Merry Christmas from Claudette Colbert and Brandon Flowers

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas also from Priscilla Lane

On this special holiday I am sharing two clips of two of my favorite things.

First is my favorite scene from my favorite movie, “Since You Went Away” (1944). The movie stars Claudette Colbert, Jennifer Jones, Shirley Temple, Joseph Cotton, Monty Wooley and Robert Walker. It follows a woman and her daughters as they fight the war on the home front during World War II. The clip is at the end of the film during Christmas while their father is fighting during the war.  It’s a little long, but it’s heart warming and seems to be the spirit of Christmas to me.

The second clip is vastly different. My favorite band is The Killers and I really like their frontman, Brandon Flowers who just came out with a new solo album. For the past six years they put out Christmas songs to raise money for AIDS. The clip below is their song from 2007 and it is my favorite of them all.  No, the Killers aren’t old, but they have referenced several classic films as I mentioned in a June post. I also feel like Brandon Flowers has some really old-fashioned values, which I like.  Anyhow, its a funny, clever video and song and I hope you like it.

Merry Christmas all!

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Island of misfit Christmas movies

 

Stanyck, Bondi, MacMurray, Patterson and Holloway in “Remember the Night”: My favorite Christmas movie

Tis the season for Christmas posts. For these last five days before Christmas, I’m going to try to post several posts. Probably not every day, but at least throughout the week.

This post deals with two things my family and I love combined together: Christmas and movies.

For at least the past 22 years, it’s a Christmas family tradition for us to watch “Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer” (1964), “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) and “A Garfield Christmas” (1987) on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Of course we also watch classic holiday films such as “The Bishop’s Wife” (1947), “Miracle on 34th Street” (1947), “White Christmas” (1954), “Christmas in Connecticut” (1945) and “It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946); just to name a few.

But instead of doing a worn out review of all of these wonderful classic films, I want to highlight some holiday films that are sometimes forgotten by the general public:

 

Rogers and Niven celebrating the New Year in “Bachelor Mother”

Bachelor Mother (1939):

I always forget this is a Christmas movie and I bet you do too. Polly Parish (Ginger Rogers) is working as a sales girl in a department store during the Christmas holidays. One day she finds a baby on the steps outside an orphange and picks it up before it rolls down the stairs. No one believes that it isn’t her’s and she is forced to take it home.  The store owner, J.B. Merlin (Charles Cobern) and his son David (David Niven) make sure that Polly doesn’t get rid of her baby, all during the Christmas season. To review: I love movies with babies and this is a very funny movie. My favorite part is when Rogers and Niven go out to celebrate the New Year.

Beyond Christmas (original title: Beyond Tomorrow) (1940): Last year, I had my mother tape this movie and we randomly watched it in the middle of the summer. This is one of my favorite Christmas movies. The movie stars Harry Carry, C. Aubrey Smith and Charles Winninger as three old bachelors who live together. Every Christmas they drink their Tom and Jerry’s and do nothing more.  But this year, the men decided to invite strangers off the street for Christmas dinner. The strangers (Jean Parker and Richard Carlson) eventually fall in love. The three old men die shortly after Christmas in a plane accident, but their ghosts help bring the couple together and work through rough times.  To review: It’s a really heartwarming, cute film. The whole thing might not take place during Christmas, but it reflects the spirit of Christmas.

 It Happened on 5th Avenue (1947): I only just saw this movie last Christmas and think it is really charming. McKeever the hobo (Victor Moore) lives in wealthy folks mansions when he knows they are away in another home. He invites recently evicted Jim Bullock (Don DeFore) and Bullock’s homeless army buddies to stay in millionaire Jim O’Connors (Charles Ruggles) mansion for the Christmas season. O’Connor and his daughter and ex-wife (Gail Storm and Ann Harding) come back to their mansion after family problems and live amongst the homeless folks, never telling them their real identity. To review: Its a really cute movie and also rather funny. Charles Ruggles and Ann Harding are perfect in it, and Victor Moore always plays the best absent-minded characters.

Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938): Mickey Rooney usually drives me bananas, but I really enjoy the Andy Hardy movies and this is my favorite.  Christmas doesn’t come without crisis for the Hardy family.  Mom Hardy has to go take care of sick grandma and Andy is swamped with girls:
– Polly Benedict (Ann Rutherford) is going away for the holidays leaving Andy without a date for the Christmas dance
– Andy Hardy agrees to take Beezy’s girl, Cynthia Potter, (Lana Turner) to a dance to discourage other dates
-Betsy Jenkins (Judy Garland) comes back to Carvel a grown up woman.
All the women causes a lot of confusion and crazy Mickey Rooney moments.  The Hardy’s are worried mom won’t be able to come home for Christmas, but in the end it all works out. Andy gets his date to the dance, Betsy sings and mom makes it home on Christmas Eve. To Review: It’s a really cute movie, and a chance to see Judy Garland treated like a young woman rather than a child. It’s also fun to see three of Andy’s love interests all in one movie.

Remember the Night (1940): A couple of years ago, Turner Classic Movies premiered this Preston Sturges film. With the release of the DVD last year, it’s gaining popularity, but still isn’t up to par with other Christmas classics. Lee Leander (Barbara Stanwyck) steals an expensive diamond bracelet and is on trial only a few days before Christmas. Prosecuting lawyer John Sargent (Fred MacMurray) postpones the trial until after Christmas, since it is hard to get a jury to convict someone as guilty before Christmas. John hates to see Lee spend Christmas in jail so offers to for her to stay with his mother (Beulah Bondi), aunt (Elizabeth Patterson) and farm hand (Sterling Holloway) in Indiana.  To review: This is my favorite Christmas movie. The two old women together bickering is adorable, Fred MacMurray and Barbara Stanwyck have fantastic chemistry and Sterling Holloway offers a lot of comic relief.

Hattie McDaniel putting the presents under the tree that General Hilton sent to her in “Since You Went Away”

Since You Went Away(1944): 

This is a World War II movie that takes place on the American home front. The film follows a year with the Hilton family: Ann (Claudette Colbert), Jane (Jennifer Jones) and Brig (Shirley Temple) as they struggle with their father away at war, rationing and taking in boarders. The whole movie isn’t a Christmas movie, only at the very end. The family has a Christmas party with friends and a few soldiers. They play games and try to forget that their father isn’t there to join in the fun and some loved ones were killed in the war. But in the end, they get the best Christmas present they could ever ask for. To review: This is sort of like “Meet Me in St. Louis”: The whole thing isn’t a Christmas movie, but can be considered a Christmas movie. It’s one of my all time favorite films. I think that it really shows the true Christmas spirit and what is imporant at Christmas: family.

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Actress beauty tip #7: False Eye Lashes

1940s: Subtle lashes on Claudette Colbert

This is the seventh installment of my monthly classic actress beauty tips that I have tested. Sorry that this is a week late, finals have started at Winthrop and life has gotten busy!

Whether it be minimalistic eye make-up of the 1940s and 1950s or emphasized eyes of the 1960s, it is obvious actresses wore false eye lashes.  The lashes give their eyes an extra boost.  Prior to the 1950s it seemed like they weren’t wearing much make-up, but their lashes stood out looking full and beautiful. In the 1960s, the lashes only added more glamour too eyes already caked with eyeliner and eye shadow.

Actress Natalie Wood is one actress that wore false eye-lashes off screen.   Wood wore TWO layers of false eyelashes in the late 1960s and early 1970s, according to Suzanne Finstad’s book “Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood.”  Wood did this as her interest in fashion heightened and she was trying to have a darker look that she felt matched her Russian roots.

Natalie Wood in the 1960s wearing false eyelashes

Like Wood, I’ve worn false eye-lashes four or five times in the last seven years.  I love the way they make my lashes look, but I don’t find them very comfortable.  My eyes get dried out easily, especially because I wear contacts.  I’m always too afraid to blink, because I don’t want my lashes to fall off so for the rest of the day my eyes feel kind of dry and scratchy.

I also use the type that you apply the glue yourself, because I think it sticks better.  Self adhesive doesn’t stick very well and I usually end up applying more glue to it.  Though the glue sticks better, it also gets awfully messy and makes it hard to put mascara or eyeliner on your top lashes.

To review: False eyelashes make your lashes and eyes look great, but you pay a price of possible discomfort and sticky glue.

Stay tuned for some upcoming Christmas posts and January’s beauty tip!

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