Tuesday, April 25, 2017
This was a tough one and I was struggling to find a film I have seen with someone in the film whose name starts with the letter U. I decided to look up some people who have names with U in them and I came across this film that I feel is a stretch for 3 reasons....I can hardly remember it, I saw it when I was 18 when visiting Graz, Austria. It is a French film dubbed in German, so I could not quite get to know what they were really saying but I do recall that I was laughing. Head on over to the A to Z Challenge to see what everyone else is talking about.
Oh...I am sorry for not replying to comments like I love to do...I'm falling behind....
UP TO HIS EARS-1965
DIRECTOR: Philippe De Broca
STARS: Jean Paul Belmondo, Ursula Andress
OSCAR NOMS: Nil
OSCAR WINS: Nil
PLOT: A depressed billionaire has failed several times to end his life so he hires hitmen to take him out. Once he meets a beautiful stripper, he wants to call off the hitmen but things don't go as planned...let the chase scenes begin!
LOVE: I remember the scene on the rickety bridge..it made me laugh and be terrified at the same time...I'm really, really, really scared of heights.
TRIVIA: Jean Paul loved heights and was a prankster much to the dismay of one actor who was scared out of his wits. Except for the scenes in the Himalayas, the rest of the action takes place where you see it. Jean Paul and Ursula, that sex kitten, started seeing each other while making this film and lived together until the early 70's. I have to see this film and not in dubbed German
URSULA ANDRESS-March 19, 1936
OCCUPATION: Actress, Publicity Star, Just standing there in bikinis
OSCAR NOMS: hahahaaa
OSCAR WINS: eye roll
ANECDOTE: Even though she was raised in a strict German household, she rebelled, as one can see, and had no worries appearing nude. She is most famous in her white bikini from the James Bond film, Dr. No. She also had this wild bikini (see above) that was a shooting machine and was wonderfully parodied in the Austin Powers film. She had many affairs...big surprise.
Monday, April 24, 2017
The beginning of the last week! Check out the A to Z Challenge to see what the other people have talked about.
TO CATCH A THIEF-1955
DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock
STARS: Cary Grant, Grace Kelly, Jessie Royce Landis
OSCAR NOMS: Best Art Direction (Color), Best Costume Design (Color)
OSCAR WINS: Best Cinematography (Color)
PLOT: A former jewelry thief is being framed, so he goes to Monaco to prove his innocence. There he meets a beautiful, icy blonde in great gowns.
LOVE: The picnic scene between Kelly and Grant
TRIVIA: Cary Grant became great friends with Grace Kelly and, for once, she did not sleep with her male co-star (the other being Jimmy Stewart). She was seeing Oleg Cassini (dress designer) at the time but this is when she met Prince Ranier so that affair soon ended. Landis, who plays Kelly's mother in the film is only 8 years older than Grant. In North by Northwest, she played his mom!
GEORGE TOMASINI- April 20, 1909-November 22, 1964
OCCUPATION: Film Editor
OSCAR NOMS: North By Northwest
OSCAR WINS: Nil
ANECDOTES: His film editing is considered so great he is studied at film schools across the land. Even though Hitchcock edited while he filmed, Tomasini was so intuitive to Hitchcock's wishes that they worked on 9 films together ( Rear Window and Psycho being 2) that it only stopped when Tomasini suffered a fatal heart attack.
OK, I know, I know...but I just love these gowns as well....These are Edith Head creations
Saturday, April 22, 2017
The end of another week! We are going into the home stretch but now we must talk about anything with the letter S. Head on over to the A to Z Challenge and see what everyone else is talking about for this letter. My theme is about movies and a person attached to the film. Here is mine....
DIRECTOR: Billy Wilder
STARS: Humphrey Bogart, William Holden, Audrey Hepburn
OSCAR NOMS: Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction
OSCAR WINS: Best Costumes
PLOT: A chauffeur's daughter leaves for Europe and comes back much more refined and cultured which grabs the look of the one brother whom she always had a crush on. Seeing this could hurt business, the older brother woos her instead and now she has to decide which rich brother she truly loves.
LOVE: The wittiness of the script and direction plus the gowns! FYI-the gowns were done by Hubert De Givenchy who became the exclusive dress designer for Hepburn from then on.
