ANNOUNCING THE JOAN FONTAINE CENTENARY BLOGATHON

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A seasoned veteran of motion pictures, and an inimitable star with her own unique brand of artistry, Joan Fontaine was one of Hollywood’s most celebrated actresses. In a career that spanned sixty years, Fontaine explored all avenues of the entertainment industry and never left a territory uncharted.

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In the years that proceeded her death in December 2013, Joan Fontaine has often been compared to her sister, Olivia de Havilland, but what some people don’t realize is that Miss Fontaine endured a successful career that didn’t parallel with de Havilland’s. She was the only sibling to work under the direction of the legendary Alfred Hitchcock, and she was the first to receive an Academy Award.

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The beloved actress whose unparalleled talents enchanted millions worldwide would be reaching her milestone year of birth on October 22nd. For the occasion, my great friend Virginie from The Wonderful World of Cinema and myself are hosting a centenary blogathon dedicated to Joan Fontaine, and her illustrious contribution to cinema.

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THE RULES:

1. Bloggers are enabled to write about any film starring Joan Fontaine or any topic from her life and career that piques your interest. That being said, we are not allowing any posts about the feud between Joan and Olivia. We want to make this a loving tribute to Joan. Apart from that, any other subject is more than welcome.

2. Because Joan Fontaine has a substantial resume of films that consists of 71 acting credits, we are allowing no more than two duplicates. There are plenty of subjects to go around. Also, if you want to write more than one post that’s fine, but on this occasion, we are allowing a maximum of two entries for each person. Thirdly, please don’t submit previously published posts.

3. The blogathon commences on October 20th, and will continue through to Joan’s 100th birthday on the 22nd. Please submit your articles on any of these dates, and we’ll happily link them to the blogathon page that will be set up on the first day of the event.

4. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog or on Virginie’s blog along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: crystalkalyana@yahoo.com or by contacting Virginie at virginie.pronovost@gmail.com. For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so grab yourself a banner, and let’s start honoring the one and only Joan Fontaine.

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THE JOAN FONTAINE CENTENARY BLOGATHON ROSTER:

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Letter From An Unknown Woman ( 1948 ) and a profile on Joan Fontaine.

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Joan Fontaine tribute post.

Taking Up Room: Jane Eyre ( 1943 )

A Shroud Of Thoughts: Frenchman’s Creek ( 1944 )

Life With Books and Movies: Jane Eyre ( 1943 )

Caftan Woman: Kiss The Blood Off My Hands ( 1948 )

Anybody Got A Match?: Letter From An Unknown Woman ( 1948 )

Defiant Success: Joan Fontaine’s Oscar nominated performances.

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: You Gotta Stay Happy ( 1948 )

Christina Wehner: Rebecca ( 1940 )

Critica Retro: The Bigamist ( 1953 )

Moon In Gemini: Born To Be Bad ( 1950 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: Born To Be Bad ( 1950 )

Thoughts All Sorts: The Women ( 1939 )

Elizabeth Nelson: Guest post at In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Ivy ( 1947 )

The Dream Book Blog: September Affair ( 1950 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Emperor’s Waltz ( 1948 )

Portraits By Jenni: Ivanhoe ( 1952 )

Musings of a Classic Film Addict: This All Above ( 1942 )

Wide Screen World: The Bigamist ( 1953 )

Realmeedgie Ridget Reviews: One step Beyond ( 1960 )

Pop Culture Reverie: The Users ( 1978 )

Old Hollywood Films: Voyage To The Bottom Of The Sea (1961 )

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Joan Fontaine Tribute.

The Stop Button: You Gotta Stay Happy ( 1948 )

Cinephilia: Suspicion ( 1941 )

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ANNOUNCING THE GRETA GARBO BLOGATHON

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As always, I would like to thank everybody who took the time to participate in my Third Annual Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon. This is my favorite blogathon, and its great to see that the Barrymore’s are receiving an outpouring of love. Now that the Barrymore’s are over for another year, I thought that its time to announce my next blogathon, this time dedicated to the distinguishable figure known as Greta Garbo.

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Remembered for her mystique charm, and sexual allure, the luminous presence of Greta Garbo continues to remain a star attraction. The film studios held her in high esteem, and audiences revered her, but as much as her success kept ascending, Garbo was tired of the life that Hollywood had to offer, and in 1941, she left the movies to live the life that she had always wanted to lead.

