I’m inspired by Wandering Through The Shelves, who has reduced her posting themes to twice per month, to keep posting weekly but I’m choosing my own themes. Since the Oscars were just on( I talked about them on my previous post, with some Hollywood songs), I decided to keep with the Hollywood theme and chose 3 films that’s all about Hollyweird ( like that, Stephen) and I have a little bit of a theme within a theme…
1. A STAR IS BORN-1937
I decided to choose this early version of this oft filmed story somewhat based on a true story ( either based on Elizabeth Bergner’s marriage or Barbara Stanwyck’s first marriage). It’s all about a young woman who wants to make it in Hollywood who meets an alcoholic film star who sees her potential. They fall in love but as her film star rises, his declines. This is a really excellent film starring Janet Gaynor and Frederic March as the 2 lovebirds and they are so good in their roles with Janet exuding sweetness but strength dealing with the man she loves who selflessly promotes her star power. I do prefer the Judy Garland version the best but this is a good one to see.
2. THE BAD AND THE BEAUTIFUL-1952
This film stars Kirk Douglas as a son of a famous film producer who also makes a mark for himself but on the backs of 3 of his former friends, a writer, an actress and a director. A movie producer mogul, played by Walter Pidgeon, brings these 3 together, Dick Powell, Lana Turner and Barry Sullivan and we learn, in flashback, how the producer, brought them to success but at a cost. Each one wants to kill him but, without Kirk, each one would not be famous. They are all a success. This is, apparently, based somewhat on Val Lewton, who was a producer and director most famous for his atmospheric, eerie films like “Cat People.” This film is well done with Kirk Douglas playing a bit of a slime and exceeds at it. Gloria Grahame won a Best Supporting actress Oscar as the wife of the writer.
3. SUNSET BOULEVARD-1950
I normally discuss the earliest film first but I wanted to showcase Hollyweird from a newcomer to established to, finally, forgotten. This is a great film and one that angered some like Louis B, Mayor who thought Billy Wilder, the director, should have been horsewhipped. I spoke about this film before but it is a must see with William Holden as a has been writer on the lamb from 2 guys who want to repossess his car. He takes a turn into an old place from yesteryear and meets a stern butler, the Lady of the house who seems larger than life and a dead chimp. Soon he realizes he has met the once, great Norma Desmond who was a major, silent film star but now is forgotten living in a decaying mansion that once hosted huge parties. Gloria Swanson just nails it as the slowly going insane Norma as does Holden as the insensitive cad who succumbs to Norma’s advances but doesn’t mind being used. So much of this film has great references to what was the dream time of Silent Cinema. Gloria was a famous silent film star who worked with Cecil B DeMille many times and, yes, he did truly call her Little Fella. Erich Von Stroheim, who plays her butler was a famous director during the silents and the house was one of many mansions, most now gone to the developers’ wrecking ball, sadly. I love Mae Murray’s reaction upon seeing this film ( she was a famous actress who, today, would be a reality star but a better one than the dreck that’s on today), “None of us floozies was ever that nuts.” I love that quote.
What a Hollywood films can you think of?
Hooray for Harleywood, dear friend! I hope you and your smooch pooch are well and in good spirits today.
Did you notice in that first trailer, A Star Is Born, the narrator's use of the word "gay" in its old context, referring to "the gay setting of Santa Anita Park"? He also states that Frederic March is "more swashbuckling than ever before." I can't remember the last time I buckled a swash. Gosh, I miss those days! Just listen to that narrator's perfect diction. I have not seen this original version of A Star Is Born, nor the 1954 remake starring Judy Garland, nor the most recent one starring Lady Gaga. However, I did see the 1976 film starring Barbra and Kris. I have also seen A Star Is Porn (1985) starring Bunny Bleu and your friend and mine, Ron Jeremy . :)
The narrator on the second trailer also has me swooning with his diction. The Bad And The Beautiful is a film I studied in college and saw again circa 2007 when I binged on old films of the mid 20th century and earlier. I admired Kirk Douglas as an actor. Beginning in 1987, I watched the TV soap The Bold and the Beautiful, launched as a sister show to The Young And the Restless and inspired by the 1952 film. As part of my job in TV production, I voiced promos for "B&B" as it is called, because our station aired the soap series.
I have always trusted Billy Wilder as a director, and have seen Sunset Boulevard. Bill Holden was one of my favorites, and I also like the film because the cast includes Jack Webb and silent star Buster Keaton.
My A list of films about Hollywood includes Naomi Watts starring in David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (2001) and Leo DiCaprio in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019). The latter boasts a soundtrack containing numerous hit songs of the 60s.
Have a Thankful Thursday and a safe and happy weekend, dear friend BB!
I have yet to see Babs' Star movie. I like the Gaga version but my fav is the Judy Garland one. The scene where she talks about her husband's addiction is heartbreaking especially since she had her addictions.Delete
I lovevthe dictio and the old fashioned way of talking.
I still have to see Mulholland Drive but love Once Upon... it's such a unique way of looking at things and a wish how it would have gone down.
Like Shady, I've seen the 1976 version of the first film but none of the others.ReplyDelete
That's the only one I haven't seen :)Delete
I've never seen "Sunset Boulevard," but I love Carol Burnett's adaptation of the character of Norma Desmond...ReplyDelete
Toward the end of "Blazing Saddles," a fight breaks out that crashes into the set of another movie (a Busby Berkeley-type movie with a bunch of effeminate men doing a song-and-dance, directed by Dom DeLuise), then into the commissary, then out onto the street outside Warner Bros. studios, where Hedley Lamar (Harvey Korman) gets a taxi and rides to Mann's Chinese Theater, where he watches part of "Blazing Saddles." I don't know if that exactly qualifies, but it's all I could think of...
