This Day in GINGEROLOGY - April 24th
1899: Charles Sullivan, who starred with Ginger in the films “The Tip-Off” (as Chuck, the Bouncer at Scarno’s), “Suicide Fleet” (as Charlie Sullivan), “Carnival Boat” (as a Logger), “The Tenderfoot” (as Spike – a Thug), “Twenty Million Sweethearts” (as Cabbie), and “Bachelor Mother” (as the Bouncer at The Pink Slipper), was born in Monroe, Louisiana.
1961: Lee Moran, who starred with Ginger in the films “Hat Check Girl” (as Man on Subway) and “Sitting Pretty” (as Assistant Director), died in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, at the age of 72.
1984: Fern Aalbu (born Anna Ferne Aalbers), who starred with Ginger in the film “Young Man of Manhattan” (as One of The Sherman Sisters), died in Valley Village, Los Angeles, California, at the age of 72.2016: TCM aired “The Major and the Minor”.
Next GingerFilm(s) (on TCM - all times Eastern):
May 4, 2017 @ 12:45 P.M. Gold Diggers of 1933
May 4, 2017 @ 6:15 P.M. 42nd Street
May 17, 2017 @ 4:15 A.M. Finishing School
Next GingerFilm(s) (on FXM Retro - all times Eastern) - NOTE - the FXM Retro site is kinda 'cryptic' as far as specific times, so please check local listings for 'specific times':
None Currently Scheduled...
Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Joe Reed was a very great man, who never met a stranger and would literally give you the shirt off of his back.
He was a 'handyman' who could plow through a total house painting / wallpapering project in the time it would take me to paint a closet... and pretty much do anything from unclogging a drain to cutting down a tree...to...well, you name it, if he couldn't fix it (which was a rare occurrence) he knew 2 or 3 other folks who could...
He took care and helped many older folks, primarily widow ladies... that's in the Bible, y'all... from mundane daily tasks to major issues, he was caretaker to many who had nobody else...
LOVED his grandkids... they called him 'Daddy-Daddy'... Rebekah came up with that one...
I am blessed and bettered by knowing him, as MANY are...
He will be greatly missed by ALL.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Of course, it has been well documented that April is my LEAST favorite month... apologies to those who are fans of this month... I'm sure that PLENTY of good things have happened in Aprils past... but... lotsa BAD, too... of course, Ginger left this orb in April of 1995... which obviously makes it a somber month in the world of Gingerology... but... here's a few other things you may or may not know about April calamities:
Here's hoping that this April will SOMEhow be...well, not so APRIL-like... I'm not too optimistic...
KIG - especially in this decidedly NON-Gingery month...
Friday, March 24, 2017
Also, TWO GingerFilms will be shown at the TCM Film Festival (April 6-9, 2017):
Lady in the Dark - ...The promo still on the link is in black and white... hmmmm....wonder if that will be how it is shown? I'm thinking not - hopefully will be a 'clean copy' of the color... I'm not up on all the film type details, but 'nitrite' is included, which I thought was a ticking time bomb... hopefully it is 'preserved'... one that would be awesome with a 'clean' DVD offering from Paramount, or whomever owns the rights to this one...
Rafter Romance - One of Dale Tremont's favorites, and mine as well... not sure if this one is any 'cleaner' copy than the TCM DVDs from a few years back, but... will be cool to see on the big screen...it's noted that film critic Leonard Maltin will be in attendance...
Finally, just noting there's lots of things cooking here in South Gingerville, so.. hope to squeeze in a post every now and then... again, FaceBook will be visited as most of us now do... the 'comments' on here for posts are generally non-existent... oh well... it appears there are still quite a few folks checking the site out...it's all good!
Y'all have a VERY Gingery Weekend!!!
