Spring, Sequels & Romantic Chemistry Class (for Movie Peeps)

Lauren Bacall 1945

Lauren Bacall

You don’t have to say anything, and you don’t have to do anything. Not a thing. Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.

From To Have and Have Not, 1944, Warner Brothers

Snow, Ice, Rain, Go Away…

… come again another day.


I rarely try to speak for the entire northeastern United States, but I doubt I’ll receive many letters of protest when I say that we’re pretty much up to our patooties with the precipitation—both the snow kind and the rain. We could use a tad more sunshine. Whatta ya say, Spring?

Sequel to It Had to Be You… Toot Tootsie Goodbye


Copyright protected design by fiona jayde media

If there’s one thing lousy weather is good for, it’s editing.

Book two in my 1920s romantic mystery series, Toot Tootsie Goodbye, has been drafted, bled over, trimmed, polished, critiqued, edited, beta-read, tweaked,  sneered at (by me), cried over (by me), cheered on, cursed at (by me), and apologized to (me)—not necessarily in that order.

It’s currently being combed and brushed out. (Copy edited.)

Yeah, I know. It should be this difficult to make a baby, yes?

January, 1925
Homicide detective Sean Costigan and tabloid reporter Trixie Frank are on the road to romance but at cross-purposes at work when they investigate the New Year’s Eve murder of “Poor Little Rich Girl” Abigail Welles after she comes into control of a family fortune.

Cover art design will be by Fiona Jayde. Learn more About Fiona here.

More updates to come. 🙂

  CLASSIC MOVIERomantic Chemistry (for Classic Movie Peeps)

I sucked at science. Especially chemistry, but there’s one kind of chemistry I never tire of studying—the kind that ignites when two characters meet—on screen or on paper. It can be the platonic kind of chemistry (Thelma and Louise, Butch and Sundance) or the diabolical kind (Sherlock and Moriarty, Kirk and Khan), but today I’m thinking about the romantic kind. We know it when we see it…

Battle of the Sexes
Katharine Hepburn ♥  Spencer Tracy
Rosalind Russell ♥ Cary Grant.

 Burn Up the Screen
Lauren Bacall. ♥ Humphrey Bogart

 Sexy and Fun
Myrna Loy ♥ William Powell
Claudette Colbert ♥ Clark Gable
Julia Roberts .♥ Richard Gere

Sweet and Funny
Meg Ryan ♥ Tom Hanks

Break Every Dish in the House Before We Make Up (Again)
Vivian Leigh, ♥ Clark Gable
Elizabeth Taylor ♥ Richard Burton

Who are your favorite couples when it comes to spontaneous combustion?  Chemistry homework: Sample these March and April TCM picks. Enjoy!

Sunday, March 22

"GIlda... are you decent?"

“GIlda… are you decent?”

8:00 a.m. Gilda (1946) Film Noir TCM.  An American gambler is stunned when his ruthless boss returns from a business trip married to  a seductive woman from his past.  Rita Hayworth, Glenn Ford.

 Why? Hot, hot, hot! And all without removing one stitch of clothing. (Well, maybe one stitch.) Hayworth proves herself more than a pin-up girl with a terrific emotionally-charged performance and a vocal rendition of “Blame it on Mame” that knocks the socks off.

It’s a performance that’s incomplete, though, without Ford’s perfect counterpoint as her angry former lover.Watch these two play with fire in an uber-dangerous love-hate triangle. (“I hate you so much, I would destroy myself to take you down with me. Now I’ve warned you. Now that’s all fair and even…”) Will both get burned?

Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

Gary Cooper and Jean Arthur in Mr. Deeds Goes to Town

10:00 a.m. Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) Drama/Comedy/Romance TCM. An eccentric small town poet must contend with big city opportunists when he inherits an unexpected fortune. Gary Cooper, Jean Arthur. (Director – Frank Capra)

Why? Classic heartwarming  Capra fare. Cooper could do more with his eyes than most actors could do with a five-minute soliloquy. In this precursor to Meet John Doe, he’s cast perfectly as the whimsical but no-guff-taking Longfellow Deeds. Jean Arthur proves a fortuitous replacement for Capra’s first choice to play his love interest, cynical girl reporter Louise “Babe” Bennett. (First choice? Carole Lombard, who turned down the part for My Man Godfrey.)

Tuesday, April 7

Bogart & Bacall in To Have and Have Not

Bogart & Bacall in To Have and Have Not

3:30 a.m. To Have and Have Not (1944) WWII Adventure/  Romance TCM. An American charter boat captain’s determination to mind his own business is sidetracked by a beautiful drifter and a plea for help from the French resistance. Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall. (Director – Howard Hawks.)

Why?  Holy burn-up-the-screen romantic chemistry, Batman! Witness the birth of perhaps the most famous screen-to-real life star couple in cinema history. Bacall was only nineteen in this, her film debut, when she caught Bogart’s eye. And it’s  easy to see why.

The story, loosely based on a novel by Ernest Hemingway, bears more than a passing resemblance to Casablanca.  It’s entertaining, but it’s Bacall who coolly and neatly steals this show, from her first sultry shot leaning up against a door–“Anybody got a match?”–to her last saucy little wiggle out the door.

