Wednesday, May 30, 2012


Ever since this month began, I have had countless special conversations with my mom about her favorite movies and actors. It has been quite special and rewarding to hear her thoughts on the greatest age of Hollywood. I have also had some amazing discoveries and re-discoveries on the things she loves, and I hope that if anyone is reading this that they have come to appreciate these things as much as she has cherished them.

For the last week of the month, she wanted me to post on a few of the films she may not have remembered to list as her favorite. The films that I will be posting on, along with the ones listed earlier, are true classics though they may have not made it in to the most known list. That has been her mission all along - To share with those close to her, the films that they may have never known of, but will never forget.

Throughout this month, I have had an idea of a theme for the months to come. I thought that it might be interesting to dedicate a whole month to a specific year in movies. The year of 1939 is one that catches my attention. It is known as the biggest year at the academy awards and brought us classics like Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, The Wizard of Oz & Gone with the Wind. With these hard hitters taking the spotlight, films like: On Borrowed Time, Dodge City, Gunga Din, Beau Geste, Drums Along the Mohawk, Goodbye Mr. Chips, Young Mr. Lincoln, Babes In Arms, They Shall Have Music, The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle and many other amazing films didn't get enough light to survive.

Before I use this theme, I will be dedicating this next month to my father's favorite movie's and movie stars. Just as a reminder, my father looks and talks just like John Wayne so don't be shocked to see his movies listed a few more times than others.

I'm excited to learn more about my dad and his thoughts on the films of the past. At first he didn't have an enthusiasm for these things, but he has come to treasure these movies almost as much as my mom. The main reason for this transition is his love for his wife. How can you not love something that is loved by someone you love most of all. My father is the perfect example of unselfish love and he may have learned it from my mom.

Friday, May 25, 2012


Studio: Walt Disney Productions.

Producer: Walt Disney.

Director: Harve Foster & Wilfred Jackson

Awards: This film won an Oscar for Best Original Song "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" and another Oscar as an Honorary Award. It was also nominated for Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture.

Interesting Fact: Though this fact is mostly well known, this film is the inspiration for the popular Splash Mountain ride in the Disney parks.

My Favorite Scene: The whole movie is full of song and story. I love every bit of it.

Uncle Remus: It happum on one ah dem Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah Days. Now dat's the kinda day where you can't opem yo mouf widout a song jumpin right out of it!

I am shocked and appalled by the negativity of which this film has received. It is a fine story about a fine lesson, but some people get too distracted by trivial fiction. I can think of a hundred other films that should be disgraced for their content other than this picture. When my mother watched this film, Uncle Remus became her best friend. She waited on his every word and admired him for his wisdom. I wish this film would be released on DVD, but it looks like it never will. I wish to state how much I loved this film as a kid. It taught me a lesson, not an ideology, that places existed I'd not even know about. It is truly a family classic and one of the greats.

This is a small clip from the movie.


Thursday, May 24, 2012


Studio: Walt Disney Productions

Producer: Walt Disney

Director: Norman Foster

Awards: None

Interesting Fact: The main theme "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" became an instant hit and held the #1 spot on the music charts for a couple months in 1955. Can you imagine a song from a kids movie doing that in our day.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: My mom loves the scene where he attempts to grin down a bear. I like the closing of the film, where Davy is swinging away.

Davy Crockett: I'm half-horse, half-alligator and a little attached with snapping turtle. I've got the fastest horse, the prettiest sister, the surest rifle and the ugliest dog in Texas.

This is another expression of Walt Disney's love for the American heritage. Some of his films on the topic were animated, but it was films like this one that he chose to tell in live action. Every boy in America now had a new hero, and any money they could muster would be invested into a coon-skin cap. I too, as a boy, admired this giant of man. He was a true American hero, who fought the battles that needed fighting and forged the terrain that needed forging. Whether Disney got all the facts right or not, this picture shed new light and amazement on a man who loved this country. That alone is good enough for me.

