And Now For a Dose of Pure Crazy: Joan Crawford, Gender Enigma
March 13, 2016

its joan crawford mildred pierce trailer gender enigma

Several years back, I read David Bret’s Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr, and it was insane. As celebrity bios go, it’s like someone decided to set the record straight about Joan Crawford using Wikipedia synopses of her filmography, a nagging feeling that says “CHRISTINA’S WRONG”, a whole lotta moxie, and a well-read copy of Kenneth Anger’s Hollywood Babylon. Really, I’m still not sure what the rumor about Ramon Novarro and the black marble dildo from his alleged lover Rudolph Valentino was doing in a biography about Joan Crawford, but it did keep things more interesting.

My point is I’m more than familiar with trashy and ridiculous rumors about Joan Crawford and early Hollywood’s general sordidness, but nothing, and I mean nothing, could prepare me for “Joan Crawford Gender. Gender Enigma. Part 1.”, which is basically a Truther video, if the Truther movement was obsessed with proving that Joan Crawford was a man and Hollywood is some sort of Satanic transsexual long con:

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All of the Dream Sequences From Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend
March 6, 2016

the boy friend ken russell

Since I’m an old person, any time after 9pm is late for me, if not in fact entirely past my bedtime, so it’s only appropriate to end the day with all of the dream sequences from Ken Russell’s The Boy Friend. Much like the above bonkers amuse-bouche of a headdress, they’re totally over the top, totally fabulous, and at times not unlike a Busby Berkeley acid flashback. Oh, and they’re starring Twiggy. Yes, that Twiggy.

What I’m trying to say is there are far worse pre-bedtime camp viewing pleasures, and arguably few better, so grab yourself a cup of Sleepytime tea and get ready to spike it with an shot of crazy, because these dream sequence will take you up, off and away:

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Red Carpet Footage from the 25th Annual Academy Awards
February 27, 2016

Here’s some red carpet footage from the 25th Annual Academy Awards, better known as the year Joan Crawford and Better Davis were nominated for Best Actress in Sudden Fear and The Star, respectively. What a year! They both lost to Shirley Booth for Come Back, Little Sheba. I’d say they were both ROBBED, but I haven’t seen Come Back, Little Sheba, so I can’t be sure, but still: ROBBED (probably).

Anyways, I highly recommend watching this red carpet footage, because it makes more recent red carpet events look like Casual Fridays. It’s got diamonds, pearls, furs, a young Elizabeth Taylor, more diamonds, more pearls, more furs, a young Paul Newman, tons of f*cking sequins, tulle, yet even more diamonds and furs and pearls, and Joan Crawford. Et tu, Oscars 2016?

Here’s Some Scenes From Ken Russell’s Valentino Set to The Strokes, Because Why Not?
February 21, 2016

“I’ll never understand the strange combinations the Internet at times feels compelled to drag together,” said the man who once combined Mads Mikkelsen’s Hannibal Lecter with Rooney Mara’s blunt bangs. My point being, I’m not sure this video of scenes from Ken Russell’s Valentino set to The Strokes’ song “The Modern Age” makes much sense to anybody but its creator, but as inexplicable combinations go, it’s like a peanut butter bacon cheeseburger: inexplicable, yet not unsatisfying. If nothing else, this is a good reminder that Ken Russell made a Rudolph Valentino biopic starring Rudolph Nureyev that looks like my kind of movie (about Classic Hollywood and camp as f*ck).

TGIF! Now Treat Yo Self With This Sunset Boulevard Spa GIF!
March 27, 2015

gloria swanson sunset boulevard spa

It’s Gloria Swanson’s birthday today, and after a week that definitely wasn’t ready for its close-up, Mr. DeMille, we could all use a little Golden Age of Hollywood glamour to put some pep in our step, so let’s put the “GIF” in TGIF with this soothing GIF of Gloria Swanson getting a spa-day massage and facial in Sunset Boulevard. It’s Friday, after all, so let’s all be sure to make like Ms. Swanson treat yo self(.gif)!

