Cary Grant in Sherlock Jr?

Cary Grant in Sherlock Jr?

(Source: myclassicmovies)

(Source: myclassicmovies)

busterness:

Darlin, tumblr-ers:  we’ve just made an amazing discovery of photos and nitrate negatives of behind-the-scenes shots of Buster’s THE GENERAL.  The photos and negatives were taken by a local photog in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and have remained hidden for all these years until recently discovered.  Help us celebrate this amazing find, and learn how YOU, TOO can find lost silent-film treasures!  See https://www.facebook.com/BusterKeatonSociety?ref_type=bookmark
Luy y’all.  Srsly.  You can find this stuff, too!

busterness:

Darlin, tumblr-ers:  we’ve just made an amazing discovery of photos and nitrate negatives of behind-the-scenes shots of Buster’s THE GENERAL.  The photos and negatives were taken by a local photog in Cottage Grove, Oregon, and have remained hidden for all these years until recently discovered.  Help us celebrate this amazing find, and learn how YOU, TOO can find lost silent-film treasures!  See https://www.facebook.com/BusterKeatonSociety?ref_type=bookmark

Luy y’all.  Srsly.  You can find this stuff, too!

Buster’s screwdriver isn’t nearly as sonic.

Buster’s screwdriver isn’t nearly as sonic.

(Source: myclassicmovies)

(Source: myclassicmovies)

myclassicmovies:

Mickey Rooney 1920-2014

I’m going to step away from the norm and write about a person instead of a film. Technically I do write about people within my movie recommendations, but there’s no recommendation here. Just some things that you need to know.

Mickey Rooney has died and this is significant. 

I was reading some articles about his death and people were posting mean things about him in the comments, because Internet. I have heard these things before: that he was not a particularly nice man unless there were cameras rolling or press nearby, that he was an alcoholic (though not recently), that he was married 8 times because he was a jerk. He seemed okay to me, but I met him at church. If there’s anywhere not to be an asshole, church would be the place. Or it should be.
Let’s understand something though- as Hollywood stars go, he wasn’t that bad. He did not have a police record. He did not abuse his offspring. He has never been accused of molesting a child. He did not murder anyone. He never got coked up and rode around Hollywood smashing into his “enemies” with his car. He never jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch. By the time I ever heard of him, he had pretty much straightened up his act. So can we not dwell on these things, please?

He spent the last few years standing up for the rights of the elderly. He spoke before the Senate Special Committee on Aging about abuse that he received at the hands of his own stepson- an outrage that split his family in two. He moved out from one stepson and moved in with another and had not seen his wife of 32 years since last April. In fact, she heard of his death via TMZ. 

I have mentioned this before, but it really bears repeating. Up until yesterday, Rooney was the only working actor who started out in silent film. Let that sink in. Would you like me to repeat that in bold? Okay.  Up until yesterday, Rooney was the only working actor who started out in silent film. You’re welcome. I submit that it’s entirely possible that, until yesterday, he was the only working actor who started out in Vaudeville, but I’m not confident enough in that to put money on it.

He has worked with or known so many of the classic stars that have left us already that, to me, he was a living link to them. And now he too is gone. With 200 or so movies to his credit, I couldn’t possibly make a decent list of his co-stars, so maybe I won’t even try. That’s what IMDb is for. 

Do I have favorite Mickey Rooney roles? Yes, of course. I love Andy Hardy. I loved him in A Night at the Museum. I love catching him in uncredited roles from his early film career. He had personality. I like that most of all. So whether I like the movie he’s in or not, whether he’s doing a good job of acting or not (I am not blind to the fact that there were roles he should have turned down) you know when he’s on screen because he lights it up. You know what? I will make a recommendation here after all. If there’s a movie on with Mickey Rooney in it, even if he’s only in it for a second, watch it. 

Rest in Peace, Mickey Rooney. You are already missed.

myclassicmovies:

Mickey Rooney 1920-2014

I’m going to step away from the norm and write about a person instead of a film. Technically I do write about people within my movie recommendations, but there’s no recommendation here. Just some things that you need to know.

Mickey Rooney has died and this is significant.

I was reading some articles about his death and people were posting mean things about him in the comments, because Internet. I have heard these things before: that he was not a particularly nice man unless there were cameras rolling or press nearby, that he was an alcoholic (though not recently), that he was married 8 times because he was a jerk. He seemed okay to me, but I met him at church. If there’s anywhere not to be an asshole, church would be the place. Or it should be.

