Saturday, June 5, 2010

To begin...

I am not sure when it began exactly. It would be hard to pinpoint when it all started- I think it would be suffice to say that it was always there, lurking.

But I think it really began to become apparent, to become known when I was not yet fourteen. The old era of Hollywood had long been a interest of mine, but it was not until I began to buy more of the movies from that era- it was not until I began to do more research of that period, that my interest grew into an obsession.

While I have many other obsessions and interests (some of which no doubt will make an appearance on here) the one that continues to grow from strength to strength, is my fascination with old era Hollywood.

I am seventeen years old (eighteen in only five days!), not exactly your usual fan of such movies. I have a collection of DVDs that span from 1914 onwards. My favourite actors/actresses are from the ''Golden era of Hollywood'' spanning from 1920s-1950s.

People ask me all the time why I like such movies, why that era fascinates me so much. Usually I cannot give an answer, but today as I sit here pondering it, I think I have one. I think I like these movies in particular because they represent a time of simpler life, of values and morals that are no longer present.

Do not misunderstand me, I don't wish to push women back into kitchens wasting their lives as a housewife, mother, etc without being anything more. Nor do I wish to go back to the times were such racial prejudice was present.

But I do wish that our society did retain some of those old school manners and civility that have long been discarded...

I have no doubt whatsoever that every one has heard the phrase ''They just don't make movies like they used too'', and it's true. They don't.

I'm not saying movies today are bad, we all know that there are some brilliant ones out there. I am however saying that back then there was a certain quality, detail, that cannot be copied in today’s standards. The photography, the lights, the glitter, the certain glamour they had back then are irreplaceable. Yes some movies had dodgy effects that are laughable to today's generation (1933 King Kong, a mere example), but that does not lessen the appeal of such movies in my eyes, in fact it rather makes them all the more worth while, all the more valuable.

I guess I began this blog as a tribute to those stars, movies of yesteryear. To share my obsession to the world and to try and send out the message that just because it's old doesn't mean it's broke...
My name, well my nickname really, is Nelly and I want to, should anyone let me, to share with you all My Golden Obsession.


  1. I see, You have really something to say. I like that, because I met too many Classic-Movie fans, who just scratched the surface ... pretty dresses, faces, jewels, scandal-mongering, love-affairs and other back-stage tiddle-taddle.

    I think the same like you, Nelly: I don't intent "to go back to the times" (my beloved 30s) either. But I like those "values and morals" too. Yes, and I try to live "some of those old school manners and civility" in my daily routine.

    I think we had enough "Sex-Pistols" and "Sexy Mother-Fucker". In movies we saw thousands of couples, almost 'swallowing' each others tongues. Yesterday I bought my first Mae West movie - "I'm No Angel" - and I was deeply touched, when Cary Grant kissed her forehead. She had been treated so mean and cheap before and suddenly she gets all the dignity.

    I love Jean Arthur as if she was my sister and Ginger Rogers has been my idol since decades. And I appreciate their often 'kissless' happy-ends. In "Follow the Fleet" Fred tries to kiss Ginger goodbye, but a policeman is preventing it. In "You Can't Take It With You" Jean Arthur and James Steward are kissing on a park bench and we learn "it's against the law". - Of course it wouldn't be wise to create new laws against public kissing and necking. I think, people of our times should try to live old decency - but this time voluntarily.

  2. Thank you for the comment, I'm so sorry it took so long to get back to you.

    I totally agree with you, and am pleased that you think I have something worth to say. Mae West was a genius of her time. Though some describe her as ''vulgar'' etc, I find that while her humor is sometimes suggestive- it is done in a genuinely funny manner, unlike the slosh, as you have already alluded to that is seen often on our screens, with the cheap blow job jokes, the frequent cursing, etc.

    I too love how some movies would often end without a kiss or without an over the top speech on how much one loves the other- like the rom coms of today, and rather then weaken the plot, the movie of that era, it strengthens it. And makes the overall ending all the more effective.

    Only one modern movie springs to mind that is done in such away and that is the 2005 Pride and Prejudice.

    I confess I have not seen much of Ginger Rogers, something I hope to immediately rectify, but what I have seen of her, she is a classy, respectable, lady. Who lightens the screen.

    One of my favourites that I have seen her in is ''Stage Door''.

    I agree, though prohibiting public affection is indeed very extreme, I too think that people should exercise more discretion in their over-the-top behavior when it comes to showing affection. It's not that I am a prude or what else it's just that I think some things are best left to do in private.

  3. No, it didn't take too long. I see, you worked on the style of your presentation - and you're not used to answer briefly. Now it looks absolutely gorgeous and I like to see that. It seems you're used to do one thing at a time quite thoroughly.

    If you have questions, please don't hesitate to ask me. Maybe you're pondering about using screenshots from films and the question of copyright. I had that problem too and it held me up a few weeks, because I was anxious and looked for informations. And I asked a lot of other bloggers. So now I'm ready for your questions, if you have any ...

    Mae West - vulgar? ... Well, I found her TIRA* accidentally and bought it, because I love the film-year 1933**. But when I saw her first scene as TIRA, I was afraid having bought something vulgar indeed. But in fact Mae West shows the reality of the great depression: TIRA had no other choice and she was treated so cheaply. You could see her soul bleeding, but she didn't complain - it was useless, because the guys she had to work with were ruthless. So my heart began to bleed too and I began to love that 'vulgar' woman. - When Cary Grant suddenly appeared and kissed her forehead (what a wonderful sign of respect!): I was touched to tears - he gave her all the dignity she really deserved. And then you see more and more how sophisticated TIRA really is - and with her new sophisticated lover she can be herself.

