Bradford Dillman and the Evil Genius

January 20, 2011

{ artwork by me! }

Until Millie started talking about him incessantly, I had no clue who Bradford Dillman was. (cue simultaneous gasp!) But, The Evil Genius* (Millie) doesn't like it when people aren't familiar with her favorite actors. She REALLY doesn't like it. I've heard she has a torture chamber, complete with an Iron Maiden and rack, for people that refuse her pleas to watch films and tv shows featuring her favorite stars. I've been lucky so far... in my constant attempts to avoid watching Tyrone Power movies, I've found that humor and light jokes will keep the Wrath of the Evil Genius at bay, at least for now... But if someday I stop posting here, and the following week you see a short blog post on Classic Forever, with a photo of Tyrone Power captioned simply "muahahahahahahah! I WIN!" I believe you'll know my fate.

Since I'm pressing my luck with the Tyrone Power issue, I thought it wise to immediately cave when The Evil Genius asked me to watch Bradford Dillman in an episode of The Alfred Hitchcock Hour. Granted, he's a lot more handsome and doesn't have a history of showing up in roles that I'd prefer other actors had been cast in (I'm looking at you Witness for the Prosecution!!) so it was a lot easier to give in this time. And I'm glad I did! The Evil Genius was right, Bradford Dillman really is pretty cool, and while not quite on the same level as Millie, an evil genius in his own right.

The episode I watched was called "Isabel" about an old maid who falsely accuses BD of assaulting her. After watching it I realized I'd actually seen him before, in an episode of The Mary Tyler Moore show, and in The Way We Were.. I just hadn't noticed until The Evil Genius brought him to my attention. I highly recommend that you give him a shot if you haven't already! Now, I'm not going to tie you to a board and stretch your limbs until you pass out if you don't stop what you're doing right now and find a Bradford Dillman movie or tv show to watch, but Millie just might. I warned you. I won't feel the least bit sorry for you if one day your blog is abandoned, and I see a short post on Classic Forever with a photo of Bradford Dillman captioned "muahahahahahaha! I WIN!"

*Other bloggers participating in the Bradford Dillman blogathon are referring to BD himself when they reference "The Evil Genius" but I've decided Millie is more worthy of this title.

Dirk Bogarde's life story -- in comic book form!

January 18, 2011

This is BY FAR my favorite Dirk Bogarde find. About a week ago I was perusing ebay listings and came across a late-1950's magazine that had only a photo of the cover, and said "Dirk Bogarde cover and feature -- his life story in pictures and also in comic strip." Comic strip??? I had to see this. And it's about 100 times better than anything I could have hoped!! It is seriously a comic strip. It's 22 pages long and -- with a few white lies and exaggerations -- really is his life story in comic strip form, up until about 1958. I hope you enjoy this as much as I do!! :)

Dirk Bogarde comic

Susannah York

January 16, 2011

Susannah York passed away yesterday, after just celebrating her 72nd birthday. When celebrities who hail from the world of classic film pass away, I don't usually find myself incredibly devastated .. it might be because so many of them were in their late 80's or early 90's and it was at least somewhat expected. But Susannah York's death is bothering me. Partly because she is one of my favorite actresses, and also because she just seems so young.

The 1960's for some reason or other feel much more recent than any decade prior. I mean, 1960 feels about 20 years away from 1959. A lot of classic film fans have an invisible demarcation line between 1959 and 1960, preferring to watch only movies made prior to the new decade. I'm not one of them, but I completely understand why that particular year would serve as a cut-off. It's a time when "old fashioned" seemed to end and "modern" began. 1960 still feels like yesterday, even to someone like myself who was born in 1986. And so when a star from the 60's passes away, it's jolting in a way that a star from the 20's isn't. It's unexpected, and especially hard to believe.

I think my feelings about this can also be attributed to the fact that the actors and actresses who rose to fame in the 1960's seemed eternally young. They were so fresh and vivacious that their youth seemed everlasting. The mere fact that Susannah York was 72 is almost as hard for me to believe as the fact that she's passed away.