"The Ballad of Davy Crockett"

My mother's favorite scene.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Studio: Walt Disney Productions

Producer: Walt Disney

Director: Robert Stevenson

Awards: None

Interesting Fact: Though Disney himself never saw the building of Disney World, he had intended that there was to be a Liberty Street. As they formulated the possibility of this road, they discovered a large elm tree near the Magic Kingdom, and moved it to it's current location as the Liberty Tree. In the tree hangs thirteen lanterns, which represent the original thirteen states.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: She loves to see that beautiful tree lit up in the film. My mother loves anything patriotic and scene is full of patriotism.

Samuel Adams: "This meeting can do nothing more, to save the country!"

Here is a film where we get to see the patriotic side of Walt Disney. This is one of my mother's favorite Disney films. One year she bought everyone in the family the DVD. Disney had a certain talent of teaching an audience about history. It is as entertaining as it is educational. though some aspects are purely fictional, Disney wove it very well into the story.


Monday, May 21, 2012

WALT DISNEY (1901-1966)


Born: December 5th, 1901 (Cichago).

Died: December 15th, 1966 (lung cancer).

Marriage: Lillian Disney (1925-1966 His death).

Children: Diane Marie Disney & Sharon Mae Disney.

Awards: No one else has won as many Academy Awards as Disney. He has twenty-two Oscars and nominations for an additional thirty-seven. Among his other entertainment awards are a Directors Guild of America, an Emmy, three Golden Globes, ten Laurel Awards, two NY Film Critics Circle Award, six Venice Film Festival & two stars on the Walk of Fame. He also has received a few awards posthumously.

Interesting Fact: In 2000, he was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame for his work on the multiplane camera.

My Mother's Favorite Movie: Cinderella (1950). This has been my mother's favorite since she was a little girl. My favorite hidden gem of his, is Song of the South (1946). This is the film that Splash Mountain is based off of. It has been banned for it's use of the "N" word.

Cartoon Artist, Movie Director, Producer, Host, Actor, Writer, Inventor, CEO, Entrepreneur, Theme Park creator are a few of the titles he possessed. Walt did it all, and then he kept on going. I've always thought to myself, where this world would be if he had been allowed to live a little longer. In the short time he was with us, he recreated the entertainment industry on so many levels and established a legend that lives on to this day.

To state it simply, Walt Disney was a genius. His thoughts were original and his heart was always in the right place. He's given the world more joy and happiness than any other person I can think of on our day. His love of art and music recreated a whole different kind of expression. With his masterpiece of a film, Fantasia (1940), he helped the world see music in a whole new color.

With one foot in the past for heritage and the other foot in the future for progress, Walt created a trail for the bright minds of this country to follow. His ideas and dreams spread into the four corners of the world and soon his name became a household word for good. I love this man for his patriotism, vision and love for the pure. In an earlier post I suggested four men to be placed on a new Mount Rushmore. Today, I correct it to include: Ronald Regan, James Cagney, John Wayne & Walt Disney.

This clip expresses some of the work Disney did in creating a better future.


Friday, May 18, 2012


For the rest of this month, I will be posting on some of my mother's favorite things about old Hollywood. I started last night with the post on Edith Head. Who knows what will be the next topic. It will be a mystery to even me. Each topic is unique to my mom, for the fact that she experienced it when it happened. Somethings that I may post on have had a positive influence on her life. I hope you enjoy her loves.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

EDITH HEAD (1897-1981)


Born: October 28th, 1897 (California).

Died: October 24th, 1981 (bone morrow disease).

Marriage: Charles Head (1923-1936) & Wiard Ihnen (1940-1979).

Children: Godmother to one of the daughter of Anne Baxter.

Awards: With eight Oscars wins and an additional twenty-seven nominations, she was the Queen of the Academy Awards. It was not uncommon for her to be nominated on two to three movies at a time and win all of them. If you would like to see a break down of her wins and nominations visit She also has a star on the Walk of Fame and received a Laurel Award and was nominated for a BAFTA award.

Interesting Fact: In 1920, she achieved a masters degree in French at Stanford University.