[GIF via Jenni Epperson]

Dear Internet: More Daddy’s Boy, Please!
March 18, 2015

As someone who separately appreciates the words 1938, musical, and train wreck but can really clutch some pearls upon their combination, I am telling you I’m not going this is not nearly enough Daddy’s Boy. We want Daddy’s Boy uncut! We need the full length!

So don’t listen to Robert Osborne, and make it so, interwebs. Or at the very least, make it a Kickstarter.

Rest in Peace, Lauren Bacall
August 13, 2014

Lauren Bacall

[Image via Doctor Macro]

Last Night, I Dreamt of Kim Novak’s Eyebrows…
July 12, 2013

kim BB&C

Oh, girl. Last night, I saw 1958’s Bell, Book and Candle for the very first time. It’s a bit of a trifle, but what a trifle it is! And it’s also apparently an allegory for pre-Stonewall homosexuality? Okay! Anyways, it’s about a witch who casts a spell on a publisher so he’ll fall in love with her. It stars Kim Novak as the witch and James Stewart as the publisher. Most importantly, though, it stars Kim Novak’s eyebrows as the world’s most clutch-your-pearls! perfect eyebrows. EVER:

Kim-Novak-Collection_DVD_R1_Disc2_Bell-Book_03215

DON’T YOU SEE WHAT I MEAN?!?!? PERFECTION.

Separately, Kim Novak’s eyebrows are like two oversized, painted silk pillows of exquisitely arched exaggeration; together, they’re a plush velvet fainting chaise of eyebrow eleganza handcrafted to cradle my weary heart.

As paradigms shifted swishily, it seemed only reasonable I have a series of visceral reaction. Shock! Delight! Giggles! Vapors! Intrigue! Ecstasy! Obsession! Love. You know, FEELINGS.

I was certain but nothing could top this eyebrow high, this highbrow, if you will. But then, like the space scientists in Prometheus or dinner reservations at Guy Fieri’s Times Square restaurant, I was wrong. I was so wrong.

You see, last night, I dreamt of Kim Novak’s eyebrows.

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Elizabeth Taylor: A Nobody Puts Baby in a Horner Mini Memorium
March 23, 2011

As we’ve all without doubt most sadly heard by now, Dame Elizabeth Taylor has passed away at the age of 79 after being hospitalized six weeks ago for congenital heart failure. With a career and life as wildly storied as hers (the accolades and awards! The marriages and divorces and remarriages! Her tireless contributions to the fight against HIV and AIDS! Being Elizabeth frickin’ Taylor!), it would be wrong to not offer one of Hollywood’s greatest and most glamourous screen icons of all time a moment of elegant and somber reflection, which is precisely why you should read this New York Times‘s obituary. It really is quite the lovely tribute.

This being the particular corner of the internet that it is, however, it would also be remiss to not pay respect with a wink and a mince and the utmost devotion to the divine Dame Taylor. After all, we’ve gotta smile through the tears (and believe me, there were tears this morning. At work. And now. So awkward!), which is precisely (and perhaps a little surprisingly?) why I’m not going to make too much about this:

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Oh Look, Here’s Katharine Hepburn on a Skateboard
March 19, 2011

Tony Hawk can suck it, y’all, ‘cos this is everybody’s new Lord of Dogtown (whatever the Catherine Hardwicke reference that means):

Apparently this photo comes from Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, Me: Stories of My Life, which raises the following important questions:

  1. Why in the world haven’t I read Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography? It’s an autobiography written by Katharine Hepburn. With pictures of Katharine Hepburn. Like this one of Katharine Hepburn riding a skateboard. I sorry, but SOLD. (Katharine Hepburn!)
  2. Also, who wants to give me $40 so I can also get a used audiobook read as by the author? Seriously, few things truly delight me more her clipped, New England diction. It’s like slathering fresh Maine lobster and putting it in my ears. Delicious.
  3. Does this mean I can now start referring to Katharine Hepburn as “noted cinema thespian/extreme skateboarder”? I suspect not, but f*ck it. As far as I’m concerned, of course it does!
  4. Am I going to use the pleasingly surreal sight of Katharine Hepburn on a skateboard as an excuse to what I do believe to be the most indisputably batshit insane picture of Katharine Hepburn ever?