Monday, March 6, 2017
TCM remembrance of Robert Osborne 1932 - 2017
There is no doubt that Mr. Osborne was a BIG Ginger fan... here's a 'liner note' he did for the Kitty Foyle radio show album from the 70s, which I originally transcribed for a post on the 70th anniversary of Kitty Foyle's release - here it is:
Ginger Rogers once told a reporter, “Kitty Foyle was my first picture. It was my mother who made all those pictures with Fred Astaire.” The lady was kidding, of course, but there is no denying that everything connected with the spectacular Rogers career dates B.K. (Before Kitty) and A.K. (After Kitty). The Foyle role fit her like a coat of enamel, won her an Academy Award and kept her from being known solely as part of something called Astairenrogers.
Kitty Foyle was made at RKO Radio Studios in Hollywood in 1940, long after blonde and bouncy Ginger had been established as Fred Astaire’s most popular on-screen partner. She’d also proven her solo box office worth in a few comedies of her own. Up to that point, however, she hadn’t been established as an actress (and no fault of her own, but critics and the public have always assumed performances in musicals and comedies require no acting prowess, only nervous feet). One day she’d had quite enough, put down her foot – one of the unnervous ones – and divorced Fred as a partner. “No more musicals!” she told her bosses. While they ran for the aspirin bottle, Ginger started looking for a juicy role.
Enter Kitty Foyle, the most popular literary heroine of the day – and the timing couldn’t have been better. Kitty was the creation of author Christopher Morley, a hard-working white collar girl who was fed up to her typewriter ribbons. “I read about the guts of the pioneer woman, and the woman of the dust bowl, and the gingham goddess of the covered wagon,” says Kitty. “What about the woman of the covered typewriter? What has she got when she leaves the office?” It wasn’t all work for Kitty – she also had to choose between a liaison with a rich, married socialite and a romance with an industrious young doctor. But the public loved her, and every actress in the movie world wanted to play her. RKO, meanwhile, bought the screen rights and Ginger snapped it up. She darkened her hair, replaced the usual maribo feathers with a working girl’s wardrobe and went to town on the part, turning in a performance that made one critic clap his hands in glee, writing “Ginger Rogers plays Kitty Foyle so well it’s hard to remember she ever danced her way to fame.” The flourishing, epic touch came when she won that hard-to-get Oscar over the likes of Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Martha Scott and Joan Fontaine. Goodbye, Fred!
In the years that followed, Ginger got to play everything from gum-chewing molls and ex-convicts to Dolly Madison and Dolly Levi, all thanks in great measure to that first encounter with Ms. Foyle. Her movie career has been long winded (36 active years, 73 major films), quite dazzling, an audience pleaser, always fun to watch. And despite the enduring fame of Astaire n’ Rogers, Rogers n’ Astaire, she is still best remembered as Kitty Foyle, the white collar girl. Their names remain synonymous. This is a permanent record of that collaboration – and proof the lady known as Ginger could do very well indeed without the hint of a Carioca, a Continental or a Castle Walk in reel three.
ROBERT OSBORNE, author of Academy Awards Illustrated and four other books on motion pictures. (circa 1975)
I feel sure that he would have wanted to attend the upcoming Ginger Festival...
HERE is the DVD intro to Ginger's Paramount classic, The Major and the Minor" (from the TCM website) which is also included on the Universal DVD.
The thing about Osborne was he could give his 60-second 'intro' to ANY given film to air on TCM, and make you want to check it out... ...the 'behind the making of the film' info he had was truly unparalleled - talk about someone who had forgotten more about movies than all of us collectively will EVER know!
Robert Osborne was a champion of the Golden Era which Ginger and SO many other incredible actors and actresses created, and his presence will be sorely missed on TCM, as well as in the classic film community.
Thursday, February 16, 2017
Anyway, HERE is their general site... pretty cool stuff...
So far, here are the GingerFilms which are on the Library of Congress National Film Register:
Forty-Second Street (1933, Warner Brothers);
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933, Warner Brothers / Vitaphone);
Top Hat (1935, RKO Radio); and
Swing Time (1936, RKO Radio).
...pretty dang awesome, but... ...here's where we come in... from the LofC website:
"The National Film Registry selects 25 films each year showcasing the range and diversity of American film heritage to increase awareness for its preservation. To be eligible for the Registry, a film must be at least 10 years old and be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."
