Made in Paris {The Apartment}

July 11, 2019



In the 1966 film Made in Paris, Louis Jourdan plays a Parisian fashion designer, Marc Fontaine. When Ann-Margret takes Edie Adams' place as his American buyer, catastrophic misunderstandings and flirtatious escapades ensue. This film is notable to me because it's the first time that I took notice of --and fell down a deep rabbit hole of full-blown obsession with-- Chad Everett, who plays Ann-Margret's boyfriend.

The only thing in this film that might be more aesthetically pleasing than Chad Everett's megawatt smile is Marc Fontaine's flamingo pink studio, designed by set decorators Keogh Gleason and Henry Grace. Situated right above the runway of the fashion house, this colorful abode is a feast for the eyes!



To the left is Fontaine's office desk, facing away from a bay window that -- I can only assume -- is probably overlooking the Champs-Élysées. To the right is a sitting area, complete with two chairs and a matching settee. But the piece de resistance is that spiral staircase hiding in the back left corner. Be still my heart! And the addition of a plush pink carpet only heightens the style that hovers somewhere between decadent and kitschy. My favorite spot to be!



On the right side of the room, Fontaine keeps his latest sketches on display, hanging over a table that appears to house a collection of fashion magazines. I love the balance here of opulence and strict attention to design, but with little messes here and there that reflect the reality of a working fashion designer. My own studio is much less lavish, but I think I strike a similar balance between lived-in creative workspace and pleasing to look at.



In the other corner of the room is Fontaine's easel, complete with a table for paints and palette, a roll of paper lying underneath, and a model form for reference that is bedecked in fabric, ribbons, and flowers. The spiral staircase is my favorite feature of the room but this model is my favorite detail that the set designers added -- it's kind of kooky!



Here is a close up of the staircase, which has a grey railing with golden spokes. And over Ann-Margret's shoulder you can see a peek of the Picasso painting hanging up on the wall. I also love how the walls have intricate wooden carvings in the beveled moulding and they almost seem to be washed in a rose hued stain.



Remember how I  mentioned that this room is situated right above the runway? It's the perfect spot for Fontaine to retreat during a show and keep an eye on the reception his pieces receive during a show. All he has to do is press a button and - Presto! - the bookcase disappears into the wall to reveal a window overlooking the runway. How fantastic is that?!

This is part of an ongoing series of posts dedicated to bachelor apartments in movies. You can view the rest of the series right here.

Saw it in the Movies Tag

July 05, 2019



The rules:

- Pick at least 3 things that you have done from a movie. It can be any movie, anything you did.
- Tell how the event worked out.
- Link back to the tag's creator and the person who tagged you (thank you, Hamlette!)
- Have fun!
- Tag 4 people.



1. I started using Pond's Cold Cream because it always seemed so glamorous when actresses in movies would apply the cream at night, sitting at their vanity, usually whilst arguing with their husband/boyfriend/lover. I have no idea why this particular ritual resonated so strongly with me but I can still think of specific scenes in movies off the top of my head - Bette Davis in All About Eve, Ingrid Bergman in Goodbye, Again, Ruth Chatterton in Dodsworth, Jean Seberg in Bonjour Tristesse.

2. I went through a phase where I was so influenced by the ennui of foreign film characters that I let it seep into my own life. I naturally gravitate towards being a very optimistic, happy person but as I became immersed in a world of restless, unhappy, languishing characters, I absorbed their energy. I felt like it was cooler to be jaded and listless than my normal bubbly self. I still love these movies but once I realized the effect that they were having on me I definitely cut back on my Antonioni intake considerably!

3. When I was about 15 I shaved off my eyebrows so I could draw them on like Jean Harlow or Marlene Dietrich. It's probably the worst decision I've ever made, I looked so silly and I had the hardest time drawing them on evenly! Luckily they grew back, but they're very sparse. It's funny because I was a teenager in the early 2000's and most girls my age over-plucked at the time, but for a totally different reason! lol!

I'm going to tag:
Nicole from Vintage Film Nerd
Nikki from The Way We Watch
Diana from Flickin' Out
Gabriela from Pale Writer

Talking Truffaut with Raquel from Out of the Past!

June 05, 2019



For the last few years, when my good friend Raquel has come into NYC in the spring for a work event we've been meeting up for dinner. It's become one of my favorite traditions to look forward to each year, and this time around we filmed a video for her youtube channel, too! I hope this also becomes a tradition because it was so much fun to record! We spent well over an hour chatting about my favorite director, François Truffaut (don't worry, Raquel managed to trim it down to just over half an hour!)