Greta Garbo was born on September 18th, 1905, and passed away on April 15th, 1990. I would have held the blogathon on her birthday, but because that is fast approaching, I’ve decided to hold it in November to coincide with the 78th anniversary of the release of one of Garbo’s most acclaimed films, Ninotchka. 

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THE RULES:

1. You can write about any film starring Greta Garbo, or any aspect of her life and career that piques your interest. If you have a topic in mind but not sure whether its suitable, just run it by me, and I will gladly help. There is also no limit on how many posts you want to write. I admire the enthusiasm of those wonderful bloggers who submit two or more entries. And secondly, I am allowing duplicates for this blogathon. I understand that some of Garbo’s films are not readily available, so duplicates are welcome.

2. As stated above, the blogathon will take place on November. 20 – 23, 2017. Please submit your posts on any of those dates. If you wish to post early, that’s fine, though I won’t link the posts until the day the blogathon arrives.

3. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog, along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: crystalkalyana@yahoo.com. For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please choose one of the banners and advertise it on your blog. I look forward to seeing you all in November to celebrate the one and only Greta Garbo.

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THE GRETA GARBO BLOGATHON ROSTER:

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: Greta Garbo tribute post, and Torrent ( 1926 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Ninotchka ( 1939 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: Camille ( 1936 )

Critica Retro: Flesh and the Devil ( 1926 )

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Grand Hotel ( 1932 )

Karavansara: Queen Christina ( 1933 )

The Dream Book Blog: Greta Garbo and Marlene Dietrich.

Thoughts All Sorts: Anna Karenina ( 1935 )

The Stop Button: Two Faced Woman ( 1941 )

Life With Books and Movies: Grand Hotel ( 1932 )

Taking Up Room: Grand Hotel ( 1932 ), Ninotchka ( 1939 ), and Greta Garbo’s time at MGM.

Sat In Your Lap: Queen Christina ( 1933 ) and Ninotchka ( 1939 )

Christina Wehner: The Temptress ( 1926 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: The Kiss ( 1929 )

Life’s Daily Lessons Blog: The Painted Veil ( 1934 )

Silver Screenings: Camille ( 1936 )

Linda Sandahl: As You Desire Me ( 1932 )

Anybody Got A Match?: As You Desire Me ( 1932 )

Lauren Champkin: Anna Karenina ( 1935 )

Random Pictures: The Joyless Street ( 1925 )

Old Hollywood Films: Greta Garbo’s scandalous roles in the 1930’s.

Prince of Hollywood: A Woman of Affairs ( 1928 )

Real Weegie Midget Reviews: The Painted Veil ( 1934 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: Looking At Garbo Through The Eyes Of Others.

 

LUCY DANCES WITH VAN JOHNSON IN “THE DANCING STAR”

“We can go down to the pool and carry Van Johnson up here without waking him up. And then we could put him on the couch, and when Carolyn gets here, we’ll say he’s a friend of ours, and he just dropped by to take a nap.”

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In Hollywood, where the lives of the rich and famous are shrouded in cobwebs of mystery, there was once a shameful tale about film stars appearing on television, but as time progressed, the stigma was eclipsed by other celebrity myths.

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Believe it or not, at one stage there was a stigma about critically acclaimed film stars transitioning into television. Back in those days it was considered a hasty descent for Hollywood personalities to appear on the small screen. Many actors refused to take the plunge, fearing that it would put their career in danger, while others were willing to give it a try.

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This was a common occurrence towards the end of the classic era. With modernism starting to dominate the movies, a plethora of once successful actors were finding that they were being surpassed by the younger stars who were just starting out in the industry. The studios were mostly catering for the newcomers, and all the established screen veterans were discovering that due to their age, their opportunities were limited. Apart from occasional roles in “B Grade movies” or campy horror films, some actors had to rely on the television medium to help bring in an income.

“I’ll name my next child after you, if I have one. If I don’t, I’ll change the name of the one I already have.”

Transitioning into television was not necessary a bad decision. A large number of stars traveled down that avenue, and were lauded for the territories they charted. The renowned character actress, Agnes Moorehead enthralled audiences with her memorable portrayal of Endora, the meddling mother of Samantha on Bewitched, Barbara Stanwyck transferred her talents to the medium when her film career was in wane, and captivated millions worldwide with her portrayal of Victoria Barkley, the matriarch of the family in The Big Valley, while James Garner transformed success into eternal popularity after starring in The Rockford Files and Maverick.

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Then there were those stars who were approached about making guest appearances in episodes of the most successful television series to ever grace our screens. The long running television spectacular, I Love Lucy is among the pantheon of shows that required the presence of Hollywood top-liners for certain episodes.

