Sunday, August 22, 2010

Love me some Bob and Norma

Their Own Desire (1929) Robert Montgomery,  Norma Shearer
~ Photo courtesy of Olde Tymes on Flickr ~

I've mentioned Bob Montgomery, legendary Golden Age of Hollywood MGM leading man and solid reportoire player, who appeared on screen with Norma Shearer more than any other man.

I was on Youtube the other day and chanced upon this sweet video of clips of Bob and Norma flirting and kissing in their various career roles (they were most often cast as very good friends, he usually wanting to wed her, she usually wanting not to but not for any fault of his...and they seemed to genuinely care for and respect each other no matter their roles, even in 1931's Private Lives, in which their characters fight and bicker throughout).

Another big fan made it, someone named Tap2323, and I'm very grateful, for it is a perfect example of why I love Bob and Norma together, why I love watching them. They always leave me feeling better. The older I get, the more precious that kind of magic becomes to me. Hopefully, you'll experience the same. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Norma Shearer Day

Miss Shearer with her 1931 Best Actress Academy Award

Let me just say it straight up: I love Norma Shearer. I've seen and love every one of her movies that still exist. The reason why I love her -- aside from her awesome acting abilities -- is that watching her is never boring, watching her always leaves me feeling good.

Norma had the rare ability to resonate kindness, sincerity and genuineness.  Just as Shirley Temple always left her audience smiling and feeling great, so did Norma. And after reading no less than 3 biographies of her, I believe I can safely say that even though she was the Queen of MGM until she retired in 1942, she was a sincere, generous and kind person to her fans and to her peers.

Most people today don't even know who she was, and that's too bad. But afficienados of classic Hollywood Golden Age film sure do and they rate her highly. Today is Norma Shearer Day on Turner Classic Movies. They're playing her movies all day long, so if you get a little time and the chance, check her out.

I just finished watching the movie that made me fall in love with her: the 1925 silent film Lady of the Night. But I can recommend a few more of my favorites:

TCM Movie Schedule for Norma Shearer Day (all times Eastern):

6:00 AM Lady of the Night (1924)
In this silent film, a young man must choose between a woman from the streets and a refined woman, both of whom are in love with him. Cast: Norma Shearer, Malcolm McGregor, George K. Arthur. Dir: Monta Bell. BW-61 mins, TV-G

7:15 AM Lady Of Chance, A (1928)
In this silent film, a female con artist lures men to her apartment so she can blackmail them. Cast: Norma Shearer, Lowell Sherman, Gwen Lee. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-78 mins, TV-G

8:45 AM Their Own Desire (1929)
A young couple's affair is complicated by her father's relationship with his mother. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Lewis Stone. Dir: E. Mason Hopper. BW-65 mins, TV-G

10:00 AM Complicated Women (2003)
Documentary that looks at the phenomenon of "pre-code women" during the years 1929-1934. Cast: Narrated by Jane Fonda. Dir: Hugh Munro Neely. BW-55 mins, TV-PG, CC

11:00 AM Divorcee, The (1930)
The double standard destroys a liberal couple's marriage. Cast: Norma Shearer, Chester Morris, Robert Montgomery. Dir: Robert Z. Leonard. BW-82 mins, TV-G, CC

12:30 PM Barretts of Wimpole Street, The (1934)
An invalid poetess defies her father's wishes to marry a dashing young poet. Cast: Norma Shearer, Fredric March, Charles Laughton. Dir: Sidney Franklin. BW-109 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

2:30 PM Riptide (1934)
A chorus girl weds a British lord then falls for an old flame. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Herbert Marshall. Dir: Edmund Goulding. BW-92 mins, TV-G

4:15 PM Escape (1940)
A Nazi officer's mistress helps an American free his mother from a concentration camp. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Taylor, Conrad Veidt. Dir: Mervyn LeRoy. BW-98 mins, TV-G

6:00 PM Idiot's Delight (1939)
A hoofer and a fake Russian countess are caught behind enemy lines at the outbreak of World War II. Cast: Clark Gable, Norma Shearer, Edward Arnold. Dir: Clarence Brown. BW-110 mins, TV-G, CC

8:00 PM Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, The (1927)
In this silent film, a young prince attending college falls for a barmaid below his station. Cast: Ramon Novarro, Norma Shearer, Jean Hersholt. Dir: Ernst Lubitsch. BW-106 mins, TV-G

9:56 PM Short Film: Norma Shearer Biography (Janet Leigh, narrator)(1962)
BW-4 mins.

