Happy Birthday Barbara Stanwyck!

Today marks the birthday of the iconic Barbara Stanwyck. She often played strong women in her films but she had the ability to play comedic as well as dramatic roles very effectively in such diverse films as The Lady Eve (1941) and Double Indemnity (1944). Later in her career she would go on to star in her own TV show The Big Valley (1965-69).

A few of her films I may try and see in the future include: Baby Face (1933), Stella Dallas (1937), Golden Boy (1939), Remember the Night (1940), The Strange Love of Martha Ivers (1946), Sorry, Wrong Number (1948), The Furies (1950), and Executive Suite (1954).

Birthdays!

Wow what a day! Born on this date are three very different greats in Ms. Marilyn Monroe, Morgan Freeman, and last but not least Andy Griffith. That is quite an impressive trio if I do say so myself. That is all.

Monroe in Some Like it Hot
Everyone’s favorite Mayberry
Freeman in The Shawshank Redemption

 

Happy Birthday Bob Hope!

Happy Birthday to the great Bob Hope, one of the most iconic entertainers that the world has ever known. He was known in radio, as a host at the Oscars, in USO tours, on television, in movies, and even as a golfer. He starred in the popular Road Series with Bing Crosby and Dorothy Lamour and he had numerous memorable guest appearances. Two of my favorite roles have to be his performances in The Road to Morocco (1942) and Son of Paleface (1952). Thanks for the memories Bob!

Happy Birthday John Wayne!

I wanted to give a quick shout out to

Marion Morrison, better known as John

Wayne or Duke! He epitomized strength
and toughness in many a western such
as Stagecoach, Red River, The Searchers,
Rio Bravo, and The Man Who Shot Liberty
Valance. However, he also proved he could
 have a softer side in films such as the
classic The Quiet Man. Over the years
there was certainly no doubt that he was an
American icon with that recognizable voice
and unique gate. He was truly a film star with
true grit.

Happy Birthday Frank Capra

Today would have been the birthday of the great American director Frank Capra who was known for his inspirational stories. Some of his most famous films include It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939), and of course It’s a Wonderful Life (1946). Two of his lesser known films that are also enjoyable include Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) and Meet John Doe (1941). His films may always seem optimistic but I think that is why I appreciate his work so much. Ultimately, Capra films lift your spirits and that is a wonderful thing!

Happy Birthday Katharine Hepburn

Today I want to give a nod to Katharine Hepburn who was one of the great leading ladies of Hollywood. She was born on this day back in 1907 and her career spanned from the 1930s into the 80s. She had many memorable roles in films such as Bringing up Baby, The Philadelphia Story, The African Queen, and On Golden Pond. Over the years Hepburn also had many great collaborations with another legend, Spencer Tracy. Her recognizable voice and her roles as strong characters make her a mainstay of film. Out of her work, two of my favorites would probably be the African Queen (1951) and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967).

Happy Birthday Fred Astaire

So today would have been the birthday of the legendary dancer Fred Astaire and I want to just remember him briefly. I heard it said once that certain people are pioneers in film but Astaire was both revolutionary and simply the best film dancer that there has been to date. He pioneered his art form and even to this day he is the best to ever come from it. That is a testament to how good he was at his trade. I don’t know much about tap dancing but there certainly is something impressive about him whether he is going solo or dancing cheek to cheek with Ginger Rogers. Some of the things he does with his feet or using props, I didn’t even know were humanly possible. I would recommend Swing Time and Top Hat if you want to see some of his work and a sequence worth seeing is Royal Wedding when he dances on the ceiling (Yes, it’s possible)!

Happy Birthday Audrey!

It is better late than never so I want to briefly acknowledge that today would have been the birthday of everybody’s favorite actress Miss Audrey Hepburn! She was a film and fashion icon with an elegant grace that radiated from her. From Roman Holiday to Breakfast at Tiffany’s she lights up the screen with her memorable portrayals. I doubt there will ever be another who could match the likes of Audrey.

William Holden

One of the great leading men, William Holden was born on this date back in 1918. With his good looks and recognizable gravelly voice, Holden can be remembered for such films as Sunset Boulevard, Born Yesterday, Stalag 13, Sabrina, and The Bridge on the River Kwai. He would make several prominent films later in his career including The Wild Bunch and Network. If you want to see him in a funnier performance catch him at the Brown Derby in the 1955 episode of I Love Lucy. However, out of all the work of his that I have seen I would say my favorite role would have to be Joe Gillis in Sunset Boulevard. In order not to spoil the plot I would just tell people they should see it. I doubt you will regret it!