I feel compelled to acknowledge that I did make a few goofs with the facts, and there were so many times that my mind went completely blank on names or films that I know well when the cameras aren't rolling. I could list every Truffaut movie by heart and yet "A Gorgeous Girl Like Me" totally slipped my mind. And Charles Denning is Charles Denner. Alas! The point is, sometimes my enthusiasm and anxiousness overwhelms the part of my brain that's supposed to remember facts. As I say in the video, take it with a grain of salt. I absolutely adore the guy and his movies, but I'm just an absent-minded super fan, not an expert ;)

Anyway, this was just such an absolute treat and I think it's so fun that after 10 years of knowing each other through classic movie blogging (ten years?!?!) we got to film this! I can't wait to do the next one! :)

You can watch the video on Raquel's youtube channel here. And be sure to check out her classic film blog, Out of the Past, her sister site Quelle Movies, and if you're a fan of her work (which you definitely should be!) you can support her Ko-Fi right here.

The Classic Movie Tag!

May 24, 2019



Raquel from Out of the Past just posted a fun classic movie tag on her youtube channel (watch it here!) and I couldn't resist participating myself. Here we go!


1 - What's one classic movie that you recommend to people over and over and over again?

I wish that I had an answer to this that would surprise everyone, but it's Sunday in New York. I recommend it to everybody that I meet and I've been doing that for over ten years now. I remember before it was released on DVD officially I used to make copies of the dvd that I taped off TCM and mail them to my friends to make sure they got to see it. So far almost everyone I've recommended it to has loved it (with one exception that always sticks out in my mind, argh!) so I'm not going to stop anytime soon.

2 - What was the last classic film you saw and what were your thoughts about it?

The last classic film I saw was Claudelle Inglish (1961). I watched it for Chad Everett (who only has maybe 7 minutes of screen time) and the title role is played by Diane McBain, but Arthur Kennedy totally stole the picture in my opinion. He completely and utterly broke my heart. I didn't expect myself to get so wrapped up in the movie but by the end I found I was way more emotionally invested in it than I thought I'd be. And that's entirely because of Arthur Kennedy. What a performance.



3 - Name a classic movie genre you love and one you dislike.

One that I love would be '60s sex comedies. Even the worst of them are still completely enjoyable to me! And one that I dislike would be ... hmm... normally I would say westerns but as I wrote earlier this week, that has changed a bit. I'm going to go with Shakespeare adaptations. I actually enjoy Shakespeare and was obsessed with memorizing monologues when I was in school, but it's not my favorite thing to watch onscreen.

4 - Name a classic movie star with whom you share a birthday or a hometown.

I share a hometown with Paul Robeson! We were both born in Princeton, New Jersey.

5 - Give a shout out to a friend or family member who shares your love of classic movies.

I'll give a shout out to my mom and dad. My mom shares my love of frivolous '60s romps and old Disney movies, while my dad shares my love of foreign films. This week my mom and I traded favorite scenes from The Glass Bottom Boat and I had a conversation with my dad about the Truffaut vs. Godard approaches to whether or not art should be political. We also recently did a March Madness style bracket to narrow down our favorite character actors (if I remember correctly, Alastair Sim won across the board.)

6 - Name a classic movie star who makes your heart skip a beat or whom you admire greatly.

I'm going to take this as my cue to talk about Chad Everett again. I am so, so smitten. I just got a signed photo in the mail and placed it across from my bed so it's the first thing I see in the morning. I have a problem.

I only have one more movie of his from the 1960s left to watch (Johnny Tiger, which, depending on the legitimacy of the website from which I bought the DVD, is hopefully on its way to me now.) and then I'll be all done with that decade of his filmography. The '70s are tricky territory because of excessive sideburns, long hair, and so much polyester, so I might skip ahead a little bit and resume binging his career around 1981. I'm also working my way through Medical Center, and I have to say it might be one of my favorite discoveries that was spurred by a crush. Some episodes leave me grinning like an idiot, and then last night I actually had to grab tissues because tears were streaming down my face. It's a rollercoaster, that show! But it's just so well done. And Chad Everett is such a hunk. *Swoon*



7 - Describe one memorable experience watching a classic movie.

A couple years ago in February the heater broke in my house and it was freezing cold inside. La Piscine was showing at the Film Society in New York, and I took a train into the city to see it. The theater was nice and cozy, and the sizzling French summer was radiating off the screen. You could hear that low buzzzzz of insects and practically feel the sun on your skin and obviously Alain Delon, on the big screen, shirtless, and tanned, and ugh. It was just so nice. I think it was also my first time seeing a classic movie alone and I loved it so much. The solo movie-going experience is so underrated.

8 - Describe the craziest thing you've done because of your passion for classic movies.

Most of my really crazy things were done when I was a teenager, like wearing black mourning clothes to middle school on the anniversary of Audrey Hepburn's passing, or making my friends take photos of me with my arms around a nonexistent boyfriend at our junior prom so that I could then "photoshop" Frank Sinatra into the photo with me using MS paint. This was before digital cameras so the whole process was way more time consuming (and thus crazy) than it would be today, lol.

