Acquiring Little Lord Fauntleroy Memorabilia

My former professor recently acquired this vintage French poster of the 1936 film Little Lord Fauntleroy signed by star Freddie Bartholomew. He was kind enough to gift it to me, knowing my love of classic films.

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A fun little story after I got it: I went over to Larry Edmunds Bookshop on Hollywood Blvd. to pick up a copy of Chaplin’s novella Footlights. I asked the owner – the very lovely Jeffrey Mantor – if he knew how much it was worth or if anyone would be interested in it. He told me that Michael Jackson used to come into the shop all the time (usually in disguises), and he was a massive fan of Freddie Bartholomew – and if he was still around, he’d drop big bucks on my poster!

In any case, this very nice one-sheet will find a good home in my classic film collection!

 

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Tarantino’s Hollywood Blvd

On any ordinary day, I wouldn’t even humor my blog with talks of modern movies. When I created this site three months ago, I made a solemn oath to focus only on motion pictures pre-1970. However, my Hollywood adventure this week was cute enough to bleed into movie history and deserves a little mention.

This week, facades went up on Hollywood Blvd. that time-travelled Los Angeles back to 1969. There were background actors walking around the streets in ’60s attire, and I assumed pretty well what movie was being filmed: Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.

The picture takes place in 1969 Los Angeles around the time when the Golden Age transitioned into New Hollywood, and the movie business completely changed. The studio system collapsed and hippies prowled the streets. Of course, the most interesting aspect of the picture will be how it tackles the Manson murders.

While it’s a star-studded film, it’s the throwback location that really interests me. I love places like Musso & Frank’s, Dan Tana’s, Larry Edmund’s, and Tower Records – places that really defined L.A. culture. Los Angeles notoriously never preserves its own history so being able to travel back in time like this really tickles me pink.

Check out these Elaine Hanelock illustrations behind Musso & Frank’s Grill, where a majority of the filming took place. I sure hope they stay up!

A shop was converted into an old TV repair shop, full of Kodak film and Zenith TV sets. Now that’s vintage.

Finally when I had my fill of ’60s Hollywood., I made a beeline off the boulevard . Off to a side-street, I actually ran into director Quentin Tarantino, escaping the heat wave back into his trailer! Ain’t that something?

Classic Film Summer Reading

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over at Out of the Past announced a challenge so wonderful, so delightful, and so summery that I couldn’t help but sign up in an instant – though it took me a week or so to figure out my selections.

It’s the 2018 Summer Reading Challenge. With everything going on in life lately, I haven’t been able to read for fun as much, but that is all about to change, as I’ve finally figured out six books relating to classic film that would be tremendous fun to tackle.

The challenge runs until September 15, 2018 so I better start reading! You can follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag #ClassicFilmReading.

Revue: The Brides of Dracula (1960)

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The decay rate of Hammer films was such that by the time a picture was successful enough to warrant sequels, the quality would drop so low that the actors would refuse to speak. Such was the case for Christopher Lee, who despised the writing in subsequent Dracula pictures to the point where he spoke not a single line in Dracula: Prince of Darkness

So you’d expect a sequel without Christopher Lee in it at all to be the lowest of lows for Hammer’s reputation. Then again, you’d be surprised by the thrilling and sometimes haunting nature of The Brides of Dracula which, outside of title and a reference, contains no direct connection to Dracula nor his brides.

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Top Hats & Twirls: An Ode to Astaire/Rogers

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They’re considered the most iconic dance partners on film. Their classiness transcended their films and their romantic lullabies created a space for elegance to thrive in a world depressed by war. We are talking, of course, of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, whose multiple film collaborations made them the most iconic male-female musical duo of their time, my pick for this month’s Dynamic Duo in Classic Film Blogathon.

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Revue: An American in Paris (1951) 🇫🇷

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Often overlooked and often compared to its more iconic counterpart, Singin’ in the Rain, is one of my favorite pictures to watch on days when there’s nothing to do or when there’s too much to do. If Singin’ in the Rain is that classic Hollywood romp you watch late at night until 1:30am in the morning (and what a lovely morning!), then An American in Paris is its daytime Parisian companion piece.

The charm and positive attitude of An American in Paris is what always gets to me. Hollywood will always be Hollywood with its sawdust soundstages and thin wooden sets, but the old-world charm of the Paris setting completely transports you to a land of culture where everyone is either in the arts or sipping espressos in the Latin Quarter.

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Grazing the 2018 TCM Film Festival

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Despite the ease of access – and despite being so in love with classic cinema – I have never been to the TCM Film Festival until this year. After starting this blog, I decided I probably should immerse myself in the classic film community and share the joys of watching the likes of Gable and Garbo onscreen.

This year, I decided to test the waters and graze the movie screenings and free events at the TCMFF. The level of passion in classic movie fans is unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. There’s so much respect in the movie palaces – nobody checks their phone or whispers to each other. It’s immersive and transformative, an intimate relationship between the screen and the audience-goer.

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Revue: A Trip to the Moon (1902) 🌝

There must’ve been something pure about making movies back in the 1900s. There was no structure put in place that demanded certain expectations of what a motion picture was, no ego involved that required the creation of celebrity, or the net profits reaped from the industry of filmmaking.

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In the days of Georges Méliès, filmmaking wasn’t even an “art form”, it was a plaything. The movie camera was a new toy for magicians and engineers to fool around with. They used it to record performances – and when they realized the potential of technical, visual trickery, they began using the movie camera to manipulate the proscenium arch, devising realms of impossibility. In those days, a filmmaker was a cinémagicien.

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He Wants Me to Like Him: Chaplin the People-Pleaser

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“He was someone – more than anyone, more than any artist I know – he loved people. He was such a generous man, and he loved people. That’s what his films are about. They’re about people and a love for humanity, and an optimism for humanity!”
— Geraldine Chaplin

One of my favorite podcasts is Maltin on Movies, a discussion of movies by film critic Leonard Maltin and his daughter Jessie. I was happening upon one of their latest episodes in which they interviewed comedian Bill Hader at SXSW when their conversation turned towards the eternal Chaplin vs. Keaton debate. This succinct conversation seemed, in my mind, to have encapsulated the hundreds of books and articles written comparing the two titans of silent film comedy, exploring their craft, sense of humor, and styles of performances.

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