Catching Up with 'Quelle (2)




Movie Star Diet – Something Celeste Holm said in an interview about High Society (1956) has wedged itself in my brain and hasn’t wanted to let go. She said that Grace Kelly was very conscious about her weight and her lunch on set was always a cup of tea with honey and a grapefruit. Yikes! I think my ulcer would come back if I ate like that. I sometimes wonder what movie stars ate? Especially when they were working on a movie. Then there is Ava Gardner (the only actress I truly despise) who would eat like a horse and not gain weight. Her daily meal consumption included:
Breakfast: Southern-fried chicken, grits, biscuits, gravy, coffee.
Lunch: A large steak, veggies, potatoes, salad, apple-pie with ice cream, iced-tea.
Snack: A milkshake. Cornbread dipped in cooked vegetable juices.
Dinner: Another steak, with all the trimmings.
Dessert: ____
Evening snack: An omelette.

Geez at least she skipped dessert!

Robert Mitchum iPhone 4 Case - I got it!


And I love it! It pretty much represents who I am. Someone who loves modern technology but yearns for the past.

You can custom make your own iPhone case over at CafePress.com . The above image is from my Instagram. If you'd like to follow me on there, my username is QuelleLove.

Recuperating - I had surgery on Friday so I've been (trying) to take it easy this weekend. Lots of movies seen! I hope you all have a good week.

Liz and Dick - I recently watched the trailer for the new Liz and Dick TV movie. What do you think of Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor? I know a lot of you are strongly against it. I wasn't happy with Jennifer Love Hewitt as Audrey Hepburn and I'm expecting similar from Lohan.





Lightning Flash Giveaway ~ Lawrence of Arabia (1962) 50th Anniversary Event




It's time for another Lightning Flash giveaway hosted by Sony Pictures Entertainment and NCM Fathom Events!

 I'm giving a way 3 pairs of tickets for Lawrence of Arabia (1962) screening on Thursday October 4th  in select US theaters. Check out NCM Fathom Events' official page for the Lawrence of Arabia event for details on where it's showing.

The event features an introduction by Omar Sharif, a newsreel from the New York premiere of Lawrence of Arabia, an interview with Director Martin Scorsese and some extra fun features. The film has been digitally restored in celebration of the 50th anniversary. 

Also on November 13th, a fantastic new Blu-Ray set will be available for sale! (I swear no one is paying me to say this, I just like really nice looking collector's editions boxed sets. I wish I could own them all!)








 You can enter to win a chance to see this here! It's a lightning flash giveaway so please be prepared to respond ASAP to my email if you are contacted. Read the rules and regulations and fill out the form below.

Rules and Regulations:
1) US participants only.
2) Enter by Sunday September 30th at Noon EST.
3) Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.
4) There is only ONE SHOWING. If you are not available to see this on Thursday October 4th, please do not enter this contest.
5) If you win, you must reply to my announcement email by 8 am EST on Monday October 1st so NCM Fathom can get you the tickets.

Good luck!

CONTEST IS NOW OVER. 

Winners are Merry, Steve and Bill. Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who participated.

Warner Archive Wednesday ~ Any Number Can Play (1949)



Any Number Can Play (1949) was shown recently on TCM (Turner Classic Movies). Host Ben Mankiewicz chose to screen it right after Gilda (1946) because both movies dealt with casinos and the people who run them and how that affects the people in their lives. Any Number Can Play has a terrific cast. It stars Clark Gable who was still a major star but according to Mankiewicz needed something to boost his career after a bit of a slump after WWII. Gable also had to compete with the new popular media: Television. So instead of a fancy film about casinos, this one is more about the emotional toll casinos and gambling take on the folks involved.

Clark Gable plays Charley Kyng, the owner of an underground casino. The years of dealing with staff, gangsters and gamblers has taken a toll on him. He's developed a pain in his chest (angina) and wants to take some time off. But it's harder to pry himself free from his business than he thought. He sees how his choice of career is affecting his family: his wife Lon (Alexis Smith) is sad and worried and his son Paul (Darryl Hickman) lashes out.

This film has a terrific cast. Audrey Totter plays Alice, Charley Kyng's sister, and Wendell Corey plays her husband Robbin who works at the casino. Mary Astor plays Ada, Charley's old lover who still harbors strong feelings for Charley even though he won't reciprocate. Frank Morgan plays a regular at the casino. 