My Favorite Movie: Not knowing much about the costume designing industry myself, and looking over the large list of films that she contributed too, I find it hard to pick a favorite film based on its designing alone. As strange as it may seem, I would feel that The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962) is as close to a favorite of hers as I can pick. John Wayne's rugged look in this picture is apart from all of the rest of his. Each character is true to the western feel, yet they are completely separated from each other by their appearances.

When I was younger, I remember my parents finishing a movie off by searching for Edith Head's name in the credits. My mother would often say, "I knew it," upon the discovery of her talent in the film. She has won more Oscar's than any other woman of Hollywood and set the style of fashion for nearly sixty years. She also worked with almost every major director and movie star during her career, many of which became personal friends of hers.

In our day, she was recreated in the Pixar film The Incredibles (2004) as Edna E. Mode. In this film, she is in her common chopped bangs hair cut with her large glasses. I found this a fitting tribute to Edith, as a new generations curiosity of this women was born again.

This is a compilation of some of her films put to "Clair De Lune."


Tuesday, May 15, 2012


I just watched two amazing films I had never seen before with my family last night: Make Way for Tomorrow (1937) & Me and the Colonel (1958). I found both of them on in a complete movie setting.

Before I talk about the movies themselves, I just wanted to tell you a little bit about what led up to this moment. Right when I started this Blog, I began to hear of a movie called Make Way for Tomorrow. It was a film that I had never of as a child, but it had many followers and comments online. My first encounter with the film came when I did a post on Leo McCarey. Immediately I became very impressed with this director and found that his favorite film was this one. Later as I began a timeline for the leading ladies of Hollywood, I was reading a book titled "They had Faces Then," written by John Springer & Jack D. Hamilton. Both of them expressed their appreciation for the talents of Beulah Bondi, and then mentioned this as their favorite film of hers. So last night, I put on YouTube and sat down to watch it. Throughout the movie, my little seventeen month-old was hooked as my wife kept saying: "This is so sad."

Now to talk about the movie itself. Even though this film does not involve different ideologies or opposing political ideas, it is one of the most controversial films I have ever seen. Its story has a silent truth to it, that can inflict silent pain on those who see their own private actions played out.

I grew up in a home where my parents took care of both sets of grandparents and my dad's handicap sister. Needless to say they had a handicap daughter of their own to watch with two to three other children, out of twelve in all, living at home. My grandparents had other offspring that could have watched them, but each of them had their own reason for being unable, so my parents lovingly took them in. My parents moved out of their already small master bedroom and into an even smaller room in the basement. I learned what it meant to be a Samaritan as I grew up in this home. I loved having them in my home. Throughout my life we lived in a different state then them, and this was my chance to have them all to myself.

Something impressive about Bondi, is how well she did at looking and acting like a grandmother in her late forties. This film shows many different perspectives of a child's feelings for their aged parents, and all of them are saddening. After seeing this film you want to call your parents and talk to them for a few hours. It is a fantastic picture. It also is full of touching scenes of this elderly couple when they should be celebrating fifty years together, instead of saying their final good-byes.

Right after we watched this film, a whole bunch of complete movies were available to watch. The one that caught my eye was a film with Danny Kaye titled, Me and the Colonel. I had heard of this film before and turned it on with the intent of just watching the beginning. My son and I were hooked from the beginning. We stayed up until 11:30 to finish it together.

Made in a year when Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor reigned supreme and Jimmy Stewart was getting over his fear of heights, came this slightly comedic WWII drama. It was refreshingly funny, but not the common Danny Kaye funny you see in his other films. His acting in this film showed a slightly serious side, and proves once again his amazing talent as a performer. Curd Jürgens also did an amazing job as an upstanding Polish officer, who runs to his love before he runs to his escape. The film has a few lines that are instant classics and you never know where the story will go. I recommend this film to any one who loves WWII dramas.

All in all, I am surprised by how many films of the past are not as well known as others of the same era. If you have not seen these two films, I promise you wont be disappointed. They are now both apart of my favorites.

Monday, May 14, 2012

BEULAH BONDI (1888-1981)


Born: May 3rd, 1888 (Chicago).

Died: January 11th, 1981 (pulmonary complications from broken ribs suffered after a fall in her home).

