Comet speaks!

Hello readers!

You have read Comet Over Hollywood here and maybe you follow me on Twitter or the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page.

Now I’m bringing yet another way to celebrate classic Hollywood.

Every week, Youtube videos – just another way to discuss classic films. They could vary from testing a classic beauty tip, visiting a celebrity museum or footage from the Turner Classic Movie Film Festival.

This week’s introduces the videos and myself and also further discusses the interview I had with actress turned nun Dolores Hart back in September.

Enjoy!

Subscribe on Youtube or follow along at Comet and look out for next week’s video!

I’d like to give a special thanks to my friend and coworker, Ben Earp for helping me shoot and edit the video. If you enjoy trains, be sure to follow his youtube page as well

Thanks for reading and watching!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page, follow on Twitter at @HollywoodComet or e-mail at cometoverhollywood@gmail.com

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An influential mermaid

My dear friends at True Classics has invited bloggers to share their “Movie Memories” during the month of June. I am honored that I was invited to participate . Head to True Classics to read the other marvelous posts!

little mermaid

Little Mermaid

I remember sitting in a dim theater and looking at lit up designs on the wall.

It was 1989 and I was about a year old, but I remember. Somehow I have an uncanny memory.

The Little Mermaid” was the last Disney feature film to be animated with hand painted cells and it was my first movie in a movie theater.

Though “The Little Mermaid” isn’t necessarily a classic film, I was very attached to the movie when I was very young. It introduced me to a love of movies and movie characters.

My sisters tell me I used to roll around in the bath water while my mother would try to bathe me pretending to be a mermaid like Ariel. A Christmas Day home video shows me excitedly playing with a new Ariel Barbie while trying to sing tunes from the film.

I even remember telling my mom that I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up. She said, “You can’t, you have to be born a mermaid.” I found this to be a very puzzling statement.

cinderella2

Cinderella

My parents always took my sisters and me to see the new Disney cartoons but also introduced us to the classic Disney films. Cinderella (1950) was another favorite of mine at a young age.

The Little Mermaid” and “Cinderella” are typical favorite films for little girls between the age of two to six, and maybe even older.

Several years later in 1997, I saw another film that affected the way I viewed movies. In third grade, I fell in love with the Twentieth Century Fox animated film “Anastasia.”

anastasia

Anastasia

I was obsessed.  I wore a locket like in the film, learned the dances, studied Romanov history and wished I was the lost princess Anastasia Romanov. My mom told me that wouldn’t be possible. But this time I understood what she meant.

The movie interested me in history and the 1920s since the song “Paris Holds the Key to Your Heart” has cameos from Josephine Baker and Maurice Chevalier.

Again, another movie changed the way I looked at things.

At the age of 14, my dad decided to introduce me to “West Side Story.” I remember it was March and I was on spring break.

West Side Story mambo scene

West Side Story mambo scene

West Side Story” changed the way I looked at film and solidified my love for classic movies. It’s what led me to watch 501 musicals and thousands of other classic films.

But my film love all started with “The Little Mermaid.”

As I sat in the movie theater, not even two years old, my life was change. Movies became important to me at an early age, shaping my interests and world views.

Who would have thought that a disobedient teenage mermaid could be so influential.

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From Hollywood to Raleigh: the biggest collection of Gone with the Wind memorabilia

gone with the wind

It started when James Tumblin, saw a dress from “Gone with the Wind” lying on the floor at Universal Studios in 1962.

It was the dress Scarlett O’Hara wore while riding through the shanty town in the 1939 film.

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Found on the floor about to be thrown away, this was the first item in Tumblin’s Gone with the Wind collection-Scarlett’s dress she wore in the shanty town scene

“My mother always taught me to be respectful of belongings. Even if I’m walking through K-Mart I pick up clothing that’s on the floor,” said the former Universal Studios hair and make-up department head. “I picked up the dress and realized it was a dress from ‘Gone with the Wind.’”

Tumblin asked why the dress was on the floor and was told the dress was going to be thrown away.

“I asked if I could buy it and was told $20 for the dress and a whole other rack of clothes,” he said. “I casually accepted. I knew if I was too excited they would go up on the price. The rack of clothes didn’t include other Gone with the Wind costumes but had costumes that Judy Garland wore in ‘Easter Parade.’”

After that, Tumblin began getting phone calls from people who had items from “Gone with the Wind.”

Now, Tumblin owns the largest “Gone with the Wind” collection in the world. He owns at least 300,000 pieces of film memorabilia. Part of his collection has been displayed in the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh in the Real to Reel: The Making of Gone with the Wind exhibit. The exhibit started in Aug. 2012 and was originally supposed to end in January. It has been so successful, it was extended until April 14.

The hast worn by Vivien Leigh in the barbecue scene in Gone with the Wind

The hat worn by Vivien Leigh in the barbecue scene in Gone with the Wind

Tumblin’s collection is stored at his home in Oregon. The latest item he bought was a coat worn by a Munchkin in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939).

I traveled from Shelby, N.C. with my parents to see the exhibit on Saturday, April 6.

Vivien Leigh's Academy Award for Best Actress for Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh’s Academy Award for Best Actress for Gone with the Wind

The exhibit included costumes worn by Viven Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara, Clark Gable as Rhett Butler, Olivia de Havilland as Melanie Wilkes, Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes, Ona Munson as Belle Watling and Cammie King as Bonnie Blue Butler.

It also had the script used by Hattie McDaniel who played Mammy, furniture used in the film and Vivien Leigh’s Academy Award for Best Actress as Scarlett O’Hara.

While walking in, one of the museum workers told us Tumblin, the owner of the exhibit, was inside.

I kicked myself for not bringing along a reporter’s notebook and scrambled to find paper in the museum so I could interview Tumblin. I settled for the back of several museum volunteer fliers.

Tumblin was sitting on a bench with his 27-year-old son Josh when I introduced myself as a reporter for the Shelby Star. The two scooted down and let me sit with them for about a 45 minute interview.

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Owner of the collection, James Tumblin greeting visitors and answering questions at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh

“Are you going to click your heels three times and go back to Kansas?” he joked, glancing down at my bright orange flats.

Born in Denver, Colorado, Tumblin began working at Universal Studios in the late-1950s and retired in 1982.

“I wanted to make a lot of money and buy my mother a house,” he said. “I guess I was too naïve to realize rejection. But I kept going back and wore them down, and they finally gave me a job sweeping hair in the costume department.”

A muff and coat worn by Ona Munson as Belle Watling. This was costume designer Walter Plunket's favorite muff and coat. It took three years to restore it when it was found.

A muff and coat worn by Ona Munson as Belle Watling. This was costume designer Walter Plunket’s favorite muff and coat. It took three years to restore it when it was found.

Every night, he would stay and comb the wigs. One day his boss, Larry Germain, asked him if he had been combing the wigs.

“He told me that Debbie Reynolds liked the way I had combed her wig and said she wanted me to come out to her house and comb her wigs,” Tumblin said. “She paid me $200 to do it. It was the first time I rode in a limousine. They realized I had talent and that’s how it all started.”

He got along with many of the stars and it was a happy time. The only downside was when he found a favorite actor to be unpleasant.

Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis, Marilyn Monroe, Greta Garbo and Mae West are just a few people he worked with.

“Marilyn Monroe was lovely and child-like. Cary Grant was a lovely man. Garbo had already retired, but she would have me up to her apartment in New York to cut her hair,” Tumblin said. “Mae West was a hoot. She would have me up to her beach house and I did 30 wigs for her.”

Katharine Hepburn was another close friend who Tumblin frequently had as a house guest after he retired.

“She loved to drive my truck and always lectured me about my posture,” he said.

William Cameron Menzies's production painting for the burning of Atlanta scene

William Cameron Menzies’s production painting for the burning of Atlanta scene

Another friend was Doris Day. He had an ongoing joke with Day where he threw her into a swimming pool.

Movies he worked on include “Lawrence of Arabia” (1962), “Psycho” (1960), “The Birds” (1963), “The Sound of Music” (1964), “Thoroughly Modern Millie” (1967), “Star Wars” and “The Terminator.”

“I worked for a year and a half on Lawrence of Arabia. I hadn’t seen it for 40 years when I saw it again at a film festival,” he said. “I started crying and my son asked me what was wrong. I worked on this film for a year and a half of my life and so many of these people are gone now.”

The dissolve of the studio system didn’t affect the costume department, but Tumblin didn’t like the situation.

The original score by Max Steiner for Gone with the Wind

The original score by Max Steiner for Gone with the Wind

“It was sad to see all of these people go. I used to see Fred Astaire coming in his convertible. Doris Day and Rock Hudson had dressing rooms next to each other,” he said. “Universal was the first studio to lease out a sound studio to television with shows like ‘Leave It To Beaver.’ Universal survived while other studios died when they turned their noses up to television.”