Sunday, April 19

James Stewart and Jean Arthur

James Stewart and Jean Arthur

9:45 a.m.   You Can’t Take it With You (1938)  Romance/Comedy TCM.  Fireworks erupt between families when a girl from a middle-class free-thinking clan falls in love with the son of a wealthy Wall Street banker.  Jean Arthur, James Stewart, Lionel Barrymore. (Director – Frank Capra.)

Why?  More feel-good Capra fare. Jean Arthur positively shines and Jimmy Stewart melts girlish hearts in this charming comedy. The lovely romantic chemistry between these two rings so true, it’s as if they forgot the camera was there.

Lionel Barrymore (pre-Mr. Potter) is also superb in his role as the benevolent family patriarch and, yes, that’s sixteen-year-old future dancing star Ann Miller playing Jean’s ditzy sister. Seven academy award nominations and two wins—Best Picture and Best Director.


And that’s a wrap!
I’ll say toodle-oo with The Lauren Bacall Whistle clip from To Have and Have Not
Or, for music aficianados, how about some “Put the Blame on Mame”?
(Go on. You know you want it.) Have a great week!


Times listed are EDST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.

 (Missed something? You may be able catch it for a week or more on demand at Watch TCM)


Photo credits:

Lauren Bacall – By Liberty Publications (page 51 Screenland) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Gilda – By Trailer distributed by Columbia Pictures (DVD with the film & the trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Mr. Deeds Goes to Town – By Columbia Pictures (YouTube screenshot from the film trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

To Have and Have Not – By Liberty Publishing (page 48 Screenland) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Trailer screenshot (You Can’t Take It with You trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


Classic Movie Junkie and the Countdown

Lauren Bacall_WIkipedia CommonsSchatze Page:  Most women use more brains picking a horse in the third at Belmont than they do picking a husband.

From How to Marry a Millionaire, 20th Century Fox, 1953


Yikes. The countdown has begun. It’s no longer months till the release of It Had To Be You, but days.

Am I excited? Yes. Happy? You bet. Stressed? Yeah, a little.

You know how they say good things can be as stressful as bad things? There’s truth to that. The release of a new book is a very good thing, so all I should be doing this month is basking in happiness and excitement. I should not be nibbling at my nails as well as every innocent piece of chocolate that crosses my path.

But there you have it. Me. Wherever I go… there I am. Basking and nibbling… 😉

Writers out there… am I alone?


It’s a good thing there are some terrific movies on tap to help keep me happily distracted and away from the chocolate truffles bag.  Here are just two of my favorites, both of which coincidentally feature Lauren Bacall, a class act if there ever was one.

Anyone else a Bacall fan? What are your favorite Lauren Bacall movies?

Tuesday March 11 (Wednesday am)

Paul Newman_Harper_WIkipedia_Commons1:15 am  Harper (1966)  Detective/Mystery/Action. TCM. A sardonic P.I. is hired by the wife of a multi-millionaire to find her missing husband.  Paul Newman, Lauren Bacall, Arthur Hill, Janet Leigh.

Why?  Kick back and enjoy. Newman is a pure treat to watch in this no frills, sunny California hard-boiled detective mystery. He’s backed solidly by an accomplished cast of 60s stars—Robert Wagner, Julie Harris, Janet Leigh, Shelley Winters, and Arthur Hill.  Lauren Bacall is priceless. (As is Newman in his scivvies. Just sayin’…)

3:30 am   How to Marry a Millionaire. (1953) Romantic Comedy. TCM.  Three beautiful New York models set out to catch millionaires, but find true love instead. Lauren Bacall, Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable, William Powell.How to Marry a Millionaire_Wikipedia_Commons

Why? Funny, entertaining and a visual delight. From gorgeous widescreen shots of the Manhattan skyline to the three stunning lead actresses to their fabulous wardrobe—all shot in vivid Technicolor.

Bacall, who plays the trio’s ringleader Schatze, handily delivers most of the smart dialogue; Betty Grable charms as the cheeky Loco; and Marilyn Monroe is perfect as the nearsighted, sweetly dim Pola. William Powell–ever debonair in this, his last big screen role—doesn’t miss a beat.

(Caveat: Beware an opening orchestra sequence that’s amazing but may overstay its welcome—six minutes. If you must, go get a snack. The wait is well worth it.)

Trivia Corner – How to Marry a Millionaire.

When Marilyn Monroe’s character models a swimsuit, she’s introduced with the words “You know, of course, that diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Not so coincidentally, Monroe sings “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” in her other hit film from 1953, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Listen closely for two other in-jokes–throw-away references to Bacall’s and Grable’s real-life famous spouses:

  • The first is delivered by Lauren Bacall to William Powell: “I’ve always liked older men… Look at that old fellow what’s-his-name in The African Queen. Absolutely crazy about him.”
  • In a later scene at the lodge, Betty Grable’s character mentions Betty’s real life husband, band leader Harry James, while listening to the radio.

Have a great week!

Times listed are EDST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule.


Photo Credits

Lauren Bacall Publicity Photo – Unknown Author  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Paul Newman – Harper by Warner Bros.  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Trailer screenshot (How to Marry a Millionaire trailer) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons