Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Snap Shot

Long before the Polaroid there was celluloid and fashion designers and directors wanted to be on the same page as far as outfits. Before the scene could be shot the perfect threads needed to be chosen, and many photographs taken to make sure...

Lucille Ball in "The Dark Corner", 1946.

Elizabeth Taylor, "National Velvet", 1944.

Lauren Bacall Hair Test Shot, "To Have And Have Not", 1944.

James Dean (ready to go home)"Giant", 1956.

Judy Garland, "Little Nellie Kelly", 1940.

Elvis Presley, "Flaming Star", 1956.

Say, "Cheese!"

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Dressed

In "Dinner At Eight", Jean Harlow sported a white satin bias cut dress that reassured fans that costume designer Adrian was as good as they come.

Adrian, one of the greats!

This dress was tagged, "The Jean Harlow Dress" after production and it is still iconic today.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

"Designing Woman"

During a break from my 'Esther-a-thon" I had a chance to watch one of my faves, "Designing Woman" starring the ever wonderful Gregory Peck and my favorite actress of all time, Ms. Bacall.

Lauren meets Greg in California after a drunken night. Both New Yorkers, she is a fab fashion designer, he is a sports news man. They fall in love and get hitched after a week.

If my hair could hold a curl (or a wave for that matter), I would pull off this look!

When they get home, Lauren checks out Greg's "shoebox" apartment and decides they are living in her "chic" one. We learn Greg is in some hot water with some mob fellas who he is writing about and used to have a lady friend before he went to California!

Greg hiding the "lady friend" evidence.

Greg's lady friend is no stranger, and he lets her know during lunch the current situation. She kindly throws lunch in his lap. Lauren gets suspicious and Greg meets her 'artsy' friends.

Greg tries to get to know Lauren a bit more and attends her fashion show, which is a great scene in the film. The honeymoon is quickly over though as the two realize they have little in common other than each other. Greg gets into more trouble when the mobster fellas are after him and he has to hide out, which isn't helping his marriage.

Greg learns he needs to be honest with Lauren when she discovers the truth with his old flame and Lauren sees the trouble Greg is really in. In the end, they learn that opposites attract.

This film has gorgeous costumes by Helen Rose. This film is cute and entertaining as Lauren and Greg are great together. Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly were supposed to take the roles in the beginning, but after Grace stepped out once she became a princess, Jimmy decided he wasn't interested in the part, which he later said he regretted. I mean, come on, who wouldn't want to work with Lauren!

"Eh What's Up Doc?"

Before there was Bugs Bunny, there was Clark Gable. Looney Tunes creators got the inspiration for Bugs after seeing Clark eating a carrot in "It Happened One Night". 

Who would have guessed?

Thank Goodness For Lucy

I continue on my Esther kick this time with "Easy To Wed" with Van Johnson, Lucille Ball, and Keenan Wynn. 

Warren(Keenan)works for the paper and has just been told that heiress and spoiled brat Connie (Esther) has sued the newspaper for printing "untrue" pics of her with a married man. Warren is supposed to get married to Gladys (Lucille) today but that will be put on hold again.

Warren decides to devise a plan to make the paper's allegations true and hook Connie up with a married man. He calls on pal and trickster Bill (Van) to get married and throw Connie off by pawning his gal Gladys to get hitched.

Gladys hates this idea and despises Bill but and only agrees after being tricked. Off newlyweds Bill and Gladys go to find Connie. It doesn't take long for him to meet Connie and her father. Connie instantly detests Bill, while her father thinks he is fine.

Connie's dad also thinks Bill is a decorated duck hunter and invites him out to their lodge. Connie starts to warm up to Bill.

There are two problems. Bill starts to fall for Connie for real and doesn't want to keep with the plan. Gladys realizes what a tool Warren is for using her against the newspaper and starts to fall for Bill. It is a classic 1946 love triangle.

Connie asks Bill to marry and they do, but what about his fake but real marriage to Gladys? What about her and Warren? The love triangle must be solved so that all are happy.

This film is a bit slow in places and I found myself bored during parts of it. The only thing that really kept me interested was Lucille's fab performance. Part silly, part Lucy Ricardo, she really made this film better. There were also a few fun song and dance sequences, and an amazing performance on the organ by Ethel Smith (who also had a rock'in cameo in "Bathing Beauty").

If you like Esther or Lucille, you might want to check this one out. 

Fun fact: 
According to imdb, (, 
Fidel Castro is in this film sipping cocktails poolside as an extra!

Monday, July 18, 2011

"Bathing Beauty"

In one of Esther Williams funnest roles comes 1944's "Bathing Beauty" with Red Skelton.

Red plays Steve, a composer who's boss is pressuring him for a new score. He sees Caroline (Esther) and is head over heels.

The two decide to marry. Ahhh...

Steve's boss George doesn't like the look of this and hires his sassy friend to break up the wedding ceremony.

She makes it seem like Steve is already married with three little red headed children. Caroline is crushed and storms out. She heads back to Jersey to work at the women's only college. Red chases after her.

Steve finds a loop hole and enrolls in the college while the board, including Caroline, try to get him expelled. But this backfires when he exceeds their expectations!

There is a funny scene where Steve is taking ballet class and runs around in a tutu.

Steve tries endlessly to see Caroline who is angry at him. At one point he is locked in a closet full of Caroline's clothes with a watch dog and he must find a way to escape.

In the end there is a fabulous water show that is captivating and colorful. 

This is one of Esther's first films and was number three at the box office. It is funny and cute and the conclusion of this film is like candy for your little oldie film eyes.