Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bad Boys - I

All girls love them. All mother's hate them. Falling for a bad boy is the universally bad choice thousands of women have made and have universally regreted. Hollywood has given us a nice bunch of these wonderfully flawed and sometimes devastatingly cruel men to swoon over from the safe distance of our seats. Let's take a look at a few of my favorites.

Johnny Farrell
Gilda 1946

Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) has been burned bad by a vixen named Gilda and he is a cold cold man who has sworn off all women. Suddenly, Gilda reappears and throws a monkey wrench into his nice new life as the number 2 man to underground casino proprietor/possibly Nazi sympathizer/cane carrying Ballin Mundson. It's a pretty big monkey wrench because Gilda returns as Ballin's new wife. What follows is a sexually charged and completely antagonistic relationship that fools no one. Following the death of her husband Johnny slaps Gilda around and keeps her locked away but through a strange series of events including the "dead" husband's return and his sharp little friend, some intrigue with tungsten mines and a fake boyfriend in Montevideo, Gilda and Johnny's dramatic love hate relationship ends on a high note.

Hud Bannon
Hud 1963

Hud Bannon (Paul Newman) is a reckless, irresponsible, selfish man who enjoys women and booze equally. His recklessness caused the death of his beloved older brother and there is no love lost between Hud and his father, Homer. Hud brawls in bars, races around town in his Cadillac convertible, carouses with married women and is a all around no good guy. But it's Paul Newman and even though the film is in black and white his baby blues could lead any girl down a shameful path. Even Bannon family housekeeper, Alma, almost gives in...until Hud plays too rough and won't take no for an answer. His nephew Lonnie also thinks the world of him until he realizes that all those things he's heard about Uncle Hud are really true. But being a no good son of a bitch almost always guarantees loneliness and in the end Hud finds himself unloved and all alone.

Frankie Madison
I Walk Alone 1948

Frankie wouldn't be such a bad guy if he wasn't so hell bent on revenge. But, going up the river and taking the fall for a friend will do that to you. Frankie returns to town after his 14 year stint in the big house looking for his share of the profits he missed when he went to prison during a botched bootlegging run. In the ensuing 14 years his partner, Dink, has became a high class nightclub owner and a very wealthy man. Unwilling to share anything with Frankie, Dink tries to take him out. In the end it is Dink who is taken out by Frankie. We know that Frankie isn't really a killer under normal circumstances and he most likely will never kill again now that Dink is gone so we can consider him redeemed. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Rebecca Redux

A very clever spoof on one Hitchcock's best  Rebecca. This time it is Rebecca who is paranoid about the second Mrs. De Winter...

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Black Cat

In honor of Friday the thirteenth, I bring you scenes from the casting call of the 1962 Roger Corman Film Tales of Terror.  All the kitties are here hoping for a chance to be in the segment aptly called The Black Cat starring Vincent Price and Peter Lorre. While the critics may have panned the film, calling it dull and absurd, these pictures are anything but. Enjoy!!!

Another Look at Miss Veda Pierce

I came across this scholarly article that sympathetically examines Veda's actions in the context of her role in the Pierce family unit. It's a very interesting read...I still want to name my daughter Veda - is that asking for trouble?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Burning for You

In my quest to find obscure 1930s musical numbers, I came across this little ditty called I'm Burning for You.

There is a lot packed into this 3minute clip from the movie Hot Saturday (1932). This pre-code confection stars Nancy Carroll as Ruth Brock, the most popular girl in Maryville, who has been rumored to be fast and loose.  But it's only a rumor. Ruth just likes to flirt and have good clean fun and she leaves the boys who expect her to put out cold. But one cad, not happy with Ruth's flirting and her truly good girl character, spreads a vicious rumor around town that destroys her reputation all on one hot Saturday night.

Here all the wonderful things to love about this:

1. The girl in the checkered hat and neckerchief that coordinates so lovely with the Willow Springs table clothes. She clearly wants to get up and dance look at the way she is wiggling around in that seat.

 2. White picket fence surrounding the dance floor. Who doesn't love a white picket fence...indoors or out.

3. The array of beautiful hats dressing the heads of most of the women on the dance floor. 

4. Mr. White suit. He sure is having a swell time isn't he?

5. The not so subtle innuendo in the lyrics of the song I'm Burning for You. By the way the singer is caressing herself it's not secret where she is burning the hottest.

6. The strategically placed lights on the dance floor...wink wink...

And let's not forget the fact that everyone on that dance floor is well dressed and a phenomenal dancer...ah, the 1930s....

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Campus Crawl

Just a quick post for today. In my ongoing search for obscure and wacky dances from the 1930s I came across this little ditty. Dig that dizzy dames crazy shoulder action. . .