    Well, Mae West wrote the story herself and I heard her message. And now I have deep respect for her. Being a musician and singer myself, I admire her anyway. I can't talk about her briefly, it goes all too deep. Now I'm seeing FOOTLIGHT PARADE and I couldn't talk briefly over that as well. It's more than fun and entertainment to me ...

    Well, I like it deeply and I've got the feeling you do things deeply too. So I wanna see you're blog becoming a success, because we have superficial bloggers enough in the classic movie scene. And it will be a success if you go on like this ...

    Your praising "Stage Door" makes me optimistic: It was a missing link in my Ginger collection and I ordered it the day before yesterday.

    * I'm No Angel
    ** Busby Berkley, My Dancing Lady, Flying Down to Rio (first Fred&Ginger-film)

  4. Thank you! I have been trying to make this blog look more presentable, I am still not entirely happy with it, but I think it looks better then what it did. Thank you so much for everything.

    I was wondering the issue about copyright, I have saved all the links of where I have taken the photo's from, it was usually through google images, I wasn't sure whether I had to link them; and also I was wondering whether it's an issue with the companies that release the movies like WB, whether I use the photos... I hope that made sense, I am a bit fuzzy minded tonight.

    Cary Grant on the whole makes my heart fuzzy, but that scene you just described makes me melt. I understand what you mean. I too can't just talk about things/people/movies/etc that I love briefly, I have to go in depth with things, because I know that no matter how much I speak about their extraordinary talents and skills I will never do them enough justice. I must admit you talking about Mae West in such an enthusiastic way is making me excited too. I think I shall have to go Mae West hunting in a few days.

    I hope you enjoy Stage Door as much as I did, if you don't you are fully welcome to come on here and blast me :P

  5. The copyright question made my fuzzy too in March. In fact this is a legal gray area. Apprehensive bloggers say "better not", but the majority just trusts. - But there are certain rules about image quotations. And there is a standard disclaimer, often used by bloggers too. You find it in the footer of my blog. Using this disclaimer, you show that your quotations are "fair use". As I saw on your Al Jolson issue, this IS, Nelly: Your doing it quite carefully and conscientiously. Actually we classic-film bloggers are even boosting nearly forgotten movies. So why should Warner Brothers try to stop us? - But frankly, I'm mostly careful with photos: I always prefer photos from google-life, because I read it's OK for noncommercial use (as long we have no advertising on our blogs we aren't commercial at all).

    Most bloggers don't want to read this (because it's not to read briefly), but perhaps your curious to see it:

    I think, fair quotation and use of pictures is, if you don't use too many pictures. You know, some bloggers have almost nothing but images on their sites and add a few silly lines. So you could get the impression, they don't take it seriously. But you do and you show good quality.

    Nevertheless this isn't a sure thing, because I don't know a law in any country which would assure us, it was legal to quote pictures from films if it's done decently. On the other hand, law and judges do appreciate accepted customs like this, as a rule - and this makes me trust. Well, I had to do with law-stuff in my life, so I have certain ideas. And I'm not careless in this question.

    I'm still looking for my old "law-links". I looked up this ...
    ... it's just from those days when I had headaches about copyright - but I should still have those "law-links", because I said so in this link. Well, I guess I'll find 'em later ...

  6. Cary Grant is making your heart fuzzy, is that so? Why, I'm trying hard to avoid this man, but it's obviously impossible, because he joined shooting almost everywhere. It's not that I dislike him, no - he's just a good old fellow, because I saw him toooo often. So I always say "hello again, pal!" Once he had even more films in my collection than Jean Arthur and that was absolutely unacceptable. But when I see him on screen I don't find him too intrusive. Jean has now 18 films and he just 13 - that's fair. But recently he appeared with Mae West again, so I gotta look out ...

    While shooting "Only Angels Have Wings" with Jean, Cary didn't treat Jean very nice. In "The Talk of the Town" she showed a little clownery during the final love-scene - and Cary complained about it. But it was really swell! So Cary must be as vain as a peacock, if he can't take even that! Nevertheless he isn't my enemy - like for example Marlene Dietrich who annoyed Jean too* - so I guess I like him in a way.

    Come to Marlene Dietrich, I always kept away from Marilyn Monroe, but I don't hate her, because she was a victim and I'm supposed to hate those who did her wrong. But Dietrich wasn't a victim, she just acted mean herself and she was a sexist and joked about Jean defending her privacy. Sometimes people want me to perform like Dietrich or Monroe and I answer in two ways: I feel sorry for Monroe, adding that I don't want to follow her example. And I confess that I hate all fanatic Dietrich fans. I can't say that I hate Dietrich personally, but I hate her certain image and that was actually herself.

    So is that "prude", Nelly? No, it's self-defense: I wanna keep myself away from the dark side of show-business - I know what's good for me and what is not.

    * If you should ask yourself why, I wrote about this issue here:

  7. Thank you SO much about the copyright issue, I will definitely give it a read tomorrow, and put up a disclaimer of sorts somewhere on the blog, in hopes that I don't get sued or something XD

    I remember being told, I'm not sure if this is true or not, but I remember being told that after 100 years or so, a movie, book, photo etc, become public domain and can be used in any way for non- commercial use, which is why free classic books like Pride and Prejudice are now ebooks and free links to some silent movies are up. But like I said I don't know if this is true, and having a think about it right now, I doubt it is.

    I agree, blogs like yours and mine are promoting old films, which mean more interest, which means more money for film companies, so I don't see why they would have an issue with it, even so, I understand that one can never be too careful in matters like this. Thank you again for explaining it so thoroughly.