It's Hedley! Poor Hedy even sued Mel Brooks. I love that movie and ot works here. I love Carol Burnett who fid a great take on that film. I think this is a film you must see as you would appreciate it and love it.Delete
I didn't see the original, but saw the Kristofferson and Streisand version of Star and found it tragic.ReplyDelete
It's the only one I haven't seen...hahahaaaDelete
Wahoo. I'm three for three. My library has Once Upon a Time in Hollywood on order, so I am on the waitlist.ReplyDelete
I like that movie a lot and you might like it like me. I won't say anything about it until you can see itDelete
I think all versions of A Star Is Born were good and so tragic! My favourite though, is the Streisand/Kristofferson one. Loved The Bad and the Beautiful and Sunset Boulevard! Mulholland Drive and The Last Tycoon are two that come to mind. Once Upon a Time in Hollywood was good too - wish the ending had been the real story!ReplyDelete
I still have to see the 76 version...one day. I like your choices although I still have yo see Mulholland Dr. I too wish it would gave ended that way. Strangely, it name me felt good to think like thatDelete
I'm not sure if I saw that version of Star. I've seen bits of it if not the whole thing. I should get around to seeing the others one of these days. (I have TCM again, so I should start getting some of these movies seen.)ReplyDelete
Lucky you having TCMDelete
Like you Birgit I prefer Judy’s version of A Star is Born best but the Janet/Freddie take is a close second best with both of them outstanding. Much as I adore Babs her version is a dreadful misfire, except when she’s singing, and the Gaga redo unnecessary and reworked in a foolish way that makes Bradley Cooper’s role the focus. The original Connie Bennett “What’s Price Hollywood?” is decent but I don’t love it. Aside from the two couples you mentioned I know the story was influenced by silent stars Marguerite De La Motte and John Bowers whose marriage ended in the same way as Esther & Norman’s with Bowers career destroyed by sound.ReplyDelete
The Bad & the Beautiful is an excellent film though I feel the Dick Powell storyline is superfluous, I know that it’s excision would deny Gloria Grahame her Oscar but since she won for one of her slightest roles I wouldn’t cry over that….especially if it would be re-bestowed for her truly deserving work in “The Big Heat”. Bad and Beautiful contains one of Lana’s best pieces of work along with “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.
Not a whole lot can be added at this point about the greatness of Sunset Blvd. Glo, Bill Holden and Von Stroheim are flawless and the film’s message is a true but bitter pill.
My three also have a sort of interlacing theme, they are all about people who pursued that Hollywood dream and in one way or another came a cropper.
My first would be the brilliant but pitch black “In a Lonely Place (1950)” with the marvelous Gloria Grahame and Bogie.
Next would be the very odd but fascinating in its own way-“What’s the Matter with Helen?” (1971) with both Debbie Reynolds and Shelley Winters memorable but for very different reasons.
Finally, “The Day of the Locust” (1975) is a sort of forerunner to last year’s “Babylon” but much less salacious but with an intriguing feeling of griminess.
Hey Joel, I hope you reD my music one yesterday as I talked about the Oscars and decided to add names that should have been mentioned for the In Memorium segment instead of showcasing what's his name with his sunglasses on. I have an issue with numbnuts who wear sunglasses in dark areas. I will look up Motte and Bowers. I gave to see What Price and the 76 version which never truly interested me. I like the latest version with Gaga more than you and thought it centred more on her. .Delete
I have not seen your first or last pucks. I could have seen In A Lonely Place but found it on TV when it was already on. I love that you chose that crazy film with Reynolds and Winters. It's a great, crazy film.
I agree with you about Gloria Grahame. When I saw it and was waiting for more of Grahame only for that never yo happen, I thought...what a crock! She did not much in that film when shecwas great in the other 2.
You named some very good ones. I've them all since they are in rotation on TCM.ReplyDelete
The Day of the Locust" was the first one that came to my mind. I saw the film back when it first came out. I read the book this past November.
Recently we watched Adaptation which is a fun behind the scenes of film making which enough quirky weirdness to entertain me.
Chaplin with Robert Downey Jr was a good one. Also I liked Show People with Marian Davies.
This is a favorite genre of mine. I've seen so many films about Hollywood and always look for more.
This is a good one and this makes me want yo see more since I haven't seen Locust or Adaptation but love Chaplin. Downey eas great in thisDelete
I've never seen any of these and A Star is Born is the only one I've heard of.ReplyDelete
Maybe, one day uou might see A Star..one ofbthe versionsDelete
I'm not too good when it comes to thinking of movies to fit the prompts but you always do a great job! I haven't seen any of these movies. It was nice reading about and watching the trailers. Thanks for educating me on "Hollywood" based movies. :)
I'm glad you enjoyed reading this and watching the trailers!Delete
You always make the best choices. Sunset Blvd's a classic among classics. Now I want to see it again.ReplyDelete
Love you, Birgit.
I really want to rewatch Sunset Blvd now! Such a great film.ReplyDelete
Kirk Douglas always did a good job of playing either the bad guy or next thing to bad, didn't he? Have a pain free day. HugsReplyDelete