First COMFY CHAIR! for the fresh brand spanking new year goes to RIDING THE HIGH COUNTRY, a paradise for fans of western and noir films, with great indepth posts nicely illustrated… please click the pic to go straight there…
WOW, serendipity or what. I swear on a stack of DVDs that I was almost done preparing that fist bit of this comfy chair post for today, popping in my screencap of RIDING THE HIGH COUNTRY, when lo & behold (cue Twilight Zone music), that very site’s Colin passed on this 7 x 7 Link Award to me—my very first blog award, ever! Many many thanks! It’s greatly appreciated and treasured, even more so, coming from one of the blogs I love to read so much.
The conditions are as follows:
Tell everyone something that no one else knows about.
Link to one of my posts that I personally think best fits the following categories:
Most Beautiful Piece
Most Helpful Piece
Most Popular Piece
Most Controversial Piece
Most Surprisingly Successful Piece
Most Underrated Piece
Most Pride-worthy Piece
Pass this award on to seven other bloggers.
Something nobody knows about me? I was always the very last one coming out of Kindergarten at day’s end because I was good at tying shoelaces so all the other kids asked me to tie theirs for them.
Most Beautiful Piece. Naked City from Book to Screen to TV, divided here into 3 posts, starting with part 1 on Weegee’s photo book.
Most Helpful Piece. My PAUL KELLY because it was my first big bio, helped me figure out how to summarize long and full careers while hitting on the key movies and life events, while also NOT boring anyone with plot summaries and minutiae; most helpful to me because it was my biggest movie writing education.
Most Popular Piece. My WARD BOND article, by far.
Most Controversial Piece. None that I know of so far. So, in an effort to generate quibble, wrath or disapproval, just a moment ago I posted my TOP 10 NOIRS, from a recent Dark Pages issue.
Most Surprisingly Successful Piece. Actually a whole tag/series of pieces, my COMFY CHAIR featurette. These blog spotlights started as a fun way to thank those who link to or otherwise boost my writing, have turned out to be a big draw to both my site and the featured blogs.
Most Underrated Piece. Determined by picking from posts with a pathetically low number of hits (ahem, 3); I like this one best: my MERIAN COOPER mini bio.
Most Pride-worthy Piece. I love my WARD BOND article. I spent so many months fine tuning and double checking the facts, I almost hated to finish and post it.
My list of 7, limited to those who strictly write on films & then mostly on the classics, which means, heartbreakingly, leaving off some friends who only sometimes do classic stuff– to y’all I promise a comfy chair is in your future. These 7 I not only love to read, but have been some of my biggest inspiration and most flattering and welcome support/visitors in my first few months of being an actual blog.
Thank you all, and Happy New Year! I’d happily tie your shoelaces.please refer to this post and also please hit the “COMFY CHAIR” TAG to see all the past chair occupants; their blogs are all great
TCM this week:
A STOLEN LIFE, with Bette Davis, Glenn Ford & Dane Clark is an interesting good vs. bad twin (really, is there any other kind of twin in the movies?) at 8am, and as essentials go, NIAGARA with Marilyn Monroe is definitely one, though whether it fits into the strict noir category is always up for debate since it’s in glorious Technicolor and as such instantly disqualified by some genre purists who engage in limited thinking, and it’s a shame because all the other necessary elements are there. As major league femme fatale Rose, Monroe seems like something otherworldly in this picture, a fact which doesn’t go unnoticed by either the men (Joseph Cotten, Richard Allan, Casey Adams) or Jean Peters, who has a devastatingly funny line; in response to Adams’ question “Why don’t you ever get a dress like that?”, Peters replies, “Listen. For a dress like that, you’ve got to start laying plans when you’re about thirteen.” Niagara was Monroe’s first huge hit, her first Technicolor movie and her first real Fox beauty treatment in the signature “Marilyn” style, with patent leather red lips and bedhead blond locks. As opposed to Monroe’s other noir-y movie Don’t Bother to Knock, this time it’s Cotten who’s unstable, and Monroe is the one planning to get rid of him so she can be free for her gorgeous boyfriend Allan. Director Henry Hathaway had a sturdy noir pedigree (Kiss of Death), and here does a darn good Hitchcock impression, which makes me wonder what Hitch himself would have done with Monroe in one of his own movies.
Lots of great Marion Davies movies (NOT SO DUMB is the only one I haven’t seen yet). Davies often gets shorted as being just William Randolph Hearst’s gal pal who got into movies based on that connection, which is unfair since she was a highly talented and appealing actress and comedienne.
First ANGELA LANSBURY day of her spotlight as TCM’s star of Jan. Can’t go wrong with any of these, definitely watch GASLIGHT if you haven’t seen it, and PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY is a big personal fave.
Evening spotlight with documentary on Jack Cardiff, and a must for any self-respecting fan of action/adventure/epic/British Empire tales is THE FOUR FEATHERS, which I wrote about here.
If you haven’t seen the intensity and breathtaking beauty that is Loretta Young in her relatively underrated pre-code days, then catch her in HEROES FOR SALE and SHE HAD TO SAY YES. Young was perfect as the good girl who gets her eyes opened and quickly gets wise to the ways of the big men of the big city. Another good one today is RACHEL AND THE STRANGER, with William Holden & Robert Mitchum—Young’s giant shotgun scene alone is worth it. Betty Grable movies in the evening.
Can’t vouch for most of the AM as there are a lot of films I’ll be DVRing and seeing for the first time myself, but it’s certainly safe to call the evening Chaplin films “ essentials”.
Jose Ferrer evening, CYRANO and JOAN OF ARC, director Victor Fleming’s last film.
Feel free to leave your pick(s) for the week
—————————————FOLLOW SPEAKEASY on tumblr. facebook. google+. “subscribe” button over there UPDATE FEB 21: Karen at SHADOWS& SATIN responds with her picks for best posts at her blog and passes this award on to other folks.