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Thanks ham. I am outta likes for today. But I like the little animated image you shared! Cute.

 

At first I thought it was a youtube clip.

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Famous and retired by age 5

 

https://oforinvolvingmotionpictures.wordpress.com/2015/01/07/famous-and-retired-by-age-5/

 

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In January 1938, Alexandra Lee Henville was born in Los Angeles. Most babies who came into the world on that day were fussed over in the hospital nursery. Then when the mother was well enough, taken home to live a normal child’s life. But not this girl. Little Alexandra, or Baby Sandy as she was known, left the hospital and headed straight for Hollywood. I am wondering if an agent was waiting to sign her outside the delivery room?

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Universal had just added Deanna Durbin to its roster, and they already had W.C. Fields on contract. So it was only logical that they find a younger star to compete with Fox’s Shirley Temple. Of course, Sandy was much younger than Shirley when she was given her first picture assignment. At the tender age of 15 months, Sandy appeared with Bing Crosby and Joan Blondell in the cute music comedy EAST SIDE OF HEAVEN. She played a ten-month old, and Bing was her father by proxy in this family-friendly entertainment.

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Sandy was so popular with audiences that two months later, the studio put her in another picture and this time they gave her top billing! Okay, when was the last time you heard of someone headlining a movie at only a year and half? Instead of Bing, it was Dennis O’Keefe playing her UNEXPECTED FATHER.

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Again Sandy was a big hit and four months later, she went on to star in another Universal picture. The plot was a bit more complicated in LITTLE ACCIDENT—now she was an abandoned baby who gets kidnapped before she has a chance to be adopted. Richard Carlson steps into the paternal role this time.

 

She had three hit films before turning two. After her second birthday, she was cast in a comedy with Eugene Pallette called SANDY IS A LADY. Now we see her name is being used in the title, and the studio is going all out to promote her with vehicles that seem to put forth the idea that she is growing up. And fast. Yep, she is now a ‘lady’ at age two.

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In her next motion picture, at two and a half, it was implied that she had already hit puberty. That’s because SANDY GETS HER MAN. The man was played by 37 year-old Stuart Erwin, who seems a tad bit too mature for her, if you ask me. I guess Stu liked robbing the cradle.

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Then, in 1941, after her third birthday, she was paired with Edward Everett Horton, Donald Woods and Raymond Walburn. In BACHELOR DADDY, we see three unmarried men suddenly forced to care for a baby that has been left to them. This one definitely sounds like it was the basis for THREE MEN AND A BABY in the 1980s.

 

Universal wound down the series later that year, just a month shy of Sandy’s fourth birthday. She was probably getting too old to play an infant at this point. But she does still entertain audiences as the youngster who brings Robert Paige and Anne Gwynne together in the musical comedy MELODY LANE.

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Now this is where Sandy’s association with Universal ends. But a year later, just before she turned five, she showed up in Republic’s JOHNNY DOUGHBOY, starring Jane Withers. Jane (who was Fox’s back-up child star after Shirley Temple) had just been let go by her studio and was making more adolescent-themed movies on Hollywood’s poverty row. My guess is that Sandy’s parents and agent tried to see if she could continue her career at the low budget studios, but this would actually be her last appearance in a film.

 

Of course, she probably didn’t mind the fact that her screen career was over. There were more important things to do in life now. Like attend kindergarten. 

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My latest cable bill 

 

arrived and this is what I have to pay:

 

https://oforinvolvingmotionpictures.wordpress.com/2015/01/08/my-latest-cable-bill/

 

Mine is not so bad if you include the broadband and the ability to use free internet radio by C Crane.  The Youtube flicks save me from buying DVD's - planned  to record my downloads this Sunday which will take all day. Thank you Clipconverter.

 

Neat little device, only need to connect it and the soundcard audio to my DVD recorder.

 

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Mine is not so bad if you include the broadband and the ability to use free internet radio by C Crane.  The Youtube flicks save me from buying DVD's - planned  to record my downloads this Sunday which will take all day. Thank you Clipconverter.

 

Neat little device, only need to connect it and the soundcard audio to my DVD recorder.

