Reel Infatuation Blogathon 2017-Day 3

Another Reel Infatuation Blogathon has come and gone! The sharing of fictional crushes was, as always, almost too much fun. Thanks to all of the readers and bloggers who joined us this year.

See you next time!

Before you go, please check out these awesome entries from Day 3! If you participated and don’t see your entry here, or if you finish it after this post goes live, just let us know and we’ll add it!

LEMON SHARK: Spike (James Marsters) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Spike

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PURE ENTERTAINMENT PRESERVATION SOCIETY: Jerry Flynn (Lew Ayres) in King of the Newsboys

Jerry

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REALWEEGIEMIDGET REVIEWS: Hank Moody (David Duchovny) in Californication

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THE MIDNITE DRIVE-IN: Jessica Rabbit in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

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THE FLAPPER DAME: Paul Verrall (William Holden) in Born Yesterday

Paul

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OLD HOLLYWOOD FILMS: Wally (Jack Carson) in Mildred Pierce

Wally and Mildred

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4 STAR FILMS: Christine Doinel (Claude Jade) in Stolen Kisses, Bed & Board, and Love on the Run

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FILM MUSIC CENTRAL: Loki (Tom Hiddleston) in The Avengers and Thor

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CARY GRANT WON’T EAT YOU: Doug (D.B. Sweeney) in The Cutting Edge

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THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF CINEMA: Fred Derry (Dana Andrews) in The Best Years of Our Lives

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LIFESDAILYLESSONSBLOG:  Jamie and Claire Fraser–The Outlander book series

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KM SCOTT’S THE CRAZY BACON SHOW: Rose (Lili Taylor) in Dogfight

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FONT AND FROCK: Hamilton Burger (William Talman) in Perry Mason

Perry and Hamilton

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Thanks so much to my co-hostest with the mostest, Ruth of Silver Screenings.

Happy Belated Birthday, Ms. Lupino!

As a teenager, I was obsessed with the Ida Lupino films, The Light That Failed (1939) and Moontide (1942). The former had the bonus of Ronald Colman, the latter of Jean Gabin. Ida was magnificent in both.

Ida Lupino in The Light That Failed (1939)

Ida Lupino in The Light That Failed (1939)

Ida Lupino enriched cinema with some of the most nuanced performances of the 1940s, only to outdo herself as a pioneering director and writer. She deserves that rarest of titles: One of a Kind.

[Classic Movie History Project 2016] The Emancipation of Ossi Oswalda: I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918)

This is my entry in the Classic Movie History Project, hosted by Movies Silently, Once Upon a Screen, and Silver Screenings.

Classic Movie History Project

Classic Movie History Project

Ossi gets emancipated

Ossi gets emancipated

THE EMANCIPATION OF OSSI OSWALDA: I DON’T WANT TO BE A MAN (1918)

“You are a dream; I hope I never meet you.”-Sylvia Plath

Reliable biographical information on German silent movie actress Ossi Oswalda is scant. Even worse, the crumbs that do exist often conflict with one another. To be blunt: facts are on particularly unreliable ground here. Matters are further gummed up by the early-film habit of naming characters after their actors. Ossi was often Ossi, or, to add variety, Össi. Who was who was who? Does it matter? Fortunately, since the focus of this essay is on her incredible comedic performance in I Don’t Want to Be a Man (1918), I’m not particularly concerned with the trajectory of her personal life, or to what extent her true personality coursed through the veins of her screen selves. Even though her off-screen circumstances, opportunities, and choices undoubtedly affected her career, an understanding of them is not a fundamental component to enjoying her remarkable gifts.  It would benefit us to take a page from her delightful films, and, at least for the duration of this piece, leave the logical, workaday world behind in favor of the magical hinterland of the imagination. Let’s travel to a place, then, where time and reality don’t matter, where Our Heroine, in her various fictional disguises, is forever brave, scampish, and determined to grab every experience within her reach. 

Ossi Oswalda, circa 1917

Ossi Oswalda, circa 1917

To sheltered twenty-first century viewers, Ossi Oswalda can seem like a young woman ahead of her time. Her screen characters embrace values that we chauvinistically claim as exclusively ours: they are full of physical courage and a feminist resolve to be treated as equal to all comers, have spicy senses of humor, are confidently attractive, take chances as if they were made for risk, and rebel against the mundane as a matter of principle.

Silent film fans know better. Continue reading