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Friday, 25 March 2011

Aww, shucks -- I just got my first ever blog award!

Imagine my surprise and delight this morning when I received an email telling me that the wonderful Clara of Via Margutta 51 had chosen me as a Stylish Blogger! I've never received a blog award before and I feel very honoured to receive this one from Clara. Thank you so much! :)

Right, now I have to, according to the rules of the award, leave a link to Clara's blog and then reveal to you all 7 of my deepest, darkest secrets... or, just reveal 7 facts about myself.

1. I love tennis. I sort of stole that one from Clara, but it's a highly relevant fact about me too! I've played the sport since I was 5, which makes it almost 13 years. It's my favourite sport without a doubt.

2. I play the trumpet. I started learning when I was 13, and I love it. There is no feeling that can compare with the thrill that runs through you whilst playing in a jazz/concert band when everyone around you is playing and the music is swelling and... ugh. It's magnificent.

3. I saw The King and I on stage when I was 2 weeks old. No, my mother is not one of those people who brings screaming babies and kids to the theatre -- it was at the dress rehearsal for a production of the show. My brother was in it and so, not wanting to go to the actual show in case I started wailing (and I did a lot of that, apparently), Mum decided to go and watch the dress rehearsal instead. I have a feeling this is where my love of The King and I, and musicals in general, springs from ;D

4. I absolutely love the 2005 BBC adaptation of Charles Dickens' Bleak House. I watched this series when it first aired, just a few months before I turned town the dark path of classic film ;D, and it's the first thing I can remember ever being ridiculously obsessed with. I fell in love with the costumes, the music, the breathtaking cinematography and most importantly, the story and Lady Dedlock/Gillian Anderson. I read most of Dickens' books after this, and I've watched Bleak House far too many times every year since 2005.

5. I would love to be a vet. Ever since I was little, I've dreamed of being a vet (well, a vet, an actress, and a professional tennis player ;D) and of all them, I think I have the most chance of becoming a vet. That being said, I'm more "hands on" than academic so I'm not sure how well I would cope with the long years of training and exams that one has to through to become a qualified vet. Also, I believe it's rather hard to get into veterinary college...

6. I have absolutely NO artistic abilities, whatsoever. I'm not joking. I can't even draw stick people without difficulty. I can, however, draw robots. On graph paper.

7. Something random. I had a dream last night that I was Phoebe Buffay in Phyllis Dietrichson's body wearing Baroness Schraeder's clothes (specifically, the carpet skirt she wears during The Lonely Goatherd/Edelweiss scene and a hot pink version of the blouse). I must say, I looked pretty good. In dream land, Phyllis' wig (I didn't have the Baroness' hair, sadly) didn't look really bizarre like it did in Double Indemnity.

Oh my, now I have to choose seven stylish bloggers to give this award too. HOW CAN I PICK JUST 7 OUT OF ALL YOU INCREDIBLY STYLISH PEOPLE? Here goes...

I urge you to check out their blogs if you haven't already, because they are all seven really amazing!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Classic Hollywood - Lift Me Up (A Tribute Video)

I haven't made a video since last year, mainly because I didn't have any inspiration and, when I did, I couldn't be bothered faffing around with Windows Movie Maker (because we all know how dangerous it makes me when it starts freezing and restarting. UGH). Anyway, the other day I heard this song and inspiration struck. So, I opened the dreaded program and started collection clips together. I hope you enjoy it...

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

In Memory of Elizabeth Taylor

 Dame Elizabeth Taylor

February 27, 1932 - March 23, 2011

Elizabeth Taylor, one of the most famous and well loved actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age, passed away today at the age of 79. Perhaps because of her iconic status and the fact that she is known the world over for both her films and her work with HIV/AIDS, this news hit me quite hard although I am not one of her biggest fans (don't get me wrong, I do still like her!). It seems that there are so few people left from the Golden Age that each time another passes away it really makes my heart ache. 