Let’s understand something though- as Hollywood stars go, he wasn’t that bad. He did not have a police record. He did not abuse his offspring. He has never been accused of molesting a child. He did not murder anyone. He never got coked up and rode around Hollywood smashing into his “enemies” with his car. He never jumped up and down on Oprah’s couch. By the time I ever heard of him, he had pretty much straightened up his act. So can we not dwell on these things, please?

He spent the last few years standing up for the rights of the elderly. He spoke before the Senate Special Committee on Aging about abuse that he received at the hands of his own stepson- an outrage that split his family in two. He moved out from one stepson and moved in with another and had not seen his wife of 32 years since last April. In fact, she heard of his death via TMZ.

I have mentioned this before, but it really bears repeating. Up until yesterday, Rooney was the only working actor who started out in silent film. Let that sink in. Would you like me to repeat that in bold? Okay. Up until yesterday, Rooney was the only working actor who started out in silent film. You’re welcome. I submit that it’s entirely possible that, until yesterday, he was the only working actor who started out in Vaudeville, but I’m not confident enough in that to put money on it.

He has worked with or known so many of the classic stars that have left us already that, to me, he was a living link to them. And now he too is gone. With 200 or so movies to his credit, I couldn’t possibly make a decent list of his co-stars, so maybe I won’t even try. That’s what IMDb is for.

Do I have favorite Mickey Rooney roles? Yes, of course. I love Andy Hardy. I loved him in A Night at the Museum. I love catching him in uncredited roles from his early film career. He had personality. I like that most of all. So whether I like the movie he’s in or not, whether he’s doing a good job of acting or not (I am not blind to the fact that there were roles he should have turned down) you know when he’s on screen because he lights it up. You know what? I will make a recommendation here after all. If there’s a movie on with Mickey Rooney in it, even if he’s only in it for a second, watch it.

Rest in Peace, Mickey Rooney. You are already missed.

myclassicmovies:

Oliver! (1968) Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Ron Moody. Dir: Sir Carol Reed

Yes, it’s a musical. It’s from the stage play which opened in the West End in 1960, thus ushering in the age of putting exclamation points in the titles of plays. The play came to America as a tour and then started up on Broadway in 1963 with Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger.

The stage play, of course, is based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens which ran as a serial beginning in 1837, under the reign of George IV, rather than Queen Victoria, who took over in June of 1837. Therefore it is not a Victorian novel. Just in case you were wondering.

The plot is as follows: a boy named Oliver(!) lives in an orphanage and is not getting enough to eat, so he asks for seconds. This was unheard of and prompted the orphanage people to take him to town and sell him. Then he runs away from the family they sold him to, and honestly, I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live with someone who puts a monetary value on one’s life. So, Oliver(!) meets another boy who lives with a bunch of other boys who work for a guy named Fagin. There is singing, dancing, hookers, pimps, despair, joy, terror, triumph, and an owl. The end.

This movie means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. I will try to tackle them chronologically. But not chronologically to the real world, chronologically in my head, so apologies in advance for any perceived bass-ackwardry. 

Reason #1: In 1969, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1968. This may or may not have been the year I was born. 

Reason #2: The very first movie I saw in a movie theater was H.R. Pufnstuf. I may or may not have been 2 years old. (On a note extremely off to the side, my mother was so excited that I behaved so well during this movie that she took me to see Patton the next week. And took me home less than an hour into it.) For those of you not in the know, the significance of Pufnstuf is that the boy in that movie, Jack Wild, played The Artful Dodger in Oliver!. In fact, he was offered the role in Pufnstuf because of his work in Oliver!. I must insist on putting a period after the exclamation point, lest you think I’m shouting these things at you.

Reason #3: When I was 7, I used to listen to the soundtrack over and over every day. I stole it from my mom, who bought it because she was playing the Widow Corny in a local production of it and liked the music. Of course, the Widow Corny barely figures in the movie, but she has an actual song in the play. Which this is not. It’s the movie.

Reason #4: I have been acting since I was almost 3 years old, so as a kid, I dreamed of playing Nancy. When I got into my teens, I realized that the fun role was actually Fagin. So now I want to play Fagin some day. Ron Moody is the best Fagin there could ever be. 

Reason #5: When I was little I had a huge crush on Jack Wild, and when I watch the movie, I have the mind of a 7 year old (the age when I first saw the movie). I still see Jack Wild as an older boy whom I want to date. Of course, in the movie he’s a kid, and in real life he’s dead. Which is immeasurably sad.

