Classic film in music videos: Wind it Up by Gwen Stefani

This is March’s edition of Comet Over Hollywood’s classic film references in music videos.

Lead singer of No Doubt, Gwen Stefani made two solo albums after the band’s split- Love.Angel.Music.Baby (2004) and Sweet Escape (2006). Personally, I was a big fan of both and disappointed Gwen hasn’t made another, but that’s beside the point.

“Wind it Up” is the first single released from the Sweet Escape album and it loops part of the Rogers and Hammerstein song “Lonely Goatherd” throughout the song.

Still from the 1965 film "Sound of Music" starring Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker.

In the music video Stefani recreates several scenes from the 1965 film version of “Sound of Music” including:
-Dressing up in a (rather short) nun costume
-Dancers in blond wigs and plaid uniforms dressed to look like the Von Trap children
-Recreating the “My Favorite Things” scene by singing in bed to the dancing Von Trap children
-Gwen looks at curtains and makes them into outfits, like Maria does in “Sound of Music”
-Playing a giant key like a guitar, much like the “Do Re Mi” scene

What do you think?

Before the video was released in 2007, Gwen Stefani got Julie Andrews’ approval to recreate her iconic role in the video.

“She actually called and asked if I would mind if she used it,” Julie Andrews said in 2007.  “She does a lot of good yodelling. She’s great. She yodels better than I do. It’s a wonderful video too.”

Check back in April for the next classic film reference in music videos.

Contest info coming soon!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page for the latest updates.


Gone Too Soon: Virginia Weidler

Here is my post for my blogathon I am hosting, Gone Too Soon-dedicated to film stars who died before the age of 50.  Nearly 40 bloggers have contributed to this event! Be sure to read all of the other posts here.

Young Virginia Weidler

Young Virginia Weidler

Virginia Weidler was a better child actress than Shirley Temple.

There I said it, and you may call me blasphemous if you would like, but let me explain.

Historically, Shirley Temple is more important. She made filmgoers happy during an economically difficult time. Even President Franklin Roosevelt was quoted as saying America couldn’t have gotten through the Depression if it hadn’t been for Shirley Temple.

But aside from that, what does Shirley have besides being adorable with dimples, giggles and curls?

While 1930s and 1940s child stars like Shirley Temple, Sybil Jason and Juanita Quigley (or Baby Jane) were merely cute, Virginia Weidler was a bona fide actress at a young age.

Actresses like Jason acted with Warner Brothers’ top star Kay Frances but merely as Frances’s daughter with minimal screen time. Shirley Temple also acted with big named stars such as Alice Faye or Randolph Scott, but they were generally window dressing for a Temple extravaganza.

Weidler held her own (and arguably stole the scene) in films with top celebrities like Joan Crawford and Norma Shearer in “The Women” (1939); Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant and James Stewart in “The Philadelphia Story” (1940) and even as Warren Williams’s sidekick in “The Lone Wolf Spy Hunt” (1939).

Stealing a scene in “Philadelphia Story” (1940)

Take “The Women” (1939): Virginia Weidler (as Little Mary) is staying with her father and new stepmother Joan Crawford (Crystal Allen). Crawford is in the tub and wants Weidler to help her scrub her back. Weidler shows her disdain and isn’t as obedient like most children of her era would have been expected to be.  Later Crawford shoos her out of the bathroom when she gets a phone call. Weidler quips, “I don’t understand grownups on the telephone. They all sound silly.”

In another scene Weidler’s mother, Norma Shearer (as Mary Haines) says:

Mary Haines: I’ll be doing the cooking so you know what father will get.

Little Mary Haines: I know – indigestion.

Weidler’s comedic comebacks in her films are as quick and sophisticated as adult lines.

Several child actors of the time only played small roles as sons and daughters or predominately in children’s movies, such as the Andy Hardy series.

Lovely teenage Virginia Weidler

While some of Weidler’s later films were teen fluff like “Babes on Broadway” (1941), “The Youngest Profession” (1943) and “Born to Sing” (1942), Weidler’s early films were more serious. She even acted alongside The Great Profile, John Barrymore, in one of his last films, “The Great Man Votes” (1939).

Though Weidler grew up to be a lovely young woman, her film career ended with musical “Best Foot Forward” (1943) at the age of 16. According to IMDB, her career was partially shortened when budding teen beauty Shirley Temple was signed to MGM, where Weidler was under contract.

In 1947, Weidler married naval officer Lionel Krisel and she retired from show business.

“[When asked about her career in later years,] Virginia would always change the subject as quickly as possible without being rude. She never watched her old movies or replied to requests for interviews. Although she was never one to criticize, I think our boys got the impression that their mother didn’t think very much of the motion picture industry,” said her husband.

Weidler suffered from a heart ailment for many years and died of a heart attack in 1968 when she was only 41 years old.

Though she had long since been retired from films, her snappy comebacks and wisecracking characters will always be remembered with film greats including Claudette Colbert, Bette Davis and Myrna Loy.