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

You will never be forgotten ♥

Saturday, 19 March 2011

My Classic Film Collection

I've been collecting classic films for several years now, but up until the last year or so, I didn't really have all that many. I mainly recorded films off the tv onto discs -- this is how I acquired a lot of my Deborah film collection as every week I would scour the tv guide to see if any of her films were showing. If there happened to be a rare film airing, I would go bonkers! This last year, however, I amassed a fair amount of DVDs. YAY! The downside was that all of my shelves were full of books, which meant that my precious, ever-expanding film collection had to sit on the floor. I was desperate for some shelves so that I could show off my collection properly, and finally, today my DVDs got their new home. They went from this...

... to this...

Silly as it sounds, I just can't stop looking at them! They look so shiny and pretty! I have them organised in alphabetical order, starting with Eleanor Parker and Robert Taylor's amazing film Above and Beyond (1952) and ending with the absolutely wonderful Yours, Mine and Ours (1968) starring Lucille Ball and Henry Fonda. I once tried organising them in alphabetical order according to the actress, but that raised the question of whether I should just do that for Deborah, Greer, Stany, Eleanor etc. etc. or for ALL of the actresses, even the ones that I don't fan girl over. It became far too complicated because, do I put The Band Wagon with my Cyd films or with my Ava films, even though she's only in it for a minute? I also tried just having them all mixed up once. NEVER AGAIN. I like to know exactly where a film is. If they're not in some sort of order then you never know where they will turn up. It just doesn't feel right having From Here To Eternity and The Ugly Dachshund next to each other.

How do you organise your films?

Friday, 18 March 2011

Films I Can Watch Over and Over #1

Each time I make one of these posts will write about a film which I can watch over and over again without ever getting sick of it. To be honest, there aren't a huge amount of films that I love this much - or, that I love in such a way that if I put them on when I'm not feeling too good I know will put even the tiniest of smiles on my face. However, these films are pretty amazing in my books and I'm quite excited to share them with you!

The Sound of Music

I'm pretty certain that a lot of people love to watch this film when they're a bit under the weather because it's uplifting (to a point where I'm almost certain it's illegal), it's beautifully shot (I would watch this over and over for the scenery alone. GASP! I long for the day when I can go to Austria myself and see all of that astonishing beauty first hand.), it's Julie Andrews and my Eleanor, it's all of my favourite things put together in one fabulous film. If there could be such a thing as a perfect film, I'm sure that this would be it.

I first saw it when I was 4, and from that day on, I was hooked. I watched The Sound of Music (and The King and I) at every opportunity available and I reveled in it. It just seemed like such an idyllic world to live in. I didn't know who Hitler and the Nazis were back then, I thought that Baroness Schraeder was being kind to Maria by convincing her to go back to the convent (But that's a whole other story. I could rant about how the Baroness is not a horrible person, and how most people would have done what she did, for days!), I didn't comprehend the struggle that Maria was going through when having to choose between her life as a nun and her life with Captain von Trapp, and I didn't understand the tension during The Ländler Ladle Dance. As I grew older, I began to realise that it wasn't such a perfect world. Yes, there was Eleanor Parker, people singing ALL THE TIME AND IN PUBLIC PLACES (can we just pause for a moment to imagine how utterly magical it would be if that actually happened?) Julie Andrews and Julie Andrews' voice, BA nuns, and children that wore curtains, but there were also terrible things happening. Things that drove the von Trapps out of their country. Still, that didn't dampen my love for the film. Rainbows and unicorns still danced around me when I put the VHS in. They will never stop dancing because my love for this film knows no bounds. When I start watching it and I hear the birds chirping and the first faint strains of music, my heart skips a beat and I shiver with excitement. It's a feeling of coming home. The Sound of Music is part of me.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Photo of the Day

This is possibly my favourite photo of Eleanor. I had to scan it in because I've never been able to find it online. When I write to her (I finally started her letter the other day!) I'm going to ask if she'll sign this photo for me. It's so gorgeous!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Happy 100th birthday, Jean!

