Old and mostly deceased movie stars

December 27, 2011 at 9:45 pm 1 comment

Old movie stars aren’t things, but I love watching them. Some of my favorites are Cary Grant, William Powell, Jimmy Stewart, W. C. Fields, Myrna Loy, and Doris Day. Why? Because they’ve all been in movies that are more light-hearted and when I’m in the mood to sit and watch a movie, I tend to like romantic comedies.

Cary Grant is more than just entertaining to watch…he was HOT! And his accent was cool. I find most of his movies to be very enjoyable. If I turn on Turner Classic Movies and they happen to be showing a Cary Grant flick, it’s pretty likely that I will put off whatever else I had planned to do and watch it. A week or so ago, they showed Bringing Up Baby with a manic Katharine Hepburn. It’s not slap-your-knee funny, but still a joy to watch.

For Christmas, I got Arsenic and Old Lace, another favorite. Cary is manic in that film. Of course, my favorite Grant film is still Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House with Myrna Loy…a double winner, since I really like her too. The Bachelor and the Bobby-Soxer (with Loy) is a lively flick. I mentioned The Bishop’s Wife in my Christmas Movies’ post, another favorite. I have to include My Favorite Wife, Father Goose, The Philadelphia Story (with Jimmy Stewart), That Touch of Mink (with Doris Day), Houseboat, North by NorthwestTopper, and I just saw When You’re in Love, an Alfred Hitchcock production. Did you know he played Mock Turtle in the 1933 version of Alice in Wonderland?

William Powell was a dapper guy. His Thin Man flicks are some of my all-time favorites. Of course, he’s teamed up with Myra Loy, which makes them even more wonderful. Powell, like Grant, is absolutely charming. He’s got a big smile and a way about him that, though he wasn’t the looker Grant was, he could sweep a woman off her feet in nothing flat. Some of my top Powell films are My Man Godfrey, Manhattan Melodrama (with Loy), Evelyn Prentice (with Loy), The Great Ziegfeld (with Loy), The Ex-Mrs. Bradford, The Last of Mrs. Cheyney, Double Wedding (with Loy), I Love You Again (with Loy), Love Crazy (with Loy), Life with Father, and Mr. Roberts.  

What’s not to love about Jimmy Stewart? If nothing else, I was swayed by his dialect. His stuttering drawl gets me every time. In the summer, there’s nothing better than a viewing of Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation. He was even in After the Thin Man with Powell and Loy. That was a triple hit for me! I also like You Can’t Take it With You, Made for Each Other, The Shop Around the Corner (mentioned in my holiday movie post), Harvey, The Greatest Show on Earth, The Glenn Miller Story, Rear Window, The Man Who Knew Too Much (with Doris Day), Vertigo, How the West was Won, and Take Her, She’s Mine. Some of Stewart’s films are more dramatic than funny, but still good watching.

I used to enjoy the Marx Brother’s films, but as an adult, I find them less funny. But, W. C. Field’s flicks? Still good. He was a comedic genius. Watching him do his pool ball schtick is a classic. Have you seen him juggle? Pretty darn amazing. You can check out more clips on YouTube.  Which films are my favs? Some were shorts, like Pool Sharks, The Dentist, and The Golf Specialist.  I own If I Had a Million, because it’s a pool of talented people like Charlie Ruggles and Gary Cooper, that combine for the story of a millionaire who gives money to people he chooses from the phone book. That’s what I always wanted to happen to me…a billionaire giving me three billion, after taxes, just by picking my name out of a phone book…drawback was that my name was never in the phone book… Back to Fields – add Tillie and Gus, The Old Fashioned Way, The Man on the Flying Trapeze, The Big Broadcast of 1938, The Bank Dick, Never Give a Sucker an Even Break, and It’s a Gift to my list.

On to the women, Myrna Loy’s face is flawless. It’s small and heart-shaped and she had a perfect bow mouth. I loved most of the clothing she wore, too. Other than the films I’ve already mentioned, she was coy and beautiful in Libeled Lady, Cheaper by the Dozen and the sequel Belles on their Toes, and in the dramatic The Best Years of Their Lives.

Brighten your day with Miss Sunshine and the queen of romantic comedies, Doris Day. Her films just have to make you smile. They make me smile. Sure, she’s Doris in every film, but she’s like the best friend you wish you had…fun, cheerful, and you know you’d be borrowing her wardrobe. I love Lullaby on Broadway, Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, With Six You Get Eggroll, Calamity Jane, Love Me or Leave Me, It Happened to Jane, Pillow Talk, Lover Come Back, The Thrill of it All, Move Over Darling (an updated version of My Favorite Wife), and Do Not Disturb. Doris was good in the dramatic thriller Midnight Lace.

So, with winter headed our way, now is the time to crank up the DVR and record some of the old classics for watching as the snow falls. Your public library probably has copies to check out for free!


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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Terri Van  |  March 24, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I love Cary Grant in “Room for One More!” It is the story of a family with three of their own children who welcome two additional children into their family. It touches your heart and makes you feel good at the same time.


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