    Cary Grant is an odd man for me. I began not liking him much at all, after seeing An Affair To Remember, but then I saw The Philadelphia Story, Bringing Up Baby, Penny Serenade etc, and I began to really enjoy his works. He was not, I believe, a really great actor. No disrespect intended to him. But then he didn't have to be, he just had to be himself on screen and people would queue up and buy the tickets.

    I have no doubt in my mind, especially in his younger days that he would have been very arrogant. I heard that he was often frustrated because he didn't ever think he'd become the major star he always wanted to be and would soon be too old to be considered one- little did he know that as he grew older, so would his popularity. Perhaps that had some effect on the way he treated people? Not that I am saying it's an excuse.

    I have to admit, I adore Marilyn Monroe. I pity her and I adore her. I think she, like Judy Garland, was never given a chance to showcase her real acting abilities, and she fell prey to the world of hollywood and the pills, that would eventually end her life. I think Marilyn also fell victim to herself, she always had to be this seductive type of woman; she never got the chance to show the world her real self, she was always playing a part.

    I do not like Marlene Dierich. She always came off cold, harsh to me. I admire her courage during the WW2 years, but to me I never did understand her appeal, and I still don't understand how people call her a great actress, perhaps I have not seen enough of her work, but that is my opinion.

    No it's not prude at all. It's as you say, you know what's good for you and what isn't, there's nothing prudish about it.

    I must say that you have reignited an interest within me for Jean Arthur and Mae West (having spoken about her before), I am going to go on a hunt in a few days to find any movies containing either one of them. The way you speak about Jean Arthur here and in your blog makes me wish I had seen more of her work. I have only seen a couple.

  8. The film-blog scene would totally crash, if they would start suing bloggers. Dexter Haven would probably be one of the very first, because his blog is really famous. But they wouldn't find Nelly so soon, because you're still hard to find. Dexter is very well linked and it's easy to google him out. His blog was the first classic movie blog I found. So when the bloodhounds start biting him, Nelly has still time to shut down. In fact Dexter is blogging years and years and nobody bit him.

    Copyright issues are darn difficult and the law differs in countries. If the copyright owner is unknown, there is that 100 years rule. But actually the date of the owner's death is decisive - since then the time starts to run. This link sounds quite competent:

    Most people see these things too easy. If Warner Brothers publishes a new enhanced version of an old silent film, these enhanced pictures are copyright issue again. And if they publish Handel's music, people forget the musicians: Their interpretation is also protected. Even if you go to a library and get the notes: These are mostly not Handel's original orchestrations, because baroque composers left lots of creative freedom to musicians and today this has to be filled with notes (because most people are too flat to improvise). So you better try to get Handel's original handwriting, or a copy.

    It's really that difficult, Nelly. If you wanna be sure and safe, just photograph the stuff in your garden, houses can be copyright issue too: Old buildings from the 16th century must be repaired and modernized, to keep them, and so they sell photos to tourists, to get some money back (and finance the next modernizing). So even if you publish a middle age castle, this might be against copyright law!

    The consequence would be: All internet users leave the internet to commercial sellers. They buy rights of pictures and use them to make money. We just go online, if we wanna buy something. Otherwise we just drink coffee and see our photos with friends - at home of course, in a pub, on screen, would be publishing again.

    If you say, this is crazy, Nelly - yes, it is. I could tell you why it is, but that would be an awful long tale ...

  9. Every time Cary 'visits' me, I just open the 'door' saying: "Come in old pal!" - I just tolerate his presence and I'm used to it, but I don't like him too much.
    Yet it's interesting to see how different people feel - Ginger likes Cary very much "... this joyous fellow and his wonderful sense of humor and charming ways." And then she tries to explain, why she never married him (!) ... (because when he was free she was married and when she was free he wasn't). I'd like to say: "Ginger, don't be silly!" But as you know Nelly, we should never interfere with our beloved friends' love affairs - they wouldn't mind our advise anyway. Ginger is a cute little butterfly and maybe she'll never learn ... - On the other hand, maybe I'm totally wrong and blind, because I just stick to Jean. And Jean was difficult, she couldn't get along with a lot of people. I never could find out, whether Jean and Ginger met: Ginger was her own biographer, but she wouldn't name Jean Arthur, although Jean was a major-star in the 30s and 40s. Do you know that feeling, Nelly? You love two friends very much and you want them to love each other too, but in fact there's always war. I'm afraid, this might be such hopeless case ... sorry Jean, sorry Ginger!

  10. You're right with Marilyn. Once I read she was even a victim of sexual child-abuse. I pity her very much too. But her role is dangerous for me as performer. A few weeks ago someone wanted to sing "I Wanna Be Loved By You" on a jam session and I gave her the notes, confessing I would never sing it myself. I asked: "But you wouldn't do those squeaky things, would you?" She would - she even liked it. No-no-no, Nelly, I don't want to play that role. I would refuse to sing "Diamonds Are Girls Best Friend" as well - it's awfully materialistic. I know, "I Wanna Be Loved By You" is from the 20s, but people don't know that and they always think of Marilyn, if you sing that. And than your in that role of a victim. No-no-no-no-no!

    Judy Garland is a dangerous example too. I have her in "Broadway Melody of 1938". There she's very young, but already shouts high notes out most roughly. Well my voice teacher was an (Australian) opera singer and studied in phonetics as well and he taught me 'how to ruin' a young voice. In fact Judy Garland is a good example of a self-destroying singing talent. Therefore I avoid to listen to her, in order not to be influenced. Human musicians and singers always do what they hear and they follow fatal mistakes as well ...