Jean Harlow

March 3, 1911 - June 7, 1937

The blonde bombshell of the '30s, Harlean Harlow Carpenter, better known as Jean Harlow, would have the been celebrating her 100th birthday today. She starred in films such as Platinum Blonde, Hell's Angels, Dinner at Eight, Red Dust, Libeled Lady and was undoubtedly one of the biggest stars of the 20th century. Like Carole Lombard, James Dean and, sadly, many others, Harlean's oft unhappy life was cut tragically short at age 26 when she passed away from kidney failure. I often wonder whether she would have maintained her star status into the '40s had she lived and if today she would still be looked on as such an iconic figure. I like to think so because I have a special place in my heart for this dear, carefree, fun loving, beautiful woman.

Happy birthday, Jean! ♥

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

My Year in Film: January and Febuary


1. Don't Bother To Knock (1952)
2. Let's Make Love (1960)
3. Gone With the Wind (1939)
4. Vertigo (1958)
5. Marie Antoinette (1938)
6. It Happened One Night (1934)
7. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)
8. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
9. Star Wars: Episode VI - The Return of the Jedi (1983)
10. The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)
11. You Can't Take It With You (1938)
12. The Great Outdoors (1988)
13. River of No Return (1954)
14. McLinktock! (1963)
15. Kispus (1956)
16. Miranda (1948)
17. The Parent Trap (1961)
18. The Court Jester (1955)
19. Mad About Men (1954)
20. Woman of the Year (1942)
21. Scaramouche (1952)
22. Third Time Lucky (1949)
23. Adam's Rib (1949)
24. Sentimental Journey (1946)
25. Thirteen Women (1932)
26. On the Beat (1962)
27. The Flame of New Orleans (1941)
28. The Barefoot Contessa (1954)
29. We're Not Married (1952)
30. Love Nest (1951)
31. Lured (1947)


32. Encore (1951)
33.Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
34. Pat and Mike (1952)
35. The Misfits (1961)
36.Charade (1963)
37. Mrs. Miniver (1942)
38. Rio Grande (1950)
39. The Dam Busters (1955)
40. Pillow Talk (1959)
41. The Thrill of it All (1963)
42. Inception (2010)
43. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist (2008)
44. Hud (1963)
45. Three Came Home (1950)
46. Sunset Blvd. (1950)
47. The Band Wagon (1953)
48. The Breakfast Club (1985)
49. Stand by Me (1986)
50. Intermezzo: A Love Story (1939)
51. Titanic (1953)
52. Stage Fright (1950)
53. The More the Merrier (1943)
54. The Egg and I (1947)
55. Modern Times (1936)
56. The Mad Miss Manton (1938)
57. Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison (1957)
58. Camille (1936)
59. The Valley of Decision (1945)
60. Bus Stop (1956)
61. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
62. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

1930s - 10
1940s - 11
1950s - 23
1960s - 8
1970s - 1
1980s - 5
2000s - 3
2010s - 1

Most Watched Actresses

1. Marilyn Monroe - 7
2. Glynis Johns - 6 (inc. 2 watches of Mad About Men)
3. Maureen O'Hara - 5 (inc. 2 watches of The Parent Trap)
4. Claudette Colbert - 4 (inc. 2 watches of Three Came Home)
5. Katharine Hepburn - 3

Most Watched Actors

1. Clark Gable - 3
2. Harrison Ford - 3
3. Spencer Tracy - 3
4. James Stewart - 2
5. Leslie Howard - 2
6. Paul Newman - 2
7. Richard Todd - 2
8. Robert Mitchum -2

In Memory of Jane Russell

Jane Russell

June 21, 1921 - February 28, 2010

Jane Russell was a talented and beautiful actress as well as a really wonderful person. She starred in 24 films from 1943 - 1970, with her most well known being her first film The Outlaw, in which she was directed by Howard Hughes, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953) which starred her opposite Marilyn Monroe. As one of the Hollywood's biggest stars, Jane's memory will most certainly live on. 

R.I.P. Miss Russell, you will be greatly missed.
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