Marriage: Never married.

Children: No children.

Awards: Nominated twice for Best Supporting Actress: The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) & Of Human Hearts (1938). She also won an Emmy for her appearance on the The Waltons. In addition to these, she has a star on the Walk of Fame.

Interesting Fact: Though she played the part of a mother and grandmother most of her life, she never had any children and was never married in real life.

My Favorite Movie: On Borrowed Time (1939) is a family favorite. She is a fantastic grandmother in this picture and the film itself was very well done. She reprised her role in this film three times. On the big screen in 1939, on Broadway in 1953 and then on Television in 1957.

She was a favorite of movie goers for generations, and her performance in It's a Wonderful Life (1946) has been immortalized. Many say that her best film was Make Way for Tomorrow (1937). Her performance in that picture is truly tear jerking. She had a soft and polite way of talking that made the audience feel at peace. She was truly an amazing actress.

A scene from On Borrowed Time.

Here is a short scene from Make Way for Tomorrow.
The full video is available on


Sunday, May 13, 2012


In honor of Mother's Day, I have put off my post for today. I still have another to do for Saturday also.

I am so in love with my wife of five years. I love how she cares for our two wonderful children. I also appreciate the sacrifices of my own mother, of whom I am posting on this month. I am the last of twelve. You can imagine the toll that twelve kids have had on her body. I am so grateful that she did not stop at eleven.

To all you mother's out there, you are doing the greatest work known to mankind. Presidents and rulers may change the world for a time, but the generation you are raising will forever change it. What power you have to wield this nation and the world.

Friday, May 11, 2012

JOHN WAYNE (1907-1979)


Born: May 26th, 1907 (Iowa)

Died: June 11th, 1979 (lung cancer)

Marriages: Josephine Alicia Saenz (1933-1945), Esperanza Baur (1946-1954) & Pilar Wayne (1954-His death).

Children: With Josephine, he had two boys and two girls: Michael Wayne, Patrick Wayne, Toni Wayne & Melinda Wayne. With Pilar, he had three other children: Aissa Wayne, Ethan Wayne & Marisa Wayne.

Awards: In 1970, Wayne received his first Oscar for the performance in True Grit. It had been a long road to that moment. He had been nominated twice before on performances in Sands of Iwo Jima (1949) & The Alamo (1960). Though countless other performances were Oscar worthy, it was the one eyed fat man that gave him this golden statue. He had received twenty-five other awards for acting with thirteen additional nominations. Of these achievements, were Golden Globes, Golden Apples, Golden Boots, Laurel Awards, People's Choice, Photoplay, Walk of Fame and of course Western Heritage Awards.

Interesting Fact: Through the encouragement of his friends, he was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal posthumously by Jimmy Carter in 1980. The Medal read simply "John Wayne, American."

My Favorite Movie: It is impossible for me or my family to pick one film as their favorite of his. There are too many classics.

Patriotic, Majestic, Humble, what do those words mean to you. To me they mean, John Wayne, John Wayne, John Wayne. He is not only one of the greatest actors to have ever lived, he is also one of the greatest men to have ever lived. To me, he was a leader and an activist, though at a time when those who opposed his way of thinking were given these titles. He stood in the face of some of the biggest movements in this country and never batted an eye. His acting earned him the love of a nation because playing a hero wasn't that hard to do. Was he McLintock or Rooster Cogburn, Sgt. John M. Stryker or Col. Mike Kirby. The answer is... He was all of them, every last son of a gun.

Having a father named Wayne, it wasn't hard to appreciate this man. In fact, my dad looks and talks just like him. His album, "America, Why I Love Her," is played around the 4th of July like Christmas music during Christmas time by our family. Almost every member has it completely memorized. He represents what a man hopes to become, what a leader hopes to portray & what an American hopes to live. If another Mount Rushmore was to be made, it should include Ronald Regan, James Cagney, Johnny Cash & John Wayne. Each of these men stood up for what this country was lived and died for, "FREEDOM."

"America, Why I Love Her."

True Grit (1969).

John Waynes thoughts on John Ford.


