That Old Frank (Film) Magic

This is obviously a bit belated but I wanted this to be perfect.

 

tumblr_nzqc9riaOE1r0dj31o1_500On the 12th December the great Frank Sinatra turned 100. Everyone was jumping on the band wagon by playing his great songs and telling us stories about his less than perfect private life. I’ve actually heard someone say they don’t like the guy now they’ve heard some of the sordid tales from his Vegas and married days. Let me assure you these probably are true, there’s lots of other similar tales from friends, family and acquaintances, but this shouldn’t put you off his magnificent work whether it be his song writing, his singing or his acting.

His acting is where we come in. I could spend days talking about his music and his Rat Pack singing days. I could tell you tales of who he inspired, how he was one of the few celebrities of the time who basically needed the press to survive.tumblr_nz9e4vfjJR1r3rmj3o1_500

High Society (1956)

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Grace Kelly & Frank Sinatra

One of the first films I ever watched that starred Sinatra and, to this day, it is still one of my favourite films. Sinatra stars with Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly and Celeste Holm in this fun musical based on The Philadelphia Story. Sinatra is Mike Connor the journalist who is picked to report on the wedding of socialite Tracy Lord. True love ensues for Connor and Holm’s character, Liz Imbrie, yet it’s fun to watch them get to this point. The film has some great songs, some classic funny moments and an all over light hearted feel.

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

One of the first films Sinatra did with Gene Kelly.tumblr_mg8uq2h4IO1qapcnno1_250 This is a great film where Clarence Doolittle (Sinatra) and Joe Brady (Kelly) are on 4 days shore leave in Hollywood. They go on a musical journey where Joe teaches Clarence to pick up girls and he eventually finds an aspiring actress (Kathryn Grayson) who is the love of his life. There’s a mix of animation with Kelly dancing with Jerry Mouse. There’s some excellent songs and it is a lovely story. You’ve probably heard of another sailor themed film, On The Town, featuring Sinatra and Kelly but this one is well worth a watch too.

Von Ryan’s Express (1965)

tumblr_mx3cqlhmkh1r3mh0to1_400.gifA Sinatra film that everyone should know about and one that’s a bit different to the others he was famous for. A war film in every sense the film is set in WWII and sees a group of allied soldiers try to escape by hijacking a train. Sinatra plays Joseph Ryan who is a US Air Corps pilot and gets taken to a concentration camp after being shot down. Here the film unfolds into a thrilling story of bravery and courage. Sinatra gives one of his best performances in this role. If you’ve read the book you’ll notice a few differences but I think you’ll agree they work perfectly in the film.

Robin and the 7 Hoods (1964)

A true Rat Pack film, maybe not as famous as Ocean’s Eleven but this is still everything that made the Rat Pack films fun and enjoyable to watch. Sinatra truly made this film brilliant with a glittering cast and some memorable songs all done to the storyline of Robin Hood. Sinatra obviously has the leading role of Robbo and sees that fun, adventure and true spirit takes place in the ranks of Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Bing Crosby and Peter Falk. It’s fun to watch while still teaching the meaning of Robin Hood.

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From Here to Eternity (1953)

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This film basically relaunched Sinatra’s film career and was nominated for and won many awards. It’s based on the book by James Jones and makes for the perfect movie. Sinatra, Montgomery Clift and Burt Lancaster play three US Army soldiers stationed in Hawaii months before Pearl Harbour. They each have their different problems and we learn a great deal about them throughout the film, as well as the jobs they do. Maggio (Sinatra) is a fun character and yet suffers terribly throughout the film. Sinatra, rightly so, won Best Supporting actor at the Oscars for his role.

Guys and Dolls (1955)

Where to start with the film. It’s based on thetumblr_n8aeofHfwt1sjmaqio1_500 Broadway musical but there are some differences most noticeably with there been extra songs written for the film. Sinatra plays gambler Nathan Detroit who’s finding it difficult to find somewhere to hold an illegal crap game because of the police. Then comes in Marlon Brando’s Sky Masterson and they bet on taking a girl out to dinner. Detroit also has to deal with his fiancé of 14 years wanting to tie the knot. The film is very upbeat and has some great romance to it. Sinatra fits the role of Detroit extremely well as if the part was made for him. If you’ve never seen it you’re missing one of the greatest musicals ever.

 

Frank Sinatra made films his own and brought so much emotion and drama to both the big and tv screen it’s a wonder his films aren’t more famous. He’ll always be remembered for his stunning vocals, even in films, but remember the guy won Academy Awards so he definitely did something right somewhere.

