Running Lines: Mixing Quotes into Your Lingo

If you’re a classic film fan, it’s almost a given that many people you greet in your daily life won’t know what you’re talking about. Topics like the cool pre-code you watched last night or how you’re still angry that Gloria Swanson didn’t win the Academy Award for “Sunset Boulevard” are most likely met with a blank stare.

Even still, classic films are so immersed into our daily life and thoughts, that it’s hard not to casually quote a film in your daily speak. I don’t mean outrageous and obvious quotes that would get you called into Human Resources. (See: Standing on your desk and shouting “Look at me, Ma! Top of the world!” or ending a meeting with “Frankly, my dear I don’t give a damn.”)

For me, there are simple, catchy film quotes that I slip into my conversations on the sly; fully knowing that no one around me will understand that I’m referring to a film.

Here are six examples of a few of the movies I quote regularly:

Battleground (1949)

Plot: The 101st Airborne Division is fighting in Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II.

"That's for sure, that's for dang sure" —Battleground (1949) (Comet Over Hollywood/Jessica P screen cap)

“That’s for sure, that’s for dang sure” —Battleground (1949)
(Comet Over Hollywood/Jessica P screen cap)

The division is made up of various personalities from all over the United States. One of the soldiers, Abner Spudler (Jerome Courtland) is supposed to be a little more country than the rest and repeatedly says “That’s for sure, that’s for dang sure,” when he agrees with someone.

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Musical Monday: “Summer Magic” (1963)

It’s no secret that the Hollywood Comet loves musicals.
In 2010, I revealed I had seen 400 movie musicals over the course of eight years. Now that number is over 500.
To celebrate and share this musical love, I’m starting a weekly feature about musicals.

This week’s musical:
Summer Magic (1964) — Musical Number 44

summer magic poster

Hayley Mills, Burl Ives, Dorothy McGuire, Deborah Walley, Una Merkel, Peter Brown, James Stacey, Eddie Hodges, Jimmy Mathers

James Neilson

Walt Disney Studios

Set at the turn of the century, the Carey family finds themselves penniless after their father dies. The family moves from Boston, Mass. to Beulah, MN to a home Nancy (Mills) remembers the family admiring while they were on vacation. Once they arrive at the home, they find it run-down, but with the help of post master Osh Popham (Ives), the family fixes up the home. Surrounding the bustle of fixing up the home, the Carey’s snobby orphan cousin Julia (Walley) comes to live with them, and Julia and Nancy fall for the same boy (James Stacey).

Nancy (Mills) and Julia (Walley)

Nancy (Mills) and Julia (Walley)

-“Summer Magic” is based off the book “Mother Carey’s Chickens” by Kate Douglas Smith Wiggin
-The film is also a remake of the non-musical 1938 film “Mother Carey’s Chickens” starring Anne Shirley, Ruby Keeler, James Ellison, Walter Brennan, Fay Bainter, Virginia Weidler and Ralph Morgan.
-The movie was originally supposed to star Annette Funicello
-The song “On the Front Porch” is songwriter Robert Sherman’s personal favorite song from his own work, according to Sherman’s 1998 book “Walt’s Time: Before and Beyond”
-Walt Disney didn’t like the song “Ugly Bug Ball” sung by Burl Ives. Sherman persuaded Disney to keep the song and it went on to be a popular song from the film, according to Sherman’s book.
-The youngest brother, Peter Carey, is played by Jimmy Mathers—brother to Jerry Mather’s of “Leave It To Beaver” fame.
-Dorothy McGuire’s singing is dubbed by Marilyn Hooven

Osh (Burl Ives) sings “On the Front Porch”