TRIVIA: Edith Head won the Oscar and took it even though most people loved the gowns which Givenchy created but did not get any recognition for. Hepburn had to pay for the gowns herself since the big wigs stated it was not in the budget. By the way, she got paid $15,000 while Bogie got paid $300,000 and Holden got paid $150,000. Also, Hepburn and Holden fell in love on the set and he wanted to marry her but when she found out he could no longer have children she broke it off. Cut to the 1980's when I was watching the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, Carson asked Holden who was his great love (or something like that)...without hesitation, Holden said Audrey Hepburn. Oh and Bogie was a real S.O.B. on the set and hated everybody:)
SAMUEL A TAYLOR-June 13, 1912-May 26, 2000
OCCUPATION: Playwright and Screenwriter
OSCAR NOMS: Sabrina
OSCAR WINS: Nil
ANECDOTE: I had heard that he left the set of Sabrina after Billy Wilder changed one too many things in his play but I only read it in one spot so....not completely sure. I do know he wrote the screenplay for Vertigo and Topaz and became friends with Hitchcock. He saw Hitchcock's vulnerability when they, and their spouses, were walking in the snow and Hitchcock fell. Hitchcock did not want to be seen so they circled around him and helped him up which was no easy feat.
Just 2 gowns..I couldn't resist:)
Friday, April 21, 2017
Nearing the end of the 3rd week and we are at the letter R. Head on over to see what other themes people have decided to write about over at the A To Z Challenge.
DIRECTOR: Alfred Hitchcock
STARS: Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, Judith Anderson, George Sanders
OSCAR NOMS: Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Art Direction, Best Film Editing, Best Special Effects, Best Score
OSCAR WINS: Best Picture, Best Cinematography
PLOT: Young, mousy girl is wooed and weds moody but dashing rich man who takes her to his home, Manderley and introduces her to his staff including one of the most evil characters ever, Mrs. Danvers, who was the maid for Mr. De Winter's first wife...Rebecca. The house, Mrs. Danvers and her new husband all seem possessed by his late wife.....
LOVE: That house! I love those huge fireplaces
TRIVIA: Laurence Olivier wanted his lover/wife, Vivien Leigh to play opposite him but Hitchcock didn't feel she was right for the part. This created much evil stares by Olivier onto Joan Fontaine. Joan was one of very few non brits on this film so she felt very left out which Hitchcock used to his advantage for the mousy character Fontaine played. David O Selznick was a memo nut and often sent memos to Hitchcock who promptly ignored him and even banned him from the set. Hitchcock filmed this movie in such a way that Selznick could not edit anything to his way of liking.
REGINALD DENNY- November 20, 1891-June 16, 1967
OCCUPATION: Actor, Inventor, Businessman
OSCAR NOMS: Nil
OSCAR WINS: Nil
ANECDOTE: He loved model airplanes and had a store in Hollywood selling models. He helped invent radio controlled aircraft...drones...for the U.S. Army and over 15,000 were used during WW2. I think that's pretty cool.
Thursday, April 20, 2017
Here we are with a difficult letter..Q but I think I got it and could still tie it in with my weekly talk at Thursday Movie Picks.
DIRECTOR: Edward Bernds
STARS: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Eric Fleming, Laurie Mitchell
OSCAR NOMS: Hahahaaaaa
OSCAR WINS: Maybe in Zsa Zsa's mind
PLOT: Male astronauts land on Venus which is inhabited by beautiful women and ruled by an evil queen. There are no men and the young, lusty ladies miss them.
LOVE: I saw this when I was little and remember Zsa Zsa and the Queen's face revealed
TRIVIA: Who knew that famous writer, Ben Hecht, wrote the story to this film and Charles Beaumont (Many Twilight Zone episodes) wrote the screenplay. All the leggy young gals on this show were much younger than Zsa Zsa which made Zsa Zsa very, very unhappy. In typical diva style, she created such mayhem on the set that the producer ended up in the hospital with an ulcer.
QUEEN ILLANA(CHARACTER PLAYED BY LAURIE MITCHELL-July 14, 1928)
OSCAR NOMS: She would have laser beamed all the actresses to win
OSCAR WINS: Only if there were no other actress left alive.
ANECDOTE: The poor queen had it in for the men whom she blamed for her having to wear a mask. As any writer knows, the characters must keep you entertained. Ms. Mitchell, who is still alive, worked on many films and TV shows and, later in life, appeared at conventions.