...with that, HERE is the link to the nomination page for 2017... you can nominate up to fifty (50) (!) films per year for consideration by the National Film Preservation Board to be placed on the National Film Register (NFR)!
They do have a pretty extensive list of past nominations which did not make the cut for the NFR - that list is HERE - quite a few 'suggestions'... just perusing the 30s, I noticed that "In Person" was placed in the 1934 list as well as the 1935 one....hmmmm... could this be a SIGN for our nominations?
With that, here's THIS: Which GingerFilm (if only one can be picked), would YOU choose from the remaining list, and could make a decent argument as to it's 'significance'? Remember it has to be "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant"... well, heck, ALL GingerFilms are QUITE "aesthetically significant"... but, with that, here are MY five (yeah, I couldn't go with just one either) that best fit the criteria (I'm leaving out the balance of the G&F films, as it's pretty obvious ALL of those are candidates):
Young Man of Manhattan (1930 - Paramount)
This one has 'historical significance', as it has quite a bit of actual newsreel footage of various sporting events with the actual athletes, most famously a boxing match between Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney. Additionally, it does a fair job depicting the life of a news reporter back in the day, between Norman Foster and Claudette Colbert. But of course, the GingerAngle is that she creates the character of Puff Randolph to be a very convincing 'flapper chick' which the era is famous for... with a few cute tunes she performs as well. It's also Ginger's first role in a 'feature film', which is historical enough for me.
Stage Door (1937 - RKO Radio)
Pretty much an 'all-star' effort for RKO, with not only Ginger and Kate, but also Lucille Ball, Eve Arden, Gail Patrick, etc... and Adolphe Menjou thrown in as a potential sugar daddy. This film does depict life as a starving actress in the Depression Era, which is definitely of historical significance. Just the exchanges between Ginger and Kate are enough to fast-track its inclusion on the List...
Kitty Foyle (1940 - RKO Radio)
Ginger's Oscar-winning role is of course a fave of most all Gingerologists, primarily for the love story involved; but the film's 'general' tone deals with the emerging female workforce in 'modern-day' society... the fact that this phenomenon was documented in this film just before the U.S. involvement in World War II is timely, as females played a HUGE role in production of goods for the war effort.
I'll Be Seeing You (1944 - Selznick International)
On the other side of WWII, we have this underrated film which has Ginger meeting up with a veteran who has not shook the nightmares of the war experience from his mind... this is an early film which dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) in a somewhat 'unfiltered' manner... still somewhat tame compared to later films in the 60s, 70s, and beyond, it still has historic value as to how Hollywood was trying to present a tough subject in a impactful manner. Plus, Ginger is quite radiant in this one, and turns in an excellent dramatic performance alongside Joseph Cotten and a teenaged Shirley Temple... not to mention Spring Bynington, one of my faves...
Monkey Business (1952 - 20th Century-Fox)
Well, this one is just historically significant for the sake of film... Ginger is alongside Cary Grant and Marilyn Monroe, with that constant 'elder', Charles Coburn... I mean the cast is incredible! And to me, it's really a 'precursor' to all the goofy yet cool Disney 'live action' films of the 60s, like Flubber, That Darn Cat, Now You See Him-Now You Don't, Herbie, etc... which, I guess is of some cultural significance...
...well, that's that. Of course, I think we could all figure out something about ANY of the GingerFilms which would qualify for its inclusion on the National Film Register... but I guess these kind of stuck out to me. For example, one could argue Suicide Fleet or Carnival Boat, due to historic footage of the late 20's Navy Fleet and early logging industry methods, respectively... The First Traveling Saleslady deals with the resistance Western ranchers had to barbed wire, which was most likely pretty accurate... and the list just goes on.
Well, with that, go over to the nomination site and DO so! I haven't YET, but plan to this weekend... vote early and often!!!
It is my hope that I can continue to make 'G-ology' interesting and informative regarding the 'Beautiful Science' of VKM, which is SUCH a great topic!!! ...And remember, your comments are what make Gingerology click - so keep cranking them out!
Thanks again, JW