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Tagged With: classic movies

Flashback Friday: “The Letter”

As many of my readers know, I haven’t done Flashback Friday in awhile. Well, I’m happy to say that it’s back!!

Flashback Friday 3button 2x2

 

I have always been a fan of Bette Davis, but while hubby was away (one of the times he was in Iraq), I was up very late and The Letter came on.  The opening scene is Bette firing her gun over and over as a man tumbles down the steps.

TheLetter - BetteDavis - Opening Scene

From that moment on, I was enthralled!!  I couldn’t take my eyes off the tv.  

TheLetter Movie Poster

But first, a little about the movie.  The film is in the film-noir, drama, mystery, and crime genres.  The Letter stars Bette Davis (Leslie Crosbie) and Herbert Marshall (Robert Crosbie), along with James Stephenson (Howard Joyce – her lawyer and husband’s friend) and Freida Inescort (Dorthy Joyce).  There’s also several other minor players in this movie.  Some of them are quite shady and eerie!!

TheLetter 1

Gale Sondergaard (Mrs. Hammond)

TheLetter 2

Victor Sen Yung (Ong Chi Seng)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This movie was directed by William Wyler and released by Warner Bros. in 1940.  It was nominated for 7 Oscars at the 1941 Academy Awards in including Bette Davis for Best Actress in Leading Role, Max Steiner for Best Music Original Score, and William Wyler for Best Director.  Other nominations were Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (James Stephenson), Best Cinematography Black-and-White (Tony Gaudio), and Best Film Editing (Warren Low).  The Letter didn’t win any Oscars, but it did win 2 awards at the 1940 New York Film Critics Circle Awards.  

Here’s a brief synopsis of The Letter from IMDb….

The wife of a rubber plantation administrator shoots a man to death and claims it was self-defense; a letter in her own hand may prove her undoing.

And here’s one from TCM….

A woman claims to have killed in self-defense, until a blackmailer turns up with incriminating evidence.

One of the most interesting parts of this film is that in the beginning, Leslie (Bette Davis) begins making lace (crocheting).  She’s seen working on it throughout the movie.  The representation of the lace is much like the crime that she committed.  It’s a web of lies and deceit.  It continues to grow.  By the end of the movie, it’s this beautiful lace shawl that Leslie wears to a secret meeting.  It is one of the best figurative objects in film as far as I’m concerned!!

TheLetter - Crochet Lace

 

TheLetter - BetteDavis - Crochet Lace

TheLetter - BetteDavis - Lace

I highly recommend that you watch this movie.  You won’t be disappointed.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve seen it and it never gets old….or boring.  The Letter has stood the test of time and is definitely a classic that’s not to be missed!!

To learn more about Flashback Friday, please click here to visit my page telling you all about it.  If you’d like to join in Flashback Friday, please join the linky below.

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Now quit reading this post and go watch this movie!!

 

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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Most Overrated Hollywood Stars

This is a Thursday Thirteen that I’ve thought about for quite awhile.  I knew I wanted to do this list because I’ve been thinking about it for so long now and I just really love movies.  I really had to narrow it down and put the list into perspective.  Then I really wanted to give good reasoning.  This is MY list and how I feel.  I’m sure as you read this, you might feel a little bit different.  But here it goes from 13 down to 1….being the MOST overrated in Hollywood!!

13.  Sarah Jessica Parker – A beautiful woman and top notch in fashion.  Not the best actress though as it feels like she leaves something out when she acts.

12.  Jennifer Lopez – Another beautiful woman that’s very talented.  She always looks great and can sing fairly well too.  However, I can take it or leave it when it comes to her movies.  I think they’re usually sweet and funny, but she almost puts off a diva aura on screen.

11.  Ingrid Bergman – She has some really good movies, but I don’t think they were consistently good.  One of my favorites is a movie of hers, but she’s just not always believable.

10.  Marlon Brando – I’m alright with the “bad boy” image.  It was just something else that made me not want to watch his movies.  Maybe it had to do with the voice….he sounded lazy when he talked.  He still owned his part in The Godfather!!