 

Good for you. We get what we pay for, right? :)

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Good for you. We get what we pay for, right? :)

 

The Clipconverter website is the best thing since slice bread.  You can record and convert Youtube and some other sites to downloadable MP4 or other video formats and even to MP3 for audio Youtube clips.  The only problem is the DVD recorders don't support MP4, just a standardized Divx mode.  Saved  money on music recordings as well, burned a few CD's.

 

The Ultimate XP (or other devices) connects between the VGA output and the monitor.  There are different video outputs and it can be left in place when not in use.

 

The only drawback to cable is that Suddenlink stop carrying FM signals a few years ago and had to install an outside dual dipole antenna with preamp.  Get about 12 stations when conditions are right but most are not as clear as with cable.

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Technicolor westerns with shades of black and white


 


https://oforinvolvingmotionpictures.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/technicolor-westerns-with-shades-of-black-and-white/


 


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Recently I came across a disc of westerns I had where Susan Hayward was the star. She didn't make too many films in this genre, but the ones she did appear in were very sharply filmed. One such early picture was Universal's CANYON PASSAGE, produced by Walter Wanger with whom Hayward was under contract at the time.


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The story goes that several directors were suggested before European-born director Jacques Tourneur was selected. Tourneur began directing shorts back in his native France in the early 30s, and by the time 1946 rolled around, he had already been in Hollywood for several years. He built a name for himself in the industry directing low-budget horror films for Val Lewton at RKO earlier in the decade, and CANYON PASSAGE would be his first western. More significantly, it would be his first motion picture photographed in Technicolor.


 


During his apprenticeship at RKO, Tourneur learned the importance of morally ambiguous storylines that kept audiences guessing about the fate of a story's main characters. The chance to explore these approaches in Technicolor was probably too good to pass up. He would also have a larger budget at Universal.


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True to form, Tourneur did not disappoint. He made the most of a frontier tale filmed with exciting outdoor scenes on location in Oregon. He used the impressive lush backdrops of the forests, meadows and mountain ranges off in the distance, juxtaposed with shadowy figures, lurking within the landscape, waiting to ambush others with shocking violence at a moment's notice. 


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In a way the use of vivid Technicolor lulls the audience into accepting the bucolic countryside as something pleasant, beautiful and peaceful. But there is a darker undercurrent in the settling of the west, and its real nature becomes apparent with the use of shadows and with morally ambiguous characterizations that choose not to paint things too stereotypically for the viewer.


 


Indeed, there are no traditional white hats (for the heroes) or black hats (for the villains). Instead, we get group shots, where all the men and women, of varying shades of goodness and corruption, populate the landscape side by side. The final result is a rather complex drama about the community's survival existing across a landscape where men and women make mistakes and are not fully good or bad.


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It might be said that Tourneur's approach in the western genre paved the way for other morally ambiguous stories to follow. Notably, efforts by Anthony Mann and Raoul Walsh.


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https://oforinvolvingmotionpictures.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/2015-golden-globe-awards/

 

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I'd like to focus today's column on the Golden Globe awards which are scheduled to be handed out this evening. I wonder what the likelihood is that recipients will be poised to take home the Oscar next month.

 

Probably what I have always liked about the Golden Globes is that they are the result of a voting process carried out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. The HFPA, as it is commonly called, is a group of journalists who work for publications outside the U.S. and Canada but who who cover Hollywood filmmaking. I think that gives them a much different perspective on what resonates with the public, at least from a more international point of view.

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I also like how there are two distinct categories for best picture. Often, the Academy Awards overlook comedies and musicals and give the top prize to serious dramas. The Golden Globes solves that problem and eliminates the bias by creating a separate special category for musical and comedy offerings. In the following section, I will go over the best picture nominees for drama as well as musical-comedy, and while getting to that, I will mention the recipients in these categories last year at this time.

 

The Golden Globe for Best Picture: Drama

A year ago the honoree was 12 YEARS A SLAVE, from British producer-director Steve McQueen. It went on to become the Oscar recipient for best picture as well. Undoubtedly helped by its showing in these awards ceremonies, the movie went on to make $187 million at the box office. Not bad, considering it only cost $22 million to make.