    But there is another problem : psychological infection. You can be influenced by mentally ill people. Even doctors are in danger, to be infected by unhealthy thoughts. If you always listen to a depressed person, you might feel depressed too one day. So this is the reason why most people avoid psychological handicapped persons - without knowing why. Most mentally ill persons don't want to be treated as patients - many even pretend to be healthy and want to be treated like sane. I had this quite often, that I had to say: "If you don't need my help, I'll have to go", because I really couldn't take their behavior. Mentally ill persons can be very unconsidered and rude. In her book Ginger reports that Judy Garland had to be removed physically from a film set, because she was disturbing and holding off the shooting.

    In Jean's case I'd just try to convince her, that she's much better than she's always thinking. That'd be easy. I'd say "no Jean, you're not a snob at all, this is nonsense!" Because if people blamed her she was, she answered: "Yes, maybe I am." - Jean complained during the shooting of "Two Many Husbands" criticizing she wasn't attractive enough to convince with two men. McMurray, proposed then she might put an Indian blanked over her head, the next scene. Jean started to cry then and her two male partners must have been pretty much fed-up. She WAS attractive enough for that film, but if she didn't like to play the wife of two men, I appreciate this. Somehow this film is insane, although most interesting to discuss moral. On 29th I'll have to, because it'll be on TCM U.S. ...

  11. Haha Dexter's was the first blog I found too. You are right, with everything you say. But I doubt Warner Bros or any other movie company would go to such lengths, after all we're basically advertising their movies, in a sort of way. The copyright issue is such a head ache, but you are making it so much easier for me to understand by explaining in such a easy way, thank you. I will try to use as much of my own images as possible and when I do use copyrighted images I shall always make sure to put a disclaimer. I'll probably eventually put a official disclaimer at the bottom of the blog.


    I may be in the minority here but I much preferred Cary Grant when he was younger and actually looked to be having fun. When he was older he transformed into that suave, debonair man but to me he lost a bit of his presence and to be honest I can hardly stand him in his older roles, I thoroughly disliked him in An Affair to remember, again I must be in the minority. But with his earlier works,the ones in the 1030s=1940s, I enjoyed him a lot.

    I know exactly what you mean, I often look up my favorite stars and wonder if they met with another one of my favorites, and wish that they had worked together.

    It does seem a little odd though that Jean Arthur and Ginger Rogers wouldn't have at least met once- they were major stars in the same era, however I guess a lot of stars in today's society don't know each other either, when some of them ought, so it's no big change.

    Cary Grant seemingly knew everyone though!

    I was actually reading up on him the other night, I was considering on writing an entry about Bringing up baby, but scrapped the idea, and I was shocked to see how many people he actually knew, worked with and who he was friends with.

    I heard Jean Arthur did not get along with James Stewart? That's a shame because I enjoyed them both in Mr. Smith goes to Washington.

    I connect to Judy Garland more then any other star of that era, but I am not quite certain as to why. It may be the fact that her and I are born on the same birthday that has something to do with it, or perhaps because she starred in one of my favorite movies as a child (The Wizard of Oz) that I feel almost as though I have grown up with her, and that she is some sort of sister to be that needs to be protected... Odd, isn't it? Especially since there is more then 70 or so years between us XD

    As much I love her though, I will be the first to admit her faults. She was not an easy person to get a long with, not at all. And I think as time went on her powerful voice did begin to deteriorate, because of strain and also because I don't think she ever trained it, her voice was all natural, she didn't really exercise technique with it, even when she got older. Despite all her flaws however I do feel a connection to her and she is one of my favorite stars of that era.

    In regards to Jean, I agree. I don't think she came of as snobbish, I think she just wanted her privacy, which is a reasonable request. Whereas stars like Judy, Lana and others were constantly seeking the constant media attention...

    Jean was crazy to think she was not attractive enough for that film, she was a very beautiful woman! And yes I agree I don't think I'd much like the idea of playing a woman with two husbands either.

    I wish I got the TCM channel here. :P

  12. You dislike Cary Grant in the 50s and 60s? Me too, but I think it's not Mr. Grant's fault himself. I fell in love with the 30s at the age of 15 and now I live my 30s-fixation, after having tried not to be "onesighted". Now I really am and I stand for it. All actors and actresses had to change during the 40s, because the public taste changed. What I dislike most is Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn in FUNNY FACE: He looks like her grandfather! In Busby Berkly films we see such relationships too, but in negative roles: young golddiggers take advantage of wealthy old men. This is not presented as great love, true love-stories always happen between Ruby Keeler and Dick Powell. FUNNY FACE sells us Astaire-Hepburn as great love and I find this most crude. Cary Grant has much younger girls too in the 50s and 60s. In ELDORADO John Wayne's girl looks rather grown-up, but in RIO BRAVO she looks like a school-girl. It looked probably nicer in 30s' films, because the rules where stricter. I appreciate it, if free people decide to behave decently themselves, so it sure was right to give up the old strict rules. But I hate to see the result of this freedom in films. Jean Arthur and Marilyn Monroe are counter-poles to me and I often compare them: Totaly different tastes of two totaly different generations. After all it's philosophy that differs.

    Jean Arthur worked extremely hard and after 5 pm she was tired and went home. She hated public live, just staying at home, reading and listening to classical music. You wouldn't see her on parties. Ginger wasn't a party-girl either, but she had much more strength: She got up at 6 a.m., started shooting at 8 and at 6 p.m. she went over to the theater to perform in a show; after that she had an engagement in a night-club and maybe she had a date with a man at midnight, to go to a ballroom and dance a 'little'. That's Ginger's day, during her time in New York 1931/32 and she worked on like this later in Hollywood. I'm afraid Jean would've dropped dead and me too. So I guess they hardly met. Jean didn't go out dancing and on the set they never worked together.