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Angelina Jolie in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow
August 3, 2010

Estimated budget of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow as according to Box Office Mojo?  $70 million.  Total worldwide box office of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, again, as according to Box Office Mojo?  $57, 958, 696; in other words, just shy of $58 million.  If you’re going to be an accountant about it, I guess that makes Kerry Conran’s loving homage to Classic Hollywood film serials, kitschy sci fi aesthetics, and New York City architecture in the late 1930s (seriously, the scene where Gwyneth Paltrow goes into Radio City Music Hall is an instant Art Decorgasm) something of a box office failure.  Not an outright bomb, for sure, but also not about to get Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow 2: 2 Late for 2morrow greenlit any time soon.  BOOO, 0bviously.  Obviously?  Obviously.

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel
July 29, 2010

If I’m going to be completely honest about these sorts of things, I must admit that my first introduction to Marlene Dietrich–and naturally the beginning of my obsession–didn’t come from Dietrich and director Josef von Sternberg’s first film together, The Blue Angel.  Hell, I can’t even claim to have come around when I saw her infamous same-sex kiss in von Sternberg’s Morocco, which forever boggles my mind that they were able to get Dietrich in a tuxedo kissing another woman past the censors in 1930, during an in-class screening of The Celluloid Closet.  No no, I first swooned for Marlene Dietrich thanks to a Mercedes Benz, this Mercedes Benz commercial to be exact:

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Katharine Hepburn in Bringing Up Baby
July 26, 2010

Nothing puts me in the mood to caterwaul “DAAAVID!” quite like the delightfully crazy-eyed focus that Katharine Hepburn brings as she attempts to pop an olive into her mouth while wearing one of the most decidedly bonkers veils I’ve ever seen in my all-time favorite screwball comedy, Bringing Up Baby.  I mean, have you seen the masthead?  I wasn’t simply punning on Dirty Dancing, y’all.  No no, think of the masthead as  a multi-layered, metatexual tapestry of terrible punnage that looks like a four-headed ouroboros (one for each of the leading ladies in Sex and the City 2).  Seriously, I’m not sure anything will ever be as egregious as the one-two pun(ch) of “Abu Dhabi Doo!” and “Lawrence of my labia,” and it should probably remain unknown if such a pun exists, but much like Judy Garland or Katharine Hepburn and Cary Grant in the following clip from Bringing Up Bay:

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Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Gene Tierney in Leave Her to Heaven
July 8, 2010

I’m well aware that Alfred Newman’s booming score ads a certain melodramatic je ne sais quoi that a single frame can’t do justice; nevertheless, there’s something to be said for the unsettlingly austere gaze with which Gene Tierney’s Ellen Berent spreads her father’s ashes (back and forth, back and forth!) on horseback  in John M. Stahl 1945 adaptation of Ben Ames Williams’s Leave Her to Heaven.  That, and those lips.  Seriously, either I’ve got an asexual fetish for crazy ladies in red lipstick, or dazzlingly red lips are Technicolor color coding for “psycho bitch.”  Either way, I love it.

And as usual, don’t hesitate to click to enlarge and appreciate the fabulousness of it all.

Today’s Fabulous Image in Cinema: Joan Crawford in Humoresque (Yes, Again.)
July 1, 2010

humoresque joan crawford tragedy

Because you can’t appreciate the Humoresque sweet without having to taste Humoresque sour, and because I can never get enough Joan Crawford (particularly until I’ve finished reading David Bret’s epically salacious Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr) here’s Joan Crawford’s Helen Wright shedding a single tear of profoundly agonized longing for her violinist lover, Paul Boray (John Garfield).  He’s playing the Liebestod from Richard Wagner’s Tristan und Isolde, she’s drowning her sorrows as she listens to him on the radio, and my head’s exploding from having a moment appeal to the Crawford queen AND the opera queen in me.