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This is where Van Johnson enters the picture. Noted for his amiable and neighborly persona, Johnson’s presence was a welcoming addition to the film industry. During the “Bobby-Soxer Blitz”, Johnson was a favorite at the box office. His strawberry blonde hair and wholesome image were top features that helped catapult him to super-stardom. Film critics revered him, and audiences held him in high esteem, but unlike most stars of his caliber, his motion picture career never seemed to wane.

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After spending years under contract with MGM, Van Johnson embarked on the freelance path in the 1950’s. During this period he became a frequent guest on television. He made his foray into the medium in 1955, when he appeared as himself in the I Love Lucy episode, The Dancing Star.

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Without rehashing too much of the plot, The Dancing Star is among those episodes set in Hollywood. When Lucy’s friend, Carolyn Appleby announces that she is flying to Los Angeles to pay her a visit, Lucy finds herself in a state of quandary. Lucy has continuously boasted to Carolyn about her alliances with cinemas highly exalted stars, but now that Carolyn’s arrival is imminent, she must try and find a solution that will help resurrect her fantasies about her cordial associations with Hollywood’s elite. The answer comes from Ethel ( Vivien Vance ), who conjures up a plan that has Lucy engaging herself in a conversation with a sleeping Van Johnson down by the pool.

Problems arise when Lucy tells Carolyn that her relationship with Van Johnson has entered the bounds of intimacy on a mutual level. Instead of trying to patch the obstacle up, Lucy proceeds to tell Carolyn that she can sneak her in to watch her dance rehearsal with Van. Due to Carolyn’s poor eyesight, Lucy thinks that she can get away with this story, but, unfortunately for Lucy, her plan is foiled when the airlines find Carolyn’s glasses. In a panic, Lucy is forced to visit Van in the ballroom to persuade him to dance with her.

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It was not surprising that Van Johnson made a guest appearance on I Love Lucy. Back in the early days of his career when Johnson was a struggling actor trying to make big in Hollywood, Lucille Ball became the instrumental force behind the launching of his tenure in motion pictures. The two first crossed paths in 1940, when Johnson had an unaccredited role in the film adaptation of Too Many Girls, which starred Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz. It is also interesting to note that Johnson and Arnaz were two of the original cast members of the Broadway production of Too Many Girls, and became close friends, but it wasn’t until his appearance in the film version that he and Lucille Ball formed a friendship.

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With no future among the stars ahead of him, Van Johnson was about to move back to New York when Lucille Ball invited him to have dinner with her at Chasen’s Restaurant. The idea was to introduce the young actor to MGM’s casting director, Bill Grady, who was sitting at the next table. As fate would have it, Grady was instantly impressed with Johnson, and after a few screen tests with the Hollywood studios, Johnson soon discovered that his negative thoughts about not achieving fame was suddenly extinguished with the positive news that victory and prosperity were on the horizon.

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Luckily, Lucille Ball witnessed the great potential that this aspiring actor possessed. If it weren’t for the famous red head whose unparalleled flair for comedy would soon be gracing television screens, the legend known as Van Johnson may have never materialized.

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TRIVIA:

The scene with Lucy dancing with Van Johnson in her feather dress is actress Fran Drescher’s favorite I Love Lucy moment. Fran said on the 50th anniversary special that, as a child, she would watch this scene in awe and amazement of how beautiful and talented Lucy was, and that this was one of the things that inspired her to be an actress. She loved the realism of Lucy patting her face with nervous excitement backstage after she finished dancing. Fran was such a big Lucy fan that she even had an I Love Lucy-themed episode of her hit show The Nanny.

Ray Bolger was initially slated to be the guest star in this episode, but due to Lucy and Desi’s close friendship with Van Johnson, the well went to Johnson.

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CAST:

Lucille Ball: Born, Lucille Désirée Ball on August 6th, 1911 in Jamestown, New York. Died: April 26th, 1989 in Los Angeles, California. Aged: 77.

Van Johnson: Born, Charles Van Dell Johnson on August 25th, 1916 in Newport, Rhode Island. Died: December 12th, 2008 in Nyack, New York. Aged: 92.

Vivien Vance: Born, Vivian Roberta Jones on July 26th, 1909 in Cherryvale, Kansas. Died: August 17th, 1979 in Belvedere, California. Aged: 70.

Desi Arnaz: Born, Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III on March 2nd, 1917 in Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Died: December 2nd, 1986 in Del Mar, California. Aged: 69.

