TCM 31 Days of Oscar

TCM released their full schedule for 31 Days of Oscar (you can view all the films right here) and I thought it’d be fun to share the films that I am personally looking forward to. Really excited to see James Cagney listed several times and Eleanor Parker listed once!

Friday, February 1
8:00PM – Sunrise (1927)
10:00PM – Street Angel (2018)

Saturday, February 2
4:15AM – Night Must Fall (1937)
1:30PM – Strangers on a Train (1951)
3:30PM – North by Northwest (1959)

Sunday, February 3
3:00AM – The Lost Weekend (1945)
12:15PM – Wuthering Heights (1939)

Monday, February 4
3:15AM – Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
5:30AM – These Three (1936)

Tuesday, February 5
4:15PM – Through a Glass Darkly (1961)

Wednesday, February 6
12:30AM – The Letter (1940)
2:30AM – Mildred Pierce (1945)

Thursday, February 7
6:15AM – Weary River (1929)
8:00AM – The Big House (1930)
9:45AM – I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang (1932)
1:30PM – Caged (1950)
3:15PM – I Want to Live! (1958)
8:00PM – All About Eve (1950)
10:30PM – A Letter to Three Wives (1948)

Friday, February 8
4:15AM – The Front Page (1931)
8:00AM – Ninotchka (1939)
12:15PM – The Great Dictator (1940)
2:30PM – My Favorite Wife (1940)
4:00PM – Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
8:00PM – Now, Voyager (1942)

Saturday, February 9
5:00AM – The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
8:00AM – The Story of Louis Pasteur (1936)
1:15PM – Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Sunday, February 10
9:45PM – The Thin Man (1934)
11:30PM – Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Monday, February 11
2:00AM – The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
6:45AM – Morning Glory (1933)
8:15AM – What Price Hollywood? (1932)
8:00PM – Naughty Marietta (1935)
10:00PM – San Francisco (1936)

Tuesday, February 12
10:00AM – The Stranger (1946)
2:00PM – To Be Or Not to Be (1942)
6:00PM – Casablanca (1942)
10:30PM – Merrily We Live (1938)

Wednesday, February 13
12:15AM – On the Waterfront (1954)
2:15AM – East of Eden (1955)
4:30AM – White Shadows in the South Seas (1928)
6:00AM – The Racket (1928)
7:30AM – Two Arabian Knights (1927)
9:15AM – A Woman of Affairs (1928)
11:15AM – Our Dancing Daughters (1928)
1:00PM – The Divine Lady (1929)
3:00PM – Sadie Thompson (1928)
4:45PM – The Crowd (1928)
6:30PM – Speedy (1928)
8:00PM – Lawrence of Arabia (1962)

Thursday, February 14
3:00AM – Under Western Stars (1938)
6:00AM – Love Affair (1939)
7:45AM – Random Harvest (1942)
10:00AM – Waterloo Bridge (1940)
12:00PM – Dark Victory (1938)
1:45PM – Splendor in the Grass (1961)
4:00PM – All This and Heaven Too (1940)
6:30PM – Brief Encounter (1945)
8:00PM – The Philadelphia Story (1940)
10:00PM – Father of the Bride (1950)

Friday, February 15
8:00PM – Titanic (1953)

Saturday, February 16
6:00AM – Cimarron (1931)

Sunday, February 17
6:00AM – Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
8:00AM – Top Hat (1935)
8:00PM – The Nun’s Story (1959)

Monday, February 18
4:00PM – Ben-Hur (1959)

Tuesday, February 19
12:15AM – A Free Soul (1931)
2:00AM – None But the Lonely Heart (1944)
4:00AM – I Remember Mama (1948)
8:45AM – You Can’t Take it With You (1938)
11:00AM – The Little Foxes (1941)
1:00PM – What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
8:00PM – Captains Courageous (1937)
10:15PM – Boys Town (1938)

Wednesday, February 20
6:15AM – Fury (1936)
12:00PM – Inherit the Wind (1960)
8:00PM – The Private Life of Henry VIII (1933)

Thursday, February 21
5:00AM – Algiers (1938)
7:00AM – Lady of the Tropics (1939)
1:30PM – The Rains Came (1939)
6:00PM – Mogambo (1953)
8:00PM – 8 1/2 (1963)
10:30PM – La Strada (1954)

Friday, February 22
3:15PM – National Velvet (1944)

Saturday, February 23
8:00PM – A Star is Born (1937)

Sunday, February 24
5:30AM – 42nd Street (1933)
7:00AM – Easter Parade (1948)
8:00PM – The Broadway Melody (1929)
10:00PM – Grand Hotel (1932

