Saturday, January 31, 2015

Coming in February

An Affair to Remember (1957)

We have a month full of romance in store at Old Hollywood Films.

Here's what's coming up in February:
- Our movie of the month is An Affair to Remember (1957) starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. We'll be looking at all aspects of this classic romance, including the original 1939 film, Love Affair, starring Charles Boyer and Irene Dunne, the use of the Empire State Building in films and the onscreen partnership of Grant and Kerr.
-Our star of the month is Cary Grant. We'll be looking at all aspects of his career including two of his films made in 1939, Only Angels Have Wings and Gunga Din.
-We'll be featuring love songs from old Hollywood films. Here's our first entry, On the Street Where You Live.
-We'll continue our Top 100 Westerns series. Next up is The Sea of Grass (1947) starring Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn.

You can also keep up with us on social media: Follow us on Tumblr or Pinterest or like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter @oldhollywood21.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Love Songs: On the Street Where You Live

We'll be featuring love songs from old Hollywood films throughout the Valentine's season. Today's selection is On the Street Where You Live from My Fair Lady (1964).

A Shorts Story: The Romance Of Celluloid

The Romance of Celluloid (1937) was a promotional short film made by MGM. The short features a behind-the-scenes look at the MGM back lot and the movies in production for 1937-1938, featuring stars like Clark Gable, Rosalind Russell and Gladys George. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Murder of William Desmond Taylor

Image from page 226 of "Motion Picture Studio Directory and Trade Annual (1916)" (1916)

The  murder of director William Desmond Taylor in 1922 was one of the biggest scandals ever to hit old Hollywood. The ensuing investigation uncovered corruption and debauchery that rocked the film industry and shocked the movie-going public. Taylor's murder, which remains unsolved to this day, still resonated with the public decades later when director Billy Wilder used it as an inspiration for his dark Hollywood satire Sunset Boulevard (1950).

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Schwab's Pharmacy

Schwab's Pharmacy on Sunset Boulevard was a Hollywood institution for 50 years. It was featured in the film Sunset Boulevard (1950). In this still you can see Norma Desmond's Isotta-Fraschini parked outside the famed drugstore.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Sunday, January 18, 2015

The Masquerade Ball from The Phantom of the Opera (1925)

Universal Studios recreated the grand staircase from the Paris Opera House for the masquerade ball sequence in The Phantom of the Opera. The sequence was filmed in an early version of Technicolor and features the Phantom (Lon Chaney Sr.) as The Masque of The Red Death from the Edgar Allan Poe short story. Universal's set was extremely accurate when compared with the original, which was made in white marble with red and green balustrades.


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Paris in Films: The Phantom of the Opera

We're continuing our look at films set in Paris with the 1925 version of The Phantom of the Opera. The film was made on an elaborate soundstage in Hollywood that recreated the Paris Opera House. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Thursday, January 15, 2015

1950 Oscars: Best Actor

Oscars Through The Ages

Today we're looking at the 1950 Academy Award for Best Actor. Jose Ferrer won for playing a lovelorn poet in Cyrano de Bergerac. The photo above shows Judy Holliday (left) and Gloria Swanson celebrating his victory on Oscar night.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rod Taylor: A Life in Film

Australian actor Rod Taylor passed away Jan. 7 at age 84. Today, we're remembering the life and legacy of this fine actor and true gentleman.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Isotta-Fraschini in Sunset Boulevard

Silent film star Norma Desmond's magnificent luxury car, the Isotta-Fraschini, plays a pivotal role in Sunset Boulevard (1950).  We'll take a look at Norma's car and the Italian company that manufactured it.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Paris in Films: Charade

In light of recent events, we're taking a closer look at films at old Hollywood films set in the City of Lights. First up is Charade (1963) starring Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

A Shorts Story: Each Dawn I Crow


Each Dawn I Crow is a 1949 cartoon from Warner Brothers. It features an hysterical John Rooster trying to avoid being Sunday supper for the dim-witted, but determined. Elmer Fudd. The title was taken from James Cagney-George Raft prison drama Each Dawn I Die. The sarcastic voice over was a take-off on the popular radio drama The Whistler, which featured an all-knowing, all-seeing narrator who frequently taunted the hapless characters featured on the series (clip below).

Movie of the Month: Sunset Boulevard

Gloria Swanson "Sunset Boulevard" Promo Photo

Our movie of the month for January is Billy Wilder's dark Hollywood satire, Sunset Boulevard (1950) starring Gloria Swanson, William Holden and Erich von Stroheim. We'll be looking at all aspects of the film throughout January. Today, we're focusing on the film's journey to the silver screen.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Great Ziegfeld Telephone Scene with Luise Rainer

The late Luise Rainer's most famous moment on screen is this brief scene from The Great Ziegfeld (1936). Rainer plays Anna Held, the common-law wife of Broadway showman Florenz Zeigfeld (William Powell). She literally smiles through her tears while telephoning Ziegfeld to congratulate him on his second marriage to Billie Burke (Myrna Loy). Rainer won the first of her two Best Actress Oscars for this film.

Luise Rainer: A Life in Film

Luise Rainer in The Great Ziegfeld

We remember the life and legacy of actress Luise Rainer who died at age 104 on Dec. 30.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Now on Netflix: The Agony and The Ecstasy

The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965/20th Century-Fox)

The Michelangelo biopic The Agony and the Ecstasy (1965) starring Charlton Heston and Rex Harrison is now streaming on Netflix Instant.

Coming in January

The weather outside may be frightful but we've got a delightful month of classic films and stars.

Here's what's coming up in January:
- A feature on the life and films of the late Luise Rainer.
- Our movie of the month will be Sunset Boulevard (1950). We'll look at all aspects of this groundbreaking Hollywood satire, including the career of Gloria Swanson, the Hollywood locations used on the film and the real story behind the character of Norma Desmond.
-We'll be starting a new series on the top 100 Westerns made in old Hollywood.
-We'll be featuring the latest classic movie releases on DVD and blu-ray.

Also we'll be doing a career retrospective on William Holden on social media. Follow us on Tumblr or Pinterest, or like us on Facebook. You can follow us on Twitter @oldhollywood21.