William Frawley: Born, William Clement Frawley on February 26th, 1887 in Burlington, Iowa. Died: March 3rd, 1966 in Hollywood, California. Aged: 79.

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This post was written for the Van Johnson Blogathon, hosted by Love Letters To Old Hollywood. Click here to read the other articles being exhibited during the event.

 

MY ULTIMATE TOP 35 FAVORITE ACTRESSES

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In the world of classic film blogging, ultimate lists of favorite actors and actresses is a post that is prominently displayed. Every classic film enthusiast marvels over the indelible talents that a certain star possessed, but while we all have our favorites, we also acquire a list of motion picture celebrities who we garner respect for and appreciate their contribution to cinema, though we really haven’t had the chance to delve into their filmography. Then there are those stars that other people seem to like, that some people might not care for.

My ultimate favorites list is long awaited. People have proposed the idea to me numerous times, but I just haven’t had the chance to do it. Of course, this list is purely subjective. This is my personal opinion of who I think is worthy of attaining a reputable position on my list. Some people would disagree with my selections, but we all have our different tastes. The world would be boring if everybody liked the same thing. So without further ado, may I present to you all, the top 35 stars that I am proud to call my favorites.

1: Barbara Stanwyck.

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2: Ethel Barrymore.

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3: Katharine Hepburn.

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4: Joan Crawford.

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5: Carole Lombard.

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6: Lauren Bacall.

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7: Bette Davis.

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8: Agnes Moorehead.

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9: Judy Garland.

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10: Lillian Gish.

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11: Angela Lansbury.

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12: Greer Garson.

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13: Dame Judith Anderson.

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14: Olivia de Havilland.

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15: Elizabeth Taylor

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16: Ingrid Bergman.

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17: Spring Byington.

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18: Kate Winslet.

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19: Mary Pickford.

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20: Elizabeth Montgomery.

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21: Gene Tierney.

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22: Billie Burke.

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23: Lucille Ball.

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24: Irene Dunne.

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25: Joan Fontaine.

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26: Deborah Kerr.

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27: Jean Arthur.

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28: Mary Astor.

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29: Jane Wyman.

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30: Miriam Hopkins.

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31: Ginger Rogers.

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32: Hattie McDaniel.

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33: Lana Turner.

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34: Greta Garbo.

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35: Jean Harlow.

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There are other stars who I respect, but sadly they didn’t make it onto this list. I would also like to give an honorary mention to Audrey Hepburn, who I am starting to appreciate more now, and Claudette Colbert, another star who I hold in high esteem. Next up will be a comprehensive list of my favorite actors. Stay tuned.

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ETHEL BARRYMORE IN ‘NIGHT SONG’ ( 1947 )

“I met this fish this afternoon. He was alive and happy. I was an accessory before the fact of his death. This morning he had his life before him, now his lying on my plate coated with cracker crumbs. I’m sorry, but I can’t eat him.”

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A distinguished member of the royal family of Hollywood, and a critically acclaimed veteran of the Broadway stage, Ethel Barrymore enjoyed a successful career as an actress. She was a sweeping presence in the theatre, and a notable sidekick on screen, but first and foremost, the legend born, Ethel Mae Blythe was a star of the highest magnitude.

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The prominent force known as Ethel Barrymore was the creation of Maurice and Georgiana Drew. The future actress, who made her star-studded debut in this world on August 15th, 1879, was destined to be a theatrical top-liner from the start. Initially, young Ethel had her sights set on becoming a concert pianist, but that dream was soon eclipsed when she realized that it was a career that wouldn’t provide her with a healthy bank account.

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For Ethel Barrymore, the stage was her only destiny. She hailed from a theatrical family of prestige eminence. Her grandmother, Louisa Lane Drew, who managed the famous Arch Street Theatre, was a highly extolled actress in her day, while her uncle, John Drew Jr. and her parents, Maurice and Georgiana were also prodigies of the arts, but it was Ethel, and her brothers, John and Lionel who really catapulted the family name to super-stardom.

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Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore broke into the acting mold at the right time. The new art known as motion pictures was being established, and all three siblings followed the path that lead to a career in silent movies. Lionel and John Barrymore endured a moderately successful transition into film, while Ethel struggled to adapt to the medium. She later said that out of all the films she made during that period, the only one she could bear to look at was The Awakening Of Helena Ritchie ( 1916 ). After the completion of 1919’s, The Divorcee, Ethel Barrymore returned to her theatrical roots on stage.

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The stage was where Ethel Barrymore truly felt she belonged, but as much as she detested the art of film making, she also proved that she was more than just a dimming light in motion pictures. The characters that she so often brought to life on stage, retained brief occupancy in the film industry in 1932, when she appeared alongside her brothers in Rasputin And The Empress, though it wasn’t until 1944, that Barrymore would acquire permanent residence in Hollywood.

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Luckily for audiences, Barrymore’s graceful presence on screen was one of the best things to ever come out of Hollywood’s studio system. In her short yet memorable tenure in motion pictures, Ethel Barrymore charted several different territories. She received an Academy Award for playing Cary Grant’s ailing mother who resorts to engaging herself in illegal activities to make money in None But The Lonely Heart ( 1944 ). She attained an Oscar nomination for her role as Mrs. Warren, the bedridden matriarch who senses that evil is around her in The Spiral Staircase ( 1946 ), and she was Miss. Spinney, the owner of an art museum in Portrait Of Jennie ( 1948 ).

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Ethel with Dorothy McGuire in “The Spiral Staircase” ( 1946 )

In every production she starred in, Barrymore became the soul focus of the film. She always held her own against the lead players, and even in those vehicles where she only appeared for a fleeting moment, Barrymore’s enduring and majestic image evolved into a luminous glow. Ethel’s presence graced many films, in which she played a supporting character with plenty of screen time. A great example of this is Night Song ( 1947 ), a bittersweet tale of instant devotion, and the sacrifices a woman makes to help the man she loves.

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After years of displaying abominable hatred for the motion picture medium, Ethel Barrymore had finally discovered the positive aspects of film making. For someone who was once reluctant and fearful of standing in front of the movie camera, Ethel was starting to develop a profound interest in the art. Her memories of filming The Spiral Staircase and None But The Lonely Heart were joyousand with these two previous experiences, she found herself approaching each day with absolute gusto. In 1947, Barrymore made four movies, the first being, The Farmer’s Daughter, in which she starred alongside, Loretta Young and Joseph Cotten.

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Ethel Barrymore and Cary Grant in “None But The Lonely Heart” ( 1944 )

Night Song acquired all the ingredients to be a film of importance, but sadly the production faded away into oblivion shortly after its release. Directed by, John Cromwell, who was known for his work in a myriad of signature classics, and produced by, Harriet Parsons, a relatively unknown name in Hollywood, who only had a few titles to her credit, the film featured a stellar cast of players, which include, Ethel Barrymore, Merle Oberon, Dana Andrews and Hoagy Carmichael, who all delivered commendable performances under Cromwell’s masterful direction.

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THE PLOT

Set against a musical backdrop, Night Song tells the story of Dan Evans ( Dana Andrews ), an embittered pianist, who was blinded shortly after his return home from the war when an intoxicated driver slammed into a plate-glass window of a drugstore. A year and a half later, he is playing in Chick Morgan’s ( Hoagy Carmichael ) swing-band in a back-alley dance bar, when one night he is discovered by Cathy Mallory ( Merle Oberon ), a society girl who lives with her aunt, Miss Willey ( Ethel Barrymore ) in an opulent residence in San Francisco.

From the moment Cathy first lays eyes on Dan, she realizes that this is a man who possesses unparalleled virtuosity. Instantly enamored in Dan, Cathy wants to help him transcend his limits of success, but in order to do so, she must get past his rancorous facade. Her answer to this is to feign blindness in the hopes that a blossoming romance will brew. When Cathy succeeds, she goes the extra mile by renting an inexpensive apartment with her aunt, Miss Willey, who is also in with the ruse. As her infatuation grows, Cathy persuades Dan to resume writing a piano concerto, and unbeknownst to Dan,  she becomes the instrumental force behind sponsoring a contest for $5,000, that she eagerly wants him to win, so he can undergo an operation to restore his eyesight.

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Night Song is a romantic melodrama that explores the many facets of disability, and the bitter affect that visual impairment can have on its victims. It is also a story of hope and self courage. Dan Evans is a man whose dreams were shattered after the catastrophic accident that left him blinded. When Cathy Mallory enters his life, she has the power to help him vanquish all his demons and succeed. She realizes that he is a composer with great promise, and she is determined to assist him in reaching his highest pinnacle.

 “As a matter of fact I started to paint Dan sitting at the piano, and it turned out to be the piano sitting on Dan. No talent at all, no flair.”

