Monday, August 30, 2021

A Sunshine Blogger Award :-)

The Classic Movie Muse has awarded me the Sunshine Blogger Award :-)  This is always such a fun one, and I'm excited to answer her questions.  But first, the rules:

  • List the award’s official rules
  • Display the award’s official logo somewhere on your blog
  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Provide a link to your nominator’s blog
  • Answer your nominator’s questions
  • Nominate up to 11 bloggers
  • Ask your nominees 11 questions
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on at least one of their blog posts

Now, time for the fun stuff.  Thanks for these intriguing questions, CMM!

1. You are able to travel back in time and are starring in a film from Hollywood’s Golden Age -- which decade would you prefer and why? 

I would obviously choose the 1950s because I could make a classic western with John Wayne and Alan Ladd and Maureen O'Hara.  Clearly, if I had the power to travel back in time, I would also have the power to make some kind of deal with their studios so they could work together.  While I'm at it, I'll just go ahead and write the screenplay too so I can make sure that we all get wonderful lines and heroic roles, and I get good dramatic scenes with all three of them.  But we'll also have some funny scenes because they were so good at comedy, but John Wayne and Alan Ladd almost never got to do any.  

(I mean, we would have such fun!)

Maureen and I would play best friends, and Duke and Alan would play best friends, and we would all fall in love at the same time (well, I mean, me with Alan, and Maureen with Duke), while also battling some kind of sinister bad guy (probably played by Lee Marvin, with Vic Morrow as a sidekick) who is trying to con Maureen and I into investing our family fortunes in a non-existent gold mine.  With at least one shoot-out that we ladies get to participate in too.  Make it so!

2. What is your favorite film related book? 

Um, just one?  Argh.  How can I choose just one?  I can't.  So I'll talk about three.

(Hours and hours of my life, right here.)

I love and adore The Complete Films of John Wayne by Mark Ricci, Steven Zmijewsky, and Boris Zmijewsky -- I bought a copy when we visited John Wayne's birthplace when I was a teen, and it was one of the select books I took to college with me.  Just paging through it would calm me down when I would get all stressed out about papers and projects and tests.  Now I have two copies because my friend Olivia found me a newer edition that's not falling to pieces :-)  So that's the one I consult now.  But I have to keep the old one too, because it is full of memories.

Then there's The Films of Alan Ladd by Marilyn Henry and Ron DeSourdis, a much more recent acquisition.  I have this rule that I do my best not to read or learn anything about one of Alan's movies before I watch it so I can go in with no preconceived ideas.  But as soon as I do watch one I hadn't seen before, I look it up in this book and read their analysis of it, which I generally agree with.

And I owe much of my movie-related knowledge to The Film Lover's Companion, edited by David Quinlan.  When I was a movie-obsessed teen in the '90s, I didn't have the internet, and even if I did, I'm not sure if existed yet.  So I had this book.  When I saw a movie and liked an actor in it, I looked them up in this book to get a brief bio and a list of their other movies.  And if I saw an actor in a movie and thought, "Hey, I think I saw them in such-and-such movie too!" I could look and see if it was true.  It was incredibly helpful, and although I don't consult it that way anymore, I do still like paging back through it.

3. Do you own any pieces of memorabilia from classic Hollywood (autographs, magazines, etc.)? 

Of course I do!  I have quite a few random magazines and advertisements featuring my favorite actors and actresses.  I have production stills and a couple of lobby cards.  Phyl sent me Alan Ladd and Veronica Lake paper dolls to color and cut out for Christmas a couple years ago.  I have a few autographed pictures -- none are terribly valuable, but they're important to me personally.  I have some vintage sheet music for movie themes, too, like "Mona Lisa" from Captain Carey, USA (1949).

(No idea why I would have this sheet music.)

4. What was the last classic movie you watched and would you recommend it? 

I just watched The Saint Strikes Back (1939), the first Simon Templar movie starring George Sanders, and it was great fun!  I mean, it's only a B-movie detective story, and it's only like 65 minutes long, but it was just the sort of popcorn flick I needed.  I love the Saint books by Leslie Charteris, and I've wanted to see the George Sanders movies for the longest time, so I was excited to get a set of all five.