I think those are enough reasons as to why this movie means so much to me. The question is, why should it mean anything to you? Well, I guess it was inevitable that I would have to stop talking about myself. I’ll do another point by point thing.

1) You can tolerate musicals enough to not let some songs get in the way of being able to recognize great acting and a great story, as well as awesome directing, and amazing sets all built just for the film.

2) You are a huge Oliver Reed fan.

3) You don’t mind takin’ it like it turns out.

4) You are interested in the MPAA rating system which also began in 1968, making Oliver! the first rated film to win Best Picture (and also the last ‘G’ rated film to win).

5) You like watching people pick-pocket and steal to live.

6) You want more reasons?? Never before has (anyone) wanted more!

7) You want to watch Mark Lester, who could neither sing nor cry, sing and cry- through the miracle of modern technology (dubbing and onions).

8) You like top hats and fingerless gloves.

9) You’d do anything (anything?) anything for me.

10) Nine reasons were enough, I just like to write the number 10. 10.

You must Watch Oliver!! (Only the second exclamation point was mine) I really, truly, honestly believe that everyone either likes this movie or hasn’t seen it yet. So long, fare thee well, pip pip, cheerio. Be back soon.

myclassicmovies:

Oliver! (1968) Mark Lester, Jack Wild, Ron Moody. Dir: Sir Carol Reed

Yes, it’s a musical. It’s from the stage play which opened in the West End in 1960, thus ushering in the age of putting exclamation points in the titles of plays. The play came to America as a tour and then started up on Broadway in 1963 with Davy Jones as the Artful Dodger.

The stage play, of course, is based on the novel Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens which ran as a serial beginning in 1837, under the reign of George IV, rather than Queen Victoria, who took over in June of 1837. Therefore it is not a Victorian novel. Just in case you were wondering.

The plot is as follows: a boy named Oliver(!) lives in an orphanage and is not getting enough to eat, so he asks for seconds. This was unheard of and prompted the orphanage people to take him to town and sell him. Then he runs away from the family they sold him to, and honestly, I can’t for the life of me understand why anyone wouldn’t want to live with someone who puts a monetary value on one’s life. So, Oliver(!) meets another boy who lives with a bunch of other boys who work for a guy named Fagin. There is singing, dancing, hookers, pimps, despair, joy, terror, triumph, and an owl. The end.

This movie means a lot to me for a lot of reasons. I will try to tackle them chronologically. But not chronologically to the real world, chronologically in my head, so apologies in advance for any perceived bass-ackwardry.

Reason #1: In 1969, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1968. This may or may not have been the year I was born.

Reason #2: The very first movie I saw in a movie theater was H.R. Pufnstuf. I may or may not have been 2 years old. (On a note extremely off to the side, my mother was so excited that I behaved so well during this movie that she took me to see Patton the next week. And took me home less than an hour into it.) For those of you not in the know, the significance of Pufnstuf is that the boy in that movie, Jack Wild, played The Artful Dodger in Oliver!. In fact, he was offered the role in Pufnstuf because of his work in Oliver!. I must insist on putting a period after the exclamation point, lest you think I’m shouting these things at you.

Reason #3: When I was 7, I used to listen to the soundtrack over and over every day. I stole it from my mom, who bought it because she was playing the Widow Corny in a local production of it and liked the music. Of course, the Widow Corny barely figures in the movie, but she has an actual song in the play. Which this is not. It’s the movie.

Reason #4: I have been acting since I was almost 3 years old, so as a kid, I dreamed of playing Nancy. When I got into my teens, I realized that the fun role was actually Fagin. So now I want to play Fagin some day. Ron Moody is the best Fagin there could ever be.

Reason #5: When I was little I had a huge crush on Jack Wild, and when I watch the movie, I have the mind of a 7 year old (the age when I first saw the movie). I still see Jack Wild as an older boy whom I want to date. Of course, in the movie he’s a kid, and in real life he’s dead. Which is immeasurably sad.

I think those are enough reasons as to why this movie means so much to me. The question is, why should it mean anything to you? Well, I guess it was inevitable that I would have to stop talking about myself. I’ll do another point by point thing.

1) You can tolerate musicals enough to not let some songs get in the way of being able to recognize great acting and a great story, as well as awesome directing, and amazing sets all built just for the film.

2) You are a huge Oliver Reed fan.

3) You don’t mind takin’ it like it turns out.