Image Source: Another Old Movie Blog

And then there is Lewis Stone. Oh my goodness. How I do love Lewis Stone. I have a serious soft spot for him. Lewis Stone plays Ben, an old widower and ex-insurance agent with a penchant for drink and gambling. In one scene, he comes to Charley (Clark Gable) for a loan. He's done it several times in the past but this time he has collateral. He leaves behind the flask his deceased wife Imogee left to him. It's at this point where I just burst in to tears. A lot of tears. Every single scene with Lewis Stone just gets me crying. Balling. Sobbing. Lewis Stone. I'll save you! Don't give up! I'll adopt you! Let me give you a hug!

I also really sympathized with Clark Gable's character Charley. I have been having some bad chest pains too (although mine are muscle related due to an inflammation around my rib cage). It gets worse with every day stress of work, chores and other health problems. I wish I was in the situation where I had enough money to take a break. But alas I don't.

The film has a good cast but it moves very slowly. It could have used the noir touch for some added intensity and drama. The promotional poster (see above) says this film is not suitable for children but it's not as dark as it pretends to be. It's worth watching for the terrific cast though. 



The movie is available on DVD via Warner Archive.


Warner Archive Wednesday - On (random) Wednesdays, I review one title from the Warner Archive Collection. Movies selected are rented from Classicflix, watched on TCM or purchased from Warner Archive, Classicflix or TCM. This series is not sponsored by Warner Archive.

Turner Classic Film Festival 2013 April 25-28

Here are the details from TCM. I really hope I can go this year!

TCM host and film historian Robert Osborne will serve as official host of the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival, with TCM's Ben Mankiewicz also introducing various events during the festival. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which has a longstanding role in movie history and was the site of the first Oscars® ceremony, will once again serve as the official hotel for the festival, as well as a central gathering point for attendees. Screenings and events will also be held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Chinese 6 Theatres and the Egyptian Theatre. The Hollywood Roosevelt will also offer special rates for festival attendees.

Cinematic Journeys: Travel in the Movies, the theme for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival, will explore how movies can carry viewers beyond their hometowns to distant or imaginary locales, where they can be transformed by great storytelling. Often, the mode of travel provides the filmic inspiration, whether it's planes, trains, or automobiles. At other times, the trip itself serves as the central narrative, as in the case of many "road movies." With Hollywood as the starting point, TCM's cinematic excursion will take festival attendees on a fascinating journey to cinematic worlds both familiar and new.

Festival Passes
Passes for the 2013 TCM Classic Film Festival are set to go on sale in November and can be purchased through the TCM Classic Film Festival website at http://www.tcm.com/festival. Passes will be available in five levels, including an additional level added this year. The number of passes available is limited, especially for top-level "Spotlight" passes.
  • The "Spotlight" Festival Pass: $1,599 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" and "Essential" passholders, priority entry to all events; plus entry to an exclusive opening-night party following the red-carpet gala screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre; meet-and-greet events with TCM friends, including Robert Osborne and Ben Mankiewicz; and an official TCM Classic Film Festival poster signed by Osborne.
  • The "Essential" Festival Pass: $699 – Includes all privileges available to "Classic" passholders, plus entry to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and official TCM Classic Film Festival collectibles.
  • The "Classic" Festival Pass: $549 – Includes access to all film programs at festival venues Thursday, April 25 – Sunday, April 28 (does not include admittance to the opening-night red-carpet gala screening at Grauman's Chinese Theatre or the opening-night party); access to all Club TCM events, panels and poolside screenings at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; an opening-night welcome reception at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel; the closing-night event; and a commemorative festival program.
  • The "Matinee" Festival Pass: $349 – Includes access to all film programs starting prior to 6 p.m. (PT) at all festival venues Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28; admission to Club TCM events and panels at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel until 6 p.m. daily, Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28; and a commemorative festival program.
  • NEW PASS LEVEL: The "Palace" Festival Pass: $249 – Includes access to all screenings and events at Grauman's Chinese Theatre (excluding the opening-night red-carpet gala) and the Egyptian Theatre Friday, April 26 – Sunday, April 28 as well as a commemorative festival program.
 
The TCM Classic Film Festival launched in spring 2010 and has quickly established itself destination event. Each year, the festival welcomes 25,000 to more than a hundred screenings and events, with passholders coming from around the world to attend. The 2012 TCM Classic Film Festival included appearances by Liza Minnelli, Kirk Douglas, Mel Brooks, Kim Novak, Debbie Reynolds, Angie Dickinson, Robert Wagner, Stanley Donen and many, many more.