9.  Gary Cooper – I know that he was supposed to be such a good guy and very popular with movie-watchers.  I just was never attracted to him.  I actually found his acting to be a little boring.

8.  Audry Hepburn – She was cute and sweet, as were many of her movies.  I just don’t think that made her a good actress.  I think she was in the right place at the right time and got to make a couple good movies, but more that were just average.  During her time, there were several other great actresses on the screen that she couldn’t compare to.

7.  Sophia Loren – I think she used her sexy body for all it was worth, but that’s all she had going for her.  I never believed her parts that much and enjoyed them more when she wasn’t on the screen.  I consider her “annoying”.

6.  Hillary Swank – A very beautiful woman that always seems to smile.  I just never find myself saying “hey, she’s got a new movie so let’s go see it”!!  I think part of the problem is that she tries too hard to be sexy and honestly, she’s really pretty without trying to play it up.

5.  Chevy Chase – As part of the Griswald family, he was hilarious.  Then, he lost something.  I think when he became political and could use his status as a star, he was no longer funny.  He tried to play off that and it just didn’t work and he hasn’t put out anything good since that time.

4.  Woody Allen – The only thing worse than a movie by him, is a movie WITH him!!  He had no talent and definitely wasn’t funny.  Sure, he has his own style, but it never developed and he’s way out in left field.

3.  Will Ferrell – I find nothing funny about him.  He thinks that he has to be rotten dirty in order to get a laugh and it’s just too far over the top.  You don’t have to be raunchy to make it funny.  I find him really quite creepy!!

2.  Jane Fonda – She tried to make it off her daddy’s name and couldn’t do it.  Her movies were lame at best.  Talk about yawning through a movie!!  Then she went all political and used star power to promote that.  Pick one or the other, but both don’t work together and maybe she was better suited for politics because she can’t act!!

1.  Natalie Portman – I know she’s the hot stuff today.  I’m not impressed though.  I think she’s fully capable of being more, but I just don’t see it.  When I watch her movies, I often feel like she’s playing the same part in all of them.  I’d love to see her try to grow more.  Right now though, she’s at the top as most overrated and I think some of her parts could just as easy to other good actresses out there.

Honorable Mention:   Greta Garbo – I don’t dislike her movies, I just don’t enjoy them.  She had a style all her own and maybe that’s what it is….it’s just not my style.  She could definitely own the screen, but at the same time, she doesn’t draw me in when I want her to or think she will. 

So there’s my Thursday Thirteen!!  Who’s on your list??  To participate, just go to the new home of Thursday Thirteen.

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In Memory of Tony Curtis

I can’t believe that we lost another legend this week.  Actor Tony Curtis died 29 September at the age of 85 in Las Vegas.  One surely can’t say that he didn’t live a long and prosperous life.  However, it wasn’t without it’s turmoil.

Tony was born Bernard Schwatz in the Bronx.  After serving in the military, he used his GI Bill to attend acting school.  He was married to Janet Leigh for 11 years and they had 2 children.  One their children is Jamie Lee Curtis, whom he was estranged from for many years, but they were able to reconcile.  Tony was married 5 other times after that.

Tony Curtis had small roles in movies like Winchester ’73, but he was also in memorable roles in movies like The Defiant Ones, Spartacus, and The Vikings.  One of my favorite movies that Tony was in was Captain Newman, M.D., while kiddo prefers him in The Great Race with Natalie Wood and Jack Lemmon.  He’s also unforgettable opposite Cary Grant (his favorite actor) in Operation Petticoat and playing a girl along with Jack Lemmon in Some Like It Hot.

Although he had a long career, Tony abused drugs and alcohol when his roles became fewer and far between.  He was still able to overcome it and it’s even been said that he helped Roger Moore and Michael Caine quit smoking.  Tony was an avid non-smoker for about the last 30 years or so.

So much can be said about Tony Curtis and what he added to the Hollywood of old.  He’ll surely be missed, but his mark will forever remain.

R.I.P. Tony!!


