Dienstag, 17. Juli 2012

Some stars just hanging out at the beach

Here are some photos of classic stars hanging out at the beach. Happy Tuesday Everyone!





Natalie and friend

and finally Marilyn bids us farewell..
What a day at the beach!

Freitag, 6. Juli 2012

Let's watch...BEACH PARTY (1963)

OK, when I was younger like around 13 or 14, this cable channel would air certain movies every summer. Beach films like Gidget and the beach films starring Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello were some of them. I would anxiously await them each and every summer. 

The first beach film was simply titled Beach Party (1963) and it introduced the whole gang to audiences everywhere back then and again in the 80's on TV. 

An anthropologist named Robert Orville Sutwell (Robert Cummings) is secretly studying the "wild mating habits" of Southern California teenagers who hang out at the beach and use strange surfing jargon. After he temporarily paralyzes Eric Von Zipper (Harvey Lembeck), the leader of the local motorcycle gang, who was making unwanted advances on Dolores (Annette Funicello), Dolores develops a crush on the Professor. Her surfing boyfriend Frankie (Frankie Avalon), the local Big Kahuna, becomes jealous and begins flirting with Ava (Eva Six), a Hungarian waitress. Meanwhile, Sutwell's assistant Marianne (Dorothy Malone..what a treat it is to see her in this film) further develops her crush on the Professor. Von Zipper and his gang plot to bring down Sutwell, only to be thwarted in the end by the surfing teenagers.

Kissee kissee

So a lot happens in this entertaining film. And it was the first of many in a very successful series during the 60's.  So successful in fact that Avalon and Funicello got pigeon holed in these roles and could never achieve success anywhere else. Still they were diverting and fun films that made them household names.


Released mid summer of 1963 on July 14th

Followed by four more sequels: Muscle Beach Party (1964), Bikini Beach (1964), Pajama Party (1964), and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965).

Annette was 20 years old when cast in this film and Frankie was 23.

Just cruising down the highway

Count our lucky stars


Samstag, 30. Juni 2012

Let's Go to the beach!

The gang's all here for some summer fun!

For the month of July, the theme me and Irene have decided on is summer beach films. You know the films where the boys chase the girls or vice versa...or the family goes on a family outing ala Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. Most of the well known beach films came out during the 60's so a lot of our posts will deal with those films. But we will also have posts showcasing films not all about the beach, but perhaps showing an iconic moment or scene that takes place at the beach ala From Here To Eternity. It's still early and we're doing this by the seat of our pants, so please check into Let The Show Begin all month long. It should be a blast.

Count our lucky stars


Mittwoch, 27. Juni 2012

It's time to re-cast - COME SEPTEMBER

Here we are again.. Next month is near and Monty thought about a theme for then - but: Mum's the word! He will tell you all about it when July has come..

For now we would like to present a little game we play: We like to re-cast films. It's not like: "Oh - we could do better than the original casting was!" - it is more like: "We love it! But how would it look with different actors - or when it was made in another era?" We hope you can relate to that idea..

~ Yes.. we did this post together.. ~

The rules are simple:

1. Stay true to the decade you have chosen. Charlize Theron and Clara Bow can not be casted in the same film. Since Buster Keaton and Dustin Hoffman both were active in the 1960's they both can be casted in one film - just to name an extreme here.. - but they only could be casted for a film with a 1960's cast - and they would have to be casted in the age they were at that time. So no young Buster Keaton with an elderly Dustin Hoffman..

2. No actor who was in the original film can be casted. (That's why we would never re-cast CASABLANCA and other iconic films..)

3. If possible the casting of every actor has to be explained - though the explanation can be totally emotional.. 

So here is the first film we recasted for this blog - because we intend to make a series of that.. 