While the words fresh and vivacious apply to many of the 60's starlets, I think they're most appropriate for Susannah. She's absolutely radiant on screen and, I think, has a certain charm that makes it impossible for you to become anything other than an instant fan! I first was exposed to her in Sebastian, which co-stars Dirk Bogarde (hence, the reason I watched it) and was instantly smitten. She was a perfect match for his intelligent code-cracker, and their teaming is one of my favorites in all of his films.

I think I've said this before, but one of the things I find comforting when movie stars pass away is that we are left with tons of moving images of them, alive and well. Movies are perhaps the one invention that allow us to achieve some sort of immortality. Through her films, Susannah York will always appear to us, young fresh and vivacious.

A tribute video I made today for Susannah York, set to Marianne Faithfull's "Four Strong Winds."

Happy Birthday, Luise Rainer!

January 12, 2011

{ Artwork by me! }

Today, Luise Rainer turns 101 years old! She's best known for her roles in The Good Earth and The Great Ziegfeld, and for being the oldest living recipient of a competitive Oscar. But to me, she's the star of Dramatic School.

If you're familiar with the film or with Luise, you're probably aware that she hated it, and it basically ended her Hollywood career. If you're familiar with me, you know that I have a weird habit of falling in love with movies that the stars hated. (See: Jack Lemmon in The Notorious Landlady)

The movie is about a young drama student with a hyper-active imagination who works nights at a factory to pay for school. Her exaggerated stories and constant dreaming cause a series of events that make for a beautiful movie. It's like a modern (well, 1930's modern) fairy tale for dreamers .. very melodious and sweet, and perfectly lovely. It's definitely not for everyone, but I count it in my top 50 movies. Luise Rainer has a very poetic way of acting and it suits this character so perfectly, it's almost a tragedy that the movie doesn't have a better reputation. But if you're an imaginative person who loves characters who have their heads in the clouds, you need to check this out!

It's actually available to view in full on -- the whole thing in one file, not split up into numerous parts like on youtube-- and it'll also be playing on TCM at 4:30am EST. If you have TCM, you'll want to tune in earlier - at 8pm- for an exclusive interview with Luise Rainer from last year's TCM Classic Film Festival! I, for one, will have the popcorn popping and the dvd recorder powering on at 7:55pm! I do not want to miss this!

You Stepped Out of a Dream

January 09, 2011

Does this song fit the movie perfectly or what?! Sorry to be posting so many videos here lately, but I'm enjoying making them and can't help myself! :)

Dana Andrews

January 08, 2011

A new tribute I made for Dana Andrews. I wanted SO badly to include clips from My Foolish Heart, but the only copy I have was recorded from TCM in SLP mode so it looked super pixelated when I copied it to my computer -- so I used my quicktime screen recorder to record a few clips of it playing on netflix instant watch on my computer screen. All super complicated just for one movie, but My Foolish Heart is my favorite Dana Andrews film. Not just because it's based on my favorite short story (Uncle Wiggly in Connecticut by JD Salinger) but because it's a really, really great movie with two of my favorite stars. I love it so much, I named my flappers after characters in the film (Eloise and Ramona).

Anyway, I guess I have two points - 1. it was super hard to get the My Foolish Heart clips, so watch my video to make that worth it, and 2. My Foolish Heart is an amazing movie, so when you're doing watching my video, go watch the film ;-D

Is That Mustache Really Necessary? - Part II

January 04, 2011

My most popular post in the history of Silents & Talkies is my Is That Mustache Really Necessary? post, and understandably. It's like a car accident -- you just can't look away. The mustaches are all so fascinatingly horrible, you just sit there mesmerized by the hairy hideousness of it all.

And so for the last year or so I've been stock-piling bad mustaches for a follow up post one day. Ladies and gents, that day has arrived. And it's not pretty.

A quick disclaimer, before you dive into the facial hair festivities: this is all in fun, so if your favorite actor is in here sporting a 'stache that you found particularly becoming, please don't have a hissy fit in the comments. I included my beloved Dirk Bogarde in the last round, so it's all good ;-D

Here we go!

I don't think I'd want to dance cheek to cheek
with Fred if he's going to look like this!