The moral of the story is to never deprecate somebody who suffers from a disability or a certain type of impairment. Many people worldwide consider a disability to be a huge emotional barrier that makes dreams impossible to achieve. However, that is not the case. Even though a certain individual is conflicted with a disability, it does not mean that they unable to achieve greatness in life. Despite their problems, they are still capable of following their dreams and hitting success.

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The above statement is the message that is delivered in Night Song. Crippled with bitterness and acidity, Dan abandons all hope, and believes that any talent inhabited by a blind man will be dismissed. Trying to register the truth into Dan is an erroneous task that only Cathy can resolve. Cathy views Dan as an intelligent man with an artistic flair for classical music. She believes that no dreams should have a price tag attached to them, and encourages Dan to pursue his goals. With Cathy’s guiding light, Dan begins to realize that even though he is blinded, he still encompasses all necessary requirements needed to accomplish his aspirations.

“I never knew a fish could dance doing a first-rate hula.”

All cast members were excellent in their respective roles, but the moral focus of this post is Ethel Barrymore. Like in all her films, Barrymore is the one who advances the film, and propels it to success. As Cathy’s aunt, Miss Willey brings all the comic relief and delivers it to great repute. She is imperturbable, dignified, and extremely knowledgeable, but she also has an imaginative sense of humor that is prominently exhibited throughout the film.

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The viewers first impression of Ethel Barrymore might be that of an elderly aunt, but, in truth, Barrymore is the driving force behind the films success. In Night Song, Miss Willey is a worldly and sophisticated aunt with a positive outlook on life. She is far from being saturnine. Instead she embodies all the characteristics of a vivacious human being who immerses herself in activities that are mainly for people from a much younger generation. She finds great pleasure in staying up late, reading detective stories, drinking coffee, and taking long hot baths. She is also an encyclopedia of sage advice that she continuously splashes around.

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Ethel Barrymore only has a supporting role, but she is present throughout the whole film. We first see her when a dreamy Cathy arrives home from the dark-alley dance bar, where she first meets Dan. Ethel is perceptive, and understands Cathy’s feelings. She immediately recognizes the signal of love through reading her nieces conveyed emotions, and she wants to gain insight on the man who is prominently etched in Cathy’s mind. Once she gets to know Dan, Miss Willey advocates for Cathy and supports her endeavors for Dan. She agrees to be in on the ruse, and introduces herself as Cathy’s guardian, who prolifically paints.

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As any normal aunt would be who is guardian of her niece, Barrymore as Miss Willey is staunchly devoted to Cathy. She is empathetic, loyal, protective, and she is the confidant of her nieces utmost secrets. Whenever she has to accompany Cathy, Ethel will gratefully be her escort, but once she meets Chick Morgan, she becomes coquettish, and even though she never admits it, it is evident that Ethel is rather flirtatious when in the presence of Chick.

“The thing I like about coffee is it keeps me awake. Nothing more ridiculous than being unconscious on a bed. Besides, I have insomnia; I like to blame it on the coffee instead of my conscience. My heart’s an old waste paper basket filled with unpaid bills and paperback novels.”

Adding to the films prestige stature is Lucien Ballard’s cinematography. Ballard who was married to Merle Oberon, captures his wife’s exotic beauty and worldly charm perfectly. He was able to eliminate all her facial scars on film by using a light which became known as the “Obie”.

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In whatever journey she took, Ethel Barrymore triumphed in all destinations. By 1947, she had reached the pinnacle of her motion picture career, and she could not be surpassed. Night Song is a relatively obscure title among Ethel’s repertoire of films, but it still gives audiences a glimpse into the window of her genius.

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CAST:

Ethel Barrymore: Born Ethel Mae Blythe on August 15th, 1879 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Died: June 18th, 1959 in Los Angeles, California. Aged 79.

Merle Oberon: Born, Estelle Merle Oberon Thompson on February 19th, 1911 in Bombay, Bombay Presidency British India. Died: November 23rd, 1979 in Malibu, California. Aged: 68. Cause of death: Complications from a stroke.

Dana Andrews: Born Carver Dana Andrews on January 1st, 1909 in Collins, Mississippi. Died: December 17th, 1992 in Los Alamitos, California. Aged: 83.

Hoagy Carmichael: Born Hoagland Howard Carmichael on November 22nd, 1899 in Bloomington, Indiana. Died: December 27th, 1981 in Rancho Mirage, California. Aged: 82

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This post was written for the Third Annual Barrymore Trilogy Blogathon, hosted by me. For more on the Barrymore’s, please click here to view the other articles being exhibited during the event.