In a nut-shell:

Every year in September Robert L. Talbot (Rock Hudson) travels to his villa in Italy to meet Lisa H. Fellini (Gina Lollobrigida) - she is kind of his seasonal girl-friend. But this time he returns in Summer and not only finds his Villa being rented by his major domo Maurice (Walter Slezak) to a bunch of young American girls (besides others: Sandra Dee) and their chaparone Margaret (Brenda De Banzie) - with whom Maurice has kind of a romance in the beginning.. But also Lisa has giving up waiting for him and is about to marry Spence, a British gentleman (Ronald Howard).. Plus: The girls have some admirers: A group of young US guys (amongst others: Bobby Darin and Joel Grey) - and Robert is very much into protecting the girls.. (not necessarely on their wish..)

Here are the casted actors:

(Please, keep in mind that this is our first attempt! We are still practicing..)

Monty decided to do a modern version (2010) - while Irene tried to put it into a 1947-b/w-version:

Robert and Lisa

Original version: Rock Hudson and Gina Lollobrigida

Monty's version:

Russell Crowe
Catherine Zeta-Jones

Russell Crowe (after years of action films and dramas like L.A. Confidential, Gladiator and Proof Of Life, Russell showed a flair for romantic comedy in the film A Good Year. So I choose him in the re-casted role of Robert Talbot to see if he can recapture some of that A Good Year magic) and Catherine Zeta-Jones (more than enough woman to match Crowe's manly man...I can see the fireworks already)

Irene's version: 

Kirk Douglas

(Because he would be capable of showing as much self assurance as too aspect a woman to wair for him all year long and also was great in comic parts. He would be awesome in his attempts to shaft the boys..)


Alida Valli

(because she was a great actress. More than good enough to cope with Kirk Douglas - and so gorgeous that I could imagine a man traveling once a year just to have a few weeks with her..)


Original version: Walter Slezak

Monty's version: 

Nathan Lane

Monty's version: Nathan Lane (who better to capture Maurice, Robert's major domo than Nathan Lane, who can be exasperatingly funny)

Irene's version: 

Curt Bois

(like Walter Slezak he sports an European accent - and he is a great actor.. Plus I would love to see him in a small romance..)


Original version: Brenda De Banzie

Monty's version:

Emma Thompson

Monty's version: Emma Thompson (I'm going with the always wonderful Emma Thompson as chaparone Magaret, who has done several comedies in her career)

Irene's version: 

Norma Varden

(she would be great as an chaperone - and to have her teamed up with Curt Bois who was the pickpocket who robbed her "husband" in CASABLANCA - I like that idea.. Also I would love to see her in a blooming romance..)


Original version: Ronald Howard

Monty's version:

Jude Law

Monty's version: Jude Law (Now Irene knows that Jude is not one of my favorite actors but I think he would be a perfect fit as Spencer, just because he doesn't wind up with the girl at the end of the movie)

Irene's version: 

Michael Redgrave 

(he would be great as a stiff and at the same time bewildered British bridegroom.. and for sure he would fit into the part of a man not believing that he is dumped.. Well.. maybe that's because yours Irene is a little bit in love with him.. ~ahem~ ... obviously Monty and me are casting from different point of views.. ...) 

Sandy and Tony

Original version: Sandra Dee and Bobby Darin

Monty's version: Emma Stone and Zac Efron (Emma is a young emerging new actress who has proven to be quite funny in such films as Zombieland and Easy A while Zac is quite the singer/actor/dancer thanks to those High School Musicals...I think they would be perfect together)

Irene's version: 

Shirley Temple 

(I simply prefer her as a teenager..) and 

Johnny Sands

(because Shirley Temple and him were such a lovely couple in THE BACHERLOR AND THE BOBBY SOXER (1947)...)


Original version: Joel Grey

Monty's version: Anton Yelchin (Ok this might be an out of left field choice but I think Yelchin would be awesome. He was funny as Chekov in the recent Star Trek reboot)


Irene's version:

Carl Switzer

(just because I love him - and he would be just perfect.)

So - what do you think? Who would you like to cast? Or: have you films you would like us to recast? 

Well - what ever you do: Enjoy the show!