I even found that Tumblin and I share the same favorite classic film: “Since You Went Away” (1944).

“It was a job,” he said. “What’s nice to know is that I did it well enough that people still want to see my work in films.”

Room of costumes from Gone with the Wind at the NC Museum of History

Room of costumes from Gone with the Wind at the NC Museum of History

Costume designs for Gone with the Wind by Walter Plunkett

Costume designs for Gone with the Wind by Walter Plunkett

A suit worn by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. It was later worn by John Wayne, who at one point was the same size as Gable.

A suit worn by Clark Gable as Rhett Butler. It was later worn by John Wayne, who at one point was the same size as Gable.

Tattered Civil War uniform worn by Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes

Tattered Civil War uniform worn by Leslie Howard as Ashley Wilkes

Worn by Vivien Leigh in the hospital scene in Gone with the Wind

Worn by Vivien Leigh in the hospital scene in Gone with the Wind

Worn by Cammie King as Bonnie Blue Butler during the horse riding incident

Worn by Cammie King as Bonnie Blue Butler during the horse riding incident

Worn by Olivia Deviland as Melanie Wilkes during the train station scene

Worn by Olivia Deviland as Melanie Wilkes during the train station scene

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Comet goes on stage

What do I have in common with two Academy Award winning actresses, Celeste Holm and Gloria Graham?

The three of us have all played Ado Annie in the musical “Oklahoma.”

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRea in "Oklahoma"

Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRea in “Oklahoma”

I open tonight and will perform the role this weekend and next weekend at the Kings Mountain Little Theater in North Carolina.

Though I love films, I’ve never considered being an actor. But my love for musicals is what brought me to the stage.

As I’ve mentioned in the past I’ve seen 467 movie musicals, ranging from Busby Berkeley kaleidoscope Warner Brothers films to candy-colored MGM extravaganzas.

Last summer while I was working and living in Elkin, NC, the local theater group began holding auditions for “Annie Get Your Gun.” I felt ridiculous trying out, since I had never performed in a play before, but visions of Betty Hutton singing in the movie version of the musical drove me to try out.

Similarly, the same visions struck me this winter when I found out auditions were being held for “Oklahoma,” but these included Shirley Jones, Gordon MacRea, Gloria Grahame and Gene Nelson.

“Oklahoma” originated on Broadway in 1943 with actress Holm as Ado Annie. Holm tried out for the role so she could do her part during World War II.

“There was a need for entertainers in Army camps and hospitals,” Holm said. “The only way you could do that was if you were singing in something.”

Holm later went on to Hollywood to star with Bette Davis in “All About Eve” (1950) and won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for the film “Gentlemen’s Agreement” (1947).

Eddie Albert, Gloria Grahame and Gene Nelson

Eddie Albert, Gloria Grahame and Gene Nelson

When “Oklahoma” was made into a film in 1955, sexy actress Gloria Grahame was cast as Ado Annie. But Grahame wasn’t the first pick for the role.

Grahame won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for “The Bad and the Beautiful” (1952).

Betty Hutton, who was Annie Oakley in the film “Annie Get You Gun,” was approached to play “the girl who cain’t say no” but she declined.

She turned down “Oklahoma” to do the TV spectacular “Satins and Spurs,” which flopped. She later regretted turning down the role when she saw Rogers and Hammerstein were personally overseeing the film.

Hutton would have been perfect for the comedic role in the “Oklahoma” and I think it would have jumpstarted her failing career.

The trouble with Grahame is that she was constantly trying to make the role too sexy rather than cute and funny, according to IMDB. To remedy this, two comedic dancing girls were added to the film.

Grahame was also very tone deaf so her music had to be edited together, according to IMDB.

Blond bombshell Mamie Van Doren was also interested in the role of Ado Annie. Others who auditioned for roles included Robert Stack, Piper Laurie, Lee Marvin, Vic Damone, Dale Robertson and Joan Evans were all screen tested for various roles.

Sadly, the movie “Oklahoma” also wasn’t filmed in the state of Oklahoma but in Arizona.

Me as Ado Annie in "Oklahoma"

Me as Ado Annie in “Oklahoma”

Though this is my second play, I don’t think the play bug has bit me. I simply do it because of my love of classic films.

