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JackFavell

Our Favorite Brunettes

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Whoa. Hold on. Wait one minute Jack Favell. Are you trying to make me think and give a serious answer, instead of posting glib quips, spam, drive-by posts, double-posts, promises of posts and deaths of innocuous people tangentially related to show business?

 

What's the question again???

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Ha! Yes, I would really like to know what you think. Anyone can post endless, "I'm going to have to tape that!" or "That was so cool.".... But I have been spoiled reading your lovely essays here, and I just can't get enough of real honest-to-goodness conversation.

 

Call me crazy....

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Why helloooooooooooooooooooooooo crazy...

 

I'll show you mine if you show me yours...thoughts, that is. I shall do that within the hour, if YOU tell me what YOU think of Miss Goddess? April 27th question here:

 

http://forums.tcm.com/jive/tcm/thread.jspa?threadID=152788&start=30&tstart=0

 

?You mentioned liking the ending of FRENZY..I wonder what are your---and anyone else who would please join in---top ten favorite Hitchcock endings?? - < MissGoddess >

 

I gave an answer as did others, and I included reasons. Tell me your favorite Hitchcock endings...in the appropriate thread of course. There are rules you know. And tell us why.

 

Now...let me thumb through my old International Film Guide Series book: "HOLLYWOOD IN THE THIRTIES" by John Baxter and see what thirties' names pop out at me.

 

...to be continued.

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My favorite Hollywood era is the 1940?s. The clothes, the style...I dunno. I love the movies and stars of the forties. But a very very close second is the 1930?s. There were those pre-Codes...the freedoms (before Will Hays sunk his trollish teeth into things), the tough guys and the frilly fluffy dolls. Some of these actors are more associated (in my mind) with the 1940?s. Those were the years of their biggest success. Their beauty matured, there was more gravitas in their screen persona. With others, by the 1940?s...they had fallen a bit out of favor with the public, though they hung in there. Others unfortunately passed away.

 

In looking over my pointy headed list of faves I?m trying to see if there is some sort of a thread or rhyme or reason. I dunno...maybe. These are emotional choices for me. (You can get away with murder by saying something is emotional not logical). Lots of actors I like and respect but are not emotional about... They were pretty and spunky and girl-next-door-types, or Sophistication per-sonified. Some were sexy as all get out either in a soft way or in a va-va-va-voom way. Some are carnal, or cerebral; wise-cracking or heart-breaking. I?m a very recent convert to some as well. Their voice...their look...I?m loyal to them all. Some of the names you?ll read and say ?WHY?? and other names you?ll read and say ?WHY NOT??

 

I bought this book December 4, 1973. As I thumb through it, I look at my notations scrawled throughout. WOW! As I scan down the Index in the back of my ?HOLLYWOOD IN THE THIRTIES? book, I came across the names I list below. Rummaging through my vodka-soaked brain...doing a little free association, I add names that are not listed in the book. I don?t know if I?m answering your question in its entirety, JackFavell. But may I start with this?

 

GARBO - Stands above them all. She was the most recognized woman on the planet at the time. Admired, envied. By the time her career was ending, she might have been falling out of favor in favor of a more real down to earth person. But I am positive anyone in Hollywood would have given their eye-teeth to have an audience with her. I love her aloneness.

 

NORMA SHEARER, ANN HARDING - Here are your Ladies, yes...capital L. Long suffering, chi-chi. I love ?em up there on the pedestal....the way they elocute their words in that 1930?s way. I liked Norma's tremulous voice and Harding has my vote b?cuz she has a nice deeper voice I could feel in my throat and her alabaster look. And may I please call your attention to this:

 

http://www.archive.org/details/LovefromaStranger

 

I urge and implore you to watch it. I beg and plead for you to watch ?LOVE FROM A STRANGER.? Listen, I?ve seen tons of movies in my life, but the ending to this is the most thrilling I have ever ever seen. (Sorry Hitch!!!)

 

CAROLE LOMBARD - You want to laugh? You want someone who doesn?t take her self seriously? You want someone who can do comedy and drama? You want someone who can tell you what it?s like to work with Cary Grant and Clark Gable and Robert Montgomery and William Powell and Gary Cooper and James Stewart and The Great Profile AND curly top herself: Shirley Temple? You want someone who can tell you what it?s like to wake up in the morning with Gable (legally...

matrimonially)? This is my funny girl of the 1930?s.

 

JANE BRYAN, PRISCILLA LANE, OLIVIA DeHAVILLAND - Sweet and pretty girls next door. That?s why. Of course DeHavilland is head and shoulders above the other two in talent. She held her own opposite the devastingly handsome Errol Flynn...and her slight feyness matured into stronger performances in the 1940?s. (I still see her faint in her last scene with Errol Flynn in "They Died With Their Boots On").

