Birthday


to wish the lovely, amazing, talented, awesome –you get the picture– Ingrid Bergman a Happy Birthday!

Check out http://www.ingridbergman.com/index.php for more Ingrid!

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Happy Birthday to Gene Kelly!

Here are some of my favorite dance numbers from Gene:

So, I am pretty much settled in my new place and job and I finally got my internet back up and running! I am back online quickly today to wish two of my favorite actresses a BIG Happy Birthday!

Olivia de Havilland is 94 today! Most movie fans know Olivia from her role as Melanie in Gone with the Wind. But most people may not know that she won an Oscar for her role as Catherine Sloper in The Heiress. This is one of my favorite films and it also stars Monty Clift. The script is based on Henry James’ book Washington Square.

Also, Leslie Caron, best know for her role in the musical Gigi, is 79 today. Leslie is adorable in her role as the young tomboyish French girl. Another of Leslie’s movies, Father Goose, and also starring Cary Grant,  is a great service comedy. Father Goose is the second-to-last film Grant was in, and was pretty much his last leading man role.

Back on point–

Happy Birthday to both of these lovely ladies. I hope they are able to celebrate their day with their closest friends and family.

It’s someone’s birthday! Yes, the beautiful, vivacious, Judy Garland! Judy was one of the first actresses I ever watched and admired, and I loved her ever since.

TCM has a great marathon on television today in honor of Judy. Here are a few of my favorites of Judy’s which I highly recommend (I’ve left out some of the more obvious ones like Wizard and Meet Me in St. Louis):

Presenting Lily Mars
Judy stars as Lily, a young girl who pesters her neighbor’s director son to give her a chance at acting. Van Heflin costars.


In the Good ‘Ol Summertime
Judy and Van Johnson costar as music shop employees who hate each other by day, but are secretly pen pals who are falling in love with each other.


Girl Crazy
Probably the best of the Mickey Rooney-Judy Garland pairings. Great dialogue, costumes, and swinging music make this musical set in out West at Cody College a fun time for all.

For Me and My Gal
Gene Kelley gets his first starring role alongside Judy in this wartime musical. This is one of my favorites and boasts great numbers and plot. Gene and Judy’s characters are falling in love as fast as their careers are taking off. But their big chance to “play the Palace” comes at the same time as Gene’s character’s draft notice. In an attempt to avoid being called up, he injures himself and in the process almost destroys his relationship with his fiancee. Their reunion scene overseas at an USO show is one of my favorite scenes of all time.



Today is the amazing Jimmy Stewart’s birthday. Since TCM so thoughtfully decided to play a marathon of Stewart’s movies (and I have the day off!) I decided to watch one of his movies I have never seen before. The fact that the movie also stars Kim Novak and Jack Lemmon is an added bonus!

I have actually never even heard of this film: Bell, Book, and Candle. The central plot revolves around two witches, warlock, and an unsuspecting book publisher (Stewart).

The scene opens on Christmas Eve as Gillian (Novak) laments her loneliness. She is an art dealer and also, a witch. She is clearly interested in her upstairs neighbor Shep Henderson (Stewart) but he is already engaged. When Gillian meets Shep’s fiancee, she recognizes her as an old school chum who she disliked in the past.

Gillian wonders if she could make him love her without any tricks. But when Shep tells her he is getting married the next day, she decides to cast a spell on Shep to make him quickly fall in love with her. Shep is spellbound!

As most romantic comedies play out, Gillian and Shep fall in love for real. But Gillian is torn between her love and having to hide her powers from him if they are married. But she decides to take the risk and marry Shep. And she takes a bigger risk in telling him that she is a witch. He is angry at first and tries to get rid of Gillian’s love spell. But since a condition of the undoing spell is to confront Gillian, Shep and she are able to talk and realize they are still in love despite what they have been through.

Lemmon stars as Gillian’s warlock brother Nicky and Elsa Lancaster stars as their Aunt Queenie who is also a witch (she is much like the character of Endora from the TV series Bewitched).

Lemmon’s character is great, but I wish he had been given more material. He is known for his comedies, but his character is a bit limited in this film. Lancaster is great her portrayal of the busybody aunt. Novak’s performance is also good; she is clearly torn by wanting to give up her powers and live normally and also wanting to make Shep love her.

Bell was made the same year as Novak and Stewart’s widely popular film Vertigo directed by Alfred Hitchcock. Though this film never gained the notoriety or acclaim as Vertigo, Bell is a cute funny film worth watching.

Happy Birthday to one of the greatest of all times- Audrey!

CountryGirl

Grace and Bing in The Country Girl

Still admired today for her beauty and dignity, Grace Kelly was born on this day, November 12, in 1929 in Philadelphia.

Grace wanted to act from a young age. She studied drama at New York’s America Academy of Dramatic Art. Before moving to Hollywood to pursue a film career, she worked as a stage actress and also a model.

After appearing in High Noon with Gary Cooper, she appeared in Mogambo alongside Clark Gable and Ava Gardner and earned Best Supporting Actress nomination. (This is one film that is now on my “must watch when able” list!)

Her work in High Noon garnered her the attention of director Alfred Hitchcock. He sought after her to be one of his leading ladies. Working with famed costume designer Edith Head, Hitchcock made Grace into his ideal blonde bombshell leading actress.

Grace worked with Hitchcock on three films, first Rear Window with Jimmy Stewart, then Dial M for Murder with Ray Milland, and then To Catch a Thief with Cary Grant. These three are some my favorite Hitch films and definitely deserve a viewing if you have never seen them.

Grace went a completely different avenue in The Country Girl. Starring with William Holden and Bing Crosby, she plays the wife of an alcoholic actor (Crosby) who starts to fall in love with the director (Holden) who is working with him. This movie is surprisingly good and viewers see both Grace and Bing Crosby in a very unusual type of movie for them. They both give great performances and after I did watch this film it became one of my favorites.

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Grace and William Holden attending the Oscars

Grace won the Best Actress Oscar in 1954 for The Country Girl beating out Judy Garland who was nominated for her comeback role in A Star is Born. Crosby was nominated for Best Actor but lost to Marlon Brando for On the Waterfront.

Later the two reunited in High Society which also starred Frank Sinatra. This film is the musical adaptation of The Philadelphia Story.

In 1956, Grace married Prince Rainier Grimaldi III of Monaco and effectively became “Princess Grace” of Monaco. She left her acting career behind for her family. She and her husband had 3 children, Carolina, Albert, and Stephanie. She passed away in 1982 after her car ran off the road in cliffs of Monaco.

Grace Kelly will always be remember for her timeless roles, beauty and fashion sense. Many books have been written about her lavish wedding and wedding gown.

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Grace on her wedding day

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