said that she was very friendly and smart. I only wish someone would write a biography about her so I can learn more!

Happy birthday Laraine Day, one of the loveliest stars of the 1940s and 1950s!

LIFE, 1945

And also happy birthday to Robert Walker and Cornel Wilde-October 13 must be a popular day for stars to be born.

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Caroletennial (+3)- The simple glamour girl

The Gables: Words can not describe how I feel about this photo.

Since Thursday, October 6, Vincent over at Carole and Co blog has been hosting a blogathon celebrating the 103 birthday of the lovely and fascinating Carole Lombard.  I adore Carole Lombard and have been wanting to participate in the blogathon but I’ve had a hard time picking the right topic to discuss.

Though I am a huge fan of Carole, I unfortunately don’t too know much about her life. However, I have been reading about her life with Clark Gable lately and I’ve fallen even more in love with Carole.

I originally got interested in Carole Lombard for her glamour, sex appeal and fantastic taste in clothing. But I fell in love with the down home and earthy Carole she became with Clark Gable.

I’ve read articles that criticized how Carole changed when she and Clark started courting and got married. She wasn’t seen at night clubs as much and it was harder to get interviews with her. But all of this makes sense to me, she was in her 30s and was ready to start settling down.

Clark Gable was more interested in farming, outdoors and exploring than acting and Carole picked up on these interests.  I’ve read criticisms that Carole shouldn’t have changed herself and taken on the interests of her husband.  Carole said, “A woman’s a fool who doesn’t make her husbands interest her own,” according to a post from DearMrGable.com. I’m inclined to agree with her.

Enough of my opinions.

Here are a few photos that made me fall in love with the homespun, Earthy Carole Lombard instead of the glittering, shining movie star.

Out doors Carole

Looking lovely in pigtails with a gun.

Carole fishing

Had to post this one because I think its hilarious and might show a bit of her character. (LIFE)

This post is for Carole and Co's Caroletennial (+3) blogathon!

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Actress Beauty Tip #17: Carole Lombard Curls

**Firstly, happy birthday to my dad-famous to all of you for his insightful “Summer Place” comments :) **

This is the seventeenth installment of the monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have read about and tested.

1930s Carole Lombard hairstyle I was trying to copy

In honor of Carole Lombard’s birthday on October 6 (what also happens to be my mother’s birthday), I wanted to try to style my hair like her’s.

I’ve always loved the way her hair is a soft halo around her face, particularly in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  However my hair is too short to accurately copy that styles so I decided to try Carole”s early 1930s look.

I’m not the best at styling my hair so I kept it simple and used heat curlers.

After heating the curlers, I divided my hair into four sections-2 on my left and right side and one in the back. Then I rolled my hair under and all the way up to the root.  I kept my hair parted to the side when I rolled my hair. I let the curlers sit in my hair and then unrolled them. This was the result:

Front shot of my hair

Side shot

Back shot of my hair-had a hard time in the back with the short hair along my neck

To review:  I was pretty pleased with the way my hair turned out and thought it was sorta similar to early 1930s Carole. I did have a hard time rolling my hair because it was slick. If any of you have this issue, maybe try spraying a light coat of hairspray on your hair first- I’m going try this next time. My hair has been short since October 2009, but I plan on growing it out this year-that way I can test some 1940s actress hairstyles for more beauty tip fun.

Check back next month for November’s beauty tip. Also check back this weekend for more Carole Lombard fun for the Carole Lombard blogathon celebrating Carole’s 103 birthday!

Check out Carole & Co's blogathon!

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