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About rosebette

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    New England
  • Interests
    Vintage movies, especially precodes and films of 30s and 40s, literature, music (classical, show tunes and soundtracks, literature -- college English instructor), public TV and radio, yoga and fitness
  1. Didn't Crosby have a few extramarital affairs himself or was the relationship with Grace Kelly just a rumor?
  2. One of my dad's favorite stories was of the day his father took him downtown to see The Adventures of Robin Hood and then to a diner to have what he described the best hamburger he ever had. He described feeling like a king as his dad held his hand on the way to the theater. He said every Saturday, when he smelled shoe polish (because his dad would shine his shoes before going downtown), he would angle and hint that he wanted to tag along, so that he could walk by a theater and persuade his dad to take him to Dodge City or The Sea Hawk, or whatever the latest Flynn pic was. Yes, it's hard not to forgive someone who brought such joy to a young boy, and later to an old man.
  3. The main dynamic of sexual harassment is power. Because males usually had all the power in the film industry in the past, they were also the harassers, using that power and position to intimidate women into "putting out" sexually, often with the promise (sometimes a false one) of a promotion or part within the industry. With male-on-male harassment, the harasser is often also someone older and more powerful.
  4. I Just Watched...

    I just went on a pre-code jag, watching Millie with Helen Twelvetrees, followed by Born to Love, with Constance Bennett and Joel McCrea. This must have been the "women are treated like s***" in divorce cases theme night. Millie was OK, but had some interesting support from Joan Blondell (adorable) and Frank McHugh. A young Anita Louise was gorgeous as Twelvetrees' daughter. I was rather appalled that in the storyline, she wasn't given a decent living or allowed to keep her child, even though her husband was unfaithful, and therefore the reason for her divorce. Born to Love surprised me and actually unexpectedly moved me. Constance Bennett was outstanding; I had never thought of her as a really dramatic actress, as I had mostly seen her as a clotheshorse in comedies. Joel McCrea was some good eye candy -- wow. I don't want to give too much of the storyline, as there are some shocking twists at the end, but Bennett also ends up in a divorce situation in which she loses custody of her own child. Maybe I was just in an angry and morose feminist kind of mood, but by the end of this one, I had gone from precode jag to crying jag at the injustice of it all. The last 10 minutes is a 4 hankie job. Unlike "postcode" movies, there is no condemnation from the film's perspective of the female character for having sex or a child out of wedlock; we're seeing a system in which the legal system favors wealth and males and women are treated very unfairly.
  5. I Just Watched...

    Actually, there was a stage musical based on Gone with the Wind -
  6. On the other hand, I think "misdeeds" by women, such as Ingrid Bergman, would not be viewed as harshly today. I don't think she'd be ostracized from Hollywood, and even the U.S., for having an extramarital affair or an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, since such things are quite commonplace now. There's a big difference between violating "norms" (which in this case, are based on sexist expectations of women's behavior), which have changed, and engaging in behavior that is criminal or harmful. It's pretty well known, for example, that Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt were having an affair while he was still married to Jennifer Anniston, but no one stopped going to Angelina's movies or felt that she should stay out of the U.S.
  7. My own feeling is that if the Flynn rape trial happened today, even if he were acquitted, he would probably never work in Hollywood again. I believe that the rape scandal did scar Flynn's career in the way he was perceived by Hollywood and the media and his own self-perception, which led him to the path of self-destruction, but that might have been a path he was already traveling, since the events around the alleged rapes probably involved excessive drinking and rash behavior. At the time, the events were probably interpreted as celebrity partying gone too far. However, if these events had happened on a 21st century college campus and the perpretator was a frat boy, we would now say that it was a violation of consent or "date rape." My dad was a great fan of Flynn's early swashbuckler films and Westerns, which he had grown up with as a boy, and he told me how crestfallen he and many of his peers felt during the rape scandal. However, Dad still enjoyed Flynn's films and his performances; for him, there could be no other Robin Hood. Because all these events happened so long ago, and Flynn's screen image is so magical, I was somehow able to separate what I saw on the screen from those events. For the longest time, I've had an edition of Now Playing with Flynn's picture by my computer (something I found in my Dad's room after Dad passed) to brighten my day because Flynn was probably the most beautiful man I've ever seen and I could somehow separate the scandal from that perfect Robin Hood, Captain Blood, or Gentleman Jim. With the #Metoo movement, I chose to put that picture away, but I miss it, shame on my bad feminist heart.
  8. I think Groucho should have been charged for stealing the spotlight from Beverly! What a cut-up that guy was. I must admit, although she comes off as quite young, I wouldn't take her for 15 or 16.
  9. I Just Watched...

