I love and miss you and promise to start posting on you again soon!
p.s. I have a new favorite Ginger movie: Vivacious Lady. I know I've posted a clip of this movie before, but now I love it so much that I have to do a whole post on it. I've watched it twice in the last 2 weeks. Now that I live in the boonies of NC and have hardly any cell phone reception and no cable tv, I'll be able to devote more time to old movies and blogging.
I received my first blog award from Betsy over at Gingerella's Corner. It's really encouraging to know that people actually read your stuff and like it. :) Thanks so much Betsy! She's got a really neat blog herself with lots of great Ginger pics and pinups, so go check her out!
I've been enjoying the new colorized version of Holiday Inn this evening. Boy is it beautiful in color! No matter how bright it is though, there's still something softer and quainter about the old black and white version that I just can't get over, and it's still my favorite. I've been enjoying the soundtrack too, especially driving around in my car. Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only girl in Ohio driving around with a 1942 movie soundtrack playing on my speakers, and then I sort of feel like an oddball. I get over it quickly though, I wouldn't want to be missing out on this. :) Here is one of my favorite scenes from the movie, and how fitting for Thanksgiving. It's a song sung by Bing called "I've Got Plenty To Be Thankful For." And do I ever!
Here's to all of you and all that you're thankful for this season - and best wishes for a Happy Thanksgiving!
One of my all-time favorite holiday movies is Holiday Inn (1942) with Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, and Virginia Dale. The 4 of them are absolutely delightful together, and I think I love just about every song in the movie. My family has owned the movie on VHS for years, but it's pretty worn out by now and last time I checked the old VCR only half works, so I've been meaning to look for Holiday Inn on dvd for years. Finally this year I am feeling enough in the Christmas spirit already to look for it, and I feel like I hit the jackpot. :D On Amazon, I found a 3-disc collector's edition which includes what is described as a "spotless" black and white edition, color edition (YAY!!!), aaaaaand a cd of the soundtrack. I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. And of course I ended up doing the free super-saver shipping, so I have to wait 5-9 days for it to be sent out - but OH the anticipation. It's like Christmas is already here, I can't stand it, I feel all bouncy & antsy (or is that the coffee I just drank?). :)
I've especially always loved Marjorie Reynolds as Linda Mason in Holiday Inn. She's just got that classic 40's beauty and plays the part so well. I guess I'm also intrigued because she seems to be so obscure - I don't think I've ever seen her in anything else. I was reading about her on IMDB, and it looks like she mostly appeared in B films after Holiday Inn, which kind of sucks. But here's some fun trivia - she was an extra in another one of my favorites, Gone With the Wind, as a guest at Twelve Oaks. I'll have to try to look for her next time I watch it!
(The image above is huge and makes a beautiful wallpaper. Get it here.)
And how cool is this! Holiday Inn paper dolls (reprinted) - I would LOVE to have this for my collection. I have some Vivien Leigh and Shirley Temple paper dolls I received as a kid too, and my mom was smart enough not to allow me to cut them out and play with them. I was just thinking I need to like vacuum seal them in plastic or something in order to try to keep them in tact.
Here are a few photos of Marjorie I found.
Here's Marjorie post-Holiday Inn era, in His Kind of Woman (1951) with Robert Mitchum, Jane Russell, and Vincent Price. Sounds like a pretty heavy drama, maybe noir-ish, but it's neat to see her 10 years later.
So, in the spirit of helping me usher in this holiday season, I'd love to read your comments about your favorite holiday films & why you love them. Doesn't even have to be old, just classic. As for me, another one of my favorites is A Christmas Story, about Ralphie and his Red Rider BB gun. I just recently visited the restored house used in the film in Cleveland, Ohio, so I'll talk about it and post pics on my next post. It takes place in 1940, so it's almost classic.
Ever since I was a kid, I've loved Donna Reed. I grew up watching The Donna Reed Show on Nick at Nite, and I always wished she was my mom - but what kid wouldn't? She was always cheerful and cooking and knowing just the right thing to say to soothe her husband's stresses or encourage her kids. She was some actress, too! The most well-known movie of hers of course has got to be It's a Wonderful Life, but I also liked her a lot in From Here To Eternity (though hers was a sad character there!). She keeps popping up on my radar lately, I even saw her in a small part in one of The Thin Man films the other day.
