Dec 25, 2007

Merry Christmas, Movie House!

December proved to be a hectic month that slid into a relatively relaxed holiday with friends, family, and fattening food, and I hope you've experienced the same happy Christmas season that I have. Even though Santa didn't bring me the laptop I wrote him for - the same one that would allow me to post every single day instead of twice a month, computer-less as I am - I'm confident I will have one before the new year. Until then I'll have to muddle through somehow (sounds so much better coming from Judy, I know).

And until then, you can revel in the vintage voice of Miss Judy Garland in this classic scene from 1944's Meet Me In St. Louis.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a reminder that there's a TCM Debbie Reynolds mini-marathon on Christmas Day!

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Dec 6, 2007

Photographic Faves

Barbara Stanwyck and Henry Fonda perfect their ball-and-chain routine on the set of The Lady Eve, 1939.

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Classics Weekend

Perhaps it's all the holiday spirit, but the redoubtable Turner Classic Movies doesn't fail to deliver gift-wrapped goodness during the first weekend in December, as their schedule clearly indicates. Some movies you'll need to see before the year is out:

  • Where The Boys Are, 1960 - The quintessential beach party flick amongst all those fluffy Frankie-and-Annette confections (not that we didn't love every Moondoggie moment of those). And oh, that theme song....12/7, 1:30pm ET
  • From Here To Eternity, 1953 - Deborah Kerr ditches her red tresses for blond locks in this novel-based naval blockbuster, but her icy facade is still intact, at least until the infamous beach scene. And don't miss demure Donna Reed as a call girl! 12/7, 10:15pm ET
  • Little Women, 1949 - Four of MGM's biggest stars comprise the March family in this quintessential holiday film, complete with Mary Astor as Mrs. March, Elizabeth Taylor as a blonde, and the hotness that is Peter Lawford. June Allyson, Janet Leigh, and Margaret O'Brien also star. 12/8, 6:00am ET
  • Treasure of the Sierra Madre, 1948 - John Huston cast his father, Walter, as well as his own brand of distinct movie-making in this memorable adventure, topped off with film favorite Humphrey Bogart. 12/8, 4:15PM ET
  • Bad Day At Black Rock, 1955 - Spencer Tracy and drama, that's all you really need to know. 12/8, 6:30PM ET
  • Casablanca, 1942 - Even if you've seen it six dozen times, could it hurt to savor Rick and Ilsa's fated romance just once more? Bogie, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Raines. 12/8, 10:00PM ET
  • On The Town, 1949 - Sexy sailors Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra (Jules Munshin, not so much) spend a 24-hour leave chasing skirts and carousing in New York City. Also starring Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen. 12/9, 4:15PM ET
  • High Society, 1956 - Grace Kelly reprises the role of Kate Hepburn in this musical re-telling of Hep's comeback classic, The Philadelphia Story. Not a standout film, but worth a view for leads Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, as well as the engagement ring worn by Kelly's character Tracy Lord - it was Kelly's own for her upcoming nuptials to the prince of Monaco, whom she married in April of 1956. 12/9, 6:00PM ET
Want more on the TCM lineup? Visit their online schedule at

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Dec 5, 2007

Three Weeks Til Christmas...

Cheryl Crane, infamous daughter of Lana Turner and ex-husband Stephen Crane, is the internet proprieter behind Lana Turner Estate Property, the eBay store auctioning off dozens of dazzling digs once owned by Miss Lana herself. Fabulous finds like vintage jewelry, hats, and ashtrays and even personal effects like handbags, perfume, and lipstick are up for sale, with each individual listing providing a complete description of each item and Cheryl's memories of its significance to her mother. There's the decanter set from Frank Sinatra, an ashtray given by Bob Hope, and a pair of emerald-and-pearl earrings that Miss Turner swapped with one Ava Gardner all up for grabs, the last of which I would probably denounce all of my worldly goods simply to wear for an evening.

Whether or not you have $125 to spend on genuine Lana-owned gold bangles or faux diamond bracelets, the anecdotes that Crane unknowingly offers are worth even more than that. In her precise but offhanded descriptions of her mother's treasures, Crane reveals facets of Lana you may not have read about in mama's autobiography, like the fact that she had to keep her massive collection of costume jewelry in custom-made storage, loved to wear pearls with black clothing, and swooned over Bob Taylor's expert wooing skills.

Under a photo of Lana and uber-stud Robert Taylor, for instance, is the caption

"At the time this photo was taken Mother and Robert Taylor were in the middle of a hot and heavy love affair. She always gave him credit for being a good KISSER.........."

Pawing through Lana Turner's jewelry collection, hearing firsthand accounts of her day-to-day life, perusing gifts from past lovers...this is essentially like having a gossipfest sleepover, only without the pajamas and popcorn. I absolutely love it. All this really means for me, though, is that I need a second job. My life will not be complete until I can wear a pair of Lana Turner's screwbacks!

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Dec 3, 2007

One Week Left!

A week left to get the newsstands-only Remembering Grace, a photographic tribute to the late and lovely Grace Kelly, that is. The exclusive publication features previously-unreleased photos of Grace by her career-long photographer and close friend Howell Conant, mostly dazzling candids and rare family images surrounding her engagement and marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco in 1956. Don't let the $10.95 cover price deter you - this is a worthwhile collection that's a simple, elegant, and simply elegant as Miss Kelly herself.

Life's Remembering Grace commemorative issue will remain on shelves until December 10, 2007.

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