Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Film | I Married A Witch (1942)

Down here in New Orleans we are experiencing the worst winter in 30 years, and considering people around here can't even drive in the rain, most of the city is shut down because of the 'winter weather.' I'm not complaining because I only had to work a half day at work and I spent the rest of the day in bed catching up on some good ol' me time. After watching a documentary about Candy Darling (Beautiful Darling - 2010) on Netflix, I hopped over to my Hulu Plus app because I remembered they had the Criterion Collection films. I've always been intrigued by the lovely Veronica Lake for awhile, but have yet to watch one of her films. When I saw her 1942 film I Married A Witch, I had no other option but to watch it!

I Married A Witch (1942)

When she finishes with him, he won't know witch is which!

The Players:
Fredric March as Wallace Wooley/The Wooley Men
Veronica Lake as Jennifer
Robert Benchley as Dr. Dudley White
Susan Hayward as Estelle Masterson

The Story:
Many centuries after cursing the male descendants of the Salem puritan who sent her to the stake, this blonde bombshell with a broomstick finds herself drawn to one of them—a prospective governor about to marry a spoiled socialite. [Criterion]

My Favorite Scene:
Although the whole film was charming, I couldn't stop laughing throughout the troubled wedding ceremony. Poor Wallace didn't stand a chance against Jennifer and her father's powers. But it wasn't even them who kept me laughing, it was the lady singing at the wedding. She was certainly a trooper restarting the love song every time they were going to start the wedding again. 

Trivia & Tidbits:
It seems Veronica wasn't the most professional person to deal with on set. She delighted in playing pranks on her co-star Fredric, which seemed to be a pattern of hers because her co-star in Sullivan's Travels (1941), Joel McCrea, declined to do this film because he didn't want to work with Lake again. This film was also part of the inspiration behind Sol Saks writing the beloved television show Bewitched (1964).

My Thoughts:
This film about a 17th century witch who comes back in 'modern times' to haunt the family of her persecutor was the perfect introduction to this pint sized starlet. Her gorgeous childlike screen popped off the screen in every scene. She honestly over shadowed the debonair Fredric March throughout most of the film and I couldn't get enough of her voice, it was so full of character.

Overall Rating:

Original image credit: Dr Macro
Editing by Me

Friday, January 24, 2014

Quote Of The Week

After a cozy night snuggled in bed watching Mildred Pierce (1945) on TCM and Some Like It Hot (1959) on PBS, I was in the mood to post a little something. So here it is... a little graphic I did with one of my favorite Marilyn Monroe quotes. She played the ditsy Pola Debevoise so perfectly and some of my favorite parts of How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) are the parts where Pola can't see a thing because she refuses to wear her glasses!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Book | George Hurrell's Hollywood

One of my favorite things to do on a weekly basis is go to my local Barnes and Noble store to see what kind of trouble I can get myself into. I do this so often, that I have developed a certain route I take throughout the store. I am sure I know the store as well as the people who actually work there... well at least the most important parts.

Two weeks ago, while on my routine browsing adventure, I can came across a book I hadn't seen there before. It's always exciting to come across something new because it seems they rarely get anything new, as far as Classic Hollywood is concerned. As I walked up to my third stop in the store, I had already hit up the Bargain and Biography sections, a big beautiful coffee table book with George Hurrell's name on it caught my eye. There is nothing I enjoy more than a big coffee table book, especially when it is full of gorgeous George Hurrell photos!

'George Hurrell's Hollywood' was released on November 12, 2013

The book's title was 'George Hurrell's Hollywood'. I honestly didn't even look through it, I grabbed it and went on my way to the DVD section. I didn't want to spoil the fun of looking through it by peeking at the inside. At $60, this was going to be quite a purchase, so I checked the online price and found it for almost $20 less. Reluctantly I put it back and ordered it online because with the cheaper price and free shipping, I couldn't justify spending that much more just to be able to walk out with it.

Four days later my book came in and I was more excited than a little kid at Christmas time! I spent a good hour looking at the photos and admiring this wonderfully put together book. I haven't had time to read any of the text yet, but even if that part is lacking (which I'm sure it isn't), the gorgeous photos are well worth the money. 

Behind the scenes of Hurrell's work with Jane Russell

The book spans his entire career from his beginnings as a society photographer to his greatest works as Hollywood's premiere portrait photographer. All of his famous works and collaborations are on display in this marvelous book. His works with Jean Harlow, Norma Shearer, Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, just to name a few, are gorgeously illustrated. I would suggest this book to anyone who is a fan of George Hurrell's work. Below are a few links to my previous posts about Hurrell and you can flip through the book online over at Amazon here.