Thursday, April 6, 2017

A TO Z CHALLENGE-LETTER E & THURSDAY MOVIE PICKS:)



I am combining the 2 blog hops...because I can:) Check out the A to Z Challenge to read about what other people are talking about-it could be about books, travel, inventions...whatever tickles your fancy:) Over at Wandering Through The Shelves, the topic is Auto Racing/Cars and I was racking my brain to come up with one that fits both challenges since the other 2 were simpler for me. Thankfully, I actually saw my A to Z Challenge when I was a kid! Anyhoo The first one is my A to Z challenge with the person involved in the film and then comes my other 2 TMP:)

1. EXCUSE MY DUST-1951


DIRECTOR: Roy Rowland, Buster Keaton (uncredited)
STARS: Red Skelton, Sally Forrest, MacDonald Carey, Monica Lewis
OSCAR NOMS: Nil
OSCAR WINS: Nil
PLOT:An inventor, who is laughed at by the townspeople for inventing a horseless carriage that runs on gasoline, enters a race.
LOVE: The race of course:)
TRIVIA: The car is an 1892 Philion Road Carrier that was also used in The Magnificent Amberson and is now in a museum in Reno, Nevada.


EDWIN B. WILLIS-January 28, 1893-November 26, 1963


OCCUPATION: Set Decorator/Set Designer
OSCAR NOMS: Les Girls, Raintree Country, Lust For Life, BlackBoard Jungle, I'll Cry Tomorrow, Executive Suite, Brigadoon, Story of 3 Loves, Young Bess, Too Young To Kiss, Red Danube, Annie Get Your Gun, Madame Bovary, Kismet, Picture of Dorian Gray, National Velvet, Madame Curie, Thousands Cheer, Random Harvest, When Ladies Met, Great Ziegfeld, Romeo & Juliet.
OSCAR WINS: Somebody Up The Likes Me, Julius Caesar, Lili, The Bad and The Beautiful, An American in Paris, Little Women, The Yearling, Gaslight, Blossoms In The Dust
ANECDOTE: He only ever worked at MGM. Wowzers to all the oscar wins and Nominations!-Take that Merryl Streep!

2. THE GREAT RACE-1965


This is such a fun film with Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Natalie Wood involved in a car race across 3 continents  to promote the sales of Automobiles since it takes place in the early part of the 20th century. Tony Curtis is all in white, Lemmon is all in black and tries to prevent Curtis from winning while Natalie Wood is the reporter wanting to cash in on this race. It's a tribute to laurel and Hardy and ends with a great pie fight. I always wanted to be in a pie fight....

3. THE GUMBALL RALLY-1976


Another fun film based on a real road trip where a bored, rich business man decides to tell his other co-horts that the Gumball Rally has begun. The one to get to the finish line first wins and as long as they are driving a car, there are no rules and speed limits do not apply. It is fun to see all the shenanigans from the various members of this rally, get themselves in to. It started the craze of some other fun flicks like the Cannonball Run.

45 comments:

  1. Birgit, "Excuse My Dust" sounds like a fun movie. Those nay-Sayers to the automobile would not believe how loved the horseless carriage is and totally lost we'd be without a car today! I don't believe I've seen either "The Great Race" or "Gumball Rally". Reading the snippet on the second one, I immediately thought of the Cannonball Run films. :) When time permits, check out my letter "E" for elephant, eagle, and elk art sketches. Happy a2zing!

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    1. Excuse My Dust is a sweet film. I loved the Cannonball Run films

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  2. I've only seen The Great Race, but I have seen several of those films
    whose sets were designed by Willis.

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  3. I like how you combined the topic! Of course I haven't seen any of these because you know how useless I am with classics. lol

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    1. Hahahaaaaa....one day you will see more classics

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  4. I never ever heard of the first movie. Great tying of 2 memes.