10:00 PM Private Lives (1931)
A divorced couple rekindles the spark after landing in adjoining honeymoon suites with new mates. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Una Merkel. Dir: Sidney Franklin. BW-84 mins, TV-G

11:30 PM Romeo and Juliet (1936)
Shakespeare's classic tale of young lovers from feuding families. Cast: Norma Shearer, Leslie Howard, John Barrymore. Dir: George Cukor. BW-125 mins, TV-G, CC, DVS

1:45 AM Marie Antoinette (1938)
Lavish biography of the French queen who "let them eat cake." Cast: Norma Shearer, Tyrone Power, Robert Morley. Dir: W.S. Van Dyke II. BW-157 mins, TV-G, CC

4:30 AM Strangers May Kiss (1931)
A sophisticated woman risks her marriage for love of a ruthless schemer. Cast: Norma Shearer, Robert Montgomery, Neil Hamilton. Dir: George Fitzmaurice. BW-81 mins, TV-G, CC

Finally, my choice among today's actresses to play Norma if they made a biopic of her life:
Jennifer Aniston's face Photoshopped onto Norma's - can you see the physical resemblance?

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Kidnapped by {arrogant} Krap

"...the next one gets it right between the eyes..."

Do ya ever have a day that begins normally, then slowly begins to take a life of its own, and then 4 hours later it's spiralling into a kidnapping against your will? And what you end up doing against your will is just effing trivial KRAP?

Yup, I just had one of those, it's not over, and I need some kind of therapeutic break before diving back in and desperately trying to salvage a few minutes of productive time on my own terms.

I think I'll bitch about pent up stuff in my Pent-Up Stuff mental file. Yeah.

First off, I really want to talk about a blogging friend who somehow cannot leave it to readers to subscribe on their own. Oh no, she's got to send out a group email alert to anyone and everyone the minute she so much as sneezes on that blog. Now, I might well consider this a smart marketing ploy IF she visited the blogs of the people on this mailing list or even of those who post her comments. But, no again. She's therefore expecting others to read her while not returning the favor.

I myself played along for awhile and then one day emailed her telling her she should reciprocate. I got a reply with well okay, excuses excuses. Fine, we all have excuses. And I am farrrrrr far far from being a good blog return commenter, but then because of that I do not ever expect it in return. You know, one or the other. Or else, I'm irritated.

So, anyway, I said to hell with it a few minutes ago and blocked her from sending me any more of those twit emails. Moral of the story here is that anyone has all the freedom in the world to act like a primadonna, but I don't have to play along with it. And in case she thinks that I'm acting like one, then Moral #2 is that I get to act like one, too. Hey, that's a 2-fer, right? I like it!

I'm beginning to feel better already. So, I'll do just one more and then I'm outtahere.

Here's another huge bitch. Have you ever tried to buy sheet music online? Well, if you ever need to (like if your luddite father wants the "piano vocal guitar" version of Delta Dawn but can't bother himself to learn how to even open an email attachment and he lives 600 miles away), if you ever need to, then do not use at any cost this site: Sheet Music Direct . I am warning you, run away from this place!!! We are talking about a website so slow you can literally toast bread while it loads a page. And their process for enabling you to print out the music you have purchased is so arcane it might be extinct.

Having experienced this torture today, I can tell you that any business like this needs to have the music in a .pdf format, and they should either email it to you or let you download it. I will never ever use this site again, that's a promise. It literally took me less than 5 minutes to find the song I wanted and then close to 2 hours to purchase and print. I had to download a stupid printing software program to boot (which I am removing the minute I post this, as it makes my system run sluggishly).

I don't know whether to smash a fist thru a wall or laugh histerically at this company's lack of salesmanship and technical prowess. Again with the arrogance! And my dad can just google a company that has an 800 number from now on, because what he really needs to do is LEARN and this might might help him move in that direction. It's not like he can't, or ask ten or twelve of his friends to help him. That's like I really wanna read some ridiculous self-absorbed angst from someone who cannot lower herself to read my self-absorbed angst in return, like any self-respecting polite person. 

Whew! {Shaking off the f-uglies} That was helpful! Now, back to the cesspool of chaos that my day's become...I'm draining the swamp! xoxo