 

THERESA HARRIS, FREDI WASHINGTON - Trying to make a living in a tough town during a tough time when life was so unfair. Held their head up high. Fared better than many of their male counterparts. I respect Hattie McDaniel though I don?t put her down as a favorite... Fredi?s one big claim to fame is the original ?IMITATION OF LIFE.? Her heartbreaking performance slices my heart to shreds b?cuz every word she says sort of speaks to how art imitated her real life. Fredi should have played nurses, secretaries, reporters etc. And you know, there was something kind of Margaret Lindsay about Fredi Washington too that I can't explain. Yeah...maybe I'm the crazy one. As for Theresa Harris...well...Theresa Harris...

 

ALINE MacMAHON, KAY FRANCIS, JOAN BLONDELL - I am a new convert to these thirties stalwarts. I?ve seen them around for years in my movie-watching life. Never really paid them attention but knew who they were. Actually reading about them on this here troubled Message Board of ours is what made me focus on these three. So, I have some of you good people to thank for adding them to my repertoire of faves. And could Joanie wear the hell out of those 1930's lingerie?? Strength, style and vivaciousness. < Sigh! > Maybe when I grow up I can be

like them.

 

HELEN GILBERT- I know...I know. WHO?? Well, she appeared as the school teacher Andy Hardy gets a crush on in ?Andy Hardy Gets Spring Fever? and she just hit me like a ton of bricks. Why didn?t she get those bigger breaks? Read this very very little bit about her:

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0318070/bio

Check out who her husband was. I think...Helen Gilbert dodged a very serious bullet.

 

HARLOW - I?m thinking Harlow and Garbo WERE the nineteen thirties. HARLOW. Type her name in any number of threads on the Message Board and see why. She was sexy and fun. She could toss out a line like nobody?s business. And perhaps being taken away so soon adds to her allure. There are only two Blondes in Motion Pictures. And HARLOW is the first one.

 

MYRNA LOY, IRENE DUNNE, MARY ASTOR - Oooooh, I love their handling of sophisticated comedy (not screwball). And drama. I love their maturity even when they started out (I do know Mary was in the 20?s as a very young girl). I was always trying to figure out the difference...the subtle difference between Myrna & Irene. I think the 30?s was more their era than the 40?s; at least when I see these two in my mind?s eye...I see Art Deco. Mary had a great voice and her look (wild ?Maltese Falcon? hairdo and all) looked better in the 40?s, to me. They had a sense of timing, a very natural way of speaking. I love to watch them, what can I say:

 

(*) Cary Grant worked with both Myrna and Irene

(*) Spencer Tracey worked with both Myrna and Irene

(*) William Powell worked with both Myrna and Irene

(*) Melvyn Douglas worked with both Myrna and Irene

(*) Clark Gable worked with both Myrna and Mary

(*) Myrna and Irene worked together

 

BETTE DAVIS, BARBARA STANWYCK - Two volcanic meteoric comets pass each other in 1932 doing "So Big." They're getting their feet wet in the 30's, establishing their personas and dominance of the screen. Bette probably had a bigger more well-known career, but Stanwyck is right up there. I love these two. I like 'em better in the forties...but they were no slouches in the 30's. They are powerhouses, strong, but can be hurt as well. ot traditionally pretty girls they had drive...ambition...moxie...guts. Bette had to be the envy of every young actress in Hollywood with the parts she was getting especially in the 40's after she fought (and lost) her court battle with the Brothers Warner. DeHavilland sealed the deal with her law suit and everyone benefitted.

 

I put Davis and Stanwyck above every other movie star of their era. I daresay any actress today would LOVE to have the film career that Bette Davis and Barbara Stanwyck had.

 

Me? I love watching them.

 

OMG!! I'd like to give one more shout out honorably mentioning that Titian Texas beauty...

 

ANN SHERIDAN - She had a great voice, a great look, starred with all those tough Warner boys and stood her ground. I liked her look better in the 40's (sleeker, more tailored, more glamorous i.e. "NORA PRENTISS"), but I loved her 1930's baby-fat and again, that voice. She was "the girl" mostly in those thirties films whether with Bogey or Garfield or Cagney or O'Brien, but honestly she was never really just... "the girl." If that other redhead was the IT Girl...Sheridan surely did have Oomph. I love Annie.

 

Edited by: CineMaven on Apr 30, 2010 1:43 PM --- ooooh, I'd be remiss if I didn't include her.

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Oh you are really somethin else, NYCityMaven! First your stunning Hitchcock endings list, and now this? Two in one day! Amazing....