    Cary Grant knew everyone? Looks like: "Cary made some inquiries for my trip and gave me the name of friends I should meet and the best places to go for a good time. He knew I was not big on cocktail parties and that active sports, such as tennis and swimming, were much higher in my priorities than party life. The more we talked about the trip, the more people he wanted me to meet once I got there. He was getting excited for me...": Ginger was just going to visit Paris 1952 and Cary knew people even there!

    Jean didn't like James Stewart much, because he was quite conservative, as she didn't like John Wayne for the same reason. Jean was politically left-winged and even green before ecology was an item in public. She also loved animals that much, that she held off the shooting of SHANE, because one of the piglets was sick and she cared about it. I don't think Steward and Wayne would find that much reasonable. In fact I guess they critizised her, like conservative people always tend to do.

  13. As to Judy Garland, I've got a CD with one of her live concerts and it's very enlightening to hear her complaining to the audience, asking, why she always had to scream so loudly. You said it before, she was her own victim and she really suffered. There is a professional kind of powerful singing, without straining too much, but it's still straining. Whitney Houston is a genius master in this art, but I think she suffers too. I have a CD with a live concert in New York, where she's singing all her hits brilliantly. But I have another live concert in South Africa, where she's terribly straining herself: The first songs are OK but then she's loosing the brilliance and you can hear how the high notes hurt. Certainly she had to finish that gig and keep smiling and that's really cruel. I thought a lot about those questions years ago and I finally quit soul-music. I don't think I ever loved soul - Whitney just impressed me and I wanted to show, that I could do that too. Somehow I got deeper into this for a few years, but it was wrong. Soul divas do sell themselves quite cheaply - you can't tell the audience "I'm just a decent 30s-girl and rather have the shirt's upper button closed" - they'll think you're just from the middle-age. Busby Berkley films arn't harmless at all, but there's a limit. Terms like „sexy mother-fucker“ would never get to public in the 30s.

    So when I decided to go back to the 30s, I listened to my old CDs and put the one with Judy Garland into the cardboard-box where all the soul ladies are (and jazz after 1937): Somewhere in a corner of the basement. I like Ruth Etting very much and these days I amire Bebe Daniels in 42ND STREET. They sing beautifully relaxed and get high-notes with mellow brilliance. Bing Crosby did that until he died and he had a wonderful voice with over 70, whereas Sinatra's was ruined long before. Though the Crosby-Kelly connection in HIGH SOCIETY wasn't bight at all. Again daddy marry's kind of daughter. Some schoolteachers might get certain ideas, watching that ...

  14. Nelly, you have no idea what I go through:

    Yesterday the BIOS of my EeePC crashed - screen black ... no booting, support-DVD dosn't help.

    Now I got my old tower (hate that thing!): Posting comments was impossible, because my blogger-name didn't appear. Now I tried ESC and copied a Verification-pic I couldn't see and **O MIRACLE** it works.


  15. I love the 1930s and 1940s the most, though that's not to say I don't like any before or after that, because I really do.

    Even the ''B'' grade movies from that time, especially from the thirties are excellent and enjoyable to watch. Which is more then could be said about today's standards. There are some films from the Golden era that were total flops but can still be watched and enjoyed. It's only rare that you find one from that time period that you can't enjoy at least one aspect from.

    I like the 1940s because I think their filming techniques got better and more vibrant and the films looked more and more like a moving painting.

    I like the 1930s because they had better morals then.

    As a person I didn't like Busby Berkely, but as a film maker I have to admit he was a pioneer. As for Astaire and Audrey in FUNNY FACE, I was soooo excited to see two of my performers together until I saw then end product. It was a nice movie and it was lovely to watch two of my favorite stars act together, but as you say, their age difference was too vast, especially when he was against the youthful Audrey Hepburn. I think it would have been better if they had of been friends in the film. It's like CHARADE with Cary Grant and Audrey, it was a nice movie and I enjoy to watch it from time to time, but I think the age gap between the two was to vast. That being said I do believe that such romances can work on film, depending on the actors and the characters they play, Gone With The Wind for example. Casablanca and many others that are out there but I can't be bothered to write because I am too lazy XD

    It's amazing Ginger Rogers did all that you described and still had energy!!

    Now I understand why Jean did not like James Stewart. I think that's fair enough, she's fully entitled to and as I understand it he didn't like many others that opposed his political views either. Regardless they made good co stars and I liked seeing them together on film. :)

    I laughed out loud at the mental image of someone trying to place the phrase ''sexy mother fucker'' in one of the films during the 1930s and Louis B Mayer or some other head of studio, getting very shocked. Though the code of that era is ludicrous in todays and even thens standards, it did serve some sort of purpose. Though I think a lot of it was wrong, I did appreciate how they made most films in a way that most of the family could watch. Today I am scaed to take my little cousin to even a PG rated movie because I'm afraid of the vulgar words that have so casually become a part of our society being heard by her ears.

    I LOVE Bing Crosby. I also like Rosemary Clooney, I always think of them together, even though they only starred in one movie together. But yes, he did keep his voice in nice condition. To be honest... I am not much of a fan of Grace Kelly.


    I mean I like her well enough, I guess I tolerate her in the way you tolerate Cary Grant. she is neither offending nor displeasing, she is simply there on screen and I tolerate her until the credits roll.

    Not much has changed witht he way older men getting together/marrying with women young enough to be their daughters, just look at some of the co-stars Johnny Depp has had to ''be'' with in some of his films. Not that I have anything against Depp, I rather admire his acting skills, but that's besides the point. XD

    You poor thing that sounds soo annoying I hope it's all working now... Though I guess obviously it is. Haha.