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The five nominees in this category tonight are: Richard Linklater's coming of age drama BOYHOOD; FOXCATCHER, Bennett Miller's biographical drama about a murder that occurs with the Olympics as a backdrop; a historical thriller called THE IMITATION GAME about another real-life murder and directed by Morten Tyldum; SELMA, a historical drama about voting rights marches in 1965, by Ava DuVernay; and James Marsh's THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING, a biographical romantic drama based on the memoirs of Jane Wilde Hawking.

 

The Golden Globe for Best Picture: Musical or Comedy

A year ago the honoree was AMERICAN HUSTLE, a crime comedy from David O. Russell that wound up grossing almost a quarter of a billion dollars. While it enjoyed respect and admiration during the Golden Globe Awards last year, it was completely shut out by the Academy and lost in all ten categories where it had been nominated for an Oscar.

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The five nominees in this category tonight are: BIRDMAN, Alejandro Inarritu's satire about a washed-up actor trying to reinvent himself despite being known for playing a superhero years earlier; Wes Anderson's British-German comedy THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL starring Ralph Fiennes that did rather well at the box office; Rob Marshall's version of Stephen Sondheim's musical fantasy INTO THE WOODS; PRIDE, directed by Matthew Warchus, a British made LGBT comedy-drama that was not a hit; and ST. VINCENT, by Theodore Melfi, a comedy-drama starring Bill Murray as a war veteran retiree that did modest business with audiences.

 

So which one are you voting for?

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So which one are you voting for?

Definitely Boyhood for drama, a brilliant, beautifully acted film. For comedy, probably Grand Budapest Hotel, which I enjoyed, though I heard that Pride was very good.  Not Birdman -- didn't see it, and I have an aversion to Michael Keaton.

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So which one are you voting for?

 

Since I do not belong to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, I was not eligible to vote.

I suspect no one that posts on these boards voted on the Golden Globes either.

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Well, it's no guarantee that winning a Golden Globe will net you an Oscar, otherwise EDDIE MURPHY would have won an Oscar.

 

I was led to believe that the Golden Globe was the more MEANINGFUL of the two( Globe and Oscar).  But I no longer believe that.  Often, one's just as meaningless as the other.

 

As we all too well know that the most votes DON'T guarantee the best PRESIDENT, these tepid awards ceremonies( which mostly turn out to be FASHION shows) aren't really indicative of what's REALLY "quality" in entertainment.

 

For instance-----How many of YOUR favorite movies or actors NEVER got nominated?  Or----DO many of the GRAMMY winners actually DESERVE one?

 

 

Sepiatone

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Well, it's no guarantee that winning a Golden Globe will net you an Oscar, otherwise EDDIE MURPHY would have won an Oscar.

 

I was led to believe that the Golden Globe was the more MEANINGFUL of the two( Globe and Oscar).  But I no longer believe that.  Often, one's just as meaningless as the other.

 

As we all too well know that the most votes DON'T guarantee the best PRESIDENT, these tepid awards ceremonies( which mostly turn out to be FASHION shows) aren't really indicative of what's REALLY "quality" in entertainment.

 

For instance-----How many of YOUR favorite movies or actors NEVER got nominated?  Or----DO many of the GRAMMY winners actually DESERVE one?

 

 

Sepiatone

Sounds like a bleak or pessimistic take on it, Sepia. I do agree that the fashion element has become more important in recent years. I wonder what that says about the industry?

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Definitely Boyhood for drama, a brilliant, beautifully acted film. For comedy, probably Grand Budapest Hotel, which I enjoyed, though I heard that Pride was very good.  Not Birdman -- didn't see it, and I have an aversion to Michael Keaton.

My prediction is that Keaton will go on to receive an Oscar, though I am not sure if the film itself will win any 'best picture' awards.

 

I was surprised how well GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL did at the box office-- I didn't realize it was such a hit with people.

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Since I do not belong to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, I was not eligible to vote.

I suspect no one that posts on these boards voted on the Golden Globes either.

