Five wonderful stars of yesteryear that I adore…
Golden memories of my favourites from Golden years of Hollywood.
In this star-studded post, I’m going to gitter about 5 of my favourite actors and actresses from the Golden Age of Cinema. Wikipedia reports Hollywood’s Golden Age started in 1927 with the introduction of sound in movies and ended in 1949 with the beginning of the end of the studio system.
These actors and actresses have a special place in my heart and I watched most of their movies as a kid with my family, and the more random and obscure films thanks to Blogathons.
Going more random in a recent write-up on Laurel and Hardy, I remembered Bing Crosby who is both a wonderful singer and actor. My gran watched many of his films every Christmas. Including the almost inevitable Christmas Scottish TV showing of White Christmas (1954).
This is one of a list of films shown every year in Scotland (like forever) at Christmas. This list also includes The Wizard of Oz (1939), The King and I and at least one of the Herbie films (with England luckily having their own programme at this time).
Other films I enjoyed with Crosby included the Road to movies, which admittedly I groaned at the time, but would love to see now. And don’t want to be remade. No matter who with. Especially if one of the actors involved has the surname Pegg and the other Frost.
The Road to films however is another film series that Seth MacFarlane has parodied. A lot. With Brian and Stewie. Also, Crosby starred in one of my dad’s favourite musicals High Society (1956), which was a remake of a film with another of the actors on this list.
This the first of the ladies on my list was introduced to me in The King and I (1956) however started her career in 1940, but like Kevin Costner, in The Big Chill (1983) her part ended up being cut from the movie. I loved her in The King and I movie and her dresses and her performance was amazing. To me, Kerr’s leading man in this movie – with Kerr being the I, Yul Brynner was an odd choice but it worked. Unlike some other leading male actors in musicals, who just didn’t.
But Brynner’s all singing all dancin’ dream scene in Futureworld (1976) with Blythe Danner (Gwyneth Paltrow’s mum) not so much. And not forgetting her wonderfully romantic role with Cary Grant in An Affair to Remember (1957). Seth McFarlane also sent up this film mercilessly. And Kerr also gets Brownie Points for being a Scottish and a Glaswegian (thanks to Darlin’ Husband for this info).
I went through a wee phase around the beginning of this blog writing where I reviewed Plummer’s work in many a movie.
I loved him in The Sound of Music (1965) with the scene his Captain Von Trapp character shares a romantic will they, won’t they moment with the famous nanny. Their on-screen chemistry always reduces me to tears. I know he’s not singing, but Plummer does lip-synch this song incredibly meaningfully.
He also made me sob in International Velvet in the final scene for that line “It was delivered by hand” (correct me if I’m wrong, littlest sister) which obviously makes so much more sense when you see this movie, which you should. And I’ve loved his villainous roles especially in Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country (1991) and as the manager who tried to keep a time-travelling love-lorn Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) away from Elise McKenna in Somewhere in Time (1980).
The final lady on this list is the constantly chirpy Doris Day. I recently reviewed her in With Six You Get Egg Roll (1968). A film which was good for a while. I envied this actress for her leading men particularly Cary Grant and Rock Hudson (another favourite). And Gig Young who was just lovely.
Also, I wanted to be her for her frocks, leading men and her hair. And I adore her films Young at Heart (1954) and Pillow Talk (1959). But I’m hoping for the day with the announcement that Renee Zellweger will play her in a Biopic. Renee plays a Doris Day type character in the homage to these films, Down with Love (2003) in one of the few roles that I just don’t see Zellweger as a Bridget Jones-alike. And she is just perfect.
Grant was the perfect English man, and I hoped the role model for my future husband.
With Grant’s charisma, charm, wit and well-manners he’d also be my mother’s dream son-in-law. My Darlin’ Husband has all these attributes and more. And can do a mean impersonation of Grant too.
For some reason back in the day, I confused him with Rock Hudson which may have been due to watching so many movies with these actors. This situation was rectified by Dynasty (1981-89), which starred Hudson in what would turn out to be a controversial story both on and off-screen.
So that’s my favourites, writing this post reminded me of so many great films – and not so great – that I’d love to see again. So I hope you enjoyed this wee nostalgic trip as much as I did. And if you’ve got a time machine and are planning on going back to the late 1970s to revisit your younger self. And you have room for a wee one…
The Five Stars Blogathon 2017, No 22
This was entered into the National Classic Movie Day Blogathon run by Classic Film and TV Cafe. Other film reviews including these leading names include… Doris Day stars in Pillow Talk, The Thrill of it All, Teachers Pet, Young at Heart, With Six You Get Egg Roll and her tribute HERE. Deborah Kerr stars in The Innocents and Cary Grant stars in The Philadelphia Story, Arsenic and Old Lace and they both star in An Affair to Remember. Christopher Plummer stars in International Velvet, Star Trek VI – The Undiscovered Country, Somewhere in Time, numerous The Sound of Music reviews and his tribute HERE. Bing Crosby stars in Dr Cook’s Garden and High Society.