Notable Songs:
-Most of the songs are silly and forgettable but are still pretty catchy, lighthearted and enjoyable. Some of my favorites include:
– Femininity- Nancy (Mills) and Julia (Walley) sing this song to Lallie Joy Popham (Wendy Turner) so that Nancy’s brother Gilly (Hodges) will notice her.
The song tells Lallie Joy to “hide the real you,” “men adore good listeners” and “don’t laugh too loud”
-Pink of Perfection- Gillie (Hodges) and Nancy (Mills) sing a song making fun of Julia saying she is a “dainty baboon,” has the “the charm of a moose” and has knock knees. The song is sung in their distain when they hear Julia is coming to stay with them.
-Ugly Bug Ball sung by Osh (Ives) and Peter (Mathers). It’s not personally my favorite song in the film and is mainly footage of different bugs crawling, but it’s catchy and cute.
-Flitterin’- sung by Mills, Hodges and McGuire (dubbed). The family sings it when they get a player piano as they are packing to Maine. It’s a brief little tune, but it’s catchy. Really, I enjoy it because I sang this song in the four times I have moved in the last two years.

My Review:
I’ll never forget the summer my mom introduced “Summer Magic” to my sisters and I. My dad was out of town on a business trip and she recorded it special off the Disney Channel for us to watch.

Since then, it has been a special favorite, filled with color, catchy Sherman brothers’ songs, and an outstanding cast. The turn-of-the-century costumes by Bill Thomas are also beautiful. Thomas dressed Deborah Walley in pink and Hayley Mills in yellow and it’s just gorgeous to see.

“Summer Magic” isn’t as well known as other Disney films such as “Old Yeller” or “The Parent Trap,” but it is a lot of fun and is a movie I grew up on.

If you like Hayley Mills films, you can’t go wrong with this one. But aside from Hayley, the supporting cast is gold! Dorothy McGuire as the mom and Burl Ives and Una Merkel are a hilarious treat as a quarreling married couple. Not to mention James Stacey and Peter Brown who round out the cast as handsome male leads (though Peter Brown disappointingly has very little screen time). You also see pre-Bonnie and Clyde Michael J. Pollard.

This is a remake of the 1938 film “Mother Carey’s Chickens,” starring Anne Shirley, Ruby Keeler, James Ellison, Frank Albertson, Fay Bainter and Donnie Dunagan (the voice of Bambi). While that is a fun (non-musical) film, I do prefer this one better. “Mother Carey’s Chickens” shows the audience when the father (Ralph Morgan) passes away. But I don’t feel like we get as deep into the romance aspect as “Summer Magic.” Also, Donnie Dunagan’s character is just annoying.

I would have loved to see what this movie would have been like had it really starred Annette Funicello, but it’s still pretty wonderful with Hayley Mills.

Even through it’s silly, forgettable songs and sometimes crazy plot, “Summer Magic” is one of my favorites. I’m fairly certain you will be “flitterin'” also.

Nancy (Mills) enters the Halloween party with handsome Tom Hamilton (Peter Brown) in “Summer Magic”

Check back next week for Musical Monday.

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

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!


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Hollywood Dads and Star Babies

On Father’s Day we remember the times dad taught us to drive, checked our oil and watched “Calamity Jane” with us.  I would also like to remember Hollywood fathers that had children who also went on to have film careers.  Here are a few of my favorite Hollywood families.

Like father, like son:

John and Patrick Wayne in “The Searchers” (1956)

John Wayne and Patrick Wayne-

Can you think of a more attractive father and son? Patrick Wayne had big cowboy boots to fill but had a modest career as an actor. Patrick was born in 1939, when his father made one of his most successful films “Stagecoach.”  Patrick was 11 when he made his first film, “Rio Grande” with his father. John and his son were in the ten films together including:
Rio Grande” (1950),”The Quiet Man” (1952), “The Searchers” (1956), “The Conqueror” (1956), “The Alamo” (1960), “The Comancheros” (1960), “Donovan’s Reef” (1963), “McLintock” (1963), “The Green Berets” (1968) and “Big Jake” (1971).

Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Jr. in 1936 on the set of “Jump for Glory”


Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and Douglas Fairbanks Jr.-

Another attractive, father and son duo: Douglas Fairbank Sr. and Jr. Douglas Fairbanks Jr. was born into Hollywood royalty. Daddy Fairbanks was one of the silent screen’s biggest idols and Junior became a heart-throb (at least mine, he is my desktop background).
“I never tried to emulate my father. Anyone trying to do that would be a second-rate carbon copy,” Fairbanks Jr. said. However, both men were known for their swashbuckling roles.
Jr. had a successful career, best known for his role with Cary Grant and Victor McLaglen in “Gunga Din” (1939) and “Sinbad the Sailor” (1947).
Both men were married to some of Hollywood’s top actresses. Senior to Mary Pickford-their estate was known as “Pickfair”- and Junior to Joan Crawford.

Ed and Keenan Wynn in 1948 at a hospital charity event.

Ed Wynn and Keenan Wynn-

Not as handsome, but definitely funny.  Keenan helped his father Ed get a Hollywood career, according to IMDB.  Keenan always played the pal, heel or funny man in the movies while Ed was the bumbling clown.  The father and son team were in the Disney movies “The Absent Minded Professor” and “Son of Flubber” together in the 1960s.



 Daddy’s little girl:

John and Hayley Mills-

“Acting is just a natural thing in my family. Other boys and girls go into the family business. So do we,” Hayley said.
John Mills had a successful career in England starring in films like “This Happy Breed” and”Hobson’s Choice.”
Hayley’s made success in Disney movies such “Pollyanna” and “Parent Trap.” Dad cashed in at Disney in the movie “Swiss Family Robinson’s” playing the father.
The two were in the 1959 thriller “Tiger Bay” and the 1966 comedy/drama “The Family Way.”

Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery

Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery-

Robert Montgomery started in movies when talkies shook Hollywood. He shocked audiences with Norma Shearer in the sex comedy/drama “The Divorcee” (1930). He showed war wasn’t all patrotism and glamour in “They Were Expendable” (1945) and let audiences see how he solved a murder through his eyes literally (we only saw his face in the movie a few times) in “Lady in the Lake” (1947).

In contrast, his daughter Elizabeth, starred in the wholesome 1960s television series, “Bewitched.”  Elizabeth got her start after appearing on several episodes of her father’s series, “Robert Montgomery Presents,” according to IMDB.  “I guess you could say I’m a TV baby,” Elizabeth said.

Alfred and Patricia Hitchcock-

The master of suspense had one daughter. Patricia didn’t have a huge film career, but she did act in three films that her father directed. Her largest role was as Barbara, Ruth Roman’s little sister, in “Strangers in a Train” (1951).  She also had a bit role in “Stage Fright” (1950), was a secretary in “Psycho” (1961) and appeared in several episodes of “Alfred Hitchcok Presents.”

Some actors are less than complementary about Hitch, but he and Patricia had a good relationship. The book “Alfred Hitchcock: The Legacy of Victorianism” analyzes “Stage Fright,” comparing Patricia’s and Jane Wyman’s similar appearances. The joking but loving father-daughter relationship between  Wyman and her father in the film characterized Patricia and Hitchcock’s relationship, according to the book.     Other film fathers:-Edgar Bergen: puppet, Charlie McCarthy and daughter, Candice-Lloyd Bridges: sons Beau and Jeff-Lon Chaney: son Lon Chaney, Jr. of “Of Mice and Men” (1939) fame-Tony Curtis: daughter Jamie Lee-Kirk Douglas:  son, Michael-Henry Fonda: son Peter, daughter Jane-Rance Howard: songs Clint and Ron-Walter Huston: director son, John-Robert Keith: son, Brian of “Family Affair” and “Parent Trap” fame-Gordon MacRea: daughter, Meredith of “Petticoat Junction” fame-Joel McCrea: son, Jody of beach movie fame-Vincent Minnelli: daughter, Liza-Lyle Talbot: son Stephen (Gilbert from “Leave it to Beaver”)

Happy Father’s day to the star of our household, my dad, who has to put up with three daughters and their shopping, complaining and movie musicals. Check out the Comet Over Hollywood Facebook page for the latest updates.