Information about the TCM Classic Film Festival, including video and photos from past festivals, is available at http://www.tcm.com/festival/.

Catching Up with 'Quelle (1)


I thought I’d start a new series on this blog (one that I can stick with!) called Catching Up with ‘Quelle. I feel like a lot of my posts take so much time and are so focused that I don’t get a chance to talk about the random classic film related stuff that doesn’t merit an entire post. So my posts in this series, posted every Sunday, will feature a mish-mash of stuff going on in my life with a classic film theme.

Elia Kazan Blu-Ray set – Oh noes. I feel like a failure. Remember whenI posted about the sexy Elia Kazan DVD boxed set my husband (then boyfriend) gave me? I haven’t seen all the films in it yet and I’m just hearing that a Blu-Ray set will be coming out soon. It’s only 4 movies and my DVD boxed set has many more but it still makes me feel like I didn’t appreciate the gift to it’s fullest potential. I haven’t been upgrading to Blu-Ray the way Carlos has. I see the benefit but I can't screen cap Blu-Rays so DVDs end up being better for blogging. 


Robert Mitchum iPhone 4 Case – Yes this is happening. I customized one over at CafePress. I found this amazing picture of Robert Mitchum, in a striped sweater and leaning on a fence post. I don’t know why but it’s my new favorite photo of him. Why iPhone 4 when iPhone 5’s release is imminent? Well, I’ve had an iPhone 3 for ages but couldn’t afford to upgrade to an iPhone 4 until the news of the iPhone 5’s release dropped the 4’s price. So I’m one step behind the game but it’s still an upgrade. I’m getting a new case now before they stop making them. I’d usually prefer a rubber case because I drop my phone a lot but how could I resist the chance to make my own Robert Mitchum iPhone case?!


1930s female body type – Carlos and I were watching Smart Woman (1931) on TCM the other day and we were both discussing the body type of females during that era. You’ll find a lot of flat chested skinny gals with wide hips. Their backless and draping dresses accentuated these features. I am really curious about how body types have changed over the different decades of the 20th century. They are so different now. We have such a wide array of body types and people seem to abuse their bodies a lot these days. Anorexia/bulimia, obesity, over-excersing, steroids, plastic surgery, yo-yo dieting, etc. We come in all shapes and sizes. What’s the body type of today?

Sammy Davis Jr. The Photographer – I’ve been having lots of health problems lately and Carlos has been helping me out through it all. I got him a small gift as a thank you. It’s a book called
Photo by Sammy Davis, Jr. It’s quite amazing. I’ll be borrowing the book from him to read and will make sure to review it here.

  
The Birds (1963) - I saw this film on Wednesday and I'm still thinking about it. Have you ever been attacked by a bird? I haven't been attacked by I've been chased by a male turkey, a goose and a swan (I got too close to her nest, oops!). I've fed birds by hand including a chickadee and a zebra pigeon. I actually really love birds and don't fear them.




Happy Birthday Mickey Rooney!


The Birds (1963) Performance September 19, 2012



Thanks to Fathom Events and TCM, Carlos and I went to go see The Birds (1963) last night at our local AMC theater. 




I hate to admit it but I've been avoiding watching The Birds for years. None of Alfred Hitchcock's post Psycho (1960) films appeal to me and I usually stay in the safe territory of his 1940s and 1950s masterpieces. The idea of a movie about flocks of birds attacking a pretty blonde woman just didn't entice me. However, in the past few years I've become more and more open-minded to watching things I've avoided in the past. In doing so, I have discovered new favorites. So when the opportunity to see The Birds (1963) on the big screen came along, I was pretty excited and jumped on the chance to see it.

The film started with some TCM promos and some trivia questions. I think these kind of screenings benefit everybody. It gets folks into theaters during the middle of the week, a dead time for most movie theaters. It gives TCM an opportunity to promote their brand and products. And it also gives classic movie fans, especially ones who don't have access to repertory houses which screen old movies, a chance to watch some of our favorite classics on the big screen. It's a win-win-win situation all around and I hope this continues.




