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Old 07-27-2016, 01:41 AM
 
Location: England
16,190 posts, read 3,915,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ColoGuy View Post
Old films don't usually do anything special for me. Exceptions being North by Northwest (not that old) and Key Largo. Yes....they made some good films but it isn't like they came from a separate universe. Perhaps some people revel in the more leisurely pace? The black and white photography? The cleanliness and the common classiness?
Hmmmmmmm...... that's an interesting question. I think for myself, my interest in these old films grew slowly. I was just the right age to appreciate them when they started being shown on British television.

The big studios, practically gave away the television rights to their old product. The market was flooded with these films. It was a cheap way to fill the tv screen. Back then, in England there were only two channels, ITV and BBC.

I can't remember when the movies started to be shown, but I do remember it was prime time. I got to see literally hundreds of old movies as a child. I got to watch the work of many people who are mainly forgotten now. Big stars in their time like Greer Garson, Jane Wyman, Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, Deanna Durbin, Jean Arthur, Joan Blondell, Marie Dressler, and especially Jennifer Jones. Among the men, were, Claude Rains, Walter Huston, Walter Brennan, George Sanders, Sidney Greenstreet, Lionel Barrymore, Herbert Marshall, and Alan Hale.

There are many others of course, still well known today, at least by name. I eventually grew to recognize the different 'styles' of studio films. MGM tended to be very glamorous, woman based movies. The movies from that studio were very brightly lit, well made films. The Rolls-Royce of movies......

Warner Brothers had a more gritty look, with sometimes fast cutting. Their stars were not pampered like at MGM. People like James Cagney, Bette Davis, Edward G Robinson, and George Raft were hurried along from film to film. Only folks with a great acting reputation like Paul Muni were allowed to take their time.....

Paramount had a more European air of sophistication in the golden age. Stars like Marlene Dietrich went through their paces, with many foreign directors like Billy Wilder, Ernst Lubitsch, and Rouben Mamoulian giving their films a worldly gloss. Other stars like Gary Cooper, Mae West, WC Fields, and later Barbara Stanwyck, Alan Ladd, and Hope and Crosby kept the box office tills ringing.

20th Century Fox, had a great producer in Darryl Zanuck. He ran a tight ship employing stars like Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Betty Grable, Shirley Temple, and Henry Fonda,

Universal was a family run company in it's early years. It's founder, Carl Laemmle, liked to employ family members....... Fortunately, one of those went on to become a great director - William Wyler. In the 30s, this studio made many horror films remembered fondly today like Frankenstein. Deanna Durbin became a big star of musicals working for Universal. Abbott and Costello worked there, and made the studio plenty of money.

Each of these big five, pumped out movies to entertain the world. There was little competition for the public's money in those days. Movies were the major source of entertainment for most folks.

I grew to realize the studios tended to use their own stable of stars. You didn't get Spencer Tracy and Mae West in the same film for instance. As the 60s went along, more and more books appeared in my local library about film producers, the films, and the stars of the golden age. I grew more and more interested in the studios, and the people who made these films. Not just the stars, but all the people with their names in the credits, but not appearing in the films. Folks like the Westmore family.

The Westmore's are famous make up artists from the golden age, right up to now. If you watch for the names of makeup artists in credits of old movies, you will more often than not see their name. Even today, the Westmore family are involved in movie and tv makeup of stars. Back in the 30s, Perc Westmore worked at Warner Brothers, Ern worked at Fox, Wally at Paramount, Bud at Universal.

These studio factories employed literally thousands of artistic types of all kinds. Their job was to make the movies look good, tell a story, and make the stars shine in the product. It is a fascinating, long gone world. Today movies are made on an individual basis. The workers are assembled to make one movie. Back then the studios churned out product to fill the thousands of movie theaters, week in, week out. There was the main film to make of course, but also the second feature, known as 'B' films, newsreels, cartoons, travelogues........ just one big show to amuse the patrons. Maybe even a guy rising out of the movie house floor playing music on a giant organ before the show began. All this, while sitting in an opulent building, and paying a tiny amount of money to see the show.