4) You are interested in the MPAA rating system which also began in 1968, making Oliver! the first rated film to win Best Picture (and also the last ‘G’ rated film to win).

5) You like watching people pick-pocket and steal to live.

6) You want more reasons?? Never before has (anyone) wanted more!

7) You want to watch Mark Lester, who could neither sing nor cry, sing and cry- through the miracle of modern technology (dubbing and onions).

8) You like top hats and fingerless gloves.

9) You’d do anything (anything?) anything for me.

10) Nine reasons were enough, I just like to write the number 10. 10.

You must Watch Oliver!! (Only the second exclamation point was mine) I really, truly, honestly believe that everyone either likes this movie or hasn’t seen it yet. So long, fare thee well, pip pip, cheerio. Be back soon.

myclassicmovies:

Marty (1955) Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti. Dir: Delbert Mann.

I may have mentioned before that I don’t like a lot of movies from the 1950’s (I will not go into specifics so much now) and I prefer comedies because I have enough drama in my real life. I don’t much care for war movies or westerns either. Now, Marty isn’t a war movie or a western, but Ernest Borgnine did a lot of war movies and westerns, so I wasn’t a fan. I say all of this because these are the reasons it took me so long to get around to seeing the film, and I only saw it because I had heard for years that I should. And it’s a good thing I did.

Marty isn’t the kind of movie that could have been made any earlier than it was. Technically, it was made earlier than it was- as a TV movie, 2 years before. It was the success of the small-screen story that prompted a big-screen redo. The thing about movies up to this point is they were always extreme. Extremely glamorous, or extremely seedy, or extremely tragic, etc. Movie makers had a habit of making films that took people out of reality (which is absolutely fine- see first paragraph) and presented them with something to either fantasize about or fear. This is why so many movies of the 30’s are about rich people (fantasize) or organized crime (fear). The people of the 30’s needed to be transported from their day to day lives, which, I am told, were depressing. 

On into the 1940’s the movie makers determined that we needed more sophisticated fantasy and fear, and a huge rally of support for the men at war. So audiences were given more stories about glamorous,upper-middle class (rather than flat-out rich) people who had jobs, though were rarely shown working. The organized crime stories mostly turned into mysteries. The kind of stories that the movie industry would have you believe could happen to you. Or someone you knew.  With so many people involved in the war, either directly or indirectly, Hollywood took it upon itself to be cheerleaders. It would appear, in fact, that movies were becoming more down to earth, but still hovering ever so slightly above ground. The 50’s continued the trend of becoming more reflective of real life, but still, just not quite there. Not realistic. 

Except for Marty.

Marty is the name of the character played by Ernest Borgnine, a 34 year old butcher who is ugly, stocky, socially awkward, and lonely. His social awkwardness is due mostly to his concerns about his appearance. He’s a very nice guy, but he just can’t talk to women outside the butcher shop, where he has confidence in his work. At the point we meet him, he lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti) and has essentially accepted that he will never find love or get married. He is constantly asked, “Why aren’t you married?” “Why don’t you get married?”, as though not getting married was a choice that he made and if he changed his mind, he could just drop by the spouse store on the way home from work one day. His mother pressures him to go to a dance hall one night and there he meets a plain woman (Betsy Blair) whose blind date walks out on her. Positive things happen, but not without the nuisance of negative things, and then it’s over.

When I first saw the film, I identified so strongly with Marty because I have always been unusual looking, and will never not be. I am not the one walking down the street that people stop and admire. They might stop and stare, but it is very unlikely that they will admire. The guys I liked never liked me. I did manage to get married, but he abused me, and after way too long, I left. I’ve had a few other relationships, but mostly with chemically addicted guys who consumed me, or tried to, so, given the kind of guys I am able to attain, I’ve given up. I’ll stick with my dead celebrities, thank you very much.

I had felt for years that pretty people need to see Marty so they can understand what life is like for the rest of us. The rest of us being those who don’t come from money, aren’t blessed with connections, don’t have perfect hair, aren’t pretty, aren’t refined with the social graces that make one acceptable to take home to mom, but are fine to take home to bed. Us. 

It has been shown time and time again that the pretty people have the advantages. They get the better jobs and make more money. They are more likely to get help when they need it. They are more quickly forgiven when they do something wrong.