  16. Nelly, I have certain post-30s likings too. ROMAN HOLYDAY is a heavenly film and HATARI is great! Since I was a child I adored HIGH SOCIETY. But HIGH SOCIETY can prevent me from living the 20s and early 30s! I made this experience since I was your age: Modern Dixieland and Swing messes up the style in a musician's head. I can't keep my original style clean, having modern phrases in my memory. Those phrases would come out too and mess up my trumpet-style. As I couldn't sing like Ruth Etting, if I'd listen to Ella Fitzgerald quite often. In fact I'm always listening to various singers of the 20s and early 30s. Who knows Ester Walker, or Zelma O'Neal these days?. - Well, it's just because I love that original stuff that much. In order to live the original spirit, I got to limit the years ... HIGH SOCIETY once every 6 month won't harm. - But it's not only a musical question - every era has it's special way to speak, move and think. And if I was interested in 40s' and 50s' clothes too, I'd just overlook and miss things in the 30s. It's like peeking through a telescope: If you get closer to a place, you can't see the surroundings, but you really see details. And I wanna see details.

    30s' B-movies can be very charming, yes. I like John Wayne's old Western-films he made at FOX. The latest film I like quite much is a John Wayne film too: ELDORADO. I'm not Wayne's fan, I just like him, although he was such a darn right-wingy bluedog. :) - As to Jimmy Steward, Jean told him over the telephone that she was sorry in the 80s. Maybe she always liked him, but Jimmy had made a 'mistake'. Ginger writes he once danced her into his kitchen to wash his dishes. Jean was kind of feminist, she might have beaten him up with the frying pan! Well, old-fashioned men like Jimmy sometimes say or do thinks, that women like Jean can't stand ...

    You're writing about yourself "as a film maker" and I saw 42ND STREET just with eyes of a formal amateur-cutter: At the beginning the dance-director hurries over the stage, followed by the camera and the stage is full of show-girls, who buzz by. What dynamic scene! Well, the film we once made wasn't good at all, but charming, because we tried style-elements of the golden days - partly even in black & white. I was the leading lady - singing and tapping ok - but you can forget the rest, 'cause I'm a rotten actress. At least I was supposed to do the editing, because nobody could do it like me. Our director had too much imagination: the film was almost finished and he wanted to ad new funny scenes. I just convinced all the other pals that this was nonsense and then I finished the master at one weekend. The director was certainly mad, but who cares ... no wonder it was our last film. :)
    So what are you doing "as a film maker"?? You've made me very curious!

  17. 30s and moral: I appreciate how frankly and honestly Busby Berkeley films show the reality of the show-world. I like Eleanor Powell very much, but this stuff is awfully tame. Some scenes in 42ND STREET are really cruel and even a bit obscene, but there's always shown the idea, how it should be: The financier adores the girl's legs and one of the producers answers: "They have pretty faces too!" Brutal is how the director kisses Ruby to demonstrate how to recite like being in love: I find this absolutely impossible, but at least Dick Powell dominates with his kind and understanding manner. He waits until Ruby is ready to do the first step. I hope Dick is such a nice and understanding husband in reality, because I like his wife Joan Blondell very much. After all the 30s got tamer since 1934 and I ask myself whether this extreme moral code gave reason for the 60s revolt. If humanity would really be that tame, I'd appreciate it. But in fact it was nothing but lying.

    I have just one Bing Crosby film: GOING MY WAY. Grace Kelly is cold. She's so cold, that I can't find her pretty. My eyes are just freezing.

    I'm still a "poor thing", Nelly. :( Until yesterday without any protection against the evil in the web, 'cause my old tower had always been offline. NORTON acted like a true friend, offered me a download again. But their program said: "No, you got to upgrade windows-XP!" (hadn't done that since bought it anno 2005!). It took many hours and failed several times (SLOW-SLOW-SLOW!), but after all my colors and dissolution is messed up. Everything is extremely large and it seems I have just three colors: Pictures and videos look just like Picasso. **BEAUTIFUL!!!**

  18. Sorry for once again taking a while to respond, real life got in the way again.

    I understand you completely, by the way I love how you described it by ''looking through a telescope'' and wanting to see all the details. Very original and inspiring.

    By the way, yes I love Roman Holiday too, but then I haven't met much who don't. I have not seen High Society in such a long time, I hardly remember it. I was hesitant to watch it to be honest because it's meant to be a sort of adaption of one of the movies I like a lot, The Philadelphia Story, but since you like it, and you seem to have great taste in movies/movie stars, I think I will rent it out next time I see it, who knows I may even blog about it on here. XD

    I like John Wayne best when his with Maureen O'Hara, I think they play of each other very well. I confess I am not that into Westerns, however John Wayne seems to have that universal appeal where I could probably watch him in anything and still be reasonably entertained. I have not seen enough of his work to be called a fan or even to say whether I dislike or like him. I do think he was a wonderful actor, in fact I am currently looking for a movie that he starred in entitled A Quiet Man or something along those lines (I have it written in my diary).

    Jean seemed to be a very classy lady, indeed. LOL @ Jimmy Stewart waltzing Ginger Rogers into the kitchen to do the dishes, while it is a little demeaning, it is also smile worthy that he would go to such lengths to get his dishes done! I would have laughed, handed him a dish cloth and bowed saying, "All yours buddy." Before walking out. But then I'm not a dishes person- I don't mind drying them though.