(Peppy, snarky fun to be had here.)

5. What is the post that you’re most proud of on your blog? Leave a link to share it with us! 

I have never gotten tired of my fake review for a 1943 noir version of Hamlet I called Murder Most Foul.  I'm especially proud of the fact that some people actually thought it was real, until they got to the end where I confessed it wasn't.  It was incredibly fun to write, and I actually want to expand it into a novel some day because I think it worked quite well.

(The person who designed this now makes my book covers for me!)

Wanna know something crazy?  I cast Alan Ladd as Hamlet in that three years BEFORE I fell in love with him.  I'd seen him in This Gun for Hire (1942) a few years earlier, and really thought he would make an effective Hamlet, so I just went with it.  I still think he would.

6. Is there a movie that has made an impact on your life? Whether it be through the viewing experience, the film’s message, etc. 

Uh, yeah?  Like... dozens?  Hundreds?  I'm always learning things from movies, just like I do from books.  Ben-Hur (1959) taught me to choose my friends carefully, because who you hang out with will influence who you become, even when you're an adult.  Captain Newman, MD (1963) taught me that sometimes, all a person needs is someone who will listen to them.  Dead Again (1991) taught me to be very careful how I hand people a pair of scissors.   And I could go on and on and on.

7. Which film do you think should have won for Best Picture but didn’t? 

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).  The Quiet Man (1952).  Shane (1953) (::cries::).  The Ten Commandments (1956).  The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming (1966).  Hello, Dolly! (1969).  Star Wars (1977).  Witness (1985) (::cries again::).  I'll stop there.  But there have been a lot of nominees that I liked better than the actual winners, as you can see...

Excellent spot to tuck another Alan Ladd picture into this post, eh?

8. Do you have a favorite film composer? 

Absolutely!  Elmer Bernstein.  I'm particularly fond of his scores for The Sons of Katie Elder (1965) (listen here), The Magnificent Seven (1960) (listen here), and The Great Escape (1963) (listen here).  Since I'm reviving my blog series on movie soundtracks here, I'm sure I'll be talking about them in full eventually!  So for now I'll just say that I love how Bernstein writes actiony pieces that also manage to have a beautiful lyricism to them.  His scores underline what's going on in a scene, they don't try to hint at what's to come or tell the story themselves.  And yet, listening to them, you can hear the story happening.  Amazing.

(I could listen to each of these for hours.  And have.)

9. What classic film would you recommend to someone who says they hate old movies? 

That entirely depends on the person and their tastes in stories.  There's not a one-size-fits-all answer to that question.  Nobody enjoys every movie.  So if someone tells me they just can't get into old movies, but they'd like to try, I will ask about their favorite modern movies and suggest some classics that have similar themes, feels, storylines, characters, etc.

10. How do you approach movie watching? Do you have a method (i.e. going through filmographies) or watch whatever you’re in the mood for? 

I am a mood watcher.  Unless I need to watch a specific movie to review for a blogging event, I will just go for whatever I'm in the mood for.  This is why I have an extensive DVD collection.

11. If you could give one piece of advice to new bloggers what would it be?

Get active in the blogging community!  Find blogs you enjoy, follow them, comment on them.  Make friends.  And do fun tags like this that help people get to know you, too.

Ahhh, those were such awesome questions :-)

Okay, now it's my turn to tag 11 bloggers.  So I hereby tag:

Along the Brandywine
Any Merry Little Thought
Caftan Woman
Coffee, Classics, and Craziness
Horseback to Byzantium
I'm Charles Baker Harris (And I Can Read)
Ink Castles
Meanwhile, in Rivendell...
Movies Meet Their Match
Phyllis Loves Classic Movies
The Maidens of Green Gables

And here are my questions for them:

1. What was your favorite movie when you were 10 years old?
2. What's your favorite movie now?
3. What would be your dream cast for an adaptation of your favorite book?
4. What's your favorite movie soundtrack?
5. Do you have a favorite movie-watching snack?
6. Who is your favorite person to watch movies with?
7. Is there a hairstyle in a movie that you've always wished you could pull off?
8. What movie animal would you like as a pet?
9. What movie house would you like to stay in on vacation?
10. What's the oldest movie you've watched?
11. What's the newest movie you've watched?