 

I can't even begin to respond properly to your wonderful list. I feel like an idiot for even asking in such a ridiculous way...... I can see why you appreciate these particular actresses on an emotional level, although Irene Dunne and Ann Harding are my own betes noires. Well, that's putting it too strongly, but I have never warmed to them. I am trying, though, and find I like Irene better and better the more I see her. She can do comedy, drama, sing, so what's not to like?

 

(and I did watch *Love with a Stranger* way back when.... the ending is awesome!)

 

Aside from a couple here and there, most of your choices transcend the thirties, but are also quintessentially of the thirties.

 

I like that you broke it down into _women_ and _girls_. During the thirties, I would say that Bryan, Davis, De Havilland, and Lane were all girls. Davis and De Havilland grew into women by say, 1938 or 1939.....you can see the transformation and I find it very interesting. I wonder if Bryan and Lane did not, simply because they didn't have the clout to get into more mature roles? Or maybe it's a matter of public taste, by the time they made it as actresses, the public was over its fascination with the girlish woman? What is the difference between Lane, and say, Betty Grable? And Bryan and Theresa Wright?

 

The rest, Theresa Harris, Stanwyck, Dunne, Garbo, Astor, Loy, Shearer, even Harlow, who is a bit girlish but draws herself up into womanhood well - no matter what age they were when they got their break, these were all women, pretty much right from the start. I wonder how many of the prepubescent starlets of today will mature into decent actresses..... or will mature at all?

 

The actresses I can agree with you most about are:

 

_Lombard_

 

She continues to grow and grow in my estimation the more I see her and the more I read about her. She was already one of my favorites. Is she even for real? If you look at her films, she had a great output of both serious and comic films between 1931 and 1942. Her range is rather staggering - Loy did the same but did it over a longer span of time. To me, she is very much alive in her films, more so than most other actresses. She was one of the most lively and good natured actresses and it comes through on the screen, at least in the comedies. And yet, in a serious film like George Steven's *Vigil in the Night*, she shows herself to be dedicated, intense, and focused. She could have created a really landmark role later on, one that incorporated all her strengths into one - something like Cluny Brown, and yes, I feel cheated that she never did.

 

_Loy_

 

You know from this thread that I love brunettes with a sparkling wit and a way with a line. Loy is IT. THE Brunette.

 

_MacMahon_

 

She has the chops. Never a false note, and she makes the most of her screen time, no matter what the role. Very real.

 

_Shearer_

 

I love Norma Shearer. Not always, in every movie, but when she is on she is breathtaking. My favorite performance is in The Barrett's of WImpole Street. Sophisticated, yes, but in her best roles, she has a keen, insightful mind, and a sadness that I totally buy.

 

_Garbo_

 

I don't have to say why.

 

_Sheridan_

 

HA ha! Baby fat, yes... but no baby.... she could stare down George Raft or Cagney, never blinking an eye....as tough as they were, I got the feeling they were no match for Annie.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on Apr 30, 2010 5:37 PM

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Thank you so much for your thoughts on my thoughts. Appreciate it. You know, to be honest, I hadn't really thought I was separating the "girls" from the "women." I'm smarter than I thought I

am.

 

"Sheridan: HA ha! Baby fat, yes... but no baby.... she could stare down George Raft or Cagney, never blinking an eye....as tough as they were, I got the feeling they were no match for Annie."

 

You're right on that score Jackaaaay. Now...let's find out from Miss Goddess about this "crush" she's developing on George Raft. (I love him in "They Drive By Night." and the scene where he's getting steamrolled by Ida Lupino. He's really trying to get outta there).

 

I always thought he was a dark handsome man with female eyes. Check out his eyes. Check him out in "Bolero" too. He has m-o-o-o-o-v-e-s. Heeeeeey, he's a brunette...

 

Well, let me put the remote control down. It's 11:00am in NYC and 70 F. outside.

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Hey, what a great choice for our next brunette!

 

I'll see what I can dig up...If Goddess hasn't beaten me to it....

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Hey, what a great choice for our next brunette!

>

> I'll see what I can dig up...If Goddess hasn't beaten me to it....

 

I actually have NO pix of Rafty....but I did find BOLERO on iOffer.com, so I'll let you all know if it's screencapable when it arrives. :D

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> {quote:title=JackFavell wrote:}{quote}

> Screencaps from that movie might be to HOT to post on the boards....

 

No kidding. I'm finding it difficult to even WRITE about the movie without worrying about breaking the Code of Conduct! I'm surprised the Mods didn't delete that YouTube clip. :D

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I think "Bolero" was the first Raft picture I saw and it was years ago. I knew of his reputation but was surprised to find him in this. At the time I had no idea who Lombard was.

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> {quote:title=movieman1957 wrote:}{quote}

> I think "Bolero" was the first Raft picture I saw and it was years ago. I knew of his reputation but was surprised to find him in this. At the time I had no idea who Lombard was.