What have classic films driven you to do in your daily life?

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Birthday Blogathon: Film #3 To Kill a Mockingbird 1962

This is part of the 2nd Annual Birthday mini-blogathon, sharing my favorite movies leading up to my birthday.

Early Thursday evening was characterized with screeching tires and a growling Toyota Tacoma truck transmission.

I was running late for the TCM screening of “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962) in Charlotte, N.C., showing in movie theaters all over the United States for one day. I had already planned on trying to see the movie, and then was fortunate enough to win tickets from True Classics blog in a contest.

Now I’m not sure I would categorize it as a favorite classic film like other movies I have written about in the past, but I do really enjoy it.

It had been a long time since I had seen the film, probably since the first time I watched it in Miss Presley’s freshman English class at Eastside High School. Watching a classic film in a high school classroom ruins the experience; kids talking and laughing at the movie, the teacher pausing to discuss literary elements.

There I was on the front row, up close and personal with Gregory Peck. Seeing the film on a movie screen for probably the first time since I was 14 was unreal.

Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch defending Brock Peters as Tom Robinson in “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1962)

Starring: Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch, Brock Peters as Tom Robinson, Paul Fix as Judge Taylor, Robert Duval as Boo Radley, James Anderson as Bob Ewell, Mary Badham as Scout, Phillip Alford as Jem

Brief Plot: Set in the 1930s and based off of the 1960s book, the film follows children growing up in Alabama and their lawyer father, Atticus Finch, as he defends a black man who has been accused of rape.

Key moments in the film: 

Scout (dressed as a ham) and Jem walking home from an agricultural pageant.

“To Kill a Mockingbird,” in my opinion, is a flawless film with several scenes that stick with you:

-Atticus Finch shooting the rabid dog.

-Scout’s friend Walter putting syrup on his dinner.

-Rev. Sykes telling Scout, Jem and Dill to stand up after Tom Robinson was found guilty, because their “Father is Passing.”

-Scout running walking through the woods in a ham costume.

-The way Boo Radley presses against the wall when they see him behind the door, and Scout looks at him closely and says, “Hey Boo.”

Performances:

Children: The children who play Dill, Jem and Scout have great comedic timing and also act with a lot of heart. I think my favorite thing about the children is that they act like regular kids: Running out the door as fast as they can to school, spitting on hinges so they won’t squeak, believing in rumors

Atticus Finch shooting a rabid dog

Gregory Peck: Of course, the performance that stands out the most is Gregory Peck’s as Atticus Finch. The 1963 Academy Awards are one of those years that you wish every Actor in a Leading Role could have won.  There have been times when I think, “Why didn’t Jack Lemmon when the Oscar for ‘Days of Wine and Roses’?” or “Why didn’t Peter O’Toole win for ‘Lawrence of Arabia’?” And then I see that Gregory Peck won for his role in “To Kill a Mockingbird” and see why they didn’t. Peck plays the role with so much heart and integrity. From defending a man who was innocent to saying goodnight to his children, he is believable as a father and citizen.

Obviously, several people remember Peck’s speech in the court room. But for me, it’s the little moments that really make the part, such as when he’s talking to Scout about his pocket watch and how she would get her mother’s pearl necklace, struggling with his glasses as he tries to shoot the dog or when he reacts to Bob Ewell spitting in his face.

Atticus telling Scout how she will receive her mother’s pearl necklace and a ring.

Supporting Characters: The supporting character’s make the film as well. James Anderson plays a loathsome Bob Ewell, Paul Fix is the epitome of a Southern judge who also seems sympathetic for Tom Robinson and Estelle Evans as Calpurnia shows compassion for the children that she’s cared for since their mother died. But most of all, Brock Peters as Tom Robinson. He isn’t in the movie very much but the scene of him testifying in court about how he supposedly raped Mayella Ewell is perfect.

To Review: The film of “To Kill a Mockingbird” may be considered thin compared to the book, it leaves out a lot of coming of age experiences that Scout and Jim encounter. However, compared to many film adaptations of novels, I think the film highlights important issues while still addressing the racial issues and children growing up in the 1930s South. Seeing it on the big screen was by far my best classic film screening of the three I have attended (the others being “West Side Story” and “Strangers on a Train”). No one was talking around me-no quoting allowed of quotes or singing aloud. It’s a wonderful feeling to sit in a theater packed with other classic film fans. One last thing, I have to admit that I teared up when Scout said, “Hey there, Boo.”