The history of Hollywood, the stars, and the studios they worked in, has passed into history now. For most young people, it is of no interest. They go to be entertained watching fast paced super hero movies in the main. Once seen, and soon forgotten. For me, the golden age is a movie era of great interest, and I return to those long forgotten films, and their stars often. When they made their movies, many decades ago, they mustn't have believed anyone would be discussing their work, long after their deaths. It wasn't considered an art form. Ingrid Bergman once asked Alfred Hitchcock a question about her motivation while making a film for him. He just rolled his eyes, and said, "it's just a movie Ingrid." In other words, just do it, and lets move on. This is part of the greatness of those films. They were made without thought of art, just product for a movie going audience. Even so, great artists worked in the medium, and even without realizing it, made great art. This art is there, for anyone to see, who has an interest in the subject.
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Old 07-27-2016, 01:59 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
12,132 posts, read 8,718,889 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
I think even today, the artistry of Fred Astaire is appreciated. He danced with many different women in his movies. But, even though he looked great with trained dancers like Rita Hayworth, and Cyd Charisse, there is only one who appeared like she was born to dance, with only one man. That was Ginger Rogers. Watch the sheer emotion of music and dance here in 'Follow The Fleet'.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrGhweKTbmA

There were constant rumours stating they didn't get on personally, but somehow, someway, the magic of dancing with Ginger, couldn't be repeated with another partner........ here in 'Swing Time'.




https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxPgplMujzQ

They worked together from 1933 till 1939, and then went their separate ways. But, at the end of the 40s, Fred was meant to make a film with Judy Garland. She became ill, so Ginger was sent for. It was like the 10 years since they danced, was nothing at all........ here in The 'Barkleys of Broadway'.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcD8h1LWai8

Even at their last ever public performance together, in 1967, a short dance was given to an appreciative audience........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y86Thi6-gBU
loved them together and have a lot of their stuff in the house to watch, never tire of it... but he did look great with Rita Hayworth, I dont know if it was the speed she could dance or the cracking legs she had that makes it look so good...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnAOIp0BZhQ just seamless
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Old 07-27-2016, 02:40 AM
 
Location: England
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Rita was a great dancer for sure dizzy. But somehow, it didn't have the same emotional impact as did Fred and Ginger. But she was real good without doubt.......

Watch this..... Rita's dancing put with Bee Gee's music......


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mz3CPzdCDws
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:02 AM
 
Location: England
16,190 posts, read 3,915,853 times
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Many of the women actors in the golden age had short careers. The peak of their beauty, and allure, was thought to be over by the time they were about 35. Many an actress of that age, on looking at a new script, would scream, "they want me to play a MOTHER".........

But, it's true, at an age when the male stars were just getting in their stride, many female stars careers were over. A few did go on beyond that age, like Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, but not many, at least as major stars.

Bette concentrated on getting work playing more mature women into her 40s and beyond. Joan just kept on winning the man literally into her 60s. She was still winning young cowboy star, Ty Hardin, when she was 63 years old, in a movie called 'Berserk'.

Crawford is an example of determination, and guts. MGM gave her the heave ho after almost 20 years loyal service in 1943. Nobody even came to see her final exit from the studio gates. She managed to get a much lower paying contract at Warner Brothers, and hung on, waiting for a good script. She got one eventually, and made 'Mildred Pierce.' This one film put her back on top, and she carried on making movies for 25 years.

Her life was extraordinary, and she was a great star. She never went out in public, without being dressed to the nines for her fans. They showed her great loyalty, which she returned to them. I find her very watchable today still, in her movies.

Here are some of her home movies.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nE3Dw39i4kw

Here she is being interviewed in 1970 by David Frost. Her long lasting love for Clark Gable very evident. They don't make women like her anymore..........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sVHjugKSslA
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:52 AM
 
Location: England
16,190 posts, read 3,915,853 times
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Another interesting aspect of golden age stardom, was that the stars had to agree to interviews with the fan magazines. These had titles like 'Modern Screen', 'Photoplay', and 'Silver Screen.' There was an idealized colour photo of a star on the front, then some gossip inside about their lives, often away from the film studio.