Monday, February 25
4:00AM – Holiday (1938)
6:00AM – The Awful Truth (1937)
8:00AM – Designing Woman (1957)
10:00AM – It Happened One Night (1934)
12:00PM – Libeled Lady (1936)
6:00PM – Woman of the Year (1942)
8:00PM – The Public Enemy (1931)
9:45PM – Little Caesar (1930)

Tuesday, February 26
8:00PM – Gaslight (1944)

Wednesday, February 27
4:30AM – Manhattan Melodrama (1934)
6:15AM – Doorway to Hell (1930)
1941 – Johnny Eager (1941)
10:00AM – The Maltese Falcon (1941)
12:00PM – The Naked City (1948)
2:00PM – The Asphalt Jungle (1950)
4:00PM – White Heat (1949)

Thursday, February 28
6:15AM – Penny Serenade (1941)
8:15AM – The Magnificent Ambersons (1942)
10:00AM – Jezebel (1938)
4:00PM – Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (1958)
6:00PM – Rebel Without a Cause (1955)

Friday, March 1
4:45AM – Flight Commander (1930)
6:45AM – Only Angels Have Wings (1939)
9:00AM – The Harvey Girls (1946)
10:15PM – The Age of Innocence (1993)

Saturday, March 2
12:00PM – Forbidden Planet (1956)
5:30PPM – Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Sunday, March 3
5:00AM – A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1935)
7:30AM – Pygmalion (1938)
9:30AM – Our Town (1940)
3:00PM – Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)
8:00PM – Sabrina (1954)
10:00PM – The Heiress (1949)

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Picspam: Lana Turner in Ziegfeld Girl (1941)

Sometimes I’ll watch a film and become so taken with an actress that I spend more time screencapping scenes rather than actually paying attention to the film! Not all the time, of course, but I have a tendency to live tweet while I’m watching a film or I’ll post about it on my instagram and so screencaptures are necessary. So I’d like to introduce weekly picspams where I’ll choose a film once a week and spotlight an actresses or actor through photos from the film.

Our first picspam is Lana Turner in Ziegfeld Girl (1941). I actually began watching this film for Hedy Lamarr (in an attempt to watch more of her films) but it was Lana Turner that I ended up focusing all my attention on. Not only is she absolutely stunning but her performance in Ziegfeld Girl is simply mesmerizing and I couldn’t look away. Lana plays Sheila, a young elevator operator turned Ziegfeld girl after being discovered by Mr. Ziegfeld’s assistant. Caught up between the success and temptation that being in the Follies offers, she is torn between the glamour of being Ziegfeld girl and her loyal boyfriend (Jimmy Stewart) Gil who has been with her since before she became famous. The life of a Ziegfeld girl begins to take a toll on her and she becomes entangled in gambling and drinking. She arrives at a Follies show drunk and collapses after a performance forcing the director to fire her. Sheila is then taken back to her family’s home to recuperate but her heart is weak due to the heavy drinking. Sheila and Gil both profess their love for one another and agree to marry. Sheila then sees Sue (played endearingly by Judy Garland) on the cover of a newspaper in her Follies debut and she promises herself that she’ll be there one last time, too.

 

Happy Birthday Laura La Plante!

Happy birthday to Laura La Plante, born on this day in 1904! As most of you know, Laura is the subject of my film project so I feel like it’s only natural that we start off the project with a birthday post dedicated to our girl.

Laura was born Laura LaPlante in St. Louis, Missouri on November 1, 1904. She was discovered by Al Christy and began her career at the age of 15 when she entered films as a Christie Comedy Bathing Beauty for Mack Sennett. Her first “official” uncredited role was in the 1919 serial The Great Gamble, directed by Joseph A. Golden, starring Charles Hutchison, and produced by the Western Photoplays Inc. production company. In 1923 she was named as one of the WAMPAS Baby Stars and eventually made over sixty films in the 1920’s alone.

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A still from the 1920 short film Back to the Front alongside costar Bobby Vernon.

In 1921, Laura signed with Universal Pictures and continued to make films with the company until 1930. Within those nine years, Laura starred in such films as Smouldering Fires (1925), Skinner’s Dress Suit (1926 – directed by then husband William A. Seiter), Show Boat (1929), The Love Trap (1929) and the early technicolor King of Jazz (1930). However, she is often best remembered as lead Annabelle West in the fantastic 1927 silent horror film, The Cat and the Canary. With the invention of talkies, Laura’s career effectively stalled for a bit but she was able to survive sound and made her first talking talking picture in 1929 with Hold You Man. She made her last film for Universal in 1930 with King of Jazz but continued to freelance for a while and starred in Columbia’s Arizona (1931) with John Wayne and God’s Gift to Women (1931) directed by Michael Curtiz.