The end

This concludes Day 3 of Birthday Blogathon Week. Have to admit, I got a little behind. Please stop by again tomorrow for another favorite film of mine!

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Birthday Blogathon: Film #2 The Uninvited 1944

This is part of the 2nd Annual Birthday mini-blogathon, sharing my favorite movies leading up to my birthday week.

Starring: Ray Milland as Rick, Ruth Hussey as Pamela, Gail Russell as Stella, Donald Crisp as Stella’s grandfather the commander, Cornelia Otis Skinner as Miss Holloway, Alan Napier as Dr. Scott

Brief Plot: Brother and sister Rick and Pamela move into a beautiful, abandoned home along the English seaside. Rick falls in love with mysterious Stella who was born in the house and is strangely drawn to it. Rick and Pamela discover the house is haunted and Stella is connected to the ghosts.

Pamela (Ruth Hussey) and Rick (Ray Milland) listen to ghostly sobbing.
Screencap by J.P.

Why I love it: I’m not a fan of scary movies, but “The Uninvited” has the perfect mix of class, suspense and comedy to draw in a scaredy-cat like me. The film movies at a fairly quick pace and has an intriguing twist at the end.

The Actors:  Ruth Hussey and Ray Milland are an interesting pair to be the leads in a film as brother and sister, Pamela and Rick. Hussey is usually seen in a supporting role. In “The Uninvited,” she may also be considered a supporting star to Gail Russell, but the two may have equivalent screen time.

Milland and Hussey may not be names that casual movie fans would know, which make them even more entertaining to watch.

To round out the cast, Gail Russel’s exotic beauty is perfect for the haunting character of Stella, and Donald Crisp is always the perfect curmudgeon old man, as Stella’s grandfather.

One actor I enjoy spotting in classic films is Alan Napier who plays a doctor in the film. You may know Napier as Alfred, Batman’s butler, in the 1960s “Batman” television show.

It is also a real treat to see Cornelia Otis Skinner as batty Miss Holloway. Skinner was primarily on Broadway and also author of books such as “Our Hearts Were Young a Gay,” a book about Skinner’s youth. Oddly enough, Gail Russell went on to play Skinner in the film adaptation of the book.

Stella is in a trance during the sceance.

Scary:  I have a hard time with scary films, but I enjoy 1940s horror films such as “The Uninvited.” Unlike horror movies of the 1970s to today, “The Uninvited” has some scary moments but has enough heart and humor to balance it out.

A few scenes hair raising scenes (spoilers):

-Pamela and Rick standing on top of the stairs, looking down into the darkness and hearing ghostly sobbing.

-Fresh flowers dying in the room that seems the most haunted

-The fact that they hold a séance and then Stella goes into a trance and starts speaking other languages.

Mad mama ghost

-When they realize they have two ghosts

-When Stella’s dead mom appears in ghost form and is out to get her

You can also learn some lessons on how to tell if your house is haunted. For example, if your dog and cat refuse to go up the stairs, and rooms suddenly get cold, your home may be haunted. Also, if a woman like Cornelia Otis Skinner has a 20 foot painting of her dead best friend in her office, she may be off her rocker.

It’s really unnatural to have such a large photo of your dead best friend, as Cornelia Otis Skinner does.

Comedic: Though “The Uninvited” is categorized as mystery and horror, it has some very funny scenes:

-As Rick and Pamela are listening to the sobbing ghost, Pamela is calm and Rick is freaking out. He says to his calm sister, “Take hold of yourself, Pam, I’m going to search the place. There has to be a logical explanation for this” when Rick is the one out of his wits.

-Rick goes sailing with Stella and gets sea sick

-Some humorous lines, such as prior to the séance Rick discusses how they are foolish, “People just get messages from Uncle Oswald on how to find an old tooth brush.”

 To review: The English seashore setting, the actors and the touching plot all wrap up to be a perfect present of a film. The 1940s seem to have produced some of my favorite movies, with perfect casting and scripts. “The Uninvited” isn’t just suspenseful but also funny and heartfelt.

This concludes Day 2 of Birthday Blogathon Week. Please stop by again tomorrow for another favorite film of mine!

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Birthday Blogathon: Film #1 Leave Her to Heaven 1945

This is part of the 2nd Annual Birthday mini-blogathon, sharing my favorite movies leading up to my birthday week.

