Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Stars & Their Hobbies - Spencer Tracy

Spencer Tracy, Polo

"There's something about horses which, once you really become interested in them, just naturally makes you think this is a pretty good world." - Spencer Tracy

Director John Cromwell encouraged Spencer Tracy to take up polo and Tracy trained with Reginald Leslie "Snowy Baker at the Riviera Polo Club in Santa Monica. It was a sport he relished for years. Even his wife Louise got into polo, although Tracy was initially hesitant about this because he thought the sport too rough for women. She proved him wrong and became an adept player. (Source)

You can watch a little clip of a celebrity polo match from 1938, which has Spencer Tracy on Joan Crawford's team, on the British Pathe website.


Leslie Howard, Will Rogers, Carole Lombard, Spencer Tracy and Johnny Mack Brown
at a celebrity polo match circa 1934 - Source

My series Stars & Their Hobbies explores how notable actors and actresses from Hollywood history spent their free time. Click here to view a complete list of entries. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

2014 Summer Reading Classic Film Book Challenge - Wrap Up

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's summer reading challenge. I'm impressed with everyone's efforts and I loved reading the reviews. I only managed to get 3 books in this summer, life got in the way and I should have paid more attention to my own advice. Alas, I still have a lot more reading ahead of me and another challenge next year to look forward to. On to the reviews!

BG of Classic Reel Girl (3)

  1. Ava Gardner: The Secret Conversations by Peter Evans and Ava Gardner
  2. Doris Day: The Untold Story of the Girl Next Door by David Kaufman
  3. Frankly, My Dear: Gone With the Wind Revisited by Molly Haskell

Emily of The Vintage Cameo  (1)

  1. Cinematic Canines: Dogs and Their Work in the Fiction Film by Adrienne L. McLean

Karen of Shadows and Satin (6)

All six reviews can be found here.

  1. Life With Father by Clarence Day
  2. Dark History of Hollywood: A Century of Greed, Corruption, and Scandal Behind the Movies by Kieron Connolly
  3. Bette and Joan: The Divine Feud by Shaun Considine
  4. Center Door Fancy by Joan Blondell
  5. Joan Blondell: A Life Between Takes by Matthew Kennedy
  6. Palm Springs Babylon by Ray Mungo

KC of A Classic Movie Blog (7)
  1. The Wizard of Oz FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About Life According to Oz by David J. Hogan 
  2. Sharon Tate: Recollection by Debra Tate
  3. Hitchcock’s Partner in Suspence: The Life of Screenwriter Charles Bennett edited by John Charles Bennett
  4. Stella! Mother of Modern Acting by Sheana Ochoa
  5. Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios
  6. Fred Zinnemann and the Cinema of Resistance by J.E. Smyth
  7. Buzz: The Life and Art of Busby Berkeley by Jeffrey Spivak
Laura of Laura’s Miscellaneous Musings (6)

  1. John Wayne: The Life and Legend by Scott Eyman
  2. Still Memories: An Autobiography in Photography by John Mills
  3. Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios
  4. Jacques Tourneur: The Cinema of Nightfall by Chris Fujiwara
  5. The Years of George Montgomery
  6. Five Came Back: A Story of the Hollywood and the Second World War by Mark Harris
Lê  of Vintage Classic Scrapbook and Critica Retro (2)
  1. Na Sala Escura: A Arte De Sonhar Com Os Olhos Abertos by Chico Lopes (review is in Portuguese but you can easily translate it to English!)
  2. Beyond Casablanca II: 101 Classic Movies Worth Watching by Jennifer Garlen

Raquel of Out of the Past  (3)
  1. Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter by Richard Barrios
  2. A Life of Barbara Stanwyck: Steel-True 1907-1940 by Victoria Wilson
  3. Steve McQueen: A Passion for Speed by Frederic Brun

Rich of Wide Screen World (4)

  1. Three Fingers by Rich Koslowsky
  2. Silent Stars by Jeanine Basinger
  3. Main Street by Sinclair Lewis
  4. The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe by

Robby of Dear Old Hollywood (2)
  1. Welcome, Foolish Mortals: The Life and Voices of Paul Frees by Ben Ohmart
  2. Life at the Marmont: The Inside Story of Hollywood’s Legendary Hotel of the Stars – Chateau Marmont by Raymond Sarlot and Fred E. Basten

There were three candidates for the final prize. I used to pick a winner and it was Laura! She wins the set of four Vintage Movie Classics from Vintage Books.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Stars & Their Hobbies - Joan Crawford

Joan Crawford, Knitting
"I took my knitting along so I could keep my hands busy, because I was so nervous."  Joan Crawford
As any knitter will tell you, there is a lot of comfort to be found in the repetitive motions of a pair of knitting needles and some yarn as you knit and purl your way through a pattern. Joan Crawford would often be found on film sets knitting as she waited for her call. It calmed her nerves and kept her distracted during down times. Rumor has it, Crawford was temporarily kicked off the set of The Women (1939) by George Cukor for purposefully annoying Norma Shearer with the constant clicking of her knitting needles.

Crawford teaching Ann Blyth how to knit on the set of Mildred Pierce

My series Stars & Their Hobbies explores how notable actors and actresses from Hollywood history spent their free time. Click here to view a complete list of entries. 

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