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Laura subsequently divorced William Seiter in 1934 and in the same year married Irving Asher who was the managing director for Warner Bros.’ Teddington Studios in Britain. While in Britain she would make several films over the years with Teddington Studies including Man of the Moment (1935) with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Laura would return to the United States in 1935 with her husband and retire from the screen. She did make two more later films: Little Mister Jim in 1946 and Spring Reunion in 1957. An appearance on the show You Bet Your Life with Groucho Marx in 1954 brought her more popularity (she is actually introduced as Laura Asher but Groucho Marx calls her by her maiden name much to the delight of the crowd who instantly begin cheering!) You can watch the appearance below:

In her later years she kept a low profile and would rarely talk about her Hollywood career. Laura La Plante died at the age of 91 in Woodland Hills, California due to Alzheimer’s Disease. She was cremated and her ashes scattered at sea.

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Recommended Viewing:
Skinner’s Dress Suit (1926)
The Cat and the Canary (1927)
The Love Trap (1929) – reader, this is probably my favorite La Plante film!
God’s Gift to Women (1931)
Lonely Wives (1931)
Man of the Moment (1935)

 

White Zombie (1932)

I’ve been making it a point recently to watch more horror films during the month of October. I admit that I haven’t watched many films starring Bela Lugosi (other than the popular ones he made) so it is with delight that I say that I watched White Zombie (1932) and thoroughly enjoyed every second of it!

IMG_4839
Filmed over only 11 days, White Zombie tells the story of a young couple, Madeline and Neil (played by John Harron and the lovely Madge Bellamy) who have fallen in love and plan to marry on a plantation in Haiti owned by Charles Beaumont. However, the jealous Charles Beaumont (played by Robert Frazer), who is himself in love with Madeline and was spurned in marriage, decides to concoct a horrific plan: kill Neil Parker so he can have Madeline all to himself. In order to accomplish such a plan, Beaumont turns to the evil voodoo master “Murder” Legendre (played by the terrific Bela Lugosi) and enlists his help. Legendre himself uses mind control to run a sugarcane mill filled with zombies that he has under his control. Legendre tells Beaumont that the only way he can have Madeline is to use a potion that will transform her into a zombie slave. At first reluctant, Legendre eventually convinces Beaumont to take the potion.

IMG_4837On the night of the wedding, Beaumont attempts to convince Madeline to run away with him but she declines. He then gives her a flower with the potion in it which she at once she smells and then puts in her wedding bouquet. After the wedding, the potion finally takes hold and Madeline dies. Legendre and Beaumont then steal her coffin and take it to Legendre’s castle.

IMG_4848Back at the castle, Legendre revives Madeline. After a while of seeing Madeline lifeless and emotionless, Beaumont instantly regrets his decision and begs Legendre to revive Madeline. Legendre refuses and poisons Beaumont with the potion, thus turning him into a zombie slave. Meanwhile, Madeline’s husband, Neil, believes Madeline to still be alive as he returned to her tomb to find it empty. With the help of a Dr. Bruner (Joseph Cawthorn), they seek out Legendre’s castle. Neil enters only to be almost killed by Madeline herself after Legendre orders her to stab him with a knife. However, Madeline initially hesitates and after she is stopped by Dr. Bruner, she runs away.

IMG_4843Legendre orders all of his zombie slaves to kill Neil which ends up with a stand off between Neil and the zombies on the edge of the castle’s cliffs, overlooking the sea. Dr. Bruner sneaks up behind Legendre and momentarily knocks him out which ends his hold over the zombies and they unknowingly walk off the cliff. Legendre then wakes up and is able to seize control over Madeline again but a surprise Beaumont pushes him off the cliff. Beaumont loses his balance at the same time and perishes in the sea below.

IMG_4852With Legendre dead, Madeline reawakens and reunites with her love, Neil.

With a great amount of fun, horror, and fantastic cinematography, White Zombie is a must see for any horror fan.

The Laura La Plante Project

The best thing about watching silent films, for me, is the discovery of (mostly) unknown actresses or actresses that I’ve heard/read about and haven’t gotten around to watching films during their prime. However, it is thanks to the Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell biography, Lucky Stars, that I personally discovered Laura. She is mentioned several times as being a friend of Janet Gaynor’s at the beginning of Janet’s career. Janet had several uncredited bit parts in Laura’s films: Young Ideas (1924), The Teaser (1925), and Dangerous Innocence (1925) to name a few. Thus began my interest (and slight obsession!) with Laura La Plante.