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Gone Too Soon Blogathon: The Contributors

I can’t believe the Gone Too Soon blogathon weekend is finally here!

Throughout Friday and Saturday, post your links as comments on the page and I will link to them on here.

To see a schedule of contributors, refer to the last blogathon update.

I can’t wait to read everyone’s posts!

Friday, March 10, Contributors

The 1920s:

-Pat over at 100 Years of Movies discusses director F. W. Murnau‘s tragic death.

-Critica Retro wrote about lovely Olive Thomas.

-Marsha at A Person in the Dark discusses the career of John Gilbert.

The 1930s:

-David at The Great Entertainment Media Archive  tells how Billie Holiday‘s sad life lead to her early death.

-Beth from Far from Camelot shares how she came to love Leslie Howard-joining us in her first classic film blogathon!

-Cliff at Immortal Ephemera (who recently celebrated his 10th anniversary) wrote about actress Dorothy Dell, only 19 when she died!

-KC writes about “Platinum Blond” star, Robert Williams.

-Caroline at Garbo Laughs joins us to talk about German actor Conrad Veidt.

-Rianna a Frankly My Dear writes about the original platinum blond, Jean Harlow.

The 1940s:

-Kay at Movie Star Makeover wrote about Lady with the Tutti Frutti Hat Carmen Miranda.

-All Things Classic decided to join the party this weekend contributing with Curly Howard.

The 1950s:

-Angela at Hollywood Revue talks about Judy Holiday‘s breakthrough role in Adam’s Rib.

-We have another newcomer to the blogathon world over at One Gal’s Musings who talks about The King himself, Elvis Pressley.

-Craig at Blame Mame discusses Jayne Mansfield and also shared his post on A Girl Can’t Help It.

The 1960s:

-Monty at All Good Things write about his favorite actress Natalie Wood.

Saturday, March 10, Contributors

The 1920s:

-She Blogged by Night joins us with a post about Marie Prevost

-Friend Angela from Hollywood Revue treats us to another post about sexy Rudolph Valentino!

-My buddy Trevor from A Modern Musketeer joined in with a post about Fatty Arbuckle.

-Ivan of Thrilling Days of Yesteryear talks about Big Parade star Renee Adoree.

The 1930s:

-Rich from Wide Screen World writes about one of my favorites, Carole Lombard.

-Kevyn, the Most Beautiful Fraud in the World, writes about the forgotten Helen Twelvetrees.

-I finally made it to my blogathon! Me, Jessica Pickens, at Comet Over Hollywood (this blog) wrote about child actress Virgina Weidler.

-Our friend Page at My Love of Old Hollywood writes about Thelma Todd who died mysteriously.

The 1940s:

-Karen from Shadows and Satin writes about bad boy Steve Cochran.

– Laura over at Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings writes about the lovely Carole Landis.

-Friends Katie and Hilary from Scarlett Olive share their love for Judy Garland.

-Natalie over at In the Mood discusses the swashbuckling Errol Flynn.

-Fellow journalist Lindsay with Lindsay’s Movie Musings shares the life of Alan Ladd.

-Laura from Miscellaneous Musings treats us to another post about Gail Russell.

-Ginny of Old Movie Nostalgia discusses one of the most beautiful men (and the love of Lana Turner’s life) Tyrone Power.

-Irene at And Then They Start to Sparkle talks about Laird Crager.

-Random Ramblings of Broadway, TV and Film discusses the depressing life of Linda Darnell.

-Carly of Kitty Packard Pictorial writes about the wonderful Robert Walker. Love him, such a tragedy.

The 1950s:

-Patti at They Don’t Make ‘Em Like They Used To writes about one of her favorite actors, Montgomery Clift

-Jenni over at Portraits of Jenni discusses the life of Sal Mineo.

-Kristen from Journey into Classic Films decided to join us and write about Maggie McNamara.

-Brandie from True Classics discusses the life of child star Bobby Driscoll.

-Meredith from Forever Classics writes about one of my heartthrobs, James Dean.

-Fellow Winthrop student Stefani wrote about singer Nat King Cole.

-Noir and Chick Flicks talks about pin-up Marilyn Monroe.


The 1970s:

– Michael from ScribeHard on Film talks about the short career of John Cazale

Gone Too Soon blogathon this weekend, Mar. 9 and 10

I’m very excited that next the Gone Too Soon blogathon has almost arrived. Over 30 bloggers have signed up to participate, so we will have an awesome group of article.

The way it will work is I will create a post early on Friday, Mar. 9, and as bloggers write their articles they will comment with a link to their post on my post. I will then post your link on the blog page so everyone will be able to read and comment.

If you have not already signed up, or haven’t picked someone by Friday, that is okay. Anyone is able to jump in during the blog party. If you already have an actor to write about, and feel inspired later on while the blogathon is still going on, feel free to write another post.