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Well Did You Evah’s Tribute to Lauren Bacall

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I was hoping I wouldn’t have to write one of these for at least another few years but alas Betty Bacall suddenly died of a massive stroke on Tuesday 12th August. We were trying to think of a fitting tribute to the talent, the beauty and the stylishness that was Lauren Bacall and all we could come up with to properly show our love for her was photos and videos.

tumblr_na9bfbgXGY1qabj53o1_1280Bacall was a true legend and not just because of her husband Humphrey Bogart. Her tilted head with smouldering eyes, her sexy husky voice and her beautiful make-up, dress sense and coiffed hair made her a star in her own rights and a role model for up and coming actresses.

Every film she starred in throughout her career shows her elegance and dedication to the role she played. We’ll show you a couple of our favourites.

Bacall’s first film was To Have And Have Not (1944) She was still known as Betty Bacall back then. It would also be her first role opposite Bogart and the film that would change her life. Here we have the famous whistle scene.

 

Here we have one of my favourite Lauren Bacall films; How To Marry A Millionaire (1953) Bacall stars with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Grable as three women on the lookout for rich husbands.

We do also love an animated film she voiced. She voiced the Witch of the Waste in the English Version of Howl’s Moving Castle (2004). If you have the time go watch all Bacall’s films. She has the power to change in all her performances and yet still leave you wanting more.

Now I leave you with a trip down memory lane. Enjoy the photos of Lauren Bacall, the actress, the style icon, the old Hollywood legend.

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RIP Lauren Bacall 16th September 1924- 12th August 2014

It’s with a very heavy heart and tears rolling down my face that I tell you that the legendary Old Hollywood Actress Lauren “Betty” Bacall has died aged 89.

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It was confirmed she suffered a stroke and has a result died from it. We will of course be writing some blogs later to celebrate this beautiful actress but as of now I think I need to get over the shock.

Betty, you were one of the last remaining greats and I think those of us in the Old Hollywood fandom believed you to be immortal. I was so looking forward to writing your 90th birthday post in just a few short weeks. Rest in Peace now with your dear Bogie, you’ll both be remembered forever.

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“If you want me just whistle. You know how to whistle don’t you? Just put your lips together and blow”… 

Happy Birthday Natalie Wood!

tumblr_n46rh73juW1qa70eyo1_500Today would have been Natalie Wood’s 76th birthday! I love this woman and not just because I was named after her.

She started acting at an early age and there is so much more to her than the suspicious circumstances surrounding her early death by drowning in 1981. She was her own woman with a life very much lived in the limelight. Her marriages to Robert Wagner never took away from her stardom.

Natalie was a true beauty of the golden era and all the way through her career. She remained professional in her work and Orson Welles once commented that Wood’s professionalism when she was a child was “so good, she was terrifying.”

In celebration of her birthday I’m going to tell you about some of my favourite parts she played throughout her career.

 

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

In Natalie’s first ever starring role, aged 9, she plays Susan Walker a girl brought up not to tumblr_n842dtGJZf1snmmclo1_500believe in fairytales but when she meets Kris Kringle at Macy’s Department store finds that Santa could actually be real. I doubt I need to tell you much about the storyline. Miracle on 34th Street is a Thanksgiving and Christmas classic. You’ve probably all watched the 1994 version with Mara Wilson playing Susan but this version is just as magical. Wood’s performance is heartfelt and very real.

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Rebel Without A Cause (1955)

tumblr_n5kpba5vMR1rerml7o1_1280.pngThis is one of my all time favourite films and one of the very few that stars James Dean. The film is about teenagers, rebellion and a time of decay for American teenagers. When you watch it it’s eerie how true some of the situations seem to be, even today. Wood plays Judy who we see in the Police Station with Jim (Dean) at the beginning of the film. Their relationship grows slowly but the portrayal is perfect for delinquent teenagers. Rebel Without A Cause is one of the first films where we see Wood flung into varying emotional scenes and still at such a young age, she was only 17 at the time.

 

West Side Story (1961)

Okay I know she doesn’t sing herself but this is probably one of the films everyone tumblr_n02kmiI17k1s5bh5uo1_500associates with Natalie Wood. West Side Story is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, Natalie plays Maria against Richard Beymer’s Tony. Tensions erupt between Maria’s brothers gang the Sharks and the gang Tony is part of the Jets. The characters are portrayed very well and Wood’s acting is quite similar to her work in Rebel Without A Cause. Even her dancing and dubbing for her singing seems realistic. The emotion though out the film seems to make her role stronger, especially with the end tragedy.

 

There are other fantastic films Natalie Wood starred in so if you get chance have a watch of Gypsy (1962), Sex and the Single Girl (1964), Marjorie Morningstar (1958) and The Great Race (1965). You won’t be disappointed with the comedy, drama and cast involved in each.

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