Play if you want to!  (And if I didn't tag you, but you like these questions, tag yourself and answer them anyway!)

(There is no reason for this picture of Bobby Darin to be here except that I like it.)


  1. I highly approve of you and Maureen getting to participate in the shoot-out along with Alan and Wayne :D

    Thanks for the tag! This looks like a lot of fun!!

    1. Katie, I'd like to see someone try to stop us from participating! :-D

      Hope you get a kick out of filling it out!

  2. Ahhh your movie idea sounds amazing!!
    Yes! Elmer Bernstein is an incredible composer and you can totally hear what happening in the story!
    Thanks so much for nominating us, your questions look like SOOOO much fun!!

    1. Grace, I think it would be fun :-D You never know, this may turn into a stand-alone novel, heh heh. Only without me in it, cuz then I'd turn into a Mary Sue and that would be lame.

      Hope you have fun with this :-)

  3. That sounds like such a fun movie in your answer to question #1! =) And whaaaat Witness didn't win Best Picture??? >:(

    I'm definitely planning to fill out this tag--fun questions!

    1. Eva, wouldn't it be? I mean, awwwww.

      No, it didn't, and Harrison Ford lost his Best Actor nom too, and I HATE THAT.

      Have fun with this!

  4. I love your time travel movie. I would pay to see that movie.

    Your mention of Captain Newman, M.D., a favourite of mine touched me.

    I think of your Murder Most Foul article quite often. Your writing is memorable.

    1. Caftan Woman, I would too! Even if I wasn't in it!

      How awesome that you like Captain Newman, MD too! I really love that movie, even though I can never decide if it should be shelved with my dramas, comedies, or war movies. It cycles around.

      And thank you for that compliment! I'm so pleased to hear that particular post was memorable for you :-)

  5. This is great, Rachel! I so enjoyed reading through your answers.

    Yay, such fun to see your fav books! Aren't the Citadel Press books awesome? I do the same thing with mine re: not learning a thing about the movie before I've seen it and then rush off to read about it afterwards. And the pictures...oh man I love those books too much haha!

    I'm going to have to see Captain Newman, MD. It sounds delightful!

    Love your sheet music and the poster is amazing! I'm gonna set aside some time tomorrow to read your article. It looks fab!

    Thanks again for participating and for the fun answers!

    1. Muse, I'm glad you enjoyed it :-)

      YES! Those books are the best. I wouldn't mind having a couple more. They have one on western films that looks so cool.

      Captain Newman, MD is a treat. Gregory Peck, Bobby Darin, Angie Dickinson, Robert Duvall... and somehow, Tony Curtis nearly steals the whole show.

      Leave me a comment if you do read that Murder Most Foul post because I'd love to hear your thougths!

  6. Thank you for the tag, Hamlette! I have lost my blogging schedule, so maybe this will help me figure it out again. :-) I agree, Star Wars totally should've won more Oscars!! I would love watching a movie with you and the others! I mean, until we find a time machine you could write it up like you did for Murder Most Foul...::hint hint::

    1. You're welcome, Chloe! I hope you have fun with it :-)

      I am always wishing for a time machine. Always.

      And actually, you never know -- I might take that idea for a double-buddy western and write it as a book one day!

  7. That western starring you, John Wayne, Alan Ladd, and Maureen O'Hara sounds so epic. Tell me when it comes out.
    I think I'll do this tag. Thanks for the nomination!

    1. Irene, doesn't it sound fun? I may have to write a book based on that idea and cast at some point -- maybe replacing myself with Myrna Loy?

      Have fun with the tag!

  8. Posted my answers!! Thanks for the nomination!!


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