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Preview: Hollywood Dreamland

Hollywood Dreamland

Musings on the Golden Age of Hollywood.

Updated: 2017-12-11T06:00:27.288-05:00


William Powell in Love Crazy (1941)


Sometimes I think Nick Charles gets too much credit. Oh, he’s my favorite character of the Golden Age, and can simply do no wrong, but I've been so "love crazy" lately, meaning that whenever I watch William Powell in this 1941 comedy, I think that it’s the role that captures his many strengths and the entirety of his comedic style. I also hold the view that it’s his best comic performance,

The Well of the Past


With the recent death of Nora Ephron, I got to thinking--yes, even I do that sometimes--about her filmography and how unabashedly romantic it was. Ephron's work is often seen as "Chick Flick" fodder and much of it had an emphasis on romance: When Harry Met Sally; Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail--I can't believe I'm actually typing these titles--but her films were all imbued with a

Some Came Back: Notable Late-Career Performances of Golden Age Actors


I've long been fascinated with late-career performances of just about every Golden Age (or thereabouts) actor whose prime was during the Hayes Office days and seeing them let loose in a movie without that long-since-gone institution’s restrictions. Since 1967—my arbitrary pick for a year of major change in American cinema--the dominance enjoyed by television forced a lot of aging, once-popular

Movie Characters You Fear You'll Become


Ever see a film and identify with one of the characters for all the "wrong" reasons?  As the late Gerald aka Gordon Pasha often said "My frame of reference is film", so I have no difficulty in identifying with a fictional character, even if it's one that's less-than-ideal. One of the first times this happened was the jarring realization that if I continue on my present "track", I'll end up

Katharine Hepburn: Undercurrent (1946)


The United States was understandably joyous over the end of World War II, and optimistic thoughts of peace and prosperity quickly turned to domestic concerns.  However, the country’s position at the top of the heap was threatened by another big, bad S.O.B., America's wartime ally, the Soviet Union, which was still rattling its bloody saber. Oh wait, these aren’t my history class lecture

Golden Age Film Culture


As a teenager in the bankrupt 1980s, I noticed that in the previous decade, there were several film books about the Golden Age of Hollywood, such as the Citadel series "Films of...", which gave a proper filmography of any given movie star from the Golden Age, there were the Charles Gerhardt re-records of Golden Age film music scores, and of course the emergence of scholarly interest in Film

Star of Midnight to DVD!


The Warner Archive continues to impress on the Husband and Wife Detective front, as the newest release is 1935's Star of Midnight.  I've already reviewed this film in somewhat nauseating fashion, but my enthusiasm for the Husband and Wife Detective genre glows anew with the announcement of this release.  Unfortunately for our classic film-loving friends living outside the United States, the

Calling All Sailors!


Oops! Not a sailor! (or even a veteran at all). Sorry, Duke...I still admire the heck outta ya, though!

"If anyone says 'Merry Christmas' once more, I'll kill 'em."


Merry Christmas to everyone from all of me us here at Hollywood Dreamland!

American Masters: Woody Allen


Yikes! Where have I been??? Anyway, just catching up with things during the holiday season, so here are some first thoughts on the recent PBS American Masters documentary on Woody Allen:Part one was two hours and while it's interesting to have an extensive interview with Woody, there just seems to be a glossing over of the content of his films. A movie every year for thirty five years will do

Is There a 1920s Revival Going On?


Seems to me that there’s a 1920s revival going on! Numerous movies and TV programs have been released that either feature or take place in the ‘20s and I find it all quite exciting! Looks like I picked the right time to become enamored with the first truly modern decade! It’s a refreshing alternative for retro aficionados not really interested in the early ‘60s Mad Men craze currently sweeping

Corey Stoll's Midnight In Paris Transformation


Please pardon my obsession with this movie, but one of the best aspects of Midnight In Paris is its vivid recreation of 1920s artistic luminaries like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Salvador Dali, and Luis Buñuel is the tremendous performance of the heretofore unknown to me Corey Stoll. His take on Ernest Hemingway is rendered with affection and humor, and it's clear that writer-director Woody Allen

In Memoriam: Gerald aka Gordon Pasha


"The only way men can respond to a star is to gaze at it from their remote planet. And even when a star passes out of our sight in the sequence of orbits; we believe that it exists still and feel the gravitational pull it exerts." Over at Laura's Miscellaneous Blog and Matthew Coniam's Movietone News I was saddened to learn of the death of fellow blogger Gerald, aka Gordon Pasha. Gerald often

Midnight In Paris (2011)


"Nostalgia is denial - denial of the painful present... the name for this denial is golden age thinking - the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one's living in - its a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present."~Paul (Michael Sheen) in Midnight In Paris Legendary writer-director and Golden Age devotee

TCM Does as I Tell Them...

