Firstly, I’d just like to apologize for my lack of posts as of lately! The past week I was staying at my boyfriends for just under a week for his birthday and then the day I got back home I found out I had Chicken Pox – yay! I’m one of the few people that hasn’t had it as a child for some reason, so there will not be any Fashion or Beauty Posts until I’m fully recovered, I hope you all understand.
I was tagged in a post on Tumblr to list my ten favourite classic films, so I thought I’d share them with you here! It was really hard to pick just ten, so to make it easier I went through my favourite stars and chose a particular film of theirs that I love. I hope you approve of my choices!
Yes, an obvious choice but this is without doubt, not only my favourite classic movie, but, my favourite movie of all time. I can laugh now, but the first time I watched this – I actually watched it the wrong way around! As a lot of Old Hollywood fans will know, this film is extremely long, almost four hours, so naturally a lot of the DVDS are in two parts. However, the disc was clear on both sides and had only a tiny note saying which was A and which was B. Watching it on my own and having no one to tell me I’d put the wrong side on first meant I watched it back to front. However, that didn’t put me off and I’ve now seen it the right way many times! Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel especially are absolutely incredible. I will never get bored of this film and I highly recommend reading the book too, there would be no movie without it after all!
The first Marilyn film I saw and it’s just absolutely wonderful, the costumes, the musical numbers, the acting and most importantly Marilyn, are all faultless. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this movie, as a huge fan of Marilyn’s I’ve seen all of her films many times and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes is no exception. It’s so lovely to see Marilyn paired with Jane Russell, they make such a great team! At this time in Marilyn’s career, she won the role of Lorelei on her 26th birthday, June 1st 1952, over Betty Grable, because she was younger and they wouldn’t have to pay her $100,000 as they would for Betty. Marilyn was still on her average salary and didn’t even have her own dressing room! When asked why this was she was told she was not the star to which she replied, “Look, after all, I am the blonde, and it is Gentlemen Prefer Blondes!” Because still they always kept saying, “Remember, you’re not a star.” I said, “Well, whatever I am, I am the blonde!” Sadly, a lot of people assume that Marilyn is playing herself, when in actuality, Lorelei Lee couldn’t be anymore different from the real Marilyn and it just goes to show what an incredible talent she truly was.
Besides The Wizard of Oz (1939), I think this was the first classic movie I watched, long before my love for Old Hollywood began. This is probably my favourite musical of all time, although in 1952 it was only moderately successful compared to Gene Kelly’s previous film, An American In Paris (1951) – I have to say, I find this a million times better! The cast, the script, the musical scores, everything about it is truly flawless and over sixty years on it hasn’t aged. Plus, who can ever forget THAT dance with Cyd Charisse!?
I’ve seen the majority of Veronica Lake’s films and this one is definitely one of my favourites. Veronica is flawless, sings two musical numbers and of course, it is her first pairing with Alan Ladd. The two of them have such great chemistry and create a perfect Film Noir – 1942 was THE year for Veronica as she released hit after hit and at the time was considered one of Paramount’s Top Box Office Draws. All of this being achieved at the mere age of 19 years old! When picking my favourite Veronica film it was a close choice, between I Married A Witch (1942) and The Blue Dahlia (1946) but This Gun For Hire just took the winning place!
Out of all of the Rita films I have seen and that’s quite a few, The Lady From Shanghai is truly like no other. Not only is she paired with then husband Orson Welles and the wonderful actor Everett Sloane, her appearance and personality are completely different. This shocked fans at the time, who could not associate the Fiery Red Head as a Blonde Bombshell and the complicated plot, now considered a classic, was too much for audiences of the time. Needless to say that the Blonde Rita didn’t last, the marriage to Orson Welles didn’t last and at the time, neither did The Lady From Shanghai. However, the film today is now seen as it truly should be – a thrilling classic. Originally, the film ran over two hours, but the studio stupidly made Orson cut away a chunk of footage and now it is just under 90 minutes. One can only guess what the film would be like if the footage was ever found!
As a huge fan of Alfred Hitchcock, choosing only one of his films wasn’t easy! It was a very close call between North By Northwest (1959) and Vertigo (1958) alas, Rear Window took the spot. This film was a huge hit upon it’s first release, cemented Grace Kelly as The Ultimate Hitchcock Blonde and made the 1950s the decade for Hitchcock. It has it all – suspense, thrills, romance and even a bit of comedy thrown in there too. The first time I watched this, although I appreciate it as a whole, I didn’t warm to it as much as I have now. I don’t know why that is as there really is no other film like this and especially for the time. If you end up feeling the same way on first watch, don’t be disheartened, it’s now my favourite Hitchcock movie! You can’t really go wrong with Grace Kelly and James Stewart after all now can you?
This film is just incredible, the cast is superb, the direction is wonderful and it really was groundbreaking for 1954. Originally intended to be a play by Arthur Miller entitled, “The Hook” that never came to fruition and with all of the Anti-Communist Testimony’s, which Elia Kazan was apart of – On The Waterfront came to life. Although many didn’t agree with Elia telling names, Arthur Miller included, when you watch On The Waterfront you really can’t root for anyone but Terry Malloy. The chemistry between Marlon Brando and Eva Marie Saint is just wonderful and both actors deserved their Oscars.
Already a big star in France at the time, And God Created Woman was the film that cemented Brigitte Bardot’s status as The Ultimate Sex Kitten and The Most Desired European Actress In The World. Directed by then husband, Roger Vadim, the film caused controversy throughout America and divided the nation. This film propelled Brigitte into the worldwide spotlight and she continued a very successful acting career until retiring at age 38 to become and Animal Rights Activist. Brigitte has often said that in this film, Juliette, is simply being herself and Saint Tropez, the location of the film has been her home for over 60 years and is now a huge Tourist Attraction.
After winning an Oscar for her debut American Performance in Roman Holiday (1953) just a year before, Audrey Hepburn began a hugely successful acting career. This film also stars the incredible Humphrey Bogart and William Holden and is directed by my favourite, Billy Wilder. This was also the first pairing of Givenchy and Audrey, a fashion love affair that would last her entire lifetime. This is a must see for all Classic Cinema Lovers and will warm your heart with happiness. They really don’t make the movies like they used to and I guess this is why the classics are even more special! A lot of people have said that Humphrey Bogart is too old for Audrey, however, all of her leading her men are almost twice her age – it was very common to do that in the 1950s.
10. Houseboat (1958)
After reading Sophia Loren’s Autobiography earlier this year, I absolutely adore her and naturally have started to watch her movies. I’ve been wanting to see Houseboat (1958) for quite a while and was thrilled when I found it on Netflix. It’s a classic Romantic Comedy and Cary Grant and Sophia make a great pairing. This was the second and sadly last film they made together, the first being one of Sophia’s first American films, The Pride and The Passion (1958) with Frank Sinatra. It is now known that Cary actually fell in love with Sophia during the making of their first film and signed on to make Houseboat just because Sophia was going to be in it. Obviously Sophia married Carlo Ponti so their brief romance didn’t work out, but it’s lovely to see what could have been on film.
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