Well, she was apparently a "pretty swell" gal in real life, too. Back during WWII she was a favorite pinup with the soldiers overseas, and received a lot of mail from her fans on the front lines. The best part is, she even answered some of it. :) I like that. It seems like her modest and down-to-earth character portrayals weren't too far from the mark. I came across this NY Times article entitled Dear Donna: A Pinup So Swell She Kept G.I. Mail (also thru DecadesILove.com) today in which Donna's daughter, Mary (haha, just like Mary Stone!), tells the story of 341 letters she discovered in a shoebox in one of her mother's old trunks in the garage. Apparently Donna had saved many of the letters she received from the GI's along with pictures they sent. Her daughter says that it was quite a surprise, as her mom never spoke of the letters to her kids - she wanted to be "just a mom" to them rather than entertain them with stories from her career days. The article talks about how Donna wanted to "do her part for the war effort," so I guess she felt as if her corresponding with the soldiers could give them some sense of comfort from back home - which it obviously did. If you click on the article link above, you can read the article and even view and read the original letters with pics. Very neat! Touching and sad, too.
You know, until the last few years, I very much loved the WWII history of the 1940's. I thought how wonderful it was that the whole country could come together, make sacrifices, and rally behind a common cause. I thought that the times depicted the true spirit of unity during a difficult and uncertain period, and that was just one more reason why I fervently wished to have been there to witness it all.
About 2 years ago though, I started reading versions of history different than what had been printed in my school text books. I began to learn more (it began with a very eye-opening book entitled The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History) about the causes of WWI and WWII - why did the wars begin and why was the United States involved at all? What I learned turned my view of the last century of American history upside down, that's for sure. US involvement in both wars was not necessary, but was sought out and provoked by political administrations of the time, against the wishes and sensibilities of the American people. As a matter of fact, US involvement in every war of the last century has violated what is known as the Just-War Theory. Morally, ethically, and even Biblically, a nation's involvement in war cannot be justified unless the conflict meets the criteria of this theory. And none have, not for over a century. If you are interested in the details of Just-War Theory, there is plenty about it if you just Google it - but for starters, here is a really good, concise article that lays out the main points.
Well, I did go off on a bit of a historical/political tangent, but that's to be expected with me. The point in all of this was that with my new knowledge of the true story behind WWII, it saddens me to now see so much war propaganda in the movies of the time that I love. It's as if the movies for some reason did all they could to put a positive spin on supporting the war effort as your patriotic duty - period, no questions asked. I hope that we are all able to learn for ourselves from history that believing all that the government tells you with no questions asked is never a good policy if it truly is freedom that you want to preserve - as American president Thomas Jefferson said, "the price of freedom is eternal vigilance."
So back to my Donna Reed story....at the end of the article, it's mentioned that during the Vietnam War, Donna became an organized, anti-war campaigner and is quoted as saying that “she looked forward to a time when ‘19-year-old boys will no longer be taken away to fight in old men’s battles.’ ” I'm afraid she'd still be saying the same thing today. Wake up, America. Ask questions. Investigate.
Thanks for reading my musings. :)
I'll leave off with my favorite vintage WWII era Life magazine photo - the soldier returns home to his girl - exactly where he should be.
I've been away from my blog too long! My interests sort of travel through my consciousness in waves I guess, can't spend all my time on one thing too long without taking a break. Lately in my free time I've been doing a lot of reading. Making my way through the complete stories of Sherlock Holmes right now along with some Agatha Christie mysteries. I've also been doing some reading and studying on theology, specifically covenant/dominion and reformed theology. And if that's not enough, I've been on a blog-reading kick, too - I love following the blogs of very large, traditional families and learning all of their tips for smart shopping, gardening, cooking from scratch, raising kids, and just running a household in general. Oh, and I also watched a Grace Kelly movie the other day - The Swan. Didn't like it a-tall. I was not expecting the ending to be so ridiculous, it wasn't at all how I wanted things to end up. Ah well, on to makeup...
This is for all the girls out there who were also born too late - we might've missed out on the 40's, but we don't have to look like it. This makeup/hairstyle video actually has some useful tips that I plan to remember. I'm the one with the narrow (though not quite as long!) face. :)
I'm a native Floridian of the Melancholy/Idealist temperament who spends her time in part exploring and enjoying the world of classics in Hollywood, literature, history, and politics. I've been convinced that I was born too late since childhood.
Strangers When We Meet (1960)
Variety said that the film is "...easy on the eyes but hard on the intellect...an old-fashioned soap opera", and: "It is a rather pointless, slow-moving story, but it has been brought to the screen with such skill that it charms the spectator into an attitude of relaxed enjoyment, much the same effect as that produced by a casual daydream fantasy". Look for a post devoted to this movie coming soon!
Primrose Path (1940)
Ellie Mae (Ginger Rogers) lives on Primrose Hill with her good-hearted and fancy free mother, her drunken father, her younger sister (a young Joan Carroll who played Agnes in Meet Me In St. Louis) and a mean-spirited grandmother. The Hill is not a good part of town, however. When she meets and falls for a hard-working man, they marry and she hides her past from him. When he discovers the truth it jeopardizes their marriage.