Lately I guess the craziest thing would be going to the TCM Film Festival multiple times. I don't like Hollywood, I'm socially inept, and I honestly can't afford to go as often as I do, but almost every year since 2014 I find myself on a plane bound for California every spring! I'm already planning out outfits and saving up airline miles for 2020.

9 - What's something classic movie related that you love to collect?

I collect movie tie-in books! I have a little rotating paperback shelf for them so that they're always on display, and it's my favorite collection (not just classic movie related collection) that I own! The only downside is that I haven't read many of them because I'm scared to crack the spines and possibly separate the covers since so many of them are in delicate condition.



10 - What's your favorite way to share your passion for classic movies?

I love talking to other classic movie fans on twitter and following accounts that are as obsessed with their favorite stars as I am with mine. My absolute favorite people on the site are the ones who are passionate about specific movies or stars and try to share that passion with the movie community. I think it can be a thankless job (especially if the star you're obsessed with isn't as popular as Audrey Hepburn or Cary Grant, say) but I appreciate and enjoy those accounts so much. I just love being able to talk movies there. It's the only place online that I really feel comfortable socializing, and I think it has to be because the classic movie community is so kind and welcoming and supportive. I'm sure most people there think of me as an acquaintance, if they think of me at all, but I think of so many of them as good friends and really cherish their presence in my life.

turns out, I like some westerns

May 21, 2019



Last month I was sick in bed with a pretty bad case of bronchitis, and I was binging my way through fun frivolous '60s sex comedies (way more healing than chicken soup, if you ask me!) When I got to Made in Paris, a 1966 Ann-Margret vehicle co-starring Chad Everett, I made a sharp detour away from "any '60s comedy" and veered towards "exclusively Chad Everett." From that day on I've been consuming everything he made, and I do mean EVERYTHING.

Here I am, approximately a month later, the proud owner of Return of the Gunfighter (1967) and the complete series of The Dakotas. Did I watch Return of the Gunfighter with a grimace on my face, painfully plodding my way through a western for the sake of eye candy? No! I enjoyed it, and then I watched it TWICE. And was I dragged kicking and screaming into a screening of The Last Challenge (1967), Everett's western flick with Glenn Ford? Heck, no! I loved every minute of it and found myself on the edge of my seat by the nail-biting finale. I know somebody is going to supply a pretty well-deserved "I told you so!" but if I had realized how well-populated westerns are with beautiful, tanned, blue jean-bedecked actors I probably would have caved in to this genre a whole lot sooner.

Oh, and did I mention I also liked a war film? Yup, you heard it here first folks! I watched and was thoroughly entertained by First to Fight (1967) a movie about a WWII war hero (Everett) who experiences PTSD when he returns to the Pacific to fight again after spending time away from battle to sell war bonds on the home front. I definitely enjoyed the home front scenes more than the battle scenes, but darn it, I really liked this whole movie.



Anyway. I guess my whole point is that I think Chad Everett is the dreamboatiest dreamboat to ever dreamboat and I am having a super hard time thinking about anything else these days. If you need more evidence of his handsomeness, I made a ton of gifs on my giphy right here that you can swoon over, too! :)

An Ode to Rachel Devery

March 28, 2019



I was heartbroken to learn today that June Harding has passed away. Harding played the iconic Rachel Devery in The Trouble with Angels, a movie that has now been seen and cherished by at least three generations of young girls. My own mom saw it in theaters when she was 10 and shared it with me when I was even younger than that. I'm a childless 32 now, but I'm sure that countless women my age who grew up loving this film are now sharing it with their daughters, as well.

June Harding played Rachel with a tenderness, sweetness, and authenticity that perfectly complimented Hayley Mills' scheming Mary Clancy. Even though their plans were always hatched by Mary and willingly accompanied by Rachel, Rachel wasn't merely a stooge or a blind accomplice. She was a best friend doing what best friends do! She enjoyed being a part of a team, excited about whatever new adventure Mary might come up with. She was Mary's equal, her other half. And when Mary decides to join the order, Rachel's devastation doesn't just stem from feelings of betrayal. It's the sudden loss of that team, the end of their escapades as a devious duo.

June Harding poured so much into Rachel. It isn't just the physical comedy and displays of ineptitude -- her misadventures in sewing, her bungled sign of the cross, her clumsiness in the art studio, her messy charcoal work, her frenzied jump into the swimming pool -- but the way that she imbued meaningful scenes with layers of emotion. When she says "I'll miss you" after Mary has already walked away from her, or when she looks stabbed with hurt over Mary's announcement at graduation.

And June Harding's ability to convey unbridled joy was unmatched. Her happiness when she sees Mary after summer break, or when she decides to forgive Mary is absolutely infectious. Not every performer can make you feel the emotions that they're displaying onscreen -- weep when they're sad and grin when they're smiling, but June Harding had that in spades.

I hope that she knew what she meant to us. I hope she knew that when I reminisced about my childhood friends, I usually counted Mary and Rachel among them.