Good point. LOL  Maybe we could say 'which one are you rooting for?' :)

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Re: The fashion component.  This has been going on for years now.  The award shows have become a venue for designers to showcase their creations by having the stars wear them.  Hence Joan Rivers' famous question: "Who are you wearing?" The bigger the star you are, the more designers you'll have begging you to wear one of their gowns to the big show. 

 

Even though the Oscar is the biggest honor you can win in the industry, I always felt that the Golden Globe was a legitimate award.  The Hollywood Foreign Press Association votes on the awards.  I imagine that most of those in contention for awards are not part of the HFPA.  While the members of the HFPA are involved in the industry in the sense that they are photographers and correspondents, I would be led to believe that this group is more impartial to the nominees.  The Golden Globes less likely have people campaigning heavily for them.  Golden Globes typically aren't given to people to make up for snubbing them the year before.  Nor are they usually given out to reward someone for an overall body of work, not just the particular film they were nominated for.  I think the Golden Globes can usually lead to some interesting (and sometimes unexpected) choices.  I don't think they are necessarily indicative of the Oscar in that the actors are separated by Drama and Comedy.  An actor could be nominated in the Comedy category at the Globes but when the two categories are merged together for the Oscars, that actor might not even make the cut.  I think the SAG awards can be a bigger indicator of Oscar nominees/winners, in that the members of the Screen Actors Guild are also usually members of the Academy. 

 

What I like about the Golden Globes is that it is usually more relaxed and it's more of a fancy dinner party with food and alcohol.  It's funny when someone, whose category (or appearance) is later in the evening... especially when it's obvious they may have had a few drinks before hand.  I also like seeing the TV people and Movie people together. 

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Re: The fashion component.  This has been going on for years now.  The award shows have become a venue for designers to showcase their creations by having the stars wear them.  Hence Joan Rivers' famous question: "Who are you wearing?" The bigger the star you are, the more designers you'll have begging you to wear one of their gowns to the big show. 

 

Even though the Oscar is the biggest honor you can win in the industry, I always felt that the Golden Globe was a legitimate award.  The Hollywood Foreign Press Association votes on the awards.  I imagine that most of those in contention for awards are not part of the HFPA.  While the members of the HFPA are involved in the industry in the sense that they are photographers and correspondents, I would be led to believe that this group is more impartial to the nominees.  The Golden Globes less likely have people campaigning heavily for them.  Golden Globes typically aren't given to people to make up for snubbing them the year before.  Nor are they usually given out to reward someone for an overall body of work, not just the particular film they were nominated for.  I think the Golden Globes can usually lead to some interesting (and sometimes unexpected) choices.  I don't think they are necessarily indicative of the Oscar in that the actors are separated by Drama and Comedy.  An actor could be nominated in the Comedy category at the Globes but when the two categories are merged together for the Oscars, that actor might not even make the cut.  I think the SAG awards can be a bigger indicator of Oscar nominees/winners, in that the members of the Screen Actors Guild are also usually members of the Academy. 

 

What I like about the Golden Globes is that it is usually more relaxed and it's more of a fancy dinner party with food and alcohol.  It's funny when someone, whose category (or appearance) is later in the evening... especially when it's obvious they may have had a few drinks before hand.  I also like seeing the TV people and Movie people together. 

What I like about the Golden Globes is that it is usually more relaxed and it's more of a fancy dinner party with food and alcohol.  It's funny when someone, whose category (or appearance) is later in the evening... especially when it's obvious they may have had a few drinks before hand.

 

That's my favorite part of the GG.

 

Oh, and the fashions. And the fact that the very cruel Ms. Rivers is gone.

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What I like about the Golden Globes is that it is usually more relaxed and it's more of a fancy dinner party with food and alcohol.  It's funny when someone, whose category (or appearance) is later in the evening... especially when it's obvious they may have had a few drinks before hand.

 

That's my favorite part of the GG.

 

Oh, and the fashions. And the fact that the very cruel Ms. Rivers is gone.

I am more interested to see what horrible dresses people are wearing.  The good dresses are whatever, the horrible ones is where the real fun is.  There tend to be more risks taken at the Golden Globes than the stuffier Oscars.  I also like that the Golden Globes don't have the ill-conceived production numbers.  They just get to the point and start handing out the awards. 