Before the screening, we got to see an introduction to the film by Robert Osborne, an interview between Robert Osborne and Tippi Hedren from the last Turner Classic Movies Film Festival and archival interviews of Rod Taylor (from 1995) and Suzanne Pleshette (from 2003). We got to learn about how Alfred Hitchcock picked Tippi Hedren from an advertisement and had Universal court her for a movie. She became part of Hitchcock's entourage but it would be a couple years before he gave her a movie. Her very first one was The Birds. I love that she credits Jessica Tandy for inspiring her to play a more sympathetic character. And I thought it was very neat that Tippi wore the bird pin that Hitchcock gave her when he cast her in The Birds. Hitchcock seemed to be such an interesting but odd person. He tended to be possessive of his blonde starlets and collected them over the years. As Osborne said in the intro, each actor had a different experience with the director. Some good, some bad, some mixed. Hitchcock never treated one person the same as the next.


There is nothing new I can say about The Birds and I came to it with hardly any knowledge of the film. So I will just share my reactions. I wasn't too crazy about the movie but there were things I really enjoyed. The lack of music added a creepiness to the film which I thought was very effective. The bird noises were quite overwhelming. Carlos and I both found ourselves with our fingers in our ears at different points. You are supposed to be disturbed by the film so I found that to be effective as well. There is no musical soundtrack however Bernard Herrmann is listed as Sound Director. The only music really is the song you hear the girls singing in the Bodega Bay School.

The performances were so-so. I don't think anyone was spectacular and I thought Tippi Hedren's performance was just awful. I realize that she was a model and this was her first role so I give her some benefit of the doubt. It didn't help that I disliked her character Melanie Daniels and found no sympathy for her either.

The setting was amazing. Bodega Bay was quite a perfect choice. A big expansive space but still isolated and small. Edith Head was Tippi Hedren's costume designer but Tippi only wears one outfit the entire time.

The ending was very abrupt. All of a sudden we saw the Universal Pictures sign and that was it. We kept waiting for more. I knew that was Hitchcock's touch but we didn't even get to see the lights turn on because it's a satellite fed screening and there was no one there to oversee it.

Leaving the movie I kept asking myself lots of questions. Why did the birds attack the people of Bodega Bay? What was the purpose of them doing that? Was it an anti-feminist message? Was Melanie Daniels (Tippi Hedren) and her romantic pursuit of Mitch Brenner (Rod Taylor) too much of a reversal of the sexes? Was she being punished for "acting like the man"? Was she being cursed? Was she a witch? Was it the ghost of Mr. Brenner who caused this? Was it a coincidence that she arrived at Bodega Bay right around the time the birds went crazy? How did they collect all those birds? Why did Melanie open that last door to the attic? Why did Fathom Events and TCM use a lot of blue in the promo image when the movie was clearly green? Why did my stomach keep making noises during the showing? WHY?!

Overall, it was a good experience. About 25 people showed up to the screening and no one laughed! And I'm looking forward to more Fathom Events and TCM screenings to come. 


Update: One of my giveaway winners Jena pointed out to me this trailer for an upcoming movie about the making of The Birds (1963). It focuses on the strange relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren. Tippi Hedren is played by Sienna Miller and Hitchcock by Toby Jones. I had seen some publicity photos online but wasn't sure what it was for. Watch the teaser trailer below:

Frankie Avalon Look-A-Like Spotted!


I've been meaning to post this forever! When Carlos and I were in Oahu, we saw a Surf Instructor who looked just like Frankie Avalon. It was surreal. I was too shy to take a picture of him so Carlos took these for me.




Lightning Flash Giveaway ~ The Birds (1963) on the Big Screen


It's time for another Lightning Flash giveaway hosted by Turner Classic Movies and NCM Fathom Events! I'm giving a way 3 pairs of tickets (total # to be confirmed) for The Birds (1963) showing on September 19th Wednesday in select US theaters. Check out NCM Fathom Events' official page on The Birds performance for details on where it's showing.


 

 Confession: I've never seen Hitchcock's The Birds (1963). So it'll be quite a (traumatizing?) experience to see it on the big screen for the first time.

 You can enter to win a chance to see this here! It's a lightning flash giveaway so please be prepared to respond ASAP to my email if you are contacted.

Rules and Regulations:
1) US participants only.
2) Enter by Sunday September 16th at Noon EST.
3) Winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.
4) There is only ONE SHOWING. If you are not available to see this on Wednesday September 19th, please do not enter this contest.
5) If you win, you must reply to my announcement email by 8 am EST on Monday September 17th so NCM Fathom can get you the tickets.

Good luck!

UPDATE: The contest is now over. Congrats to the winners Tory, Deborah and Jena.