Thursday, May 10, 2012

IRENE DUNNE (1898-1990)


Born: December 20th, 1898 (Kentucky)

Died: September 4th, 1990 (heart failure)

Marriage: Francis Dennis Griffin (1920-1965 His death).

Children: Adopted Mary Frances when she was three years old in 1938.

Awards: Unlike many other movie stars to have had Oscar nominated performances, she was never awarded an Honorary Award later in life. She was nominated five times for Best Actress: Cimarron (1931), Theodora Goes Wild (1936), The Awful Truth (1937), Love Affair (1939) & I Remember Mama (1948). She also has a star on the Walk of Fame.

Interesting Fact: Under the presidency of Dwight D Eisenhower, she became an alternate United States delegate to the UN.

My Mother's Favorite Movie: Penny Serenade (1941). Interestingly enough, she had adopted her only daughter three years prior. I'm sure many of the scenes were familiar to her.

Irene Dunne was an amazing actress. Along with her acting, she had a beautiful singing voice. Her acting was sincere and genuine and she starred as the lead in most of her pictures. After staring in many hit films, she retired in 1952. She was only seen on Television a few times after that. She became a civic leader and funded many charities in her later years. She was a great woman all around.

In this scene of Penny Serenade (1941), we see Irene with her common co-star,
Cary Grant, at their comedic best.

Irene Dunne christened the Mark Twain river boat at Disneyland.
Here is the footage.


Wednesday, May 9, 2012

NELSON EDDY (1901-1967)


Born: June 19th, 1901 (Rhode Island).

Died: March 6th, 1967 (stroke).

Marriage: Ann Denitz (1939-His death).

Children: Though he never had any children with his wife Ann, she had a child named Sidney Franklin Jr. with her first husband.

Awards: He has a star on the Walk of Fame with three awards: Motion Picture, Radio & Recording.

Interesting Fact: One of his other loves was sculpting. In the film The Phantom of the Opera (1943) he presented to Susanne Foster a sculpture he had made.

My Mother's Favorite Movie: New Moon (1940). The song "Stouthearted Men" is one of her favorite songs. Another film worth mentioning as a favorite is Let Freedom Ring (1939), for it's patriotism.

Nelson Eddy is the most popular singer we listened to growing up. His films with Jeanette MacDonald are also among the families favorites. As a boy, I use to try and imitate his voice as I listened to his music. He is an amazing baritone. Each song they handed him became a popular hit when combined with his voice. He made his singing appear so effortlessly.

"Stouthearted Men"

"My Country Tis' of Thee" from Let Freedom Ring (1939).


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

GRETA GARBO (1905-1990)


Born: September 18th, 1905 (Sweden)

Died: April 15th, 1990 (pnemonia)

Marriage: Never married.

Children: No children.

Awards: In 1955 she was awarded an Honorary Award by the Oscars. She was nominated four times for an Academy: Romance (1930), Anna Christie (1930), Camille (1936) & Ninotchka (1939). She was also awarded two NYFCC Awards and two stars on the Walk of Fame.

Interesting Fact: She was once voted as the most beautiful woman who ever lived by the The Guinness Book of World Records.

My Mother's Favorite Movie: Ninotchka (1939). This film presents a funny side to Greta Garbo that you don't see in her other films.

The details on her life were kept secluded. She was a mystery to all who worked with her and saw her on the screen. This is my mother's favorite actress for the fact that they share the same ancestry of Sweden. She was beautiful on the screen and like a few other women of Hollywood she quite early to spend the majority of her life in retirement.

Ninotchka trailer.


Monday, May 7, 2012

TYRONE POWER (1914-1958)


Born: May 5th, 1914 (Ohio)

Died: November 15th, 1958 (heart attack)

Marriages: Annabella (1939-1948), Linda Christian (1949-1956) & Deborah Ann Smith (May 1958-His death).

Children: Ann Power, Romina Power, Taryn Power, and Tyrone Power Jr.

Awards: In 1952 he received a Bambi Award and has two stars on the Walk of Fame.

Interesting Fact: Oddly enough his father also died suddenly during the filming of a movie. The movie was The Miracle Man (1932).

