Ronald Reagan’s D.C. Movie Tour

Phil Hartman was one of my favorite comedians. Funny, satirical, and a great impressionist. He was best known for his Bill Clinton impression, but I always loved his brief stint as Reagan.

In this SNL cold open, President Reagan – political knowledge limited by old Hollywood films – name-drops John Wayne, Tyrone Power, and even Gort from The Day The Earth Stood Still in an attempt to impress Gorbachev. For classic movie fans like me, it’s always fun to think back to Reagan’s Hollywood years. King’s RowBedtime for Bonzo, the General Electric Theater – as a Disney fan, I even remember Reagan co-hosting the opening day of Disneyland in 1955.

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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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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Footlights: In the Shoes of the Tramp 👣

Roy Export Company Ltd.

Having lived in Los Angeles for a while and being always humbled that I get to walk through Hollywood history on a daily basis, I sometimes forget that the most average streets may hold some kind of connection to yesterday’s Golden Age.

As a history buff, my love of classic movies runs deeper than just the content of the pictures and the people involved – I love the vintage culture of L.A. back in those days and the early history of Hollywood, when Echo Park was Edendale and Tudor Revival was all the rage with the movie stars.

For this month’s Charlie Chaplin Blogathon, I decided to do a semi-exhaustive location scout of some of the more prominent houses and studios Charlie Chaplin reigned over – and see what they look like now. I wanted to limit my adventure to Los Angeles itself, and the important locations he lived and worked at.

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Revue: Royal Wedding (1951) 👑

MV5BY2FlZmMyMjktOTAzYy00ZmYzLWJhNjMtMjljOWY1ZjVhZjM3XkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjc0MzMzNjA@._V1_UX182_CR0,0,182,268_AL_.jpgIn what must’ve been the most biographical picture of Fred Astaire’s career, the wedding of Princess Elizabeth and Philip Mountbatten (soon to be Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip) serves as the most delightful backdrop to not one, but two intercontinental romances. This is the film that gave us not one, but two iconic Astaire dance numbers. And so late in Astaire’s second career – after all, he had only come out of retirement three years prior to work with Judy Garland on Easter Parade.

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