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

Classic Movie Junkie

Classic Movies

Classic Movie Junkie

Watch any good movies lately?

It’s official. The holiday season has begun. As I write this, we’re still gorging on one holiday’s leftovers as we turn our attention to the next. Those of us who indulge in gift-giving traditions will now be plunged into the thick of list-making, shopping, wrapping, party-hopping, and prowling mall parking lots looking for open spaces.

As for me, I plan to sneak in some movie time while I put up our Christmas tree and make out gift lists. Here are a few picks from what’s playing on cable and Amazon Prime this week.

(Times listed are EST. Check here for your U.S. time zone Turner Classic Movie monthly schedule. Or here for AMC.)

Sunday Dec 1

1:30 pm  Thrill of It All (1963)  Romantic Comedy. TCM. A doctor has trouble coping with his wife’s stardom as a TV pitch woman for “Happy Soap.”  Doris Day, James Garner.

Why? This comedy was wildly popular the year it was released (a few months before JFK’s assassination).  The on-screen chemistry between Day and Garner simply hums.

Monday  Dec 2

10:00 pm   Gladiator (2000) Epic. TCM. A Roman officer betrayed by the emperor leads a gladiator’s rebellion.  Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix.

Why? I must be getting old if this one’s already a classic. Russell Crowe at his good-guy best.

Tuesday  Dec 3

6:30 pm  The Public Enemy (1931) Pre-code Crime. TCM.  An Irish-American street punk tries to make it big in the world of 1920s organized crime.  James Cagney, Jean Harlow, Mae Clark.

Why?  Pre-code means this is chock-full of post-code no-nos… like a certain famous grapefruit scene.  And I never tire of watching the charismatic Jean Harlow (the original blond bombshell), who died in 1937 at age 26.

Thursday Dec 5

12:00 am   In The Heat Of The Night (1967)  Drama/mystery.  TCM. Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger. A black police detective from the North forces a bigoted Southern sheriff to accept his help with a murder investigation.

Why?  Sidney Poitier. Rod Steiger. Five academy awards, including Best Picture of 1967.

Friday Dec 6

9:00 pm  Men in Black (1997) Sci-Fi Comedy. AMC. A straight-laced veteran secret agent and a fast-talking rookie protect mankind from dangerous and not-so-dangerous extraterrestrials. Tommie Lee Jones and Will Smith

Why?  Pure fun. A plethora of entertaining aliens and an end-of-the-world plot keep Jones and Smith busy in this charming sci-fi buddy picture from the 90s.

12:00 am  Casablanca (1942)  Romance. TCM. A cynical American saloon owner in North Africa is reluctantly drawn into World War II when his lost love turns up. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid.

Why?  One of the best-loved, oft-quoted movies of all time. Play it, Sam…

Saturday Dec 7

8:00 pm  Key Largo (1948) Drama/Noir. TCM. A returning veteran tangles with a ruthless gangster during a hurricane. Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson , Lauren Bacall.

Why?  I’ve never seen this, but—Bogart and Bacall– how bad could it be?

This week’s Amazon Prime Pick:  Casablanca

Casablanca trivia question: Name the song Dooley Wilson is playing during the first scene that opens on Rick’s Café Americain. 

What will you be watching for fun this week? 🙂


Photo credit: Scott Catron (Sunset on Hollywood  Uploaded by zaui) [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (, via Wikimedia Commons

Romancing the West . . . “Are you going to pull those pistols or whistle Dixie?”*

(Or Why I Love Westerns) 

*Quote from The Outlaw Josey WalesWarner Brothers, 1976
To hop, scroll down or  CLICK HERE!

Western Historical RomanceWhen I was a kid, my mom worked evenings, which is why I spent a lot of time with my dad, an avid tennis player and movie buff. This meant, when the weather turned cold and the tennis nets came down, I got to go to the movies.

A lot.

And I don’t mean fluffy Disney films either. I mean, real movies. Once Upon a Time in the West, True Grit, Two Mules for Sister Sara, The Shootist, High Plains Drifter, and The Outlaw Josey Wales.

Movies that could put hair on your chest. Even if you were a girl.

It was the 70s, and the great American anti-hero had come into his own. It’s no surprise then that, even at a tender age, I began a lifelong love affair with his rugged Western counterpart—John Wayne at the end of his career and Clint Eastwood in his prime.

BROKEN VOWS  is my homage to the Westerns I grew up on.


Tell me about your favorite Western movie, TV show or book.  Or for movie trivia folk, below are five of my favorite classic Westerns along with quotes. Match ‘em up! (Try to resist googling!)

** REMEMBER: Everyone is invited to comment, but you must leave your email address to qualify for hop prizes.**  (See details above. Winner to be announced at 10 p.m. EST on February 26, 2013.)

  1. “Dear Mary, Mother of God, help this no good atheist to shoot straight.”
  2. “Don’t tell me how to rob a bank. I know how to rob a bank.”
  3. “Baby sister, I was born game, and I intend to go out that way.”
  4. “Get ready, little lady … Hell is coming to breakfast.”
  5. “Even bad men love their mommas.”
  • (A)  True Grit
  • (B)  Two Mules for Sister Sara
  • (C)  3:10 to Yuma
  • (D)  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
  • (E) The Outlaw Josey Wales

Thanks for stopping by!