Ellen (Gene Tierney) during the climax of the movie.

 Starring: Gene Tierney as Ellen, Cornel Wilde as Richard, Jeanne Crain as Ellen’s sister Ruth, Vincent Price as Ellen’s jilted lover Russell, Chill Wills as Richard’s handyman Leick, Darryl Hickman as Danny, Richard’s brother.

Brief Plot: Writer Richard Harland (Cornel Wilde) meets Ellen Berent (Gene Tierney) on a train to New Mexico. The two fall in love and are quickly engaged. Ellen behaves strangely and possessive, which her mother says is a result of her “loving too much.” Ellen’s love destroys several people around her, including herself.

Why I love it:  Not only does Gene Tierney look her most beautiful in this color film but also gives a powerful performance. Set against a lush backdrop of Bass Lake, California, New Mexico and the Boston sea side, “Leave Her to Heaven” is eye candy with settings as well as Tierney’s fashion. For a first time viewer, this film seems like an innocent romance but twists almost into a suspense film.

Ellen’s reaction when she finds out Danny may live with her and Richard.

Gene Tierney’s performance (SPOILERS): I was shocked Gene Tierney didn’t win the Academy Award for this performance, but when I saw Joan Crawford won the Oscar for “Mildred Pierce,” I understood a little more. Tierney transforms from a seemingly normal woman at the beginning of the movie to possessive and psychotic.

Well dressed and wealthy, Ellen just seems like a spoiled socialite who is used to getting her way, but it is more than that.

The transformation begins after Ellen and Richard get married. Richard mentions getting a cook and Ellen says, “I don’t want anyone else to cook or clean for you but me. “I don’t want anybody in the house but us.”

The couple visit Richard’s brother, Danny, who is in a polio clinic. As Danny’s health improves, Richard wants to take Danny to his lakeside cabin called Back of the Moon.

When Richard says, “Now all three of us can move to the Back of the Moon,” Ellen’s look of alarm and anger about Danny invading their home foreshadows trouble.

After the three move to Back of the Moon, Ellen is angry that she and Richard are never alone and hates the book he’s working on.

We see how insane Ellen’s obsession is at the climax of the film.

Danny practices swimming across the lake at Back of the Moon as Ellen follows him in a row boat. Danny gets cramp and is tired, and Ellen watches him drown. Her cold stare is haunting. Follow the link below to see the the scene, which begins at about 2:38:

Leave Her to Heaven drowning scene

From this moment, Tierney goes into a downward spiral ruining the lives of her sister, husband, mother and unborn child.

Ellen jealous of Richard’s book because it takes up all his time.

Quotes:  If you read between the lines during the film, it foreshadows Ellen’s possessiveness:

-Richard (during a swimming race): “Lynn’s going to win.” Glen Robie (Ray Collins): “No, Ellen will. Ellen always wins.”

-Ellen (as Richard is working on his book): “I hate your chapter. I hate all of your chapters. They take up all of your time.”

-Ellen to Richard: “You can’t have any secrets from me.”

- Richard: “What’s wrong with Ellen?” Ellen’s mother: “There’s nothing wrong with Ellen she just loves too much.”

-Ellen to her sister Ruth (Jeanne Crain) after Danny dies, “I’ll die if I lose Richard.”

-Ellen asking where Richard and Ruth are, “Did Ruth go with him? When did they leave? What time is it?”

-Ellen when she is pregnant: “This baby’s making a prisoner out of me. I can’t do anything. I can’t go any place. I don’t even see my husband.”

- Ruth: “The whole house is filled with hate.” Ellen: “Not hate. Love, Richard’s love.”

 Fashion:  Ellen’s wardrobe is one of my favorite parts of the movie. Her outfits almost seem to reflect her character.

Ellen and Ruth’s outfits show the contrast in their characters.

Several of her outfits at the beginning are white. When we first see her on the train she is in a white dress with gold jewelry with a white fur coat and turban. Her glamorous outfit contrasts with Ruth’s simple brown suit, showing the difference between the two girls.

Ellen’s glamorous, monogrammed white one-piece outfit.

Ellen then wears a white one piece suit with her initials monogrammed on the chest. As the most progresses, we see her dressed in several green outfits. A green bathing suit, a green suit. She is even wearing green maternity clothes, as she is distressed and unhappy with the pregnancy. The green may reflect her jealousy of everyone who is taking up Richard’s time.

