Saturday, January 4, 2014

I’m stuck here at Howdygram headquarters with Joan Crawford movies and canned tamales.

In this post: Sam, canned tamales, Joan Crawford Month, Dead Famous People.

It’s 3:45 Saturday afternoon and Sam is on his way to the office for a 12-hour shift. He was Mister Frownyface when he left here a few minutes ago, clearly irritated that his weekend is shot to hell when you consider the 20-hour marathon he just worked on New Year’s Day. Yes, tomorrow will be shot to hell, too. And I’m stuck here at Howdygram headquarters with Joan Crawford movies and canned tamales.
Incidentally, this happens to be Joan Crawford Month on TCM in case you’re experiencing a shortage of shopgirls, flappers, tramps or bitches. You’ve already missed 24 hours of Joan on January 2, but here’s a list of what’s coming up for the rest of the month. Check your local listings for times, okay? I’ll slap a teeny red star next to my personal picks.

•  Grand Hotel (1932) with an all-star cast
•  Rain (1932) with Walter Huston
•  Dancing Lady (1933) with Clark Gable and the Three Stooges
•  Forsaking All Others (1934) with Clark Gable and Robert Montgomery
•  This Modern Age (1931) with Neil Hamilton
•  Today We Live (1933) with Gary Cooper
•  Chained (1934) with Clark Gable
•  Sadie McKee (1934) with Franchot Tone and Gene Raymond
•  I Live My Life (1935) with Brian Aherne
•  No More Ladies (1935) with Robert Montgomery
•  The Gorgeous Hussy (1936) with Robert Taylor and Lionel Barrymore
•  Love on the Run (1936) with Clark Gable and Franchot Tone
•  The Bride Wore Red (1937) with Franchot Tone and Robert Young
•  The Last of Mrs. Cheyney (1937) with William Powell and Robert Montgomery

•  The Women (1939) with Norma Shearer, Rosalind Russell and Joan Fontaine
•  When Ladies Meet (1941) with Greer Garson and Robert Taylor
•  A Woman’s Face (1941) with Melvyn Douglas
•  They All Kissed the Bride (1942) with Melvyn Douglas and Roland Young
•  Mannequin (1937) with Spencer Tracy
•  The Shining Hour (1938) with Melvyn Douglas and Margaret Sullavan
•  The Ice Follies of 1939 (1939) with James Stewart
•  Strange Cargo (1940) with Clark Gable
•  Susan and God (1940) with Fredric March
•  Reunion in France (1942) with John Wayne
•  Above Suspicion (1943) with Fred MacMurray
•  Hollywood Canteen (1944) with Roy Rogers and Trigger

•  Mildred Pierce (1945) with Ann Blyth and Jack Carson
•  Humoresque (1946) with John Garfield
•  Flamingo Road (1949) with Zachary Scott and Sydney Greenstreet
•  The Damned Don’t Cry (1950) with nobody important
•  Possessed (1947) with Van Heflin
•  It’s a Great Feeling (1949) with Doris Day and Dennis Morgan
•  Harriet Craig (1950) with Wendell Corey
•  Goodbye, My Fancy (1951) with Robert Young
•  This Woman Is Dangerous (1952) with Dennis Morgan
•  Torch Song (1953) with Michael Wilding
•  Queen Bee (1955) with Barry Sullivan
•  Autumn Leaves (1956) with Cliff Robertson
•  The Story of Esther Costello (1957) with Rossano Brazzi

•  The Best of Everything (1959) with Stephen Boyd and Hope Lange
•  What Ever Happened to Baby Jane (1962) with Bette Davis
•  Della (1964) with Diane Baker
•  Strait-Jacket (1964) with Diane Baker and George Kennedy
•  Trog (1970) with nobody important
•  The Karate Killers (1967) with Robert Vaughn and David McCallum
•  The Caretakers (1963) with Polly Bergen and Robert Stack
•  Berserk! (1967) with Ty Hardin and Diana Dors

In case you’re interested, I gave red stars to some of Joan’s movies for a variety of different reasons, such as: 1) so atrocious (typically featuring Joan singing and/or dancing) that it’s not to be missed; 2) Joan isn’t great but I love her co-stars; or 3) this is a terrific movie overall. Falling into category 1 would be Dancing Lady, The Ice Follies of 1939 and Torch Song. In category 2 is Hollywood Canteen. The rest with red stars are in category 3: Grand Hotel, This Modern Age, Susan and God, Harriet Craig and The Best of Everything.

I’ll wrap up this post with the next installment of our newest feature:
Phil Everly, younger half of the amazing, influential and unforgettable Everly Brothers singing/songwriting team, died yesterday at age 74. If you don’t know who he is or never heard the Everly Brothers’ music, here are two video clips to entertain you. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THESE GUYS. And FYI, the Beatles and Simon and Garfunkel all credited the Everly Brothers’ music and harmony as the inspiration for their own successes. That’s one hell of a legacy.

Juanita Moore was a fine actress who died on January 1 at age 99. She spent most of her career in relative obscurity playing uncredited parts as maids, bathroom attendants and convicts until she landed the role of Annie in Imitation of Life (1959) with Lana Turner ... and even wound up with an an Oscar nomination. 

I think I’ll visit my canned tamales now. They live in the pantry. Thank you for reading this.

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