 

Sometimes I thought Joan Rivers was funny (just because of the outrageous things she'd say)... but toward the end of her reign on the red carpet, she got more ridiculous and I didn't think she was as funny anymore.  I always thought her daughter was incredibly annoying.

 

I also thought it was hilarious that one year when Renee Zelwegger's name was called as the winner and she was MIA.  It turned out she was in the bathroom.  Those are the types of things that don't happen enough at the Oscars.  The only funny thing I remember happening at the Oscars recently was when Jennifer Lawrence won and she tripped on her enormous dress and fell on the stairs.

 

Last year at the Golden Globes, one of my favorites, Emma Thompson, appeared on stage, not wearing shoes and drinking a martini.  That was hilarious.

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I am more interested to see what horrible dresses people are wearing.  The good dresses are whatever, the horrible ones is where the real fun is.  There tend to be more risks taken at the Golden Globes than the stuffier Oscars.  I also like that the Golden Globes don't have the ill-conceived production numbers.  They just get to the point and start handing out the awards. 

 

Sometimes I thought Joan Rivers was funny (just because of the outrageous things she'd say)... but toward the end of her reign on the red carpet, she got more ridiculous and I didn't think she was as funny anymore.  I always thought her daughter was incredibly annoying.

 

I also thought it was hilarious that one year when Renee Zelwegger's name was called as the winner and she was MIA.  It turned out she was in the bathroom.  Those are the types of things that don't happen enough at the Oscars.  The only funny thing I remember happening at the Oscars recently was when Jennifer Lawrence won and she tripped on her enormous dress and fell on the stairs.

 

Last year at the Golden Globes, one of my favorites, Emma Thompson, appeared on stage, not wearing shoes and drinking a martini.  That was hilarious.

Agree, agree! Too bad Poehler and Fey have said this is their last year. They are very good together.

 

The most curious part are the actors who think they are making a statement by wearing their own clothes. They (hopefully) have lots of money, why they wouldn't engage a famous designer is beyond me. I know I would. Remember the cluck with the swan dress?

 

Yes, it's a much more enjoyable show than the Oscars.

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Agree, agree! Too bad Poehler and Fey have said this is their last year. They are very good together.

 

The most curious part are the actors who think they are making a statement by wearing their own clothes. They (hopefully) have lots of money, why they wouldn't engage a famous designer is beyond me. I know I would. Remember the cluck with the swan dress?

 

Yes, it's a much more enjoyable show than the Oscars.

I think Poehler and Fey are great together. They should host everything.  I agree with actors wearing their own clothes.  However, this does provide for some delightful bad fashion moments, so I guess we should thank them.  Lol.  I do remember Bjork with her swan dress, that was at the Oscars one year when she was nominated for Best Original Song.  While the dress was definitely crazy, I appreciated that she was there.  It was a nice change from all the boring beige, black and white dresses. 

 

The problem with the Oscars (while I still do watch) is that they try too hard. 

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Luise Rainer performances

 

https://oforinvolvingmotionpictures.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/luise-rainer-performances/

 

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Today TCM is featuring a special morning spotlight. This is in remembrance of Luise Rainer who passed away at age 104 in late December. The occasion celebrates her life and achievements as an actress, plus it also marks what would have been her 105th birthday.

 

Originally, I was going to focus on Luise's Oscar roles in THE GREAT ZIEGFELD and THE GOOD EARTH. However, since those are her most famous films and a lot has already been written and discussed about them, it might be better to look at one of her other pictures.  Besides, I realized that as much as I love her portrayal of O-lan in the stunning MGM adaptation of Pearl S. Buck's story, I prefer her work in THE TOY WIFE the best.

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Before I mention why I love Luise Rainer in THE TOY WIFE, I want to quote something I posted on another blog back in May 2013. When I sat down at the computer this morning, I remembered having vaguely written something about Luise in a column I did called '50 Fabulous Females' that looked at some of the studio era's lead actresses. Sure enough, scrolling back through the archive of old posts, there it was. And here is what I had jotted down (something I still believe to be true):

 

LUISE RAINER has the uncanny ability to layer multiple styles within the same role. She usually does drama, comedy, music and action in the course of the same film. She has a technique where she combines meaning from other writers and directors and superimposes it on to her current performance. She’s a very deliberate actress and nothing is left to chance.