Not the worst offender of this batch,
but still .. the goatee is a tad pathetic, no?


This one just makes me giggle. He looks so silly, doesn't he?!

Noooooooooo! Robert Redford, my love. You're too
delectably handsome to cover that face with a porn 'stache.

I half expect him to whip off his mustache
and kill me with it.

I don't even ...

Going to let this one slide, just because he's older. If Bill
had rocked a mustache in Picnic, that would be different.
And illegal.

I know I'm the only person who thinks James Mason
wasn't a slimy cradle-robber, but I'll be the first to admit
I wouldn't let my kids around him with this mustache.

It's tragic to cover up this face, right?
Yet.. I think he could have had tattoos of
Tyrone Power* on both cheeks & he'd still look fetching ;-D

*If you follow me on twitter or have ever read a post on Classic
Forever, you know I'm not a huge fan..

No, I don't want to buy a vacuum cleaner, now please leave me alone!

Aww, poor Rock. Mustache bringing you down?

YE GADS!!! You know, everyone thought I was nuts when I
included Rod Taylor in my list of old Hollywood crushes.
Maybe this is the only picture of him that they'd seen..

Maybe Mr. Chips would have married earlier if he'd
picked up the razor once in a while.. just saying...


My undying love for Frank Sinatra leaves me unable to
critique his little upper-lip peach fuzz.

Cute boyish face + mustache = *scrubs eyes*

James Cagney is the only repeat from my last list,
only because I found this new photo in which the
eyebrows are just as puzzling as the mustache.

Neither Jean Paul Belmondo or Maurice Chevalier should
have ever been allowed to grow facial hair. Did young
children run away in horror? I think so.

I know it's for a role, but please. It had to be included.

Ditto on the "for a role" thing, but LOL.

Robert Redford, I take it back. THIS is a porn 'stache.

Confession: I actually think this one is cute, in a Victorian sort of way..

Peter McEnery's evil twin.

George Sanders thinks the mustache & monocle will make him
appear intelligent and discerning, but I'd be clutching my
purse tightly as he passed by..

And I leave you with one more George Sanders, sporting not only
a hideous mustache but a beard and false bushy eyebrows, to boot! Ka-pow!

How normal people watch Breakfast at Tiffany's vs. How crazy cat ladies watch Breakfast at Tiffany's

January 03, 2011

Breakfast at Tiffany's was on TCM last week, and so I watched it for the bazillionth time, as usual. However, during this particular viewing I realized something that I hadn't before. I couldn't care less if Audrey and George Peppard end up together at the end. To me, the film reaches its emotional climax not because George and Audrey embrace, but because they have Cat between them.

From the moment that the cab scene starts, my stomach is filled with wasps. I know that any moment she'll be tossing Cat out into the rain. When Cat grabs onto the car, trying desperately and hopelessly to stay in the warm dry cab, the tears start to flow. I don't think I've ever really paid attention to any dialogue that occurs after Cat is thrown out, because I'm screaming at my tv "STOP THE CAR! YOU NEED TO SAVE CAT!" If I could, I'd jump into my tv and look for him myself.

If I have one of my cats nearby whilst watching, they are at this point being hugged tightly while I anxiously await the moment when Cat is found.

Normal people are relieved when Audrey shows up in the alley calling for her cat -- but not for the same reasons I am. They believe she's seen the error of her ways; she's going to let George love her; a happy ending is on the horizon for our newly minted couple. But for me, and crazy cat ladies across the globe, it's ALL ABOUT THE CAT.

Honestly, this is the whole movie. Holly's husband, brother, fiance? All totally inconsequential to Breakfast at Tiffany's. It's about the cat. Sally Tomato, the 5 and dime robbery, Patricia Neal? They mean squat. It's all about the cat. It's all just leading up to that one super-charged emotional moment when Audrey scoops Cat up in her arms and gives her a "I should never have tossed you out of the cab, you wonderful feline" gigantic smooshy hug.

And THAT makes it a happy ending. George could have slipped and fell in the rain, got hit by a cab and ended up in the ER right before the credits rolled. As long as Cat is out of the rain, and reunited with Audrey Hepburn, I'm a happy camper.