This project will be a retrospective of Laura’s career with the hope of watching as many of Laura’s films and television appearances that I can find and reviewing them here. I’ll also be doing research on the side when I get the time to dedicate to anything other than school or work. I can’t wait to begin this journey and maybe you’ll fall in love with Laura, too.

A Celebration of James Cagney

(This post was originally published at celluloidhour.)

I discovered James Cagney one afternoon when I was home sick from school. I was around 16 then and my classic film expertise began with Shirley Temple and ended with Roy Rogers. I remember scouring the library several evenings before I got sick for some new films to watch that weekend. As I was browsing the shelves, I came across the film that would single-handedly change my life and capitulate me into the classic film community.

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The Public Enemy, 1931

I’m not sure what I was expecting going into this film but it was shocking, violent, and gritty. I think that, due to the misleading posters for the film, I thought that The Public Enemy was going to be your run of the mill, 1930’s gangster b-movie. I have never been so glad to be wrong in my entire life. I understand the concept of using Jean Harlow on the cover, I really do, but I don’t think it does the film any sort of justice. If you want to watch a gangster film that defined the 1930’s, you have to watch this. Or if you’re a fan of gangster and film noir genres in general, watching The Public Enemy should be required viewing. James Cagney so embodies his role as Tom Powers that his presence on screen is terrifying and downright creepy. I can totally believe that people would be scared of him in real life! It’s also interesting to note that Edward Woods was originally cast as Tom Powers while Cagney was hired to portray Tom’s friend Matt Doyle. It’s almost impossible to imagine anyone other than Cagney as Tom Powers now and sometimes I wonder what kind of film it would’ve been like without Cagney in the lead role. Not as compelling and memorable as the film is today, I’m sure.

I spent that weekend watching as many of Cagney’s films that I could find. Not only did he become my favorite actor but he also introduced me to what would be my favorite genre of film: gangster. So, obviously, my second film was White Heat. When it comes to describing White Heat to others, I have a difficult time explaining exactly why I consider this the greatest gangster film of all time. Yet again, Cagney totally immerses himself in his role as Cody Jarrett. This was his first gangster role in almost 10 years; he was 50 years old at the time of filming. The great thing about Cagney is that he knew how he was going to play every role and this nuanced way of acting is what made him so popular in the first place. It was Cagney who suggested that Cody Jarrett by psychotic. It was Cagney who suggested that, during the prison lunch scene, Cody have a mental breakdown over a letter he had just received stating that his mother had died. The extras had no idea what Cagney had planned so their shocked faces as he climbs up on the table and completely loses it was genuine. It’s laughable that he wasn’t even nominated for a best actor Oscar.

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City for Conquest, 1940

While The Public Enemy and White Heat are synonymous with James Cagney, my favorite film of his is City for Conquest. Cagney portrays Danny Kenny, a truck driver and boxing contender. As his boxing career eventually takes off, over time he becomes disillusioned because he does not want to hurt anyone. However, he decides to continue prizefighting so he can help pay for his brother’s music career. After proposing and being turned down by his girlfriend Peggy (played by the terrific Ann Sheridan), Danny, who becomes despondent over the rejection, challenges a crooked mobster to a fight which ends tragically. His opponent places rosin dust in his gloves which leaves Danny blind and effectively ending his boxing career. Later on, Danny begins working as a newsstand operator and Peggy visits him, her own dancing career having come to a stand still. Cagney delivers a poignant and tearful performance that is completely different from his other roles. If you think Cagney is simple a one note actor or if you just know him from his tough guy roles, please check out City for Conquest. I know it’ll tug on your heartstrings as well.

James Cagney is and will always be my favorite actor. He defined artistry and virtuosity and exudes compassion and warmth. A genius in every sense of the word. I can go on and on talking about Cagney and my favorite films so I’ll leave you with a list of my top 10 Cagney films I believe everyone should watch:

  1. City for Conquest
  2. The Public Enemy
  3. White Heat
  4. The Roaring Twenties
  5. Angels with Dirty Faces
  6. Taxi!
  7. Footlight Parade
  8. Yankee Doodle Dandy
  9. Here Comes the Navy
  10. Blonde Crazy

Welcome

Hi everyone! Welcome to Lulu in Hollywood. This blog has been a long time coming and I’ve begun transferring content over from my old blog (celluloidhour) so you’ll see some “old” posts. I decided not to transfer all my previous posts over and start fresh. I am currently working on a special project with a friend so my time might be consumed with that for now. However, I am excited to get back into film blogging again! If anyone would like to exchange links, please let me know.