    Ahem. Sorry I just rambled on about nothing again, oops. I am an amateur film maker, I haven't undergone any study as of yet to do with it, and everything I recognize regarding technique is usually from my own teaching and what I have garnered from the internet and books. It's more a hobby then anything- I do wish to go and study film and media once I go to university but that won't be for a while yet and I will probably attempt to puruse a career in film critic-ness (haha I just made a new word) or film historian. Perhaps if I had the talent I would have liked to do screenwriting too. Alas, I doubt it will ever happen.

    I think the code had a lot to do with the 60s revolt. And you're right, despite the idealized notion most of us have of that era, the 30s were better, but they were by no means as squeaky clean as they are sometimes portrayed to be in film.

    Grace Kelly is very cold, she also has this slight look about her that suggests she feels nothing but disdain for those around her. I know that is mean of me, and I don't wish to be too mean, but that is how I feel.

    Oh wow how ever did you bear it? That's the one thing I hate about computers they constantly need to be updated, or something like that. -.-


  19. "Sorry"? You shouldn't say that Nelly, unless you wanna have kind of never ending story ...

    "A Quiet Man"? I don't get it: Is this a real film, or just your idea of a film? But maybe you'd like ANGEL AND THE BADMAN (1948): He's a wounded gunman, nursed by a Quaker family. They have a charming and beautiful daughter (Gail Russel) and she makes Wayne a Quaker too. Finally he throws away his gun and let the marshal shoot the other duelist - the evil man. And than he goes away with her, to become a farmer. This film touched me to tears. This Quaker family is so kind and tolerant. Every time I see this I wanna be a Quaker myself. Wondrous enough, that Wayne was even the producer. Maybe that man was different from the way people always see him? I like him, because he's always acting reasonable, just and hearty. He's tough AND considerate. I appreciate that.

    Drying dishes?? Nelly, never! This is boy's work!! Women are superior and wash the dishes! You may call this the traditional way of 'emancipation'.

    Nelly, if you was 45, you might say "never", but at your age ... Certainly it mostly turns out different. Maybe you'll be a Director. Or you'll become a famous actress, although you don't wanna be an actress (like Jean). Maybe you'll buy those big fishes all up: Paramount, MGM, Columbia ...

    You're perfectly right, actually they didn't wear halos in the 30s. On the streets policemen shot strikers. Many people got homeless and even starved. And showgirls were just cheap meat, because they hardly found other jobs. A few things in 42ND STREET annoy me, but then it's great again. Ginger Rogers is acting as a real golddigger, but she makes sense morally: Finally she goes with the old man - financier of the show who always feels he must have the prettiest girl: He gets the wonderful job to go out with Ginger's little Fifi (and maybe he'll have to wash AND to dry the dishes too ...).

    Having booted my old whirlybird, I sometimes can't move the cursor. After a few minutes struggling and threatening to kick him off the balcony, he admits he found "new hardware" although the mouse is pretty old. Then maybe he doesn't recognize my UMTS-stick too and wants to boot again. Either he's senile, or he enjoys the privilege of fools, because I desperately need him ...

  20. The Quiet Man is a movie that was filmed in 1952, I have been looking for a copy of it for ages. I meant that I wrote the title of the film in my diary, a diary of which I have a list of all the films I want to see in my life time (the list grows more and more) sorry for confusing you, I confused myself when I just re-read my previous post too, I guess I was to hasty to post the last comment, not bothering to edit it. I shall have a look at that film you recommended, thank you!!

    I find it fascinating that in a time where the world was at it's most bleak, where The Great Depression was at it's epitome, that the majority of movies that came from that time were all glamor, all lightness, all beauty, all fluff... Not that I'm complaining all that much. It really makes me think, reflecting on the situation back then how tough it must have been for everyone. How courageous they all had to be in a world of darkness... It also makes me respects the actresses/actors from that time too. Imagine what most of them had to go through to become who they were...

    Yes I suppose you are right about the drying the dishes part, but I have never enjoyed washing them. I'm not entirely sure why.

    Did Ginger Rogers do many dramatic roles? I know, from the limited amount of movies I have seen her in, that she was a very capable actress. I was just wondering if she did some dramatic, in other words, 'serious', roles as well? 42ND STREET seems very interesting- there are so many movies I have yet to see!

    Jean didn't want to be an actress?? But she seemed so suited to it! Wow.

    Hmmm. I'm not sure why it would be saying that. Unless your mouse isn't properly plugged in or something? Or perhaps this is his idea of a mere joke :P

  21. Clarissa Smith said:
    Drying dishes?? Nelly, never! This is boy's work!! Women are superior and wash the dishes! You may call this the traditional way of 'emancipation'.

    Nelly, I was kidding! But I find it rather cute, that you take it serious. Or maybe you was kidding too and I don't get it?

    Ginger wanted to do dramatic roles and she quit the project with Fred Astaire because of this (well done Ginger!). I heard she showed a few dramatic skills, but I read in her book that she wasn't satisfied at last. But actually I'm not the right person to answer this question, because I go 100% for comedy. To me Ginger's book ends after STAGE DOOR (fall 1937) - one day I will surely read the rest of her memories, but not as carefully as the 30s. So you better ask one of those Gingerologist, Huey or better yet his OGRE SassyGinger:

    I know this dramatic-question drama because Jean felt quite similar. She wanted to do dramatic roles and she had certain ideas. Her deepest obsession was Joan d'Arc and she wanted to play that role. She read George Bernard Shaw all her life - even the philosophical works. I like this very much, but never the less I'm fed up with dramatic roles.
    Every human life is dramatic and turns out tragic after all. I don't see the necessity to have that in plays and media too. The only reasonable reason is: trying to have success. Well, I can understand that, but personally I've given up. Don't want to be a public person any more in this cockeyed world.

