Watching 1939: Beau Geste (1939)

In 2011, I announced I was trying to see every film released in 1939. This new series chronicles films released in 1939 as I watch them. As we start out this blog feature, this section may become more concrete as I search for a common thread that runs throughout each film of the year. Right now, that’s difficult. 

1939 film: 
Beau Geste (1939)

Release date: 
July 24, 1939

Gary Cooper, Ray Milland, Robert Preston, Brian Donlevy, Susan Hayward, J. Carrol Naish, Albert Dekker, Broderick Crawford, George P. Huntley, James Stephenson, Albert Dekker, Charles Barton, James Burke, Heather Thatcher, Henry Brandon, Harold Huber, Harvey Stephens
Leads as children: Donald O’Connor, Billy Cook, Martin Spellman, Ann Gillis, David Holt

Paramount Pictures

William A. Wellman

Three brothers Beau Geste (O’Connor/Cooper), Digby Geste (Spellman/Preston) and Michael Geste (Cook/Milland) were orphans, adopted and raised by their aunt Lady Patricia Brandon (Thatcher). Lady Brandon also raises her nephew bratty (Holt/Huntley) and her ward Isobel (Gillis/Hayward). Augustus Part of the Brandon family fortune is a large sapphire, the Blue Water. Lady Brandon is going to have to sell the Blue Water to give money to her absent husband. But before it could be sold, one of the young adults steals the Blue Water. Beau and Digby both leave that same night to join the French Foreign Legion, and upon discovering, Michael follows his brothers to Algeria. There the brothers and the rest of the legionnaires suffer under the sadistic and abusive Sergeant Markoff (Donlevy). Markoff targets the brothers after Markoff’s stooge Rasinoff (Naish) overhears the brothers talking about the sapphire.

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Musical Monday-Academy Award Winners Edition: With a Song in My Heart: The Jane Froman Story (1952)

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, here is my weekly feature about musicals.

Each of our February Musical Mondays will be Academy Award-winning films, taking part in the 31 Days of Oscar event

With-a-Song-in-My-Heart-PosterThis week’s musical:
With a Song in My Heart – The Jane Froman Story” (1952)– Musical #534

20th Century Fox

Walter Lang

Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter, Robert Wagner, Una Merkel, Max Showalter, Lyle Talbot

Biographical film of singer Jane Froman (Hayward). The film chronicles Froman’s rising star as a popular singer in the 1930s and 1940s through a life-changing event: a 1943 plane crash during a USO tour. The film looks at how Froman overcame lifelong disability to continue her career and also inspire the soldiers overseas during World War II.

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Actress Beauty Tip #32: Susan Hayward diet

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

Actress Susan Hayward stayed thin with a three day diet of eggs and tomatoes.

Actress Susan Hayward stayed thin with a three day diet of eggs and tomatoes.

This week I went on a diet for Comet Over Hollywood.

Red-headed Academy Award winning actress Susan Hayward claimed she stayed under 118 pounds by eating 2 eggs (prepared any way) and one tomato three times a day for consecutive three days.

“If you continue more than three days, you may start clucking like a hen,” Hayward said in an interview.

Hayward claimed you could lose five pounds in three days with this diet, which seems highly doubtful to me.

“Her (Susan Hayward) measurements are the same as they were when she was 20,” beauty columnist Lydia Lane wrote about the then 47-year-old actress in an Aug. 2, 1964, column, “Susan Hayward Gives Diet Tips.”

The Comet isn’t anywhere near 118 pounds, but I’m always a fan of weight loss and eating healthy. I decided to give it a try. I like both eggs and tomatoes so I figured it couldn’t be that hard. Here is how the three days went for me:

Tuesday, Oct. 1:
Breakfast: Two eggs scrambled with a cut up tomato. It was delicious and filling. However, I realized eating one whole tomato for a meal is ALOT of tomato. Or alot more than I’m used to eating.
Lunch: Was still full from breakfast so didn’t eat the hard boiled eggs and cut up tomato I brought for lunch.
Dinner: Felt a bit like I was getting a cold so talked myself into getting a McDouble from McDonalds, instead of eating eggs and tomatoes for dinner.

Wednesday, Oct. 2 
Breakfast: Two scrambled eggs and a tomato again. Still tasted good.
Lunch: Two hard boiled eggs and a tomato. Enjoyable meal made even better when I dabbed my egg in mustard.
Dinner: Sunny-side up eggs on a toasted sandwich with a cut up tomato on the sandwich. Ate the rest of the tomato by itself. Filling but growing weary of eggs.

Thursday, Oct. 3
Breakfast: Skipped breakfast because running late for work.
Lunch: Another delicious meal of hard boiled eggs with a tiny bit of mustard and a tomato.
Dinner: I went to the fair….and had a chicken pita wrap….Nothing fried or terribly unhealthy, but still not part of the diet.

Friday, Oct. 4
I was going to add one more day to the diet since I cheated on two meals but ended up not eating all day because was too busy at work. Had spaghetti for dinner

Hayward shows off her figure as she dances in the John Wayne film

Hayward shows off her figure as she dances in the John Wayne film “The Conqueror” (1954).

To review: Since it was only for a few days, I can’t say if I lost weight. I can say I continuously wanted to eat a cheeseburger. However, eating healthier made me feel a little better about life. I stayed full after eating and my usually oily hair and skin felt fresher than usual at the end of the day.

For me, eating eggs and tomatoes for both breakfast and lunch isn’t difficult, but eating it a third time for dinner is when it got tiresome. By that point, I wanted to cook a pork chop or even just eat some cereal and toast.

I can’t say I will continue with Susan Hayward’s diet, but will probably continue to incorporate eggs into my diet at least once a day. I did consider taking a break for two days and doing the diet for three more consecutive days, but I’m pretty tired of eggs and tomatoes right now.

So in review, though I didn’t drop rapid weight, I did feel better about life during this diet. 

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