    Betty

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    1. Thanks! I am trying to get that done

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  5. Re: Edwin Willis: The directors, writers and actors always get the accolades, but the designers and photographers are also such an integral part of the movies. The best ones tend to win a ton of awards (they we never hear about) because they're really that good, and they're in high demand for the biggest, best films.

    E - Jumbo the Elephant

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    1. Yes, these people often make the film in so many ways.

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  6. I absolutely need to see The Great Race

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  7. Got 1 out of 3 - I saw the Great Race, but it's been a long time ago. Have never heard of the other 2 films. You find some really good oldies, so thanks for the exposure to these!

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    1. I think you would like the other. 2 movies

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  8. I was very surprised to see Red Skelton in a romantic lead and singing! I only knew him from the Red Skelton Show as a comedian. Thanks for enlightening us once again. Take care.

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    1. He had quite a long film career and even was in a musical with Fred Astaire

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  9. I've never seen any of these, but I've heard of the first two. I guess I'm not a car person. I think I'd pick Six Pack if I had to pick a racing/car movie for this. It's the first one that came to mind. (My childhood is showing.)

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    1. I don't know that movie you mention...there we go eh?

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  10. Never heard of the Gumball Rally before, sounds like a fun one. Willis sure knew how to win.

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    1. It's a fun movie...hope you get to see it once

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  11. Those dames sure dressed the part for the Great Race. I bet the guys encouraged Natalie Wood to strip off for them lol, truth be told theres a lot of antics we never ever hear of behind the scenes unless studios are suiting themselves and promoting a movie or tv series.

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    1. Even with the people promoting the film, the last thing they will talk about are the negative things

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  12. The great race reminds me of the Married with children episode where Al has to drive a car across country and it dies a mile away from the "finish" line which prevents him from winning .

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    1. Oh yes.....I think that happens in one of these films:)

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  13. I haven't seen any of those. (Except for a couple scenes of Cannonball Run.)

    Days of Thunder is the only one I can think of that I've seen. Does Grease count?

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    1. I have not seen Days of Thunder. grease would work since there is a car chase scene...tired so can't think of the name ...drag race!

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  14. I just saw Excuse My Dust a few months ago when TCM did a mini Red Skelton marathon. It wasn't my favorite of the ones they showed but it was a trifle bit of a departure for Red from his standard schtick.

    It's be yonks since I watched The Gumball Rally and didn't think it was any great shakes at the time but it's head and tails over those ghastly Cannonball Run movies.

    We match!! I adore The Great Race, it's silly, fluffy beautifully produced fun. The three leads and they main accomplishes all jump into the spirit of the picture and I love Vivian Vance as the suffragette wife of the editor.

    I'm not much of a race fan so this required a little research to jog my memory, I almost did a 60's movie stud trio of Steve McQueen in Le Mans, James Graner in Grand Prix and the Newman film I ended up using but think I remember Great Race and couldn't leave it out so I went a slightly different route.

    Winning (1969)-Frank Capua’s (Paul Newman) dream is to win the Indy 500 and he is spurred on by his messy private life including a troubled marriage to Elora (Joanne Woodward) who is also involved with his main rival Luther Erding (Robert Wagner). The film inspired Newman’s lifelong love of racing and has some exciting scenes of the sport. While it doesn’t deliver on its ambitious tagline “WINNING is for men who live dangerously! WINNING is for women who love recklessly! WINNING is for young people who live for now! WINNING...is for everybody!” it’s a decent film with many of the stars of the racing circuit making appearances.

    The Great Race (1965)-At the beginning of the 1900’s The Great Leslie (an all in white clad Tony Curtis) and his arch nemesis Professor Fate (Jack Lemmon equally black covered with a handlebar moustache and top hat to boot) compete in the title race from New York to Paris with henchmen in tow, Hezekiah (Keenan Wynn) for Curtis and Max (a hilarious Peter Falk) for Lemmon. Also competing and covering the race for The Sentinel newspaper is pioneering and rambunctious reporter Maggie DuBois (Natalie Wood at her most beautiful). MANY complications occur along the way including a western town brawl and shootout and an enormous pie fight. Blake Edwards directed tribute to slapstick and old time serials is zany fun with beautiful costume & set design, a game cast and for car lovers fantastic automobiles. The score was provided by Henry Mancini and includes the Oscar nominated “The Sweetheart Tree”.