 

THE THIRD ANNUAL BARRYMORE TRILOGY BLOGATHON HAS NOW ARRIVED

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It’s that time of year again. The critically acclaimed actress and theatre veteran, Ethel Barrymore would be celebrating her 138th birthday today. For the occasion, I am thrilled to be hosting my third blogathon dedicated to the unparalleled luminary, who continues to hold a prominent reign over Hollywood and the entertainment industry.

Once again, I would like to thank all participants for taking part in the blogathon. The Barrymore siblings are immensely underrated, and deserve this tribute. Without further ado, here are the entries.

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THE THIRD ANNUAL BARRYMORE TRILOGY BLOGATHON ENTRIES:

The Midnight Drive-In: Drew Barrymore in Firestarter ( 1984 ) and Cat’s Eye ( 1985 )

Caftan Woman: Lionel Barrymore in Ah, Wilderness ( 1935 )

The Stop Button: Captains Courageous ( 1937 )

Taking Up Room: Marie Antoinette ( 1938 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: Captains Courageous ( 1937 )

Vintage Ink Stand: Ethel Barrymore in Young At Heart ( 1954 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: Ethel Barrymore in Just For You ( 1952 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: E.T. The Extra – Terrestrial ( 1982 )

Taking Up Room: Lionel Barrymore on the radio.

Real Weedgie Midget Reviews: E.T. The Extra – Terrestrial ( 1982 )

I Found It At The Movies: Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle ( 2003 )

Thoughts All Sorts: Never Been Kissed ( 1999 )

Critica Retro: A Free Soul ( 1931 )

A Shroud Of Thoughts: Key Largo ( 1948 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: You Can’t Take It with You ( 1938 )

Taking Up Room: Ever After ( 1998)

Old Hollywood Films: Ethel Barrymore in The Paradine Case ( 1947 )

Sat In Your Lap: Treasure Island ( 1934 )

Christina Wehner: The Spiral Staircase ( 1946 )

The Dream Book Blog: The villainous side of Lionel Barrymore in “The Show” ( 1927 ) and “The Devil Doll” ( 1936 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: John Barrymore in Maytime ( 1937 )

Sat In Your Lap: The Great Man Votes ( 1939 )

Musings Of A Classic Film Addict: John Barrymore in Svengali ( 1931 )

Anybody Got A Match?: Ethel Barrymore in The Spiral Staircase ( 1946 )

Movies Meet Their Match: Ever After ( 1998 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Dinner At Eight ( 1933 )

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood:  Ethel Barrymore in Night Song ( 1947 )

 

ANNOUNCING THE SPENCER TRACY & KATHARINE HEPBURN BLOGATHON

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Hollywood has had it’s fair share of romantic couples who graced the silver screen with their immaculate presence and larger than life personalities, but the world was about to be conquered when Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two unparalleled individuals who were already at the top of their zenith, created a sizzling on-screen partnership that has now made motion picture history.

Both stars are legendary figures, and while they made nine movies together, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn endured successful solo careers, appearing in a wide array of blockbusters alongside the greatest stars Hollywood has ever produced.

Tracy and Hepburn welcomed audiences into their idyllic lifestyles that they created for themselves on-screen, and the wonderful Margaret Perry, the instrumental force behind The Great Katharine Hepburn blog, has invited fans to join her in honoring Katharine Hepburn with previous blogathons, but now it is my turn to shine the spotlight on both stars who continue to enthrall millions worldwide with their ingenious trail of artistry that they left behind.

With Margaret Perry’s blessing and full approval, it is with great pleasure that I am hosting this blogathon dedicated to both Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn, two of my personal favorites from Hollywood’s constellation of stars.

Many of you might be wondering why I am hosting this blogathon in October? Well, the answer is simple. I couldn’t wait for the birth dates, death dates or other prominent dates of either stars, but both Kate and Spence are special enough to be honored on any day of the year.

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RULES:

1. This blogathon is not just restricted to the nine films that Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn made together. Bloggers are welcome to write about any film that either Katharine or Spencer appeared in, or any topic relating to either Tracy or Hepburn.

2. Since I am generous, I am allowing no more than two duplicates. Both Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn had an illustrious career that consisted of a long resume of acting credits, so there is no reason why everybody should write about the same topic. I only ask that you send me your posts during the days of the blogathon.

3. When: The blogathon will be held on October 15th, to October 18th, so please send me your articles on any of these dates.