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Betty White Quasi-Outed Cary Grant or: Oh Look, Another Reason to Love Betty White and Cary Grant
June 17, 2010

In case you’ve ever been curious, here’s a picture of Randolph Scott and Cary Grant enjoying dinner:

cary grant and randolph scott having dinner

It should come as neither a secret nor surprising that I find Cary Grant to be as ridiculously sexy as I find donut bacon cheeseburgers to be ridiculously delicious, and of course I’ve heard the rumors that he and fellow actor Randolph Scott were a lil’ bit (to borrow a word from David Bret, author of the thoroughly trashtastic–and highly recommended by me–Joan Crawford bio, Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr) lavendar, but I never realized what a hot piece Randolph Scott was. Seriously, if Cary Grant just so happened to be thinking about how much Randolph Scott’s mustache tickles instead of how delightful the chicken was when that picture was taken, could you really blame him?

ANYWAYS, Betty White was on The Joy Behar Show last night, and that Newsweek story that never dies came up as a topic of conversation, at which point Betty White inadvertently revealed that Cary Grant was probably thinking about Randolph Scott’s “mustache” after all. Here’s the video from over at Queerty:

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In Honor of Bette Davis’s Birthday, Small Pleasures of Now, Voyager
April 5, 2010

Beyond the singular pleasure that comes from watching a pitch perfect, classic Hollywood melodrama or the preternatural pleasure that is all but inevitable when witnessing Bette Davis’s deeply moving turn as Charlotte Vale, there are plenty of smaller pleasures to be gleaned from Now, Voyager.  Pleasures like Bette Davis wearing the most fabulous movie hat to end all movie hats:

Seriously, Bette Davis’s hat gives all other movie hats hat envy. Particularly Kate Winslet’s hat from the beginning of Titanic.  It’s a movies-with-narratives-that-prominently-feature-cruise-ships thing.

And here’s Bette Davis knitting while wearing the sort of sunglasses that make me long for a time when sunglass–and the rest of the world–stood for things that really mattered.  Namely glamour:

Some people might say that it’s those sunglasses cover up those Bette Davis eyes. Everyone will say I should get off the stage for writing such an embarrassing pun.

Oh!  And I’d be remiss to not mention the greatest Now, Voyager gift of all:

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In Honor of the 105th Anniversary of Her Birthday, Here’s a Bevy of Joan Crawford Doing What Joan Crawford Does Best
March 23, 2010

From a still for the 1932 film Letty Lynton, here’s Joan Crawford epitomizing 1930s glamor in front of the most glorious Art Deco revolving doorway I’ve ever seen:

I’d like to imagine that this is the gay man’s version (or at least this gay man’s version) of Saint Peter and the Pearly Gates, but that might count too much of a good thing even by Heaven’s standards, so I can be willing to settle for just the doorway.

Here’s Joan Crawford’s cameo in the 1949 Doris Day vehicle It’s a Great Feeling:

Or as I like to call it, “Joan Crawford in furs, birthing cinematic Postmodernism.”

And then there’s Queen Bee, which leaves me without many words whether it’s as a single image:

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You Women! Joan Crawford Has an Important Announcement for You
November 10, 2009

There’s obviously nothing funny about uterine cancer or the sad twilight of Joan Crawford’s career that reduced her to Trog and Mountain Dew commercials.  As such, a part of me simply doesn’t know what to do with the fact that Joan Crawford was a spokesperson for vaginal health.

And the other part kinda wishes there was a Bette Davis PSA stressing the importance of mammograms.  Baby Jane attire optional.

The Ghost Busters (1954) Trailer Is Quite Simply Perfection
July 30, 2009

It’s pretty safe to say that the children of the 80s can all agree about Ghostbusters:

ghostbusters classic

You really can’t improve upon it.  You can, however, reimagine it as a comedy from the 1950s, which is precisely what this totally brilliant video does.  It combines the pleasures of Classic Hollywood filmmaking with 80s nostalgia, so it pretty much gets all my <3.  Trust me, you need to watch it now:

My only complaint is that this is not an actual trailer for an actual movie because I would watch that movie ad nauseam.  Still, I’ll suffer that small slight for the undescribably joy of seeing Gozer and the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, circa ’54.  It doesn’t get any better than that.  At least until we get a a fake trailer for Showgirls of ’33, in which a young Joan Crawford battles with Marlene Dietrich and Barbara Stawyck for stage success and showgirl supremacy.  Make it happen, internet!  

All my love to Movieline for the discovery.

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