Freitag, 11. Mai 2012

The Show will go on...

 The old.....

 The new...

Some may be wondering what is going on here. Where are the posts? Where is the fun loving writing of Miss Irene Palfy and Monty? I'm here to tell ya, we're still here. Just so busy with tons of other blogs and stuff. I had talked to Irene about the theme for this month being all about Dark Shadows, since the new movie has just come out. I think we are still thinking about it. Irene saw the movie the other day and loved it. I intend to see it this weekend hopefully. I remember watching the original series on TV when it was being shown in repeats during the late 80's. Loved it. We could post about that series and the new updated film. We still have plenty of time this month. So don't give up on us yet, me and Irene are still here. The show will go on!

Count our lucky stars


Sonntag, 29. April 2012

I am sorry..

Dear, dear followers!

I have to ask you to forgive me for I was very lazy this month. Actually I always watch a film before doing a review here - and for I watched soleley about one classic Hollywood film this month and wasn't overwhelmed at all by it there was nothing I could have written about which would have been of your interest. 

Otherwise I watched only tons of German films or newer ones - so you see I simply had nothing to write about for this blog. I also had some private problems to deal with which kept me from writing stuff I did not feel at that time. 

I hope I can make good some other time. 
Thank you for those who visited this blog - and thank you very much, Monty, for writing two posts this month. 


Sonntag, 15. April 2012

Let's watch.. .. LILIES OF THE FIELD (1963)

Excellent film with Sidney Poitier in an Oscar winning performance as Homer Smith, an ex-GI now traveling contractor. Homer is making his way through a small town in Arizona when his car overheats. He pulls into a place and encounters a group of East German Catholic nuns led by the strict Mother Superior Maria (Lilia Skala). All Homer wants is some water for his radiator but he ends up staying at the request of Mother Maria to help out around the place. And when Mother Maria asks him to build a chapel cause she thinks God has sent him for that task, Homer reluctantly agrees. Lilies of the Field is a wonderful film mixing drama with some humor and a great performance by Mr. Poitier. I used to think Sidney's best acting work was in Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. I stand corrected, Lilies is by far his best work and he deservedly was named Best Actor for 1963. He makes Homer such an engaging character that most people can identify with. And all the actresses portraying the nuns give worthy performances also. Lilies is a small but immensely enjoyable film. One of the best scenes in the film is when Homer teaches the nuns how to sing an old time church hymn called Amen. It's heavenly, rousing, and funny all at once. A great music score by Jerry Goldsmith is a plus also. Add this to Poitier's list of films that he made in the 1960's and you have one of the best stretches of film acting ever delivered. His other films during this period include A Raisin in the Sun (1961); The Bedford Incident (1965); To Sir, With Love (1967); Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967); and In The Heat Of The Night (1967). All equally impressive films during a six year span. And Lilies is right up there with them.

Check out this wonderful scene from a wonderful film..

Donnerstag, 12. April 2012

Let's watch.. ..TOBACCO ROAD (1941)

You might remember the star of last month.. Gene Tierney..  – today I will present one directed by John Ford she did in the beginning of her career - and which actually deals a bit with religion:


The Great Depression has left people poor and disappointed.  Jeeter Lester (Charley Grapewin) and his family are living in Tobacco Road – one of the poorest places. The Jeeters live by stealing and so do their neighbours – to work on their farms is too straining and frequently postponed. When the new owner of their land ask for $100 rent for the farm for one year the Jeeters have to face the possibility to live at the poor farm – which is horrifying (They would have to bath before they get something to eat! Awful..) The Lester children are no help either: Ellie May (Gene Tierney) and Dude (William Tracy) are not too smart – and while Ellie May is very much interested in her brother-in-law Lov (Ward Bond) who has frequently troubles with his wife Pearl, Dude marries Sister Bessie (Marjorie Rambeau) a religious woman who is almost twice his age – but has enough money to buy him a car with a wonderful horn..

