She Blogged By Night turns a year old today, and boy are my arms tired! Wait, I think I told that wrong… I’ve had a ton of fun working on this blog in the past year. Really, I don’t have a lot to say, but I did want to mark the occasion. In lieu of content, I offer you some of my favorite photos. CREDITS:Nazimova courtesy the AMS Silent Movie Calendar. Sessue Hayakawa courtesy thiscoldair from the LiveJournal community silent_films. Judy Garland courtesy mardecortesbaja.com. Rita Hayworth by George Hurrell, courtesy a Google images search. Kay Francis and Bette Davis courtesy amy_jeanne of It’ll Take the Snap Out of Your Garters!
“Bop Girl Goes Calypso” is the story of a young rock ‘n’ roll singer who discovers that science has proven rock and bop is on its way out, and is soon to be replaced by calypso as the new hot song craze. Thus, the bop girl goes … yeah, okay, I can’t even say this with a straight face. But when the film began, I found myself really wanting to love this movie. Dig that crazy Nino Tempo! While screaming out “Horn Rock” with his band, he rips off his suit jacket, loosens his tie, and thrusts his hips in a decidedly impure way. I’ll be in my bunk. Truly, this is a terrific beginning to a film. Hot, jazzy rock by a dynamic performer while the credits — most notably all musical credits — scroll by on the right margin. If only the entire film were half as good as this opening sequence. In the audience watching Tempo is a man sitting alone at a table. Well, unless this big machine thingie he carries with him is his date, but that would probably be an entirely different movie. The machine has a gauge that is obviously measuring something and Mr. Science Machine is taking copious notes, but since this opening 15 minutes or so is all music and no dialogue we have no idea what the machine is measuring. It’s all just a gimmick to get Mr. Science Machine to go to one club after another, anyway. But first … Continue reading
Welcome to September! It’s Kay Francis month on Turner Classic Movies, something which regular readers will know I’ve been pee-my-pants excited about for quite some time. The festivities kick off this evening at 8:00 PM Eastern with “Raffles” (1930), a hard to find film which has never before shown on TCM. There are going to be so many great films: “Jewel Robbery”, “Trouble in Paradise”, “In Name Only”… basically, don’t make any plans for September, is what I’m saying. I chose “Mandalay” (1934) to celebrate Kay Francis month. It’s one of my favorite Kay Francis films, an over-the-top melodrama that you can really sink your teeth into. As usual, there are spoilers. “Mandalay” will be shown on TCM on September 25 at 8:00 PM Eastern. Tony Evans (Ricardo Cortez) is a gunrunner currently docked in Rangoon, Burma. In 1934 Burma was a British colony. Rangoon is a port city and served as the cultural and commercial hub of Burma while under British rule; it replaced Mandalay which had been the last independent capital of Burma until the British captured the country in the late 1800s. The British ruled Burma as part of India until 1937, when it was ruled as a separate country. During World War II Japan and Britain fought over Burma, but Burmese independence was finally achieved in 1948. Tony works for himself but the local kingpin Nick — played by Warner Oland in yellowface — doesn’t trust him. He wants Tony in his own gunrunning business, mainly … Continue reading