There was no mention of scandal, maybe a friendly warning, as in articles like, 'Hollywood's Unmarried Husbands and Wives.' This story ensured a few stars living unconventional lives of the time, went and got married, as their public expected........

The titles of stories like these are typical........

I'm no Gigolo! says George Raft.
The inside story of Joan's divorce.
Shirley Temple's Letter to Santa.
Marlene Dietrich answers her critics.
Why Garbo has never married.
Tarzan seeks a divorce!
Watch your step, Ann Dvorak!
Can Hollywood hold Errol Flynn.

The fans ate all this up, and in the newspapers, Hollywood's two resident gossip Queen's Hedda Hopper, and Louella Parsons, made sure stars behaved themselves, and told them off in their newspaper columns if they didn't. You didn't cross these women, and stars ensured the two hags received fabulous birthday and Christmas presents every year!........

The Powerful Rivalry of Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons | Vanity Fair

Louella had her own radio show for years!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nEJlwwRyOn8

Hedda wasn't to be outdone..........


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aSz-RO6ca8
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:19 AM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
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I have quite a few old Movie magazines, one very old of Robert Taylor on the front cover.. Ill get some photos from them and put them on later..
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:26 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 971,040 times
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The isolationists accused the movie moguls of supporting the British and trying to get the US into WWII. The Nye Committee decided to investigate the matter. The result was an embarrassment as the members of the committee had to admit they hadn't seen any of the movies they were objecting to. The committed adjourned after two weeks, planning to meet again in January, 1942. For some reason that failed to happen.
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:40 AM
 
Location: England
16,190 posts, read 3,915,853 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
The isolationists accused the movie moguls of supporting the British and trying to get the US into WWII. The Nye Committee decided to investigate the matter. The result was an embarrassment as the members of the committee had to admit they hadn't seen any of the movies they were objecting to. The committed adjourned after two weeks, planning to meet again in January, 1942. For some reason that failed to happen.
That was interesting reading. I had heard of objections to war drums in America in 1941. That's the first time I have read anything like that. It reads quite reasonable too.

I can well understand Americans not wanting to get involved. The Japanese attack of Pearl Harbour made such talk history.

It's interesting to watch American movies before entry into the war in December 1941. They were supportive of Britain, without being war mongering. .Mrs Miniver' was a massive hit, and brought a more sympathetic attitude towards Britain, and it's plight. Edward Murrow's radio broadcasts from London during the Blitz helped also,
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Old 07-27-2016, 10:48 AM
 
Location: St. Louis
3,287 posts, read 971,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by English Dave View Post
That was interesting reading. I had heard of objections to war drums in America in 1941. That's the first time I have read anything like that. It reads quite reasonable too.
The Committee utterly failed to prove their point.
Quote:
I can well understand Americans not wanting to get involved. The Japanese attack of Pearl Harbour made such talk history.
The US got a shock with the Fall of France in June, 1940, and became progressively more aware of the dangers presented by the Axis, to the point where ~70% considered the Japanese and Nazis to be dangers to America and that we'd have to fight them sooner or later. They didn't like it, many people remembered the First World War and dreaded another, but they were realists.
Quote:
It's interesting to watch American movies before entry into the war in December 1941. They were supportive of Britain, without being war mongering. .Mrs Miniver' was a massive hit, and brought a more sympathetic attitude towards Britain, and it's plight. Edward Murrow's radio broadcasts from London during the Blitz helped also,
We admired the British standing up to the aggressor states, true. And I believe public opinion drove the studios rather than the other way around.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Glasgow Scotland
12,132 posts, read 8,718,889 times
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The dresses worn back in the day in Hollywood were just amazing.. what has happened to all these so called celebs who want either the sides, front or back missing, to get attention on the red carpet when they have figures that would look good a little bit more modest..
Some from the past.
Vera Ellen
Audrey Hepburn
URL=http://lunapic.com][/url] Grace Kelly
even Bette pulled it off in Now Voyager in this gorgeous wrap long dress.. fantastic.. from the wonderful designer Orra Kelly
URL=http://lunapic.com][/url] yes ladies you had style.
Susan Hayward..
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