My Mother's Favorite Movie: The Eddy Duchin Story (1956). She was a teenager when it came out and she loved Tryone as an actor. Tyrone said of Eddy Duchin that it was a shame that he died at such a young age. Tyrone would pass away during the filming of Solomon and Sheba (1959), two years after his statement.

As a teenager, my mother believed Tyrone Power to be one of the most handsome men alive. She was crushed when he passed away at the young age of forty-four. He was always the hero of the film and played the part beautifully. He is charismatic, sharp and tender. One of the best actors that ever lived.

The classic "Chopsticks" scene from The Eddy Duchin Story (1956).


Sunday, May 6, 2012


In honor of Mother's Day this month, I have dedicated all my posts to the things she loves about old movies. As I mentioned before, she is the reason that the family knows and loves these precious films. For the second week of the month, I have turned from posting on the actors in the favorite films to posting on her favorite stars directly.

As we began to create a list together, we had to cut back quite a bit. Below are her top five favorite actresses and her top five favorite actors.

1. Greta Garbo
2. Irene Dunne
3. Greer Garson
4. Jeanette MacDonald
5. Claudette Colbert

1. Tyrone Power
2. Nelson Eddy
3. Spencer Tracy
4. John Wayne
5. Red Skelton

There are many, many others who she wanted on this list, but this will have to do for now.


I know, I know, this is supposed to be a blog about old movies. So why do I have a post about the new Avengers movie. The original purpose for this blog was to create an interest of old movies into the minds of people today. It was intended to prove that films can be entertaining without vulgar language, excessive violence, and suggestive material.

On the weekend I watched The Avengers with my three year old son. Not once did I feel the need to cover my sons ears or eyes. That should be a sign of what we should be watching. If are kids are not old enough to watch a movie neither are we.

That's what I love most about the movies that came from the Golden Age of Hollywood. You didn't need to bother yourself with the rating of the film, all of them were good.

Now onto the Avengers.

I have been waiting to see this film since I ever heard of the Avengers concept. Now it's here and the film was just what I wanted. The casting was spot on, and the acting they delivered avoided the corniness of other superhero films. I love how they brought these heroes into the twenty-first century. My favorite character was Captain America and my son agreed. He brought out some of the old-fashioned tradition of the past.

In connection with my blog, I wish to say one other thing. With the invention of special effects, I have seen a decline in other aspects of the film making process. This movie did not let the digital show reign over the plot, the characters or their performances.

They also realized that cheap scenes created to bring in a few other followers could lose or affect another crowd. This movie proves that over-excessive violence, vulgar language and suggestive material are not the three necessary elements in a blockbuster. In fact, they're not even needed at all when you have a good plot. The use of those three theatrics are actually crutches, used to carry a film when the story is lacking.

This film set a new standard of picture making that will hopefully send a message to the future film makers of tomorrow.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

WHAT'S UP DOC? (1972)

Studio: Warner Bros.

Producer: Peter Bogdanovich

Director: Peter Bogdanovich

Awards: Nominated for a Golden Globe and received a WGA Award.

Interesting Fact: This film resembled Cary Grant's Bringing Up Baby (1938). Ryan O'Neil went to Grant before making the picture to discuss his character. Grant gave him only one suggestion; "Wear silk underwear."

My Favorite Scene: When you watch a movie over again, there are usually one or two parts you fast forward to get to a favorite scene. With this picture, all you have to do is turn on the film and let the remote gather dust. Each sequence is jammed packed with high speed comedy.
Howard: What are you doing? This is a one way street!
Judy: We're only going one way.