  To review: I love this film simply because if you have never seen it, the climax and events to follow are pretty unexpected. It’s rare to see Gene Tierney as a vindictive, ruthless character and she gives her best performance in “Leave Her to Heaven.”

This concludes Day 1 of Birthday Blogathon Week. Please stop by again tomorrow for another favorite film of mine!

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2nd Annual Birthday mini-Blogathon at Comet

Last year, I celebrated my 23rd birthday reviewing one of my favorite films each day leading up to my birthday.

I had so much fun last year, the Comet Over Hollywood Birthday mini-Blogathon is back!

Starting Monday, and leading to my 24th birthday on Sunday, Nov. 18, I will watch and review one of my favorite films as a little birthday treat to myself.

Cary Grant blows out the candles.

Favorite movies reviewed last year are: 

1. Battleground (1949) – World War II film about the Battle of the Bulge in Bastogne. Film stars Van Johnson, John Hodiak, Riccardo Montalbon and James Whitmore.

2. Shadow of a Doubt (1942) – Hitchcock’s own personal favorite film about a sinister character visiting a small, California town. Starring Theresa Wright and Joseph Cotton

3. State Fair (1945) - Rodger’s and Hammerstein musical about finding love at the Iowa State Fair. Starring Jeanne Crain, Dick Haymes and Dana Andrews.

4. Since You Went Away (1944)- Film about life on the World War II home front for the wives and families of service men. Starring Claudette Colbert, Joseph Cotton, Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple, Monty Wooley and Robert Walker.

Check back through out the week to see what other movies are my favorite. Feel free to share your favorite films as well!

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Random from Comet: Now Playing Guides and moving

Comet Over Hollywood has been moving and Cary Grant helped!

I wanted to apologize for the lack of posts lately.

A year ago, Comet moved to Elkin, N.C. to work at my first reporting job at the Elkin Tribune, which I discussed in a the post Jessica Pickens: Girl Reporter.

A year later, I’ve moved on to a new job. Coming full circle, I’m now working in Shelby, N.C. at the newspaper I interned during the summer of 2010 when Comet Over Hollywood was born.

Do to the moving and lack of internet, I haven’t been able to continue the Classics in the Carolinas series.

In other exciting news, Turner Classic movies spotlighted Comet on their Twitter and Facebook page! In a moment of procrastination during packing, I took this photo:

Roughly 106 Turner Classic Now Playing Guides on my apartment floor.

I first started subscribing to the Turner Classic Movie Now Playing Guide in October 2003 and am currently still a subscriber. Since then I have kept every Now Playing Guide because of the great articles and covers, that usually feature the Star of the Month.

I posted the photo on Twitter and was retweeted by TCM and then put on their Facebook page and labeled as a “Super Fan” – A welcome treat to a bittersweet move.

Do you subscribe to the TCM Now Playing Guide? Have you kept them? What is your favorite cover?

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page  or follow on Twitter at @HollywoodComet.

Late to my own party…

Comet Over Hollywood is two years old!

The only problem is I’m late to my own blog anniversary party by three months…Comet’s birthday is actually in May.

Since I’m running so late I decided to tie my blog’s anniversary in with the Summer Under the Stars event Turner Classic Movies holds every August.

Bloggers Michael of I Shoot the Pictures and Page of My Love of Old Hollywood joked I should reenact the grapefruit scene in “Public Enemy” (1931) for one of my monthly beauty tips.

So as a special treat and thank you to my readers….

In the film “Public Enemy,” James Cagney, who is being celebrated today on TCM for Summer Under the Stars, smashes a grapefruit in Mae Clarke’s face at the breakfast table.

Apparently the scene was a joke Clarke and Cagney were playing on the film crew to see how they would react, according to IMDB. Director ‘Wild Bill’ Wellman decided to keep it in the movie.

It also created caused American women’s groups to protest Clarke’s abuse and for Cagney to stomach a lot of grapefruit when restaurant patrons would order it for him as a gag.

Though the scene is rather humorous and well remembered by film goers, Public Enemy is a very gritty drama with a disturbing ending.

The film is an example of how great and versatile an actor Cagney was: playing maniacal criminals to song and dance men.

Make sure to read out other posts on James Cagney during the TCM Summer Under the Stars blogathon at http://scribehardonfilm.wordpress.com/ and http://sittinonabackyardfence.com/ for the month long classic film celebration!

Stop by back in September for another classic actress beauty tip.

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