    Well, years ago I might have felt like Jean and Ginger. I wanted to show, that I can do real drama as well. I made the music, the lyrics and had the leading role and it was nothing but terrible. You got to go absolutely deep into this and you gotta suffer just like the person you're playing. I even suffered while composing and writing the lyrics. It was pure depression and it had to be because 'her' fate was really tragic. You can't make up stuff like it, without feeling it. It's dreadful!!

    To me this is just artistic vanity. You wanna show that you can really go over the top. Some people even kill themselves to show the rest of humanity how grandiose they are. The whole humanity must suffer from an awful inferior complex, because most humans just adore the idea of drama. They feel superior to comedians and that's the only reason why comedians get less honor and pay. Not only dramatic artists feel like that. No, even the fans of drama feel superior to fans of comedy (they feel somehow enlightened, without realizing that they're stupid). Actually the whole humanity is mentally ill and there are only a few sane individuals. And I don't pay a damn whether they like what I write. I'm just having conversation, besides exercising my brain. And I don't need drama - I wanna have a good time in front of the video-screen, otherwise I switch it off and throw it into the garbage can.

    It's obvious, Nelly: My computer is even making faces at me. He let's the flashplayer crash and then he's making faces at me. It's pure terror.

  22. HAhahahah!! That image is very funny :)

    And no you were right I took the dishes thing seriously- oopsy. I have blonde moments often, I never mean to, it just happens. :P

    To be honest I rather enjoy dramatic roles, but I think that's because I am a very dramatic person. But I do indeed comedy more then drama. What I like about the ''ole days'' was that most of their material was light hearted and fun. Why was this? Because mainly of the Great Depression. People didn't want to go to the cinema and see REALITY they wanted to escape.

    I think Charlie Chaplin was one of the most masterful film makers that was able to strike a balance between the two, comedy and dramatic. Of course he was not the only one..

    I think that with the medium of movies you first have to entertain your audience. And in order to entertain you have to have a certain happiness and light heartedness to it. A lot of movies make the mistake of just being SAD SAD SAD in an attempt to make an impact but that doesn't leave the viewer feeling anything other then depressed. I love the movies that are able to capture both the comical and depressing aspects in life without making it seem too OTT.

    And you know, looking at some films from the 30s and 40s a lot manage to do just that. Not all, but some.

    When I did drama in school I wanted nothing more to ''WOW'' the audience, I thought that by being sad and depressed and making a tragic story out of one of my plays that I would garner their attention and do just that. It wasn't until I did more comedic roles in the class that I won the applause of my peers.. Goes to show doesn't it? Laughter is worth more then even a hundred tears.

    Of course they could have just been laughing at my pathetic attempts at acting, of which I would not blame them. XD

    I'm sorry if this does not make much sense, I am in a bit of a hurry so I'm writing this very quickly :) I hope your computer situation is better now and that it has stopped making faces, heh. xD

  23. It does make sense! We have a lot of movie-bloggers who just talk about films they prefer to see. Now I see why you have much more to say: You've been practicing it over years, so you really have ideas. That's always interesting. And it usually causes those long-long texts you're writing - whether it's a new issue, or a comment. Most people aren't used to read that long texts and if they write a comment, it looks like one of our "P.S."

    When I saw your Cinderella issue I laughed, because you call it "Just a quick post". It's not as long as your other posts, but it's still relatively extensive. Well, the reason is, you always have a lot to say. - Even if you're answering a comment, you do much more work than others do - and still you have doubts: It might not bee enough, it might not make sense. That makes me think of Jean. :)

    Nelly, I know that: My letters and mails are always awfully long. Most of my comments are too, as you know. Sometimes I get a warning from blogspot, because my comment contains about 5000 words - so I have to make two of them. On my blog you can see, my comments are much longer than the article they are referred to. I always try to write the article diverting, holding back a lot of my thoughts. In my comments I speak it all out then. But sometimes I have doubts though, I might have been overdoing and exaggerating. I had a lot of those doubts after all my long comments about my issue "Yesterday's Two Husbands and Fourth of July's Special": I don't want to become a grouchy moral-watchdog. I was writing about a grotesque comedy and nobody tried to push two husbands on me personally. But I was really kind of attacking the flies at the wall, because they annoyed me. Well, the reason is, I hate to live in an untrue world. But I don't want to become an inquisitive character because of that. This wouldn't make the world any better. But after all, those many-many words I always write, show that I am constantly struggling in this world. I'm not an unhappy person. It's just that I don't accept a lot of things and circumstances as they are. I know I can't change them, but I want to know the truth and by writing about all that I find new thoughts. Your comments give me new ideas too - sometimes they even tell me that I must have been wrong at a few points.

    I know what you said about wowing the audience. Before I composed my short opera years ago, I listened above all to Richard Wagner and Antonin Dvorak's 8th symphony. I knew I had to express all the cruelty of my story already in the musical introduction/overture. The first act happened on a train and the musical transition between overture and first act was the noise of that train. I think I did a mighty good job to express a merciless monster-machine of fire and steal - it was a synthesizer, but it was the orchestration of a symphony-orchestra. Well, I was mighty proud of the result and it impressed a lot of people at last. But WHY?? What was so desirable about it? I might have done something even more bombastic: For example the whole sun crashing on our earth. Or better still: a whole galaxy crashing into another! WOW!!! ... Well, during the last scene I really had to suffer: The lights in the TV-studio were darn hot, because it all was shot via bluebox, and I had to sing quite high notes, in a quite desperate way. After all that, I asked myself, whether it had really been worth doing.

    My computer is still crazy, but at least he's transmitting the words bravely and that's actually essential. But screenshots from DVDs are impossible. It looks too weird.

  24. This comment has been removed by the author.