Showing posts with label dames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label dames. Show all posts

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Bette Watch: Now, Voyager (1942)

I have tried to watch Now, Voyager (1942) for years, and something always happens.  Well, the opposite of "something always happens" happened, and I accidentally ordered a Bette Davis 4-disc set from Amazon, which I was considering buying and accidentally did so while buying something else.

So, since the movie showed up, I gave it a whirl.

There's no question the movie is dated by any number of factors, from the club-like effectiveness of psychiatry to the social customs present in the movie.  And it's certainly a movie of war-time America, not in content, but who appears in the film (there's a shortage of name actors playing men of fighting age).

The movie belongs to Bette Davis, there's absolutely no question.  And that was what I paid my $2.50 for.  I may not have been the target audience for a "woman's picture", but I knew what it was, to an extent, going in.  I'm trying to shore up some gaps in my movie knowledge, and I haven't seen that many Bette Davis movies, and this is one of the big ones.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Crawford Watch: Possessed (1947)

You know, I probably like Joan Crawford more than your average straight dude born in 1975.  Thanks to Faye Dunaway's performance in Mommy Dearest, the Joan Crawford of legend has superseded the Joan Crawford who shows up in her movies.  But watching those movies, you can see why folks decided maybe Joan was a little on the intense side.  And, her personal reputation as one tough lady did nothing to soften that edge (look up her rise within PepsiCo some day.  Absolutely bad-ass.).

To get real, Joan Crawford was a great beauty in the 20's and 30's when she hit Hollywood, and as she aged, maybe some of that slipped on her.  She remained attractive, but there's only so attractive someone can be when anger seems to their default setting, and you can see it set in somewhere in their resting face.  Here's where this boomerangs back - because Joan Crawford said "screw you, I'm still playing the sexy dame in middle-age", and did not just disappear into motherly, unsexed roles - and it kind of flips back on itself that the iron will in there somewhere is attractive all on its own.

Probably the first Joan Crawford movie I saw was Whatever Happened To Baby Jane?, which is a crazy movie to start to get to know Crawford.  I love that movie, and she's great in it, but Mildred Pierce, which I saw next, is still my favorite Crawford movie.  She's so damn good in it, and it's such a weirdly excellent movie for a movie about a lady making pies.

It turns out Possessed (1947) is sort of Yin to the Yang that is Mildred Pierce.  And I have new second favorite Joan Crawford movie (move over, Johnny Guitar).  It's not a mother and daughter coming up together in a tough world with lay-abouts for men and fried chicken joints as cash cows.  It's a woman on her own, trying to find love, witha  complicated relationship with her step daughter.  Oh, and she has schizophrenia.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Happy Birthday Debbie Harry

Happy 70th Birthday to Debbie Harry, the ever-cutting-edge lead singer for Blondie, solo artist, actor, model, fashion icon, artist, former Playboy Club Bunny, CBGB overlord, pop goddess of the punk and new wave scenes, etc... et al...

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Happy Birthday, Siouxsie Sioux

Happy birthday to my high school rock'n'roll crush and one of my favorite performers from back in the day, Siouxsie Sioux.

At 57, she's still out there being Siouxsie.



Sunday, April 26, 2015

Noir Watch: Detour (1945)

At some point in your life, set aside 1 hour and 10 minutes to make it through Detour (1945), one of the grimiest, most uncomfortable, brilliantly economical movies you're likely to ever catch.  It's a short bit of distilled noir which kind of meanders for the first third, and then it starts to pick up.  And THEN Ann Savage shows up and holy @#$%.

I don't know what it says about me that I adore Ann Savage in this movie.  There's some matrix I need to devise of "what's wrong with me?" that I need to make with attributes of various Femme Fatales, including Savage in this movie, Peggy Cummins in Gun Crazy, Stanwyck in Double Indemnity and Babyface, Marie Windsor in everything...  But Ann Savage is a special kind of nuts in this movie, that veers almost into noir Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf-ish territory sometime in the back 1/3rd of the movie.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Yesterday was Joan Crawford's B-Day

March 23rd marks the birthday of Joan Crawford.  She would have been 110 yesterday.

Complicated person, that Joan Crawford.  I tend to really like her in movies, and I think I've shared here and elsewhere how much I like Mildred Pierce, in particular (but who doesn't)?  Johnny Guitar is also worth a view if you want to see something out there on the edge of genre and expectation.

Happy b-day to a daughter of The Alamo City and one of the greats.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Lizabeth Scott Merges With The Infinite

According to the Film Noir Foundation and LA Times, noir siren Lizabeth Scott has passed at the age of 92.

If you've never seen The Strange Love of Martha Ivers or Too Late for Tears, I recommend both.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Esther Williams merges with The Infinite

We bid farewell to swimmer/ performer/ actress Esther Williams who was the star of a lot of splashy musicals back in the day.

Williams was a youth swimming champ, and - at least according to IMDB - was discovered by one of those talent scouts who was always plucking counter girls and girls at Schwab's enjoying a malted and turning them into movie stars.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Good Cheer: Jamie

Our grand finale!

Really, what's not to like?

To folks who were in the right circles, it was not a secret (even from Jamie), that when I first met Jamie, I was quite smitten.  She, however, was less interested in the guy who had just tried Jaeger and Goldschlager for the first time, and was stumbling around a backyard in San Antonio.  Eventually, two years later, we made ourselves a thing.  In April of 2000, we made it official.

Nineteen and a half years after that first, somewhat blurry conversation, and she's still my favorite pin-up.

While we won't retire the "dames" label, we're retiring "Your Daily Dose of Good Cheer" with our favorite dame of them all.  Go out on a high note, I always say.

It's my B-Day (and that of Ann Miller)

Today is my b-day.  It is also the birthday of actress and dancer Ann Miller.

So wish Ann a happy birthday.  

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Your Daily Dose of Good Cheer (fictional human edition): Lois Lane

Over the past 75 years, a lot of women have played Superman's love interest, Lois Lane.  Yes, I have my favorites, but all of them brought something to the character.  Traditionally, Lois was the grounding wire from Superman to some semblance of a normal human, his romance and interaction with Lois gave him both someone he cared about individually and especially, but also alienated him with his dual roles as meek Clark Kent and the alien powerhouse, Superman.  But what kind of person would be interesting enough to draw the attention of a Superman?

You can't be a wallflower.  You've got to have spunk, speak your mind, be a risk-taker, and not because you're a dope, but because you're smart and you've got backbone...  and Lois did all that in spades, whether she was flying off to investigate a mad scientist and his death ray or clinging to the bottom of an elevator going up to the top of the Eiffel Tower where terrorists had an atomic bomb.  She didn't count on Superman to be there to save her skin, and she still flung herself headlong into trouble.

Of course, it's hard to remain forever between your mid-20's and late 30's, and so we've had a lot of women fill Lois's shoes over the years.

Let's take a walk through them, shall we?

Joan Alexander: Superman serial cartoons, radio show

Noel Neill:  Superman serials, Adventures of Superman, seasons 2-6