For those of you who still want to participate but can’t think of an actor who isn’t taken, here is a list of suggestions that aren’t taken: 

Nick Adams, Fatty Arbuckle, Lon Chaney, Dorothy Dandridge, Karl Dane, Bobby Darin, Jeanne Eagles, George Gershwin, Elizabeth Hartman, John Hodiak, Jeffrey Hunter, Barbara La Marr, Carole Landis, Mario Lanza, Charles Emmett Mack, Martha Mansfield, Marie McDonald,  Glenn Miller, Janet Munro, Ricky Nelson, Mable Normand, Elvis Pressley, Marie Provost, George Reeves, Inger Stevens, Judy Tyler, Sharon Tate

Here are the days writers are to post on: 

Friday, March 9, 2012

100 Years of Movies– F.W. Murnau

A Person in the Dark– John Gilbert

And Then They Start to Sparkle– Laird Cregar

All Things Classic- Curly Howard

All Good Things– Natalie Wood

Blame Mame – Jayne Mansfield

Classic Movies -Robert Williams (1930s actor of Platinum Blonde)

Comet Over Hollywood-Brandon de Wilde and Virginia Weidler

Crankshafts and Curse Words– Steve McQueen

Critica Retro – Olive Thomas

Far From Camelot– Leslie Howard

Forever Classics– James Dean

Frankly, My Dear– Jean Harlow

Garbo Laughs– Conrad Veidt

Great Entertainment Media Archive– Billie Holliday

Hollywood Revue-Judy Holiday and Rudolph Valentino

I Shoot the Pictures– Zbigniew Cybulski

Immortal Ephemera– Dorothy Dell

Saturday, March 10, 2012

In the Mood– Errol Flynn

Journey’s in Classic Film– Maggie McNamara

Kitty Packard’s Pictorial– Robert Walker

Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings– Carole Landis

Lindsay’s Movie Musings– Alan Ladd

Modern Musketeer– Fatty Arbuckle

The Most Beautiful Fraud in the World– Helen Twelvetrees

Movie Star Makeover– Carmen Miranda

My Love for Old Hollywood– Thelma Todd

Noir and Chick Flicks– Marilyn Monroe

Old Movies Nostalgia– Tyrone Power

Portraits by Jenni– Sal Mineo

Random Ramblings– Linda Darnell

Scarlett Olive– Judy Garland

ScribeHard On Film– John Cazale

Shadows and Satin– Steve Cochran

She Blogged by Night– Marie Provost

Sittin’ on a Backyard Fence– John Garfield

Stefanie’s Reviews– Nat King Cole

They Don’t Make ‘em Like They Used To– Montgomery Clift

Thrilling Days of Yesteryear– Renee Adoree

True Classics– Bobby Driscoll

Wide Screen World– Carole Lombard

Here are the banners bloggers are to use during the blogathon (resize if needed):

I hope everyone is excited as I am! Let me know if you have any questions. See you this weekend!

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page for the latest updates.

Actress beauty tip #21: Fashion copied from films

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

First, I would like to apologize for not posting a beauty tip in February-it’s the only month I’ve missed a beauty tip and I don’t plan on making it a habit.

March’s beauty tip is going to focus on fashion I have copied from films. For the time being I’ve run out of regiments to test, but I’m still digging around for some.

However, fashion, hairstyles and jewelry are just as important to a film star’s beauty as how she washes her hair or face.

As many of you know, “West Side Story” (1961) is one one of my all-time favorite films. The music, the colors, the sadness, all make the movie perfect, but another thing that has drawn me to the movie are the beautiful outfits.

Who can forget the purple dress Anita wears to the dance and the white dress Maria feels makes her look like a baby? But my favorite three are the yellow dress Maria wears while singing “I Feel Pretty,” the blue dress Maria wears as she waits for Tony after the rumble and the orange dress we get a brief glimpse of Anita wearing in the dress shop when she catches Maria and Tony together.

Anita warning Maria she must be home in 15 minutes-both wearing two of my favorite outfits in "West Side Story."

I buy several vintage clothing items on Ebay that reminds me of classic films: peasant blouses, fiesta skirts, silky formals, pinafore dresses, flashy earrings.

But I rarely find anything in a contemporary clothing store that reminded me of an outfit I’ve seen in a movie. The only other time I’ve seen something similar to a film outfit was a white dress in Dress Barn that made me think of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Then one day I was in TJMaxx and sticking out of the rack I saw a sleeveless orange dress. I immediately thought of Anita in “West Side Story” and bought it.

Bought this dress at TJMaxx because it reminded me of my favorite movie.

To review: Fashion is important to me, but particularly if it reminds me of something I’ve seen in a movie. The best places to find movie like clothing is on ebay or stores like, but sometimes you can get lucky!

UNRELATED REMINDER! Comet’s Gone Too Soon blogathon is on the 9 and 10th. Follow this link for more details and a list of who bloggers are covering- Further updates will come this week.

Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page for the latest updates.