 

Really, Chris? I just can't wait to see it. I don't think I've ever read your opinion of Carole, by the way...do you like her or her movies?

 

georgeCarole.jpg

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I do. She is a very unique beauty. From "Twentieth Century" to "Hands Across The Table" to "To Be or Not To Be" it was fun to find that she was more "My Man Godfrey," good as it is. "In Name Only" was an early exposure to her when really looking for Cary Grant. There is a down-to-earth quality to her. She can be a lady without being so stuffy or proper about it.

 

I haven't seen nearly enough of her early work. I would like to see when she became Carole Lombard. It seems for many it takes a few to find their screen self. She has a surprisingly big catalog.

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George Raft:

 

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as Steve Brodie

 

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with Flora Robson in Invisible Stripes

 

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with Bing Crosby

 

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boarding the Normandie

 

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Manpower with Marlene Dietrich

 

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with Jill Anstey 1948

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with Nina Foch

 

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Scarface

 

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with Betty Grable

 

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with Norma Shearer

 

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Limehouse Blues

 

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from Souls at Sea

 

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with Helen Mack in All of Me

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with Ann Sheridan in They Drive By Night

 

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with Lillian Bond

 

Photobucket

 

 

 

Edited by: JackFavell on May 3, 2010 2:06 PM

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Oh, thank you me dearie, for those lovely pix of Rafty. My favorite is the last one, lighting the cigarette. And all those pictures with women...he definitely liked the ladies and it was apparently mutual.

 

That picture with Crosby is notable for the fact that George is dressed louder than Bing! :D

Still, isn't it wonderful how well dressed men were? You never see pictures of them with 3 day beards, wrinkled clothes that don't look like they were washed, let alone pressed, or t-shirts thank goodness. I can't get over it.

 

I went to a Broadway show yesterday and it was truly sad to see how awful some people were dressed, including one guy wearing an undershirt and jeans!!!!! Disgusting. They shouldn't have allowed him in the building.

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That's funny! I thought the same thing about that photo with Bing.

 

These are almost in order of my favorites....with the best ones at the end, like the Ann Sheridan, the Lillian Bond and the Souls at Sea ones - plus the cigarette one is AMAZING. However, I just love the the very first photo from *The Bowery*, because he is staring directly into the camera. I love that gaze.

 

Edited by: JackFavell on May 3, 2010 2:21 PM

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OOooooh, I love those pictures of Georgie. Look at his eyes. They get me. I don't think that is Nina Foch with him though. Perhaps Ann something or other who was with Mitchum in "Out of the Past." If it IS Nina...let me know.

 

MissGoddess, what show did you see?

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I just watched the George Raft movie Under-Cover Man from 1932. Its a decent flick, if you ever get the chance to see it.

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I defer to your far superior knowledge.

 

I don't know Nina well, and I found it in a tribute to Nina Foch on a usually reputable website and assumed that all the photos were of Nina.

 

I believe it's supposed to be from *Johnny Allegro.*

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My superior knowledge???

 

Come to New York. I have several lovely bridges on the East River of Manhattan that I think you would like to buy....

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> {quote:title=CineMaven wrote:}{quote}

> OOooooh, I love those pictures of Georgie. Look at his eyes. They get me. I don't think that is Nina Foch with him though. Perhaps Ann something or other who was with Mitchum in "Out of the Past." If it IS Nina...let me know.

>

 

You're good, Miss Maven. It's Virginia Huston, who was the "good girl" in OUT OF THE PAST and the still is from NOCTURNE, which aired Friday night.

 

> MissGoddess, what show did you see?

 

The Million Dollar Quartet at the Nederlander....it was terrific!

 

http://www.milliondollarquartetlive.com/

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Thanxx for the confirmation...of my superior knowledge. Hey I think I'll jump off the bridge myself. I'm too smart for my own good.

 

Million Dollar Quartet...what a musical line-up. A friend of mine just wrote a play about Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller meeting in a restaurant to talk about Marilyn. She's there as well in a ghostly form. The actress who played Marilyn was absolutely and eerily uncanny. She was taking pictures with some audience members after the play, but I just couldn't stand next to her.

 

Jackaaaay, I don't think you'll find Georgie on that bridge. Let's try McSorley's Ale House. His ghost should be there. First one's on me...

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> {quote:title=mrroberts wrote:}{quote}

> I just watched the George Raft movie Under-Cover Man from 1932. Its a decent flick, if you ever get the chance to see it.

 

Thanks, Mr. R...I will look out for that one.

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I was chosen to play a young Marilyn for a Broadway show a while back, but then the show's creator landed in the hospital and the backers pulled out. Such was my brush with Marilyn-mania.

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