2011-08-20T05:14:45.563-04:00 least I like to think so! Yesterday TCM featured French actor Jean Gabin (though NOT Quai des Brumes (1938), pictured above) by airing his films in its annual August Under the Stars showcase. Yes, I'm quite pleased! The poll results of last month's question, "Should TCM air more foreign films?" ended 19-16, with the yays edging the nays. If yesterday's Gabin marathon is any indication,

No Holiday from Holiday (1938)


Holiday (1938; Dir. George Cukor) is among my all-time favorite movies, but while watching it this morning I noticed the boom microphone shadow across Lew Ayres' face. Ayres' performance, along with the rest of the cast, is impressive. The fact that Holiday is one of the most overlooked films of the Golden Age of Hollywood still baffles me. Perhaps it's due to it coming among Katharine Hepburn's

Magnetic Magnani


In another post, someone in the comments section mentioned Anna Magnani in The Fugitive Kind (1960). I had caught part of a scene when TCM aired this film a couple of weeks ago and was immediately interested in Anna Magnani's performance. I'm only familiar with her as being a Best Actress winner for The Rose Tattoo, but it's interesting that she was cast in Tennessee Williams adapatations,

Should TCM Air More Foreign Films?


Turner Classic Movies is the best place on TV to see classic, uncut movies. But seeing as there aren't any channels--at least in the US of A--dedicated to foreign and/or art films, why couldn't TCM expand the definition of classic film to include more foreign films in their schedule? TCM would be the best hope for this, since the Independent Film Channel (IFC) is crap, what with it being chock

Understanding "Overrated"


“That’s so overrated!” “He’s/She’s so overrated!” “They’re overrated!”If I had a penny for every time I read or heard the word “overrated” as it relates to classic film, I’d be the world’s wealthiest--and therefore best--blogger.Overrated: To overestimate the merits of; rate too highly. I don’t know how this term came to such heavy usage. I associate it with people under thirty who happen to see

Guess the Actor!


Here's your clue...the answer will be posted in the comments section of this post:He was the only actor in Hollywood who posed for more mug shots than publicity photos. The day his mother killed herself in 1960, [] was arrested for breaking down a woman's door and assaulting her boyfriend.His off-screen antics also continued, and in 1948 he served three months for breaking a student's jaw.

Husband & Wife Detectives: Fast and Loose (1939)


Fast and Loose (MGM, 1939; Director: Edwin L. Marin) is the second of three entries in the sleuthing saga of husband and wife rare book dealers Joel and Guarda Sloane. This one stars Robert Montgomery and Rosalind Russell as the sleuthing couple. The studio was still trying to replicate the success of their Thin Man series with a similar-themed married detective duo when their star, William

Top Ten Oscar Travesties of the Golden Age: #1


The #1 Oscar travesty of the Golden AgeDouble Indemnity fails to win Best Picture in 1944.It would help to get inside the Academy’s mindset in early 1945 in order to try and comprehend why one of the greatest of all crime dramas lost Best Picture to the relentlessly cheery and sentimental Going My Way.It was early 1945 and World War II was near its end. The Academy, wishing to send an “uplifting”

Top Ten Oscar Travesties of the Golden Age: #2


The #2 Oscar travesty of the Golden AgeHigh Noon fails to win Best Picture in 1952.The result of the 1952 Best Picture race was among the first that shocked me when I first learned of it so many years ago. It was 1990, and I had recently seen High Noon at my grandfather's recommendation. I was 18 or 19 and quite taken with High Noon's themes of courage and duty. I was especially impressed with

Top Ten Oscar Travesties of the Golden Age: #3


The #3 Oscar travesty of the Golden AgeDeborah Kerr NEVER wins.I’d love to have been a fly on the wall if Deborah Kerr and Glenn Close commiserated over their combined eleven Oscar losses. Somehow I think the talk would shift to more interesting subjects, but the point is made: these are the Best Actress bridesmaids of all time (honorable mention goes to Rosalind Russell).Until 1958, Kerr and

Top Ten Oscar Travesties of the Golden Age: #4


The #4 Oscar travesty of the Golden AgeKirk Douglas fails to win Best Actor, 1956.Whenever I think of the stage performance defeating a classic film performance, Yul Brynner’s Best Actor victory over Kirk Douglas immediately comes to mind. In fact, it’s my own personal “Poster Child” of that very phenomenon. I don’t think many share my view on this example, because Kirk Douglas has always been a