There is no way explain the plot of this film. I have watched it over and over, and some times I'm not even sure what happened. Below is a small clip to explain the story. The quotes listed are what happened right before this scene:
Howard: Sir, my name is Howard Bannister and I'm from Ames, Iowa.
Judge Maxwell: No excuse.
Howard: No, sir, it all started when I bumped my head in the taxi... on the way in from the airport.
Judge Maxwell: Are you pleading insanity or amnesia?
Howard: Neither. I went to the drugstore to get something for a headache... the druggist tried to charge me for a radio. She said her husband would pay for it. But I didn't, of course.
Judge Maxwell: Of course.
Howard: She ripped my jacket and when Eunice came along...
Judge Maxwell: Who's Eunice?
Howard: Eunice is my fiancée.
Judge Maxwell: You have a wife AND a fiancée?
Howard: No, sir. But, she kept calling me "Steve."
Judge Maxwell: Your own fiancée calls you "Steve?"
Howard: No, sir, my wife. Or rather, the one who ISN'T my wife.
Judge Maxwell: What does the one who isn't your FIANCEE call you? Howard?
Howard: No, sir, the one who isn't my fiancée doesn't call me Howard and the one who isn't my wife doesn't call me Howard because the one who isn't my fiancée is also the one who isn't my wife. The other one who ISN'T my wife, the one who IS my fiancée... she doesn't call me "Steve." She calls me Howard. Do you see?
Judge Maxwell: Let's just skip over this part, and move on.
Howard: That night at the banquet she was there again.
Judge Maxwell: Who was there, your wife or your fiancée?
Howard: Neither.
Judge Maxwell: There's a third?
Howard: No, sir, the one who isn't either. Everyone was calling her "Burnsy."
Judge Maxwell: Why?
Howard: That's short for Burns, Eunice's last name.
Judge Maxwell: Eunice WAS there.
Howard: No, sir, BURNSY was there. Or rather, the one who ISN'T Burnsy.

This is our families all-time favorite classic. Quotes from this film seep into our everyday life: "The tie, the tie in your hand," "Your upside down sir," "To remind me to take the blue pill." "You, you, you. Uuuunice, Unice," These and many more have become a staple of speech in our homes. It is the best screwball comedy of it's time and a must see film!

Here is the beginning of the chase scene and it only gets better from here.


Friday, May 4, 2012


Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Producer: Robert Z. Leonard & William Anthony McGuire

Director: Robert Z. Leonard

Awards: NONE

Interesting Fact: This story was written by David Belasco as a play in 1905. It was adapted into an opera by Giacomo Puccini in 1910. Now that it had a musical conversion it was a perfect candidate as a musical-western for MGM in 1938.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: She loves it when the song is sung that reminds the bandit of his orphan years and the little girl that sang it.

Ramerez: I hope I'll see you again sometime. Yeah?
Mary Robbins: I hope I'll see you again sometime too. Dangling on the end of a rope!

Two young orphans would later run into each other again in the most unlikely of places, the golden West. The girl had turned into a beautiful singer and saloon owner, the boy became a handsome bandit. On her way to Monterrey, she is stopped by this bandit and he falls for her. He creates a disguise as an officer in order to get to know her better, and then leaves to rob his next location. He soon discovers that his next location is the saloon owned by the girl he fell in love with on the road.

This is one of the many classics made by MGM to showcase the talented Jeanette MacDonald & Nelson Eddy. Each film of theirs includes wonderful music, historical era plot and a conflicting love story. This was MacDonald's calamity Jane moment. Usually she was dressed in an expensive gown, but here we find her in boots and straps. My mom felt that this film got to showcase Jeanette's true talent as an actress. As with all their films together; the music is amazing, the acting is superb and the love story is wonderful.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

THE ALAMO (1960)

Studio: United Artists

Producer: John Wayne

Director: John Wayne

Awards: Received the Oscar for Best Sound and was nominated for six additional Academy Awards: Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Chill Wills), Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song, Best Music & Best Picture. This film has also received a Golden Globe for original score, four Laurel Awards, an NBR award & a Western Heritage Award.

Interesting Fact: The set for this film took two years to construct. The film itself was banned in Mexico.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: She loves the scene where they draw the line and the once opposing Bowie crosses it to prove his allegiance to the cause.

Gen. Sam Houston: "Where's Jim Bowie?"
Captain James Butler Bonham: "He's indisposed, sir."
Gen. Sam Houston: "Indisposed? By God if you mean drunk,

you say drunk, sir!"
Captain James Butler Bonham: "He's drunk, sir!"