2. THE LADY VANISHES-1938
This is a great early Hitchcock film (well..kinda early:)) with a brunette instead of a blonde playing the lead. This young lady is on a train and meets a kindly old lady in the cabin she shares with her and some other characters. When she wakes, she notices the old lady has vanished and wonders what has happened. She is aided by a dashing young man (played by Michael Redgrave) since no one else seems to believe her. It has great suspense and some fun acting especially by 2 gentlemen who ended up being in many other films together. This was a British film so the censors were not as horrible as The Hays Office which is why you get to see those 2 gentlemen in bed together.....
3. BUNNY LAKE IS MISSING-1965
This film freaked me out when I watched it quite a few years ago. A young mother, with her daughter, travel to London to stay with her brother. She drops her daughter off at school and when she goes to pick her up later, she is told that no child came to class. The young mom contacts the police but, again, she is not believed and we are even left wondering if she is speaking the truth yet, you know she is. It is darkly realistic and every parent's nightmare and leaves you at the seat of your pants. Jane Fonda wanted this role but Otto Preminger wanted Carol Lynley who, I think, gives a great performance and fits the role better than the forceful Fonda.
Wednesday, April 19, 2017
Today we are at the letter P so head on over to the A To Z Challenge and find out what everyone else is talking about. I'm excited about this letter because I will be seeing this film, with the help of Chorus Niagara, in May!
PHANTOM OF THE OPERA-1925
DIRECTOR: Rupert Julian and Lon Chaney(Uncredited)
STARS: Lon Chaney, Mary Philbin, Norman Kerry
OSCAR NOMS: Oscars were not around yet
OSCAR WINS: See Above
PLOT: A beautiful singer, being secretly trained by someone she has heard but never met, gets her chance at the Paris Opera House. When she falls for the lead, the Phantom, who trained her, abducts her to his underground lair beneath the Opera House. She is told by the phantom to never take his mask off...you know she will not behave.
LOVE: The Masquerade Ball
TRIVIA: Rupert Julian was not well liked and was not doing a great job. Lon Chaney hated him and they often had rows. Think Murder She Wrote where the director is a nasty buffoon who winds up dead and you have many suspects. No worries, Rupert didn't die. As for Lon Chaney, his make-up for this and many other roles, were quite painful but he wanted the effect that was described in the book. For example, he put wire inserts into his nose to widen them and some fish-skin to pull his nose back.
MARY PHILBIN-July 16, 1902-May 7, 1993
OSCAR NOMS: Nil
ANECDOTE: She was a sweet, shy person who took more after her father than her domineering mother. Mary was very, very close to her parents and ceded to their wishes. She fell in love with Paul Kohner, who was an executive at the studio and was also Jewish. Her parents were horrified but met with him, but things did not go well and the parents told her that if she went with Paul, she would be disowned. Their one fear was that he would try to convert her to Judaism even though Paul stated he would not. Unfortunately, Mary gave back the engagement ring and never married. She took care of her parents, rarely venturing out, until the parents passed away. She did come out when there was a memorial for Rudolph Valentino in the 1980's and for the LA Premier of the musical, Phantom of the Opera. When she heard Paul passed away and that workers found her love letters in a drawer close to him, she was devastated. She also kept the love letters he wrote to her.
Tuesday, April 18, 2017
ONLY ANGELS HAVE WINGS-1939
DIRECTOR: Howard Hawks
STARS: Cary Grant, Jean Arthur, Thomas Mitchell, Richard Barthlemess, Rita Hayworth
OSCAR NOMS: Best Cinematography, Best Special Effects
OSCAR WINS: Nil
PLOT: Hard as nails pilots take death defying trips over the Andes. When a girl comes into the mix, unwanted emotions are displayed.
LOVE: When Barthlemess comes onto the scene with his young wife.
TRIVIA: Rita Hayworth has a worthy entry into an A picture but was very nervous and self conscious. In a drunken scene, she kept missing her lines so Hawks told Grant to throw ice cold water on her and say her line and his. It became a memorable scene.
BEN OAKLAND-September 24, 1907 or 1909-August 26, 1979
OCCUPATION: Composer...stock music
OSCAR NOMS: A Mist Over The Moon (with Oscar Hammerstein 11)
OSCAR WINS: Nil
ANECDOTE: He wrote music and was quite prolific from the 1920's to the 1940's. "I'll Take Romance" is quite popular and he wrote "Java Jive" done by The Ink Spots and The Manhattan Transfer for all you BOTB people:)