    The satire/critique of 50s culture -- TV, rock n roll -- are done so much more skillfully in Silk Stockings (Stereophonic Sound with Janis Paige and the Ritz Rock and Roll number with Astaire) and It's Always Fair Weather ( ITAFW also features some bitter satire on GI friendships and "adjustment" to civilian life, not the sentimental schlock of WC; Dolores Gray is also a hoot in this). Both of these are well-written musicals from MGM, which was of course at its peak. Apparently ITAWF was a commercial failure on its release, but holds up much better now, and I feel strikes a much more honest and authentic tone.
  10. I Just Watched...

    I enjoy Crosby's chemistry with Hope in the Road movies, and sometimes find Crosby more appealing because his humor is so offhand and relaxed, as opposed to Hope who is so obviously a "gag man." Probably Holiday Inn is my favorite Crosby musical, but Fred might have something to do with that. However, I can't sit through Blue Skies, which should just have the awful plot excised (the second half is unwatchable), and just leave the numbers. I also dislike White Christmas -- Crosby and Kaye together are too much for me. I much preferred the stage version that I saw in Boston, which was just a string of glorious production numbers based on Berlin tunes with almost zero plot. I am a musical fan, but I love a good script, and my two favorites are Singin' in the Rain and The Bandwagon, which TCM aired last week, and both those musicals work well as satires of their respective genres, movies and the theater.
  11. I Just Watched...

    I saw this a few years back and found it delightful. The color photography is gorgeous, and Anabelle has a wonderful gamine charm.
  12. If Fred and Ginger are there, then I'll know that I'm in heaven because they'll be singing it. Also, I need to talk to Ronald Colman to find out if he got back to Shangri La.
  13. I Just Watched...

    While I enjoy Crosby as a singer, as a screen presence I finds him cool and strangely asexual. With most of his female leads there is zero chemistry. Some call Astaire asexual, but I find the whole concept of his gradual seduction of the leading lady through dance extremely sexy. At the end of the Night and Day number in the Gay Divorcee, he even offers Ginger a cigarette as if they've just "done the deed." Of course, having folks like Eric lore, Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes, victor Moore, and Helen Broderick always kept the audience's interest when the dancing stopped.
  14. I Just Watched...

    I love the believable plot in this film. Ian Hunter's character marries Francis, then goes off on some military expedition, leaves her in the care of brother, Flynn, who besides being drop-dead gorgeous reminds her of the man she lost. Well, we all know how that's going to turn out. I think next time my neighbor asks me to watch her parakeet, I'll put my cat in charge.
  15. I Just Watched...

    The Guilt of Janet Ames (1946) - This is an unusual film, a post-war melodrama about Janet Ames (Rosalind Russell) who is literally paralyzed by grief after the death of her husband in the war. Melvyn Douglas plays an alcoholic journalist who guides her through a dream process towards recovery. I found the use of dream sequences interesting cinematically, and there was good chemistry between the leads. I've always felt that Douglas was an underrated actor, even in the studio era. Russell was also excellent in an atypical dramatic part. However, if readers will indulge a somewhat "feminist" reaction, I was rather disturbed by the implication that the husband's death in combat was ultimately the wife's fault because she was not the best wife she could have been; therefore, he had "nothing to live for." The Douglas character also has his own demons about the death, but it seems as if the main blame falls to the woman. Not a reassuring message for any wife who has lost a husband in combat -- maybe he sacrificed himself because what he had at home wasn't worth coming back to. So that aspect of the story ended up wrecking what I thought was an unusual film with good performances. However, the biggest surprise was Sid Caesar's stand-up routine during the last dream sequence. Let's put it this way, folks, you might need adult diapers while watching this one -- he was crazy hilarious -- beyond Mel Brooks or anything you could imagine, and his routine is in some way also a commentary on the film itself. If TCM puts it OnDemand, I might fast forward to that part and rewatch it with my husband.

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