As pressure builds up between the United States and Mexico, the fuse gets ready to go off in Texas. Not unlike the 300 Spartans who protected Greece from loosing their Democracy, the men protecting this mission were protecting a nation and an ideal behind them. Famous men like Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, William Travis and others answered the call and dug in for their country. Here they held back the countless armies from Mexico for thirteen days at a place called the Alamo.

This film has a special place in my mother's heart. It's history, patriotism, casting and breathtaking scenes have made this movie a family classic. John Wayne was a man who did things whether they were popular or not. This film and others, like The Green Berets (1968), may have not had a large following at the time or even today. Regardless of this fan base, he felt the urge to create a testimony for those men who gave their lives to preserve freedom.


Speech on republic.

This film has some of the best music ever written.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


Studio: Twentieth Century Fox

Producer: Darryl F. Zanuck

Director: John Ford

Awards: Nominated for two Oscars: Best Supporting Actress (Edna May Oliver) and Best Cinematography.

Interesting Fact: This was the first of Ford's film to be done in color.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: Her favorite is in the ending when an Indian jumps up with the patch on his eye from the villain. It cracks her up every time. This is topped of course when one of the final lines are given as the soldiers see a new flag for their country and say: "Is that what we are fighting for?"

Reverend Rosenkrantz: "O Almighty God, hear us, we beseech Thee, and bring succor and guidance to those we are about to bring to Your divine notice. First we are thinking of Mary Walaber. She is only 16 years old, but she is keeping company with a soldier from Fort Dayton. He's a Massachusetts man, and Thou knowest no good can come of that."

As a newly wed couple begins to carve out their life on the wild frontier of upstate New York, the Revolutionary War breaks out. With their farm burned to the ground and the wife miscarrying they seek shelter in another home. The husband is soon sent out to war and returns delirious. Soon they have a baby boy as the Indians begin to attack again. Everyone in the area seeks refuge at Fort Herkimer and they are hopelessly out numbered. Her husband is called upon to run through enemy lines and call for help. In a frantic race for his life, he returns with soldiers to find if the Fort has survived.

This is one of my mother's favorite films for it's acting patriotism and era. The only film in our day to come close to this picture would be The Patriot (2000). John Ford was THE greatest American director and this film showcases his amazing talent. Fonda & Colbert were perfect for the film; Fonda as a humble farmer and Colbert as the city girl getting use to he farming life. Most of all, as I mentioned above, she loves this film for it's electrifying patriotism.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Studio: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Producer: Irving Asher & Mervyn LeRoy

Director: Mervyn Leroy

Awards: Received Oscar for Best Art Direction and was nominated for three more: Best Actress (Greer Garson), Best Cinematography & Best Picture.

Interesting Fact: This film was to be the first of eight pictures to have Greer Garson & Walter Pidgeon cast together. They were the perfect couple on screen and this one has a greater emphasis on the characters courting than their other pictures.

My Mother's Favorite Scene: Her favorite scene is when she gives her speech to congress and says the famous line below.

Edna: "There are no illegitimate children. There are only illegitimate parents!"

In a day where children were marked for being born out of wedlock, there was a woman named Edna Gladney. As a child, she had an adopted sister, who was later rejected by her soon to be in-laws for this permanent mark. As a result, she committed suicide. Later in life, she had a child of her own that died on Christmas, and was forever saddened by this experience. Through the encouragement and persistence of her husband, Sam, she regained a love for children and began her own orphanage. It was when another young woman brought her a donation for the orphanage in tears, that she was reminded of her sister at youth. From that moment she waged a war against the branding of children for the choices of their parents.

This is one of those astounding true stories you don't hear about much. Through the persistence of one woman and then another and another, a label used for generations was removed from those who were too young to fight for themselves. Garson is amazing in this film and was nominated for an Oscar. The speech near the end makes your hair stand up. The fight for removing the word "bastard" from a birth certificate was still being fought when this picture was made. When it was released into the theaters it brought a swift finish to the struggle. What a spectacular picture.

Greer Garson & Walter Pidgeon for the first time.