 

Of course, I had to figure out why I wrote some of those lines. I believe I had read an article where she had been influenced by theatrical director Max Reinhardt back in Europe, and that in the much-lauded telephone scene of THE GREAT ZIEGFELD, she claimed to have used techniques developed with Reinhardt and other directors, from various plays she had done on stage.

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It would seem that she did quite deliberately infuse her film roles with what she had learned earlier, and in a way her portrayals of Anna Held and O-lan could be seen as pastiches of other characters she played. I would say she often stepped outside what was in the original story or script and tapped into everything she could to empower her characters and take them to another level. At least that is how I see it. It certainly is how I see her performance in THE TOY WIFE.

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THE TOY WIFE is a somewhat overlooked historic drama she made at MGM with Melvyn Douglas and Robert Young, shortly after her back-to-back Oscar victories. To me, this is Luise Rainer at the height of her craft in Hollywood. She plays Frou Frou, the nearly scatterbrained wife of a Louisiana plantation owner. In earlier scenes, she steals her sister's intended and marries him, then as the narrative continues, she proceeds to charm and seduce other rich men in her immediate orbit. Basically, she leaves a path of destruction in her wake. But because she is so 'frou frou,' and child-like, she cannot possibly be seen as conniving, or as the vixen she obviously is. 

 

If you watch Luise Rainer very carefully in THE TOY WIFE-- you will notice a few things. First, she takes a very unsympathetic role that someone like Bette Davis or Miriam Hopkins would have turned into an out and out witch, and makes her very pitiable-- a character that really cannot be hated or reviled though she most certainly should be. In some key scenes, Luise takes the wretched melodrama that screenwriter Zoe Akins has churned out and redirects it as a witty, biting satire. While Douglas and Young, her leading men, seem to play it straight, she plays it decidedly light, which ultimately makes Frou Frou look heroic and the men pathetic pieces of cardboard that deserve what they get with her. 

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Now I have read that Luise had disagreements with studio boss Louis B. Mayer over the quality of the scripts she was being asked to perform, and I do not doubt it. It is my sincere belief that she took lackluster scripts and did all that she could to elevate them. It was her feeling the audience deserved more than usual studio fodder sold to the masses. And as a result, her Frou Frou is not frou-frou at all, but grand.

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I think Poehler and Fey are great together. They should host everything.  I agree with actors wearing their own clothes.  However, this does provide for some delightful bad fashion moments, so I guess we should thank them.  Lol.  I do remember Bjork with her swan dress, that was at the Oscars one year when she was nominated for Best Original Song.  While the dress was definitely crazy, I appreciated that she was there.  It was a nice change from all the boring beige, black and white dresses. 

 

The problem with the Oscars (while I still do watch) is that they try too hard. 

speedracer, did you SEE those gowns? I LOVE sequins! Although Kate Hudson was drop dead gorgeous in her gown. Do they use Krazy Glue on her.........well, you know. My fave was Julianne Moore in Givenchy.

 

LOVE the diss on Cosby from Amy and Tina. SO true. What a shame they're leaving. Then again, women aren't funny - which idiot said that?  :D

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Glad to see they had Robert O. film some new wraparounds for Luise this morning. Gives it more than just a typical birthday tribute feel. Nicely done!

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speedracer, did you SEE those gowns? I LOVE sequins! Although Kate Hudson was drop dead gorgeous in her gown. Do they use Krazy Glue on her.........well, you know. My fave was Julianne Moore in Givenchy.

 

LOVE the diss on Cosby from Amy and Tina. SO true. What a shame they're leaving. Then again, women aren't funny - which idiot said that?  :D

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

 

Views, views, views, views.

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I'm a little confused...i keep clicking on a luise rainer thread only to find every subject on earth discussed but luise rainer...is the idea that the title and topic changes and no one has chimed in on rainer yet or is everyone messing with the op?

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