    The Big Wheel (1949)-Watch out Mickey Rooney’s on the skids in more ways than one! Billy Coy (Rooney) has something to prove, his father was a legend in the midget race car game until his death in a crackup, now Billy is trying to show his worth. The story is standard cocky hothead knocked down a few pegs until his learns the necessary life lessons junk but if you're a race fan and don't mind the obvious rear projection shots it has a certain entertainment value. Additionally parts were filmed at the Indy 500 raceway providing a glimpse of it in its infancy. Aside from Rooney there’s a good cast including Spring Byington, Thomas Mitchell and in a small part Hattie McDaniel in her last theatrical feature. This was made just as the Mick’s major star period was ending.

    80’s Flashback Bonus-Catch Me If You Can (1989)-When her small Midwest high school faces closure class president Melissa Hanson (Loryn Locklin) is persuaded by school bad boy Dylan Malone (Matt Lattanzi) to gamble on the illegal car races he runs. Everything goes well at first but then the local mob moves in so Melissa and Dylan take drastic measures to save ol’ Cathedral High! Full of 80’s music (the film’s score is composed and performed by Tangerine Dream) 80’s fashion and of course 80’s hair complete with headbands!

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    1. Yippee! I always like it when we match. The Red Skelton vehicle I have not seen since I was a kid and I remember enjoying it yet knowing it's not great but still fun. Steve McQueen and Paul Newman loved anything to do with cars and I almost chose Bullitt but I wasn't sure if it really fit this theme. I haven't seen your other 2 picks but love what you write about the Great Race which was an homage to Laurel & Hardy. I actually want to see this again since it's been a good couple of years. Haven't seen the last film but it sounds like it's from the era of that big hair days

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  15. You can do anything you want and since you do it well, we appreciate your doubling up on the hops! Really enjoyed this one, and The Great Race was a lot of fun to see.

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  16. Dunno where you find these movies Birgit. Never heard of any of them. At least, The Great Race sounded familiar.

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    1. I realize I have seen tons of movies

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  17. I saw the Great Race years ago. It was a scream. I'm tempted to try the blog challenge, but I'm afraid I'd wimp out :)
    I REALLY wish you'd do a FOLLOW BY EMAIL widget on your blog.
    R

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    1. It's a fun film.....I will try to do that...promise!

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  18. Red Skeleton was a funny guy. I was one of those kids rolling on the floor laughing as I watched his show on TV. I thought of Elvis Presley movies. They all blend together now. lol

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    1. He was funny and from what I've seen and read, a gentle man. Oh, yes, there was a Presley film involving auto racing....can't remember which one

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  19. Goodness, dear Birgit. I feel like I've missed so much on your blog so far this month. I adore how you created two challenges, even though I've never head of any of these films, or Willis, the set director/designer.

    I'm off to see what I've missed on your blog.

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  20. Well done on the double whammy! Not seen any of these though.

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  21. Gumball...I think I have Top Trumps from them...all with cars on...

    Haven't seen any of your picks but anything with Jack Lemmon is normally good.

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  22. Loved "The Great Race" and "The Gumball Rally", so I'm sure I would like "Excuse My Dust" as well, since I'm a bit of a car buff.
    Does It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World qualify in this category? We watched it last weekend; as funny as ever! ☺

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  23. To add the follow by email gadget just go to
    DESIGN
    LAYOUT
    Look on the right site for something that says ADD GADGET
    Then scroll down until you find the FOLLOW BY EMAIL
    And you will be set.
    Rick

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  24. I've not even heard of these picks. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

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  25. Lemmon and Curtis! How have I not seen this??

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