Get Your Read On ~ Classic Hollywood Style by Caroline Young

Classic Hollywood Style
by Caroline Young
October 2012
224 pages
Hardcover ISBN 9780711233751
Frances Lincoln

I cannot tell you how many times someone has come up to me to tell me that my outfit looks like something from an old movie. Or they point out something I would like because it's old Hollywood style. I just really love the fashion (as well as the design) of classic movies. So, a book like Caroline Young's Classic Hollywood Style is right up my alley.

Caroline Young's background is in Literature, Film and Journalism but her love and appreciation of classic Hollywood fashion is quite evident in this book. She takes a look at 34 films starting with Camille (1921) and ending with The Thomas Crown Affair (1968). Other notable films include Gone With the Wind (1939), Casablanca (1942),  Gilda (1946), The Seven Year Itch (1955) and Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961). There is a nice mix of popular films as well as some lesser known ones. There are 3 films from the 1920s, 7 films from the 1930s, 8 films from the 1940s, 11 films from the 1950s and 4 films from the 1960s. Each movie gets 3 spreads, 6 pages total with a couple movies getting an extra spread, 2 pages. There are many full page images but the focus really is on the text. Young explores the decision making of the fashion, the relationship between designer and star, the cultural influence of the film's fashion as well as the role the fashion plays in each film.

This book is nice and compact and is beautiful enough to serve as a small coffee table book but can easily be shelved as well. Basically, you want to read the book, not just look at the pretty pictures. The book is chockfull of great anecdotes and trivia bits. It's a really good choice for someone who is either into fashion or into classic films or both. There are no spoilers so if you haven't watched one of the films discussed then the movie won't be ruined for you. There were only a couple films I wasn't interested in but for the most part each film was a delight to read about. I hadn't realized how iconic certain outfits really are and how we identify certain films by those very outfits. The wife-beater on Marlon Brando, the white negligee on Elizabeth Taylor, the red windbreaker on James Dean, the white flowing dress on Marilyn Monroe, the green curtain dress on Vivien Leigh, etc. I don't even need to mention which outfit went with what film. You automatically know what it was just by the image.

I thought it was interesting that Young decided to end the list with 1968 when the Hays Code was put to an end. Young claims that with the end of the Hays Code there was a more towards realism because now filmmakers had more freedom to show what they wanted on screen. So the lack of realism in designer fashioned masterpieces didn't fit the new era of film. Designers became more like shoppers rather than artists. This is why fashion in film these days isn't as important as it was back then and why so many of us mourn for the style of old Hollywood.

My biggest issue with the book was a glaring error found in the section about The Dancing Lady (1933) with Joan Crawford. Young says "... in the 1930s she was the reigning queen of MGM." Oh hell no! You did NOT just diss the real 1930s Queen of MGM who was...


Norma Shearer!

Norma Shearer WAS the Queen of MGM. That was her actual title. Movie stars were often given titles or tag lines that were used in the promotion of their movies. Norma Shearer was Queen of MGM, Clark Gable was King of Hollywood, Sterling Hayden was "The Most Beautiful Man in Movies", etc. Norma Shearer was the Queen of MGM and no matter how much this author loves Joan Crawford it's not going to change the fact that Joan Crawford hated Norma Shearer because Shearer was the Queen and Crawford wanted the title for herself. The author tends to favor Joan Crawford featuring her more times in the book than any other actress. Joan Crawford was very influential to fashion with the clothes she wore on film. It was quite common for stores to start carrying Joan Crawford inspired pieces for the masses.  However, NORMA SHEARER WAS STILL THE QUEEN OF MGM!

There were a couple other instances of the author making similar statements but the others seemed more based on fact rather than this Joan Crawford one. There were no Norma Shearer movies in the book. While Norma Shearer wore amazing clothes I don't think she was as influential in fashion as Joan Crawford so I understand her absence. But I'm still offended by the statement.

However, the book is very well-researched with an appendix full of sources including interviews, newspaper articles, press releases, biographies, production notes, etc. Let's just hope that the author and publisher can fix that Joan Crawford line to read "in the 1930s she was one of the biggest stars of MGM" which would have been more accurate.

If you love Classic Hollywood fashion and are willing to overlook the Norma Shearer-Joan Crawford gaffe, then pick up this book! It's quite a treat.

Disclosure: Thank you to Frances Lincoln Limited Publishers for a review copy of the book

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