As I prepared to write this recommendation, I remembered that pretty people have feelings too, and even though they don’t resemble Marty (the character) outwardly, they have insecurities which resemble him on the inside. Everyone has some aspect of Marty within them that makes them feel small in the right situations. I don’t mean to sound condescending. I don’t know what it’s like to be anybody but myself, and I’m not one of them. My point is that 100% of the population is not 100% confident 100% of the time, but everyone has a place where they shine, and sometimes it takes a long time to find that place. Or that person that finds them shiny. 

And that’s what Marty is about. And that’s why you should see it.

myclassicmovies:

Marty (1955) Ernest Borgnine, Betsy Blair, Esther Minciotti. Dir: Delbert Mann.

I may have mentioned before that I don’t like a lot of movies from the 1950’s (I will not go into specifics so much now) and I prefer comedies because I have enough drama in my real life. I don’t much care for war movies or westerns either. Now, Marty isn’t a war movie or a western, but Ernest Borgnine did a lot of war movies and westerns, so I wasn’t a fan. I say all of this because these are the reasons it took me so long to get around to seeing the film, and I only saw it because I had heard for years that I should. And it’s a good thing I did.

Marty isn’t the kind of movie that could have been made any earlier than it was. Technically, it was made earlier than it was- as a TV movie, 2 years before. It was the success of the small-screen story that prompted a big-screen redo. The thing about movies up to this point is they were always extreme. Extremely glamorous, or extremely seedy, or extremely tragic, etc. Movie makers had a habit of making films that took people out of reality (which is absolutely fine- see first paragraph) and presented them with something to either fantasize about or fear. This is why so many movies of the 30’s are about rich people (fantasize) or organized crime (fear). The people of the 30’s needed to be transported from their day to day lives, which, I am told, were depressing.

On into the 1940’s the movie makers determined that we needed more sophisticated fantasy and fear, and a huge rally of support for the men at war. So audiences were given more stories about glamorous,upper-middle class (rather than flat-out rich) people who had jobs, though were rarely shown working. The organized crime stories mostly turned into mysteries. The kind of stories that the movie industry would have you believe could happen to you. Or someone you knew. With so many people involved in the war, either directly or indirectly, Hollywood took it upon itself to be cheerleaders. It would appear, in fact, that movies were becoming more down to earth, but still hovering ever so slightly above ground. The 50’s continued the trend of becoming more reflective of real life, but still, just not quite there. Not realistic.

Except for Marty.

Marty is the name of the character played by Ernest Borgnine, a 34 year old butcher who is ugly, stocky, socially awkward, and lonely. His social awkwardness is due mostly to his concerns about his appearance. He’s a very nice guy, but he just can’t talk to women outside the butcher shop, where he has confidence in his work. At the point we meet him, he lives with his mother (Esther Minciotti) and has essentially accepted that he will never find love or get married. He is constantly asked, “Why aren’t you married?” “Why don’t you get married?”, as though not getting married was a choice that he made and if he changed his mind, he could just drop by the spouse store on the way home from work one day. His mother pressures him to go to a dance hall one night and there he meets a plain woman (Betsy Blair) whose blind date walks out on her. Positive things happen, but not without the nuisance of negative things, and then it’s over.

When I first saw the film, I identified so strongly with Marty because I have always been unusual looking, and will never not be. I am not the one walking down the street that people stop and admire. They might stop and stare, but it is very unlikely that they will admire. The guys I liked never liked me. I did manage to get married, but he abused me, and after way too long, I left. I’ve had a few other relationships, but mostly with chemically addicted guys who consumed me, or tried to, so, given the kind of guys I am able to attain, I’ve given up. I’ll stick with my dead celebrities, thank you very much.

I had felt for years that pretty people need to see Marty so they can understand what life is like for the rest of us. The rest of us being those who don’t come from money, aren’t blessed with connections, don’t have perfect hair, aren’t pretty, aren’t refined with the social graces that make one acceptable to take home to mom, but are fine to take home to bed. Us.

It has been shown time and time again that the pretty people have the advantages. They get the better jobs and make more money. They are more likely to get help when they need it. They are more quickly forgiven when they do something wrong.

As I prepared to write this recommendation, I remembered that pretty people have feelings too, and even though they don’t resemble Marty (the character) outwardly, they have insecurities which resemble him on the inside. Everyone has some aspect of Marty within them that makes them feel small in the right situations. I don’t mean to sound condescending. I don’t know what it’s like to be anybody but myself, and I’m not one of them. My point is that 100% of the population is not 100% confident 100% of the time, but everyone has a place where they shine, and sometimes it takes a long time to find that place. Or that person that finds them shiny.

And that’s what Marty is about. And that’s why you should see it.