4. To express your interest in participating in the blogathon, leave a comment on my blog, along with the name and URL of your blog, and the subject you wish to cover, or you can always register by email at: carolelombardforever@yahoo.com. For those of you who wish to register by email, please be sure to include the name and URL of your blog, and the topic you wish to cover. Once you get confirmation, please spread the word about this blogathon by advertising the event on your blog. Below are a few banners, so grab yourself a banner, and let’s all open to the window to Spencer and Kate’s genius.

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ROSTER, WITH THE LIST OF PARTICIPATING BLOGS:

In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood: The complete filmography of Katharine Hepburn.

Thoughts All Sorts: Rooster Cogburn ( 1975 )

Maddy Loves Her Classic Films: Adam’s Rib ( 1949 )

Love Letters To Old Hollywood: Woman Of The Year ( 1942  ) & Holiday ( 1938 )

The Shelly Blog: Early Spencer Tracy romantic comedies.

The Midnight Drive-In: Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner ( 1967 )

Real Weegie Midget Reviews: On Golden Pond ( 1981 )

A Shroud Of Thoughts: Bad Day At Black Rock ( 1955 )

The Dream Book Blog: Long Day’s Journey Into Night ( 1962 )

The Stop Button: Desk Set ( 1957 )

Cinema Cities: Pat and Mike ( 1952 )

In The Vintage Kitchen: Katharine Hepburn Vintage Dinner & The Philadelphia Story ( 1940 )

Pure Entertainment Preservation Society: Holiday ( 1938 ) & Woman Of The Year ( 1942 )

Taking Up Room: Boys Town ( 1938 ), Pat and Mike ( 1952 ) , The Spencer Tracy Legacy, hosted by Katharine Hepburn ( 1986 ) & Men Of Boys Town ( 1941 )

Moon In Gemini: Father Of The Bride ( 1950 )

Sat In Your Lap: San Francisco ( 1936 ) & Adam’s Rib ( 1949 )

Wolffian Classic Movies Digest: Keeper Of The Flame ( 1943 )

Old Hollywood Films: Kate & Spence Literary Classics: Little Women ( 1933 ) and Captains Courageous ( 1937 )

Life With Books & Movies: On Golden Pond ( 1981 )

Cinematic Scribblings: The Lion In Winter ( 1968 )

Phyllis Loves Classic Movies: TBD, but at this stage a top ten list.

Lauren Champkin: Father Of The Bride ( 1950 )

The Hitless Wonder Movie Blog: State Of The Union ( 1948 )

DB Movies Blog: The Philadelphia Story ( 1940 )

The Flapper Dame: Test Pilot ( 1938 )

Le Cinema Dreams: Spencer Tracy in “The Actress” ( 1953 )

Finding Franchot: Quality Street ( 1937 )

Christina Wehner: The African Queen ( 1951 )

I Found It At The Movies: Bad Day At Black Rock ( 1955 )

Critica Retro: The Spencer Tracy Legacy, hosted by Katharine Hepburn.

Classic Movie Treasures: Without Love ( 1945 )

Goose Pimply All Over: Desk Set ( 1957 )

Linda Sandahl: Captain’s Courageous ( 1937 )

The Divine Miss Hepburn: Bringing Up Baby ( 1938 )

Karavansara: The Iron Petticoat ( 1956 )

Blogferatu: Suddenly Last Summer ( 1959 )

Movies Screen Life: Summertime ( 1955 ) & State Of The Union ( 1948 )

Second Sight Cinema: Stage Door ( 1937 )

Silver Screenings: Dear Katharine Hepburn. Katharine Hepburn tribute post.

Anybody Got A Match: 20,000 Years In Sing Sing ( 1932 )

Silver Screen Modes: Katharine Hepburn & Walter Plunkett, a working relationship.

Movies Meet Their Match: A Delicate Balance ( 1973 )

Cinema Monolith: The Seventh Cross ( 1944 )

Classic Stars: A Review: Kate and Kathy: From aunt and niece to mother-daughter duo.

Charlene’s Mostly Classic Movie Reviews: Inherit The Wind ( 1960 )

Prince Of Hollywood: Morning Glory ( 1933 )

The Story Enthusiast: Sylvia Scarlett ( 1935 )

The Wonderful World Of Cinema: Libeled Lady ( 1936 )

Liza Trevino: Bringing Up Baby ( 1938 )

Diary Of A Movie Maniac: Love Among The Ruins ( 1975 )

Vinnieh Movie Reviews: The African Queen ( 1951 ) & Broken Lance ( 1954 )

The Blonde Screwball: Morning Glory ( 1933 )