~ young love.. wily William Tracy and wonderful Marjorie Rambeau ~

TOBACCO ROAD is based on a play – which is based on the novel by Erskine Caldwell (who also wrote GOD'S LITTLE ACRE). I can’t tell you about the play – but the book I have read. Just by the way: It is set in Georgia – near to Augusta. For obvious reasons the scenes which contained sex – and I guess that’s one aspect that made Erskine Caldwell’s books so successful.. – are now much tamer: The scene in which the Lester Family is stealing Lov’s turnips just shows Gene Tierney’s character almost in a kiss with Lov. It’s very well done and has actually some eroticism in it (Gene Tierney and Ward Bond did a very good job here..) – but in the book they are doing things which made Lov much more distracted..

~ this picture is a publicity still - in the film Ward Bond and Gene Tierney are much MUCH closer to earth.. ~

Another very Hollywood-natural change: in the book Ellie Mae has a harelip (that’s why Lov didn’t want her for his wife in the first place and took Pearl.) – of course in this film Ellie Mae is beautiful but simply a bit dirty..
~ ... that's how an ugly woman looks in Hollywood..  ~

But this film isn’t after all a typical Hollywood glamour comedy – the Lesters are very canny (I think this is a characteristic which is supposed to be typical for every country folk all over the world..)  but due to Jeeter’s laziness  their home is quite rotten. Another typicall thing for Erskine Caldwell’s books is used in this film, too: Most Hollywood films take Religion for a higher thing – here it is mostly used by the characters to get what they’re longing for – to manipulate. It’s the overall argument for everything. Unlike the book the film has almost a happy-end though I fear that after six month Jeeter and his wife (Elizabeth Patterson) have again to pack their things and leave their farm..
The only character in this who is a little bit more cultivated, mannered and nice is a minor character played by Dana Andrews - but his character isn't that poor - so maybe that's the cause for that..

~ Charley Grapewin as Jeeter Lester ~

If you’re okay with partly overacting characters (I won’t blame the actors because I think this is caused in the story) and a very much cynical way to look at live: I highly recommend this film – people who prefer good manners and lovely personas will be deeply disappointed. 

Enjoy the show, please!



Dienstag, 3. April 2012

Let's watch...ELMER GANTRY (1960)

 Burt Lancaster is all fire and brimstone as a traveling salesman who crosses path with a lady preacher named Sharon Falconer (played by Jean Simmons in an Award worthy performance) and becomes part of her traveling roadshow. Burt gives a showy and deserving Oscar winning performance as Gantry, who manages to smooth talk just about everyone he meets. But his past catches up with him later on in the form of Lulu Bains, a prostitute (played by Shirley Jones, who won an Oscar for her work here) who brings down her fury on Gantry in the final act. It's hard to mix religion and film and come away with everything working so well. The three leads: Lancaster, Simmons, and Jones are all top notch. There is also strong support from Arthur Kennedy as a local newspaper man who doesn't fall for Gantry's theatrics. I liked Elmer Gantry. It doesn't beat you over the head with the ideas of religion but does make you think about all the things that go along with it. All the music, preaching, etc combine to make a very solid film.
Jean Simmons in Elmer Gantry
Burt Lancaster & Jean Simmons in in Elmer Gantry
Shirley Jones in Elmer Gantry
Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry
Shirley Jones & Burt Lancaster in Elmer Gantry
 I do believe Simmons was overlooked by the Academy by not even being nominated for her amazing performance as Sister Sharon. Her scenes preaching to the masses will hook you in immediately with her soft and delicate features but strong and commanding voice. Jones part was small but very effective. She doesn't enter the film until about 90 minutes in, but makes quite the impression as Lulu. She is very smart and very capable of taking down anyone who wrongs her such as Gantry did in their past. And finally Lancaster is top notch with this show stopping role that lets him cut loose with some big attention grabbing scenes and also with some quieter effective moments as well. If you have never seen Elmer Gantry, you need to check it out.

 Count our lucky stars