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Thursday Thirteen: 13 Favorite and Best Classic Movie Quotes

As many of you know, I love classic movies.  It’s easy for me to find thirteen things about movies….old or new.  For this Thursday 13, I decided to focus on movie quotes.  There’s actually more than 13 quotes that I’m going to list, but they do come from 13 movies.  That’s the way I’ve decided to do it and I’m sticking to it!!  HAHA  With that said, here’s my “13 Favorite and Best Movie Quotes”.

Oh, and by the way, I’m counting down from 13 to 1!!

13. Rear Window – James Steward as Jeff, Thelma Ritter as Stella, Grace Kelly as Lisa

Stella: We’ve become a race of Peeping Toms. What people ought to do is get outside their own house and look in for a change. Yes sir. How’s that for a bit of homespun philosophy?
Jeff
: Readers Digest, April 1939.
Stella
: Well, I only quote from the best.

Stella: Intelligence. Nothing has caused the human race so much trouble as intelligence.

12. This Could be the Night – Jean Simmons as Anne, Paul Douglas as Rocco, Anthony Franciosa as Tony

Anne Leds: You live like a Casanova with a string of women running up and down the stairs, but when somebody tries to talk to you truthfully you react like an outraged prude. Let me tell you something, you’re the museum piece, not me.

11. On Golden Pond – Katharine Hepburn as Ethel, Henry Fonda as Norman, Jane Fonda as Chelsea

Ethel: Don’t you think that everyone looks back on their childhood with a certain amount of bitterness and regret? It doesn’t have to ruin your life!

Chelsea Thayer Wayne: It just seems like we’ve been mad at each other for so long…
Norman: I didn’t think we were mad; I just thought we didn’t like each other.

[to Ethel] Norman: Wanna dance or would you rather just suck face?

10. Bringing up Baby – Cary Grant as David, Katharine Hepburn as Susan

Susan Vance: You’ve just had a bad day, that’s all.
David Huxley: That’s a masterpiece of understatement.

9. Executive Suite – William Holden as McDonald, June Allyson as Mary, Barbara Stanwyck as Julia

McDonald Walling: The force behind a great company has to be more than the pride of one man; it has to be the pride of thousands. You can’t make men work for money alone – you starve their souls when you try it, and you can starve a company to death the same way.

8. Jezebel – Bette Davis as Julie, Henry Fonda as Preston, George Brent as Buck

Julie Marsden: This is 1852 dumplin’, 1852, not the Dark Ages. Girls don’t have to simper around in white just because they’re not married.

Julie Marsden: Don’t stand there with your eyes bulging out like that!

7.  Spartacus – Kirk Douglas as Spartacus, Laurence Olivier as Marcus, Jean Simmons as Varinia

Spartacus: And maybe there’s no peace in this world, for us or for anyone else, I don’t know. But I do know that, as long as we live, we must remain true to ourselves.

Spartacus: Knowing we can. All men lose when they die and all men die. But a slave and a free man lose different things.
Tigranes Levantus: They both lose life.
Spartacus: When a free man dies, he loses the pleasure of life. A slave loses his pain.
Death is the only freedom a slave knows. That’s why he’s not afraid of it. That’s why we’ll win.

6. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington – James Stewart as Jefferson, Jean Arthur as Clarissa, Claude Rains as Sen. Paine

Jefferson Smith: I wouldn’t give you two cents for all your fancy rules if, behind them, they didn’t have a little bit of plain, ordinary, everyday kindness and a little looking out for the other fella, too.

Clarissa Saunders: You just make up your mind you’re not gonna quit, and I’ll tell you what. I’ve been thinking about it all the way back here. It’s a forty foot dive into a tub of water, but I think you can do it.

5. The Big Country – Gregory Peck as James McKay, Jean Simmons as Julie, Charlton Heston as Leech

Patricia Terrill: But if he loved me, why would he let me think he was a coward?
Julie Maragon: If you love him, why would you think it? How many times does a man have to win you?

Patricia Terrill: [discussing McKay’s “cowardice”] Don’t you care what people think of you?
James McKay: I’m not responsible for what people think, Pat, only for what I am.

4. The Cowboys – John Wayne as Wil, Bruce Dern as Long Hair (Asa)

[before fighting Asa Watts] Wil Andersen:   I’m thirty years older than you are. I had my back broke once, and my hip twice. And on my worst day I could beat the hell out of you.

