I dig this image of Lillian Gish, and I thought you might enjoy it, too.
Thanks to all who participated in, read, shared, or otherwise engaged in the inaugural #ReelInfatuation Blogathon!
You know who you are, and you’re ALL the best (especially our co-hostest with the mostest).
Here’s a round-up of all five fabulous days:
Although we plan on doing a second Reel Infatuation Blogathon, you don’t have to wait that long to join in the fun. The character crush conversation will continue on our website, Facebook, and Twitter accounts. Stay tuned for more info.
The focus of this whole thing is, of course, Dean Jagger as General Waverly. I took care of that in Part I. Part II is just an overview of the film itself, which is so well-known as to be part of our cultural fabric. Part III will cover the amazing fashions featured in the film.
Bob Wallace (Bing Crosby) and Phil Davis (Danny Kaye) are two entertainers serving in the Army in WWII. They’re not very good soldiers, but they are worth their weight in songs. Continue reading
Disclaimer: This essay is about the character Major General Thomas F. Waverly as played by actor Dean Jagger. For an overview of the full plot of White Christmas, please read the follow-up post.
I just fell through the looking-glass and somersaulted my way into the cinematic world of Pine Tree, Vermont. It is December 1954, and you can call me Mae in Wonderland.
There’s fresh snow on the ground, it’s very Vermonty, and I’m better dressed than I was two hours ago.
Unsurprisingly, everything looks better in Technicolor. Continue reading
I’m kind of obsessed with Christmas films. For many people, Thanksgiving marks the start of the decorating or shopping season. I, on the other hand, take it as the sign to begin watching as many holiday flicks as possible. I’d do it around the clock if I could. My husband thinks this is really strange, but he leaves me to it with nary a head shake. He’s a good man.
Sometime in mid-December of last year, after watching both White Christmas (1954) and Miracle on 34th Street (1947) a few too many times, I had a mild personal epiphany.
I realized that my two biggest film character crushes are on these guys:
I’ve been crushing on this holiday duo since my teen years, thus my insight was embarrassingly belated. Once I had this figured out, it was an easy leap in nosiness to wondering which film characters other people–family, friends, total strangers–think are exciting, sexy, intriguing, or, well, just plain hot.
So, basically, my two main character crushes came together and, aided by a healthy dose of curiosity, planted the seed of an idea that, with the help of my co-hostess with the mostest, Ruth of Silver Screenings, grew up to be the Reel Infatuation Blogathon.
That was the easy part. Deciding which of my celluloid honeys to write about was truly difficult. In the end, though, there was one clear winner: Dean Jagger as Major General Thomas Waverly in White Christmas. I cannot wait to share my character crush with you, or to read all about yours.
Let’s get this party started!
The mesmerizing and incredibly accomplished Douglas Fairbanks the elder was born on 23 May 1883.
Pro Top: The First King of Hollywood: The Life of Douglas Fairbanks by Tracey Goessel is a fantastic book.
I’m really excited about The Great Villain Blogathon 2016. The first two iterations were loads of fun, with dozens of bloggers sharing their ideas of what, exactly, makes for a standout movie villain. In 2014, I explained why Leave Her to Heaven’s Ellen (Gene Tierney) is the ideal film bad gal: she’s smart, beautiful, stylish, deceitful, and deadly. Last year, I made the case for the equally glorious and wicked duo of Blanche Fury (Valerie Hobson) and Philip Thorn (Stewart Granger) in Blanche Fury. These films are visually stunning, enlivened by impeccable color cinematography. The former is akin to a splendid nature travelogue (spiked, richly, with mayhem), the latter to a series of Gothic paintings come to moody life. The immoral main characters of both are driven by selfishness, jealousy, and single-minded passion. They need what they need and are willing to do whatever it takes to get it, everyone else be damned. Or killed.
This year, I’m leading you down a path to a different cinematic world. It’s not beautiful, grand, or sumptuous. Passion is absent, but there’s plenty of greed and power-tripping to step in as the source of rotten plot behavior. Follow me to a black-and-white landscape where night is day, and everyone wants the opposite of what they have…except for the villain, who just wants more of the same and then some. His name is James ‘Capper’ Regan, and you won’t soon forget him.
ESCAPE BY NIGHT (1937) (SPOILERS! SPOILERS! ALL THE SPOILERS!)
Left to right: Dean Jagger, Murray Alper, William Hall, Ward Bond, Steffi Duna
PART I: JUST A SMALL TOWN BOY
Tourists visit The Big City for many reasons. Some go there to shop or check out famous landmarks, others to see shows or dine out in fabulous restaurants that are beyond the scope of their smaller towns. Then there’s miner Nicholas ‘Nick’ Allen (William Hall), who simply wants to feel the sun on his face. Why he couldn’t do that closer to his Pennsylvania home is anyone’s guess, but, fortunately for our plot, he’s right in the line of trouble at the exact moment a damsel in some very real distress needs him. Continue reading
Sigh. She’s a hard one to say goodbye to…a brilliant actress and human being. More later.
Patty Duke (1946-2016):
Dean Jagger, my fave actor and fellow Ohioan, died on 5 February 1991 at age 87.
Buster Keaton, one of my favourite creative geniuses, was born on 4 October 1895. I made a little slideshow in honor of his 120th birthday. Enjoy!