3. Gone with the Wind – Clark Gable as Rhett, Vivien Leigh as Scarlett, Olivia de Havilland as Melanie

Scarlett: Rhett… if you go, where shall I go, what shall I do?
Rhett Butler: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.
[Rhett walks off into the fog]

[last line] Scarlett:   After all… tomorrow is another day.

2. It’s a Wonderful Life – James Stewart as George, Donna Reed as Mary, Lionel Barrymore as Mr. Potter

Clarence: Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?

Clarence: You see George, you’ve really had a wonderful life. Don’t you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?

Clarence: [In book inscription] Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.

1. The Shootist – John Wayne as John Bernard Books, Lauren Bacall as Bond, Ron Howard as Gillom

John Bernard Books: I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

Honorable Mention(s):

To Have and Have Not – Lauren Bacall as Slim (Marie), Humphrey Bogart as Steve, Walter Brennan as Eddie

Slim: You know you don’t have to act with me, Steve. You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.

Dirty Dancing – Patrick Swayze as Johnny, Jennifer Grey as Baby (Frances), Jerry Orback as Dr. Houseman

Johnny: Nobody puts Baby in a corner.

So there you have it….my 13 favorite and best classic movie quotes.  Were any of your faves here??  What’s your favorite line from a movie??


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Thursday Thirteen: The 13 Most Handsome Classic Movie Stars

This is my 3rd “Thursday Thirteen”.  This week, my “Thursday Thirteen” are the men I consider to be the Most Handsome Classic Movie Stars.  It was hard to narrow this list down.  There was so many of them.  These are men that true masculine glory exudes from.  In no particular order, my 13 Most Handsome Classic Movie actors are:

1.  John Wayne – manly man

2.  Cary Grant – suave

3.  Errol Flynn- classic

4.  Clark Gable – debonaire

5.  Peter Lawford – the smile and charm

6.  Burt Lancaster – rugged

7.  Frank Sinatra – blue eyes

8.  Montgomery Clift – dark

9.  Charleton Heston – strong

10.  Gene Kelly – dance into the heart

11.  Paul Newman –

12.  Kirk Douglas – the dimple

13.  Ronald Reagan – just cute (this is my daughter’s choice!!)

Honorable Mentions:  Jimmy Stewart, Robert Mitchum, Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, Robert Redford, William Holden, Van Johnson and Steve McQueen.

 

Do you have a “Thursday Thirteen”??  If so, add your name to Mr. Linky and join in!!

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Thursday Thirteen: The 13 Most Beautiful Classic Movie Stars

This is my 2nd “Thursday Thirteen”.  This week, my “Thursday Thirteen” are the women I consider to be the Most Beautiful Classic Movie Stars.  It was hard to narrow this list down.  There was so many of them.  These are women that true beauty exudes from.  In no particular order, my 13 Most Beautiful Classic Movie actresses are:

1.  Judy Garland – those big brown eyes and a voice to match

 2.  Carol Lombard – timeless

 

3.  Myrna Loy – elegant

4.  Elizabeth Taylor – the eyes

5.  Katharine Hepburn – classy

 

6.  Ava Gardner – dark curves

7.  Olivia De Havilland – simple

8.  Bette Davis – all around

9.  June Allyson – cute and charming

10.  Donna Reed – wholesome

11.  Doris Day – girl next door

12.  Deborah Kerr – radiant

 13.  Kim Novak – blonde bombshell

Honorable Mentions:  Natalie Wood, Barbara Stanwyck, Vivian Leigh, Lucille Ball, Jean Simmons, Debbie Reynolds, Lana Turner, Janet Leigh, Jane Russell, Rita Hayworth, Grace Kelly, Esther Williams and Jane Powell.  (Do you see another possible Thursday 13 here?!?!)

Next week it will be the mens turn.  I’ll feature the 13 Most Handsome Classic Movie actors.  We’ll find out who can still make you swoon!!  Who are your Most Beautiful Classic Movie Stars?? 

 

Do you have a “Thursday Thirteen”??  If so, add your name to Mr. Linky and join in!!

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

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